Titre: Letter of 30 March 1896 from Clifford Sifton and J. D. Cameron to Arthur R. Dickey, Alphonse Desjardines, and Donald A. Smith
Auteur: Sifton, Clifford, Sir, 1861-1929
Source: Archives of Manitoba, MG14 B41, Clifford Sifton - Affidavits, etc. re: Manitoba School Question
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position which has been made. Such acceptance would, in our
opinion, be a direct breach of faith with the people of our
Apart from the fundamental objection above stated,
we think it due to you to state somewhat in detail a few of
the practical objections to your proposals.
As to the first clause:
1. Separate Schools under this clause would
result in a teacher having under his charge a comparatively
small number of pupils of various ages and degrees of pro-
ficiency. The school could not therefore be properly graded
and could not attain the degree of effiiciency reached by
Public Schools in cities, towns and villages. Grading of
classes and mutual competition would de destroyed. The sep-
arate school would therefore of necessity be inferior. Ex-
perience elsewhere will prove the truth of this contention.
2. The organization of the separate school
would be compulsory. Neither the Roman Catholic parents nor
the school trustees would have any option. The voluntary
idea upon which, almost universally, school organization depends,
and which rules even in Ontario, where there is a fully
developed separate school system, is entirely eliminated.
Given the requisite number of Roman Catholic children of
school age, and the law would compel the separation without
regard to the wishes of the parents or the trustees, and
equally without regard to the ability of the district to
maintain another school. Is is most probable also that in
such a case it would be held that the Roman Catholic children
had no legal right to attend the public school. Thus we
would by law compel Roman Catholics to separate themselves
and deprive them of the right to send their children to the

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