February 21, 1947 (20th Parliament, 3rd Session)

PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. G. DIEFENBAKER (Lake Centre):

I rise on a question of privilege in regard to a press report in today's issue of the Ottawa Citizen. This is the first time I have ever had to rise on a question of privilege with regard to a newspaper report. The Ottawa Citizen of today's issue reports that when I spoke last evening to the Canadian Weekly Newspapers Association I stated in part as follow's:
Canadian citizenship knows only one language and one loyalty. .
That portion of the report is incorrect in its entirety; for never was the matter discussed by me or anything said that could be subject to such an interpretation, and much less is the alleged quotation justified. Six members from this side of the house, as well as the hon. member for Matapedia-Matane (Mr. Cote) and the hon. member for Terrebonne (Mr. Bertrand), were present on the occasion, and I know that they will bear me out that such a statement was not made by me, nor did I use certain of the other words ascribed to me in the following paragraph:
All that now remains is for us to remember in our hearts the need for equality of rights, a realization of our responsibilities and equality before the law to assure the preservation of the principles of democracy, without regard to the influence of any race, tongue or creed.
The words "without regard to the influence of" or "tongue" or words to that effect were not used by me. What I stated was that all of us must realize our responsibilities as Canadians and that democracy can only be preserved under equality under law and equality of rights for all Canadians without regard to race or creed.
Inquiries oj the Ministry

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DIEFENBAKER-REPORT IN' OTTAWA "CITIZEN" OF SPEECH MADE TO CANADIAN WEEKLY NEWSPAPERS ASSOCIATION
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