Rich or poor.
I know my hon. friend is quite rich and does not need that. So, he could give it to the poor.
Mr. Chairman, that $100 bond should be made valid only if spent on consumption of Canadian products to encourage our own industry so that no one could say: "If you have five children, you will get $500 and spend it in the United States". That bond would be valid only for the purchase of Canadian commodities and so it would boost consumption. That $100 bond would open new jobs in industries which would have to get new equipment and produce more, and then we would witness a business recovery or upsurge. I believe there is no other way-
It would be temporary.
I hear my friend say it would be temporary. We have been starving temporarily for 25 years. Has it not been going on long enough?
Let us try to give a little prosperity to the Canadian people. And the way to do it is to increase the consumers' buying power. There is no other way. We have the industry, the equipment and everything. We have manufacturers among us and they are quite willing,
I am sure, to double or triple their production. In order to increase that production, we must in the first place finance our first market, our domestic market. When the needs of that market, the domestic market, are met, if we still have a production surplus, very well, let us then go into the international market.
The Deputy Chairman:
I am sorry to inform the hon. member for Villeneuve that his time has expired. Would there be unanimous consent of the house to allow the hon. member for Villeneuve a few minutes more?
The Deputy Chairman:
There is not unanimous consent.
Mr. Chairman, this has been a rather historic day for this house. It began, in fact, with the masterly speech made this afternoon by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Pearson) and with those of the four speakers who followed.
I feel that the house had the opportunity, on this occasion, to hear several excellent speeches on a very important question that is of particular interest to all of us, not only with regard to national unity but also and especially in connection with practical ways to attain that national unity we are all seeking in Canada.
This afternoon, the Leader of the Opposition made not only a far reaching but also a very important speech for the country. He suggested some measures to bring about a solution to two forms of extremism that exist in our country at the present time. I should like to comment on the speech of the Leader of the Opposition as well as some other remarks made in the course of this debate.
I take this opportunity to congratulate all those who have taken part in this debate and also my colleague the Associate Minister of National Defence (Mr. Sevigny), whose contribution was excellent.
In connection with the five speeches which have been delivered today, what impressed me was the absence of politics, the
fact that the debate was put above politics. That is why I say to the Associate Minister of National Defence that he did the right thing in taking the position he took this afternoon. I wish to make a reservation, however, with respect to that part of his speech when he said that the Leader of the Opposition did not do justice to the former government in the province of Quebec.
If the minister had carefully listened to what was said then, I believe that he would not have made such an assertion because what the Leader of the Opposition said, was this: The future of the French Canadians rests with themselves, depends upon their willingness to carry on the efforts already made-and this includes the former governments-to improve their educational system, in a large part, since 1960, to make sure that there will be "qualified" French Canadians to hold the positions referred to.
There was also a reference a while ago to a provincial-federal conference to deal with the selection of a flag. Without wishing in any way, to belittle that suggestion, I wonder whether a conference of this type is necessary to select a flag, and whether it is not rather the responsibility of the federal parliament to make that selection. I am not making that comment by way of criticism, I am simply asking the question.
I should like, Mr. Chairman, to come back now to what the Leader of the Opposition said this afternoon.
As he stated so well, Canada is presently going through a crisis of national unity, a crisis which seems to become more serious as we are getting closer to our country's centennial.
We have reached a point where we seem to be at the mercy of events and where the smallest incident could unleash most violent outbursts and cause breaches which it would be almost impossible to close.
For those of us who believe in national unity it is high time to intervene, to examine, as the Leader of the Opposition did so objectively, the deep causes of that crisis and to recommend long term and short term remedies which will enable our country to survive such a crisis and to prevent its recurrence.
Right now, two extremes, two intolerable forms of separatism are facing us in Canada. On the one hand, some English speaking Canadians are strongly against the
expansion of French culture beyond the frontiers of the province of Quebec. They are dead set against learning French because they feel that they would thus be degrading and lowering themselves. At the other extreme, some French Canadians would like to do away completely with English influence in the province of Quebec; they refuse to speak English even if they can. Both extremes meet. One keeps the other alive.
The manifestation of one form of separatism is bound to provoke the other and to contribute to its development.
Both clearly lead to the extinction of Canada as we know it today, and sooner or later to assimilation in the American melting pot. Mr. Chairman, separatism would be suicide for English speaking Canadians, but also, perhaps a little later, for French Canada.
The Leader of the Opposition has analysed very clearly the reasons of the present crisis. On the one hand, French Canadians are long in adapting themselves to industrialization, with all that implies from the standpoint of technical and professional know-how in the private as well as in the public field.
Professor Leon Dion, of Laval University, noted that delay in a remarkable study recently published in Le Devoir.
On the other hand, English speaking Canadians take time in acknowledging the bicultural phenomenon in our country and getting used to it in practice.
Mr. Donald Gordon, for one, so admitted in the interview he gave La Presse a few days ago.
I think we have there the deep-rooted reasons for the frustrations and inequalities which, more and more, are degenerating into differences, conflicts and crises.
The only enduring solution to such maladjustments is at the educational level. French Canadians have, for several years now, undertaken to reform their educational system. For the past two years in particular, and without ignoring what was done before, the province of Quebec has made quite remarkable efforts. This endeavour, which exacts a high price in sacrifices, has already shown some results. A great many young French Canadians have all the competence required by our industrialized society, and they are now getting the experience and maturity which will enable them to reach the highest levels both in crown corporations and in the various departments.
In a way, it is the very revolution now happening in Quebec which caused this dead-
lock. As a matter of fact, French Canadians, realizing that they are in the professional as well as the technical field, more and more prepared to take an active part in public administration and industrial development also notice that, in order to give a concrete expression to such ambition, they have to learn English, because only a few of their English speaking fellow citizens have sufficient knowledge of French.
The attitude of English speaking Canadians with regard to the French language has changed considerably. There was a time when a great majority considered that learning French was an inacceptable political concession rather than an intellectual enrichment enabling them to come in contact with one of the finest civilizations and greatest cultures in the world. Fortunately, this attitude is only that of a minority today. At the other extreme, it has been noted that an ever-growing number of English speaking Canadians are learning French sometimes at great sacrifice, for, unfortunately, the older people get, the more difficulty they have in learning a second language, and the less time they have for doing so.
In our time it is probably true-though we lack information to confirm this-that the majority of English speaking Canadians are not opposed to French any more, but they believe they cannot acquire even a working knowledge of that language without sacrificing other essential elements of their programs. For my part, I am convinced that this is a mistake.
First of all, what are we trying to accomplish in this field in Canada? The aim is not to make every Canadian perfectly bilingual. Such an aim would be quite impossible to attain. It is not even desirable.
Our purpose should be to have as many Canadians as possible speak a second language, either French or English, the knowledge of which would vary according to the educational level of the individual. We are also aiming at a practical rather than a scientific knowledge of the second language, at least for children, at the primary school level. In other words, we must first of all stop teaching a second language as if it were a dead language, because this is what is unfortunately happening in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. We should teach children how to speak rather than stress the teaching of grammar.
Is it impossible and unrealistic to seek such practical knowledge of a second language in this country? Dr. Penfield and other well known experts do not think so. Besides, the experience of the world around us points to the contrary. A great number of citizens, in most countries have mastered a second language, even when the ethnical or political structure of the countries they live in do not prompt them to do so. This is true for Europe, South America, Asia and even Africa. For well-known, historical reasons, the United States is an exception. I, for one, am satisfied that the young English Canadians are as intelligent as children in other countries and that they will easily acquire a practical knowledge of French if given the opportunity to do so.
Mr. Chairman, in this morning's Globe and Mail, I came across an article under the heading "On Teaching French", which indicates very well the attitude of the Toronto school board. In fact, the members of that board have decided to have French taught in the elementary schools, not as a dead language, but as a modern one. For the information of hon. members, I should like to quote a paragraph from this editorial, which runs as follows:
By embarking on a program of French instruction in the elementary schools, the board of education has taken the first step toward teaching French as a living language.
Mr. Chairman, it is therefore possible for a great number of Canadians to acquire such a knowledge of a second language. This is also extremely desirable, not only as a personal achievement, but because it enables us to benefit from the two greatest cultural media of the western world and because it is a factor of unity in this country. As stated by all previous speakers, I would even say that it must become one of our national purposes, for without it, it will be more and more difficult to maintain internal harmony and political stability in our country.
It has now become a matter of selfexamination and we should ask ourselves whether we are mature enough honestly and wholeheartedly to accept this form of bilingualism as a long term national aim and whether we are ready to take positive steps, including especially the reform of our educational system in order to begin working on this together immediately.
That is a vital and really essential question. I realize that in asking that question publicly and collectively we run certain risks; but we can no longer avoid that question. Furthermore, I have confidence that we shall be able to answer it on both sides, with serenity and lucidity, fully conscious of the gravity of our answer and the consequences it can have.
That is why I enthusiastically endorse the suggestions made to the house by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Pearson). The federal government must take the initiative at once, and try to obtain the co-operation of the provinces in order to undertake a study of bilingualism and the means to achieve it. Such an enquiry could not be complete without the approval of the provinces, because the means at the disposal of the federal parliament in that field are limited. In fact, until we have undertaken the reform of education which comes exclusively under provincial jurisdiction, we may be able to improve the situation temporarily and apply certain remedies, but we will not have found the final and permanent solution to the fundamental issue.
It is not a case, especially in that delicate field, of imposing anything to the provinces.
In order to better pave the way, and in view of the fact that the leaders of the federal parties have already given their opinions on the matter, I would ask the other members, who will no doubt wish to participate in this debate, to tell us whether they are in favour of such an investigation and of its objectives. I do not want to challenge anyone; it is rather a wish on my part. If, as some previous speakers have stated, we could agree unanimously in this house on the general objectives to be achieved, we would immediately remove any political partisanship from this delicate issue, we would set an example to all provincial premiers and to all those who have any influence on public opinion in this country.
Canada is now at a cross-roads. We are preparing to celebrate an historical event: the centenary of confederation.
That is why I now appeal to all Canadians of good will. If we wish to celebrate that centenary simply by erecting monuments and by organizing festivals and exhibitions, we are in for bitter disillusions, because the unity we shall then celebrate, if it still exists, will only be artificial and transparent.
If we wish to celebrate confederation together and in a united spirit, we must begin at once a spiritual retreat, we must reflect
not only on what we are, but on what we want to become. We can no longer be satisfied with mutual respect in isolation. We must prepare to remake, so to speak, confederation, and especially redefine its spirit.
We must learn, on both sides, not only to remain ourselves and better to live our own culture, but also to become a little like the other, and to participate more actively in the culture of the other. We shall then become better citizens, and we shall form a richer and more united nation. We must seize this opportunity, which is offered to us and which is perhaps the last one, to renew concretely our collective will to live together on a really equal footing.
Otherwise, there may not be a second centennial of confederation, which would be, I am quite sure, a great disaster for all Canadians. Because, after all, as I attempted to explain earlier, this question is beyond the competence of parliament. It concerns every Canadian citizen.
There is a great deal of good will in Canada today; we should take advantage of it. If there seems to be unanimity in this house on a question of such scope and of such importance, it is time to take action. Without entrusting this responsibility to anyone in particular, it seems to me, as I said earlier, that the federal government should take the lead in making this inquiry and in consulting the provinces. There are various methods of consulting the provinces. In reply to a question put to him, the Prime Minister has already shown that such a consultation is possible, and can promptly take place when good will prevails. I am convinced such is now the case, and now is the time to act.
Indeed, it is very important for the two main racial groups of our country to live together on equal terms, as stated by the Leader of the Opposition. It is a good thing to preach national unity, as everybody did so well in the house today. All that is very fine, but it is not enough, Mr. Chairman. Much more must be done; action must follow.
That is why the Leader of the Opposition suggested that an inquiry should be made into the fields under our jurisdiction, namely into crown companies and various departments, and as concerns all fields not entirely under our jurisdiction, let us consult the provinces and obtain their approval so that French Canadians would feel at home throughout Canada, from coast to coast.
So I invite the house to support the suggestions and proposition of the Leader of the
Opposition and to act. If the house does that, I am convinced that it will help to place on an indestructible basis the future of this beloved country of ours, Canada.
Mr. Chairman, we should be pleased, as some hon. members have mentioned, that this debate has been maintained above partisan considerations.
Mr. Gordon's statement will have contributed to national awakening. As far as I am concerned, I had the opportunity, on June 8, 1961, to give my opinion on Mr. Gordon. I feel, Mr. Chairman, that Mr. Gordon's statement has, as I said, contributed to national awakening.
We stopped to take a look at what has been done and to appreciate what remains to be done to improve relations between the two main ethnic groups in Canada, with a view to closing gaps and being able to celebrate the centenary of confederation in national unity and not to see it break up.
I think that this uneasiness resulting from bilingualism and the disproportion in representation of French speaking Canadians has existed not only in departments-and for a long time, although the situation has improved in recent years-but especially in crown corporations.
In my opinion, Mr. Chairman, taking advantage of the announcement made in the speech from the throne at the beginning of the session, of convening a federal-provincial conference, that is a general assembly of our nation, to give Canada national emblems, it should be important to place on the agenda a royal inquiry on relations between the two ethnic groups, as well as a review of or an inquiry on the constitution.
The problem between the two ethnic groups has reached an acute phase at present. Well, I believe that this problem has existed for a long time.
I remember that in the province of Quebec, the report of the Tremblay commission outlined the gaps which existed and also the solutions that could be resorted to.
That is why, if we refer today, for instance, to the Tremblay commission report, I believe that we shall see what causes the troubles because for a number of years the constitution has been undermined and the taxation fields have been mixed up. I believe that if we included as I said a while ago, in the agenda of the federal-provincial conference, regarding the choice of a national flag, an inquiry on the constitution or a complete review of it, it would be a useful step. I
really believe that this question would be appropriate as, in these last few years, there has been a development towards the undermining of taxation powers. For example, the Canada Council interferes in the field of education which belongs to the provinces; the federal government is even giving grants to universities; and some members, without consulting the provinces involved, like Quebec and Newfoundland, would like to bypass the provincial authorities in order to regulate the question of divorce.
I believe, Mr. Chairman, that we should take advantage of the federal-provincial conference to be held soon and which was announced in the speech from the throne-the convening of the states general-to make a complete review of the situation and to stop to devise the means to achieve a better understanding between the two ethnic groups.
Mr. Chairman, I think it was fitting that a debate such as this one should have taken place in this house. It was kept above petty politics and all members are to be congratulated. I say again that a stock-taking should be done on the occasion of the general meeting to be held shortly, in order to select national emblems, so that we may all take the time needed to consider a complete review of the constitution and, if possible, to graft upon it a royal inquiry on the relations between the two ethnic groups, for the best interest of the Canadian nation, so that in 1967, we can all celebrate the centenary of confederation together instead of crying at its funeral.
Mr. Chairman, I cannot let a debate as important as this one go by without congratulating all those who have taken part in it. They have kept it above political partisanship. I feel that a member from the Beauce area must be heard in the course of a debate of such magnitude, since the question of bilingualism in Canada was raised this afternoon.
Since one of my predecessors who sat for 12 years in this house asked on many occasions that the French fact be recognized in the public service in Ottawa and, through his motions and his bills also asked many times that cheques be made bilingual, I am glad to congratulate him and to mention his name. I am quite sure he will be most happy tomorrow when he sees the newspaper headlines on this question of bilingualism. I refer to the former member for Beauce, Mr. Raoul Poulin.
It will do his heart good to see that today, in this house, putting aside all political partisanship, members from all parties have taken part in this debate and proved to the Canadian people that we are their representatives before being members of a political party.
I know that my predecessor will be comforted when he reads the report of today's debate. He will realize what headway has been made since he made his requests in this chamber. He will also find that the constituency of Beauce has made it a point to take part in this discussion and that there is an increasing awareness of the need for national unity.
This debate will not only bring about the recognition of the French fact throughout the whole country of Canada, but also a glimmer of hope as to the possibility of giving the entire population social justice, social security. Moreover, let us not forget that it will surely enable one and all to consider the debates from an economic and financial point of view.
Mr. Chairman, I was just thinking about the well-known fable of the cat and the mouse. Some were wondering, at a certain moment, if they had not clung to the cat's neck. You will note that all those who took part in this debate have done so with a generosity full of understanding for those who do not speak the same language. I am sure that today we took a great step towards national unity.
During the election campaign, we pointed out the need to review ministerial representation. Since the problems of eastern farmers are different from those of western farmers, we advocated representation of both ethnic sectors of the country in the Department of Agriculture.
We also advocated representatives from the east and west as regards the many economic difficulties in order to promote a better understanding between the eastern and western producers and to provide for an easier disposal of western farm products which would at the same time encourage eastern producers.
On several occasions since the beginning of this session, we asked questions about bilingualism, about the French fact. We did not do that with any intention to hide-
Would the hon. member for Beauce permit a question? Is he aware of the
fact that recently the Minister of Agriculture appointed a French language deputy minister in order to improve relations between east and west?
I am perfectly aware of that and I take this opportunity to congratulate the government for that move.
I was just saying that we demanded and advocated that kind of representation in several federal departments.
Of course, the Gordon incident took place. The hon. member who just spoke before me referred to that. The reasons underlying that situation are due to the maturity of the whole Canadian people. The people want national unity, economic stability and good understanding throughout the country.
We shall celebrate, in a few years, the centenary of confederation. We must take that opportunity to act as wisely and as quickly as possible to give our country a national emblem, a national anthem, that is to say national symbols, so that all may rally round that Canadianism about which we heard so much this afternoon from French speaking as well as English speaking members. I hope that these discussions will bring about the possibility of giving our country all the national symbols that will mark the one hundredth anniversary of life within the confederation and that, all together, we shall sing the praise of this country where life is so good.
I would also like during this debate to deal with economic matters. In my riding, the producers, farmers, workers, small industrialists and shopkeepers are grateful to bilingualism, but they also all want an economic policy that will give justice, in Canada, as much to factory workers as to farm workers. All those classes of society want a policy that will enable the consumers to obtain the goods they need.
It seems that people accuse us of hiding behind bilingualism during the last election campaign. Well, we believe in bilingualism but we conducted that election campaign under the banner of security, and freedom, because we believe in that security and freedom for the whole of Canada.
That is why, since the door has been opened on budget matters, it is normal, in my opinion, that we deal with them a little more closely and that we study the reforms that must be made in the financial system.
Earlier an hon. member said in this house that 80 per cent of the natural and
industrial resources in our country were controlled and managed by foreign corporations. That is a problem of tremendous importance that we must put above politics, that we must consider in our discussions on the budget. The monetary situation towards which we are leading today is in the process of taking away from the Canadian people its opportunities and its natural resources.
Last week we talked about the establishment of the Atlantic development board and we shall discuss, at the first opportunity, the establishment of a national economic development board. In reading the newspapers and the editorials every day we note the importance given to that measure which provides for the establishment of a board which may advise and help financially the development of our natural resources in the interests of all Canadians.
That is an obvious sign of the fact that our financial policy must be overhauled in such a way that the working class and all other classes may contribute to the economic development of our country.
As the hon. member for Villeneuve stated, the best solution would be to teach the matter under a new angle which would be more in accordance with the twentieth century so that the abundance of products we have in Canada may be put at the disposal of everybody thanks to progress, automation, applied sciences and the know-how of past generations. It would be easy to put that production at the disposal of the Canadian people and to give them the security they are seeking.
Lately I have been receiving hundreds of letters from my constituents. I am told of fathers and mothers who have lost a social security pension or allowance in the last two or three months, of wives whose husbands have been out of work for the past six months, who are living on nothing but family allowances and are worried on the eve of Christmas and New Year.
As long as under our monetary policy money is not put at the service of the people, and the fundamental freedoms of the individual are not respected, fathers and mothers will have to go without the basic necessities of life.
Let us give the Canadian people the security to which they are entitled, let us follow the march of time and look at our financial problem the same way as that economist who is not a Social Crediter and who wrote in
the newspaper Le Soleil, last week, that we must absolutely give new orientation to our possibilities and that we must get away from the beaten track.
Our task is to give to our people, to our citizens, a social security that will allow the development of the human personality and the fulfilment of our liberties.
I hope that following a debate so auspiciously started and above petty politics, we shall be able to glance upon the economic apparatus in our country and should a revision of our monetary policy prove necessary, we will be able to make a contribution free from party politics.
We have had a foretaste during the discussion on the budget when we heard hon. members opposite say that it was not possible to create interest-free money in this twentieth century, for the development of our municipalities and of our natural resources. These remarks have been printed in Hansard.
Some speakers from the Liberal party have admitted, in this house, the need for revising our monetary policy so as to enable the Canadian people to expand by developing its natural resources in the interest of the whole nation, which is groaning under the present burden of social insecurity and asking for this security as well as for the respect of freedom.
We have set up various boards since the beginning of this session. There will be another important discussion concerning the national economic development board. Shall we have to ask many questions to know if this achievement is physically possible? Have we not heard, during a whole week, the claims of hon. members of the Atlantic provinces about the Canso strait, and a thousand other important projects to be carried out as soon as possible? Have we not heard about a steel plant in Quebec, so that all Canada can develop its natural resources in the interest of its people? And is the same not true in the western provinces?
Why are those plans not being carried out? Is there any great shortage of manpower? Is it not a fact that there are more than 500,000 unemployed in this country? What do we need to put the economy back on the rails?
I suggest that the best way to do this is to support the suggestion made earlier by the hon. member for Villeneuve (Mr. Caouette). I am of the opinion that it is through those new methods that we will give the Canadian
Business of the House people the purchasing power it needs and which will enable our economy to progress according to the rate of possibilities of Canada.
If we had set up so many commissions when the war started in 1939, I wonder if in 1945 the government would not have still been at the stage of commission setting. But instead, the Canadian economy was allowed to boom in 1939 through a mushrooming of plants across the length and breadth of the country. As a matter of fact, in a jiffy we succeeded in creating for 10 years a production for this country which was dying of hunger in the midst of plenty. The Canadian economy was pushed forward for political reasons, for wartime purposes.
Today we must give our economy and our national development a new orientation, but in doing this we must take into account the tremendous possibilities in the field of natural resources development, as far as available labour is concerned, in the field of science, and learning. It is time that we launch across the country, through legislation brought forward by the federal government, a broad program which will permit our people to regain some confidence in the future and in the possibilities of Canada.
But as long as we do not consider an expansion of the purchasing power of the consumer through means other than those tried so far, and until we adopt, as was suggested by the economist Jacques St. Laurent, other means of financing purchasing power, even for those who cannot at present participate in production, we will not be able to give our people security and freedom, while fully respecting the dignity of man, an opportunity to choose his occupation according to his ability.
Mr. Chairman, today's discussion gave us evidence that when we wish to we can raise ourselves above politics. We saw it, we felt it, and it was a heartening experience for the English as well as the French speaking or even the new Canadian members of this house to see that at last Canada, through its parliament in Ottawa, wants that national unity which will enable us in 1967-
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Mr. Speaker, may I inquire
what the house will do tomorrow?
Business of the House Mr. Churchill: I hope we will finish interim supply tomorrow, and then carry on with the national economic development board.
Mr. Speaker, on Friday the house leader indicated that he had a number of small bills which he was anxious to put through. I should like to tell him that so far as we are concerned we would facilitate the passage of those bills tomorrow, if that is the wish of the government and they would like to get them along. So far as we are concerned we would be prepared to interrupt
this debate-provided these bills will not take too much time, and so far as we are concerned they will not.
Well, that might be arranged; but to interrupt this debate and not get interim supply through would be rather a bad thing for all the employees of the government. I will phone around tomorrow morning and perhaps we might make some arrangement.
It being three minutes after ten o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order.