It is a good thing to make of our capital city a beautiful memorial, fitting to honour the memory of those who died that we might live. Books will be written and in song and story we shall record their valour. Deeds, not words, will be the measure of our gratitude. People yet unborn will, in some far off day, scan our old age pension schedules, our slum clearance plans, our widowed mothers' allowances, our infant mortality rates, and we shall answer at the bar of history.
We must here take full responsibility not only for our utterances in this house, but for the conditions of our homes, the level of family income in town, city and country, and the health, education and well-being of our communities.
"It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here" to the building of a new day in Canada and a new era of peace, brotherhood and abundance for all mankind.
Mr. DONALD M. FLEMING (Eglinton): Mr. Speaker, in rising to speak in this chamber for the first time I join the company of former classmates. The class of 1928 at Osgoode Hall law school, Toronto, boasts two members in the government in the persons of the Minister of Transport (Mr. Chev-rier) and the Secretary of State (Mr. Martin). That class also boasts a colleague on this side of the house, the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. Boucher), and in the press gallery, Mr. Francis Flaherty. I make the fifth and express my pleasure upon joining them in this chamber.
I come from a city which I am assured by all is, without doubt, the most popular in Canada. I can assure hon. members that the point of view I bring to the chamber and the attitude I hope to exhibit in all discussions in which I may take part is no narrow or sectional one. I come here as a coast-to-coast Canadian. While I have had occasion to criticize what seemed to be a sectional point of view in other parts of Canada, it is my promise to the house that it will be my endeavour and determination not to indicate any degree of sectionalism in any points of view to which I may give expression.
We meet, Mr. Speaker, following a great victory, a great deliverance. I say it becomes all of us, and in this I speak only as a new member, to acknowledge the debt which hon. members in this chamber, yes, and all people in Canada, owe to those who have stood between us and our enemies on the field of battle.
Democracy has come through. The benefits we enjoy we owe to others, and it is in a sense of consecration that I, for one, intend to approach my duties as a member of this chamber.
I believe it is fair to say that the hopes of the people of Canada concerning this new parliament are high hopes. As the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) reminded us, in one of his earliest utterances this session, the problems which will face parliament during the years immediately before us will perhaps be the most difficult which have confronted any parliament in the history of our land.
I believe it is correct to say that the judgment which will be applied to the actions of parliament and the policy of the government will be an exacting judgment. We have a great opportunity to make good for Canada, a great opportunity to build here in Canada a land worthy of the sacrifice of those who have stood in our place on the fighting line.
That does not mean that we have come here in any submissive attitude, or that the attitude we propose to adopt in respect of
The Address-Mr. Fleming
government measures is one of mere acquiescence. On the contrary, I think the attitude of all hon. members in this part of the house will be the one enunciated so clearly yesterday by our leader, namely, one of constructive criticism.
I am sorry that in what I have to say tonight I find more of criticism in respect of government policy that I had hoped would be the case in my first utterance in the House of Commons.
I think the first duty to which parliament must address itself is the recovery of the prerogatives and powers which have been yielded up to the government by the last two parliaments.
It may be that legally a state of war continues with both Germany and Japan. Hostilities actually have ceased, and with them any need for exercising the extraordinary powers the government has enjoyed during war time. There must be an end and an end at once, to government by order in council. There must be an end to bureaucracy.
It is disconcerting therefore, to say the least, to find that even on the eve of the convening of parliament the government continued to exercise its extraordinary powers. The use which has been made of; the War Measures Act under these circumstances amounts, in my submission, to an abuse of those powers. In fact, what the government is doing to-day amounts to turning the War Measures Act of Canada into the political war measures act of Canada.
Topic: GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY