Mr. W. A. TUCKER (Rosthem):
Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege. In this morning's Ottawa Citizen there is a headline which reads: " Score speeches by three M.P.'s on Ukrainians." The article then goes on to say:
Protesting "slanders and falsehoods" which, it claimed, are being disseminated through speeches by Walter Tucker, F. Zaplitny and A. Hlynka in the House of Commons, the Canadian Ukrainian Association has passed a resolution which states that the views expressed by these men are not those of the majority of Canadian Ukrainian people.
The article continues:
The association points out in the resolution that a body with headquarters in Winnipeg, the Canadian Ukrainian committee, is collects ing money to be used to aid "these nazi collaborationists and traitors to settle in Canada."
It goes on to say:
In the opinion of the association, the three members of parliament mentioned in the resolution, "actually speak on behalf of fascist and semi-fascist committees among the Ukrainian Canadians who have had previous connections with the nazi in Germany."
This refers to a speech which I made in this house on September 26, 1945, in reference to that subject. I have uttered no slanders and falsehoods. I merely asked that our troops have nothing to do with the forcible repatriation, into Soviet hands, of displaced Ukrainians whose only offence was that they had worked for and favoured a free Ukraine and who feared their fate if they fell into Soviet hands. I pointed out that no one knew for certain what was happening behind the iron curtain that divides Europe to-day and that if this policy were maintained we should not forcibly repatriate these people to what they claimed might be a terrible and undeserved fate.
The Canadian Ukrainian committee is headed by a distinguished Canadian clergyman. Its members are all loyal and distinguished Canadians. It supported, and the bulk of Ukrainians supported, our war effort, not only after Russia was attacked in 1941 but in the dark days of 1940, when those who followed the communist line were attacking the war as an imperialist war and doing their best to hinder our war effort. -
When I speak on behalf of this committee, representing as it does the vast bulk of Canadians of Ukrainian origin in Canada, I do not speak "on behalf of fascist and semifascist committees among Ukrainian Canadians who have had previous connections with the nazis in Germany." I deny this categorically. I say from long experience that the members of this committee are loyal and true Canadians. They have proved their loyalty. If they have sympathy with their kith and kin in Europe and seek to assist them in their misery, that does not make them pro-nazi or fascist.
Ever since I have spoken on behalf of these people I have been the victim of a slanderous smear campaign. The object is clear. It is to intimidate all public men from saying anything distasteful to the communists, no matter how true or justified it may be. I call on all responsible newspapers to study the situation and not lend themselves to these tactics in any way. I would say in conclusion it is an attempt subtly to undermine freedom of speech in Canada. It will not succeed in this free country.
Subtopic: RESPECTING SPEECH IN HOUSE ON SEPTEMBER 26