December 9, 1953

WAR VETERANS ALLOWANCE APPLICATIONS

LIB

Tom Goode

Liberal

Mr. Goode:

How many veterans, recipients of war veterans allowances, have applied under sections 3 and 4 of the War Veterans Allowance Act, (a) by the provinces; (b) through Vancouver office, (c) through New Westminster office?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR VETERANS ALLOWANCE APPLICATIONS
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COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT

CCF

Mr. Winch:

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

1. What is the total number of investigations made under the Combines Investigation Act, since its inception?

2. In how many cases were prosecutions instituted as a result of the investigations?

3. In how many prosecutions were the company or companies convicted?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   INVESTIGATIONS AND PROSECUTIONS
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CANADIAN FLAG

LIB

Bona Arsenault

Liberal

Mr. Bona Arsenault (Bonaventure) moved:

That, in the opinion of this house, it is expedient that Canada possess a distinctive national flag and that consideration should be given to the advisability of setting up a joint committee of the Senate and the House of Commons to consider and report upon a suitable design for such flag.

He said: Speaking in this house on the 21st of March, 1946, Mr. Speaker, I expressed

the opinion that Canada should have a distinctive flag as being the symbol of the sovereign authority of the Canadian parliament. I felt that, at the same time, we should retain the full-sized union jack as an official symbol of our devotion to the crown and of our association with the sister nations of the commonwealth. Over eight years of study and experience in and about this parliament, and also of friendly contacts with my hon. colleagues of other racial extractions and provinces, as well as expressions of opinion which I have personally received over that period, and mostly in recent months, from Canadian citizens from almost all crosssections of this country, have only helped to drive these convictions which I hold with respect to this flag issue deeper and deeper into my mind.

We live in a country which is not too easy to govern. Our Canadian population is composed of different groups of people from various racial origins and creeds. Some of those groups, if not all of them, hold strong convictions as to their own ways of worshipping the same God and also as to expressing their loyalty to the crown and their affection for our country, Canada.

In the past, Mr. Speaker, many a vital issue which at one time or another has been bitterly opposed by some of the major groups composing our nation finally found its way to its solution through a reasonable measure of tolerance, understanding and compromise. We have often found out in the last analysis that our aims were almost fundamentally identical. We only differed in the means to achieve those aims. Issues which in the past have almost torn this parliament to pieces have finally been settled to the satisfaction of the great majority of the Canadian people through gentlemen's agreements which over a period of years have largely contributed to strengthen this unity of purpose which prevails in Canada today.

The question of the choice of a national flag for Canada is one of the very few issues settlement of which has been deferred on account of their controversial nature. Some of us perhaps can recall the days when some twenty years ago the flag issue was a real explosive subject inside as well as outside this house of parliament. Some eight or ten years ago it was still highly controversial. But year after year the Canadian people have learned to approach this problem, as well as other difficult problems, with their intelligence rather than with their feelings. Consequently the flag issue has become less and less controversial over the years, and this up to the point when today scores of members

Canadian Flag

on both sides of this House of Commons, and millions of Canadians from Newfoundland to British Columbia, have now good reason to believe in and hope for an early settlement of this matter, which most of us consider to be important.

Therefore the choice of a national flag for Canada is not any more a controversial matter, which it has been in past years, partly on account of the comprehension which exists in Canada today among groups of different racial origins, to a degree perhaps never attained before in the whole history of Canada, and partly also owing to the fact that the Canadian parliament in which we sit today is composed-and this applies to both sides of the house-in greater numbers than ever before of representatives of the younger generation of Canadians, as well as of real leaders who are true believers in Canadianism.

When Canada was a colony under the supreme authority and jurisdiction of the imperial parliament, the union jack was the official flag flown on land. On land the union jack was flown over public buildings, while Canadian ships flew the British red ensign. That was quite proper under the colonial status of our country. The position of the union jack incorporated in a prominent place in the red ensign indicated the supremacy of the British parliament over the Canadian parliament.

Then in 1892 the red ensign with shields of the arms of Canada in the fly was authorized by admiralty warrant to be used by merchant ships registered in Canada. According to heraldry the red ensign has always been and is essentially a naval flag, not a land flag.

In 1924 the use of the red ensign with the Canadian coat of arms was authorized on all buildings owned or occupied by the Canadian government and situated without Canada. In 1934 a provision was made in the Canada Shipping Act for the flying of the Canadian red ensign on ships of Canadian registry.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, on September 5, 1945, by order in council P.C. 5888 the flying of of the red ensign was authorized on federal government buildings "within as well as without Canada until such action is taken by parliament for the formal adoption of a national flag".

This of course was only a temporary measure pending action thereupon by parliament. And if I recall well, my hon. colleague from Ottawa East (Mr. Richard) introduced a motion in 1950 calling for the adoption of an

Canadian Flag

exclusive Canadian flag. Such action was adopted unanimously by the House of Commons, but no action was thereafter taken.

Eighty or a hundred years ago, when Canada was a colony, it was proper to display the union jack as occupying a prominent place on our flag, just as applies today with respect to crown colonies. The red ensign is a proud badge for a crown colony, but is not a distinctive national flag for any autonomous and sovereign country except the United Kingdom and her colonies.

Surely we are proud of our association with the United Kingdom and the other nations of the commonwealth, and for that very reason it seems to me that we should continue to fly not the red ensign but the full-sized union jack side by side with a national flag of our own. May I state here that I know of no organized movements in any part of Canada to discard the union jack. May I also express the hope that the union jack shall never become obsolete in this country as long as the Queen of Great Britain is at the same time our beloved Queen of Canada, and so long as we maintain our association with the commonwealth.

But on the other hand, as one of the leading nations of the world today Canada should have a national flag which has meaning, which has beauty and a strictly Canadian appearance. It is also time it was realized, I hope, that the French-speaking population in Quebec or throughout Canada is not particularly interested in the fleur-de-lis or any other French symbol of any kind on a distinctive Canadian flag. Rather they would prefer a flag with an all-Canadian design.

We strongly believe that if we are going to bring racial origin into the picture we at the same time take great chances, Mr. Speaker, of bringing in racial prejudices as well, which would only lead to disunity. What, for example, would be the reaction across Canada if the French-speaking element insisted upon having either the present tricolour flag of the French republic or any old emblems or symbols of the old kings of France of past centuries such as the fleur-de-lis or other symbols inserted in the place of honour, which is the upper quarter next to the flagstaff, on a national flag for Canada? It would just seem ridiculous.

And if we are going to give the place of honour on our national flag to a symbol or symbols of one element of our population, whatever prominence it may have, what about the other elements of other racial origins such as the French-speaking Canadians who represent about one-third of the Canadian population? And what about our new

Canadians, the Ukrainians, the Scandinavians, the Dutch, Germans, Italians, Hebrews, Slavic and other races who have poured themselves so successfully into the Canadian nation, and who in turn represent a very important group of the ever-expanding Canadian nation? And what about the Indians, for that matter, who were the first settlers in Canada?

The idea of cluttering up a new Canadian flag with a union jack or a fleur-de-lis or any other European symbol is just about as silly, according to the correspondent of the Vancouver Sun, Reg. Ashwell, who wrote in that newspaper, as a Canadian suggestion to the British or the French government, that they should incorporate a maple leaf in the place of honour on the upper left hand corner of either the union jack or the French tricolour. Therefore Canada should have, it seems to me, a flag of her own, and Canadians should not be asked to stand for the symbol of any other country on their national flag.

Some time ago the national council of the native sons of Canada, published, under the signature of W. J. Sisler, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, a very interesting pamphlet about the Canadian flag which says that in any country except Canada the flag represents sovereignty of that country's government, and I quote:

In the United Kingdom sovereignty resides in parliament. The union jack, then, represents the authority of the British government. It is therefore the proper flag to fly in any country under the rule of that government. This includes the United Kingdom and the crown colonies. Canada is not dependent, but is a self-governed country. It is not proper therefore to fly as our national flag one which indicates sovereignty of another country. The red ensign is primarily a British flag flown by merchant vessels. It is used, however, as the flag of many British colonies. These colonial flags are all basically the ensign. They differ only in that the badge in the fly represents a particular colony. The place of honour, the upper staff quarter, is given to the union jack, thus indicating that the British government exercises authority over the colony. Since that authority has, in the case of Canada, ceased to exist, it is not proper that we should fly a colonial flag. The place of honour on the Canadian flag should be given to an emblem distinctive of the country for which the flag flies-that is for Canada.

Furthermore, all authorities on heraldry point out the fact that the red ensign is a naval ensign, not a land flag. May I refer to the Encyclopedia of Canada, 1935 edition, at page 350, where it states:

The red ensign is essentially a marine flag, and cannot properly be flown on land.

An outstanding citizen of Victoria, British Columbia, Mr. Robert D. MacLachlan, writing about the red ensign, had this to say:

The position of the jack on the flag, the upper quarter next the flagstaff, denotes the sovereignty of the British parliament over the Canadian parliament which is represented on the flag by the Canadian coat of arms on the fly, a position denoting inferiority.

As a last quotation may I read from an article published in Toronto Saturday Night of October 27, 1945, entitled "Nation and Flag":

Surely the opponents of the official recognition of a Canadian flag must see, if they will look at the matter with their brains and not with their feelings, that it is fundamentally absurd for nation A, which is so distinct from nation B, that it can be at peace when nation B is at war and at war when B is at peace, to insist that its flag and the flag of B are and must ever remain identical.

A national flag is a symbol of sovereignty, The sovereignty of Canada is vested in the Canadian people, as the sovereignty of the United Kingdom is vested in the people of the Kingdom. They are not the same sovereignty,-they do not need the same flag.

Without saying that the red ensign presents a confusing sight to foreign observers outside the commonwealth, when flown alongside the union jack, unless a strong breeze is blowing, the designs in the fly are lost in the folds of the flag, and the only distinguishing feature displayed on the top lefthand corner and taking up a full quarter of the flag is the union jack. Members of parliament coming up the hill can see this red ensign that we have on the flagpole. If they look they will find out that very seldom can they see the emblem on the flag containing the Canadian coat of arms, which is in the fly of the flag, when the flag is unfolded.

Some people will say, however, what is wrong with the union jack being incorporated in the Canadian flag? Nothing is wrong-

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE TO CHOOSE A SUITABLE DESIGN
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?

Some hon. Members:

No.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE TO CHOOSE A SUITABLE DESIGN
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LIB

Bona Arsenault

Liberal

Mr. Arsenault:

-except that outside of having a great sentimental value for people of British origin, and of being a beautiful emblem which cannot be mistaken for any other emblem in the world, it represents the authority of the British government over the Canadian government at a time when we are looking for a national flag which will represent the authority of our own government, unless, however, in a Canadian flag we give the union jack an inferior position, for which action very few people in this country will stand.

What then is the solution in order to give our country a distinctive national flag of her own, and at the same time respect the opinion of the great number of Canadians who, for sentimental reasons or others, do not wish to

Canadian Flag

see the union jack discarded? Only one solution is possible that we can see, Mr. Speaker, the one solution to which England and Scotland resorted some three hundred years ago.

As we all recall, Canada's constitutional position today with respect to Great Britain is very similar to the position of Scotland with respect to England from 1603 to 1707. For over one hundred years the two kingdoms of Scotland and England were united under one king but had two separate parliaments.

For over one hundred years, from 1603, the year of the union of the two kingdoms under one king, until 1707, the year of the legislative union of the two countries, each of those nations, Scotland and England, had its own flag, Scotland St. Andrew's cross and England St. George's cross; but both nations used the same then union jack flown under specific conditions as the king's flag; that is, as the symbol of the union of the two nations under the same king. Today Canada is constitutionally the equal of Great Britain. Each country has a separate parliament but both countries are united under the same crown, under the same Queen. Our Queen, the Queen of the United Kingdom and of Canada as well, has an emblem of her own, the royal standard, as the Governor General also has an emblem of his own.

Why should not Canada through proper legislation introduced in this parliament formally adopt the union jack as the flag of the Queen of Canada to be flown alongside a national flag of our own, a Canadian flag which would be truly Canadian and fully representative of the Canadian parliament? One flag, the union jack, would continue to be the symbol of our devotion to the Queen and the official symbol as well of this country's partnership in the commonwealth of nations.

It is my deep feeling at this moment that Her Majesty the Queen, while on her six-month tour of the commonwealth and crown colonies of the empire, would be pleased and comforted if she heard of such action being taken by this Canadian parliament at a time when she, accompanied by her distinguished husband, is giving the very best of herself to strengthening the ties that bind the nations and the colonies of the empire together.

The other flag, the truly Canadian flag, free from any symbol which could be considered as discriminating against any group of different racial origin in Canada, would be a distinctive symbol of the sovereign authority of the Canadian parliament. To those who would say "Why two flags?" I would reply, "Why were there two flags in

Canadian Flag

England as well as in Scotland for a period of more than one hundred years?" Why two flags? Why two cultures in Canada? Why two languages? Why two national anthems, "God Save the Queen" and "O Canada"? Why is it that the Queen of the United Kingdom is at the same time the Queen of Canada? Why two flags? Simply because politics is the art of compromising.

We have unity today in Canada to an extent never enjoyed in the past. It is one of our first duties as members of the House of Commons to see to it that nothing does the slightest harm to this gift which Canada possesses today-the gift of an almost perfect unity among Canadians of different racial origins and various creeds.

Thanks are due to former Canadian statesmen, and sincere thanks also to our present statesmen, and above all to our Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), who perhaps has done more to weld Canadians of different racial origins together in the same unity of purpose than all other Canadian prime ministers before him.

For many reasons this unity among Canadians which we must preserve at all costs would be greatly endangered if we were by an act of this parliament to discard or abolish the official use of the union jack at this time in Canada. To many among us the union jack is the symbol of the freedom which has been won for the individual under its protection. For many Canadians of British origin the union jack has a sentimental value almost equal to a religion. To the free world, especially since the last war, the union jack means more to millions of people than any other flag in the world.

But it is not our flag. It is not a flag to which Canadians can look as being exclusively their own. However, I do not see any reason why we should not make it the flag of Canada's Queen, following the course adapted by Scotland and England some three hundred years ago. On the other hand, disunity would be in sight the day we incorporated in a national flag for Canada, especially one that was in a place of honour, the symbols of one privileged group of Canadians and left out the symbols of the others, especially when we consider that according to heraldry such an action would be interpreted by millions of Canadians and observers in foreign countries as a symbol of dependence by the Canadian parliament upon another nation's parliament.

Why two flags? All the nations of the world at times have used different flags for different tactical purposes, those flags being

IMr. Arsenault.]

described either as national, official or authorized flags or ensigns. In France, under Louis XIV, in 1661 there were 68 different designs of the French flag. Speaking before the joint flag committee on December 4, 1945, the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) stated that Great Britain, at home, in her colonies and dependencies, uses over 100 different designs of national, official or authorized flags or ensigns.

The United States of America is today using at least six different flag designs. There are the stars and stripes, the president's flag, the United States union jack, the United States yacht ensign, the United States revenue flag and the Hawaiian flag.

I think it would come as a surprise if I stated that today in Canada, the only country in the world without a national flag, we are using twelve different kinds of official or authorized flags or ensigns. We have the flag of the Governor General, the design of which was approved in 1930 by His Majesty George V. This flag is symbolic of the position of the Governor General as the Queen's personal representative.

We have the union jack. We have the Canadian red ensign. Then there is the Canadian blue ensign with the coat of arms of Canada in the fly. Then there is the white ensign which, following agreements made in 1911 between the Canadian government and the United Kingdom, is hoisted on warships of Canada as a symbol of the authority of the crown.

We have the naval board flag which was approved in 1943 to be flown by the naval board of Canada on naval headquarters under certain conditions. Then there is the R.C.A.F. ensign which was approved by King George VI in 1940. That well-known flag is light blue with a union jack in the upper quarter next the flagstaff and a maple leaf in the fly inside two roundels.

We have the Royal Canadian Navy badge, which consists of a fouled anchor, ten maple leaves and a royal crown. We have the Canadian army badge which was approved in 1947 as a new badge for the Canadian army. It carries three red maple leaves and an imperial crown.

We have the R.C.A.F. badge, which was approved in 1943. It has within a dark blue circular band edged with gold the motto Per Ardua Ad Astra inscribed in gold and beneath are the words "Royal Canadian Air Force", the whole ensigned with the imperial crown.

Then there is the Nova Scotia flag, which is the blue cross of St. Andrew on a white

field with a royal lion mounted thereon. The province of Quebec flag adopted by order in council in Quebec in January, 1948, is generally known as the fleur-de-lis flag. It is a white cross on a sky-blue background, with the fleur-de-lis in an upright position in each of the four corners of the flag.

As everyone knows, we have in Canada today twelve different designs of official or authorized flags and ensigns, but we have not as yet a national flag formally approved by the Canadian parliament in the name of the people of Canada, and fully representative of the sovereignty vested in the people of Canada. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, since, according to heraldry, it is an absurdity for one sovereign country to give the place of honour in her national flag to the flag of another nation, and since it is in the best interests of national unity in Canada, let us keep the full-size union jack as the Queen of Canada's flag, and let us give to the Canadian nation a national flag of its own.

Great Britain and Canada are separate entities and each of these two countries requires a national flag which is distinctive. Great Britain already has a distinctive national flag. It therefore seems to me that the Canadian parliament should choose a national flag for Canada, a flag that neither begs, borrows nor encroaches on the flag of another nation.

One of the greatest needs in Canada is unity among all Canadians regardless of their different creeds and racial origin, and the symbol of such a national unity can be achieved only in a national flag for Canada which will be something truly Canadian and which will appeal to the entire nation. Like most countries, Canada has a symbol which is recognized the world over as an expression of Canadian nationality. That symbol is the maple leaf. On this one symbol the Canadian people, including the younger generation, are almost unanimous.

Let us give the maple leaf a place of honour in the proposed national flag for Canada, if it is to be a typical Canadian flag, and the maple leaf will then and forever be to the Canadian people of whatever racial extraction or creed the most significant symbol of unity in the world. We shall then look with respect and devotion to the union jack while singing "God Save the Queen"; and with love to our national flag of Canada while singing "O Canada".

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE TO CHOOSE A SUITABLE DESIGN
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. George A. Drew (Leader of ihe Opposition):

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE TO CHOOSE A SUITABLE DESIGN
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LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

Two voted against it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE TO CHOOSE A SUITABLE DESIGN
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Not when the committee of

1946 was set up.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE TO CHOOSE A SUITABLE DESIGN
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LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

In 1945.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE TO CHOOSE A SUITABLE DESIGN
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

In 1945 two voted against it

but the committee that conducted the inquiry,

Canadian Flag

which was the committee that brought in designs and other recommendations, was not set up in 1945 but in 1946.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE TO CHOOSE A SUITABLE DESIGN
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LIB

Bona Arsenault

Liberal

Mr. Arsenault:

In 1945 and again in 1946.

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Subtopic:   CANADIAN FLAG
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Speaker, I prefer to make my own remarks. I shall refer to the resolution which was introduced in this house on March 26, 1946, by the then prime minister of Canada, Mr. King. At that time he moved that a committee be set up, and that was approved by the house. There had been an earlier motion the year before, on which occasion there had been two dissenting votes. However, that fact does not substantially affect any remark I propose to make. I would point out that the motion of March 26, 1946, presented by the then prime minister of Canada contained these words:

That in the opinion of this house, it is expedient that Canada possess a distinctive national flag and that a joint committee of the Senate and the House of Commons be appointed to consider and report upon a suitable design for such a flag; . . .

Mr. Speaker, the present resolution is in exactly the same words except for the addition of the words usually added when a motion is made by a private member, to the effect "that consideration should be given to the advisability of". On that occasion the committee conducted an extensive inquiry. In fact the number of designs submitted strained the accommodation of the railway committee room here in the parliament buildings. There were 2,695 designs. Those designs were all available for examination not only by the committee but by those who wished to have the opportunity to see them in the railway committee room at that time. Evidence was also given before the committee. In addition to that, letters, resolutions and other communications to the number of 42,168 were received by the committee and were given consideration.

I would remind the members of this house that the committee which was set up under precisely similar terms of reference, with the apparent agreement of the members of this house and at the instance of this government, under a resolution presented by the then prime minister of Canada as the head of the government, had before it all this information. So far as the first part of the present resolution is concerned, I repeat that there would appear to be no difference of opinion with regard to the desirability of having a clearly defined national flag for Canada which every Canadian knows to be the national flag of Canada. That was our position at that time; that is our position today; and it would appear to me that it is generally the attitude of the members of this house.

But then let us come to the second part of the resolution, which is that a committee be set up to inquire into this subject. Are they going to get any new ideas? Is it likely that there will be submitted a single design that was not before them when the committee appointed by this government conducted such an inquiry only a few years ago? Even if there were a hundred thousand letters this time, is it likely that there would be a single new idea that was not contained in the approximately 42,000 letters, resolutions and communications received at that time? Is it likely that the evidence presented could add one word to the evidence which was presented on that occasion? Mr. Speaker, if there have been new ideas, I have not been aware of any reluctance on the part of those who had such ideas to present them to this government or to anyone interested in the subject.

This present government in 1946 took the initiative of setting up a committee to inquire into this subject. It was not a private member's motion. It was the motion of the government. This is a subject of great national concern. That was the way to do it. It was done. On this occasion, Mr. Speaker, I think it is appropriate to say that we are waiting for this government, which appointed that committee, to decide what it is going to do. There will be no disagreement about the fact that, under our system, with regard to a matter of national concern of this kind it is the responsibility of the government to state its position and to place before this house what it proposes with regard to this subject as a result of the information which it received by the procedure which was presented and adopted previously.

On numerous occasions we have been reminded that this government guards very jealously its responsibility, as the executive of parliament, to place before parliament those measures of national concern which, under our parliamentary system, a government must present and as to which they must ride or fall on the basis of the position they have taken. Most of the members in this house have, on various occasions, heard this government state that they were not prepared to disregard their responsibility and to delegate to anyone else the duty of the government to place their case before the house and to receive the support or otherwise of this house. On many occasions we have expressed our belief in the desirability of committees being set up to obtain information for the guidance and assistance of the government. We think that the government has gone very far in resisting our proposals on a number of occasions. For

instance, when we proposed that a committee be set up to examine the organization of government and a more efficient method of handling public business, we thought that the government might well have been prepared to accede to that request without saying that this might be some invasion of their responsibility under our parliamentary system. The government has chosen its way of obtaining information. It has that information, and it has had it now for several years. I find it extremely difficult to imagine any reason for believing that a new committee, set up under the terms of such a motion as this, would add any information whatever to the information which the government now possesses.

I wish to express my own belief, which I think is shared by everyone in this house, that we would like to be able to approach this problem in a way which will gain the support of all Canadians. The flag, in this or any other country, is a symbol of loyalty to our country, to our own society, to our own traditions and to the common purpose of our people. The idea of a flag or banner as a rallying point for the thoughts and aspirations of people is, in fact, older even than the idea of organized nationalities. It is as old as the dream of great causes and the dedication of individuals or groups of people to those causes.

The flag has a central place in the life of every country. It has a language of its own in every organized society. Silently it calls us all to the service of the state. We express national rejoicing by raising our flag to the masthead on holidays and on great occasions. We express national mourning by flying the flag at half-mast. In many instances we recognize the devotion of individuals by draping over their coffin the flag of the country which they served. We mark holidays by the flying of the flag. The poetry and literature of civilized man is filled with the record of heroic deeds which express the devotion of men and women to the things for which their flag stood in their hearts and minds.

We are dealing with a subject of great national importance. At the United Nations, where yesterday the hopes of men and women throughout the world were aroused by a great speech before that tribunal, the flags of the nations gathered there fly as a symbol of the unity of those nations in the common cause of free men and women. What is our flag? There seems to be some uncertainty. That is a question which the government alone must answer because the government is charged with the responsibility in this 83276-48J

Canadian Flag

matter, subject always to its appeal to parliament for support in such cases as may be brought before parliament for consideration.

I repeat, there is little reason to believe that a new committee, set up on the motion of a private member, would bring any information not now available to this government which had responsibility for setting up that earlier committee. I submit therefore, Mr. Speaker, that it will be to the advantage of the members of this house, and of the people of Canada, if the government will let us know what it proposes to do in regard to this very important matter.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE TO CHOOSE A SUITABLE DESIGN
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

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

With the remarks of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew) regarding the responsibility of the government in this matter, Mr. Speaker, I am of course in agreement. It is true that on a previous occasion the house established a committee at the instance of the government of the day, and that committee made recommendations. Those recommendations have not been carried out. Of course it may be suggested, and suggested I think with some weight, that this is a new parliament and theoretically we have a new government. Therefore, this resolution would be appropriately moved at this time. For that reason, when the vote is called, I propose to support the resolution.

The mover of the resolution gave us an outline of the meaning of the flag, the manner in which flags have been designed under heraldry in the past, the story behind the union jack and the desire that Canada should have its own distinctive flag. With what the Leader of the Opposition has said regarding the meaning of the flag, I am in complete agreement. I should like to say, however, that I believe we have no chauvinistic attitude towards our flag or our nationality in this country. One of the reasons Canada is so highly respected by other nations of the world is that the flag of Canada would not symbolize any domination of any other people, because we are not an imperial or a colonial power.

I should like to see Canada with its own distinctive flag. I am in agreement with the suggestion now because I believe we have made it many times. I have believed in the suggestion more than ever since 1944 when I had the great privilege, together with the former member for Melfort, Mr. Wright, and the present member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis), of being the first members of the Canadian House of Commons to visit our troops in the battle line in Belgium and France in September, 1944. If I had not

Canadian Flag

believed before in the case made out for the adoption of a distinctive Canadian flag, I certainly would have believed it then.

We flew into Brussels and drove through Belgium down along the coast line, by Calais to Dieppe and so on. All the way along we saw the flags flying-the flag of France, the flag of Belgium, the stars and stripes of the United States, the union jack-but the Canadian troops who were holding the whole of that coast line had no distinctive flag. As if they were anxious to show that they were Canadians they had painted maple leaves on pieces of cardboard, and nailed them to the telegraph poles and trees along the road. If up to that time I had not believed that Canada should have a distinctive flag, I would have believed it then. And ever since that time, whenever I have had the opportunity I have told that story, because I think it meets some of the arguments of those who think that we should not consider having a purely distinctive national flag.

The other point with which I am in agreement is this, that I think it would be wise now if the government of Canada, together with the governments of other commonwealth countries, were to discuss with the government of the United Kingdom the desirability of designating the union jack as the common emblem of the commonwealth. I am not suggesting that it be the flag of the Queen and of the commonwealth, because the monarchy has its own distinctive flag today in the royal standard. But I do think it would be proper to suggest that the union jack should be the flag of the commonwealth.

After all, as the mover of the resolution has said, the union jack has a symbolism not only to our country and the United Kingdom but to all the world. Under the union jack these institutions which today we use to govern ourselves were developed. This was done under that flag. And to me it has a still deeper meaning; it has a symbolism of the religions under which we have grown up and which have given us the ethical basis for our society. In the union jack we see the cross of St. George, the cross of St. Andrew, and the cross of St. Patrick representing the three great religions in the English and French-speaking world. We may think of St. George's cross as representing the Protestant established church in England, of the St. Andrew's cross as representing the established Presbyterian church of Scotland, and the cross of St. Patrick as representing the dominant church in Ireland and in several other parts of the commonwealth.

So I think the suggestion is a very sound one. Perhaps I might add this, that surely

there can be no objection to Canada having its own distinctive flag, when other parts of the commonwealth have their distinctive flags. We are the only self-governing commonwealth country without a distinctive flag at the present time. On many occasions in England and, I presume, in Scotland-and I know, in Wales; I do not know about Northern Ireland, because I have never been there on a national holiday-I do know that the appropriate national flag is flown. I know that on national holidays in England they fly the St. George's cross, the flag of England. In Scotland I believe they fly the flag of St. Andrew, and I know that in Wales on their St. David's day and on other national holidays they fly the Welsh emblem.

I believe that today the people of Canada would support an idea of the sort advanced this afternoon, namely the union jack flown as a symbol of our unity within this great commonwealth of nations, and a Canadian flag which would symbolize and identify our own country.

The Leader of the Opposition made reference to the flags flying outside the United Nations. There they are, the flags of all the nations flying on their respective flagstaffs. I have no doubt they are flying as I speak this afternoon. Each of those flags is distinctive; but the flag of Canada looks rather like the red ensign, and does not distinguish us as it should on such occasions and in such places. While I agree with the Leader of the Opposition that a long inquiry was made several years ago into the desirability of choosing a design, and a recommendation was made to the house that a certain design should be adopted, I also believe we should have had a recommendation from the government of the day in that regard.

No partisan recommendation should be made. When a recommendation is made to parliament the government should feel that it would be acceptable at least to the vast majority of members in all parts of this house. The matter of choosing a national emblem is too important to have connected with it any sort of political controversy either in the house or across the country. I wouid hope that we could choose a design which would be distinctly emblematic of our own country.

If my memory serves me correctly, the recommendation made by the committee was a very beautiful design showing a maple leaf in full autumn colours. I am told one of the reasons the design was not approved in some quarters was that it was very difficult to print or to make the design recommended. But the maple leaf in autumn colours is

emblematic of Canada. The autumn colours depict the glory of the autumn in this country; and indeed when one looks at the colours in the leaf he will see that they are emblematic of the rich natural resources of this country, and as such would be a most appropriate design, indeed.

And so then, not only on behalf of myself, but on behalf of the party for which I have the honour to speak in this house at the present time, I am supporting the resolution. For the last number of years our national conventions, held at regular two-year intervals, have approved the idea of a national flag; so that we know exactly where our supporters stand in this regard. I am very happy that this is so.

It is true that from time to time I have received communications from people and organizations across the country objecting to our choosing a new and distinctive national flag, but in replying to them I have always set out the reasons why we believe we should choose such a flag, and often I have recited to them the story I told this afternoon about the Canadian soldiers during the war who held the line from Dieppe right through to the Scheldt and who nailed to the telephone poles the pieces of cardboard on which they had painted maple leaves. I have pointed out that perhaps they did this because they had no flag to fly alongside the union jack, the stars and stripes, the Belgian tricolour and the French flag.

And so while I do not regard any flag flown in Canada as an emblem of any superiority, I support this resolution. Perhaps I should say that I am not in agreement with the hon. member who moved the resolution when he said that the flying of the union jack indicates on our part an inferiority complex. I do not think it should do that. We do not have to feel any inferiority complex to any country or to any flag; and a flag should not give us that feeling at any time. With other commonwealth countries we have achieved the status of a completely independent and self-governing nation. As such we should have the necessary emblems when we are in association with other nations, so that we may identify ourselves clearly. The same of course applies to a national song or national anthem. I do not want to prolong the debate, because I think it would be well if we could get it to a vote this afternoon.

In conclusion I wish to say I hope that if this committee is appointed and a recommendation is made, the government will accept that recommendation and bring it before the House of Commons for approval.

Canadian Flag

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FLAG
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Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. E. G. Hansell (Macleod):

Mr. Speaker, when I discovered that the resolution might be coming up today I tried to review my files on the matter of a distinctive Canadian flag, and I found that after seven years I had disposed of most of that file. I then resorted to the parliamentary library to get the reports of that previous committee, and on account of some of the books of the library being destroyed in the fire a year ago, only two copies were available, and they were out. I then asked for the Journals of the House of Commons for that year. I discovered there were only two copies of the Journals and they were out. Therefore what I say today, Mr. Speaker, will be largely dependent upon my memory of the matter.

I was a member of that flag committee in 1946. It will be recorded in Hansard, and in other places, that we did register our approval of a distinctive national flag. We stand with the mover of this resolution and with others who have spoken in our desire to have a distinctive national flag.

The committee that was set up some years ago was a joint committee of both the Senate and the House of Commons. There were 37 members on that committee. We sat for almost the entire session. I find in another publication-and I am taking it that the figures quoted in this other publication are correct-that there was an average of nearly 28 members out of 37 who attended all those meetings. Knowing something of the attendance at House of Commons committee meetings I regard that attendance as a fairly high average.

We went into this thing rather thoroughly. I find that 2,695 designs were submitted to that committee, and through a process of elimination we got the designs down to a possible two, either of which might be acceptable to the House of Commons. We did find, however, some little difficulty in getting the committee to be unanimous on either of those two designs. I might say in passing that of the two designs that were selected at that stage of the committee's meetings one was almost a duplication of the red ensign, with the exception that the union jack on the top lefthand corner toward the mast was there the same as on the Canadian ensign. But if my memory serves me correctly, we recommended that it be slightly smaller than the one on the red ensign and in place of the coat of arms we suggested a maple leaf surrounded by a rim of white that would cause it to stand out rather obviously. The other design was one with the top triangular half red and the lower triangular half white, and in the middle a large maple leaf.

Canadian Flag

Those two designs were the ones on which there seemed to be more unanimity than on any of the others. But it was difficult to get unanimity on either one or the other.

I wish to read now from this little publication that came to our desks this morning called the "Native Son". I do not know a great deal about the publication itself, but from their article it appears that they have studied the committee's reports and findings. Therefore I take it that if I read from this the record will be correct.

I read:

A motion for the adoption of the latter-

The latter one mentioned here is the one with the union jack on it. I continue:

A motion for the adoption of the latter as the flag of Canada was made but the vote was on an amendment supporting the former design-

-which is the one without the union jack.

Only twenty-three were recorded as voting, with eight in favour of the amendment and fifteen against.

If my memory serves me correctly, the committee did recommend the flag with the union jack and maple leaf on it, but the recommendation by the committee was not unanimous in the committee. When we struck the impasse trying to decide which of the two remaining flags was to be recommended, I made a suggestion in that committee. Perhaps the suggestion might have been scorned in some places. Nevertheless, I still think there was some merit in it, and if I may, Mr. Speaker, I should like to read from the committee's report of July 10, 1946, what I had to say in making that suggestion. The report reads in this way:

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Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. Hansell:

Mr. Chairman, I am not going to keep the committee more than a moment because I cannot add very much to what I have already said. I am just wondering if there is any particular rush about this matter. It may appear to us that we have been a long time on it already, but it is not a matter of life or death for this country whether this is adopted at this session or not. I did suggest at the last meeting-not with any particular seriousness, but to get perhaps a little feel of the subject -that this matter could be presented to the people by way of a plebiscite. I am not going to press it; I am only going to make this observation. We could consider that in more or less a serious fashion, because I think that would be a way out, a way by which we could get the feeling of Canadians. I agree with the chairman that our responsibility in this committee is to parliament, that parliament itself decides. But we have reached this place where we have two designs before us. Part of the committee are in favour of one design and the other part of the committee are in favour of the other design. Nobody is talking about a third design now. Nobody is saying: "We do not want either of these." We all agree that either one or the other should be presented to parliament. I believe this could be done.

When I put out the feeler in respect to the plebiscite I saw only one editorial which spoke against that idea, and that was from the Ottawa Journal; and it indicated that I was somewhat of a

fool to present such a thing. I am not alarmed at that, because I know that occasionally I am one; but I am only one of many others. The point of the editorial was that plebiscites never settle anything and then referred to the plebiscite on conscription. I wish to say this in respect to that editorial, that the point was not well taken. The plebiscite on conscription did settle one thing. It settled what the people of Canada wanted. What was done afterwards by the administration in respect to what the people of Canada wanted is altogether another thing. This is a different matter. It is not a matter of administration at all. It is a matter of going to the people and saying, "which of these two flags do you want?" When the people speak, that is all there is to it.

I could read on, but I am not going to. I think someone raised the question of the cost of a plebiscite, and I suggested that since there was no particular rush it could very well be done at a general election. All that would have to be done would be to submit a second ballot containing two designs and ask the voters to choose which one they wanted. I still believe there is some merit in my suggestion.

I think the speech of the sponsor of this resolution was well thought out. Holding the convictions which I am sure he does, I think perhaps his suggestions were reasonable in the main. He suggested that the union jack remain the symbol of the crown and of our loyalty to Her Majesty the Queen, and that beside that flag we would fly a distinctive Canadian flag.

I cannot work up any particular enthusiasm about that, but I cannot work up any particular apposition to it. I think there is some merit in the suggestion. It would take a bill to carry out anything that was decided upon, and I would suggest that there be written into that bill the provision that the two flags should be flown on public and proclaimed holidays. I am sure that all lion, members of this house and all parties of this house are desirous of retaining in Canada the greatest possible unity among our people. If we have to have a flag and this a way out, then there may be some merit in the hon. member's suggestion.

Let me review this matter from another angle. First, let me say that if we are to have a distinctive national flag I think it is the responsibility of the government to come forward with that suggestion. I do not know that I am altogether in favour of a committee being set up on the basis of a private member's resolution.

Having said that, let me review another angle of the history of this whole matter, even before the committee of 1946 was set up. I do not know why it happened, but seemingly from the blue sky during the election in 1945 the papers came out stating

that the then prime minister had said that if he were elected he would recommend to parliament that there be a distinctive national flag. When I read that in the press it was a sort of bolt from the blue, because I did not think any move was being made anywhere in the country for a distinctive national flag.

Mr. King was on a national speaking tour and his train pulled in at some spot on the map which I have forgotten now. He did not get off the train to make a public address, but the school children had gathered around the train and were waving flags to greet him. That was when he made the statement. He said he was pleased to see their loyalty, he was glad to see them waving flags, and if his government were returned to office he would see that Canada had a national flag.

Whether that was a brain wave that Mr. King got when he saw the children waving the flags, I do not know, but that was the impression I had when I read the news item. Like many other political promises I relegated that news item to limbo, but the time came when Mr. King's government was returned and sure enough Mr. King proposed that a committee of this house be set up.

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Subtopic:   CANADIAN FLAG
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

That there be a committee.

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Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. Hansell:

It was the government that set up the committee. I think it is the responsibility of the government now to come forward either with a committee or something in the way of a design. I feel that the government should take the lead in this matter instead of having it come from a private member.

Frankly I do not see the need of another committee. That committee held a number of meetings and did a lot of hard work. Every member of the committee was most conscientious in his attendance. The whole matter was thoroughly discussed. Have things changed in the last seven years? I do not think they have. We have the same people in Canada, with the same background and the same culture. History is the same, except that there are seven years more of it! Even the government is the same, although some of its personnel have changed. But it is still a Liberal government. Since everything is the same, why do we need another committee?

I am quite certain that the same designs will be submitted again. There were 2,695 designs submitted before; are we going to have a committee because there may be 2,696 designs? Is there one other design somewhere that will provide a solution to

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this problem? I do not think so. I am sure it will be a repetition of what happened before, and it will be just as difficult to get unanimity in the committee now as it was then.

I do not think this matter should be instituted by a private member. Let the government accept responsibility for this.

We had a recommendation last time, though by a vote which was not unanimous. I thought when a committee had made a recommendation the government would take the initiative and bring down a bill on the basis of that recommendation. But a bill was never brought down, though I recall very distinctly the then hon. member for Moose Jaw, who represents Moose Jaw-Lake Centre today (Mr. Thatcher), rising in his seat and asking the prime minister of that day when he expected to bring down a bill on the basis of the committee's recommendation. The prime minister rose and, in his style and as ministers and prime ministers sometimes answer, informed the hon. member that the matter was under advisement.

The question was not asked any more that session, but when we met the following session the same member for Moose Jaw rose again and asked the prime minister if there had been any developments and when the house could expect the bill to be brought down. The prime minister-the same Mr. King rose again and said the matter was still under advisement, despite the fact that he had proposed the committee himself, that the committee had sat, and had made recommendations. What happened after that no one knows. At least no one on this side of the house knows. Perhaps Mr. King knows, but we cannot call him back and ask him what happened. But something did happen to deflect the government's attention, for they did not bring down a bill based upon the recommendations of the committee that Mr. King himself desired should be set up.

Can we hope there is going to be anything different this time, unless the government has changed its mind on the issue? If it has changed its mind I would like to know why, since all things remain the same from the beginning.

I believe I voice the views of the members of this group when I say this is not a party issue. I think the whole thing boils down to an individual issue, but again I think I express the wish or desire of the members of this group when I say we are agreed that Canada should have a distinctive national flag, but we believe the government of the day should take the lead.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FLAG
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE TO CHOOSE A SUITABLE DESIGN
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December 9, 1953