October 29, 1951 (21st Parliament, 5th Session)


George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. George A. Drew (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege affecting every hon. member of this house. I have just received a copy of a pamphlet that is printed and issued by the Labour-Progressive party of Canada, correctly described as the communist party of Canada, and I propose to submit this pamphlet to you to consider what steps should be taken. It is the most villainous attack that I have yet seen on this government and upon the Prime Minister of Canada (Mr. St. Laurent). In addition to that, the attack includes every member of this house as a result of the allegations that are made. I would point out that, no matter what differences of opinion those of us who serve the democratic processes of our constitutional system may have, I am sure that there is no member of this house, no matter what party he supports, who will at any time overlook a challenge to the government of Canada as an institution and to the integrity of the Prime Minister as the head of that government.
In this pamphlet under the heading "Who Wants War?" There is on the third and fourth pages, on the one side an arm with a nazi symbol and on the other a similar arm with a dollar sign, and in both cases blood dripping from the hand. Then we read these words:
They are putting guns in the hands of nazis again! They are arming the Japanese militarists! Who are doing this? The U.S. bankers, industrialists, profiteers! St. Laurent and Pearson agree to send Canadian troops to march with nazis in Europe.
I would remind you, Mr. Speaker, that the members of this house of all parties have approved of the course that has been followed by the government. One only needs to read that pamphlet in order to see the whole nature of this challenge not only to the Prime Minister and to the government but to the members of this house. I quote again:
Korea was the "testing" place for this new army of reaction, fascism, imperialism. How Goebbels, Hitler, Goering and Tojo must chortle from their graves! We must not desecrate the memory of our Canadian soldier dead!
Then on the left-hand page is a picture of Eisenhower and our Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton), under the hand dripping with blood and with the dollar sign, and on the other side, with a corresponding arm and the nazi sign are pictures of Hitler, Goering and Goebbels. Then as we read on in this pamphlet we find a statement like this:
Sure, Prime Minister St. Laurent pats kiddies' heads and strikes a fatherly pose for photographers. But, many of our children have less food, less clothes, less of everything because he helps the Yankee eagle dig his greedy claws into our resources.
St. Laurent sent our boys to Korea, he is going to send more thousands of our boys to Europe, at the behest of his bosses in the United States.
That is all I intend to read of this villainous slander on every member of this house who has joined in approving the course of action that the government has followed in this case. This pamphlet closes with the words "Who can you spare?" and on the other side are the names of the members of a family of an ordinary, well known name, and on the other side are pictures of Truman, St. Laurent and MacArthur.
Mr. Speaker, I need not remind you of the tradition in regard to offences of that kind in relation to the members of this house.
For more than a century and a half now it has been the accepted practice and procedure that challenges of this kind should not pass unnoticed. There is I submit a particular reason why you should take this into consideration. It has just recently been announced that we have already received into Canada the largest number of new Canadians who have come into Canada in any year since the close of the last world war. A large percentage of those are people who will make excellent citizens, but there are people who come from countries which have not the traditions of freedom which we accept as a matter of course. These pamphlets are being circulated amongst these people. What must be the thoughts in the minds of these people coming here and not understanding the extent to which we permit communists in this country to challenge the authority and the motive of government itself as an institution, and to challenge the action of members of parliament? Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I am placing this in your hands with the request that consideration be given to the impact of this document not only on those who are able

Labour-Progressive Party from their experience and their understanding of our democratic system to balance these statements and form an objective judgment, but also to have regard to what the effect of a pamphlet of this kind would be upon the minds of those new Canadians who are being welcomed here, and who should become citizens of a democracy in which they have :onfidence.
I need hardly point out to hon. members that publications of this kind are not inexpensive, and that it may well arouse the interest of hon. members to see the communist part of Canada circularizing the people of this country with an extremely expensive publication of that kind. Therefore I forward this to you with the respectful suggestion that you give consideration to the course which should be followed in regard to this circular.

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