Despatch from Viscount Monck to the Earl of Carnarvon (29 November 1866)
By: Viscount Monck
Citation: Despatch from Viscount Monck to the Earl of Carnarvon (29 November 1866) in UK, Parliament, Correspondence respecting the Proposed Union of the British North American Provinces (London: George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswoode, 1867).
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COPY of a DESPATCH from Viscount MONCK to the Right Hon. the Earl of CARNARVON
Quebec, November 29, 1866
(Received December 14, 1866)
(Answered. No. 119, December 17, 1866, page 50.)
I HAVE the honour to transmit herewith to your Lordship an Address to Her Majesty the Queen from the Provincial Association of Protestant Teachers of Lower Canada, and to request that it may be laid at the foot of the Throne.
I have, &c.
The Right Hon. the Earl of Carnarvon,
&c. &c. &c.
Enclosure in No. 25
To the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty.
THE petition of the Provincial Association of Protestant Teachers of Lower Canada:
That notwithstanding the legislative union of Upper and Lower Canada, there exists in each portion of the United Provinces a distinct educational system.
That under the Educational Law of Lower Canada, and in consequence of the denominational character of the schools of the Roman Catholic majority, your Majesty’s subjects professing the Protestant faith are subjected to serious disadvantages ; first, in being deprived of the benefits of a general system of education similar to that enjoyed by their fellow subjects in Upper Canada ; secondly, in their liability to be taxed for the support of Roman Catholic schools ; and thirdly in the difficulties which they experience in establishing non-denominational or separate schools and seminaries of higher education for themselves.
That though the injury thus inflicted on education has been the subject of frequent complaints on the part of the Protestants in this Province, and has caused many families to leave this country for others in which they might avoid such inconveniences, no remedy has hitherto been granted by the Legislature.
That In prospect of the confederation of the Provinces under the constitution adopted at the Quebec Conference, buy which it was proposed that education should be under the control of the local Legislature, the Protestants of Lower Canada became alarmed lest they should continue to labour under these disadvantages: and to allay the feeling thus generally existing solemn pledges were made by members of the Government that the grievances complained of should be redressed by parliamentary action before confederation.
That though a bill for this purposes was introduced by Government in the last session of the Legislature, it was almost immediately withdrawn, and unless provisions to this end can be introduced into the Imperial Act of Confederation, your memorialists fear that their educational rights will be lefts to the control of the majority in the local Legislature without and guarantee whatever.
That while your petitioners would prefer a general and non-denominational system of education, they believe that, so long as the present system of separate schools shall continue in Lower Canada, they may justly claim the following privileges as constitutional rights, which should in no way depend on the vote of the local Legislature:–
1. That all direct taxes for the support of schools, paid by Protestants unless otherwise designated by themselves, should be applied to Protestant or non-denominational education, and that all public moneys given for the same purpose should be divided between Protestants and Roman Catholics in proportion to population.
2. That suitable and adequate provision should be made for the protection of the educational interests of Protestants in the management of educational funds, the establishment and proper classification of schools and institutions of superior education, and generally in the administration of educational affairs.
Wherefore Your petitioners lumbly pray Your most Gracious Majesty to take their cases, as above stated, into Your favourable consideration, with a view to the introduction of proper and just safeguards into the Imperial Act of Confederation should such Act be passed.
And Your petitioners will ever pray,
(Signed) J.W. DAWSON, L L. D., F.R.S., F.G.S., President of the Association
JOHN H. GRARAM, A.M., Vice President.
EDWIN HAREN, Clerk, B.A., Vice President.
P.J. DARLY, MA., Secretary of the Association.
Montreal, November 23rd, 1866.