March 2, 1927 (16th Parliament, 1st Session)


Horatio Clarence Hocken

Conservative (1867-1942)


My hon. friend differs
from Doctor Merchant, who was the commissioner appointed by the Ontario government to examine into the French-English schools. He reported that in 267 primary schools of Ontario English was not being taught efficiently. That was the reason why regulation 17 was enacted. There were teachers in the schools who could not speak English, and they were supposed to be teaching both English and French. Doctor Merchant, I think, may be accepted not only as a great educationalist but as, a man of high character, as a man who was anxious to deal with that thorny question from a pedagogical standpoint, and his advice was accepted by the late Sir James Whitney, who could not be called hostile to the French. He was the first premier of Ontario who ever had a French-Canadian in his cabinet and he thought when he put regulation 17 into effect that he was going to have peace and harmony in eastern Ontario, northern Ontario, and in Kent and Essex. It was a genuine desire to promote peace, but instead of promoting peace it stirred up the fiercest controversy we have ever had in this country, and that controversy was stirred up because the man whose duty it was to inform the people as to the real substance and character and legislation not only refused to do so, but misrepresented all through the province of Quebec for their own ad-

Civil Service-French Language
vantage, not only the provincial leader, but actually the legislature of the province of Quebec-

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