May 15, 1947

LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

Two opportunists in one evening.

Topic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
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PC
LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I would ask hon. members not to interrupt the member who has the floor.

Topic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. KNOWLES:

In the spirit of the short paragraph I read from the letter from Professor

Standing Orders

Waines and Professor Owens, before I quoted the six points, I should like to add a seventh point of my own. It has already been suggested a number of times in this debate, but I feel that when the question is being considered by the committee the whole story of human rights and fundamental freedoms should be before us. I would therefore suggest No. 7 to read:

No Canadian citizen shall be denied the right to freedom from fear and freedom from want.

The fact that an organization of men and women such as comprise this association, and others across the country, axe concerned about this matter, bears witness to the need of something being done about it at the earliest possible moment. References have already been made today to the obvious encroachments on our civil liberties that have already occurred in this country.

First of all, there is racial discrimination. It does seem to me to be tragic, after what certain racial theories did to this world from 1939 to 1945, that any form of racial discrimination should be continued in any country that adheres to the democratic way and believes in human rights and fundamental freedoms. I was sorry to pick up a United States paper a few days ago-the Christian Science Monitor, which does such a good job of reporting

and have to read therein, as a Canadian, an article about our continuing on our statute books a law that denies to certain Canadians, because of their racial origin, rights which are accorded to other Canadian citizens. I am not going into any detail on that matter just now because we discussed it in another debate. But I suggest that the eternal vigilance which we must use to preserve freedom sooner or later must bring us around to the point where we get rid of racial discrimination from the statute law of this country. May we do it soon.

Reference has also been made this afternoon or evening to religious persecution as it has been practised in various parts of Canada. In recent months and recent years we have also had attacks on the rights of labour, injunctions against picketing and so on. We have people picked up because of their activities as trade union organizers, and on one pretext or another, imprisoned. Then we have had the whole sorry espionage incident which has been discussed so fully by speakers who have preceded me. I will not go into these matters in any further detail, but I just wanted to mention them as a prelude to something else that I wish to speak about, but which I fear I shall have to leave over until the next day we meet. At this point I would

simply say that there are these obvious, but none the less serious threats to our liberty and freedom to which we must give some consideration.

There are, however, other threats to our freedom which are less obvious but which, in my view, are more sinister. They are threats not generally considered in discussions about civil liberty. It is about these very real threats that I wish to speak. But since it is almost eleven o'clock, Mr. Speaker, and since this is launching into another part of what I wish to say, perhaps I might be permitted to adjourn the debate.

On motion of Mr. Knowles the debate was adjourned.

Topic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
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At eleven o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. Monday, May 19, 1947


May 15, 1947