November 8, 1945

PC

John Ritchie MacNicol

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacNICOL:

You would be "bored to death".

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IND

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Yes. I could not do it; I am very sorry. But I believe in the democratic spirit. So long as an hon. member has the right to be here he has the right to express his views. The only trouble with the hon. member for Jasper-Edson is that he denies his right to be here, and therefore he is quite a problem by himself.

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SC

Walter Frederick Kuhl

Social Credit

Mr. KUHL:

I am not responsible for the British North America Act.

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IND

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Let us be indulgent to him. Of course I believe in the British North America Act, and he does not believe in it. If I am here it is because I was elected in accordance with enactments made by virtue of the British North America Act. But if I believedi the act to be void I would have the self-respect not to sit here; and I would tell my constituents, "I will not sit in that house until the House of 'Commons is reformed and constituted legally." My hon. friend is not logical. He has bored us to death for ten years with his unique speech; we have listened to him with patience

with a great deal of patience-and he comes along

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with it again. I have been patient again to-day, but until the end of the year I will not be patient any more. I will ask him to wait until next year to deliver, for the eleventh time, his oration which is so full of spiders' webs.

That being said about what may be called the hors d'oeuvre of the hon. member for Jasper-Edson, let us come to the flag. You know, Mr. Speaker, it is the easiest thing in the world to discuss any matter, contentious or not, if it is done objectively; and my great regret is, I will not say the total ignorance-it may be that that would be too strong-but the perfect misconception of what a national flag is.

There is the word "ensign", which is general, which applies to all flags. The royal standard is an ensign. The merchant marine flag is the red ensign. There are all sorts of ensigns; it is the generic appellation of the flag.

In the United Kingdom they have many flags. In the first place there is the royal standard, which is the personal flag of His Majesty and follows him everywhere. There is the union jack, which is the land flag; it is the union flag, and it may be called the union jack only when it is hoisted on the middle mast of a ship; then it is a jack, a union jack; otherwise it is a union flag. The nautical ensigns are: tha white ensign for the navy, and also for the Royal Yacht squadron, the blue ensign for government vessels, and the red ensign for the mercantile marine.

I admire very much the union flag, the union jack. It is one of the finest flags, bearing the emblems of the three countries which comprise the United Kingdom. We have the Cross of St. George for England, the Cross of St. Andrew for Scotland, and the Cross of St. Patrick for Ireland. But in the United Kingdom the union flag is not considered at all as the flag of a nationality, because then the Welsh would repudiate it; they have no emblem on that flag. It is the flag of the United Kingdom, the flag of the country.

How is it that outside Great Britain, that is in the colonies which are called dominions, as well as in the colonies proper, the union jack is not considered any longer the flag of a country? It is considered the flag of a nationality. If that were right it would be no longer a flag, but a banner, because in its essence a national flag represents the soil of a country. It represents the country itself; and if there is sentiment attached to it, it is precisely because those who look at that flag remember their younger days, when they were at school, when they were told what the flag symbolized, what its real signification was. When they saw the flag on the public buildings on festive days; when they saw the flag on the coffins^ of those they loved; when they saw the flag in the church, they were reminded of the prowess of the sons of the locality.

The flag means a lot, but the first meaning of the flag is that it is an ensign, the ensign of the country. England has understood that very well. But naturally we have to suffer from the total ignorance of the elite, both English and French, who have deformed the meaning of the national flag, and that is the result of the intense propaganda which has been made by the press and by some people to prevent the people of the British empire outside the United Kingdom from fully recognizing the meaning of it.

In 1865 an imperial statute was passed to create a colonial navy, and later in the same year, which was two years before confederation, regulations were passed at Whitehall and sanctioned by the queen to allow all colonies to have a commercial flag. But it was a nautical flag; and the first flag which the colonies were allowed to make their own-it was quite a ceremony, permission for it had to be given by the admiralty-was the blue ensign. It was in that year that the British government allowed the colony to have as the blue ensign the blue flag with the arms of the colony in the field. Naturally everyone knows what the blue ensign is. A similar regulation was passed on July 16, 1870, and it was not until a number of years afterwards that the admiralty authorized by warrant the flag of the Canadian mercantile marine to be used on board vessels registered in the dominion. It was on February 2, 1892, a short time

after the death of Sir John A. Macdonald. But mark you, sir, it was specified in the first place that the blue ensign was to be the flag on Canadian government vessels, and then the red ensign with the arms of Canada-I will describe them in a minute-was to be used, by permission of the admiralty, "only on board vessels registered in the dominion."

What were the arms of Canada? The arms of Canada in 1892 were not those of all the provinces of Canada that formed the confederation at that time, but only those of four provinces, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. There were no arms of Manitoba, nor were those of Prince Edward Island, nor those of British Columbia, and naturally at the time the prairie provinces had not been created as provinces. It was only in 1924 that the change was made to put the new arms of Canada on the flag, to replace the first shield which was that of only the four mother provinces.

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This is the description of the shield of Canada which is on the flag that is hoisted daily on the tower of this building. It is something absolutely absurd:

The arms or ensigns armorial of the Dominion of Canada shall be tierced in fesse the first and second divisions containing the quarterly coat following, namely, 1st, gules three lions passant guardant in pale or-

In the first place there are supposed to be three lions, but what astounds me is that in the French official translation these lions become leopards, and it is most ridiculous because these leopards are spotless. I hold in my hand the English and French texts which were printed by the king's printer.

-2nd, or, a lion rampant within a double tres-aure flory-eounter-flory gules, 3rd, azure, a harp >r, stringed argent . . .

Of course, it is a harp with a very fine female figure which I would not dare to describe in the house even in the absence of my lady colleague from the west. It is something very pictorial.

4th, azure three fleurs-de-lis, or, and the third division argent three maple leaves conjoined on one stem proper . . .

This is the shield of Canada and we see it on the flag. I had that flag in my office, and I have made measurements to see the size of the union jack. I found that it is seven times that of the shield and in the shield the" three animals, which are described as lions in the English text and as leopards in the French text, are two inches high and seven inches long. How formidable! The lion rampant is four inches by five inches-much more powerful. Then there is the suggestive Irish harp and there are the fleurs-de-lis- golden fleurs-de-lis on blue. That is a heresy because, as everyone knows, the standard of the king of France was the fleurs-de-lis on silver or white. . It was probably Arthur Meighen and the late Mr. Belley, who were so blue that they wanted to put something blue into the emblem of the province of Quebec.

Then there are three maple leaves. There being three lions which were three leopards, there must be of course be three maple leaves and three fleurs-de-lis. The number three was his unlucky number; that is why he is no longer the leader of the party. He has been replaced by many fine gentlemen, one of whom is sitting over there. At any rate, the number three did not bring him luck.

[Air. Pouliot.l

Let us see the description of the shield-and by the way this is not Pastor Shields that I am speaking of. I am discussing something in heraldry, a science that belongs to the middle ages, covered with tons of dust. I do not want the Canadian flag to look ridiculous, and that is why I object to emblems that belong to another age, which have not their place here.

And upon a- royal helmet mantled argent doubled gules the crest, that is to say, on a wreath of the colours argent and gules a lion passant guardant or imperially crowned proper and holding in the dexter paw a maple leaf gules.

There is a lion that holds in his paw a tiny, little, wee red maple leaf, and the lion on this armorial bearing is not bigger than my thumb.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

Suffering from malnutrition.

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IND

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

To continue:

' And for supporters on the dexter a lion rampant or holding a lance argent, point or, flying therefrom to the dexter the union flag, and on the sinister a unicorn argent armed crined and unguled or, gorged with a coronet composed of erosses-patde and fleurs-de-lis a chain affixed thereto reflexed of the last, and holding a like lance flying therefrom to the sinister a banner azure charged with three fleurs-de-lis or; the whole ensigned with the imperial crown proper and below the shield upon a wreath composed of roses, thistles, shamrocks and lilies a scroll azure inscribed with the motto- A miari usque ad mare.

The lion holds a union jack, and the unicorn holds another flag on which there are creases, showing there are breezes, but they are in opposite directions. It reminds me of the drawings I made when I was a child. Once I made one representing a ship with the smoke on one side and the flag on, the other side. My uncle, who was very funny, said to me: "Could the wind blow two ways at the same time?" Here we have a coat of arms and the wind blows the union jack to the left and the French flag to the right; it is an extraordinary wind. It is a most foolish thing, but it was sanctioned on the 21st of November, 1921, just a few days before the defeat of the Meighen government. Therefore, if it is something absurd, the only blame that, I can put on the government is to have kept the foolishness of Arthur Meighen on the Canadian red ensign. It is absurd; it is full of ferocious beasts; it is a circus in a garden that is not well kept. Of course, when I read it, my hon. friends who are listening to me now, were perhaps under the impression that I was reciting a speech by the hon. member for Jasper-Edson. But it was not that; it was the official language of heraldry, and heraldry must continue, because some people

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are living by it. There is in England a gentleman who receives a fat salary and is called the Master of Arms of His Majesty.

In England a distinction is made between a flag and commercial ensigns which are ensigns of ships. Different ships fly different ensigns. The man-of-war flies the white ensign; government vessels, the blue ensign. On merchant vessels it is the red ensign. But they always have a flag of the country, and mark you, sir, it is not surprising that a small union jack is on the flag of the navy and of the marine, because all British ships registered in England are a continuation of the soil of England on the seven seas. The deck of a British ship registered in London can be compared with the soil of the United Kingdom.

The question is not one of sentiment, but one in which we could say we are proud of our nationality, and rightly so. But to impose the wrong flag on the country just to satisfy one's personal feelings is wrong. If any member wants to have a union jack I do not want it to be minimized; I want to have the union jack in full, not a little union jack, not a mockery, not a miniature union jack. If Canada has not reached the point; if the country is not mature enough to have her own flag, then let us continue as we are and wait for better times. As my hon. friend, the leader of the C.C.F. group has said, if we' are not mature enough to have our own flag we are still colonial; we have not a right to call ourselves Canadian citizens; we must call ourselves British subjects and colonials. That is why I suggested to the Secretary of State (Mr. Martin) to wait a few days, perhaps a couple of weeks, before bringing down this resolution, in order that the citizenship bill should pass first. If the citizenship bill had passed first with full honours, then members of parliament would 'be qualified to discuss the matter of a national flag. What we want is not an official flag; we want a national flag. We have only an official flag now. Why do we have an official flag? It is because someone thinks it is important to appease the very small group of jingoes who have no Canadian feeling; and if they express at times something like Canadian feelings they have not at heart the feeling of the real Canadian who puts his country before all others.

* Why should we impose a flag which is not distinctly Canadian on this country for future generations? There is more to it; if a committee of this house and this house accepts a truly Canadian flag it will mean only one thing. It will mean that we have reached the age that we can reason for ourselves; it will not mean that we are opposed to the old country, not at all. It will not deny our right of

association with the British commonwealth, with the United States or with anybody. It will mean that we are mature enough to make our own decisions and to think of this country first and before all others. That is the meaning of the Canadian flag, and there is a precedent for it.

We hear some members say, "Well, well, well, look at the flags of the other dominions. There is a flag of New Zealand." I give them credit for having their own flag, which is not a national flag. It is a blue ensign with the southern cross, a flag that can be flown on a vessel, not on land. The parliament of New Zealand passed legislation in 1905 which decided that that flag would thereafter be the flag of New Zealand. In Australia a competition was organized by the newspapers and supported by the government; and it was a young boy who came with the suggestion of a flag for Australia. It must have been approved by the admiralty, because I have seen pictures of that flag in the Encyclopedia Britannica and in other publications; but when I asked the office of the high commissioner if it had been approved by order in council, or by the Australian government, or if any legislation had been passed-and I searched the statutes of Australia for some time to find out if that were so-I could not get an answer. They did not know anything definite about the adoption of the flag.

Let us go to South Africa. South Africa had for some time a flag similar to the red ensign, in accordance with the general permission granted by the admiralty. It was the red ensign with the old shield of South Africa in the field. But in 1927 it was changed for a flag which is not perfect, but which shows some national dignity in the parliament of South Africa. On this flag are three horizontal stripes, and in the middle stripe there are three very small flags, all in line. There is the union jack, the old flag of the Orange Free State and the Vierkleur of the Transvaal. These flags are very small; they could not be seen, any more than the emblems in our own shield can be seen from the ground when we look at the flag flying from the tower. The flag legislation passed in 1927 by the parliament of South Africa is a precedent for all dominions, in the sense that it shows that the establishment of this national flag does not mean South Africa is opposed to the United Kingdom and ceases to be British. The legislation adds that both the union jack and the official and national flag of South Africa shall be flown together on all public buildings.

That is it, sir. Here we have a reply to the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes),

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the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Church) who is to follow me, and all others who think as they do. The hon. members want the union jack. Let them have it. We want a national flag. Let us have it, by all means. That is my point of view. If some people throughout the country want to hoist both flags together, let them do so; there is no possible objection to that, and then everyone will be satisfied. The hon. member "for Nanaimo does much better now than he did at the beginning of the session, and I am sincere in telling him so. But if he commits the heresy of considering the union jack to be the flag of a nationality he will have the Laurentians of Quebec who will come with the Carillon flag, which is no more a Carillon flag than the lions in the shield are leopards. They will say the flag represents two cultures. Whoever thought a flag could represent two cultures? That is positively a heresy. It would not be a flag, but a banner. Could it represent a culture? With a banner we could do anything. Every man can have his banner, as each of the old crusaders had his banner, his shield and so on. They would not accept the red ensign, not because the union flag is on it, but because there would be no place left for the fleur-de-lis on blue or gold or silver. They will say, "You are entitled to have an emblem of your nationality on the flag. We want ours, too." It would be fair. Then what about the others? What about my hon. friend who speaks so often for the Ukrainians? They would have a right to their own emblem; and how many emblems would we have if each nationality had its own?

Then why should we have the union jack? Why not have separately the banners of the people of British origin, of Scotch origin, of Irish origin, and then the French Canadian? Then everyone will have his banner, but it would not be a flag any longer. If we are to have an emblem we must come to the point and see what emblem we may have on the flag. It would not be a repudiation of our friendship and our association with Great Britain. It would be a decision that will prove to the world that Canada has reached the stage where we have our own national flag. I will tell you more than that, Mr. Speaker. We may discuss the policies of the Prime Minister and not agree with all of them, but we are coming to a time when I believe Canada could help Britain much more if not tied too closely to her. I am not now preaching the breaking of the British tie, but I will say that in matters of diplomacy very probably Canada may be of much more help to Great Britain ia dealing with countries who do not

agree with British policies by being autonomous within the British empire. That is my view.

I am expressing these opinions with earnestness and sincerity. I desire a national flag, and my people would revere a national flag, which would be the flag of Canada, which could be hoisted by all Canadians irrespective of race and creed, but a flag which would designate only Canada. By this I mean that when a stranger lands in this country and sees the union flag he says, "I am in British territory." He does not know he is in Canada. I should like a flag which would tell the world that Canada exists as a great country, and would tell any stranger who comes to our shores that he is in this great country which is called Canada.

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PC

Thomas Langton Church

Progressive Conservative

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview):

This is not the first time, Mr. Speaker, I have refused to follow the crowd. Ever since I came to this parliament I have tried to support definite, concrete principles. In all the years I have known the Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Mackenzie) I cannot remember his rising to such heights of oratory as he did this afternoon, since he is a Scotsman I would urge him to remember an old Scotch proverb, that when you go up in the clouds be always sure to keep one foot on the ground. I think that is what my hon. friend is not doing.

We were told by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) in his remarks on the address in reply to the speech from the throne to forget all these secondary things, with the grave problems before us; and to put first things first. He lectured the opposition along that line. I believe we should wait for two years and not raise these questions now that are only secondary and might be left over until we get our soldiers in homes, until we provide houses for civilians, until we obtain coal for the winter, until we provide jobs for soldiers and others, until we solve a great many of the serious and complex economic problems that confront this country. Since I was a child I have always made a point of trying to get on with people. Mind you, sir, sometimes some people are hard to get on with, but I always made it a point in life to try to get on with everybody a,s best I could, I am surprised that the Prime Minister is not in this chamber to-day to support what stands in his name before us and to give effect to the preaching on first things first he delivered in this house on many occasions during the war.

The resolution says it is expedient. It is not. It is a life-line thrown out to those who meet in another place today in connection with this resolution to come over and aid us to change the flag. The resolution says that

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this action is expedient. I say that in view of the strikes we have in all parts of Canada, it is not at all expedient at the present time to cause strife over the flag. With industrial conditions as they exist in Canada to-day it is not proper for us to divide our people in their expressions of views as to what a flag should be.

I can remember when the hon. member who has just spoken raised a similar question in the house. And, by the way, he is wasting his time as a member of parliament; had he been a comedian he would have made his fortune. Two bishops, one of them in his church and one in mine, have told me that he seems at times to be the only person in the house with any sense of humour. But I can see this, that he is now preparing himself to go over to another place, with its sepulchred walls, and all that sort of thing, to raise the dead, and seek aid to secure a new flag.

I have been much surprised by the suggestions made in the house, because since becoming a member I have stood by certain principles. I believe this matter should await better days; I have the support of a large majority of the people in Ontario when I oppose this move on a secondary matter at the present time.

Mind you, sir, I want to say to my few fine friends who have moved and seconded this amendment, that the red ensign was never the flag of Canada, and never had any official sanction until an order in council was passed on September 5, 1945, hauling the union jack over this house down.

To support my contention in that regard I have the record, and I shall place it on record. On October 1 of this year I asked these questions:

New flag on parliament building tower

Mr. Church:

1. On whose instructions is a new' flag being flown from the tower of the houses of parliament: who authorized it, and when?

2. Who is in charge of such matters, and of this building?

3. Was such an innovation ever authorized by parliament? If so, when?

4. Who authorized and gave the order to haul down the Union Jack?

5. Have instructions been issued for similar action on other government buildings throughout Canada? If so, at what cost?

6. Why is this innovation carried out without the knowledge or consent of parliament now in session ?

The Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) answered:

1. The red ensign is being flown from the tower of the houses of parliament under authority of order in council P.C. 5888, passed on September 5, 1945, copy of which appears below.

That was the first sanction the government of Canada ever gave to the red ensign. Then the answers continue:

2. The Department of Public Works.

3. The red ensign flew from the tower of the houses of parliament from the days of confederation until 1904.

4. 5 and 6. Answered by No. 1.

Let me say to him that that reply is not correct. At no time did parliament authorize the red ensign, until this order in council was passed on September 5, 1945.

I have before me the various proceedings which have been taken in connection with the flag, and in this connection I cannot help thinking what might have been done in another place on this, matter. Every session during the war I have spoken across the chamber to the Prime Minister, when I have seen those in another place going home, meeting and then adjourning, and have suggested to the government that they be given more work, since therq were many able men over there who could so well do war work anid help the war effort.- But not one iota of war work was given to them during the whole period of the war. This is the first time, under this resolution, that we find any effort to ask those in another place to throw out the life-line and to save the government.

This question was discussed in the house on February 16, 1938, at which time there were placed on record representations from the colonial secretary pointing out that all along the union jack has been the flag of the empire, and that the red ensign was never authorized. My former leader, a great Canadian, supported a flag committee. I did not; I have never yet voted against the party, and I will always support it as long as they will support the principles of a united British empire. But I will support no party in Ontario which fails to stand up for its principles. However, my former leader, a great Britisher, the then Right Hon. R. B. Bennett, now Viscount Bennett, was in the -house at that time. On that occasion someone in Saskatchewan named John F. Steadman, and another gentleman named George S. Hodgins, had written the colonial secretary and had asked questions respecting the flag of Canada. They asked in particular if the red ensign was part of it. Their communications were addressed to the secretary of state for the colonies.

On that occasion in 1938 the Prime Minister rose in his place and practically corroborated what my leader had said, that the union jack has always been the flag of Great Britain and

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of the whole empire, and that it was the official flag of Canada. I will read what was said on that occasion by Viscount Bennett:

It would hardly be correct to say that that was the first official statement as to what the flag of Canada was; for there was a circular showing that the official flag of the whole British empire was what was called the union jack, Hid it was not until long after that that there was any question of any other flag being used. . . .

He means until after those two letters had been written from Saskatchewan. The present Prime Minister in his reply referred to the two letters from Saskatchewan of March 11, 1911, and May 2, 1912-and I am sorry he.is not here to-day-and pointed out that the secretary of state had replied to the governor general, there being no reference to His Majesty or to His Majesty's secretary, that he would be glad if the governor general would cause Mr. Hodgins to be informed that the union flag was the national flag of Canada. .

Therefore it is clear that there is no authorization for the red ensign. This matter was discussed again on February 15, 1939. Speaking in the house on that occasion, I quoted a letter written by the acting under-secretary of state, Mr. W. P. J. O'Meara, in answer to a question regarding an official flag for Canada. Part of that letter was as follows:

The union jack, however, is recognized as the flag to be properly and officially flown on land in Canada.

As regards the Canadian red ensign, there is no law' prohibiting the flying of this ensign on land in Canada. The only regulation of which I am aware respecting the flying of the Canadian red ensign- on land is a special order in council which permits the flying of the ensign over Canada House in London, and the Canadian legations at Paris. Washington and Tokyo. It is also flown on vessels of Canadian registry.

The last sentence is not correct. Since I have come to the house I have numbered among my friends many who come from Quebec, and I hope I shall always do so. -I paid tribute to the French nation in the last war, and on many occasions I have so expressed myself since coming to the house. But I ask hon. members opposite this question : Is this the time or the place, when other vital questions are so complex, for us to haul down the flag, when we have just hauled up the union jack at Hong Kong, Singapore, Burma, and many other places in the British empire, to discuss this matter? At this time, when Great Britain in a grave economic sense is fighting for her very existence, war weary, worn out and seeking food and clothing, and when we in Canada are faced with great questions, should we raise this question? No. Who is responsible for

bringing the matter before the house? Who asked for it? Certainly it was not the opposition; we did not ask for this.

Two years ago I said to the Prime Minister that we were willing to let this matter stand until long after the conclusion of the war, until our soldiers came back, men who could give us advice and guidance. What is the condition to-day? I say that those who have proposed this matter, the government, will have to answer for it before the country

Who is asking for this reform? I can remember last June the Prime Minister of Canada going across this country and making speeches. And may I point out in passing, that in the election campaign I held only one meeting. However, I noticed that the Prime Minister spoke differently in the eight Englishspeaking provinces in connection with some questions from what he did in the other province. Since I have been in the house I never have been one to raise questions which would divide the provinces. I have always believed in the principles of confederation, and the old Cornish battle-cry of "each for all and all for each." What is for the good of one province must be for the benefit of the whole. I am one in this party, to which I have belonged all my life-and my people long before me- who has always followed the principles of the late Sir John A. Macdonald. Those great principles are still carried on by us all these years and in this war and by the government of Canada. What he said in those days is just as relevant to-day. Speaking in Kingston in 1884, he said:

I, therefore, need scarcely state my firm belief that the prosperity of Canada depends upon its permanent connection with the mother ci untry, and that I shall resist to the utmost any attempt, from whatever quarter it may come, which may tend to weaken that union.

Speaking again in 1891, in his last campaign shortly before he died, he said:

For a century and a half this country has grown and flourished under the protecting aegis of the British crown. Under the broad folds of the Union Jack, we enjoy the most ample liberty, we govern ourselves as we please, and at the same time we participate in the advantages which flow with association of the mightiest empire the world has ever seen. As for myself, my course is clear. A British subject I was born and a British subject I will die.

That is still the policy of this country. I ask the hon. member for Temdscouata (Mr. Pouliot)-I am never sure just how that is pronounced; the hon. member for Vancouver North (Mr. Maelnnis), who is reading a newspaper on the front benches, I think is quite correct when he pronounces it "Temisquata" -does he think this is the right time to bring up these matters? Does he not realize that

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were it not for the mother country after Dunkirk, with the aid of the dominions alone, and her magnificent fleet, the people of Quebec, the maritimes and Ontario might have suffered invasion? We would have had the concentration camps, the whip, the gestapo, the loud speakers and other horrors of occupation, and thousands of our population would have been shipped away to Germany to work. The mother country, saved us from all this, when she had to go -it all alone after Dunkirk, except for the dominions. There were hundreds of fine young men from Quebec also there, and but for the efforts I have mentioned we would have suffered the awful horrors of war on oUr own soil.

Is this the time and place to 'raise this question? The flag flown by the merchant marine was never the flag of this country. I appreciate that the soldiers may do what they like over there about a flag, because they were saving us from the awful horrors of war and many other things. They have a perfect right to say what flag they want for this country, and for 'that reason I think we should leave the determination of this matter until they all come back.

I am really surprised at the government bringing on a question like this at this time, when we have so many other urgent matters to consider. I would point out that if we on this side of the house agree to this motion we shall be agreeing to five or six other things. The Minister of Justice (Mr. St. Laurent), for whom I have the utmost respect, told us the other day that they are going to consider the abolition of appeals to the privy council. I may say also myself they are going to have a new national anthem, and now we are going to have a new flag. It is intended to abolish appeals to the privy council, to have a Canadian governor general and to make Canada completely independent of the empire. It was suggested in San Francisco that we should join the pan-American union. If we are going to do these things we should tell the mother country at once.

As Mr. Churchill said, it was a miracle that in the last war one million men came from the dominions when they were not asked to come by the mother country. One hundred and thirty thousand of our men fell on the battlefields, and they are buried there in France and Belgium and will remain until the resurrection morning. Those men went over there voluntarily, with their own status of sovereignty and autonomy. They went to the side of the mother country. Thousands and thousands of the boys from my city lie buried to-day in France and Belgium, while many more lost their lives on the seven seas.

47696-124i

I have a high regard for the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes), but I think it would be better if we allowed this question to stand until the boys come home. I say as a member of the opposition that I will not support the motion. I will not consider any change in our flag at the present time. I do not believe this is the time to change it. You can read, sir, what is in some of our newspapers. They are changing their views about the flag all the time. You will not find in the newspapers much, if anything that I say. I am ready to support the policies as to Canada and the empire which our leaders in the past have supported. Do you think the men who represented Ontario in other days would be considering things like this if they were here? Shades of Wallace and McCarthy! I say no.

The Toronto Star says that we are an Ontario party. We are not an Ontario party; we are a national party. We are the only party that has supported these British and empire principles all through the years. I have the highest regard and respect for our present leader. He is a different type of member of parliament and representative in the house from some of those I have known for many years. We have had many able leaders in the past, great men who led our part of the empire, and I always got on well with all of them. Our present leader is a man of very high character, a man who has done a great deal for the people of this country. I met him first in connection with sports in Winnipeg and Toronto years ago. because I am more of a sportsman than a politician.

I notice the Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Mackenzie) smiling. I call him the master of ceremonies, which I think is the perfect title. He rises and announces the business of the house, and apparently he wants to discuss the flag all day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I ask him first to get rid of the red British flags that are placed outside the homes of our veterans when their chattels are put on the street.on eviction orders. That is what is happening in Toronto and the township of York.

Topic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDEB AND REPORT ON SUITABLE DESIGN
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Before calling it six

o'clock, I should like to give my ruling on the amendment moved by the hon. member for Nanaimo. The main motion proposes to refer to a joint committee of both houses of parliament the question of adopting a suitable design for a distinctive national flag. The amendment moved by the hon. member for Nanaimo proposes to modify the motion by substituting for the appointment of a committee the immediate adoption of the Canadian red ensign as the national flag. He is

Canadian Flag

therefore proposing to amend the main motion before it is referred to a special committee. Such an amendment cannot be allowed. It is prohibited by standing order 50 of the rules of the House of Commons, which reads as follows:

A motion to refer a bill, resolution or any question to the committee of the whole or any standing or special committee shall preclude all amendment of the main question.

I therefore rule the amendment out of order.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDEB AND REPORT ON SUITABLE DESIGN
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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, before the house

rose at six o'clock you made a decision declaring the amendment moved by the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes) out of order. I understand that we are precluded from any debate on your ruling. But in view of the fact that in our judgment the standing order you quoted in declaring the amendment out of order was not intended to cover such an amendment, under these circumstances, with all respect to Your Honour, I must appeal from your decision.

Mr. Speaker put the question as follows:

On the resolution moved this afternoon by Mr. Ilsley:

That in the opinion of this house, it is expedient that Canada possess a distinctive national flag and that a joint committee of the Senate and the House of Commons be appointed to consider and report upon a suitable design for such a flag; .

That standing order 65 of the House of Commons be suspended in relation thereto;

That the said committte have power to send for persons, papers and records to aid in the discharge of its functions; and

That a message be sent to the Senate to inform their honours that the House of Commons has appointed this committee and to request their honours to appoint members of the Senate to act thereon with the members of the House of Commons as a joint committee of both houses.

Mr. Pearkes moved as an amendment, seconded by Mr. Merritt:

That all the words after the word "expedient" in the first line be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

"that Canada adopt the present Canadian red ensign as the official national flag."

Before calling six o'clock, I ruled the amendment out of order, taking into consideration

[Mr. Speaker.!

standing order 50, of Standing Orders oi the House of Commons, 1927 edition, which reads as follows: >

A motion to refer a bill, resolution or any question to the committee of the whole, or any standing or special committee shall preclude all amendment of the main question.

The leader of the opposition appeals from that decision. Is it the pleasure of the house that the Speaker's decision be sustained?

Topic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDEB AND REPORT ON SUITABLE DESIGN
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PC

Grote Stirling

Progressive Conservative

Mr. STIRLING:

I was paired with the

Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell). Had I

voted I would have voted against the Speaker's

ruling.

Topic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDEB AND REPORT ON SUITABLE DESIGN
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PC

John Thomas Hackett

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HACKETT:

: I wa3 paired with the

Minister of National Defence (Mr. Abbott).

Had I voted I would have voted against the

Speaker's ruling.

Topic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDEB AND REPORT ON SUITABLE DESIGN
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PC

Arza Clair Casselman (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CASSELMAN:

I was paired with the

Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier). Had

I voted I would have voted against the

Speaker's ruling.

Mr. MoGREGOR: I was paired with the hon. member for Hamilton East (Mr. Ross). Had I voted I would have voted against the Speakei-'s ruling.

Topic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDEB AND REPORT ON SUITABLE DESIGN
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PC

George Russell Boucher

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BOUCHER:

I was paired with the hon. member for Ottawa West (Mr. Mcllraith). Had I voted I would .have voted against the Speaker's ruling.

Topic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDEB AND REPORT ON SUITABLE DESIGN
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PC

Winfield Chester Scott McLure

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McLURE:

I was paired with the hon.. member for Queens (Mr. Douglas). Had I voted I would have voted against the Speaker's ruling.

Topic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDEB AND REPORT ON SUITABLE DESIGN
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CCF

William Scottie Bryce

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. BRYCE:

I was paired with the hon. member for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Leader). Had I voted I would have voted against the Speaker's ruling.

Topic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDEB AND REPORT ON SUITABLE DESIGN
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PC

Arthur Leroy Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SMITH (Calgary West):

I was paired with the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. MacKinnon). Had I voted I would have voted against the Speaker's ruling.

Topic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDEB AND REPORT ON SUITABLE DESIGN
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LIB

Joseph-Adéodat Blanchette (Chief Government Whip's assistant; Deputy Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. BLANCHETTE:

I was paired with the hon. member for Wentworth (Mr. Leonard). Had I voted I would have voted to sustain the Speaker's decision.

Topic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDEB AND REPORT ON SUITABLE DESIGN
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PC

Alan Cockeram

Progressive Conservative

Mr. COCKERAM:

I was paired with the hon. member for Algoma West (Mr. Nixon). Had I voted I would have voted against the Speaker's ruling.

Topic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDEB AND REPORT ON SUITABLE DESIGN
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LIB

Maurice Hallé

Liberal

Mr. HALLE:

I was paired with the hon. member for Weyburn (Mr. McKay). Had I voted I would have voted in favour of the Speaker's ruling.

Topic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDEB AND REPORT ON SUITABLE DESIGN
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LIB

John Eachern (Jack) Smith

Liberal

Mr. SMITH (York North):

I was paired with the hon. member for Victoria, Ontario (Mr. Hodgson). Had I voted I would have voted to sustain the Speaker's ruling.

Topic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDEB AND REPORT ON SUITABLE DESIGN
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November 8, 1945