July 21, 1944 (19th Parliament, 5th Session)


Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Leader of the Opposition):

I desire to rise to a question of privilege. It relates to certain strong protests which have been made recently in parliament, as well as outside, with respect to the right of freedom of speech in the parliament of Canada. I have delayed bringing up this matter in the House of Commons in the expectation that the government leader in the other place, or the member around whom the issue revolved, would introduce the matter on a question of privilege in the other chamber when it reconvened on Tuesday last after having been in adjournment almost continuously since the incident occurred. In view of the fact that the question has not been raised in the other place, however, I am bringing it now before this house since it concerns the rights of members of both branches of parliament. In my opinion the inalienable right of freedom of speech which must be enjoyed by every member of parliament, whether in the other place, the House of Commons or any other deliberative assembly in Canada, should be zealously safeguarded and vigorously defended.
Without making further comment with respect to the matter I am going to ask the Prime Minister, who is not in his place at the moment, in view of the fact that the situation affects both houses of parliament, if he will call into conference with him the leader of the government in the senate so that the matter may be fully reviewed and such steps taken in both houses simultaneously as may be felt necessary to ensure that freedom of speech shall be maintained and preserved.

Full View