Mr. F. D. Shaw (Red Deer):
Mr. Speaker, obviously one cannot be expected to match the display of vigour of the hon. member for Charlevoix (Mr. Maltais) and possibly, too, one might not be able to stir up the house to the same extent. Recently a certain Canadian newspaper, referring editorially to the official opposition in this house, that is, to the Liberal opposition, indicated that they had displayed during this present session an excessive fear of an election, and its performance, so that editorial stated, has been pathetic, inept, and in some cases, ridiculous.
I refer to that at this moment because of something which was said by a member of the official opposition this morning. When the hon. member for Meadow Lake (Mr. Harrison) was speaking, during at least at one
stage of his speech I could hardly believe my ears. It is known, of course, that the hon. gentleman was not speaking for the official opposition, but this is just one more indication that we have of the ineptitude, let us say, of the official opposition; its pathetic weakness not only in connection with consideration of thjs measure but also the ridiculousness of its attitude toward most issues. This morning the hon. member for Meadow Lake said, if I heard him correctly, that he would support this measure-Bill No. 237-in order that it might pass; in order that in turn the Canadian farmer might turn against the government, rise, as it were, in wrathful indignation and smite the government down. To me that is fantastic reasoning. Surely if the hon. member feels as he seemed to feel about the measure he should show that he has the courage of his convictions and oppose it. The position he took this morning was in my opinion in complete contradiction to the position taken by his leader last night when, in reply to a question, the hon. member for Algoma East (Mr. Pearson) indicated that if they were given an issue they would certainly oppose it even if it meant defeating the government. I am almost inclined to believe on the basis of what I have heard not only today but on previous days that if someone in one of the smaller opposition parties, or in the government, were to move a motion indicating that the government itself was not competent, et cetera, the official opposition would squirm out of voting for that motion on some such pretext as those we have heard in recent days.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Friday last, January 17, my colleague the hon. member for Fraser Valley (Mr. Patterson) said that mass meetings, lobbies and threatened marches had been the result of this legislation-
Subtopic: MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.