March 5, 1912

EXTENSION OF BOUNDARIES-MANITOBA.


House resumed the adjourned debate on the proposed motion of Mr. Borden for the second reading of Bill No. 115, to provide for the extension of the boundaries of the province of Manitoba.


CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEORGE H. BRADBURY (Selkirk).

Mr. Speaker, the question before the House is not a new one. It has been before the country for a number of years; it has been before this House and has been discussed at some length: it is a question in which the province of Manitoba is vitally interested. And it is a question that has been played with by the late government. That government practically penalized the province of Manitoba for years and refused to place the province on an equality with the sister provinces of the west. And now, when the right hon. leader of this government (Mr. Boi'den) brings in a Bill for the purpose of doing common, everyday justice to the province of Manitoba and to implement the pledge that he gave to the people of that province, we find the right hon. leader of the opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) doing all that he can to frustrate this government in thus doing justice to that province. And it is strange to realize that the hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House do not even agree in their opinion upon this proposed measure. The leader of the opposition takes the ground that the proposed Bill deals too generously with Manitoba, while the hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver), the former Minister of the Interior takes the ground that Manitoba is not to be a gainer but is to be a loser under this proposed arrangement. It is very hard to reconcile the opinions of these two hon. gentlemen who sat side by side in the Cabinet for a number of years when justice was denied to the province of Manitoba.

I shall not detain the House at any length, but I wish to refer to a few of the remarks made by the hon. member for

Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) in dealing with the Bill before the House. That hon. gentleman performed some strange feats of argumentative gymnastics when dealing with the figures relating to the swamp lairds in Manitoba. He stated that Manitoba had

8.000. 000 acres of these lands that would be transferred back to the Dominion if this Bill went through. And he assumes that these lands had a value of $3 an acre, and said, in view of that fact, that the province of Manitoba was handing back something like $24,000,000 worth of lands. But he was forced to admit that when he claimed that these swamp lands had an area of

8.000. 000 acres, it was only an estimate. As against this, we have the estimate of the late Mr. Young, who was well known as the chief geographer of the Department of the Interior. Mr. Young had the facts before him, I .presume, when he made this estimate. And this is his statement:-

The unsurveyed area in the province of Manitoba is estimated at .12,900,000 acres. This is largely unexplored. It is thought that 30 per cent, (4,870.000 acres) may be swamp. This land will be of considerable less value than the swamp lands already referred to.

This is the estimate of a man competent to make an estimate if any man was; and he reached the conclusion that less than

5.000. 000 acres of swamp lands are at present held by Manitoba available to go back to the Dominion in case this Bill goes through. Again, the hon. gentleman (Mr. Oliver) estimated that, because the swamp lands already disposed of by the province had netted the provincial government something like $3 an acre, the remaining swamp lands were of equal value. But, there is no man in this House who knows better than the hon. gentleman himself that the swamp lands in Manitoba that have already been sold were picked lands, lands lying adjacent to settlements and to railways, and consequently of more value than the swamp lands still remaining in the possession of the province. Ninety per cent of the lands that were sold were prairie lands. I think it safe to say that 95 per cent of the remaining swamp lands of Manitoba are practically bush lands, and any hon. gentleman who knows anything about the bush swamp in Manitoba, can have some idea of the comparative value of the bush swamp area and the prairie swamp area. In my own county there is a large area of that kind of land." Some of it has been drained and cleared, and the men who have done this, estimate that it cost them from $15 to $25 an acre to clear and drain it. So, it is safe to say that when the hon. gentleman estimates that the swamp lands remaining in the possession of Manitoba are worth $3 an acre he very much overestimates the value of these lands.

Another statement that the hon. gentleman made and that was in keeping with a great many statements made by hon. gentlemen opposite dealing with this question, was that these lands were never sold in competition but were sold by private sale; and he gave that as a reason why the lands had not brought higher prices. This statement he made in face of the fact that while he himself was Minister of the Interior large tracts of school lands were sold throughout the province of Manitoba by public auction, or so called public auction, and yet the swamp lands sold by the province of Manitoba realized as large a price as the school lands-which were supposed to be good lands, some of them first-class lands -realized in the sales as carried on under the direction of the hon. gentleman (Mr. Oliver).

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

- May I ask the hon. gentleman (Mr. Bradbury) to give the figures upon which he bases that statement. I think the House would be glad of that information.

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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY.

I have not the figures at hand. But I am satisfied that when the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Rogers) takes the opportunity to reply he will give the figures. He made the statement yesterday-and I have seen similar statements in the Manitoba papers and reported as having been made in the legislature by the Premier of Manitoba and others-that the swamp lands of Manitoba had realized as good a price as the school lands sold by the late government by competition, so called. Under the late Dominion government peculiar methods of conducting the auction were followed. One was this: If in a given

district some of their friends wanted a particular piece of land, some person attended the auction who would bid the land away up above its value, and then would fail to deposit his cheque for 10 per cent as was necessary in order to make the sale binding. This land was supposed to be sold, every man present in the office supposed this tract of land was sold to Mr. So-and-So, to Mr. Smith, we will suppose, who was bidding on it, and the consequence was that the auctioneer in settling up would find that the land was not sold at all. We had evidence of this thing in Manitoba on different occasions, and the friends of the government got the land at their own price.

I wish to say in reply to the

charge made by the ex-Minister of the Interior that the swamp lands of Manitoba never having been advertised, that there was one large area that I remember something like 200,000 acres, in the year 1905 or 1906, it was advertised in To-Mr. BRADBURY

ronto, Ottawa and Montreal papers and in American papers for thirty days. That land was situated in my own county and the highest bid that the provincial government received at that time was 52 cents an acre. Now, Sir, knowing the land as I do I did not wonder at it because I did not consider it was worth any more. I want to say right here that knowing the bush swamp land of Manitoba as I do there are hundreds of thousands of acres of it that would be dear if the government gave it as a gift to any one who would undertake to drain it, clear it and put it in shape for cultivation. And still my hon. friend tries to make out that the province of Manitoba is losing by this proposed settlement. Who is to he the judge? Is it the right hon. gentleman who leads the opposition, who knows very little about the province of Manitoba, and I am bound to say cares less, ot is it the late Minister of the Interior who is a resident of another province and who has been cheated in a princely fashion by the late government of which he was a member, or is it the people themselves who live in the province of Manitoba? I have an editorial here from the Winnipeg * .Tribune,' a paper that supported (the right hon. gentleman for many years, that supported his candidates in every constituency at the last campaign and did all that was' possible to defeat the Conservative candidates in every riding of this Dominion. Here is what the Winnipeg 'Tribune' says:

Thursday, February 29.-So far as we can

see at present Manitoba is to be congratulated upon the terms embodied in the Bill which Premier Borden lias introduced to define the boundaries of this province. Especially are our people to be congratulated upon the financial terms to be accorded to this province.

And this, Mr. Speaker, is. what my hon. friend from Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) tries to convince this House is unfair and inadequate to the province of Manitoba, while the right hon. gentleman who leads the opposition takes the opposite tack and claims that the terms .are altogether too generous tor Manitoba. The article goes on to say:

Mr. Roblin has maintained a long and strenuous battle for terms of equality with Alberta and Saskatchewan and his final victory entitles him to the thanks of the people of this province. The new financial terms make a splendid addition to the income of this province. The argument against the increase advanced by Sir Wilfrid the other day is scarcely worthy of him. The fact that Manitoba has gone along for forty years on a niggardly subsidy, while her more favoured and recently launched sisters, Saskatchewan and Aiiberta, were accorded princely terms, should be regarded as an irresistible argument in favour of according to Manitoba justice, even if belated. Sir Wilfrid takes tbe other view for what reason it is difficult to conceive, except it be due to a prejudice against

the postage stamp province which the ex-premier has long been suspected of harbouring.

Meantime Premier Roblin and his government and the people of Manitoba are to be congratulated upon the settlement that has been secured.

Now, Mr. Speaker, who is in a better position to speak for the people of Manitoba? The Winnipeg ' Tribune,' an organ of the late government, a paper that championed the cause of the hon.

member for Edmonton and his leader, which has the honesty and the fairness to come out and congratulate the Premier of this Dominion and the Premier of Manitoba on this magnificent settlement that has been effected. But we have other witnesses? Take the local legislature now sitting in Winnipeg. Every hon. gentleman knows that for years the local legislature has been unanimous in demanding that the province of Manitoba be placed on an equality with her sister provinces. A few days ago a member of that House, Mr. D. A. Ross, the member for 'Springfield, was asked his opinion of the action of the right hon. leader of the opposition in this parliament regarding the boundary question, and he made this statement:

Mr. Ross said only snatches of Sir Wilfrid's views had been published, but he declared that as far as the ex-Premicr's reported stand of Manitoba-getting-too-much was concerned, he was not favourable.

Mr. Ross hesitated. He said only bits of Sir Wilfrid's speech had been published, and he was eager to express an opinion. If it was true, however, that Sir Wilfrid begrudged Manitoba the money, as retroactively speaking, he is reported to have done, well then Mr. Ross said, he is most certainly opposed to that phase of the ex-Premier's stand.

Mr. Ross is a Liberal member of the local legislature, I might say one of the strongest Liberals in Manitoba, and one of the most ardent supporters of the right hon. gentleman who leads the opposition in this House. Another reference was made by another member, Mr. Molloy, M.P.P., a bright young man, Who said on the boundary question:

On the boundary question, he said that Manitoba was being sold out by the arrangement made with the Dominion government. He held that they should have been allowed to retain control of the swamp lands, and that the compensation offered was not sufficient to recompense them. The speaker based his argument in regard to the area of the swamp lands on figures given by the late Minister of the Interior, Prank Oliver.

The Premier, intervening, said that Mr. Oliver at that time had simply been playing a game of politics. He (the Premier) had seen Sir Wilfrid Laurier officially immediately afterwards, and the then Premier of the Dominion had told him that the statements of Mr. Oliver were absolutely untrue.

Now I do not wonder that the right hon. gentleman made that statement in face of the facts laid before this House by my hon. friend the Minister of Finance, when he read to this House a statement which I have just read by Mr. Young and which shows that the swamp lands even at the biggest estimate, comprise less than 5,000,000 acres. Still my hon. friend Taised the estimate up to 8,000,000 acres, to suit his argument, and to make it appear that Manitoba was losing a great deal by this transaction.

There was a piece of swamp land sold in the province of Manitoba, and it was sold by public competition as every acre of swamp land has been sold in Manitoba during the past ten years. Books have been opened, provincial valuators have been put over the land, and an upset price put on each parcel, and any man, the hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver), for instance, could have walked into the office and' bought any of the land that he wanted to buy as hundreds of his Liberal friends did. There was one piece which especially interested Mr. Edward Brown. The hon. gentdeman knows bo whom I refer, and he knows Mr. Brown is not a Conservative. He is the ex-leader of the Liberal party of Manitoba. There was a large area of land offered for sale, and Mr. Brown put his valuator over that land. The upset price of the government was $2.60 an acre. The valuator came back and advised Mr. Brown that the valuation was too high. The consequence was that Mr. Brown refused to pa}' $2.60 an acre for the land, but Mr. Brown had the opportunity like any other Liberal in the country. But the truth is, that it would pay the country to give a clear title to much of this swamp lands on condition that they were properly drained. It does seem strange, just

on the eve of everyday, common justice being done to the province of Manitoba, that the right hon. leader of the opposition, and1 his friends, should take the position they are taking at the present time. Instead of assisting the government in settling this question, and allaying the irritation that exists in Manitoba on account of the unfair manner in which they have been treated for years by the late administration, we find these hon. gentlemen arraying one province against another, and trying to incite the jealousy of the lower provinces, and of Ontario as against Manitoba. I hold that this is an unworthy position for hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House to take. If this country is to prosper, and be what it ought to be, a great and prosperous nation, it must be by the united efforts of both parties to unite our different provinces, and unite our people from the Atlantic to the Pacific. When

my right lion, friend the leader of the government, is attempting to implement the pledge which he gave to the province of Manitoba, brings in this Bill for the purpose of d'oing justice, and of placing Manitoba on an equality with the two western provinces, it is hard to understand the attitude of hon. gentlemen opposite in opposing that proposition. We, who have lived in that province during the last thirty years, realising that Manitoba is the pioneer province which has blazed the way for the great provinces that have sprung up to the west of us, feel the unfair and harsh treatment that we have received from the Liberal party in this province during the last eight or ten years. Manitoba has been penalized. Why? Because the Conservative party rose equal to the occasion ana turned the rottenest government that ever existed in Manitoba out of power, and placed a Conservative government in power. Ever since that day the Liberals in Ottawa led by the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) have penalized that province and have refused to do it simple, everyday justice. In conclusion, I want to congratulate my right hon. friend the leader of the government upon bringing this Bill in to do for the province what he promised, to give to the province an equality in the great family of provinces, and to place Manitoba in the position which she ought to have occupied years ago.

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Rt. H@

Mr. Speaker, during the last campaign which terminated on the 21st of September, everybody will remember that loud and many were the promises that, if the Conservative party were to be victorious in the contest, the long-pending controversy over the Manitoba boundaries would be settled to the satisfaction of Manitoba, and the whole of the Dominion. Loud and many were the promises that as soon as a Conservative administration had been installed in Ottawa, Manitoba would cease to be a postage stamp on the map. They were victorious, and now the attempt is being made in this Bill to implement the pledge which was made, not only to the people of Manitoba, but to the people of the whole Dominion. This is a sample of the manner, I suppose, in which the different pledges of the present government are to be implemented. Manitoba, forsooth, by the terms of this Bill and of the order in council to which I shall have to refer also, gets an increase of its boundaries, but there is a stigma placed upon the territory which has been added to it. Manitoba is granted financial terms which no one begrudges because they are large, but which we oppose because they are unfair to the rest of the Dominion. Let me remind the Mr. BRADBURY.

House, thgt when parliament was dissolved at the end of July last, there were upon the journals of the House resolutions adopted as far back as the month of July, 1908 whereby it had been declared expedient by this House that the boundaries of the province should be extended northerly up to the 60th parallel of latitude, and easterly to the 89th degree of longitude. The resolutions also declared that it was expedient that in the added territory which was given to Manitoba, there should be granted to to the province an allowance in money to be a fair equivalent for the land included in that extent of territory. It may not be out of place that I should quote this part of the resolutions:

That whereas notwithstanding the extension of territory above described, the ungranted lands of the Crown in the territory so to be added to the said province will still continue to be administered by the government of Canada for the purposes of the Dominion : and the said province will not have the public lands as a source of revenue.

It is just and equitable to recognize the increased cost of civil government which such extension of territory will occasion to the province, and in view of the premises, to make to the said province an increased allowance by money payment, the amount of which should be the subject of negotiation between the government of Canada and the government of Manitoba.

When parliament was dissolved everybody in Canada knew that uron these resolutions there had been extensive negotiations between the then government of Canada and the government of Manitoba. We had offered to the province of Manitoba an extension of territory such as is described in these resolutions northerly to the 60th parallel of latitude and easterly to the 89th degree of longitude, but the government of Manitoba demurred to these terms, and claimed a very extensive territory indeed- much more than we thought it would be fair to give them. It was only after thrice repeated negotiations that finally, in the month of March last, the province of Manitoba agreed to accept the boundaries which we had tendered them, and which are now embodied in the Bill before the House.

As to the financial terms, we offered what we thought were fair and reasonable terms to the province of Manitoba in lieu of the lands which were to remain in the Dominion, but the province of Manitoba insisted upon negotiating on an altogether different basis. That is to say, the province of Manitoba was not satisfied with simply having compensation for the lands which were included in the territory which was to be added to its then existing area, but insisted on having an allowance for all the lands comprised in her present and future limits, not only upon the

140,000 square miles or thereabouts which

are to be given her under this Bill, but upon the 70,000 square miles which constitute her present territory. Upon that basis we could not negotiate and that was the line of cleavage between us and the government of Manitoba when parliament was dissolved. When the present government was organized, Mr. Roblin, the Premier of Manitoba, accompanied by Mr. Campbell, his Attorney-General, came to interview the Cabinet. They presentied their claims and they stated they would be satisfied, as they had declared in the course of the year 1911, to accept the boundaries which had been defined in the resolution of July, 1908, but they insisted also, as they insisted with us, on having financial terms given to them, not based upon the extended territory alone, but based upon the whole territory of the province. They concluded their claim in the following language:

We, therefore, most humbly pray and request Your Excellency and your advisers to take such action respecting all and singular the terms as shall give every effect to the extension of the boundaries of the province in accordance with the proposal of the House of Commons contained in a resolution adopted on the 13th of July, 1908, and upon terms of equality with either the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta or the provinces of Ontario or Quebec, or upon such other terms or further terms as may be agreed upon between the federal authorities and the legislature of this province.

We understood, from the public press, that Mr. Roblin received audience and was admitted to the Council Chamber to plead his case. And, after that, we are informed by the declaration of Mr. Roblin himself that he carried every point; that he got everything he had asked for; that he was given the boundaries which we had agreed to give him, and that he was given the financial terms which we thought could not be given. At all events, when Mr. Roblin left Ottawa on that occasion, he was quite exultant and jubilant. So jubilant was he that he had to pour out all over the land the echoes of the joy which filled him and which if pent up would have torn his bosom. He proclaimed his joy and his triumph from the housetops and from the street corners. He buttonholed every reporter that came within speaking distance, and told him all he had achieved. But, unfortunately, Mr. Roblin crowed too soon and his crowing was his undoing, for his boasting aroused from his slumbers Sir James Whitney, the Premier of Ontario. Mr. Roblin in the excess of his joy, interviewed, before he left Ottawa, the reporter of the ' Evening Journal,' and on the 21st of November the 'Evening Journal' thus gives the conversation it had had with Mr. Roblin:

Before leaving for the west last night Premier Roblin of Manitoba made the definite statement that as a result of conferences held here during the last few days a basis of settlement of the Manitoba boundary question had been arrived at. The new boundaries of the province as fixed by the Laurier government and as agreed to by the Manitoba government, have been accepted, but the terms of financial assistance to be given to Manitoba have been varied.

The amount of additional subsidy which Manitoba will receive has not been announced, but it is satisfactory to Premier Roblin arid Attorney General Campbell, who have carried on the negotiations with Premier Borden and his colleagues. . ,

The Federal government will this session introduce a Bill providing for the settlement, and it will doubtless be concurred in by the Manitoba legislature. The settlement, _ it is said, will put Manitoba on an equality in regard to financial terms with Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Premier Roblin said that now that Manitoba was to come into its own and be extended to the shores of Hudson bay, the provincial government would take steps to open up the hinterland and secure all data in regard to the country with a view to the future development of its resources.

From Ottawa, Mr. Roblin went to Toronto, and in Toronto it was natural for him to go to the office of the 'Mail and Empire,' and the ' Mail and Empire ' gave out, on the 22nd of November, the confidences he had poured into its ears in the following paragraph:

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Hon. R. P.@

Roblin and Hon. Colin Campbell. of Manitoba, go back to Winnipeg to-day having settled the vexed question of the provincial boundaries.

Premier Rbblin anounced to-day that the-agreement arrived at with the Federal government provided for territorial extension north and east, as laid down in the proposal of the late government.

The financial settlement which the Laurier government refused to make has been conceded bv the Borden ministry, Manitoba, in respect to the added territory being placed on exactly the same financial footing as the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta. This involves a subsidy from the Federal treasury in lieu of the public lands, the whole arrangement being in accord with the expressed wish of the Manitoba legislature. Fort Churchill on Hudson bay thus becomes a Manitoba port.

Mr. Roblin stated tliat a Bill will be probably introduced in parliament giving effect to this settlement this session. He said that on his return to Manitoba he will set to work on a policy of development of the new north country providing transportation facilities, &c.

And from the ' Mail and Empire ' office Mr. Roblin went to the ' News ' office and the ' News ' gave the tenor of the conversation it had with him on the 21st in the following language:

Hon. Mr. Roblin, Premier of Manitoba, who arrived from Ottawa, stated to the ' News '

this afternoon, that through an arrangement with the Federal government the province of Manitoba would have its annual subsidy increased from $200,000 to about $400,000.

' Are you satisfied with the boundary settlement of Manitoba/ he was asked?

' Absolutely/ he replied, it was practically all we asked; Manitoba will henceforth enjoy equality with the other provinces which it has heretofore been denied.'

As I said a moment ago, Mr. Roblin spoke too soon. He awoke Sir James Whitney and when Sir James Whitney saw that Churchill was to become a Manitoba port, Sir James Whitney came down to Ottawa and asked fair or foul that Churchill must belong to Ontario, and then everything was upset. Then the ministerial papers were told that they had to sing another tune, not the tune of the success of Manitoba and of the triumph of Mr. Roblin, but that Manitoba and Ontario had to agree together before any settlement was made. The Ottawa ' Journal ' on the 24th of November, contained the following:

Tbs Manitoba boundary question lias not yet been settled; it will not be until the claims of Ontario are heard and given that full consideration which their importance demands.

This statement was made to-day by one of the Ontario Cabinet ministers.

' Despite the reports sent out from Ottawa purporting to be official or semi-official, to the effect that this important question had been disposed of, and that in the solution the rights of Ontario were disregarded, you can authoritatively state that such is not the case. He said. "'The government simply discussed the matter with Premier Roblin, but as yet the reported concessions have not been granted.'

Following this tug-of-war between these doughty champions, Sir James Whitney on the one side and Mr. Roblin on the other, there were marches and counter-marches, manoeuvring in one direction and another, secret expeditions from Ottawa to Winnipeg and back to Ottawa again, secret expeditions from Ottawa to Toronto and back to Ottawa again. Mr. Roblin insisted that Churchill and Nelson should belong to Manitoba; Sir James Whitney insisted that, fair or foul, Ontario was bound to have both Churchill and Nelson. And so on, for three long months or thereabouts, these negotiations went on, until the whole affair was patched up in the shape of the hybrid conception which we now have in this Bill and the order in council giving to Manitoba the sovereignty without the land, and to Ontario the land without the sovereignty. And this is what they call justice to the province of Manitoba; this is what they call equality with Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Let us go a little further into this mystery. Let me quote now the order in council which is to accompany the present Bill,

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Before discussing a subject of great public interest now under the consideration of parliament, I desire to touch upon certain questions of paramount importance to the people of tEe west. To-day in Canada six provinces enjoy the right to control and administer the public lands, mines, minerals and other natural resources within their boundaries. That right is not enjoyed by the three prairie provinces. The Liberal-Conservative party since .1902 has firmly asserted and maintained the rights of these three provinces to their public domain. We stand for that right to-day and we will maintain it. The public lands, and natural resources are vested in the Crown, to be administered for the 'benefit of the people. In six provinces the Crown, in dealing with the ipu'blio domain acts upon the advice of the provincial ministers and under laws enacted by the provincial legislatures. In the three prairie provinces the Crown in dealing with such lands acts upon the advice of the federal ministers and under laws enacted by the federal parliament. Why should there be any such discrimination against the people of these three provinces? The day is not far distant when Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta will receive from a Liberal-Conservative government at Ottawa the just recognition of their undoubted right to their public lands and natural resources.

' There is a Conservative administration in Ottawa to-day and it is dealing with that province, not however, by giving the lands to that province.

Then at Brandon my right hon. friend spoke in these words:

In 1902, in 1905, in 1907, and again in 1910, we have stood for the right of the western provinces to own and control their public domain. It is the right of the people of those provinces to have their public lands and natural resources administered by their own governments under the control of their own legislatures. They say that they are free men and being free men in a free country have as good a right to control through their own local legislatures, and by their own provincial executives, the administration of their public lands and natural resources as have the people of any of the eastern provinces who enjoy and have enjoyed * that right. The Liberal-Conservative party supports that claim and will enforce it at the first opportunity.

Will enforce it at the first opportunity ! Is there not the opportunity here to do so? What prevents my right hon. friend from carrying out the promises which he made to the people of Brandon and the people of Winnipeg and the people of the whole province of Manitoba, in Manitoba?. My right hon. friend had the opportunity to do so, but has deferred doing so. What reasons he has for this course I do not know, tout I know one thing, and the statement was cheered a moment ago that the opportunity would come for him to do so, I know one thing that whenever my right hon. friend attempts to carry out the promises he made to the people of those provinces Sir WILFRID LAURIER,

and to give back to Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, their public lands, he will find in his path the same lions which he finds to-day and which make him recoil from his position and force him to go back upon his promise.

That is very significant, but there is something which is perhaps more significant than what has been said by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is not the only one who has spoken in grandiloquent terms upon this question. My hon. friend the Secretary of State (Mr. Roche) in a speech delivered in 1906 on this question, on a motion made by Mr. Lake, then member for Qu'Appelle, on the question of the coal strike, said:-

The hon. member for Qu'Appelle (Mr. Lake) has spoken about the humiliating position in which our country has been placed. In the first place I claim it was a humiliating position in which to place those new provinces to withhold from their hands the control of their own public lands. Had the rights of the people of those provinces been fought for as they should have been fought for by hon. gentlemen supporting the government, the provinces would have control over their lands to-day, and the provinces would have been able to grapple with their own coal strike without calling on the federal government for relief.

It was a humiliation to the people of Saskatchewan and Alberta that their own public lands were not given to them. If it- was a humiliation for Saskatchewan and Alberta, how are we to characterize the deeper humiliation of Manitoba whose lands are given, not to Manitoba, but to another province, the province of Ontario? I have only to say that, in my humble judgment, the position taken in this respect, by Manitoba and by the government of Canada in relation to Manitoba is poor business, politics, and still poorer statesmanship.

Wtih regard to the financial terms given to the province of Manitoba, I have not much to say beyond what has been said by my hon. friend from St. John (Mr. Pugsley) and my hon. friend from Edmonton (Mr. Oliver). I do not begrudge at all the money which under the terms is given to the province of Manitoba. My hon. friend from Selkirk (Mr. Bradbury) stated that 1 had been the enemy of Manitoba. Why should I be the enemy of Manitoba? I am a Canadian, and look upon this question as a Canadian. And, as a Canadian, and a representative of the people,

1 am bound to regard it not merely from the standpoint of the extension of Manitoba's boundaries, but from the standpoint of the stewardship which I, like the hon. zentleman and every other member of this House, owe to the people of Canada. So far as I am concerned, Manitoba is welcome to the money. But I have serious objection to the principle upon which this money is to be given to Manitoba. It. is

not to the giving of the money, nor to the sum, high as it is, that we take exception; but I say without hesitation, that the principle involved in this Bill cannot be defended before any audience outside of the province of Manitoba. Nay, it cannot .be defended, even in Manitoba. Manitoba is following the example so often given of trying to secure special terms from the Dominion, and it is a rather ungracious task to fight against the province of Manitoba getting more money than she is now receiving from the Federal Treasury. But I have this to say to my hon. friend from Selkirk, that the question is higher than the mere question of money. We stated in 1908, when we introduced the resolution now partly implemented by the present government, for the extension of the boundaries of Manitoba, that, so far as this territory was concerned, as the addition to the province would involve a greater expenditure on the part of the provincial government, it would be fair, as Manitoba was not getting the lands, that she should get the equivalent of those lands. But that is not what is done to-day. It is not an equivalent for the land of this territory that the present government has agreed to, but this government undertakes to review the whole financial terms of Manitoba, a province which has existed for more than thirty years, and to give new terms, new facilities, new subsidies to that province over that which she has enjoyed for many years past. Is there any justification to this? What justification can there be for such an attitude? This provision to give more money to the province of Manitoba over the subsidy which she now receives from the Federal Treasury is in no way a corollary of the extension of the boundaries in Manitoba. Whether the boundaries are extended or not does not affect this question. Manitoba can always come here, if she chooses, to ask for better terms. But there is a limit to this thing. There is a parity amongst the provinces, and there is no reason in the world why one province should be better treated than another. But since the principle is admitted by the present government of treating with Manitoba on a basis which was not the basis of the resolution of 1908, since the principle is admitted that better terms should be given to the province of Manitoba, because of what she is now receiving for the cost of the administration in the province, I should have supposed1 that the most natural way would have been for the present government to give Manitoba lands and not money. I believe Manitoba preferred to have the lands, and no one knows it better than my hon. friend the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Rogers). Again and again the province of Manitoba through its legislature, expressed its preference, in the arrangement of the matter

which we are now considering, to have lands and not money. Why were not the lands given? Why were not the promises made by the Prime Minister to the people of Manitoba not twelve months ago-hardly eight months ago-why were they not implemented? It was his policy, a policy for which he has fought for years. He proclaimed that policy from one end1 of the Dominion to the other. He has the majority; every one behind him was ready to vote to give the lands to Manitoba. And yet, it is not lands but money that he is giving to Manitoba. What the reason can be I do not know. But one thing I do know, and that is that the question is not so simple for the right hon. gentleman now that he bears the responsibilities of government, as it was when he sat on this side without responsibility. It was easy to say: We will

give the lands. And, for my part, so far as concerns those lands which are not prairie lands, I see no difficulty at all in giving them to-the province. My objection to handing over the prairie lands is that these lands are the basis of our policy of immigration, and it has always seemed to be right that we should retain that basis of our policy in our own hands. I do not know hut that my right hon. friend (Mr. Borden), may have come to the conclusion^ now that he has the responsibilities of office, now that he must be responsible for what he does, now that the difficulties which we saw when in office, but which he ignored, loom up so large and so dark before him, that he must recall his oft-proclaimed policy and declare that he will not give the lands, but will give the money instead of the lands. With regard to the compensation in money, whether the province of Manitoba receives less or receives more, for my part I am not very much concerned. If she receives more, she is welcome to it; if she receives less* that is her business. The question is not there, the question is in the constitutional difficulty. What Teason can be given for changing the allowance for debt which was given in 1885, to the province of Manitoba? What reason can oe urged in behalf of Manitoba that cannot be urged also on behalf of every other province in the Dominion? I listened yesterday with great attention to the argument on this point presented by my hon. friend from Portage la Prairie (Mr. Meig'hen). As usual, he put his case clearly and in felicitous language. I have no objection to offer to his case or to the premises he laid down, so far as they went. But he did not go far enough in the premises he laid down. I followed him and agreed with him as to the basis of his debt allowance. When the four original provinces of confederation were joined, the Dominion

assumed the debts of those provinces, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The terms were not very clear at first. But, in the course of time they were all elucidated. The debt, I think, was calculated to be some $90,000,000. At all events, it was stated officially, and has been accepted ever since, that the debt which was then accepted by the Dominion government, and of which the provinces were relieved represented an average of $13.43 per head of the population of that day.

And whenever a new province was brought into the Dominion, it was thought reasonable, seeing that the newcomers were to undertake a share of the burden in the government of the province, that an allowance should be given to them at the rate of $32.43 per head of the population. That has been the accepted policy ever since, that was the policy accepted for Manitoba, that was the policy accepted for British Columbia, for Prince Edward Island, and for all the other provinces as they came into the Dominion. But after the province had come into the Dominion, if she was entitled to compensation on her population at the time she entered the Dominion, what reason can be alleged why she should be given better terms than any of the other provinces, on an increased population? The only reason advanced by my hon. friend was that the thing had been done for Saskatchewan and Alberta. I take issue with him. Alberta and Saskatchewan were not treated differently from Manitoba, or Prince Edward Island or British Columbia. Remember that the population of Alberta and Saskatchewan, when they entered confederation, was larger than the population of Manitoba when she entered confederation, or that of Prince Edward Island, and of British Columbia. But the moment British Columbia, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba entered confederation, from that moment they assumed their share of the advantages and of the burdens of confederation. After that they are on a parity with the other provinces. I repeat that there is no difference whatever between the position of Manitoba and the position of Saskatchewan and Alberta, with the only exception that the population was larger in the one case than in the other case. If there is any difference at all, it is- that Manitoba was treated more generously than any other province of the Dominion was ever treated. No one knows it better than my hon. friend. He knows that time and again the terms which were originally allowed to Manitoba were improved, as he said so himself yesterday four or five times. It is so, they were increased from time Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

to time, but they were increased not on any principle but out of generosity, they were increased, and more favourable terms were given every time, not because -Manitoba was entitled to more favourable terms, but simply because she was in some condition of dire distress. My hon. friend states, and that was the only argument which he gave in support of his views, that there were precedents for what we are now doing. There is no precedent at all. Again I repeat that the terms which were given to Manitoba from time to time were not advanced on any principle at all, but simply in order to assist the province 'in somewhat difficult circumstances.

The hon. gentleman stated in answer to a statement made yesterday by my hon. friend from St. John (Mr. Pugsley), that the thing had1 been done without a conference. True, the terms were increased without a conference; but this shows only the necessity of having a conference. If we had had a conference we would not be where we are to-day, we would not have Manitoba coming and knocking at our doors for better terms, and another province likely to come for better terms. We would not have British Columbia knocking at our door for better terms if we had had a conference at that time, or at any time, to settle once for all what should be the relations between the provinces one towards another, and it seems to me that the basis of confederation would be more secure, secure though it is. What answer can be given to the argument of my hon. friend from St. John when he says that if you do it for one province you have to do it for another province? Why is it that Manitoba is to-day receiving a uebt allowance on some $8,000,000? Simply because the population of Saskatchewan and Alberta, when they entered confederation, being estimated only at 250,000 each, their debt allowance amounted1 to $8,000,000. If the population of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta had been 100,000 they would have been entitled to less, and so would Manitoba; if their population had been only 50,000, they would have been entitled to still less. That would be acting according to principle. There is no answer at all, I submit, to the statement which was made yesterday by my hon. friend from St. John that you are opening the door to claims which you cannot resist when they are presented. If the province of British Columbia asks to have her terms improved under the same pretence as Manitoba is asking, because the population of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, estimated at 250,000, gets $8,000,000, what answer can you give British Columbia? Will it be any answer to say, you are a mountain province and Manitoba is a

prairie province? because after all, that is [DOT]vvhat it amounts to. You have to treat the three provinces similarly, and so far as the money terms are concerned, the amounts should be exactly as they are.

I see no serious objection to that. But so far as the debt allowance is concerned this is an abuse of the power of the majority; and moreover, I do not hesitate to say and to repeat that you are opening the door to consequences which you will reap at no distant time.

There is another feature of this Bill for which there is also no possible justification, and that is the arrearages to be given to the province of Manitoba. Again I repeat , what I said a moment ago to my hon. friend from Selkirk (Mr. Bradbury), it is not a pleasant task, it is rather an invidious task, to have to insist on this principle, because the effect would be to deprive the province of Manitoba of what she is getting under this resolution. But what is the basis of this resolution? My right hon. friend stated, in opening this debate, that Manitoba had asked her arrearages to date back to 1905. Why? Because it was in 1905 that Alberta and Saskatchewan were brought into the Dominion. He thought, however, that would be giving Manitoba too much, even for his extravagance, and he said, we will give her these arrearages dating back to the month of July, 1908. Why from the month of July, 1908? Because at that time this parliament passed a resolution to which I will refer, providing for the extension of the boundaries of Manitoba. Well, I could conceive that there would be some justification for the allowance which is now made if the province of Manitoba were in a position to tell us in 1908, we would have accepted the boundaries which were then offered, but we could not come to any settlement, because the late administration denied us the terms you are now giving to us. Under such circumstances there might be a basis of justification. But if Manitoba did not get her enlarged boundaries before this year, it is because the late administration differed with Manitoba upon the financial terms. The reason why Manitoba was not given enlarged boundaries at that time was because she did not accept the offer that was made her. Shall I give you the proof? Here it is, in the petition presented to this government by Manitoba herself. This is what is said in the memorial of the province:

While we maintain that the province has been unfairly dealt with in this respect, and, as a matter of right, is entitled to have included within its area all the northern territory proposed to be divided between Manitoba and Ontario, we desire to apprise Your Excellency of our decision, and the conclusion

arrived ait by the legislature of the province in the year 1911.

In the year 1911. It was only in the year 1911 that Manitoba acepted these boundaries and, under such circumstances, I put it to the common sense of every hon. gentleman in this House, what reason can there be why Manitoba should be given the extra time which is granted before she accepted these boundaries. It is too palpable not to be interpreted at once. But the government has decided otherwise, for what motive I do not know, for what motive I cannot comprehend, and, therefore, for these reasons it seems to me that this Bill and these terms are altogether extravagant, uncalled for and unjustified. As to the allocation for public buildings, I think the terms are generous but I do not discuss them. There is, Sir, in the province from which I come an agitation going on upon this question and in a paper which supports the government, 'L'Evenement' of Quebec, we read two or three days ago, that there should be no agitation, that the minister would speak and that they would give us an explanation. They are not in a great hurry to speak. We have been expecting that they would give us their policy. They have not done so and as they have not discussed this particular part of the subject I will not discuss it.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Oh, oh.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir. WILFRID LAURIER.

I understand very well the spirit of those cheers. These gentlemen have a policy that they dare not explain, but they want us to discuss it even before they have presented it to the House. That is the spirit in which the subject is approached. Why do not these gentlemen speak if they want us to reply to them? Let them speak and for my part I shall be very happy to give them my views. ; J

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Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER.

Why not give them now?

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir. WILFRID LAURIER.

Because my hon. friend (Mr. PeUetier) has not said anything. I understand that my hon. friend has a speech covering a ream of paper to prove his point. I shall be happy to hear him. But, in the meantime I stand within the lines of Torres Vedras. I shall speak when the time has come and then I shall not be backward at all.

But, with reference to the case, as we have it now before us, I beg to say that in my humble opinion, the government have approached this question, not from the point of view of principle, but from the point of view of expediency, and as is usual when expediency is substituted for principle, they have created new trouble for themselves and for the country. They

have brought into existence new difficulties which it will be more difficult to settle than the difficulties that they are now pretending to settle. They have failed to give to Manitoba that fair measure of justice to which Manitoba is entitled, they have failed to give to Ontario, the right to which Ontario thought she was entitled, they have opened the door to claims which are just and fair, and just as equitable as anything that is now to be found in this Bill, and, in my humble judgment, they have done more, they have violated some of the soundest principles of constitutional government as applied in this country. Therefore, for these reasons, I beg to move in amendment:

That this Bill be not now read a second time, but that-it be resolved, that while this House is favourable to the extension of the boundaries of the province of Manitoba, it is of opinion that the terms under which it is proposed to make the said extension, as set forth in this Bill and in the order in council of the 20th February, 1912, are unfair and unjust both to the people of Manitoba as well as to the people of the other provinces of the Dominion.

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Robert Rogers (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. ROBERT ROGERS (Minister of the Interior).

Mr. Speaker, before venturing to make answer to some of the arguments as advanced by my right hon. friend who has just resumed his seat (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) and before undertaking to deai with some of the provisions as contained in the Bill now before us, for our consideration, I desire to say but one word in respect to my own position as a supporter of this Bill, and it is this, that I do not wish to be understood by the members of this House, as supporting this Bill simnly and only because I happen, for the time being, to occupy a seat upon the floor of this parliament as a representative from a constituency within the borders of the province to which this measure directly relates. But, Mr. Speaker, I desire to be understood by the hon. members of this House, and by the people of this country, as supporting this Bill, because I find in its provisions evidence that it adopts the principle of equity and of justice. I desire to be understood as supporting this Bill, because I find in the clear and straightforward statement, as made by the right hon. gentleman who leads this government (Mr. Borden), when he moved the second reading of this Bill yesterday afternoon, representing, as he does, the great party to which he belongs, and which he leads, I recognize that he stands to maintain and to uphold that grand old traditional policy of the party, that has ever stood in the past and that I trust, ever mav stand in the future, to uphold equal rights and equal justice to all and all parts of our country. That, to my mind, is exactly what this Bill un- | d-ertakes to repfesent. It promises noth- 1

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Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

ing more and it promises nothing less. This Bill is made necessary in order that we might rectify a condition of affairs through which and by which a serious injustice has been done to the province of Manitoba.

The right hon. gentleman, dealing with this question this afternoon, has. gone over somewhat of the history of the conditions which prevail in Manitoba, but he did not undertake to tell the whole story to the House. He has not told the House that Manitoba occupied a position of inequality with every province in this Dominion; he has not told the House that during the past eight or ten years that province pleaded with him, as t'he leader of the Dominion government, to rectify the injustice and to remedy the adverse conditions of which she complained. We have, as was rvell said by the right hon, the Prime Minister two classes of conditions in respect to provinces in this confederation. We have provinces that own their own lands, their mines, and their natural resources, and we have the three prairie provinces that have been treated upon an entirely different basis. Now, when in 1901 the people of Manitoba presented their views as represented by a unanimous legislature to the right hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, then Prime Minister, we were told that we would have to wait for the terms and conditions which we were pleading for, until such time' as the new provinces would be formed out of the Northwest Territories. We regarded that answer as reasonable and we so accepted it in Manitoba. We in Manitoba waited in patience for the day and for the hour when it might suit the convenience of the right hon. gentleman to introduce the necessary legislation for the formation of these provinces, and, when that day and that hour came Manitoba was represented here pressing her claims. But, we very-soon found that we came here under circumstances well described by the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Bradbury) this afternoon; we found that our claims were to be treated by the then Prime Minister and by his government as a whole, as a political question. We came here representing a unanimous province and our first words to the right hon. gentlemen were in effect that a fair and just settlement of- Manitoba's claims would in no way effect either one party or the other. But, that did not seem to satisfy my right hon. friend; he did not think that such was the opinion of his own political friends in Manitoba. Presenting that case as strongly as was possible for the representatives of Manitoba to present it, it was necessary for my right hon. friend to make some answer and while he did not do the representatives of the province the honour of giving them a

direct answer upon that occasion, he made a statement from his place in parliament which was in effect: that Manitoba could not be treated with, that Manitoba's position could not be considered at the time, simply because he had sitting behind' him in this House a gentleman who represented that territory and who had entered an objection. And, when we made inquiry, as to why the hon. gentleman representing a small portion of that territory was objecting, we were told that the hon. member for the constituency of Mackenzie objected by reason of the fact that he was fortunate enough to secure a Liberal majority in that particular district, and, therefore, he did not want it to go to the province of Manitoba or to anywhere else. That is a sample of the treatment which we were receiving from the Prime Minister, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, at that time. It is true that the public press took some note of that statement and the right hon. gentleman found it necessary to meet that objection, and he prepared a Minute of Council about a month later and transmitted it ' to the province of Manitoba. In this minute of Council he undertakes to find another excuse. It is dated March 21, 1905, and the concluding paragraphs, set forth:

The committee are likewise of the opinion that the desire of the province of Manitoba for an extension of its boundaries to the shores of Hudson bay is not an unreasonable one, and they suggest that when the measures now before parliament for the formation of the two provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan are disposed of, the subject of such extension of the boundaries of Manitoba might profitably be considered. This committee think it possible that in this connection questions would arise which concern other provinces inasmuch as the territory lying to the north of the other provinces may be made the subject of requests of a character similar to that of the province of Manitoba in the present case. The committee, therefore, recommend that at a convenient date after the formation of the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan the request of Manitoba for an extension northward be taken up with the object of coming to a speedy conclusion, and trust that this suggestion may be acceptable to the government of the province of Manitoba whose welfare and development the present ministry desire to promote in every way compatible with their obligations towards the other provinces of the Dominion.

Now, Mr. Speaker, you find here two excuses by the right hon. gentleman as to why the extension of the Manitoba boundaries should not take effect at once. The first excuse was that it might be necessary to consult other provinces in this matter. It is true that my right hon. friend undertook upon that occasion exactly the same course that he is taking to-day so far as the province of Ontario and the province

of Manitoba are concerned. He is disappointed to-day, in that it was impossible for him to make trouble between the province of Ontario and the province of Manitoba. I know that it is disappointing to the right hon. gentleman to see that the province of Manitoba and the province of Ontario have been able to effect a settlement which has been acceptable to both provinces and entirely satisfactory on every ground. My right hon. friend in this Minute of Council next told us-and I would remind you that this Minute of Council was dated in 1905-that he would endeavour to bring about a speedy settlement of Manitoba's claims. Well, what about that speedy settlement ? Here we are in this parliament seven years later proposing a settlement, and I am sure if the right hon. gentleman had been allowed politically to live, and finish his work, that the province of Manitoba would have waited seventy-seven times seven years before justice was rendered to her by him. The right hon. gentleman did not like the idea of that little province of Manitoba sending down to Ottawa eight or nine supporters of the right hon. Mr. Borden when in opposition as well as when in power. That is the only reason I can see why we did not get fair terms from Sir Wilfrid Laurier on that occasion. Now, the leader of the opposition takes objection to the fact that Manitoba is getting certain arrears in respect of the claim which she had from that date in 1905 down to the present time. In 1905, by virtue of that Minute of Council, Manitoba was obliged by the then government to meet in conference the other provinces and that no doubt, with the object oi delaying the settlement of Manitoba's claims. That conference took place in 1906, and in 1907 we were promised in the Speech from the Throne that a Bill would be presented to parliament by which this vexed question would be settled, but, the pledge of the right hon. gentleman as usual was not kept and no Bill was introduced.

It is true, a resolution was introduced in 1908, and in 1909, a copy of that resolution and of a Bill, as prepared by the right hon. gentleman, was transmitted to the government of the province of Manitoba for their consideration. The moment the government of Manitoba received that Bill, they sent representatives to Ottawa to discuss terms and conditions with the right lion, gentleman. When we arrived we complained that the boundaries provided for were not those to which the province of Manitoba was entitled. I am not going into the details of that matter, which were fully covered by my hon. friend from Brandon (Mr. Aikins), last night. But when the representatives of Manitoba found in 1909, as was stated to the delegation by the right hon. gentleman himself, that the Liberal members assembled

around him, as representing the province of Manitoba, had decided1 on those boundaries, and therefore, they were fixed, and finally fixed, as far as he was concerned, we felt that there was no other course open to us, under the circumstances, than to accept the boundaries as laid down, and they were accepted by us. Manitoba heard1 nothing more during the year 1910. During the year, 1911, we received an invitation to come and meet the right hon. gentleman, and his colleagues. That conference took place, lasting for two afternoons, and no settlement of any kind or description was reached, because the right hon. gentleman did not appear to be willing to treat Manitoba in the fair manner in which we believed she was entitled to be treated. But, worse than the conditions proposed, and the delay which was practised1 by the right hon. gentleman during his regime, was the policy by which he penalized and punished the province of Manitoba to such an extent that I want to say, from my place in this House, that no amount of money which this parliament could vote could compensate the province of Manitoba for the injury which was done her by the actions and the words of the right hon. gentleman.

Now, a good deal has been said during the course of this discussion in regard to the swamp lands of the province of Manitoba. If there was no other reason, this very question of the swamp lands furnishes a good and sufficient reason why the province of Manitoba has been at the door of the Dominion of Canada asking for a rearrangement of the terms which were made in 1885. If the terms which were then made, had been faithfully and loyally kept by the Dominion of Canada, there would perhaps have been less reason why the province of Manitoba should be here today asking for the changed conditions which she is asking for, and if there is one man in public life to-day who is more responsible than another tor the violation of that contract of 1885, in respect of the swamp lands, it is the right hon. gentleman who was the leader of the late Liberal government. Under the contract of 1885, between the government of Manitoba and the Dominion government, Manitoba was to receive certain swamp lands; and let me give you a sample of how these lands were dealt out to the province. Under that contract an arrangement was arrived1 at by which certain inspectors were to be appointed to go out and decide what sections or quarter sections were swamp lands and what were not. It was provided that the government of Manitoba would have the right to appoint one or more representatives on a commission for that purpose, and the Dominion a like number; and as soon as the government of the right hon.

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Robert Rogers (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS.

gentleman opposite took office, one of the first things they did was to dismiss Manitoba's representative on that commission, in order that Manitoba might be penalized1 and punished. Following that, when a Liberal government was in power in Manitoba, an effort was made by the government of the right hon. gentleman opposite, during 1898, the first full year after they came into power, to convey certain swamp lands to the province of Manitoba. As will be in the knowledge of hon. members of this House, the Liberal government was defeated in Manitoba in the year 1899, and how do you suppose the province was then treated by the Liberal government at Ottawa in Tespect to its swamp lands? In the year following, in the first half of 1899, the province got 160 acres of swamp lands from the government of the right hon. gentleman; a short time afterwards they got about 60,000 acres more; in 1901, they did not get an acre; in 1902, in the first half of the year they got

20,000 acres more; in the last half of the same year they got 160 acres more. I will give you another sample, from a Minute of Council as prepared by the government of Canada, of how they deprived the province of Manitoba of a great portion of the territory that rightly belonged to her. That Minute of Council, which was passed on the 28th of September, 1904, after reciting that the inspectors had examined an area of 284,000 acres, goes on to say:

The minister states that of the area thus examined the commissioners find an area of 146,274 acres falling to 'the province as swamp lands.

That by a comparison of the schedules furnished by the commissioners 'with tihe hooks of the Department of the Interior and its agencies in Manitoba, it has been found that of the total area of 146,274 acres selected as such swamp lands, an area of 43,192-27 acres is available.

The minister submits a revised schedule of such of the lands included in the schedule of the commissioners as aire found available, comprising an area, of 43,192-27 acres, and, being satisfied of the accuracy of the same, recommends that the lands enumerated ther-in be vested in His Majesty King Edward VII, for the purposes of the province of Manitoba, under the provisions of the fourth section of chapter 47 of -the Revised Statutes of Canada.

By that one act alone the government of the right hon. gentleman were able to take away that which their own inspectors claimed belonged to the province of Manitoba. In that one inspection of 284,000 acres, they were willing to give to the province of Manitoba only 43,000 acres, and keep over 140,000 acres, which, as they themselves admitted, belonged to the province of Manitoba. I may say that the same condition was applied throughout, with the

result that nearly a million acres of the swamp lands belonging to the province of Manitoba were used by the government of the right hon. gentleman opposite for their own purposes.

I say it was no wonder Manitoba complained of her conditions and complained bitterly in respect to the matter of swamp lands. The same conditions continued all the way through. We had an interest in certain lands upon which a mortgage had been given by the province of Manitoba in connection with the Hudson Bay railway and Manitoba pleaded with the government of the right hon. gentleman opposite again and again to have those lands surveyed but without success, with the result that Manitoba had to accept the cash value of the obligation or even less than the cash value of the obligation out against them; and a few days after the Canadian Northern Railway got control of those lands they were able to come down here to the government at Ottawa and secure from them the right to go to Saskatchewan and select the very best lands found there. This prevented the province of Manitoba from getting justice and the resources of the Dominion of Canada were exploited entirely for the benefit of a railway corporation. I might continue with the discussion of the manner in which the district of Keewatin -was taken from Manitoba and various other matters but I shall not take up the time of the House In dealing with these details. I shall at once take up the question that has been so fully discussed by the right hon. gentleman' (Sir. Wilfrid Laurier) and by every other hon. gentleman on the other side of the House who has taken part in this debate. The right hon. gentleman complains that the terms and conditions as provided by this bill should not date back to the year 1908. I would remind my right hon. friend that this is no new course for this House to take. My right hon. friend undertakes to tell the House that it is a violation of the constitution that such a course should be taken. This House did the very same thing in 1869 and again in 1885 for the provinces of Ontario, Nova Scotia, Quebec and New Brunswick and the same principle; the same course that is being adopted by this government to-day was adopted by the governments of those days. My hon. friend from St. John undertook to tell us yesterday that Manitoba had made a final settlement of her claims in 1885 and told us something more, in which he was supported by the hon. member from Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) that before this House approves of the bill now before us for 'consideration, we should invite a conference of the different provinces of the Dominion to consider whether or not the terms and conditions. being granted to the province

would be acceptable and satisfactory to the other provinces of Canada.

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Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

It is hardly that way. My idea was that there should be a conference of the provinces to enable the other provinces to have their claims dealt with, at the same time as the claims of the province of Manitoba.

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS.

My hon. friend from Edmonton may have had that idea, and I can quite understand, perhaps, that he does not know as much about that question, or at least should not know as much about it as the hon. member for St. John. I think 1 shall surprise you and shall surprise this House, when I say that the very claim embodied in the Bill now before us was presented by the premier of the province of Manitoba to an inter-provincial conference held in the city of Ottawa in the year 1906, and further, that the province of Manitoba on that occasion, was able to get a unanimous endorsation from the conference, and that it had no better friend upon that occasion, no man who better helped and assisted to bring about the unanimous decision in favour of Manitoba, than the hon. member for St. John (Mr. Pugsley). Yet, six years after, for reasons best known to himself, he comes down to this parliament and undertakes to tell us that we should again go before an interprovincial conference with respect to our claims, as now presented. When this conference was called a letter was addressed to the premiers of the different provinces of Canada, as follows:

Ottawa, Sept. 10, 1906.

Sir,-In accordance with the request of the provincial governments for a conference with the Dominion government to discuss the financial subsidies to the provinces, I beg to inform you that such a conference will take place at the city of Ottawa on Monday, 8th October next, at 11 a.m., which you are invited to attend.

Your obedient servant,

Topic:   EXTENSION OF BOUNDARIES-MANITOBA.
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WILFRID LAURIER,


When the province of Manitoba received that invitation, that province took precautions to avoid conditions such as we are meeting from the other side of the House to-day. A Minute of Council was passed and transmitted to the right hon. gentleman and to the Secretary of State of which I shall read the last portion: On the recommendation of the hon. the President of the Council, Committee advise,- (1) That the hon. the President of the Council of the executive of the government of the province of Manitoba be authorized and empowered to represent the province at the said conference for the purposes aforesaid, and, on. behalf of the province, to agree to such solution of the said several matters in issue, having regard especially to the rights of the province of Manitoba, as shall, in his opinion,



be fair, reasonable and just, and in the best interests and welfare of the province. (2) That at the said conference it be distinctly understood and agreed that any allowances that may be made to the province of Manitoba, with respect to the said several matters in issue, shall in no wise abrogate or dispose of certain other claims of the province respecting the swamp lands, the adequate compensation to the province for public lands taken and used for the purpose of the Dominion, the readjustment of the capital account of the province, the handing over to the province for administration of the school lands and the school lands fund, and the extension of the boundaries of the province, and any and all other matters or things nob embraced within the special matters set forth in said interprovincial conference resolutions, to all of which such other matters or things the province claims to be entitled to substantial relief from the Federal authorities. (3) That a copy of this report be forwarded to the Secretary of State for Canada. Certified, 20th September, 1906. C. GREYBURN, Clerk, Executive Committee. It was on these terms and conditions that Manitoba attended that interprovincial conference. When her representatives came here,- they came prepared with an order in council which was presented by the premier to the Interprovincial Conference. In order that the House may understand the position taken by that province at that time, I shall read you the parts of that order in council that referred particularly to the amounts that are now being asked for in the Bill before us. Part of the second order in council presented to that conference was as follows: It is contended, and strongly so, that the province of Manitoba is equally entitled to be paid as large an annual sum by way of compensation for public lands as the two recently created provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta. These provinces, it is provided, are to he each paid annually, until the population reaches 400,000, in the sum of $375,000. and thereafter on an increasing scale as the population multiplies up to the extent of $1,125,000 annually. Manitoba but receives $100,000 annually and the amount is fixed for all time to come and subject to no increase, no matter what the population of the province in the future may be. Surely, it cannot he reasonably maintained that this dissimilarity and discrimination between Manitoba and the other new provinces is fair to the people of Manitoba. In all phases of the subject the injustice to Manitoba is most apparent. At the present time the two new provinces each started with $375,000 in lieu of public lands. Manitoba but receives $100,000, notwithstanding its population is greatly in excess of either Saskatchewan or Alberta. As previously stated, the present annual payment to the new provinces, in lieu of lands, is subject to increases, on the basis of population, until the population reaches 750,000, when thereafter Mr. ROGERS. the payment to each is to be $1,125,000 annually. The effect of this arrangement is, that at the present time each of the new provinces are given $275,000 more than Manitoba, with provision for increase as the population grows, and that, when their population is 750,000, they will each receive +'or public lands, anually, $1,025,000 more than Manitoba, notwithstanding that Manitoba, in a great measure, as the parent Prairie province of the west, has stood the vicissitudes and hardships of pioneering for many years, and is largely responsible for the present stature and significance of those provinces, and may have at that period as great, if not greater, population than either of those provinces. It may he that the new provinces have not been given too much, hut, if so, it must naturally follow that. Manitoba receives too little-a mere pittance in comparison. Manitoba went further in this memorandum and dealt with the question of the capital account. Referring to the amount oE allowance at $32 per head, on a population of 125,000, making a total of $4,054,759.35, and they concluded in this way: It is contended that the fixing, in 1881, of 125,000 as the population upon which the pro vince should he paid a. per capita allowance of $32.43 per head was an arbitrary proceeding, it being impossible at that time to estimate, with any degree of accuracy, what the population or requirements of the province would reasonably be at future periods, and it is the more evident that placing the population of Manitoba at 125,000, for the purposes aforesaid, was entirely too small, viewed in the light of the parliament of Canada having, a little over a year ago, based the capital account of Saskatchewan and Alberta on a population of 250,000, when, as a matter of fact, the population of those provinces, in both cases, was far inferior to that of Manitoba, as it is to-day. The province claims, in any event, that it should be accorded in this respect the same or equivalent treatment as the two new provinces named, who each draw annually, on this account, $405,375, or just twice as much as Manitoba. That was the case made by the province of Manitoba at the time that conference assembled at which were present the gentlemen whom I have just named. In order that the House may have a clear understanding of the facts of the case, I desire to read the reports of the public press in respect of the work and the action of the conference on the matters to which I have just referred. The conference assembled on the 8th of October, and Mr. Roblin at once presented Manitoba's case. This is the report of the matter in the Toronto ' Globe ' of October 9th: After sqine discussion, therefore, it was recognized that the resolutions could hardly he presented to the Dominion Cabinet in their original form, and a committee consisting of Messrs. Gouin, Weir, Murray, McBride, Pugsley, Foy and Campbell was appointed to suggest amendments which would overcome the obstacles to a general endorsation of the resolutions. Then the conference adjourned and left the committee to their work. The latter remained in session until shortly after six o'clock and reached conclusions which they will report to a general committee which will meet to-morrow morning at ten o'clock. An hour later the provincial delegates, it is expected, will be able to lay before the representatives of the Federal government the demands for an increase of subsidy in an amended form. In case some hon. gentlemen might doubt the accuracy of the report of the Toronto ' Globe,' let me give the report of the Toronto ' Mail and Empire ' of the same date: Resuming in the afternoon Mr. Charles Lanctot, Deputy Attorney General of Quebec, was appointed secretary to the provincial gathering. The Quebec resolutions of four years ago were considered and it was decided to appoint a sub-committee to frame a resolution regarding them. This sub-committee consists of Messrs. Gouin, Foy, Pugsley, Weir, McBride and Campbell. They sat until six o'clock, and it is understood agreed upon the text of a resolution to be submitted to the general conference to-morrow. It reaffirms the resolutions of 1902, leaving it open, however, to each province to make independent representations. The province of Manitoba was represented at the conference upon these terms, and insisted that the question should be left open to independent representations. While the provincial delegates were in conference the representatives of Alberta and Saskatchewan asked permission to retire so that they might confer on the subject of the resolutions of 1902. This was granted and when bliey re-entered |the conference Premier Scott announced that they concurred with the other delegates on this subject. Then on October 10th: From other sources, however, it is learned that the provineialists were making anything but progress. The resolution submitted by the sub-committee reaffirmed the subsidy resolution of 1902 with a clause reserving to each province the right to make special representations to the Dominion authorities. This proviso particularly affects Ontario, Manitoba and British (Columbia,. Manitoba does not want her claim for a readjustment of the provincial boundaries to be sidetracked. . . . In the afternoon the situation improved. The conference sat for three hours and after it had risen Premier Gouin once more told the waiting newspaper men that there was nothing to announce. It seems, however, that after a stubborn fight the original resolution was finally agreed to unanimously with a special proviso in it reserving the rights of those provinces which have claims for additional recognition to have them considered. The resolution will be presented to the federal ministers 'tomorrow morning by Premiers Gouin and Whitney and an opportunity will be afforded to Premier McBride to present British Columbia's case for special consideration. The Toronto ' Globe ' goes on to deal with the report of this same committee. I may explain that the reasons were presented the following day, as stated by the press to the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), who now leads the opposition. Let me quote to him the reasons as they appear in the public records of this House: Therefore, it is unanimously. Resolved-1. That the subject matter of the resolutions adopted by the conference of the representatives of the several provinces, held at Quebec in December, 11902, and which were shortly thereafter presented to the government of the Dominion and which were ratified by the legislatures of the then existing provinces, except that of British Columbia, be now pressed upon the government of the Dominion for immediate and favourable action, under reserve of the right of any province to now submit to such government memoranda in writing concerning any claims it may have to larger sums than those set out in the said resolutions, or to additional consideration or recognition. That reason was unanimously accepted and carried by that committee and presented by the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) who leads the opposition to-day. I would like to quote what the ' Globe ' had to say in dealing with these reasons at that time. Premier Roblin continued to press his claim, and I find in the Toronto ' Globe ' the following report of the official minutes of the conference: Moved by Mr. Roblin, seconded by Mr. Peters, that the report of the committee charged with the preparation of the resolutions embodying the views of the conference on the resolutions of 1902 be adopted, and it was unanimously adopted as follows: Whereas the members of this conference are of the opinion that it is desirable in the interests of the people of Canada and essential to the development of the provinces that an immediate provision be made for an increase of the subsidies granted by the Dominion to the several provinces and for the award to the provincial governments by Canada of an amount sufficient to meet the costs of the administration of criminal justice not exceeding twenty cents per head of the population; therefore it is unanimously resolved (1) that the subject matter of the resolutions adopted by the conference of the representatives of the several provinces held at Quebec in December, 1902, and which were shortly thereafter presented to the government of the Dominion and which were ratified by the legislature of the then existing provinces, except 'that of British Columbia, be now pressed upon the government of the Dominion for immediate and favourable action, under reserve of the right of any province to now submit to such government


March 5, 1912