Mr. J. A. BRADETTE (Cochrane):
Mr. Speaker, to some extent I am sorry indeed that I cannot comply with the perhaps legitimate request made by the hon. member for Quebec-Montmorency (Mr. LaCroix). However, no one can blame me, and least of all my constituents, if I take a little of the time of the house to speak on such an important private bill as the one we are discussing at the present time. I believe I would be remiss in my duty if I did not find it possible to express the opinions that I believe would be re-echoing the opinions of my own constituents. I want to preface my remarks by citing one of the telegrams that I have received during the last ten days from the Labour Progressive party of my own constituency. I shall read one of them and I shall read the answer that I gave to that telegram. It is as follows:
Mr. J. A. Bradette,
Member of Parliament for Cochrane, Ottawa.
It is an insult to the intelligence of the Canadian people that at a time when the cost of living is the highest in our history,-
That is typical of their propaganda.
-when the nation faces the gravest threat, economic chaos and depression -
Old cliches again that we have heard ad nausecon. '
-that the government of which you are a part, should indulge in a debate on the LaCroix bill which is designed as a weapon of political discrimination against a minority Canadian political party.
Poor little party!
Implementation of the LaCroix bill will not solve one of the real problems facing the people today. It will only give comfort and aid to the real enemies of Canadian democracy, the profit hogs that are gouging the livelihood of the Canadian people.
The fact that the bill was introduced by a man with well-known fascist connections should relegate it to the waste basket without delay. We demand that you register yourself in opposition to this bill and that the government get on with the real business of the nation.
For the Labour Progressive party in Cochrane.
On the twelfth day of this month I sent the following reply:
In reply to your telegram of 8th inst., I beg to state that parliament as a whole is doing right in allowing the discussion of the private bills and resolutions, like the LaCroix bill. We must realize that we have in Ottawa a democratic government in which each individual member of parliament has an implicit right to maintain his prerogatives.
Personally, although I do not agree with some of the private bills or resolutions, I shall how-
ever do all that I possibly can that such prerogatives will be maintained in a free parliamentary system.
I hold no brief for Mr. LaCroix, although I highly respect him, and I have often strongly disagreed w'ith him, but neither do I agree with your mentioning the old cliche, which is often used without reason whatever, of calling Mr. LaCroix a fascist. He is not a fascist but he is a good Canadian who expresses views, with which the majority of people may not agree at times, but no one can doubt his sincerity of purpose and his great love for his province and his country.
This is the kind of propaganda to which we have been subjected in the last few days.
By way of preface to my remarks, I should like to quote a great theologian of the Roman Catholic Church, Father Gustave Sauve, O.M.I., of the University of Ottawa, dealing with the present bill, in an article that appeared in Le Droit, an Ottawa journal on December 16, 1947. In order to be sure of my ground, instead of relying on my own translation, I will read four paragraphs of that article in the language in which it appeared:
A bill will be introduced in the House of Commons to ask that the Labour-Progressive party, which is nothing else but the Canadian Communist party alive and authentic, be outlawed.
Here are the three closing paragraphs of this article:
Again Let us not deceive ourselves. Here in Canada the Labour-Progressive party, imbued with the genuine Marxist doctrine, is ever striving to bring closer and closer the revolutionary ideal of Marx, Lenin and Stalin. Canadian communists are the bitterest enemies of our spiritual, social and economic traditions. Relentlessly and with an amazing energy, they worm their way everywhere under the cloak of democracy; they speak soothingly and admiringly of our w-onderful country while, on the other hand they are polishing up weapons to destroy our dearest possessions.
Communism is a constant threat, an ever-increasing menace to our country. Therefore I do not hesitate to declare that it would be expedient to outlaw any communist party, provided that such outlawry be followed by strong measures with a view to putting an end to the misfortunes of the working classes; to preventing capitalism from becoming an exploiter; to giving access to private ownership to the majority of workers; to promoting all activities aimed at the betterment of the labouring class.
I am for doing away with communism by a legal decree, but do not forget that communism has its source in poverty and misery, so that if you sincerely desire to definitely annihilate it, make sure, first of all, that the people enjoy the necessary degree of economic prosperity.
May I be permitted to give a free translation of the last paragraph of this article.
I should like now to translate the last paragraph of that excellent article of Father Sauve from which I have just quoted:
Do away with communism by a legal decree, I am with you, but do not forget it has its source in poverty and misery, and consequently if you sincerely desire to definitely annihilate it, first of all, make sure of the economic prosperity of the people.
My first reaction to this bill would be to support it 100 per cent, if I followed my own personal inclinations, because I have suffered from communists in my own section of the country. In 1934, in my own town of Cochrane, I barely escaped with my life, and if three provincial policemen had not sheltered me with their own bodies I might have been killed-by whom? By people who were not even Canadian citizens although they had lived in Canada many years. But they were the pupils, the slaves of Moscow and of Russia. That is why I speak freely on this important subject tonight.
I repeat, if I followed my own passions, my own personal inclinations, I would say, by all means let us pass this legislation at once. But I must remember also that I am a Christian; I must think also as a Canadian; and I must ask myself to be logical both with myself and with my own people.
Would it be a solution of the communist problem in Canada? To my mind, it would not. It would be simply laying on a thick coat of paint over rotten timber. It would be camouflaging to some extent the real issue. If we passed such a law it might for a time lull the Canadian people into a false sense of security which would not exist after the passing of the legislation.
I have no time tonight, Mr. Speaker, to elaborate this point; but I hope that hon. members, when the bill comes up again, will allow me to continue the debate. I move the adjournment of the debate.
Motion agreed to and debate adjourned.
Subtopic: ORGANIZATIONS ADVOCATING OVERTHROW OF CONSTITUTED AUTHORITY