Jean-Paul Stephen ST-LAURENT

ST-LAURENT, Jean-Paul Stephen, LL.L.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Témiscouata (Quebec)
Birth Date
April 23, 1912
Deceased Date
December 22, 1986
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Paul_St._Laurent
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=4d1dfca2-1ef4-4181-9010-e9bada95bbda&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer

Parliamentary Career

September 26, 1955 - April 12, 1957
LIB
  Témiscouata (Quebec)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
LIB
  Témiscouata (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 62 of 63)


January 31, 1949

Mr. Si. Laurent:

That is not the way in

which we on this side of the house have regarded the problem; and I do not think that hon. gentlemen sitting around my hon. friend have regarded what was done in those last days as being effective. The opinion that has been gradually mellowing in the minds of the electors is the thing that counts, and not the speeches that are made over the radio in the last few days that precede polling.

Today the leader of the Progressive Conservative party wants changes. He says that over the years substantial changes have taken place and that something should be done to give effect to those changes. The position

taken, however, by the premier of Quebec is that he does not want any change, that he will not have any change made, and that he is there to see that no change is made. The change that the hon. gentleman wants at this time is a change to enlarge provincial autonomy and independence and to prevent the usurpation of power by the central authority. The hon. gentleman perhaps gave an indication that his conscience was troubling him a little bit in taking that stand, because he was at pains to say, as reported at page 54 of Hansard:

So that it may not be suggested that I am merely making this statement here in the House of Commons and expressing a different opinion to that which I have held at any other time, may I quote from a statement I made in the Ontario house which is recorded in the Ontario Hansard of April 1, 1947.

That is the one to which I have referred. I do not know whether there is any reason why there should be any anxiety on the part of my hon. friend in that regard. Of course, he is here the leader of the opposition; and we on this side of the house seem to have too much power to suit him. But what was the situation when he was the leader of the opposition in the other house?

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January 31, 1949

Mr. Si. Laurent:

No; when he was the leader of the opposition in the Ontario legislature. On the day on which he found it necessary to differ from his leader there, the gentleman who is now the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe (Mr. Rowe), he issued a statement which was reported in the Globe and Mail, and in which he is reported to have said:

We have strayed a long way from the path laid down by the fathers of confederation. The strong central government, which the provinces sought to create, is hamstrung by petty politics. All the constitutional difficulties which now prevent the adoption of effective and urgently necessary social legislation can be overcome without waiting for amendments to the British North America Act, if there is any sincere attempt at co-operation.

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January 31, 1949

Mr. Si. Laurent:

That was September 8, 1937. On January 26, 1939, there is a report from Fort William, a demand that Premier Hepburn go to the country without delay to settle the issue of national unity. The report further quotes a brief prepared by Premier Hepburn and presented to the Rowell commission on dominion-provincial relations on behalf of Ontario. The Conservative leader said Mr. Hepburn had laid down the principlethat "the provinces must remain independent and autonomous."

The quotation continues and attributes the following to the present leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew):

"That is one of the most remarkable utterances ever made by any premier within the dominion," Colonel Drew declared. "This province must remain independent of what? That sentence in Ontario's considered brief to the Rowell commission does not mean anything unless Premier Hepburn has the idea that Ontario should become a separate nation. The people of Ontario never gave him a mandate to set this province up as a separate nation. He has been usurping his authority ever since he made that submission . . . "My own stand" he stated, "is that in all matters of national import there should be one strong government legislating for the people of Canada in their common interest. As leader of the Conservative party one of my main ambitions is to lead this province back to the plan of confederation and to give the other provinces a lead and an example in that. Mr. Hepburn advocates an independent Ontario. I prefer to stand, as a Canadian, for a united Canada ... I shall go to the country clearly on the stand that Ontario is Canadian, one province in a united Canada within the British empire. I advocate the strengthening of national ties and divesting the province of every conflicting authority not necessary for provincial purposes."

That sounds like pretty strong language, but it compares quite favourably with the language that had been used in a radio broadcast just four days before that, on January 22, 1939, by a gentleman whose name is Mr. George McCullagh, and who has something to do, if I am not mistaken, with a newspaper published in Toronto called the Globe and Mail; and, if my information is not incorrect, it is a newspaper which quite frequently presumes to tell men in public life just how they should carry out their responsibilities. This is a portion of it:

The greatest service the premier of Ontario could do for Canada, and something which would carry his name into history as a public benefactor, would be for him to state publicly what we all know; that our provincial governments are political misfits, that they are unnecessary duplications, luxuries we cannot afford, and endless causes of disunity. If the premier of Ontario would state this, and pledge himself to help end the provincial burden, he would carry us a long way towards solvency and the solution we seek.

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January 31, 1949

Mr. Si. Laurent:

Certainly.

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January 31, 1949

Mr. Si. Laurent:

Most people would agree that it is a good thing for Canada to have our national political parties take into account the feelings of all sections of the country, and to frame their policies so that they will have substantial strength in all sections of the country; but it is a long time since the Conservative party has made any attempt to do that. And I am inclined to think that that may be one reason for its lack of success with its strategies.

Of course there was a strategy which worked once in 1911. But the motto of the province of Quebec is "je me souviens"-I remember. The people of Quebec are apt to remember what occurred in 1911. And if they do they will not be very much impressed by this procedure of making one appeal in one language in one part of the country and a quite different appeal in another language in other parts of the country. It was the Bourbons, was it not, who never learned anything?

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