May 14, 1919

UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The next case is that ot Hyacinthe Dubien:

Hyacinthe Dubien-I beg to report that the subject appeared before Judge Goyette at Buckingham. This case was dismissed through affidavits that he was sick at the time he was ordered to report and when he got better the armistice was signed, so he thought all was over.

Napoleon Lavergne, Masson, Quebec-I beg to report that the subject appeared before Judge Goyette at Buckingham. This case was dismissed through affidavits that he was sick at the time he was supposed to report, and when he got better the armistice was signed, so he thought all was over.

These are the cases of protracted, chronic illness. Then, there is another class of

cases that came before this magistrate, as shown by the report of the inspectors, dated the 9th May:

Athanase Durocher, Angers, Quebec-I beg to report that the above-mentioned man appeared before Judge Goyette and his case was dismissed. Reason that he was a farmer's son and that he was doing his duty working on the farm and that he did not see any reason why he should not be discharged. He said when Mr. Bywater was here he said Mr. Fortier had a list of young farmers' sons that were exempted by him through Mr. Fortier, M.P. Mr. Fortier said that on his honour that he had given a list of these young men to Mr. Bywater but Mr. Bywater said he did not really think he had the list so the judge said that he did not think Mr. Fortier would lie about it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT.
Sub-subtopic:   ADMINISTRATION IN WRIGHT COUNTY.
Permalink
L LIB

Emmanuel Berchmans Devlin

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEVLIN:

May I ask the hon. gentleman if he is reading the judgments of the court or simply a report by one of his officers; an inferior officer of the department?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT.
Sub-subtopic:   ADMINISTRATION IN WRIGHT COUNTY.
Permalink
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I am reading the reports of the inspectors of the Dominion police on each individual case, which reports came before the chief inspector and were submitted to the Justice Department as a ground for the transference of future cases from Judge Goyette.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT.
Sub-subtopic:   ADMINISTRATION IN WRIGHT COUNTY.
Permalink
L LIB

Emmanuel Berchmans Devlin

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEVLIN:

Are these all the cases which were tried by Mr. Justice Goyette, or are they the exceptional cases?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT.
Sub-subtopic:   ADMINISTRATION IN WRIGHT COUNTY.
Permalink
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I do not understand that there is a " Mr. Justice Goyette." I understand he is a magistrate in the county ot Vvright. These are not all the cases. These are cases that latterly were brought to the attention of the Justice Department as grounds for the course which was taken. I presume there were other cases to which objection was not taken. But I understand that they produced a list of cases some time ago to which objection was taken and which I am reading here.

Rene Philion, Angens, Quebec-same report.

Jean Baptiste Durocher, Angers, Quebec-same report.

Dolphis Durocher, Angers, Quebec-same report.

Romeo Roberge, Lac Ste. Marie-same report.

Donat Pliilion, Angers, Quebec-same report.

Arthur Davernois, Hull, Quebec-I beg to report that the above mentioned man appeared before Judge Goyette in Hull and was remanded until May 14th on their personal bail. I told the judge I wanted this man to be held under at least $300 which he declined to do. I saw the judge before court and told him about the record he had at the Hull police' station. He told me he knew he was a bad boy but he said he came by himself this a.m. He will be here on the 14th inst.

Joseph Lavernois-same report.

By reason of the submission of these cases, action was taken.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT.
Sub-subtopic:   ADMINISTRATION IN WRIGHT COUNTY.
Permalink
L LIB

Emmanuel Berchmans Devlin

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEVLIN:

What induced the department to go to another magistrate in the province of Ontario and not to another magistrate in the province of Quebec?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT.
Sub-subtopic:   ADMINISTRATION IN WRIGHT COUNTY.
Permalink
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Mr. Newcombe, the

deputy minister, on the submission of the matter to him, recommended recourse to court-martial. I gathered from the hon. gentleman's remarks that they were given the option of coming before the police magistrate in Ottawa, the neighbouring city, instead of going before a court martial. The Justice Department recommended a court martial.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT.
Sub-subtopic:   ADMINISTRATION IN WRIGHT COUNTY.
Permalink
L LIB

Emmanuel Berchmans Devlin

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEVLIN:

That is perfectly correct but there is where I find fault with the department. Why not have a reference to another magistrate in the province where these young men resided whether in the county of Wright or in other counties?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT.
Sub-subtopic:   ADMINISTRATION IN WRIGHT COUNTY.
Permalink
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

In these matters the department is no respecter of provinces. Hull and Ottawa are all in the military district the centre of which is Kingston. They were permitted to appear before another magistrate or a court martial.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT.
Sub-subtopic:   ADMINISTRATION IN WRIGHT COUNTY.
Permalink
UNION

Samuel Hughes

Unionist

Sir SAM HUGHES:

Is not Wright county in the 3rd Military District?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT.
Sub-subtopic:   ADMINISTRATION IN WRIGHT COUNTY.
Permalink
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Yes.

RETURN OF OUR SOLDIERS; PORT OF DEBARKATION.

On the Orders of the Day:

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT.
Sub-subtopic:   ADMINISTRATION IN WRIGHT COUNTY.
Permalink
L LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Laurier Liberal

Mr. C. G. POWER:

Mr. Speaker, I wish to call the attention of the hon. the Minister of Militia and Defence (Major-General Mewburn) to a despatch that was published in all the papers of Canada to the effect that 55,000 Canadian troops were to be landed in Canada during the month of May. Those 55,000 were to he loaded on some 25 or 30 fMr. Meighen.]

boats, of which three were to come up the St. Lawrence. The remainder were to go to Quebec and Halifax. Is it a fact that of these troops, some 9,000, if I remember the figures correctly, are to come to Quebec and Montreal and the remainder to go to Halifax? Without saying anything derogatory of the ports of Halifax and St. John, is it possible for the department to find railway and sleeping car accommodation sufficient within one month to ship 40,000 or 50,000 troops from Halifax and St. John?

Major-General MEWBURN: I have no

definite information as to the actual number of troops to arrive at Halifax, Quebec, or Montreal. I announced to the House several days ago that we had made arrangements with a large number of vessels for the opening of navigation, and that we expected that the bulk of the troops for the province of Quebec and for west of the Great Lakes and Ontario would disembark at Quebec and Montreal. I said that the troops for the Maritime Provinces would disembark at Halifax, and that in order to meet the situation created by that movement of troops in the Maritime Provinces and possibly through some portions of Ontario, we would have to use day coaches. We have secured a number of extra boats, and we have also got the Aquitania, the Mauretania, and the Olympic. These large boats object to proceeding up' the St. Lawrence.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT.
Sub-subtopic:   ADMINISTRATION IN WRIGHT COUNTY.
Permalink
L LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Laurier Liberal

Mr. POWER:

For what reason?

Major-General MEWBURN: The only information I have is that the Minister of Shipping announced that these large vessels will disembark the troops at Halifax and then proceed to New York.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT.
Sub-subtopic:   ADMINISTRATION IN WRIGHT COUNTY.
Permalink
L LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Laurier Liberal

Mr. POWER:

And these boats are chartered by the Dominion Government?

Major-General MEWBURN: No, they are not. These boats immediately return to New York to carry back cargoes from that port. It was with a great deal of difficulty that we got these ships. Wherever possible we have asked that troops for west of the Great Lakes and Quebec should disembark at - Montreal.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT.
Sub-subtopic:   ADMINISTRATION IN WRIGHT COUNTY.
Permalink

SUPPLY.

NON-SECTARIAN NATIONAL SCHOOL SYSTEM.


On the motion of Sir Thomas White for Committee of Supply:


UNION

John Wesley Edwards

Unionist

Mr. JOHN WESLEY EDWARDS (Fron-tenac):

Mr. Speaker, before you submit

the motion to go into Committee of Supply

I desire to occupy a brief period of the time of the House in discussing a matter which I consider as of vital importance, having regard to the future peace, prosperity and well-being of Canada. Early in the session I placed the following resolution on the Order Paper:

That in the opinion of this House it is desirable that the British North America Act should be amended so as to secure the establishment of a non-sectarian school system throughout the Dominion of Canada.

Being unable to reach that motion in the ordinary course of the transaction of the business of the House, it was finally withdrawn from the Order Paper, and I now wish to make it the basis of such remarks as I shall offer this afternoon. I am well aware that in approaching this subject I shall encounter the opposition of some who seem to regard with the gravest apprehension any attempt to interfere with the British North America Act. In general, such apprehension might be well founded, having regard to the constitutional usage of our country. Yet there have been times when the British North America Act has been amended at the request of this Parliament; I think I shall be able to show before resuming my seat that there have been occasions when that Act has been violated, both in the spirit and the letter, as a result of the action of the Canadian Parliament.

A short time ago-to be exact about the second or third of April-an article appeared in the Montreal Gazette, which was reproduced from another paper published in the same province called Le Pays, The article in question deals with compulsory education and in part reads as follows:

In face of the hostile attitude of the clergy and the manner in which the debate on the question of obligatory instruction was closed, we .have no further hope for any educational reform from that quarter. In order to obtain anything we must turn our eyes towards Ottawa, as the central Parliament, by amending the British North America Act, would take over the control of educational matters.

So, Mr. Speaker, it will be seen that the idea of transferring- the control of educational matters from the provinces to the Federal Parliament does not originate from myself; there are some in the adjoining province of Quebec, who hold that that is _ the proper course to take. I do not. go that far. I do not say. nor do I wish to be understood as saying, that I think the full control of matters of education should be taken from the provinces and vested in the Dominion Parliament. That is not my idea of what should be done; but I do say, Sir, that in my opinion little can be done

153i

here towards the formation of a homogeneous Canadian people without the direct intervention of the Federal Government in matters of education. As to how far that intervention should go, would, it seems to me, be a proper subject for consideration by the Dominion Parliament and the several provincial legislatures.

The matter of the establishment of nonsectarian national schools is not by any means a newr one. Such a system of schools exists in the United States and in Australia; and some fifty or sixty years ago a non-sectarian national school system was introduced into Japan. I might also say that France, Belgium, Italy and Portugal have all brought education under the control of the State, and I have only to mention in contrast such countries as Spain, Austria, and Mexico, and the South American Republics, where the schools have for centuries been under ecclesiastical control, to justify me, if any justification were necessary, in advocating a change in our present educational system.

I am well aware, Sir, that in raising this matter I shall be subjected to criticism from different people based on varying grounds. One class of critics there are who, I suppose, will honestly differ from me in regard to non-sectarian national schools. For those who honestly and sincerely differ from me in that regard I wish to say that I have the greatest respect. I direct my appeal especially to such men who sincerely hold views opposed to mine, and I invite the consideration by them of the arguments which I shall attempt to advance in this House to-day in favour of doing something to improve the conditions in regard to education which exist at the present time in Canada.

There is another class of critics who perhaps agree in the main with my viewpoint, but regard the present time-in fact any time for that matter-as inopportune for a discussion of this question. They are men who are fearful of arousing antagonisms in this country, and while holding perhaps just as strong views as I do in regard to this matter, are afraid to broach the subject for fear of giving offence to some person. Well, Sir, I confess I do not clearly understand how a public man can take a position of that kind. There are certain Canadian journalists who regard any discussion along this line as a menace to the well-being of the country. They offer no reasons for holding such a view, and the only reason that occurs to me is that they are afraid as newspaper men of a fair and free discussion of what I regard as a very important matter.

I wish to draw the attention of the House for a while to past history in connection with educational affairs in Canada, and I purpose to do so very briefly, going back to 1841. At that time the population of Upper Canada, was 78,119 Roman Catholic and 351,837 Protestants; the population of Lower Canada was 99,553 Protestants and 572,643 Roman Catholics. So in the two Canadas the Roman Catholics were in a majority of about 100,000. I mention this fact because I think it has a direct bearing upon the subject, for you will understand that the minority was not the same religiously at the time of the Act of Union as is the minority to-day. I believe I am right in stating that Lord Durham in suggesting the Act of Union had in mind the bringing of Upper and Lower Canada under one code of laws and a common language. I am not going to discuss the language question to-day; that is not my purpose; I want more particularly to direct the attention of hon. members to religious instruction in our schools.

The advocates of dogmatic religious teaching in schools had the principle recognized in the first Common School Act passed by the Union Parliament in 1846. May I mention here that the Union Parliament of 1841 was composed of 42 representatives from each of the provinces? Up to 1852 only 50 separate schools had been established in the province of Ontario, and 32 of these had lapsed. But in that year the Roman Catholic Church started a very active campaign for the extension of separate schools, and by 1858 there were 100 such schools in the province.

In 1860 the Hon. R. W. Scott introduced into the Union Parliament a Separate School Bill, which was defeated on three different occasions, but in 1863 it finally passed, the vote, so far as the Ontario members were concerned, standing 26 against the Bill and 16 for it. That is, there was a majority of 10 from the province of Ontario opposed to a Bill which, I desire to impress upon the House, concerned only the province of Ontario, not in any way the province of Quebec. The point I wish to emphasize is that separate schools were fastened upon the province of Ontario against the wish and will of its people as expressed in the Union Parliament.

In 1864 a conference was held in the city of Quebec, at which the late Hon. Oliver Mowat moved that the provincial legislatures should have control of educational matters. The Hon. D'Arcy McGee added to the motion these words: " Saving the

rights and privileges which the Protestant or Catholic minority in both Canadas may possess as to their denominational schools at the time when the Constitutional Act goes into operation." I maintain that from this it is clear that the constitutional limitations were only meant to apply to Ontario and Quebec.

In 1867, when the Scott Separate School Act was incorporated in the British North America Act, there was no system of separate schools in the province of Quebec as there was in the province of Ontario. I know it is frequently said that this was a compromise, that separate schools

4 p.m. were given to the Roman Catholics in the province of Ontario, and separate schools were also given to the Protestants in the province of Quebec. I wish to say, Sir, that that statement is not a statement of fact. I assert that there is no such thing, and there never has been such a thing as a Protestant separate school in the Dominion of Canada. You may tell me there are Protestant separate schools in the province of Quebec. I say; No; there are Protestant schools in Quebec, but those schools are non-sectarian; Roman Catholic children can attend those schools without any detriment to their religious beliefs. But that is not the case where Roman Catholic separate schools are established either in Ontario or in any other province; Protestants are excluded from those schools because of the fact that they are strictly religious schools.

Mr. THOS. VIEN (Lotbiniere): Will the hon. member allow me to put him right on this point? There are a number of Catholic schools in the province of Quebec which receive Protestant children with no interference in so far as their religious teaching is concerned. I might cite in Montreal the Ville Marie school, the Sault au Recollet school, the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Montreal College, Levis College-where I received my own education-and St. Mary's College. A number of Protestant students attend those schools without being obliged to receive any religious teaching.

Mr. EDWARDS; I maintain, Mr. Speaker, that the public schools of the province of Quebec which are under the control of the dominant church in that province are schools to which the Protestant population cannot send their children because of the fact that religious dogma with which they do not agree is taught in those schools. It may be that there are some schools in that province where they make provision for

religious instruction during a certain part of the day.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   NON-SECTARIAN NATIONAL SCHOOL SYSTEM.
Permalink
L LIB
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No, no.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   NON-SECTARIAN NATIONAL SCHOOL SYSTEM.
Permalink

May 14, 1919