Mr. Wilfrid LaCroix (Quebec-Monimorency) moved
the second reading of Bill No. 13, to amend the Criminal Code (subversive activities).
He said: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to prevent communism from extending its propaganda activities in this country. For the last few years the communist party of Canada and the Soviet embassy in Ottawa have been using the mails to pour out floods of propaganda originating in Russia and
designed to establish international communism. I have here a pamphlet entitled, "The Fortieth Anniversary of the Great Social October Revolution", essays by the propaganda section of the Marxist-Leninist Institute, which openly advocates world revolution in favour of a socialist and communist system in all nations on earth. Those pamphlets have been sent to all hon. members of this house, to a large section of the Canadian population and they have been more particularly distributed in the province of Quebec. It seems to me high time that the necessary steps be taken to stop this active propaganda which is likely to contribute to the creation of communist cells whose spying is bound to be detrimental to us in the event of a war against Russia.
It will perhaps be claimed that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are keeping an eye on communist activities in this country but- and I want to stress this point-they will be powerless against the infiltration of communistic ideology among the poor, the unemployed and even among certain so-called intellectuals. All of these, once converted by that propaganda might do us considerable harm in case of war with Russia.
I have already submitted this bill on various occasions when I was sitting on the government side. Everybody here knows its contents. This year I have introduced changes to make it identical with an act passed by the United States government which, according to Mr. Edgar Hoover, chief of the federal bureau of investigation, has proved most effective in curbing communist activities.
I should like this afternoon by keeping my remarks brief to avoid taking up too much of the only hour reserved to a study of this bill so that hon. members who favour the adoption of the bill may vote before the house has used up all the time reserved to the consideration of public bills. I would therefore ask those who are in favour of the bill simply to abstain from any prolonged discussion which would rule out all possibility of this bill going through for otherwise it would drop down to the bottom of the order paper.
There is nothing to prevent us from approving the bill on second reading and then referring it to a committee of the house which would consider and even amend it should the committee feel that it falls short of the objective I have in mind. I strongly object, however, to any attempt to kill it by protracted discussion which indeed would prevent a committee of the house from giving it further study for what I am seeking through this bill is to prevent communist propaganda
from spreading in our country at a time when the taxpayer is being heavily burdened precisely to face this enemy.
It might perhaps be suggested that if this bill were to pass it would lead to a breakoff of our diplomatic relations with Russia. This would be a misconception because the United States, in spite of their having adopted similar legislation, still have an ambassador in Moscow. I may add that the former leader of the opposition, the present Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker), has often advocated in this house legislation against the communist party.
Topic: CRIMINAL CODE
Subtopic: AMENDMENTS WITH RESPECT TO SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES