Mr. H. W. HERRIDGE (Kootenay West):
Mr. Speaker, I wish to raise a question of privilege that concerns every member of the house.
Last summer, while this house was in session, the La Salle cadets paraded on the lawns in front of these parliament buildings. Later, during the evening, several members of parliament-if I am correctly informed, members representing all the major parties-entered the front gate and attempted to proceed to the House of Commons by the main walk, and were stopped from doing so by a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They explained to him that they were members of parliament. That made no difference. An order had been issued that everyone must come to the House of Commons around by the east block. Therefore these members had to proceed to the House of Commons via the east block.
I wish at this time, Mr. Speaker, to protest strongly against the placing of members of this house in such a position that they must approach the building after the fashion of the butcher boy delivering a pound of sausage by the tradesmen's entrance.
Last Friday evening the La Salle cadets were parading again on the lawns in front of the House of Commons. I had occasion to approach the house by the central walk, and, when about half way between the front gate and the House of Commons, I was informed that the La Salle cadets were being paraded and reviewed, and that they were being reviewed by a special visitor from Rome, Italy, Brother Athanase Emile. Knowing of the record of the La Salle cadets, and being interested in this distinguished clerical visitor, I stopped about half way between the front gate and the House of Commons and watched the cadets being inspected by the visitor, followed by Colonel Purves of national defence headquarters, a member of the Canadian armoured corps. I saw these cadets very smartly give the general salute to the distinguished clerical visitor.
At that time a staff sergeant of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police approached me and informed me that the grounds for that period were reserved for the La Salle cadets, the officers of the Department of National Defence on the grounds, and the distinguished visitor, and that I would have to move.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I must say that I am one of those to whom on such occasions the scroll of British history swiftly unfolds itself before mine eyes, and I am quickly moved by such events. Therefore I informed the staff sergeant that I was a member of parliament and as such I did not intend to budge, come what may. At this point the staff sergeant was most courteous, I might say almost embarrassed. He explained to me the reason for the grounds being reserved. I protested and said that this was a violation of the rights of members of the House of Commons, and no explanation from him could alter my determination to stand my ground, since I considered this order an indignity upon members of the House of Commons.
In view of the fact that the zephyrs of indignity can soon become the winds of intolerance, and the winds of intolerance the hurricane of tyranny, I wish to protest most vigorously against this transgression of the freedom of members within the precincts of the House of Commons, and against this indignity to members of parliament, to the representatives of the people, and thus indirectly to the Canadian people as a whole.