April 17, 1967

THE GOVERNOR GENERAL

INCLUSION OF SPEECH AS APPENDIX TO OFFICIAL REPORT

LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. B. Pearson (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, with the unanimous consent of the house and in accordance with custom I move, seconded by the right hon. Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Diefenbaker):

That the speech of His Excellency the Governor General, the Right Honourable Roland Michener, Q.C., together with the address of welcome made by the Prime Minister in the Senate chamber on April 17, 1967, be printed as an appendix to the official report of debates of the House of Commons, and form part of the permanent record of this parliament.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   INCLUSION OF SPEECH AS APPENDIX TO OFFICIAL REPORT
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Motion agreed to. [Editor's note: For text of speeches referred to above, see appendix.]


HONOURS AND AWARDS

ANNOUNCEMENT OF ESTABLISHMENT OF SYSTEM IN CANADA

LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. B. Pearson (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to announce to the house the establishment of a system of honours and awards for Canada. Practically every sovereign country has such a system which it uses as a means of recognizing merit or gallantry, or distinguished public service. I believe that recognition of this kind can strengthen national pride and the appreciation of national service.

There has been no system of Canadian honours and awards. The Canada Medal was instituted in 1943 as a possible way of filling this gap, but it has never been awarded and is now being replaced. Because Canada has lacked an official system a number of unofficial or semi-official honours and awards have developed over the years. In addition, the professions and the universities have methods of bestowing recognition upon persons they desire to honour.

The government considers that there is a need in Canada for some official Canadian method of recognizing outstanding merit and

public service in many different fields. The centennial of confederation would seem to be a logical time to introduce such a system. Any such system of course, Mr. Speaker, must be distinctly Canadian and include no titles nor confer any special privileges, hereditary or otherwise.

It is my pleasure to announce that on the recommendation of the government Her Majesty has approved the issue of letters patent constituting the Order of Canada. The constitution of the Order provides for the creation of Companions of the Order. Fifty may be appointed in this centennial year and not more than 25 in any year thereafter, but the maximum shall never exceed 150. The principal Companion of the Order, the Chancellor, will be the Governor General. Nominations for the award will not be made by the government but directly to the Governor General by an advisory council composed as follows: the Chief Justice of Canada, chairman; the Clerk of the Privy Council; the Under Secretary of State; the Chairman of the Canada Council; the President of the Royal Society of Canada; the President of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. Companions will be selected on the basis of "merit, especially service to Canada or to humanity at large".

[DOT] (2:40 p.m.)

The constitution of the Order of Canada also provides for the recognition of acts of outstanding valour. To this end it specifies that there will be a Medal of Courage which may be awarded to a person who "performs an act of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great danger". There will of course be no fixed maximum number of awards in this category.

The constitution also provides for a Medal of Service, to be awarded but for different categories of meritorious service than that for Companions and in somewhat larger numbers. Not more than 50 Medals of Service will be given in 1967 or in any year thereafter.

Any person or organization is invited at any time to suggest names of persons whom they consider worthy of receiving any of these awards. These nominations, which should include particulars of the merits and

14968 COMMONS DEBATES April 17, 1967

New System of Honours and Awards accomplishments of the person nominated, should be submitted directly to the secretary to the Governor General, at Government House in Ottawa, who will act as secretary to the advisory council and who alone will make the recommendations.

The government believes that these three awards, the Companion of the Order of Canada, the Medal of Courage and the Medal of Service, will help to fill a need in our national life and will enable proper recognition to be given by Canada to its own citizens and to others. By the method of recommendation, careful selection based strictly upon merit for two of the awards and upon conspicuous courage for the other and strict limits on the number of recipients, it is intended to maintain the quality of these awards at the highest possible level.

Mr. Speaker, I ask leave to table copies of the two orders in council involved, including the text of the letters patent and the constitution of the Order.

Topic:   HONOURS AND AWARDS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ESTABLISHMENT OF SYSTEM IN CANADA
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, on a matter

such as this I would have hoped the Prime Minister would have given notice. Had he done so, it would have been possible to discuss this question in a manner in keeping with the step which is being taken.

All of us realize that in 1919 Hon. W. F. Nickle of Kingston introduced a resolution in the House of Commons to the effect that honours should not be awarded. That motion received fairly general support and remained in effect through the years until Mr. Bennett became prime minister of Canada. During Mr. Bennett's period of office a number of knighthoods were awarded.

Certainly this is a break which must cause deep concern to the Minister of Transport (Mr. Pickersgill), because after all he is the testamentary successor to Right Hon. Mackenzie King. Mr. King did not like decorations, prefixes or suffixes. The only person who has a close link with the past in this regard-a close link with that prime minister -is the Minister of Transport. The Prime Minister of course also has a close relationship, having been under secretary of state for external affairs while Mr. King occupied the position of prime minister.

As I recall it, Mr. King had been given a C.M.G. in 1908, Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. So opposed was he to anything in the nature of awards that I understand he had one of the high commissioners of Canada approach His Majesty the

King to ask for permission not to have to wear the C.M.G. ribbon. He would have been shocked to have been compelled to wear the decoration. It was so totally removed from his ideas of democracy. My information is that the King answered the request by saying that Mr. King might wear the medal wherever he chose. In any event Mr. King did not wear the decoration.

Then in 1948, following notice that he intended to retire which he gave at a press dinner in that year-in those days announcements of that kind were made at press dinners-Mr. King remained prime minister after Right Hon. Louis St. Laurent was appointed his successor as leader of the Liberal party.

I do not know what happened to Mr. King's feelings on the subject of decorations, but something abnormal occurred. He went over to London and saw the King. He felt that Canada had never been properly honoured for services rendered by Canadians during the second world war, and my information is that membership as a Companion of Honour was to be made available. Apparently Mr. King did not feel that was high enough an honour.

The Order of Merit is restricted, I think, to some 26 members; I am speaking entirely from memory because I did not receive notice of the intention of the Prime Minister to make this announcement, but as a result of a fortuitous occurrence, the death of a member of that order, Mr. King received the Order of Merit.

He then visited the Queen of the Netherlands and pointed out the services that Canada had given to the people of the Netherlands. There he picked up another decoration; I think it was the Order of Orange-Nassau. I can imagine his feelings, loaded down with two decorations on the one trip. He was used to the situation by then and went to Belgium, where in passing he picked up the order of Leopold. Time marches on. He went to Paris where he became a chevalier of the Legion of Honour. For one trip that was par for any honours course.

I mention this because, as the then member for Prince Albert, he was made honorary president of the Prince Albert Agricultural Society. If you visit Laurier House you will see the five honours all in a row, and I must say that Prince Albert was honoured by having its award included among the decorations. Even the C.M.G. was resurrected.

April 17, 1967 COMMONS

It is well to remember that in 1792 during the famous debate in the British House of Commons, in which Pitt the Younger, Edmund Burke, Charles Sheridan and Fox participated, this whole question was considered. During discussion whether appointments to the legislative councils of Upper and Lower Canada should be hereditary, the attitude of Burke was, as I recall it, if they were made hereditary the preservation of Canada would be assured.

[DOT] (2:50 p.m.)

None of the history books seem to reveal what happened in 1943. The diary of Mr. King is singularly silent on this question. He rushed over to the United Kingdom, he saw the King, he asked for the creation of the Canada Medal. There was a great rush; it had to be done at once. Five copies were struck. Today they have become numismatic curios, and where they are we do not know. Now we are to have the Order of Canada. I have noticed the precautions that are going to be taken to ensure that this award will be of the highest order. There has been some suggestion that appointments to the other place under this government would not have been made if there had been an advisory council.

I say, sir, that one of the unusual circumstances connected with our development has been that following Mackenzie King's lengthy period of service as prime minister with those who followed him holding similar views, we are now in 1967 to have the Order of Canada. I hope this does not mean that decorations for valour by Her Majesty the Queen will be done away with; otherwise it can only be said that this is another of these advances, so highly regarded by members of this government, whereby every vestige of our relationship with the United Kingdom is being swept aside. The latest example is in that caricature that is going to go out to the children of Canada, in the form of a medallion, bearing on its front what is described as the coat of arms of Canada. It resembles the coat of arms about as much as I do Hercules.

Topic:   HONOURS AND AWARDS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ESTABLISHMENT OF SYSTEM IN CANADA
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NDP

David Lewis

New Democratic Party

Mr. David Lewis (York South):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure all hon. members will agree that it is a pity the right hon. Leader of the Opposition did not have earlier notice of this announcement-

Topic:   HONOURS AND AWARDS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ESTABLISHMENT OF SYSTEM IN CANADA
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Not one minute.

Topic:   HONOURS AND AWARDS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ESTABLISHMENT OF SYSTEM IN CANADA
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NDP

David Lewis

New Democratic Party

Mr. Lewis:

-because if without notice he could enthral us with a history of things no doubt relevant to the announcement by the

New System, of Honours and Awards Prime Minister, I can imagine what he might have done if he had been given notice.

I want to say on behalf of our party that we greet the announcement of a Canadian order and the fact that it is Canadian. I am sure I need not remind any hon. gentleman that there are in every society thousands and thousands of men and women who in their daily lives do a great deal for our community and never become recognized no matter what kind of order exists. I am sure all those who will receive companionhood under this proposed order will remember that theirs is the recognized contribution, but there are always thousands whose contribution is as great and as important who cannot be recognized.

We in this party are also very happy that the government has taken the precaution to make sure that appointments to the order will be made in such a way as to leave out any possibility or suspicion of political interference. Perhaps the same attitude and the same process will be applied to a good many other appointments in our society, which I think would do Canada a great deal of good.

Topic:   HONOURS AND AWARDS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ESTABLISHMENT OF SYSTEM IN CANADA
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RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Real Caoueite (Villeneuve):

Mr. Speaker, we join with the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Diefenbaker), as well as with the spokesman of the New Democratic Party, to congratulate the Prime Minister (Mr. Pearson) on the establishment of the Order of Canada, whereby deserving Canadians will be created Companions of that Order and medals for valour and meritorious service will be eventually awarded to a total of 150 persons, 50 of whom in this centennial year of confederation.

Mr. Speaker, everybody agrees that we are living in a sovereign contry and that it was very important, even urgent, to have in Canada an organization designed to recognize the good services of Canadians who have made an outstanding contribution to the common good and to the unity of Canada, as a sovereign country.

We, therefore, thank the Prime Minister and the members of the cabinet for having created the Order of Canada.

Topic:   HONOURS AND AWARDS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ESTABLISHMENT OF SYSTEM IN CANADA
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?

Mr. A. B. Patierson@Fraser Valley

Mr. Speaker, without seeking it for themselves many Canadians wonder just what did happen to the Canada Medals that were struck and just what was the purpose of the government as far as that particular medal was concerned.

April 17, 1967

Questions

We join in welcoming tie announcement regarding the establishment of the Order of Canada. I think we have to remember that ingratitude is one of the greatest sins of our day, and I believe it is good for us as a nation to recognize the great contribution that is being made and will be made by many of our fellow citizens. It will be a recognition of their contribution and a recognition of our appreciation for what they have done.

We also appreciate the fact that some safeguards have been established to keep this from becoming another matter for political patronage. The establishment of this advisory council will, I am sure, do much to preserve this particular recognition as something that is really worth while and something that has vital meaning. Therefore we trust that in the future as these recognitions are given to various individuals they will be an acknowledgement of the fact that they have made a contribution for which all Canada is appreciative.

Topic:   HONOURS AND AWARDS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ESTABLISHMENT OF SYSTEM IN CANADA
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QUESTIONS


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk.)


NUMBERS OF SEALS KILLED

PC

Mr. Muir (Cape Breion

Progressive Conservative

North and Victoria):

What is the number of seals estimated by the Department of Fisheries on the Atlantic coast and in the St. Lawrence basin which, in addition to young Harp seals, were killed in each of the years 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1967 to date?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NUMBERS OF SEALS KILLED
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?

Hon. H.-J. Robichaud@Minister of Fisheries

1964, 96,217; 1965, 50,985; 1966, 83,619; 1967, season still in progress and figures incomplete.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NUMBERS OF SEALS KILLED
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ALBERTA-TRANSFER OF PROPERTY FOR NATIONAL PARK

NDP

Mr. Herridge

New Democratic Party

Have there been any discussions between the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Premier Manning of Alberta or any of their officials, with respect to the possible transfer of an area of Wood Buffalo park to the provincial government in return for an appropriate area of provincial land to be used as a national park?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   ALBERTA-TRANSFER OF PROPERTY FOR NATIONAL PARK
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April 17, 1967