I accepted last evening the frank statement of my hon. friend that he had not written people iu the Northwest Territories urging upon them that this was the time for them to get rid of their separate schools.
I do not know that it is of any consequence to anybody that I should pursue this matter further with my hon.
friend, but the fact remains that there were people in the province of Ontario who, in last January, 'before these Bills were brought down, were writing to people in the Northwest Territories; and if I had the file of the Calgary ' Herald ' here-which is a Conservative organ-J could read a very strong article advising the people of Ontario to mind their own business and not meddle in this affair of the people of the Territories, who are well able to look after it themselves. But to continue with these communications and resolutions; here is a resolution which was adopted by a public meeting- at Moosejaw :
That the school system now in force in the Territories was brought in force by our local legislature and is giving entire satisfaction, and we respectfully urge that the new provinces be given full control of educational affairs.
It is evident, on the face of it, that right in that clause there is a misconception. As a matter of fact, this legis lation was not brought into existence by the local legislature, but initiated by this parliament. Practically all the protests and communications and complaints which have been raised are based upon misconceptions, though not of so violent a character, I must admit, as those which exist in the mind of the writer of the letter who signed himself ' a lover of freedom.' And a good deal of that misconception exists apparently in the city of Toronto. A gentleman who for many years held, first in Manitoba and then in the Territories, the important position of superintendent of education, spoke at a recent public gathering in Toronto-a gathering held as a protest against the legislation submitted to this House. I refer to Dr. Goggin. I read from the report in the Toronto * News ' that he said :
I take it that we meet here to-night as a body of Liberals, intent upon setting before our party our view's on this subject, whether they be right or w'rong. That I believe is one of the qualifications of a good party man.
We have all had experience with ' Old Liberal,' ' Disgusted Liberal,' ' Longstanding Liberal,' and various other classes of Liberal who come to the front during a general election ov at other periods of excitement. In my own hearing the name of Mark Twain has been used twice in the course of this debate. On one occasion Mr. Clemens, more widely known by his pen-name ' Mark Twain,' was inspecting a group of statuary in the house of a friend. One statue was that of a young woman coiliug her hair. The great humorist had a puzzled expression, and, when asked what he thought of the statue he said, ' Well, it isn't true to nature ; she ought to have a mouth full of hairpins.' We in the west have been acquainted with Dr. Goggin for many years, but no matter how full of political hairpins he was even his best friend would fail to recognize him from this description given of him iu the Toronto ' News.' We have always known him as a very estimable, a very genial, but a very thoroughgoing Conservative. I entirely refuse to believe that Dr. Goggin is correctly reported. I venture to say that the Toronto ' News,' pursuing its very frequent policy of misrepresentation. has incorrectly reported Dr. Goggin, in representing him as belonging to the class of ' Disgusted Liberals.' Dr. Goggin later on referred to Mr. Haultain's draft Bill :
I would like to say a few words in regard to this draft Bill. Certain things are asked for, including provincial control of public lands, but they make no demand for the incorporation of any provisions for separate schools under the new constitution. They do not say one word about it. Nor at the elections did Mr. Haultain say one word about it. No ! They trusted to the British North America Act.
I will make some further reference to that later on :
Sir Wilfrid Laurier has said that he did not think there was much to be accomplished by discussion. We know where Mr. Haultain was, and we know where we were. That is what he said. I might ask, in view of subsequent events, whether he knew where he was or not. One of our objects in coming here tonight is to help him to discover where he ought to be. We know that the people of the Dominion were not consulted; neither were the people of the west. We know that Mr. Haultain and his colleagues were not consulted, we know- that neither the Minister of Interior nor the Minister of Finance were consulted. Do you know' whether anybody else at Ottawa was consulted ? Have you heard whether the Papal Legate w'as consulted ? . . . Are you people of the west to be trampled upon by him? it is as a western man that I appeal to you to-night, and especially to the Liberal party, to let its voice be heard in no uncertain sound.
- And we had one of the representatives for Toronto rising iu this House one night a week ago, at white-heat of indignatiou because the Minister of Finance had stated that some religious considerations were being imported into this discussion. Is there no religious suggestion in the statement I have just read, no insinuation calculated to excite the prejudices and passions of the Protestant people of Ontario ? Let me say a word with regard to what has been discussed a great deal-1 We know that Mr. Haultain and his colleagues were not consulted.' Now Mr. Haultain in his letter has stated that he was consulted in regard to everything except the matter of education.
I may remind the hon. member for East Grey that Mr. Haultain came here just after New Years and was here almost continually until the 21st of February when this measure was brought d ran.
There were consultations going on nearly every day. If there were no discussions between the members of the government and the representatives of the Northwest Territories with regard to education whose was the fault V Was there any prohibition resting upon Mr. Haultain against bringing the matter of education into the conference V I will point out to you a little later, Mr. Speaker, that in not bringing up the matter of education Mr. Haultain was doing exactly what he had been doing in the Northwest Territories. For years he had been discussing this autonomy matter, and yet until the time of the general election last October you will fail to find any reference he ever made in any discussion to the subject of education. If there were no long discussions between him and the members of the government with regard to education, I venture to say that Mr. Haultain and his colleague are at least as much to blame as are the members of the government.
Now I revert to a matter that I mentioned a little while ago-I will have something to say with regard to Dr. Goggin a little later-whether this Territory should be treated in these measures, as a territory or a province. There has been a good deal of discussion coming from the other side of the House on that point. I find that the opinion from Mr. Christopher Robinson, IC.C., read by the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) had that idea in it-in fact that idea was the basis of Sir. Robinson's opinion. Mr. Robinson said :
There is not in any part of the Northwest Territories as a province any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools possessed by any class of persons, created by the province, or existing at such union.
Mr. Haultain, too, in his letter, remarks in reference to this matter :
The first subsection of section 16 of the Bill is drawn in direct contradiction of this principle. It is an attempt to create a province retroactively. It declares territorial school laws passed under the restrictions imposed by the Northwest Territories Act to be provincial school laws. It clothes laws imposed by the federal parliament with all the attributes of laws voluntarily made by a free province. It ignores territorial limitations and conditions. It denies facts and abolishes time. It declares what wTas not to have been and seeks to perpetuate as existing what never was or is.
Very definite language. Hon. gentlemen on the other side have been using similar language. They have been fairly ' rampaging ' through the fields of ridicule so far as concerns that feature of the Autonomy Bill which proposes to treat these areas as provinces. I do not know that it would be any harm just to look for a moment at what was the demand of the Northwest Territories in this regard if we take the view expressed by my hon. friend from Qu'Appelle (Mr. Lake) that the draft Bill of Mr. Haultain constituted the demand of the people of the Mr. SCOTT.
Northwest Territories. Section 2 of the draft Bill is as follows my hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) I hope, will pay particular attention to this, for he also had something to say about the ridiculousness of treating that area as a province. The name of the province is left blank in the draft Bill, but I supply the name :
On, from and after the said first day of January, 1903, the provisions of the British North America Act, 1867, except those parts thereof which are in terms made or by reasonable intendment may be held to be, specially applicable to or to affect only one or more but not the whole of the provinces under that Act composing the Dominion, and except so far as the same may be varied by this Act, shall be applicable to the province of Saskatchewan in the same way and to the same extent as they apply to the several provinces of Canada and as if the province of Saskatchewan had been one of the provinces originally united by the said Act.
As if Saskatchewan had been a province and not a territory ! Create a province retroactively ! Treat territorial school laws as provincial school laws! Ignore territorial limitations and conditions ! Deny facts and abolish time ! Declare what was not to have been and perpetuate as existing what never was nor is ! Ridiculous when proposed by this government ! But high statesmanship when proposed by Mr. Haultain ! That draft Bill, the famous draft Bill, was prepared, I think, in January, 1902. I have discussed that clause with lawyers, and with laymen, and I venture to say there is not a lawyer in this House or in this country who dares chain his reputation to the opinion that that clause would not have fixed ecclesiastical separate schools certainly and irrevocably on the new provinces if it were adopted or at least have fixed certainly and irrevocably a system of separate schools. I go farther and I say that when that draft Bill was prepared Mr. Haultain, nor any of his colleagues, nor any of the members of the Northwest legislature, nor any of the people of the Northwest Territories who were taking an interest in the matter, ever had any intention of asking for greater freedom in this matter of schools than they had been enjoying for the last fourteen years. Dr. Goggin, as I said, was superintendent of education in the Northwest Territories for a number of years ; he was practically the deputy of Mr. Haultain in the educational department at the time this draft Bill was framed. Dr. Goggin moved to Toronto a little more than two years ago, at about which time he was interviewed on the subject of autonomy by the Toronto ' News.' He was asked his opinion as to the reason of the delay by parliament in dealing with this matter of autonomy, and this is what he said :
There are those who assert that the delay in granting autonomy is owing to the difficulties
anticipated in connection with separate schools and the use of the French language. It is said that the legislature will insist upon being left perfectly free to deal with this as with all other questions of internal administration, though I have not seen any declaration to that effect by the premier or the legislature.
Dr. Goggin knew the contents of the draft Bill, he was in Regina at the time it was prepared, and was then Mr. Haul-tain's superintendent of education. He was there during the local election in 1902 when, as is stated, the people of the Territories voted upon and endorsed the demand made by the government for autonomy7, and after he came to Toronto a year later he declared he had seen no declaration by the premier or legislature of the Territories that they wanted additional freedom in the matter of the schools constitution. I say, Mr. Speaker, and I say it solemnly, because it is a weighty statement, not to be made lightly,. I say that in view of the fact_ that in his own draft Bill, Mr. Haultain 'asked for a provincial charter in which separate schools would be imposed and guaranteed in the new provinces as if the Territories were one of the original provinces, a charter having the effect which the Nova Scotia charter would possess with regard to separate schools if a separate school system had been in existence in Nova Scotia in 1867 1 say7 that the ground taken in this letter of protest by Mr. Haultain can only be classed as a piece of the rankest and most patent partisan misrepresentation ever witnessed in the Dominion of Canada. I ask the hon. member for IQu'Appelle who was a member of the legislature, and was one of Mr. Haultain's closest associates, if, up to April, 1908, if up to the time of the -Moosejaw convention in 1903, when Mr. Haultain was dragooned by his party associates at the instance of the leader of the Conservative party here-if the hon. member for Qu'Ap-pelle ever understood that Mr. Haultain, or his government, or the legislature intended to ask a constitution with regard to education different from the constitution that they had at that moment ?
Well, the draft Bill speaks for Itself, and it asks that these areas he not treated as Territories hut be treated as if they were at this moment provinces. And Dr. Goggin had no such understanding as my hon. friend professes. Nor had I. Nor had the assembly generally. I think it is proper for me to point out that this particular conduct on the part of Mr. Haultain is strictly of a piece with his whole conduct of political matters since the convention two years ago when he was dragooned at Moosejaw.
Well, my present sphere is sufficient for me now, perhaps I may have an opportunity some time to make this statement elsewhere. Mr. Haultain knows since last October and November whether I have fear or hesitation about making the statement elsewhere. I say his conduct in this matter is of a piece with his conduct during the last two years. The hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) remembers that In the fall of 1903 we had a discussion about a certain matter of capital advance.
I read a telegram from Mr. Haultain which practically asked me to get a capital advance on certain terms which he said would be satisfactory to him. Well, later in the assembly he declared that they were not satisfactory, and it is to the knowledge of everybody that that declaration had absolutely no other motive than partisanship and had no other result that the detriment of the people of the Northwest Territories.
I understood Mr. Haul-tain's objection was this, that if the increased amount of money was given out of expenditure it was to be regarded as paying off so much debt, it was to be counted as a debt against the province and taken into consideration when autonomy was given, because, he said, we have no right to be saddled with that as a debt.
That of course may be called a side issue. Mr. Haultain asked us by telegram to get a capital advance on certain terms, we got it on those terms, and he said .in his telegram that he would be satis-tied. But later on he stated in the legislature that it was not satisfactory, and for purely partisan reasons, which nobody can successfully deny.
Absolutely. Then as this matter has become one of some interest as we hear it said that here is the opinion of the duly accredited, constitutional representative of the Northwest Territories, their Prime Minister, I think it becomes our duty to look into his credentials. What is his position at the present time ? He is the reputed head of the legislature, but I make the statement on my responsibility as a member of this parliament, that Mr. Haultain does not at the present moment possess the confidence of
- the Northwest legislature. If he had a meeting of the legislature to-day I know positively that he could not command a majority. There are seven vacancies, since the last meeting of the legislature seven gentlemen have resigned, and I verily believe that if these constituencies were to elect new members, Mr. Haultain tomorrow would not be able to control a majority. He is in a sense, of course, Prime Minister, but if we are going to stick to the constitution as strictly as our friends this afternoon have argued for it, Mr. Haultain must admit that he is not the constitutional representative of the people of the Northwest Territories at this moment. Is further evidence needed ? Mr. Haultain made this very autonomy matter, as my hon. friend from Brandon knows, an issue in the Northwest Territories in the last general election as far as he could to obscure the Grand Trunk Pacific. He stumped the Northwest Territories on it and what was the result ? Seven Liberal members returned, every one with an average majority of 1,200, as against three Conservatives with an average majority of less than 150.