Quite so. It is the same everywhere. And speech cannot altogether be free. I simply want to make it clear that if a member of parliament or a Canadian citizen believes there is a tendency in the application of the criminal or the civil law which will -be detrimental to the country, or work against the individual or political liberties of the subject, I fail to see any other means of arousing public opinion and of bringing parliaments and legislatures to the point of amending their laws than by denouncing such judgments as they deem wrong.
Now I admit it is a question of degree; it is a question of tact; it is a question of opportunity. It is very difficult to draw the line. The only point I want to make is this: in spite of any written rule of this parliament,
I lay down the broad principle that under the British system of government, and -preserving what is "best in -that system, you cannot accomplish anything unless you take some risks, personal and political, and appeal to public opinion as against set rules, as against systems of policy, and even at times as against the authority of judges. But-and I repeat it for the second or third time-it must be done with tact and discretion; nevertheless it is very often a duty to be performed, and as regards the views held -by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, I think that hon. gentleman did his duty when he pointed out the danger of certain jurisprudence which had its beginning in the days of the war and which threatens to perpetuate itself.
With regard to the use of foreign languages in publications or in public speech, I would point out that here again we have a very broad question of policy. I would -be the last man to charge the good people of Toronto with more narrowness of mind than others. In this respect, not belonging to the province of Ontario, I am happy to repeat, and from a -purely disinterested standpoint, what the hon. member for South Toronto has said. As an individual I can render testimony to the breadth of mind of a large proportion of the individuals of all classes inhabiting the city of Toronto. This may surprise my good neighbour (Mr. Neill), who seems horrified. I know some of my good Ontario Grit friends would not agree with that, but I claim to be a living -witness to the fact. I believe I have denounced the views, political and social, held by the majority of the people of Toronto, in the city of Toronto, and before various bodies-universities and clubs-more often perhaps than any other member of this house.
Freedom of Speech
Subtopic: FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY