November 25, 1957

LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

No, it is not now either;

I think there is one extra member in the press gallery. The Postmaster General also

mentioned other difficulties in connection with simultaneous translation. I have had some experience of them myself. It might indeed be hard to translate the expression "nigger in the woodpile" into a phrase which would mean the same thing in French, but I do not think these are very important practical difficulties. In any event, this motion, as I understand it, is that the government should take into consideration the advisability of setting up a special committee of parliament to go into this question and I was encouraged to hear the Postmaster General say at the end of his remarks that a study of this matter would be a good thing.

Its purpose is, as has been pointed out, for a study to be initiated by those members of the House of Commons who are most concerned by the motion. It would be a committee, as I understand it, which would examine and report only. Before that committee there could be discussed the technical, financial and other considerations which would have a bearing on the final adoption of the idea or otherwise.

It has been suggested by the Secretary of State (Mrs. Fairclough) that such an examination could be made, in a preliminary way, by the Speaker. Well, perhaps these two ideas could be combined and Mr. Speaker, who undoubtedly would have an interest in this matter, could carry on an investigation the results of which could be made known to the parliamentary committee. I do think the introduction of a simultaneous translation system into this house-and this has been previously mentioned during this discussion-would give a greater reality to our debates when members are participating in those debates using the French language, which I think we all agree is unfortunately not fully understood by a great many other members. Therefore there are speeches made in this house which cannot be understood as they are made by those who do not know the French language. This makes it very difficult for English speaking members, not understanding the speeches, to participate immediately thereafter in the manner in which they would like, that is to say, by commenting on statements just made. It also puts the speaker using French at a disadvantage.

I would therefore hope that this proposal of simultaneous translation, if it were found to be practical and desirable by a committee of the house, would remove this disadvantage now suffered by some of our members.

The experience of the United Nations with regard to this matter has been referred to by nearly everyone who has taken part in this discussion and that experience, I am sure, has

House of Commons

been very much in the minds of those who have initiated this motion. The practicability and value of such a translation system in this house was also demonstrated by its use at the international postal conference which took place here last summer. The system at the United Nations, as I think the Postmaster General himself pointed out, does not require a member to go a podium and speak into a loud speaker to facilitate the working of the translation system. In the work at the United Nations, on committees, delegates speak from their desks as we do in this House of Commons and the simultaneous translation system does work in that way.

The earphones, I confess have uses at the United Nations to which I know they would not be put in this house. I recall how at times the deterioration of United Nations debates could be illustrated by the use to which earphones were put. At the beginning we would put on the earphones and turn to the Russian translation to listen with eagerness but, after a while, they would be taken off because you would get a little tired of some of those Russian speeches and this would be a way of ignoring them. Finally, as an indication of complete deterioration, we would turn the earphones inside out and put them on our ears in such a way that we would not have to listen to the Russian speech at all, even in Russian. Now I am certain if we had that kind of system in this house it would not be debased in such a way.

It has been suggested, Mr. Speaker-I think first by the hon. member for Parry Sound-Muskoka (Mr. Aiken)-that a system of simultaneous translation would minimize or reduce our desire to listen to speeches in French and thereby interfere with the process which very many of us in Canada are undergoing at this time, namely of becoming more proficient in our other language. But, of course, if we introduced this system into the House of Commons there would be no compulsion on anyone to use it in connection with any particular speech, and I should think that as we became more fluent in French our need for the translation would be less and less, and that we should be only too glad to listen to the French speeches without the aid of the system.

I would also point out-and this has been pointed out by a previous speaker-that it would have a positive advantage, in that it would be possible to listen to some of the speeches made, originally, in English, in a French translation, and, undoubtedly, on some occasions, to hear much better speeches in French than were, probably, being delivered in English. At least, that has been my

House of Commons

experience when my own halting observations at international meetings have been translated into classic French.

Thus, I do feel that there are a good many arguments to be advanced in favour of this motion, which have been put forward by speakers from both sides during this debate. I hope, therefore, that the house will decide that this is a sensible motion, and that it does at least make a move toward recognizing the unity of this house and of this country in respect of language and that it will commend itself for sympathetic and, I hope, positive study to hon. members on all sides of the house, through the committee that could be set up.

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LIB

Alan Aylesworth Macnaughton

Liberal

Mr. Alan Macnaughion (Mount Royal):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to support the motion of the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Mont-calm (Mr. Breton), I should simply like to say that I am sure most hon. members of the house at the present time support and endorse the words of the hon. member for Algoma East (Mr. Pearson). The hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Winch) seemed to imply that some of us were "Johnnies come lately" in this respect. We are not. At least a year ago several hon. members on this side of the house were much interested in this problem and formed a committee which did call upon the Speaker of the House of Commons to urge a careful study of this matter. For reasons best known to the former speaker, no solution was advanced at that time. I think the time has come when we should consider this. The point, it seems to me, is not the technical difficulties, nor the cost, though the cost is very important. These matters will be considered carefully by the committee to which I hope the proposal will be referred.

The point is that many of our French speaking associates in this house feel at a slight disadvantage in that they would like to hear without delay a French version of the speeches given in English. So the problem is not one of helping the English to understand French better, but, to put it into reverse, to assist the French speaking members in the house to understand the full import of what is being discussed in the English speeches.

Coming as I do from the second largest French speaking city in the world-the largest after Paris-we have daily contact with our French brothers, and we know from experience that the best way to learn French is by associating with our French speaking confreres; one of the best ways of understanding and learning French is to listen to the language and hear it spoken until your ears become acclimatised to it.

Many points have been covered by various hon. members who have spoken, and there

(Mr. Pearson.]

is no purpose in going over the same territory again. But I should like to say at this time that the sooner this matter is brought to a conclusion and referred to a standing committee or to a committee to be set up to study this question, the better it will be for all of us in this house.

(Translation) ;

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LIB

Louis Deniset

Liberal

Mr. Louis Denisel (St. Boniface):

Mr. Speaker, may I be allowed to say a few words in this debate. The request now before us is by no means extraordinary. No impossible demands are being made. We are only being asked to set up a committee to consider the matter.

(Text):

I just wonder, Mr. Speaker, how many hon. members actually understood what I have just said? I venture to say that more than one-third of the hon. members in this house did not understand a word of what I said in French. Quelle est la temperature a Van-couver-Est? How is the weather in Vancouver East?

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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Tres bien.

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LIB

Louis Deniset

Liberal

Mr. Denisel:

Mr. Speaker, suppose we have to take a vote right now? How can we vote properly if we have to wait until tomorrow morning for the translation? We should miss the benefit of the sonorous phrases which have been pronounced by the Postmaster General (Mr. Hamilton); we should not have the translation in time to vote today.

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PC

William McLean Hamilton (Postmaster General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hamilton (Notre Dame de Grace):

Good for you.

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LIB

Louis Deniset

Liberal

Mr. Denisel:

The objections which have been raised are strictly technical. Is not a committee the best place in which to study technical and administrative difficulties? The hon. Secretary of State (Mrs. Fairclough) has said that the Speaker is looking into the matter. The inference is that she favours a study of the problem. I say, Mr. Speaker: let us have a committee, and let us have the Speaker look into it, and let us see who gets there first.

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LIB

Raymond Raymond

Liberal

Mr. Raymond O'Hurley (Loibiniere):

Mr. Speaker, I have listened with interest to the speeches made by various hon. members concerning the motion now under discussion. As one who has always lived and who still resides in a French community, having spent my life there, and as the representative of French speaking elements near the city of Quebec, I think this motion as it has been proposed today is one which will have its importance in exemplifying that bilingualism in Canada is not only a word which can

be used during election time but also a word which can be applied in action.

Mr. Speaker, my attitude is a firm one. There are no two ways about it. I think that though there are technical points to be studied and ironed out-I realize that this will be quite complicated and that cost will be an important item-nevertheless, the suggestion is worthy of consideration. In my opinion it is worthy of acceptance and the house should go on record, not only as being in favour of a study of this problem but as being willing to provide means of putting it into practice at the earliest opportunity.

I was surprised to hear the hon. member for Rosthern (Mr. Tucker) speak so eloquently on this subject, and what surprised me most was not the wording of his speech but that he should have come out so strongly in favour of this suggestion, considering the short period of time during which the present government has been in office. I think the hon. member should have spoken as wholeheartedly on this question in the past as he did today. But that does not change my attitude. My attitude is the same, and I say with all firmness and frankness that since confederation has been established; for 90 years on the basis of the upholding of both the official languages spoken in Canada, this house should have a simultaneous translation system at the earliest opportunity, and that the Speaker should continue his researches, or action be taken along the lines of whatever suggestion is adopted, to iron out whatever difficulties may arise in order that this house might see the application of this system which has been installed in other important assemblies throughout the country. (Translation):

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LIB

Georges Villeneuve

Liberal

Mr. Georges Villeneuve (Roberval):

Mr. Speaker, I do feel I should take part in the debate on this resolution introduced by the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Mont-calm (Mr. Breton) with a view to the establishment of a simultaneous interpretation system, from English to French and vice versa, in this house.

The British North America Act makes both French and English official languages in this country. Now if it is considered proper that the official record of the debates be published in both languages, I believe that it is well within the spirit of the constitution that these debates, which are officially translated, be also simultaneously interpreted at the very moment they are taking place in this house.

I propose to dwell more particularly on the practical aspects of the project under review.

Everyone knows that to take part in the debates in this house with complete peace of mind and in all circumstances it would be

House of Commons

necessary to be perfectly bilingual. That is the aim of many hon. members but we must recognize that, in practice, things are not so simple. X myself feel that out of 265 members, 15 at the very most can be considered to be perfectly bilingual. Indeed I feel that is a generous proportion since, apart from two or three exceptions who have attained that ideal, other so-called perfectly bilingual members are much more at home in their native language than in their acquired language. After all it is only natural.

It is hardly necessary to be present at more than one sitting of the house to notice how acoustics remain relatively bad in spite of the improvements made a few years ago. As far as I know, nobody here has a built-in amplifying system, although everyone would need one to hear properly the speeches made in this house. Since the margin between hearing and understanding, in the strict sense of those two words, remains wide, I must confess, along with a great many of my Frenchspeaking or English-speaking colleagues, that to follow the debates in this house constitutes a constant effort which it would seem unfair to demand of the representatives of the people during the six months or so that the session lasts every year. Added to these difficulties of hearing and of understanding, there is the fact that the questions under discussion in this house are extremely varied in nature, quite often of interest only to one section of the country, and are beyond the comprehension of members of the areas not directly concerned. This, to my mind, explains the absenteeism which is deplored by certain newspapers who do not always go to the trouble of looking into the cause for this state of affairs.

Up to this point the group on which the greater demands have been made from the point of view of bilingualism is certainly the French-speaking group. Do English-speaking members know that their speech and manner of speaking vary enormously according to the part of the country from which they come? Has anybody ever bothered to notice the difference between the English spoken by a member from Newfoundland and one from Alberta, between the English spoken by a member from Nova Scotia and another from British Columbia, and even between an English-speaking Quebec member and his Ontario colleague? The pronunciation, the tone, the words used are such that a Frenchspeaking member like myself cannot help noticing if all these English-speaking members from various parts of the country speak the same tongue, the unity so displayed remains rather diversified, a fact which certainly adds to the difficulties of the French-

House of Commons speaking members who listen to all those learned speeches in this house.

On the other hand we have among us members of Germanic, Slavic and other origins whose English is at times not unmixed with a few exotic expressions which all add to the difficulties I have just mentioned. It is therefore in order to do away with these difficulties, this miniature tower of Babel, that I ask for simultaneous interpretation, so as to provide every member, whichever one of our official languages is his native tongue, with every possible means of realizing all his potentialities in this house.

Since my coming here in 1953, I have witnessed some noteworthy efforts in favour of bilingualism, on the part of French-speaking as well as English-speaking members, and I feel that the adoption of a system of simultaneous translation would only intensify this tendency which should develop on the basis of absolute freedom. National unity will not be attained by force and nothing can be more favourable to its achievement than by showing each of the two main racial groups, whose languages are officially recognized by the constitution, the consideration to which it is entitled with due regard for their normal modes of expression, language being always the vehicle of thought. As stated recently by a lecturer: "A man has no more reason to ask permission to love his own language than to love his own mother."

In my opinion, a system such as the one being considered would tend to give everyone the advantage of expressing himself and of being clearly understood.

Since my coming to this house, I have on several occasions spoken in favour of the measure moved today by my hon. friend from Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm. On January 27, 1955, on the occasion of the debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne, I requested the adoption of a system of simultaneous translation in this house. In 1956, I was the first member to move a resolution similar in purpose as that of the hon. member for Joliette-l'Assomption-Montcalm, and, again at this session, I have had a similar resolution so registered under my name but unfortunately it is the 25th on the list, whereas the hon. member's is at the top. I shall be happy, when all have spoken in favour of this resolution, to be able to say that I myself have done my small share to obtain the adoption in this house of a system of simultaneous translation.

Earlier today I heard the hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Winch) give estimates, which I consider extravagant, as to the cost of putting in this equipment, and I would rather rely on the figures suggested by the hon. member for Joliette-l'Assomption-

Montcalm who estimated that the installation would cost approximately $40,000, plus the salaries of four interpreters.

I am really puzzled and surprised at this sudden show of thrift on the part of my hon. friend from Vancouver East, and I hope he will reconsider the matter in all its aspects and realize that we are not asking the impossible, but mere justice. In my opinion, when justice is involved, there should be less talk of money.

Mr. Speaker, I also wish to point out to the house that the galleries too should be equipped with the system we are proposing for the house.

It must be realized that all visitors to the galleries are not necessarily bilingual. For my part, representing a constituency 98 p. 100 French-speaking, I have at times been sorry to hear constituents of mine who had attended a sitting of the house say: "It is too bad but we could not understand a single word; the only speeches made while we were there were in English." Well, those people went back home feeling less satisfied with their visit. If a system such as the one we are considering today had been in use in the galleries, I am convinced that these people would have been much more satisfied and would have gone back home much prouder of their Canadian citizenship. They certainly would have felt greater appreciation for their visit in the capital of their country.

The proposed resolution also concerns the system of simultaneous translation in parliamentary committees. My remarks to the house also apply to committees, in view of the fact that the questions raised are greater in number and that the speeches are rather in the form of questions and answers.

For the last congress of the International Postal Union, the government had seen fit to have a system of simultaneous translation installed in the house so that all delegates coming from all over the world could understand what was being said in the course of the debates. If it was then considered important that all delegates understand the debates, I am wondering why members of the house would not be granted the same privilege in following the debates of this house.

I hope that the proposed resolution will be considered favourably by all members on whatever side of the house they sit and whatever their political party. And so, after adopting the resolution, we shall be one step further on the way to national unity.

(Text):

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LIB

Joseph Gérard Yves Leduc

Liberal

Mr. Yves Leduc (Verdun):

Mr. Speaker, I am strongly in favor of this motion. May I be permitted to ask a question of the Postmaster General (Mr. Hamilton). In his absence I am sure he will be kind enough to take it as notice. My question is: When the international postal convention took place in this house last summer did the authorities responsible for the organization of the simultaneous translation system hire translators from Canada only, or also from elsewhere, for translation from French to English and from English to French? How much did the temporary system cost the government? Thank you.

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PC

John Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. John Smith (Lincoln):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to rise in support of this resolution. I must admit, sir, that my knowledge of the French language is very limited.

(Translation):

First great war with the 22nd regiment! Germans heavily bombed! Do you speak French? Perhaps you understand fried potatoes, eggs, milk, Cognac, red wine, white wine...

(Text):

And a great many other words that you would not use in this house. Mr. Speaker, we are a bilingual nation or race and it is not my intention in any way to discourage that. I support it and I support the resolution.

(Translation):

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LIB

Lomer Brisson

Liberal

Mr. Lomer Brisson (Saguenay):

Mr. Speaker, in my opinion, no resolution was ever put forward which is more calculated to promote goodwill in this house and national unity in the country at large than the one moved by the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomp-tion-Moncalm (Mr. Breton). All the citizens of this country will, I believe, thank him for introducing such a resolution today.

Mr. Speaker, we must however ask ourselves a question. While this parliament has been dealing with public affairs for some 90 years, what is the present position of its members as far as bilingualism is concerned? I believe that very few of us can boast of speaking both French and English fluently. I will therefore ask another question, even though many improvements have been made in this regard since 1867. How many among those who will come after us during the next century, assuming that bilingualism keeps on improving at the same rate, how many among them will be able to boast that they are perfectly bilingual?

Without being pessimistic, I believe that, at that time, even if other improvements have taken place it will still be said then,

House of Commons

as it is today, that bilingualism is still confined to a minority in the house.

How much longer, Mr. Speaker, shall we see hon. members leaving the house to avoid listening for thirty minutes or an hour to a language which they do not understand? How much longer shall members who speak another language be forced to spend hours reading speeches which they could not hear or which they misunderstood? How much longer shall members under the pressure of circumstances, be compelled to refrain from speaking their mother tongue, the language most adapted to their feelings, their intelligence and their knowledge?

Mr. Speaker, I wish to pay tribute to the hon. member who, today, is asking the government not the immediate establishment of a system of simultaneous translation-because objections have been raised in certain quarters of this house, some saying that it would mechanize our debates, others that it would cost too much-but simply to lend a sympathetic ear to the proposal that a parliamentary committee be set up where experts could be heard, and where it could be determined whether it would be easy or not to instal a system of simultaneous translation.

For my part, I believe that a matter such as this is above party politics. If we really need mechanical devices to solve the language problem in this house, well, I, for one, prefer a true and real bilingualism provided by mechanical devices to a bilingualism which practically does not exist in this house.

If modern technology can actually give us a system, even mechanical, which could solve this national problem, I would favour it, the protestations of the hon. member for Vancouver East notwithstanding.

I repeat, Mr. Speaker, that I am in favour of the motion, and again I congratulate the mover and all those who seek to promote in this country the idea of simultaneous translation in this house.

(Text):

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PC

J.-H.-Théogène Ricard

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Theogene Ricard (Si. Hyacinihe-Bagoi):

Mr. Speaker, I have listened with great interest to the speech of the hon. member who has just taken his seat. There is only one regret in my mind. It is that in the past he has not devoted so much energy toward simultaneous translation. Maybe if in the past he had spoken as loudly as he did today we would be farther advanced.

The resolution before us is a very important one. Before we all agree to it, or before we all accept it, I think there needs to be a great

House of Commons

deal of research done. I should like to go on record as recommending to this house that we study all phases of this question, even though I am of the opinion that the adoption of simultaneous translation would do a lot to aid national unity. If we had simultaneous translation, it would make the proceedings of this house much more interesting, not only to the members but to those who listen in the gallery. However, I would say that before we embark upon such an expenditure we should look into all aspects of the question very carefully.

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LIB

George Carlyle Marler

Liberal

Hon. George C. Marler (St. Anloine-Wesimouni):

I am sure hon. members would agree that at this stage of the discussion it would be very difficult to add any very new ideas, but I should like to commence my very brief remarks by expressing my congratulations to the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm (Mr. Breton), not only upon the very clear exposition of the arguments which he invoked in support of his motion but also upon the facility he displayed in presenting his facts and arguments in English, which of course we know is not his mother tongue. I am sure there are many hon. members in this house who envy the facility with which he exposed the reasons he advanced, with which many of us agree, as to why this motion ought to be received favourably by this house.

It seems to me, from the arguments that have been presented by the various members who participated in the debate, that there are two fairly obvious advantages that simultaneous translation would have. It would, of course, enable English speaking members to understand the meaning of what is being said by hon. members who were using the French language. Conversely, it would also enable hon. members whose mother tongue is French more perfectly to understand what is being said in the house by hon. members who are speaking English. As the hon. member for Algoma East (Mr. Pearson) said, it would give a reality to our debates which I cannot help but think is missing at times. Very often it seems to me that when speeches are made in this house in the French language, the debate resumes afterwards just as if nothing whatever had been said by the member who had just spoken French.

I know that all of us would like to possess that facility in both languages which a good many members have, but knowing the difficulty of learning either English or French it does seem to me that the objection raised by the hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Winch), namely that the system would discourage us in this task, is not really a

serious objection to this motion. I have a great deal of sympathy for the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm because in my own political career I have been in a situation similar to his. He is a member of this house in which the great majority of members are English speaking. It was my privilege to be a member of the legislative assembly of Quebec where the converse is true and the great majority of the members speak French and many of them, I am sure much to their regret, do not understand English too well. Consequently, Mr. Speaker, my own personal experience was that I could make no impression whatever in debate while I was speaking English. On the other hand, even though I had not attained perfection in French, in fact far from it, it did seem to me I made much more impression when I made my remarks in French.

At the same time, I realized to the full, just as I am sure many hon. members whose mother tongue is French realize, that it was exceedingly difficult, first of all to attain great proficiency in a second language, and it is even more difficult to become persuasive in that second language because while it is one thing to possess the vocabulary it is another thing to use it fluently, convincingly and as I say persuasively. I feel quite sure that the debates in this house would be much more effective if all hon. members knew simultaneously what was being said in either French or English.

I would say to hon. members whose mother tongue is English, and particularly to those who represent the western provinces, that the French speaking members in this house would understand the problems of the west much better if simultaneously the remarks of western members were being translated into French. It would enable members, particularly those from Quebec, to follow the debate much more closely instead of having to read the remarks in Hansard the following day. I think, Mr. Speaker, it would be a very real contribution to the debates of this house if we had simultaneous translation.

Some questions have been raised with regard to the technical difficulties that would be involved in installing the kind of system that would be required. Then, too, some other objections, which seemed to me to be rather secondary objections, were raised by the Postmaster General (Mr. Hamilton). I am sure that these difficulties are very secondary in character and that if a committee were set up pursuant to this motion it could very easily determine whether or not these technical difficulties are insuperable. Personally,

I cannot believe that the difficulties are insuperable. I have not attended many international conferences, but I did attend one about a year and a half ago in which there was a simultaneous translation into English, French and Spanish and I must say it was carried on with great facility even in the committees of that conference. I cannot believe that in the House of Commons the task would be, by any means, beyond Canadian capabilities.

I do not want to reiterate the arguments that have been expressed by others. I think there have been many excellent arguments invoked during the course of the debate, but I did want to take the opportunity of saying I am fully in sympathy with the motion and if it comes to a vote I shall certainly support it.

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PC

Robert John Pratt

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pratt:

May I ask the last speaker if this question was ever raised in the assembly at Quebec during the many years he was there?

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LIB

George Carlyle Marler

Liberal

Mr. Marler:

No, Mr. Speaker, it was not raised because the custom developed of speaking one language almost exclusively. There were, I think, only a few members of the house when I formed part of the assembly who spoke English as their mother tongue. If I might answer the question more fully, Mr. Speaker, the one exception was during the discussion of the estimates of the department of mines, the minister of which was English speaking. The critic on the opposition side was also English speaking. The discussion started in English with a few questions directed to the minister which he answered in English. Then, the premier usually spoke partly in English and partly in French. Then, we continued the debate in French for three quarters of an hour, when the critic in the opposition came back to ask in English the questions which had just been settled in French. Consequently, I think this is an excellent argument in favour of simultaneous translation.

Hon. Howard C. Green (Minister of Public

Works): This afternoon, Mr. Speaker, we have had a very useful debate and personally I have been very much impressed by the reasonable attitude taken by all those who took part.

The hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm (Mr. Breton) presented his case fairly and I can assure him that he has sympathetic listeners on the government side of the house. I was intrigued to notice that he seems to have made two converts on his own side of the house. I refer particularly to the two members of the last ministry who have taken part in this debate today, namely

House of Commons

the hon. member for Algoma East (Mr. Pearson) and the hon. member for St. Antoine-Westmount (Mr. Marler).

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LIB

George Carlyle Marler

Liberal

Mr. Marler:

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. gentleman is mistaken in using the term "convert".

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PC

Howard Charles Green (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

I beg the hon. member's pardon?

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LIB

George Carlyle Marler

Liberal

Mr. Marler:

I think the hon. member should not be using the word "convert" because it suggests our having had a different opinion on the matter. The hon. gentleman well recalls the fact that there was never an opportunity for either me or the hon. member for Algoma East to express an opinion in this house on the subject.

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PC

Howard Charles Green (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

The hon. member for Roberval (Mr. Villeneuve) pointed out-and I think correctly-that he had had a resolution on the order paper in an earlier session. Certainly if the members of the former government had been in favour of taking this step, there was nothing whatever to prevent them from doing so.

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November 25, 1957