-I want to say that we acted along with the others in this country. We are talking about unity, and I know that most of us are united. May I say, in diverging for a moment, sir, that since coming to Ottawa I have been proud of the men and women I have met from other provinces: those strong, generous men from the provinces by the sea; I refer to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. I have been proud to meet those from central Canada, from my ancestral home, the old province of Quebec to which my ancestors first came in 1632.
I must admit that there is a great deal of narrowness yet, unfortunately, amongst some part of our people. This is the forum, is it not, in which to speak about the matter? Where else can I do so? I will say this on the platform anywhere; but so that the people of the country may hear, so that my message may carry beyond the walls of this building and may carry beyond the boundaries of my constituency, I believe I can quite properly and justifiably take advantage of the forum of this house in pleading this case with you, Mr. Speaker, and with the members of parliament.
In 1945 I was, as you will remember, the only Liberal member elected in Alberta from a rural area. There was one from a city. It just happens that because the people know me well and have confidence in me, the great majority of those of French extraction voted for me in that election, as they did in the past and as they will in the next. It was a close fight, a fight between gentlemen, citizens of Canada, with only one aim and TMr. Dechene.]
one ambition. Although we might differ as to methods by which it may be achieved, our one concern is for the welfare and the happiness of this great country.
May I say that I never heard of a race being insulted as were the French Canadians in that election by the defeated candidate. The language he used cannot be put on Hansard or anywhere else. If a man used it in the street he would be arrested right away. They insulted them, through the mud they tried to throw at this important part of our population. That conduct should deny them the right ever to appeal to that class in Athabaska or elsewhere in the future.
I am not trying to use this as a lever or as something in my favour. We are not by far the majority in that great constituency of Athabaska, but I want to protest against this kind of thing. That is why I mention it on the floor of this house. I am not the only one who heard it. There were many men and women there; and some of his own supporters called me outside and told me he should be ashamed for insulting such an important and pioneering part of our great population in Alberta and in Athabaska. I know the words he used. Don't worry; I shall never forget them. If any man ever utters that same kind of language again and ever appears on a platform, I do not care if I live to be 90 years of age, I shall be delighted to meet him and call him by his proper name.
Now I have something else to talk about and it has been the subject of many a debate in the past. I am sorry to say that so far I have been unable to get any support, for reasons that I ignore, from the present party in authority in the province of Alberta. I am speaking about this great new artery of transportation for which plans were made away back in 1927 and 1928. It is not a local issue. It concerns the four western provinces, and at least three of them vitally, namely northwestern Saskatchewan, the whole of northern Alberta and northern British Columbia. This was provided for by arrangement between the Canadian National Railways and the Canadian Pacific Railway, by which, in order to bring about this development in a country which had a future-which had lakes, forests, mines and everything, besides the best of land-the Canadian National Railways would continue this line from Battleford and St. Walburg to the constituency of Athabaska, and the C.P.R. would come in west of Prince Albert, would have running rights on that line for 55 miles until they reached Cold Lake where the grade was built, and from then the C.N.R. would go down to Edmonton and the C.P.R.
would go north of the Beaver river to the Athabasca river and the Peace river, to join with the Northern Alberta Railways at Lac la Biche in Athabaska and join with the Northern Alberta Railways line serving Peace river in order to have an outlet for the western provinces to the Pacific coast.
This is not a new plan, Mr. Speaker. The time has arrived, I believe, when we should talk about this matter. I have spoken about it often. I have been a long time in public life and I have found out that you must keep going after these things. You must speak about them. You must agitate. You must seek the support of your fellow members. You must seek the support of the government. It will not be done in a day, I know. I do not expect it to be done tomorrow. But unless we push and press for it, it will not be done at all.
If the Korean war terminates, and if Uncle Joe behaves himself, then this country will be in a position to carry on with the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National Railways for the construction of this great outlet. The other day it was mentioned by the new premier of British Columbia, who by the way was a strong Conservative until a few weeks before the election and who used to live in Athabaska. All kinds of people live there. Mr. Bennett used to be a citizen of our country.
Topic: THE BUDGET
Subtopic: ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE