Hon. ARTHUR SAUVE (Postmaster General) :
Mr. Speaker, every Canadian who knows well the history of his country, who is attached to its traditions and its institutions, who has a comprehensive knowledge of the problems resulting from its vast territory, the abundance and variety of its resources, hardly developed, with a small population disseminated in groups at wide intervals from one ocean to the other, composed of many elements so different in race, education, sentiments, interests and aspirations; a true Canadian, I say, who pauses to consider the responsibility of this parliament, in view of the objective of confederation, what the union of our provinces represents now and what it may be to-morrow on account of the eventualities which will expand more and more in its midst by the influence of evolutions which happen in every part of the empire and even in the whole world; a good Canadian, I realize it, must feel an inexpressible emotion when, for the first time, he addresses this house.
That is why you will allow me, Mr. Speaker, in conveying to you my sincere congratulations upon the distinction and justice which characterize you in the fulfilment of your high functions of first commoner, to solicit the indulgence and attention which I surely need on account of the emotion that takes hold of me when I think that after having sat for twenty years in the legislative assembly of the old and cherished French province of my country, I have now to speak in this house composed of the most authorized representatives of all the provinces of Canada who, for the most part, like their predecessors at your right, as at your left, Mr. Speaker, command attention by reason of their ability, knowledge, eloquence and courtesy.
The presence in this house of the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail), the distinction of her demeanor and the attention I have given in the past to her speeches in which the art of saying things and the subtility of the argument mingle so well together, are not to embolden me but, on the other hand, would induce me to excuse her ' for -what she said recently on the opposition of my native province to women's franchise, and to accept this new right all the more, if I had completely succeeded in changing my idea of the Christian family and of the essential importance of the educational part played by the wife and the mother in the Canadian home, in order to safeguard us from the dangers of a foreign immigration of ideas and individuals, enemy of our most sacred institutions and of our young generations.
Accustomed to speak in one of our official languages, I will ask you, Mr. Speaker, to excuse the imperfection of my pronunciation and to excuse me also for speaking English somewhat in French.
In accepting the mandate which was urgently offered me by the great majority of the constituency which I am proud to represent here, I have desired and I am determined to give, with my entire loyalty, a sincere contribution to the work that the legislators have to do specially in this alarming crisis the causes of which are many. I have never been, and I am not of those who are trying to make believe that all the misfortunes of the country must be attributed to the political adversary. I hate narrow-mindedness and fanaticism of all sorts. I am rather of those who are glad to see in every party composing this house, men disposed to face our national problems with broad-mindedness, and who, in the effort to solve them, are able to discuss questions with a view to the benefit of the country, rather than the advantage of any political party.
Indeed, I have sat too long in the opposition of His Majesty to ignore the importance of its role, and the respect it commands. I have too often in the name of my party, claimed government power not to endeavour to be worthy of it even in times of heavy responsibilities and, like my esteemed colleagues, not to give the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) who honoured me with his confidence, all my loyalty and modest cooperation in the task he has assumed with such energy and in the work which he places at the service of his country, to which he contributes the strength of his character, the extraordinary power of his talents and the time which many others would prefer to spend in sunny places of rest.
In the extraordinary efforts undertaken by the Tight hon. leader of the new government to solve our national problems, efforts which amaze by the fact that they surpass the ordinary limits of human possibility, there is something more notable than physical endurance, far superior to character and temperament, greater than talent, finer than tenacity to the work; it is patriotism.
We know to what the public man is exposed who devotes himself entirely to the service of his country. The effects of the stress of public life are illustrated by the recent illness of my hon. friend, the ex-Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), whose recovery has brought joy to his fellow-citizens.
The Address-Mr. Sauve
The fact that a good Acadian my hon. friend from Restigouche-Madawaska (Mr. Cormier) so eloquently proposed the address, that the hon. Senator Bourque was the seconder -of the address in the Senate, that a French-Canadian from the west seconded the address last session and that my hon. friend from Dorchester (Mr. Gagnon) proposed it in this house should make my compatriots think-they who had been taught that the Conservative party by its reason of being, could be nothing else but the hated enemy of the French-speaking Canadians.
The statement, made recently by the new Conservative Prime Minister of Ontario recognized the fact that the province of Quebec reacted and will always react more strongly than the other provinces against the political and social penetration of Americanism, and he could have added with the Chief Justice of Ontario, Sir William Mulock, against the penetration of revolutionary ideas of Communist agents, induces us to consider as unfortunate exceptions those who still want to look upon the French Canadians as strangers in the country founded and opened by them to civilization. I sincerely thank the Prime Minister of Ontario and Sir William Mulock and others for their words of justice and bonne entente.
Another pleasing fact to note. May I be allowed to express the special delight that my compatriots have in sharing with their Englishspeaking fellow-citizens, the honour and the joy afforded them by His Majesty the King in appointing such a worthy representative of his crown in the person of the Earl of Bessborough, whose worthy companion will represent here a successful conquest for Great Britain and the benefits that bind the French Canadians to the British crown.
It is said that when the chain of hills that crosses the west of England approaches the sea, it presents a wonderful sight, resembling the cliffs of Normandy and the shores of Brittany, recalling that the descendants of Great Britain and of France were formerly united bj' the same blood and that they are physically divided only by a shallow sheet of water.
Will not the presence of the Earl and Countess of Bessborough on Canadian soil, under the most brilliant rays of our Canadian sun, give us a vision, an inspiration that will stimulate patriotic fervour and promote kindly feelings one for another.
Now Mr. Speaker, will you allow me with the consent of the house, to conclude my remarks in my mother tongue.
[Mr. Sauve. j
(Translation): May I. be allowed after the effort that I have just made, to express myself in my maternal tongue. I do not wish to be any more disagreeable to this house, and especially to my opponents, than I have been in the other language. However, they will probably permit me to emphasize my remarks by pointing out to the house some of the arguments which have been expounded by those on your left, sir, and although accustomed to opponents of the same stamp, I was not the less astonished at the views expressed.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ADDRESS IN REPLY