Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview):
I wish to point out to the house the great importance of this motion in view of what happened in the second rape of Czechoslovakia last February and March. We have already lost the supremacy and the freedom of the seas, and do not know where it is going to land us. We do not know where it is going to land Canada. Because of that loss I wish to take part in this debate on human rights.
The events which have taken place in Europe in recent days have shocked the entire civilized world into recognition of the grave danger that faces not only the people of Canada and of the United States but the British empire as a whole, because of the irreconcilable difference between western ideas of democracy and the ideas of the east. For that reason I wish to say something this afternoon on the motion that is before the house.
I should like to congratulate the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) on his persistence in bringing this whole human rights matter to the attention of the house. I referred to it myself when parliament met in September, 1945. On that occasion I discussed this whole subject. The hon. member deserves a great deal of credit for pointing out to the house the grave danger in which our country finds itself at the present time.
For four centuries we have depended for our freedom on Britain's supremacy on the seas.
Human Rights ___________________
British naval might saved us, or rather our forefathers, in the days of Philip of Spain and the Spanish Armada, as it has done on other memorable occasions, in the days of Louis XIV, Napoleon, and twice in our own generation against Germany. British naval power and command of the seas saved the whole civilized world. From the peace that followed Waterloo in 1815 the world had a hundred' years of peace, until the outbreak of the first world war in 1914, because Britain was supreme upon the seas.
The motion which the Prime Minister has introduced for a committee of both houses on human rights is concerned with the fundamental freedoms of speech and of assembly, and freedom from want and fear, as set out in the Atlantic charter. I should like, Mr. Speaker, to get the attention of hon. members opposite. If they are not interested in what I have to say, at least they should be interested in the subject I am discussing. Does freedom, and particularly the freedom that I have been referring to for the last few minutes, the freedom of the seas, mean nothing to hon. members in this house? We can find time to discuss the price of sugar, the price of wheat and other material things, but apparently hon. members are not interested in their own security. It is about time we all woke up to the danger that faces us.
I was referring a moment ago, Mr. Speaker, to the Atlantic charter. The word charter has undergone some change. It is defined in the Pocket Oxford Dictionary in these terms:
Charter-Written grant of rights by sovereign or legislature, privilege or admitted right.
That is one of the meanings, but in our day it has come to mean a good deal more. I say this because under our system we have a complicated constitution. I agree with what the Minister of Justice has said, that there are certain provisions in our constitution that leave a wide field to the provinces. We are part and parcel of the empire, and I suggest that we should never overlook that fact in considering our relations with other parts of the commonwealth with respect to a motion of this kind. I contend that the principles which the fathers of confederation had in mind did not contemplate the duplicate provincial system we have today. Property and civil rights fall within the provinces and it is difficult to secure uniform law. When the Supreme Court of Canada was created the purpose was to hold an even balance between the municipalities and the provinces
on the one hand and the dominion on the other, under the charter which we call the British North America Act.
In my opinion we should have the right, as a parliament, under the Supreme Court Act, to refer to that tribunal any doubtful matter, and in this connection I suggest that we should have a legal committee functioning in Canada. We should have had one years ago. I have frequently urged something of the sort. Certainly there should be some body to which we could refer matters such as that which we have been discussing in the last few days.
Since confederation the enforcement of federal law has been delegated to the attorneys general of the provinces. The federal government does not enforce its own enactments. I contend that there should be federal enforcement of federal law, but because we have not the proper machinery for the enforcement of these laws, their enforcement is turned over to the provinces, who in turn further delegate it to municipalities and local police forces.
In considering the motion before us we have to take into account the constitutional act of 1791. Much of the common law of England has been copied into our constitution, since 1791, as adapted to our circumstances, including the right of habeas corpus and the principles embodied in the Bill of Rights, the Petition of Rights, and Magna Carta. It must not be forgotten that the principles of Christianity have also formed a part of the common law of England, and since 1791 that has been copied into our laws. Unless we do everything in our power to preserve the freedoms that we enjoy today, and above all to do our part in maintaining the freedom of the seas, through the naval supremacy of Britain, we may find ourselves in very grave danger, with one-half the rest of the world armed to the teeth.
The main questions before the country today are parliamentary reform, constitutional reform, cabinet reform and law reform. We have had no law reform in this country, as far as I can see. The jails have been filled with people who should not be there. We talk about human rights and all that sort of thing, but many of our young people have been suffering as a result of our system of controls. Fundamentally, the motion is sound in principle, but whether it can be enforced is another matter. In the olden days might was right. Today, might plus right is right, especially in the world as it is at the present time. Under the British constitution the courts are subservient to the legislature. That is one of the cardinal principles of the English constitution and has been from time immemorial.
We have seen the effect of this in many ways in our own country, observing what goes on both within and outside Canada. I have always insisted in this house that, ever since the year 1770, parliament has been recognized as the body charged with the determination of national expenditures. It was on the principle that there should be no taxation without representation that the United States of America, or as it was at the time of the secession, the colonies, broke with Britain, when the people of Boston threw the tea into the harbour. The British people from that time to this day have demanded parliamentary control.
Since the lights went out in Europe in 1914 we have had pretty nearly thirty-five years of war and fear. The people have been haunted by fear, restraint and discipline. Fear is filling the cemetery. We have a tendency to over-organize. We are living in an age in which labour is taught to fear capital and capital is taught to fear labour. The United States fears invasion and boom and bust. The world fears the atomic bomb. Everyone fears someone or something, and liberty is nowhere. What we want in Canada today is more freedom and less legislation which interferes with the liberty of the subject.
The world outlook today is exitremely dark. As was stated by William Pitt in the House of Commons in England, "necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." If you look at the world today, you will find its condition set out in the second verse of the first chapter of Genesis:
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
That is exactly what you have today. Where is freedom of the seas? Let me tell you that questions have not been and will not be answered in the British House of Commons. Where will you be without freedom of the seas? That was the real Monroe doctrine for nearly two hundred years, the supremacy of Britain on the seas, and freedom of the seven seas. Where are you going to be without it? I can tell you, and I cannot be successfully contradicted. In the old country there is the navy league. They are up and doing and they know where every ship is. But what have we here? We have not a battleship on the seven seas. We have not a carrier or a destroyer on the seven seas today. The navy has simply been wiped out. Where are we going to be in this country? Yet there is talk about the 5849-193
price of food and all that kind of thing. I may say that the country does not belong to those who sit here in this house representing their constituents. It is an inheritance from the past, a possession for the present, and a trust for the future. Where are you going to be while all this is going on?
I am a great admirer of the people of the United States. I wish to refer to them now for a few moments. The people of the United States, now that they are running the united nations, and the organization is located in their midst, need not think that the second league which they created at Lake Success will be any better than the other one. These leagues have been in existence for over a hundred years. Hon. members will recall the Holy Alliance which led a great prime minister of Great Britain, George Canning, to urge Britain to get out of Europe and unite, and led to the Monroe doctrine in 1823. From that date forward the Monroe doctrine was the supremacy of Britain on the seas, which gave them the freedom they have. _
I marvel at what the people of the United States have done in two wars. I think it would be better, though, if we were to tell them the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about our side of the world's story. Look at the way these things have been handled at Lake Success. Wait until the historians write up these events. Look at what has beeni done with regard to Palestine, India, the Suez and Greece. Look at what happened in Geneva; millions in buildings erected there. All the newspapers commented -and not in one or two or three lines-on the collapse of that league over in Geneva. Look at the way they have bandied Palestine, the Indialn situation, the Balkan states, and the Baltic states. All these matters have been before this united nations organization, and everybody has wanted to go down there 'in such a great rush and stop at the fine hotels. I venture to say that when we get the bill for a floor of a Biltmore hotel or two $100,000 will be a small amount compared with what has been expended at the great feast that has been going on down there. Wait until the people find out what has been going on.
Has Lake Success made it any easier for the United States to get on with Russia? I should say no. The U.N.O. at Lake Success has been one of the most mischievous institutions we have ever had in the past or will have in the future. Today I think that western civilization is farther apart from eastern civilization than it has ever been in the past. There is no use in our supporting these leagues any longer; they have been a flat failure in the past. There is no use in
Poland and all the others. I have always contended that we should see to it that our method of representation creates no injustice and does not infringe on the liberty of the subject. There should be freedom of thought and freedom to seek a living voluntarily, without being coerced as they were under the statutes of labour in England in the thirteenth century.
We should support private enterprise without interference politically or otherwise. I am opposed to government by the delegation of controls and moving the control of parliament to the law courts, whereby personally controlled judicial boards grant individual freedom. That cannot be in a democracy; there is no real democracy in a condition of that kind.
Tradition is part of the policy of the party on this side of the house. We have respect for the ancient customs of ordered life and living, for privileges of parliament and freedom of speech, for legal respect, for the independence of judges and the judicial system. This party has respect for all that kind of thing.
Also as Progressive Conservatives we believe in bridging the gap between owner and workman, landlord and tenant, ruler and ruled. There is a unity of purpose, and all classes are bound, because our future happiness depends upon mutual sympathy and understanding in a Christian way. When Disraeli saw two nations, the rich and the poor, living within one country, he provided aid and succour to the weak by introducing social legislation. In my opinion the past cannot be separated from the present or the present from the future. We cannot escape from the responsibilities of the present, or shrink from our duty toward the future. We have accepted the doctrine of trusteeship.
It is for these reasons I shall support the motion. We need no longer think that we can Jhave any of our freedoms under organizations *such as that at Lake Success, which is nothing !but a tower of Babel. We must not allow our interests to be thwarted. Does any hon. member know any nation which will permit its own interests to be handed over to another country? Certainly no nation will do that, unless she is so small that she cannot protect herself. Because after all is said and done patriotism is the cement that binds nations together. Those nations in Europe which have been overrun by the Soviet union want their freedom back. Let us look at Czechoslovakia, formerly one of the freest peoples in the world. Look at the way they were raped for the second time in the month of February last.
One of my reasons for supporting this motion is that I believe we shall always have patriotism, because people love their country. Love
of country is something that cannot be taken from one. After all, it was Sir Walter Scott in the Lay of the Last Minstrel who said:
Breathes there the man, with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er within his burn'd As home his footsteps he hath turn'd.
From wandering on a foreign strand?
If suc-h there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name, Boundless his wealth as wish can claim,
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentrated all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down To the vile dust, from whence he sprung, Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.
No country, not even Canada, should leave its own affairs to other nations or to Lake Success; you cannot have peace or security by any such procedure or farce as that.
They tried it before. It was tried in the Holy Alliance, 1815 to 1823, and that was a failure. No country will allow other countries to run its affairs, unless that country is too weak to fight in its own defence. In Canada at the present time we have no defence. The future of both Canada and the United States depends upon the peoples of those countries. Today at least they are wide awake, after what happened in Czechoslovakia. But the leagues, or the united nations organizations, or towers of Babel, or Lake Success, or the Marshall plan, can do nothing better than Great Britain and her dominions can do when they are working together and hanging together and united together. I say that because Great Britain and her dominions are vastly superior in resources than either Russia or the United States. The minute we depart from the empire, Great Britain will become a second-class power and neither Britain nor her dominions will have anything at all to say in the peace terms.
Our position in the future is of great importance. We should re-establish our air policy; the empire air training plan should be set up again at once. Our position at the present time is an important one, and it is because of that that I say our air policy should be planned, in consultation with Great Britain. We should have an empire security council, and all that kind of thing.
I had not intended taking part in the debate, but I felt I should make these few observations. What would become of the people of this country in another war? In the last one we had submarines right in the St. Lawrence river. At Riviere du Loup, where the submarines are said to have been, the river is as
wide as is lake Ontario from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the eastern gap. But the newspapers then did not say a word of it; the people were not entitled to know. Are we going to have the same situation as we had here in 1938, when we were entirely unprepared? Are we going to wait until the enemy comes?
The trouble with Russia all started down at Lake Success, because we will remember that during the war Russia was an ally. After the first great war we lost two of our allies, Italy and Japan, and we never should have lost them. We have lost one of our allies from the last war, and will lose some others, because those others have no security. Are we going to wait until our enemy comes here and sails up the St. Lawrence river?
We have a long and unprotected coast on the Pacific, stretching from Puget sound. What are we going to do about it? Britain has no battleships, destroyers or fleet carriers out there.
Subtopic: FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS
Sub-subtopic: OBLIGATIONS UNDER UNITED NATIONS CHARTER-APPOINTMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE