Title: Letter of 1 April 1896 from Clifford Sifton 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
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Government Buildings,
April 1st, 1896.
Honorable Arthur R. Dickey,
Honorable Alphonse Desjardines,
Sir Donald A. Smith, K.C.M.G.

We have the honor to submit herewith our
views upon your memorandum of yesterday. As remarked by
yourselves in your memrandum a lengthened reference to the
objections raised to your first suggestions will not serve
any valuable purpose at the present stage of the discussion.
Our pourpose in stating the objections was to give you our
view as to the results which would follow from the plan pro-
posed, or any similar plan.
The point of difficulty in arriving at a
basis of settlement seems to be very clearly defined. You
maintain that, in the words of your memorandum, "The Roman
Catholics" certainly have important legal rights in "con-
nection with Separate Schools." and that your idea of the
object of the conference is to give effect to those rights in
the most unobjectionable way, through the action of the Legis-
ture of the Province.
We hold the contrary that the consti-
tution gives the Roman Catholics no legal rights in reference
to Separate Schools, except the right of appeal under which
the Federal authority may, or may not, restore any rights
formerly enjoyed under Provincial legislations.
Your propositon aims at the legal re-
cognition by the Legislature of Manitoba of the right to the
Roman Catholic people to separate for school purposes.
Our proposition aims at removing evert practical objection to
the present system without giving a legal right to separate.

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