Mr. H. A. MACKIE (East Edmonton):
So far as the Roman Catholic Church is concerned, it is quite possible for a Roman Catholic on the days of obligation to attend divine service in the early morning, and perform his regular duties afterwards. That practice has often been urged in the Catholic Church. But I would draw this point to the attention of the House and particularly of the Government. While it is possible on these feasts of obligation for Roman Catholics to attend to their religious duties in the early morning, it seems to me that at a time like this, when there is a great deal of dissatisfaction all over the country, we should not do anything to create more dissatisfaction in a whole province of this Dominion by taking action that will lead the people of that province to believe that this Government is particularly anxious to deprive them of their religious liberty. I regret very much that this matter has come up in that form. I do not think the Senate amendment regarding legal holidays in the Civil Service should be concurred in, not because the members of the Roman Catholic Church cannot practise their religion on these feasts of obligation, but becaiuse of the general opinion it would create that the Government was infringing on their rights. I trust that the Government will refrain from any such action that will make for the unity of Canada rather than the disruption of our national life.
Subtopic: CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.