November 8, 1945 (20th Parliament, 1st Session)


Julian Harcourt Ferguson

Progressive Conservative


I will address the Chair, Mr. Speaker, but my words concerning the union jack will be no less sincere. The unity which some hon. members and new arrivals in Canada are endeavouring to break asunder is that unity for the preservation of which I appeal to members of this house who are descendants of those gallant French Canadians. Some hon. members know that what I say is right because we have discussed it between ourselves outside this house. They know that their forefathers and ours fought
under that same flag. If they want a new flag to-day I pray that the symbol of unity which was preserved on the plains of Abraham be retained in a prominent position on that flag, so that the descendants of those gallant Frenchman and myself, as a decendant of the British, may look with pride upon that flag as the symbol which binds us together in a great dominion.
The people who emigrated to this country from parts of Europe have lived here for sixty or seventy years-Poles, Scandinavians and others-and 'in the last war as well as in this one they did not ask, "What is your religion and from whom are you descended?" They rallied to the flag and went overseas, and their record speaks for itself. In this war when Canada faced a crisis, when France had thrown down her arms and the people of those little islands over there were facing a vast army of destruction, we in this country had a rallying symbol, the union jack, and people of all nationalities who had contributed to the building up of this part of the north American continent volunteered, went overseas and died.
We have now a task to fulfil and, as a mark of our appreciation of their sacrifices, we must go on and build up Canada in that spirit of unity. We cannot do it if the Canadian people or those who are now in power advocate a flag that has no evidence of the traditions under which this country has been built up. We must display that union jack prominently, putting an end to our petty prejudices and doing all we can to promote peace. If we carry on with that flag as our symbol for right, we cannot help but to succeed. I say to every member of the house who will be going back to his constituency, whether in Ontario or in British Columbia or in any other province: Think hard; think well before you acquiesce in the abolition of the union jack, our national flag.

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