June 19, 1905

CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

When, on a former occasion I spoke on this question of scrip, I had to do so largely from hearsay, having no papers before me except a small memorandum. Since that time the Minister of the Interior has been good enough to bring down the first instalment of the papers. And although those that I asked for are not all down, I think it would be well to make a statement to the House and for .the information of the government-and I ask the attention of the government to it-on the facts as shown in the papers so far as we have had laid before us. I want to say in the first place

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Would not my hon. friend (Mr. Foster) wait until the House is voted into Committee of Supply ?

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I think I would rather deal with it now, if my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) does not object. The whole question arises, as the House knows, on a change of policy made on the 13th of August, 1904, by an Order in Council passed on that day, the policy changed having been one thoroughly understood by parliament, and to the extent that no adverse vote was registered against it-acquiesced in by parliament. The policy was with reference to ?co'iUSi scriP b>T half-breeds who. after ISSo, had left this country and gone to the United States of America, and had, it is presumed, taken residence on Indian reserv-

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

ations there, availing themselves of the privileges granted by the United States to men of part Indian blood. The last commission appointed on this subject was that of Mr. McKenna. That commission reported on the 31st of May, 1901. And that report and the minister's report accompanying it, formed an Order in Council approving of the different recommendations which were made. Of these recommendations I wish to refer only to two. No. 6 of these recommendations is as follows :

Inasmuch as those persons of mixed blood in Canada who participated in the benefits of band life on Indian reservations are excluded from receiving said scrip, I have taken the position that half-breeds who have left Caniada and taken up their residence on Indian reservations in the United States and participate in the benefits of Indian life there, as well as halfbreed children admitted to United States Indian schools, be likewise excluded.

And the last recommendation is :

In order to avoid the disputes on the question which was raised, I would suggest the desirability of making it clear that it is understood that in the case of money scrip no powers of attorney are to be accepted or acted upon, and that in cases in which the half-breed asks for land scrip the commissioner has no authority to accept or act upon any assignment of power of attorney.

The matter went on from 1901 to 1904, when, on the 13th of August, an Order in Council was passed traversing the order which approved of section 6, and, in short removing that disability and making it possible for the claims of that class of halfbreeds who had left the Northwest and gone to the United States to again receive consideration. In that Order in Council of the 13th of August, 1904, it was reiterated that personal attendance was a requisite of the location of the land by the half-breed who was the grantee in the case.

That brings me in short to the position in which we found it when we undertook the discussion of this question the other day, and it is with that preliminary which sets out the conditions of the controversy that'

1 rest the case so far as the policy is concerned in that regard, and come down to what is revealed in the present papers. This matter lay in that way until January, 1904, with this exception, that there was a petition in July, 1903, from these halttbreeds of Turtle Mountain who are the interested parties in the case, asking that their case should be reviewed, and complaining that their rights were withheld from them wrongly by Mr. McKenna, and against what bad been the idea of the government as shown in the Orders in Council appointing the commission. That was in July. 1903. Then there was also a presentation of the case made by a barrister of Winnipeg, by the name of Chaffey, who picked out one particular case, elaborated it, thereon made his appeal to the minister and

sent it into him about the latter part of

1903. That appeal was considered by the minister, was commended as an able document, but the writer of the same was informed that the government could not traverse its action and would not reverse its decision. That was in December, 1903. So that the petition of July, 1903, from the Turtle Mountain half-breeds and the presentation of the case by the barrister of Winnipeg, in December, 1903, were both considered, both refused by the government as contrary to their adopted policy. That brings us to the first of 1904. Now suddenly in August, 1904, the Order in Council to which 1 have referred was passed, that policy was reversed, a new policy was promulgated, and no notice was given of that new policy from the 13th of August until the latter part of October, when it appeared in the official gazette. These are not the most popular of notices, and as a matter of fact the interested parties, whether -they were the half-breeds of Turtle Mountain, or whether they were barristers or brokers who had been interested in the claims of these same half-breeds, did not know that anything had taken place as a reversal of the policy until nearly the 1st of January, 1905, and some of them not fully until March 2, 1905.

What had been going on in the meantime? A party by the name of McDonald, of the city of Winnipeg, one of a firm of three, had in some way or other become acquainted with what was proposed or with what had -been actually carried out. So. far as these papers go, no notice was given to McDonald of the Order in Council until October 0th, although it was passed on August 13th. But McDonald's position was so different *from that of all the others that though neither he, if we presume that to be a fact, received any intimation until October 0th, and none of the others received full information until the beginning of the following year. Mr. McDonald, by prescience, intuition or otherwise, knew that something was going to take place, and in July and August of the year in which the Order in Council was passed, Mr. McDonald visited -the half-breeds in North Dakota and undertook a certain work amongst them which will be better detailed hereafter. He pursued that work assiduously up till -the time and after the time of the passing of the Order in Council, and with such good success that before the 1st day of January, 1905, when some of his 'competitors and others interested in -the business found out that something was going on, a large number of scrip was already in Mr. McDonald's hands. Fifty-five had been issued in the month of November,

1904, ninety-three in all had been issued before the end of 1904, of the whole number of 136 issued altogether, of which fifteen have not yet been sent to their destination. So you may practically say that before any

others interested, whom the department knew well were interested, from months and years of communication, from tens and scores and hundreds of applications and assignments filed by them in the department from time to time, and up to the very end of 1903, practically all the scrip which had been allowed by Mr. Cote was in the hands of Mr. McDonald before any of his competitors or others interested in the matter found out what was going on.

Mr. SPItOULE. That is a scoop.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTEK.

Well, it was fortunate for Mr. McDonald. Mr. McDonald seemed to have worked for that end. I do not find fault with him in that respect. He commenced in January, 1904, by getting an opinion from Mr. Ewart, and later from Mr. Wilson, both barristers in the city of AVinnipeg, in respect of these particular half-breeds. These letters and information he transferrerd- to the department. I am not going to make a long -story of this, but in the end Mr. Wilson advised him to try and get the department to reverse their policy, and above all to try and get the department to do away with the necessity of personal location. On July 2nd, Mr. McDonald preferred his request to the department asking for a reversal of the policy, and asking that the personal location attendance should be dispensed with.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Reversal as to what?

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Reversal of the policy of the department under the Order in Council of January G, 1901, in which they approve of Mr. McKenna's disallowance of -the claims of that class of the half-breeds who had left the Northwest after 1885, and had taken up their residence and participated in Indian reservations on the south side of the line. On July 2nd, he asked for the reversal and on July 14, the government said: We will consider it, that is the department said it because I notice that the department appears largely to have been the government. Then, between July 2nd or July 14th and October 6th, from -these papers we are asked to believe that no correspondence took place between Mr. McDonald, in Winnipeg, and the department here, at least none has been brought down and I assume there was none. But, if there was none, it is not presumable that there was no communication, and so, on August 13, 1904, an Order in Council was passed. On October 3rd, Mr. -Sifton, at that time the minister, instructs Mr. Smart of the Order in Council which was passed and I think it is well that these instructions should be upon the records. They are in the form of a memorandum.

October 3rd, 1904.

Mr. Smart.

Attached is an Order in- Council authorizing me to deal with -scrip claims which for certain rea-

sons were disallowed by Mr. McKenna. Under this order I nominate Mr. N. 0. Cote to investigate. I do not desire that for the present at least, he shall hold any sittings in the west, but that he shall receive the evidence in writing as it is filed before him here and report to me.

I call attention to the phrase ' and report to me.'

You will se6 that the order contemplates dealing with the applications which were made before Mr. M'cKenna in one way or another.

That is not accurate. The Order in Coun-c.d contemplated only those which were disallowed by Mr. McKenna, and for one reason and for one reason only-residence and participation in the United States.

Mr. Cote may proceed to examine the evidence as soon as the claims are filed in the department.

On the 18th October, fifteen days thereafter, Mr. Smart issued his instructions to Mr. Cote :

Ottawa, 18th October, 1904.

Memorandum, Mr. N. O. Cot6.

With regard to the half-breed claims that you are about to investigate, it is desired that you should examine the evidence taken before Mr. McKenna, and in all cases where it is sufficient to prove the claims, ipass them at once and issue the scrip.

The instructions to Mr. Smart from the minister were for Mr. Cote to examine them ' and report to me.' Mr. Smart varies that by saying to Mr. Cote :

Where it is sufficient to prove the claims, pass them at once and issue the scrip. In other cases you can consider the affidavit evidence presented, and, where it is sufficient, act upon it and issue the scrip. I

I call attention to the fact that the deputy minister of the department absolutely varied the instructions of his minister, and varied them so that the minister, instead of receiving a report and seeing the scrip before it was issued and to know why it was issued, the scrip was issued threafter, as a matter of course, on Mr. Cote's requisition to the accountant, and signed by the deputy minister.

Now, the next correspondence I find is on November 11th, when the department writes to Mr. Macdonald, telling him that they have received his letter of 10th ultimo inclosing 114 orders for delivery of certain half-breed scrip :

I am directed to inclose herewith for your information a list of the claims which have been reconsidered up to date under the Order in Council of 13th August, 1904, with the decision arrived in each case. Where the scrip has not already been sent to the claimants in your care, it will be issued in due course and transmitted in accordance with the orders filed, provided such orders are found satisfactory. Each case will be dealt with in the usual way, but where powers of attorney were filed here, or with Mr. McKenna, prior to the orders handed in by you, the cases affected by it will have to he held in labeyance for the present. "

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

That is on November 11th. Under the minister's Order in Council it was declared that prior assignments in the case of such scrip were the assignments which would be recognized. It was tneu said that in such cases:

They will have to he held in abeyance for the present.

Why ? I do not know, but there is a very instructive commentary on that. On November 11th they would have to be reserved in abeyance for the present, but on December 17th, an Order in Council was passed rescinding that part of the provisions of the Order in Council about prior assignments that was to be observed and be binding on the government. Before Mr. Chaffey, who had spent thousands of dollars in arranging the preliminaries of these claims and had made liis deposits and filed his assignments and powers of attorney before the department, knew what was going Oji that Order in Council of December 17th was passed and the ground that he had on account of his prior assignments was cut from under his feet. The order was deliberately changed.

In the future correspondence in relation to any of these claims, one claim only will be dealt with in each letter, which is the usual practice of the department, but, while this lias been departed from on this occasion in order to advise you in a general way what progress has been made so far in the investigation of the claims which were disallowed by Mr. McKenna on the ground of the residence of the claimants residing in the United States.

Now, this letter from Mr. Macdonald, with its 114 orders for delivery, does not appear in the correspondence. I have made a note of that, and I would like the hon. minister to bring it down, so that we may see what Mr. Macdonald said in that regard. About this time Mr. Chaffey appears-on November 2nd-and he says in his letter o: November 2nd that he :

Noticed by the press some time ago that an Order in Council had been passed in Vegard to some of the Northwest half-breeds living on American reservations.

He drew up a test case, he made his plea to the minister, and he was turned down by the minister. Mr. Chaffey asks in his letter for a copy of the Order in Council and a statement as to what had really been done in the case. In reply to his letter he gets a copy of the Order in Council of 13th August, which is the first time Mr. Chaffey gets his hands upon the order of the minister passed in Council. On November 25th some other peculiar instructions were given to Mr. Cot6 by the deputy minister. The deputy minister of that date writes :

Memorandum, Mr. N. O. Cats.

Would you please let me know how many oases you have of names given to you by which there were former powers of attorney or assignment. I am to advise you that no cases are to

be dealt with except those whose names have been given to you or which have been dealt with.

Wliicli have been dealt with by Mr. McKenna. That was the only class of cases that was covered by the Order in Council. But it appears here that the names of cases have been given in some instances, and that therefore we have two classes of cases with which Mr. Cote was told to deal.

I am to advise you that no cases are to he dealt with except those whose names have been given to you or which have been dealt with. On consideration there appears to be no reason why documentary evidence should not be accepted quite as readily as any oral evidence, as the investigation for a'few names means a very enormous expense.

Now what I want to know from the department is what were those other names, other cases than those rejected by Mr. McKenna, which were covered by the Order in Council and with which he was to deal. I want to know who gave him those names and I want a list of them. I have made a memorandum of that and I will ask the minister to be kind enough to give it to me.

On December 9, a letter goes from the department again to Macdonald, and they send to Mr. Macdonald a very urgent and I must say a very friendly letter indeed.

I think it worth while to read some of it :

Ottawa, December 9, 1904. With reference to the several orders for the delivery of half-breed scrip which you have filed in this department from persons who appeared before tbe half-breed commission' and whose claims were rejected upon preliminary hearing,

I am directed to inform you that before any of such claims may be reconsidered under the Order in Council of 13th August, 1904, it will be necessary to furnish the department with the usual evidence in support of such claims.

See the date, December 9. Before the 9th of December some fifty of the assignments had been actually put in the pocket of Mr. Macdonald himself.

A supply of 200 forms of applications is being forwarded to your address by express, and great care should be taken in getting all the questions therein accurately answered by the applicant in each case before a person duly qualified to take solemn declarations or sworn statements. . . . The same kind of evidence will

also be required in respect to the claims of the brothers or sisters of persons who appeared before Mr. McKenna

Both of these latter were actually shut out by the Order in Council.

-but in addition it should be explained in these cases why the claimants did not appear before him at the sittings of the commission for the purpose of submitting their evidence.

As it is desirable that all these edaims should be finally disposed of without unnecessary delay, I am to request that the necessary evidence may be obtained and filed here as soon as possible. 1 * i 1

To say the least that is a friendly letter ; no such letter was sent to Mr. Chalfey or any other one of the dozen others deeply involved and monetarily involved in the prosecution of these same claims on behalf of the half-breeds of whose interest the department had absolute knowledge and had had for months and in some cases for years.

On January 11, the competitors of Mr. Macdonald began to waken up. Short, Cross and Biggar sent in from Edmonton, a locality not unknown, to the present Minister of the Interior. Messrs. Short, Cross and Bigger want to know what is up. They are answered and a copy of the Order in Council is sent to them. On January 14, Chaffey again writes and up to that date he doe-s not know who the commissioner is before whom to prosecute his claims. On January 14, 1905, Chaffey asks for the name of the acting commissioner and is given it. On March 2, Mr. Chaffey comes to the front. He has got his information, he has found out that he is far behind in the raca and lie goes to the commissioner, very commendably, not in a rage, but putting it just fairly before the department that he expects that they have some principle upon which they act and that they recognize fair play; his is a plea for fair-play.

On March 2nd, he sends in another letter. I shall not read it all, but shall give briefly the points in it. Mr. Chaffey states that Mr. R. C. Macdonald and himself among others were purchasing scrip in the year 1901 and bought claims from halfbreeds who had been resident in tbe Territories but fled to the United States in 1885, after the rebellion. Both they and others were on the same track. He says :

I filed assignments of some of these claims in the early part of 1901 in the department, and received an acknojvledgment of same. As the claims had not been proved they,were left on file. They were not refused. Mr. R. C. Macdonald and myself exchanged lists of the halfbreed scrips we had bought, so that we should not conflict or meddle with the claims each had bought.

And thereby hangs, later on, a tale.

I do not know the date, but I believe It was in the forepart of the year 1901 that Mr. Commissioner McKenna refused to accept these assignments. . . . We simply accommodated ourselves to the new practice. . . . The assignments I now refer to were obtained under the old practice.

And he claimed that the practice was that the assigments were recognized by the department and that the prior assignment was the assignment each had recourse to.

In tbe case of those half-breeds who had gone to the United States ... I was the first to dispute the legality of such decision1, and as far as I know the only one. In or about the end of 1903, I prepared an appeal to the minister from this decision, as I recollect in the case of J. I-. Faquant as a test case on this point. I spent much time upon it, and went into the law and

cases bearing on it pretty thoroughly. I informed Mr. R. C. Macdonald of what I was doing an'd he urged me on in the matter. I received a reply that the minister was impressed by my argument, but could not see his way to reverse the decision of Mr. McKenna. Near the time of the last Dominion election I heard that an Order in Council had been passed dealing with the matter. I wrote for a copy of same November 3rd last making some of the statements made here. ... I received from the department a copy of the Order in Council of 13th August, 1904, reversing Mr. McKenna's decision.

The language and statements in it were so familiar that it would appear to have been drawn from the appeal presented by me, before referred to.

Xlie letter gives the Order in Council abandoning the original practice and recognizing an assignment of half-breed claims when filed in the department.

In December last, I presented my claims to the department under assignments of halfbreeds, that had been filed in the early part of 1901 and under others which I then filed. The assignments were returned as not recognized by the department, and in many cases the scrip had been issued and consigned to the care of Mr. R. C.' Macdonald.

He then filed a caution and made his point skilfully. He advanced five grounds and presented the whole thing asking that the notice of the claims be made effectual in the department and added :

And that a stay in those cases be granted until I may be advised what legal proceedings are necessary.

Well, Mr. Chaffey thought that that being a moderately reasonable letter, it would open the eyes of the department and his appeal to them for fair-play would be promptly acted upon, but it does not appear to have had that effect on the department. To make matters sure Mr. Chaffey sent in a new list of all his assignments from halfbreeds so that at that time Ihey got'all of them from him, as they had the most of them before. On the 21st of March comes another very important letter from the department to the same Macdonald-no copy to any one else : , '

Ottawa, 21st March, 1905.

Gentlemen,-I am directed to inform you that it has been decided to allow scrip granted to half-breed residents of the United States under the Order in Council of the 13th August, 1904, to be located in the name of the grantee thereof by the holder of such scrip without requiring the grantee to appear personally at the land agency to make his entry, but it will be necessary before presenting the scrip for location to have it endorsed by the department as having been issued under the said Order in Council. f"cl1 scrlP should therefore be sent back to the department for endorsement, and after this has been done it will be returned to the person oi persons by whom it may have been forward-6 '?re' [DOT] an<1 tlle Asents of Dominion Lands

will he instructed in regard to its location.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

The point to which I wish to draw the attention of the government and the House is that the regulation, invariable as a rule, in the department for the protection of the half-breed when he gets his land scrip, provides that he and he alone shall make the location, and that it shall not be made by any one who has or asserts that he has an assignment or power of attorney from him. That was a regulation of the department made by Order in Council, and that regulation is absolutely nullified. By another Order in Council ? No, Sir ; by a simple letter from the department issued on the 10th of March to all the land agents, telling them what ? That as a general policy they should allow the assignees to locate ? No, but telling them, so far as this ear-marked scrip was concerned which Macdonald had sent to the department and got endorsed, that they were to locate that through the assignee and without the presence of the grantee in the case. Now, I said that this was the invariable rule, I have it In numbers of Orders in Council ; and, to show that it is so, here is a case in point. In 1897, in the case of certain halfbreed children's claims which had all been fixed up with the exception of may be two or three, the minister comes down witii an Order in Council, and he says in effect this : Our invariable rule is, and by Order in Council, that the locator must be the half-breed who is the grantee ; but if that were insisted upon in these few cases which are now under review, it would make it almost impossible to have them arranged for and this matter cleared up. Therefore he recommends, with reference to these cases, that the assignee under certain precautions shall be allowed to locate for the original grantee. Under that recommendation-and I asked for the return-exactly two cases have been dealt with, showing that it was to clean up the fag end of a transaction, and that when the minister wanted to do that, he had to get tlio authority of an Order in Council, and was not allowed to do it by departmental authority. On March 29. 1905. another competitor turns up, and in an inquiring telegram wants to know if there is any change in the process of locating half-breed claims. He is told. On the 27th of March Macdonald sends in scrip notes for endorsement, according to the announcement which had been made to him, for 13,080 acres, and the department immediately endorses them and sends them back to Macdonald. On March 10 a circular to agents re this location is sent out, and I think I had better read that :

I am directed to inform you that it has been decided to allow scrip granted to half-breed residents of the United States under the Order in Council of the 13th August, 1904, to be located in the name of the grantee thereof by the holder of such scrip without requiring the grantee to appear personally at the land agency to make his entry.

This concession on the part of the department applies to the scrip issued under the said Order in Council of the 13th August, 1904, only, and

care should therefore be taken by you when application is made for the location of a scrip note by any other than the grantee himself, that such note bears on the back thereof the following endorsation in red ink:

Issued under Order in Council of 13th August, 1904.

Accountant of the Department of the Interior. The endorsation will be signed by the accountant of the department if the note itself was signed by him, or by the acting accountant -if it was signed by the latter, in order to enable you .to compare the signature affixed to the endorsation with that on the note.

The applicant for location should make the application over his own signature, on behalf of the person named in the scrip note and subscribe to the usual declaration as to the land applied for being unoccupied and unimproved and in all respects comply with the rules and regulations governing the location of halfbreed land scrip.

As heretofore, assignments of these locations executed prior to the date on which the land was entered for in the manner above indicated, *will not he recognized by the department.

Macdonald has his assignment, and on the 10th of November he goes to a land office and puts it down, and says, I have this assignment from a certain half-breed. He makes the location. Any assignment made by thal half-breed up to that very date is null and void under these instructions. Some one has to get behind Macdonald the red-hot moment he makes the location and gets the assignment. or no person can get an assignment. Weil, that completely barred the way to further assignment, and put the land virtually into the hands of Macdonald himself. About this time Mr. Ohaffey gets on his war paint and comes to the front in a very interesting way. He now pins his faith to Mr. Oory, and on ' April 15 writes to him this interesting letter, to which I bespeak the attention of the government: .

Winnipeg, Man. April 15th, 1905. gjrj_With reference to a few minutes conversation with you when I pointed out to you that the statement that half-breed-assignments were never recognized is unfounded, as for *ten vears I received half-breed scrip up to the year 1901 or 1902 on assignments forwarded by ine to the department, of which letter No. 2 herewith, is a proof.

Most of such case were money scrip, but at that time there was no distinction, as land scrip could also be transferred to the assignee.

It was an instance of land scrip so assigned to him, but I am inclined to tbink it was an isolated occurrence, and not a general rule.

The late regulation allowing the holder to locate, is similarly made for, or is in effect in the interest of Macdonald, as the half-breeds dealing wth him relied upon his statement that he would take them to locate, and such fact was an additional security to them.

What is the charge made by Mr. Chaffey? He says that Macdonald was enabled to get these assignments because he assured the half-breeds : You will be protected; I will 243

take you to the land agent's office and have you select your own land.

There is also the fact that I first represented that the decision by Mr. McKenna in regard to the American cases was had in law. I stated the matter at large, as a test case upon the point, but was turned down upon it.

That was in December, 1903. Six months later the whole thing was reversed :

I wrote the secretary on the 8th April last, referring to the declaration of Maxime Marion filed in his case, to the effect that Macdonald claimed to he the government commissioner for taking applications, that the papers signed were so signed on that assumption, and that they were applications, which is evidence of sufficient fraud to make them avoid.

Why ? Because the half-breeds declared these turned out, not to be applications at all, but assignments of their scrip to Macdonald, and they so state over their own signatures and with affidavits.

I also then filed in his case the declaration of Genard Lallement to the effect that he was asked by Macdonald to make application hut that he refused to sign anything or have anything to do with him whatever, and that he had dealt with me in the matter of his scrip, notwithstanding which this scrip is in the possession of Macdonald. This instance is still more glearing fraud on the party than the former case.

Neither of these letters is in these files. If they are in the department, they have not been brought down.

I instance the fact that Macdonald was on the ground on the 14th and 15-th August last.

This Order in Council was passed on the 13th August.

At Turtle Mountain carrying on this work before it was possible for the half-breed or the public to have any knowledge of the policy of the department. You will thus see that every move of the department in this matter, whether premeditated or not makes no difference, has been in effect playing into the hands of Macdonald and to _ the detriment of all other parties connected with the matter.

All other parties. Small sympathy for a lot of brokers who are after scrip and trying to get it for the least they can-small sympathy for them if one gets ahead of the other ; hut the ' other parties ' includes the half-breeds themselves. Why m the name of fair-play, if the government had come to a decision to allow those half-breeds to be reconsidered, was not notice given the half-breeds themselves ? Why was no notice given to any friends of the half-breeds l Wny was notice given only to Macdonald who went down there, as alleged by Mr. Chaffey, under those conditions and get these claims ?

I am, to-day, sending a further declaration in the case of Ambroise Ouellette.

That is not brought down.

I hope in the course of a day or two to send a representative half-breed from Turtle

Mountain to the department to state the matter personally.

Does the minister know whether the halfbreed ever turned up or will he kindly make a note of that and inquire of the department ? It would be interesting to know if he is over there in one of the pigeon holes so that we may have him for examination.

I am sending, and have sent in the end of March, authorities from these various halfbreeds instructing me to take such legal action as may he required to recover their scrip, copies of which have been sent to the department.

None of these has been brought down. I want to get hold of these.

I maintain this is sufficient ground on which to hold up these cases until such action be taken, or the matter be further examined by yourself.

Now follows an Important sentence :

Over and above all, you are possessed with a knowledge of fraud on the part of Macdonald in reference to these and all cases, and you are the only head I know of at present of that department, and are therefore responsible for their action.

It is assumed that the department acts on principles of justice desiring to do justice to every one, and where temporary regulations stand in the way of justice, they should be put aside, by proceeding having this knowledge, the department aids a fraud.

I ask, then, that my request that nothing furthur be done in regard to the scrips or lands represented by them in question, be given effect to.

Your obedient servant,

(Signed) B. E. CHAPFEY.

This ig Mr. Ckaffey's letter of April 15. I do not know Mr. Chaffey, and I take his communications for what they are worth on the face of them. I presume, however, that he is a responsible man. Anyway he was ready on April 15 ; and he then charged absolute fraud and misrepresentation to the detriment of the half-breeds. The department have the charge. There is not a scintilla of evidence to show that they have ever concerned themselves in the least with reference to that charge on behalf of the half-breed-s or gave any ear at all to the representations made by the half-breeds with reference to Macdonald's misrepresentations and alleged fraud. Air. Chaffey says he spent thousands of dollars on these claims which he paid out to the half-breeds and that the department knew all about it. He filed his assignments there. Mr. Chaffey wanted his money as well as fair-play. He wanted to take all the profits to which

was entitled. He was determined to have them. This was on April 15. Then an intervention takes place and on April 20, an interesting telegram appears from the member from Winnipeg (Mr. Bole) :

Issue no more scrip to Macdonald and hold transfer of lands to him until I return

Topic:   HALF BREED SCRIP.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

What the department did I do not know. 1 imagine they Issued no more ; I imagine they held the transfers-but I cannot tell. Mr. Chaffey, on April 15, was determined to have his rights, and charged fraud and worse, but on the 25th Mr. Bole intervened and asked that proceedings be stayed until he could come to Ottawa, he then, being in Winnipeg. On May 22, after negotiations and correspondence, I find an assignment of all of Chaffey's rights, claims and interest to Macdonald. Some one told me when I heard that Chaffey was up in arms : No, this is off ; they are settling with, them. There is at "least evidence that they have settled with him. Who else if any one has ? However, there are the facts. Mr. Chaffey assigned all his rights, title and claim in that half-breed scrip to Macdonald and performed the vanishing act. That is not the end of it. A question arises here which I shall take up however, a little later. By this time the half-breeds themselves came to know something about it and so about the latter part of May the following petition comes in. In the meantime Mr. Macdonald went on and sent down scrip notes for endorsation for

15,000 acres more which he got, making in all 25,000 acres for which he had scrip. But about the 30th May-because the answer by the department Is made on the 31st May and in It they say they have just received this-the following petition was received :

We, the undersigned half blood, Indian, formerly of the Northwest Territories, Canada, now of the county of Rolette, North Dakota, United States of America.

That one R. C. Macdonald from the year 1903 and subsequent thereto came among your petitioners and others induced your petitioners and others to believe that they had been harshly treated by Mr. McKenna's scrip commission, and that he the said Macdonald would on behalf of your petitioners and others bring suit against the Canadian government to compel the issuance by the government of the scrip to which your petitioners were entitled.

Subsequent thereto and from time to time, in person and by his agents, the said Macdonald induced the undersigned and others to believe that he had instituted such suit against the government and had been successful therein ; that he, the said Macdonald, pretended that he was an officer of the Interior Department of the Dominion of Canada and that be was the only officer before whom your petitioners could appear and make application of the issuance of scrip to them, and that unless your petitioners and others appeared before the said Macdonald and executed and signed such papers as he requested they could not obtain t'he same. Relying upon and believing such statements and representations, and believing that we were applying for scrip to be issued and delivered to your petitioners and not otherwise, your petitioners, and others, signed all papers presented to them by the said Macdonald, which papers were represented to be only application papers, and to be used in procuring such scrip.

Further your petitioners sayeth that on or about the 26th day of April, A.D. 1905, the said

^>61 JUNE 19, 1903 7662

Macdonald again came among your petitioners, and others, and upon said day and subsequent thereto and for the first time informed your petitioners that said papers, believed by them as represented by him, to be only application papers, were in fact papers selling and assigning to the said Macdonald such scrip, and that your petitioners had no right, title or interest therein, that as the said Macdonald had expended thousands of dollars in such suit against the government, he was entitled to reimburse himself out of the value of such scrip, and that he would not pay your petitions and others more than about $200. That those who refused to accept such sum for their scrip the said Macdonald threatened to have imprisoned, instituted suit in the lower courts of the said county of Rolettell, Dakota, United States of America, and threatened to deprive your petitioners of their scrip without any pay therefor, and further threatened to call upca the sheriff of said county to take those so refusing into custody, your petitioners being ignorant of the true facts and believing that the said Macdonald would do as he stated, and being placed in great fear, more particularly a great number ,of other half-blood Indians, surrendered their scrip to the said Macdonald, and received therefor only about $200. Further your petitioners say that the said Macdonald has taken advantage of the uneducated condition of the undersigned and others and imposed upon them to their detriment and great irreparable loss in obtaining their signatures and getting in his possession iiis scrip, and that the said Macdonald refuses to pay more therefor than about $200, when your petitioners can sell the same on the open market for mot less than $600. Your petitioners further say that the said Macdonald first by pretense of affection and friendship for your petitioners and others ; Second by deception and fraud ; Lastly by threats and intimidating, has deceived and defrauded your petitioners and a great number of others out of their scrip, or is about to so defraud your petitioners and others out of their said scrip, as hereinbefore recited. Wherefore, your petitioners pray that all such scrip obtained in the manner hereinbefore recited by the said Macdonald, in which your petitioners are interested may be withheld and not issued or delivered to the said Macdonald, but be sent to us to our address, and that which has been delivered, that patent may not issue thereon, until we are paid market price. And further, pray that your petitioners may be permitted to prove at such time and place as the hon. Minister of the Interior Department may fix, the allegations and statements obalned in this petition, and thus we shall ever pray. This petition was signed by fifty or more half-breeds in North Dakota. * There was an answer to it, and I want to call the particular attention of the Prime 'Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) to that answer. It was written by the secretary of the department and is dated May 31st. Remember that we have seen that in the first place, on March 10th a letter was sent out by the department to the land agents saying that with reference to that scrip it was unnecessary for the grantees to appear in person, that the assignees could locate the land. Well, on May 31st, the 243J secretary of the department, replying to the petition I have just read, sajcs :- Department of the Interior, Ottawa, 31at May, 1905. Sir, I am directed to acknowledge the receipt of a petition signed by you and others, which has just been received in the department' respecting the recent issue of scrip, and to say that such scrip was delivered in accordance with the claimants' written requests which had been previously filed in this department. I am to add that half-breed land scrip can only be located in the grantees' own names, and that assignments of the land upon which the scrip has been placed, executed prior to the date of the location's, are not recognized by the department ; but after location has been entered at the office of the Dominion lands, the half-breed m whose name t'he 'location was made, may, if of the full age of twenty-one years, assign such land, and (upon the assignment being filed in this department together with an abstract of title showing that the land is unencumbered a certiflicate from the registrar that there are no judgments or executions against the assignor and the usual registration fee of $2 being remitted, if found satisfactory, such assignment may be registered in the department, in which case the patemt would be issued in the assignee's name, otherwise the patent Jor the land entered for would be issued in the name of the person to whom the scrip was issued. Your obedient servant, (Sgd.) P. G. KEYES, Mr. Michel Desmarais, Secretary. St. John, North Dakota, United States of America. Now, Sir, I am fairly well educated, and I am accustomed to reading the English language-I suppose I have a little advantage in that respect over the half-breeds to whom that letter was sent. To me reading it over for the first, the second, the third time, it seemed to say to these half-breeds : None of your scrip land can be located unless you are there to locate it, and after it is located, then you may assign it under certain conditions. If it does not mean that, what does it mean ? Yet, after reading it for the fourth or fifth time, I can see that an argument could be made that that is not its meaning. At the same time, I do not think that one man out of five hundred would take any other meaning out of it than the one that I have given. Then, there is the petition from the mixed blood. Indians not exactly in the same language, but of the same tenor, except that it says that they had been robbed of their scrip receiving only $200, while they would be able to get $1,000 if they had the scrip themselves. And the same answer is given to them that is given to the others. And here endeth these papers, so far. Now I have a word or two to say concerning what I have found in these papers. It may be that I should present some deductions with which some hon. gentlemen will not agree. In the first place, I note the remarkable change made by Mr. Smart, the deputy minister, in taking away from

the direct control of the minister that which the order of the minister had reserved to his direct control-that these should he examined by Mr. Cote and should be returned to him, the minister. The deputy said : Mr. CotS, examine these where you have the evidence, issue the scrip and send it at once. And the scrip, presumably, never entered the minister's office. I call the attention also to the admitted variation of the terms of the Order in Council confining it to the scrip which had been refused Mr. McKenna on account of residence and disallowed by him. The deputy minister, in the later communication I have read to the House says : You are only to

look into two classes of scrip, one in which the name is given you, and the other the scrip which has been dealt with by Mr. McKenna. What does that mean 1 At least it has a look of confusion ; and it does seem as if the work of the department was not in accordance with the Order in Council or the direct instructions of the minister. I will next call attention to the fact that Mr. Cote has not made any report as to how he dealt with that scrip or what evidence he took. Mr. McKenna disallowed two clauses-or two kinds In one class. He disallowed all those who had gone to the United States, disallowing them partly on preliminary objection without evidence, and partly on evidence. That evidence the department might be presumed to have. But on what evidence- did Mr. Cote adjudicate on the claims [DOT]which had been disallowed on preliminary objections ? The widest limit is given to Mr. Cot6-evidence under oath would be superior to documentary evidence ; still you need not go to the Northwest to hold an Investigation, but take what you find, take what is given you. '

You need not go to the Northwest to hold an investigation. Take what is given to you. What did he find ? By whom was it given ? We have no report from Mr. Cote. This country to-day has actually disposed of 25,000 acres of its choice lands to Mr. McDonald by the aid of this government, nor has the House any report from Mr. Cote as to the principle upon which he has made these issuances of scrip, neither has the government, nor the House, nor the country. Well, I say that Mr. Cote should have reported, and that report should have gone to his minister, and before the property was given away that minister should have taken that report to the Council, and his colleagues in the Council should have known what was going on, and the reason why 55 of those scrip, though the Order in Council is only issued on the 13th of August, and although it was promulgated in the ' Gazette ' only on the 6th of October, 55 of this scrip were in the hands of McDonald before November, 1904, had passed away, and 93 of them were in his hands before the end of the year, and about 120 were in his hands before Mr. Chaffey, and Mr. Shortcross, and Mr. Big-Mr. FOSTER.

ger, or any one else interested had the least knowedge that the thing was going on, and before the half-breeds had the least intimation from the department whose wards they were, that there was any change made in their legal status in reference to these claims. The judgment falls, and falls rightly on the head of my right hon. friend. He invited his camp followers to loot the half-breeds. He shed tears over them in sympathy many years ago, he deified a rebel on their behalf, he condoned rebellion on their behalf ; yet he allows scrip ta be issued broad and wide, giving this parliament and this country as his reason for it, when it is brought to his mind, that It is simple robbery of the rights of the halfbreeds, by his go-betweens and followers, he says : We know that has taken place, but then we did our duty to the half-breeds. What invitation could be broader or more pressing to all his camp followers to camp on the trail of the half-breeds ; and when this benevolent government made what was supposed to he a payment for the rights of the half-breeds, they allowed their followers to steal it or buy it, or juggle it from them.

One thing more. Where does the member for Winnipeg (Mr. Bole) stand, if this version is correct ? Where does the government stand, if this version is correct ? The government was informed by Mr. Chaffey that the half-breeds were being robbed by fraud. Mr. Chaffey informed the member for Winnipeg that they were being robbed. Why should there be any compromise ? In the name of just dealing, if the government had a charge from a responsible man that this was being done by fraud, it should have held up the process until it had investigated the charge ; and I think the member for Winnipeg, if he busied himself, simply to get Mr. Chaffey a money consideration, with the allegation of fraud before him, was not a wise mediator. Above all things else, for a government to compromise a fraud is a wrong and unstatesmanlike thing. How much less is it than if. when they have responsible parties making a charge of fraud, they still go on and carry out the process and never investigate the charge as to whether there is fraud or not. How does the government stand with reference to fair-play ? Did Mr. Chaffey spend money in getting assignments of these claims' ? Did other gentlemen, may hie scores of them, of whom the department has knowledge-did they spend money in getting assignments of these claims thinking that the prior assignments should carry ? Was it a fact that five per cent, yes, three per cent of the officials thought the Order in Council was revoked, that the prior assignment stood. But that was revoked, and the whole thing was shovelled over into the lap of McDonald by virtue of the reversal, the taking away of that Order in Council as to the prior assignments. But more than that. What stood like a great rock in

the way of McDonald ? The fact that the half-breed himself had to go and locate. How con Id he get around that . The 13th dav of August, 1904, the government was firm as a rock, the half-breed himself must locate it was for his own protection. Six mouths afterwards, without any notice to anv of these men interested, that was taken away by departmental letter and not by Order in Council, and it was so made that McDonald got it all, and got it without there being the personal location which ai time previously had been required.

Now as to the half-breeds themselves, in all this correspondence there is not one single line or letter of sympathy or help towards the half-breeds. Nobody in the department seems to care about the halt breeds; many in the department seem to be running their legs off to make Me-Donald privy to what was going on. It is to the credit of the government that v\ lien thev sent these half-breed commissions throughout the Northwest they made it an invariable rule that the commissioners should, in the case of money scrip, see th i nobody got that money scrip from the halt-breed'who was the grantee unless he got the market price. If John Jones followed a half-breed and got his scrip, which was worth S20O for $50, folio-wed him up to the commission until the time that the commission issued the money scrip, when the commissioner held that scrip in his hand he said to John Jones : What have you given this half-breed for his scrip ?-$50-You cannot get it, Sir, the current price is $lo0. and before that scrip goes out of my hands, under instructions from the government,

I will see that this half-breed gets the current price-and John Jones had to come up and pay the current price. That was done in scores and hundreds of cases. t\hen these 200 or more half-breeds applied they had no case, they were bowled out ot court in spite of their petitions. Then, six months after the latest declaration of the policy ot the government to Cliaffey, the whole thing is reversed. But from the time it was reversed until every scrip had gone into McDonald's hands the department did not busy themselves in sympathy or in action to find what the half-breed had got for his scrip. It is alleged that McDonald went there and persuaded the half-breeds that they were signing papers to authorize him to institute a suit, when they were really signing the assignment of their scrip, and it is alleged in some quarters that he really got a quit claim signed in blank. Whether that be so or not I do not know, but there is the allegation of the half-breeds and up to that time no one in this department and no one in the right hon. gentleman's government had the least sympathy with the halfbreed or the least thought as to whether the half-breed should be jilted or not. For whose benefit ? I have here the list. There it is There is the list. There are all the

scrip that are issued and out of the whole of it there are 126 which have gone to Mr. McDonald. He holds them all. How many has he located ? Three up to the date of this. There is a point I want to know something about. Every land agent received authority to locate Mr. McDonald s scrip if it is endorsed. Mr. McDonald has had the endorsed scrip for months. Is that location going on now at the land offices, or has it been forbidden by the minister ? I think I would like to ask the hon. minister a question. Is that still going on ?

Topic:   HALF BREED SCRIP.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I will answer the hon. gentleman presently.

Topic:   HALF BREED SCRIP.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

If the hon. minister will answer me now and say that the department has issued orders to prevent the location

Topic:   HALF BREED SCRIP.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I will have to make an answer to the hon. member and I will answer him in the proper time.

Topic:   HALF BREED SCRIP.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

It is simply as the hon. minister says. I do not know why the answer should not be given. What in the world is the reason which would induce the hon. minister to keep it for ten minutes or half an hour ? We will get it out. It has to come. However, Mr. Macdonald has the scrip, orders have been given to the agents to locate scrip but to locate no other halt-breed scrip without the endorsement. ^ Tins presumably is going on now in the Territories. What does it mean ? Twenty-five thousand acres of land for which Mr. Macdonald has paid not more than 80 cents an acre located, no doubt, in the most valuable parts of the country-25,000 acres of land in Macdonald's hands, put in his hands at 80 cents an acre, worth at least from $8 to $10 an acre. How much of it does the halt-breed get ? He gets 80 cents an acre. How much does Macdonald get? He gets all over the SO cents an acre less his expenses. W hy this everlasting anxiety to help Macdonald . Who is he ? What has he done ? Does this government in its administration of halfbreed scrip exist for a man like Macdonald, or does it exist for the half-breed t In Heaven's name why should there be $150,000 or $200,000 placed in the hands of Macdonald and only 80 cents per acre of that go into the hands of the half-breed whose it was and whose rights are tremblingly described by hon. gentlemen opposite as blood rights. Blood rights are not in it except to tlie extent of 80 cents an acre compared with Macdonald rights and with the difference between 80 cents and what he sells the land for in the end. That is wheie it is There is no need to elaborate on it. I could say more than I have but I shall not sav any more. I now leave this with the government and I want the government as fooii as thev possibly can and within reasonable time tell the House what they intend to do I think something ought to be done. I think something ought to have been done

Topic:   HALF BREED SCRIP.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Well that is a good way to answer it if you think it is the right way.

Topic:   HALF BREED SCRIP.
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LIB
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I would like to keep my hon. friend right as far as I can. I never met Mr. Cbaffey, I do not know him, I never wrote to him. I never received a letter from him. The minister may call him his friend if he likes, hut he has no right to call him mine.

Topic:   HALF BREED SCRIP.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I beg the hon. gentleman's pardon. I must confess that I was misled, for whereas in his former speech he took up the time of the House and the country in deprecating the granting of the scrip to the half-breeds as an in.justice to the public, on this occasion the greater part of his speech has been occupied with a discussion of the woes of Mr. Cbaffey.

Topic:   HALF BREED SCRIP.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

The reason being because I knew nothing of Mr. Chaffey's transaction or connection with the transaction until the minister brought down the papers. I found his case there, and finding it there I have a right to take it up.

half-breeds and teaching them to be farmers, &c., but I never argued as my hon. friend said.

Topic:   HALF BREED SCRIP.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I have some difficulty, I must admit, in following the hon. gentleman.

Topic:   HALF BREED SCRIP.
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June 19, 1905