In order to raise such a controversial question above party considerations, men whose known dignity, high reputation and exceptional ability have been praised by the newspapers of the province, regardless of political affiliation, were appointed to that commission.
To defend our glorious past, of which we are proud, to defend our institutions, our tongue and our faith, to come to the rescue of our constitution, which is a guarantee of survival for our ethnical group, to see that there is no breach of contracts, to promote national unity and live up to it, all that, Mr. Speaker, cannot be reckoned as political manoeuvring but, rather, as genuine patriotism. I regret that the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres, with whom may be associated those of his friends who cheered a moment ago, does not know the difference.
The Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) recently made a statement which was published on November 20 in the Ottawa newspaper Le Droit.
It dealt with the matter of French-English bilingualism. The promoters of the movement submitted the matter to the government of Canada.
Le Droit of Ottawa reports as follows, and I quote:
The promoters of this bilingual movement made an attempt to interest Canada, but Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent wrote back, with regret, last January that "in our country education is not a matter for the central government but for the ten provincial governments which are very jealous of their rights."
I note with a great deal of satisfaction this statement by the Prime Minister and his unequivocal admission that education is entirely a matter for the provinces.
Yes, Mr. Speaker, the province of Quebec is jealous of the right which was granted to it by the Canadian constitution. It refuses to admit any infringement in its fields of activity by any other authority, however powerful it might be, especially with regard to education. In this respect, the right hon. the Prime Minister and the humble member for Quebec West are in complete agreement.
Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to detain the house any longer today with regard to this thorny question to which I shall refer again in the near future.
Be it sufficient for me to say, before I resume my seat, that I have no other ambition, while sitting in this parliament, but to contribute my modest part to the progress and greatness of Canada.
234 HOUSE OF
The Address-Mr. W. M. Johnson
I want this Canada of ours to be powerful and prosperous. I want it to be the most beautiful country in the world. I want it to be such that we may live in it in peace and harmony and that may reign in our land that freedom which is so essential to the complete conservation of a sound democracy.
Let us all work together, let us unite our efforts, so that Canada may pursue its glorious ascension toward the noblest of destinies.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY