December 17, 1957 (23rd Parliament, 1st Session)

PC

David James Walker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. D. J. Walker (Rosedale):

I want to compliment the hon. member for Quebec-Mont-morency (Mr. LaCroix) on the very sincere and very eloquent, if very short, appeal he made. I want to tell him through you, sir, that every one of the hon. members in this house sympathizes with his objective and

appreciates what he has in mind. But, Mr. Speaker, it is only a question of what is the best means of attaining the same end. No one can question the sincerity of the hon. member who has moved this resolution. Nevertheless, must he not realize that since 1950, when this very problem was debated so vehemently in this house, conditions have changed very materially. I am open to be convinced by my hon. friend that the legislation which he suggests should be put on the statute books; I have an open mind.
I could not help but refer to the words of the then prime minister, now Leader of the Opposition (Mr. St. Laurent), as found in Hansard for 1950, page 2086:
Mr. Speaker, I do not think there are many Canadians who do not believe that there is ideological warfare going on and that there has been for a number of years a conflict between communism and Christian civilization. I am sure that there are very few Canadians who do not wish to see that war won by Christian civilization. It is a matter of opinion as to what are the best methods to be adopted to prevent the spread of communism in our country. I firmly believe that it has diminished over the last few years.
Now, those words were spoken in 1950 when there was one scare, one alarm, after the other. The then prime minister believed the problem had diminished, and if that was so in 1950 might I suggest to the hon. member for Quebec-Montmorency it is doubly so at the present time. Indeed, today the threat has receded in Canada to such an extent that one can only wonder whether there is a threat at all. All the prominent communists with the exception of Tim Buck, who recently had his way paid to Russia to meet with the communist party, have disappeared. They have at last been forced to find work. One finds them in different capacities, as waiters, shoe shiners and other vocations in which they are earning their daily bread.
It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that they no longer espouse a cause which is popular. It seems to me it might be a mistake, and I say this with the greatest deference to my friend, to bring in legislation at this time since there is no real desire for it. After all, the communist thrives on opposition. Everybody thrives on opposition, and without opposition people often disappear because of the futility of the cause which they espouse. I cannot help but think that nobody would be more delighted than the communists themselves to have a bill such as is before the house passed. It would give them fresh incentive, fresh hope, because then they would have some opposition which would unify them and would tentatively drive them underground where they could carry on their dire work.
They are in retreat, they are rent in twain. They have nothing in common. They have
Criminal Code
not even a doctrine in common. How different it is since the death of Stalin. Until that time communists were united in their common belief Stalin was a superman, almost a god on earth, and that communism itself was a sound doctrine. With the passing of Stalin and the explosion of the myth which was Stalin, we find the communists in Russia terribly divided, and this situation is reflected amongst the communists in Canada. Rent in twain as they are, without any fixed ideal, without any fixed objective, they are finally disintegrating and disappearing.
It is my respectful submission to my hon. friend, and in this of course I may be mistaken, that to make them prominent again, to make them popular again, even popular through the opposition that is being raised in this house against them, is exactly what they want. They are a badly disillusioned crowd. They believed in the principles of communism, but now they see there is no such thing as communism even in Russia. They say that they were the socialist states of Russia, but with the passing of Stalin they have found that it was one of the greatest autocracies, one of the greatest tyrannies of the world. Even the sincere communists in Canada have been disillusioned, disappointed and under the circumstances are ready to quit.
I think one of the most striking examples, Mr. Speaker-my hon. friend will perhaps agree with this-is that Her Majesty's minister for external affairs, running against a communist, was able to obtain over 10,000 votes against 212 for the communist. Even a dog catcher, without any experience in any affairs except that of dog catching could have done much better. In this world of ours we cannot afford to be narrow minded. We cannot afford not to heed the words of the hon. member, for whom I have so much respect. I have respect for him because he represents that other great race which forms an important part of our country. I say to him that he speaks beautiful English and I, in my stumbling French, will try to tell him what the situation is:
(Translation) :
It was well and truly spoken, sir, in terms worthy of the pulpit. I congratulate him and, with your permission I will now attempt to speak French. I hope I do as well in French as he did in English.
May I emphasize, Mr. Speaker, that in the great fight which Canada has been waging against communism since the war, our greatest bulwark against that philosophy which at one time threatened us has probably been the province of Quebec and the great French Canadian people.
We like French Canadians for many reasons: their outlook upon life, pervaded with

Criminal Code
what is called "joie de vivre" (joy of living), their natural kindness, their courtesy, their good manners, their appreciation of the fact that there are greater and more important things in life than the mere accumulation of material wealth. For all those reasons, we esteem the French Canadians, but what we admire most in them is their steadfast, unshakable faith, and their deep, bitter enmity to the godless doctrine of communism. For all this, we raise our hats to French Canadians, one and all.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS WITH RESPECT TO SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Full View