May 10, 1943 (19th Parliament, 4th Session)


Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Hon. R. B. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Mr. Speaker, I am very glad indeed that the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) has brought forward this resolution and referred to the part that Canada has played in the North African campaign. But my purpose in rising is to tell the house and the country of an act of great valour on the part of a young Canadian from my own constituency who gave his life in that campaign. Earl Griffin, a student for the ministry, enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy as a submarine detector on His Majesty's Canadian ship Louisburg. During the course of the past six months she was engaged in action in the Mediterranean, and one day in February was struck by a dive bomber. In three minutes she sank. At that moment the young man was below decks. The commanding officer gave the order to abandon ship, but instead of obeying the order this young man stayed behind to put the depth charges in a place of safety so that they would not explode when the ship sank. In so doing he lost his life when he might have saved it. He lost his life in order that the lives of others might be saved. This is but one illustration of the heroism of young Canadians, and I hope it will have public recognition at the hands of those who are charged with such matters.
Hon. LOUIS S. ST. LAURENT (Minister of Justice (Translation): Mr. Speaker,
may I add a few words in French to extol the victory which the allied forces have just won in North Africa? I remember with emotion that during the night of November 7 we heard in Quebec the request made by the President of the United States that a few French voices should join his own in transmitting to the French people a message of confidence and encouragement, to tell them that we, the allies, had just landed on their colonial territory, that we were coming as friends, that we would not claim one inch of their empire, but that we were coming for the sole purpose of initiating the liberation which they and we desired with equal fervour. For us French-speaking citizens of North America, it was indeed an occasion which enhanced our pride and gave us the assurance that the struggle waged by the allied nations was our fight just as it
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was the fight of all other free men in the world. I also rejoice this afternoon that within . six months to that day, the allied forces have succeeded in implementing the promise we made to the people of France on that night of November 7 last.

Topic:   THE WAR
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