March 31, 1905

CON

Richard Stuart Lake

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAKE.

Of course, the hon. gentleman is entitled to his legal opinion as a layman in regard to this question ; but I can assure him that Mr. Haultain holds an entirely different opinion from that which the hon. member for Western Assiniboia has expressed in regard to the effect of the draft Bill ; and I may say that Mr. Haultain has been responsible for the drafting of the vast majority of the ordinances of the Northwest Territories during the last thirteen years, he being an experienced draughtsman.

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

As I have already stated, Mr. Haultain not only apparently neglected, during all the conferences held with the government here, until two or three days before the Bill was presented to the House, to mention the subject of education, but neglected during all the discussions that took place on the subject of autonomy in the Northwest-and there have been discussions of that question for years-to mention the subject of education. He pointed out the advantages that autonomy would give, and the changes it would mean, but never once referred to the matter of schools. I will read to my hon. friend the description which Mr. Haultain himself gave in 1900, in a formal address, of the advantages and changes that would be brought to the Territories by provincial establishment. He said :

But, to put it shortly, in order to. show what a very slight difference there is between the powers enjoyed by the Territories to-day, so far as political institutions are concerned, and those which are enjoyed by the provinces, I will state in a few words the exact differences which exist. I need not take the House over a description of the powers which .we do enjoy.

The educational power was one we did enjoy, and so he made no mention of it. He went on :

We have nearly all the principal powers a province has. Where we fall short of provincial powers is in these points : We have not the power to amend the constitution outside of the Mr. SCOTT.

power to deal with certain phases in our election law ; we have not the power to borrow money ; we have not the power to deal with the public domain ; we have not the power to establish certain institutions, such as hospitals, asylums, charities-eleemosynary institutions as they are called in the British North America Act ; we have not the power to take cognizance of public undertakings other than such as may be carried on by certain sorts of joint stock companies ; and our powers are limited to the extent that we have not the administration of (he criminal law in the Territories. That, I think, will suffice for any reference which it is necessary to make to the eighth recital.

Take all the speeches that were ever made by Mr. Haultain, or by anybody else in the Territories, for that matter, and there never was any reference to the question of schools. And if there had been in the mind of any person a desire for more freedom in the matter of education than the Territories already possess, is it not ridiculous to think that, when the cue was given by Mr. Haultain last fall, in the heat of the election, there would not have been some one to present the matter to the candidates, and to seek to obtain an expression from them as to the position they would take on the subject if elected to parliament 1

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I understood the hon. gentleman to say earlier in the debate that during the election the question was not brought up or discussed, nor was there any truth in the statement that the government, through Mr. Sifton, had requested the people to trust the government and they would do the best for them. I understand him to say there was no such statement made during the election.

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

I say that the question was never presented to me, and I met Mr. Haultain himself twice, once at Medicine Hat and again at Moose Jaw, and he never asked me any question about it. Nobody asked me anything about it.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Will my hon. friend allow me to refresh his memory ? The hon. gentleman lives In Regina. That is in his riding. The Manitoba ' Free Press ' of October 20, 1904-during the time the elections were going on-reports Mr. Sifton as having spoken at Regina as follows. After referring to the question of annexation to Manitoba, Mr. Sifton said :

I believe that Haultain has further suggested that I should be asked to state what the policy of the government would he with regard to public schools. I do not believe that Haultain Is doing the people of the Territories any service -when he makes suggestions of that kind. Any man of ordinary intelligence in public life, and Mr. Haultain is a man of more than ordinary intelligence, know-s full well that one member of a government consisting of fourteen members would not come here and without consulting his colleagues, undertake to bind them and the parliament of Canada on questions of such importance. Therefore the suggestion is made in a spirit of mischief. Let

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me say to you in all seriousness that the subject of school legislation in Canada is a serious and important subject. I have had a good deal to do with it in my own province and I know the difficulties that beset it. But let me say this. We shall endeavour with every possible thought, -with every possible power the Lord has given us to settle this question in such a way as will not raise a racial or religious cry in this country.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

My question was whether he was not asking the people to trust the government then. He went on to say :

But X want to say that the man who gets up in the heat ol' a political contest and makes his strongest endeavour to bring that question into political discussion is not a friend of the Territories in any sense or shape. He is endeavouring to do a thing which might bring very serious results te the people of these Territories. I have no authority whatever to say anything with regard to the subjects Mr. Haul-tain has mentioned, but we shall be in the position of having not four but ten members from the Territories in the next parliament and we will get their views ; and while we do not say that their views will prevail-for the entry of the Territories into confederation is a matter of contract with the other provinces- and while the terms we will be able to give you will be those we can get the other provinces to agree, yet I can say for myself that I will do. my best to get the most liberal terms possible.

Yet the hon. member will have us believe that the people of the Territories were never asketl to trust the government and that they never heard the question mentioned.

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

I appeal to the House if my hon. friend has not taken up quite a bit of my time in a wholly unnecessary fashion. What he has just read is exactly what I said.

I have stated, as is described in what the hon. gentleman read, that the cue was given by Mr. Haultain, that Mr. Haultain, as a Conservative partisan, endeavoured to start the flame even then with the idea that it would injure the Liberal candidates. Mr. Haultain gave the cue and put the question, and the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton) gave the very sensible and proper statement in reply.

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CON
LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

I was never asked the question. I never heard the question raised except as it was asked by Mr. Haultain and replied to by the hon. member for Brandon. The very best proof which can be advanced to convince any reasonable man. who wants to arrive at a just opinion of the sentiment in the Territories on the question, is the fact that not one of the candidates, so far as' I know, was asked what he would do in the matter of the schools.

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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF.

Let me in reply to the question of the hon. member for East Grey 116

(Mr. Sproule) say that I had thirty-nine meetings in my constituency last fall. At every one of these there was an able lawyer representing the Conservative candidate. At every one the question of autonomy was discussed, and I was never asked at any one of them by anybody, Liberal, Conservative, Catholic or Protestant, one word about the school question in any shape or form.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Will the hon. member excuse me just one moment ? I w7ant to settle a question of fact. We are told that there is absolutely no difference between the conduct of the minority schools and the majority schools. We are told that the qualifications of teachers are the same, the inspection, the curriculum, the text books, and that the only difference is the last half hour in the day.

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LIB
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

IVell, here is the annual report of the Department of Education of the Northwest Territories for 1903. What does it say with reference to the readers :

The Ontario readers (part one, part two), second, third and fourth (The Canada Publishing Company); the new Canadian reader, book V (W. J. Gage & Co.); the Dominion reader, first (part I, part II) and second-these are optional for Roman Catholic, separate schools.

Surely that is a difference.

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

Does my hon. friend think the point is essential 1 If he will study the effect of the legislation we are passing, he will find that we are giving the provinces full autonomy in the matter of those very text books.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I was setting right the statement that the schools both of the minority and the majority are conducted exactly the same in every respect with the exception of the last halt hour.

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

I was about to make a sort of confession to my hon. friend. I would have had no objection at all to stating my views during the election regarding what would be the proper action for the Dominion parliament to take on the school question. 1 will give my hon. friend the proof of this. Two years ago his leader put on the order paper a motion with regard to autonomy, concerning which I prepared some notes. The debate came on very late. I spoke on the question after midnight and did not use all of my notes. In the next session of 1904,

I expected the leader of the opposition to again raise that question and I amplified my notes. The question never did come up ; but if it had, I have here exactly what I intended to say and I shall read a portion of it for the benefit of my hon. friend ;

To-day 95 out of 100, probably 99 out of every 100 of the Northwest people are eminently satisfied with our present constitution and system

erced. It is strong ground still. But if a province should not be coerced into establishing separate schools, it follows that it should not be coerced into rejecting separate schools. Consequently the logical position for Ontario electors is to remain silent and allow the measure to become law if the Territories are satisfied.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I may say to the hon. gentleman (Mr. Scott) that it is not proposed to coerce them even to doing away with separate schools to-morrow. We do not ask the question whether it is wise for the people of the Northwest to do away with separate schools or whether they desire to have them. We do not even take the opportunity to give advice. We only ask that the people of the Northwest should be allowed freedom to legislate on this subject.

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

That is my hon. friend's (Mr. Sproule's) position. But his colleague's position was, ' The logical position for Ontario electors is to remain silent and allow the measure to become law if the Territories are satisfied.'

Now, perhaps the House will bear with me while X deal with this point. I appreciate the fact that I am infringing upon the good nature of hon. members. I propose to give the House some proof that the Territories are satisfied, and that there is no agitation, no well founded agitation, no widespread agitation in the Northwest Territories. I will quote first an expression of opinion from the Calgary ' Herald.' This is a Conservative newspaper, probably the chief Conservative newspaper in the Northwest Territories-certainly the principal one in Alberta :

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LIB

March 31, 1905