March 24, 1952

CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

Mr. Speaker, I objected to it.

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

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Well, I shall read the latter part of it. _

Now it is indeed on the basis of Christian doctrines and the Christian values which have been accepted by our society that we can justify a declaration of human rights against those whose systems of thought and whose policies deny to the individual any rights of his own. It appears that usually a declaration of human rights assumes that human rights are desirable as an axiomatic proposition, that it does not go into an inquiry of why it is assumed that human rights are desirable. And it appears to us as axiomatic only because we have absorbed into our corporate thinking the Christian doctrine of man on which those human rights are based. According to this Christian doctrine. every individual man is of supreme value in the sight of God, for he is made in the image of God, is called to be a child of God and has as his heritage eternal life; and every man must therefore have freedom to respond to the call of God and be given opportunities whereby the whole of his personality may be fully developed to the glory of God and in the service of God. Without these elementary human rights man cannot use completely and to the full the talents with which God has endowed him. For those reasons, you see, a bill of rights is consonant with Christian principles and would receive the wholehearted support of the Christian people of Canada.

Dr. Seeley pointed out that in the brief he presented he represented many of the Christian churches of this country, and also represented organizations of the Jewish faith.

A while ago I mentioned that some of the churches gave support to a Canadian bill of rights. I might add that in presenting his brief he represented the Church of England in Canada, the Baptist Federation of Canada, the Churches of Christ (Disciples), the Evangelical United Brethren church, the Presbyterian church in Canada, the Reformed Episcopal church, the Ukrainian Orthodox church, the United Church of Canada, the Salvation Army, the Society of Friends, and affiliated members, the national council of the Y.M.C.A., the national council of the Y.W.C.A., and the Student Christian Movement of Canada. Many leaders of thought across this country have given their undivided support to a bill of rights and I mention just a few of those who have done so. Starting in Vancouver: Dr. A. E. Grauer; Dr. Norman MacKenzie, president of the university of British Columbia and member of the Massey commission; Elmore Philpott; in Alberta, Mr. Justice L. Y. Cairns; F. G. Winspear, former president of the Canadian Council of Chambers of Commerce; Saskatoon, Dean F. C. Cronkite, university of Saskatchewan; Regina, the premier of Saskatchewan, Mr. Douglas; Winnipeg, Victor Sifton, president of the

Winnipeg Free Press; Grant Dexter; Dr. A. W. Trueman, former president of the university of Manitoba; in Ottawa, Mrs. John Bird; Patrick Conroy, now in Washington; Mr. Mosher. Then there is a list of members of parliament, whose names I shall not place on the record. In Toronto we find the late Dr. Peter Bryce; Andrew Brewin, Q. C.; Dr. W. A. Cameron; Oakley Dalgleish, editor of the Globe and Mail; Rabbi A. L. Feinberg; Irving Himel; George McCul-lagh, president of the Globe and Mail; Sir Ernest MacMillan; Dr. E. J. Pratt; A. F. W. Plumptre; Dr. Stanley Russell; Dr. Sidney Smith, president of the University of Toronto; B. K. Sandwell; Dr. Malcolm Wallace; in Windsor, Mayor Arthur J. Reaume, M.L.A.; in Kingston, Professor A. R. M. Lower; in Montreal, C. C. Papineau-Couture; Mr. George V. Ferguson, editor of the Montreal Star and Mrs. Gwethalyn Graham; Dr. J. C. Meakins; Dr. Penfield; F. R. Scotty-and so on. I could continue to name leaders in church and state who stand committed to a bill of rights for Canada but the foregoing list provides a sufficient cross-section. I could give example after example to show why a bill of rights is necessary. I content myself with reading, unless anyone wants the detailed examples which show the need of a bill of rights, what the Winnipeg Free Press said in an editorial in answer to those who say that paper charters are no substitute for the will of freedom:

But they are important as expressions of that will. They are important because they gain a hold on men's minds. They form, as it were, a bench mark on the structure of man's experience; become a part of his past, his traditions of life, and condition his thought of the future. Charters, even though they express no more than a hope, have a way of striking roots in the human heart. They are of the spirit as well as of parchment. No one will deny that the influence of Magna Carta-the Great Charter-has far exceeded its actual provision.

Finally, the editorial says:

Canada, which has as much freedom as any nation in the world, should not hesitate to proclaim its own faith by establishing it in law.

I have been asked what terms would be put into a bill of rights or into a declaration of freedom. I realize the difficulties of draftsmanship. Those who drafted the first ten amendments to the United States constitution took several years. Since that time we have had an example in the difficulty of the United Nations. Incidentally some three years ago a declaration of human freedoms was agreed on but as yet has not been brought before parliament. In the representations made to the committee in the other place, which committee was presided over with distinction by Senator Roebuck, some recommendations as to terms were made. I shall read a

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draft declaration of rights which I believe represents, in general, most of the principles to be embodied in such a bill of rights.

I have used as a base the draft declaration from the Senate committee, and have altered, added to or deleted some of its terms. I suggest these as a basis upon which Canadians might consider the drafting of a Canadian bill of rights or declaration of rights:

Article 1

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person.

Article 2

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 3

Everyone has the right to recognition throughout Canada as a person before the law.

Article 4

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.

Article 5

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 6

(1) No person shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

(2) Any person who is arrested or detained shall be promptly informed of the reasons for the arrest or detention and be entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time or to release.

(3) No one shall be denied the right to reasonable bail without just cause.

(4) No tribunal, royal commission, board or state official shall have the right to compel anyone to give evidence who is denied counsel or other constitutional safeguards.

Article 7

Every person who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall have an effective remedy in the nature of habeas corpus by which the lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily by a court and his release ordered if the detention is not lawful. Habeas corpus shall not be abridged, suspended or abrogated except by parliament.

Article 8

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 9

Every person is entitled to all the rights and freedoms herein set forth without distinction of any kind such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Article 10

Any person whose rights or freedoms as herein set forth have been violated may apply for relief on notice of motion to the supreme or superior court of the province in which the violation occurred.

There are some who contend that if we set forth all the terms in a bill of rights we may thereby limit our freedoms because

Human Rights

we shall thereby be limiting our freedoms to those comprised therein. In its constitutional amendments, the United States added a provision to meet that possibility, and I suggest to that end the final section be as follows:

Article 11

The above articles shall not be deemed to abridge or exclude any rights or freedoms to which any person is otherwise entitled.

The foregoing are based on the findings of two joint committees on. fundamental freedoms and those of two house committees of the Senate. Would a bill of rights containing such terms be binding? Would it not entrench upon provincial rights under the British North America Act? That is a problem that deserves the most serious attention. I do not ask for a bill of rights passed by parliament which in any way would invade or infringe the rights of the provinces.

It is agreed that in order to bring in a bill of rights to include the rights of both national and provincial jurisdictions, it would be necessary to have an amendment to the constitution. There would be no need however for an amendment in the constitution for a declaration of rights which has been suggested by various newspapers across the country. Such a declaration would be a declaration of idealism, a blueprint, but setting forth and embodying that which Canada accepted when she became a signatory of the United Nations charter. However, in order to determine the question of constitutionality I drafted the bill of rights with a view to having the government of this country consider the advisability of submitting for the opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada the question as to the degree to which the fundamental freedoms of religion, of speech and of the press' and the preservation of the constitutional rights of the individual included in. the draft are matters of federal and provincial jurisdiction. No longer would the argument be raised that a national bill of rights would invade provincial jurisdiction and therefore should not be passed by parliament. A submission to the supreme court would decide. This resolution requests that the wishes of hundreds of thousands of Canadians for a bill of rights be given the opportunity of implementation by a submission to the Supreme Court of Canada to determine the degree to which such a declaration, would be within the competence of parliament or whether it is within the competence of the legislatures.

In 1936, the Prime Minister was counsel for the government in the submissions to the Supreme Court of Canada and the Privy

Council with regard to the jurisdictional power of parliament to pass the new deal legislation which had been passed by parliament under the administration of the Right Hon. R. B. Bennett. That legislation affected monetary and economic matters and the government of the day did not feel itself opposed to submitting it to the courts. I ask that a matter that affects the spiritual things of life should be submitted in order to determine once and for all the question as to the degree to which parliament has the power to pass a bill of rights, and after a judgment has been rendered by the Supreme Court of Canada, either the matter would then finally come to its fruition, through agreement with the provinces in a constitutional amendment or, to the degree to which the parliament of Canada has the jurisdiction, a legal bill of rights could be passed by parliament. We now have in parliament the power to amend our constitution on federal matters without resort either to the consent of the provinces or to submission to the imperial parliament and a constitutional amendment could1 be passed if the court should decide that fundamental freedoms are within the competence of parliament.

Someone may ask what a bill of rights would do. A bill of rights would deny the right of any majority to interfere with my serving God as my conscience demands. It would deny the right of any government to interfere with my right to speak or write so long as I did so within the law. It would deny discrimination against any person because of his race or colour. Let no one contend that there is no discrimination, when I read that Rabbi Abraham Feinberg-on Saturday last, in advocating a federal bill of rights in Toronto-pointed out the dangers of discrimination.

Today we are in a world challenged by communism. Communism holds out to coloured races the promise of equality. Communism provides at once tyranny with the hope of equality and non-discrimination. If ever there was a time that the commonwealth, with five to one of those who are members of the commonwealth being of coloured races, should do everything possible to assure freedom from discrimination, it is in our generation when the hearts of men are being mobilized and when the war of ideas is being fought as between Christianity and everything it stands for on the one side and communism on the other.

A bill of rights would re-define the landmarks of liberty, which are almost erased as a result of the pathways of war becoming the permanent highroads of peace. It would give positive evidence that when

Canada, at the United Nations assembly two years ago, accepted the universal declaration of human rights, that acceptance was a dedication of the Canadian people not only internationally but nationally as well. It would make parliament more careful before passing laws that would have the effect of suspending or interfering with freedom. It would mobilize the spiritual things of life without which neither nations nor men can live a full and abundant life. Above everything else, it would make Canadians freedom conscious. As Canadians we pride ourselves on our Canadianism and how full, ample and free we are. Why is it that Canadians have not been given the equality with British subjects in the United Kingdom, in relation to actions against the crown in the courts of law? The time has come to raise the right of Canadian citizenship, and to place Canadians on equal footing with the queen in courts of law, with the right to take any proceeding against the crown without consent of the crown, other than proceedings in respect of the armed forces, or under the Post Office Act.

Next, I think the time has come to remove from statutes and orders in council the power to deny the right of appeal to the courts against orders affecting the individual.

The Prime Minister has gone a long way in recent years in tabling orders in council in parliament from month to month, a step most commendable and appreciated. There are, however, still powers in one of the ministers to pass orders which will be secret whenever, by his ipse dixit, secrecy of that order in council is demanded in his opinion. One cannot object if the power is used sparingly, carefully and judiciously, but there is no reason why any board, any deputy minister or a governor in council should be able to pass orders in council that deny access to the courts. For after all, when you have access to the courts you have standing behind you the assurance of justice which can otherwise be denied. One of the great United States justices, Mr. Justice Cardozo summed up the rule of law and the importance of recourse to the courts in these words:

The utility of an external (judicial) power restraining the legislative judgment is not to be measured by counting the occasions of its exercise. The great ideals of liberty and equality are preserved against the assaults of opportunism, the expediency of the passing hour, the erosion of small encroachments, the scorn and derision of those who have no patience with general principles, by enshrining them in constitutions, and consecrating to the task of their protection a body of defenders. By conscious or subconscious influence, the presence of this restraining power, aloof in the background, but nonetheless always in reserve, tends to stabilize and rationalize the legislative

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judgment, to infuse it with the glow of principle, to hold the standard aloft and visible for those who must run the race and keep the faith.

Then, sir, Canadians, whose fundamental freedoms are interfered with, have no right of appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. The supreme court is a court of final appeal, yet it does not possess the same powers as the privy council had which allowed one to go to the foot of the throne when fundamental freedoms were interfered with. I ask that the Supreme Court of Canada Act be amended so as to provide for appeals, not only when monetary considerations are at stake or when future rights are to be determined as now is the case; but as well there should be the right of Canadians to appeal against any interference with the citizen in the fundamental freedoms of religion, of the press, of association and of speech.

I suggest that a standing committee should be set up as a watchdog to watch encroachments on freedom and invasions of freedom anywhere in our dominion. We have standing committees of parliament on the library and on the restaurant and so forth. Surely it would not be amiss to have a standing committee to maintain the closest possible scrutiny of any invasions of personal freedom which invade the right of the individual to his traditional freedoms, or any interference with or abrogations of those elements that constitute our freedom.

What I have tried to do is to outline something of what a bill of rights could do, what its terms might be, and what the benefits that would flow from it would be to the Canadian people.

I believe, sir, that freedom needs an anchor, and that anchor is the power of the courts to protect the freedoms of the individual under law. I ask for a charter that will guarantee the rights of individuals and minorities. Some claim that elections have that result. Elections will never preserve the right of the minority that is too weak numerically to count for anything in the ballot box. Those are the people whose rights have to be protected; for if we grant the right of an all-powerful state to destroy the rights of the minority, however small, we are at the same time inviting the destruction of our rights when we, in the course of time, become a minority.

Majority rule too often has faltered and failed in maintaining freedom. I would be the first to admit that laws in themselves are not sufficient to preserve freedom, but laws have their place, and without laws freedom cannot be maintained.

Discrimination, the denial of the rights of minorities in any way in our country, exerts a vicious influence that, if not met effectively

Human Rights

and counteracted by parliament, will ultimately destroy that unity that every racial group in Canada desires. I believe that Canadians must unite in a national and personal dedication to obliterate anything in the nature of racial or religious prejudice. To do that requires not only personal dedication but law standing by to deal with those who fail to realize that the denial of the rights of minorities is the denial of freedom itself. I believe with all my heart that by maintaining the everlasting principles embodied in our fundamental freedoms can Canada achieve eternal understanding, mutual forbearance and unity, for it is as true of nations as it is of individuals, that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

I know what the cynics who regard themselves as realists will say. They have said it for a thousand years-that idealistic charters of freedom are meaningless. They maintain that a declaration of the abiding principles of freedom cannot be enforced. My answer to them is that that same cynical answer could have been given, that same argument could be made against the Sermon on the Mount, seen against the actual practices of Christendom; yet, to what depths would man have fallen had he not had that supreme declaration of spiritual ideas to support the age-long strivings of the individual to rise above sordid self-interest.

I make this appeal through you, sir, to the government: that a vote on this matter be a free vote. For after all this is merely a resolution expressing a principle. It will not bring in a bill of rights, but will enable steps to be taken. Freedom must always stand above any party consideration. More than

700,000 people have asked for something to be done, and through you, sir, I make an appeal for support of the resolution. I have endeavoured to speak without provocation, without raising issues that might separate us, with a sincere desire to make a contribution to national unity, the foundation of which is freedom and forbearance. I make an appeal to hon. members in all parts of the house to give support to this resolution, which will provide a step along the road to implementation and preservation of our freedom. For a journey, even of a thousand miles, starts with one step.

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

David Arnold Croll

Liberal

Mr. David A. Croll (Spadina):

Mr. Speaker,

I wish first of all to thank the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) for the opportunity he has presented to us today to discuss this very important subject by way of a resolution. He has been unfaltering in his advocacy of a bill of rights; and today was his day to speak.

I confess that I would much rather listen to him speak on a subject so close to his heart than to hear my small voice; that is the reason I stayed my resolution the other day. We have been privileged today to hear a great human cause presented by a great people's advocate. I welcome and I share the general tenor of his views expressed today.

He commenced by a reference to 1945, and the meeting at San Francisco, when there was established the United Nations. I am going to carry on from 1948 when Canada, at the United Nations general assembly, voted in favour of a universal declaration of human rights. By doing that we endorsed the principle and we undertook to promote progressive steps and measures to bring that about in our own country.

The preamble to the declaration begins in this way:

That human rights should be protected by the rule of law.

In furtherance of this high ideal and objective, groups were formed, manifestos framed, editorials written and speeches made both in and outside the house ending with the familiar phrase: The government should do something about it.

These people who have petitioned the government have asked that a bill of rights be directed to the well-being of the individual -not to safeguard any particular group, but to serve as a shield for all. I am familiar with the two schools of thought which have been enjoying an academic field day on the bill of rights over these past few years. I was a member of the joint parliamentary committee which studied the question in 1947. I have previously contributed to the debates on the subject in the house. One side wants a bill of rights written into the constitution. The other side says we lack the constitutional authority and that, in the last analysis, civil rights are the result of an informed and intelligent public opinion, and that they cannot be fully guaranteed by putting them into a statute. If both sides are left to themselves they will probably be arguing for many, many more years to come.

A bill of rights for Canadians is not an academic subject for debating societies, but very real, very live and very much needed today. There is no fundamental law in Canada guaranteeing civil liberty. There is no fundamental law in Canada prohibiting the exercise of state power in the denial of civil liberties. Ours is a negative freedom. Free speech, for instance, is in the position where it is not forbidden; but a negative freedom, in itself, is not enough. Let me quote from an editorial which

appeared in the Globe and Mail on May 15, 1951. I believe it indicates clearly what I have in mind:

Examples of the infringement of rights have been fairly numerous in Canada since the war. In various parts of the country legislatures, municipal councils, police forces and civil servants have offended. And the trouble is that the individual whose liberties have been denied cannot go to the court and point to any written Canadian law guaranteeing him redress. He can plead only the usage of the constitution and not all of our courts can be relied on to respect that authority. A national bill of rights would be something they could not avoid respecting and enforcing.

There are among us many minorities, racial, religious, economic and political. They know lull well that if discrimination can be practised against one group with impunity, then it can be directed against them. 1 do not believe that we can legislate tolerance in this country. Yet, defining the limits of civil liberties by law would not be an empty gesture.

There is a great need today for a formal restatement of the fundamental principles of individual freedom. The people of Canada want to know what their rights are, they are entitled to know that. As the hon. member for Lake Centre has pointed out, the objection raised is that the house is not competent to deal with a bill of rights. We have been told that it would not be constitutional. Without becoming involved in that particular question, let me say that it is not as simple as all that.

I quite agree that it would be difficult to say offhand just what the position is; but the constitutional difficulties are no reason for sloughing off the whole very important question now before the house. There is a simple method by which we can ascertain what is the constitutional position. If the Department of Justice is unable or unwilling -to give us an authoritative opinion that is .strong enough for us to proceed on, we can direct a reference to the Supreme Court of [DOT]Canada. We can determine our position with the least possible delay.

The hon. member for Lake Centre has indicated that on a previous occasion in respect of a very important matter, the then prime minister referred the matter of social legislation to the Supreme Court of Canada. Within our own memory, on a problem that I do not think is as important as a bill of rights, namely the matter of margarine, there was a reference to the Supreme Court of [DOT]Canada. It seems to me that a bill of rights would have priority at least equal to that of margarine.

Let me indicate for a moment some of the things I have in mind in a bill of rights. 'There are of course the racial discrimination

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cases, which have been widely reported in the press. I do not relish repeating them for the record. As a matter of fact, I very much regret the incidents.

Even now, there are a great number of cases which do not come to the attention of the public, and are unknown except to the parties involved. It is beyond question that one of the fundamental freedoms in any bill of rights is the freedom from discrimination on grounds of race, colour or creed.

I came across a reference to a speech made by the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) at McGill university as reported in the Globe and Mail on November 10. That report indicated that he had said that-

-Canada had grown a great deal since 1867, but Canadians had not yet reached the stage where everyone in every part of the country confidently felt he had nothing to fear from the action of a possible majority. Every Canadian should strive to bring about confidence in minorities that their rights would be safeguarded.

And at another point:

The idea that political rights could be based on racial superiority was one that was intolerable to Canadians, he said. Among Canadians it is not ancestry which determines one's superiority but only individual worth.

Closely allied is the freedom of the individual to practise his religion according to his beliefs. There have been some persecutions. Any charter of civil rights which does not protect the most precious and personal of all freedoms would not be worth the paper it is written on. It is a basic freedom, and any attempt to cut it down or qualify it places in jeopardy the religious freedom of everyone.

In Canada we can have no preferential religions. In the eyes of the law before the bar of justice all religions are valid and deserve respect. This must be affirmed in our Canadian bill of rights. Such provisions will stand as a constant reminder to those who may be tempted to instil intolerance by their numerical or economic superiority. Canada is a land of minorities, religious as well as racial. We are not a one-religion state any more than we are a one-party state. The Protestant, the Catholic, the Jew, yes, the Jehovah's Witness practises his religion, not on sufferance, but as of right. That right must be preserved for him against all attacks and for all time.

Political freedom is equally important. Even now the padlock law, which is an abridgement of the right of assembly, is still part of the law of one of our provinces. The hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefen-baker) made what I thought was an oblique reference to the situation that exists at this

Human Rights

France, and the note called for these provisions. I quote from the New York Times of March 23:

(1) German national land, air and sea forces "essential for the defence of the country" and the "war materials and equipment" necessary to supply them.

(2) Permission for all former nazis and wehr-macht officers, except those serving sentences for crimes, to re-enter German public life.

There you have it; a complete about-face. It need not surprise you, because the perverted minds in this country, and in other parts of the world, have now suddenly come to find that there is reason, logic and comfort in that new policy. They are advocating the new policy without any regard at all to what they did yesterday. You will find most of the communists and their fellow travellers in this country openly playing with the Germans. Even at this late date, they are preparing a halo for these Germans and trying to fit it to size.

These same communists who suppress civil liberties when they are in power do their most braying about civil liberties when they are out of power. While we are committed to a serious course of action in Korea whose conclusions cannot yet be known, we only know that the future will require all the strength that we can muster, spiritually, morally, physically, economically and militarily. Anything that weakens that strength is working against our best interest, and is doing a disservice to this country. I am suggesting even at this late date to those people, whatever their motives may be, to look about them in the world and to look into their own hearts. To deceive themselves may cause no great harm, but they cannot be permitted to deceive the rest of us. I think those who are inclined to the other persuasion had better reconsider their choice. I do not think the Canadian people understand how they justify serving the communist party, rather than the great aspirations of the Canadian people. Greater freedom, greater economic and social justice are not the goals of the communist party.

To be a dupe or a stooge may satisfy some maladjusted souls, but to serve indirectly the interests of another country is a very serious matter. I advise them to re-examine themselves very quickly. I am not preaching McCarthyism or guilt by association. I deplore that, as everyone in the house and the country knows. I am not speaking of crushing fundamental rights which I shall defend in the future as I have in the past, and which I am advocating for all people. I am speaking of citizenship and loyalty, on which there can be no division of opinion. I am not going to waste my time advising

communists. They do not listen to me. I have some hope that misguided fellow travellers will cut themselves loose, because I warn them that they are playing with fire.

What I want in a bill of rights is freedom within the law depending on two basic principles. First, that the individual may do and say what he believes, so long as he does not transgress the substantive law of the land. Second, that public authorities may only do those things which are authorized by common law or statute. It is within this framework that our Canadian bill of rights can be constructed.

I close by quoting three authorities. First, I should like to quote Professor A. ft. M. Lower, noted historian. This statement appears in a brief presented to the Prime Minister last year on behalf of a committee urging a bill of rights.

What Canada needs at the moment is to forge some kind of public restatement, something which will summarize her vital traditions, that is to say, the tradition of freedom, and place it, as it were, within the reach of the ordinary plain man.

Then I quote, as did the member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker), Rabbi Abraham L. Feinberg, whose statement appears in the Globe and Mail of March 22:

"The principle of human rights must be accorded the dignity and permanence of constitutional documentation", Rabbi Feinberg declared, "to encourage the weak in the pursuit of justice, to serve as a final ground of moral appeal, to restrain temporal and temporary governments from oppressive measures.

"The western nations in their struggle with communism have reached a crisis that demands the utmost moral measures," he said. "Our democracy, which we are ready to defend with arms, must first be defined-as a sure, uncompromising bulwark of the common people, without distinction of race, creed, or colour."

I close by quoting the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) who, speaking at McGill university on November 9 last year, said:

We must each and every one of us strive, by our own conduct and by the use of our own influence with others, to create a situation and a state of mind where all Canadians in every province will believe that all their cherished rights are completely safe against the encroachment of any possible majority of their fellow citizens.

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

Alistair McLeod Stewart

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

Mr. Alistair Stewart (Winnipeg North):

Mr. Speaker, the house has heard two most interesting speeches on the subject of a bill of rights. I am quite sure that the house will agree with me when I say that although the bar may have gained two distinguished adherents, the religious communities of both gentlemen have lost two great teachers. They have been speaking today on the great tradition of parliament and the subject matter is one which we all welcome for discussion.

I have for many years been concerned with the need for a bill of rights. Indeed, I remember that in 1945, when I first came to this parliament, I placed upon the order paper a resolution which was taken from the policy of the group I represent here. This was the wording of it:

That, in the opinion of this house, there should be incorporated in the constitution a bill of rights protecting minority rights, civil and religious liberties, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly; establishing equal treatment before the law for all citizens, irrespective of race, nationality or religious or political beliefs; and providing the necessary democratic powers to eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms.

I agreed with that then as I agree with it now. I happened to be looking over some of the past debates concerned with civil rights which have taken place in this house, as some other hon. members may have done; and I hope none of them will be deterred unduly by some of the things which have been said. I remember that the hon. member for Macleod (Mr. Hansell)-who on occasion can be quite a fire-eater-in 1948 said, as reported at page 2872 of Hansard:

I am as convinced as I ever could be that traitors to our way of life are behind this clamour for a bill of rights to protect our fundamental freedoms.

I then turned to page 2874, and find that the hon. member for Macleod continued:

To my mind there are only two classes of people who are crying for a bill of rights in Canada, and having it written into our constitution, under the sinister pressure of communist friends. Those two classes are traitors and dupes.

The hon. gentleman's language was at least far-fetched and one could easily say reckless. For anybody to say or to think for a moment that the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) is a traitor, that the hon. member for Spadina (Mr. Croll) is a dupe or that I am either one or the other, is something that is too absurd to comment upon. Nevertheless that unhappily is the sort of answer which is given in the name of argument. Expletive is confused with argument by members who disagree with those of us who believe that a bill of rights is necessary. I hope today that they will not resort to this type of answer but rather will try to present to the house a reasoned argument against what we believe to be the reasoned arguments which are being presented.

There is, of course-and the statement of the hon. member for Macleod is a case in point-a tremendous pressure for conformity. As somebody has already said in this debate, nothing would be more devastating to democracy than uniform conformity. Even the briefest knowledge of history will show that in many cases it has been the non-conformists who have been responsible for progress; and

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therefore it is the non-conformists amongst others who need the protection of a bill of rights.

The hon. member for Lake Centre dealt with the question of freedom of the press. Indeed, he quoted from a brief of the Canadian Daily Newspapers Association; and it was a very good brief, may I say. We in this group believe that freedom of the press should be protected, even although at times it seems to us it is freedom to print only that which the press wishes to see printed. I know that the daily press and the weekly press of this country do not always act in a responsible manner. There are many examples that I could give ranging from the Montreal Gazette right down to Hush and from Hush down to the Winnipeg Free Press.

One of the things which must alarm anyone who considers the state of the press in North America is the fact that competition is decreasing. Newspapers are either going bankrupt or are being bought out by those who were competitors. What we hear in the land more and more is the voice of only one group. I am told: "That problem can easily be solved by those who dislike the trend of the daily newspapers just now; they can always start another newspaper." In point of theory, that may be quite a good argument; but from the point of view of practice it is utterly impracticable because I doubt if one could start a daily newspaper today with a capitalization of even one million pounds. It can therefore be seen that starting a daily newspaper is a hobby in which only the extremely rich can afford to indulge. Not unnaturally those who control the press of the country insist that their views of events are the ones which shall be heard, always, of course, with a polite bow to the column which contains letters to the editor.

I have said that the press does not always act in a responsible manner, and I wish to document that statement with just one example. Hon. members will recall that in 1949, during the time of the general election, the Conservative party then was quite concerned about North Star aircraft, and it was going about the country breathing all sorts of things about those aircraft and about the company which made them. After the election-to be explicit, on August 2, 1949- Saturday Night, which professes to be one of the great weeklies in Canada, published on "The Front Page", the following few paragraphs:

It is by now, we think, generally admitted even by Conservatives that the attack against the North Star aircraft and Canadair Ltd. was not a justified and legitimate piece of political campaigning. One of the unfortunate characteristics of a campaign of this character during a pre-election period is that anybody who argues on the other side is at

Human Rights

once put down as a supporter of the party against which the campaign' is directed. Saturday Night had grave suspicions of the validity of the charges at the time when they were being so noisily exploited, as did, we think, a good many other politically independent periodicals. But to have expressed a strong opinion concerning them prior to the election would have exposed us to the charge of being opposed to the Conservative party . . .

Thus Saturday Night prefers error to continue. I have never seen such an extraordinary case of editorial pusillanimity, to put it mildly, in the history of Canadian journalism. Indeed, I think "pusillanimity" is the wrong word; editorial cowardice is what I should have said. Only too often newspapers which profess to revere the traditions of a free press are prepared to prostitute them whenever their interests are at stake. We want to see a free press but we do not want to see an irresponsible press. I would remind the house of what Robert M. Hutchins, who was president of the University of Chicago, said in a broadcast over the B.B.C. He-

. . . declared that the American Investigating commission had found United States newspapers, radio, movies and magazines largely dominated by irresponsible concentrations of private power.

That is a condition which we must safeguard ourselves against in this country just as we must safeguard freedom of the press. We respect this principle of freedom of the press, but we would be much happier if the press at times would respect the responsibility it ought to have to the people of Canada.

The hon. member for Spadina (Mr. Croll) mentioned a matter which is creating disturbance in another dominion. I refer to the Union of South Africa. He said what is happening there might be regarded as a domestic affair. I disagree with him. I do not think it is a domestic affair at all when in a country practices are carried on which vitally affect the whole free and democratic world. It is not a domestic affair when the premier of South Africa is giving aid and comfort to the enemies of democracy the world over. I therefore think it is right to do as the hon. member did, and as I intend to do, namely to speak out against this dreadful and shocking policy of apartheid. Surely one would have hoped-let me say it this way-that we might have become sufficiently civilized by now to realize that a man who has a different colour of skin is not necessarily a being inferior to ourselves. And yet that is the policy on which Dr. Malan seems to be operating. A million half-caste people in the Cape territory have been refused the right to vote merely because their skins are coloured, and that is going to be used against the democratic world all across Asia as another example of the hypocritical tactics

of the western world, and therefore we have to condemn it. It was condemned in another way in a statement issued by UNESCO some time ago on race prejudice by geneticists, biologists and others and this is what they say in part:

Wherever it has been possible to make allowances for differences in environmental opportunities, the tests have shown essential similarity in mental characters among all human groups. In short, given similar degrees of cultural opportunity to realize their potentialities, the average achievement of the members of each ethnic group is about the same.

There can be no excuse at all, for people who believe themselves to be civilized, to indulge in discrimination against any one group because of their colour. And yet there is one thing which I must draw to the attention of the house, to the attention of the government, and to the attention of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mr. Harris). There are British subjects whose skins are coloured, who are not permitted to come to this country to live, and the reason is the department believes that the climatic conditions in Canada are such that they would not be able to make a go of it in this country. As a matter of fact there was an order in council to that effect, order in council No. 2856. I am sure there are members other than myself who have known the experience of citizens from the British West Indies coming to this country and then being deported because they were unacceptable owing to the colour of their skins, and not for any moral, social or other reason.

We are not above criticism ourselves, and if we have to criticize others at times then we must be as far as possible in the position of Caesar's wife-above suspicion. Experience has shown that these young men who have come to Canada have, in the past, fitted well into the Canadian scene. History has shown that when they joined the armed forces of Canada they fought as gallantly as did any others in the army; but it is a policy of discrimination which has to be corrected.

There may be valid reasons for excluding people from this country, but the colour of a man's skin can no longer be accepted as valid. The hon. member for Spadina (Mr. Croll) commented upon the fact that the communists had suddenly once again become enamoured of nazis and were quite prepared to see the nazis restored to power in Germany. I am not surprised, as indeed no one who knows communist tactics would be. I received on my desk this morning a statement demanding a bill of rights from a group which may or may not be a communist front. I do not know. There is no name on the document, but I have my own suspicions.

Yet I cannot forget that the communists who today are asking most loudly for a bill of rights are the very same people who in 1945 out-liberaled the Liberals in insisting that the Japanese be shifted a hundred miles from the coast of British Columbia and kept away in perpetuity. When a communist speaks about a bill of rights I think it is pardonable if we regard what he says with some derision.

There is another aspect of a bill of rights which has not yet been touched on, namely, the economic and social side of it. The late President Roosevelt said in 1944:

True freedom has no meaning unless man has independence and economic security.

If one examines the premise for that statement, one is forced to the conclusion that there is not very much true freedom in the world. Mr. Mackenzie King said in Toronto some years ago:

An era of freedom is achieved only as social security and human welfare become the main concern of men and nations.

It may be said: Well, we are slowly getting to that point. But I admit, Mr. Speaker, I am impatient in that regard; I should like to see us getting there much faster. We in this group say a bill of rights should include also a bill of social rights, for democracy implies economic and social rights as well as political rights. Amongst those social rights are these: For men the conditions of work shall be such that each shall have security and be assured of his personal dignity in the job he undertakes. We believe that men have the right to retire from work at 65, with a pension adequate to keep them in that dignity which we associate with the individual and which we talk about so much. We believe that men have the right to an adequate indemnity in the event of unemployment. The time is going to come, perhaps not in our day, when we will realize that when a man is unemployed through no fault of his own he should not be penalized for that but, rather, should be assisted as rapidly as possible to new employment, and that while he is without work his income should not suffer.

We believe of course, as do others, in the right of the individual to membership in associations of his own choice. We believe in the right of the individual to social security against sickness and against the ills of life. That is not the situation just now. I remember hearing of a case in Winnipeg, where a friend of mine who was over 60, with the aid of his wife, had saved over the years two or three thousand dollars. Unhappily she was stricken with a disease which was fatal. During the course of her illness all the savings were used and this man's wife died. Now he is approaching 65 with no

Human Rights

savings and little security whatsoever. If there is dignity in humanity, and we say there is, then we have got to do something to avert such situations.

Another right is the right of the individual to own his individual property. Another right we would like to see stressed is that of equality between the sexes. Perhaps I will be accused of speaking as a mere man, but I must say that when I try to insist, with certain members of the distaff side, that they exercise their rights, they have been very loath to do so. Indeed we do believe as a principle that there should be equality between the sexes.

Another right which has been touched on by both the previous speakers is the right of a man to employment regardless of his race, his colour or his creed. I am sure that many of us come across cases where Canadian citizens have been denied work because of their ethnic extraction or because perhaps of their religious beliefs. That is a shocking thing in a democracy. It is true that racial discrimination is never so noticeable in times of full employment, when economic conditions are good. Then, to the average person the man next door is a neighbour, no matter what his religious belief may be or his ethnic origin. But this is a fact. When the threat of unemployment begins to pervade men's minds, then the one who is the neighbour becomes one who may perhaps take from them their right to work, and that is the time when racial and religious differences begin to show up.

It may be said that we cannot uproot this sort of prejudice, but at least we can try to protect those victimized. It may be said that we need education to get rid of racial prejudice. That is true. But remember that through the Christian churches we have been educating people for 2,000 years into a concept of brotherhood amongst men, and it has not yet come about. We need something more than education; we need legislation to stop overt acts of racial prejudice.

I find so often the terms we use are confusing. For instance, the hon. member for Lake Centre used the term "civil rights". I used the term "civil rights" too. We both used them with a certain connotation, but they are immediately picked up by those who insist on the actual words of the British North America Act, where civil rights are engrossed. I imagine that what we really mean-I stand subject to correction-is constitutional rights. I insist that it is the constitutional right of a Canadian to have a job, regardless of his ethnic origin, or of his religious' beliefs. Many of us have seen the effects of racial

Human Rights

discrimination upon our citizens in this country. It may at the best make them bitter; at the worst it makes them bad citizens, but in almost every case the effect of racial discrimination is little short of tragic, and indeed is so serious that I would regard it as a criminal offence. Therefore I think the way to combat it would be by an amendment to the Criminal Code. Here I should like to quote what Professor F. R. Scott said in the Canadian Bar Review in May, 1949:

Where the criminal law power is but little used today, and where it might be better used for the protection of freedoms, is in regard to the creation of new crimes against freedom itself. It is a crime to disturb a religious ceremony, but it is not a crime, or at least as precisely defined a crime, to disturb a public meeting or to prevent the distribution of literature. It is a crime for employers to discharge for trade union activities, but it is not a crime for them to use labour spies. It is a crime to libel an individual but not a crime to libel a group or race. It is a crime to hit any man over the head with a stick but it is not a crime to refuse to serve him a meal in a public restaurant or to refuse him a room in a hotel because of his race or religion. It is a crime for any public official, whether federal or provincial, to take a bribe, but not a crime for him to discriminate against races or creeds in granting licences or franchises. It would be wrong to imagine that freedom can be created merely by adding new crimes to the Criminal Code, but this is not to say that certain practices which violate human rights ought not to be made criminal where now they give rise only to a personal action in damages if there be an action at all. The law can buttress moral principles, and make the path of the wicked more difficult.

Therefore we would like to see in a bill of rights either some provision to outlaw discrimination against Canadian citizens or, if that cannot be achieved, an amendment to the criminal law. Then again it can be argued: What use is an amendment to the law? It can be repealed. The answer is that it can be-but so can Magna Carta, so can habeas corpus, so can the bill of rights. All of these great measures in human history can be repealed, but their presence on the statute books has proved of great value to protect the citizens of the United Kingdom and, to some extent, Canada.

One of our great tasks, I feel, is to protect the rights of minorities in search of work. One of our great tasks is to get rid of these stupid superstitions that a man is necessarily fundamentally different or inferior because he worships God in another way, because his skin is another colour, or because his race is something entirely different from ours.

Here I would like to quote an editorial which appeared in the Ottawa Journal, and which referred to an article from UNESCO:

Biological studies lend support to the ethic of universal brotherhood; for man is born with drives toward co-operation, and unless these drives are satisfied, man and nations alike fall ill. Man is bom a social being who can reach his fullest

development only through interaction with his fellows. The denial at any point of this social bond between man and man brings with it disintegration. In this sense, every man is his brother's keeper. For every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main, because he is involved in mankind.

When we have accepted these things we may not need a bill of rights; but until then we most certainly do.

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PC

Charles Delmar Coyle

Progressive Conservative

Mr. A. Phileas Cole (Malapedia-Malane):

Mr. Speaker, without any desire to copyright this well-known truth, I shall venture to state at the outset of my remarks that Canada, like all other nations of the world, is undergoing quite a transition.

As it is for humanity to choose between a paradise in this world or annihilation, so it is for Canada to choose between two ideologies -totalitarianism or streamlined democracy. And I voluntarily use the word streamlined, because it is for Canada, as it is for many other countries in this new atomic era, either evolution or revolution. Indeed, if there ever was a time in the history of mankind which called for reorientation, it surely is ours; and this applies both on the international and on the national fronts.

In this respect may I venture to say that in the realm of international relations the famous "what we have we hold" or the concept of imperialism is not an up-to-date enunciation of realities; no more than the obsolete policy of balance of power or sphere of influence.

This radical change is of course the product of a war in two volumes, during the last 35 years; but it is also the result of an inventory which took stock of the obligations and the rights in store in totalitarian and democratic states-with the consequence that the people fond of democratic principles are trying hard to give democracy a greater meaning for mankind.

Of course one of the first endeavours in this direction surely was the assurance given during the war to all peoples, that the democratic states would see to it that the four freedoms would not be a mere enunciation of principles, and that everywhere in the democratic world freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear and freedom from want would actually become the order of the day.

That is why the various conferences conducive to the organization of the United Nations agreed at least on certain fundamentals which became incorporated afterwards in the charter of the United Nations.

We surely cannot repeat too often the clauses of this charter. As a matter of fact this charter should be given to school children and to night school pupils to memorize,

because the first condition for the implementation of this charter is the cognition of what it embodies.

Thus:

We, the peoples of the United Nations, determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has "brought untold sorrow to mankind, 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 small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, and for these ends to practise tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours; and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security; and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest; and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples, have resolved to combine our efforts to accomplish these aims.

And Canada signed.

Now you will tell me: Is it not enough and why a bill of rights for Canada?

Surely it would be enough if it did not need to be more articulated in our midst. But something remains to be done to give Canadians all enjoyment of human rights. And irrespective of the number of freedoms the United Nations human rights commission decided to formulate, these freedoms will be useless if the people of the world in general and the people of Canada in particular are not cognizant of the fact that they, and they themselves alone, have the responsibility, through of course a democratic process- otherwise it would be a revolution-to see that every single freedom of theirs is assured to them. The best demonstration that all peoples' freedoms are well safeguarded is in the exercise of them all. And nobody else but the body politic of a country can assure that exercise of freedom.

And in this respect the body politic of a democracy has surely in the competition of ideologies an advantage that I would consider it stupid not to use. For instance what system but a democratic one can offer freedom from wrongful interference; freedom of press; freedom of radio; freedom of motion pictures; freedom of publications; freedom of speech, et cetera, et cetera-in a word, freedom of all media of information.

And all these freedoms cannot be reasserted and reassured and dedicated in a clearer and a more lasting form than in a charter which becomes part of the law of the land. Once a law, and only then, a right is protected against aggression and the culprit is liable to punishment.

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Therefore whoever will infringe other rights shall be chastized as he deserves to be. Therefore whoever will try to discriminate against his brother-for, as St. Paul once said, "we are all sons of a universal God"-will not reap the harvest of his misdemeanour, but shall pay the price of the damage.

Now, having in view the aims of the democratic world on the one hand and on the other the obligations of a democratic state to promote freedoms dear to the human heart, acceptable to human dignity, sought by human intelligence and desired by human will power, do you not think it is advisable to chart Canadians' rights?

Not that we ask for more here in this country than is being elsewhere asked for. No, surely not. But it is about time that we should become conscious of certain realities about ourselves first and second that we do something about it. And I am afraid that if those having responsibilities do not see the sign on the wall, they will later find themselves impotent to cope with the situation when they hear voices.

I am afraid that old conformism is defunct.

I am afraid the old peacetime policy is gone with the wind.

And I am afraid if rights of Canadians are not once and for all well established, safeguarded, exercised, that sporadic emigration and purge will not altogether solve the problem of building Canada into a first-class democratic state.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Roselown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to have the opportunity of supporting what I regard as a most important resolution introduced by the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker). This resolution asks that the house and the government consider the introduction of a bill of rights which would become part of the constitution of this country to guarantee rights which until recent times we took for granted under the common law. I think the suggestion made by the hon. member in the resolution that the matter should be referred to the supreme court for a decision as to what rights lie between the provinces and the dominion is a good one. I hope that that suggestion will be taken under advisement and carried into effect immediately so that we may have the basis of a comprehensive bill of rights.

I said a moment ago that many of us, taking these rights for granted, were concerned largely with the gaining of more economic rights to complete the political rights which we already thought we had. We thought that in Canada rights and liberties

Human Rights

like those we have been discussing this afternoon were unassailable, but in the last fifteen or twenty years we have seen attempts made by legislatures to curtail some basic rights of freedom. While this parliament and this government undoubtedly have the right to disallow, for example, legislation which infringed certain constitutional rights of citizenship, the government did not always disallow acts which set them aside. As an example I would refer to the padlock law in the province of Quebec which the government did not disallow. Then we had the press act of Alberta in 1937 which was disallowed. Both of these were infringements of the civil rights of individuals and they both should have been treated in the same manner.

While it may be argued that the end justifies the means, many of us in this house and throughout the country, abhorring communism and denouncing espionage, nonetheless were gravely disturbed by the manner in which the government undertook an investigation several years ago. Persons were picked up, held incommunicado and were not given legal warnings or opportunities of obtaining legal advice. Indeed, the whole thing was a departure from our usual procedures under the law. Habeas corpus was abrogated under those circumstances because there was no opportunity for any representative appearing before a court and as the first order of business in that court asking for the production of the body of an individual who was held incommunicado.

I take it that the resolution moved by the hon. member for Lake Centre clearly has in mind the prevention of any recurrence of that kind of thing, any departure from the established legal safeguards. Indeed in the cases I have just mentioned the legal safeguards both for Canada and the accused were there and we could have proceeded, prosecuted, found guilty and sentenced under the law.

These were of course rather glaring examples and they affected numerous people. However, I want to say that in our country today other civil rights are being denied quite frequently to individuals and we hear very little about the infringements. For example, we have the occasional denying of accommodation in hotels to individuals because of their race or colour. Ostensibly they are told that the hotel is full, that there is no accommodation. I know of one particular case where a coloured lady, an opera singer, visited one of our western cities,

presented herself at the hotel where a reservation was said to have been made, and was told that the hotel was full. To the credit of the lieutenant governor of that province, and I think perhaps I should name him-the late Mr. Archie McNab, former lieutenant governor of Saskatchewan-he invited this lady into his home where she spent a most pleasant week end with him and his wife.

We have so-called clubs which are really resorts, like the Seigniory club not many miles away from here where no accommodation can be obtained by anyone of the Jewish race or religion.

In the city of Toronto there is the lawyers' club in which no Jewish application is accepted. That is all the more surprising because after all, as the hon. member for Lake Centre has indicated over and over again, one of the safeguards of our democracy must come from those who practise the law. They at least should exercise no discrimination in any way.

Then there are summer resorts with restricted areas where people of certain races, colours or religions cannot find a place in which to spend a pleasant summer holiday.

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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Gentlemen's agreements.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

In more recent days we have heard of persons who have lost their jobs or positions for security reasons, as they were told. I want to say immediately that any person who may abet sabotage, any person who may foment disloyalty to our country, should not have the right to work in a factory where secret operations are under way. But having said that, I hold that when a man is accused of being a poor security risk, and is about to lose his job he should be given the opportunity of appealing to some independent group or board. We did that during the war. Our experience with the defence of Canada regulations after a year or so compelled us to set up a board of review. That board of review acted with discretion and gave the protection to which every Canadian is entitled. In other parts of the British commonwealth there are such boards of review and I am advised that they have been working well. I know it will be said that there is a risk involved, but after all we should endeavour under all circumstances to maintain the right of the individual to be heard when he is accused, and under no circumstances condemn him by mere hearsay or association.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

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AFTER RECESS The house resumed at eight o'clock.


CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

Just before the dinner recess, Mr. Speaker, I was remarking that I thought those who were being refused jobs on account of security should be given an opportunity to make an appeal to some governmental board or authority in order that they might make representation, and if unjustly accused might have an opportunity of clearing themselves. I think that is very important, because while we must do everything we can to guard against sabotage, to guard against the undermining of our institutions and espionage, nevertheless I think we have to be careful that there is no infringement of the democratic rights of Canadian citizens. When we see what has been going on in the United States in respect to some of these matters, I think Canadians are most anxious that we shall not follow the example set there and pillory persons simply because they are suspected of having, through their friends or by themselves, associations which are not popular in their country.

I say we must set our faces against anything of that kind, and legislate against it, because while in the last war we defeated one threat of repression which was extending over a large part of the world, we must be careful that we do not allow, in our own countries and under our own institutions, anything of that sort to occur. As I said at the outset, our freedom is incomplete, and will be incomplete until we get a wider measure of economic freedom. We should be careful to guard the freedom that we have. We believe that we should provide, as constitutional and inalienable, political and social rights, particularly the right of appeal under the law against any accusation that may be brought against an individual.

Last July in Frankfurt-on-Main there was a meeting of people who were of like mind in regard to the defence of freedom all across the world. The democratic socialists of some thirty-five countries adopted a set of principles regarding political freedom that are well worth putting on the record here tonight. They are as follows:

(a) The right of every human being to a private life protected from arbitrary invasion by the state;

(b) Political liberties like freedom of thought, expression, education, organization and religion;

(c) The representation of the people through free elections under universal, equal and secret franchise;

(d) Government by the majority and respect for the rights of the minority;

(e) Equality before the law of all citizens whatever their sex, language, creed and colour;

(f) Right to cultural autonomy for groups with their own languages and cultures;

Human Rights

(g) An independent judiciary system; every man must have the right to a public trial before an impartial tribunal by due process of law.

Such aims, of course, differentiate the democrat of every type from the nazi, the fascist or the communist. When the communists or fascists attain power, they deny the fundamental, political and social rights of man. Wherever these organizations appear and threaten our democratic institutions, I believe they must be opposed with all the energy that we possess. I want to associate myself with the hon. member for Spadina (Mr. Croll) when he spoke this afternoon about what is going on in South Africa. On occasion, I have been disappointed with our own delegation at the United Nations. When the matter of the South African racial discrimination has come before the United Nations, I have been disappointed that Canada has not taken a stronger position than she has taken. I know that there was a feeling that if we took a strong stand we perhaps might jeopardize the association of South Africa with the commonwealth. But I do not believe that that would have been the case. I believe quite the contrary, that had the commonwealth countries made their position clear a year or two ago, Malan might have had much greater difficulty in carrying out his apartheid policy which he has been putting into effect. It is incongruous that, within this British commonwealth, the denial of human freedom should go to the exterit it has gone in a sister commonwealth country.

I believe that this country should make it very plain that we do not intend to remain silent when such discrimination is practised. After all, as the hon. member for Spadina said this iafternoon, one of the greatest services that can be rendered to the world is the preservation of the association of India, Pakistan and Ceylon within the commonwealth of nations. I think ift is one of the greatest services-

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LIB

George Matheson Murray

Liberal

Mr. Murray (Cariboo):

Would the hon. member allow a question?

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

Yes.

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LIB

George Matheson Murray

Liberal

Mr. Murray (Cariboo):

I should like to ask who controls the diamond mines and the gold reserves in South Africa?

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

Who controls the gold mines?

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LIB

George Matheson Murray

Liberal

Mr. Murray (Cariboo):

The gold mines and the diamond mines of the Transvaal?

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

For the diamond mines, it is mainly the DeBeers Company.

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LIB

George Matheson Murray

Liberal

Mr. Murray (Cariboo):

They are not Canadians.

Human Rights

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

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

I do not suggest they are Canadians. I do not know of any Canadians who control the diamond or gold mines within the confines of the Union of South Africa. There is a prominent Canadian who has run across a valuable deposit of diamonds, hut it is not in the Union of South Africa. I am discussing the commonwealth relationship with India, Pakistan and Ceylon, and how valuable they are to the commonwealth and to the world. This relationship Should not be jeopardized by the other commonwealth countries remaining silent in the face of what is happening in South Africa. Of course, there are other matters of discrimination. "We should condemn the expulsion of religious missionaries, by whatever countries they are expelled. We should stand against religious persecution, wherever that is practised in the world. We should condemn official pronouncements against religions of various types, because if we mean anything when we speak of civil liberty, certainly the liberty of religion is involved.

I am, therefore, happy that the province of Saskatchewan has placed upon its statute books the most comprehensive civil rights bill, certainly in Canada and I believe in North America. I am going to put on the record the provisions of that bill, though they are a little longer than those I usually quote. The act was passed in 1947, and is entitled, "An act to protect certain civil rights." It reads as follows:

1. This act may be cited as The Saskatchewan Bill of Rights Act, 1947.

2. In this act the expression "creed" means religious creed.

3. Every person and every class of persons shall enjoy the right to freedom of conscience, opinion and belief, and freedom of religious association, teaching, practice and worship.

4. Every person and every class of persons shall, under the law, enjoy the right to freedom of expression through all means of communication, including speech, the press, radio and the arts.

5. Every person and every class of persons shall enjoy the right to peaceable assembly with others and to form with others associations of any character under the law.

6. Every person and every class of persons shall enjoy the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention, and every person who is arrested or detained shall enjoy the right to an immediate judicial determination of the legality of his detention and to notice of the charges on which he is detained.

7. Every qualified voter resident in Saskatchewan shall enjoy the right to exercise freely his franchise in all elections and shall possess the right to require that no legislative assembly shall continue for a period in excess of five years.

8. (1) Every person and every class of persons shall enjoy the right to obtain and retain employment without discrimination with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of

employment because of the race, creed, religion, colour or ethnic or national origin of such person or class of persons.

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall deprive a religious institution or any school or board of trustees thereof of the right to employ persons of any particular creed or religion where religious instruction forms or can form the whole or part of the instruction or training provided by such institution, or by such school or board of trustees pursuant to the provisions of The School Act, and nothing in subsection (1) shall apply with respect to domestic service or employment involving a personal relationship.

9. Every person and every class of persons shall enjoy the right to engage in and carry on any occupation, business or enterprise under the law without discrimination because of the race, creed, religion, colour or ethnic or national origin of such person or class of persons.

10. Every person and every class of persons shall enjoy the right to acquire by purchase, to own in fee simple or otherwise, to lease, rent and to-occupy any lands, messuages, tenements or hereditaments, corporeal or incorporeal, of every nature and description, and every estate or interest therein, whether legal or equitable, without discrimination because of the race, creed, religion, colour or ethnic or national origin of such persons or class of persons.

11. Every person and every class of persons shall enjoy the right to obtain the accommodation or facilities of any standard or other hotel, victualling house, theatre or other place to which the public is customarily admitted, regardless of the race, creed, religion, colour or ethnic or national origin of such persons or class of persons.

12. Every person and every class of persons shall enjoy the right to membership in and all of the benefits appertaining to membership in every professional society, trade union or other occupational organization without discrimination because of the race, creed, religion, colour or ethnic or national origin of such person or class of persons.

13. (1) Every person and every class of persons; shall enjoy the right to education in any school, college, university or other institution or place of learning, vocational training or apprenticeship-without discrimination because of the race, creed,, religion, colour or ethnic or national origin of such, person or class of persons.

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall prevent a school, college, university or other institution or place of learning which enrolls persons of a particular creed or religion exclusively, or which is-, conducted by a religious order or society, froim continuing its policy with respect to such enrolment.

Then there is just one more:

14. (1) No person shall publish, display or cause-or permit to be published or displayed on any lands; or premises or in any newspaper, through any radio broadcasting station, or by means of any other-medium which he owns, controls, distributes or sells, any notice, sign, symbol, emblem or other-representation tending or likely to tend to deprive,, abridge or otherwise restrict, because of the race, creed, religion, colour or ethnic or national origin. of any person or class of persons the enjoyment by any such person or class of persons of any right, to which he or it is entitled under the law.

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall be construed as restricting the right to freedom of speech under the law, upon any subject.

Then follow certain penalty clauses. That, is a fairly comprehensive bill of rights; and those of us who know the history of western^

Canada and of the document will realize why some of the provisions were included in the act.

Hence it is that we should like to see on the statute books of the parliament of Canada a bill, perhaps not in these terms but within the federal jurisdiction, guaranteeing basic civil rights as fundamentals of our Canadian citizenship.

This afternoon the hon. member for Winnipeg North (Mr. Stewart) put on the record a resolution representing the views of our organization and passed at a recent convention. I have here a similar motion. We have been passing these resolutions every two years ever since the C.C.F. came into being. I hope that we are now on the way to getting something really done by the federal parliament in this field. The statutory rights in the Saskatchewan act to which I have referred indicate our belief in the sanctity of the human personality. That is why we protest so strongly against discriminatory practices within our commonwealth such as those that have been outlined in legislation of the Union of South Africa; and of course one could name other countries and other nations outside the commonwealth that are doing or have done the same kind of thing.

We must not forget the fact that the freedoms we now have were won after a costly and prolonged struggle by our forefathers and that we have a rich inheritance in Magna Carta, in habeas corpus and other safeguards that either by law or by custom have been handed down to us from bygone days. We want to see those carefully preserved, particularly in this generation when human freedom in so many parts of the world is threatened or has been threatened in recent times.

It may be said, of course, that we have equality before the law; but I should say that at times, even in our own land, equality before the law has been denied because of the circumstances of the litigant. May I just say this. I believe that, until we remove the financial burden which litigants have to assume, there can be no equality. Indeed, we have welcomed the provision of defending counsel by public authority in various trials, but that provision does not entirely meet the situation. It is a good step forward; but until litigation is less costly and until litigants have access to the courts without running the risk of enormous fees which often prevent them from seeking their rights in the courts, we shall not have obtained the fullest civil right to which citizens are entitled. The stand that has been taken this afternoon by the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker), the hon. member for Winnipeg North (Mr. Stewart), the hon.

Human Rights

member for Spadina (Mr. Croll), the hon. member for Matapedia-Matane (Mr. Cote) and by myself tonight is thoroughly in line with the principles that most of us profess, namely the principles of biblical teaching.

I have before me the report of the 1948 Lambeth conference of the bishops of the world-wide Anglican communion. I prefer to refer to that report because I happen to be a member of the religious denomination whose many bishops including those of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States, and others from all over the world, made this important pronouncement. I should like to put this on record because I think it contains several thoughts that are most interesting and telling, coming as it does from one of the great Christian denominations, with world-wide influences and associations. These are what the Anglican church describes as the essential human rights which should be generally accepted. The first one they give is this:

1. The right of the individual to personal security.

Then they go on to explain what this means:

This includes freedom from arbitrary arrest or

imprisonment, from torture and from slavery. It is essential to insist on these rights, especially as against the police state.

May I say that torture may be not only physical but mental; and I have thought that some of the individuals appearing before some of the Senate committees in the United States have been tortured mentally if not physically; indeed sometimes mental torture can be worse than physical torture.

The report continues:

2. The right to life is not sufficient; man must be given the right to use his gifts or capacities in useful service. It is therefore necessary to secure for him various social and economic rights; among these are the right to work, to marry, to bring up a family and to possess personal property.

3. Next there are the rights of freedom of speech, discussion and association. This group includes freedom of the press and on information from different points of view. It is important that the organs of publicity should be free and that the people should have access to reliable information, for they cannot reach a right judgment on current problems if they are left in ignorance by a rigorous censorship of unscrupulous propaganda.

4. Fourthly there is the right of man to religious freedom. This is of utmost importance, for man has no true freedom unless he has freedom to worship and serve God according to the dictates of his conscience. Religious freedom means far more than freedom to worship and teach within a church building. It means also the right to propagate a religion and for an individual to change his religion without incurring political, social, or economic disabilities. In the case of children the family, not the state, should ultimately decide what religion the child is taught. The Christian church must be quite uncompromising in its demands for full religious freedom both for Christians and for those of other religions. Without religious freedom all other freedoms are precarious.

Human Rights

I would draw your particular attention to that last sentence, Mr. Speaker. In other words, the right of the individual to choose his own religion whatever it may be is one of the basic rights that we should all possess in a civilized society. Of course there are those who would try to induce people to accept the view that when they are brought before the law for teaching something that is seditious, the use of force to overthrow the state, or something of that sort, that is an infringement of civil liberty. It is not an infringement of civil liberty, but I believe that the only way to deal with sedition is by due process of law. A person is seditious if he wishes to promote the overthrow of the state by force, and should be accused openly in court and judged by his peers, and, if found guilty, pay the penalty of the crime. But I agree with the hon. member for Spadina (Mr. Croll) that there are those who would use civil liberty as a cloak to suppress civil liberty; that if they had the opportunity themselves of conducting the business of government and controlling the country they would deny to others the civil liberty which they demand for themselves. I agree with the hon. member for Spadina in what he said about that this afternoon.

Let us be careful that we are not deceived by those who use civil liberty as a means of propaganda against the institutions of liberty that we possess in a democratic land. So, Mr. Speaker, we are in support of this resolution for the reasons that have been given on all sides of the house this afternoon. We believe that we need to put such an act upon the statute books. If I may refer to the hon. member for Spadina again-he said that we live in a country where freedom probably is greater than in any other country except the United Kingdom. I think that is true, and yet nonetheless from time to time we have found persons persecuted and prosecuted without due process of law. We should endeavour to wipe out any blots that we have upon our national escutcheon, and endeavour to assure that every citizen of Canada has the right of open trial by jury, that safeguard of personal liberty guaranteed by Magna Carta in 1215, and the right of habeas corpus.

I want to conclude, Mr. Speaker, by saying that we welcome this resolution. It is in line with our own thinking. We hope the house will support it, and with that support the government will, first of all, do what the hon. member for Lake Centre suggests-I think it is a wise suggestion-refer the matter to the Supreme Court of Canada so that we may know where the federal authority lies and where the provincial authority

lies. Then write into our national constitution-as we may now when this parliament can amend our federal constitution-a federal bill of rights guaranteeing, as far as we are able, the civil rights of every citizen of Canada.

(Translation):

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

Lionel Bertrand

Liberal

Mr. Lionel Bertrand (Terrebonne):

Mr. Speaker, as far as I am concerned, I am opposed to this motion, for a number of reasons. I will set them forth briefly since, I take it, other members also wish to speak on this matter.

A bill such as the one suggested by the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefen-baker) would not effect many changes in respect of personal rights in this country. On the other hand it would create a very large number of new problems; it would provoke so many differences of opinion, from every point of view, that it would be unwise to adopt it. In any event there are so many things to do in this country that, in this particular field, it would be better, for the moment at least, to keep our present system while attempting, all the while, to improve it.

To adopt such a bill would require a whole series of meetings, all of which would be fraught with a variety of difficulties. The first would be a jurisdictional wrangle between the dominion government and the provinces.

In 1948, if I am not mistaken, a joint committee of the Senate and the House of Commons was set up to study the matter and, after several sittings, the committee finally decided to consult the provinces.

Only Saskatchewan answered in the affirmative. A few others did not reply at all, thus showing utter indifference towards the matter. The others objected entirely, stating that the federal government had no jurisdiction in that respect. They claimed, and I believe rightly so, that human rights come under civil rights, which are under the jurisdiction of the provinces and that these rights are protected by provincial laws.

A federal act concerning a declaration of rights would lead to a violent debate on provincial autonomy. Some provinces might use it as an electoral issue and that must be avoided. Besides, would the provinces ever agree to a single wording? That is so unlikely that it would be better to discard immediately the proposal made by the member for Lake Centre.

Another danger would be our own constitution which advises us to avoid bills of that kind. Different countries have different and varied constitutions. Some lend themselves to a bill of that kind; others do not. In the

United States, for example, the constitution is above congress and therefore above the legislators; thus the American parliament is limited in its supremacy. It is not the same in the commonwealth countries, including our own country. The Canadian parliament is supreme within the framework of its authority and our provinces are supreme within the sphere of their jurisdiction. The supremacy of our country and of our provinces is unlimited.

In a newspaper article written a few years ago on the matter, Mr. Paul Sauriol, a brilliant journalist of French Canada had this to say:

Under those conditions, even if the jurisdictional clash were settled, the passage of a bill of rights would not be unassailable since parliament, federal or provincial, remains above its own legislation which it can repeal.

A professor in the faculty of law of the university of Toronto, Mr. W. P. M. Kennedy, raised this objection when he appeared before the joint committee of the Senate and the House of Commons. He stated that an effective bill of rights would require from the federal and provincial parliaments a surrender of their supreme powers. Short of a complete change in our political system, a bill of rights passed by parliament could be changed at any time.

There is a third difficulty, which is not the least: the impossibility of agreement being reached between the central government and the ten provinces.

However, everybody does not consider from an identical angle the rights with which we are endowed and which we enjoy. This prompted Mr. Sauriol, still considering the same problem, to write the following:

The boundaries which separate the exercise of a right from the misuse of that right are already well marked. But those who advocate a bill of rights claim that it will help abolish certain restrictions which they consider to be objectionable and which, according to them, have often been resorted to by the central government, as well as by the provincial legislatures and the municipalities in the past few years.

A debate on that point would soon end in a deadlock.

And further on he adds:

The point is this: What is considered as fundamental? The Catholic doctrine asserts the rights of the individual but considers that liberty must ,remain a faithful servant of the truth; if in the name of liberty one makes an attempt against truth, one becomes guilty of licence. On the other hand, there are some people who stress the importance of liberty and disregard the rights of truth, thus removing still further the boundaries of licence.

All those motives tell against the introduction of such a reform in our country. If I am not mistaken, in 1948, the social commission of the general assembly of the United Nations adopted a 21-article declaration of human rights, which was later approved. Nine members voted for the declaration and none against; six countries did not vote and 55704-47

Human Rights

Canada was among them. Mr. Pearson explained then why Canada had not voted on that occasion.

He asserted that Canada would have endorsed the UNO declaration but added that, faithful to its clear-cut policy, the Canadian government refused to encroach on provincial privileges; Canada, he said, had no intention of modifying her laws and customs which ensure respect of human rights.

Mr. Pearson was fully expressing, on that occasion, the views of the Canadian government and this answer, given before all the nations of the world, should be enough to silence all those who, to further their petty political interests, keep on repeating the same old story-which luckily is worn out, especially in my province-that the federal government is determined to deprive the provinces of their rights.

If there is a country in the world which does not need such a reform, it is Canada. Our laws protect the religious and national rights of everybody in the country as a whole and in the provinces in particular. Never shall a reform measure of the type put forward by the member for Lake Centre be approved and if it were, it would bring forth a flood of useless and acrimonious discussions, at a time when we can very well do without such debates.

Our present institutions could stand some improvement and that is what we should try to achieve above anything else.

The resolution demands freedom for broadcasting. I am not opposed to such a freedom, but after all that freedom should not be allowed to turn into indecency and to come into direct contradiction with the ideals of nearly all the population of Canada. Too many lecturers have been heard over the English network of C.B.C. defying the Canadian public and trying to destroy the understanding and the unity which it is the duty of the C.B.C. to serve. Whether Protestants or Catholics, Canadians have a right to demand that the C.B.C. respect their convictions, for the simple reason that free men do not like to be derided in public, especially when they, themselves, are footing the bill. Such lecturers as were denounced last year by the French and English press across our country should not be allowed to speak on the C.B.C. network. In my opinion, it is criminal, even for the sake of science to allow those lecturers to expound their theories, claiming that religion is but a blind effort and maintaining that the obstacle which prevents both peoples

Human Rights

and individuals from attaining true maturity is the very concept of right and wrong. Many others, on the English network, have been really propounding immorality.

I am told there has been an improvement; so much the better. I am the first to rejoice at this news.

The hon. member mentions the freedom of the press. I wish to insist on this point because I am a professional journalist, a newspaper owner as well as the secretary of an association numbering 92 members today in this country. Freedom of the press is one of the greatest freedoms essential to the world. Recently, a communique from the Canadian Daily Newspapers Association gave a definition of the freedom of the press: What is meant precisely by the familiar expression. "freedom of the press?"

It does not consist essentially in a special privilege granted to the editors of newspapers. It is rather an aspect of this more important freedom, freedom of all men to express their views openly and without fear. The press does not ask for any right which should not be acknowledged to every citizen of a democracy.

But the freedom of the press somehow symbolizes plain freedom, because, in our modern world, the press is the main medium of such information as is needed by the citizens in order to form a judgment on the actions of their leaders and to shape their opinion on public affairs. Without newspapers, or with a fettered or blinded press, they would be deprived of power and remain in darkness. Therefore, an unfettered press is the bulwark of every democracy.

In countries controlled by a dictatorship, newspapermen do not write what they want. If some dictatorships have lasted for years and years, and if some of them still exist in certain European countries, it is due to the muzzling of the press, which was unable to inform the people of the actual domestic news, and of the true international facts.

Even in democratic countries, the fears of the people, its frequent hesitations, its apathy, and its failure to co-openate, often have their roots in the fact that governments, for reasons of security which are sometimes exaggerated, and in order to distort, without justification, the real issues, hide behind an absolute silence or impose restrictions which ought not be applied.

To restrict the freedom of the press in a democracy is to strike directly at liberty itself. Nowadays, when distances have been abolished, when media for information are such that every-day news is set down at your very doorstep, the only really free press is that which, daily, without fear of reproach or reprisal, communicates to its readers true information and comments freely upon it.

We have, in Canada, a press which is, in fact, worthy of the privileges which democracy affords. Its news is based upon exactness and impartiality. Our news gathering agencies are reckoned among the best in the world. Some of our newspapers comment upon the news, declare themselves to be clearly independent and expose their opinions fearlessly, even though these may be open to discussion and are, in fact, widely discussed. However, since in doing so, they respect the code of professional ethics, they do make themselves useful to the public. As for subversive publications, they are rarer in this country than anywhere else. They have few readers since the Canadian people are not ready to subscribe to any other form of government than democracy or to accept teachings which are not in accord with their religious beliefs, patriotism or respect for human dignity. Therefore, in a country such as Canada, the press must receive from the government the co-operation which will enable it to carry out its function and to devote itself entirely to the progress of the country in its various spheres of activity. First of all, access to information, a thing that now exists in this country and, for tomorrow, the avoidance of any direct censorship or even of any infringement, no matter of what kind. Since it is recognized that the press is a public service-it is one we no longer can do without-let no governmental measures be permitted, wherein can be felt the hand of bureaucracy or the administration's uncompromisingness to unnecessarily paralyse its mission.

Why, for instance, should the government stubbornly maintain a sales tax on newsprint for newspapers, when magazines are exempted?

Why should the Post Office Department, after having raised last year the mail transport rates, persist in trying to find in rules, that are out-of-date and not in keeping with the spirit Of our times, ways of annoying the newspapers with puerile and trifling things?

Why should not the government take this splendid opportunity to ask the newsprint companies to sell their product at a lower price to the publishers of Canadian newspapers? Ninety per cent of our newsprint production is used outside of our country. Those national resources of ours are being shipped abroad. Are we to pay the same price as our neighbours for a product which belongs to us?

Some will say that those are questions of minor importance. They are however questions which may jeopardize tomorrow the small newspaper, especially the small weekly. In ten years, the price of newsprint has increased from $60 to $162 a ton. The basic salary for a workman's helper has increased from 58 cents an hour in 1942 to $1.20 an hour at the present time. The cost of printing service has increased by about 150 per cent in the last ten years.

It will be realized that even the increased subscription and national advertising rates have been unable to compensate for the present cost of publishing a newspaper.

The government must facilitate the part played by the newspapers because they are, as I said, a public service. And if that service is useful to the nation even in the most remote places, has the time not cOme for the government, which already spends large sums of money on national advertising, to establish officially a national news office whose task it would be to summarize impartially our laws, which have become so numerous that the mass of the public can hardly see through them, and to make them known throughout the whole country by means of well-written news advertisements in that indispensable medium, the daily or weekly newspaper.

A bill of human rights in my opinion would tend to complicate things unnecessarily. We have good laws. They give protection in all fields. The provinces have their own laws. What more could we ask for? Simply that such abuses as may creep in be corrected so that people may feel more and more that living in our country is a blessing, that this blessing is felt in the full enjoyment of freedom: the right to practise one's faith, the right to speak one's language, the right to follow one's customs in a country inhabited by people of different races and religions where everyone may pray to God in his own tongue, serve his country in his own tongue and dedicate his life, his home, his talent, his resources and finally all his assistance to the making of a greater, a more powerful and more prosperous Canada.

(Text):

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

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. H. W. Herridge (Kootenay West):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to express my support for this resolution. I am happy to associate myself with the members who have spoken in favour of it during this debate. I want to congratulate the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) upon his persistence in introducing a resolution of this type year after year. While up to date he and other hon. members of this house have not been 55704-474

Human Rights

able to move the government to action so far as a bill of human rights or a declaration of human rights and fundamental freedoms is concerned, there is no question that there is a much wider understanding in Canada of the principles involved in a resolution like this and of the dangers that threaten human rights and fundamental freedoms under conditions of crisis such as those we are living under at the present time.

Another interesting fact is that this type of debate demonstrates that regardless of differences of opinion that may be present in this house as between parties and as to the economic arrangements that are desirable and to the advantage of the Canadian people, we are united so far as our understanding of the processes of democracy are concerned and the need for the maintenance of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Hon. members who have spoken in this debate have dealt with the need for a bill of human rights or as it is otherwise termed a declaration of human rights. In my opinion they have presented very sound arguments in support of their case. I am quite sure that they have expressed the opinions of a large number of representative and responsible organizations in Canada and an increasing number of Canadian people. Before I proceed any further may I say that it is like old times to see the hon. member for Comox-Alberni (Mr. Gibson) listening so attentively.

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

March 24, 1952