November 8, 1951

PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Perhaps the minister does not think anything the hon. member for Royal, the hon. member for Kamloops or the hon. member for Vancouver East has said merits reply. Well, of course, we are getting used to that attitude on the part of the government. However, we have our own opinions in these matters.

I would like to say one or two words further, having raised the point initially. I have to say that I take issue with the hon. member for Vancouver East. I should prefer to be taking issue with the minister, because I would prefer to be dealing with something he was said by way of explanation of why the change is being made. But so far the minister has not said anything in explanation; therefore we are left to conclude that there is no good reason for the change, except perhaps some passing whim or fancy of the government which, thus far, they have not attempted to justify. I think it should be realized by hon. members when dealing with this matter-and it has been raised seriously -that the word "dominion" has always been part of the title of this country.

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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LIB

Bona Arsenault

Liberal

Mr. Arsenault:

Never.

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

It was used in the British North America Act.

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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LIB

Bona Arsenault

Liberal

Mr. Arsenault:

Never.

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

One dominion under the name of Canada.

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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LIB

Bona Arsenault

Liberal

Mr. Arsenault:

That is right.

Canada Lands Surveys Act

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

I am glad the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre has given the quotation I was about to give myself. This country was united into one dominion under the name of Canada. Those are the words used in the British North America Act.

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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?

An hon. Member:

Away back in 1867.

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

And, ever since, this country has been known as the Dominion of Canada. Quite unlike the hon. member for Vancouver East, I see nothing objectionable, or even questionable-even in the light of the present-day developments of this country-implied by the use of the word dominion; because the country is developing and always was developing, and so do words and connotations of titles. To my mind, as a Canadian, the word "dominion" means exactly what the hon. member for Royal ascribed to it, namely a country-a sovereign nation- having dominion from sea to sea. And it has for me, and for many other Canadians, a connotation that must be and should be admitted above and outside of that. It has the connotation, in every respect, which the hon. member for Royal attributed to it, the connotation of being one of His Majesty's dominions. That, to many Canadians, is a very precious and meaningful connotation, and one we cannot lightly see dropped from the name of our country. We cannot see it dropped without making objection.

It may be said that this is a small matter, that it is only changing the name of a statute. It is true that is all it is in this particular instance, but unfortunately it must be said that in this we see a step in a progression which some of us have observed going on with increasing misgivings over the years. It is as though it were regarded as a prerogative, drawn to itself by this government, to change the name of our country and its connotations, as of their own right, without the consent of the people. It is that progression to which I think objection should be taken at this time. It is because I object to that steady series of steps that I raise this point at this moment.

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

I think there has been progression, and I can say at once that it is the policy of this government when statutes come up for review or consolidation to replace the word "dominion" with the word "Canada". There are some people in this country who rather like the name of Canada. That was the name given to the new nation by the British North America Act at the time it came into being. Section 3 of that act provides:

3. It shall be lawful for the queen, by and with the advice of Her Majesty's most honourable privy council, to declare by proclamation that, on and

Canada Lands Surveys Act

after a day therein appointed, not being more than six months after the passing of this act, the provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick shall form and be one dominion under the name of Canada; and on and after that day those three provinces shall form and be one dominion under that name accordingly.

At that time it seemed to be quite immaterial whether the country and the people thereof were described as Canada and Canadians or as the Dominion of Canada and people of the Dominion of Canada.There has been a constant progression that some people in this country have attempted to impede and have resented, but nevertheless that progression culminated in the Statute of Westminster which recognized the equality of all the sister nations of the commonwealth. That progression has been resented by some, but not by the majority of the people of Canada or by the party that supports this government. I think that party will be prepared to support this government in the policy of replacing the word "dominion" with "Canada" in the statutes when they come up for review.

That policy is quite in line with the policy that was followed in the United Kingdom when they changed the name of the department that deals with the affairs of the sister nations from dominions relations office to commonwealth relations office. That development coincided with the coming into being of other sister nations who had not been known as dominions and who did not wish to be known as dominions. Those are nations with which we wish to conserve the family relationship which exists among the nations of our commonwealth.

In the official documents that come now from the United Kingdom the word dominion is gradually being dropped in deference to those other members of the organization who are not dominions and who have achieved a status with which the word "dominion" would be somewhat at variance.

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

In deference to the wishes of this government.

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

In deference to wishes that were expressed not only by this government but by others, and in conformity with the wishes of this government. This government is willing to take the verdict of the majority of the Canadian people on that stand. This government believe that the majority of the Canadian people feel that it is a privilege to be a Canadian citizen and are quite satisfied to be described as such instead of being described as citizens of a dominion.

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

Dominion of Canada citizens.

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

My hon. friend was not there when the statute was drawn. Perhaps if he had been there he would have drawn it otherwise than it is drawn, but it is drawn to describe this country not as the Dominion of Canada but as a dominion under the name of Canada. For us that name is sufficient.

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

I would not ordinarily take it upon myself to answer or refute anything the Prime Minister has said, except that he has sought to imply that those of us who attach some importance to, or who show some sentimental liking for, the "dominion" are necessarily not as proud as he claims to be, of the word "Canada." It is that implication which I rise to refute. Those of us who attach importance to the retention of the word "dominion" are as proud as the Prime Minister says he is of being Canadians.

Furthermore, it is not correct to say that the development of the Statute of Westminster was concomitant with any growing desire to cast off the word "dominion". The hon. member for Royal and those of us who belong to this party and who are at the moment asserting that there is importance in the retention of the word "dominion" have contributed as much as members of the Prime Minister's party to the development of the status of equality and sisterhood of nations which is the present status of members of the commonwealth.

I shall not say more, but I do regret that on this occasion, instead of discussing the matter on its merits-that is, whether we should try to preserve a link with the past and with what some of us think the word "dominion" means-the Prime Minister has tried to imply that which is not the case, namely that in doing so we are trying to perserve some form of subjection to another country, which I know the Prime Minister, upon reflection, will realize is not the case.

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

I do not want to prolong the discussion. We should endeavour to preserve all those links with the past that are useful and worth preserving, but it seems to me that in the evolution of the commonwealth the time has come when the sister nations co-equal in status should be known as nations and not as dominions. I know there is still a temptation in some quarters to refer to the overseas nations as "our dominions". Even the hon. member for Kamloops in discussing the matter referred to His Majesty's dominions rather than the co-equal nations of the commonwealth recognizing one crown and one king. After all, according to the theory we now follow His Majesty is King of Canada and king of each of the other countries of the commonwealth.

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

Can you explain why we are also doing away with the word "royal"?

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

I am not discussing that matter at the moment. I just want to say that I hope we shall use the word "Canada" and I hope our friends overseas will realize that we are not a dominion in the sense that they sometimes use the term. During the war one great statesman across the seas, for whom we have the greatest respect, used to refer to the overseas countries as "our dominions." I hope we shall not hear that phrase used again when it is necessary to refer to the several members of the commonwealth of nations. I think the government is wise when amending these acts to use a name that more nearly visualizes the status that we have achieved in the commonwealth.

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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LIB

George Prudham (Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys)

Liberal

Mr. Prudham:

At the time the original

Dominion Lands Surveys Act was passed I think the word "dominion" had a much better application. The federal government had control of and jurisdiction over a great deal of the lands in Canada. Since that time the lands of Canada have been vested in the provinces. Dominion from sea to sea had some application when the original act was passed, but today the lands that are vested in the right of Canada are few, and they are specifically set out in the proposed new bill. As I said in the beginning, the word "Canada" has a much better application to the bill that we are intending to bring forward than the word "dominion." I have nothing against the word "dominion", but I like the word "Canada", and so far as the bill we propose to introduce is concerned it has a much better application.

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

It is good that the people who read Hansard should know that there are other members in this house who take a similar view to that of the hon. member for Royal and the hon. member for Kamloops. The Prime Minister used a pretty specious argument when he tried to sneer against those who desire to maintain the word "dominion" as not being proud of the word "Canada". The Prime Minister will have to get right out and travel before he carries the name "Canada" as gloriously as the two hon. members who have spoken, and who have gone into the thick of battle with "Canada" on their shoulders.

Topic:   CANADA LANDS SURVEYS ACT
Subtopic:   REVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FORMER STATUTE
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November 8, 1951