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arrangement is being made which will, I | Committee, but he had no doubt they hope, obviate the inconvenience complained of
CORRECTION OF HANSARD REPORTS.
would bring the matter before the House at the earliest possible moment.
Mr. ROSS (Middlesex) said his attention had been called to some typographi
The Orders of the Day having been cal errors in the report, but no regulations called,
Mr. MASSON said he desired to call the attention of the Printing Committee to a subject in connection with the printing of the Official Report of the debates, which was of great importance, seeing that this report would be regarded as an authoritative one for all time. He referred to the necessity of providing some means whereby any mistakes that might be made could be corrected. He fully appreciated the difficult and onerous duties which devolved upon the short-handwriters, and as regards himself he had only a trifling error or two to complain of, but it was as well to provide for correcting mistakes, as more serious errors might occur in the future. He had been made
could be made until the Committee met. All that so far had been done was to agree that the speeches should be printed, so far as was necessary, in order to comply with the terms of the contract, and at the same time be condensed in such a manner as not to destroy the meaning of any speech. No doubt when the Committee met they would take the matter into consideration, and he hoped that in the future there would be no cause for complaint.
THE NORTH-WEST TROUBLES.
Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE said he rose with great willingness in one sense, and a good deal of tremor in another sense, to move the resolution of which he had given notice respecting the granting of an amto say in the Hansard report—“Notwith-nesty for acts committed during the standing the humiliation that he will have troubles in the North-West. to bear, whether he remains patriot in to be able to justify to the House the his country or an exile forever;" whereas course which the Government had pursued what he did say was- "Whether he in this matter, as he did not doubt he remains a Pariah in his country." Then would be able to justify it to the country. he held that when an interruption was He was quite aware that there were made to a speaker that interruption should certain parties who might endeavour for be reported, or otherwise the remarks political and party purposes to make capiwhich would follow would not have their tal out of the existing events, and so far full force and meaning. For instance as that was legitimately done he had he was reported to have said,- "Notwith-no standing the verdict of a packed jury-I hold myself responsible for every word I say." That expression standing alone appeared like boasting. He had said, "I hold myself responsible for every word I say," because some members of the House had cried, "no, no," and "hear, hear." These were small mistakes, and he probably would not have called attention to them were it not to suggest the necessity of providing some means whereby mistakes which might occur might be corrected before the reports were distributed.
Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE said it would be remembered that this matter was referred to the Printing Committee which was not yet organized. As soon as they met they would no doubt submit some regulations respecting the correction of speeches. The practice in England had been to allow verbal corrections, but no interpolations. He did not make any suggestion to the Hon. Mr. Cartwright.
reason to complain. He expected no exemption from ordinary criticism, and he was quite prepared to defend the motives and the action of the Government in everything that they brought before the House. They had at present to deal with an exceptional state of affairs of affairs-one that perhaps might not arise again in the lifetime of any of the members-and that state of affairs had been brought about by no action of the present Government, or of a single member of it, or of a single member of the great Party which he was privileged to lead in this House. But for all that the Government, as a Government, had duty to perform. There might be frequent changes of administration in the country, but the Government always exists, and is bound to carry on the affairs of the country consistently with those principles of honor and national character which bind every Administra
tion, no matter of what Party they may that there was a preconcerted arrangebe composed. When the events took ment with the then Administration as to certain events whch took place; but up to the time that Committee met on the North-West difficulties last session, we had no detailed account of events in anything like consecutive order; nor had we a revelation of the private correspondence which was ultimately produced
place in the North-West, which had given rise to the discussion preceding this motion, and which furnished the necessity for this motion at the present time, the right hon. gentleman opposite had taken certain steps in reference to the acquisition of the North-West, and to the organisation of its Government, which were not sanc-upon that day in order to express more tioned by the then comparatively small party in this House-the Liberal party. That party then held that the measures that were being taken by the Government for organizing that territory, were such as were sure to produce a certain measure of discontent. He did not allege that as a justification for succeeding events, because he considered that no mere act or fault on the part of the Government of the day could have justified the insurrection and its consequences. But while the thing might not be justified, there might be palliations afforded by circumstances which they were bound to consider, and in the consideration of this motion, he was bound to refer to the provocation which the people in the NorthWest Territory had received for resisting what they considered a grievous act on the part of the Government of this country. So far as that resistance was of a peaceful and not violent kind, he confessed he had himself some sympathy with them; and he also confessed that had their acts been confined to expressing a strong sense of their indignation at certain things that were done, they would have found, perhaps, a very general response in the hearts of members of the then House, as they would have found in the present House, but these acts were followed up by acts of lawless violenceacts which he had previously characterized in this House, and which he did not hesitate now to characterise as he had then done-acts entirely at variance with all that seemed to him right-acts of cruelty and wrong which he did not at this moment desire at all to palliate. But succeeding events had changed very materially the relations of that people to the people of this country, and to the Government of the Dominion - it was supposed by many-he did not say it was the case, because he never could believe that it could be so. It was believed by many, and said by some in this House,
fully the motives as well as the actions of those who ruled here, and of those whom they sent to represent them there. That revelation was sufficiently complete for the purpose of an ultimate decision being arrived at when that Committee rose. The late Administration referred the whole subject, on the 4th June, 1873, to the Imperial Government, representing that it was the best qualified to deal with this question of amnesty. Lord KIMBERLEY, in his reply, combatted this idea, but accepted the responsibility of granting the amnesty, provided that no action would be
Hon. Mr. Mackenzie.
taken until the precise course to be pursued by the Dominion authorities was made known. This was the last action of an official nature by the late Government, and when the present Administration consented to the motion of the hon. the member for Selkirk for a committee of enquiry, it was with the view of obtaining all the information possible in order to enable them to arrive at a proper decision in the premises. He had not himself been able, from the pressure of the business of the House, to give any attention to the deliberations of the Committee during the session, and except from occasional scraps of conversation, he was not able to obtain what had really been done during the sitting. When the entire evidence was printed, however, it became tolerably clear that nothing was more natural than that the Imperial Government should obtain a copy of the testimony as early as possible, and that they should again be solicited to pass judgment upon the case with the whole of the facts before thein. This course the present Administration took, and as would be seen by the Order in Council which was before the House, they again called the attention of the Imperial Government to the subject. The answer to that communication was practically given in Lord CARNARVON'S despatch in which there were several points that he
would now desire to call the attention of the House to—not perhaps in their proper consecutive order, but in such a way as to lay the whole subject before the House as shortly, and at the same time, as fairly as possible. He believed there was no necessity for any lengthened exposition of the matter, and besides he was afraid that his voice would fail him before he got through. The first step he conceived to have been wrong on the part of the late Administration was the recognition of the authority of the insurrectionary party of Manitoba. That authority once recognized, the Government was placed in the difficulty he foresaw at the time, and to which he called the attention of the right hon. member for Kingston at the time. It would be remembered that he then asked the right hon. gentleif the Government intended to recognize the delegates, and was told in reply that the Government were bound to hear the expression of opinion of any one who came from that country, but they need not formally recognize them as coming from the Provisional Government. He found, however, that they had given this recognition, and we had the fact laid before us in the letter of the late Hon. Mr. Howe, addressed to Father RICHOT, Mr. JOHN BLACK and Mr. ALFRED SCOTT, as follows:
"OTTAWA, April 26th, 1870. “GENTLEMEN,—I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 22nd instant, stating that as delegates from the North-West "to the Government of the Dominion of Canada, you are desirous of having an early audience with the Government, and am to inform you in reply that the Hon. Sir JOHN A. MAC"DONALD and Sir GEO. ET. CARTIER have been "authorized by the Government to confer with you on the subject of your mission, and will "be ready to receive you at eleven o'clock. "I have the honor to be,
second place because there was no motive to justify any misrepresentation upon the subject. The ARCHBISHOP said, as will be found on page 77 of the blue book :—
"I then asked Sir GEORGE who was to govern the country, pending the arrival of the Lieut. Governor, and if he was to name somebody to do so. He answered, "No, let Mr. RIEL con"tinue to maintain order and govern the coun"try as he has done up to the present moment.”
Right Hon. Sir JOHN MACDONALD enquired what the date of the interview
"He asked me if I thought that RIEL was sufficiently powerful to maintain order. I said I thought he was. Then he answered, "Let "him continue till the Governor arrives. " He
also inquired whether Mr. RIEL would require that the Governor should take authority as his successor. I answered that he would not; that his Government was only a provisional one, and that he would immediately withdraw when the representative of HER MAJESTY arrived. "Very
well," said Sir GEORGE; "let him be at the "head of his people to receive the Governor. This gentleman who had usurped authority, and whom the right hon. gentleman opposite some years after this was exceedingly anxious to catch, was apparently duly authorized by Sir GEORGE CARTIER to continue the administration of the affairs of the country as Governor, and was asked through the ARCHBISHOP to meet the new Governor and receive him at the head of his people. The House might be told, and he had no doubt would be told, that Sir GEORGE CARTIER, who unfortunately was not here, had no authority to speak on behalf of the Administration. In order to place this beyond dispute, we had only to refer to Sir JOHN MACDONALD'S own evidence. He said that the correspondence relating to the North-West, of a confidential and inconfidential character, were carried on with Sir JOHN himself until his illness, after which they were carried on with Sir GEORGE CARTIER. During the examination before the Committee, it transpired that there was a private memoranda written by Sir GEORGE CARTIER, and
signed by HIS EXCELLENCY, in regard to which the right hon. member for Kingston had addressed HIS EXCELLENCY, suggesting that it might be published. In reply, he received a communication from HIS EXCELLENCY, in which the pas
sage occurs :—
“As, however, Sir GEORGE is dead, and as he drew up the memorandum in question in his capacity of acting Minister of Justice, and as your locum tenens during your absence and illness, I believe I shall be acting in accordance with the rule recognized under such circumstances, in granting the permission you seek, to have the document in question communicated to the Committee, for which I have therefore given the necessary directions."
That clearly disposes of two points-in
rections that the President of the Pro-
these documents of "promise of amnesty ■ having been made—an absolute promise, either by HER MAJESTY'S Imperial representative or those acting for him here. Now, while this was technically true to some extent perhaps it was true so far as Sir JOHN YOUNG was concerned-it was a mere evasion of the truth to say no promise Was made in any quarter that an amnesty was to be given. The evidence in this point was so abundant that he would be under the necessity of reading extracts from it, in order to lay the exact facts before the House. Now, one word before proceeding to read the evidence of promises made by gentlemen administering the Government. It was quite true what was said in the Imperial despatch of HIS EXCELLENCY that such promises would not bind the Imperial Government, but he (Mr. MACKENZIE) conceived it was not to be said that promises made in this matter by the previous Administration, sustained by the previous Parliament, must not command a certain istration and the present Parliament. On amount of respect from the present Adminthe contrary, he thought they were bound, as HIS EXCELLENCY EARL ĎUFferin laid would paraphrase the passage from the down, to consider these promises. He blue book: "We are bound to consider all binding upon the House merely in a techsuch promises; not to have them made nical sense, but to give them a fair and literal interpretation.'
equally responsible, in sense, for the conclusion of present affairs, with the Imperial Government, and this Government was bound from its knowledge of the local circumstances when perring-he meant these conversations with haps the Imperial Government would Sir GEORGE CARTIER and ARCHBISHOP not feel itself so bound. He would feel, TACHE—it was quite evident that everytherefore, under the necessity of proceedthing connected with the death of SCOTT ing to quote from the evidence laid before was perfectly known and understood; the the House in the blue book. Bishop responsibility for it could not be shifted, TACHE left Rome early in January at the none of the incidents connected with the instance of the Dominion Government, in tragic death of SCOTT could be changed tion to the North-West. He left unwilorder to proceed on a mission of pacificafor a moment, and Sir GEORGE CARTIER, during this time, was acting with the lingly, because he considered he had not perfeet understanding that this matter had to that country to the East at the time when been very kindly treated on his way from come up sooner or later. Now, they found, as one of the next incidents, that the disturbances were anticipated, but had promises of amnesty were given most pro-in his evidence before the North-West not actually broken out. Bishop TACHE fusely. It was true that Lord CARNARVON and HIS EXCELLENCY in his despatches Committee, published in page 39 of the
both asserted that there was no proof in
Hon. Mr. Mackenzie.
blue book, says :—
Sir JOHN MACDONALD-No, no;
"In my conversation with him I questioned Sir GEORGE CARTIER about Father RICHOT'S I want the fact stated. report. I stated as fully as possible what Father RICHOт had told me, and Sir GEORGE CARTIER said that is exactly what has taken place. Directly afterwards I said to Sir GEORGE CARTIER, that Father RICHOT had stated to me that when he was with the delegates of the Government, Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD and Sir GEORGE CARTIER, who had been appointed to negotiate with the delegates of the North-west, he brought forward the 19th clause of the Bill of Rights, and stated it was the sine qua non of an agreement between them and the Canadian Government. The delegates of the Government answered the North-west delegates, that the thing would be settled afterwards, and that it, was the privilege of HER MAJESTY the QUEEN," and not for the Canadian Government to grant an amnesty. The delegates of the Provisional Government replied, "We are "We are come to treat with you, and are to decide with you what
Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE, in reply, said he had stated at the early part of his remarks that Sir GEORGE CARTIER was formally, and by seniority in the Council, appointed and entitled to act as the locum tenens of the Premier. There was another point. It was said-supposing it were true that a promise of amnesty had been made. Was that promise to cover everything? It must be noticed that when this conversation took place, SCOTT had been dead for several months, and all the events were known.
course is to be taken." Then Sir GEORGE
CARTIER or Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD said: "We will show you how to proceed to obtain "what you require." "No,' replied Mr. RICHOT, "I am to deal with nobody but you. "If you are not in a position to decide the whole matter, I will go home. I came to settle the difficulty with the Government, and having "received my instructions, I cannot proceed except the proposals are in accordance with "the instructions I have received." Then the delegates of the Government answered Mr. RICHOT and the other delegates of the Northwest, that they were in a position to guarantee the granting of an amnesty, and to assure them that the amnesty would be proclaimed, and would reach the country before they did. They further said that they would wait till the passing of the bill they were going to prepare, before they made the proclamation.
But the truth was
that before Archbishop TACHE went up at all, he claimed in his evidence that he was authorized to offer an amnesty for proximate events, as he appeared to have pointed out that it was quite possible that something might happen before he could reach there. Archbishop TACHE said, on page 18:
"I understood from the tenor of the conversation that the amnesty would apply to acts committed after that date (1 mean the date of the conversation) as well as before; in fact that it should apply to all acts up to the time of my arrival, provided that the people should consent to unite with Canada. One of the ministers, Sir GEORGE CARTIER, said to me :-"The Gov"ernment has made many mistakes, and we
cannot be surprised that the population should "make some mistakes upon their side. Assure "them that the disposition of the Government "towards them is such that they may rely upon us with perfect security."
Now, on the same page, the evidence proceeded
"Any other conversation I had was with Sir JOHN MACDONALD, who again impressed me with the necessity of informing the people of the good intentions of the Government towards them. I said to him then, "This is all very "well, but there have been acts committed "which are blameworthy, and there may be some "others before my arrival there. May I promise "them an amnesty. "them an amnesty." He answered me : -"Yes, "you may promise it to them. I subsequently asked him to give me in writing the substance of the conversation that had passed between us. This was before I left Ottawa. It was then that Sir JOHN MACDONALD wrote me the letter dated the 16th February, 1870.'
That letter would not be found to carry out the ipsissima verba of that report of the conversation. There was another remarkable matter connected with this point of the subject. The ARCHBISHOP, after going up to the North-West, acting as the delegate of this Government, returned to Canada, and it was after he