Don't worry; I do
not think you will ever see that day. The hon. member for Broadview claims that there
'King of Canada'
is no conference of the nations of the commonwealth at the present time. No, but the motion speaks of the next conference of the nations of the commonwealth, and surely there will be a "next" conference one of these days, as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow.
This is an important matter, notwithstanding that the hon. member for Broadview thinks it is not. He thinks we are wasting the time of the house at great cost, but I do not see any force in that contention. We are discussing item No. 4, which is to be found under notices of motions, and since this is private members' day we are free to discuss such motions until six o'clock. If we dispose of the present motion we can go on to Nos. 5 and 6, so that we are not losing any time, particularly when we are dealing with so important a subject.
The hon. member does not always speak in the name of the opposition, but as usual he recalls the days-and it is well that they should be recalled from time to time-when the empire did much for Canada. I think, however, that we should sometimes recall- it is done more often on this side than on the other side of the house-what Canada has done for the empire.
Mr. Speaker, the resolution under consideration provides for the recommendation to the next conference of the nations of the commonwealth that the royal style and titles of His Majesty the King include the specific designation of His Majesty as the King of Canada. May I compliment highly and sincerely the sponsor of this resolution, the hon. member for Kamouraska (Mr. Marquis) who, in the circumstances, has not only demonstrated the great progress he has made, since his election to this parliament, in the way of mastering the English language, but shown for himself, for his constituency and for the population of this country which is of French extraction, his and our great devotion to His Majesty the King of Canada; his and our love for this country of ours which is called Canada. The hon. member for Kamouraska has quoted the Balfour declaration, which dates back to 1926 and which stipulates that all nations of the British commonwealth are autonomous and equal in status. He also quoted excerpts from "Problems of Canadian Sovereignty", written by our distinguished and, I was going to say, genial and outstanding law clerk of the House of Commons, Doctor Maurice Ollivier, indicating that to alter, the royal style and title of His Majesty requires the consent of the parliaments of all the nations of the commonwealth. Therefore I feel that this is an ex-83166-168
ceptional occasion when the voice of this nation should be heard in support of a resolution which is specifically and categorically Canadian and which at the same time is designed to augment, if it can be done, our respectful and loyal devotion, and our common allegiance to the crown.
As hon. members have probably noticed, I have purposely used the word "nation" instead of "dominion". I am sure the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Church) will not agree with me in that. I will further add that "dominion" is a word which should be used as seldom as possible in this house. I will go farther and say that the word "dominion" is a remnant of colonialism which should be banished as soon as possible from our official texts. I will go even farther and say that the word "dominion" is a word which offends the sentiments of a substantial part of the population of this country, is a word which is largely responsible for the legitimate doubts which we deliberately implant in the minds of statesmen of other friendly nations as to the accuracy of the evidence of the legal and constitutional status of this free parliament and sovereign state. For example, what would hon. members think of countries such as France, Holland, Belgium and even Italy or Germany if they bore the official designations of the dominion of France, the dominion of Holland, the dominion of Belgium, the dominion of Italy or the dominion of Germany and at the same time, Mr. Speaker, claimed equal status with the greatest powers of the world either at the peace conference table or at the united nations meetings? Hon. members would say that those nations may be right; nevertheless they act as if they were wrong, having regard to the designation of their official status, especially if none of those countries which I have just mentioned had a national flag representative of their traditions or aspirations, or a national anthem; but had a dominion day to celebrate. I would say that if there is a place in this world where the word "dominion" should disappear, as used to designate our country, Canada, it is in the wording of the royal style and titles of His Majesty the King.
How much more deeply, Mr. Speaker, Canadians of all creeds, of all races, of all extractions and of different languages, would feel in their hearts and souls their loyalty to the crown on the day they heard and could legally say, "George the Sixth, by the Grace of God King of Canada".
Let us be realistic about this matter. With all the respect we owe to the Balfour declaration or to the provisions of the Statute of
"King of Canada1
Westminster which was so ably quoted by the hon. member for Kamouraska, the term "dominions beyond the seas" is no longer good enough for a substantial part of the population of this country for the purpose of designating Canada in the title of His Majesty the King, but should be changed to the King of Canada. Even if this resolution is adopted there may yet be a long period of time before this matter will be brought to the attention of a conference of the nations of the commonwealth.
Therefore, in the meantime, I would respectfully urge hon. members who share the views which I express at the present time, to refrain as much as possible from using, in their addresses in this house and in all their addresses in public, the word "dominion" when applied to Canada. It is so easy and so natural to say "Canada", "the government of Canada", "the parliament of 'Canada" or "the Canadian parliament", instead of "the Dominion of Canada" or "the dominion government", and so on. The dominion government of what; of Australia; of New Zealand; of Canada? It does not say. Some hon. members may wonder why I have these telephone directories on my desk. Looking up the telephone directories for Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec and other cities, what do we find if we look under the word "Canada"? I take the Ottawa directory, and I find: Canada Cement; Canada Dry Cleaners and Dyers; Canada Dry Ginger Ale; Canada Starch; Canada Wire and Cable Company, and so forth. Then if I look under "Canadian", I find: Canadian Ayrshire
Breeders' Association; Canadian Congress of Labour; Canadian Feather and Mattress Company; Canadian Mercantile Agency; Canadian National Institute for the Blind. How long would it take a stranger to this country, a visitor from the United States, for instance, to find the words "government of Canada" or "Canadian government"? It would take him as long as it took me to find the same words when I first came to Ottawa. It was only after a considerable length of time that I persuaded myself that in order to find the telephone numbers of the Canadian government I had to refer to the word "dominion", but in the case of a stranger coming to this country his reaction would be that, in spite of all we say, we are still a colony.
Why that should be so I do not know. It is that way .because it has always been that way. I respectfully suggest that instructions should be issued that in the next issue of the Bell Telephone directories, not only in Ottawa but all through this Canada of ours, govern-
ment offices may be found under the heading "Canadian government" as the offices of the high commissioner for Australia may be found in this very book under the heading "Australian high commissioner", and as the high com-misisoner for New Zealand may be found under "New Zealand high commissioner." We are not dominioners: we are Canadians. We are not dominion citizens; we are Canadian citizens. If we are truly proud of Canada, this land of ours, and of our title of Canadians, why do we in so many instances endeavour to hide those glorious names from the sight of strangers and, what is far worse, from the eyes of our own children? And until such time as our truly Canadian patriotism is recognized and interpreted by official texts of appropriate legislation, let us in this free, autonomous and sovereign state-unfortunately without an official Canadian flag; unfortunately without a Canadian national anthem, but with a Dominion day to celebrate-when referring respectfully to our king say that His Majesty is the King of Great Britain, of Ireland and of the dominions overseas, but that at the same time, above all and in the first place, in our hearts, as it should be in our texts, His Majesty is the King of Canada.
Mr. LEON J. RAYMOND (Wright) (Translation): Mr. Speaker, I do. not wish to pass up the opportunity of discussing the resolution moved by my excellent friend the hon. member for Kamouraska (Mr. Marquis). However, I intend to limit myself to a few brief remarks.
Besides, the resolution does not call for lengthy explanations. Its wording is quite clear. What does it request? It reads as follows:
That in the opinion of this house, at the next conference of the representatives of the United Kingdom and of the dominions the representatives of the Dominion of Canada should request the conference to adopt a resolution recommending to the parliament of the United Kingdom and the parliaments of the dominions that an act be passed making it lawful for His Most Gracious Majesty to make such alteration in style and titles of His Majesty, more particularly so as to include in such style and titles the words "King of Canada".
The hon. member for Kamouraska merely asks that His Majesty should be officially designated, as far as this country is concerned, by the title corresponding to Canada's true status.
Now, as regards Canada, His Majesty King George and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth are King and Queen of Canada. Indeed this country is an autonomous and sovereign nation. It is the equal of Great Britain and
"King of Canada'
of the other members of the British commonwealth. It is subordinate to none of them. Under the circumstances, those who reign over it cannot but be actually King and Queen of Canada, for the same reason, to my mind, why the King and Queen of Denmark or the monarchs of Norway or Sweden, are respectively King and Queen of Denmark, Norway or Sweden.
This fact has now been acknowledged by a great many Canadian citizens and even by a large number of our public men.
I well remember the expressions of thanks of the Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe at the laying of the corner stone of the new supreme court building in Ottawa by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in 1939. Addressing the august and charming sovereign, he said:
The royal visit which honours us-a fact of unprecedented historical importance-enables me to address Her Majesty as the first queen of Canada and to convey to her, and to His Majesty the King, the assurance of ever unfailing loyalty and devotion, as well as of sincere and respectful affection from our whole people.
In these words, the late Minister of Justice was simply acknowledging the fact that Their Majesties King George and Queen Elizabeth are King and Queen of Canada.
The fact is also acknowledged by a large number of Canadians. During the royal visit which I just mentioned, Their Majesties were readily designated by the expression King and Queen of Canada.
Some jurists will undoubtedly try to confuse a crystal clear issue and pretend that the British Crown is indivisible. In my opinion, such a theory sprang in the minds of people interested in impeding the achievement of autonomy and sovereignty of the British colonies. They used that theory to postpone the development of the colonies.
One must not, however, take that contention too seriously. The same physical person may hold various offices. For instance, the Prime Minister of a country may well be the chairman of some association. In the same way, the sovereign who rules over the British countries may at the same time be King of Great Britain, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. Such a situation implies no contradiction, and we often see the same physical person holding a plurality of moral attributes.
It would be advisable to have legal documents reflect the situation which exists in fact. Those who would derive the greatest benefit therefrom are the heirs to the British Crown. If Their Majesties were officially called King and Queen of Canada, they would be closer 83166-168J
to the hearts and minds of the Canadian people, who would be more devoted to the Crown, for if the sovereign who rules over Canada were designated as King of Canada, they would regard him more as their own. I cannot see any valid reason to oppose such a change. The only pretence which might be brought up is that by designating Their Majesties as King and Queen of Canada, the bonds which unite the members of the British Commonwealth of Nations might be loosened.
On the contrary, the change proposed by my hon. friend from Kamouraska would have the opposite effect. Indeed, it is the Crown which unites the members of the British Commonwealth of Nations and not economic or political bonds, and anything which tends to increase the devotion of the people to the Crown should be encouraged, as it would be an excellent means to rally the British nations round their Sovereign.
I understand that the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Church) stated a moment ago that this motion was out of order. I do not intend to discuss this matter, but I wish to say, interjecting perhaps a sentimental note, that as the years go by the word "Canada" assumes a deeper significance for us; from the Atlantic to the Pacific, we no longer regard Canada as a stopping or trading place, but as the fatherland. Those of us who-though broadminded -are deeply rooted to their native soil, cannot be blamed if they claim to be Canadians first and foremost, if they think as Canadians, if they prefer Canada to any other country, if they want it recognized as their fatherland, with their own King, if they want their country to attain greatness and to go forward in order to play unrestrained her part in the Commonwealth and in the world.
Through implementing the resolution presented by the hon. member for Kamouraska, not only would we contribute to the fostering of patriotic feeling in Canada and to the strengthening of the bonds which unite the various parts of the Commonwealth, but we would add greater weight and lustre to the name of Canada among the nations of the world.
I have no other course left to me, therefore, but to approve of the motion before the house, to congratulate the hon. member for Kamouraska and to suggest that Parliament make the proposed change as soon as possible.