Hon. ALFRED DURANLEAU (Minister of Marine) (Translation):
Mr. Speaker, after listening to my hon. friends opposite, this afternoon, discussing the stand taken by the press of this country on this bill No. 4; I wondered whether their mind had not been influenced by editorials which we have read of late. It might be interesting to know who organized and spread the campaign undertaken by a number of French Canadian newspapers, even before this measure was introduced in the house.
We did not intend, sir, to carry on a long debate over this bill. We had even hoped after the masterful statement made by the hon. Secretary of State (Mr. Cahan), followed by the convincing speech of the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa), who is unquestionably an expert on the subject, that the house would have adopted the second reading and referred the bill to a committee.
However, our hon. friends on your left, sir, put up a concentrated opposition; however, I do not doubt it is genuine. But judging from the speeches delivered this afternoon, I cannot do otherwise than state that this opposition is directed by the general staff of the Liberal party and aims at influencing public opinion.
I listened, to-day, to the hon. member for Joliette (Mr. Ferland), who stated that this bill had been so draughted that it could be interpreted one way in one province and another way in another. Judging from the standard of speeches delivered, this afternoon and for some time past, my opinion is, that they were delivered in view of influencing public opinion and intended as political propaganda. I have, sir, not only read-
. Mr. VENIOT: I rise to a point of order. The hon. gentleman has just made a statement in French, with regard to the speeches made on this side of the house this afternoon, attributing a motive to the speakers on this side. He says that in those speeches hon. members on this side wish to influence the public for election purposes. He has no right to make a statement of that sort.
Translations Bureau-Mr. Duranleau