Paul-Edmond GAGNON

GAGNON, Paul-Edmond

Personal Data

Chicoutimi (Quebec)
Birth Date
January 20, 1909
Deceased Date
October 23, 1981

Parliamentary Career

June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
  Chicoutimi (Quebec)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
  Chicoutimi (Quebec)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
  Chicoutimi (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 80)

February 27, 1957

1. What are the names of the lawyers and notaries residing in the county of Chicoutimi, who have acted as agents for the different departments or boards of the federal government, during the calendar years 1953 to date?

2. What amount of fees has been paid to each of them, and in what case?

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February 15, 1957

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August 4, 1956

Mr. Gagnon:

Mr. Chairman, since I have had the honour of sitting in this house I have, on several occasions, voiced the grievances and complaints of the people of the kingdom of Saguenay and of Chicoutimi county in particular, regarding the quality of the transportation services given us by that public-owned company called the Canadian National Railways.

I must say frankly and quite humbly that, although my remarks have been judged quite to the point by my electors, they have not brought about the results I expected. There is a French saying to the effect that days follow days but that they are not all alike. Well that old saying certainly does not apply to us, as far as railroad service is concerned. Since 1887 or 1888, when the railroad was completed which has Chicoutimi as its terminus, the situation has changed very little or not at all.

While the jet planes of the R.C.A.F. station at Bagotville whizz by at supersonic speed, and while Chicoutimi motorists can get to Quebec city in two hours, our good old rail-

road still takes nine hours to cover the distance between the ancient capital and the metropolis of the Saguenay.

While in all other fields of economic activity, we are at the forefront, we lag way behind as far as railway passenger and freight service is concerned.

In the matter of speed and comfort, we are still in the horse and buggy days. If we want food on the train, we either have to bring a lunch, as the first settlers used to do, or be content with sandwiches which are sold at fancy prices. Even then, we cannot have those sandwiches toasted because the toaster only works if the train is travelling at full speed, which it never does.

If the train leaves Montreal at 7 o'clock at night, it does not get into Chicoutimi until the following morning at 7.30, when it is on time. In other words, it takes 12J hours to cover a distance of 300 miles, which averages less than 25 miles per hour. Very often, especially during the winter, it comes in late.

There is further evidence. I shall quote a few paragraphs of a letter sent to the board of transport commissioners as well as to the president of the C.N.R. by the local chamber of commerce of the Saguenay district.

Jonquiere, Que., January 18, 1956.

Board of Transport Commissioners,

Ottawa. Ont.

Copy to Mr. Gordon, President, National System, Montreal, and to Mr. Gauthier, Superintendent, National System, Quebec.


At the last meeting of the chambers of commerce of the Saguenay district, we were shown a report on the very bad service given to our population by the railway during the holiday season.

It has been shown that the passenger train which normally arrives at Chicoutimi at 7.30 a.m. has sometimes been as much as 10 hours late. For your information, we have all the hours of arrival between December 18 and December 29 last.

This year, the railway cannot blame these delays on cold weather or snow since we have had very fair weather . . .

For the local Chamber of Commerce of the district of Saguenay (Sgd.) Phillippe Tremblay, Secretary.

At this point I call to witness my good friend, the very distinguished Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (Mr. Lesage) with whom I had the privilege to travel to Chicoutimi on the 1st of May last. We were on our way to a ceremony which was to start at 9 o'clock in the morning, and we pulled into Chicoutimi at 10.30.

I let it be distinctly understood that I am not attaching any blame to the railway per-


sonnel. Far from it, as I know from experience that they fulfil their duties perfectly. From the conductor to the baggage man, all are efficient, devoted and courteous.

The engineer and fireman work wonders to deliver us safe and sound at our destination. Unfortunately they cannot eliminate curves, nor rush along at a hundred miles an hour on this snaky, meandrous line.

I offer no criticism of the minister since I know that he is kindly disposed on our behalf. He proved it by authorizing the construction of the St. Felicien-Chibouga-mau line. But I do blame the C.N.R. management and the government, who never bothered to listen to our representations or requests, and who never have given our area the attention it deserves.

I have said, and I am repeating now, that we are unfairly treated by the federal government. The deficiencies from which we are suffering, notably in Chicoutimi-antiquated station, inadequate and incomplete harbour facilities, lack of proper accommodation for postal and other official services, level crossings-all these can be blamed on the lack of interest of the Ottawa government.

Yet, our section of the country is, in the whole of Canada, one of those which pay the most taxes. That should be taken into account.

Without delay, the Canadian National Railways should act on pigeon-holed improvement projects about which, every once in a while, the vice-president of the company gives us a talk in Chicoutimi.

I urge the minister to use his influence in our favour and to demand that we be given decent treatment. The future of our business community depends on it.

It is inconceivable that it should take twice as much time to go from Montreal to Chicoutimi by railway as it takes by automobile.

Secondly, may I voice my support of the request sent to the Minister of Transport (Mr. Marler) by the Association of Shipowners of the St. Lawrence and the Port Alfred chamber of commerce concerning the installation of a radio-telephone station on the Saguenay river.

An improvement of this type would be a great help for navigation on this river, and would also be very valuable to all those using it.

I hope that this request will be considered justified and that action will be taken accordingly.


I would also like to draw the minister's attention to the necessity of building a civilian airport in our district.

The lack of such an airport is a serious gap, considering the development of civil aviation and the fact that the R.C.A.F. base station at Bagotville does not allow private aircraft to land there.

The hon. minister wrote me recently to tell me that he does not think the time has come to authorize such a project.

If I may renew that request, I would ask him to reconsider his decision in the light of the new arguments which have been submitted to him by different public bodies of the region.

I would like now to call the attention of this house to a fact which has made me particularly happy, and it is that the title page of the recently distributed Canadian National timetable is printed in both our official languages. It is the first time, to my knowledge, that such a move is made, and I am happy to congratulate those who sponsored it.

We would be happier still if the facade of the new hotel being put up in Montreal would also indicate the French character of our country. In the meantime, let us be thankful for what has been done, and let us work and hope for what remains to be done.

Trans-Canada Air Lines have also put out on June 1 last a French issue of their timetables. It likewise deserves congratulations, and the progress of bilingualism in the administration of crown corporations is noteworthy. In conclusion, I would ask the minister whether it would be possible for him to table in this house a copy of the contract between the Canadian National authorities and the U.S. controlled Hilton company, concerning the operation of the new hotel which is going up in Montreal.


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August 1, 1956

Mr. Gagnon:

Mr. Chairman, recognition of the present Peking regime still being under consideration by the government, I would like to express my constituents' views on this matter before this possibility becomes a fact. This would of course be a new if not unforeseen development in our international policy. Anything can happen.

We are living in a fool's paradise where there is talk only of war, military preparation, disintegration of the atom and hydrogen bombs.

There is nothing surprising in all this since, left to itself, humanity is rushing to its doom. God, the only guide capable of enlightening and directing the world has been expelled from the United Nations. No one is willing to admit that human beings have been created in His image and resemblance. When a declaration of human rights was adopted by that august assembly, it was moved by the

Supply-External Affairs U.S.S.R., seconded by Great Britain, China and India that His name be removed from section one so as not to hurt the feelings of atheists and unbelievers.

And today, we are thinking of extending the hand of friendship to those who yesterday were butchering our countrymen and who tomorrow will be attempting to bring us under their yoke.

Fear has become the prime mover of our actions and of our alliances, and our politicians are ready to associate with revolutionaries, conspirators, anarchists, with the devil himself if need be, in order to ensure a moment's breathing spell, to enjoy illusory diplomatic victories. Resistance seems akin to treason.

Because of the ignorance, weakness and tolerance of our leaders and of the absence of a firm and clearly defined policy, the prophecies of Lenin will come to pass, possibly sooner than we may imagine. He said:

First, we will conquer eastern Europe, then the masses of Asia, so as to encircle the United States, last stronghold of capitalism. We will not have to resort to war; that country will fall into our hands like an overripe fruit.

We are lead and pushed along by other countries along paths chosen according to the tastes, ideas and interests of their leaders. Though we may think we are playing an important part in the government of nations we are, in fact, mere puppets manipulated by others for their own purposes.


In the issue of April 2, 1954, of the U.S. News and World Report magazine, it is stated:

Lester Pearson, representative of the United Nations is to act as "swing man" in a manoeuvre to get communist China an U.N. membership. The play is to vote the Chinese communists a membership in the U.N. assembly where a veto apparently cannot keep them out. The U.N. security council where nationalist China would retain a membership no longer amounts to much because of Russia's use of the veto . . .

Drums are beating to pay more ransom to aggressors, to invite a bunch of bandits into polite society in the hope of reforming them. Hearts are bleeding among diplomats all around the world for the poor communist Chinese, who are shooting up the neighbourhood. No hearts, however, seem to be bleeding for the Italians, or Germans, or Japanese, or Spaniards who also sit on the outside of world councils, even when stable and peaceful and friendly.


I know, Mr. Chairman, that Spain and Italy became members of the United Nations on December 14, 1955, but nonetheless the report that I just quoted remains significant.

Oddly enough, it was also our Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) who, at the United Nations, moved the par-

Supply-External Affairs tition of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel.

Have we thus become the tool of communists and of international jewry, as was written in England?

I say that we will be misled, duped and deceived by the Chinese communists if ever they become our partners because, no matter what our pundits say, we have not the same cards in our hands, we do not understand anything about their way of thinking; their stubbornness and their skill put us off balance and we will also be ridiculed and scoffed at by the Russians because they are more knavish and double-dealing than we are.

In war as in peace, they will remain fundamentally our enemies. Everywhere we will find them in the opposite camp. An example of it is to be found in what happened in the disastrous Korean expedition.

The December 1950 issue of the official bulletin of the Department of External Affairs reported the following, on page 474 of the French edition:

Chinese Communists Intervene In the first week of November, at least three divisions of Chinese Communist troops moved across the Yalu river, together with heavy supplies of arms, equipment and some air support to bolster the shattered remnants of North Korean forces. The Chinese Communists and North Koreans launched a fierce counter-attack which obliged the United Nations command to withdraw from 50 to 100 miles to protect exposed flanks and supply routes.

In a special communique of November 6, General MacArthur, without identifying the new forces as Chinese, branded this move as "one of the most offensive acts of international lawlessness of historical records". He pointed out that this "new and fresh army" was "backed up by a possibility of large alien reserves . . . Whether and to what extent these reserves will be moved forward to reinforce units now committed remains to be seen and is a matter of the gravest international significance". General MacArthur referred here to an estimated three hundred thousand trained Chinese troops which were reported massed in Manchuria.

Today, one thing is evident: while our soldiers were being killed in Korea, our statesmen were working behind the scenes for the admission of the aggressor among the United Nations council.

Our Secretary of State for External Affairs is an internationalist whose ambition is to unify the North Atlantic community not only from the military standpoint but also from the political, economic, racial and cultural standpoints.

NATO is much more important to Canada than the United Nations and our government is willing to sacrifice on its altars our national sovereignty in exchange for a so-called supernational sovereignty. On the other hand, Russia is opposed and is striving to destroy,

if possible, the North Atlantic pact. It would be foolish to believe that China will burn incense before our idols and go against the wishes of its Moscow ally.

The statements of our Prime Minister at Manila and Seoul on his world tour gave rise at the time to strong protests, and I do not believe that public opinion has changed much since.

According to a Canadian Press despatch dated March 10, 1954, a South Korean newspaper expressed the opinion that Prime Minister St. Laurent is one of those who are "becoming the instruments and dupes" of communists.

The Daily Korean Republic took Mr. St. Laurent to task because he stated at Seoul that in his opinion the allies should be realists and recognize communist China.

According to the Canadian Prime Minister, it would be realistic to accept murder, sickness and banditry simply because those evils are with us . . .

states that newspaper. And it adds:

The St. Laurents in our midst are actually playing the game of communists when they unconsciously preach a policy of appeasement.

That semi-official newspaper adds:

The Prime Minister is guilty of the same terrible mistake of communist inspiration when he asserts that the Chinese people accept their communist masters.

It is strangely presumptuous on the part of the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) to state that the Chinese people wish to be administered, governed, exploited and persecuted by the present communist regime.

On March 20, 1954, The Ensign carried the following item on page 3:


In a declaration issued by Rev. Louis Bouchard, S.J., of the Jesuit Chinese Mission, and co-signed by His Excellency Philippe Cote, S.J., Bishop of Suchow, Msgr. Edgar Larochelle, Superior of Foreign Missions, Rev. Frangois Prudhomme, Clercs of St. Viateur, "stupefaction" was expressed at press dispatches purporting to imply that Canada is considering diplomatic recognition of the red regime over China.

The declaration of the Rt. Hon. Louis St. Laurent, Prime Minister of Canada, regarding the opportuneness of diplomatic recognition of red China has caused stupefaction.

Mr. St. Laurent could not have said what was reported. He has too much esteem for the people of his own province and too much dignity to join his voice to those who act in a way which would make Catholic Canada blush for generations.

It is to calumny the people of China to say that they desire the communist government. This has been proved by the prisoners at Panmunjom who have abandoned all, country, family and home and have proclaimed to all the world, even to the materialist world, which understands little of the sacrifices involved, that the real China does not desire communist rule.

As a matter of fact, 90 per cent of the Chinese prisoners in Korea chose to go to Formosa rather than return to their communist-controlled mainland home.

For many years missionaries have watched communism making inroads in China, due to the complicity of lies which prepared western betrayal. One heard then that the Chinese communists were not like other communists. False hopes were spread that there would be a break with Moscow, which has never occurred. All has been sacrificed to prepare for the ascendancy of a red tyranny in China. That the missionaries know.

The missionaries were not listened to when they proclaimed to all the world through their sufferings, their devotions, their years in prison, that China does not want a communist government, that the Chinese abhor red tyranny . . .

This those who calumny the Chinese people know, and this the Rt. Hon. Mr. St. Laurent cannot be ignorant of.

The missionaries could say much more about trade with communist China and the shame that is involved. But today they only want to testify of their own deep sorrow and the suffering of the Chinese people, crushed, imprisoned and herded into concentration camps.

The missionaries want to stress the deep pain of the abandoned people when they will learn that the west has sided against them and with their executioners. The missionaries must make this declaration in conscience before the Chinese people, namely, that they cannot be a party to the people's betrayal.


Mgr. Philippe Cote, a Jesuit who lived in China for 25 years, who was kept prisoner for 20 months by the Chinese communists, whose testimony is certainly worth that of a tourist who flew over the clouds of Asia or visited only a couple of cities, stated in a lecture given in Quebec two years ago that, of more than 500 million Chinese, hardly two million were genuine communists.

That means that the great mass of the population are under Red dictatorship.

On the 23 of the same month, the Montreal Gazette reported under the title:


Atom bomb death preferred to reds, missionary claims. Rev. Alphonse Caouette of the foreign missions society returning here after 17 years Roman Catholic missionary work in China, said last week-end many Chinese would prefer even the foreign yoke of Japan to the present communist "slave state".

"There are many who go so far as looking to the atom bomb as the only remedy for all the present ills, even if it should mean their deaths", Father Caouette said.

"These people are profoundly conservative and justly proud of their past. Those who believe that one may snatch from a people its beliefs, its philosophy, its habits of thousands of years to give them a Utopia are making a big mistake. The Marxist giant has overthrown the traditions and the liberties which were dearest to the people, most of whom live under a reign of terror and nervous tension harder to bear than death. Suicide has become an everyday affair. Prisons and political lives have the biggest roles in China today.

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During the past years, Mr. Chairman, Chinese in Canada who have relatives in China have been blackmailed by the reds for large sums of money, with their relatives held as hostages. Likewise, our missionaries in China have been tortured, jailed and thrown out by the red regime. And in Korea the Chinese reds have slaughtered tens of thousands of Canadian, British, American and other U.N. boys. Now, before the blood is dry on their hands, the reds are directing further aggression and bloodshed in southeast Asia. As a reward for this savagery and butchery, our statesmen lend their voices and extend their hands not to the poor and persecuted but to the oppressor. To me it is significant that the group which is pressing for recognition of red China in this house is once again the socialists.

The hon. member for Winnipeg North again this afternoon asked for recognition of red China. On January 17 the hon. member for Mackenzie pressed the matter, as will be found at page 183 of Hansard. Despite the fact that the members of the C.C.F. party profess antagonism to the communists, I note that repeatedly they are making proposals which could only be helpful to communist nations. Let not our generation be accused before history of making friends with the torturers and butchers, while abandoning the oppressed to their fate. Let us be realistic.

It was not until the United States officially recognized and granted diplomatic privileges to the Kremlin in 1933 that the reds were able to open up an embassy in Washington and consulate offices across the United States, which were then used to organize and direct espionage against the United States, just as Igor Gouzenko revealed the reds were doing in Canada. Did this recognition benefit America? Not a bit. But it did lend prestige to the reds; it did discourage and dishearten the oppressed multitudes and advance the opportunities and facilities for communist espionage inside America.

Recognition of red China today by Canada would allow this red regime to open an embassy in Ottawa and consulate offices across Canada, which could then be used to coerce and intimidate loyal Chinese in Canada and to organize Chinese red fifth columns inside our borders. Let us ever remember that agreements with communists are not worth the paper they are written on. They are binding only upon us; they tie only our hands.

Communist teachings leave no doubt that communist leaders do not believe that communist and non-communist countries can exist side by side; one or the other must


Supply-External Affairs conquer. These teachings also make it clear that any agreements made by communists, or the apparent withdrawal from any position they have taken up, are regarded as tactics necessary for ultimately furthering the general communist offensive.

Once the west faces the fact that it is engaged in war, it surely becomes obvious that its first offensive move should be to refuse to continue to give the communists a false status by recognizing them as the genuine representatives of the Russian and other peoples. The immediate breaking of all diplomatic relations with the communist governments would be a major psychological victory for the west, particularly if it used every avenue to tell the peoples of communist-dominated countries why this step had been taken.

The Soviet union and the people's republic of China maintain extensive economic relations in all spheres of the economy. The U.S.S.R. supplies China with equipment for iron and steel, mining, engineering, chemical and other industries, as well as farm machinery and other equipment and materials. China, in her turn, ships to the U.S.S.R. great amounts of various manufactured goods and agricultural products. There has been a marked increase in the Soviet union's share of Chinese foreign trade. It has grown from 23-3 per cent in 1950 to 41-6 per cent last year.

An agreement on scientific and technical co-operation between the U.S.S.R. and the Chinese people's republic was signed in 1954, in accordance with which the two countries have undertaken to exchange technical documents and pertinent information, to send experts to render technical assistance, and to study the scientific and technical achievements of the two countries. This agreement was a new, important contribution to the cause of strengthening economic and cultural relations between the U.S.S.R. and China.


Here then are two fellow travellers professing the same political ideology, furthering the same ideal, united and associated in peace as well as in war and determined not to lose face before the rest of the world.

Let us be cautious and, before we recognize red China, let us ask ourselves if many Asiatic countries are prepared to believe that the western world is serious in its struggle against communism and would not barter its great, inspiring and noble principles of justice, freedom and the given word when powerful material interests are at stake.

It must be realized that the U.S.S.R. has never considered international conferences

and negotiations,-whether it is an international conference of the Red Cross or the negotiations such as those which took place at Berlin and Geneva,-as a means to settle international problems but rather as hustings for propaganda or as a psychological weapon. Up to now, through a technique of repetition and a rhetoric of sabotage, the U.S.S.R. has exhausted its opponents in the diplomatic game, not because they were the weakest but because they were the more civilized and the more sincere, and after all, were genuinely in quest of peace. With communism, it is fatal to believe that there might be community of ideal or identity of means. They do not even speak the same language.

By its technique of repetition, the U.S.S.R. has succeeded in worrying us with the question of the recognition of red China.

To be a realist is to understand that, in giving recognition to red China, we accept the verdict of violence in Asia. To be a realist is to understand that the recognition of red China would give the U.S.S.R. its greatest diplomatic victory since Yalta, that it could even be the Yalta of the East. Finally, to be a realist, is to realize that the recognition of the U.S.S.R., some time ago, has done nothing for the peace of the world and that tomorrow, the recognition of red China will not likely bring anything more.

If, in the interest of our commerce, we must gain the sympathy, the esteem and the friendship of the Chinese usurpers, our Secretary of State for External Affairs could suggest to Great Britain to offer Hong Kong to Mao Tse-tung. To foster relations with communists, to speak of a communist regime with the same indifference as one speaks of any other political system, shows a truly astounding lack of realism.

We must show the same love for the American and for the Chinese, for the British citizen as for the Soviet . . .

Writes Dr. Endicott, high priest of the Canadian reds. As for me, I say with Meany, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.:

Don't go soft on communism.

To look for the good points of the communist regime has unfortunately become the obsession of some of our leftist intellectuals and some of our public officials. Associations have even been created to promote friendship between Canada and Russia. On the other hand, the attitude of the government towards the defenders of the individual, of law and of Christianity is incomprehensible and equivocal.

We loathe the past and present methods of the Franco regime.

That statement was made by Canada's representatives at the political and security committee of the general assembly of the United Nations.

Such is the profession of faith of the government towards one of the nations of the world whose sons fought and died to prevent communism from taking root in their country.

We must not send an ambassador to the Vatican, because that could give a cerebral hemorrhage to sectarian Orangemen of our country, but let us send a representative to Mao Tse-tung, that beloved child of Bulganin and of the socialists, if circumstances are favourable.

It is a queer policy that would have us become friends and partners of our past and future aggressors, of enemies of peace, order and the maintenance of the economic system under which we live.

We should not become the allies of those who wish to hold sway over us, and would like us to become propagandists and unconscious supporters of a doctrine which is contrary to our mentality, our ideal and our creed.

Our drafters of treaties are no longer satisfied with coexistence; they want cohabitation.

I say that a Christian and Catholic nation like ours cannot honestly live under the same roof as communist China and red Russia. One must not flirt with death.


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July 11, 1956

Mr. Paul E. Gagnon (Chicoutimi):


Speaker, members in this corner of the house

failed to vote, because the second clerk assist-

ant stated too soon that the members of the

government had voted. We would have liked

to vote with the government.

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