« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
that day to treat for arrangements, but I refus-
came back that some of the conversation | semi-official. The hon. gentleman wished on took place. He was invited by Sir GEORGE CARTIER to accompany him to Niagara. They travelled a certain distance together. It was pressed on the ARCHBISHOP that it would be better for him to pass through the States; he landed at Oswego, travelled overland to Buffalo, and went from Buffalo to Niagara. While at Niagara he endeavored to obtain the assurance of HIS EXCELLENCY the GovERNOR-GENERAL in the sense of confirming the promise he had obtained from His EXCELLENCY'S advisers, and it was while there he obtained the first hint, he tells us, that, even if an amnesty should be proclaimed, it was likely that a distinction must be made between some of those concerned in the Red River difficulties. said in his evidence :
I drew the attention of Sir GEORGE CARTIER to this observation of Mr. TURVILLE'S. I took him aside, and said: "What is the meaning of this?" Sir GEORGE CARTIER replied, "Mr. TURVILLE is a nice man, but he knows nothing about these matters, so you need not be uneasy about what he says.' That satisfied me that the amnesty had not been withdrawn, but the statement gave me a little uneasiness on that point. So afterwards, when I again met Sir GEORGE, I again spoke about Mr. TURVILLE's observation, when he gave me about the same answer, and assured me there was no danger to be apprehended for any one of those concerned in the troubles. He also assured me that the amnesty would come soon, and that it would be of an absolute and general character." Father RICHOT's evidence was also exceedingly explicit upon this point. He
"I left Red River on the 24th of March, 1870, [this was twenty days after the murder of Scorr], and arrived in Ottawa on the 11th April. We had interviews with two members of the Canadian Government, who were delegated by their colleagues to treat with us. Father RICHOT next spoke of the interview, and said :
"I was in company with Mr. BLACK. This was on the 23rd. The amnesty was then treated of. We treated of matters in general, but I said the first thing was the amnesty, and that without it nothing could be done. Sir JOHN was present at the time. The hon. gentleman told me that the amnesty did not rest with Canada, but that they would find means to arrange the matter. Sir GEORGE said these were only preparatory interviews with a view to airanging the matter."
Further on witness proceeds:
“I was with Mr. BLACK; Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD and Sir GEORGE CARTIER were present. The interview took place at Sir GEORGE's house. They told me these interviews were Hon. Mr. Mackenzie.
"I said we might speak on it, but we could settle nothing definitely as to that matter. said the sine qua non of an agreement was a general amnesty. The Hon. Ministers said they would give me an answer on the following day. They also said we give you the means of obtaining an amnesty, but they did not state positively what those means were. On page 71 of the blue book Father RICHOT's evidence is as follows:
any of those acting under them be in any way held liable or responsible with regard to the "movement or any of the actions which led to "the present negociations.
That 19th clause was referred to in Father RICHOT's evidence as the sine qua поп. He then proceeds :
"I asked that this clause should form part of the Bill, but they replied that it was not expedient that it should form part of the Bill, inasmuch as the Bill belonged to the House, while the amnesty was a matter for the administration. I asked for a written assurance, but they answered that it was not necessary, and that we might trust to their word. They also said there would be no difficulty whatever, with regard to the amnesty, and that it was a matter which rested with the Crown, We then went on discussing the other matters of our mission, That was all that was then said with regard to the amnesty. They did not speak at all with regard to the proclamation of December 6th, 1869. They told me it would be an insult to
HER MAJESTY if they gave me a written guarantee. They said that if a written promise of the amnesty were required before the passing of the Manitoba Bill it would be imposing conditions on the Crown.'
The witness goes on to state :
"The next interview was on the 30th. The three delegates met Sir GEORGE CARTIER; Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD was still ill. We spoke of the amnesty. Immediately after the interview I took notes of what had been said. I made notes after all our interviews. The note referring to the interview of the 30th is as follows: "A word about the amnesty all in the same sense. I remember Sir GEORGE told me not to be uneasy, for everything would be granted as it had been promised." Again he says:
"After the interview with the GOVERNOR GENERAL and Sir CLINTON MURDOCH, I had an interview with Sir GEORGE CARTIER, who asked me if I had not been content with the results of the interview which I had just had with HIS EXCELLENCY and Sir CLINTON. I told him I was sufficiently pleased if what they stated regarding the granting of the amnesty were put in writing. Sir GEORGE then replied the British Government and the Government of Canada would treat our people like spoiled children, and give them more than they expected." Then, further on, there is the following evidence on page 77, as part of the conversation that took place during the interview on the 28th:
The resume of what Sir GEORGE told me is this, "You have obtained all you desired; your amnesty will be proclaimed; it will be "there before the LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR "arrives. In the meantime tell your people "to remain quiet and to fear nothing. I told him that I had expected myself to bring a proclaniation of amnesty with the Manitoba Act. He told me that what I had was equivalent to the proclamation of an amnesty, as an amnesty would arrive before any other authority in the NorthWest, and that meanwhile RIEL was master and had nothing to complain of. I saw Sir GEORGE several times. He said he had a very plain reason for not giving me any more definite written statements, which was that the Canadian Government could not give the amnesty themselves; that the proclamation of the Governor was sufficient, and that he could not give a better one. The reason he gave me to sign the petition myself to the QUEEN, was in order that the Government and the Governor might not be compromised. He told me that on account of the excitement of feeling it was advisable to take all the means possible, which would arrive at the same end without exciting prejudices; that in a country like this, where there were different interests and several parties, provided you arrived at the same end, it was advisable to take those means which would least run counter to the opinions of some of the people. That secondly, the means he was taking to have the amnesty proclaimed was the safest and quickest way of obtaining the desired result without
Hon. Mr. Mackenzie.
"I told Sir GEORGE that I believed what he said, but was very anxious to have it believed up there. Then he said, "Assure RIEL and his "followers that the amnesty will certainly be "granted, and that if he wishes to reflect he will "see that we have more interest than he in "granting the amnesty.'
Mr. MACKENZIE said he must apologize to the House for entering so much into detail, but he wished to point out that it was not a stray expression, not a mere remembrance of words dropped in conversation, but by a continuous line of conversations and successive and continuous interviews, it was the sole subject of discussion; that there was no possibility of being mistaken, and that the evidence showed conclusively that those people were led to believe that what they asked would undoubtedly be granted. But besides, we have in Father RICHOT's affidavit, sworn on 19th November, 1873. He
And then he declares in the affidavit:
"That the Hon. Sir JoHN A. MACDONALD and Sir GEO. E. CARTIER, after stating that the amnesty did not rest with the Government of Ottawa, declared that they were in a position to assure us that it was the intention of HER MAJESTY to grant the amnesty, and that they would take upon themselves to proclaim it, that in fact it would be proclaimed immediately after the passing of the Manitoba Act." He merely quoted that affidavit although it was a repetition of the evidence given by Father RICHOT, in order to show that when under oath that reverend gentleman made precisely the same statement evidence. Then the as when he gave his House had a corroborative statement in the evidence of Mr. GIRARD. It would be observed that the delegates, returning to Manitoba, proclaimed far and near to their people, in order to reassure them,
"I was then engaged in my election, and I known among the people, as well in my county made these communications very generally
the good intentions of the Government | the Opposition do so? Mr. GIRARD, towards the people of the North-West; speaking of Sir GEORGE CARTIER'S letter that the promise of amnesty was as full to him about the amnesty, said: and complete as anything could be, and there was no reason to doubt the good faith of the Government in the matter. Mr. GIRARD, after stating that he wrote to Sir GEORGE CARTIER in the Fall of 1870, proceeded to say :
"In these letters I described the condition of the country, and urged strongly upon Sir GEORGE the necessity for an amnesty.
"I received answers to several of these letters-I think to all of them. His answer was to request me to be sure that the amnesty would come. Tell your people to remain quiet and keep order.
"I wrote to Sir GEORGE as well in my capacity of a minister as the sole representative of the French element; and also as a friend. I have not those answers from Sir GEORGE here; they are at Winnipeg. In these letters to me he remarked also when recommending quiet, that the enemies of the people would be gratified if they put themselves in the wrong by acting otherwise, and so deprive themselves of the benefit of their position. He desired me to tell them to adhere to their duty and that the amnesty would inevitably come.
At the same interview, promises were made with respect to the expenditure by the insurrectionary leaders, and there was no question now of the fact that the late Administration did promise absolutely to pay the Hudson's Bay Company for all the stores which were seized by the leaders of the insurrection during their short reign.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD-No. If the Hudson's Bay Company should set up any claim for payment of stores, then the Government would stand between the insurgents and all harm.
Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE—The Company has set up a claim, and perhaps the hon. gentleman would state who had to stand between the parties now. If the hon. gentleman had no regard for his political promises, he (Mr. MACKENZIE) must have regard thereto. Here were the expressions that Archbishop TACHE stated to have been used to him :
"Should the question arise as to the consumption of any stores or goods belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company by the insurgents, you are authorized to inform the leaders that if the Company's Government is restored, not only will there be a general amnesty granted, but in case the Government should claim the payment for such stores, that the Canadian Government will stand between the insurgents and all harm.
But who was to stand between the Tréasury and all harm? Would the leader of Hon. Mr. Mackenzie.
as elsewhere. I made extracts from these letters and circulated them among the people; and I consider that they had a powerful effect in calming the people, and preserving peace and good order. I think I can find these letters, and, if I can, I will transmit them to the Chairman."
With regard to the effect produced by the promises made, Archbishop TACHE stated in his letter to Sir JOHN YOUNG, of date 23rd July, 1870:
"The promise of an amnesty has largely contributed to obtain the result secured; had I not been convinced myself that an amnesty would be granted; had I not brought the people to partake of my conviction, the mission intrusted to me by the Government of YOUR EXCELLENCY would certainly not be crowned with the success obtained.
There was another phase of this matter which he proposed to deal with. It would be recollected that the right hon. gentleman opposite made a pilgrimage through It was not, to be sure, Ontario in 1873.
a very successful one; on the contrary it was very disastrous to him. During that pilgrimage he (Mr. MACKENZIE) was accused of making capital out of the execuHe declared that he tion of SCOTT. did make capital out of it. He had expressed his honest conviction in Parliament and out of it, as he was prepared to do on all occasions and on every topic. Gentlemen would search his speeches in 1872 in vain for anything to prove that charge. But what was the course of the right hon. gentleman opposite? Why, as he went west his language became bolder, and he was able at last when he reached the western confines of Ontario, to characterize the execution of SCOTT as a murder, and to express his anxious desire to catch the murderer that he might be punished. Let us see what took place. The general election of 1872 began in August and continued well on in September. In December, 1871, we find the hon. gentleman opposite proposed to Mr. RIEL, through the Archbishop, that he should leave the country, and he (Sir JOHN) would pay him $1,000. The ARCHBISHOP, in his evidence before the Northwest Committee, states:
"I came to Canada October 5th, 1871. I saw Sir GEORGE in Montreal and Quebec, and he
"rassment begin again. The payment should "spread over a year.
"Believe me, Your Grace's
"Very obedient servant,
JOHN A. MACDONALD."
spoke to me about RIEL's leaving the country, and he strongly advised me to use my influence to get REIL to leave the country for a while. This was in October or November, 1871. I told Sir GEORGE that I agreed in his opinion, but that it was extremely difficult for me to interfere, as I had been so badly treated, being deceived about the amnesty. He urged me, saying, "I was the pastor of the people," and he insisted so much, that I at last said I would try, but I said, You must remember that man is poor; He was sure the hon. gentleman would "his mother is a widow with four young giris not expect him to pass over this branch of
"and three young boys, and she has no means "of support, especially when her eldest son is away. He himself has only labor for his support, and I do not think it is fair to ask him "to leave his home without some compensation or some means of travelling." "That is true," said Sir GEORGE, "we will see about that." He then asked me if I would go to Ottawa. “Yes,” said I, "I intend to be there the beginning of December." Then,' said he, we will settle the matter there." I came to Ottawa the beginning of December. Sir GEORGE also came, and then I saw him and Sir JOHN. I had several conversations with both of them, but one of them especially I remember with Sir JOHN ; it was on the 7th December, about noon, in his office. I do not remember who began, but he insisted that I should advise RIEL to leave the country for a while, and added these words, so far as I can recollect them: "If you can succeed in keeping him out of the way for a while, I will make his case mine, and I "will carry the point. The question of amnesty has caused me So much pain already that I thought I would be justified in using all honest means to secure Sir JOHN'S assistance in the granting of the amnesty, and it was on that ground, and on that ground only, that I promised, as I did then promise Sir JOHN, that I would endeavor to persuade RIEL to leave Red River for a while. I made to Sir JOHN the same observation which I had already made to Sir GEORGE, about the necessity of giving some money to RIEL if he were asked to leave the country. It was agreed by Sir JOHN that they would do something about that matter. That he would consult with Sir GEORGE and give me an answer afterwards. I got an answer, dated 27th December, 1871, from Sir JOHN, which I produce, under the direction of the Committee, as follows:
“The Archbishop of
"St. Boniface, Montreal."
the subject without mentioning a little incident. About the same time that this letter was written, he (Mr. MACKENZIE) joined the Government of the hon. member for South Bruce in Ontario, and a short time after this letter was written, a resolution was passed in the Legislature of Ontario, offering a reward of $5,000 for the apprehension of these men. This was in January or February, 1872, and the letter of the MINISTER OF JUSTICE, sending the $1,000, was dated December, 1871, and in August, 1872, we found the right hon. gentleman proclaiming over the country that we had driven these men out of the country by the offer of the reward, and consequently he was unable to catch them. No doubt-in fact, he must believe it-the right hon. gentleman had forgotten that he had sent $1,000 to induce RIEL to leave the country. Archbishop TACHE further stated in his evidence:
"I left Montreal on the 2nd January, and at a station between Prescott and Sarnia, I received a letter from Sir GEORGE, which I have not with me, and I do not know whether it is in existence. In this Sir GEORGE alluded to the draft which had been sent me by Sir JOHN, and stated that it would be advisable that LEPINE should leave also, and that the money should be divided between the two." Further on he stated :—
'It was then that I saw Lieutenant-Governor ARCHIBALD on the subject of money. were conversations between the LIEUTENANTGOVERNOR of Manitoba and myself on the subject. The LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR called on Mr. SMITH, and, in my presence, asked if he could furnish the funds, which, of course, he said would be re-imbursed by the Canadian Government. I named at first £800 sterling to the GOVERNOR as the sum required by RIEL and LEPINE for themselves and their families. The GOVERNOR asked Mr. SMITH to lend £800
sterling. I mentioned that I had $1,000 at my disposal, without mentioning the source, and thus the sum to be furnished by Mr. SMITH that the advance was asked of and made by Mr. was reduced to £600 sterling. I understood SMITH in his capacity of agent for the Company who were the bankers for the Territory. Mr.
SMITH said he could, and did, in fact, furnish | Crown technically, there could be no ques£600 sterling. It was handed to me, and Ition, added to the amount, out of the $1,000 before mentioned, a little over $200, to make $1,600 a piece for RIEL and LEPINE, which I gave them in accordance with their demand, to enable them to go and live outside the Territory The remainder of the $1,000 I kept in the bank of the Company to be used as required for the support of their families, and it was so used. I wrote the letter which they had asked of me, and I produce a copy, dated 16th February,
I am certain that the
LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR and the Ottawa Government would repay the money. That money was furnished under the directions of Governor ARCHIBALD."
Now, he did not intend to make any comments at all upon that transaction, further than was pertinent to the subject in hand; but he had merely to say that it was an element in the consideration of this case when they found the MINISTER OF JUSTICE who was responsible for the administration of Justice, who was also the head of the Government, deliberately entering into an arrangement with his own ambassador to furnish funds to enable these parties to leave the territory. It would be exceedingly difficult, after that transaction—as a very eloquent Canadian writer wrote not long ago-to bring the men to trial without placing the MINISTER OF JUSTICE in the dock along with them. He now came to consider another question,-another part of the question rather—which, to his mind was even of more weight in considering what the House should do in this case than the events he had mentioned. That
was the conduct of several parties in the North-West the GOVERNOR and the Government-in connection with the Fenian raid in the Province. He would leave it to legal gentlemen in this House to say what was to be said of promises made by the Chief Magistrate of a country, under such circumstances. It was held, he knew, as a principle in ordinary constitutional law, that where a Government accepts the services of parties, and induces them to risk their lives, that that would undoubtedly act as a condonation of the offences of all such persons, if implicated in a movement of this character.
That he merely mentioned for the consideration of legal gentlemen; but he did say, whether this was really the law or not, whether it was to be understood as the law of nations, or not; as a law of Great Britain, or not; as a matter that binds the Crown or does not bind the Hon. Mr. Mackenzie.
tion, as Lord CARNARVON remarked, that it would be impossible to consider the sentences of these men, with a view to commutation, without considering the circumstances brought to light in connection with them; and whether the Imperial Government should deem these circumstances as of sufficient weight or not, this House, he had no hesitation in saying, and this Government, should consider, how far they should palliate the circumstances which the Courts of Justice had now recognized and characterized. Mr. GIRARD's evidence on this point was as follows:
I recollect the Fenian raid. I was then in the Government. I remember the arrival♦ near the fort of the body of Metis numbering perhaps 400 or 500, perhaps one-third mounted and the rest dismounted. The greater part were armed. RIEL, LEPINE and PARENTEAU appeared to be jointly in command of them. Those three seemed to be on an equal footing.
"I informed the Lieutenant-Governor of their arrival, at the request of Mr. ROYAL, then Speaker of the Assembly.
"I told him that the Metis wanted to meet him either in the fort or on the other side of the river.
I told him that RIEL and his friends were there. He consulted me whether it would be better to
meet them in the fort or on the river. I recommended him to see them at the river. He agreed. We crossed the river; I in a rowboat; the Governor in a scow on horseback, accompanied by Captain MACDONALD I think. We came close to them, and I then said to the Governor that these men were ready to go to the front to defend their country; thereupon the Governor spoke to them saying, that he received their offer and had much satisfaction in meeting them.
"Afterwards there was a sort of salute fired and cheering on both sides of the river.
"Afterwards he went with me among the crowd at the river and I, ROYAL and DUBUC, introduced him to the prominent men, amongst whom was RIEL. I introduced RIEL as the man whom the half-breeds had chosen as their chief for the occasion. I thought it would be better not to give the name of RIEL to the Governor. This had occurred to my own mind on the way across the river. It had not in any
way been discussed.
"I supposed he understood it was RIEL. RIEL when introduced to him in the way I have "Governor ARCHIBALD shook hands with
"Mr. DUBUC introduced AMBROISE LEPINE by his name as a prominent man and the Governor also shook hands with him.
PARENTEAU was also introduced by name, and the Governor shook hands with him.
"RIEL was the first introduced.
"After the introductions, RIEL addressed
the Governor publicly saying that he was there
with his friends to offer their service in defence of the country against all enemies, and asking the Governor to accept their services.