July 1, 1942 (19th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Hon. R. B. HANSON (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that
we all join in the expressions of noble sentiments which have just fallen from the lips of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). I desire to associate myself and the party I represent in this house, with what he has said. In less critical times, the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of this dominion would probably be celebrated with a fitting degree of pomp and ceremony; but in the midst of the gigantic struggle in which we are engaged, we do the greatest honour to our nation if we pause from our labours long" enough only to rededicate ourselves to the herculean task of preserving those ideals and principles which the fathers of our nation sought to establish upon enduring foundations on the northern half of this continent.

We do well to pause, on the occasion of the commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of confederation, and recall with pride and gratitude the example and accomplishment of those great men who founded the Canadian nation. The genius and vision of Sir John A. Macdonald, the patience and tolerance of Sir Georges Etienne Cartier, and the helpful cooperation of Brown, Tupper, Tilley, and the other fathers, resulted, as Sir John forecast it would, in the development of "a friendly nation, a powerful people to stand by Britain in north America in peace or in war." At this juncture of our history, the inspiring words spoken by Sir John in 1861 are as pertinent and important as when he uttered them more than eighty years ago. His message, like all eternal truth, retains its significance for each succeeding generation. In stressing the importance of the preservation of union between Upper and Lower Canada, Sir John used these words:
If I had any influence over the minds of the people of Canada, any power over their intellect, I would leave them this legacy: "Whatever you do, adhere to the union-we are a great country, and shall become one of the greatest in the universe if we preserve it; we shall sink into insignificance and adversity if we suffer it to be broken." God and nature have made the two Canadas one

let no factious men be allowed to put them asunder.
In this, democracy's hour of trial, it is, as I see it, the duty of each and every Canadian to keep before him those inspiring words. If democracy is to survive, the freedom and liberties for which the fathers of confederation laboured long and well must be preserved. The preservation of those liberties depends and will be determined by the vigour and the strength of the united effort of each of the allied nations.
It is fitting that when we are celebrating the seventy-fifth anniversary of confederation we should also have the opportunity, through army week, of paying tribute to those upon whom rests, with the navy and the air force, the responsibility for the preservation of our nation. On this hill, this afternoon, in front of these buildings, is being demonstrated the gallantry, the determination, the enthusiasm, the will to victory, of Canada's youth. The hearts of those of us who must serve in more mundane fashion go out to these men. So far, the task of the Canadian army has been one rather of preparation and training than of action, but there is no doubt when the great offensive comes, without which victory cannot be achieved, the Canadian army will not only live up to the high traditions of the past but create a new and glorious record for our future history. The Canadian army will prove, as General McNaughton has said: "A dagger

The Canadian Confederation
pointed at the heart of Berlin." We all hope that the time is not far distant when that dagger may be plunged at its objective.

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