Title: "A False Alarm" in Catholic Register, 3 December 1896
Source: Archives of Manitoba, P5316, Manitoba Schools Question 1896 – 1906, Newspaper clippings p. 91
Page 1 of 1


A False Alarm
The satisfaction of our Orange
fellow-citizens with the "settlement"
was momentarily ruffled by a false
alarm raised in the columns of The
Mail and Empire last week. Some
mischevious correspondent in that
paper asked how could the Orange-
men be content when a provision was
made for the compulsory appointment
of a Roman Catholic teacher in every
city school where the attendance of
Roman Catholic children is forty and
upwards, and in rural schools where
the attendance of Roman Catholics
is over twenty-five?
The Orangemen jumped to their
feet at once, and it was feared would
have repudiated the "settlement" on
the spot. But wiser counsels pre-
vailed. There is not the slightest
danger that any Catholic appoint-
ments will be made in the public
schools of Manitoba. In the first
place the "settlement" will not be
accepted by the Catholics, and their
children will not attend the schools.
While they are taxed for the main-
tenance of public education, they are
conscientiously debarred from sharing
in the advantages which their money
helps to provide.
But suppose, for the sake of argu-
ment, that the farcical "settlement"
should be given a fair test by the
Catholics of the west, what would
happen? Are any of us so innocent
as to imagine that the average Orange-
man would tolerate the tuition of his
child by a Roman Catholic? Oh no!
That is not the Orangemen's idea of
equal rights. Look at the danger his
child would be exposed to. Why a
mosquito might hop in off the prairie,
and after refreshing himself in the
Papist blood of the teacher immediate-
ly proceed to communicate the virus
of Romanism to the innocent little
children in the class. A germ scare
like that would make more consterna-
tion in Manitoba than an early frost.
But our Orange friends could easily
put aside such fears. They could, as
they no doubt did, reflect that they
have the remedy for the vaguely pos-
sible evil mentionned by The Mail and
Empire in their own hands. The
school districts could be gerrymandered
in such a way that the Catholic at-
tendance in any school would not
come up to the statutory number.
But even supposing that were not
done, the school boards would hold
the key to the situation. Admission
to public schools is by application, and
wherever the Catholics were becoming
perilously numerous they could be
excluded . We are convinced that
under no circumstance would Prot-
estants allow their children to be
instructed by Roman Catholics. And
yet, in the name of equal rights, they
are not only ready and willing but
insistent that Catholic children shall
be put under the care of Protestant
teachers. O, the temptation to prose-

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