April 28, 1905

CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

Are you voting for separate schools ?

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LIB

Thomas Martin

Liberal

Mr. T. MARTIN.

Now you leave me alone, I will attend to that before I get through. At the very outset I wish to take strong objection to some statements made by that member in his speech. He said :

I want to tell them there is no mutiny on this side.

It did not look like it.

The leader of the Conservative party told us both in caucus and out

I suppose that means there would have been a mutiny if the leader had not told them so.

The leader of the Qonservative party told us both in caucus and out to vote as our consciences dictated to us o?I this Bill, and that is the way we are voting on the measure.

Evidently, the leader of the opposition had reached a point where he had to tell his followers that there would have been an end to his authority. We have the evidence of half a dozen hon. members on the opposition side to prove that that is the case. And, gentlemen,. I wish to go one step further and tell my hon. friend from Haldimand that he is entirely wrong when he makes this statement :

The hon. member .says their consciences will not allow 'them to follow him. I would like to see the consciences of some members on the other side of the House who are compelled to follow the Prime Minister whether they want to or not, the men who are whipped into line, the men who have had the whip lashed over their backs, and have been brought to the centre with a round turn and made to support the

Prime Minister notwithstanding the fact that they know when they are doing so that the people who sent them to this parliament are opposed to this pleasure.

Now, I do not wish to make any joke of this, hut to speak earnestly about it. And I say truthfully-and I challenge contradiction-that in no case, in caucus or out of caucus, in this House or out of this House, has one member of the government or one member of this House on the government side, even asked me what X intended to do on this question. Now, gentlemen, I say. that openly

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CON

George Taylor (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

I rise to a point of order. The hon. gentleman (Mr. T. Martin) thinks he is before a country audience. He should address the Chair.

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LIB

Thomas Martin

Liberal

Mr. T. MARTIN.

Mr. Speaker, if I am out of order, I apologize and am ready at once to conform to the rule of the House, But if the hon. member for Leeds (Mr. Taylor), the whip of the Conservative party, had called his freshman to order last night, I think he would have done well. It is astonishing that he, an old member of this House could sit and listen for an hour and a half to such nonsense, to such stuff, and yet, lose his head before I have been speaking fifteen minutes. It seems to me that if leniency should be shown in this House, new members should have the benefit of it. I was quite willing that all leniency should be shown to my hon, friend from Haldi-roand (Mr. Lalor) even though, he did allow himself such latitude. Had he been before a country audience and made such a speech as he made last night, he would have been told a dozen times that he was very fresh,

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CON
LIB

Thomas Martin

Liberal

Mr. T. MARTIN.

We are both from the country, and I am not ashamed of the country. Now, I wish to be thoroughly understood, and I wish these words of mine to go to the country, when I say that on no occasion hate I-and I believe the same is true of-fevery hon. member on the government side of the House-been requested, even so much as requested, to vote for the Bill now in consideration.

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An hon. MEMBER,

Or any other Bill.

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LIB

Thomas Martin

Liberal

Mr. T. MARTIN.

Yes, or any other Bill. I was very sorry also that the young member for Haldimand (Mr. Lalor) should attack so recklessly and with so little conscience that grand man the right hon. leader of this House (Sir Wilfrid Laurier). The hon. member used language with reference to the Prime Minister that no young member of this House is entitled to use. The Prime Minister of this country has a record, and by that record he is to be judged! He has behind him a record of twenty-three years of public service, a lifetime in itself. He has a record of. never failing tolerance. He has a record of clean Mr. T. MARTIN.

and able administration, such a record as we have seldom had among the public men of Canada. Can any man charge the Prime Minister of this Dominion with having misused in any way a penny of the public funds ? Can any man charge the Prime Minister with intolerance or with any, disregard of the rights or feelings of any section of the people ? I say that it is unbecoming of any young member of this House, of any man of little experience either political or parliamentary, to use such language with reference to the right hon. leader of this House as was used*by the hon. member for Haldimand.

I was much pleased to hear the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Blain) the other day quote the utterances of a Presbyterian minister and declare, as he did, that any one would accept the statement of the gentleman whose name he gave and whose words he quoted.

I belong to that church myself, and I am proud of the church and of the men it has produced. Therefore, I desire to follow the hon. member for Peel and give the opinions of some members of that denomination, to show that the school system of the Northwest as it now stands is satisfactory to the people of these new provinces and that therefore, we are right in voting for this Bill. This quoting of the opinion of members of one church may seem a little sectional, but I am sure that hon. members will bear with me when they hear the names of those whose words I - desire to give. First I would refer to the late Rev." Dr. , Robertson, and I am sure, when I mention his name, those hon. members who belong to the Presbyterian church-and I am glad to say there are a large number in this House who uelong to it-and all the adherents of that church throughout the country, will receive almost as final evidence any utterance of Dr. Robertson with regard to the Northwest. Dr. Robertson became a superintendent of missions of the Presbyterian church in 1882 and continued in that work until his death in 1902. And I believe that I state only the simple truth when I say that in the twenty years of his service no man ever did more for the Northwest, or said more for the Northwest, than this great man whose name I have given. Those of us who have had the honour and pleasure of receiving him at our own firesides know that his whole conversation was of the Northwest. And those of us who have attended the courts of the church to which he belonged, know that his great theme in the courts of our church was the building up of the Northwest and the extending of religious ordinances to the people of that great country. Dr. Robertson was a broad man. Dr. Robertson was a man who could see past his own church. I have heard him say time and again that he was glad to see other churches in the Northwest, he wanted other churches to prosper, but one of bis greatest

troubles in tbe Northwest was that there was an overlapping of chui'ches. He felt that in many cases that overlapping was not doing the good it ought to do. I mention these facts to remind hon. gentlemen who did not know Dr. Robertson, but who had perhaps heard of him, that he was a broad-minded man, a man who could take a broad view of all questions. From the year 1882 to 1902, I have followed every one of Dr. Robertson's reports presented to our church. I have followed these reports for twenty years, I have carefully looked into them, I have been myself a delegate to the assemblies of the Presbyterian church and I know that Dr. Robertson's reports were full of information and dealt in the most comprehensive manner with the Northwest Territories. When I mention the fact that in all these reports I failed to find one single word in twenty years against these schools in the Northwest It should have great weight with Protestants all over this country. If there was anything wrong with these schools in 1882, would not a broad-minded man like Dr. Robertson, whose life work was in the Northwest, have mentioned it in his first report? Would he not have mentioned it in his second report, or would he not. in the twenty reports that he presented to the general assembly, have had something to say regarding that question ? T have a great many of these reports /here. He gives first a general sketch of the character and resources of the country and then he goes into the question as. it appeared at that time, of the economic and social development of the Northwest and his firm belief at that time was that the west was to be one of the most important parts of our land; it was to be one of the parts of our land that would contain more people than even the grand province of Ontario. He believed the day was coming when millions would live in peace and luxury in that country. In giving his opinion on all these things he was always pressing for men and money to help on the work of the church and I am glad to say, now that that great man is gone, that he was broad minded enough to find no fault with any other church in all the reports he made to our church.

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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

May I ask the hon. gentleman (Mr. T. Martin) a question? Did Dr. Robertson at any time report against the provinces themselves dealing with the school question?

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LIB
CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

Is the hon. gentleman (Mr. T. Martin) aware that the Presbytery in his own county passed a resolution in condemnation of this Bill?

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LIB
CON
LIB
CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

I am informed so by gentlemen here.

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LIB

Thomas Martin

Liberal

Mr. T. MARTIN.

Who are they? I would like to have those gentlemen rise and make that statement. -

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CON

Thomas Chisholm

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHISHOLM.

I had a resolution sent to me and I have a resolution here from the Presbytery of Saugeen and it stated that the resolution was to be sent to me and also to my hon. friend from North Wellington (Mr. Martin).

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LIB

Thomas Martin

Liberal

Mr. T. MARTIN.

It so happens that I do not live in the same Presbytery as my hon. friend from East Huron (Mr. Chls-holm). I know that in some Presbyteries resolutions have been passed, but the fact that he may have received the resolution to which the hon. gentleman refers does not prove that I did. We were told by the hon. member for Haldivnand (Mr. Lalor) that there was no one-

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I suppose the hon. gentleman (Mr. T. Martin) will not deny that the Presbytery of Owen Sound, representing some 2,500 families

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Order, order.

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April 28, 1905