May 3, 1950 (21st Parliament, 2nd Session)


Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)


Mr. Garson:

In any case, Mr. Speaker, I suggest to my hon. friend who has just made the interjection that any representations which he has to make as to whether it is an unwise action or not should be addressed to those whose responsibility it is to take them.
I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that the fundamental question which we have to decide here is this: Do we really believe in a free society? Are we seriously and sincerely convinced that the minds of free men possess convictions that are impervious to totalitarian attack? If our answer to this question is "No," we shall believe in repression by the state, approaching, as time goes on, more and more closely to totalitarian repression itself. But if we think, as we on this side of the house think, that the answer to this question is "yes, free men can and will resist communist ideas," then we shall follow the course which we have followed since 1936 of treating Canadian citizens as a group as free men; of leaving for example to the trade unions the matter of clearing their own ranks of communism in a democratic manner. We shall follow the course taken by the greatest exponent of liberty that the world has ever known, of a great nation in whose traditions I had thought the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) was steeped, the beleaguered people of Great Britain who, locked in a death struggle with totalitarian evil, carried on to victory with the weapons of freedom; whose free parliament, sitting almost continuously throughout the course of the conflict, kept repression of individual liberty to an absolute minimum even in the face of death itself.
And it is greatly significant, Mr. Speaker, that of all the countries which have had to contend with this evil of communism, there are none in which the efforts to contain it, judged on a purely practical basis, have been

Communist Activities in Canada so successful as in Great Britain and in Canada, countries which, to combat totalitarianism, used not the weapons of totalitarianism itself but the weapons of freedom.

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