April 13, 1905

LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Yes ; that is very good indeed. The Conservative party have no policy on it. The Conservative party have no principles upon it. They have no principles upon anything. We would like to know it if they have ; we would like to hear what their principles are, so that the people of the country may judge them.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

Before the session is over I will enlighten the hon. gentleman on a few of them.

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LIB
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Did the government say to their following : We will leave this an open question ?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

We did not require to. We are a united party on this question. We are a party of conciliation ; a party which, while the majority rules, recognizes 143

the rights of minorities. Hon. gentlemen opposite used to undertake to control the members of their party. I can remember a Tory leader in Canada who held the whip over his followers and made them come to time on such a question as this. But things have changed since those good old days. The present hon. leader of the opposition has a rebellious party around him, there is mutiny in the ranks, and he knew when he made that statement here that he had to make it, because if he had not the rebellion would have been open, and his followers would not have followed him. We have the proud spectacle of a great political party in opposition in this House. We have a policy advanced by the hon. leader of the opposition ; we have a policy advanced, perhaps, by the hon. member for East Elgin, and we have policies advanced by other hon. members. They have a policy on which they cannot unite their own party, and by which they cannot draw any votes from ours.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

What made the hon. exMinister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) resign ?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

The hon. ex-Minister of the Interior has explained that very thoroughly, so that the House and the country fully understand it, and the ex-Minister of the Interior has told the country that he is going to vote for the Bill with the amended clause.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

You had to amend it all the same.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I therefore believe, Sir, that I voice the feeling' of the Protestants of the province of Quebec. It may be said, and it has been said, that some gentlemen on the other side of the House do not believe in their vote but have to give it because of fear of their electors. That cannot be said of the press of the province of Quebec. That cannot be said of the Montreal ' Gazette ' ; that cannot be said of the Montreal ' Star ' ; that cannot be said of the Montreal ' Witness ' which is the particular exponent of Protestant feeling in the province of Quebec, which for years has been-I will not say ultra-Protestant but consistently and always Protestant in its first principles. The Montreal ' Witness ' has been that in all conscientiousness and all integrity, and it is well recognized as being essentially a Protestant newspaper. But listen to what the Montreal ' Gazette,' the leading English Conservative paper of the province said the other day :

The threat has been made in the House of Commons that the passage of the Autonomy Bills will be obstructed, as was the passage of the Remedial Bill in 1896. It can he trusted that no attempt will he made to put the threat into execution, first, from a national point of view, second, because the Conservative party would stand to lose from such a line of action.

I hope hon. gentlemen opposite will take that home.

The Conservative party is not united in opposition to the principle of separate schools.

We know that.

Taking it altogether there is probably a larger proportion of its membership favourable to educational concessions to the religious minorities than there is in the Liberal party.

X wish their representatives in the House would show that. The ' Gazette' continues:

In the province of Quebec, where the concession is usually made to the Protestant, there [DOT]is not and has not been from the majority any [DOT]call for ' nationalizing ' the school system, nor any objection on principle to the manner in *which the minority uses its privileges.

The ' Gazette ' goes on to say of the Protestant people of the province of Quebec :

They are not at all excited over the prospect of separate schools being maintained in Alberta and Saskatchewan. They are not even alarmed at the hierarchy being behind the movement.

That comes from the leading organ of the [DOT]Conservative party in the city of Montreal. It is not depending on votes, it is not depending on pap or assistance in any way whatever, but it is giving expression to the feelings and views of the Protestant minority in the province of Quebec. Perhaps my hon. friend (Mr. Sproule) will recognize the authority of the Montreal ' Star.' It is a newer recruit to the Conservative ranks than the Montreal 'Gazette,' but it is more devoted just at the present moment, and it has been more devoted in the near past. The Montreal ' Star ' cannot be claimed to be anything but an out and out Tory sheet, and here is what the Montreal ' Star ' says :

But with the effort made in some quarters to bring on a religious civil war

Mark you Mr. Speaker ; mark the words 4 religious civil war.'

But with the effort made in some quarters to bring on a religious civil war over these interwoven western questions, we have not the slightest sympathy. As ' Ralph Connor ' said last night, to the Young Men's Christian Association. the busy men of the west hesitate ' to stir up that monster, that demon, race strife,' and, that being true, what right have we of the east to force so disastrous a quarrel upon them ? The question of whether or not the educational clauses as they are now in the Autonomy Bills, should become law, can be discussed with a sober sense of the gravity of tho subject and the dangers that surround it. We can avoid inflammatory off-shoots of the debate, instead-as is the short-sighted and unpatriotic custom in some quarters-eagerly seeking out and emphasizing them.

I think it might be well for the Ontario newspapers to take that to heart and to say that to the Protestants of Ontario. The * Star ' continues :

With all seriousness, we believe that a greater matter than the schod question is at stake, and that is the future of Canada as a British colony. Our people are composed-shall we say, by the will of Providence-of two races Mr. FISHER.

and two religions, having regard only to the larger divisions. We must dwell together in mutual harmony and toleration if we are to dwell together at all in the peace which is the only possible condition productive of progress and prosperity. Neither race and neither religion can wholly have its way. We must give and take. No one knew this better, having learned it through years of bitter experience, than the fathers of confederation. Confederation itself was the child of conciliation and compromise.

Coercion was it ? Was it the child of coercion and Toryism ?

If the finest group of patriots whom Canada has yet produced had not then come together and sunk their individual predilections in the common interest, we would never have had a Dominion of Canada. What we would have had, in all probability, would have been a northern tier of states in the American union.

Here is the warning :

And if the old quarrel is to come up

if the old intense religious antagonisms are again to be excited into activity-it is impossible to say that this danger has wholly passed.

Is the policy of the hon. gentlemen opposite going to lead to annexation ?

Every day that the controversy, which is now raging over purely religious differences, lasts, we can see the two camps into which our people are divided becoming more distinct and more perilously moved by mutual suspicion and distrust.

Again the Montreal ' Star ' says :

In the sixties we saw two provinces facing each other at Ottawa, and the wheels of government stopped. Sir John Macdonald, that master of conciliation, was there, but he was powerless. Nothing but the patriotism of the men on both sides-of George Brown and Sir George Cartier, as well as Sir John Macdonald and Sir A. T. Galt-saved the situation. But the presence of other 'Canadian provinces gave them an opportunity which does not now exist. As we said yesterday, there is no larger area today in which we can drown our troubles except the American union. We may easily find ourselves, then, with the old disease, but with no possible remedy short of suicide.

Will the hon. gentlemen opposite take that to heart. The * Star ' says :

Then we should never forget that racial and religious questions are dangerous topics for us to stir up in this country. We must face them at times ; but there is no necessity for keeping them before the public, week after week, largely for purposes of party agitation. Canada has surely suffered enough in the past over her racial and religious divisions without voluntarily bringing on another period of unrest and rancour just when we should be bending all our united and harmonious efforts to ' building up the west.'

Sir, I say, take and ponder over these quotations from the Conservative newspapers in the city of Montreal. Now I want to read an extract from the Montreal ' Witness ' of April 11th, and I want hon. gentlemen opposite who object to separate schools

to take this as being the outspoken and conscientious conviction of one of the most ultra-Protestant newspapers we have in this country. The Montreal ' Witness ' says :

The Roman Catholic has a conscience about his schools. We deny the rightness or wisdom of that conscience. But whatever its source, it has to be recognized as a fact, and if so, it is in the same category with other claims based on liberty of conscience. . . .

It is not hard to understand the strength of provincialism in Ontario, whose whole history has been an effort to get free from the adjoining province, which at one time had too powerful a sway over her. But it always seems strange to us when this cry is echoed among the minority in Quebec, which has everything to lose by it. The declaration that education is absolutely a matter for the individual province, and that any national stipulation with regard to it is an outrage, sounds very strange coming from people who would not submit for a moment to such a system of schools as the majority in their own province would consider ideal. When asked if they would so submit, they say with surprise, * Why, that is a totally different thing, the Quebec system would be sectarian, while the common school system should be so carried on as to offend no religion.

I would point out that although it might be so carried on it is not so carried on in the province of Quebec. The ' Witness ' continues :

They do not see that this is begging the question. Of course the two ideals are very different. If it were not so, there would be none of this trouble. But just as strong as is our objection to the clerical school for our children, so strong is the objection of the Roman Catholic for the non-clerical school.

And, Sir, if we wish that our prejudices, our ideas and our views in regard to non-seotarian schools should be adopted, we must respect the idea of the Roman Catholics in regard to religious teaching. I think, Sir, that I have proven that I voiced the feelings of the Protestants of Quebec. These hon. gentlemen opposite have been raising an agitation, and as it is hinted at there by the Montreal ' Witness,' they have been trying to drag out the demon of racial and religious strife in this country. Why ? Hon. gentlemen opposite have tried to place the responsibility for this on the government and on the Prime Minister especially. Sir, in any Autonomy Bill like this, whoever may frame it, it is necessary to specify in regard to education just as much as it is necessary to specify in regard to anything else with regard to the formation of the new provinces. No government could frame an Autonomy Bill without introducing an educational clause. The provisions of the British North America Act cannot apply under the peculiar circumstances and conditions of this case, and therefore we have to use precise language and for the purpose of using precise language we have to introduce a clause in the law. It has been said in some of the newspapers-and I regret to say that the words of the leader of the 1 143}

opposition on several occasions in this House have tended to raise that question-it has been said that these clauses have been framed and have been drawn up entirely by the Catholic members of the government. The insinuation has been made that the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State, and the Minister of Justice were the only Ministers that knew about these clauses. I have denied already, but without revealing a cabinet secret. I want to say now : that, without having been myself personally on any sub-committee, and without having any peculiar or special advantages for knowing what these clauses were to be and were, I knew personally every detail and every word of these clauses before they were brought down to parliament-both the first clause and the second clause. I knew that just as much as any Catholic member of the government. I am responsible for these clauses personally and individually and not alone by reason of the collective responsibility of every minister of the cabinet. It is an unfair and unjust aspersion upon the Prime Minister and upon his Catholic colleagues to insinuate for a moment that they ever tried to trick their colleagues, or to trick their party, or in any way to introduce a Bill that their party and their colleagues did not know of.

Sir, I will not detain the House much longer. I have talked already longer than I intended to do ; but the condition of affairs which hon. gentlemen opposite seem to want to bring about reminds me of a word or two which I read in a letter of the right hon leader of the Conservative government in England at the present time.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

If the hon. gentleman would permit me, before he leaves that subject. My hon. friend has said that he knew all about the first clause as it was introduced by the Prime Minister, and all about the second clause. Would the hon. gentleman favour the House at this point with an explanation of the two clauses, and of the difference between them ?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

No, Mr. Speaker, I am not going to waste my time on that just now. The clauses have been explained and discussed over and over again, and it is not my purpose to discuss them at the present time. I think I understand them both, and I am responsible for both as much as anybody else. This to my mind is a fair picture of what would go on in this country and what to a certain extent is going on, in consequence of the appeal of hon. gentlemen opposite :

The ear gets wearied with this unrelenting scream, the palate jaded with these perpetual stimulants. And though one of Dr. Clifford's warmest admirers has invented in his honour the verb to ' Cliffordise,' I am, for my part, doubtful whether the style thus happily described is likely, even among the least critical members of the community, to produce more than a passing perturbation. Some there may

be who think that if a thing be said often enough, it must be true ; if it be said loud enough it must be important. But we may hope that these are not in a majority, and until they are, the controversial methods which Dr. Clifford has so abundantly exemplified can win no permanent success.

I think, Sir, these words, wise, clear, and epigrammatic as they are, fairly well describe the condition of affairs which hon. gentlemen opposite are trying to excite in this country ; and I think the outcome of it will he just what Mr. Balfour has described as tlie outcome of the agitation in England at that time. Sir, we have the spectacle of tiie hon. leader of the opposition moving an amendment for which he cannot even carry his own party, still less attract votes from outside of his party. We have him appealing to provincial rights. We have him appealing to a very small and unimportant part of provincial rights, and ignoring the right of restriction in regard to education lest we may magnify the general right. We find his friends, and largely his press, appealing against separate schools ; and here again they cannot carry with them those who, in their party as in ours, are best able to judge of the results of separate schools, the Quebec wing of the Conservative party. We find, on the one side this insensate and fanatical appeal. We find, on the other side, a united party, a party which, in bringing forward these important measures, have consulted everybody interested in the question, have, taken the necessary steps to see that Catholic and Protestant, local and other interests, should all have their opportunity of expressing their views, have discussed the matter in detail, in every line and every word, and, having done that, have introduced a measure which, a compromise it is true, but a -well thought out and successful one, now appeals for support to the people of this country. Sir, here as always the Tories stand for coercion, while the Liberals stand for conciliation and the recognition of the rights of the minority. Here as always we find the struggle between the two classes of people in the country. I have full enough confidence in the people of this Canada of ours, in the electors all over the country, in every part and in every province, to believe that, even though for the moment some-not a majority, Sir-not even a large minority-may be led away and blinded by fanatical appeals, appeals mostly made with sinister and ulterior motives, and not honest or sincere in their wording or action, to believe, Sir, that public opinion will settle down to the full and satisfied conviction that a difficult and even perhaps dangerous problem has been solved in a statesmanlike and wise manner ; and that our country, disturbed and alarmed for the moment, will then shake herself free of this nightmare, and again move on in her material, moral and intellectual progress, aided and strengthened by the additidtt of two new members to the f amity Mr. FISHER.

of provinces, helping us to build up our great Dominion, and holding a contented population, no part of which will feel that they have a grievance, but all mutually respecting the rights of those who do not see exactly eye to eye with them on educational matters. But if, in contradistinction with this, the policy of the Tory party were to be carried out, and we were to create a festering sore among the people of that country who did not happen to come under the approval of hon. gentlemen opposite, we would have a check to the progress of that northwestern country which would be fatal to the interests of the whole Dominion, and would not only check our progress in the future, but would take away from us much of the great advance and progress which we have made in the near past. I am satisfied that the great mass of the people of Canada will believe this, and, believing it, will suppport and endorse it. I do not like to prophesy ; it is better to state things after the event ; but from what hon. gentlemen opposite and their press in the country have said, it is probable that this Bill and these clauses will be supported in this House by the largest majority that has been given to any government measure for many years. Sir, I can expect that; I think we have a right to expect it ; because these clauses embody a compromise in which the rights of every party, having been consulted, are recognized and considered, and embody a principle which is the essence of our confederation compact, and which, being carried out, will contribute to the progress and advancement of the country, but without which Canada must necessarily be divided on religious and racial lines in a way that will be fatal to her future development. '

Mr. Speaker, I will not detain you or this House longer. I trust that these few words will throw' a little light, at any rate on one or two points of this question. I have tried thus to put before the House the reasons why, as a Protestant from the province of Quebec especially, I am in favour of separate schools, and why I want to see them introduced into the Northwest Territories, and their continuance guaranteed on behalf of the Catholic minority there. I speak not only as a member from the province of Quebec, but as a member of the government of Canada, and a citizen who is interested in our country, and I believe, Sir, that the only way by which we can cement the people of this country together is by conciliation, by recognition of the rights of minorities, by helping the weak in order to make them as good as the strong.

At six o'clock, House took recess.

After Recess.

House resumed at eight o'clock.

Mr. H- B. AMES (St. Antoine, Montreal). Mr. 'Speaker, after this question has occu-

pied the attention of this House for a period of two weeks, after a large number of members on both sides of the House haye given to us the result of their investigation and of their thought, after many speeches have been delivered, until the late hours of the night, it is almost Impossible that there should be any thing. said upon this subject that is either new or interesting and I should certainly yield to the temptation to give a silent vote upon this question were it not for two considerations : First, the

fact that representing the Protestant minority in the province of Quebec and having had some experience in school conditions in that province, I feel that I may perhaps be able to contribute something towards the debate along educational lines, and secondly because there have been permitted to emanate from this chamber many statements that have caused a misapprehension throughout Canada in general and among my own electors in particular. If to-night my remarks may be of a somewhat neutral character my main desire is to clarify the question in such a way that it may be plainly understood.

This parliament is called upon at the present time, in conformity with the British North America Act, 1871 :

To establish a new province in territories forming part of the Dominion of Canada, but not included in any province thereof,

And this parliament may at the time of such statement

Make provision for the constitution and administration of any such province and for the passing of laws for the peace, order and good government of such province, and for its representation in the said parliament.

Consequently the main question which we now find before us for consideration is this : whether this parliament, in conferring upon these new provinces the charter under which they will, from now on, exercise certain privileges of self-government, should endeavour to a certain extent to limit them in the exercise of the legislative privileges, or whether this parliament should declare that they shall have and enjoy the fullest possible freedom of action which can be given to them under the law. It is a difficult matter for us to arrive at a conclusion with regard to the legal aspect of this case, because we have in this House the spectacle of very eminent constitutional authorities differing upon It. We find upon the one side the Prime Minister intimating that, according to the constitution, when we are called upon to give a charter to this new province we must necessarily observe the rights of minorities and must necessarily protect them in the legislation which we may pass, especially in reference to education. And we have upon the other hand an equally eminent authority, in fact

on this side of the House we consider him an abler authority, we have the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. 'Borden), who says that according to his opinion, after a close examination of the British North America Act and other statutes, he is of the belief that the British North America Act applies automatically and that the several provinces, by the very creative Act come into the possession of full provincial autonomy and full local liberty, that in fact this is their birthright, and that this par-l1 ament can neither give to them nor take away from them anything that inherently belongs to them. The same line of argument, if properly applied, would also include whatever rights the minority may have at the present time in this territory under the same British North America Act. Thus we find eminent legal authorities differing very materially as to what are the powers which this parliament may exercise in respect of the legislation which we are now called upon to pass, and I must say that the fact that the government, in permitting the parliament of Canada to be in such a position as it finds itself to-day, has, according to my mind, been guilty of grave negligence. I feel that this parliament is in a very peculiar position. Suppose we should pass legislation, and it should prove to be ultra vires, in what position would we find ourselves ? This legislation will be immediately contested in the courts and will eventually go before the highest judicial authorities. Suppose it is declared that certain sections in this Bill, we have no power to pass ? Then where are we ? It will simply mean that this parliament will have at some future date to undertake to pass legislation and to petition the imperial parliament asking that our own illegal Acts may be made legal, and once again shall we have this long, weary debate and this acrimonious discussion throughout the whole country ; once again the whole question will be reopened and reconsidered, I trust that time to a finality. The position, which this parliament finds itself in, is that we are called upon to pass legislation of doubtful legality and the government may possibly expect to pass such legislation trusting that imperial ratification will be given to it ultimately. Why did not the government in the first place prepare for this contingency? Is this any new question? Has this question not been before this House and before this country for the past five years? In 1900 did not the legislature of the Northwest Territories pass various resolutions asking to be created into provinces ? In 1902 did they not bring down and present to this government a draft Bill of what it was suggested by them should constitute the charter of the new provinces ? And two years ago did not the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) in this House press this once again on the attention of the govern-

ment and say that the time had fully come for the granting of autonomy to the new provinces in the Northwest? Thus, for the last five years this question has again and again been brought to the attention of this government and this government has known that at some very early date it would be necessary to legislate for the purpose of giving to these two new provinces the charter under which they would subsequently be governed. Has the government made the preparation that was necessary for such an important step? Has the government made any attempt to ascertain what we in this parliament may legally do ? Now we are face to face with *a constitutional difficulty and the government have apparently said: We shall pass the Bill and test it's

constitutionality afterwards. Is that a dignified position for parliament to take ? I should judge not. I think that the government is certainly blamable for the raising of this constitutional difficulty. Seeing that constitutional authorities of the highest character differ as to the powers of parliament in respect to this legislation, this government should have submitted a series of questions to the highest judicial tribunal and should have obtained from them a finding so that we would be relieved from the necessary anxiety of passing legislation, the legality of which is at present greatly in doubt. If I may offer a suggestion to the members of the government, a suggestion which has been made before, it would be that it is not too late for them to draw up a series of questions as to just what this parliament may or may not legally under imperial statutes put in the Bill now before this House. It is not too late for the government now to submit such a series of questions to the highest judicial tribunal. Having obtained a finding they could come before this House and say : This we can do and this we cannot do. Let this be done and we will then make good law. And so, Mr. Speaker, I feel that the first words that come from my mouth must be these, that I do believe that the government at the presept time, owing to lack of foresight in settling the judicial aspect of this question, has placed this House in a very delicate and a very difficult position.

Assuming for the moment that this parliament, in granting to the new Territories their autonomy, has the power of laying certain limitations on these new provinces, more especially in respect to the laws which they may subsequently pass with respect to education, admitting for the moment that the government has this right

which I do not admit except for the sake of argument-the manner in which this Bill has been introduced into this House has,

I think, been most unfortunate and most mal-S.-droit. It has, in fact, been largely responsible for the storm which has arisen throughout the entire country oyer this matter. If I may be permitted I would like to Mr. AMES.

refer to the opening remarks of the Prime Minister delivered on the 21st of February, when he made his first speech in connection with this legislation. I find that he uttered these words which, I know, commend themselves to every member of this House:

We have known 'by the experience of the past, within the short life of this confederation, that public opinion is always inflammable whenever questions arise which ever so remotely touch upon the religious convictions of the people. It behooves us therefore all the more at this solemn moment to approach this subject with care, with calmness and deliberation and with the firm purpose of dealing with it not only in accordance with the inherent principles of abstract justice, but in accordance with the spirit

the Canadian spirit of tolerance and charity, this Canadian spirit of tolerance and charity of which confederation is the essence and of which in practice it ought to be the expression and embodiment.

I endorse these sentiments. And I would like to say, in reply to the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Fisher) who spoke this afternoon, that the Liberal parity has not had, nor has it to-day, a monopoly of tolerance and Christian charity in this country. But the words of the Prime Minister to which I wish to call particular attention are these : ' This subject should be approached with care, with calmness and with deliberation.' And I would like to ask this House if, in the opinion of hon. gentlemen, this educational question has been approached by the government with care, with calmness and with deliberation. I would like to ask them whether the original clause 16 of the Bill shows internal or external evidence of having been prepared with care. And, I should like to ask them if the fact that the clause was prepared just three hours before the Bill was presented to this House shows that in dealing with this matter care and deliberation were exercised. This original clause 16, poor new-horn infant laid on the table of this House and seen for the first time on the 21st of February last, whose parentage we have never yet been able to ascertain- for no one will own it-this short lived clause, threw the country into a furore of excitement for three weeks and then it died, and was put away unwept, unhonoured and unsung,-and peace be to its ashes. We bad the spectacle of ministers of the Crown giving different interpretations to the legislation which they were endeavouring to force through this House. The Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) declared that this original clause was intended-and the Minister of Justice ought to know what was intended-to guarantee to the minority of the Northwest nothing more than the privileges which they presently enjoy under the existing statutes. A few days afterwards, we had the spectacle of the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) arising and explaining that, from his point of view, the clause contained far more than we had been told, that it contained the seeds of a complete separate

school system and the opportunity for the greatest sectarian endowment that could be created. When we have two ministers of the Crown differing as to the interpretation of a clause of this kind, a clause of such importance, we. are encouraged to believe that it was prepared with care, with calmness and with deliberation ?

And, again, the speech with which the Prime Minister introduced this clause, was, in my humble opinion, not calculated to secure for it that reception which I know he desired, that reception which all peace-loving men throughout the country would desire in the case of a question of this kind. I have endeavoured to analyse the speech, in order, if possible to see what the Prime Minister had in his mind when he was defining the original educational clause before this House. And his line of reasoning as I found it, was something like this What are separate schools ? For a reply he reviews their history in Canada. He describes the separate schools before confederation. He traces the evolution of school law in Quebec from 1841 to 1863. He emphasizes the basic differences in matters of dogma between Catholics and Protestants. He shows how and why the separate schools of old Canada were established. He recalls the acrimonious debates of 1863 and George Brown's vigorous denunciations. He reminds Canadians that for fifty years they have disagreed on this subject. He reviews the agitation from 1841 to the deadlock of 1864 ; reminds us how separate schools were ' a necessary condition to confederation,' claims similarity of conditions as regards the new provinces of the Northwest, emphasizes how Manitoba avoided the separate school system, how the Northwest Territories cannot thus escape, and finally, though refusing to discuss the merits, denounces the American system, Which is the presumable alternative towards which the Northwest is drifting.

Now, what is the impression created by that speech ? What is the impression created upon the mind of the man on the street of whom we have heard so often. I went to my own constituency a few days ago and tried to find out what was the impression which existed there with reference to the contemplated legislation. And I failed to find a single man who did not understand that the contemplated action of the government was to duplicate in the Canadian Northwest a system of separate schools similar to that found in Ontario and Quebec. Now, that, I claim, is a misapprehension ; but that certainly is the idea fixed in the minds of many throughout the Dominion of Canada after reading the speech with which the Prime Minister introduced his Bill. And what a magnificent opportunity the Prime Minister had. Following the unusual course of delivering a speech on the first reading, he spoke to a Bill which no member of the opposition had seen ; making

a speech, therefore, to which no immediate reply could be given. He spoke with care, and the country listened ; and for three weeks that was the only speech that went forth to the country as explaining the intention of the government. And no word of criticism could be or was, during that time, given utterance to in this House. The opportunity was his. He might have used it, I think, to far greater advantage than he did. I believe he might have used it in such a way as to have tided us over a period which, I know, has been very trying to many on both sides of the House. Now, there are those who believe that the separate school system, as we find it in Ontario and Quebec, was a ' necessary condition of confederation,' men who are willing that it should then be established and who are today willing that it should be continued, but who are not willing that the same system should be duplicated in new, unorganized territories. And we can not blame them. They are as honest and sincere in their opinions as are those who differ from them ; but it is their opinion, and, as such, it must be accepted and reckoned with. Now, it seems to me that the Prime Minister and the members of the government, foreseeing that this question would bring on a discussion that was very likely to be a difficult and trying one, should first have agreed among themselves upon a clause that they could all accept. They should then have submitted it to their caucus and secured the support of their own members. That clause should have been so precise, so distinct, so clear, that there could be no misinterpretation of it. If the clause was intended to give nothing more or nothing less to the. minority in the Northwest than that which they now enjoy, that should have been distinctly and specifically stated to the House. That clause should be so clear as to lead to no misunderstanding. And, had the Prime Minister, having secured the agreement of the members of his cabinet, having consulted his rank and file and secured their endorsement, had he then come in with a clause to perpetuate the privileges of the minority in the Northwest, and had he frankly stated to the House and people that this was all that could be read into the clause, he could have appealed to the spirit of tolerance and Christian charity of which he has spoken, and I believe that the country from one end to the other would have accepted what he proposed. I believe the country would have accepted it had not the apprehensions been created in the minds of the people to which the original clause and the speech of the right hon. gentleman gave rise. What this country wants is frank and straightforward treatment. What our people want is to be told the truth, even if it be not palatable. As this question was introduced into this House, we find that the people of the province of Quebec had false

liopes raised and that the people of the pro. vince of Ontario had groundless fears excited. The people of the province of Quebec *were led to believe that the clause, as originally introduced, tended to give more to the minority in the Territories than they now enjoy, and that was also the interpretation which the people of the province of Ontario placed upon it ; and the right hon. gentleman would have appealed far more effectively to the broad spirit of tolerance in this country had he stated frankly and in a straightforward manner the facts, neither more nor less. Had he, in Introducing his measure, informed the House that this amended clause number 16 would not satisfy the extremists of either party, but was a fair compromise measure which would in no way interfere with the educational efficiency of the schools in the Northwest, and which was framed in a conciliatory spirit and for the purpose of establishing harmony and unity, I believe that even if both sides did not accept it, certainly the country would not have been worked up to its present state of excitement.

It is because this misapprehension exists, not only in the constituencies generally, but also in my own division, that I find it necessary to explain what is the real purport of the legislation which the government proposes in this amended clause 16. I want my electors to understand exactly what this legislation means which we are called upon to pass.

Without any intention of making dispara-ing comparisons, without any intention of saying anything to the detriment of the school system of the province to which I belong, without in any way desiring to lessen the credit which is due to those who are working in the educational ranks in the province of Quebec, permit me, Mr. Speaker, to make a comparison between the separate school system, as we have it in the province of Quebec, and the national school system of the Northwest Territories which it is proposed to perpetuate. There is a very wide difference between the two ; and if men of good intent only realized what a wide difference there Is, I do not think there would be so much heat over this discussion. It will be necessary for me, even at the risk of repeating something which has been already said, to describe the educational system as we find It to-day in the province of Quebec. In the province of Quebec we have a dual educational system. We have a Council of Public Instruction composed of thirty-six members, twenty-four of whom are Catholics and twelve Protestants. This council has jurisdiction and control over all educational matters in the province. We have a superintendent of public instruction, who is a member of the council, but who is really but an executive officer. This council ds divided into two sections, the Protestant and the [DOT]Catholic. The Protestant committee deals Mr. AMES.

with all matters relating to Protestant education, and the Catholic committee has the same jurisdiction over Catholic education. Therefore we find a dual system of schools. There are Roman Catholic and Protestant universities, Roman Catholic and Protestant normal schools and Roman Catholic and Protestant superior and primary schools. The two systems are entirely separate. We have a dual system of examinations and certificates and inspectors. Each Is practically as distinct and separate from the Other as though the other did not exist. We have another feature in the province of Quebec and that is the large number of religious teachers engaged in the work of education In that province, and special exception is made with regard to them In our school laws. For while all other teachers are required to be certificated, there is a provision at the end of section 93 of the school Act which provides :

Saving, nevertheless, ministers and members of either sex of religious corporations constituted for educational purposes, who are exempt.

Under that provision we find that a very large number of clerics are engaged in teaching in the province of Quebec. The total number of teachers is 12,072, of whom 4,659 are religious. Of this number, 577 are clerics, 1,070 religious brothers and 3,012 nuns. [DOT] In the elementary schools 10 per cent of the teachers are in religious orders. In the superior schools, 83 per cent of the teachers are members of religious bodies, and in the colleges 94 per cent are clerical and 6 per cent lay professors. I should be the last one in this House or out of it to utter anything but words of credit and praise for those devoted .persons who consecrate their fives to education in the province of Quebec among the members of religious orders. They certainly give back to the state, in the teaching service they render for little or no remuneration, far more than they take from it, and I doubt whether, without their assistance, we would be able in the province of Quebec-at least our Roman Catholic fellow citizens would not be able-to secure for their children the educational facilities which they now enjoy. My only reason for bringing this to the attention of the House is because I want to show that 39 per cent of the teachers in the province of Quebec are members of religious corporations and that none of these are required to he certificated. Then again in the matter of school books and text books, we find that religious teaching permeates the whole system in our province. Here again let me not be misunderstood for I do not wish to go on record as in any way condemning religious teaching in the schools, but I wish to point out that such teaching takes up a considerable part of the curriculum, not only of Roman Catholic but also of Protestant schools. We find in the Roman Catholic schools moral and religious

instruction in the first, second, third and fourth year elementary courses. Prayers and catechism are taught orally, and also, under the head of history, the pupils are instructed in sacred history, the duties of a Christian and the history of Canada. We find also in the Protestant schools that they are likewise opened with prayer, that the children are given scriptural readings and that portions of the scriptures are committed to memory. And I may say that all denominations of the Protestant faith find that they can work together in these schools in perfect harmony and have no difficulty in deciding what religious instruction shall be given the children. Again I want to point out that in the Roman Catholic schools of the province of Quebec the direction of the church authorities is distinctly recognized from beginning to end. On the Roman Catholic section of the council of public instruction there are twenty-four members, twelve of whom are bishops, who have in whole or in part their dioceses within the limits of the province, and the other twelve are laymen. But the bishops constitute always one-half of the total number. And as the bishops always work together and most of the laymen agree with them, it follows that the courses and methods of study will be those which are acceptable to the church authorities. So that we find in the province of Quebec a dual system in which the Roman Catholic section is distinctly sectarian and over which the Roman Catholic church authorities have practically undisputed control.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I wish to say that this system satisfies local conditions. I wish to say that the people of the province of Quebec, both Protestant and Catholic, would not change it if they could. A national school system such as it would be possible j to establish in the province of Quebec would ( give satisfaction to neither party. I do ] not stand here as criticising the educational j system of the province of Quebec and the | only reason for bringing these facts before I the House is that hon. members may dis- j tinctly see that this is not the _system which it is proposed to perpetuate in the Canadian Northwest.

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LIB

John B. McColl

Liberal

Mr. McCOLL.

May I ask the hon. gentleman if this Council of Public Instruction which he speaks of is under any department of the provincial government ?

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CON
LIB
CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

Practically so. The greatest liberty is given to the Council of Public Instruction and its several committees. They pass all regulations in respect to education and although the regulations have to be concurred in by the Governor in Council, as a matter of fact, they are nearly always accepted as drafted.

Now we come to the constitution of the school system as we find it in the Canadian Northwest to-day and which it is proposed by statutory enactment to render permanent. In the first place we find that there exists the basic right of dissent, that where, in a community, there are Roman Catholic taxpayers, these taxpayers may unite and have a separate school. They may then elect Roman Catholic trustees, and these Roman Catholic trustees may engage a Roman Catholic teacher. A Roman Catholic in the Canadian Nothwest to-day, cannot be taxed twice for education and that is practically his only advantage. After the school has been constituted in the Canadian Northwest. it cannot deviate in any particular from the fixed national type. That school comes immediately under the control of the government. There is a minister, or a commissioner of education and that officer is aided by a council, but mark you, that council is very different from the Council of Public Instruction such as we know it in Quebec. There is a very great difference, because, as I said, our council passes regulations, looks after the administration of the schools and is very rarely in any way interfered with, but the council which exists in tlie Canadian Northwest is a purely advisory body. It has no right to vote. It can simply suggest, counsel, consider and make reports. It meets once a year and is merely a sort of expert advisory board to the government which may accept or reject the report submitted to it. The Northwest system as I said is completely under the control of the government. The Minister of Education is himself a member of the government, responsible to the legislature and to the people, and under him there exists a uniform system of national schools throughout the Canadian Northwest. We have one normal school and every one who would be certificated as a teacher must either pass examination or go through that normal school. No teachers are permitted to teach in the Canadian Northwest unless they are duly certificated. It would be impossible for members of religious orders to teach in these schools as members of these orders. They may teach as teachers and cases are on record where certain of the nuns have been at considerable difficulty and trouble to pass through the normal school at Regina, just as every one else must do. in order that they may be qualified and certificated to teach in the separate schools of the Canadian Northwest. But the fact that they are nuns gives them no right to teach in the separate schools of the Canadian Northwest. The whole system is uniform. We have uniform certificates for teachers, uniform examinations, and uniform inspectorates all of which show that the system is a national system. In the matter of school books, we find that the same school books are used in all the schools whether public or separate, with the exception of the first

45ie

and second years in the elementary course. In this respect the regulation is as'follows :

The Dominion readers, first (part I., part II.) and second-these are optional for Roman Catholic separate schools ; bi-lingual series, first (part I., part II.) and second readers- these are optional in schools where French is the vernacular ; German readers, Ahn's first and second German books.

This is the only deviation from the regular class books permitted to separate schools that are ordinarily employed throughout the schools in the Canadian Northwest.

Then, I come to the question of religious teaching which has so often been referred to in this House. It is permissible to open the school with the Lord's Prayer and it is also permissible after half past three in the afternoon to have religious instruction. But that can only be given in case the parents themselves petition for it and the trustees consent to it. In such case a minister or a priest may teach from half past three to four o'clock, but it is specially provided that any scholar may absent himself from such teaching if his parents so desire, and also that any scholar who may be proficient in religious teaching shall not have his marks counted to his advantage in the general total. We also find that the university which they have by recent legislation decided to establish in the Northwest shall be strictly non-sectarian in principle and that no religious dogma or creed shall be taught and no religious test shall be required of any student or other person, so that, as I pointed out, the system in vogue in the Canadian Northwest is not only a non-sectarian system, but I might also say a system that is practically divorced from religious teaching.

There is a small number of separate schools in the Canadian Northwest and that number is not increasing notwithstanding the fact that the Roman Catholic population has been growing. In 1898 there were 509 public school districts established in the Canadian Northwest. Last year this number had increased to 1,235, or, in other words it had become just two and a half times as great as it was six yeras ago. Has there been a corresponding increase in the number of separate schools ? Let us see. In 1898 there were 14 separate school districts, and in 1904, 16 separate school districts, and if I am rightly informed but 12 of these are in operation and but 10 of these are Roman Catholic separate schools. If we look into the character of these Roman Catholic separate schools we find that eight of them are to be found in municipalities of considerable size where there are already other schools established and where the existence of two schools together is in no wise a detriment to education. Further, by reference to page 129 of the annual Northwest Territory report for 1903 we find that every one of these eight separate schools has a certificated teacher

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

and that four of these schools have two certificated teachers. It has been said that if this legislation that the government is now proposing in the form of the amended clause 16 should pass, it would be but the entering wedge for the gradual establishment of a complete dual system of schools in the Canadian Northwest. I think the history of schools and of education in the Canadian 'Northwest denies that proposition. I know it is extremely difficult for the separate schools at the present time existing to keep pace with the requirements -that the struggle which it is necessary for them to make is hardly commensurate with the returns they secure from it, and it is highly improbable if this legislation is permitted to continue that the number of separate schools in the Canadian Northwest will ever be an appreciable quantity.

As one intersted in Canadian education and not without experience in dealing with some of its problems, in endeavouring to arrive at a conclusion as to what course I shall follow in regard to this Bill, I naturally ask myself whether the existing educational system in the Canadian Northwest is in any way detrimental to educational efficiency. If I should find that the perpetuation of this so-called-for it is only so-called-separate system in the Canadian Northwest diminished the educational excellence that might otherwise be attained, then I would feel strongly constrained not to perpetuate a system which was calculated to fall below the general average of education. But my fears in that respect would be absolutely groundless, I believe. The more I examine into the existing system in the Northwest, the more I am convinced that it is one of the most efficient systems to be found anywhere in Canada. I have been endeavouring to make certain tests of this system in order to find out, by the rules we are accustomed to apply in other provinces, whether educational efficiency in the Northwest is all that may be desired. We speak, for instance, 0f the percentage of certificated teachers, and I find that in 1903 only five per cent of these teachers in the entire Canadian Northwest were teaching on temporary permits without certificates, and although 250 new teachers flocked in there last year the percentage of uncertificated teachers is now only seven per cent. I believe the best provinces we have, educationally speaking, are Manitoba and Ontario, but they cannot make any such showing as this, while in the province of Quebec, exclusive of the clerical teachers, we have from 15 to 17 per cent of the teachers who, unfortunately, are not properly certified. Again, if we look at the salaries which are paid, and this is always an excellent test as to the efficiency of the school system, because if the teacher makes the school it is the salary that gets the good teacher, here again we find the Canadian Northwest the banner section of Canada in

this respect. The average salaries paid there to elementary school teachers is from $40 to $45 per month, while in the province of Quebec we pay our teachers from $15 to $20 per month to do similar work. We need not wonder that they are from time to time deserting us to go to this western country. Again, taking all the schools throughout the Canadian Northwest we find that the period of the school year gives an everage of six months of teaching, a very high average, indeed, and an average which reflects great credit upon those who have control of that system. Therefore, having applied the tests which educationalists are accustomed to apply to an educational system, we find there is no province in the Dominion which has a higher standard than the Canadian Northwest. What is the secret of this? I think the secret may be found in the very generous treatment which the provincial legislature affords to the schools in the matter of grants. In the province of Quebec, I regret to say, out of the entire sum which is annually expended for education, only 12 per cent comes from the government and 88 per cent is raised by local taxation, whereas in the Northwest one-third of the total amount expended for education comes from the government. We in the province of Quebec only appropriate annually for a population of 1,600,000 about two and a half times as much as the Northwest Territories legislature has been accustomed to grant for a population only one-fifth as large as ours. I cannot help digressing to condemn here the niggardly treatment accorded by the several administrations in Quebec in the matter of education. There are many other things they could far better afford to cut out of their budget and they certainly should increase the amount given for education in that province.

But, Sir, what is the immediate effect of this generous treatment of the schools on the part of the Northwest assembly We find there is given to every school throughout the Northwest an average of $217 per year or about $6 per capita of school attendance. Compare that with my native province, where I regret to find, we give only $72 per year per school, or an average of $1.42 per capita of school attendance. And what is the advantage that the government of the Northwest Territories has obtained by means of this generosity towards its schools ? It is the enormous influence which the government can exert in forcing every school to come up to its regulations. I have been a member of the Council of Public Instruction in the province of Quebec for the past ten years ; I have again and again, with the other members, weighed the question of elementary education and wondered how it might be possible to improve the standard. We have inevitably come up against the same difficulty, and that is the smallness of the amount of money at the disposal of the Council of Public Instruction for distribution throughout the schools in the province of Quebec. Again and again have we endeavoured to make schools come up to the regulations which we have prescribed, and again and again have these schools replied : we do not want your paltry grant; we would rather forfeit your grant and be permitted to go on as we are, breaking the regulations. That cannot exist in the Canadian Northwest because no school there can afford to forfeit a grant which is equal to 50 per cent of the amount which they raise themselves. The result is that in the Northwest, every school makes a herculean struggle to fulfil the regulations as laid down by the commissioner of education in order that it may earn the grant to which it is entitled. If we consult the Northwest educational report for last year we find that $22,287 of the grant was held back because it was nGt earned, which means, that certain schools had not been able to come up to the required standard. But we know that that money within a few months will be earned, because these schools are putting forth an effort which will bring them to a point where they can rightly be entitled to the grant. So it is, that I wish to point out that the large sum of money which these new Territories of Alberta and Saskatchewan shall have at their disposal for distribution among the schools, will enable them to enforce the regulations with absolute strictness, and will enable them to continue the high standard of educational efficiency which they have already secured.

There is another clause the school ordinances of the Northwest which I think has been lost sight of in this debate ; I refer to the extensive powers that are conferred upon the commissioner of education as to the appointment of an official trustee. Clause 7 of chapter 29 of the school ordinances reads partly as follows :

It shall be the fluty of the commissioner of education, and he shall have power to appoint an oflieial trustee to conduct the affairs of any district, and any such official trustee shall have all the powers and authorities conferred by the ordinances upon the board and its officers.

I wonder if this House catches the full purport and significance of that clause ; I wonder if this House sees that the commissioner of education in the Northwest, if he so desires, can be an absolute dictator with reference to every school board in the province. If there is a school board which refuses to come up to the ordinances and regulations, that school board can, by a single stroke of the pen of the commissioner, be wiped out of existence, and the commissioner can put an official trustee of his own naming in charge, and that official trustee will collect taxes, pay the teachers, administer the school and is absolute dictator within the limits of that municipality. You will readily see that with a power like that no lagging school, separate or otherwise,

would be permitted to exist in tbe Canadian Northwest. If there were a school board of recalcitrants, unable or unwilling to give to the people of their locality the school facilities which they should provide, it would be in the power of the commissioner of education to place that board to one side, even though they might have been elected in the ordinary way, and to replace them with a professional to carry on the work. So that it appears to me that in the school ordinances of the Canadian Northwest, as they exist to-day, and as they will doubtless continue to exist for the government of the schools of Alberta and Saskatchewan, there is the amplest safeguard for the continuance of educational efficiency ; and, that being the case, I cannot see that the slight limitations which it is proposed to place upon the liberty of the provincial legislature in the matter of education will in any way interfere with the present or future efficiency of the schools in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Now, Mr. Speaker, my remarks hitherto have been mostly of an explanatory character. I have endeavoured, as far as I could, to make clear what was the purport of the contemplated legislation before this House, and also what were the existing conditions in certain parts of this our country for the purposes of comparison. And now it becomes necessary for me to make a statement as to what attitude I shall take, upon this Bill when it reaches the committee stage or the second reading. I wish to state that, as a member of the Conservative party, I feel that our party deserves the greatest credit for being a party in which full liberty is given to the individual when questions which relate to conscience come up for discussion. An attempt was made by the Minister of Agriculture this afternoon to make it appear before the country that the Liberal party at the present time were the sole custodians of the spirit of toleration and freedom in this country. I think, Mr. Speaker, that the spectacle, as it was called this afternoon, which the Conservative party presents at this time is one of which it has no reason to be ashamed. On this side of the House at least there is absolute liberty of conscience ; on this side of the House there is complete absence of coercion ; on this side of the House every member is permitted by his chief and his fellow members to look at questions of this nature conscientiously, and to arrive at the conclusion which to him seems best; and, Mr. Speaker, I am going to take advantage of the words of my honoured chief in which he said :

When I addressed the House on the first reading of the Bill I said I did not desire to make this a political question. Perhaps the expression was not very happily chosen, because from whatever aspect you view it, it must in the highest sense of the term be a political question in the end. What perhaps I should have said was that I did not desire to make it a Mr. AMES.

party political question and I do not desire to make it a party political question to day. I shall express my own opinion with regard to it ; I shall express that opinion at the present time ; I have not felt called upon to speak before.

And so, Mr. Speaker, the honoured leader of the Conservative party, realizing that in questions where religious prejudice, as it has been called-I prefer to call It devotion-is concerned, 'the leader of the Conservative party has seen fit to give to his followers complete and absolute liberty. He has told them that they shall one and all consult their constituents and their conscience, and shall then vote as they see fit on this Bill ; and, unless I am greatly mistaken, there are many members on the other side of the House who would have been glad enough if their leader had made the same declaration. I think there are quite a few in that solidly united party of which we heard this afternoon, and of which we have heard on mauy previous occasions, who would be glad enough if they might be allowed to vote as their consciences dictated, and as their constituents demand, at this time. If the leader of the government had been willing to make the same frank statement which the leader of the opposition has made and had he said to his followers, Gentlemen, on this phase of the question you have your absolute and complete liberty, I believe the House would then have been divided naturally, each man voting as he thought to be in the best interests of Canada, and the result would have been a far more true expression than the one that will be reached by the present method.

Mr. Speaker, we are called upon, as I said at the outset, to pass legislation for the creation of two new provinces. In the natural course of events those provinces would be given full provincial autonomy : they would be given power to prosecute their own affairs in their own way ; and it could only be under the stress of another and a greater principle that this House would venture in any way to curtail that provincial liberty. At this time it is necessary for us to ask ourselves whether this greater principle excludes the less. And so I itind myself exercising the liberty which my chief has given me, and the liberty which I feel bound to use. Had this been a matter which was considered vital to the Conservative party as a whole, I might have found myself in a position similar to that of some hon. members on the other side of the House ; but the fact that my leader has given to me and to every other member who sits about me absolute and complete liberty to follow his own conscience on this question, that fact renders it necessary for me to make my individual investigations, to weigh the evidence personally, and to stand before my constituents in support of the clause I believe, to be just. Only if I stand conscien-

forced to pay their taxes to the school of another denomination other than that to "which they belong, and to send their children to such a school. But I wish to refer to the report of the superintendent of public instruction of the province of Quebec to show that this does not affect Protestants only but affects Roman Catholics as well. We find, for example, in the last report that 628 Protestant children were attending Roman Catholic schools ; and, on the other hand, 2,252 Catholic children were attending the Protestant schools. Again, in the model schools we find that 290 Protestant children were in the Roman Catholic model schools while 221 Roman Catholic children were in the Protestant model schools. So, if there is a certain degree of hardship and disability in connection with this matter, it affects both classes of the community, and cannot be said to work special injustice towards the Protestant minority. And I may say frankly that we in the province of Quebec would not exchange our school system for any system of national schools that local conditions would enable us to have. In this I do not speak for myself alone, for I realize that I am making an assertion which, to some extent needs to be supported. The Reverend W. I. Shaw, chairman of the Protestant committee of the Council of Public Instruction of the province of Quebec, who occupies the highest educational position among the Protestants of that province, having read, I presume, the article in the Huntingdon ' Gleaner,' replied to its assertions in the St. Johns ' News ' as follows :

In your last number an article appeared respectfully asking me to specify the advantages which, I have claimed, we as Protestants have from the dual system of education in the province of Quebec My answer to

your inquiry then is, in substance, under the circumstances we are at least as well off as we could possibly be under such a single system as the province would establish, and in most of our constiuencies far better off than if all our resources were pooled to provide one set of schools The Protestant population of Quebec is 219,639 out of 1,648,898. One third of these are in the city of Montreal and suburbs, where Protestantism, on the admission of professional and disinterested judges, has a school equipment unsurpassed in the Dominion. Would Protestants have such an equipment had we one system ? Certainly not. Here we have far more revenue for teaching 10,000 Protestant children than the Roman Catholic board has for teaching 20,000. . . .

. . .Another large proportion of Protestants

is found in other cities and towns and thrifty rural communities, and they are doing better under the dual system than under single system What improvement in the

present system can any critic suggest that is within the range of reason and possibility to meet the unfortunate position of this small

Protestant remnant ? I think

the facts justify me in claiming that as conditions are now in Quebec, and as they are likely to be for a century or more, the Pro-Mr. AMES.

testants in this province derive great advantage from our dual system of schools.

The letter from which these extracts are taken will be found in the St. John's 'News' of the 7th March. Again on the 21st March, in the same paper, Dr. Shaw says :

In most places in the province Protestants are now much better off with our dual system and in the remaining places, of whose deplorable destitution we hear so much, any single system the province would adopt would leave things as they are or worse for Protestants.

And in a personal letter to myself, Dr. Shaw writes as follows :

The deplorable conditions exaggerated by the ' Gleaner ' relate only to a small fraction of the Protestant minority of Quebec. I am sure that it is not so much our educational system as the great differences of religion and language which naturally decimate our small Protestant communities. The same thing might happen to isolated peoples in any country on earth without any blame attaching to their stronger neighbours.

Sometimes you will hear, however, that there is a grievance, especially in- the city of Montreal, and that is the manner in which the money raised from joint stock companies for educational purposes is divided. It is a fact that probably the greater portion of tlie capital stock in joint stock companies in the city of Montreal is in the bands of Protestants and consequently a certain share of Protestant money passes over to be spent on the education of Roman Catholic children. A statement was recently prepared which set forth the fact that in the city of Montreal $112,000 annually paid by joint stock companies for educational purposes, went into the neutral panel. Out of this the Protestants got $27,162 and the Catholics $84,838, the money being divided, according to school attendance, among the various schools. I do not propose to express an opinion for or against that provision of the Act as it is in force in in the province of Quebec.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Wbat is the relative value of the property assessed belonging to Roman Catholics and Protestants respectively which goes into that neutral panel ?

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

I have no information at hand which would meet the hon. gentleman's question, but roughly speaking four fifths of the capital employed in mercantile operations in the city of Montreal is in the hands of the Protestants. That is a general statement, not necessarily applying to joint stock companies.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   APKIL 13. 1905
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

That is what makes up the neutral panel ?

Mr. AMiES. No, I was simply making a general statement of commercial values. Whether that same proportion would apply to joint stock companies, I cannot say,

but I am prepared to say that by far the greater portion of the capital in these companies is owned by Protestants.

Mr.- SPROdLiE. Yet the Protestants only get one-fourth, while the Catholics receive three-fourths.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   APKIL 13. 1905
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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

I do not propose to discuss that question. It is a two-sided one and there is much to be said on both sides. That is not the reason why I give these figures. I give them to show that the only grievance one ever hears of in the city of Montreal, namely, the application of the funds raised under the school law from joint stock companies, is entirely obviated by the legislation existing in the Northwest Territories. Chapter 30 of the School Ordinances of the Northwest Territories, section 93 provides :

The share or portion of the property of any company entered, rated or assessed in any municipality or in any school district for separate school purposes under the provisions of this section shall bear the same ratio and proportion to the whole property of the company assessable within the municipality or school district as the amount or proportion of the shares or stock of the company so far as the same are paid or partly paid up, held and possessed by persons who are Protestants or Roman Catholics as the case may be, bears to the whole amount of such paid or partly paid up shares or stock of the company.

We find therefore that whatever money is contributed by any joint stock company is expended on schools, according to the religious belief of tlie person who owns the share of stock. Every share is supposed to carry with it the religion of its owner, and the division made accordingly, so that this one possible grievance which we have in the province of Quebec does not exist in the Territories and cannot arise under the ordinances I have read.

But to come back to the heart of the question. This House will shortly be called on to vote, and the options before it are these. We may either vote for the amended clause 16, which is intended to restrict the power of the new provinces to this extent, that they cannot take away any of the privileges which the minority in the Northwest at present enjoy ; or we may vote for the resolution which the leader of the opposition has presented and which he has told us is his own view. Reading carefully the amendment of my hcto. friend, the leader of the opposition, I find it may he understood as the opinion of an eminent legal authority on the validity of the legislation which we are about to enact, or as an expression of opinion regarding the principle 'which should be applied by this House to the successive clauses that make up this Bill. As a legal opinion, I am prepared to accept the amendment of my hon. leader as 144

authoritative. I consider him to be a constitutional authority of the highest possible standing ; and when he makes the declaration that in his opinion this legislation is ultra vires, I believe him to be right and that the government are incurring great-risk in going on'with this legislation. But liis amendment also affirms a prjjiciple. It says that as we are called upon to deal with the several clauses of the Bill, we shall judge them by one standard of measurement alone. We are to test each successive clause so as to ascertain whether it gives full provincial rights ; and any clause which accords anything less than complete control overprovincial matters shall be voted down. That is the standard which is proposed. For my part I cannot admit this as the one and only principle which should be applied to the Bill. 1 am prepared to accept ft as regards every other clause in the measure, but into the consideration of the matter of education I believe a higher principle enters. I believe we would be breaking faith with the minority, whom it is the duty of parliament to protect, if we should decide to take away the guarantee they now have .for the perpetuation of the special privileges they now enjoy.

I represent a constituency which in some respects is, I think, typical of the Dominion of Canada as a whole. I represent a constituency in which all races, creeds and nationalities dwell together in perfect harmony. It was intimated by the Minister of Agriculture, 1 think, this afternoon that some of the members on this side were about to vote for the Bill through a feeling of fear, that they were .likely to be compelled to support it through dread of a certain portion of their electors. For my part I wish to repudiate the assertion absolutely. I am noit voting through fear. I am voting through a sense of justice. I have not during this entire debate, although I have nearly 2,500 French Canadian electors and probably 2,000 English-speaking Roman Catholic electors in my division, received a single letter, a single petition, or a single request to vote with the government in respect to this Bill. Therefore, I am not in any way voting under compulsion nor through fear of offending any portion of my electors. If I vote, as I will with the government on amended clause 16 of the Bill, I will do it because I conscientiously believe that they are right on that issue. I said a moment ago that I represent a mixed electorate, and Mr. Speaker, may I be permitted to say that I consider this to be no' disadvantage but the very reverse. It has been my good fortune for many years to enjoy the confidence of men of different races, nationalities and religions, and to learn that on nearly every great question there may be differing points of view and to learn also, that it is quite possible for good men to disagree on questions that seem vital to both. We have been taught in the city of Montreal that there

may be a degree of right in practically every contention and we have also been taught that men who were sincerely desirous of serving their country could nearly always get together and with mutual respect and ' mutual forbearance agree upon a course, which, while it might not satisfy the extremists either side, would be acceptable to the sound common sense of the great majority. Mr. Speaker, during this debate I confess that I have been amazed at the intemperance of some of the remarks that have [DOT]been made on both sides of this House. I confess that possibly I know more about the inflammable materials that there are in this country than some of the hon. members who have made these utterances. In most mining communities there are laws which prohibit, under the severest penalty, a man from carrying a naked lamp into a coal mine where there are noxious gases liable to explode ; and a special lamp has been invented with a wire screen about it that will give light but will uot cause .ignition. So it is possible for a miner to pass through the noxious and explosive gases with his safety lamp and to come out unharmed. I tbink that, in a debate of this kind, where men's minds are likely to be embittered and where their sentiments are liable to become overwrought, we should travel with a safety lamp. All. the light that is required on the subject can be thrown by a safety lamp, but the fire which would, cause combustion is not necessary to a discussion of this character. So, I feel that we should, in dealing with this question, deal with it absolutely upon the merits of the case, each man following what he believes to be right from his own point of view. I have not been very long a member of this House. I do not know how long I may be a member of this House, but whatever record I leave behind me I want to be chiefly remembered for this, that, while I was here, my influence was for peace and not for war, that my influence was to build up and not to tear down, to heal and not to hurt. We have in this Dominion elements derived from different origins. We have come from different countries. There is one race here by right by discovery, there is another race here by right of conquest, but the country belongs to us both alike. To this mixed people there has been given a great task to work out. No nation in the world has been more beneficiently endowed by the Creator than have we Canadians and there is a call-an insistent call-for us to be up and doing and to work out the development of this great inheritance. To properly accomplish this task, I believe it is absolutely necessary that we should be able to work together in unison and harmony, and anything that seems to have the appearance of a breach of faith, anything that appears to a large section of the community to be a violation of an agreement, is something that the people of this eoun-Mr. AMES.

try should carefully and studiously avoid. We can only have unity if we have mutual trust in one another and that is impossible if a portion of the community is under the impression that this parliament does not keep the obligations that have been entered into. Therefore, although I am very reluctant in some respects to break with my colleagues ; on this particular question 1 must do so, and I feel that when clause 16 is called in committee I shall find it necessary to support the government.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   APKIL 13. 1905
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April 13, 1905