April 6, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)


Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; President of the Privy Council)



What do these hon. gentlemen mean ? Would they suggest that there is something behind ? They seek to prove their case by the words of the Apostolic delegate, and I give them his words making clear his own meaning. It would be, politically expedient. Why ? On account of any action to be taken here ? No, but because the people in the Northwest Territories who were affected would have no objection to be taken into the province of Manitoba. That is all there is in the matter. L'et, in the face of a statement so obvious as this, you have the leader of a great party doing his best to show that there was something hidden on the part of the government of Canada in this matter. A few moments ago my hon. friend said that we would fight this question out elsewhere. I accept that challenge without any qualification. We will fight out this question in this House. We will fight it out elsewhere. We will fight it out on the charge that hon. gentlemen opposite have brought to the attention of the House. I have no fear about the result. This is not the first time in the thirty years of my experience that I have seen the Tory party playing this part of endeavouring to arouse the prejudices of the people. We shall meet again and shall discuss this question elsewhere. In the meantime, I accept the challenge of my hon. friend that we are responsible to the people ; and that responsibility we shall not decline, but shall meet it in due time.

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