January 29, 1962

PC

Louis-Joseph Pigeon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pigeon:

Here is what the newspaper said:

Mr. Pearson's statement on the necessity of a national flag got a favourable reaction in the capital. However, it was noted that in his interview with the students at the Montreal reform club, the Liberal leader was careful to add: "Perhaps discussions should be held to determine whether or not the union jack should be included in the flag". A Conservative noted for his nationalistic sympathies, made the following comment: "Mr. Pearson is giving, in Quebec, assurances to a certain well-known English speaking group-

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask the hon. member for Essex East (Mr. Martin) to remain in the house if possible, because I would be very happy to hear what he has to say about this question of a distinctive national flag, to find out what he means by a distinctive national flag. It seems to me that the question we are now discussing is of such importance that he should not leave the house, but that, on the contrary, he should tell us what he understands by distinctive. I think he is showing a lack of courage, and I will continue:

-A Conservative noted for his nationalistic sympathies, made the following comment: Mr. Pearson is giving, in Quebec, assurances to a certain well-known English speaking group. That is to say, he supports (or at least does not squarely come out against) the avowed opinion of Jack Pickersgill and James Sinclair in this matter. This is not what the people of Quebec had expected, steadfastly dedicated to the adoption of a distinctive national flag, one without any trace of subservience to any other country. A Liberal said to us: "H Mr. Pearson came out in favour of the union jack on our national flag, he should have remained silent. This will do more harm than good to the Quebec Liberals."

Mr. Speaker, today the Leader of the Opposition is again favouring a distinctive national flag, but I would like him to be here in this house to tell us what he means by "distinctive", to hear him say whether he still holds the same opinions he had a few years ago, that is to say in 1958. It is really unfortunate that the Leader of the Opposition, who toured the province of Quebec lately and supported the idea of a distinctive national flag, should not be here to tell us what he means by "distinctive". He did not go out of the house as the hon. member for Essex East (Mr. Martin) did. He simply is not here.

It is unfortunate, Mr. Speaker, because we know to what extent the Liberal party has completely transformed itself since it has been in the opposition, and that it is now in favour of a distinctive national flag.

I do hope, Mr. Speaker, that this motion will be passed, so that this committee of

322 HOUSE OF

Provision for National Flag and Anthem both houses may be set up as soon as possible, in order that the outstanding personalities of the Canadian nation may be heard with a view to adopting as early as possible a distinctive national flag and a national anthem, that is to say "O Canada".

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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LIB

Yvon Dupuis

Liberal

Mr. Yvon Dupuis (St. Jean-Iberville-Napierville):

Mr. Speaker, I had not intended to participate in this debate on the adoption of a flag and a national anthem, but following the unfounded statements of the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm (Mr. Pigeon), I think it is the duty of the member for St. Jean-Iberville-Napierville to clear up a few points.

If the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm had merely introduced his motion in the house, I would have supported him immediately. There was nothing to add to what he said. We also, on this side of the house, are in favour of the setting up of a joint committee of the Senate and of the House of Commons. On that count, I support the member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Mont-calm, as all my colleagues will, if the question is put before six o'clock; but I rather think he is going to be disappointed, because we on this side of the house will not kill time. But, if the member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm will consider the time he consumed to talk out this measure, he will know with whom the fault will lie for his failure.

I took the floor to say that if the member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm hadl simply introduced his motion, he would have helped his cause, but the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm is unable to be objective, and once more, in introducing a motion asking the house to set up a joint committee of the Senate and of the House of Commons, he harked upon old sentimental stories and indulged in petty politics, to which we have become accustomed since he has been sitting in this house.

Mr. Speaker, when I hear the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm asking us where is the Leader of the Opposition at this time, I am inclined to retort: where is the Prime Minister at this time?

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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PC

Louis-Joseph Pigeon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pigeon:

Will the hon. member for St. Jean-Iberville-Napierville not tell us why Mr. Martin has left?

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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LIB

Yvon Dupuis

Liberal

Mr. Dupuis:

I have listened to the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm and I hope he will show me the same courtesy. I would ask him where the Prime Minister is at this moment. If the hon. member criticizes the Leader of the Opposition for having stated that he is in favour of a distinctive flag without specifying what kind of distinctive flag he had in mind, then I will tell him that

I would rather have a man who declares himself in favour of a distinctive flag than one who makes statements like those which the Prime Minister made last week concerning the flag before the Ontario Conservative Women's Association, to discredit the sacred cause of the flag in Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I regret that I should have to make this statement, because the more these old refrains are brought up in the house, the more it will harm the cause of the flag.

Instead of asking where the Leader of the Opposition is, this man who has the courage to express his opinions, instead of suggesting that the Leader of the Opposition blows hot in Quebec and cold in Vancouver, when he knows that that is entirely false, the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm should be objective and ask his colleagues to introduce a motion for the establishment of a joint committee of both houses of parliament and we will vote in favour of it.

Mr. Speaker, we have had enough of those attempts to make the Prime Minister appear as being in favour of a distinctive flag, when we know that he has raised the racial issue last week. Before I resume my seat, I should like to read again the comments made by Mr. Clement Brown, a newspaperman of Le Devoir who is a friend of the Conservatives, and which appeared in the issue of January 23, 1962:

Even the old guard of the Conservative party is baffled by the Prime Minister's Intervention and the Quebec wing of the party admits that its leader has placed himself in an unpleasant situation from which he will have to pull himself promptly by expressing his views more clearly.

Well, Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister will have to be more specific, because he has left certain doubts in the mind of the Canadian nation. He has tried to lead an underhanded fight against the Leader of the Opposition about a cause too sacred to be dragged into the game of politics, the cause for a national flag.

Mr. Speaker, I will say to the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm, instead of his own motion today, which is certain to die a slow death through the lengthy speeches of his colleagues, why did my hon. friend's Conservative party refuse to state in the speech from the throne its intention of giving Canada a distinctive national flag or of establishing a joint committee of the House of Commons and the Senate to study such a measure. I ask him that question. He does not answer because he does not want to speak openly and also because there is a deep rift on this question

Provision for National Flag and Anthem

within the Conservative party. And it you want to talk politics-

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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PC

Louis-Joseph Pigeon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pigeon:

If the hon. member will allow me-

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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?

An hon. Member:

Sit down.

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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LIB

Yvon Dupuis

Liberal

Mr. Dupuis:

In the first place, you should not say "sit down", if you are polite. If you want the floor, I will relinquish it to you with pleasure.

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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PC

Louis-Joseph Pigeon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pigeon:

If my very dear friend will let me speak.

In the first place, Mr. Speaker, the member refers to the future without knowing anything concerning the Conservative party. Our party has always worked towards national unity.

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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LIB

Yvon Dupuis

Liberal

Mr. Dupuis:

Do you have a question to ask?

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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PC

Louis-Joseph Pigeon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pigeon:

Here is what I should like to know. May we assume that the hon. member for Essex East has gone out, that he is not here, because he was afraid to express his opinion on this matter?

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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LIB

Yvon Dupuis

Liberal

Mr. Dupuis:

Is your question related to the matter under discussion?

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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PC

Louis-Joseph Pigeon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pigeon:

I had a question, I asked it.

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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LIB

Yvon Dupuis

Liberal

Mr. Dupuis:

If you have no other question to ask, do not waste the time of the house, because you will "kill" your measure.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for the vote as soon as possible in order that this question be settled, that a joint committee of the Senate and the house be appointed in that connection and that we stop playing politics about such a sacred matter.

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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?

An hon. Member:

You were in power for 22 years and you did not do anything about that matter.

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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LIB

Yvon Dupuis

Liberal

Mr. Dupuis:

Another polite gentleman, the hon. member for Montmagny.

(Text):

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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NDP

Hazen Robert Argue

New Democratic Party

Mr. Hazen Argue (Assiniboia):

I am pleased at this time, Mr. Speaker, to support the motion asking for the setting up of a special joint committee to consider ways and means of giving Canada a distinctive flag and an official national anthem. The policy of the C.C.F. movement over the years in this field is well known and has been consistently in support of a distinctive flag in Canada and an official national anthem.

I think it is time that we brought this about. I believe our nation is ready to support a distinctive flag and an official national anthem and I believe support of this kind will flow from all parts of the country.

The government has made the boast many, many times that it is a government of action,

a government that believes in getting things done. In relation to these particular questions, this government has been one of inaction, of indecision. Yes, Mr. Speaker, I think there is evidence that the government is opposed to this kind of move and not only will it do nothing to support either of these proposals but it will in fact make certain that nothing is done in the near future to bring about a distinctive flag and an official national anthem.

I am certain that the hon. member who has moved this motion is sincere in wishing to have for our country a distinctive flag and an official national anthem.

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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PC

Frank Exton Lennard

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lennard:

We have got one.

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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NDP

Hazen Robert Argue

New Democratic Party

Mr. Argue:

At the very best this motion can be passed by the house and action taken to set up a committee to study these questions and to report to the house at some time. That is the very best that could happen. But I think hon. members in all parties will agree that this is not likely to happen, that even if this motion should be passed by the house and even if a committee is set up an election will likely overtake the work of the committee and therefore the best that can be obtained in fact is mere discussion and consideration and no final action in the present parliament.

From our point of view the worst thing that can happen is for this motion to be talked out. This is a private member's motion. We have until six o'clock to debate it. If it is not carried it will go to the bottom of the order paper and for all practical purposes the motion will be dead for this session. I think all members in all parties would be wise to pass this motion. In my opinion it would be a great mistake for any hon. member to take the responsibility of speaking on this motion until six o'clock and preventing the house from taking a decision on it and passing it, I would hope, so that at least this limited action in this field might be taken.

I suggest that if the Conservative party, one member of which has put this motion on the order paper, should talk it out it will demonstrate to people in all parts of Canada that it is phony, that it does not mean anything. Instead of action being taken following this motion to lead to these very laudable objectives, the motion will have done nothing to bring this about. I suggest that if the motion is talked out this will demonstrate that the people involved, the person who talks it out and the party of which he is a member, are taking very effective action-

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

What are you talking for then?

324 HOUSE OF

Provision for National Flag and Anthem

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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NDP

Hazen Robert Argue

New Democratic Party

Mr. Argue:

-to kill the proposal and to make it impossible for any action to be taken.

Topic:   FLAGS OF CANADA
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR A NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA OFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM
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January 29, 1962