April 11, 1905

FIRST READING.


Bill (No. 133) respecting the Citizens' Bank of Canada.-Mr. Barr.


AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I would like to bring to the attention of mj right hon. friend the fact that the printing of the Auditor General's Report is very much delayed. I myself have had occasion to make application for additional copies, and up to the present have been entirely unsuccessful. I believe that that is the experience of hon. gentlemen on both sides. In that connection the Auditor General has been good enough to send me a copy of a letter which he addressed to the Secretary of State :

Dear Mr. Scott,-I think it well to inform you that I never had so much dissatisfaction as this year in connection with the supply of co- : pies of the Auditor General's Report for distri- i bution. You are aware that 2,000 copies of the .

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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

English version are sent here annually for general distribution. So far I have had 300 copies. Every day I get applications from persons who are in the habit of receiving these reports each year, and I am unable to comply with these requests. I think it proper for me to send a statement similar to this to Mr. Borden, the leader of the opposition, so that he can impart the information to those of his friends who desire to know the cause of the delay. You perhaps will think it worth while to explain to the Prime Minister.

Yours respecfully,

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J. L. McDOUGALL.


I have no doubt the Auditor General was good enough to send a copy of this letter to me in explanation of his inability to comply with requests from myself for these reports. I hope the hon. minister will take the matter up.


LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Minister of Finance).

I received information yesterday from my hon. colleague, the Secretary of State, that this complaint had been made by the Auditor General. On inquiry it will be found that there is no good cause for complaint. Up to the time of the present government the Auditor General was allowed 500 copies to be distributed to whomever he might see fit. That number has been increased by this government to 2,000 copies, which is certainly quite a large increase. I find by a memorandum from the King's Printer that there have been distributed up to the present 2,195 copies, and, as there are two volumes, that means something over 4,000 books. The King's Printer informs me that he gives preference to the requirements of parliament, and therefore he has supplied the number required for the House and the departments. The memorandum shows that the distribution is as follows :-

To Parliament 375 copies.

To members and officers of Parliament

975 "Departmental offices 105 "Parliamentary distribution of newspapers

360 "

Auditor General for distribution from

his own office 380 "

It will be seen that the King's Printer has distributed them pretty fairly. The Auditor General's Report came in after the sitting of parliament, and the King's Printer assures me he is making every effort to have the volumes issued, and has given 3S0 copies to the Auditor General.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I can only give my own experience and compare it with that of former years, when I was able to get all the copies I required. But possibly that may have been due to our commencing the session earlier. It is advisable that we should have these copies as early as possible.

; We get applications for copies now and | then from people who are interested in the report.

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PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY IN THE NORTHWEST.


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


CON

Robert Abercrombie Pringle

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. A. PRINGLE (Cornwall and Stormont).

Mr. Speaker, I fully recognize that the question we are now discussing is one of the most important that has come before the House, at any rate since I have had the honour of having a seat in this parliament. Representing as I do my uative constituency; a constituency in which there are all classes, all creeds, and all nationalities which go to make up our great Canadian national life, I ft-ei that I am not representing here the sentiment of Protestants alone, nor the sentiments of Roman Catholics alone, but I feel it is my duty to endeavour to arrive at a conclusion on this subject upon grounds winch can appeal to the conscience of all men, irrespective of their particular faith. I have the good fortune to speak in this debate after the hon. member for Strath-cona (Mr. P. Talbot), a gentleman for whom I have a very high esteem ; a gentleman who was in charge of one of the largest educational institutions in my town for years, and a gentleman who took a very active and prominent part in one of the strongest Piotestant organizations in the county of Stormont. I was much pleased to hear his opinions in regard to the school system in the Northwest Territories, because I know that the hon. gentleman having had wide experience in educational matters, not only m eastern Canada but in western Canada was in a position to speak authoritatively on llie matter. The hon. gentleman (Mr. P. Talbot) has told us what the present position of educational matters in the Northwest Territories is, and it is well that we should consider that position of affairs in connection with the consideration of the proposals contained in the present Bill. The hon. member for Strathcona has told us that in his opinion the educational system in the Northwest Territories to-day is the best in the Dominion of Canada, and, as a reason for this belief he quoted from the Ordinances of 1901, to which I shall refer later. Sir, in forming our opinion on this question it is well that we should go back in Canadian history, in order that we may thoroughly understand the genesis of the whole issue. I shall not detain the House with a recital of what occurred away back in the fifties ; I shall not detain the House with the story of what occurred in the province of Ontario in 1863. We know that [DOT] e Hiberal^-Conservative party was formed in 1S54; we know that the policy of the Liberal-Conservative party was a most generous and broad-minded policy, and we know that it met with the greatest opposi-136

tion from those who in that day wer* known as the clear Grits ; from the faction which George Brown controlled in that province. I have here quotations from the ' Globe ' newspaper from 1854 down to 1863, then as now the organ of the Liberal party, and I think it would surprise some of the hon. gentlemen opposite if I were to show them the action taken at that time by the Liberals in Ontario. Let me simply say that in the ' Globe ' of August 1857, our French Canadian Conservatives under George E. Cartier were described as ' the Pope's brass band.' That was the keynote of the agitation that was kept up year in and year out throughout the province of Ontario, against the Conservative party led by the Right Hon. Sir John A. Macdonald. And, Sir, I could speak of the agitation led by the ' Globe ' at a later date in 1896, and I could speak of the position taken by the ' Globe ' in this very year in reference to the Bill now before the House. But, Sir, there is no room in this land for the ventilation of extreme opinions on the one side or the other, for we all know that our great progress has been brought about by just and honourable compromise between the people of different religions and different nationalities. Our confederation itself was a compromise. The Canadian statesmen of that day had to compromise; concessions had to be made between the representatives of the different provinces who met to lay the foundations of our union. And, Sir, I may justly claim that the Conservative party played a very important part in laying the basis of that union. For years after confederation the Conservative party wielded the destinies of this country, and when they were called upon to lay down the reins of office they were able to hand over to their successors a united British North America, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the only portion of the King's possessions not in eluded being the colony of Newfoundland. It is therefore that I can justly claim that the history of the Conservative party is a history of which this young nation may well be proud.

I come now to the acquisition of the Northwest Territories by the Dominion of Canada. I am not going to argue that there is any moral obligation upon the people of this country to do justice to the minority m the Northwest ; I shall leave that entirely for the House to say. But, let us look back on the history of these Territories to the year 1869, and let us see the position of educational matters then. There had for years previously existed in that country a number of schools for children. These schools were denominational schools, some of them being regulated and controlled by the Roman Catholic Church and others by various Protestant denominations. The moneys necessary for the support of the Roman Catholic schools were supplied to some extent by school fees paid by some of the parents of

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CON
?

Then Mr. D@

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Is the hon. gentleman (Mr. Pringle) aware that the fourth Bill of Bfghts was never accepted as authentic ?

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CON

Robert Abercrombie Pringle

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PRINGLE.

I will not say that I am aware that the fourth Bill of Bights was never accepted as authentic. I say that there is internal evidence in support of Mr. Richot's statement. Paragraph 1 of this Bill of Bights No. 4 demands a Senate for the new province, and a Senate was granted, though the expense of it was much objected to. Bill of Bights No. 3 says nothing about the Senate. If Bill of Rights No. 4 was not authentic, why was the Senate granted ? But further this Bill of Rights No. 4, paragraph 7, demands that the schools be separate. And this was Inserted in the Manitoba Act and the Schools Act was

framed in the province of Manitoba within a year afterwards by the very men who were dealing with this Bill of Rights and who had received a report from these delegates ; and that Act provided for separate schools in the province of Manitoba. It would be strange if both these points could have got by chance into the Manitoba Act, an Act which was the result of elaborate negotiations with the delegates. The other tiling is this : This Bill of Rights No. 3 asks that the province shall be styled and known as the province of Assiniboia. Bill of Rights No. 4 suggested no name, merely that the province was styled the province of Manitoba. Just in passing, let me refer also to a letter written from the Secretary of State of the Dominion to the Reverend Archbishop of St. Boniface. I do not want to weary the House by quoting this letter in full. It begins as follows :

Department of Secretary of State for the provinces.

February 16th, 1870.

The Very Reverend the Bishop of St. Boniface:

My Lord,-1 am commanded by His Excellency the Governor General to acknowledge and thank you for the prompitude with which you placed your services at the disposal of this government, and undertook a winter voyage and journey that you might, by your presence and influence, aid in the repression of the unlooked-for disturbances which had broken out in the Northwest.

The letter goes on to state that there is inclosed a copy of instructions given to Hon. William Macdougall ; a copy of further instructions addressed to Mr. Macdougall on the 7th of November ; a copy of a letter o'f instructions to the Very Reverend Vicar General Thibault on the 4th December ; copy of a proclamation issued by His Excellency ; copy of the letter to Donald A. Smith ; letter of instruction to Donald A. Smith, and several other documents. Here is the portion of the letter to which I wish to call special attention :

Your lordship will perceive in these papers the" policy which it was and is the desire of the iCanadian government to establish in the Northwest. The people of Canada have no interest in the erection of institutions in Rupert's Land, which public opinion condemns ; nor would they wish to see a fine race of people trained to discontent and insubordination by the pressure of an unwise system of government, to which British subjects are unaccustomed or averse. They look hopefully forward to the period when institutions, moulded upon those which the other provinces enjoy, may he established.

What was the meaning of that letter ? To my mind it was that the people of Canada looked forward to the period when institutions would be established in Manitoba giving to the minority their rights. Because, he immediatelv follows it up by saving :

' Mr. PRINGLE.

And in the meantime would deeply regret if the civil and religious liberties of the whole population were not adequately protected by such temporary arrangements as it may be prudent at present to make.

Now, I say, they did follow it up immediately afterwards in the province of Manitoba by passing a school law which gave separate schools to the minority. The minority was not then a Catholic minority, but Protestant. And, in reading history-though I may read it wrong-at that time it looked as if the province of Manitoba would be a French Catholic province ; and the English-speaking people were as anxious to preserve the rights of the English Protestant minority as the Catholic minority now can be.

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LIB

William Mulock (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

Will the hon. gentleman (Mr. Pringle) give me the name of the writer of the letter he has quoted and also to whom it was sent ?

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CON

Robert Abercrombie Pringle

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PRINGLE.

I have already stated that. It was from the Secretary of State, Joseph Howe to Archbishop Tachg.

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CON
CON

Robert Abercrombie Pringle

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PRINGLE.

That letter was written on February 16th, 1870. We all know that Archbishop Tacbe had been visiting Rome, that he came back to this country, that be interviewed Sir John A. Macdonald and other gentlemen who were at that time at the head of the government and that he was immediately sent to the Northwest Territories for the purpose of bringing about a reconciliation among the people who felt that they had some grievances in that country. But, Sir, the late Sir John A. Macdonald considered that the Manitoba Act gave to the minority their rights. I have always contended he did and I find in a work- I do not know how authentic it is, but I am bound to consider that it is authentic-a letter of the late Sir John Macdonald written to a Conservative friend in the province of Manitoba at the time that our Liberal friends were taking away the rights from the minority in that province. This letter is an unqualified opinion in regard to the effect of the educational clauses. I take this letter-as I say I cannot vouch for its authenticity-from a work called ' Krib's Manitoba School Question,' page 32. The letter was written in November, 1889, and is as follows :

You ask me for advice as to the course you should take upon the vexed question of separate schools in your province. There is, it seems to me, hut one course open to you. By the Manitoba Act the provisions of the British North America Act, section 93, respecting lavs passed for the protection of minorities in educational matters are made applicable to Manitoba, and cannot be changed, for, by the Imperial Act confirming the establishment of the new provinces, 34 and 35 Vic., ch. 28, sec. 6, it is provided, that it shall not be competent

for the Parliament of Canada to alter the provisions of the Manitoba Act in so far as it relates to the province of Manitoba. Obviously therefore, the separate school system in Manitoba is beyond the reach of the legislature or of the Dominion Parliament.

It turned out subsequently that Sir John Macdonald was wrong. Our highest court decided that the Manitoba School Act of 1890 was intra vires. Consequently, even the late Sir John Macdonald was wrong in his interpretation of the law in regard to schools in the province of Manitoba.

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April 11, 1905