November 8, 1945

IND

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I did not ask a question; I rose on a question of privilege.

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

John Ritchie MacNicol

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacNICOL:

When my hon. friend

was concluding what he said just a moment ago I took it, as I presume everyone else took it, that he was opposed to the union jack or any part of the union jack being on the Canadian .flag.

Topic:   CANADIAN FLAG
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IND

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Or the French tricolour,

either.

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PC

John Ritchie MacNicol

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacNICOL:

Well, I am not arguing

what should be on it-

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IND

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

You might state what

should not be on it.

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LIB

William Ross Macdonald (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The DEPUTY SPEAKER:

May I again

remind hon. members that conversations must not take place between them. Each hon. member when rising must address the Chair.

Topic:   CANADIAN FLAG
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PC

John Ritchie MacNicol

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacNICOL:

Well, Mr. Speaker, this

argument commenced when I started to ask what would be on the flag, but I will forget about that for a moment.

On twelve of the principal national flags in the world there are horizontal bars, each flag having three. I will not support any flag that has only horizontal bars on it; red, white and blue; red, white and black; yellow, pink and green or anything else. Five of them

Canadian Flag

have perpendicular bars, and five have perpendicular or horizontal bars with something superimposed. I would not support any flag like that; I would not want to live in a country that had a flag like that. Flags of that kind did not cut much of a figure in the recent war. The flags that cut the figure were the stars and stripes south of the line and the union jack or the Canadian flag north of the line. Those were the flags that won out in the end, not these barred flags, which really represent little.

What I really want to know from these hon. gentlemen who are advocating a distinctive flag is, what do they mean by that and what do they want on it? They are opposed to anything pertaining to the union jack being on it-I have just said that again-but what do they want on it? We on this side of the house will go the limit to see that the union jack is on any flag that flies over this country.

I do not know t-iat there is much more I can say. One thing is certain; I will go before the committee when it is set up to argue that any flag flying over this country shall have on it the union jack in the most prominent place, the upper Left hand corner next to the flag staff. I am not going to take any further time, because if I did I would set out the arguments I am going to advance before the committee.

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PC

Thomas Ashmore Kidd

Progressive Conservative

Mr. T. A. KIDD (Kingston City):

After what was said this afternoon at three o'clock, Mr. Speaker, I wish to say that I do not agree with all the statements that have been made so far, and for that reason I ask the indulgence of the house for a moment or two to present my views. The resolution as we have it at the moment is as follows:

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 committee 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.

This resolution is divided in two parts. First, it states that in the opinion of this house it is expedient that Canada should possess a distinctive national flag; second, that in the opinion of this house a joint committee of the Senate and House of Commons should be appointed to consider and report

upon a suitable design for such flag. This is not the first or second time a resolution concerning the flag has appeared on the order paper. If, sir, you turn back the pages of. the debates in this House of Commons you will find that during the 'past twenty years the flag question has come up many times; but there is a difference between the resolution of to-day and those which were presented on previous occasions. This resolution is sponsored by the government. On previous occasions such resolutions were sponsored by private members, as was explained this afternoon by the acting leader of the house (Mr. Mackenzie). In 1938, seven years ago, the resolution was sponsored by Mr. Cameron R. McIntosh, then member for North Battleford. That resolution, which appears at page 411 of Hansard for 1938, was as follows:

That, in the opinion of this house, a special select committee be appointed for the purpose of considering the advisability of adopting a distinctive Canadian flag, representing Canada as a whole, thereby symbolizing the dominion senior partner in the British commonwealth of nations.

This resolution only called for the appointment of a special select committee. Although it became what is called a perennial resolu- [DOT] tion, coming up at many sessions, at no time was it acceptable to the house; in every case it was turned down.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

I do not want to interrupt my hon. friend, but was it not allowed to die on the order paper? It was not turned down, as I understand it.

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PC

Thomas Ashmore Kidd

Progressive Conservative

Mr. KIDD:

It was not voted down; that is correct. At page 436 of Hansard for February 14, 1938, the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) said:

Difficulties having arisen in Canadian government offices abroad, due to the lack of a distinctive Canadian flag, an order in council dated January 26, 1924, was passed, authorizing the flying of the red ensign, with the Canadian coat-of-arms on the fly. . . .

This reference is brought before the house to let it be known that permission to fly the red ensign from all buildings owned and occupied by the Canadian government and situated outside Canada was authorized by order in council, under the present Prime Minister, and no authority was given by act of parliament. Only a few days ago, when the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Church) asked the government on what authority the red ensign was flown from the parliament buildings, he was told that it was by authority of an order in council passed on September 5, 1945. Permission to fly the red ensign over the parliament buildings to-day has not been granted by an act of parliament.

Canadian Flag

Three years prior to the McIntosh resolution, that is ten years ago, in January, 1935, as will be seen in the debates of the House of Commons for that year at page 199, Mr. Dickie of Nanaimo sponsored the following resolution, which is a little different again:

That, in the opinion of this house, a national flag representing the Dominion of Canada should be adopted.

And that in any design for a Canadian flag the union jack must be conspicuous.

To this motion an amendment was moved by Mr. Arthurs. This resolution was quite specific; it asked that in any design for a Canadian flag the union jack should be conspicuous. The same resolution was brought forward a year later; again it was not accepted by the house. If the resolution now before us is not opposed it will mean that by his silence every hon. member will approve what? That it is expedient for Canada to possess a distinctive national flag. It is for this reason -that I have risen to make it known that in my opinion the flag question should not be injected into the business of this session. This is not the time to change the flag. Only recently, during the present victory loan campaign, the national finance committee released figures showing that 37,963 Canadian service men have been killed since 1939. Some 53,073 Canadian service men have been wounded, and 2,866 Canadians are missing. This means that in this war about 40,000 men have enlisted and given their lives for the principles for which the union jack stands.

In the first world war some 60,000 Canadians gave their lives. This means that in the two world wars over 100,000 of Canada's young manhood paid the supreme sacrifice. When reference is made to the 100,000 Canadians who gave their lives for Canada and the empire, and to those things for which the union jack stands, one must not overlook the fact that there are dozens, scores and hundreds of families who mourn to-day the losses of their sons, husbands and brothers overseas, who fought with the British expeditionary forces, in the army, in the navy, and particularly in the Royal Air Force. Those men gave their lives in Africa, in Malta, in the English channel and in the North sea. Many of those men left to join the empire forces in 1938 and 1939.

It will be noted that the resolution is dated September 27, a date following the opening of this session of parliament. Casualty lists of those who paid the supreme sacrifice are still appearing in the daily press. I hold in my hand one dated in October, containing the names of nearly sixty Canadians who gave their lives for Canada, their country and their flag.

There are many reasons why in this session of 1945 the Canadian flag should not be interjected into issues before parliament. The flag question is a contentious one, and has been for twenty years. I do not hesitate to say that the tabling of this resolution, as it appears on the order paper, is an error in judgment on the part of the government. I also maintain that it would have been better if the resolution had not been called at this time. It will be noted that it appears in the name of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), who is to-day absent from the house.

During the leadership of the Prime Minister, when he has occupied seats on both sides of the house, he has never failed to make it known that he was always on the side of those who were anxious to change the flag. If any hon. member cares to have the Prime Minister's views on the flag question, all that is necessary for him to do is to turn back to the pages in the debates of the House of Commons referred to this afternoon by the leader of the house. On February 14, 1938, as reported at page 480 of Hansard, are set out the personal views of the Prime Minister, in thirteen columns of Hansard. At that time the matter was not proceeded with, and it was finally dropped because it was thought undesirable to press it, in view of other business.

To-day reference has been made to the solidarity of the empire. I say in all seriousness that in Canada for many years a certain element has been trying to use its influence to weaken the ties which bind Canada and the empire. They advocate the appointment of Canadian governors general, the doing away with appeals to the privy council, a change in the flag, and a change in Canadian citizenship.

Since the first world war an imperial conference was held in the old country, and also here in Ottawa. During those many years distinguished British citizens have paid visits to Canada. I might refer to half a dozen organizations, including the empire parliamentary association, the press association, the bar association, the association of mining and metallurgy, and visits of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and His Royal Highness Prince George, accompanied by the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and the visits of Their Majesties the King and Queen. Deputations such as these have been coming to Canada year in and year out, May I add that nearly every year since confederation Canadian representatives acting on behalf of the government of Canada have visited the mother country, thus cementing Canada and the empire. In spite of this, nothing has cemented Canada and the empire more effectively than the part this country played during world war I and world war II.

Canadian Flag

In both those wars nearly 100,000 Canadians gave their lives. In the first great war 60,000 were left in Flanders fields, and 40,000 gave their lives in world war II. The bonds of sentiment and friendship welded through the loss of those lives have been much greater than the influence of the various deputations.

Those boys gave their lives for the flag we have to-day. Has parliament a mandate to pull down the union jack? There is a following in Canada to-day who feel that the present government has no mandate to pull down that flag. They say that this is a major question. If so grave a step is to be taken and since this is the first time it appears on the order paper as a government' measure, whatever fact-finding the government may obtain by so doing, no definite move should be made until they have a clear mandate from the Canadian people.

Reference was made this evening to Sir John A. Macdonald by the hon. member for Broadview. It so happens that I have the honour to represent the constituency which at one time he represented, and I should like to enlarge upon that thought. In his election campaign of 1844 Sir John A. Macdonald made a statement to the free and independent electorate of the town of Kingston, and placed before them his manifesto, a copy of which I hold in my hand, but which I shall not read. He was elected on this in 1844:

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

Sir John said that in 1844. Then, what do we find? Forty-seven years later in February, 1891, he was again elected in reaffirming Canada's relationship to the British empire, when 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, to govern ourselves as we please, and at the same time we participate in the advantages which flow with the association of the mightiest empire the world has ever seen.

He concluded with this statement:

As for myself my course is clear: A British subject I was born, a British subject I will die.

I referred to that for this reason, that during his half century in public life Sir John A. Macdonald saw many troublesome days. He lived through the years which led up to confederation in 1837 and the troublesome years of 1866 and 1870. Yet during all that time Canadians knew where they stood in their relationship to the British empire.

For a moment I should like to make reference to the Canadian army battle flag. When considering the flag question, one cannot but look back with a certain amount of amusement at the steps taken at the time the flag was given to the first Canadian division when they sailed from Halifax in December, 1939. As to its nomenclature, one is more or less at a loss to know whether to refer to it as the Canadian army battle-flag, the battle-flag of Canada, or the McNaughton flag.

There is no mistake, in fact, that the launching and the production of this flag just at that time, and particularly the method in which it was done, gave those advocates of a new flag for Canada exactly what they wanted. The question to-day is: Where is the

McNaughton flag? What has become of it?

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PC

Wilfrid Garfield Case

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CASE:

It is not in North Grey, I can tell you that.

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PC

Thomas Ashmore Kidd

Progressive Conservative

Mr. KIDD:

Why was it discarded? If at that time it was the wish of the government that it should be Canada's battle-flag, why is it not the flag which is flying over the parliament buildings at the present time? An Ottawa dispatch has this to say with reference to the Canadian flag:

The new flag is claimed to be more striking and gorgeous than any other national emblem. It is laid out on a gleaming white field, featuring the union jack, the fleur-de-lis and maple leaf. It provides, authorities claim, an ensign of proper heraldic significance for Canada.

And again:

If Canada is to have its own flag there could be no more suitable beginning than at this memorable moment and the true place for the flag's baptism is over the camp of Canada's first expeditionary force.

The Montreal Standard of February 17, 1945, makes this comment about the Canadian flag:

This is the flag w'hich now waves proudly over General McNaughton's headquarters in England, having been authorized for use by the Canadian active service force. It was seen for the first time when it flew at the masthead of the O.C.'s ship in the convoy which bore the first contingent to the other side. For the first time Canadians go overseas to fight with their own flag.

That was the sentiment with regard to the flag. I say that this is not the time for Canada to change her flag. The time is most inopportune, because some foreign observers, not understanding, might interpret such an occasion -to the effect that Canada is weakening her stand with the empire. When we think of all that the old flag stands for, all those who have lived under it and those who went away cheerfully to die for it, the principles for which

Canadian Flag

it stands, could we really welcome another? Do you want to desert the union jack, that flag which has never deserted you?

Someone has written that we are all British .subjects and that the proper flag to fly on land to-day is the union jack. It is the flag under which we won our empire and the freedom which we all enjoy. It was under the union jack that Great Britain and the empire stood alone in the dark days of 1940. Just as the Prime Minister was wrong and made an error of judgment in attempting to comply with the wishes of his friends who were desirous of a new Canadian flag in 1925, he has set out now to mend his bridges. What do we find? On September 6, 1945, the speech from the throne carried' the following reference:

The. government has directed that, pending approval by parliament of a particular design, the Canadian red ensign which was the flag carried into battle by the Canadian army, and which was flown from the peace tower on V-K day and Y-J day as a tribute to the valour of our armed forces and to Canada's achievements in war, may be displayed wherever place or occasion makes it desirable to fly a distinctive Canadian flag.

On September 21, the Toronto Globe and Mail carried a dispatch of an interview with the Secretary of State (Mr. Martin) as follows:

Of them all, Mr. Martin said: "They show that Canadians all across the country are keenly interested in a distinctive national flag. You can see that they . . . have put genuine time, thought and skill into their work.

Just at that time the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) saw fit to give the Canadian ensign precedence over the union jack in the literature for the national war finance committee as set out for his present victory loan. These statements and actions are by no means an accident; they are carefully planned and thought out.

Sometimes one hesitates to say very much about the union jack and the British empire, because a certain so-called1 type of Britisher who has come to Canada during the last few years accuses Canadians who take the stand on behalf of Canada and the empire, as being more British than the British, but to that element I would say: You are more Canadian than the Canadians. Can one go so far as to visualize what would happen in Canada should the present union jack be supplemented by a new flag? The same element never fails to mention the statute of Westminster and the British commonwealth of nations. [DOT]

I happened to be in the British isles, and I visited Eire, the south of Ireland, in 1932 when the imperial conference was meeting

here in Ottawa. One bright spot of that conference was the publicity Canada and Ottawa received in the London papers. Each day the London Times ran an Ottawa column. However, on visiting Dublin I found a most hostile feeling toward Great Britain. Dozens of flags of all the various nations of the world were flying on the docks, but there was one particular flag absent, the union jack. There is no doubt in the world that if this parliament changes the union jack it. would please the element who hold the same views as Mr. de Valera and his followers, and it would be only a short time until the union jack disappeared.

Arguments are being set forth by those who support a new flag for Canada, that Canada should have a new governor general, that our Canadian national anthem should replace "God save the King", and they refer to Australia, South Africa and the Olympic sports. All these points were set forth by the Prime Minister in 1938. Conditions have not changed materially since then, with the exception of the odd few legations which have been opened.

This afternoon the minister referred to various dates upon which this flag question was dealt with, but he did not refer to what occurred in this house two years ago. On July 5, 1943, at page 4332 of Hansard, the following questions were asked by the hon. member for Quebec-Montmorency (Mr. LaCroix):

1. In the event of a victory for the united nations in Europe, will the Canadian forces take part in the victory parade?

2. If so, what flag will be used to show their nationality?

1. Have the United States forces now' in England a national flag?

2. Have the Australian, New Zealand and South African forces now serving outside of their respective territories a national flag?

3. Have the British forces now serving outside of England a national flag?

4. Have the Canadian forces now serving outside of Canadian territory a national flag?

5. If so, what flag is it? If not, why?

1. Is the red ensign, in which the Union Jack appears at the top left quarter, near the pole, and the arms of Canada at the fly end, the official flag of Canada?

2. If so, why is this flag not displayed on the main tower of the parliament buildings?

3. If not, has Canada a national flag?

I refer to that because it is interesting to note what the Prime Minister said at that time. He is reported on page 4333 of Hansard of July 5, 1943, as follows:

I must say, Mr. Speaker, that in reading over these questions I have asked myself several times whether the hon. member who has asked them does appreciate that at the present time

Canadian Flag

the world is engaged in a war in which the whole future of civilization anil freedom itself is at stake. The questions are not asked for the purpose of securing information, because I have already answered questions with regard to a Canadian flag. They are asked to add fuel to a possible flame of controversy with respect to the flag in a time of war. I refuse to make any further answer to the hon. member with respect to the questions which he has asked in regard to the flag.

At this time surely hon. members of parliament must realize that there is a condition existing in the world that is more serious than any that has ever existed heretofore. They must further, if they are at all appreciative of what is reported in the press from day to day, realize that events the like of which none of us is able to contemplate are likely to take place in the course of a very few days, if I may go that far. In these circumstances, Mr. Speaker, is this country to have a flag controversy to be added to the other factors that may make for disunion at a time when above all else unity is required?

So he continued:

I speak with feeling, Mr. Speaker, because I believe that before this summer is over this house will have strong reason to see the wisdom of not permitting anything in the nature of controversy' to anise at this time when there is need for the greatest possible unity on all sides.

The questions brought up by the hon. member for Quebec-Montmorency (Mr. LaCroix) and the answers of the Prime Minister are most enlightening. What happened?

One would have considered that the remarks on that occasion by the Prime Minister would have been final, but it is most interesting to see what happened the same afternoon, only a few minutes afterwards.

The Minister of Justice (Mr. St. Laurent), who is also member for Quebec East, speaking on an amendment to the British North America Act to postpone the adjustments to representation, interjected the flag issue and spoke at some length, taking that opportunity of making known his views. What did he say? I quote now from Hansard of Monday, July 5, 1943, page 4338:

On the merits, no one can deny that it would be reasonable for the Canadian nation to signify its national status by a distinctive national flag and a distinctive national anthem. Who among us was not deeply moved when he heard Mr. Anthony Eden describe the landing in the British isles of our first expeditionary-force in this war?

He also placed on Hansard Mr. Anthony Eden's description of the Canadians landing in the British isles, as well as an article which appeared in Saturday Night. He further commented, as reported in Hansard, pagr 4338:

. . . desirable as it may be to have a distinctive flag and a distinctive anthem, the selection of the flag and the selection of the anthem would) he apt to give rise to such differences of opinion and such debates that it seems the

counsel of wisdom not to take our minds off the problems of the war in these critical days to devote the necessary time and attention to debates about matters which, though they are important, are nevertheless of concern only to ourselves.

My particular reason for bringing this to the attention of the house is this. Here we have the hon. member for Quebec-Montmorency placing this question on the order paper, and the hon. member for Quebec East going out of his way to express his views. Are we to understand that it is from this quarter that pressure is being put upon the Prime Minister to take the action he now does?

The Minister of Justice seemed delighted with the idea of placing on Hansard a comment to this effect:

If the strains of "0 Canada" announcing to the British people that Canada was fighting by their side, were a noble and inspiring element in one of the great scenes of history, why should not a Canadian flag, proclaiming to all the world the same announcement eves before the music broke, have been equally noble and inspiring?

May I say to the Minister of Justice that I differ from his view. I hesitate to be personal in my remarks, *but the fact that in 1914-thirty-one years ago-and at that time you, sir, were thirty-one years younger than you are to-day-the first men to leave Quebec city were those who had the honour to serve in the Eighth Royal regiment under the command of Colonel (later Sir) David Watson. These men from Quebec city were brought together to form the old original Second Battalion, First Division, with whom I had the honour to serve.

With these men from Quebec city in the Eighth Royal regiment we all went through Valcartier and Salisbury Plains, boarded the steamer Cassandra of the Donaldson lines, sailed with the first convoy across the Atlantic, landed at Plymouth, and the boys from Quebec and Ontario went down the same gangplank together. In those days it was "God Save the King" and the union jack.

The trouble in Canada has been that the demand for a new flag has been most vehemently urged by Canadians who have no sentimental attachment to the British isles and are inclined to be more critical of England than of any other country.

Does the Prime Minister intend to pass further orders in council re the flag? Does he intend to make his desire for a new flag retroactive? Who is asking for a new flag? The women's organizations, the Canadian Legion and the Canadian Corps Association have not embarked on a campaign for a new flag. Business houses and service centres find

Canadian Flag

it possible to continue doing business without a "distinctive flag." Veterans and returned soldiers are not asking for the union jack to be done away with. Why should the Prime Minister, on the authority of an order in council, replace the union jack by the red: ensign at the opening of parliament, when he designated the red 'ensign as a makeshift flag? There is no doubt in the world that the introduction of the resolution is nothing more than another one of those election promises of the Prime Minister, made to those supporters of his who year in and year out have been on his doorstep seeking this change. So that I would make these general observations on the subject.

It is difficult to understand the anxiety of the government to launch this question of a new Canadian flag at this time. The government has in the past six years been very diligent in proclaiming its desire to preserve "Canadian unity".

No subject will rend the nation from the Atlantic to the Pacific as completely as the discussion of this subject at this time. Why is it necessary? There is sufficient confusion at present. It is probable that the whole matter will be misunderstood and be pointed to as evidence that Canada is taking advantage of her present success to weaken imperial ties.

The union jack has served through three wars: the South African, the first world war of 1914-18, and 1939-45. We are proud of the position won by our fighting men in these wars and their service was always under the union jack.

In churches, in public buildings, in memorial halls, the union jack has been placed to represent the sentiments of all who have served and made sacrifices, even unto life itself. Is this the time to raise any discussion as to whether it should be replaced by a flag .that has had no association with these efforts?

One of our greatest dangers to-day is that we as legislators may misunderstand the feelings of those who have served and make wrong use of the service that they have rendered. I submit that this subject should be left until they are once more back in Canadian life and are prepared to act in regard to this matter.

It may be stated that the use of the red ensign during this war indicates the present need of a change. As a matter of fact, it was used as a map location and designated the position of the Canadian army much in the same way as the patches designated the division to which a soldier belonged.

It was a matter of great surprise to many people and created doubts in their minds when the red ensign and not the union jack was used over the parliament buildings at the opening of parliament.

It was only a few years ago that our Prime Minister designated the red ensign as a "makeshift flag". Is it now being used for the same purpose ?

I submit that no good purpose will be served at this present time by distracting the minds of the Canadian people with such a discussion as will assuredly lead to much bitterness.

The fact that this resolution has been tabled as a government measure makes it difficult if not impossible for government supporters in all parties to take any other position than a party view of it.

This should be opposed by all citizens independent of party allegiance.

In closing, may I say that I know of no place in the British empire more sacred than the grave of the Unknown Soldier at Westminster. Those who have been there will have seen the tablet, and on it the inscription:

For God

For King and Country

For Loved Ones-Home and Empire

For the Sacred cause of Justice and Freedom of the World

1930-Nov. 11th.

The tablet is there. The flag is there. At the first column to the left you will see the old union jack of the empire; and when inquiries are made, where did the union jack come from? You are told that it is known as the padre's flag, the flag wrapped around many of the soldiers of the last war who paid the supreme sacrifice.

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PC

Julian Harcourt Ferguson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. H. FERGUSON (Simcoe North):

In my opinion the members of this house have heard to-day some of the worst words of sacrilege ever spoken with reference to that great flag known as the union jack. It has been used to-day to bring about the cessation of a necessary effort to stop a serious strike, to relieve men and women depending upon those who served in the armed forces, to bring loved ones back to the country, to keep men from working who should be employed now and who were in the armed forces of Canada. That great flag has been.used for that purpose to-day.

What ulterior motive is behind all this I am not sure. This flag, the union jack which it is suggested now should be changed for another one, is the very symbol which this country is looking for at the present time to establish firmly the unity that we hear spoken of so flippantly in this house from time to

Canadian Flag

time. I listened carefully to what the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr., Coldwell) said, and I hope I am speaking loud enough for him to-night. He declared that Canada needed a new flag and a new national anthem. Let me remind the hon. gentleman that there are people in this country who were living here long before he thought of coming to Canada and were satisfied with that flag and that national anthem.

Let me briefly go over the history of that flag so far as we in Canada are concerned. We expect in this country to build a great nation wherein there will be freedom for all, including freedom of enterprise, and we can achieve this purpose only by recalling the traditions associated with that flag and the part which our forefathers played in preserving it for us. Let me say to French-Canadian members whose ancestry in this country goes back a hundred years or more, that no man in this house with such an ancestry, dating back four or five generations, should forget the facts connected with the flag.

That bit of bunting known as the union jack is the flag that united this country and united it in a most peculiar manner. It was the flag that was carried up the heights of Abraham where two armies under two generals, French and British, met. They fought a great battle. One was defeated and one victorious, and at that time there was created in this dominion a spirit of unity which unfortunately in the past thirty years has disintegrated, at least to a considerable degree. That unity which was created on the plains of Abraham between your forefathers and mine served us on the St. Lawrence river, at Fort York and on Queenston Heights, even while the British overseas were [DOT] fighting Napoleon. At that time your ancestors and mine united to fight, the common enemy and keep this country free for uS all under the union jack.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I suggest that the hon. gentleman should address the Chair.

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PC

Julian Harcourt Ferguson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FERGUSON:

I will address the Chair, Mr. Speaker, but my words concerning the union jack will be no less sincere. The unity which some hon. members and new arrivals in Canada are endeavouring to break asunder is that unity for the preservation of which I appeal to members of this house who are descendants of those gallant French Canadians. Some hon. members know that what I say is right because we have discussed it between ourselves outside this house. They know that their forefathers and ours fought

under that same flag. If they want a new flag to-day I pray that the symbol of unity which was preserved on the plains of Abraham be retained in a prominent position on that flag, so that the descendants of those gallant Frenchman and myself, as a decendant of the British, may look with pride upon that flag as the symbol which binds us together in a great dominion.

The people who emigrated to this country from parts of Europe have lived here for sixty or seventy years-Poles, Scandinavians and others-and 'in the last war as well as in this one they did not ask, "What is your religion and from whom are you descended?" They rallied to the flag and went overseas, and their record speaks for itself. In this war when Canada faced a crisis, when France had thrown down her arms and the people of those little islands over there were facing a vast army of destruction, we in this country had a rallying symbol, the union jack, and people of all nationalities who had contributed to the building up of this part of the north American continent volunteered, went overseas and died.

We have now a task to fulfil and, as a mark of our appreciation of their sacrifices, we must go on and build up Canada in that spirit of unity. We cannot do it if the Canadian people or those who are now in power advocate a flag that has no evidence of the traditions under which this country has been built up. We must display that union jack prominently, putting an end to our petty prejudices and doing all we can to promote peace. If we carry on with that flag as our symbol for right, we cannot help but to succeed. I say to every member of the house who will be going back to his constituency, whether in Ontario or in British Columbia or in any other province: Think hard; think well before you acquiesce in the abolition of the union jack, our national flag.

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SC

Norman Jaques

Social Credit

Mr. NORMAN JAQUES (Wetaskiwin):

I have no wish to add to the "57" varieties, nor do I wish to cast reflection on any member of this house, but I cannot help asking myself whether there is a hidden meaning behind or underneath this demand for a national flag and a national anthem, because I know very well that the main drive for these national emblems proceeds from those very people who are opposed to nationalism to-day, and are determined to internationalize this country and all other countries^

Let me go back a few years. I think it was in April of 1943, at a meeting which was held in Ottawa, that the editor of Saturday Night, one of the leading weeklies of this country, advocated that the loyalty of the

Canadian Flag

people of Canada should be weaned away from the crown to something wider than the crown, than Canada, than the empire, or even than democracy. I remember rising in my place in this house and denouncing that statement. What did I earn for myself? From one end of Canada to the other I was abused by many of these very people who now demand a Canadian national flag and anthem. One week after I made my protest Secretary Henry Morgenthau disclosed-and I shall now quote from the press dispatch from Washington, which is as follows:

Secretary Henry Morgenthau disclosed today-

That was one week after the meeting was held here in Ottawa.

comprehensive administration plans to stabilize post-war currencies and fix their value in terms of gold. The plans involve-

, I shall read just the last paragraph:

Both plans entail the establishment of a stabilization fund to be managed by an international bank, vitally important because it would mean that participating countries would lose control over the value of their currencies. . . . This control would be vested in the bank, not in a parliament or a congress, and if a country wanted the rate lowered or increased it could only appeal to the bank, not take action itself.

It was explained at that meeting in Ottawa that we must surrender our control over our finances, natural resources, immigration and several other things. It is these people who to-day are so keen on a Canadian flag and a Canadian national anthem. Only last February a secret meeting in Chatham House, London, England, was attended by, among others, the editor of the Winnipeg Free Press, which was more outspoken than anybody else in denouncing me in 1943 when I objected to the surrender of Canadian sovereignty-

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LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. GAUTHIER (Portneuf):

You had

good publicity.

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SC

Norman Jaques

Social Credit

Mr. JAQUES:

-and attended also by

Leslie Roberts, a communist. What was their purpose in meeting in London last February? It was to plot the dissolution of the British empire-to break up the only league of nations that has ever proved its worth.

This afternoon an hon. member spoke of the soul of the nation. I take it that the soul of a nation is its sovereignty. Let us take care that we do not exchange the substance for the shadow; and when we raise a Canadian flag and when we sing a Canadian anthem, let us make sure that there will be a sovereign Canadian people and not merely the helots of a world dictatorship.

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PC

Wilfrid Garfield Case

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. G. CASE (Grey North):

I thought I should like to place myself on record in regard to the issue of the flag and what I consider to be possibly one of the most memorable debates that will ever take place in this chamber of the House of Commons. I listened with great interest to the words-I might say inspiring words-of the hon. member for Simcoe North (Mr. Ferguson), who, I happen to know, enlisted as a very young man in the first great war and won for himself theMilitary Cross. I have it from the officersunder whom he served that he was one of the best fighters who ever stood in shoe-leather. I think all who heard him recognize that he deserves that compliment. I know, Mr. Speaker, that what he said to us to-night

came indeed from his heart and from his sense of reverence to a great symbol.

May I say to my hon. friends that when we come to deal with the issue of the flag we are talking in the abstract, so to speak. There is to be a reference to a committee of this house to determine a design for a distinctly national flag. In the main I doubt whether we are very far apart in many respects, but there is something about the tradition of the emblem which has served us all down through the ages and under which we have indeed made our progress toward national status. What the flag stands for is what we should be most concerned about. And we do know-and I say this with a depth of sincerity-that the union jack indeed stands for freedom, something upon which we place very* little value indeed. We have never been without our freedom; therefore by comparison we do not know what it means to be a subjugated race, such as has been the lot of some peoples on the continent of Europe.

The hon. member for Simcoe North referred to the Poles, the Czechslovakians, the Scandinavians, and others who came to our shores. They came here because they knew that under the British flag they would find freedom. Wherever that great flag flies, Mr. Speaker, there you will always find, freedom. I have only to remind the house that the slaves of old did not ask for freedom. I do not suppose they knew enough to ask for freedom, but the British people determined that everyone should be free and taxed themselves in order to patrol the seas and stamp out slavery, so that every man might be free. Therefore I say to you to-night, Mr. Speaker, that unless the British people in the great old British isles had been prepared-

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Louder.

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November 8, 1945