October 21, 1957

LIB

Alexis Pierre Caron

Liberal

Mr. Caron:

I am not worried about my hon. friend, but I believe he has a right to something better in view of those he represents. I believe that if he had done the right thing when he was offered such a job he would have either refused or resigned, in view of the fact that he was representing French Canadians of the province of Quebec. That is what he should have done. Today I want to give him a little bit of fatherly advice. He does not seem to realize the spot on which he has placed his French Canadian colleagues.

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PC

Léon Balcer (Solicitor General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Balcer:

You had 67 members from Quebec and you never did anything for 22 years.

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LIB

Alexis Pierre Caron

Liberal

Mr. Caron:

During the Liberal regime there were always four to five and sometimes six in the cabinet representing the minority in this country. If my friend the hon. member for Three Rivers is satisfied with the situation as it is, may I say that he is easily satisfied. Certainly we are not satisfied.

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PC

Léon Balcer (Solicitor General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Balcer:

With six in the cabinet Quebec never received anything from you.

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LIB

Alexis Pierre Caron

Liberal

Mr. Caron:

Even with ten, with the Conservative party in power I do not think we will receive much. At the present time we do not know what we are going to get. However, I know one thing, namely that we have not the representation that we should have.

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?

An hon. Member:

Just like an old maid.

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LIB

Alexis Pierre Caron

Liberal

Mr. Caron:

Like an old maid, did you say? You should look in the mirror and you would see what an old maid looks like. Then they came along again and they increased the number from one to two and they gave a post to the hon. member for Nicolet-Yamaska (Mr. Comtois); they gave him a portfolio. I agree that it is an extremely important one. However, they took a man who has spent all his life in agriculture, a man who possesses a smattering of knowledge on matters other than agriculture, and gave him the post of Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys. What is the reason for that action? Is it because they were expecting that in a new post, dealing with a matter about which he does not know a great deal, he would be a flop? I do not know.

But one thing I do know is that the province of Quebec and the French Canadians of Canada are not satisfied with the way in which we have been treated and we shall not be satisfied until the Prime Minister

The Address-Mr. Caron changes his attitude toward us. I am wondering why he did not give us more representation. I am wondering whether it is because the hon. member for Three Rivers at the time of the Conservative convention worked against the Prime Minister in favour of the present Minister of Finance and was telling why he was working against him. At that time he was telling everyone in the province of Quebec that the French Canadians could not have confidence in the Prime Minister. That is what the hon. member for Three Rivers said before and during the convention.

Then when the choice was made, they walked out in protest against the action of the rest of Canada which made the decision. I do not know whether it is true that he was refused a better post in the cabinet because the Prime Minister believed he did not have the necessary qualifications. I do not know if it is because the Prime Minister, even after having been in the east for quite a while, has retained his opinions of the years of 1928 and 1930, when with the Anderson Conservative party he was working against the Gardiner government. I do not know why, but I know one thing, namely that we did not get the representation we had the right to get. We are going to claim that representation.

Even if he could not find in the province of Quebec all he wanted, there are available some English-speaking French Canadians from elsewhere. There is the hon. member for Edmonton West (Mr. Lambert) whom I have known outside of this house. He is an able man and a good worker and is well qualified in many fields. He would have been a good representative of the French Canadians of the west. He was good enough to be called upon to be parliamentary assistant to the Minister of National Defence. He would have been a very good man.

Then there is yourself, Mr. Speaker, you are a good representative of the province of Quebec. You have had the qualifications to become the president of committees. I believe you have the qualifications to become a minister in the present cabinet.

Until the Prime Minister has decided to change his views and give to the province of Quebec and the French Canadians in the rest of Canada the representation we deserve I think we will not have any confidence in him. I believe that the right-thinking population in Quebec and in the rest of the country, both from the French-speaking ranks and from the English-speaking ranks, will look at the Prime Minister as a man who is working against national unity in this country.

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?

An hon. Member:

Oh, bosh.

IMr. Caron.]

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LIB

Alexis Pierre Caron

Liberal

Mr. Caron:

That is what I think and that is what the people think.

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An hon. Member:

That is untrue.

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LIB

Alexis Pierre Caron

Liberal

Mr. Caron:

Wait until the next election and you will see whether or not what I am saying now is true.

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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

You do not want another election.

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PC

Lewis Elston Cardiff (Chief Government Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Cardiff:

If you make another speech like the one you have just finished you will not be back.

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LIB

Alexis Pierre Caron

Liberal

Mr. Caron:

I heard a voice saying that I would not be back. If there is anyone who will not be back, it is the man who spoke just a while ago because I do not think he is here by anything else but plain charity.

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PC

Lewis Elston Cardiff (Chief Government Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Cardiff:

Will you repeat that remark?

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

You heard him.

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LIB

Alexis Pierre Caron

Liberal

Mr. Caron:

I said that from what I have known of the hon. member, if he is elected in this house it will be only as a result of plain charity.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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LIB

Alexis Pierre Caron

Liberal

Mr. Caron:

If hon. members want to interrupt me I should like them to speak out in a way that I can understand them. Otherwise it is difficult for me to answer them. Did an hon. member want to put any questions?

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?

Some hon. Members:

Go on.

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October 21, 1957