MACQUARRIE, The Hon. Heath Nelson, B.A., M.A., LL.D., F.R.S.A.

Personal Data

Progressive Conservative
Hillsborough (Prince Edward Island)
Birth Date
September 18, 1919
Deceased Date
January 2, 2002
author, political scientist, professor, radio-commentator, teacher

Parliamentary Career

June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
  Queen's (Prince Edward Island)
March 31, 1958 - April 19, 1962
  Queen's (Prince Edward Island)
June 18, 1962 - February 6, 1963
  Queen's (Prince Edward Island)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Secretary of State for External Affairs (August 17, 1962 - February 6, 1963)
April 8, 1963 - September 8, 1965
  Queen's (Prince Edward Island)
November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
  Queen's (Prince Edward Island)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
  Hillsborough (Prince Edward Island)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
  Hillsborough (Prince Edward Island)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
  Hillsborough (Prince Edward Island)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 423 of 424)

January 6, 1958

Mr. Macquarrie:

Mr. Speaker, at six o'clock I was discussing the fundamental aspect of the Canadian constitution as being that which derives from the ancient and honourable constitution of the United Kingdom, a large part of which is in the unwritten tradition. But of course behind the British constitution there is much in the record of democratic development which carries us back to the earlier days of western liberal society. The Greek concept of law, the Hebraic ideal of morality, the ethic of Christianity, the ceaseless struggles of the intellectually emancipated. All of these have contributed to the mosaic of political and civil liberty which was well developed when Canada was born and from which we have derived so much. Those imperishable charters of English liberty, the Magna Carta of 1215, the petition of right of 1628, the bill of rights which came 60 years later, the habeas corpus act, the various electoral acts and franchise acts, Lockes' criterion of the consent of the governed; Rousseau's theory that the will of those who are governed must be expressed and reflected in the laws under which they live and under which society is operated, all of these things and many more are our ancestors in the development of political democracy and civil liberty.

Always, however, there has been a struggle between freedom and tyranny. The stream of

Human Rights

political liberty has never flowed easily nor swiftly. The divine monarch, the absolute despotic tyrant of one age is replaced by the demagogic dictator of another. The police state or the dictatorship of an omniscient and omnipotent party are modern manifestations of the old aspect of tyranny with which those who loved and fought for freedom down through the ages have had to contend.

Happily we in this land have a heritage of political and civil liberty which we must and do cherish and yet while we are a democracy and have strong institutions it would be unwise to take those institutions or our form of government for granted. "It cannot happen here" is the foolish platitude of the unthinking and democracy is never preserved by unthinking people. We must re-examine and re-assess our political structure from time to time. That is why I say it is valuable for the legislators of this country to spend their time as they have spent it today.

Things have happened in our age in various countries which should disturb us. Sometimes these things have happened in our own land. One cannot view with equanimity the whole story of the famous spy trials in Canada however justifiable the ultimate end may have been. Nor can our conscience as Canadians be altogether clear when we recall the whole story of the treatment of Japanese Canadians. There are a number of other instances of the improper use of power against individuals which should be pricks to our conscience and spurs to our thinking as democratic people. The fact that we may not have been personally involved in such instances is all the more reason why we should be vitally concerned and disturbed. It is wise and necessary to do what we are doing today and I congratulate most heartily the mover of this resolution as one who has followed others in this house in bringing forward a review of these important matters.

We are in the tradition of the unwritten constitution. Much has been told and said about that. The unwritten constitution with its flexibility has much to commend it. Yet sometimes I fear that perhaps in our genuine respect and reverence for the unwritten constitution we occasionally may be somewhat loath to commit to a document some especially valued principle of government. I therefore do not take the view that written constitutions are always necessarily less satisfying than unwritten constitutions.

The role of written law has been profound in the history of man's political development. A great step was taken in western society when law became written, indeed when it became known. In the earlier days

the law was known only to a very few, to the wielders of political power; the rank and file of the citizenry knew it not. When the 12 tables were made available to the public, when the commandments were made known, when the work of Draco and Solon in Greece became available to the citizenry one of the first and greatest steps was taken towards the development of a democratic society that was that the laws which affect all should be made known to all. This was a tremendous step forward, a great advance. It represented something to which a citizen could appeal, a body of knowledge with which he could become acquainted.

It may indeed be that we have reached a stage where some of our fundamental principles of government, some of our civil and political liberties might well be inscribed in some form and defined, perhaps in the way suggested by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar or in some other manner previously suggested. Therefore I think there is much reason in the suggestion that has been put forward today. I would even say that there are things in the spirit and temper of our time which give some urgency to this matter. It seems to me that we live in an era which is marked by the atomization of the individual. We live in a world of great agglomerations of power whether it be in the business field or the great federations of unions or what have you. There is the tremendous aggregation of power in contrast with the puny individual which is indeed a shocking contrast and one which cannot fail to stir and disturb us. We live in a society, too, in which the mechanizations and devices of mass coercion and regimentation have been advanced to a degree of technological excellence never before attained. We speak of living in an age of mass culture when it is so easy to get across to the mass the ideas, the devices, the techniques, the habits and even the slogans of those who are able to control the media of mass communication. There is then, I say, a tremendous challenge to the individuality of the person.

Then, too, there is another aspect which I think adds urgency to this suggestion, that because of certain things in the international field there are reasons for feeling fear. Fear breeds irrationality and quite often under the stress and strain generated by fear and uncertainty some things which in more normal times we cherish and prize may elude us, may pass out of the picture. I think we can recall in recent years that in the western world there occasionally have been manifestations of exactly this kind of irrationality which erodes some of the fundamental liberties of the people in a democratic state.

Yet I think it is important to look at this whole matter very carefully and very realistically. I am tremendously impressed with the idea. However, there are certain cautions which we must not overlook. Perhaps it is unfortunate that we in this country have not yet attained that status whereby we can amend our fundamental organ of government, our constitution. We have not yet been able to find a very satisfactory or workable way of doing that.

It is difficult to know just how this resolution could be made operative in relation to the present status of the British North America Act and the somewhat divided amending process which we now have. I would certainly not hazard the suggestion that what is involved here comes purely under the federal area of jurisdiction. I think I might find others supporting my doubts in this matter.

I have mentioned the idea that certainly one cannot place full confidence in the written law. There is the danger, too, of overemphasizing the importance of a written law because sometimes when we designate, record, set out section by section, laws, aspects of our freedoms, liberties, or what have you, it often happens that we are really limiting our freedom in that through the process of time those things which are set out in the words have gradually become the sum total of that freedom. If we were discussing section 91 of the British North America Act I am sure we would find ample justification for this line of thinking. Then, of course-and I think this must always be considered whenever legislators, or anyone else, talk about amending laws-behind the law there is the spirit. The letter of the law, in Montesquieu's great words, is not enough. His "The Spirit of the Law" is, of course, a classic in this field. We speak of law and order. Actually, as society develops, the order should be reversed to read "order" and then "law".

We have many examples of countries which have the most elaborate and seemingly foolproof statements of civil liberties, and yet look at the functioning of political society in those countries. We find that those liberties are not guaranteed and they are not operative. I think we might see that in the United States which has a magnificent constitution and a splendid statement of the liberties of the subject. We have found many times that those liberties are not real for certain sections of their society. One can think of recent incidents which would underwrite that line of thinking. They have amendments galore, well thought out amendments, but the curtailment of liberty still exists and often the law enforced by the power of the state

Human Rights

does not at a given time effectually guarantee that these are in reality effective for the people of the country. However, I do not fear the spirit of our democracy, but merely caution that laws alone are not enough.

I agree with the excellent suggestions put forward by the preceding speakers. I was much impressed with the statement of the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Justice (Mr. Walker) and I might say of him, as of the hon. member for Vancouver-Kings-way (Mr. Macdonald), that the contention that is sometimes made that there is a distinct difference between legal English and good English does not apply in this case at all. I certainly enjoyed their excellent discussions of the subject. I am happy, and sincerely happy, that the government of this country is headed by an outstanding exponent of what is sought in this resolution and what has been advanced by the speakers today. I think the idea which is sought here is nearer fruition and realization at this time than at any previous time it has been discussed in this house. I think the procedure which has been outlined by the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Justice shows a realistic appraisal of, as well as a sincere dedication to the essential subject matter of this resolution, and I am delighted that such a statement has been made. I am very happy to congratulate all those who have put themselves behind it so magnificently as they have done.


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January 6, 1958

Mr. Heath Macquarrie (Queens):

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to have the opportunity to participate in this particularly important debate. The subject matter is one which has been close to my heart for a good many years. Before taking my seat in parliament I occupied one of the chairs to which the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Macdonnell) referred some time ago, and

these principles and ideals that are being discussed today were very much part of the subject matter which occupied my mind for a good many years.

It is also a distinct pleasure for me to participate in a discussion of this subject as I am a member of a party which is led by the outstanding Canadian in this field of thinking and in this ideal. I may also say that it was my experience to witness an extremely important epoch in the history of Canadian politics and in the life of Canadian parliamentary institutions. Some months ago I sat in the gallery of the House of Commons of Canada throughout the so-called pipe line debate. Surely this was a question which dealt with one of the fundamental political freedoms in this nation of ours. I am sure that no one could witness that episode and be unaffected. I can say, as did the hon. member for York-Scarborough (Mr. McGee), that that episode is linked very intimately, directly and definitely, with my presence in this assembly today. I may say that while I have been most moved and impressed by the references which have been made to it. I am somewhat surprised-and indeed I think a bit shocked-that no voice has been heard from the party which calls itself the Liberal party.

Even the root meaning of the word "liberal" and the relationship of that word to freedom would surely prompt anyone to believe that this party, of all parties, would be fundamentally interested in such a matter, if not as large "L" Liberals surely as small "1" liberals. We have heard recent suggestions and post mortems indicating that there is a difference between the large "L" and the small "1" variety.

It is most encouraging to have a day devoted to such a topic as this. Canadians have not been much given to discussion on such questions. We have heard reference today to the fact that this matter has been discussed for 12 years or so, yet we have been a nation much longer than that and this is surely a fundamental question. We Canadians are a pragmatic people given to empiricism rather than idealism. We are not strong on consideration of such abstract questions as the nature of liberty and the underlying bases of freedom. Our history and our tradition seems to reveal this pragmatic and practical approach. It is therefore, I think, extremely uplifting and altogether satisfying for a representative of the Canadian people to see that the attention of the national legislature has been focussed on this question upon such a high plane as it has been today.

Some nations delight in high-sounding principles about the rights of man and of the citizen. In the written constitutions of many countries of the world there are a long series of grandiose statements dealing with lofty theories and high-sounding principles. The United States constitution, which is certainly not by any means an elaborate or extravagant document-indeed it is in comparison with many others short, brief, concise and succinct-begins like this:

We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.

One finds throughout that document similar references to the ideals of liberty and the rights of the citizens-indeed, in the United States it is possible for people to become quite lyrical in their emotional attachment to their constitution.

In Canada there is very little of that attitude towards the British North America Act. Of course it would be unfair and

improper to regard the British North America Act as the constitution of Canada, for it is not. It is merely a part of the constitution of this country; an important part, albeit, but certainly not the constitution in toto. We would look long in the British North America Act for anything to parallel the brief preamble I have just read from the United States constitution. We would look even longer if we sought such a glowing expression as that which opened the Declaration of Independence as follows:

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,-

Of course we have in that document a reflection of the classic statement of eighteenth century liberalism, with a small "1". While we perhaps in our history and tradition lack the embellishments and decorations which adorn the written expression of political theory in other countries, no one would think we in this country are any less free than are the citizens of the great republic to the south or any of the other republics which have at one time in their national

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careers expressed their aspirations and their longings and their political points of view in the high-sounding principles of a constitution.

During the years our citizens have enjoyed all the civil and political rights just as fully as have the people of the United States. We have drawn our heritage of freedom from Great Britain, where much-not all but much -of the constitution is of the unwritten type, coming down from precedent to precedent through the ages marking the evolving struggle for political liberty. I think it is quite true, as was once expressed in this house, that the essence of Canadian constitutionalism may be found in the preamble of the British North America Act wherein the provinces named have expressed the desire to be federally united with a constitution similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom. By invoking that ancient and honourable constitution we have underwritten our own political liberty and have established the foundation upon which to develop a Canadian democracy.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

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November 14, 1957

Mr. Heath Macquarrie (Queens):

Mr. Speaker, I may say that I was delighted that so much of this sitting was given over to a discussion of the maritime provinces. We are not an overly sensitive people, but we do not like to be ignored. It is a very happy situation for us to find that we are now being considered since this new government has come into office.

Along with the matters that have been discussed heretofore there is in the province of Prince Edward Island another pressing problem which underlies and affects the only three industries of which we may boast, namely agriculture, fishing and the tourist

The Address-Mr. Macquarrie trade. For years and indeed, I think, ever since Prince Edward Island has sent its members to the Canadian parliament there have been discussions about one particular aspect of transportation, namely the link with the mainland. During the administration of Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir Wilfrid Laurier this matter was discussed day in and day out, and finally in the administration of Sir Robert Borden our province was given continuous service with the modern car ferry as it then was.

We are hoping that history may repeat itself, and that the present Conservative government may be able to provide what is at this time the modern answer to our transportation problems. We feel that the time has come to build a road to the isle. We feel that a causeway across the Northumberland strait, is in this modern age of technology and science, not only feasible but indeed quite possible within a reasonable space of time. The service now existing, while once very adequate, is now incapable of coping properly with the traffic of goods across the strait. It is also a costly operation, causing an annual deficit of about $lf million to keep our ferries running.

We therefore feel that the building of a causeway upon which there may be some reasonable toll would be a self-liquidating project. It would give us a link with the mainland and, better still, it would give the mainland a link with us! Such a causeway would improve our three basic industries and would give a tremendous boost to the economy of our province.

I hope the Minister of Public Works and the Minister of Transport will give this their most careful consideration.

I know that my friends and colleagues from Prince Edward Island will not allow anyone to forget their very great interest in this problem. I know of no greater memorial to this government, which we hope will stay in power for a long, long time, than the development of such modern and fine engineering projects, and particularly such a fine boon to the maritime provinces as this particular project which is so close to our hearts.

It has been pleasing indeed to observe the type of legislation which the government has put through. I have been greatly interested in it all, and so have the people of my constituency. The old age pension increase is one example. My personal preference at one time had been for $60 per month as a fair and reasonable amount. But the calculations and the explanations of the minister with respect to the economic and fiscal

situation struck me as altogether satisfying. I am impressed with the fact that this new increase is 37J per cent over 1949 as against a 23 per cent increase in the cost of living for the same period.

There is one feature about this matter which has a special appeal to the people of my province, and that is the increase in allowable absence from three to six months. Many of our people in years gone by found it necessary to move to the United States, especially the New England states. In this, you see, they were anticipating a certain section of the Gordon report. Many of the older people like to spend part of the winter season with their families in the south. Therefore it will not now be necessary for them to return in the midst of winter. I have already had a great many letters of appreciation on this point.

This is an historic time for a new member to enter the Canadian parliament. The opening by Her Majesty the Queen of course was an unforgettable occasion; the change of government after 22 years of power dominance by one party was in itself something unique. We have also seen something else which I think is new-certainly in degree- in Canadian history, and that is the rapid implementation of election promises by a newly elected government!

We have also seen during this historic time in the record of Canada the end of certain things, and I have a feeling that a great many myths have recently died. We, especially those of us who are young-and I boastfully put myself in that class-had become almost inured to certain myths which had gotten about. I would not say any party did it deliberately,-but they got about. One of those myths was that one party had some sort of monopoly on social welfare legislation. Of course, as any projection back through history or any look through the contemporary record of various provinces under different governments or different political parties would indicate, clearly that is not the case. One could turn to the debate on old age pensions in the year 1907 and there get a cross section of party opinion. There was also the myth of indispensability; that it would be impossible, or at least dangerous, to replace a political party. There also was another myth of invincibility and that well known query "Who is going to stop us?", which had almost passed into the category of a rhetorical question.

There is another very assiduous myth- that national unity adheres to one particular party. I remember we used to be told by so

many leaders of the virtue of voting a certain way for national unity. We had in this house at least a partial demonstration of the falsity of that myth from one of the members on the other side, the hon. member for Laurier (Mr. Chevrier) who gave, I think, a convincing demonstration. He did me the honour of quoting part of an article I wrote. I appreciate his compliment; and while I do not mind for myself being dealt with in this way, I cannot allow to pass any imputation with respect to that great statesman Sir Robert Borden to the effect that he should be adduced as an argument for that which was put forward by the hon. member for Laurier. It would be very immodest of me to practice the art of self quotation, but may I be permitted to put my finger on one very short sentence in the same article, which I think perhaps displays Sir Robert's attitude a little more fully:

(Sir Robert Borden) was not given to pious preachments about his dedication to the furtherance of national unity, but he was nevertheless fully aware of the need for the harmonious interaction of the two great ethnic groups.

Sir Robert Borden did not foster racist divisions, and no man in this country need be ashamed of his Canadianism, whether in this parliament or in the councils of the world, where he strongly and clearly enunciated our national aspirations and became the chief architect of mature Canadian nationhood.

In this party, of which I am proud to be a member, there is no place for any narrowness of outlook on ethnic, religious or cultural lines. We are the great national party of today. We are the only party with representatives from every province in Canada. We have here, and I am proud of it, descendants of many of the peoples whose contribution has made the rich Canadian cultural mosaic. I was always very interested in this great myth of national unity and its association with one party, and am glad to see it has been finally and completely shattered.

One has been impressed also with the impact of the outside world upon our deliberations. The importance laid upon foreign affairs in the speech from the throne has I am sure struck us all; and if one looks back through the debates in the Canadian parliament over the years one sees a gradual development of interest, awareness, information and concern with the outside world.

Indeed, one may say there have been great events even since the speech from the throne was read by the Queen, events so great as to overshadow many of our regular considerations and routine thoughts. Indeed these


The Address-Mr. Macquarrie are stirring and challenging times, and in them petty politics and narrow partisanship seem much out of place. Our earth is now encircled by two man-made satellites, built and launched by the Soviet union. As members of the human species we are thrilled at man's conquest of the lofty heavens, and the imagination warms at the prospect of future triumphs in the vast and illimitable reaches of space. There may be things in store for us which go beyond the fondest dreams of this present moment.

Yet we feel a chill dread about the objects which are swiftly passing through the space around this earth. We wonder if this may be a prelude not to a glorious triumph of man's ingenuity, but a horrible forerunner of man's inability to live peaceably upon this green earth. Whatever else has happened we must admit that we of the western world are late in this field of space conquest. May we not be too late! The forthcoming meeting of NATO at which the leaders of the western states, including our own Prime Minister, will gather may well be a turning point. One is interested in the reaction of people in the western world to this new development. It seems to me we must strike an attitude somewhere between that of panic and that of complacency.

Indeed, linked with this scientific development there is a tremendous political campaign which is exceedingly dangerous. Mr. Khrushchev has said that the western bases in Europe are obsolete. That would be a most dangerous thing to believe. Far from being obsolete they symbolize something which is indispensable to our survival, namely the unity of nations; and I think we will see a great deal more interdependence rather than less.

I am interested in the questions that arise on this very topic from time to time. We must redouble our efforts, and we must turn into practical canons this common ideal which we share. It is not only for parliaments; it is for peoples to meet this present situation. Just the other day in that wonderful newspaper the Christian Science Monitor I read a very simple sentence which strikes me, as does so much of the writing in this paper, as clear, meaningful, and succinct. Speaking of the American people it said:

We prefer a tax cut, we think-to a satellite or a missile-until the Russians have one. And then the heart searching begins.

This is a time, I would say, for some soul searching and heart searching not only among the people of the United States but among the allies of the United States. I think we

The Address-Mr. Sinclair must look very carefully into our educational system so we may meet the present challenge with strength and unity.

From that sense of urgency and common purpose about which I heard the Prime Minister speak at the United Nations some weeks ago may something come which will take us from our present position of second best. These are great and stirring days. May we all be able to measure up to our responsibilities in facing them.

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November 13, 1957

Mr. Heath Macquarrie (Queens):

Mr. Speaker, in the first instance I wish to associate myself with all those who have congratulated the mover and seconder of this address. I do that with the utmost sincerity. I must also congratulate the Speaker and his deputies and commend them for the manner in which they discharge all their important duties. Sir Robert Borden once said of the Speaker that he must be impartial, firm, courteous and, above all, patient, and I think that in the last few weeks we have seen demonstrations of all these essential virtues.

I am afraid, Mr. Speaker, that it is necessary for me to identify myself in a manner somewhat different from that which other hon. members have used. I come from a riding which elects two members, the dual riding of Queen's. I am the junior member. The senior member is the Minister of Fisheries (Mr. MacLean). He is my senior in parliamentary experience, of course, but more surprisingly, if one looks at him, he is my senior in years as well. The hon. member for Halifax (Mr. Morris) spoke about the distinction between the two men bearing the name of his constituency in terms of one being long and the other short. I do not think any great distinction can be drawn between the Minister of Fisheries and myself in this respect, but we might invite comparison in the matter of width and here again, I would defer to him in that regard.

A maiden speech, as one member of this house observed years ago, is always a valuable exercise. To the new member it gives a rare opportunity to experience a deep feeling of humility, an attitude good for the soul as well as for the mind. To the other members of the house it affords an opportunity to show indulgence, one of the greatest virtues of men and especially, it is said, leaders of men.

While I am not lacking in the proper sentiments of humility concerning my own shortcomings as 1 speak in this historic chamber, I have no need to feel such sentiments about my constituency nor my province. Through the years in previous parliaments my predecessors have doubtless described the glories and beauties of our fair green province and lauded the virtues of its citizens. What has been said in this line is, of course, no exaggeration, for Canada's garden province is known far and wide as one of the beauty 96698-70

The Address-Mr. Macquarrie spots of the continent. A steadily increasing number of tourists attest to its charm and hospitality.

But to the list of descriptive superlatives which might be applied to Prince Edward Island and its people must be added one more. Unsurpassed we have long been in many things. On June 10 we displayed our unchallenged superiority in something else, the excellence of our political judgment. The call for a new deal was sounded all over Canada, but in our province it was clear, it was unmistakable, it was unanimous. For the first time in history, Prince Edward Island sent a full slate of Conservative members of parliament to Ottawa. We are today the only 100 per cent province. 'Twas not ever thus, Mr. Speaker. Indeed, over the years our province has shown a remarkable fidelity to the Liberal party. In the provincial election of 1935 a neighbour of mine was leading the Liberal party and he was so triumphant in the result, that every single Conservative candidate was defeated. For four years the Prince Edward Island legislature did not include a single opposition member. In the dominion field, too, the Liberal party has been almost as successful down through the years.

What caused the change? Hon. members opposite will doubtless be interested in this question, since they have been indulging in a good many post-mortems lately. Of course, there is never just one reason for political change, but I will touch on one major cause of the total collapse of the Liberal position in my province. On June 10 Prince Edward Island decided to register a strong protest against the treatment it had received at the hands of the party controlling the national government. This protest was primarily on economic matters. We rejoice in the prosperity of this country but we believe that it is in the interests of the whole country that the maritime region be not allowed to fall farther and farther behind.

In Prince Edward Island we are faced with serious financial difficulties. Freight rates are high, there are serious communication and transportation problems. We lack the sources of revenue which are available to other provinces. There is a growing number of abandoned farms. Provincial governments, faced with rising costs of public services, have to meet increasing large budgetary deficits.

To ensure equality of services for all Canadians, we believe that fiscal need and economic capacity must be considered with great attention in the realm of dominion-provincial relations. It is not the fault of the people of Prince Edward Island that there

The Address-Mr. Macquarrie are no oil deposits there, nor are we to blame if we are not blessed with iron and coal deposits. We do not have Ungavas and Kitimats, but that is not the fault of the people. We lack the ingredients of modern industrialisation. Yet we are Canadians, entitled to the benefits of this great and beautiful country.

We feel that down through the years we have made our contribution in many and, indeed, all phases of Canadian life. But we have waited long. We have been hopeful that our position would be recognized and our peculiar situation appreciated. With what result? Last spring, just at the time when our province was faced with a serious deficit, we heard the interesting news from Ottawa that due to a strange miscalculation Prince Edward Island had, of all things, been overpaid by the dominion treasury and was therefore in debt to the tune of almost $1,250,000.

How did this strange mathematical blunder come about? It came about because our population rise was gravely miscalculated. Why was it miscalculated? It was because many of the young people of our province found it necessary to go to other parts of Canada and so, piling Pelion upon Ossa, we not only lost a great many of our people at the productive and energetic period of their lives, but we had to pay for it on top of that.

When the representatives of the provincial government came to Ottawa to treat for terms, indeed on the eve of an election when one might have thought that such a time was propitious for satisfaction, what did we find? An agreement was made whereby with abundant generosity the government of that time agreed that Prince Edward Island might be given this benefit: they could pay the money back in five equal instalments. I may say that this generous gesture was not overlooked by the people of our province when the opportunity came to express themselves on this particular attitude taken towards Canada's smallest province.

Now our people were definitely influenced and impressed by the program of the Conservative party. They were convinced that here was a truly national policy which would take cognizance of the special problems of the maritimes and of the province of Prince Edward Island and would build, develop and foster a truly national Canadian economy. We have the feeling, and it is a justifiable one, that in such a development program our part of the country will not continue to be a Cinderella in relation to the total Canadian federation. We mari-timers-and the de luxe maritimers of Prince Edward Island, if I may use that modest expression-are convinced that much can be

done in the way of self help and I quite agree with the Premier of Nova Scotia when he said that the time is opportune for us to attack our own peculiar and pressing problems, but at the same time we require- and I think the economy of Canada generally requires-a great deal more attention to those problems which the advancing technological developments of this country have made pressingly acute for the maritime provinces.

It has often distressed me that when we talk about maritime problems we are often answered in terms of economics. We are told about the distances and the lack of markets and the lack of raw materials. I do not accept these economic arguments as being sufficient. This country of ours was built in defiance not only of geography but of the laws of economics. Through political action and by a union of people with a high dedication of purpose we took an entity which was a contradiction of terms as far as a nation was concerned and built out of it a united country. In other words, the laws of economics did not always prevail; government action and government leadership were necessary. We have only to look at many aspects of the Canadian economy-how we built our railways and establish our tariff policies and so on-to understand clearly that the laws of economics were not always followed in the creation of the Canadian nation. To the members of the Liberal party as they compile their list of reasons for catastrophe I offer them gratis this one particular item as far as the episode in Prince Edward Island is concerned. We look forward to a better deal in our province and we feel that our needs and difficulties will be met.

It is not my intention to speak on issues of a purely provincial nature. This is a national parliament and I think it is our function and duty as members thereof to deal with issues which bear on the whole of the nation. There are, however, matters which are very acute to us and which have a definite bearing on the development of the whole country.

We in Prince Edward Island have problems in the field of agriculture. We have heard a good deal about wheat, fish and poultry and we are interested in all of these things but we have an important crop too, the potato. Now, it is one virtue of our people that we can apparently produce a better potato than any other part of the world as any agriculture market list will show.

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November 13, 1957

Mr. Macquarrie:

I think our potatoes

would compete even with those grown in Ireland. As I go up to the sixth floor I often wish that the purchasing agent for the parliamentary restaurant could be convinced of the priceless virtue of our potato crop. We are looking forward with anticipation and satisfaction to the agricultural program of the party now in power and we feel it is absolutely necessary that this particular commodity, the potato, be given special consideration.

Not long ago I recall buying a bag of potatoes in the spring of the year from a friend [DOT]of mine. He said he could give me a basket, about half what I wanted. I inquired as to the price and he said it would cost $2.40. Just a year after that, again in the spring, I returned and asked for some more potatoes. This time he was more willing to sell them and he sold me a bag this time and sent his son down to put them in my basement. He charged me 50 cents. It seems to me this

The Address-Mr. Macquarrie illustration demonstrates the sensitivity of the potato market. It underlines the tremendous risk, the almost complete insecurity, which that particular agricultural producer has to undergo. There is no guaranteed price. We appreciate that the western farmer has the problem of selling and delivering his wheat but at least he knows that it will not command five cents a bushel one year and perhaps $3 another year. The potato farmer of Prince Edward Island is faced with uncertainty throughout the entire process.

On motion of Mr. Macquarrie the debate was adjourned.

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