March 28, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)


Rodolphe Lemieux (Solicitor General of Canada)



I will explain the origin of those petitions. In this matter, the Conservative party has played the same old double game it played years ago when it stirred up the feelings of the austere Protestants in Ontario and the ultramontane element in the province of Quebec. When petitions were, so to speak, commanded from the Orange lodges by the member from East Grey, at the same time an order was given by the Conservative organization in Montreal to get protests from some of the counties in Quebec. We presented these petitions to parliament, as it was the right of the petitioners to ask us, but we said we were not responsible for them. My hon. friend (Mr. Blain) stated this afternoon that the right hon. the Prime Minister had obtained power in 1896 by riding the Catholic horse in the province of Quebec, and he told us that if the Liberal party were in power to-day it

*was due to its alliance with the Catholic clergy in that province. Sir, the hon. gentleman ought to know better; he ought to know that during the elections of 1896 in the province of Quebec, every Liberal candidate was asked by his Conservative opponent to choose between the Catholic church and the leader of the Liberal party, and in spite of the hurricane of protests which came from some presbyteries and some pulpits the candidates of the Liberal party in Quebec stood to their guns and won the battle.
My hon. friend (Mr. Blain) quoted not only the opinions of some clergymen in Ontario and other provinces, but he also referred to the defection of the Toronto ' Globe. I have been a reader of the 'Globe' for many years; every Liberal in this country is proud of the great Liberal organ in the province of Ontario, and I, for one deeply regret the defection of the ' Globe ' on this question. I regret that it forgets what the policy of George Brown did for the Liberal party. The Toronto 'Globe' should remember that the policy of George Brown on certain questions, kept the Liberal party out of office for a quarter of a century. But I must say yiis to the credit of the Toronto ' Globe': Though it fought the government and is still fighting the government on the educational clauses of this Bill, it has made no wild appeals such as those made by my hon. friend from South Tork (Mr. W. F. Maclean) in his paper. The Toronto ' Globe ' has discussed fairly the question from its own point of view. It has appealed to its own readers who belong to the school of George Brown, and it has loyally severed its connection with the government on this question. But what has been the policy pursued by my hon. friend, the editor of the Toronto ' World.'

Topic:   T. S. SPROULE.
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