July 1, 1942 (19th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. M. J. COLDWELL (Rosetown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, I was unaware of the fact that any recognition was to be given in the house this afternoon to the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Canadian Confederation, but I think it is quite proper that it should be done. A little less than one hour ago I was joining, through the magic of radio, in a service being held in Westminster Abbey. The Archbishop of Canterbury preached the sermon; the High Commissioner for Canada read a brief scriptural lesson, and representatives of many nations took part in the service. I listened to the tribute paid to this country by the archbishop, and to his expression of deep conviction that the British commonwealth of nations as it is to-day may be the forerunner of a development in the future of a free association of all nations all equal; none subservient ' to the other. As he said this afternoon, the British empire is no longer an empire in the old sense, but a new form of association, typifying something far greater and far better than any ancient empire ever was.
This afternoon we are paying a tribute not only to those who founded this dominion but also to the young men who are standing guard along our coasts and across the seas. In my opinion the greatest tribute we can pay, both to our forefathers and to those who to-day are bearing the brunt of battle, is to determine in this chamber, first, what shall be done now to make our contribution to a great cause the most effective that we can make, and, second, how best we may lay now the foundations in this country to the end that the men who are serving across the seas may return to a land in which they may live in security and in peace; in which they may build for themselves and for coming generations something better than we or they have ever known. If on this occasion I might leave one thought with the house, and particularly with the government, it would be this: Let the government come before this house without any further delay and tell us exactly what the situation is, and thus share with the members of the House of Commons, representing the people of Canada, the entire responsibility for all that we may have to do to ensure our maximum contribution to the cause of world freedom and universal peace.

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