Mr. CHARLES MARCIL (Bonaventure):
Mr. Speaker, it affords me pleasure, in my capacity as a humble member of this House and as a former occupant of the Speaker's chair, to congratulate you upon ybur appointment to that higher office. You have reached this position at a ooim-para/tlively early :aige, and Hhlave no dbrulblt, judlging by the evidence that has already been furnished to the House during the short time you have occupied that position, that you will maintain the high traditions of your position.
We are called' together in a session of more than ordinary importance. The country at this time is passing through a>
critical period. Never, perhaps, in its history has Canada been called upon to bear the burdens, that are now placed upon it. It is bearing those burdens cheerfully, and it will dio its duty, I have no doubt, to the extent that is required and expected of it.
Canada is the premier nation of the1 British dominions, and as such it has thrown upon it a responsibility which it should not neglect. If the Government gauged properly the public opinion of this country at the outbreak of hostilities precisely eighteen months ago to-day, when Germany invaded Belgium and Luxembourg, it was fortunate at that time in having at the head of the Liberal1 party and' of His Majesty's loyal Opposition in this House, a1 statesman of the high standing, the long experience, the wise views, and the exalted patriotism of the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) who now leads the Opposition. y Peopled as this country is by those of various origins, various creeds, various nationalities, working out together the .salvation of this country on lines that appeal to the majority, what would have been our position during the last eighteen months had the right 'hon. leader of the Opposition sought to adhere to the letter rather than to the spirit of our Canadian Constitution? Had he taken the view that was laid clearly before this House this afternoon by my hon. friend from Nicolet (Mr. Lamarche), that Canadians had no obligations to the Empire beyond the limits of Canada, that Canada's duties had been clearly laid- down in the Militia Act by the old legislature of Canada, confirmed by the British North America Act, what would have Ibeein the position df Canada to-day in the eyes of the Empire and of the world? We should have been rent into two camps, one for and the other against participation in this great war. Fortunately, the right hon. gentleman, with his views, which are well known in this House and in this country, did not hesitate for one moment to declare that the Government had his entire approval in the action it had taken-with, of course, the customary reserve only that a leader of the Opposition must take.
Eighteen months have elapsed since Germany began this terrible war, the worst in all history. What crimes has she not committed since that time! The world stands appalled, aghast; mankind is staggered by what has been accomplished in eighteen months. The audacity of the Hun knows no limit, as we see illustrated in what we learn to-day, that a captured vessel has reached the shores of America all the way from Africa. Those who have followed history somewhat closely are aware that the course that Germany has followed has been of long preparation. I well remem-
ber, being then about ten years of age, when the terrible conflict was waged between France and Prussia in 1870. That was the beginning of the laying of the foundation of the present great crisis. France at that time Ihfad ait its heaid, unfortunately, the liaistt of the Bonapartes, a man who was seeking more the interests of his dynasty and the repelling of the advancing tide of republicanism in France than the stabilities of the nation. He threw France headlong into the unfortunate war of 1870, when everything failed except the courage of the French soldier and the heroism of the French nation. The courage of France in *the days from July to September, .and the heroic defence put up by her under the inspiring genius of Gambetta and others, is now a matter of history. But the abandonment of France at that critical moment by the nations of Europe, and unfortunately by the British Empire, enabled Germany to take the first great step in the vain attempt she is now repeating at mastery extending not over Europe only but over the whole world. France was crushed, and Germany kept on in her attempt to achieve what Caesar failed to achieve, what Alexander failed to achieve, what Napoleon himself failed to achieve, and what William'll will certainly fail to achieve.
The position of the Canadian people was that of a law-abiding, peace-loving group of citizens, British subjects, inhabiting a country far removed from the scene of conflict. In our own province of Quebec we have led the pastoral life as our fathers did before us, and as I hope our people will do again when this terrible conflict has been put an end to and peace has been finally achieved. The outbreak was terrible; it was as sudden as it was unexpected. It was so unexpected that when it occurred the president of the French Republic and the premier of that country were absent from France upon an official visit to Russia. The crime committed at Serajevo, in Herzegovina, on the 23rd of June, led to the ultimatum by which Austria gave Serbia forty-eight hours to submit to the most humiliating conditions ever placed before a free nation. Then followed the precipitation of Germany in insisting that the conflict be limited to Austria against this small a i*l weak nation, while heT refusal to consider Serbia's offer to submit the question of dispute to any impartial tribunal or to any otheT nation in Europe, showed the evident purpose of
the Germanic military power to bring on this conflict.
The conflict has been described in this House graphically and eloquently Iby both leaders." Other speakers before me, not [DOT] only this session, but last session, and in the session of August before that, have said all that can be .said on that subject. My principal object in rising to-night is to repel some of the aspersions which have been castt on |that unfortunate province from which I come. I wish to -say a word for the province of Quebec during the . present crisis. Not that that is particularly required, because the loyalty of the province of Quebec goes far back in the history of this country. It seems to be unknown to many that even as far back as 1763, less than a year after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which handed oveT half this North American continent to the British Grown, General Murray organized in Quebec a regiment of French 'troops, recruited in Montreal, Three Rivers and Quebec, for the purpose of patrolling and establishing law and order in the wilderness which is now the great province of Ontario. This French regiment, organized by General Murray and commanded by one of his officers, was charged, within a year of the territory coming into British possession, with the pacification of this immense country. This . means, as every school-boy knows, that from the start the French, who had been loyal to the Crown of France .so long as the
flag of France floated over this country, transferred their allegiance from France to England, as if by magic. It was in 1763, therefore, that the French people of Quebec were first called upon to assist the British Crown in Canada. It seems a waste of time to recall these things now, but it is just as well that I should mention them after hearing the frank and honest statement made this afternoon by the hon. member for Nieolet. Unfortunately, it may not have been understood by the majority of hon. gentlemen in this House, who, I am sorry to say, have still many things to learn so far as the French language is concerned. In 1763 Governor Murray resorted to the French pioneers of this country to maintain British rule in Canada. In 1776, thirteen years later-it seems incredible-the British authorities m this country called upon the French-Cana-dians to save what remained of British rule in North America from the English-speaking subjects of His Majesty the King of
England in open rebellion in the States to the south. In this you have the second evidenee of the loyalty of the people of Quebec to the British Crown. In 1812 they were again called upon to stand by British institutions, this time not against British subjects in rebellion, but against American revolutionists who invaded this country. They took Montreal almost by magic, and were preparing to capture the whole of the province of Quebec, when they were held up at Chateauguay by DeSalaberry, as Brock held them back at Queenston in Upper Canada, Ontario having by this time secured a sufficiently large number of United Empire Loyalists to do its share in accomplishing what the French of Lower Canada had done in previous years. In 1776, when Montreal fell, and became a prey to the American army, a couple of Canadians, De Lanaudiere and Bouchette, took Guy Carleton, the English Governor, in a canoe down the St. Lawrence to the city of Quebec, placed him in the fortress of Quebec, and with their countrymen surrounded the fortress and the British flag, and saved the British Dominion when the gallant Montgomery and his American troops invaded and climbed the citadel and fell with the snowflakes which descended on that fateful Christmas night.
In 1885 the province of Quebec was put to another test, a test which was, perhaps, even more severe than the ones which I Wave mentioned, because the people were far removed from the early days of conflict. Many citizens of Quebec had left that province to settle in the northwestern part of the country. The members of this House from the northwestern provinces will be the first to recognize the value of the French Canadian pioneer in the Northwest. A year or two ago I had the pleasure of visiting at St. Boniface the oldest priest in the world, a man ninety-four years of age. I had the pleasure of meeting near the Archbishop's palace an old nun ninety-two years of age. They had gone to the Northwest, not in a Pullman car, not on the double tracks of our Canadian railways, but in a birch-bark canoe. They had gone there in the old days when the Northwest was first opened up to settlement, and, like Lord Selkirk's early pioneers, had implanted the seed of what has now become the great West of Canada. In 1885 there broke out, in-the Northwest an unfortunate rebellion. Many of the leaders who participated in this rebellion were of French origin; most of them were
descendants of people of the province of Quebec. Naturally the sympathies of the province of Quebec went out to these people of their own blood and kin. They had heard that these men had grievances which had not been remedied; and the sentiment of the people naturally sided with those who had grievances to lay at the foot of the Throne. But when open rebellion broke out, when these people in the Northwest made an attack upon the British flag and upon the constituted authorities in that part of the country, the people of the province of Quebec, the boys of the 65th Battalion of Montreal, led by a former Speaker 0f the Bouse, amid toy Major Dugiais, who was known to the bulk of the people in the Northwest, and the 9th Battalion of Quebec, went gallantly to their duty, to fight thieir own countrymen, men of their own kin, in upholding British institutions and British law and order in this country. General Strange, who led these boys, related later how cheerfully they assumed the task which had been laid upon them; how they sang their rollicking songs-those songs that the old chasseurs, the old pioneers, the old missionaries in other days listened to with so much delight, and which were so characteristic of the early development of this country-how cheerfully these boys pulled the cannon through the muskegs, and finally got into the western prairies 'anid reached tilhe scene of conflict. That was the last instance upon which the French in Quebec were called upon to give any evidence of their active participation in warfare.
Then this great war broke out, and a hostile attack was made upon France, our former mother country; France, who has done so much for this country, who has left here the imprint of 'her genius; France, who left in this land 60,000 settlers, who now number nearly two millions of people, scattered broadcast over the continent. You will find them from the Arctic ocean to the gulf of Mexico, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific; you will find them in all callings, from the humblest to the highest.
I must say, Mr. Speaker, to the credit of the English-speaking majority of the Canadian people, that the French were able at one time to produce a citizen who could occupy the position of the King's first adviser in this Dominion of Canada. When this war broke out we in the province of Quebec had a double object in view. We saw that France was about to be crushed;
we realized that the elimination of France from the map of Europe and from the civilization of the world would be a misfortune which no one would recognize more readily than those of the English-speaking race. We felt Wat if England were attacked we were attacked; that the defeat of England meant the defeat of Canada, and that there was nothing to do but to go into the conflict. We are in the conflict now, we are in it for good, and we are in it to win. .
Some difficulty was experienced in the province of Quebec with! regard to recruiting, and upon this point I wish to say a few words. The hon. member for Nicolet this afternoon, in the frank and honest statement which he gave to the House, related one of the causes of the difficulties which have been experienced in connection with recruiting in the province of Quebec. He described very clearly and in a very interesting manner the history of the Nationalist movement in this country. He read a resolution that was adopted at a large meeting at St. Eustache, in the county of Two idountains. The late Mr. Monk commanded the honour and respect of all members of this .House, no matter what their political opinions were. If nothing else could be said of Mr. Monk than that he resigned his office on a question of principle, Ihe would be entitled to respect. The. statement which yras made this afternoon gave us an idea of the difficulties that we have to contend with now so far as recruiting in the province of Quebec is concerned. The Nationalist movement was conceived with the idea of being
the antithesis of the Imperialist idea. The Imperialist idea is that a subject of the British Crown in Canada is a subject of the Empire at large; that what strikes the Empire strikes Canada; that the duty of a British subject in Canada is the duty of a British subject in the Empire; that the defence of the Empire is a duty imposed on the citizens of Canada. That is the Imperialist idea. The Nationalist
idea is that Canadian British subjects have no duty towards the Empire outside of Canada. The hon. member for Nicolet very clearly defined this. As he read in French the resolution adopted at St. Eustache, which explained the last campaign carried on in the province of Quebec, I shall give this resolution in English, so that out English-speaking friends can understand better the basis of the alliance that was formed during the last campaign,
in 1911, between the Nationalists and the Conservative wing of that party. The village of St. Eustache seems to have been happily chosen for the place of inauguration of this movement. It is situated in the riding of Two Mountains, represented by my hon. friend (Mr. Ethier). It is an historical point in the province of Quebec. Its old church still stands, bearing the scars of the British cannon which fired bullets against it in 1837, when the patriots of that period were fighting for the institution in Canada of responsible government. Canada is pretty well agreed to-day that th-e action taken at that time was inspired by high motives, and the course of the men who sought in the province of Quebec to obtain by means of arms-and in this many of them gave up their lives-what they had failed to obtain by constitutional methods, has been ratified by the judgment of history. Those who study the past of the French race in this country, who read the lives of Lafontaine and Cartier, will find in the lives of these men, in their actions, in their work, the germs of the inauguration of responsible Government and British institutions in Canada. This village of St. Eustache was chosen by Mr. Monk and his followers, some of whom are now advisers of the Crown in this House, for the inauguration of this campaign.
Mr. Bourassa has just published in the province of Quebec a book entitled, " What do we owe to England?" It has not yet had the honour of a translation into English, but I suppose we shall soon see it translated into that language, when our English-speaking friends will have an opportunity of better understanding the position taken by Mr. Bourassa as explained this afternoon by the hon. member for Nicolet. Mr. Bourassa explains in this book that at the time of the adoption by this House of the Naval Bill, which I had the honour of putting to the House, and which was adopted nemine contradicente, Mr. Monk was not present in his seat. He afterwards declared in the House that bad he been present he would have called for a division; but Mr. Monk, having been in failing health, had gone for a trip to the United States, and, on his return, Mr. Bourassa explains to us, he waited upon Mr. Bourassa and asked him to join him in this Nationalist campaign against this Government's naval proposition. Mr. Bourassa explained that he was willing to go into the campaign provided that certain guarantees were given to him that the
policy of both political parties would be attacked; that the policy of the Liberal party he condemned outright and that he condemned the policy of the other party as none the less nefarious-both the policy of a Canadian navy and the policy of contribution. For this reason he wanted to have his position clearly stated, and he requested the privilege of drafting himself the resolution which was to form the programme and the policy of this new party, to which the hon. member for Nicolet told us this afternoon twenty members now sitting in this House owe their election in the province of Quebec.
This resolution, adopted in the historical village of St. Eustache, on classic ground, at a large meeting attended by prominent men, some of whom are now ministers of the Crown, others of whom are simple supporters of the Administration, it is well worth while to read and to give a moment's attention to. It will enable me to show the difficulties that we have had to contend with in the province of Quebec, when one of the great political parties of Canada, as far as they could possibly do so, instilled into the minds of the people of the province of Quebec, who are not a warlike people by any means, the doctrine that they owed no duties to the British Crown outside of' Canada-that it was so stated in the British North America Act and in the Militia Act. That is precisely the position that Colonel Lavergne now takes-that, though he is now a member of the militia of Canada, he has no duty to perform outside of Canada. Let me read the resolution:
We, citizens of Canada, faithful subjects of His Majesty, King George V, declare that we are prepared at the cost of our lives to defend the soil of our country and the rights of the British Crown in Canada, as our fathers did in 1776 against the English subjects of His Majesty, in .1812 against the armies of the American Republic, and as we did in 1885 against our own fell'ow-citizens in rebellion.
Confiding in the grandeur and efficiency of the principles of decentralization and in the autonomy solemnly proclaimed and recognized for more than half a century by the authorities of Great Britain and. of Canada, we are opposed to any new policy which would carry us into faraway wars foreign to Canada, as long, especially, as the autonomous colonies of the Empire do not share with the Mother Country on a footing of equality, the sovereign authority vested in the army and in the Imperial Navy, the treaties of peace and of alliance, foreign relations, the Government of India and of the possessions of the Crown.
We believe sincerely that this policy of concentration and apparent Imperial unity, of which the new naval law is hut the first instalment, will produce in the heart, even of the Empire, misunderstandings, rivalries and conflicts which
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will endanger the peace and the union of the various countries and the people of all races, who to-day are proud to obey the English Crown.
Never having been for Great Britain or for the Empire the cause of any conflict, we believe that a policy of peace and of moral and material development is necessary in Canada for its growth and its cohesion and further for the glory and security of the Empire.
Free citizens of a democratic country, we claim the right of expressing openly our opinion on this question, as well as on all others which affect the fate and the interest of Canada. We recognize to the majority of the Canadian people the right to determine upon any new policy in our relations with the other parts of the Empire, provided that they act in full knowledge of what they are doing.
But we protest against all attempts to remove this grave problem from the free deliberation of the whole of the Canadian people and of each of the groups which compose it.
We disavow the declaration made in Toronto in December last by Mr. Alexandre Taschereau, Provincial Minister of Public Works, who pretended falsely that the people of Quebec are ready to accept blindly any policy of naval defence of the Empire, and we blame the members of the Government and of the legislature of the province who ratified this declaration by their vote on the second of June last.
We blame the Dominion ministry and the Parliamentary majority who imposed upon Canada this new naval law, launched Canada in the vortex of militarism, denounced erstwhile with so much energy by Sir Wilfrid Daurier, endangered the peace of Canada and diverted toward the construction of murderous engines and bloody war, military preparations, millions destined to the development of agriculture and of onr transportation routes.
We condemn equally the attitude of Mr. Borden and the members of the Opposition, who, following him, have asked for the adoption of a policy none the less nefarious.
We affirm that Parliament has no right to pledge the future of Canada in a policy which has never been submitted to the people who are called upon to pay the tribute of blood and to hear the yoke of military expenditures.
We approve without reserve, the courageous and loyal conduct of Mr. Monk and of the few members who have remained faithful to their mandate, who have pointed out the dangers of this policy and claimed for the people of Canada the right to express their will before their representatives imposed upon it this heavy burden.
This is the charter, these are the conditions under which was born the so-called Nationalist party. The Conservatives of the province of Quebec had, at that moment, given up all hepe of overturning the Liberal Administration which had done so much for Canada. Seeing that there was a majority among the'people of the province of Quebec favourable to reciprocity, and-that there was no hope of overbalancing the scale otherwise, they resorted to this policy.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I love free debate; I love free discussion; I would not be a
Liberal if I did not stand for free speech. This question of the participation of Canada in the wars of the Empire is a question which every Canadian has a right to decide for himself. That is the stand we have taken in this country; that is the stand that the Liberal party has taken; and I am sure that it is the stand the majority of the people of Canada will take, because we want Canada to remain during the war, as she was before the war, a free country where all stand equal, and where the . right of free speech is untrammelled. But, being of that mind, that sentiment, and that spirit, we of the Liberal party did not hesitate to go to our compatriots in the province of Quebec to ask them to overlook the letter to be found in the Militia Act and in the British North America Act; to overlook the stand which was taken in the past by Cartier and Lafontaine, by Macdonald and by Campbell, as cited by my hon. friend from Nicolet, and by Sir John A. Macdonald himself in the early days of Canada. Then Canada did not have the population it has to-day; she did not have the resources she has to-day; she did not have cast upon her the responsibilities which she has to-day. In those days the people of Canada did well by the Empire in defending the integrity of this country, in developing its resources, in opening up its immense avenues for the increase of the population. We were contributing towards the Empire.
But on the fourth day of August, when Great Britain entered this war, she entered not an ordinary war like that of the Soudan, when Sir John A. Macdonald refused to Canadians the right to participate. At that time Sir John was probably fully justified. In that and other wars, there was no reason why Canada should participate. The doctrine that when Britain is at war Canada is at war is good in principle, but it is not always necessary to put it into practice. But in this war, when the principles of humanity were at stake, when civilization itself was threatened to be turned back a thousand years, when the Huns, as the Germans are so properly described by Kipling-though in the past Germany has given great things to civilization-when the Germans had so far forgotten themselves as to do what they have done within the past few months, there was no other duty laid upon the people of this country than to assume their share of the burden. We have assumed that share. The right hon. the leader of the Liberal party went to his countrymen in the city of Montreal and
opened a campaign of recruiting. He had with him on that occasion some of his former colleagues, and others, including the present Postmaster General (Hon. T. Chase Casgrain), They had to reason with some of the French Canadian people because of this doctrine which the Nationalist party had instilled into the minds of the people of Quebec, that they had no duties to perform towards the British Crown outside the limits of the province of Quebec. We have to contend with that argument to-day.
My hon. friend from Rouville (Mr. Lemieux) attended a meeting the other night in the Monument National, one of the largest buildings in Montreal, for the purpose of helping Major Asselin of the 150th Battalion, which is largely recruited, I must say, from the ranks of the Nationalist party, to appeal to French Canadian youth. Mr. Bourassa and those who accompany him are all clever men; those of the Nationalist party who occupy seats in this House have shown that they are clever men; and I hope that before this debate finishes they will give an instance of what they can do in this House compared with what they aTe able to do on platforms in the province of Quebec. Major Asselin appealed to the audience in Montreal for recruits for his battalion. He
declared that he himself had been the founder of the Nationalist party. Major Asselin was the man who, in 1903, established the Nationalist party. Its
principles summarized were three- autonomy in Canada, the autonomy of the province within the Dominion; and complete liberty in all matters affecting the Empire. That, in substance, was the programme of the Nationalist party.
When Major Asselin addressed the meeting in Montreal, he was interrupted repeatedly by many young Nationalists in the audience, who offered objections which he had to answer. The first and chief objection was to be found in the speeches in support of this resolution, and this resolution, from what Mr. Bourassa says in his book, was Supported by Mr. Nantel, a former Minister of the Crown], by Mr. Coderre, an ex-Minister of the Crown; by the present Secretary of State (Mr. Blon-din,), by the present Minister of Inland Revenue (Mr. Patenaude), by the members for L'Islet (Mr. Paquet), Montmagny (Mr. L'Esperanee), Chamibly-Vercheres (Mr. Rainville), Yamaska (Mr. Mondou), by the leader of the present Opposition in the province of Quebec, Mr. Cousineau, - and
by Mr. Sauve, the Conservative member for Two Mountains. This was the stand tgken by these gentlemen at that time. They may say that the times have changed-, and that they have reasons now why they should join the majority of the Canadian people, because the majority of the people support Canada's participation in this war. But they have not said so yet. In, the splendid speech, which I am sure was a treat to the House, delivered here the other evening by the hon. member for Kamour-aska (Mr. Ernest Lapointe) they were invited to explain their position, and I think they owe it to themselves, to this House, to the electors of their, province, and to the electors of the Dominion, not to allow the province of Quebec to lie under a false imputation in the crisis through which we are passing.
Major Asselin, I am sorry to say, had to meet another objection relating to the province of Ontario-and here, in the city of Ottawa, I know I am treading on dangerous ground. But, Mr. Speaker, I wish you to realize that I am sincere when I state that I want England to win this war, because the victory of Britain means the salvation of Canada, while the defeat of Britain would be our ruin. We are here to advise and support the Ministry in its war measures. The speech from the Throne states that that is the chief object for which we have met, and it enunciates the ideas which prevail in connection with this war. I may as well read one or two paragraphs as ,an introduction to what I may have to say later. The concluding paragraph of the speech is this :
The high courage, the splendid heroism, and the unalterable determination which have marked the united efforts of all portions of His Majesty's Dominions, during a year of unprecedented strain and effort, justify our supreme confidence in the triumph of our cause and in lasting affirmation of the principles of liberty and justice throughout the world. I commend to your earnest consideration the measures which will be submitted to you for aiding in , the great purpose, and I pray that the Divine blessing may rest upon your counsels.
It is because I want th& province of Quebec to do its full share, as I know she will do once she realizes the gravity of the position-though I do not admit that up to the present she has not done all that was required of her-that I wish to convey to you, Mr. Speaker, and through you to the House, the difficulties we have to contend with. I have outlined the policy that was laid down by our opponents in the campaign of 1911. We have now to face another difficulty.
The Nationalist party, and I must say that not only they, but the Legislature of the province of Quebec, the hierarchy of the province of Quebec, the newspapers of the province of Quebec, and the province of Quebec itself, rightly or wrongly-and I hope it is wrongly-are under the impression that there is a minority in the province of Ontario which is not being fairly treated. The province of Ontario is abundantly and well represented in this House. There are men in this House who can easily guide public opinion in the province of Ontario, and it is to them that I address my remarks in the hope that they will bring about some kind of settlement of this unfortunate state of affairs, so as to help us in the province of Quebec in the noble and patriotic work which we have undertaken of recruiting the quota which that province will contribute under fair conditions.
I do not want to say who is to blame in this unfortunate bilingual school question; for it is an unfortunate question, and should not exist in this free country of ours. I am told by some people that it is a question between the French and the Irish. I am free to speak for both, because, being 'a Frenchman by my father, I am also of Irish descent. My mother's parents came from Sligo in the North of Ireland, and Carrick-on-Suir in Tipperary. My grand-uncle, Edward Twomey, first representative of the county of Drummond in 1834 in the old legislature of Lower Canada, was the only Irishman who voted with Dr. O'Callaghan for the ninety-two resolutions presented by Papineau, upon which were based the constitutional institutions we now enjoy. I ask the Irish people to be merciful to the French, as they themselves have asked for mercy very often in their conflict, which I hope now is about ended. It was with pleasure that I'-saw yesterday that Ireland up to a day or two ago had given under the voluntary system -87,000 young Irishmen to the cause of liberty-given them freely under the inspiration of Redmond and of Carson, and of the orange, and of the green, to fight for the Empire. And in this contest we know that Ireland will do what she has always done, what the Scotch have done, and what the French Canadians will do if they are given an opportunity. The Irish people of this city and of this province-I will begin with them-should not forget what the French Canadians in the province of Quebec have done for the Irish people. The Irish people
of Canada have had some worthy representatives in this House. The most eloquent man, probably, who was ever heard within these walls, Thomas D'Arcy McGee, and who o.n that memorable night in March, 1869, a few nmments before he fell under the cowardly bullet of an assassin, delivered one of those eloquent speeches which has given his name to history, and who spoke nearly opposite to where I stand now, was a representative of Montreal, and the French Canadians largely contributed to his election to this House. The present Chief Justice of Canada, Sir Charles Fitzpatrick, who represented the county of Quebec, and who at that time was by long odds the foremost Irishman in Canada, as he is to-day one of the best-I do not want to hurt the feelings of others-was elected to this House for many long years by the French county of Quebec, in which there were very few Irish people. Mr. Justice Curran, who represented Montreal Centre, and was the champion of the Irish people for a decade in this House, was the bosom friend of the French element of his division. These are the facts we have to submit for the consideration of the Irish people of this city and province. Let me go a step further back, to 1848, when Ireland presented one of the most pitiful chapters in her history, when those who had to leave the old soil through famine came up the St. Lawrence, after many long and weary weeks of sailing, and became the pioneers of many Irish families in this country. Many never went beyond Grosse Isle, where they were ministered to by that humble young priest of that day, Abbe Taschereau, who subsequently became the first cardinal prince of his church in Canada. These are things which Irishmen in the province of Ontario should not forget, and I speak to them as one of their own.
Is there not some way of bridging over .this difficulty? Is there not some way in which the Conservative party of Ontario can give us a hand in this matter, and put an end to this state of affairs, under which mothers of families have to spend nights guarding a. school down in Lower Town, and two or three thousand children troop to the City Hall clamoring for their teachers to be paid. The hon. member for Nicolet (Mr. Lamarche) represented the extreme views of the province of Quebec. I ask again is there no way of bridging over this difficulty?
I hear the pretence made, and the argument set forth, that this is an Englishspeaking province. So much the better.
I know enough of the spirit of the English people, and enough of the principles of the British constitution, to know that there is no injustice that can not be remedied under British rule. Those who imagine that British rule in Canada can be maintained only by the existence of one language,, are far from the mark. In Phillips square^ in the city of Montreal, one of the noblest, monuments of our city is erected to King. Edward VII. the Peacemaker. He was imbued with the true spirit of the British constitution, and, like many of his nationality and spirit, had a broad conception of the-duties which kings and statesmen and public men have to fulfil. Parliaments-exist for the purpose of solving difficulties.. We are here not to increase the difficulties and dissensions among the various classes of the Canadian people, but, if possible, by all means to promote their happiness and prosperity. We want this young nation to rest upon a solid basis, and to stand for all time to.come. We want to be imbued with the true spirit which animated the fathers and upholders of the British constitution. We do not want it to be said that we of the province of Quebec alone uphold the true spirit of the British constitution. We saw how King Edward VII. brought about, the entente cordiale between France and England. Dear knows they had been wide apart for many centuries. They had waged war upon each other, and each in its own. sphere had battled for the mastery of the world. England obtained final success in commerce, in trade, in navigation, in, colonization, and in the dissemination, of civilization throughout the world.
But there was one thing which she could: never wrest from the French nation and which remains until to-day in the city of Paris, la ville lumifere, that it remains the-city of light, the home of art, of literature, of science, of refinement, of all that is agreeable to those who love civilization and the.-higher products of the human mind,
Edward VII, at whose picture, which adorns these walls, I often gaze during these debates, laid the basis of the present great fight which is being put up by the Allies. After the defeat of France in 1870, when she had been crushed, and the German Emperor had been able, in the palace at Versailles, to place upon his head the crown of the emperors of Germany, when he went back and created the North German Confederation for the sole purpose of [DOT] obtaining a mastery of the world, which he could not have obtained except by wrest-
ing from Albion the sceptre which she 'held, Edward VII, with his foresight, saw that the future of the British Empire rested on the bringing about of an understanding with France, and he accordingly laid the basis of the present agreement between those two great nations. Why cannot the same thing be done in Canada on a smaller scale? Why cannot the French-Canadian -children in the province of Ontario be allowed to learn French, as our boys and girls . are bound to learn English? I have often wondered what would happen in this House if vthe fifty French members from the province [DOT]t*f Quebec were to exercise the privilege which the constitution confers upon them of addressing this House in the French language, of carrying on their business in the French language, of presenting their motions in the French language, and so on. I know, that the majority in this House appreciate the act of courtesy that the majority of our French members perform every time they rise, with, some misgivings, to speak a language with which they are not perfectly familiar. We want all Canadians, as far as possible, to know two languages. Canadians on the battlefields *of Europe have shown that on the average each of them is worth two men. I would like the average Canadian to be worth at least one man, and there is no educated man in Europe to-day, or .even in the United States, but boasts of two languages. Some time ago, merely for the purpose of information, I wrote to the ministers of the various provinces of Canada to ascertain to what extent the speaking of French was being carried on in this country. The Minister of Education for British Columbia replied that it was treated >ais a foreign language-'that the students of the higher schools could learn Greek, or German, or French. I suppose the German language will be discarded after this, and Greek is somewhat out of date. But how useful our friends from British Columbia will find the French language when they go .abroad, and I know that the people of that province are of a high class, who have travelled and who appreciate a good thing when they see it.
I have ascertained that in the Northwest Provinces the people are getting on fairly well by an understanding arrived at in 1903 by this Parliament. Jibe majority of this Parliament .wisely acceded to the request made by the minority to allow in Saskatchewan and Alberta a system which the people -bad found best suited to their
own purposes. As the sections 9 p.m. of the Northwest Territories Act in regard to the school question had been changed to suit the conditions prevailing there, this Parliament very wisely at the time when they granted the constitutions of Saskatchewan and Alberta, gave the minorities in those provinces the right to have the schools which they thought were best suited for them. In Manitoba-I do not dare ispeak of the school question, I have heard so much of it-an understanding was arrived at, and as it was not altogether acceptable to the minority, they were advised by His Holiness the Pope of Borne, a man who is competent to speak on such matters, to accept the share of justice given to them and to strive for more.
It is to the credit of the M'aritime provinces that they have produced in the educational line the foremost men in Canada. I shall only mention three: Sir-William Dawson, Principal Grant and Principal Falconer. Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have long since removed from the arena the troubled question of education. They have come to a wise agreement among themselves on reasonable terms. In New Brunswick there are to-day 100,000 French-Canadians, or close on one-third of the population. The Englishspeaking people are leaving that province -I do not know why, because they have been favoured with all that is necessary to make it a prosperous country-but the lure of the West has taken away a large number of young men who may ultimately come back, I hope, wiser than when they left; but if they do not come back, others will be found from other parts of the Empire to take their places, because New Brunswick is destined to become one of the greatest provinces of the Dominion. In 1873, the unfortunate school question in New Brunswick was discussed in this House and a very stormy debate took place, but ultimately the people of New Brunswick, in their wisdom, came to an agreement oh the question. In Nova Scotia the same thing has happened.
I wish to repeat what the hon. member for Nicolet said of the Premier this afternoon. We respect the Premier of Canada; we know him to be an honest man; we know him to be a man of conviction and of principle. Of course, he is the leader of a great party and the leader does not always lead; he sometimes is the mouthpiece of his party. In this unfortunate school ques-
lion, which is a difficulty for us at the present moment as far as recruiting is concerned, I would ask him, if he were here to-night, to state to our friends of Ontario in a few words how this difficulty was bridged over in Nova Scotia, and the difficulty would be put an end to.
I have said that I do not intend to place the blame on any side. In all these controversies many things have been said on one side or the other which should not have been said; but, Sir, there is one thing that you cannot take away from a man, and that is what he has received from his mother. The French will continue to speak French no matter what legislation you pass. The same thing is the case in Scotland. In Wales the people are going back to Welsh. In the trenches the soldiers are creating a new language. In South Africa the Dutch are speaking their Dutch. Out of the four hundred million subjects of the British Empire, forty or fifty million speak English, while the other three hundred and fifty million speak the languages which are theirs, and the French of Quebec will continue to speak French. But we do not want this unfortunate state of affairs to continue, that one of the official languages in Canada is to be quarantined in the province of Quebec. Why should it be so? Is this official language, which extends through all parts of Canada, not to be recognized anywhere but in the province of Quebec? We should not forget that this is a federation of provinces. Each province has, it is true, within its own sphere, the rights allotted to it under the constitution; but there are things which provinces should do in the interest of the whole. The province of Quebec to-day is trying to overcome the objection laid before it of its men having to serve beyond the confines of the province in the interest of British institutions. We ask the people of Ontario if there is not a way by which this difficulty can be bridged over, and, if so, it will help us immensely in the province of Quebec.
I do not want to impose upon the good nature of the House, but there are words of wisdom to be found sometimes in these old Hansards, which we never read or do not read often enough.
Within a year of his death, Sir John A. Macdonald, the greatest man that the Conservative party ever produced in this country, the man who was truly, with Cartier, the architect of our Canadian federation, delivered a memorable address. This was one of the last important speeches that he
delivered in this House, and in it he bequeathes to Canadians of English or of French origin, of English or of French speech, a political testament which I should like to see treated after the old French fashion. In France, when an important speech is delivered it is ordered to be posted on the door of every mairie in France, so that every elector may be able to read it. This custom was established before the newspaper existed. If these words of Sir John
A. Macdonald which I am about to quote were taken to heart by Canadians of English speech and by all inhabiting the several provinces, no such difficulty would exist as the one we have now to contend with. The quotation is a little longer than I am accustomed to make, but hon. members will see that the words are particularly applicable to the crisis through which we are now passing. I quote these words, not for the purpose of stirring up difficulty, but for the purpose of smoothing out difficulty, for the purpose of bringing about a better understanding among all Canadians, so that we may be able to fulfil our share of the great duty that rests upon all people of British allegiance. The occasion of Sir John A. Macdonald's speech was the bringing before the House by Mr. Dalton McCarthy, one of the brightest stars in the political firmament, of one of the most unfortunate questions which could he brought into debate. I must state in fairness to the House that it followed a very acute campaign which had been carried on in the province of Quebec following certain events in the Northwest Territories- The campaign in Quebec had its echoes in Ontario. Dalton McCarthy, not being able to attack the British North America Act and its guarantees, proposed to amend the Northwest Territories Act for the purpose of eradicating French from the journals of the legislature of the Northwest Territories. Sir John Thompson opposed it. The right hon. leader of the Opposition, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who was then in the House, naturally opposed It. Edward Blake, one of the great men of Ontario, and other leading men opposed it. They opposed it on patriotic grounds, on constitutional grounds, and in the interest of the country. They said that it was an unfortunate question to be taken up at that time. They took the very wise stand that in a few years from that time these territories would be formed into provinces and could then decide what was best in their own interest. This view prevailed in this House. These words of Sir John Macdonald's will remain
to his honour, and I want to read them in order to bring about, if possible, a better understanding:
It is quite true, as tile hon. member for Durham (Mr. Blake) said, that a small spark might kindle a great conflagration, and we will [DOT]be. wilfully, on. a question of sentiment-on a question of feeling, which does not deserve to be dignified by the name of sentiment-hazarding the future of the country, arousing the feelings of race against race which I hope had been for ever buried in 186T, and ruining the -credit of Canada in foreign countries. Aye, and in the Mother Country too. For, what cre-*dit can we, financially or otherwise, hope to obtain if it is known in England, if it is known [DOT]especially on the stock exchange-the most fearful and timorous of ail bodies-that the two races which inhabit Canada are drawn up against each other, on matters of sentiment, feelings and prejudice, which are more important and less easy to be soothed than mere material questions. It will stop the development of this country. It will prevent its future progress, and if this country should fall from the proud position it now holds in the eyes of the work1, it will be because by our own insensate conduct we have destroyed our credit, destroyed our prestige, and iu ned our future. In the few remarks I made the other might 1 intended to have called the attention of my hon. friends from the province of Ontario to what was the action of the province of Upper Canada in 1793, but I was tired, and held it over for another opportunity. I will call attention to it now, to show what was the feeling of the people of Upper Canada a century ago. By a very unwise measure, although introduced by a very great man, Mr. Pitt, in 1790, the old province of Quebec was divided into two-Upper and Lower Canada. It was thought that matters would be simplified by [DOT] keeping the French in one corner of this vast country, and the English in another, and they divided the province of Quebec into two provinces. From that unwise measure come most of our troubles. The legislature met in 1791 at Newark, afterwards Niagara, and was composed of Englishmen. They were severed from the French, but they had a colony of French on the western frontier of the province of Canada, what is now the county of Essex. These Frenchmen were few in number, but their rights were protected at the second meeting of the legislature of Upper Canada. The province was a small one and poor, and could not afford even to print the proceedings of its legislature ; but its people regarded the feelings of their fellow countrymen. Let me read the resolution, which is still in manuscript. The original volume will be found in our library. This is the order of June 3, 1793 :
" Ordered, that such Acts as have already passed, or may hereafter pass the legislature of this province, be translated into the French language for the benefit of the inhabitants of the western district of this province and other French settlers who may come to reside within this province, and that A. Macdonald, Esq., of this House, member for Glengarry county, be likewise employed as a French translator for this or other purposes."
Are we, one hundred years later, going to be less liberal to our Franch Canadian subects than the few Englishmen, United Empire Loyalists, who settled Ontario? No, Sir. This
resolution would cast shame on men who tried to deprive our French friends in the province of Ontario of the privilege given them a hundred years ago by a body of men altogether speaking the English language. There may have been among them one member from that western district, of French origin-perhaps Monsieur Baby-
Who, I believe, was an ancestor of the Postmaster General (Mr. Casgrain).
-who for years was the sole represntative in the province of Upper Canada of that portion of the French race who were living in Upper Canada. Are we going to be less liberal? Forbid it, Mr. Speaker, in the name of humanity, in the name of civilization, in the name of the progress of this great country, I appeal to all our friends in this House, without reference to party, to forget what may be an inconvenience when they go back to their constituents on both sides, to forget that for a moment, and to merge everything in the great desire to make Canada, French and English, one people, without any hostile feeling, without any difference of opinion, further than that which arises from the different literatures and the different strains of mind that run always in different races, and which severs the Scotchman and the Irishman from the Englishman as much as it severs the Frenchman from the Englishman Let us forget this cry, and we shall have our r ward in seeing this unfortunate Are, which has been kindled fiom so small a spark, extinguished for ever, and we shall go on, as we have been going on since 1867, as one people, with one object, looking to one fu ure and expecting to lay the foundation of one great country.
That, Mr. Speaker, was one of the last declarations made in this House by the man who was foremost among all the Conservatives that Canada ever produced. We are passing through a crisis at the present moment. We are passing through a critical period in history. I invite the members from Ontario to ponder these words of Sir John A. Macdonald. I ask those who are not of my own political persuasion if, in the interests of the Empire, whose success they have at heart, in the interests of our common country and of our common cause, which we want to see triumph, they can find a way out of this difficulty? I do not wish to trouble the House by reading the resolution of the Quebec Legislature on this subject, but I shall read the letter of the chief inspector of the Protestant schools in the province of Quebec, in which he declares that no difficulty of this kind has ever occurred in that province. Although some of my friends may have read this letter, I may as well give them the benefit of it; it may assist them in solving the difficulty. It is signed by J. C. Sutherland, Inspector of Public Protestant Schools in the province of Quebec, and dated December 23, 1915. It is a public letter headed, " Ontario School Question," and
addressed to the editor of the Quebec Chronicle:
Sir,-In the admirable letter of Mr. J. G. Scott to the Toronto Mail and Empire, reproduced in your columns a few days ago, there is only one very significant sentence. Mr. Scott asks:
"How would we feel if our instruction were not in English ? "
There are very few English-speaking people who realize that if the same principle of provincial control of education, and the same prejudice against the language of a minority, prevailed in this province as prevail in other provinces, the language of instruc.on in our Protestant school would he French and not English.
In the Dominion at large, as well as in some parts of our own province, it is not as well understood as it should be that we, the English minority of Quebec, enjoy almost absolute home rule in our educational affairs. The organization, discipline and administration of our schools are determined by regulations of the Protestant committee. It is that committee which decides what subjects and languages shall be taught in the Protestant schools. In the other provinces all these matters are subject to general school laws and to departmental regulations. Yet, as the Confederation debates of 1865 plainly show, the one anxiety of the Fathers of Confederation was to provide a safeguard in the constitution for the Protestant minority of Quebec. They alone were supposed to be in danger from the handing over of education to provincial control. Hence article 93 of the British North America Act-that article which has caused so much trouble in other provinces in the last 48 years, but which has never had to be invoked on behalf of the Protestant minority of Quebec. It is a " scrap of paper" which has been most honourably respected by the Roman Catholic majority of Quebec, and I think it is the just duty of us Protestants to frankly acknowledge the fact.
As one born and educated in Ontario, but for many years now a resident of this province,
I have long endeavoured to study this question with a spirit of detachment from local prejudices of any kind, and without losing any of my regard and appreciation of the great and progressive spirit of my native province, I hold that the chief source of difficulty in the ever recurring school question, in Ontario and other provinces which modelled their educational systems upon that of Ontario including all the western provinces, is the fact that the principle of centralization is carried too far. Curiously enough, in view of the World War, Ontario derived that principle of extreme centralization from Prussia. The founder of the school system of Upper Canada was Dr. Egerton Ryerson. When laying the foundations of the system and they were most noble in general, Ryerson visited various countries, being absent on this mission from November, 1844, to the early part of 1846. The Rev. Chancellor Burwash, in his life of Ryerson " Makers of Canada " series, says that Ryerson was chiefly impressed by three systems, those of Prussia, Ireland and Massachusetts, and that in "Prussia he had seen the advantages of strong and wise central direction and authority." (P. 168).
. But " strong " centralization of the Prussian model is too apt to develop into what is in
reality very un-democratic " stringency."
That is the position in which, we now stand. We want to place the province of Quebec where she should stand, where she has always stood and where she will stand as long as this country stands. And this country will stand as long as Quebec stands, because Quebec is the keystone of the arch of Canadian Confederation. Without Quebec there would never have been any Confederation, and the day that Quebec goes out of the Canadian Confederation will see the end of that Confederation. Quebec is the connecting link between the Maritime Provinces and the west of Canada. Providence has given over to the custody of French-Canadians in the province of Quebec the gateway into this great country.
I had the opportunity some weeks ago, in the Russell theatre, of addressing an immense meeting for the purpose of inviting French-Canadian citizens in Ottawa and vicinity to enlist in the 77th Battalion, which is now, I understand, recruited to its full strength. The invitation came to me from the Canadian club of Ottawa, and I accepted it. I learned with pleasure from Colonel Street that the enrolment from the French-Canadians of this city, notwithstanding the grievances which, rightly or wrongly, they now complain of, was sufficiently large to permit the formation of one whole French-Canadian company in this battalion. I was called upon that evening to speak in company with my hon. friend the Minister of Finance, whose eloquence this House is familiar with, and whose broad views are known on all these subjects. I felt at ease in speaking to my countrymen in this locality. By a strange circumstance, I had not spoken in the Russell theatre for eight years. Eight years ago, following an invitation which had been extended to me by His Excellency Lord Grey, I attended a meeting in the Russell theatre at which the right hon. Prime Minister of Canada was present. We had met that evening not for the purpose of speaking of war, not for the purpose of calling upon our countrymen to face the stern realities, of a serious conflict, not for the purpose of oalling upon every man to consider in his own conscience and in his own heart what were the duties that he owed to himself, to his family, to those that were dear to .him, to his country, and to the flag that protected him. We were met for the purpose of launching a movement which had for its object the perpetuation of the third centennial of the foundation of the city of Que-
bee. We were met to establish upon the Plains of Abraham, upon these sacred acres wherein is vested the heirloom of the British race on this North American continent, confided to the safekeeping of the French-Canadian residents of the province of Quebec, one sublime symbol of the union which should and did unite at that moment the various classes of the Canadian people. We were gathered there that evening for the purpose of asking Canadians, one and all, regardless of their speech, regardless of the altar at which they knelt, regardless of their political views, to give their support to this worthy object. We were united that evening for the purposes of peace, to commemorate not what had been done in war but an achievement of peace, on those sacred acres on the Plains of Abraham, where Wolfe died victorious but where Montcalm met with an equally glorious death in defeat, and where to-day the memory of both is commemorated in the common monument which is the common glory of the two races whose blood now mingles so freely in Flanders and in France. We asked the people of Ottawa that evening to join this movement, and they joined in it freely, as did the whole of Canada.
The present King of Great Britain thought it his duty to come over from the other side with a British squadron for the purpose of attending the celebration of this centennial and of consecrating this ground in the city of Quebec to the great memories which it recalled and will recall for all time in the minds of Canadians. Did we in the province of Quebec take the narrow view that the celebration which was intended to be brought about in commemoration of Wolfe's victory was the humiliation of the French race? That it meant the French defeat? We did not, we had broader views, we looked beyond, we saw that the hand of Providence had decreed that when France was about to pass through the blasts of the French revolution, the germ which had been cast upon the North American continent should be freed from the dangers which had struck the parent tree. And the decree of Providence has been realized to the letter. These 60,000 men whom fortune handed over to the safekeeping of British institutions are now 2,000,000. They overran the whole continent of America. They will speak French to the end of time, because it is the sweetest language known to human lips. But, for the purposes of business, for the purposes of education, for the
purposes of constitutional government, they will speak English; they will be glad to learn English, they will be glad to spread it wherever they go.
Some fifteen years ago I went with one of the most genial, one of the most kind-hearted members we ever had in this House, at that time a Minister of the Crown from western Ontario, into his constituency, one of the most prosperous, one of the most enlightened, one of the most intelligent, and, I must say, one of the most liberal constituencies in that part of the province. I received a royal welcome, as I have always received in all parts of Ontario where I have had the opportunity of meeting the people of that province They felt, probably, that I came from a sister province, and so I was given a much better and more hearty reception tihian I deserved. At the conclusion of the meeting the mayor of that city rose and told me how sorry he was that he had been unable to find in that town, or in that county, a person who would undertake to say a few words to thank the speaker who had come from tihe province of Quebec in the French language. The mayor of that city gave us a dinner after the meeting; he presented me to his charming wife and young ladies, who informed me that they were about to take the trip to Paris that all ladies anticipate taking, and which should be taken by all those who can afford it, if for nothing else than its great educational value. But they were going to Paris without the knowledge of French. I met them two or three years afterwards. They told me they tolad learned how useful a knowledge of French would have been, and said how gladly they had set about learning it. That is the state of affairs now.
We would like to have the people of the province of Ontario enjoy the advantage we have in the province of Quebec, of knowing 'both languages. Why should we decree in any province of Canada that a man should be confined to only one language? What great advantage is there in an argument such as that which appeared to-night in the Ottawa Journal, a paper edited by a former fellow-craftsman of mine, a man for whom I have great respect, a man of good standing, a good Conservative, a good writer and a good Canadian? Why should 'hie use such arguments as this : Quebec has been given the largest territory of the Dominion; Quebec has been given Ungava-where, of course, nobody will ever go to settle; why should not
Quebec be satisfied with that? Why not speak French there and leave us alone in the English-speaking provinces? this is an English country, the English language must prevail in this country. Are these arguments that are worthy of the twentieth century? Are these arguments that are worthy of this day, when the French and British races are fighting side by side in Flanders and in France for their very existence? When the blood of these two, nations is being mingled why should 'we have to say as Major Asselin said1: "Overlook what is being done to our people in Ontario, forget these things, think only of British institutions, think only of the flag under which you live, think only of the cause for which you are fighting, overlook these things; better days will come shortly, as they have come in the past."
Some eighteen years ago, I had the honour one day of addressing a meeting in one of the eastern counties of Ontario with one of the brightest minds that Ontario ever gave to this House or to this Dominion, the late Hon. Sir George Ross. He was at that time Minister of Education in Ontario. He was a bright man, a distinguished man, a great 'Canadian. His name will live in the annals of his province. I spoke with him in a village of Russell county. He defended the bilingual schools for one hour upon the public hustings. He saw the advantage it was to the Frenchman to learn English and to the Englishman to learn French. What an immense advantage would it not be now to our boys from Ontario who are fighting on the other side if they only had the French language to carry them along?
I was reading the other day a circular issued by the Minister of Trade and Commerce, in one of the bulletins of that department, to the effect that Canadians should be up and doing to capture the foreign trade of Germany after the war. This circular started out by saying that to correspond1 in Russia two languages were required, the Russian and the French. What about the citizen of Ontario? What trade is he going to capture in Russia if he neglect French, if he is afraid to study, to learn or to use French? We live on the north part of the western hemisphere. What correspondence can we carry on with, the South American Republics in the English language? In Argentina, in Brazil, in all these other places in South America, the language prevailing is the French or Spanish language. What correspondence can
you carry on in Belgium without French? Your French letters will be understood in Italy, in any part of Europe; French being the complement of an education.
The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster) did me the honour last year of coming to me and saying:
" Mareil, I want to enjoy an hour of relief and rest; give me the name of a good French author." Why should you deny the children of Ontario these advantages and these privileges? Why should you hem in education within such narrow bounds and such narrow limits?
I had the honour, at the opening of this session, of attending the state dinner at Rideau Hall. It is all that remains to me of my former glory. I was made a member of the Privy Council of Canada, the reward that is in store for you, Mr. Speaker, when your term of office expires.
I am speaking now from the seat of our unfortunate friend Dr. Beland. That is probably the reason that his incarceration is so long in Berlin-because he is a member of the Privy Council of Canada. When I attended this state dinner, the menu card given to us was printed in the Frenoli language. When you went to Rideau Hall under the Minto regime, under the Grey regime, at the present time, meeting an aide-de-camp, a lady in waiting, their Royal Highnesses themselves, the former governors and their wives, why, it was but elementary etiquette for them to speak French. They were always -glad to speak French. The better class in England speak French. It is universal there. The better *class in the United States speak French. Why .should this commonplace argument, this backwoods argument, be used, that Ontari<vis an English-speaking province and we must not speak *anyhing but English? I do not look upon Ontario in that light. I look on Ontario as the
premier province of this Dominion. I look on Ontario as the province that should give us a lead in those things. It is a province that is different from ours, professing a creed which is different from ours; but it its her duty, as the biggest of the family, as the greatest British province in Canada, to give to the people of the province of Quebec an example of broad-mindedness and toleration.
Do you think you can prevent the French-Canadian from going into the wilds of New Ontario? You know that the French-Canadian axeman or woodman has opened up half of this continent. You know that
he stands second to none as a settler. You know that wherever he goes he will have a home at the end of twelve months. The French-Canadian axehian, with his numerous family, will go with his axe, will go into the wilds, and give up ten, twenty, thirty or forty years of his life, if necessary, in order to hew out a resting place for himself and his family. You find him along the shores of the Baie des Chaleurs, at the very entrance to this country; along the Intercolonial railway, in places where English settlers would not stay; along the Transcontinental, in the hardest parts of Quebec and New Ontario, where he is now electing members of Parliament. You will find him along the shores of Baffin's bay, and on the borders of the Arctic ocean. You will find him in the Yukon, where Mercier was 20 years before gold was ever discovered. You will find him in all parts of this country, where there are heavy tasks to be done. You will find him a man of sentiment, who may be misled sometimes, but a man who is sincere in his feelings. Once he has proved his attachment to a creed, or his attachment to an idea, he will stick by it for life.
In the province of Quebec the French-Canadians had faith in the Conservative party in the old days. They kept Sir John A. Macdonald in power for a whole decade against his own countrymen. They kept him in power, with Hon. Senator Sir Mackenzie Bowell, then grand master of the Orange order, on one side, and the Hon. Hector Langevin on the other. They kept that trio in power, because they had faith in the Conservative party. They had faith in the Conservative party after Confederation, because in the British North America Act they had a guarantee of the protection to which they were entitled as British subjects, the protection which Amherst said they would have when he signed the treaty of the capitulation of Montreal. They had faith in the Conservative party; they stood by Cartier and Macdonald, until they found they had been misled by others who came after them, and unfortunate occurrences took place here and there in the various provinces. New channels were formed, and other conditions presented themselves, and a change was made.
They stood loyally by the present leader of His Majesty's loyal Opposition for many years they stand by him still, and they will continue to stand by him; but they will
stand above all to this country to the last. What Sir Etienne Tache, who was Prime Minister of this country when Confederation was brought about, said, is as true to-day as it was then; as true as it was in 1849, when the English merchants of Montreal signed a manifesto favouring annexation to the United States because their business had been interfered with: "the
'last man on the British North American continent who will defend British interests and the British flag will be a French-Can-adian of the province of Quebec."
Other conditions may arise; you may have in the Northwest, in ten, twenty, or fifty years, we know not what-a new population entirely recruited from various parts of the world, with new interests. We may have the same difficulties when this country has 50,000,000 or 75,000,000 of a population as they have had on the other side of the line. No great nation is without its difficulties, but there is a place where British interests are anchored forever, and that is the province of Quebec. They are anchored there because we have an interest in maintaining them, -because we are intent upon keeping them; and we are intent upon keeping them because, under them, we have the freedom to exercise all the rights to which we are entitled, and because we get the protection which we had the right to expect, and which has been given us to the full.
Let me say, Mr. Speaker, to the credit of the home Government, that our difficulties in the province of Quebec have never been with them. From the home authorities we have received justice flowing ovei". Our misunderstandings have been with our own countrymen in this our own Dominion of Canada. Is it because we do not know each other as well as we ought to? Many times I have regretted that the habitant of Quebec could not come oftener into communication with the citizen of the province of Ontario. How easily they would understand each other, and how well things would get along if they could do so. At the present time they are united for the purpose of seeing this war through.
Charges have been made against the present Administration of a most startling character in connection with munition and other contracts. The French-Canadians, as taxpayers in Canada, naturally have an interest in these important questions, and they expect that the Government of Canada will realize its duty to the full in the interest
of the country and of the cause for which we are fighting. We expect the Government, before this session closes, to give the representatives of the people here a full account of their stewardship which they promised when $150,000,000 were freely voted. We are prepared to vote more. I am not going to enter into a discussion of the practical side of these questions. You have heard a great many speeches dealing with that side, and, Mr. Speaker, you may hear some more. I have tried to take up another side of the question, which is perhaps a sentimental side. But the men of my race very often look quicker on the sentimental side than on the practical and business side. I shall leave the hard-headed men and the representatives of the Anglo-Saxon race in this Parliament to deal with the question of shells and munitions. But I do appeal to them to say whether it is not right and fair that an end should he put, by some means or another, to this wrangling among ourselves in this country, especially at the present time when union is so necessary among all classes of the Canadian people. I wish to be fair to the Nationalists who are still in the House; I do not want to bear a grudge against any man, or to have any man bear any grudge against me. They may have a reason to give to this House why they have changed, why they now invite the citizens of the province of Quebec to enlist. But they owe it to this House to make that declaration, and I insist upon that declaration being made in the interests of those who are now sharing the responsibilities of recruiting. I insist further, Mr. Speaker, that our ministerial friends who are now to the right of you, with whom we are now sharing the responsibilities of carrying on this war, and who will have to face the people as we will have to face them, give the reasons which they ought to give to this House.
I have no intention of dwelling at any further length on these matters. I desire to thank you, Mr. Speaker, and the House for having listened to me so patiently. I conclude by asking my hon. friends from the province of Ontario, if for no other reason than for the sake of the good cause, if for no other reason than to help ' us in our recruiting campaign, to try and bring about a suspension of some kind of some of these regulations which have caused so much trouble among the small French Canadian minority. Even if the suspension be just for the war, it will have an immense effect not'only in the province of Quebec, but with the French all over
the Dominion. If they do that, and if our Nationalist friends will help us put into the minds of the people of Quebec the idea that Canadians inhabiting this country have greater duties than are confined within the limits of this Dominion, it will help to bring recruiting in Quebec up to what it should be; although I maintain that Quebec, all things considered, has done remarkably well. Fifteen thousand men or more have gone from the city of Montreal. In Quebec a committee has been formed with the Lieutenant-Governor at its head, with the Archbishop of Quebec as its honorary president, and with Sir Lomer Gouin and all the members of his Cabinet assisting in an active campaign throughout the province. The clergy have been instructed to announce these recruiting meetings from their pulpits, pastoral letters from the bishops have been read in all the churches, and the cures have been instructed by their bishops to~exert all the pressure they can to make the people realize that the fight that is now on is a fight for civilization, a fight for humanity, a fight for freedom, and that it is the duty of the Canadians of French origin to be first and foremost in that great fight.
Hon. GEORGE P. GRAHAM (South Renfrew) : Mr. Speaker, I will not ask the
leader of the Government to allow me to move the adjournment of the. debate just now. I know he is good natured, but I want to hurry along the business ot the House. He and I have to do a good deal of the night work in this House, and in order to make a fair equilibrium I will speak a little later-to-night than I should do under other circumstances.
After the magnificent and eloquent address of the hon. gentleman who has just sat down (Mr. Marcil), I am afraid my broken remarks will appear somewhat stale and uninteresting. What he said about the loyalty and devotion of the French people . will, I am sure, find an echo in the heart of every man in Canada who knows anything of this country, and I am sure that the interests of the French speaking people of this Dominion will not suffer so long as they have such eloquent and able representatives as my hon. friend. I have read the Speech from the Throne, which, while not rich in quantity, is quite meaty in quality. To my mind, the Government has placed the issues upside down. They ask us first to consider whether the term of Parliament shall be extended; after they
have seen what Parliament has done with that, they will or will not attend to war measures. To my mind, iS'ir, the first duty of the Government should be to provide for the great need of the moment-the vigorous prosecution of the war in which we are engaged. After that, we might have discussed intelligently whether or not it would be wise, under the circumstances, to usurp the rights of the people by saying that we will remain here as members of Parliament for a longer term than that which the people have given us. But, as the Government has to my mind placed their issues upside down, I will take the Speech as presented. Let me just read to the House the words in which the extension measure is proposed, and the reasons given therefor':
The life of the present Parliament expires in the autumn of this year, and, under existing legislation a dissolution and election would be necessary in the early future. My advisers, however, are of the opinion that the wishes of the Canadian people and the present requirements of the war wohld be best met by avoiding the distraction and confusion consequent upon a general election at so critical a time.
What a change has come over the spirit of the dreams of the members of the Government ! On two different occasions the country was led to believe that the Government were lingering shivering on the brink of an appeal to the people. So thoroughly did the Government make up their minds that this was necessary that without any authority they went to the expense of printing the ballot papers and other forms, and to the further unwarranted expense of sending men across to the Old Land .with them. I think no further argument need be used to convince the people that the Government at one time at least, thought that there would be no distraction or confusion caused even by an election in the trenches. I look around for the reason why they have changed their minds, and reading farther on in the Speech L find it:
My advisers are of the opinion that the wishes of the Canadian people-
Sir, the wishes of- the Canadian people bore in on this Government in the form of telegrams and letters and personal remonstrances in such weighty quantities, and in such thundering tones, that those who were going to hold an election even in the trenches discovered that an election in this country would cause distraction and confusion all over the Dominion. I am glad that even in this Government we can have a conversion, and I am now in hopes that before we get through with this debate our
Nationalist friends will also be really converted-
The Government is asking us for an extension. At the present time I will not discuss per se, as the lawyers would say, whether that extension ought or ought not to be granted, but when the resolution is formally presented to the House, I will be prepared to take that position on it which I think the circumstances warrant, and which my judgment will dictate. For the present, I want to point out to the count and the members of this House that we must not treat this question of an extension of our own term of office lightly. It is not a small matter to ask the Imperial Parliament to change the constitution oi the Dominion of Canada. We have-just heard the eloquent address of the hon. member for Bonaventure (Mr. Marcil), in which he discussed the spirit as well as the letter of the constitution. Those of us who come from one of the big provinces, and I pm speaking now of the province of Ontario, must remember that the constitution provides certain guarantees for the smaller provinces in this Dominion; as, for example, the question of the formation of the Senate. We must not forget that the minorities in Canada have certain rights guaranteed to them under the constitution. We must also remember that it is a delicate thing to begin changing the foundation of our country's constitution, even in this war; because there is likely to be a suspicion in the minds of some that if it be easy to. change the constitution in this case it may be just as easy to change it in some other essentials of more vital importance, thus bringing something that may not be wanted iri this Dominion.
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