March 24, 1905

CON

William Barton Northrup

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NORTHRUP.

I suppose that when the public moneys are to be distributed under this Bill, they must be distributed equitably among the public and separate schools. If a certain amount of money is to go to one section, and there is only one school, that school will get more than it would if another school were established in the same section. That, I think, is self evident. I expressly said that I gave this as an illustration of how it would work out. I suppose it will be admitted that, as that country is sparsely settled, it must be rather hard, in many sections, to maintain the schools. If another school is started in the neighbourhood, a heavy burden is placed upon both classes of the community and the schools are less efficient than they otherwise would be, I have another reason. I was in the Northwest about two years ago. I found regions which foreigners, as for instance the Galicians, have come in and settled. Now, if the Galicians get control Of the school in one section, is it more likely or is it less likely that Americans, let us say, will settle there under the proposed legislation than they would if the public school only could be established there ? As a practical question is it not clear that the moment a number of foreigners settle in one section, they will effectively exclude Mr. NORTHRUP.

other people settling in that section unless they are prepared to accept the conditions that would be suitable to foreigners ? Take, for instance the Galicians, and speaking of them with all respect. Is it unfair to say that the children of Galicians not knowing a word of English, would not be regarded as the most profitable fellow-students at school for the children of a farmer coming from the south side of the line. Therefore I venture to say that the idea of splitting up the schools is not calculated to improve the class of immigrants coming into the country and that it will practically shut out from the country a great deal of a certain and excellent class of immigration.

I have tried calmly and quietly to call the attention of the hon. gentlemen opposite to the fact that a majority may have feelings as well as a minority, and that it would be well in all these matters to consider the feelings of the majority as well as the feelings of the minority. I trust, Sir, that since it has been admitted on both sides of the House that painful excitement exists in the country, that fears have been aroused and passions excited, that probably many long days will be required to quell, I think I am justified in view of these facts admitted on both sides of the House, in appealing to the right hon. gentleman to tell us what is meant, and either say that the Finance Minister was wrong in his definition, or if he stands by what he says and calls it right, then let us here to-night, before we leave this chamber, settle on terms which will be satisfactory to every one of the majority in Canada who would gladly see all the children of this country trained every day in the year, for half an hour or more, in the faith taught them by their fathers.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. FRANK OLIVER (Edmonton).

If I have the permission of the leader of the opposition, whom I am sorry to see is not now in his place, to venture a few remarks in regard to what is especially a Northwest question, I would like to take up the time of the House for a little while tonight. That gentleman has several times referred to an occasion of two years ago when he saw fit to bring before this House a motion in regard to provincial autonomy, and it has seemed a grievance to him that on that occasion he was replied to by a humble member representing part of the Northwest Territories instead of by a member of the government. I do not know what qualification the hon. leader of the opposition demands from members who address this House, but I would think, with all humility, that a member who has spent the greater part of his life in the Northwest Territories, who had some part in the local government of the Territories for many years, might possibly be able to contribute something to the information of the House on a question so closely connected

with the welfare of those Territories. I observe that on this particular occasion the leader of the opposition, in conducting the debate, if he has control of its conduct, is apparently of the view of that great American humorist, Mark Twain, who declared the less he knew of the subject the more fluently he could speak on it. I notice that his colleagues sitting beside him, members of a government who themselves, not so many years ago, were painfully interested in a certain school question, have not so far replied to the three ministers of the cabinet who have dealt with the question in this debate. The duty of replying to one of the most important speeches that has been made on this occasion has been relegated to my hon. friend who has just sat down (Mr. Nor thru,)), and I think all will agree with me that no serious light has been thrown upon the subject, that the speech has not done credit either to the cause or its leader, nor has it done discredit to the ex-Minister of the Interior or to the cause which he champions. It seems to be the strong point in the argument of these gentlemen that because they do not see fit to see something, that, therefore, it is not there. Now, there is no one so blind as he who will not see; and the gentleman who can see no difference between the provisions of clause 16 as originally introduced and the provisions as they now stand for the approval of the House, is certainly very blind; I won't say that it is because he does not want to see, very probably it is because he cannot see. The difference between these two provisions, as I understand them, is radical. I do not say that it was intentional. We have had enough disputatious in regard to constitutional points in this House during this debate to leave us all with the full knowledge that there may be honest differences of opinion with regard to all these points. To my mind the difference is very important. As stated by the ex-Minister of the Interior here today-and I speak as one who knows something of this matter, as one who has had experience in regard to school legislation, as one of those members of the Northwest Assembly who made the change in the Northwest school law between what it was before 1S91 and what it is to-day

I say the difference, as I understand it, is a difference between clerical control of schools and national control of schools. If that is not a sufficient difference, then I do not understand what we are disputing about. I think it is a radical difference. It is what threw this country into a turmoil in 1896 and caused a change of government at that time. It is the reason why those gentlemen are sitting on that side of the House instead of on this side.

But I wish particularly to deal at this time rather with the financial terms of these Bills than with the educational sections. To revert again to the leader of the opposition and his troubles, it seemed to be a great

worry to him that two years ago several members representing the Northwest had the temerity to vote against his proposal for immediate provincial autonomy to the North west Territories. He objected very strongly to the reasons given on that occasion. I can only say that the reasons seemed to be sufficient to him at the time and afterwards, because, although he alleged that the measure was immediately important at that time it was the last reference he made to it, so far as I can recollect, until the measure was brought down this year. The reasons given were sufficient apparently to satisfy him that the question was not pressing, was not so immediately important. I think I can satisfy the House that there were very good reasons why members representing the Northwest Territories should not be anxious to accept the suggestion of provincial autonomy without knowing very well what the terms of that autonomy were to be. I think the events of this debate are sufficient to prove that; and I think what has occurred since the opening of this session and since these Bills were brought down is evidence, if evidence were needed, that western members have been fairly caz-eful as to what they agreed to, and possibly have had some influence in securing provisions which would be to the advantage of the people of the Northwest Territories.

In considering the question of autonomy, we have to consider our peculiar position. We have to consider our position as compared with the condition of other provinces. The revenues that we might expect to receive as compared with those of other provinces, and consider whether our condition would be improved or be made worse by accepting provincial autonomy. We have great needs to meet in that country. Here in this province of Ontario we may make a comparison. The settled part of the province of Ontario is perhaps 400 miles long by 100 miles wide. In that area is contained all there is in Ontario, in the way of agriculture, at any rate. There are the roads, there are the schools, there are all the expenditures practically which the provincial government has to provide for. In these Northwest Territories, in the province of Saskatchewan, we will say, there is an area of 300 by 300 miles of agricultural country, over which agricultural settlement must spread, over which roads must be made, throughout which schools must be provided and municipal institutions taken care of. In Alberta we claim a distance of S00 miles in length by no less than 200 or 300 miles in width of agricultural country, over which settlement will spread, throughout which roads must be built, municipalities organized and schools maintained. If the province of Ontario, upon entering into confederation, found itself with a load of some $45,000,000 of debt incurred because of the necessity for the improvement of the conditions throughout that comparatively small area, we might

very well consider carefully our financial position in undertaking to spread, civilization and improvement over these very much vaster areas under our conditions. We knew that we must have the means or we cannot have the success. We must have the means with which to build roads, to provide schools, to take care of all these requirements of civilization which fall to the lot of the provinces ; and without those means, without that money, if we cannot go forward as provinces, we had better not undertake the responsibility' of it. We find that in the condition in which we are at the present time the Territories receive a matter of nearly a million and a quarter dollars of revenue from this Dominion, or of subsidy, in the place of a provincial subsidy. Outside of that, there are expenditures which, in the provinces, are borne out of the provincial funds, hut which, so far, have come out of the Dominion treasury, and which aggregate something like half a million dollars. At the present time, considering the Territories as a province, we are receiving as a subsidy from the Dominion treasury, a matter of a million and three-quarters of money. Now, compare that with the subsidy received by any of the other provinces. We find that Ontario receives a subsidy of a little less than a million and a half, Quebec a little over a million, Nova Scotia under half a million, New Brunswick under half a million, Manitoba a little over half a million, British Columbia $300,000 and Prince Edward Island $200,000, the two larger of these with populations infinitely greater than that of the Northwest Territories. As I said, in the Northwest Territories we are not receiving more money than is necessary for the development and improvement of the country. Out of the money that we are receiving, and which bulks so large, comparatively as current expenditure, has to be provided a great deal of what would ordinarily be considered capital expenditure. Surely it was reasonable on our part to say that, considering the subsidies given to the provinces, considering that these subsidies are based on population very largely, considering the needs of that great western country in the immediate future, considering further that our population was increasing so rapidly and that, with the Increase of population, we could claim continually more favourable financial terms, we had everything to gain by waiting for provincial autonomy and nothing to lose. I will not trouble the House to evidence that fact by comparing the terms demanded by the Northwest government itself in 1901 and again in 1903. Because this government did not grant to tile Northwest Territories the autonomy that was asked for in 1901, in the space of fourteen months they had made something like a quarter of a million dollars a year. I thought if we could, by waiting a matter of fourteen months, increase our annual Mr. OLIVER.

revenue by a quarter of a million dollars, we could not make money as quickly in any other way than by waiting a few years longer for provincial autonomy.

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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

Why did you not continue to wait a little longer ?

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

My hon. friend (Mr. Lalor) asks me why we did not continue to wait a little longer.

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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

You are making money so fast, it is a wonder you did not wait a little longer.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

As far as I am concerned, and as far as the majority of the people in the Northwest Territories are concerned, they are prepared to continue to wait for provincial autonomy on those conditions.

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CON
LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

As long as it pays. The demand for provincial autonomy does not come from the people of the Northwest.

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CON

Arthur Cyril Boyce

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYCE.

Does it not come from the government of the Territories ?

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I believe the government of the Territories has made certain demands for provincial autonomy. I have shown the House how wise these demands were by comparing the demand of one year with the demand of the succeeding year. I am not responsible for what the government of the Northwest Territories have done. I represent a section of the people of the Northwest Territories, and I say that the people of the Northwest Territories have never asked for provincial autonomy. However, if it seems good to the parliament of Canada and to the government of this Dominion to organize these Territories into provinces and to give them fair and reasonable financial consideration, certainly we are not the people to refuse that consideration or to refuse those reasonable financial terms. We believe that the terms which have been offered, and which are contained in the Autonomy Bills, are fair and reasonable financial terms, are such as we can conscientiously afford to accept, and" such as will be a benefit to the people of those Territories, and will tend to the improvement of the country. We would be doing less than our duty ; we would be poor friends of our Dominion, if we willingly accepted anything short of a liberal allowance for provincial purposes in these Territories. As the ex-Minister of the Interior has said, it is on the development of these Territories that the prosperity of this whole Dominion depends. He would be the worst friend the Dominion had, who would prevent the progress of civilization in these provinces by stinting the means whereby that can be obtained. I shall not go into a comparison with the subsidies which are given the other provinces, except to repeat that the conditions in the Territories are so different from those in the other provinces-such a small population occupying such a vast area of agricultural

country, which soon must be full of people, anil which will require large expenditure- that the terms which have been accorded the other provinces would not be satisfactory or suitable terms for these new provinces of the Northwest. The conditions are different ; the terms must be different ; the terms are different, and in so far the terms are satisfactory.

As to the ownership of the lands; it has been urged that these lands are the property of the province, should remain the property of the province and should be administered by the province for the benefit of the revenue of the province. It matters not to me wliat the legal rights of the province or the Dominion respectively are in that case. The lands belong to Canada whether administered by the province or by the Dominion; the settlement of these lands is for the benefit of all Canada. Whatever method of administration will give us the best results in the way of the settlement of these lands is the policy that is best not only for the Dominion but for the province. As a representative of the west, I believe the idea of using the lands of the west as a source of provincial revenue would be a very great detriment to these new provinces and to the country at large. I am aware that the provinces must have revenue, and failing any other source I would say: Certainly we must have revenue from the lands. But if we can get adequate revenue from othfer sources than the lands, then we certainly do not want the lands used as a source of revenue. I can easily understand that with a change of policy on the part of the federal government, a change of policy back to what it was say twenty years ago, when it was believed to be the proper policy to take everything that could be taken out of the land in the way of cash payment ; then possibly it would be better that the lands should be in the hands of the province rather than in the hands of the Dominion. But, so long as we have a land policy the basic idea of which is the land for the settler, it is certainly better for us and for the Dominion that the lands should be administered by the federal authorities. One hon. gentleman said, that the lands could be better administered by the province than by the Dominion because the people of the province were closer on the ground and the interests of the province he said, were just the same as the interests of the Dominion. I beg to differ ; their interests are not the same. The interest of a province in the land is in the revenue it can derive from the sale of the lands ; the interest of the Dominion in the lands is in the revenue that it can derive from the settler who makes that land productive. This Dominion of Canada can make millions out of the lands of the Northwest, and never sell an acre ; it has made millions out of these lands 101

without selling an acre. The increase in our customs returns, the increase in our trade and commerce, the increase in our manufactures is to a very large extent due to the increase in settlement on the free lands of the Northwest Territories. The prosperity this Dominion is enjoying to-day is to a very large extent due to the fact that the lands of the Northwest Territories have been given away and that people have taken them. I say that the interest of the Dominion is to secure the settlement of the lands, and whether with a price or without a price makes little or no difference. It is worth the while of the Dominion to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in promoting immigration to that country and to spend thousands and thousands of dollars in surveying and administering these lands, and then to give them away. But the province is not in that position. The province derives no revenue from the customs duties or from the wealth which the settler creates. Every settler who goes on land in the Northwest Territories is a bill of expense to the provincial government. That settler requires a road made, he requires a school supported, he requires the advantages of municipal organization, and these have to be provided for him out of the funds of the provincial government, so that as a matter of fact the tendency of the provincial government is to get such money as it can out of the land and to prevent settlement from spreading any further than can be helped. On the other hand, the interest of the Dominion is to get the settlers on the land, to scatter them far and wide so long as they are good settlers and they get good land. That is the position as it strikes us in the Northwest, and when we have secured a financial arrangement with the Dominion government that gives us adequate consideration for our lands-I mean to say, gives us an adequate revenue as compared with the other provinces at any rate ; gives us a revenue that instead of decreasing will increase as our needs increase ; gives us a revenue that is proportionate not only to our population as it will be but to the area over which that population will spread-when we have secured an arrangement such as that, we have secured a very satisfactory arrangement; at least as satisfactory as we can expect to secure.

As to the amount we get out of our lands, a word on that point may not be out of place. The province of British Columbia owns all its natural resources ; it has timber, it has gold mines and lead mines and coal mines. And I find that last year the province of British Columbia derived from all the resources connected with the ownership of its lands, the sum of $015,000. In the coming year, the country which is now the Northwest Territories will derive a sum of something like $750,000, based on the

*calculation that has been made in regard to the land. I find that the province of *Ontario with a population of two and a quarter millions in the year 1902, derived from its lands $1,499,000.

We find, by the arrangement that has been ' made with these Northwest provinces, that when their population reaches that of the province of Ontario, they will be deriving two and a quarter millions in respect of their lands. I have given the total amounts which the provinces referred to derive from their lands as they are to-day. I have deducted nothing for the expense of management, and I have not said, what is the fact, that these provinces are drawing from their capital account while the Territories *are taking only their annual revenue. That the provinces, selling their lands, disposing of their natural resources, as they do today, and using the proceeds as their annual revenue, must find that revenue decreasing from year to year, while we, with not a cent deducted for expense of management or for any other purpose, find our revenue increasing from period to period according to the increase of population, until we reach a very fair maximum amount and when that is reached, there will be people settled all over these provinces, and they will have the means of revenue from taxation which exist in the older provinces. Our position will be similar, and we shall be able to carry on business as they do. Under these circumstances the objections which I entertained to provincial autonomy, and which were shared by a large majority [DOT]Of the people of the Territories, have been [DOT]overcome by the financial terms offered to these provinces in the Autonomy Bill. We are just as ready to take upon ourselves all the rights and responsibilities of self-government as ibe people of any other part of this Dominion, but we want the means wherewith to discharge those responsibilities before we assume them. We are not going into any blind pool-the term seems objectionable to the leader of the opposition. We are giving our sanction to a definite bargain, laid down in dollars and cents, in regard to which there can be no equivocation or misunderstanding.

In regard to the educational clauses of the Bill, I do not know whether I dare venture on a subject which has been so thoroughly threshed out by so many legal gentlemen in this House already. But at the same time the laws are not all made by the lawyers, and they are not all administered upon the lawyers. It is the people at large who suffer from the laws, and it is not any harm for one of the ordinary citizens of the country to attempt to understand them. Now, on this point I differ very radically from some of my friends. I am not a supporter of separate schools because I like the principle of separate schools. I do not agree with everything that was said by Mr. OLIVER.

our hon. friend the member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) last night-said so ably and so well. I am one of those who pin their faith unreservedly to a system of national schools, established for the purpose of educating the people of the country, of Imparting to them knowledge in secular subjects. I am one of those who believe that religion can best be taught by those whose special training is the teaching of religion, that geography can be better taught by those whose special training is for the purpose of teaching geography. If I understood the law as some of our friends understand it, I certainly would vote against the educational provisions of this Bill. But I do not understand the law that way, and I am at a loss to see how they can understand it that way'. We have been bombarded here for some time with petitions in regard to this educational question ; we have seen staring headlines in the papers ; there have been indignation meetings held in some parts of the country ; there has been trouble, large, long and loud, all around ; and what has it all been about ? I noticed a heading in a newspaper the other day, a great large heading-I think it has been in several issues of the paper. It read : 'A

Free West, a Common School, Provincial Rights, Religious Equality.' I hear some gentlemen laugh sarcastically. I want to to say that I subscribe thoroughly to the sentiments expressed in that headline. I read further : ' Toronto Vigorously Protests Against Throttling the West.' Well, I would like to be understood as protesting against any attempt to throttle the west. ' Meeting emphatically protests against the enactment of section 16 or any other provisions inconsistent with their constitutional freedom in this regard.' And the mass meeting in Massey Hall demanded that the government, first should abandon the clauses, second, should appeal to the country, or third, should defer action-it must do one or other of these three things. I read in one of these petitions which have been sent in :

At the last regular meeting of the Strath-cona Preeeptory, Royal Black Knights of Ireland, the following motion was passed :

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Moved Sir Knight J. J.@

Mellon, seconded Sir Knight T. Irving, that this preeeptory does utterly disapprove of the school clause in the present Autonomy Bill, and strongly urge that the new provinces do have full control in all matters pertaining to education in the said provinces.

I find in a petition which I had the honour to present:

We, the undersigned electors of the electoral district of Edmonton do pray that in granting provincial autonomy to the Northwest Territories the Dominion parliament will not by any enactment or otherwise withhold from the newly created provinces full and unrestricted freedom of action in all matters affecting the es-

31G1

tablishment, maintenance and administration of schools.

I read the following resolution of the Winnipeg Ministerial Association :

Therefore he it resolved, that the Ministerial Association of Winnipeg respectfully protests against this legislation proposed, and expresses the hope that the educational clauses referred to as objectionable may be expunged from the Bill, thus leaving the new provinces perfectly free to develop their own educational policy.

I read from a newspaper :

Orange protest.-Eastern Ontario Orange Grand Lodge pronounces on the Autonomy Bill. An invasion of provincial rights. The provinces must be absolutely free.

And in a part of this document it says :

We have strong reason to think that this restrictive legislation has been asked for by a certain organization in a province far removed from the Northwest, an organization that has never stopped during nearly the last thousand years grasping for power to curtail the rights of the people.

I read here a document which has been directed to myself. It is from the Grand Orange Lodge of Ontario West and says :

And so we are called upon to-day to enter our earnest protest against the unjustifiable action of the bishops striving to shackle the west for all time in matters of education. We desire to go on record, as citizens of this country, uncontrolled by the Roman Catholic hierarchy, who have been on record for forty years, in favour of a system of non-denominational public schools, where every child shall secure a good secular education at the general expense, and where the religious belief of the pupils will be fully respected.

This right worshipful grand lodge opposes as dangerous to the peace, order and good government of the Dominion the adoption of this principle in the constitution of the proposed new provinces. We stand firmly against the endowment of denominational schools as the worst, because the most subtle form, in which church and state can be united. This is accomplished by the Autonomy Bill providing that ' the public money of the provinces appropriated by the legislature in aid of education and the funds derived from the sale of public lands set apart solely for public school purposes shall hereafter be divided indiscriminately between the public and the separate schools.'

There seems to be some objection oil the part of some of these gentlemen who have so petitioned parliament against separate schools. I admit that I, too, hold similar objections, but these gentlemen do not seem to be aware that those separate schools have been in existence in the Northwest Territories for 20 years to my knowledge; that they are in existence because of legislation passed unanimously 30 years ago by this parliament, as the leader of the opposition said, and repeated and reiterated, subject to repeal or amendment by this parliament at any time during the past 30 years, and there never was a word of pro-101i

test from the Ministerial Association of Winnipeg, from the Orange Grand Lodge of eastern or western Ontario, from the preceptory of the Black Knights of Ireland in Stratkcona, nor from any of those other petitioners, during that whole 30 years during which it was in the power of this parliament to do away with this national outrage of separate schools in the Northwest. It is within the power of parliament to-day; it is not too late. But there is not a man here who will move, nor has there been a suggestion made to tills House, that separate schools in the Northwest Territories should be abolished, not a word. Do these gentlemen really mean what they say or do they know what they say ? Is this a demonstration of objection to separate schools or is it an attempt to wreck the Liberal govern-'ment on a second school question ? If this attack is honest, if it is against the separate schools and not against the French premier, it is in order for the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) and the gentlemen behind him to introduce a Bill into this parliament as they yet may do to abolish separate schools in the Northwest by repealing the section of the Northwest Act. I am against separate schools but I want some company in my position and I do not seem to be able to find it. It is not the first time I have been alone in this House, but i seem to be just as lonesome now as I ever was, notwithstanding all these petitions on this very interesting subject. These separate schools have been authorized in the Northwest Territories by Act of this parliament for 30 years at least and they have been in actual existence in the Northwest Territories for 20 years by Act or ordinance of the Northwest legislature. There has been no word of protest in parliament or out of parliament, there has been no word of petition in the Northwest legislature, or amongst the people against that provision.

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CON

Angus Alexander McLean

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. A. McLEAN.

Why do you not ask leave to introduce the Bill ?

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LIB
?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Try it. Try McCarthy.

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LIB
LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I say then that in view of the fact that these separate schools have been in existence for 20 years absolutely at the disposal of this parliament, without a word of objection from the legislature of the Northwest Territories or from the people of the Northwest Territories, it is not in order to send into this House such documents as have been sent in within the past month ; to discuss this question as it has been discussed in the newspapers of this country. I say that the men who are doing

this are doing it not in the interests of Protestantism but in the interests of party politics. If there is a wrong, let them take proper means to remedy that wrong. It is open to them, this is the responsible body whereby it can be remedied. These provinces are not yet created, these territories are still under the absolute control of this parliament of Canada. If a wrong has been done let us right that wrong and right it now, and there will be no question about separate schools in these provinces in the future. '

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Are the thousands of reformers who signed this petition and have spoken on this question along the same lines doing it in the interests of a political party ?

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LIB
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

They were asked by no person except the instinct of nature.

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LIB

James Conmee

Liberal

Mr. CONMEE.

Petitions with a printed head1 were sent out broadcast.

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March 24, 1905