Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to join with all members who took part in the present debate which has been lasting for a few days. I listened yesterday to speeches devoid of all political partisanship and imbued with really patriotic principles. In fact, the atmosphere in this house has changed completely. We did not hear politicians, but statesmen concerned with the problems facing us.
We all realized that unity was essential in this parliament, if the clarion call for unity is going to be heard, and especially by all the people who live in our beautiful country, Canada.
We are now in a troubled age. We see a combination of facts that prompts us to look farther than ever before.
On each side of us new groups appear, more important than we think, and which could, tomorrow, create a wide chasm between both our ethnic communities.
What are we to do? Are we to declare open war to all new movements? Are we to condemn them? Are we to consider them as undesirable? No, Mr. Chairman, let us rather consider them as our brothers, let us try to understand them. In a word, let us be the apostles of mutual understanding.
Mr. Chairman, no movement is born without a cause. Let us try to find out that cause and the best way to do it is not to investigate, it is not merely to form movements to oppose those already existing, the best way is simply to look at ourselves, English Canadians and French Canadians, and each of us to examine our conscience.
We shall then discover that everyone of us has his share of responsibilities to assume. We shall perhaps find out that we caused unconsciously the spark that started the fire which seems at present to take alarming proportions. Let us stop eyeing each other like divided brothers. Instead, let us consider each other like united brothers. Those movements did not spring up overnight. It might have been possible to prevent them from coming into being if right from the start our politicians had lent a more attentive ear to their claims.
Let me give you an example. The selection of a name for the C.N.R. hotel in Montreal was not a momentous question; the request made by all social organizations of the province of Quebec could have been granted.
The province of Quebec has always advocated, not only with words but with action, the respect of minorities.
Has the province of Quebec not always had a public education board formed of two committees, one called the Catholic committee and the other, the Protestant committee?
Succeeding provincial governments in the past have always treated those two groups with the same fairness. Subsidies granted for the building of schools were not higher for French schools and lower for English schools. Indeed, those subsidies were the same for both groups.
Mr. Chairman, that is what we, in Quebec, call true fair play. That is what we, in Quebec, call well understood unity. That is what we, in Quebec, call respect of minorities. That is what we, in Quebec, understand by practising what we preach.
Mr. Chairman, I represent in this house one of the finest ridings not only of the province of Quebec, but of all Canada, the riding of Gaspe which comprises 10,700 French speaking families and 1,800 English speaking families. Mine is a united county where it is good to live in peace and harmony. We all look upon each other as brothers, as true people from Gaspe, and true Canadians.
There is no question of race, religion or language. Our French Canadians always made an effort to speak English, and our English speaking Canadians did the same.
Since I have been in the house, I have always defended the interests of the Englishspeaking minority in my county.
For the last few years, the English speaking municipalities in my riding made some representations to me to the effect that they were lacking television service, and asked me to intercede on their behalf with the government authorities. They were right in asking for fair treatment, Mr. Chairman. I did approach the proper authorities on many occasions and appreciate their having acceded to my request.
This is what we find in the report on the matter, established by the board of broad-
oast governors and dated December 4, 1962:
Mont Bechervaise, Gaspe West (Que.)
Licence for the establishment of a new television relay station at Mont Bechervaise, in Gaspe West (Que.) via the Gaspe South Telecasting Syndicate, to pick up programs of station CKAM-TV, of Upsalquitch (N.B.) on channel 12, and retransmit to channel 4 with 5 watt power and directional antenna.
Reasons: The board thinks that the facilities requested by the Gaspe South Telecasting Syndicate are the only ones that could answer the needs of the English speaking people in the district where the proposed relay station is to operate. The board trusts that it will be possible to collect sufficient funds to build and immediately operate those facilities, and that steps may be taken to ensure the maintenance of those installations.
Is not Gaspe, Mr. Chairman, a magnificent example of unity, which we may quote with pride on any occasion?
This afternoon, I listened to the hon. member for Iles-de-la-Madeleine (Mr. Sauve) when he pointed out that, in his beautiful riding, there were, proportionately speaking, more veterans from the two wars than in any other riding. I entirely agree with the hon. member for Iles-de-la-Madeleine, and I have to tell him that the riding of Gaspe is one of those which have given the most soldiers to our country. In my county, there are three legion branches: one at Chandler, one at Gaspe, and one at Murdochville. In those three areas, there is no difference of class, race or religion.
Those four different communities form a single area where all fair-minded people in Gaspe irrespective of race and religion, discuss under the same roof the common interest of the county of Gaspe, and I am proud to say that this county has distinguished itself. Under the circumstances, I am not surprised about Iles-de-la-Madeleine, because that riding followed in the steps of Gaspe, because it belonged for a long time to Gaspe county.
Mr. Chairman, as united and as rich as it may be through its mineral, forest and fishing industries, through the moral fibre and the courage of its inhabitants, the riding of Gaspe has nevertheless been neglected by all previous governments.
Unfortunately, this great courageous population has all too often been used for purely political purposes.
We have been deprived of high schools and classical colleges far too long. In fact, many children have not had the necessary education because their parents did not have the means to send them to the classical colleges in Quebec city or Montreal. The only university our ancestors had really gone to is that of hard knock.
Mr. Chairman, how can we explain the fact that such a rich country has been left undeveloped for so long? How can we explain that this country, discovered by Jacques Cartier in 1534, had to wait until 1956 to see its first city, Murdochville. However, its wealth had been lying underground for a long time. Providence had put it there so that it could be developed and benefit the whole community.
At this stage, Mr. Speaker, I should like to refer to the Gaspe copper mines financial report, submitted by the president of the company, which clearly shows that the Gaspe peninsula is a rich country. I quote:
Gaspe Copper is going through a prosperous year.
The net profit of Gaspe Copper Mines Limited for the first six months of 1962 will reach-
You will have noticed, Mr. Chairman, that the figure is for the first six months of 1962.
-$2,700,000, compared with $400,000 for the whole year 1961.
This was revealed today by Mr. John R. Brad-field, president of the company, to the shareholders now holding their annual meeting here.
This substantial improvement in the results of the operations of the company is explained by the fact that better prices for copper as well as the Canadian dollar exchange rate have brought about an increase of $500,000 in the revenues of the company. Besides, as was revealed by the annual report sent out two months ago to the shareholders, the amortization of substantial capital and preproduction expenditures has been completed during 1961. Mr. Bradfield also underlined that the company's debt, which amounted to $47 million in 1956 has been substantially reduced. More than $40 million have been paid off, so that the current is only totalling $6,500,000.
Mr. Chairman, the debt amounted to $47 million in 1956 and is but $6 million today. And these figures were only for a period of six months in 1962, which means that the $6 million current debt will be completely paid off before the end of the year.
Mr. Chairman, there is not only one mine in the Gaspe peninsula. There are several, which are only waiting for mining companies and strong arms to put them at the service of the public. And, merely to prove that the Gaspe peninsula is a rich area and that I was right in asking for the construction of a railway which would contribute to its economic expansion, you only have to look at what is happening at the moment.
In fact, Mr. Chairman, when the Conservative government decided to consider the fate of the Gaspe peninsula, it realized that it had to do something for its exiled brothers and adopted an act which received the unanimous approval of both houses, an act which finally permitted to give to the Gaspe peninsula what it had been seeking for more than 75 years.
Mr. Chairman, that is a promise which suddenly became a reality. And the reality brought about considerable economic expansion in the Gaspe peninsula.
Until now, companies that owned mining claims did not want to develop them until they had the essential transport facilities to do so.
I also recall that I was asked at the time if I had consulted provincial government authorities to determine whether it would be a self-liquidating project.
1 must say that, at the time, I could not reply, because I was in communication with the Quebec authorities, and I could not reveal information before it was made public by the government itself.
Following the passing of the bill by the House of Commons, the Quebec government granted one company a 32-square mile area in the national park of the Gaspe peninsula. That park had always been closed to mining operations in the past, because it was preserved as a sanctuary.
Mr. Chairman, it is all very well to look after caribou, but I feel it is even more important to look after human beings and, according to order in council No. 616, the provincial government granted Mr. Pierre Beauchemin and his Gaspe associates a 32-square mile area. A short while later, drilling operations began, and the results are most promising. This will allow us to have in the near future, not only one, but at least three mines in operation in the constituency of Gaspe. For that, credit must go to the Conservative government which has made it possible to build that railway to develop that area.
Topic: INTERIM SUPPLY