April 7, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)


William James Roche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. J. ROCHE (Marquette).

I wish to draw the attention of the First Minister to a matter referred to by him in his speeches of yesterday and the day before, and in reference to which his statement was. unfortunately, inaccurate. I refer to the following words used by the Prime Minister, ' Hansard,' page 3839 of April 5th :
Mr. Rogers says that the ablegate made this remark:
This invitation was accepted and His Excellency then presented the following memorandum, remarking that if we would place this on the statute-book of our province it would greatly facilitate an early settlement of our mission, the fixing of our boundaries, which would be extended to the shores of Hudson bay.
As to that, I have 'no reason to make any comment, because that is a thing as to which I know nothing. Then Mr. Rogers goes on to say:
His Excellency further added that our failure to act in the past had prejudiced our claim for extension westward.
Well, Sir, I cannot conceive how the Papal ablegate, or anybody else, could have stated that the failure of the province of Manitoba to amend the School Act prevented the extension of its boundaries westward, and that if such had been done it would have facilitated this extension. I cannot conceive how it is possible that such a statement could have been made, considering the fact that since the month of July, 1896, when we came into office, up to the month of January, 1905, we never received from the government of Manitoba a communication asking for the extension of the boundaries of that province. There may have been resolutions passed by the legislature, asking for the extension, of their boundaries; I do not know. I am told there have

been, and I have seen in the press that resolutions were passed in 1901, that resolutions were passed also, as I understand, in 1902, and resolutions were passed, I know, in 1905.
The right hon. gentleman conveyed the impression that there had been no application made on behalf of the legislature of Manitoba to this government for an extension of the boundaries of that province, and that the only information he had gleaned in reference to the resolutions passed by the legislature of Manitoba was gleaned from -the public press, or that he was told that such resolutions had been passed. He followed that up in yesterday's speech, in referring to the interview which was said to have -taken place with Monseigneur Sbar-retti, by saying:
In that interview Monseigneur Sbarretti was reported to have said that it would facilitate matters if these gentlemen would consent to the restoration of separate schools in Manitoba, and that if that had been done before it would have facilitated the extension of their boundaries towards the west. Well, Sir, I stated that I, could hardly believe that His Excellency could have used such language, because then and there Mr, Rogers would have answered

I may say that Mr. Rogers did not meet the Papal ablegate -and never claimed to have met him-

and could have answered the Apostolic
delegate that there never had been hy the government of Manitoba any demand upon this government to extend their boundaries prior to the month of January last, and therefore Monseigneur Sbarretti could not, in my judgment, have used such language in the presence of Mr. Rogers.
It will be seen that the right hon. gentleman tried to cast an aspersion upon the accuracy of the statement of Mr. Rogers in reference to the extension of the boundaries stating that no application had been made to this government from 1896 up to January, 1905. When the right hon. gentleman made that remark, I had some faint recollection of having myself presented some petition or memorial on behalf of .the legislature of Manitoba to this House, and I took the trouble of looking up the journals of the House of Commons. I find in volume xxxvi., of the Journals for 1901, under date of Friday, 26th April, 1901, at page 223, the following:
The following petition was brought up and laid on the -table :
By Mr. Roche (Marquette) the petition of the legislative assembly of the province of Manitoba.
Then, at page 226, under date of Monday, 29tli April, 1901, I find the following:
_ Pursuant to the order of the day, the following petitions were read and received :
Of the legislative .assembly of the province of Manitoba, complaining of the present scant area of said province, and praying the House to enact such legislation as will so extend its Mr. W. J. ROCHE.
boundaries as to include portions of the adjacent districts.
I desire to draw this to the attention of the House to show that the right hon. gentleman is not possessed of that very good memory which a couple of days ago he prided himself on having; and, in view of what I have stated, he would probably have no objection to bringing down this memorial and having it printed with the rest of the correspondence.

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