February 27, 1934

LIB
?

An hon. MEMBER:

That is the reason

for the bill.

Topic:   BUREAU FOR TRANSLATIONS
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LIB
LIB

Joseph Georges Bouchard

Liberal

Mr. BOUCHARD:

If what the minister

understands by economy is this petty little saving, and if what :he understands by efficiency is the translation of the speech from the throne and of the St. Lawrence deep waterway treaty, which I hold in my hand,

1026 COMMONS

Translations Bureau-Mr. Bouchard

I must entirely disagree with him. The government should have seen to it at any cost that these two documents which I hold in my hand were property translated.

Let me say further that I cannot subscribe to the idea that confidential documents should be entrusted to personal friends rather than to translators who have taken the oath of office.

Mr. 'GAHAN: There were no translators

available.

Topic:   BUREAU FOR TRANSLATIONS
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LIB

Joseph Georges Bouchard

Liberal

Mr. BOUCHARD:

Before undertaking

such a responsibility the minister should have demonstrated at least that he was very anxious to have the translation done in his own department. And now he comes down with a bill to take care of the translation services for the whole of this dominion. So far, Mr. Speaker, I am sorry to say that we have seen no great indication of the minister's ability to grasp the significance of so huge a problem. I do not question his motive, but I am entitled to question his competence in the matter. It would have been so easy in a matter of the kind to confer with people or bodies or associations more likely to give him sound advice so that he could come before this house with a bill which was clear and selfexplanatory.

The question now before the house, I submit, Mr. Speaker, is one that transcends in importance the expenditures that are involved in the proposal. Let us come to the crux of the whole matter and ask this question: What is translation? I am sorry the minister did not refer to this phase of the matter to any great extent; he referred more particularly to the printing bureau. Before I deal with this aspect of the matter I should like to make a statement or two as to the nature of the French language in Canada in order to dissipate some of the die-hard misconceptions which exist. It is to our farmers and their educators that we owe the fact that the French language in Canada has been kept in a condition of pristine purity which invites not the pity but the envy of our visitors, not excepting even Frenchmen themselves. In making this assertion I refer more particularly to the country people here and in our country of origin. I would even take issue with such a learned gentleman as Professor De Champs, professor of French at Toronto university. In the Evening Citizen of February 17 appears the following:

Professor De Champs denies that the French of the French Canadian farmer is better than that spoken in the provinces of France.

Should any hon. member entertain any doubts as to the quality of our language I

would refer him to a series of articles which have been appearing in Le Canada Frangais under the title Le franjais des Canadiens est-il un patois? These articles are by Professor Martin of the university of France and the university of Dalhousie at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Instalments have appeared in the issues of September, October, November and December, 1933, and January, 1934, the series being still uncompleted. Professor Martin is a gentleman of great linguistic experience both in Canada and in France. From what has appeared so far in these articles the conclusion would seem to be that our language has nothing of the patois in it but is fundamentally French, and French of the best quality.

Topic:   BUREAU FOR TRANSLATIONS
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At eleven o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. Wednesday, February 28, 1934


February 27, 1934