March 28, 1905

House resumed adjourned debate on the proposed motion of Sir AVilfrid Laurier for the second reading of Bill (No. 69) to establish and provide for the government of the province of Alberta, and the amendment of Mr. R. L. Borden thereto.


Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa



Mr. Speaker, in resuming the debate upon'what I hold to be tbe most important piece of legislation tliat bas been discussed by the Canadian parliament since confederation, I feel deeply the responsibility resting upon me both for the vote I shall give as a member of this House and for the opinions I shall express to-day. In the course of the very remarkable speech in which the Prime Minister introduced this legislation over a month ago, I was especially struck with one sentence, and that sentence has remained in my memory ever since. Haying reviewed the legislation through which these Territories had passed since then- entrance into confederation, the Prime Minister said :

' Now the time has come to put upon these Territories the stamp of Canadian nationality.' It is under the light of that principle that I intend to, carry on this discussion. It seems to be that, through the turmoil, passions and prejudices that have been aroused, in sincerity perhaps on the part of people, but surely with no other purpose on

the part of others than to snatch at popular favour at the expense of the better judgment of the country-I say that perhaps through the * turmoil, passions and prejudices we have been passing through for the last month, too many Canadian citizens and Canadian representatives have unfortunately forgotten the important duty they have to perform, and what will be the result of that duty. Sir, we should not forget that those Territories for which we are now legislating will probably contain within half a century or a century, one-half the population of Canada ; therefore if we have any interest in what is going to be the future of our common land, we should be very careful of all the articles of this piece of legislation, as well as of the comments we make upon them.

It is not my intention to discuss at any length, or even to discuss at all, the other features of this Bill, but this one clause so much commented upon-I mean the school question. However, I may say in passing that I thoroughly agree with the position that was taken by the government on the land question. Starting from the same point of view I have just stated, namely, that we must put the stamp of Canadian nationality on these Territories, I think it was the duty of the federal government to retain within their powers the right to legislate over the granting of the lands upon which one half of the population of Canada will be called upon at no distant period to live and to prosper. Although I have the greatest confidence in the public spirit and patriotism of the men who are now at the head of public affairs in the Northwest Territories, I say that before long the time may come when they will not be powerful enough to resist the pressure of the newcomers into that country, men that have perhaps no interest in the unity of Canada, who are not attached to the soil of Canada, who have had no part in the past history of Canada, and who, therefore, by numerical strength, may try to force some obnoxious legislation on the government of these Territories. I say, therefore, that for the protection of the Northwest, for the protection of the present representatives of the Northwest, for the protection of the statesmanship of the men who are now at the head of affairs there, it was good policy on the part of the government to retain the control and administration of the public lands in the Northwest.

Now, coming to the question that has occupied the field of discussion for the last month, I may say that I intend to discuss it from a threefold point of view : from the constitutional point of view, from the religious point of view and from the national point of view. In doing so I shall, as it is my custom, express frankly and clearly what I believe to be true, and in doing so I hope that I shall not offend any man in this House, because every man who is attached to his convictions will understand that in this free parliament of ours every true con-104

vietion should be frankly and sincerely expressed. I may say at once that if there is a regrettable feature in all this discussion, it is not that passions have been aroused, it is not that prejudices have been raised. I entirely agree with the Prime Minister when he says that many of the passions that are now aroused spring from one of the noblest feelings in humanity, they come from an exaggeration, or from a perversion, of that which constitutes the most stable basis of a nation, namely, attachment to religious creed and attachment to national feeling. The men who are committing a crime against this nation are those who, having opinions of their own, are trying to shelter themselves under a constitutional pretense. The great argument which is being used by the opponents of this measure is, I may say, the shibboleth of provincial rights. Now, Sir, there is no man in this parliament who is more attached to provincial rights than I am. I am the descendant of a race that has claimed provincial rights for many years, and just because I am a sincere adherent of provincial rights, I say that if provincial rights are going to be maintained in this country, they canno't be maintained on any sham basis, they can only be maintained on a basis of equal justice to every part of our population and every section, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. What are provincial rights as they relate to the school question ? I am not' going into an acute analysis of every word and every letter in the text of the law, though I am not afraid to take up the study of the constitutional question with any man. But I think that once in a while when lawyers get into a muddle about small points of law, sometimes a cool and common sense outsider may throw a little light upon common truths that are too much forgotten by lawyers.

A few days ago the Prime Minister gave to this House a short history of one clause contained in our national constitution, that clause relating to school matters. But to my mind, if I may be permitted to say so, when a motion was made in this House in 1893 by the late Minister of Public Works, then the member for L'lslet, the Prime Minister gave a still clearer and more complete history of the educational policy of Canada, he gave us the true origin of clause 93 of the British North America Act. What was that origin ? That although for a century the Protestant minority in the province of Quebec had been treated, not only in the most just, but also in the most generous manner, still that minority was averse to joining the confederation compact unless their privileges and rights in the province of Quebec were made absolutely secure. Thereupon it was proposed that the same measure of guarantee which was asked by the Protestant minority of Quebec should be given to the Catholic minority in the province of Ontario and the other provinces. Now, Sir,

I am bound to say that there was at that

time something of the same feeling that exists now, but that feeling was frank enough not to take refuge in legal quibbles. It was stated then, as it is now outside of this parliament, that there should be one rule of justice for the Catholics and another rule of justice for Protestants ; that there should not be one law for both the Catholics and Protestants, but that the Catholics should have one law requiring them to respect the Protestant rights in the province of Quebec, while in the province of Ontario the Catholics should rely upon the generosity of the majority. Indeed, the Hon. A. T. Galt, then the accredited representative of the Protestant minority in Quebec, went to England to secure the adoption of clause 93. Now, eminent legal men in this House, eminent jurists, have tried to make out a case that this clause 93 in the British North America Act should be cut in two, and that wherever a Protestant province outside of Ontario is concerned you should read only the first paragraph of it, thereby giving an absolute freedom to the majority to do whatever they like. I will not give you my own authority, I will not give you the authority of any man of my creed and nationality in opposing the proposition laid down by the leader of the opposition and by Mr. Haul-tain ; I will go to the highest authority in this empire to prove that this argument is but a sham pretense, because the opposition in this parliament is afraid on the one hand to grant justice to the minority in the west and is afraid on the other hand to state it frankly before the people of Quebec.

When the British North America Act was presented to the British parliament, Lord Carnarvon was Secretary of State for the Colonies and was responsible for the legislation as such, and Lord Carnarvon has given a definition of what were the respective powers of the federal and provincial authority. I respectfully beg the liberty of commending that opinion of Lord Carnarvon to the leader of the opposition in this House. That hon. gentleman (Mr. R. L. Borden) has charged the government with trying to confuse the federal and the provincial powers in this Bill, and throughout the country the press has stated that education belonged to the provinces, and that there was no interference of the federal parliament possible in educational matters, unless in Ontario and Quebec. It has been stated that the powers of the British North America Act are divided into three classes ; those that belong exclusively to the federal government in clause 91 ; those that belong exclusively to the provinces in clause 92 ; and those questions on which both the federal and provincial parliaments have concurrent jurisdiction. A clearer definition was given in the British parliament when the Bill was introduced there, and I suppose we will all accept the good British theory that if there is a division of opinion as to the effect of a law, we must go to Mr. BOURASSA.

the real thought of the enacting legislature in order to properly understand it. Lord Carnarvon said in the House of Lord^ on the 19th of February, 18G7, when moving the second reading of the British North America Act :

In this Bill the division ol powers has been mainly effected by a distinct classification.

Does he say that the classification is threefold ? No, sir.

That classification is fourfold : First, those subjects of legislation which are attributed to the central parliament exclusively. Secondly, those which belong to the provincial legislature exclusively. Third, those which are the subject of concurrent legislation, and fourth, a particular clause which is dealt with exceptionally.

He then enumerates the powers that belong to the provinces and the powers that belong to the federal parliament, none of which includes education ; and he continues :

Lastly, in the 93rd clause which contains the exceptional provisions to which I refer, your lordships will observe some rather complicated arrangement in reference to education. I need hardly say that that great question gives rise to nearly as much earnestness and division of opinion on that as on this side of the Atlantic. This clause has been framed after long and anxious controversy in which all parties have been represented and on conditions to w-hich all have given their consent. The object of the clause is to secure

Complete autonomy to the provinces ? No, Sir.

The object of the clause is to . secure to the religious minority of one province the same rights, privileges and protection which the religious minority of another province may enjoy. The Roman Catholic minority of Upper Canada, the Protestant minority of Lower Canada, and the Roman Catholic minority of the maritime provinces will thus stand on a footing of entire equality.

It is true that the origin of that clause was a compact between the delegates from Upper Canada and the delegates from Lower Canada, but fortunately at that time there were at the head of both parties in this country men who had enough sense of justice to understand that iu laying the basis of our confederation the result of a compact between the provinces should be crystallized under law into a triumphant principle, and it was that principle which was embodied in this clause-not to furnish arguments to legal quibblers who might come thirty years later, but on the contrary, to lay down as the basis of justice in this Dominion, that a man, in whatever province of Canada he may choose his abode, can rest assured that justice and equality will reign and that no matter what the majority may attempt to do they cannot persecute the minority.

Later on an interpretation was put upon that clause of the British North America

armaments and rifles ? No. it relied on still more effective means. Were there then any cries raised about the powerful domination of the hierarchy ? No, the Prime Minister of that day, Sir John Macdonald, begged Archbishop Tache, who was then in Rome, for Heaven sake, to come back at once to Canada and establish peace in the Red River settlement. There is no hesitation to call in the hierarchy, when we can benefit by its aid. As the editor of ' La Patrie ' very happily put it the other day : What we are denied is not our right to pay. Oh, no, it is our right to have full freedom. Archbishop Tache acted at once on this appeal. He abandoned his functions at the Ecumenical Council at Rome and came to the Red River settlement, and on his way stopped at Ottawa to meet Sir John Macdonald. ' Take any steps, said Sir John to him, to appease the Indians and the halfbreeds.' Archbishop Tache however did not wrant to impose any pledges on politicians which perhaps they would not be strong enough to keep, and all he promised the native population was that the division of their lands would be respected and that they would have the free exercise of their religion and the schools they preferred for their children. What has become of those pledges ? The lands were divided against the wishes of those people and a second rebellion took place-a rebellion which has been justified by no less an authority than Colonel Denison who will not be charged with disloyalty and French demagogy.

What has become of the religious liberty, of the liberty of teaching of the Catholic population of the Northwest ? It has been abolished in Manitoba, against all pledges, against all words of honour ; and the author of that legislation can gain applause in this House by saying : ' If I have a title to the approval and support of the people of Canada, it is because I have gone back upon the pledges given in the name of the Queen of England to a law-abiding and peaceful population.' This, Mr. Speaker, is what we have come to. And now we are called upon to bow to this storm of feeling that has been aroused and to allow a still greater invasion of the rights of the people of that territory. It is time to face the storm. The powers that have raised that storm do not deserve that we should acknowledge their sovereignty. The principle of provincial rights is against them. The constitution is against them. The law is against them. Past pledges are against them. I will go further and say that a religious principle is at stake in this matter.

Under the terms of the capitulation of Montreal, in 1760, and of the Treaty of Paris of 1763, the free exercise of the Catholic religion was promised to the settlers who remained in Canada. And I say that there is no free exercise of the Catholic religion unless the Catholic parent has the full right to give to his child the education he wishes to give according to his conscientious be-Mr. BOtTRASSA.

fiefs. It is strange that there should exist in this country a prepossession in the minds of some people to the effect that in matters of education Roman Catholics have nothing to complain of if, in the public schools aided by the government, there is no sectarian education. As against this, let me put the authority, not of Roman Catholics, not of French Canadians, not of Canadian politicians, but of members of the Privy Council. During the appeal cases on the Manitoba school question this argument to whicii I Iiave referred was brought forward-that there was no injustice under the laws of Manitoba, that the Catholics were on exactly the same footing as all others with respect to education, because education in the public schools was perfectly non-sectarian. What did Lord Watson say about that ?

These kind of questions were more or less burning questions in Great Britain about the year 1865 or 1866. and during the whole of that period, as far as my knowledge and experience goes, there were large classes of Protestants, and especially Presbyterian Protestants, who I am glad to sqe are recognized as Christians in Manitoba, who wrere in favour of secular education, and think that religious education ought to be imparted in the family, or by the church, and not in a secular school, where they are learning the rudiments of knowledge. On the other hand there are a great number of Episcopalian Protestants who take a different view ; but I have never yet met a Roman Catholic who took that view.

And what did Lord Morris say later on ? The point had been urged that the Catholics ought to accept these schools, and Lord Morris said :

But what is the use of discussing other matters ? Nobody can deny that Roman Catholics cannot avail themselves of the system.

And Lord Watson, speaking especially of the idea of the denominational school in the mind of the Roman Catholics, said :

I rather think that the original idea of denominational schools is a school of a sect of people who are desirous that their own religion should be taught in it, and taught in their own w'ay-a doctrinal religion ; and not only taught because religion Is taught in a non-sectarian school, but, in the view of those who founded denominational schools originally, the theory was that their views of religion and teaching of their religion should permeate and run through all the education given in the school-that, whether it were rudimentary science or anything else, there should be an innoeulation of the youthful mind with particular religious views.

And, in the judgment that was delivered in the second case. Lord Herschell said, speaking of the public schools system of Manitoba :

While the Catholic inhabitants remain liable to local assessment, for school purposes, the proceeds of that assessment are no longer destined to any extent for the support of Catholic schools, but afford the means of maintaining schools which they regard as no more suitable for the education of Catholic children than if

they were distinctly Protestant in their character. ... It is true that the religious exercises prescribed for public schools are not to be distinctively Protestant, for they are to be ' non-sectarian,' and any parent may withdraw his child from them. There may be many who share the view expressed in one of the affidavits in Barrett's case, that there should not be any conscientious objections on the part of Roman Catholics to attend such schools, if adequate means be provided elsewhere of giving such moral and religious training as may be desired. But all this is not to the purpose. As a matter of fact the objection of Roman Catholics to schools such as alone receive state aid under the Act of 1890 is conscientious and deeply rooted.

Is it not a strange fact that in England, the centre and heart of Protestantism, where the Catholic population is but a mere handful, where the idea of Roman Catholicism is generally associated in the public mind with the Irish land question or the agitation in favour of home rule for Ireland-is it not strange that Protestant statesmen and lawyers should have a better understanding and a broader view of what the rights of Roman Catholics are than in this country, where Roman Catholics form two-fifths of the population, and where no man can point to an action, individual or collective, to the discredit of Roman Catholics so far as their loyalty, their observance of the law, or their national spirit, is concerned ?

And this brings me to a question that has been lightly touched upon in this House by-I was going to say the yellow hierarchy-which has been lightly touched upon by the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. iSproule). And-it is just as well to frankly admit it-this question is the very basis of this discussion. I wish to treat completely, if I can, the question of the influence of the hierarchy and the alleged sinister motives animating the Roman Catholics in this House. I have referred to the case of Archbishop Tachfi in 1870. That was only one instance. Let us take our history since the beginning ; and I may say that when I read what is now appearing in the Ontario newspapers, I cannot help asking myself what kind of history can be taught in the public schools of Ontario ? Eleven years after this country had been acquired by England by treaty, when practically the .whole population of Canada was French and Catholic, when the Englishspeaking Protestant population consisted almost wholly of a few traders in the city of Quebec, as the House knows, some trouble arose in certain English-speaking Protestant communities to the south, and some regiments, entirely composed of Anglo-Saxons and Protestants, came to besiege Quebec. The Governor of that day was named Guy Carleton-I do not know whether his name is ever mentioned in the public school histories of Ontario. When it was known that these regiments were on their way to Quebec, Governor Carleton issued a proclamation requiring all those who were not loyal to the British Crown to leave the city, and

calling upon those who were loyal to the Crown to remain and defend it. Who went out ? Who staid in ? All the English Protestants left the city and went to the Island of Orleans to wait for the result. The French Canadians, who have been conquered twelve years before, remained there and saved Canada to the British Crown. Mind j'ou. there were among the Anglo-Saxon rebels men of our race and creed. There were French regiments in the American army. Appeals were made to us by men of our blood, men whom the French race had no reason to be ashamed of. Among them was the Marquis de Lafayette. And what was our answer to the Marquis de Lafayette ? Under the guidance of that dominating hierarchy, we declared that we believed in the pledge given us by the King of England. We declared : The free practise of our religion is guaranteed to us ; and, so long as the King will not go back on us. we will never go back on him.

Thirty-six years later there was another little disturbance between the two great branches of the Anglo-Saxon Protestant family. Canada was again invaded ; and remember that in those 36 years of time, the French Canadians had been ill-treated, their public men had been put in gaol because they wanted to have what ? The same right that British citizens enjoyed in any other part of the empire. Their bishops had been ,threatened, with the same (treatment if they still dared to appoint parish priests instead of allowing Governor Craig to nominate them himself. In spite of that when the time of danger came, what did the representative of that obnoxious hierarchy say? He said : ' My brethren, it is true we have been ill-treated, but I still believe that the law of justice will be stronger with our King than injustice ; stand by him, be loyal, be constitutional and the time of justice will come.' The French Canadians fought at Chateauguay and elsewhere and once again contributed to save Canada.

Twenty-five years later, the same ill-treatment having been carried on, some of our people rebelled, wrongly I think, not because their case was not just, but because, as then' leader at the time, Papineau, told them, the rule of any British citizen was to carry on constitutional agitation but to avoid rebellion. In any case, at the request of an English speaking Protestant physician of the British army they rebelled in arms. Who stood out against the rebellion ? The same obnoxious representatives of the hierarchy who asked the French Canadians to remain peaceful.

A few years later an annexation movement was started in Canada. By whom ? By the hierarchy ? By the Jesuits ? By French Canadians and Catholics ? No, by the very political fathers of the hon. gentlemen opposite, because the British Crown at last had opened Its ears to the claims of its French speaking subjects and was beginning to grant justice, and as those gen-

tlemen had been fed on injustice for years and years they rebelled against the Crown and pelted the governor because he had granted a measure of justice to the French Canadians; and immediately after that they issued an annexation manifesto. Some French Canadians signed it and others were disposed to sign it. Again came the obnoxious power of the hierarchy who told the people of Canada : ' No, be true and

loyal, the day of justice is beginning to dawn and it will come by and by.' Cater on when Confederation was being discussed it was not, entirely acceptable to the people of Quebec. They had some suspicion of the treatment they might receive at the hands of the English speaking majority which up to that moment had not been such as to give them much confidence for the future. Again the hierarchy stood up and asked the people of Quebec to accept the compact which had been entered into. Has the hon. member for East Grey


Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa



They have, I think, one group of allies in Quebec. There has been for many years past a small anticlerical party that has been using all these arguments against the domination of the priests, against the power of the hierarchy, but what has been their aim and object ? It has always been to throw down the British flag; and the great grievance they have against the bishops is that the bishops prevented us from joining the United States in 1774, again in 1812, and opposed the rebellion of 1837, supported British supremacy in 1849 and induced us to accept confederation. When newspapers in Ontario are tilling their sheets with attacks and insults on the hierarchy they are simply insulting the men who, for 100 years have been the bulwark of British government in Canada. If there was any sincerity in these men, who are the great apostles and preachers ot loyalty, they should feel ashamed of the attack they are now launching on the Catholic bishops of Canada, because when they attack the hierarchy they attack the party that has always stood by the British Crown, that has always stood by law, that has always stood by the flag that has given us the basis of a nation in this country.

Coming back to the point where I left m.v argument, it is just as well to realize the position in which we are. When you speak of the liberty granted to the Roman Catholic to go into a non-sectarian school there is no such thing as liberty. He may abide by the law if he be forced to send his child to such a school, but his religious liberty is interfered with. When, by any measure in this House or in any provincial parliament Mr. BOURASSA.

you force a Roman Catholic to send his children to a non-sectarian school, you are committing an act of injustice just as direct, just as much against the conscience of the Roman Catholic, as if you would force the Protestant minority in the province of Quebec to contribute to Roman Catholic denominational schools. This is the position urged upon and this is what was acknowledged frankly by Ford Watson, Ford Morris and Ford Herschell. May I say that there should be in this House a little more of that broad British spirit of tolerance, so that at last when we come to judge the feelings and the convictions of our fellow-citizens we should not trample on their feelings and override their convictions-we should endeavour to know the convictions of their hearts and to learn their thoughts ?

Sir, there is no solid ground left for those who are opposing this legislation as far as school matters are concerned. There is just one ground ; it may be a good one for some, but on the whole it is not a lasting one : and that is the right of might. If the rule is to be laid down that there is to be one law to protect the Protestant minority of the province of Quebec, and that the same law shall not apply to Catholic minorities elsewhere, so far, so good ! But let men be strong enough to stand up here and say : ' No, the Catholics of the western provinces cannot enjoy in the west what the Protestants enjoy in Quebec, because, on the one hand, they are Catholic and on the other hand they are Protestants.' Pet a statesman be strong enough to stand up in the House and say that, and he will strike the root of this question of legislation. There was only one man who came near that point, and I acknowledge his sincerity. It was the hon. member for Brandon the late Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton).


Some hon. MEMBERS

Oh, oh.


Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa



Sir, on this ground, I know my words are useless. I know that I probably represent the views of very few men in this House, but there is one thing i would like to impress upon the minds of my Protestant English speaking fellow members. It is that when one party gets up and says that justice cannot be done to the Roman Catholics in the Northwest and another party gets up and says there must be only a scant measure of justice because it cannot afford to have the people accept a full measure of justice, allow me to say that I think the good people of Ontario are not fairly represented in this House.


An hon. MEMBER.



Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa



I cannot believe that if any member in this House would go to his constituency, even the member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule)-although I think the great process with that hon. gentleman would be to bring his mind to the point of understanding the question-I do not be-

32 TO

lieve that if any lion, member in this House, even if he represents the most Protestant constituency, would go to his county and say : ' Here is the treatment which is accorded to our fellow citizens in the province of Quebec, here is the treatment which is accorded not only under the written law but under the law of the humane heart of the French Canadians who even at the time when they were persecuted by the British Crown always gave an ample measure of justice to the Protestant minority. Now. we ask yon to stand by us in giving the same treatment to the Catholics of the western provinces that the Protestants have in the east. We ask you to remain true to the pledges given to that effect by the greatest statesmen of this country-I do not believe that such language would fail to bring a fair reply from the good people of Ontario.

Let the Liberals be true to the memory of Mr. Blake, of Mr. Mackenzie and even of Mr. George Brown, because when Mr. George Brown made up his mind that this compact should be observed, he was courageous enough to say that it should be observed in fact and for ever. So far as hon. gentlemen opposite are concerned, I do not wish, on an occasion like this, to speak from a party point of view. I may say to the leader of the opposition, for whom, on all other questions I have had up to this time the greatest respect, that when I listened to him the other day, I came to the conclusion that he was not speaking for the Conservative party, he was not showing himself to be the heir of Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir Charles Tupper, but he was only voicing the opinions of a gentleman who was obliged to find an abode in the county of Carleton in order to obtain a seat in this House. The hon. gentleman is broad enough-I render him that justice- be is broad enough by birth, by nature and by education to be fair-minded, that he had rot the courage to stand by his new flag ; and he felt obliged to gather up a pile of small documents and papers behind which to shelter himself in his denial of justice.

We have frequently been told : Why

can't you trust the majority of the people of the Northwest ? Well, Sir, here again I must speak frankly ; and I say : No. we

cannot. Suppose we could trust the people who are living there now ; is there a man in this House childish enough to say that the condition of things which exists now is sure to exist in the Northwest fifty years hence ? What will be the population up there ? Who knows what feelings will dominate the majority there ? Who knows but that the great majority of the people there will be settlers coming from a land where the idea, not only of non-sectarian schools but of Godless schools, now prevails, and to my mind, to the great detriment of the future of the republic ? Who can tell what the future will be ? But confining myself entirely to a survey of past events, I say now7 that we cannot trust the present majority of the people of the Northwest to stand for right and justice. Their record is before us. It is my intention to make a comparison, for the enlightenment of our friends up there, if my words can reach them, and for the enlightenment of my English speaking Protestant friends in the House and out of it ; I am going to make a comparison between the history . of the school legislation in the Nortlvwest and the history of the school legislation in Quebec, and I am ready to abide by the judgment that w7ill be passed by any fair minded man, it not by his vote, at least by his conscience.

The leader of the opposition made another fine legal argument to show that the people of the Northwest have never legislated on that subject. I admit that from a narrow legal point of view the people of the Northwest did not legislate freely, because they were bound by the Northwest Territories Act, just as this parliament cannot legislate freely because we are bound by the British North America Act, and just as any parliament in this country is not free because all the powers possessed by any legislative body in Canada is limited by imperial legislation. But I presume that we can ascertain the feelings of the people of the Northwest by considering their legislation. In 1885, ten years after the Northwest Territories Act was passed, legist latiou v7as enacted by the legislature which, within its scope, was just as free as this parliament. And wjiat did they do ? As the ex-Minister of the Interior clearly told us the other day, they passed a law quite in accord with the letter and with the spirit of clause 11 of the Act of 1875. They passed a law7 similar to the one we have in Quebec, a law by which Catholics had the management of their own schools, had the choice of their own text books, and had the right to have their schools inspected by men of their own creed-but all under government supervision. They enjoyed separate schools, not only in name but in fact, as the member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton) well stated the other day. The inspectors had to be appointed by the government, but they were chosen by the Catholic section, just as in the province of Quebec Protestant schools are inspected by inspectors chosen by the Protestant section of the Board of Education. The books used in the separate schools of the Northwest were also selected by the Catholic section, and approved by the government. That state of things went on for some years, and then, in 1892, after several other ordin-anees had been passed, the separate school system, as the member for Brandon stated the other day, was w7iped out. Lately. Mr. Haultain, who is now here claiming liberties for his people, has given utterance to his lofty opinions on this matter, he has

said : If I were a dictator to-morrow I

would not abolish separate schools, all I want is freedom for my province. But Mr. Haultain never told the country of a little fact in his political career which I will take the liberty of divulging to the House. When Mr. Dalton McCarthy, in 1892 and in 1894, brought into this House a Bill to abolish separate schools and the French language in the Northwest Territories, he was acting upon an address voted in the legislature of the Northwest Territories, moved by Mr. Cayley and seconded by Mr. Haultain. Therefore I think I now have the right to say, as claiming some liberty for the minority in the Northwest, that I have no confidence in Mr. Haultain, who now comes here posing as our friend, but who was one of the first men to start a movement in the legislative assembly to abolish the separate schools.


Leighton Goldie McCarthy



Would the hon. gentleman allow me ? I think he is a little inaccurate in stating that this was legislation to abolish separate schools. The legislation then sought was only to delegate to the legislative assembly the right to do as they saw fit; and they will of course continue the separate school system if they so choose.


Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa



I am glad my hon. friend has interrupted me, because he "affords me an opportunity of illustrating once more what I said a little while ago, that every time an act of persecution is committed, it is committed under a false pretense. Everybody knew the views of the hon. gentleman-and whose views I certainly respect-who was so closely connected with the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. L. McCarthy). The motion which was made m this House by Mr. Dalton McCarthy, and which he developed by a very eloquent argument, was to wipe out the separate schools and wipe out the French language on the ground that there should be only one race and one language in this country. It is useless to resort to legal quibbles. The purpose of Mr. Haultain and of Mr. McCarthy was to abolish Catholic education and the French language ; they succeeded so far as the language is concerned, and they succeeded to a large extent in so far as schools are concerned, according to the testimony of the hon. member for Brandon.

There is one fruther point I would like to draw to the attention of our friends on this side of the House. I have listened to the very nice words, words with which I agree completely, spoken to us by the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Customs ; I entirely agree with their conciliatory sentiments. I especially coincide with the Minister of Finance, who gave us a good illustration and a strong re-enforcement of the argument I have tried to make, when he painted the happy condition of Mr. BOURASSA.

things which exist in the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, where the majority, in order to do justice to their Catholic fellow citizens, had to grant them separate schools in fact. So it is not only in Quebec and Ontario that we have separate schools. I have visited the maritime provinces frequently, and was happy to observe the good relations which exist between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants there.

But, may I suggest to the Minister of Finance, if the Roman Catholic minority had not developed the strength of numbers that it represents to-day in those provinces, would it be treated as it is treated ? We know the history of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. I do not want to bring up old feuds, but I am bound to say, looking through the history of all the-provinces of Canada, that while in the province of Quebec the same ample measure of justice was always granted to the minority, unfortunately in all the English speaking provinces there was a time when the passions of the majority were aroused and successfully aroused against the Catholic minority. In consequence, a feeling has developed-not of distrust-but a feeliug has developed amongst us that if we want equality and peace to reign in this country, we must give to the representatives of the majorities in the English speaking provinces the right to do what Sir Oliver Mowat did. I took an active part in two elections in the province of Ontario ; I was but a boy at the time, but I was proud to stand by Sir Oliver Mowat and help in his campaign for justice and equality. I was living on the borders of the province of Ontario and I crossed the river of my own free will without being asked by anybody, without being known by anybody, to do what I could in support of the old statesman. What was the argument used by Sir Oliver Mowat? He was prudent and he knew of the power of the appeals made by such men as the member of East Grey. When the system of separate schools was attacked in Ontario, Sir Oliver Mowat said. 'I shall not discuss the relative merits of separate schools and public schools ; I am not any partisan of separate schools ; but separate schools have been established in this province under law, and therefore it is useless to agitate against the law of the land.' What I want is that the future rulers of the Northwest may be put in such a position that when passions are aroused and prejudices fomented by such men as we have in this House, by such newspapers as we have in this country, these future rulers of the Northwest will be in a position to say-when passion is too strong or when they are not strong enough to oppose it-

' What is the use ? there is a law protecting the minority.' I do not wish ito cast any aspersion on the breadth of mind of any

future statesman of Canada, but it is no harm for the peace of the country, it is no harm for the good of our land, that should prejudices exist between creeds and nationalities, every Canadian statesman, whether he be weak or strong, whether he be popular or unpopular, can always find a shelter under the constitution of our country and be able to point out to all men that there is laid down in our constitution the clear written principle that equal justice exists for all and that Catholics as well as Protestants have the right to live in this country.

it may be said : But what is all this trouble about ? The minority in the west is satisfied ; it is only the hierarchy, it is only the Quebec crowd who are trying to impose their will upon the Territories. Sir, that is one of the most cynical arguments that lias been used so far. We have the testimony of the member for Brandon (Mr. Sif-ton), who ought to know, that when the ordinances abolishing separate schools were passed in the Northwest, a protest was made. The member for Brandon-I do not know if it was in a moment of forgetfulness. .or if it was because he also has been drawn into the dangerous abyss in which some gentlemen opposite are having such a fine time these days-but the member for Brandon said the protest came from the Roman Catholic clergy and in order to convince us. he immediately gave the opinion of two of the most eminent laymen of the Northwest Territories ; two fathers of families, two representatives of the people, one the Lieutenant Governor to-day and the other a judge of the Supreme Court. These were the members of the hierarchy quoted by the hon. member from Brandon. Tnese gentlemen came here and they said: 1 An injustice has been done us ; we

are deprived of the right of giving to our children the education which our conscience binds us to give ; our money is taken for the support of schools we cannot attend.' But, they were sent away from Ottawa ; they were not numerous enough probably to obtain justice. Then they went to the provincial assembly and again they laid their case at the foot of the Crown-as the Crown was represented there-and again they were found to be too weak and too few. Because they did not rebel in arms, because they accepted the established state of things; a state of things which was a breach of the compact, a state of things which in the words of Sir John Thompson and the words of the member for Brandon, constituted a legal encroachment upon their rights; because they did not rebel in arms; because they followed the advice that has always been given by the hierarchy to the Catholics of this country to be peaceful ; now they are told : ' You are satisfied ; ask for nothing more because you can't expect it.' To my friends who are saying to us :

' Be conciliatory ; let us cut in two what remains.' I shall cite a little illustration which may perhaps help some of them to realize the situation. Suppose that Canada stands in the position of a father having two sons, big Peter and little Paul. He gives $4 to big Peter and $2 to little Paul and he says : ' Now, boys, agree together, work together, do the best you can with the money I gave you.' Once they are on the street big Peter gets after little Paul, beats him and takes $1.50 of his two dollars. These gentlemen opposite stand up and say : Don't tyrannize big Peter ; but force little Paul to give Peter the 50 cents he has left. And hon. gentlemen on this side of the House get up and say : Be conciliatory, take those 50 cents left to Paul, and divide it with big Peter, for after all big Peter is a good fellow.


William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative


Little Paul comes from Nova Scotia.


Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa



I am not going to be dragged into provincial limits just now. Now, Sir, there is another subject which is much talked of in the public press, but which has not been treated of in this House and X think one voice at least should be raised in parliament to protest against it. It is said : ' Admitting that the constitution allows you to grant separate schools to the Northwest, yet you should not fasten upon these people such a bad system of education which has made of Spain, of Italy, of France, of all Catholic countries, the scum of the earth.' And we are told : Look at the province of Quebec, look at the south of Ireland, a degraded population, a low-minded ignorant people.

I propose to deal for a few moments with the subject of Catholic education, with what it has done for the world, in what way it has succeeded and why it has not always succeeded. Here again I am tempted to ask: What kind of history is taught in the public schools of this country ? I know as well as any man, and I have learned to know in the Catholic schools where I was educated, that there is such a thing as the evolution of nations, that nations in our own age as well as nations in the past, and as well as nations to come for all time, have and will have their periods of prosperity, and their days of decadence.

The race from which I sprung has done so much for the enlightenment and civilization of this world that I can, without undue baseness, admit that the Anglo-Saxon is now ahead among the nations. But I may remind my English speaking friends that three centuries before there was anything like English civilization, Catholic Spain had covered the world not only with physical power, but with civilization and enlightenment-with schools of higher education and primary education and with a knowledge of all then available sciences that no nation

lias since surpassed ; and this is no disparagement of the English any more than the present pre-eminence of the Anglo-Saxon is a disparagement of the Spanish. May I remind my Englisr-speak-ing friends also that three hundred years ago, in Venice and Genoa, those Catholic-ridden states, the system of book-keeping, of stock exchange, of currency, of everything which the Anglo-Saxon is using now with such success, was practiced to an extent which brought to those little republics a degree of prosperity and civilization which, considering their time and their size, has never been surpassed. I could go on with examples like these ; I could make a history of the world with such examples, after the manner of a speech which was made in this House some years ago by I think my hon. friend from Victoria and Haliburton (Mr. Sam. Hughes), who began at the creation and ended with the end of the world. I will content myself with stating the truism that nations grow, develop, prosper, and then pass into oblivion. The Greeks have passed ; the Romans have passed ; the Italians and Spanish have passed. Let the Anglo-Saxon look to the Slav and the Japanese before he concludes that he possesses the world for ever. But this is not the point. The point is, what has Catholic education done for Catholic countries ? If our friends who are making so much noise about the [DOT]corruption of Catholic countries would go to the depth of the history of those countries, they would find that their greatest time of material as well as moral prosperity coincided with the time when the Catholic church, not dominated, but inspired those countries, and when Catholic education high or low, was given to all classes of the people. Spain began to decay when greeders in the colonies displaced the missionaries-when the King of Spain lent himself to the anti-Catholic movement which started in France and which led to the abolition of the Jesuit order. The same thing happened in France. But why not go for an example to countries which are now under Catholic influence ? The hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule)-I do not know what text book he got his information from, but if it is authorized in any province, it should be taken from the schools at once-spoke of the national non-sectarian system of education carried on in Belgium. Now, Belgium is one of the most prosperous countries on earth, and there you have Catholic education right through, from the primary school to the university. But let me point to a Protestant nation, Germany, where thirty-three years ago the Prussians abolished Catholic education and expelled the Jesuits and other religious orders from the country. What do you see there now ? The German Emperor. observing the progress which Catholic education has made in the empire, is turning to the Catholic hierarchy and asking them to save his empire from the dangers Mr. BOURASSA.

of socialism. Might I refer some of our friends also to the comments appearing daily in the American papers and reviews, coming not from Catholic priests or bishops or Catholic religious orders, but from Protestants, eminent Protestants, men of science, professors of universities and statesmen, among a few statesmen who find their way to political life in the United States, who recognize that what must save the United States from the social plague which is going to involve all nations between the crushing burden of capitalism and the equally crushing burden of standing armies, is the influence of the Catholic church on the working classes. I am not saying this in disparagement of any other creed ; but, in view of the fact that during the past two months railing attacks have been made against the creed of two millions of the subjects of His Majesty in this country, I feel that I should stand up here and say that the Catholic people and the Catholic hierarchy will never suffer when compared with any other creed or sect.

But, leaving aside foreign countries, and coming to my own poor province, the province of Quebec, let us study for a moment what has been the influence of the Catholic church on the development of education in that province ? It is generally contended in all English-speaking provinces that we are-I will not say an inferior race, because I do not think that is accepted by a great number of the English-speaking people ; but it is very often contended that the system of education in the province of Quebec is an inferior one, and that that province has a greater number of illiterate people than any of the other provinces. It may be that a little insight into the history of the educational system of Quebec will throw some light on the subject. Before the conquest, the French government had given lavishly what was necessary for the support of public education in New France. At the time of the cession there was necessarily a great disturbance of the whole system. Five years after the cession of Canada the Jesuit order was suppressed by the Pope ; and, strange to say, there was nobody at the time to raise an argument against -the English government for using a papal bull. On the day that papal decision was registered, all the estates belonging to the Jesuits were seized by the British government. Those estates had been given to the Jesuits with the legal obligation of founding colleges and secondary and primary schools ; and before the conquest they had established two colleges and a great number of primary schools-a greater proportion being given to the people of New France than were given in the British colonies to the south. After the estates of the Jesuits were seized by the British government, were the proceeds used for the education of the people ? No. The Montreal College was destroyed, and was replaced by the Champ de Mars.

ue Quebec College was seized and the pupils and professors turned out, and soldiers put in. For thirty years after representative institutions were given to us, we petitioned the British government to give us back those estates, not to return them to the Jesuits, but to use them for the purposes of education, and we were refused. For twenty-seven years we were refused any education law. In 1801 the government imposed on us a system of education under the control of the Anglican bishop of Quebec, through which Anglican students of theology were sent to all the Catholic centres with the avowed object-because at that time they had the frankness to avow the purpose of their operations-of tutning young French Canadians into English-speaking Protestants. Naturally our people refused to send their children to those schools: but while the legislative assembly was voting money for educational purposes, the English governors handed the proceeds over to the Protestant schools and gave not one cent to the Catholics. That continued during 24 years until at last the legislative assembly passed a law which gave the Catholic church wardens the right to take a part of the revenues of their poor parish churches and devote it to the building and maintaining of their own schools. And at the same time the Protestant schools were kept up with the moneys paid by the Catholics and appropriated by the government. That went on until 1841, when the two provinces of Upper and Lower Canada became united. It was only then that the province of Quebec obtained its first school law. What was that law? It was a law which Lord Sydenham forced upon his advisers. Under it the whole school system was put under the municipal authorities, who were appointed by the governor personally, and the governor was careful to appoint a majority of English speaking Protestants to regulate the school system of a population, nine-tenths of which were French speaking Catholics. It was only in 1846 that we finally secured a system of schools satisfactory to our people. So that during 100 years we were deprived of the right of using our own money for the education of our own people. Is it then surprising that there should be some people in our province to-day who can neither read or write? While the English speaking immigrants who did not profess the Catholic religion, found on our shores, even in the Catholic province of Quebec, a system of education suited to their consciences, under which their own schools were entitled to their proper share of the public money, and while thesje people thud come from the British Isles or the United States, from countries where there was an established system of education which suited them, for a hundred years the great majority of the province of Quebec were deprived of the opportunity of educating their children. Am

I not then justified in saying that if you will compare the results of our education, which ig only fifty years old, with those of the education in the English speaking provinces, which practically had no beginning, because it was simply the continuation of the American and English systems, we have no reason to be ashamed. As far as higher education is concerned-and that education with us is entirely in the hands of our clergy-let me give, not my testimony, but that of a professor of McGill University, Dr. Johnstone, who some yeax-s ago made certain comments upon the difference between the attainments of the pupils of McGill University who came from the Catholic colleges and those who came from the high schools. He was struck with the fact that thei'e was always a preponderance of points secured by those who came from the Catholic colleges, and he said:

There was no possibility ot mistaking the superiority of the men with classical training. I was so struck with what appeared to be a marked difference between the two divisions of the classes that without suspecting what I now believe to be the true course of it, I, many years ago, assigned separate rows of seats in the lecture room to them, in order to make quite sure of the fact. Year after year there was the same invariable result.

May I also refer to the results of .the examinations carried on at the Manitoba University, where the pupils of the Jesuits college of St. Boniface compete in the pro-poi'tion of 1 to 15 or 18-thi-ee or five out of 80 or 100 altogether ? Those pupils of the Jesuits' college generally carry off from thii'ty to thirty-five per cent of the points and medals given. True, we are not now discussing higher education, but prim-ai-y schools. Well, if the primary school system be so l'otten as it is said to be, surely it could not send to our colleges young men who are so successful when they come into competition with the students from the other schools. But I look at the question from another point of view. Suppose there should be a little less book-keeping taught in our primary schools than is taught in the public schools. I lay it down as a basis of social law that the right to educate the child belongs in the first place to its parents; and, therefore, when the state takes the place of the parent, it is bound to give that child the same moral education which the father would give it in his own house. Secondly, the duty of the government is to develop law-abiding, broad-minded citizens; and, thirdly, to give the child school knowledge. I claim if that rule is considered our system has given better results than any other. We never see in the province of Quebec or in any pai't of the country in which Catholics can have any control, the display of passion and prejudice whicli we are now witnessing among those who advocate public schools as against separate schools. We see in the outbursts to-day

in which sectarian prejudice is appealed to, the result of public school education, and we are justified in saying that in the province of Quebec, under our system, we have never produced any thing of the kind.

The Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) has pointed with pride to his own province. But there is still one province ahead of Nova Scotia as far as the spirit of tolerance is concerned, and that is the province of Quebec. Do some of our friends who make so much noise about the illiteracy and narrow mindedness of that province under priestly control, know that Lower Canada was the first self-governing part of the British Empire, not excluding Great Britain and Ireland, where disabilities were removed from the Jews? We emancipated the Jews in the province of Quebec before the Catholics were emancipated in England. At the very time that we in the province of Quebec were denied our most sacred natural rights, every new creed that came to that province was given complete civil and corporate powers. Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists were granted by the Legislative Assembly of Quebec the same powers to keep civil registers and act as corporate bodies as were given Catholics. Do they know that at the time when we were denied the right of teaching our children according to our conscience, we always put Protestant schools on the same footing as our own as regards the law and the constitution? I go further, as far as the working of our system of education is concerned. May I refer hon. members to a speech made by the right hon. the First Minister in 1893 in which he said in substance : ' I know that the law protects the minority in the province of Quebec, but there are many ways in which an unwilling majority can evade the law-and we have evidence of that in several provinces of the Dominion. Suppose, for instance, the government of the province of Quebec were to abolish the Protestant section of the Council of Education. Would not that be an infamous thing which would call for redress at the hands of a federal government?' Well, that was done by the government of the Northwest Territories some years ago. But if it be infamous to abolish the supervision of Protestant schools by Protestants, how comes it to be perfectly proper to abolish the supervision of Catholic schools by Catholics? How can one thing be good in the west and bad in the east? How can it be just in the west and unjust in the east? If we are to make a nation of this country, surely every one will admit that the principle must prevail, not in word but in fact, of equal rights and equal justice to all.

To again give the House an idea of what kind of argument is offered to our English speaking friends these days on this question, may I read a few lines written by a very talented gentleman in the city of Quebec. and an Anglican minister, the Rev. F. G. Scott:


Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa



If we are to be a house divided againsr *

if we are to set province against province and perpetuate our racial discords, there can be but one ultimate result, and that is the submergence of Canada by the United States and the grand sweeping away of all of our civil strife by the uprooting of treaties, rights and legal safeguards under a nation that recognizes no state religion and tolerates no duality of speech.

To avert that, to save Canada to Canadians, we must establish, as I have said a broad spirit of Canadian sentiment and that can only be done by a system of national common schools. The day is past when we looked to England's interests first. Canada comes first to Canadians ; and to the west, broad, tolerant and expansive, we look for the light and healing of the spirit of true Canadianism that will put an end to the inherited animosities which darken and strangle the national life of the older Canada.

And then there is this still better :

Of course, the true inwardness of, this attempt to force upon the new provinces a school system distasteful to them, is the desire to establish^ French Canadian colonies in the west, where separate schools would enable them to establish the French language over wide areas. The means for doing this would be readily furnished by the religious communities expelled from France, and it would not be many years before there would grow up in the west a new Quebec, with all its racial, lingual and sectarian animosities, eating the life out of true Canadian nationalism.

There are English-speaking Protestants from my province in this House. I wish the hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Fisher) were here. I see here my hon. friend from Shefford (Mr. Parmelee). And the hon. member for Montreal, St. Antoine (Mr. Ames) is present. I will ask any one of these Protestant representatives from my province, whether present at the moment or not, and whether Conservative or Liberal, and regardless of their opinions in the legislation that is now before us, to state frankly in this House whether there is, in (heir opinion, in any part of Canada, or in any part of the world, so much toleration of so much breadth of mind as that shown by French Canadians towards their Englishspeaking Protestant compatriots. The other day a letter was published in the Toronto 1 News ' which attracted my attention. It was written by a gentleman in the town o1 Aylmer in the neighbouring county of Wright. This is what it said, speaking of the schools of Quebec :

The separate school system is one of distrust, suspicion and antagonism. ... As it is, the priesthood are given control and proficiency, while they teach the merest rubbish for history, while the teaching of the catechism leaves no other impression possible but that Protestants are a curse to the earth.

Now, that letter was written in the county of Wright opposite Ottawa. That county is two-thirds French Canadian and four-fifths Catholic. There was a by-election in that county three weeks


before that letter was written. Three candidates were in the field. The Liberal candidate was an Irish Canadian without a drop of French blood in his veins. The Conservative candidate was a Scotch Presbyterian without any trace of French Canadian biood. A third candidate came into the field and appealed to my fellow-countrymen, saying : ' This county is two-thirds French Canadian ; you should not vote for an Irishman or a Scotchman ; you should vote for me, a French Canadian.' And what was the result ? The French Canadian who appealed to racial passion in that county, notwithstanding that the voters were brought up under this priestly education, notwithstanding that they were educated in schools where they were ' taught that Protestants were a curse Co the earth '-this French Canadian lost his deposit. The Irish Canadian was elected. And the Scotch Pres-[DOT] byterian received the strongest Conservative vote that had been cast in the county for years and years. And, in the city of Hull, where the whole population is under * priestly education,' where the teachers are not merely the ordinary parish priests, but priests who belong to the monastic orders, some of these ' abominable orders ' of which the Reverend Scott is so afraid ; in the city of Hull where the schools are wholly in the hands of friars and nuns, and where any man who spent his childhood there has received no other education than that given by these friars and nuns under the control of the hierarchy ; in that Liberal Catholic and French Canadian city of Hull the Scotch Presbyterian Conservative candidate had a majority of the votes. Sir," the province of Quebec, where you may so frequently notice Protestant Englishmen elected by a Frenchspeaking majority, is the only province where you find such proofs of toleration and breadth of view. And the same has been true since confederation and long before confederation.

Mr. Speaker, may I be allowed to speak of a little experience I have had in this relation ? It shows the working of the school laws in my province. There is a small country newspaper in the county of Quebec which has declared that the result of the separate school larv in Quebec was to drive the Protestants out of the province. I refer to the Huntingdon ' Gleaner.' And the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) has re-echoed that declaration. I passed most of my life-and my happiest days, because they were before I entered public life-* in a small village on the borders of the Ottawa river forming one municipality of eight hundred souls. This village was separated municipally and for school purposes from the parish in which it was situated and which also contained some eight hundred souls, m these two municipalities there were three English-speaking Protestant families. The father of one family was the

head of a large lumbering firm and the fathers of the other two families were the other's clerks. These three families lived in the village. They organized a separate school under the law. Then the lumbering company bought immense properties in the parish. Under our ' priest-administered ' law, the Protestant ratepayers-as they were entitled to do by law-annexed this property to the village for school purposes, thus depriving the Catholic ratepayers of the parish of all the receipts of their schools on account of that land. But there was not a word of dispute. There came a time when the separate school was not carried on according to law, because, in our province as in others, it -requires a certain school attendance to make a school under the law. There came a time when all the taxes paid by the Protestants went to support a school where there were only five or six children, which is only half or one-third of the number required under the law. One of the Catholic ratepayers suggested : ' Why don't we abolish the separate school and get all that money ? ' I put my foot upon the proposition at once. I said: ' My friend, if you think as I do and as, I believe, the people of this parish and of this village do, you will never ask a man, rich or poor, to contribute a cent to the maintenance of a school system in which he does not believe.' And the whole population was with me. That whole ' priest-ridden population '-and they were poor farmers-preferred to pay twice as much as they otherwise would rather than ask these Protestant ratepayers to contribute, as they were legally bound to do, to the maintenance of any other than this separate school. Show me such au example in any of the English-speaking Protestant provinces of this Dominion, and I will admit that the separate school system cannot develop a national spirit.

Let me refer my hon. friends to the example of a country, that, perhaps above all the nations of the earth, has done most for the development of ideas of liberty and toleration : the little republic of Switzerland. There is in Switzerland a population composed of three nationalities with clearly marked differences of religion. They have tlie Protestant Germans and the Catholic French and Italians. After their common struggle for liberty, they fought among themselves for years and for centuries-the Germans to impose the German language and the Protestant religion upon the others and the French seeking to impose the French language and the Catholic religion upon the Germans. But the day came when they found out that only principle under which they could maintain their union was that every man should be free to w'orship God in ills own church and to educate his children in his own school. And upon that principle ct' toleration they have carried on their schools ; and to my mind, their national

spirit is much more united, than unfortunately ours is at the present day.

Now, Sir, there is one last point I wish to make. I contend that if we look upon this question from the point of view of a broad national ideal, not only should we propose the widest measure of liberty for the minority of the Northwest, but, even if it were not asked for and if we were not bound to give it, we should, in duty to Canada and to the integrity of the empire, establish separate schools in the Northwest in the fullest sense of the word.

I have stated, at the opening of my remarks, that nobody knows what the population of that country will be fifty or one hundred years hence. Do you want to make it safely Canadian ? Do yo want to have there a nucleus of population whose only love, whose only care will be for this soil of ours, who will have no other devotion but to the future and the welfare of Canada ? Open the Northwest to the French Canadian, emplant him there and give him all his freedom and liberty. Make him feel that he is at home in the west just as much as in the east, make him feel that he can have there the same religious liberty that he enjoys at home, and which he gives to his neighbour at home and you will have there a growing tree that will stand the storm, resist the influence of American absorption and the development of foreign ideals, because the French Canadian is the oldest Canadian, because the French Cana-adian has founded on the soil of our country the whole of his hopes. He has abandoned the past; he has ceased to look to any foreign country for the development of his moral and material forces and when you compare the past with the present, when you think that all the French Canadians. whether living in this country under the British flag or in the United States under the stars and stripes, that these 3.000,000 French Canadians are all the descendants of 00,000 peasants who were abandoned on this land by the French government 150 years ago. who had been ruined by the French government, robbed by French intendants whose methods British governors faithfully followed ; when it will be remembered that those 60.000 peasants, unaided by any- influx whatever of immigration and capital, have developed their education, their agriculture and their trade; that they have done all they could for Canada whether in peace or war, and if you consider the point at which they started and the result they have achieved, there is no reason why any man in this House should be afraid of the hold the French Canadians may obtain in the west.

Again referring to past history might I once more appeal to my English speaking friends in this House and say to them : Do not trust the religious zealot. Remember the New England Puritan who burned witches 200 years ago. He condemned the Mr. BOURASSA.

British Government because it granted religious liberty to the French Canadians, but ten years later he rebelled against the British Crown and was stopped from entering Canada only by the French Canadians. Do not trust too much to the political jingo. Remember 1849, when the fathers of the Tories wrecked the parliament buildings and rotten-egged the governor for giving freedom to all. I simply say this and I leave my friends with these words ; Be just to the French Canadians. That is all I ask. I do not ask you to be generous, if the state of mind of your province has not yet been brought up to the state of mind that we have in Quebec. If you cannot afford to be generous, all I ask you is to be just. Give us the same rule that we have given you, do for us what we have done for you and trust the French Canadians under the guidance of that hierarchy which has stood for British connection in the past. The' French Canadian's heart is generous, his heart is grateful and he will never forget what you have done. But on the other hand-and in this I am not uttering any threat-I regret every time I go back to my province to find developing that feeling that Canada is not Canada for all Canadians. We are sometimes in Quebec accused of being provincialists. We are not provincialists by nature. We have stood for the defence of the whole soil of Canada and have contributed our share for the benefit of the whole of Canada. But after such examples as we have had in New Brunswick, in Manitoba, and the Northwest Territories, after such, attempts as were made in Ontario itself where we were preserved only because there was a text of law, we are bound to come to the conclusion that Quebec is our only country because we have no liberty elsewhere. I do not say that we are treated as slaves ; but we are proud enough and I contend that we have rendered service enough to claim at the hands of the majority of this country not only such treatment as you would grant to a good natured inferior being, but such treatment as I think we, as your brethren, are entitled to receive at your hands. If you do that, if you are just and just without quibbling, just and just without trying to take with one hand what you give with the other, I say : Trust the French Canadian in the west or in the east, trust the French Canadian anywhere in Canada ; he will be true to you, true to the British Crown, if you do not expel from his mind the belief that Canada is a free country and that the British Crown is in this country the protector of equal justice and equal law.


Mr. RICHARD BRAIN@Peeb. I do not propose to follow the very lengthy address of the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa

I am quite sure that the people of the province of Quebec and of the

other portions of Canada are quite well aware that the hon. gentleman has been delivering this same lecture in different parts of Canada for several years past. While I do not wish to make any comparisons, for I do not think it is the duty of a member of parliament, living in a country of this kind, to make too many comparisons between the different nationalities of this country, may X be permitted after the reference that my hon. friend (Mr. Bourassa) has made to the narrowness of the English-speaking people of Canada to say that I come from the province of Ontario. We had a general election for the local legislature there a few weeks ago and I might say to my hon. friend that the city of Toronto sent a Roman Catholic representative to that legislature and that Roman Catholic has the honour of a seat in Mr. Whitney's cabinet at this moment. And may I be permitted to remind my hon. friends of the French nationality that for the first time in the history of the province of Ontario your own town, Mr. Speaker, has been recognized by the putting into office of the Hon. Dr. Rheaume, Minister of Public Works in Mr. Whitney's cabinet. And of course I need not refer to my hon. friend from South Toronto (Mr. Claude Macdonell), who sits on this side of the House, as another example of the generosity of the English speaking people of that important province, I was a little interested to, hear my hon. friend (Mr. Bourassa) dealing with those legal questions and I thought I would look up the history of the hon. gentleman to see what knowledge he had to bring to bear in competition with that of the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. B. Borden). I find on examination that my hon. friend had one special Act of parliament passed in his own province of Quebec to permit, him to study law in that province. Then on further examination, I find another special Act of parliament passed for the hon. gentleman to allow him to pass an examination that he has never yet passed and he has not to this date practised law in his own province, and yet my hon. friend wall put his opinion on these legal questions in competition with the opinion of the distinguished leader of fhe opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden). On February 21, the right hon. the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) introduced the two Bills that are to constitute new provinces in what is now known as the Northwest Territories. The right hon. gentleman gave to the House a very lengthy history of different matters in connection with those Bills. I have here Bill (No. 69) ' An Act to establish and provide for the government of the province of Alberta,'

Clause 12 of the Act reads:

Until the said legislature otherwise provides, the legislative assembly shall be composed of twenty-live members to be elected to represent the electoral divisions defined.

' 105

Clause 3 of the Bill says:

The said province shall be represented in the Senate of Canada by four members : provided that such representation may, after the completion of the next decennial census, be from time to time increased to six by the parliament of Canada.

Clause 8 says:

Unless and until the Lieutenant Governor in Council of the said province otherwise directs, by proclamation under the great seal, the seat of government of the said province shall be at Edmonton. *

Clause 20 of the Bill says:

The Dominion lands in the said province shall continue to be vested in the Crown and administered by the government of Canada for the purposes of Canada.

Clause 24 enacts:

This Act shall come into force on the 1st day of July, one thousand nine hundred and five.

I may be permitted briefly to refer to Bill No. 70 to establish and provide for the government of the province of Saskatchewan. The same number of representatives, 25, are to be elected in that province; the same number of senators, four, are to be appointed to the senate of Canada, with the privilege of parliament increasing the number to six. The capital of the province is to be Regina ; and this Act also is to come into force on the 1st of July next. I will now give the areas in square miles of the various provinces :

Amount to be paid annually to each province. Support to government.. .. $ 50,000

Estimated population of 250,000 at SO cents per

head 200,000

Interest at 5 per cent, per

annum on $8,107,500.. .. 405,375 '

In lieu of lands retained by the Dominion government 375,000

Construction of public buildings to be paid yearly for five years only 94,500

Total $1,124,875 each.

For two provinces $2,249,750

This to increase from time to time until it reaches an annual payment of.. $2,207,875 each.

For two provinces $4,415,750

Prince Edward Island 2,284

Nova Scotia 21,428

New Brunswick 27,985

Quebec 351,873

Ontario 260,862

Manitoba 73,732

British Columbia 372|630

Total 1,110,694

New Provinces.

Alberta 250,000

Saskatchewan 250,000

I wish now to point out the financial assistance that is to be given to these two new provinces. This, briefly, is the substance of some clauses in the Bill.

Now, Sir, when the right lion, gentleman introduced this Bill he expressed some surprise at the references made by newspapers and by some distinguished gentlemen in this country. Of course the people of Canada everywhere were very much interested in the introduction of these Bills. This question had been up for consideration in this parliament.. Indeed, the leader of the opposition had moved a resolution in the session of 1903 and again in 1904 in favour of absolute provincial autonomy being given to these Territories, unrestricted right to deal with every thing of a provincial character. That was the policy of the opposition in this House in the sessions of 1903 and 1904. May I be permitted to tell the right hon. gentleman what was the chief reason for the adverse newspaper comment and criticism which he has read from distinguished men in this country ? It is because they had known the stand the right hon. gentleman had taken in 1896 on this educational or religious question. The people did not distrust the right hon. gentleman, they never thought for a moment that he would go back on his record of 1896, and venture to introduce into this House certain clauses in the Autonomy Bills which would stir up religious strife in this country. Therefore, he had at his back the whole Canadian people; he had not only the. confidence of the Liberal party, but the confidence of a great number of Liberal-Conservatives in this country, many of whom voted for him in 1896 on this very question. So, Mr. Speaker, the right hon. gentleman would not have far to go to find a reason why the newspapers and leading gentlemen who had supported him in 1896 were very much surprised to find that he had now changed his policy in regard to provincial rights. Some hon. gentlemen who have spoken from the other side of the House ventured to say that those who have criticised this Bill are not well acquainted with the question. Well, that may be the case as to some of the criticisms, but I do not think the right hon. gentleman or any member of his government would say this applies to all the criticisms that have been offered to the educational clauses in these Bills. I have here a protest from the Presbyterian body. I am glad to see my hon. friend the Minister of Customs, who as I am informed is a distinguished member of that denomination, in his seat. I will read this protest from the Presbytery of Guelph:

Another protest against the Educational Provisions of the Autonomy Bill.

A meeting of the Guelph Presbytery was held in Melville church, Fergus, to-day. Thfe following resolution was moved by Major Hood, Guelph, seconded by Rev. Mr. Horne, Elora : The Presbytery of Guelph, representing a large Mr. BLAIN.

portion of the counties of Waterloo, Wellington and Halton, hereby presents its strong protest to the parliament of Canada against the educational clauses of the Provincial Autonomy Bills now before the House for consideration. The presbytery regrets that any attempt is being made to debar a free people from the exercise of their constitutional prerogative, the right to decide for themselves the character of their school system. It is the conviction of the presbytery that should the proposed legislation become law it would involve the new provinces in perpetual racial and sectarian discord, which would be a most serious obstacle to the future prosperity and happiness of the people. Believing that the plaoing of such an Act on the statute book would be a misuse of the powers of the federal government, members of the presbytery pledge themselves to do all in their power to oppose and prevent such proposed invasion of provincial rights, and most respectfully urge the government and both Houses to grant to the two new provinces complete control over their educational system.

I have here a statement by a gentleman who stands at the head of the Presbyterian Church in the province of Ontario, and who spoke at a mass meeting in Toronto, in Massey Hall, on March 20. I refer to Rev. Dr. Milligan, moderator of the Presbyterian Church, who declares:

That, believing in a commonwealth with equal rights for all and favours for none, and believing that a great'crisis had arisen in the national history, demanding united and patriotic action by every citizen, irrespective of creed or politics.

The premier's policy in the present issue, he continued, had come to him like a clap of thunder from a clear sky. It was a direct controversion of the attitude taken in 1896.

Wherever one party had privileges at the expense of another there could never be peace. Let there be no restrictions imposed on the new west, but one common brotherhood and one common school system. He noted that the federal separate school legislation in regard to Ontario and Quebec was in the nature of an exception, and he urged the fallacy of the argument which sought to make this exceptional case apply to all the provinces.

I think, Mr. Speaker, that statement voices the views of all the Presbyterians in Canada-or, to be more correct, of nearly all the Presbyterians in Canada, who believe that the government are now invad- . ing provincial rights in attempting to fasten upon the new provinces a dual system of education.


Some hon. MEMBERS

No, no.


Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)


Who says ' no, no ' ? I say that the Presbyterian body in Canada and the leading Presbyterians who are as well versed as the member who calls out ' no, no,' have sent in their protest with these facts before me. I have the right to say that the Presbyterian body of this country are almost a unit in opposition to the government forcing upon the people of the west this educational clause. Here is a protest from the Church of England.

Keep hands off-Provinces must be free in matter of education.

In a sermon preached in this city by a distinguished gentleman, the Rev. Dr. Spencer, in Emmanuel Reformed Episcopal Church :

He argued that the scriptures do not warrant a state church in any form. The union of church and state, he said, would be fraught with trouble. National money should be used for national purposes only and not for the promotion of any propaganda or teaching of dogmas of any sect.

He concludes by saying :

We should say to any church : Keep your hands off the public treasury-and we would say to the state : Keep your hands off the church. Give to no denomination privileges not common to all and to no one of them precedence by right.

That is a protest from the Church of England body in this country, and I would remind the right hon. gentleman that it represents in the main the feeljng of the Church of England people in every province in Canada. I am therefore right in saying that the Church of England denomination of this country are opposed to the Autonomy Bill in so far as It takes away the rights of the people in the western provinces to deal with their own educational matters. What is the opinion of the Baptist Church ?

Baptists state their position. Let new provinces determine their policy. Bill was a surprise. A large and representative meeting of Baptists was held last evening in the lecture room of the Bloor Street Baptist Church, Toronto, to consider the situation arising out of the introduction in parliament of the Autonomy Bills creating the new provinces. A resolution was unanimously carried by a standing vote protesting against the proposed legislation.

I think I shall read that resolution, because I am anxious that the Baptists shall be put on record. I heard the Minister of Customs say the other night that some of the criticism was from gentlemen who did not understand the question and were unable to give a fair and honest opinion, but I invite the attention of the Minister of Customs to this resolution, and I will ask him whether it does not speak as if those behind it understood the question quite as well as some gentlemen on the other side of the House and possibly as some members of the government. The resolution reads as follows :

Whereas, the British North America Act, as to provinces other than Ontario and Quebec, provides that each province may exclusively make laws In relation to education, subject to the right of the Dominion parliament when appealed to in a specific case to enact remedial legislation ; and the imperial Amending Act of 1871 empowers the Dominion parliament to establish new provinces, and to define the constitution thereof, but prohibits sucb parliament from ever afterwards altering such constitution ;


And whereas, the Bill establishing the new provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan proposes to make the maintenance of a separate school system a permanent constitutional obligation of these new provinces, thus depriving them of their full provincial rights and fettering their whole future educational development ;

And whereas, the introduction at any time of such a question into federal politics is calculated to awaken ill-feeling on a subject in regard to which the Canadian people are peculiarly sensitive ; and more especially at this time, since no intimation was given to the electorate prior or during the recent general elections that it was intended in connection with the granting of autonomy to the Territories to impose any such fetters.

Therefore this meeting of Baptist citizens respectfully protest against the proposed legislation, and expresses the hope that the government may so modify its Bills as to leave the determination of their future educational policy to the free action of the new provinces.

I may say to the right hon. Prime Minister that Mayor Urquhart, of Toronto, the gentleman to whom he sent a very interesting telegram last election was present at this meeting and he stood up with the others and endorsed this resolution in favour of leaving educational matters to the provinces. Mr. D. E. Thomson, K.C., a distinguished gentleman in the city of Toronto, spoke thus in support of this resolution :

Under the powerful leadership of Hon. George Brown the Liberal party had made a stand for the principle of local government and provincial rights. The Liberal party were returned to power in 1896 on that stand. ... To pass the Autonomy Bills now before parliament would be a complete reversal of the policy, both of the Liberal leader and party. If Sir Wilfrid Laurier he sincere in his suggestion that the provisions of the British North America Act cover the ground, why not leave the question to the Act ? .... If Sir Wilfrid Laurier had told his policy in advance he would have come out of the election twenty short.

Mr. Thomson points out that if this matter had been submitted to the people in the last election, instead of my right hon. friend sitting on that side of the House he would be sitting on this side in opposition. That speaks for the Baptist people of Canada, and I leave it for the consideration of the Prime Minister.

There is another denomination, called the Congregationallsts, not very large, yet very important. The Rev. Dr. Wild, a gentleman well versed in those questions, spoke at a meeting in Toronto a few days ago and said :

Of the thirty-two nationalities that will compose these two new provinces, most of them of different churches and creeds, we cannot expect to favour any one race or creed at the expense of the others. Thq. state has its rights and must look especially to the education of its citizens. If we are to have an intelligent population as voters this is essential. No church, creed or race must have special legislation that will discriminate against others. A

state form of education is the only sure way and just way.

That, I think, represents the Congregational body. Then I have the opinion of the Methodist people of Canada. On March 15, 1905, the ' Christian Guardian,' the leading Methodist newspaper wrote :

Sooner or later the Roman Catholic church in this country must be taught conclusively that it does not and cannot dominate its public affairs. It must be taught that it is only a sect among sects, a church among churches, and that the adherents of the smallest and weakest among them has equal rights with its own adherents in all political and social relations. It must be taught that its sinister influence upon public men and public life will no longer be tolerated, and that it must be content with holding precisely the same relation to governments and laws as are held by other communions. It must be taught that, while absolutely free and untrammelled in its spiritual functions, it has no status in law or In fact that differentiates it from any other body of Christians in the wide Dominion.

Then, I have here a resolution passed by the Methodist ministers of the city of Toronto, a few days ago and addressed to the right hon. leader of the government:



The Question of Education is Entirely Provincial. The following letter has been sent to the premier by the Methodist ministers of Toronto :- To the Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, G.C.M.G., P.C., President of the King's Privy Council, Ottawa : Honoured Sir,-The assembled ministers of the Methodist church of Toronto, in their regular meeting on Monday morning, March 13, 1905, unanimously beg to advise you as follows That we view with alarm the introduction into the Autonomy Bill of that clause relating . to separate schools against the wishes and contrary to the vehement protests of the peoples most deeply affected in the new provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Our position is clear and firm that the question of education is purely and entirely a provincial matter, as defined by the British North America Act, and should he left to the exclusive authority _of the provinces to determine. " We therefore most respectfully urge the government and both Houses of parliament to grant to the two new provinces full provincial rights, and to each complete control of its educational system. By so doing these new provinces will develop a true, healthy, selfgoverning citizenship, which will he an element of strength to the Dominion. Signed on behalf of the Methodist Ministers' Association of Toronto Yours rspectfully,



Fletcher Bath Wade

Chairman. ROBT. R. CADE.


The Rev. 0. O. Johnston, a leading Methodist minister, opposed to separate schools in any form, says this :

Topic:   GEO. M. BROWN,

March 28, 1905