Pierre-François CASGRAIN

CASGRAIN, The Hon. Pierre-François, P.C., B.A., LL.M.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Charlevoix--Saguenay (Quebec)
Birth Date
August 4, 1886
Deceased Date
August 2, 1950
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre-François_Casgrain
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=bd9b695e-03eb-4481-be01-3402cff4d261&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer

Parliamentary Career

December 17, 1917 - October 4, 1921
L LIB
  Charlevoix--Montmorency (Quebec)
December 6, 1921 - September 5, 1925
LIB
  Charlevoix--Montmorency (Quebec)
  • Chief Government Whip (January 1, 1924 - January 1, 1926)
  • Whip of the Liberal Party (January 1, 1925 - January 1, 1936)
October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
LIB
  Charlevoix--Saguenay (Quebec)
  • Chief Government Whip (January 1, 1924 - January 1, 1926)
  • Whip of the Liberal Party (January 1, 1925 - January 1, 1936)
September 14, 1926 - May 30, 1930
LIB
  Charlevoix--Saguenay (Quebec)
  • Whip of the Liberal Party (January 1, 1925 - January 1, 1936)
  • Chief Government Whip (January 1, 1927 - January 1, 1930)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
LIB
  Charlevoix--Saguenay (Quebec)
  • Whip of the Liberal Party (January 1, 1925 - January 1, 1936)
October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
LIB
  Charlevoix--Saguenay (Quebec)
  • Whip of the Liberal Party (January 1, 1925 - January 1, 1936)
  • Speaker of the House of Commons (February 6, 1936 - May 8, 1940)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
LIB
  Charlevoix--Saguenay (Quebec)
  • Speaker of the House of Commons (February 6, 1936 - May 8, 1940)
  • Secretary of State of Canada (May 9, 1940 - December 14, 1941)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 125)


November 13, 1941

Mr. CASGRAIN:

There is another point

I should like to bring to the attention of hon. members. Sometimes people wish to make it seem that the province from which I come has not done its full share. I do not say that these people point directly at us and single us out, but they claim that if recruiting is not as active as they would like it, that has been due to lack of interest in the affairs of the country and because our people have not done what they should. I wish to say most emphatically that the people of Quebec have responded to the call to the best of their ability; and if some changes had been made and improvements brought about, the response would have been even better. Only yesterday I read in one of the Ottawa newspapers a letter signed by a former member of this house, Mrs. George Black, who said:

With extreme regret, as well as great annoyance, I have noted a growing habit of accusing Quebec of lack of loyalty to Canada and the empire, because of an aversion to compulsory military service.

Probably no member of parliament, with his wife, does of necessity cover more of Canada from the far north to the east than do George Black, M.P. for Yukon, and I. In our many trips across Canada, we have observed as much apathy and lack of enthusiasm for active service in the armed forces of Canada in other provinces as in Quebec.

Let us of the other parts of this dominion forget our smug complacency and force ourselves to realize that Quebec is as loyal as the other provinces.

We are component parts of a great empire. Let each one do his, or her, part to unite Canada in support of that empire, forgetting petty racial and religious prejudices. We must work, we must fight for the right to worship one God, to be loyal to one king, and to hold a united empire, that our children's children may enjoy the freedom we hold so dear.

There is a great deal in this letter over which some hon. members in the house, and other people outside, should ponder. I do not wish to carry on this debate much longer. We have heard in the house many speeches from quarters directly opposite the government. They have pointed out that the government has been lagging and derelict in its duty. I want to ask hon. members if there was foundation for any of those criticisms.

The government of the present Prime Minister has at all times been able to handle the situation with one thing in view, that of maintaining unity in this country-unity of the various races in Canada. Without that we would not be able to carry on this war. I do not wish to attribute motives to any other

The War-Mr. Rowe

persons, but some who are facing me to-day, and others in other parts of the country, are carrying on certain propaganda in the press. I say to them, and to all those who hold such views, to consider that they are not giving good service to the Canadian people and the empire at large.

In all the provinces of Canada are to be found peoples of various races, creeds and religions. It is the aim of the country to keep all those various elements united together in order that we may present a united front, and be able to carry the burdens of the day and to give to this dominion of ours and to the empire the greatest service possible. It is helping the empire to defeat Hitler, and that is the aim of this country. It is the aim of this government, and it is the aim of all British countries.

Topic:   THE WAR
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November 13, 1941

Hon. PIERRE FRANCOIS CASGRAIN (Secretary of State):

Mr. Chairman, I had not intended to take part in this debate, but after listening to some of the speeches that have been delivered by hon. gentlemen opposite I feel it my duty to express my views to this parliament and the country.

A great many members of this House of Commons are advocating a total war effort and are seeking, both within and without this house, to promote the idea of conscription for service overseas. Let them not contradict me; that is what they want. We are in this parliament as representatives of the people of this country. During the campaign preceding the last general election the Canadian people were made acquainted with the aims and aspirations of every party. At that time the people of Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific were told that no party, including the Liberal and Conservative parties, was in favour of conscription for service overseas. Therefore the mandate given the Liberal party to govern the affairs of the country during this war was given on the principle of voluntary service. Parliament has no mandate to change this policy now without consulting the people. Canadians have not changed their minds; they still approve the present programme of the government. There have been several byelections throughout the country, at which Liberal candidates have been elected by large majorities, which proves that the policy of this government still has the support of the people. At the last by-election held in Alberta the hon. member for Edmonton East received a real mandate from the people of that constituency; and her campaign was conducted on the slogan, "No graft and no partisanship." That showed a real approval of the actions and policies of this government.

Hon. gentlemen opposite now seem to want compulsory enlistment for overseas service. I say the great majority of the Canadian people do not want it, and I know the vast majority of the population of the province from which I come are against it. The other day I listened with great attention to the hon. member for Danforth (Mr. Harris), who referred to the absence from this house of the right hon. leader of the Liberal party in the province of Quebec, the gallant hon. member for Quebec East (Mr. Lapointe), who at present is ill, and also to the absence of the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Cardin), who is away for the same reason. I am not

The War-Mr. Casgrain

going to try to speak for those hon. gentlemen, but I am going to speak as one representing the province of Quebec. I can say that the entire population of that province is as one in supporting the policies of the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). The feeling of the province of Quebec is that we should follow the provisions of the mobilization act that was adopted about a year ago; and my compatriots in Quebec are ready to serve anywhere from the Atlantic to the Pacific in the defence of our country, which is a sacred duty and obligation which all decent Canadians understand. Up to the present that mobilization act has done all that it was expected to do; according to the speeches of the ministers of defence, within the last six months 105,773 men enlisted in the army, the navy and air force, which I think is a very good record. In addition we have some 110,000 of our compatriots serving in England, ready to go into action whenever their services may be required. The right hon. Prime Minister was in England only recently; he saw our men over there and has reported, as has been stated in the press throughout Canada, that at the present time there is no body of men in England better equipped than the Canadian corps. At the time of Dunkirk in 1940 the only corps in England equipped and ready to face the enemy was the Canadian corps.

These are facts of which we should be proud. Under the policies of the present government, since the beginning of the war we have been able to bring about these results and it has been made known throughout the world that Canada is doing its full share and will continue to do so. Under the mobilization act the government has at its disposal adequate forces for the defence of the country, wherever they may be required and provision has been made whereby those who of their own free will wish to serve overseas, for the defence of the empire at large, are permitted to do so.

Before it could be agreed that the statements of hon. gentlemen opposite were true and ought to be considered seriously, it would have to be shown that the mobilization act and the laws of the land had not brought about the results which were expected. Far from that being the situation, I say, and I do not believe I can be contradicted, that at the present time we have in England an army consisting of four divisions and one tank brigade. With all the Canadians who have enlisted in the air force, the navy and the other services, I believe we have about twelve divisions compared with the four divisions we had in the last war. I think that is a brilliant record, of which we should all be proud.

Topic:   THE WAR
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November 6, 1941

Mr. CASGRAIN:

Return tabled.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   PRINTING AND ADVERTISING CONTRACTS
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June 12, 1941

Mr. CASGRAIN:

I cannot express an opinion on that. Legally there may be some question about it, but it is my opinion that they would. Personally, I think they should. If a man has been here for over five years and has rendered meritorious service, he should have an opportunity to be appointed permanently.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
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June 12, 1941

Mr. CASGRAIN:

I might say that this rule which I have mentioned, whereby 80 per cent of the employees are permanent and the remainder are temporary, is a rule of the treasury board. As to many of these cases, the hon. member should bear in mind that although there is a minister in charge of the operation of the civil service commission, all these matters which have to do with increases in salary that are recommened by various committees of the house which have sat from year to year, as well as changes in the personnel, have to be dealt with by the treasury board. They become, therefore, matters for the finance department. For that reason I am not in a position to say that all these recommendations will be carried out, because even though the minister made them, they would have to be scrutinized and passed by the treasury board.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
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