GIROUARD, Wilfrid, Q.C., B.C.L.

Personal Data

Drummond--Arthabaska (Quebec)
Birth Date
September 9, 1891
Deceased Date
October 26, 1980

Parliamentary Career

October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
  Drummond--Arthabaska (Quebec)
September 14, 1926 - May 30, 1930
  Drummond--Arthabaska (Quebec)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
  Drummond--Arthabaska (Quebec)
October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
  Drummond--Arthabaska (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 36 of 37)

March 26, 1931

Mr. GIROUARD (Translation):

For the last ten years, England has been our best customer as regards to our cheese exports. Each year Quebec exported for thousands and thousands of dollars of this produce. This year the Prime Minister crossed over to England. By his attitude, he made a fiasco of the Imperial conference, and within the last year, the last six months and especially the last three months, our Canadian cheese exports to London have dwindled considerably. In my riding, our opponents gave their pledge to the

The Address-Mr. Laurin

farmers that should Mr. Bennett be elected, immediately the price of cheese would increase greatly. The cry was: "Put the Conservatives in power. You will see that Mr. Bennett will travel to London, and once there, he will find purchasers to activate your sales." What has taken place, sir, proves but too well that the pledges given to the farmers of my riding will have the same fate as those given to Canadians in general.

The government tell us that the Imperial conference of London will meet again, this year, in Ottawa. I believe I represent the views of my constituents in telling the Prime Minister that he holds to a policy which has already been found inacceptable; he will again receive a humiliating rebuff for himself and the country.

The Prime Minister's visit to England has already borne its fruits, but to the detriment of Canada. The leader of the Liberal party stated last week that his government had succeeded in lifting the embargo on Canadian cattle which had been put by the British government and that the farming class had considerably profited by it. The present Prime Minister returned from England and the only result of the conference was the enacting, by the British government, of new regulations which will be very detrimental to Canadian trade. The Gazette of Montreal of March 4, 1931, gives us the following information:

Exporters of cattle have to face a problem: the new British regulations are of a nature to hurt our trade. The establishing, by the British Department of Agriculture, of new regulations in connection with the shipments of Canadian cattle to England has created a problem for the Canadian exporters. The effect will be of raising the transport rates and completely wiping out the small margin of actual profit.

I wonder what will the Minister of Agriculture do in the face of these new regulations. I have but one word to add: I wish to draw the attention of the house to the last part of the speech from the throne. The government know so well that they cannot find grace with the Canadian people, that they end that speech by an invocation to Providence. They greatly need to implore Divine mercy. I sincerely trust that they will obtain it, however, I am convinced that they will not escape the increasing indignation of the ratepayers of this country.

Mr. GEORGE P. LAURIN (Jacques-Car-tier) (Translation): Mr. Speaker, I feel deeply moved in rising in the House for the first time, as member for the riding of Jacques-Cartier. I also take this opportunity to express again my sincerest gratitude to my kind constituents.

In the past, we had the privilege of being represented, at Ottawa, by truly worthy public men, whose speeches and acts have been reechoed in the annals of this country. Distinguished men like Messrs Girouard, Monk and Decary, advocated in our riding the traditional policy of Cartier and MacDonald, the policy of common sense, fair play, toleration and mutual respect of the two great races which, on the soil of America, received as a mission the safeguarding of our rights and liberties.

Still a young man, therefore better fitted to learn by obeying in order to later lead, than to lead now, I shall make it a duty to try as much as possible to follow, at least at a distance, in their glorious footsteps, and to accomplish this, my only wish, at present, is to continue to be fair towards all those I come in contact with, moderate in my appreciations, loyal in my allegiance and especially to never lose heart. Before throwing oneself into the struggle, it behooves one to foresee and be cautious, but once in it, there remains but to show a courage that grows apace with difficulties until victory is attained.

It is, in my humble opinion, a discretion more estimable than all prosperities. Moreover, when one has the advantage of serving under a leader, whose authority is a pass-word, whose energy is unsurpassable and whose heart is open to all as the Right Hon. Richard B. Bennett is; when one has the great privilege of being favoured by ministers of the crown, senators for whom, each day, we feel a more ardent admiration, it is evident that one would be very wrong not to cradle the sweet illusion that one will unavoidably be useful to his fellow-citizens and foster the greatness of the common fatherland.

The province of Quebec is essentially conservative in character; the last Dominion election resulted in reviving this glorious tradition, and the future will show that the majority of the counties of Quebec will return to the Conservative fold as of old. The Conservative standard will long wave over the Dominion parliament and over the provincial legislatures at present Conservative; it is not too early to forecast that the same standard will soon wave over the legislature of Quebec.

As a member, I shall always bear in mind that I mingled with the common people, and witnessed their joys and sufferings; I shall not cease to love them sincerely, taking a real pleasure in helping and protecting them, while not forgetting above all that worth is acquired 'by self-denial and fulfilling one's duty.

The Address-Mr. Laurin

The time of election pledges is passed. We must keep our word and act. Our leader has fulfilled up to date almost all his pledges: emergency session for the unemployed, partial tariff revision, an essentially Canadian policy, "Canada First." He brought back joy in the farmer's home as well as that of the workman; his economic and national policy, the aim of our long cherished hopes, at last triumphs to the benefit of all Canadians.

The special session resulted in relieving the crisis of unemployment in my riding of Jacques-Cartier. Let it suffice to say that from the $20,000,000 voted at the special session, it was possible tfo carry out work in the city of Verdun for an amount of $166,000; in the city of Lachine for $75,000; in the city of St. Laurent of $18,000, in St. Anne de Bellevue, for $4,000 and finally in Dorval $2,000.

I had given a pledge, Sir, at the last election to do my utmost, if I were elected member for Jacques-Cartier and if the Conservative party came to power, to induce the government to contribute one-third of the cost of two tunnels under the Lachine canal at Montreal. I listened with interest to the speech of the hon. member for St. James (Mr. Rinfret) who contended that the Liberal government had for ever so long pledged themselves to contribute to the constructions of these tunnels. Indeed, sir, the Liberal government had been making this promise since 1921, on the eve of each general election, and never had they fulfilled their pledge.

I am pleased to say that the construction of these tunnels will begin under the Conservative regime, and I wish to publicly thank, in the house," the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) and the members of his cabinet, for having acceded to my request as well as to that of my distinguished colleague the hon. member for St. Ann (Mr. Sullivan) who co-operated with me in trying to convince our people that we were sincere.

I shall go further, the hon. member for St. James stated that the subsidies for the work which is at present being carried out through the agency of the Canadian National Railway, was voted by the Liberal government. I agree with the statement of the hon. member for St. James, he will, however, allow me to add that, since the Liberal government had the subsidies voted for this work, the people of Montreal had not profited by them under the Liberal regime. The expropriations of buildings only were carried out, but the work itself which interested the workmen of Montreal have begun only since the Conservatives are in power.

In the course of the last general elections, I came openly out as a protectionist, on many occasions, as I had always done previous to being chosen as Conservative candidate. At the last session, I gave my support to the partial tariff revision, and I hope that I shall have the opportunity of contributing by my vote in giving the necessary protection to our industries, our manufactures, our working and farming classes.

Without enlarging on the subject, I shall state that there was a noticeable improvement in my riding. The Dominion Textile Company which had almost closed its doors, previous to the general elections, now employ a considerable number of people of both sexes. The Dominion Bridge, whose shops I lately visted, is satisfied with the last tariff revision and, like elsewhere, a large number of people are employed.

I shall take the opportunity, sir, to thank the Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Manion) for the assistance he extended to the workers of the Canada Car & Foundry Company by suggesting to Sir Henry Thornton that he should help as much as possible that foundry. Thanks to the assistance given, the Canada Car & Foundry Company opened its doors again and more than 800 men are employed there at present.

I also, sir, stated that I was in favour of old age pensions. In the course of numerous meetings which I held in my riding, before considerable crowds, I spoke again and again on this very interesting subject. I cannot state that my victory is due exclusively to my stand on that question because the problems which were submitted to the people were numerous and important; however, I feel certain that it brought in a large number of the votes which I received. The people gave me their support, their encouragement and help to carry on the campaign which I was waging in that sense. That is why it is difficult for me not to revert to this subject and to tell the house with all sincerity what are my views in this respect.

Most of (he members of the house know the outlines and general principles of the measure enacted in 1927. A committee had closely studied it during a few weeks. It had called in witnesses, heard their evidence and elaborated a very extensive and pertinent report.

It was after this study that the bill took the definite form as we have it to-day. The general tenor is known: it provides for the payment of a sum of $240 per year to people over 70 years old. This pension is payable by quarterly instalments to British subjects

The Address-Mr. Laurin

who have been residents in this country for 20 years and whose income does not exceed $365 per year.

Of this amount, the Dominion government, who was in no way obliged to do so, pay, at present, half. The province where the pensioner resides must pay the other half. It is left to the province or rather provinces, to decide finally if this system of pensions to old people will apply within their borders. They must, indeed, adopt a measure similar to the Dominion one, agree to pay half the pensions, defray the costs of administration, submit for consideration and approval to the Dominion government the legislation that they have passed. Should they not care to take any action, nothing further will be forthcoming.

Two governments must, in a word, meet half way. The Dominion government has gone half way; it is up to the provinces to do the other half.

1. The Finance Minister holds in his hands, ready to pass it over, half of the pension;

2. The provincial treasuries have had to supply the other half and the amount of the pension is complete.

Since four years that the Dominion act has been inscribed in the statutes, five provinces, on different dates and for various motives, decided to take advantage of it. They passed concurrent legislation, created a special organization, consented to pay half of the pension, and to-day, their old people receive quarterly, a cheque for $60.

I must here point out, sir, that the Dominion government had no obligation in the matter. The British North America Act gave exclusively to the provinces jurisdiction in this matter. This comes under the heading of provincial rights. An interpretation of our great constitutional charter given in the course of the debates, in 1927, by the law clerks of the Justice department seems to me to establish this point. These legal advisers even stated that the Dominion act would be void if it included the payment of the whole pension and was exclusively federal.

Notwithstanding this difficulty, the Dominion wished to go ahead, do its share and show proof of its generosity.

While the bill was under consideration, very interesting points were raised. Certain members stated that the province whence they come, could not take advantage of the act and would never benefit by it, and this for a very simple reason, because it required from these provinces the expenditure of too large an amount. Their financial resources,

they stated, were too limited to burden themselves with such a load. Among these provinces, we noted the three maritime provinces, whose yearly financial statements often show deficits and whose budgets are not very large, in a word whose revenues are limited.

This objection was certainly a serious one, since after four years, we still find four provinces that have not thought fit to take advantage of the act.

This objection brought on another which is not less important. The taxes paid by provinces not subject to this act, would serve to the payment of pensions to old age in other provinces. So that taxes paid in Quebec and the three maritime provinces are used, to an extent, to pay old age pensions in the other provinces, they help the old people in other provinces.

Might I point out, sir, that this situation is radically wrong, that the objection was well taken. Some day, we must certainly pass remedial legislation; because in equity, it seems to me, I am on solid ground.

I shall not strongly dwell on this difficult point. The party to which I have the privilege of belonging is closely studying this question and it will have, I think, in the very near future, the honour of remedying this injustice and establishing a more equitable regime, by having the Dominion government assume a larger and more important share of the pensions. This will be on its part a most generous act as we must admit, but which will come in due time.

It is expedient to help the old people who worked through life for the welfare of the country.

The riding I represent in, this parliament, is both urban and rural. One meets in cities, numerous heads of families who have devoted the whole of their life to obscure tasks, nevertheless indispensable and necessary to the economic organism of this country. Often, they have had numerous offsprings to rear; often they have spent the whole of their wages on clothes, food, and lodging for those children and given them the necessary education. Sometimes they earned low wages and they were absolutely unable, notwithstanding all possible thrift, to set aside savings. Sometimes also, they had succeeded in depositing small amounts in the bank, but lean years came, they were out of work and had to withdraw these savings.

I shall not enumerate all the chances there are of being destitute at 70 years old, because one would have to mention sickness, infirmities, accidents and all kinds of unfortunate events which happen in families and of which men's lives are ever strewn. Let it suffice tc

The Address-Mr. Laurin

state, and everybody will agree, that in most, in the majority of cases, the workers showed good will, ambition was not lacking nor energy, but hazard and luck were against them.

However, during that time, they toiled for the general welfare of society, they were useful to the country.

I pointed out just now the fact that cities perhaps have more of such cases than the rural districts. The Canadian farmers have mostly all good farms or "un beau bien" as they call it. When old and useless, when they can no more carry on the work on the farm, they continue to live with their children, are cared for and peacefully end their life in humble comfort. Old people in cities are less fortunate. With old age indigence is also felt, often absolute poverty. Temporary jobs, too many hardships, shortage of bread in the home, unfortunately this is what too often takes place.

It is on behalf of these cast-aways that I wished to raise my voice, to-day and draw the attention of the house. I know that my constituents approve heartily of all I have said. My sympathy towards the poor old people is the same as their's, it took root in the midst of scenes of misery and sufferings.

I am not, however, the only one, in the house, to share these sentiments. Many of my colleagues have the same feelings. And I trust that by pulling all together, we shall be able to prepare for all old people in Canada a better and more peaceful future.

Almost the entire press of Canada, Sir, the morning following the great victory of the Conservative party, praised the achievements and long career of the statesman that the country had placed at the helm of her affairs. The conservative newspapers expressed their deep gratitude to the great leader whose program "Canada First" had opened up to our party in the old Quebec province an outlet to our national aspirations and given to our cause new life: they praised the benefactor and victor of this marvellous opening which he made throughout the country.

I state, in concluding my remarks, that I see in our party a greater assurance of a national, individual and collective life.

The weakness of governments, swayed by the fear of being considered unprogressive or that rousing the clamours of an adverse press, which, however, does not fear to frighten our wives and daughters by threats of war, existing but in their fertile imaginations, the fear of public opinion still holds, within bounds those whose ideas are the most opposed to our regime, but who, however, have felt the wrath of a nation which they deceived so often.

It is a consolation to think and observe that our honest electorate know how to choose those who truly serve them, which they treat with contempt and reject with horror those who servilely flatter to better enslave them.

The struggle to please a responsible majority, capable of carrying on the work of the Canadian parliament, ended in an imposing manner on July, 28 last.

In a period of great economic crises, and of dangerous political insecurity, the liberal party proved powlerless. Unable to act itself, depending on occasional friendship shirking its responsibilities, it was swept away at the last elections.

Since the voting took place, the Conservative party raised to power, endeavoured to present all financial crises or at least to cir-cubscribe it, and thereby avoid the danger which threatened those who suffered from the economic crises and unemployment. It submitted, at an emergency session, practical measures to meet first a considerable financial depression and to serve in raising the morale of our industrial and farming classes.

Its word of command "Canada First" has always had as necessary complement-not to put off till to-morrow, act-what the King government could not accomplish, the Bennett government took up on its own hook determined to bring it to a successful issue.

The people of our cities and country side will give credit to the party which, in a difficult period did its duty and did not shirk its responsibilities.

The Canadian people in all situations, showed that they can have willpower and the determination to impose a Canadian party capable of being equal to the task and to better serve their interests. They wish to live in peace and security, they want order, they are intent on reconstruction.

Mr. Speaker, this will end my first speech in the house, the first of my political career. However, I trust that I shall continue here, as I always have done in public, to support the Conservative party in all the just proposals which it will put forth, in all the measures which are of interest to my fellow-citizens and compatriots.

When in years to come, conscious of having fulfilled my duty as a straight Conservative, and as a citizen as well, my children will be studying the astonishing phase of our political history which we are to-day, going through, they will tell their comtemporaries: "Our fathers were there." This is the only reward I expect from this amending and reconstructing of our national policy.

The Address-Mr. Gershaw

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May 19, 1930

1. What quantity of butter was produced in Canada during the years 1927, 1928, 1929?

2. What was the consumption of butter during the said years?

3. What quantity of: (a) milk; (b) cream; was produced in Canada during the years, 1927, 1928, 1929?

4. Wliat quantity of: (a) milk; (b) cream; was exported to the United States during the said years?

5. What quantity of cheese was produced in Canada during the years 1927, 1928, 1929?

6. What quantity of cheese was exported during the said years?


1. Canada's production of butter during the calendar years 1927, 1928 and 1929, was:

Years Pounds

1927 271,978,947

1928 258,027,039

1929 Not available

2. Canada's consumption of butter during the calendar years 1927, 1928 and 1929, was:

Years Pounds

1927 273,431,070

1928 280,657,076

1929 Not available

3. Canada's production of (a) milk; (b) cream, during the years 1927, 1928 and 1929, was:


Years (a) Milk (b) Cream

Pounds Pounds

1927 14.825,821,086 No separate

1928 14,512,897,961 statistics

1929 Not available compiled

4. Canada's domestic exports of (a) milk; (b) cream, to the United States during the calendar years 1927, 1928 and 1929, were:

Years (a) Milk (b) Cream

Gal. Gal.


3,673,242 4,044,0731928

3,959,812 3,042,7041929

3,291,819 2,385,7545. Canada's production of cheese during the calendar years 1927, 1928 and 1929, was:Years Pounds1927


145,019,6781929 Not available6. Canada's domestic exports of cheese during the calendar years 1927, 1928 and 1929, were:Years Pounds1927




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April 18, 1929

1. What amount of money was loaned by the

Canadian banks in call loans during the year 1928, and for the months of January, February and March, 1929: (a) in Canada; (b) elsewhere than in Canada?

2. What proprtion of the amount so loaned ivas the property of the depositors?

3. What rate of interest was received by the

banks on the amounts so loaned: (a) in

Canada; (b) elsewhere than in Canada?

4. What rate of interest was received by the depositors on their money so loaned?

Subtopic:   CALL LOANS
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April 15, 1929

1. What amount of money was loaned by the Canadian banks in call loans on the different United States stock exchanges for the year 1928, and for the months of January, February, and March, 1929?

2. What rate of interest was received by the banks on the amounts so loaned?

3. What is the total amount of money received by the banks on the money so loaned?

4. How much of the amount so loaned was the property of the depositors?

5. What rate of interest was received by the depositors on their money so loaned by the banks ?

Subtopic:   CALL LOANS
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February 28, 1928

Mr. GIROUARD (Translation):

May I

now, Sir, draw the attention of this house to certain events which happened in the course of last year, and especially to the importance attached to the visit of certain high officials who have visited Canada since last session.

I must say that, personally, it is not without certain apprehension that I see ministers or other officials of the departments for Foreign Affairs or Secretary of State for the Dominions, arriving from London. Their right to visit our country is not disputed; they are welcome to admire its beauty and note the marvellous development which is taking place from year to year.

I think, however, that our welcome should be rather a cold one when-to carry out an idea of propaganda which, I am inclined to think, is not the product of a Canadian's brain-we are told what line of conduct our country should follow under certain circumstances. One would really be led to believe from what they say, that we are unable to manage our own affairs, unless we conform to suggestions not in keeping with the needs and destinies of the Canadian people.

The Mail and Empire of Toronto, recently charged the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), with trying to draw us away from the British ties, because of their attitude at the last imperial conference, but, sir, one of the reasons which justified the confidence of the large majority of the people in my county, was their wish and desire proudly expressed to see our country represented by men who, by their words, acts and line of conduct in the past, had proved that they were worthy to represent and assert the Canadian viewpoint.

The policy of the Liberal party-and it should be accepted, I think, by all those who are broadminded and are moved by patriotism -is to create for the country we live in, the most complete autonomy, both at home and outside. Those who come to visit us should bear this in mind.

Mr. Ewart, an authority on constitutional law, speaking of Mr. Amery's visit and his propaganda, stated that Mr. Amery-being fully aware of the advantages which his government would reap by being able to control in case of war, the financial and military resources of Canada-had tried and was trying to create a state of things which would make certain this control. Is it necessary to add, sir, that we should oppose such an attempt; that there is cause to ask all these high officials to travel less or at least to travel elsewhere than here, when the purport of such visits is to spread imperialistic propaganda. Mr. [DOT]

The Budget-Mr. Stinson

Amery works in the interest of his government, but is there not cause to wonder at the fact that members of the cabinet in London can thus absent themselves for months, when in their own country there are so many important and intricate questions capable of taking up all their time and attention. We also must preoccupy ourselves with the interests which are our own. We equally have questions and problems to solve, bearing in mind our needs, geographical situation, aspirations and future as a Canadian nation.

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