June 13, 1922 (14th Parliament, 1st Session)


Lucien Cannon


Mr. LUCIEN CANNON (Dorchester):

Mr. Speaker, in the fall of 1921, the then Prime Minister of Canada, (Mr. Meighen) announced that a public meeting was to be held in the province of Ontario, and that he would take occasion at that meeting to make a pronouncement of great moment and interest to the people of Canada. The then Prime Minister, who had been leading the destinies of this country for quite a long while, had disappointed the people of Canada in many ways; but that evening when he spoke at that great meeting, after having announced that the government of Canada would go to the people, a unanimous feeling of rejoicing went through all our country from the Pacific to the Atlantic, because the people of Canada thought the Prime Minister had at last realized his responsibility and a ray of hope could be seen in our darkened political sky. The government went to the people of Canada; the administration which had led Canadian aifairs from 1911 to 1921 went before their judges, and we see the result of the trial which lasted for several months. We have in this House before our eyes, in the decreased number of representatives of the Tory party, the real feeling, the real meaning of the elections held in December, 1921.
If on the one hand the people of Canada are happy to-day to be rid of the administration of 1921, on the other hand, the rulers of Canada are to-day facing a situation which is so serious, they have to solve problems which are so momentous that the time has come for every public-spirited citizen in Canada to lay aside party spirit and partisan division in order to endeavour to find national remedies for the grave and weighty problems that we have before us. One result of the election which ought
to open the eyes of every patriotic citizen of Canada, is the peculiar, the new situation created in this House. Formerly, in the House of Commons two great parties with old traditions used to fight over the affairs of Canada and used to devise the best means to administer the government. To-day, instead of these two old parties, we have three parties, the third, a younger party called the Progressive party. But there is something that adds to the seriousness of the situation, and it is this: Not only have we three parties in this House; but one of these parties, the Progressive party, the third party, is recruited almost exclusively in one section of our country. If we wish to have national unity, to have real harmony in this country, to have a government that will meet the needs of every section of Canada, we must have a government that will bring forth a policy that will not only obtain the support of the eastern section of our country, but receive the support and approval of the western section of Canada.

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