March 19, 1954 (22nd Parliament, 1st Session)


James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

-I came across these words, and as I say they struck me, and I wish to put them before the committee. You may ask, Mr. Chairman, what I think is going to happen from this, and I would not be so sanguine as to say that it is going to have very much result; but we in the opposition have to go ahead hammering on what we consider to be important, perhaps hoping that we may attract the attention of the public. Sometimes, after perhaps a year of what seems complete frustration, we do attract interest outside this house, and it is in the hope that I may do that that I read these words. I recall to the committee, Mr. Chairman, that they seem to come from a respectable and thoughtful source. I recall they are
IS, 1954 3151
Export and Import Permits Act written about the mother of parliaments, which Tennyson, I suppose, had in mind when he said about his native land:
A land of settled government,
A land of just and old renown,
Where freedom slowly broadens down From precedent to precedent.
I am going to read from a man who is apparently afraid that freedom is not broadening down at the moment; that it is actually in danger, and it is because of that I am asking you to listen to these words. I read from "The Passing of Parliament" at page 199:
The problem which faces all peoples which are still attached to the democratic way of life is to find some means of curbing the power of the executive, and preventing it from usurping the entire functions of government.

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