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


Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)


I am not speaking by the book, tout I think so. At any rate, I know that the money is paid, and that it is wrong to tax any .part of this country in a way in which no other portion of the country is taxed. Why should we in the Yukon pay this or any other tax that no other province pays ? There is no right or reason in such an imposition. It is a small matter, and I refer to it only in passing, being convinced that it only requires to toe brought to the attention of the government to have the injustice removed.
There is one other question, and that is the question of the Yukon Council, which, makes our local ordinances or laws. I submit that there is no principle so deeply imbedded in the hearts of the Anglo-Saxon as that of responsible and representative government. When you trace the history of this race from the time that history first discovers them on the banks of the Weser and Elbe, in northern Germany, down to the present day, you will find running through it that one bright thread. You will find that wherever they are, on any section of God's footstool, they want the right to elect their own representatives to govern themselves. In the year -118, when they were on the banks of the Elbe, they had their Moot hill or sacred tree, around which they gathered periodically fo elect their own overseers and settle their own communal affairs. When they went to England you find their earliest effort, an effort which they ever continued, was to have an extended franchise. And when they crossed the Atlantic ocean and landed in the United States they perpetuated the same idea ; and it was because the British government of that day refused to grant them this right, which is bred right in their bones, that it lost the half of this continent, to the British Crown. Then followed their career in Canada Take the province of Nova Scotia, where they laboured against the family compact of that day, which was the weakness of the institutions established by such governors as Lord Faulkner. Take New Brunswick, where the same tiling occurred. But fortunately in those provinces the difficulty was settled without an appeal to arms. Such was not, however, the case in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. How did the struggle for this very same principle there culminate ? It culminated in the rebellion led toy Papineau in Quebec and Mackenzie in Ontario. So long as this race is on this sphere, and wherever you will find a section of this race, you will find in the breasts of the people that love of self-government and that desire to elect their own representatives and legislate for themselves. So it is in the Yukon. Although we are 4.000 miles removed from
here, there is in our breasts the same sentiment which has animated this race from its dawn down to the present day, and until we get there what we enjoy here, we shall not be
satisfied. Trust the people every time; grant (them responsible government, and they will show themselves worthy of it. In our Northwest we have two great territorial divisions knocking at our doors for this same boon, and in a few days they' will be in the enjoyment of representative institutions. [DOT]

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