Mr. Claude Wagner (Saint-Hyacinthe):
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege concerning certain comments of a discriminatory and defamatory nature made in this House Friday afternoon by the Postmaster General and repeated by him outside this House during the entire weekend. These comments appear on pages 332 and 333 of Hansard for March 8, 1974, in particular.
Because an hon. member on this side of the House dared to ask for explanations, for his own information, on certain dealings presumably to the advantage of the Quebec provincial Liberals, the minister took this to be an insult to French Canadians in Quebec.
Like has often been the case in the past, the minister did not hesitate, by referring to matters of racial prejudice, to generalize his statements in order to sully all the members of the official opposition, including the hon. members for Brome-Missisquoi (Mr. Grafftey), Joliette (Mr. La Salle), and Saint-Hyacinthe (Mr. Wagner).
The minister conveniently forgot to mention the ardent campaign which the Liberal member for Matane fought in order to denigrate the Drapeau administration, to undermine the work of COJO authorities and to prevent the holding of the Olympic Games, and in the case of which no one, either on this side of the House or on the other side, had the slightest wish to pretend that the Liberals are against the French Canadians and always have the odd greenhorn to sully people, to parody the words used by the minister and reported on page 333 of Hansard.
Mr. Speaker, racism of whatever type has no place in this House or in this country and the comments of the Postmaster General are saturated with it.
In rising on a question of privilege as a member of the official opposition, I demand to the Postmaster General to have enough principles and courage to react as a gentleman and state that his comments were exaggerated. Otherwise, I will have no other choice than to believe, as millions of other Canadians, that elections will soon be called and that the narrow-mindedness so often shown by the minister will become for the Liberals a way to save their skin, as they think.
Subtopic: MR. WAGNER-OBJECTION TO CERTAIN REMARKS BY POSTMASTER GENERAL