Mr. SAMUEL GOBEIL (Compton) (Translation):
Mr. Speaker, as representative of a Quebec riding, I should express myself in French. However, desirous as I am that my remarks be understood by the Englishspeaking members, I shall take the liberty of speaking English, although I am not quite familiar with that language.
I have just been saying in French that as a member from the province of Quebec I should prefer to speak in my mother tongue, especially as my knowledge of the English language is very limited; but as I wish the English-speaking members to understand what I am about to say I hope they will take into consideration my inadequate knowledge of their tongue.
Hon. members opposite have criticized the policy of the government, especially the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) in the short address he made. His principal argument was that this is a "one man government." We have also been told about the new blasting methods, and they have been compared, unfavourably, with the conciliatory approach of the right hon. gentleman when he was in office. We have heard about secession talk in the west. There has also been criticism of the Russian embargo, and of course the policy of protection has been assailed. I am not exaggerating when I say that at least 75 per cent of hon. members on the other side who criticize protection are just as sound protectionists as we on this
The Address-Mr. Gobeil
side. But it is a well known fact that the Liberal party for the last twenty-five years has been in the habit of upholding protection when in office and denouncing it in favour of free trade when in opposition. So no one is surprised at what we have heard from hon. gentlemen opposite. .
I intend to consider in the few remarks I wish to make, Mr. Speaker, some of the matters which have been brought up by hon. gentlemen opposite, and I wish in a few words to follow the very brief argument of the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King). The remark has been made that this is a one-man government. Surely the leader of the opposition has paid a great tribute to the Prime Minister in making that remark, because if he alone is responsible for everything this government has done during the short period it has been in office, he is still a better man than we Conservatives thought he was, and we thought quite a lot of him. But the leader of the opposition is much worried about it, and I should like to relieve him of some of his troubles in that regard. I should like to suggest to the right hon. gentleman that the people of Canada are not going to bother their heads very much about finding out whether this is a one-man government or a party government, so long as the government administers the affairs of Canada in the best interests of all the citizens of our country. I should like to suggest to the right hon. gentleman also that this is a matter which primarily concerns the Conservative party, so he need not worry about it so much. He might better devote his efforts to his own party; he might try to conciliate the views of the free trade wing of his party from the west with those of the protectionist wing of the east.
Then we have heard about blasting methods, so let us compare them with the conciliatory methods of hon. gentlemen opposite. For the last nine years this country has been given a mixture composed of a large percentage of conciliatory approaches; a little bit of "down on your knees"; and quite a large proportion of "do not provoke the Yankees." The leader of the opposition mixed up that medicine and gave a little dose of it to Miss Canada about every month during the nine years he was in power. What was the result? After nine years of this medicine most of our factories were closed, because Canada had become the dumping ground of the world. At the beginning of that nine-year period agriculturists in Canada were exporters of their goods, but at the end of that period they had become importers of agricultural products, to the extent of importing 50,000,000 pounds of
butter during the last year the late government was in office. That being the case, Mr. Speaker, why not try some of those blasting methods referred to by the right hon. leader of the opposition and see what the result will be?
The right hon. leader of the Liberal party seems to speak of these methods as if they were new discoveries but, Mr. Speaker, they are very old. I would like to remind the right hon. leader of the opposition of a certain passage'in the Bible, which I hope he has not forgotten. Some two thousand years ago our Saviour went to the temple in Jerusalem and found within it dishonest merchants. What did He do? Did He try these conciliatory methods? Did He go to those gentlemen, pat them on the shoulders and say, "My dear sirs, will you please go outside and carry on your commerce?" No, Mr. Speaker, He did not do that. He took a whip that happened to be around and whipped them out of the temple, and while He was doing so he said, "My house is a house of prayer, and you have converted it into a cave of iniquity." This seems to me, Mr. Speaker, pretty much the same idea as that behind the blasting methods referred to by hon. members opposite. The right hon. leader of the opposition does not need to worry; if this government gives the people of this country the prosperity to which they are entitled-and which this government will give them-they will not bother whether blasting methods are used or whether conciliatory methods are adopted.
Now, Mr. Speaker, we come to the embargo on Russian goods. The right hon. leader of the opposition and the hon. member for South Battleford (Mr. Vallance) criticized that embargo, and judging from what they said this embargo never would have been put on if the late government had been returned to power. The hon. member for South Battle-ford said Canada had lost millions of dollars by turning down this offer. I shall not endeavour to answer that part of his sepech, because the hon. member for Montmagny (Mr. LaVergne) reminded us that bread and meat are not the only things in this world. The hon. member for Montmagny said the Prime Minister spoke in the name of civilization, but I shall go even further; I say the Prime Minister spoke not only in the name of civilization but in the name of Christianity. As soon as the people of Canada learned of the decision of the government, from Liberals and Conservatives from one end of Canada to the other congratulations and messages of approval reached the government. Strange to say, however, we did not hear anything from the Liberal members representing Quebec con-
The Address-Mr. Goheil
stituencies. Public opinion in Quebec was so unanimous that the legislature of that province passed a vote approving of the embargo placed against Russian goods by this government, but still hon. members from Quebec sitting on the opposition benches have not even mentioned it. The hon. member for St. James (Mr. Rinfret) has spoken during this debate; he is quite prominent in the ranks of his party, but he closed his lips on that question and spoke not a word about it. The hon. member for Gaspe (Mr. Brasset) and the hon. member for Charlevoix-Saguenay (Mr. Cas-grain) both spoke, but neither mentioned this subject.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ADDRESS IN REPLY