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.
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