March 1, 1905

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Mr. L. G.@

McCarthy. Don't call the hon. member for North Simcoe an acquisition.

Mr. SPItOULE. I hope that many others on that side will find that open confession is good for the soul, and will rise and do as these hon. gentlemen have done. While I am on my feet I would like to say a word with regard to the number of copies of the Bill distributed so far. Eight days ago the Bill was introduced. Up to to-day each of us could only get one copy of the Bill. Yesterday, the Prime Minister said that there was no objection to having a large number struck off. It would only take two or three hours to strike off a couple of thousand copies of the Bill. It seems strange to us, therefore, that up to the present, we have been able to get only four or five copies each. I made inquiry of the Printing Bureau and they told me : We were instructed to give no information as to the number of copies of the Bill to be printed. It seems strange that there should be such secrecy. I would ask the Prime Minister if he knows any good reason why we should not get more copies of the Bill, and whether he will give instructions that a much larger number be printed, because there is an urgent demand for them from many parts of the country. I myself have applications for at least a hundred copies of the Bill. Yet, though it is eight days since the Bill was introduced, I am able to supply only five.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES (Victoria and Hali-burton).

It is not my intention to speak on this matter, further than to congratulate the late Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) on the action he has taken in withdrawing from the present government. I take this opportunity of stating that, as soon as the Bill was introduced, knowing the action that the late Minister of the Interior had taken in 1895 and 1896, when the Manitoba school question was under discussion, though I had no consultation with the hon. gentleman, I had absolute faith that he would take the course he has taken to-day. In 591

justice to that hon. gentleman I may say that I am in a position to state positively, knowing whereof I speak, that it was his desire that the Manitoba school question should be kept out of the arena of Dominion politics and be settled in a satisfactory manner by the province. That was the wish also of many hon. gentlemen on the Liberal-Conservative side of this House. But the wishes of those gentlemen and of the late Minister of the Interior were not gratified. I felt that there was no other honourable course open to the late Minister of the Interior, than that which he has taken, and I had the most perfect confidence in his istrength of purpose and knew that he would not tolerate the infliction upon the Northwest of the clause in this Bill relating to education. I ask the Prime Minister; I appeal to his patriotism-and he pretends to be patriotic-in view of the fact that the Minister of the Interior has retired and that other ministers hang their heads when this Bill is mentioned ; in view of the fact that many hon. members behind him will not and dare not support him ; in the interest of the west and of the financial and commercial institutions that depend upon the development and progress of that great country, I appeal to him to pause in pressing this Bill. He cannot but know that the great tide of immigration now flowing toward that country, once checked will not easily resume its course. I predict, if he goes on with this Bill-and I am not the only one who predicts-dire disaster to this country.

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An hon. MEMBER.

War.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

War ? Sir, if because a few half-breeds on the banks of the Saskatchewan refused to accept the new and reasonable method of survey instead of the old one to which they were accustomed, the First Minister would have been justified in shouldering his musket in their support, as he declared in 1885 he would have done, then far more would the boys in the Northwest-it will not need the boys from Ontario-be justified in shouldering their muskets in resistance to the tyranny the Prime Minister proposes in this Bill. His action, if he persists in it, will check the tide of immigration into that country and will produce a crisis in the financial and business affairs of the Dominion. I ask the First Minister to give his most careful attention to this idea. He can turn a corner as quickly as anybody can. It is not too late for him yet. Let him withdraw these clauses of his Bill, and leave it to the Northwest to settle this matter.

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CON

George Taylor (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEORGE TAYLOR (Leeds).

I do not rise to discuss the Bill which has led to the resignation of the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) but only to congratulate my hon. friend from North Simcoe (Mr. L. G. McCarthy) on having already de-

dared his attitude. He is not a member of the cabinet ; but I presume that he was a prospective minister. I have been waiting to hear from another gentleman who sits close to that lion, member. I refer to the hon. member for North Ontario (Mr. Grant). At a by-election in that constituency, I had the honour to go there to say a word on behalf of the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) who was then a candidate in North Ontario. And one of the principal things brought against the hon. member for North Toronto in that campaign, was that he had supported the Remedial Bill, and if elected would advocate the granting of separate schools in the Northwest. That was the principal argument used in that by-election to further the election of the hon. member for North Ontario, and I now expect to hear from him that he will follow the hon. member for North Simcoe and declare the position he purposes taking when the BUI comes up.

Mr. HUGH GUTHRIE (South Wellington) On the motion to adjourn, moved by the hon. member for South York (Mr, W. F. Maclean) and oil which several members have spoken, some of whom have said that they are unalterably opposed to clause 16 of the Bills creating two new provinces in the Northwest Territories, I would say on my own behalf, speaking for myself only, that I am unalterably in favour of that clause 10 in the two Bills shortly to come up for a second reading. So far as I have been able to gather, the only point urged to-day is that made by the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) who says that the Bills are hurried ones. Surely he does not mean that these are new Bills. I remember last session hearing this matter discussed, if not in the House at all events around the House, and likewise the session before that. They are, I submit, two of the best considered Bills that have ever been brought forward; and although they may not have been as fully discussed with some members of the government as they might have been, still I venture to say that during the past five or ten years no question has received greater consideration. If I read parliamentary practise aright, if I understand Todd's parliamentary procedure and May's usages of parliament, I believe I am correct in saying that it is the Prime Minister who should introduce measures of the kind we are now discussing; and if any of the members of his cabinet are not in accord with him, they have one duty to perform and that is to resign. If the exMinster of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) tound he could not support the government in this matter, he has taken the proper course; but as I understand the question, so far as it has now gone, there is a distinct desire on the part of hon. members opposite, evinced both in their speeches and their newspapers, to create some inflammatory condition in this

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CON

George Taylor (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

country which there is nothing in the Bills introduced to warrant.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

What about the Globe ?

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LIB

Hugh Guthrie

Liberal

Mr. GUTHRIE.

I have read the editorials in the ' Globe,' in which that newspaper takes issue with the government regarding the educational policy laid down in the Bills presented to this House. I am sorry that the 1 Globe ' cannot see as the government do on this question, but the ' Globe ' is only one newspaper, and we are legislating for the whole Dominion. If the ' Globe ' cannot see eye to eye with us, that is no reason whatever why we should turn back from what we believe to be our duty. The majority of this House and the country, I am convinced, are of the opinion that the measure submitted to us is right and just; and in that belief I think we should go forward notwithstanding the Toronto ' Globe ' and the organ of the hon. member for South York (Mr. W. F. Maclean) and those other organs which are criticising these Bills very adversely at present.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I do not want the right hon. the First Minister to forget the second question that I ventured to put to him so that he may settle, if it is in his power to do so, these disquieting rumours which have been given currency with reference to the attitude of some others of his ministers on this Bill. We have had a most important piece of information from the hon. gentleman who has just spoken. He has just told us that this Bill has been discussed for two sessions, and he has informed the House with all becoming gravity that it is still being discussed. Where ? Is there an inner circle somewhere?

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LIB
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Is there a circle within a circle in the party headed by my right hon. friend, and at the head of which is probably the right hon. gentleman who leads the government? Is there an inner circle which takes up these things in advance and discusses and settles them and brings them to a point where they are in the position of not being new matters but things well discussed and settled during these two years? Last year my hon. friend the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) was, I believe, present in this House and in his wonted health. He was also present the year before last in equally good condition. During all that time, as we have just been informed, the principles of this Bill were being discussed, and surely if any one of them was discussed it must have been that one dealing with the school question. But evidently the Minister of the Interior was not in that warm current.

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LIB

Robert Franklin Sutherland (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

Is the hon. gentleman bringing up some new matters? I would

remind him that he has already spoken once. *

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I spoke not on the adjournment but on the ministerial explanation, and I am now calling the attention of the First Minister to the question I have just put. I also want to call his attention to something else. It is in the interests of the country that we should know whether two or three days ago, after conferring with the Minister of the Interior, my right hon. friend still had hopes that the Minister of the Interior would accede to what was evidently a proposition put to him, possibly in modification of this clause of the Bill, and that his resignation at the last moment came as a disappointment. It would be interesting to the House to know whether the right hon. gentleman made any advance towards a compromise in the Bill as presented, in order to retain his colleague in the cabinet. 1 want to call to the attention of my right hon. friend two other matters, which I may as well bring before him now, as otherwise I should have to call his attention to them later. I find that in the printed Bill there are material alterations as compared with the Bill laid on the table, when introduced by the right hon. gentleman. What is the cause for these modifications? Have some modifications been made between the time this Bill was introduced and the time when it was sent to the printer, with a view of retaining in the government the Minister of the Interior or any other aggrieved minister? When my hon. friend here to my right asked for the printing of a larger number of copies of the Bill, it struck me that perhaps there was method in not printing too many copies, because, before the next printing takes place, it may possibly be that some other clauses will be modified in order to retain members who are at present recalcitrant, or to gain the favour of those who are opposed to the Bill as it stands. But I call my right hon. friend's attention to this peculiarity, that some of the clauses of the Bill which he put in Mr. Speaker's hands do not appear in these Bills, the swamp lands clause for instance.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LATJRIER.

I think the hon. gentleman is mistaken.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I think not. I had a copy of the Bill and read it, and I am sure that was not in the Bill. I merely mention flu matter so that the right hon. gentleman may notice it. There is one other thing I would like to speak of. We have had placed in our hands what purports to be a history from official sources of the legislation of the united provinces of the Dominion since confederation. I do not know to whose courtesy we are indebted for this. It is useful in its way, so far as it goes. But it has been stated in the public press that it was arranged and collated by the Secretary of State.

and publicity has been given to that statement, and it is believed by a great many people. I do not know whether that is the case or not. I have no objection to the government giving us ail and the fullest information with reference to the subject, but I do object to the government putting anything in circulation as official information if it has been done under the auspices I have mentioned, and as has been reported in the press, because the information is more than a statement of facts, and is shaped into an argument from the beginning to support, the contention of the government. I hope my right hon. friend will be able to say that this has not been prepared by the government or any member of the government, or officials connected with the government. It seems to bear the impress of being printed in the Government Printing Bureau, though that may not be the case. However, as that has been current, I bring it to the attention of my right hon. friend so that he may mention it, if he will be kind enough to do so, in connection with the other points I have raised.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. JOHN HAGGART (South Lanark).

In order to emphasize some of the remarks of tile hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Poster) I wish to draw the attention of the premier to a statement he made in the ministerial correspondence which he read as having taken place between him and his late colleague. It is to my mind a very curious statement. He said that in consultation with his colleague he hoped he would be able to yield somewhat to his views so as to retain him in the cabinet. Now what the House wants is a clear cut statement from the premier whether he is wedded to that particular clause of the Bill regarding separate schools, or whether he is prepared to do what his colleague wishes him to do in order to retain him in the cabinet, and in order to meet the wishes of a great number of his supporters in the House in that direction. The difficulties may be all removed, there may be such an alteration in that clause as that it may receive the support of the whole House.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I have no observation of any kind to offer to the House on this occasion, because the occasion does not call for any observation from me beyond the statement which has been made by my-seif and by my late colleague, the present member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton). The hon. member for South York (Mr. Maclean) knows better than anybody that on such an occasion ministerial explanations are to be given when a gentleman withdraws from the administration, and it is left to the prime minister and to the minister withdrawing to make such explanations as they deem fit. I rise simply to answer one question, though it is not at all pertinent to the issue, becairse everything that has been said here on this occasion bpyond that which

refers to the withdrawal from the cabinet, is aside altogether from the issue. But the hon. gentleman has questioned me with regard to a pamphlet which has been issued purporting to be certain collations from the debates of this House on a former occasion on the question of separate schools. I was rot aware until this moment that this pamphlet had been distributed, and I shall make inquiry and ascertain who is responsible for it. I do not mean any discourtesy to the House, on the contrary ; the House is entitled to the amplest information, and that it shall have at all times, and I hope before this matter is settled. But many of the matters which have been introduced today are absolutely foreign to the question which I was forced to bring before the House, that is to say the resignation of my hon. friend from Brandon. The other questions will come up at a later date. Some remarks have been made, for instance, by the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) when he said that this Bill had been before the House for two sessions. That was evidently a slip of the tongue, and was easily answered. My hon. friend meant only to say that the question of autonomy had been discussed for two sessions. Everybody knows, especially the members who were in the old parliament, that for the last two sessions the question of autonomy for the Territories has been under discussion ; I presume that is what my hon. friend had in his mind when he spoke on this Bill. But the only object X had in rising was to refer to a statement-not a statement but an insinuation, made, I think, by the hon. member for South York. The hon. gentleman insinuated that in bringing forward this measure there was an intention on my part in some way to get rid of the Minister of the Interior. I simply notice the statement to give it the most emphatic denial that I can. Whatever may be the differences of opinion between myself and my late colleague, I am sure he will acquit me of having had any idea of acting deceitfully towards him. I am sure that no one knows better than himself that it is with extreme regret that X have to lose his valuable services, and if I could have retained them X would have done so with great pleasure. When the hon. member for South York insinuates that I was conspiring in some way to get rid of my hon. friend from Brandon he makes an insinuation which is absolutely without the shadow of foundation.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

We are entitled to some information showing why we cannot get more copies of the Bill.

Sir W11. Fii 11) LAURIER, My hon. friend is very persistent in his question. I may say at once that this matter of printing is not in my department, it is in the hands of the Secretary of State. The hon. gentleman will not be surprised perhaps to learn Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

that I have many things to attend to these days, but I will not forget the subject and will communicate directly with the Secretary of State.

Motion (Mr. W. F. Maclean) to adjourn, negatived.

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INSPECTION AND SALE OF SEEDS.


Hon. SYDNEY FISHER (Minister of Agriculture) moved the third reading of Bill (No. 7) respecting the inspection and sale of seeds.


March 1, 1905