March 24, 1952

VETERANS HOSPITALS

CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. Bryce:

What are the rates of pay for kitchen maids, ward maids and ambulance drivers at the following hospitals: (a) Camp Hill; (b) Sunnybrook;

(c) Deer Lodge; (d) Shaughnessy?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   VETERANS HOSPITALS
Sub-subtopic:   RATES OF PAY FOR CERTAIN EMPLOYEES
Permalink

MOTIONS FOR PAPERS

PC

Gordon Knapman Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser:

For a copy of all letters, telegrams, memoranda and other documents exchanged during the past ten years, between the government of Canada, or any department or agency thereof, and any individual or group of individuals regarding the creating of a bird sanctuary on the Ouse river.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Sub-subtopic:   OUSE RIVER BIRD SANCTUARY
Permalink
LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Resources and Development)

Liberal

Mr. Winters:

Subject to the usual reservations about permission from the provinces with respect to their correspondence.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Sub-subtopic:   OUSE RIVER BIRD SANCTUARY
Permalink

POULTRY-NEWCASTLE DISEASE

CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

For a copy of all correspondence, telegrams, memoranda, and other documents in possession of the Department of Agriculture in connection with Newcastle disease, dated since January 1, 1948.

[Mr. Langlois (Gaspd.j

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   POULTRY-NEWCASTLE DISEASE
Permalink
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

There is no objection to the motion, but I should like to say to the hon. member that the wording of it would call for the production of all papers which may have passed between officials of the department and from officials to myself, which is privileged. I take it that what the hon. member desires to have is all the telegrams and letters and everything of that kind, between this government and the British Columbia government and between individuals in British Columbia and elsewhere and ourselves.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   POULTRY-NEWCASTLE DISEASE
Permalink
CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

That is correct.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   POULTRY-NEWCASTLE DISEASE
Permalink

SASKATCHEWAN RIVER DAM AND IRRIGATION PROJECT

PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

For a copy of all correspondence, telegrams, memoranda and1 other documents that have passed between any department of government and/or the water control board, and the provincial governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, since the first day of September, 1951, relating to the Saskatchewan river dam and irrigation project.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   SASKATCHEWAN RIVER DAM AND IRRIGATION PROJECT
Permalink
?

Jean-Paul Stephen St-Laurent

Mr. Si. Laurent:

Subject to the usual

reservations with respect to correspondence from provincial governments.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   SASKATCHEWAN RIVER DAM AND IRRIGATION PROJECT
Permalink

HUMAN RIGHTS

DECLARATION TO ENSURE FUNDAMENTAL

PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. G. Diefenbaker (Lake Centre) moved:

That, in the opinion of this house, immediate consideration should be given to the advisability of introducing a bill or declaration of rights to assure amongst other rights:

1. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and of radio;

2. That habeas corpus shall not be abrogated or suspended except by parliament;

3. That no one shall be deprived of liberty or property without due process of law, and in no case by order in council;

4. That no tribunal or commission shall have the power to compel the giving of evidence by anyone who is denied counsel or other constitutional safeguards.

And that as a preliminary step the government should consider the advisability of submitting for the opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada the question as to the degree to which fundamental freedoms of religion, speech and of the press and the preservation of the constitutional rights of the individual are matters of federal or provincial jurisdiction.

He said: I hope that I and those who follow me may discuss this subject with those qualities which Mr. Gladstone so much admired in Lord Aberdeen when he said in effeot that: Whatever he discusses, he discusses with calmness, judgment, knowledge and moderation.

It is in that spirit that I rise to move this resolution, the proposal embodied in which over the years has been near and dear to me; indeed, when I first came to

the House of Commons, I mentioned it as a necessary step in the maintenance of freedom.

May I at the outset acknowledge the courtesy of the hon. member for Spadina (Mr. Croll), who was considerate enough to allow my motion to be on the order paper ahead of his, and who declined to proceed the other day with his own motion. That is something I sincerely appreciate.

I shall not enter into any provocative arguments; the matter, Mr. Speaker, is too serious for that. Only a few moments ago we witnessed a moving scene in the House of Commons; once more the real meaning of freedom in every part of this commonwealth was epitomized. This house, thousands of miles removed from Ceylon, stood in silent tribute to a man whose contribution to freedom in the commonwealth has meant much over a period of thirty years. In granting freedom to Ceylon and to India, again -the abiding principles of freedom within this commonwealth were exemplified; and further evidence that the vital strength of freedom is the grant of freedom.

Since I have been in parliament representatives of various parts of the British commonwealth have spoken on the floor of this House of Commons. All of us remember Prime Minister Menzies during the early days of the war at a time when the commonwealth stood alone. We remember Winston Churchill, when, at one of the darkest periods in our history, after the commonwealth had stood alone for a long year, he stood where the Clerk now sits and delivered an address that aroused freedom-loving people everywhere in the world.

Today we have witnessed a remarkable exemplification of the principle of freedom of religion within the British commonwealth. For in Canada, a Christian country, the membership of this house stands in appreciation of one of Buddhist faith who had made an outstanding contribution to freedom! I think of another moving scene in this chamber when Louis St. Laurent, as Prime Minister of Canada, 190 years after Wolfe and Montcalm died together for freedom, welcomed Prime Minister Nehru of India, also 190 years after Plassey. That revealed the meaning of freedom and everything that freedom proclaims.

I am not going to review in detail the historical development within our country of the concept of freedom. It is represented by those great charters-Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, the Petition of Right, Habeas Corpus, and the Quebec Act and the British North America Act, peculiar to our country;

55704-46J

Human Rights

and by the Statute of Westminster, whereby all dominions of the British commonwealth became equals with the United Kingdom.

The first occasion on which I brought the need of a bill of rights to the attention of the house was in the form of an amendment, on March 7, 1946, at the time when there was brought before parliament a citizenship bill which ensured that thereafter Canadians should have citizenship within and without Canada. On that occasion, I moved that there be deemed to be a provision, in every certificate of naturalization, including a bill of rights. It was pointed out, and properly so, that if it was provided for only in so far as naturalized citizens were concerned, it would be an anachronism in so far as native-born Canadians were concerned. What I intend to do now is to discuss, first, the question whether there is a general demand in Canada for a bill of rights or a declaration of rights. Second, is there need of one? Third, what should be among the terms, or the tentative terms, subject to intensive consideration later by parliament? Fourth, what would a bill of rights accomplish? Finally, would it be binding, and how should it be brought into effect-by statute, by constitutional amendment, or by declaration, in the latter case simply setting forth in concrete form the idealism of Canadians, while having no effect so far as our constitutional rights are concerned and their maintenance by the courts?

The quest for freedom and the desire to maintain freedom and to assure freedom is not the monopoly of any political party-and it is in that spirit I speak. Internationally a declaration of great principles was made in 1945 when the preamble of the United Nations charter was drafted in San Francisco. The statesman who drafted that preamble was Jan Christiaan Smuts who some thirty years before had drafted article X of the league of nations.

I saw him draft that preamble, the first rough draft, on the back of a cigarette box, in the memorial hall in San Francisco. His life was a revelation of the meaning of British freedom. He had devoted his early life to fighting against everything for which the British commonwealth stands and, in his latter years, became the mouthpiece of the finest principles of our commonwealth and of democracy.

In the preamble these words appear:

We, the peoples of the United Nations, determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war-

Human Rights

I shall leave out those words which are not pertinent to this discussion.

-and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women, and of nations large and smalland-

-and for these ends to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours . . . declare this to be the United Nations charter.

The declaration of human rights is predicated upon a realization by the statesmen of the world that there can be no peace unless there is freedom, and that wherever discrimination exists because of race or colour anywhere in the world there is soil [DOT]that is productive of potential future wars.

I wish to make clear that I am proud of my citizenship and everything it means, as well as the measure of freedom that it affords. With that heritage, with our British and French traditions, no Canadian can assert that Canadians are not blessed with bountiful freedom.

But, sir, two world wars in one generation have created conditions perilous to the preservation of civil liberty. Indeed, the continuing world emergency since 1945 has been no less perilous to civil liberty. And Canadians, as well as peoples in other parts of the British commonwealth, must be assured that human rights and fundamental freedoms, placed in. pawn as security for victory, or lost temporarily as a result of design by parliament, shall not be lost permanently because of the apathy or the failure of the people to demand their restoration.

"Civil liberties" has various definitions. One of the most outstanding was given by Mr. Justice Keiller Mackay in a judgment rendered in the province of Ontario in 1942 in the Drummond Wren case. There have been others in the Supreme Court of Canada during the last two years and in particular one by Mr. Justice Rand and another by Mr. Justice Kellock.

But the one that, to me, comprises in most unique form the concept of civil liberty is that given by Mr. Justice Murphy, late of the United States supreme court, when he said this:

The priceless thing without which life loses its dignity and becomes only a hopeless form of spiritual slavery.

The concept of civil liberty is the translation of personal freedom into practice; and the pages of history indicate that only as civil liberty is preserved can human dignity be enriched.

The hall-mark of freedom is a recognition of the sacred personality of man, and its

acceptance decries discrimination on the basis of race or creed or colour. Canadians have a message to give to the world. We are composed of many racial groups, each of which must realize that only by forbearance and mutual respect, only by denial of antagonism or prejudice based on race, or creed, or even surname, can breaches in unity be avoided in our country.

National unity in Canada is not only an ideal-it is a necessity-based on ordinary common sense. It is because I believe this that I have advocated over the years the substance of the resolution before the house. It is because I believe that there can be no freedom where appeal to the courts is denied, that there can be no freedom unless there is equality before the law, that I advocate a bill of rights. History shows that a closed door to the courts is an open door to denial of the freedom of the individual.

Great as is our inheritance, events in recent years demand that we review from time to time what is our inheritance, to ascertain whether any of our freedoms are being lost either intentionally or by default, and how far the principle of the heritage of freedom that is ours and that we take for granted is ours to to enjoy. There is no denying to every Canadian his right to the certainty that hi9 heritage is indeed his. Canadians have the right to be assured that the feeling of possession is indeed a reality.

I take the simple example of a man owning a house, it may be subject to a mortgage. Our heritage comprises the title deeds of freedom and it is for us to see that the mortgage imposed during perilous days shall not diminish those freedoms to the point where they become but memories of the heritage.

The preservation of our democratic way of life requires that Canada shall maintain the spiritual things of freedom. By freedom I do not mean the right to do wrong; but the right to be wrong. Freedom does not consist in thinking what the majority believes or directs shall be thought; for, when all think the same, no one thinks. Freedom means the right of each of us to come to our own conclusions according to our own consciences, abridged only to the extent that the same degree of freedom will be assured to every other citizen.

I have generalized for the purpose of summarizing what is my concept of freedom. Freedom means that we do not have to think alike; we do not have to be told what we shall read, or hear, or speak, or write. Freedom cannot survive if thought is outlawed. Experience has shown that freedom

is not always safe in the custody of an overwhelmingly powerful government supported by an overwhelming majority. Large parliamentary majorities do not always assure omnicompetence in the preservation of freedom.

The danger to freedom following two world wars is not confined to Canada, and in support I quote from the words of an outstanding Englishman, Lord Reading, when he introduced a measure in the British House of Lords in 1947 for the preservation of freedom. He said:

Personal freedom had for so long been the current coin of life in this country that we had been apt perhaps to forget that currency may be slowly and stealthily withdrawn from circulation, that coinage may be debased without any very evident outward signs, and that It may even be deliberately counterfeited without Immediate detection.

It is no part of my case today to allege any malign conspiracy on the part of anyone deliberately to attempt to overthrow the liberties of the subject. The process has been gradual, stealthy, haphazard, almost inadvertent, but unfortunately both insidious and menacing in its cumulative effect.

And in 1951 in the British House of Lords Viscount Samuel said:

During the last thirty or forty years, imperceptibly, almost unconsciously, here a little and there a little, there have been encroachments upon that great and precious heritage.

I do not suggest today that we have lost, or are in danger of losing, those liberties, but I do suggest that they have been again and again impaired, that that process is still continuing, and that it needs to be stopped and reversed.

Even now, after the peace, or semi-peace, of the last five years, not all these liberties have been restored, and there is danger that some of these restrictions may be allowed unnecessarily to slip into our permanent system of government.

What should be done to prevent encroachments on freedom? To the United States citizen and to the citizens of thirty other countries, including India and the republic of Ireland, the belief is held that there can be no assured freedom in modern times without guaranteed civil rights. That view is supported from one end of Canada to the other by editorial comment in leading newspapers to which I could make reference. However, I think the general summary was given in an editorial in the Winnipeg Free Press some two years ago, which said:

No one denies that Canada is fortunate almost beyond all countries in the extent and vitality of its human freedoms. There is no need to discuss the question of civil liberty in the language of panic. The task before us is to keep and enrich our legacy of freedom by removing the blots that have unfortunately fallen on our record, and by making a bill of rights part of the law of the land as a protection for even the most unpopular or weakest minority in the legitimate expression of its views. Parliament would be well advised to deal with this matter in a constructive spirit in the present session.

Human Rights

When I first brought this matter to the attention of parliament-it has since been brought up by the hon. member for Winnipeg North (Mr. Stewart) and the hon. member for Spadina (Mr. Croll)-there were few who saw the danger of the constant erosion of our personal rights and our fundamental freedoms. It is I think now beyond argument that our personal rights have been diminished because democratic processes have proved too slow in the years of war to attain that degree of certainty and efficiency which was so necessary to victory.

Since the war the movement for a national bill of rights has become general in our country. One petition was filed in parliament in 1947 signed by some 500,000 Canadians, and another in 1949 signed by over 600,000 Canadians, divided approximately as follows:

Ontario 224,000

Quebec 70,000

Maritimes 46,000

The prairies 176,000

British Columbia 108,000

The demand has been general, not only from the people but from many organizations, including the Canadian Daily Newspapers Association-which is above any consideration of bias. Various public bodies and churches have given their support.

There are many other organizations represented in other briefs. I want to refer to what the Canadian Daily Newspapers Association said in its representation to one of the committees of parliament. I quote:

. . . the absence of constitutional safeguards against them not only prove that freedom of speech and freedom of the press lack adequate safeguards in Canada . . .

Then on page 5 of the same submission the association representing 86 of the 89 English and French daily newspapers in Canada, and 99.4 per cent of the combined circulation of all the daily newspapers in Canada made the recommendation that:

No act of the parliament of Canada nor of the legislature of any province shall abridge the freedom of speech or of the press or of assembly or of worship or the right to petition the parliament of Canada or the legislature of any province for the redress of grievances.

And further:

In Canada we have been coasting insecurely upon British precedents and sometimes violating them, and in the light of Canada's membership in the United Nations and its responsibilities as a member, the Canadian Daily Newspapers Association urges that the parliamentary committee on human rights and fundamental freedoms give favourable consideration to a constitutional amendment guaranteeing these fundamental freedoms.

Only in the last few days one of the great religious leaders of our country, Cardinal McGuigan, dealt with this question of freedom of the press, when speaking in Toronto on March 22, he said:

Human Rights

One of the greatest safeguards of the freedom of free peoples is the freedom of the press. It is a precious but precarious heritage which they must vigilantly preserve. Confronted by its tyrannical suppression in totalitarian states, free peoples today are extremely conscious of its value. Are they equally aware of the opposite error-its degeneration into mere licence in the hands of the greedy and the irresponsible?

At this point I divert to point out that the press has been brought recently before the courts of the land charged with contempt of court. There have been several cases, one in the city of Ottawa and another in the town of Cornwall. I have no cause to object to contempt of court proceedings, but I do think that the time has come to make provision for the right of appeal against the decisions rendered by judges in such proceedings. Appeal is the only way in which unanimity of decisions can be secured. It is also an assurance that justice shall not depend upon the judgment of one judge.

Various churches and organizations are giving their support to a Canadian bill of rights. I have before me the representations made by Dr. R. S. K. Seeley, provost of Trinity college, university of Toronto, on behalf of the Civil Rights Association of Canada, in which he set forth in detail the need for a bill of rights for the preservation of religion within this country. Had I the time, I should like to quote extensively from the summary of representations which is to be found at page 130 of the Senate special committee report of April 28, 1950. Mr. Speaker, I would ask that it be placed on Hansard. It is to be found in one of the reports of the Senate, and it summarizes the situation in a manner that I think would be of interest to members, generally.

Topic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Subtopic:   DECLARATION TO ENSURE FUNDAMENTAL
Sub-subtopic:   REFERENCE TO SUPREME COURT AS TO JURISDICTION
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

I sympathize with the request of the hon. member, Mr. Speaker, but the other day I said that I thought we would have to object whenever a document was to be placed on record. I regret that this is the first instance in which I have found cause to object, and I am sorry to do it because of the circumstances.

Topic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Subtopic:   DECLARATION TO ENSURE FUNDAMENTAL
Sub-subtopic:   REFERENCE TO SUPREME COURT AS TO JURISDICTION
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Speaker, that is what happens when rules are established. I know the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) will agree with me when I say that there is nothing so detrimental to justice as a judgment, binding as a precedent, that is founded on a decision that is not justifiable, but has become a precedent.

Topic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Subtopic:   DECLARATION TO ENSURE FUNDAMENTAL
Sub-subtopic:   REFERENCE TO SUPREME COURT AS TO JURISDICTION
Permalink
LIB

Leonard T. Stick

Liberal

Mr. Stick:

The laws of the Medes and Persians.

Topic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Subtopic:   DECLARATION TO ENSURE FUNDAMENTAL
Sub-subtopic:   REFERENCE TO SUPREME COURT AS TO JURISDICTION
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

That is correct.

Topic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Subtopic:   DECLARATION TO ENSURE FUNDAMENTAL
Sub-subtopic:   REFERENCE TO SUPREME COURT AS TO JURISDICTION
Permalink
LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

May I point out to the hon. member that at no time have the rules allowed a statement to be placed on Hansard

without unanimous consent of the house. Has the hon. member the unanimous consent of the house to have this statement placed on Hansard?

Topic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Subtopic:   DECLARATION TO ENSURE FUNDAMENTAL
Sub-subtopic:   REFERENCE TO SUPREME COURT AS TO JURISDICTION
Permalink

March 24, 1952