February 14, 1962 (24th Parliament, 5th Session)


Ernest George Hansell

Mr. Hansell:

By way of a plebiscite.
Then at page 130 Mr. Hansell said in part:
Here is my point-and this could very well be done without taking any political sides at all. When the next election comes along. I suggest that a referendum be taken at that time. The parties do not have to kick the thing around as a political measure. All they have to do is this. When the people go to elect their government, they are also given another ballot with two designs put on the ballot. You are not voting Liberal, Conservative, Social Credit, C.C.F. or anything else. That is a separate matter altogether. That can be done without costing the country a dollar except for the printing of the paper with the two 26207-1-56
Flags of Canada
designs on. Let the people mark X opposite the one or the other design. That I say is a reasonable suggestion.
I believe this is the only way we can arrive at a solution regarding the flag, to take it out of politics and to let the people, on the same day as they vote to elect a new government, decide on the type of distinctive national flag they want. A member of the 194546 committee, Mr. MacNicol, the then hon. member for Davenport, made a study of some 2,409 designs which had been submitted.
He worked at it for 25 hours, and here is his report. In fact, when the special joint committee on a distinctive Canadian flag met for nine months in 1945 and 1946, after studying the 2,409 designs which had been submitted at that time, that is what Mr. MacNicol found: of the 2,409 designs submitted, 1,611 showed a maple leaf, which means two in three, or 67 per cent; 383 had a union jack, that is, one in six, or 16 per cent; 231 had stars; 184, fleurs-de-lis; 116, a beaver; 49, a crown; 22, a cross, and 14, the great bear. So, 67 per cent were in favour of a maple leaf, 16 per cent were for a union jack and the remaining 17 per cent were for something else.
Now, this was the work of Canadians who wanted a distinctive Canadian flag; it represented the opinions of Canadian people who were interested in getting a national flag for their country. However, the committee did not accept the result of any of this work. It did not accept anything, because we have not got a Canadian flag yet. I do not want to repeat what I said last year when I spoke on this subject, so I am going to ask this house to decide, once for all, one thing-to take this matter out of politics and let the nation choose.

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