July 1, 1943 (19th Parliament, 4th Session)


Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. ANGUS MacINNIS (Vancouver East):

In the absence of the leader of this party it is appropriate that I should say a word for our group on this anniversary of confederation. We should be thankful indeed for the improvement in the war position to-day as compared with 1940. I doubt if any member of this house can ever forget the dark days of the summer of 1940. I am sure I can never forget them, because they were the most terrible days I ever experienced.
In considering the improved position to-day I think we should try always to keep in mind how we arrived at this position. We have reached our present position through the cooperation of all the people of the united nations. It was not the work of governments; it was not the work of industrialists; it was not the work of this class or that class. It was the welding together into one whole of the combined efforts of our people for a common purpose. In that, and in that alone, lies the hope of the future. If after this war is over, if after peace comes we are not able to continue this cooperation, then I am afraid all we shall have won through suffering and bloodshed will be lost.
The Prime Minister spoke about the great achievements of this dominion, and mentioned that we have now reached the status of a great power. I believe that we have; and having reached the status of a great power we have immensely increased our responsibilities. We must no longer in the councils of the nations allow other people to make our foreign policy for us. We must exercise the power which we have now obtained.
In the reading of history I have not derived comfort from the achievements of the great powers. I do not think any great power to this day has used its power for the good of humanity. Power has been used for the creation of empires. Empires have not always been used for the welfare of humanity. If we are to be great, if we are to achieve greatness in the future, if we are to have peace and harmony, then we shall have to stop thinking of empire and begin thinking in terms of a world community-not Anglo-Saxon, not of only English-speaking races, but of the whole world.

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