Right Hon. P. E. Trudeau (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, as you know, the death of the Honourable Aldo Moro has been confirmed. May l express my sadness and indignation following the murder of a great statesman who was a true friend of Canada, a man whom I had the privilege to meet on many occasions. I knew him as a humanist as well as a democrat. He was also one of the most famous sons of Italy, a nation, as we all know, to which we extend our thoughts and our friendship.
Our countries were closely connected not only through the great number of Canadians of Italian origin, those who came here and helped build our country, but also through the basic values of democracy and freedom which we both preserved and upheld.
Mr. Moro was a courageous champion of those values. He was elected to the Italian government in 1946. He was coauthor of the post-war Italian constitution. We was to become justice minister, then education minister and finally external affairs minister. Several times he was president of the Italian cabinet.
It required enormous courage on the part of the Italian government not to give into the terrorists' contemptible threats. May that government's example of steadfast determination to maintain the rule of law in the face of sustained pressure, and despite the deepest personal anguish, be the lasting good which emerges from this vicious deed. The tragedy that has befallen Italy today concerns us all, because no free and open society is safe from terrorism that is devoid of any sense of human kindness, that attempts to discredit the state, its institutions and its values and to subvert its laws.
May these events strengthen the resolve of free peoples the world over to resist terrorism wherever it appears, so that the gun and the bomb in the hands of incredibly arrogant fanatics will not be allowed to weaken or destroy the democratic institutions which so many men and women have struggled for so long to create and preserve.
Only when the world community presents a solid front of unyielding courage and fierce resistance to terrorism will the hooded murderers of the innocent be persuaded that they have
nothing to gain and everything to lose by violently challenging the democratic rule of law.
The nobility of the Italian government during this terrible ordeal has been a contribution of priceless value to the entire world community. While we mourn with Italy, let us also salute what the Italian government has done for the cause of freedom.
While our attention is understandly focused on the enormity of the crime which has been committed, let us also be mindful of the private grief and anguish of those who were closest to Aldo Moro. To Signora Moro and her family, I extend the profound sympathy of the government and the people of Canada.
I believe there will be agreement to adjourn the House later, but I will not move the motion at this time: I understand that other party leaders wish to express their grief.
Subtopic: EXPRESSIONS OF SYMPATHY ON TRAGIC DEATH OF FORMER ITALIAN PREMIER