March 2, 1948

LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order!

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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LIB

John Ewen Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

Just enforce the rules of the house.

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member will realize that the member who has the floor was just now quoting many figures and, of necessity, had to consult his notes.

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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LIB

John Ewen Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

Why does he not file it with Hansardt

(Translation) :

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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BPC

René Hamel

Bloc populaire canadien

Mr. HAMEL:

According to the spirit of confederation, Canada was to be a bilingual country. The two main religions existing in 1867 were to enjoy special protection all across Canada. That was the meaning given by the French Canadians to section 93 of the British North America Act.

The Address-Mr. Hamel

(Text):

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker, is the hon. member quoting mow? I will put it in French, if he cannot understand it in English. Vous parlez contre l'unite canaddenne. Is he reading it or not?

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order.

(Translation):

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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BPC

René Hamel

Bloc populaire canadien

Mr. HAMEL:

I have here section 93 of our constitution, of the B.N.A. Act. Our interpretation of it is based on the statement made by Lord Carnarvon on February 22, 1867. This is what he said1 in the British parliament:

The purpose of this section (93) has been to provide all minorities, whether in esse or in posse and irrespective of their creed, with status of absolute equality. Thus the Protestant minority of Lower Canada and the Catholic minority of the Maritimes will be on an equal footing.

Mr. Speaker, that is how French Canadians in Quebec have interpreted the British North America Act, and we feel we have treated the Protestant minority of Quebec not only with fairness and loyalty, but with generosity. We have formed a Protestant school committee entrusted with the full organization and supervision of their curricula, as well as the complete administration of their generous share of funds. To my knowledge, the Englishspeaking Protestant minority of Quebec has never complained in that connection.

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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IND

Paul-Edmond Gagnon

Independent

Mr. GAGNON:

That is true.

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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BPC

René Hamel

Bloc populaire canadien

Mr. HAMEL:

Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, things worked out differently in the provinces with an English-speaking majority. As early as 1867, two words-"by-law"-allowing judicial authorities to give our pact a narrow interpretation were inserted in the constitution, apparently without the knowledge of the Catholic population of the time.

As early as 1871, the New Brunswick legislature enacted the common school legislation compelling Catholics to choose between the painful alternative of sending their children to a school of which they disapproved in conscience, or building their own schools at the heavy cost of the dual tax.

This piece of legislation seemed so highly unfair to the people of New Brunswick that when brought before the legislature in 1869, it was defeated. In 1870 it was again rejected and only in 1871, thanks to the support of a narrow majority, was it embodied in the statutes.

This legislation was so obviously unfair to the people that the dominion parliament begged the king to make his influence felt in Fredericton in order to have it amended.

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

Keep quiet!

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. THATCHER:

Keep quiet yourself!

(Text):

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. I am tired of calling hon. members to order. I am sorry to say that if some of them do not abide by the rules, the next time I shall be obliged to apply the sanction.

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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LIB

John Ewen Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

Since you have not cared to apply this very excellent rule of the House of Commons against the reading of speeches, Mr. Speaker, I for one will withdraw from the house and read about it in the morning.

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

I shall be glad to join the hon. member.

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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CCF

James Herbert Matthews

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MATTHEWS (Kootenay East):

On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker, I have listened to many speeches in this house since I was elected to this parliament. I have heard speeches read by members of all parties, and I think it ill becomes a member of any party to criticize others. Let the hon. gentleman criticize those on his own side.

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Before the hon. member continues his speech may I say to hon. members that they know perfectly well it is against the rules to read a speech in this house. They also know perfectly well that on different occasions I have called the attention of hon. members on both sides to that rule. However, hon. members will appreciate that in spite of the fact that the rules forbid the reading of speeches, unfortunately it has become a practice on the part of many hon. members to do so during the debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne. Since I have been appointed Speaker, every session after the debate on the address is concluded I have informed hon. members that I would not tolerate any further reading of speeches. I believe it is only fair that we should be generous to the hon. member who has the floor since, as another hon. member has already stated, hon. gentlemen on all sides of the house have read speeches during this debate. I might add' that hon. members will realize that the hon. gentleman who has the floor actually has quoted many figures and extracts of one kind and another, so he has had to read a good deal, and I believe he should be excused for having done so. Now I hope

1816

The Address-Mr. Hamel

hon. members will be kind enough to let the hon. gentleman proceed with his speech, and not interrupt him any more.

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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BPC

René Hamel

Bloc populaire canadien

Mr. HAMEL:

Once more, Mr. Speaker, I thank you very much for your kindness.

(Translation):

In 1868, the school legislation of Prince Edward Island underwent a thorough reform. Catholic schools were recognized and provided for. This province entered confederation in 1873 and until 1877 Catholic schools were maintained under the 1868 statute. Everything was at peace then. But again in this province Catholic and French schools were struck out with a stroke of the pen. Your Catholic and French schools were in existence, we are told, but they were not protected by statute. As regards the teaching of French, it is also true that this right was expressly written in the provincial school legislation, but unfortunately it is not protected by the 1867 act as it did not apply to a specific class of persons. In Prince Edward Island as elsewhere, French was crossed out of the act.

(Text):

I suppose hon. members are interested in knowing what are the fundamental reasons why we are divided. That is why I have dealt with this problem.

(Translation):

Leaving Fredericton and Charlottetown and setting out for Winnipeg, we find another Golgotha where the rights of the French Catholic minority were pitilessly immolated. Passed in 1870, section 22 of the Manitoba Act provided protection against any legislation "affecting any right or privilege of the Protestant or Roman Catholic minority of the Queen's subjects in relation to education." Section 23 of the act provided as follows:

(Text):

Either the English or the French language may be used by any person in the debates of the Houses and so on.

(Translation):

Could it be clearer or more specific? As a matter of fact Catholics and Protestants have been living together for twenty years in perfect understanding. Catholics and Protestants support only their own schools.

In 1890 came the Martin laws depriving the Catholic minority of all its rights. The privy council acknowledged the glaring injustice of this legislation. Parliament agreed. A Protestant member from Winnipeg, Mr. Hugh J. Macdonald, stated in this house in 1893:

The separate school system of Manitoba has been abolished in a barbarous, brutal and cruel way.

Once more the French and Catholic minority was crushed. Being unable to face double taxation they were forced to close a large number of their schools.

Study closely the story of schools in the district of Keewatin and in the other parts of the northwest territorities. In every case the same condition obtained. In order to ensure the consent of Catholics and of French people to the entrance of their territory into confederation, you had the same definite promise as to the protection of their faith and of their language, and the same violation of these rights as soon as the anglo-protestant majority could act at no great risk to itself. Mr. Speaker, I have gone into this bit of history for the following reasons.

In the first place, it is because I am personally convinced that the treatment inflicted upon the Catholics of this country, who number nearly five million and form 43 per cent of our population, explains much more adequately than the way in which history is taught in our schools, the dissension existing between the two major groups in this country. My second reason is that I thought it desirable to recall that historic episode, in view of the fact that the establishment of a federal district is now being mooted. I do know, Mr. Speaker, that speaking before a meeting of representatives of 22 municipalities interested in the project, the Minister of Public Works, as reported in the February 11, 1948, issue of Le Droit, gave the assurance that the plan was not to form a federal district administered by a commission, like those which exist in Washington or Canberra, but rather to beautify the dominion capital and the neighbouring localities, while respecting their autonomy as was done in Paris. How can the statements of the Minister of Public Works jibe with those which were made by the Prime Minister himself in this house, especially on April 21, 1944, when he said, as reported on page 2237 of Hansard'.

I have spoken on this subject a number of times and some years ago I made the suggestion, which others have also made, that some day the capital of Canada might become a federal district to be administered by a commission, in a manner similar to the capital at Washington.

This statement was made by the Prime Minister himself. It is not the system followed in the French capital that the government contemplates in connection with the dominion capital, but indeed the system followed in Washington. Consequently the population of French origin and Catholic

The Address-Mr. Hamel

faith will be faced with the same problems which arose in 1867, 1870, 1877, 1890 and 1905. How do the hon. gentlemen opposite intend to spare their compatriots and co-religionists the sad fate met by the French and Catholic population of the maritimes, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, the Northwest Territories and even Ontario? By promises? Ten times in 80 years, the most solemn and formal promises have been broken. By texts? Read over again Manitoba's constitution, the Northwest Territories first constitution, and you will find out what a text is worth.

Mr. Speaker, the second reason of our dissensions in this country is that confederation was a bona fide pact, which was to be interpreted in a broad and generous manner, but it has been applied shabbily at the expense of the Catholic population which in 1941 was 44 per cent of the total country's population, and to the detriment of the French population which is more than 30 per cent of the total population of Canada.

Frustrated in their religious and cultural rights, the French Canadians were again frustrated in economic matters.

In the matter of subsidies, whether it be under the dominion tax proposals, or towards the construction of houses or again, on a per capita basis, as family allowances, it is a well known fact that the province of Quebec ranks last in Canada.

Last week's debate on the Farm Improvement Loans bill has shown that there also Quebec has received less than any of the other provinces. .

Coming now to the railroads, we find Quebec still dragging behind the others. I find at page 660 of the Canada Year Book a most interesting table on this question:

Railroads

Number of miles per thousand people

Saskatchewan 9'69

Alberta 7'22

Manitoba 6-65

British Columbia 4-74

New Brunswick 4'01

Prince Edward Island 3-00

Ontario 2-77

Nova Scotia 2-5

Quebec 1-43

Another known fact is that in the civil service French-speaking employees represent only about \2\ per 100 of the total while

we account for 30 per 100 of the Canadian population.

From what the hon. member for Gaspe (Mr. Langlois) said yesterday, I understand

he is satisfied with present conditions.

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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LIB

J. G. Léopold Langlois

Liberal

Mr. LANGLOIS:

May I ask the hon. member a question? Would he quote from my speech the part where I said I was satisfied with present conditions?

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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SC

David Réal Caouette

Social Credit

Mr. CAOUETTE:

You showed it throughout your speech.

Topic:   QUESTIONS AFFECTING MEMBERS' TRANSPORTATION -WIVES AND DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF FAMILIES
Subtopic:   TABLE SHOWING AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POTENTIAL LABOUR FORCE 15-04 YEARS BY REGION, 1941-1971
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March 2, 1948