April 19, 1967 (27th Parliament, 1st Session)


Rémi Paul

Mr. Prud'homme:

Mr. Chairman, if the hon. member for Brome-Missisquoi wants to, he can tell it himself to the Minister of Justice who will surely reply.
I ask the hon. member for Brome-Missisquoi to note the essential difference between the Liberal and Conservative parties. I therefore quote the member for Winnipeg South Centre who said on Wednesday April 5, 1967:
I begin, by expressing my regret that in our centennial year we should be involved in a debate such as this. During centennial year, we are emphasizing the history and traditions of our country in every hamlet-
I will read no further, Mr. Chairman. But when the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre rose to speak and set forth his theory on Canada, my speech was ready and I wanted to rise and say:
As we enter the second century of our existence, we must come up with bills such as the one proposed to us by the defence minister, which are oriented toward the future, without necessarily disavowing the past.
But the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre was consistent with himself and with the policy of his party, which is to look to the past and ignore the world in which we live. He is consistent with the policy of his party. I do not blame him for it, I am not insulting him. Let us not disturb him, for he is listening carefully.
April 19. 1967

That is the basic difference between a Conservative and a Liberal. Perhaps, the Conservative party needs a unification and integration bill, for the integration of the forces which are scattered for unification.
There are retired officers. I think Group Captain Patrick-and I should like to insist, because I would not want the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre or some other hon. members opposite to say that I am trying to speak against our British institutions, for I respect them-

-I will say that in English. I respect our traditions and our past. I am proud to be a member of this House of Commons where we have the British parliamentary system. I respect that; but I am not so blind that I cannot look to the future-*

-said exactly what I should have liked to say, but I prefer to quote his own words, which are at the bottom of page 1284:

One of the fears expressed about integration which does have a certain amount of popular appeal has to do with tradition-and tradition is symbolized by one word, "uniform".
We do not have a Canadian uniform, just as we did not have a Canadian flag. Many of the same kind of people who raised such a fuss about getting a new flag now do so over the uniform and for the same reasons.

I went to the trouble of seeking out the names of those who spoke in the flag debate. I went to the trouble of listening to the 290 speeches made in this house at that time. I was a brand new member of parliament. The same arguments were repeated then. The hon. members taking part in the present debate are the very same ones who spoke then. The hon. member for Edmonton-Strathcona (Mr. Nugent) spoke eight times; the hon. member for Swift Current-Maple Creek (Mr. McIntosh) spoke three times; the hon. member for Edmonton West (Mr. Lambert) spoke five times; the hon, member for Winnipeg South Centre (Mr. Churchill) spoke ten times; and the right hon. Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Diefenbaker) spoke 22 times. These same people, today, when we are studying a bill to Canadianize our institutions, are again rising to accuse us of wishing to repudiate our past.
I do not deny our past and our Canadian institutions. But I believe Canada is the coun-
National Defence Act Amendment try in the world which has known the longest and most peaceful evolution toward complete sovereignty.
And I say that this bill is part of this normal evolution of Canadian institutions. When I look to the future, does that mean that I jeer at the past? Does that mean, for instance, that I am not proud of the part played by my brother who served in the armed services and fought in Europe during seven years? Does that mean that those who died, whether they were French speaking or English speaking-

Personally I am becoming a little tired of speaking in both English and French. I should like to make this clear, however, that I am proud to be participating in this debate as a French Canadian. To correct myself, I will say I am proud to be participating in this debate as a Canadian of French culture. So I am going to speak in your language because I like you. At least you stand for your principles. I disagree with your principles, but at least you stand for them. However, as a Canadian of French culture I believe you know where I put the emphasis. I think this is a good bill; it is a bill for the young Canadians to be proud of.

I do not see why the hon. member would not be proud to take part in it. Air colonel Kenneth Patrick continues by saying;

We do not have a Canadian uniform.
The Canadian Navy uniform is a copy of the British Navy uniform.

And I have another quotation.

I think it was Admiral Brock or Admiral Rayner who explained that the Canadian Navy uniform is different because it has a zipper. Big deal.
I will continue with the quotation:
The Canadian Army uniform is the British Army uniform.
There is nothing distinctively Canadian about any of our uniforms and this has already caused some real problem in our peace keeping tasks. There is a quotation here which is very long and I do not intend to read it, but I suggest that hon. members might read it. During the last war and during the years since, Canadian servicemen have had a
15108 COMMONS DEBATES April 19. 1967
National Defence Act Amendment problem to identify themselves as Canadians. One of the ways of doing this is with a distinctive Canadian uniform. Is it being antiBritish to ask for something that is proCanadian? I should like somebody some day to explain that to me.
There is evidence at the moment that in England there is a new demand for one armed service. I turn to the Morning Herald of Sydney, Australia.
You should read this article. It is very interesting.
The debate has been given impetus by the submission of annual plans by individual departments.
Critics are saying that Mr. Healey's latest reforms, mainly the abolition of separate ministers for each of the three services, do not go anything like far enough.
It is known that proposals for much more sweeping reforms have been put to Mr. Healey-
Not Hellyer-Healey.
-particularly for a unified policy on weapons.
Mr. Healey has rejected these proposals. He is a "strong" minister who feels he can overcome inter-service rivalries and he refuses to contemplate an ultimate unified armed service. He argues that tradition is too deeply embedded.
It seems that only Canadians could think that our minister could not do something good in this way. It seems to be the belief of some that everything the minister does, because he sits on this side of the house, is wrong. I have read the article in the Sydney Morning Herald where it refers to Mr. Paul Hellyer as the able and thrusting Canadian defence minister.

I conclude-I still have five minutes; I kept track of my time-with Mr. Patrick's last paragraph.

There is talk about the new uniform, the colour and what type it should be. I do not think anybody really cares so long as it is sensible and functional.

Mr. Chairman, a fortnight ago the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre-he has a lot to say-asked that the Red Ensign be flown at Vimy. I respect the Red Ensign, but it no longer is the Canadian flag. The single leaf flag is Canada's flag.
Mr. Chairman, much is said, often blindly, within the bounds of tradition, with no possibility of escape toward new attractive concepts.

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