Title: Letter of 30 March 1896 from Clifford Sifton and J. D. Cameron to Arthur R. Dickey, Alphonse Desjardines, and Donald A. Smith
Author: Sifton, Clifford, Sir, 1861-1929
Source: Archives of Manitoba, MG14 B41, Clifford Sifton - Affidavits, etc. re: Manitoba School Question
Page 7 of 12


guard. We know by experience that in schools where there was
a Protestant minority under the old system, most bitter com-
plaints were made of the inability of the non-catholic child-
ren to properly progress with their studies owing to the time
of the school being taken up with religious instruction.
The same result would inevitable follow in an aggravated
degree if we were unable to control the holding of religious
exercises in every case where the Roman Catholic children
were in the majority. It is our belief that in such case the
school would be of little benefit to the non-catholic
In view of the above remarks it will be un-
necessary to deal at length with the other proposals contain-
ed in the memorandum, and our remarks thereon will therefore be
confined to a brief space.
As to text-books:-
It will be impracticable to provide by Statute
that the text-books should be satifactory to the Roman Cath-
olic minority, but we have no doubt that if other points could
be agreed upon an arrangement could be arrived at on the
text-book question which would be mutually satisfactory. We
regard this part of the difficulty as comparatively easy of
We would have no objection to the Catholic
people being represented upon the Advisory Board, and the
Board of Examines. In point of fact His Grace the late
Archbishop was offered a seat on the Advisory Board. But we
see no practical way of embodying such a provision in the
Statutes. The effect of such a Statutory provision would be
that the Boards would not be legally constituted without
Catholic members, and the legal constitution of the Board

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