Mr. J. H. DICKEY (Halifax):
Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise to second the address in reply to the speech from the throne which has been so eloquently moved by the hon. member for Lake St. John-Roberval (Mr. Dion). His very fine speech and the manner of its delivery well typify the ease with which our fellow Canadians of French descent enliven and enrich the proceedings of this house. In these circumstances, Mr. Speaker, I feel that I cannot pay a higher compliment to the hon. member than to say that in spite of my own state of perturbation and expectancy I was able to enjoy his remarks to the full.
May I now be permitted, Mr. Speaker, to express congratulations to the hon. member in his own language and add a few remarks in French as an evidence of my great regard for those Canadians, the sons of the sturdy settlers of New France who, today, hold an important place in our Canadian nation.
The wonderful successes achieved by our fellow citizens of French descent and the contribution which, thereby, they have made to our Canadian economic and cultural development should be a matter of pride for all Canadians.
The Address-Mr. Dickey
Mr. Speaker, my election to this parliament will, I believe, afford me, among other privileges, an exceptional opportunity to appreciate and improve my knowledge of fellow citizens whose language I speak with, of course, great difficulty, but among whom, I am happy to say, I have close and valuable friends,
The signal honour of having been invited to second this address is accepted for myself with deep appreciation and humility. As an honour to the great constituency of Halifax I accept it with pride and pleasure. The people of the county of Halifax will, I am sure, consider it a recognition of the outstanding contributions that they have made .through the long hard years of war to the magnificent and victorious efforts in which this whole nation shared, a recognition also of their contributions since the cessation of hostilities to the gigantic task of reconversion of the national economy.
I come to this house, sir, as the junior member for Halifax to succeed a distinguished and kindly man who served his constituency in parliament for six difficult and trying years. The sincere and generous tributes paid to Mr. Macdonald on behalf of all parties in this house at the opening of the last session gave testimony of the affection and respect he had won for himself among his fellow members, sentiments fully shared by the electors of Halifax city and county.
It was my privilege to know Mr. Macdonald in another capacity, having been articled to him as a law student. Appreciation of his qualities has already been so eloquently and fully expressed that there is little left for me to add, except to say that it will be my purpose to walk worthily in his footsteps and to follow, as best I may be able, his outstanding example. As one result of Mr. Macdonald's untimely death, his colleague the senior member for Halifax (Mr. Isnor) was left to carry out alone the exacting task of representing Halifax constituency during the whole of the last session of parliament. The manner in which he assumed and discharged this additional burden deserves the heartiest commendation of this house, and it is a source of the greatest possible satisfaction to the people of the county whom he has served so faithfully and so well
I have already seen many proofs of the extremely high regard in which he is held by his fellow members of this house, a regard which I may say is equalled and even surpassed by the opinion of him held by the voters of Halifax city and county. Proof of 5849-H
this is found in his unbroken record of electoral successes over a period of twenty years, through good times and bad, and a succession of overwhelming majorities which has grown throughout the years, all this, Mr. Speaker, in public life, where even outstanding service is not always accorded its just reward. The measure of his successes indicate# but does not limit the appreciation and the recognition to which his efforts establish his entitlement.
The task performed by my colleague can be fully appreciated only by considering the constituency of Halifax which, with him, I now have the honour to represent. There is much that I should like to say to you, sir, about the county of Halifax: its great natural beauties; the character and quality of its people-reliable, honest and industrious; the harmonious mingling of Canadians of English, French, Irish and Scottish descent; and the other elements which combine to impart to this constituency its individuality and its greatness. Over the entrance door to these houses of parliament are inscribed the words a man usque ad mare and "The wholesome sea is at her gates, her gates both east and west." Halifax provides that eastern ocean gateway considered by the fathers of this nation so essential and without which this dominion, now stretching from sea to sea, might never have come into being. We are the familiar "east coast Canadian port" of the war years. The eastern ocean on which we stand gives us our temperate climate and endows us with an ever-changing pageant of beauty: the rugged headlands, charming inlets, smooth sand beaches, magnificent harbours, ports, fishing villages and seaside towns. The industries and commerce of the sea provide a livelihood for a large proportion of our population. Fishing, shipbuilding and outfitting, the manifold activities surrounding the business of the great port of Halifax itself, all depend upon the riches of the sea or upon sea-borne trade. The fisherman is essential not only to the life of his own closely-knit community but to the economy of the whole province. His ancient calling-difficult, dangerous and not always profitable-is dignified by the essential quality of independence which to him is a precious possession.
In referring to the important fishing interests of Halifax constituency, I should like to congratulate the Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Gregg) on his appointment and election, and to acknowledge the energy and industry he has already shown in taking over the administration of this department which is of such fundamental importance to us. Under his
The Address-Mr. Dickey
to this country after a trip through western Europe and England where he gathered firsthand knowledge of present conditions both on the continent and in Britain. To our Prime Minister were accorded in the course of his visits a succession of well merited honours absolutely without precedent in Canadian history. The nations of western Europe with whom we were allied during the difficult years of war learned through our common effort to know Canada and Canadians better than ever before, and have fully appreciated the magnificent effort put forth by this country in the common cause. In our wartime Prime Minister they recognize the personification of many of the qualities of this nation which they found admirable. In him they saw a national leader entrusted by a free people with our highest office and responsibility for a longer period than any other individual in our history, a national leader regarded in other countries as one of the wisest, most distinguished and respected of world statesmen. The people of Canada must look with gratification upon the honours bestowed upon our Prime Minister if for no other reason than as eloquent testimony [DOT]of the sincere gratitude and affection with which the people of those countries regard this land of ours, feelings won for us by those valiant young men who were privileged to contribute much to the successful conclusion of the struggle by which these peoples were freed from enslavement and defeat.
The Prime Minister has, as well, represented the government and the people of Canada at a very happy and important event in the family life of Their Majesties, the wedding of Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth to His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, an historic occasion followed from afar with affectionate interest by Canadians from coast to coast and in every walk of life. It was a remarkable distinction for Canada to be represented by our Prime Minister, who is leader both in length and in excellence of service among ministers of the crown throughout the entire commonwealth of nations. I am sure his presence in London for the celebration of this marriage was the best possible expression of universal and sincere good wishes of Canadians to the happy couple, and to His Majesty of the loyalty and devotion of his Canadian subjects everywhere.
It was a particular pleasure to learn that His Majesty was graciously pleased to invest the Prime Minister with the Order of Merit, and our most sincere congratulations are extended to him on this great honour.
As Secretary of State for External Affairs, the Prime Minister has been succeeded by the right hon. minister (Mr. St. Laurent), who
now holds this portfolio with such distinction and advantage to the Canadian nation. The very heavy responsibilities which world conditions today impose upon the statemen of all nations are being discharged on our behalf by the minister in a most admirable and satisfactory manner. At the opening of the united nations assembly at Lake Success, the Secretary of State for External Affairs, speaking on behalf of Canada, expressed with force and frankness the determination of this country to work in cooperation with all other peoples of like mind and will for the establishment and maintenance of lasting peace. He and the other members of the Canadian delegation have acquitted themselves with outstanding distinction. From their earnestness and frankness all the peoples of the world who are permitted to do so, have learned of the aspirations and ideals of the Canadian people and our single-minded purpose to contribute, to the full extent of our abilities and resources, to the cause of international amity and cooperation. Attacks upon our actions and our motives have been and will be made. These attacks are disquieting, not because of the unfounded and false accusations they contain, but because of the illwill and wilful prejudice they disclose on the part of those who indulge in them. It would indeed be unfortunate, Mr. Speaker, if these same opinions were to be kept alive and given currency by unthinking and self-seeking groups within our own country who, for political advantage, might attempt to misrepresent and distort Canada's position or intentions in international affairs.
It is well recognized that Canada has the special interests and responsibilities of a Pacific power. The conclusion of a peace treaty with Japan is an immediate and pressing problem. I speak from personal experience when I say that Canada, while not an occupying power, is well represented in Japan. The part that we have taken in the various activities relating to the Japanese empire since the cessation of hostilities has consolidated our position and ensures appropriate recognition of our interest in the whole far-eastern area. Canada is pleased with the initiative already taken by the government of the United States toward the final negotiation of a peace treaty with Japan, and we look forward to continued cooperation with the other interested powers to this end. However, our primary interest must always be in the improvement of world conditions generally, and in particular the early restoration of the economic life of Europe.
The Address-Mr. Dickey
Canada's contribution toward the relief of distress and the reestablishment of normal conditions in all the countries of Europe has been extremely high in relation to our population and resources. The government has recognized the essential nature of this task to the extent that many of our present difficulties have been caused or contributed to by our efforts to fulfil our commitments and avoid wherever possible any diversion of supplies to less needy, but more profitable markets. If the aid extended to the European nations had resulted, as was our hope and purpose, in the substantial improvement of their economic condition, the necessity for many of the temporary measures now contemplated would never have come about. I feel, Mr. Speaker, that this house realizes that, from a purely selfish point of view alone, it is in the best interests of this nation that the government be supported in its intention to continue to assist in the essential task of European reconstruction to the full extent of our. capacity within the limits of the emergency measures it has been found necessary to impose.
The government of the United States is at present considering the details of additional plans to aid the continent of Europe back to economic stability, and there should not be the slightest question of the firmness of Canada's purpose to continue her contributions to this same end. The early conclusion of peace treaties with the European nations we regard as an essential step which must be undertaken and completed at the earliest possible day. We also consider that the essential interests of international cooperation and harmony will best be served by the smaller nations being accorded an opportunity to join in the negotiations leading up to the conclusion of peace treaties with nations to whose military defeat we have made a signal contribution.
The government and this parliament are prepared to give to the question of our foreign policy the time and thought its importance and complexities require in these trying and difficult times. It should, I feel, be fully understood, both by the Canadian people and by the peoples and leaders of other countries that Canada is a sovereign nation among the nations of the world and that, together with our membership in the British commonwealth of nations, the very cornerstone of our foreign policy is our membership in the united nations, through which we expect to work for the firm establishment of peace in this troubled world.
It is a source of particular gratification to Nova Scotians to note the outstanding contributions which have been and are being made
on Canada's behalf to international politics by the Minister of Justice (Mr. Ilsley). Few men have been privileged to serve their country with more distinction than our wartime Minister of Finance; and he is now, in the wider sphere of the united nations organization, crowning his past accomplishments with new and distinguished service. To him, to the Secretary of State for External Affairs and to the other distinguished gentlemen who have the honour and responsibility of representing Canada in the international sphere, may I say that the Canadian people support them with their hopes and the prayer that their efforts may be crowned with success; that, as a result of their striving, the threat of the horrors of war may be removed farther and farther from our minds, and that we may look forward one day to the secure enjoyment of an era of international peace and prosperity won for us by the untiring efforts of men of good will.
Topic: GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic: ADDRESS IN REPLY, MOVED BY MR. J. A. DION (LAKE ST. JOHN-ROBERVAL) AND SECONDED BY MR. J. H. DICKEY (HALIFAX)