Mr. A. A. BRTJNEAU (Richelieu).
(Translation). Mr. Speaker, the constitution grants us the right to speak French in this House, and I hasten to avail myself of this privil-edge, for, considering the turn political events are taking in this country, if we are to believe Mr. Crawford, who spoke the other day at the Annual Banquet of the Orangemen in Toronto, it is evident that our right to speak French in this House will before long be questioned. When that time comes, in order to justify such an injustice, the constitution will not be appealed to : but it will be stated that we speak English as readily as French, that we are not in the habit of speaking French here and that it is a source of expense to publish a French edition of the ' Hansard.' Of course, the proposal will be rejected, but the occasion will be a favourable one to stir up national prejudices against the so-called French domination ; for. as soon the rights of our race are acknowledged, the cry of French dom-
and it will thus render at least improbable any of those complications which have harassed the political discussions of the last few years. With the form of government settled in advance, and with the machinery provided for its coming into practical operation without further legislation, and by the force simply of advancing settlement any immigrant settling in the country will do so with the full knowledge of the institutions under which he is to live, and will assume, therefore, a voluntary allegiance to those institutions. But if it is wise to do, as Mr. Mackenzie proposes doing then it would certainly be wise to allow rmple time for the consideration of the measure by which he proposes to do it. The establishment of the system of government which in the future is to prevavl in these vast territories is a work which cannot be ether than difficult. At the very outset we bed evidence of how important this delay is.
In the Bill, as prepared, the government had omitted all reference to the important subject of education, and all provision for the avoidance of those difficulties which at this moment an- doing so much harm in New Brunswick. True after it was printed Mr. Mackenzie dis-covei'ed the omission and submitted a manuscript clause to cover it.
The ' Gaz tte ' wanted time to consider the measure ; but it approved of its principle, and even, as may be seen, ot the clause establishing separate schools. According to that newspaper other matteis such as those dealt with in the clause relative to separate schools had possiblj been overlooked, and for that reason it wanted the discussion of the measure to be postponed until the session of 1870.
Under the heading 'The Work ot the session,' the ' National ' on the date ot April 10th', 1875, referred once more to the question in the following terms :
Peace is restored in the Northwest Territories and hence it has deemed necessary to organize them. The government has set to work at once, and to-day there is m our stat ute books, an Act which grants to that vast territory a constitution providing tor its lm mediate requirements. The headquarters of the government will be Fort Pelly. Those of cur readers who follow closely what appears fn our columns will remember that in the constitution granted to these provinces is mclud-ed-and we called attention to the fact some time ago-a clause establishing separate
schools.8 However, Conservative newspapers
in the province of Quebec have refrained from commenting on the subject. Of course they refer to the policy of the government only when an opportunity offers for abuse , and one of the leading organs of the Conservative party, the Toronto 'Leader,' has viciously assailed the hon. Mr. Mackenzie and the Catholics, bv contending that the Prime Minister was being led by the latter who were not worthy of life rope of the hangman. When we read such stuff published in a Conservative newspaper, we cannot but be surprised a \\ nessing in our times this alliance e vv Catholics and Orangemen.
On the first of April, 1875, in the couise of a violent article against French domin-Mr. BRUNEAU.
ation, the ' Daily Telegraph,' of St. John, N.B., stated r
It is owing to their influence that we see the best lands in Manitoba reserved for a few half-breeds, and the new province of Saskatchewan saddled with the perpetual curse or a separate school system.
The Ottawa ' Citizen ' did not at the time make such a fuss, as it is doing to-day. On the Otli of April, 1875, the day following the prorogation of parliament, it expressed itself in these terms :
The Bill to amend and consolidate the laws respecting the Northwest Territory received very little opposition, the chief objection to it involved a very large annual outlay for officials, &c.
Was 'the chief objection' separate schools ? No. In 1875 and 1878, at the time of the general election, the Mackenzie gov -ernment was accused of having prematurely taken up the task of organizing the Northwest Territories, with a view to finding positions for their friends.
But 1 shall request hon. members to look into the ' Mail,' which was the organ of Sir John Macdonald at the time, and, to their great satisfaction, no doubt, they will find that the legislation of 1875 was highly approved of by the great Toronto newspaper.
' Tempora mutantur ! '
The 'Mail' of April 19th, 187o, approved of the Mackenzie Act in the following terms.
separate schools in the northwest territory.
It is amazing that to some men experience brings no wisdom. There is Mr. George Brown who used to ride so high a Protestant horse in the old days in Upper Canada. He wound un his agitation against separate schools by guaranteeing their continued existence and support by means of a clause of the British North America Act based upon one of the resolutions of the Quebec conference to which ho was a consenting party. By their Northwest Territories Bill the present government provide that separate schools may he established in those Territories. The proposal we regard as eminently wise, and with the expedience which he bad had, Mr. Brown should have been the last man to oppose it. Yet he had not only opposed the principle itself, but appealed to the British North America Act as containing sound legal objections to the course proposed to be taken by the government. He said- He thought this provision was quite contrary to the British North America Act. Nothing w-as more clear than that each province should have absolute control over education He thought that was the only principle on which this Union Act could continue If ,)ie Dominion government interfered with local matters we should get into inextricable confusion with the provinces. The safe way for us was to let each province suit itself in such matters. This country was filled by people of all classes and creeds, and there would be no end of confusion if each class had to have its own peculiar school system. It had been said this clause was put in for the protection of the Protestants against the Catno-
-lies, the latter being the most numerous. But he, speaking for the Protestants, was in a position to say that we did not want that protection. In this case it was proposed that the national machinery should be used for the imposition and collection of taxes upon persons of peculiar denominations for the support of schools of their kind. It was an attempt to enforce upon that country peculiar views with regard to education.
Tlie ' Mail ' goes on :
We fear Mr. Brown is no better lawyer than his friend Mr. Alexander Mackenzie. We do not doubt that Senator Miller took the correct view when he said that the clause referred to by Mr. Brown applied only to the provinces which were in the union at the time the Act was passed. Every one may see how fortunate a thing it would have been if the school question had been put on a stable basis in New Brunswick, and if by the Northwest Act the government should have prevented future burnings on educational matters in the great new country which belongs to us in the far west, they will have done a good work indeed. We cordially endorse their action in this matter. .
Such was Sir John Macdonald's policy ; such was the policy he stood up for in 1890, when in this House, on the 17th February, he uttered the following words which I find at page 748 of the Hansard :
You might remember, Sir, that when the Hon. George Brown brought his immense force and ability and unsurpassed energy to lead the Reform party of old Upper Canada, his whole aim was oppression to the French. Every speech he made, every article that he wrote in the ' Globe,' every resolution almost which he moved, was a denunciation of the French law, the French language and the Catholic religion ; and because we, the Conservatives, opposed him with all our might and all our vigour, we were in a minority in our province. Again and again have the best and the strongest of our Conservatives been defeated at the polls, simply because we would not do injustice to our French fellow-countrymen. Again and again have we been put in a minority because we declined to join in that crusade against the French Canadians, against the Catholic religion, and against French Institutions. Again and again have I been misrepresented and called the slave of popery, and told that I had sold myself to the French of Lower Canada and was sacrificing my own race, my own religion and my own people, because, without a moment of hesitation, without swerving for an instant, I and those who followed me-for even when I was not the nominal leader, I greatly directed the course of the Conservative party-declined, from no personal motive or desire of popularity-the popular cry was raised against the French Canadians in Upper Canada then as it is in Ontario to-day-to do an injustice to our French Canadian fellow-citizens.
And a little further on, same page :
Does the hon. gentleman not remember when the agitation was raised in Upper Canada on a very specious cry-the question of representation by population .... that the Conservative party opposed that cry, specious and
popular as it was ? And why did we oppose it ? Because the avowed object was to crush and oppress our French Canadian subjects.
On the day following the pulication of the article in the ' Mail ' to which I have just referred. The Toronto ' Daily Leader ' published a letter from one Charles Durand, a French Protestant, presumably in answer to the ' Mail,' under the heading : ' Is the
Conservative party in favour of the separate schools in the Northwest ? ' In Mr. Durand's opinion, the ouly good political deed to he put to the credit of Mr. Brown since 1875, was the vote he had cast in the Senate against that clause of the Bill granting separate schools to the Northwest. That extremest even went so far as to blame Mr. Brown for permitting the establishment of denominational schools in Ontario, at the time of confederation. It is useless to add that this correspondent severely criticised those poor separate schools.
On the 21st of April, 1875, the ' Leader ' took up once more the subject of separate schools in the Northwest, stating that the Conservative party of Ontario was in great majority opposed to such an objectionable system.
Oil the other hand, the Chatham ' Planet ' expressed itself at the time in the same sense as the lion Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) did a few days ago.
Separate schools was a vexed question for twenty years, and now let us have peace.
On April 23rd, 1875, the ' Minerve,' that good principled organ, fearing lest it should lose its old vantage ground, religion, and forgetful of ministerial responsibility, claimed for the Conservative party credit and honour for having established separate schools in the Northwest Territories. The article reads as follows
Liberal newspapers are endeavouring to take advantage of the fact that separate schools are in existence in the new western province, and are claiming credit on this account for their leader. They forget that this clause was strongly objected to in the Senate by the leaders of the Grit party, Messrs. George Brown, Christie and Letellier, and had it not been for the assistance given by Conservative senators it would have been defeated.
The Toronto ' Mail ' and the majority of the Conservative newspapers in Upper Canada have approved of this clause and of the principle of separate schools therein contained. The ' National ' quotes from the ' Mail,' the organ of Sir John, in the following terms :
The article of the ' Mail ' is just here reproduced by the ' Minerve.' On the 26th of April, the ' Minerve ' realizing that the Mackenzie government had deprived it of its favourite weapon, again referred to the subject, in the following hypocritical fashion :
The ' National ' persists in claiming credit for its masters on account of the clause of the Northwest Bill which provides for the es-
tabiishment of separate schools in the future province of Saskatchewan. Our pious contemporary forgets that Mr. Mackenzie's original Bill did not contain a single word on the subject. It was later on only that the Prime Minister agreed to have that clause added in compliance with representations which were made to him. The Bill was already printed.
The ' National,' on the next day, made the following reply :
The ' Minerve ' states that we persist in claiming credit for our party for the establishment of the clause in the Northwest Bills which provides for separate schools in the future province of Saskatchewan.
Well, yes, brother, we stick to our statements because they are true and well grounded. On giving notice of the introduction of the Bill, concerning the Northwest Territories, the hon. Mr. Mackenzie added, in the midst of applause, that the new Act would ensure to the various denominations a system of schools in harmony with the interests of each one of them.
The members have heard, as we have, the statement made on that occasion, and are in a position to support our claim. The Bill, it is true, has been submitted to the House without that clause concerning the schools, but Mr. Mackenzie explained that the matter had suggested itself to him on going into the question of taxation and that, in Committee of the Whole, he would introduce a clause establishing separate schools. The clause was introduced verbally instead of being written into the Bill. To the hon. Mr. Mackenzie, therefore belongs the credit of having enacted this new statutory provision.
Is Mr. Masson, Mr. Mousseau, Mr. Baby, or any other of their friends the originator of that clause ? The ' Minerve ' refers also to representations made to the Prime Minister. We are not of opinion that any such representations have been made, hut it is quite certain that in this respect, as well, Conservatives cannot claim any credit for themselves. The opposition, however green it may be, would not have offered any suggestions to the Prime Minister on a subject which afforded such a fine opportunity for making political capital. Instead of suggesting to the minister the propriety of settling beforehand the school question in the Northwest, Mr. Masson would certainly have moved an amendment in that direction and claimed credit on that account for his party.
The ' Courier de St. Hyacintlie,' another high principled organ of those times, now took a hand in the fray and flew to the rescue of the ' Minerve.' On the 26th of April, 1875, tile old goddess, with complacency reproduces the ' Courier's ' little song :
The Toronto ' Mail,' the leading organ of the Conservative party in Upper Canada, unhesitatingly endorses the principle of separate schools contained in the Act organizing into a new province part of the Northwest Territories. On the other hand, it condemns the opposition made to it by George Brown, who, as is known, took a decided stand against the adoption of that protective clause Introduced as an afterthought in the Prime Minister's Bill. The famous treaty-maker, guided on this occasion by the doctrines which have always in-Mr. BRUNEAU.
expired his paper, and by his own hatred for all that pertains, from far or near, to the Roman Catholic church, would have put Catholics in the Northwest under the same unfavourable conditions which-militate against New Brunswick. Nova Scotia and Prince Edward. Island. Fortunately that proposal of the old. chieftain has not been agreed to. Its adoption would have been a grievous political mistake which would have allayed the progress of settlement in those far-off regions, and which would have become a source of embarrassment for the Dominion government.
On April 28th, 1.S75, tlie ' Minervey deals with the subject once more, apologizes for the Toronto ' Leader,' and claims that the ' Mail ' is the organ of Sir John and that the Conservative party is in favour of separate schools. The Toronto ' Leader ' dealt with the subject in a sense directly opposite to that of its ultramontane, ally, as may be seen by a perusal of its columns.
The ' National,' on April 24, 1875, exposes, in the following terms, the falsehoods of the 'Minerve :
Topic: PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY IN THE NORTHWEST.