I doubt very much if the passions and prejudices of so many people would have been aroused to the extent they have been by hon. gentlemen opposite if they had not expected to derive some party advantage from it; and when the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) resigned his portfolio, they concluded that their day had come and that if they could only keep up the agitation and make the storm still greater, some very great material, political benefit would be the result. They succeeded in getting their leader who, we believe, up to that point was very undecided as to the position he should take, to adopt their views and take the course he did.
The hon. gentleman is stating that of which he has no knowledge and for which there is not the slightest foundation in fact. The statement is made recklessly, and should not be made by an hon. gentleman of his standing in the House, without better foundation than he can possibly have for it. It is absolutely untrue.
I am sorry to have aroused the ire of my hon. friend in this way. If my hon. friend says that he had made up his mind as to the course he was going to take on the very day this Bill was presented, of course I accept his statement.
My hon. friend knows that that is not the portion of his remarks to which I was referring. He said that 1 was induced by pressure to take a course which I at first hesitated about. Naturally I looked into the constitutional question and made up my mind about that at the earliest possible moment, because it was upon that question alone that the right hon. gentleman relied in introducing the Bill. But when he suggests that pressure was put upon me by any hon. gentleman on this side to take one course or the other, or by any one outside the House,-with the
exception of letters, sometimes anonymous sometimes otherwise, which came to me from both sides and to which I paid no more attention than such communications deserve-apart from these no pressure was put upon me. It has been often stated in the press which supports the hon. gentleman, and with which he is connected, that pressure had been put upon me by my constituents in Carleton. That statement is absolutely false. Not one of my constituents, I am glad to say, ever communicated with me, verbally or otherwise, with regard to this matter up to the time I spoke in this House.
I accept unreservedly the statement of my hon. friend, but I had thought-and I think every member in this House will agree with me that it was a very legitimate thought-that the leader of one of the great parties in this House, in a matter of this kind, would naturally consult with his supporters and followers and be, to a very large extent, guided by their opinions. If he has not consulted the wishes of the people with whom he is associated on that subject, if he has not consulted the wishes of the county of Carleton which he represents, he is entitled to make the statement lie has. But I thought it was only natural that he would consult his followers and the constituency he represents.
My hon. friend persists in his personal allusions. I say again that I did not think it was a question upon which I should consult my constituents or upon which I was bound to consult them. At aii events that is a matter for me to
judge and not the hon. gentleman. It is really a matter with which he has no call to interfere. I do not know that I ever constituted him the censor of my mode of dealing with my constituents nor have I heard that they have ever given him any mandate to represent them. So far as my own friends are concerned, none of them knew what course I was going to take on this Bill, as far as I am aware. I announced it in caucus the day before I spoke in this House, and I did not announce it as a matter on which they should dictate to me but as a matter on which I had made up my mind, and I spoke in the House in accordance with the position I then took.
I am sorry to have brought these hon. gentlemen to their feet so often. I had no wish to say anything offensive, and I submit that the remarks I made were quite within parliamentary rules. I am surprised to find that they should have caused so much trouble and
anxiety to hon. gentlemen opposite. I accept the statement of the leader of the opposition that he did not consult anybody, either his followers in the House or his constituents. But there is a very shrewd suspicion on this side that in taking the course he did, he took the lines indicated by the hon. gentlemen who follow him, whether he consulted them or not. There is a very shrewd suspicion that the game he is playing to-day is that which the gentlemen who sit behind him have set for him, that he is following the pace they set for him, and that, not with a great deal of relish, it is evident, but still bravely enough, he is trying to keep ahead of the procession which these gentlemen have organized. He realized at the outset that in doing so he was going to alienate a great many of his friends in the province of Quebec. He realized that the course he was inspired to take was going to alienate his friends in the province, and he tried to make up for it by paying them compliments. They asked him for bread and he gave them a stone. They asked him for bread, and he gave them petrified bouquets. I wonder if the hon. gentleman deceived himself to the extent of believing that any one in the province of Quebec is to be hoodwinked by these empty and sonorous compliments. If be did, he had a very prompt, rude and sad awakening. Within a few hours from the time he delivered his speech, the most accredited and influential of his lieutenants was on his feet, and in a remarkable speech destroyed to atoms the, speech which his leader- had so laboriously prepared and so j laboriously delivered. The example set by my hon. friend from Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk)-and I hope my hon. friend will permit me to pay him the compliment of saying that he rose to a very high ideal and made a most remarkable speech-was followed to-day by my hon. friend from Beauharnois (Mr. Bergeron), who told us that he also, like his colleague from Jacques Cartier, was going to vote against the amendment of his leader. He must realize to-day that the course he has taken with or without consultation with his followers has broken the ranks of his own party. He must realize to-day that, whether he intended it or not, his action on this question is a boomerang, and that while the ranks of the opposition to-day are divided, the ranks of the Liberal party present an unbroken front. When the vote is taken on this question there will be given for the Bill the largest majority that was ever given in this parliament on a great question.
Mr. Speaker, I have spoken much longer than I intended to. But I think that if the interruptions with which I have been favoured were taken out of my speech
I do not think that remark is quite candid. If there was so little in my speech, I wonder why hon. gentlemen opposite so often interrupted me and asked questions. The hon. gentleman (Mr. R. L. Borden), only a few moments ago, got up with his face white with rage. And yet he says there was nothing in my remarks. His earnest and very frequent interruption was one of the greatest compliments he could pay me.
Now, Mr. Speaker, what is the lesson that stands out most clearly in this controversy ? Is it not the lesson that in this country appeals' to race and religious prejudice, to passion, to intolerance, though they may yield some temporary advantage, yet, in the long run, are bound to re-act against those who resort to them ? Is it not the lesson that in this coufitry government is possible only by tolerance, by conciliation, by fair and honourable compromise ? To this policy the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) who leads this House, early in his public career, devoted himself ; to this policy he has steadfastly adhered ; and of this policy he is the most distinguished and successful exponent in this country. His faithful devotion to this ideal, and his masterly application of the principle have made him the beloved and idolized leader of his party and have won for him the respect and admiration of all Canadians, including, I believe, his opponents, and have won for him no less the respect and admiration of the whole British empire. Before I close, I would like to quote to the House a passage taken from one of Burke's immortal speeches, covering, to my mind, a most significant and pregnant statement of the present situation in Canada :
All government, indeed every human benefit, every virtue and every prudent act is founded on compromise and barter. We balance in-conveniencies, we give and take ; we remit some rights, that we may enjoy others; and, we choose rather to be happy citizens, than subtle disputants. As we must give away some natural liberty to enjoy civil advantages, so we must sacrifice some civil liberties and advantages to be derived from the communion and fellowship of a great empire. But in all dealings the thing
bought must ''bear some proportion to the purchase paid. None will barter away the immediate jewel of his soul. None of us who would risk his life rather than fall under a government purely arbitrary.' But, although there are some amongst us who think our constitution wants improvements to make it a complete system of liberty, perhaps none who are of that opinion would think it right to aim at such improvement by disturbing his country and risking everything that is dear to him.
Mr. Speaker, on these lines, and on these lines only, with these Ideals and principles, Mr. R. L. BORDEN.
and with these alone, can His Majesty's government in Canada be carried on. On these lines only can the people of different races and different creeds who Inhabit British North America continue to live at peace, in harmony and good-will. On these lines only, and with such conduct only, can we develop ourselves into the nation we ought to be in the time to come. On these lines only, Mr. Speaker, can we accomplish the high destiny to which Providence has called us.
Mr. Speaker, it has been said on several occasions lately that this House is now dealing with the most important question that has ever come before it. May I go a little further and say that this is a great occasion in the history of the British colonial empire? Britain's greatest colony is proposing to give a constitution to one of.her own colonies. And, while I do not presume that there is any analogy between the powers which the mother country exercises in relation to her Crown colonies and the powers exercised by the Dominion in relation to the Northwest, still there is sufficient resemblance between the two to make it a matter of interest to observe tbe spirit in which Canada deals with her colony as compared with the spirit which has been shown by the mother country in dealing with her colonies, and with Canada herself especially. I ask that the same spirit which has been shown by the mother country in dealing with Canada shall be shown by Canada in dealing with her own colonies. I am afraid, Mr. Speaker, the exhibition which we have seen to-night takes away a good deal of the hope which I might have cherished. I hope we may calm down a little as this discussion proceeds. What we are doing is being watched outside of Canada, and will have an influence far beyond our boundaries. I desire to acknowledge in a few words tbe welcome which the hon. member for Ottawa (Mr. Belcourt) extended to tbe new provinces on joining the Canadian family circle. But I would remind him that the Territories are full-grown, and as such they feel themselves entitled to the full rights of manhood. If they are denied these rights, the relations within the family circle will be exceedingly unsatisfactory.
I am afraid I must spend some little time in going back into the history of this question. The matter which we have now before us was first brought prominently to the front on May 2nd, 1900. The first step in the movement was taken in the legislative assembly of the Northwest Territories on that day, when a memorial was addressed to the Governor General in Council asking that this matter be dealt with. In November of that same year a Dominion general election was held. In December, 1901, at the invitation of the Dominion government, a conference took place between a sub-committee of the Privy Council and the repre-
sentatives of the Northwest: Territories. Af-_ ter the conference a draft Bill, setting forth ' ill detail the terms and conditions on which the Territory would be willing to become one of the provinces of the Dominion, was submitted to the Prime Minister. In the following spring at the next session of the legislative assembly that Bill was laid before the assembly and unanimously endorsed by them. The only dissenting voice was in reference to the question whether there should be one or two provinces. In regard to every other detail the Bill was endorsed with unanimity. On the 21st of May, 1902, a general election was held throughout the Territories and the question of autonomy was the main issue in that election. The Bill was distributed throughout the whole country and an appeal was made to the people by the premier and by other gentlemen who were supporting him in that election in these words : ' These are the matters upon which your judgment is invited. The issue is plain ; it is for the people of the Territories to decide.'
The people of the Territories did decide by returning Mr. Haultain to power by an overwhelming majority. In spite of this fact a great many excuses were made by the Dominion government for delay in dealing with the question. Two more sessions of the legislative assembly were held and in each one of these sessions a resolution demanding that this question be taken up was passed unanimously, being voted for by both Liberals and Conservatives. There was no dissentient voice on either occasion, but still the matter was not taken up by the Dominion government. During the session of 1904, when it was again probable that the demand would be repeated, we suddenly received the well known letter from the Prime Minister in which he made his promise that if he was returned to power he would deal with the matter at the present session of parliament.
I have indulged in this history in order to show that the government of the Territories had a definite and full mandate from the people of that country as to the terms which they should ask to be granted to the Territories when they became (full-fledged provinces. The government of the Territories were invited, as you know, Sir, to a series of conferences by the right hon. the Prime Minister during the first few weeks of the present year. The premier of the Territories and a member of bis executive council attended the meeting. I wish to say here that as far as my information goes, there was no change in the conditions which Mr. Haultain demanded from the Prime Minister from those which he had been authorized to demand by the people and the legislative assembly of the Northwest Territories. I believe that he departed from them in no single particular, and I think the protest that he addressed to the right hon. Prime Minister after the introduction
of the Bill is a proof of that fact. But. what did we find? We found that after this conference the Bill which was introduced differed in most essential points from the request of the Northwest Territories, that it was, in fact, in many respects absolutely contrary to the wishes of the people. In consequence of this difference a strong remonstrance was made by the premier of the Territories which was couched in dignified and determined terms. Because it was not signed by the other member of the executive council, it was stated by the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) that it was only Mr. Haultain's individual opinion. The 'hon. Minister of Finance said that if it was tlie case that we were doing something against the wishes of the people of the Northwest the government of the Northwest had entered no protest. I should like to ask what warrant had he for any such statement ? All we have heard is that Mr. Bul-yea expressed a different opinion to that of Mr. Haultain in an interview which he was supposed to have given to the ' Globe ' directly after the introduction of the Bill. I am told that Mr. Bul-yea denies having given that interview. At any rate, whether it was so or not, Mr. Buiyea is remaining iu the government of Mr. Haultain. It is inconceivable that if he disagrees with his colleagues on such an important matter as this, he should continue to remain a member of the government. I say, Mr. Speaker, that his actions count for far more in this particular than anything that he may have said in any supposed newspaper interview. It is juggling with woi-ds to assert that when the premier of a government protests it is only the protest of an individual. As a matter of fact, Mr. Buiyea had just the same mandate that Mr. Haultain had from the people of the Northwest Territories. That mandate was too clear for it to have been possible for him to have taken any position other than one in accordance with the views of his leader and the fact remains, that he is still a member of Mr. Haultain's government. I have also gone into this history to show that two Dominion general elections have been held since tills matter was placed before the Dominion government. The government refused to act or define their policy in any particular during the whole lifetime of one parliament. More than that, when another appeal to the people became imminent they refused to define their policy before the elections. Although they had had the draft propositions before them for three years they were not prepared to declare themselves in any respect. The hon ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) went into the Northwest Territories and when he was questioned in regard to this matter he refused to commit himself except on one point which I shall mention just now, but on all the main points in connection with the draft Bill he refused to commit himself. We- were
all told in tlie Northwest Territories-I heard it myself on many platforms-that the proper thing for us to do was to trust the Liberal party, that with their record in the past they would be sure to give us fair and liberal terms. We have been told quite recently and told triumphantly that the seven Liberal members of parliament who come from the Northwest Territories would support the Bill in Its present form. If so, then I think it must be due to a sudden change of opinion on the part of at least two of those members* The two hon. members who were in the last parliament. They have put themselves definitely on record in regard to this matter. I refer to the hon. member for Edmonton fMr. Oliver) and to the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott). The hon. member for Edmonton, on the 13th of October, 1903, said this :
X said in this House last session, and I take the liberty of repeating it, that if the House will give the Northwest Territories the terms asked for in the draft Bill contained in these papers, I will certainly support it most strongly. We will support it. These are the terms we want.
That statement was placed on record. Then the hon. member for West Assiniboia a couple of years previously had placed himself on record as asking very similar terms to those which were subsequently comprised in the draft Bill which was submitted by the Northwest Territories. Therefore, I hold, Mr. Speaker, that if these two hon. gentlemen, at any rate, from the Northwest Territories, had any mandate from their constituents in that country, that mandate would certainly be in the terms in which they had placed themselves on record in their public utterances.
I regret that after having for years advocated the granting of provincial autonomy to the Northwest Territoriees, I am unable to welcome the measure which has just been introduced. It does not contain the 'fair aud just terms' for which the people of the Territories ask and it does not give 'complete and absolute autonomy' such as we were promised by the Prime Minister. It creates two new provinces of an inferior type and of a lower grade than the other provinces of the Dominion of Canada, and I contend that the people of the Territories are justified in their demand to be placed on the same level as is occupied by the other province especially as they have a population larger at the present moment than the populations of four of the seven existing provinces of the Dominion. Their disapproval of the Bill which has been introduced has been amply proved by the great number of protests which they have made and which have been placed before this House. I am sorry that there are two provinces instead of one. The assembly of the Northwest Territories was strongly in favour of having only one province for the whole of the Territories. They had voted on that question and Mr. LAKE.
had endorsed that position by a large majority. The whole country had given their opinion on it when they voted as they did at the general elections to which I have referred. The late Minister of the Interior (Mr. Siftou) committed himself on only one particular point and that was with reference to the matter of one or more provinces. Although I was not present at the time I am told on credible authority that both at Regina and Indian Head he stated that he was in favour of one province. The Solicitor General (Mr. Lemieux) has given the reasons why apparently the government considered it would he undesirable to make the whole of the territories into one province. He was afraid that the progress and the prosperity of one large province would become such that the influence of that province upon the rest of Canada would be too great. I regret also to see the name of Assiniboia disappear from the map. The most thickly settled portion of the eastern province, has borne that name for a long time past.' The magnificent wheat producing fields of that district have made the name famous in the great markets of the world. Assiniboia contains the largest portion of the population of the eastern provinces, and therefore I think when a choice of names was being made Assiniboia should have been retained. No matter what the opinion may be as to whether it was a good name to choose in the first instance, it was sanctioned by usage, and should have been preserved rather than the name Saskatchewan. _
However, there are other and greater questions than these involved in the Bill and I shall leave these minor points and proceed to deal with two or three of the main points at issue, ns shortly as I possibly can. I shall take up for a few minutes the limitation of the powers of taxation which are being imposed on the people of the new provinces in these Bills- 1 refer of course to the question of the exemption of the Canadian Pacific Railway from taxation. One would imagine from what one constantly hears in this country that the Canadian Pacific Railway had been built in order to open up the Northwest and that therefore the Northwest should pay for the Canadian Pacific Railway. But was that the case ? Let us turn back for a few moments to the Quebec resolutions. Section 69 reads as follows :
The communications with the Northwestern Territory, and the improvements required for the development of the trade of the great west with the sea-hoard, are regarded by this conference as subjects of the highest importance to the federated provinces, and shall he prosecuted at the earliest possible period that the state of the finances will permit.
That is to say this question of building a railway into the west was looked upon as a subject of the highest importance to
the federated provinces. It was to open up channels for the trade of the east. That was the first reason for the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The later and perhaps the most cogent reason was that it was absolutely imperative, if faith was to be kept with British Columbia, that a railway should be built across the continent. A contract was made by the Dominion government with the Canadian Pacific Railway and the consideration on the part of Canada included a grant of money, a grant of land and exemption from taxation. The Northwest Territories are to-day paying their share of the interest on that money grant 1 so we will wipe that question away. However in addition to that which is imposed on them in common with the rest of Canada they are contributing a land grant not only for that portion of the line which was built in the Territories, but also for that portion which was built in British Columbia and for a part of the line which was built in Ontario and in Manitoba. Now, Sir, that is a great burden upon the country. The result of it is that millions of money which have been made in that country and which should be kept in the country to develop its resources are being sent out in payment for the lands. We have claimed compensation in the draft Bill for such lands as were alienated by the Dominion government for purely Dominion purposes. ' Our demand in that respect has apparently not received consideration and all I desire at this moment is simply to mention the fact and to enter my protest because it has not been
To turn to the third consideration for the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The exemption from taxation is a very unjust burden and it falls entirely on the shoulders of the new provinces. It is an unjust burden which was incurred for the benefit of the whole of Canada, and the Dominion should relieve us from it. The Dominion parliament made the contract and incurred the obligation. There was no provincial legislature at the time ; if there had been oue in existence I do not suppose it would have been possible that such a contract would have been made. A very strong point was made in the argument which accompanied the draft Bill in this respect. It was urged in the strongest terms that this unjust burden should be removed from the shoulders of the new provinces. In the teeth of this protest we find that it is actually proposed in this Bill to rivet the burden on the new provinces as part of their constitution. I can see no possible reason for such action as that, and I enter against it my strongest protest. I hope that when this Bill comes to the committee stage the government will see fit to withdraw that particular clause. When this exemption was being discussed in parliament some two or three years ago,
and when the leader of the opposition made a proposal that certain steps should be taken which. would remove this burden from the Territories and place it where it properly belonged, the Prime Minister, at all events by implication, gave some sort of hope to the Territories, when he used this language :
All this shows how absolutely essential it is that the question should be referred to the courts ; that we should have an authoritative decision as to the meaning of the law before we can take any public action in the way of giving relief to the settlers of the Northwest Territories.
The right hon. gentleman evidently admits here that the settlers of the Northwest had a case in asking for relief. I recall that statement to his mind, and trust that he will give it serious consideration. We -have also a statement made by the member for West Assindboia (Mr. Scott) on the 20th of October, 1903, when he said :
Let me say that in face of the position of this Canadian Pacific Railway tax matter, in view of the millions of acres of land that are involved and the millions in value of railway property of the company that are involved, it appears to me that the people of the Northwest would be simply crazy at present to accept autonomy unless driven to it as a last resort.
Such being the case, I certainly approve of delay until all doubt about the Canadian Pacific Railway tax exemption has been removed.
That was the opinion of the member for West Assindboia (Mr. Scott) not so very long tigo, iiiid yet ays are to-day told in triumphant tones that the seven Liberal members from the Northwest are behind the government in support of this Bill.
Let me deal for a moment witli the question of the public domain. The Bill proposes that the lands, mines and minerals and timbers are to be retained by the Dominion government and not placed under the jurisdiction of the new provinces. If gentlemen on the other side of the House have their will in respect to this Bill, that is what will occur. Well, Sir, we claim that we have just as much right as any other province in the Dominion of Canada to the full possession of our lands. I was very glad to see that the Prime Minister had dropped the old stock argument that Canada had purchased the Northwest Territories, and therefore that the federal authority could deal with these Territories just as it liked. There were very cogent reasons for the right hon. gentleman dropping that argument, but I was surprised to hear the Solicitor General revive it and in doing so he must have been oblivious to some circumstances which have occurred within the last few years. In reply to the Solicitor General's statement that the acquirement of the Northwest Territories had not been profitable to the Dom-
inion, I beg to tell him that the profits from that investment have already been sufficient, and more than sufficient to pay the entire claim of the Hudson Bay Company. Probably the reason which has caused gentlemen opposite to drop the old argument as to the purchase of the Territories, is the grant within recent years of 110,550 square miles of the same territory to the province of Quebec. More than that, the Prime Minister now is proposing to make free gifts of the same territory to Quebec, Ontario, the new province of Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, although hi the case of the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, it would not he a gift but simply a request that they should administer the territory. The old argument that this territory belongs to the whole Dominion must have been abandoned by the present government, or otherwise they would have no warrant for making these free gifts to the old provinces.
The Prime Minister has appealed to the precedent of Manitoba as a reason for withholding the public domain from the new provinces, but he deliberately disregarded that precedent In 1898 when he had a Bill passed through parliament giving to the province of Quebec a vast area, nearly one-half the size of one of the new provinces. If there is any doubt as to the statement I hare made, I would like to lay before the House a few extracts from an Order in Council of the Quebec government dated the 24th of April, 1898, upon which the legislation iwas subsequently framed. Attached to this Order in Council is a report from Mr. K. H. Taolu', assistant Commissioner of Crown Lands, who, after discussing the question as to the province of Quebec making a demand for that portion of the coast of Labador which is under the jurisdiction of Newfoundland, goes on to say :
The claiming of that territory would result iu serious diplomatic complications which the Dominion government certainly will not raise, hut it seems to me that a compromise might be arrived at which will prove acceptable to ail those interested. The claims under the old French regime, thus altered, would still include a vast extent of territory, which in extent and value would be a good equivalent to the territory claimed by Ontario. The claim might be framed in the following manner :
He then goes on to define in detail the boundary line as it was finally adopted in the Bill passed by this parliament, and he
says : .
The definition of the limits means an increase in area of 116,550 square miles. In my opinion to go further, as far as the Hudson Strait would be too grasping.
Too grasping even for the province of Quebec in a matter of this sort ; so grasping indeed that the deal might not be put through parliament. Now, Mr. Speaker, I do not wish to protest in any way against this accession of territory to the province Mr. LAKE.
of Quebec. I think it was a perfectly correct policy ; I believe that the province of Quebec could administer that territory far more satisfactorily than it could possibly be administered from Ottawa. Some day there may be a great rush, of people into that country for all we know, and then I am quite certain that the provincial management will be more satisfactory to these people than could possibly be the management of the more distant central government at Ottawa. But, Sir, this incident forms a precendent set by the Prime Minister himself, which surely he ought to follow in this case of the new provinces. I am afraid, however, that what is sauce for the goose in this case is not considered sauce for the gander.
Now, i would like to ask whether there is any similarity whatever between tlie conditions which prevailed in Manitoba in the year 1870, when Manitoba became a province of this Dominion, and the conditions of the Territories in this year 1905. If there is no similarity whatever in conditions, there can be no precedent. At that time Manitoba was under the paternal government of the Hudson Bay Company. Iu the debates of 1870, you will find the opinion expressed that the people of Manitoba were scarcely fit for a provincial form of government. A doubt was expressed as to tlie ' fitness of a people just emerging from tlie conditions of serfdom'-that was one of the phrases used. They were also referred to as an ignorant people. They comprised in all some twelve thousand souls, and they were at that very time in the throes of rebellion. Is there any similarity whatever in the condition of Manitoba at that time and the present condition of the Northwest Territories, who have a responsible government, a constitution, limited certainly as to its powers, but oue which they have enjoyed for a great many years past; who have carried on a liberal and progressive government, a government which is, I think, second to none in any of the other provinces of the Dominion, and also with a population, as I have just stated, larger than that of the majority of the provinces of the Dominion.
Then, if any hou. gentleman will look through the debates of the House of Commons for many years succeeding the formation of the province of Manitoba, he will find that the opinion on both sides of the House was always iii favour of the principle that the public lands in the province should belong to the province. I have culled a number of opinions from the great men of that time-Mr. Mills, Sir John Macdonald, Sir Leonard Tilley, Mr. G. W. Ross, by all of whom to a greater or less extent that principle is recognized. The reason given in nearly every case for withholding" the lands from tlie province was that it would not pay the province to hold them- that the administration of the lands would
cost more than the province would ever be able to make out of them. That Is the reason which was given for a great many years. But a change came over the scene in 1885, or a little previous to that, when it was discovered that the lands had an exceptional value. The Prime Minister, in stating his main reason for withholding the public lands from the new provinces, quoted from an Order in Council of the year 1885 ; but he did not quote the main reasons which were given in that Order in Council by the Conservative administration of the day for withholding the public lands from the province of Manitoba. He only quoted a consideration which ' had much weight ' with the sub-committee after three or four of the main reasons had been stated, that consideration being that it would be advisable in the interests of immigration that the Dominion government should continue to hold the public lauds in its own hands. Now, to my mind that is a very unsound argument. The Immigration Department is for the whole of Canada-for all the provinces, and for no one more than another. It may happen, and it does happen, that the province of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories are the most attractive field for immigrants to-day ; but tomorrow it may be Ontario or Quebec or British Columbia ; we do not know. As a matter of fact, we find that the Immi-.gration Department is working hard in the interest of the other provinces of the Dominion, just as hard, I imagine, as it is for the Northwest Territories. Here is an extract from the report of the Minister of the Interior with reference to the immigration into Ontario :
In order to relieve to some extent the situation in the province ol Ontario, where there has been such a great dearth of labour, the department took steps early in the year to direct its agents in the old land to divert as much as possible the farm labouring classes to that province. The result of this has been that some thousands of labourers who perhaps would have gone to western Canada were induced to remain over in Ontario, all of whom were immediately distributed by the Ontario bureau amongst farmers throughout the country. It has been found almost impracticable to divert much of the foreign population, even of the farm labouring classes, to eastern provinces, many of these people coming through to meet friends, and, moreover, nearly all of the farm labourers from the continent appear to be desirous of securing lands for themselves first.
That shows that the Immigration Department is working for the province of Ontario, and for the other provinces of Can-ad just as well as for the Northwest Territories ; and I do not think it can be said that any very great inconvenience is caused to that department by the fact that the lands of the province of Ontario are in the hands of the government of that province. Farm labourers and small tenant farmers 113
are certainly the very best class of immigrants, anil 1 have no objection to their being diverted to Ontario to get their first experience of Canada. But if the lands of the Northwest Territories are to be retained in the hands of the Dominion government, simply because it wants to apply its immigration policy to the best advantage, then it should not divert from those lands any immigration which is coming out. But I am sure that is a position that would be resented by every other province of Canada. Every immigrant who comes into this country is an asset to the whole Dominion.
I consider that the difficulties which have been raised are entirely visionary. If the new provinces were possesed of their own public lands, they would be the most interested of all in encouraging Immigration to come within their bounds. We should have three local governments all hard at work trying to bring in immigration, and all competing with each other for immigration. More than that, the local government, thoroughly understanding the local conditions, would be able to make matters so much more comfortable for the incoming settlers that they would produce a more contented class of settlers; and the old saying still holds good, that the contented settler is the best immigration agent, and the quotation which I have just made from the report of the Minister of the Interior goes to prove it. These people coming in are, a great many of them, coming to their friends, from whom they have heard of their great prosperity and who have encouraged them to come to the country. I contend that the moral if not the legal right of the new provinces to the ownership of their public lands has practically been conceded by tbe government. I do not think any doubt has been seriously raised upon this subject. This question, as well as the whole question of provincial powers, was very clearly stated by the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) some four years ago. My hon. friend sent me a copy of his speech on that occasion. I concurred then with him in the position he took, and am very glad to put on record the second time some of the opinions which he expressed in that speecii. and which are very similar to those I hold myself. On the 25th March, 1901, he said :
I may say that what the people will expect and what I think they have a right to expect- and this is really the point to which I wish to call the attention of parliament-is that they will be dealt with on exactly the same basis as the originally confederated provinces dealt with themselves, and be put in exactly the same position as that occupied by the originally confederated provinces. If the proper principle is adhered to, if the principle of absolute equality is observed, if parliament places the new provinces upon an equitable basis, the local government will be given a proper grant for government, also the per capita grant, and be given anything that may be shown to be due as the debt allowance. And they will
be put in the possession of the public resources, lands, timber and minerals in the same way as the other provinces were put in possession of those resources. I believe that that portion of the confederation arrangement by which the original provinces retained control over their public resources was looked upon by the fathers of confederation as the keystone of the whole scheme.
The hon. member then went on to quote from speeches made by Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir A. T. Galt in connection with confederation, in which they explained the reasons for placing the public lands at the disposal of the different provinces. My hon. friend went on to say :
When Prince Edward Island was taken into confederation a grant was voted her for the very reason that she did not have any public land.
Further on he said :
The people of the Territories contend that the public lands of that territory are now simply held in trust by parliament until such time as provinces may be created in that area. They firmly believe that their contention is good. But even if a strict legal or moral right cannot be established by the people of the Territories to be given possession of their local resources, I appeal to this House whether it would not be unwise and impolitic to create provinces out there on any different basis from that on which other provinces stand. Entire equality is the only sure guarantee of the permanency of the confederation structure. Is it not a fair proposition that the citizens of the Northwest Territories should be looked upon in all respects as equal to the citizen of any other province of Canada. The subjects that come under the purview of the local government affect the people more closely than those dealt with by this parliament, and the best way to promote the progress of that country will be to give as much financial ability as possible to the local legislature to deal with their local affairs, so that education, public works and all local services may be dealt with efficiently and adequately. My opinion is that by no other means can parliament do as much at one stroke to promote progress and the true welfare, not of the Territories alone but of Canada as a whole, as by placing the main portion of western Canada in a strong, efficient, capable position as concerns its local government.
My bon. friend concluded as follows :
I trust that when the time comes, whether it comes next year, or the succeeding year, and I feel assured that it will come before the end of the term of this parliament, that parliament may deal with the question on broad principles and endeavour to place the citizens' of the Northwest Territories in a position entirely equal, in no way inferior to the position which is occupied by the citizens of any other province of Canada.
I have not heard that my hon. friend has since receded from the views he there expressed. He did not, at any rate, in the fall of 1903, and I think we are entitled to believe that those are his opinions still ; and Mr. HAKE.
if he has any mandate from the Northwest Territories, it can only he to give effect to the terms of his speech which he distributed throughout that country far and wide.
Let me now make a comparison between the value of the lands when Manitoba entered confederation and their value to-day. In 1883 Sir Charles Tupper read a statement to this House, which showed that the sales of land from 1872 to 1880 had been less than two million acres, and that the average price received was 31i cents per acre. Further on he declared that only 13 cents per acre out of this sum had been paid to date. Compare the value of the lands in these days with their value in the Territories to-day. We find that the Canadian Pacific Railway lands were selling in January at an average price of $4.10 per acre and the school lands at an average of nearly $10 per acre. We also have the statement of the First Minister that $3 an acre is a very moderate rate for land in that country. Therefore, I contend there is no comparison whatever between the conditions of Manitoba in 1870 and those of the Territories in 1901.
Coming to the question of the compensation offered to the new provinces for the loss of their public lands, I would like to ask the First Minister what is the basis of that calculation? Why have the government selected 25,000,000 acres out of the 175,000,000 which, roughly speaking, will be comprised in each of these new provinces, and why have they placed a value of only $1.50 per acre on these 25,000,000 acres ? Again why do they only pay 1 per cent interest at first on those lands, and how do they arrive at the gradual increase in the rate of interest as population increases in that country ? I can only suppose that they began to argue the question backwards. I would presume that their first thought was : How much money is the least we can give to the people of these provinces ? And having decided upon the figure, they began to hunt for some method of making it up. The whole arrangement seems to me an extraordinary one. I could not find a word to describe it until the Prime Minister supplied it the other day, when he used the word ' ramshackle.' That well characterizes the arrangements made in this Bill for compensation to the provinces for the loss of their public lands. It will be noticed that compensation is only offered for one-seventh of the whole area or one-fifth of the whole area still undisposed of according to a return brought down the other day. Who will say that 113,000,000 acres out of these 138,000,000 still undisposed of in each of these provinces are of no value whatever, that only 25,000,000 are of any value, and that the value of those shall be fixed at $1.50 per acre ? Further than that, no consideration whatever is given for the mines, minerals and timber which are being withheld from us. As to the fisheries, I do not
1IAKCH 30, 1905
know whether they are to be withheld from us or not.
With regard to the value of these lands, in the latest report of the Minister of the Interior, we have the statement of the sales of land made by the railway and other companies from 1893 to 1904. The sales amounted to 10,512,349 acres, and the amount of monev for which these lands were sold was $36,992,482, or about $3.50 per acre. That is to say, we find that as the actual result of the 10 or 11 years' sales of the great land companies, they obtain for a little over 10,000,000 acres a sum nearly equal to the whole compensation to be paid to the people of each of the new provinces for 138,000,000 acres. Then, again, we have the figures given by the government of school lands sales. As I have said, they average about $9.90 per acre. Also, the Prime Minister mentioned as ' a very moderate rate ' $3 per acre. He was afraid that if the land were handed over to the people of the Northwest Territories they might begin to sell them at something more than this very moderate rate of $3 per acre. When he was questioned whether the lands were generally open for sale at these figures, we discovered that they were only open to a few favoured individuals and that the general public were not able to buy lands even at $3 per acre. I will go a step further and take the figures given by the Minister of the Interior a couple of years ago in discussing the Grand Trunk Pacific project. He then made the calculation that that one line of railway alone was going to open up 50,000,000 acres of land, and that the 20,000,000 or 25,000,000 acres which the government would have for sale would have an accrued value of $3 per acre within ten years after the completion of the line. Or. take the ex-Minister of the Interior's (Mr. Sifton's) statement made last Friday, when he referred to the school lands trust fund as being valued at $50,000,000. That statement he made in the course of his speech on the educational clauses of this Bill. Now, these school lands consist of two sections out of every 36 sections in the township. That is, the school lands are about one-eighteenth part of the whole territory. About If sections of each township have been set aside for the Hudson Bay Company, so that the school lands amount to one-seventeenth part of the area available. And, if the seventeenth part of the whole area is estimated by the ex-Minister of the Interior at $50,000,000, it is a simple calculation to arrive at what he estimates as the value of the whole public domain in the Northwest-all you have to do is to multiply $50,000,000 by 17. But I am not suggesting that that is a fair valuation of these lands. The ex-Minister of the Interior, I presume, thinks it must be. It is an exceedingly difficult thing to find at this time what the value of these lands will be 1131
at some date in the future. But while it is a most difficult thing to arrive at any final conclusion on this question, I submit that the calculations I have quoted go to prove conclusively that the compensation that is offered for the loss of these lands is absolutely and utterly inadequate. The Prime Minister took the Manitoba lands as a precedent, as I have before mentioned. But, in the case of Manitoba, the swamp lands were handed back _to that province. The Prime Minister says there are no swamp lands in the new provinces. I would not like to make such a confident assertion as that myself. But, if there are none, I think the Northwest should have some lands given them in lieu of the swamp lands. How much better it would be to avoid all these difficulties which confront us in the calculation of their real value by handing the lands over to the new provinces just as their public lands have been placed in the possession of the other provinces of the Dominion. The people of the new provinces would then feel that, in this respect at any rate they had been fairly treated ; that in this respect, they had been granted full provincial rights. Or, I will make another proposition. If this parliament considers only 25,000,000 acres of land of that country to be of any value, I would invite them to select 25,000,000 acres in each province and pay us $1.50 per acre and hand over the remainder to the provincial authorities. The people of the Northwest will make some use of the land if you will give it to them.
As a matter of fact I hold that no monetary consideration is sufficient to compensate us for the loss of our land. It is impossible to have a satisfactory administration of these lands from a centre upwards of two thousand miles distant. Nearly everything has to be referred to Gttawa. It takes nearly a week to get an answer to a letter from one of the nearest points, Regina. The people on the spot understand the conditions far better than the officials of the department down here in Ottawa. The land will be much better administered by officers responsible to the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories. The whole administration will be under the eyes of the peojffe who are most deeply interested in the lands. It is quite a different matter when the administration is placed in the hands of one man at Ottawa. He becomes, in a sense a dictator, and he is responsible to a body of men very few of whom have any intimate knowledge of the local conditions which prevail in the Northwest Territories. The representatives of the other provinces of the Dominion control and manage their own lands. And they are the people best qualified to control and manage those lands. But I contend that they are not so well qualified to control and manage the lands of the Northwest as are the people of the Northwest themselves. I was very much amused by one feature of the speech made
the other (lay by the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa). He tried to show what a kind and statesmanlike thing it would be to relieve the people of the Northwest of the burden of managing these lands. That seemed to be the general trend of his remarks. He suggested that the members of the provincial legislatures might be pressed to use the lands improperly. If he finds that difficulty in the province of Quebec he has the remedy of inducing his province to hand over all their lands to the administration of the Dominion. But, we have never found any difficulty of that kind whatever in the Northwest Territories in the matters with which we have had to deal up to the present day, and I believe we shall find no difficulty in that connection in the future. At any rate, who is the more likely to have improper pressure put upon them to administer these lands wrongly ? Is it the members of the legislatures of the new provinces who are directly under the eye of the people most intimately concerned, or is it not likely to be the Minister of the Interior who is acting by himself down here at Ottawa ?
After all, these questions, important as they are to the people of the Northwest Territories, are overshadowed by the educational clauses in this Bill. These clauses have been introduced, I assert once again in spite of what the hon. member for Ottawa said, iu such a form as to invite opposition ; and the disparaging references made constantly to the people of the Northwest by member after member on the other side of the House have not been such as to soothe the feelings of the people under these difficult circumstances. I would like to say, in reference to the statement made by the hon. member for Ottawa that he had been told that no school question existed in the Northwest Territories up to the present time, that that is practically the case. The school question has been raised in this parliament and raised on the other side of the House. But, I consider that the same hon. gentleman misrepresents the position of this party when he suggests that our attitude is to favour the repeal of the present system of education which obtains in the Northwest Territories. The position of this party is that this is a local and provincial question which should be dealt with entirely by the provinces, that this is a matter in reference to which this parliament has no right or power to place restrictions or limitations on the provinces. We contend for provincial rights in this matter. The hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) accuses us of misusing what he refers to as that sacred term. M ith one breath he denounces us for appealing for provincial rights and then with the next breath he approves of the federal authorities retaining possession of the public lands of the Northwest Territories which we Mr. LAKE.
believe it will be an infringement of provincial rights for the Dominion to retain in their possession. He went on to treat the people of the Northwest Territories as if they were children and as if they had no rights. I do not propose to follow him into the religious discussion which he raised. This evening we again had a violent racial and religious appeal from the hon. member lor Ottawa. As I said before I have made up my mind that I at any rate will not follow the bad example which has been set us by hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House. I respect the religious convictions of others and I think they should show the same respect for my religious convictions. I feel they have not done it. Nor, Sir, is it a question of the value of separate schools as an abstract proposition. We are not discussing thatjiuestion at all. It is a question of equal rights to the new provinces with those which have been given to other provinces in the Dominion to deal with matters of education. It has been suggested that this question has been raised on this side of the House as a party question, that this side of the House is responsible for the agitation that is going on in the Northwest Territories at the present moment. Now, Sir, it just happened that yesterday afternoon, after- the close of the sitting of this House, I received a letter from the largest town in my constituency which I propose, with your permission, to read :
Indian Head, Assa., March 22, 1905.
R. S. Lake, Esq.,
Parliament Buildings, Ottawa.
Dear Sir,-At the annual meeting of Indian Head Liberal Association held here to-day, I was instructed to send you a copy of the following resolution which was duly carried, viz.:
We, the members of Indian Head Liberal Association, desire to enter a protest against^the educational clauses in the Autonomy Bill, 'believing that such is an interference with provincial rights. The clause as amended in the compromise Bill now before parliament, does not, In our opinion, contain any modification of what we believe to be an infringement of our rights as a province, and for this reason we as emphatically protest against the Bill as remodelled.
(Sgd.) J. M. THOMPSON,
Secretary Indian Head Liberal Association.
I would like to ask the hon. member for Ottawa, if he were present, if he considers that my hon. friend from Bast Grey (Mr. Sproule) had anything to do with that resolution. I presume that these are the gentlemen to whom he referred as renegades, or are these the gentlemen of whom the hon. Minister of Justice spoke when he said that the right hon. Prime Minister had not lost the respect of any persons for whose respect he cared ?
I differ entirely from the cheerful declarations of the hon. Minister of Finance when he stated his ' firm conviction that most
people In the country will not bother themselves very much about this constitutional question ' and that there are other questions greater than the constitutional question involved in this matter. The rights and liberties of the British people have been too closely connected with the constitution to have it treated thus lightly. I also wish to offer my protest against the suggestions which have been constantly made that the people of the Northwest Territories will be less generous than the people of Nova Scotia in dealing with this question. That suggestion has been made more than once on the other side of the House. What my views are in respeet tp the separate school question as an abstract proposition, has in my opinion, really nothing whatever to do with this discussion. Hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House have discussed this question on its merits as have lion, gentlemen, I must admit, on this side of the House. Although I do not intend to follow their example I intend to claim the privilege of briefly putting on record the views which I hold with regard to this question. After nearly 22 years residence in the Northwest Territories, I believe firmly that the public school system as at present administered is the one best suited to the needs of the country.
The fact that separate schools have been so little taken advantage of shows that except in certain centres and thickly-populated districts there is no demand for them. Taking an average settlement in that country, the separate school system is nearly impracticable and places a heavy burden on the people in the increased taxation incidental to minority schools.
In certain instances it would actually prevent the formation of schools at all. I do not wish to be understood as favouring the exclusion of religious teaching from the education of the young. No education, in my mind, can be satisfactory which does not include the ethics of religion, but I say that doctrine and dogma should be kept to the church and to the home.