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


Frank Charles McGee

Progressive Conservative

Mr. F. C. McGee (York-Scarborough):

Mr. Speaker, in rising, at this moment in this discussion I find a considerable degree of confusion. Certainly I am confused by a number of things about this debate. If I may be permitted to elaborate as to the nature of this confusion, may I say that I was under the impression during the recent election campaign that certain leading members of the so-called Liberal party laid claim to certain small "1" liberal principles. In fact, I recall from memory a statement made by the right hon. the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. St. Laurent), then prime minister, in Winnipeg to the effect that he wished his brand of Liberalism to be worthy of the small "1" as well as the capital "L". I recall further the words of one who looks to be very promising in the forthcoming race for the leadership of the so-called Liberal party to the effect that he liked to think that over the years the capital "L" Liberal party has been the best embodiment of small "1" liberal philosophy. Certainly the suggestion that information of any description should be suppressed is not, I submit, consistent with any interpretation of small "1" liberalism. This afternoon, from the capital "L" Liberal side of the house we have such a suggestion. From this side of the house we have had objections.
May I refer to the principles outlined by John Stuart Mill, who was an important man in small "1" liberal circles, to the effect that everything in the way of literature is either all good, part good and part bad or all bad. If you apply suppression and censorship- which is what part II of this amendment

amounts to-to something that is all good, the good in it is lost. If you apply censorship to something which is half good and half bad, the good part of it is lost. If you apply censorship to something that is all wrong, you merely strengthen it by suppressing it.
These principles in part have been enunciated by hon. members from this side of the house who have preceded me in speaking on this matter. If I may be permitted to recall an article which I was asked to write for the week end edition of the Globe and Mail of June 9, I should like to do so. In the city of Toronto a Conservative candidate was asked to write on the Liberal party, 1957; and a Liberal candidate on the other hand, was requested to write on the Conservative party, 1957. I was fortunate enough to be asked to write on the Liberal party, 1957.
In that article, speaking again from memory, the conclusions I reached and the statements I made were to the effect that, by reason of their activities, the leaders of the so-called Liberal party had no right to lay claim to the honourable title or small 1 liberal. I suggested further that if voters on the following day or the day after that voted against or to remove the Liberal party they would not be deserting their party but would be voting against the leaders who had deserted them. This I submit is but one more piece of evidence of the fact that this party, which you may recall was originally known as the Liberal-Conservative party, has inherited the support of those people in Canada who believe in liberal principles and do not merely preach them.

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