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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Stand and Deliver

How often have you heard the old axioms, “Stand and deliver”, “United we stand, divided we fall”, “If we don’t hang together we will surely hang alone” or any of a myriad of similar sentiments?

Their message is clear. If we remain silent, or merely shout from the shadows of anonymity, we are doomed to failure.

Unlike certain other bloggers, columnists and pundits I refuse to deny anyone the privilege of commenting under the protection of anonymity. I won’t deny anyone that ability no matter how much “flak” I get over it because there are rare circumstances when it is the only way to get a message out.

There are times when the only way truth can be uttered is by someone who feels the need to protect themselves or their families from potential repercussions. That said, I also believe that 99.9% of the time anonymity is unnecessary and nothing more than a cop out. I also believe there are rare occasions when anonymity is even used as a means of misdirection.

When I decided to create Web Talk as an experiment in communication a few years ago I made the conscious decision to make my full identity a matter of record no matter what the consequences. I realized from the outset that not doing so would undermine my credibility and leave the public questioning my motives.

I also realized that by going public I was leaving myself open to attack on a personal level. Attacks that might manifest in a verbal way (they have, though not as often as I expected), to my livelihood and employment and perhaps even to my physical well being or that of my family. To date, thankfully, neither of the latter concerns have been a factor but who knows what tomorrow brings.

So, why am I going on about this topic today rather than speaking on the more serious issues facing Newfoundland and Labrador?

Over the weekend I read two things that have led me to comment on this subject.

The first was an article in the Independent, by Ivan Morgan. In his commentary Ivan tore a major strip off of another writer who had directly attacked him without the intestinal fortitude to sign his name to the piece.

My reaction to Ivan Morgan’s article was, “Good for you”!!!

As I said, I permit anonymous posts because I don’t want to deny anyone the ability to get the truth out or to deliver opinions on the issues. I don’t believe however that it is the best way to get a message across and I certainly don’t agree with anyone who indulges in a personal attack without standing behind their words.

The second, and arguably more important reason for my comments today, has to do with an anonymous contributor to this very site.

In a comment left in response to my article, “Atlantica Lite – The New Solution” there have been some interesting comments, not the least of which was left on the site by an anonymous contributor. In the comment he or she presented the entire text of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a Dream” speech.

The words of that speech are some of the most inspiring ever written, especially under the circumstances in which they were delivered. The sentiments of Dr. King are timeless and universal in their call for equality. Why then would anyone feel the need to present them anonymously? Why would they feel the need to protect their identity?

What have we come to when people are afraid to say what’s on their minds. What are we so afraid of?

The biggest problem Newfoundland and Labrador must face as it moves into an unknown future doesn’t come from federal governments, uncaring business or unscrupulous political leaders. Our biggest problem lies within ourselves.

If we continue to speak up only under a veil of anonymity we are doomed.

If we fail to stand as a united front against those who would take advantage of our silence and acquiescence we are doomed.

If we are not willing to put our names, reputations and personal comfort on the line in the fight for a better tomorrow we are doomed.

Each of us needs to take a step back and ask ourselves:

When someone makes a derogatory remark about my homeland or my people do I remain silent or do I speak out proudly and boldly?

When a petition is circulated to battle the actions of the most powerful and influential in our land, do I sign it freely and openly or do I shrink away in fear of having my name connected with it?

When a wrong must to be addressed do I make it my duty to right that wrong?

When I feel that something has to be said, do I speak out loudly or do I hide in the shadows of silence or anonymity?

Once you answer those questions of yourself I’ll ask you one more time, how often have we all heard the old axioms, “Stand and deliver”, “United we stand, divided we fall”, or “If we don’t hang together we will surely hang alone”?

The price of success is one that must be paid if we hope to achieve anything at all.

Believe me when I say the biggest problem with standing behind your words does not come from anyone else but from inside yourself. Once you’ve taken the plunge and taken a stand the feeling of personal freedom you’ll come to feel will far outweigh anything your enemies can throw at you.

Take the chance and make a difference. Cast off the shadow of anonymity. Throw away the goundless aliases. Make your words your own and their power will amaze you.

Silence is the ally of our enemies. In silence we will find a future that is a reflection of our present and our past.

6 comments:

NL-ExPatriate said...

AS usual very poignant and inspiring words Patriot.

It's time to stand up and be counted.

Another way of looking at it is if you are on the record then annything that is done against you can be exposed for what it is could could be retribution. So your best defence against reprisal is to go public.

Look at what happened top Petter Whittle the guy who organized the Trust and Confidence rally on Confederation hill. He lost his contract with the feds.

Which reminds me never did hear what became of that?

There will be some who will accuse me of anonymity by using an alias, but if you follow my nik to my blog you will find who I am posted there for any to see. I learned a long time ago there is nothing to fear but fear itself.

If you truely love this federation you should be willing to fight to change it and hence keep it united otherwise mark my words canada is doomed to failure.

R. Raleigh said...

"The first was an article in the Independent, by Ivan Morgan. In his commentary Ivan tore a major strip off of another writer who had directly attacked him without the intestinal fortitude to sign his name to the piece."

In the interest of fairness I feel I should probably point out that this statement isn't actually true; prior to Ivan Morgan's article in the Independent yesterday, I have never personally attacked Mr. Morgan through any medium, and while he makes a large number of misrepresentations about the nature of my writing as far as I could discern he never made any such claim himself - to the best of my understandings his article was of a moral, rather than personal, outrage.

While I did respond to Mr. Morgan on my own blog later, unless he's in possession of a time machine I doubt his article is in protest of my future rebuttal - and even then, complaining about a response to unprovoked first blood would be in rather poor sport.

Other than that, I would like to take this opportunity to say that I honestly do enjoy reading this blog - it's insightful and well-done. Keep up the good work, sir.

Cheers,
R. Raleigh

Patriot said...

Thank-you for your comment R. Raleigh. I'm not here to defend or rebut either you or Ivan Morgan though his commentary did indeed appear to lash out at you quite clearly in my reading of it.

That aside, the point of my commentary,as I'm sure you realize, is about the need to fully engage and participate rather than remaining in the shadows. It is something that must begin to happen more and more if we are to make any progress.

Thanks again for your response and I hope you'll feel free to continue reading in future, whoever you are.

Patriot said...

It's ironic that this may appear to be an attempt to no allow an anonymous comment, after stating I would not do that regardless of my feelings, but it isn't.

To the Anon who posted several historical speeches related to NL and confederation - I did not post them because they are not related to this particular article and I do not have the ability to shift them to another article.

If you would like to repost them to another, more appropriate area, such as "Treated like Hostages in Canada" from February 5th then feel free to do so.

I believe however that these documents and others of a similar nature can be found by accessing some of the sites in our Web Talk links section.

Agnes Noseworthy said...

Myles, I want to thank you for your candid, no holes barred postings. It is quite plain to see that you aren't beholden to anyone and that you are not expecting any plum positions from anyone, especially from the Federal government. You are only interested in having the province of Newfoundland and Labrador's story told. I do as well.

As far as I am concerned you have told it like it is and that is the way I like it because every article that you have had authored and have had printed on your blog that I have had the pleasure of reading, you have described the treatment of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador in the Federation of Canada exactly how it has played out for the past 59 years or since we have been a province of Canada.

In one speech below Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent welcomed the province of Newfoundland, the name at the time, to the country of Canada and stated in his speech it was the dream of Canadians for 80 years to have Newfoundland included. I noticed from one of the speeches immediately after Newfoundland was included, Canada also signed the NATO Agreement. Was the signing of the NATO Agreement contingent on country of Newfoundland joining Canada?

If you count back the 80 years, you will arrive at a date of 1867or the date when Canada was conceived as a Nation. You will also see that our province was promised that it would be one of 10EQUAL provinces. I will let you decide for yourself if we have achieved EQUALITY. Please take into account the natural resources that we bought to the Canadian table when we joined the Federation of Canada, and given where we have arrived in the year 2008 with regards to having created a real market economy, at the same time comparing our economy with those of the other 9 provinces, Please do not forget to take into consideration, the natural resources, and the vast amount of Atlantic Ocean coastline which we brought into the overall Canadian geography.

I am pasting below a couple of historical speeches by Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent for the year of 1949. I will let you be the JUDGE.

===============================================================

Speech at the opening of the general election campaign, May 9, 1949.

My fellow citizens of the ten provinces of Canada, I am happy that the time has come when we can hold a general election.
Ever since I became our country’s Prime Minister last November, I have always wanted to obtain a mandate from the people themselves. But before being able to ask you to renew your confidence in us, there were three things the government had to do.
The first was to bring the negotiations for the union of Newfoundland and Canada to a fruitful conclusion.
The second was to complete the discussions for the NATO alliance and secure this treaty’s ratification by your representatives in Parliament.
The third was to stand before Parliament itself, submit the public accounts, table the credits, table the budget and extend certain necessary measures, such as rent control, for one year.
These three things have been done and we now feel at liberty to call upon the people.
As Prime Minister, I was responsible for leading the government that has administered the country’s affairs over for the past six months.
In this first speech of the election campaign, I wish to report to you how we have conducted your affairs over the course of these six months.
When I became Prime Minister, the government had begun discussions with a delegation from Newfoundland, which had been sent to Ottawa to come to an agreement on the conditions for uniting our countries.
These discussions were conducted in a cordial atmosphere by men who expected to become fellow citizens before long and who wanted to live together in harmony. On December 11, the conditions for the union were signed in the Parliament in Ottawa; but they could not take effect until after they had been approved by Parliament.
During the same November and December, the government was also preparing the work for the parliamentary session. At the opening of the session in January, our program was announced in Parliament and to the Canadian people.
The first point in this program was the legislation pertaining to Newfoundland’s entry into the Confederation. The government then presented urgent legislation, including rent control, that was passed before March 31. We must not forget that, if Parliament had not extended this law by one year, rent control would have become inoperative on March 27.
Also at the end of March, the draft North Atlantic Treaty had been prepared by representatives of Canada and the other North Atlantic nations gathered in Washington.
We were in agreement that this draft was excellent but we wanted to ask Parliament to approve the principles of this treaty before signing it on behalf of Canada. We wanted the world to know that all Canadians are united in their determination to preserve peace.
The Government being of the opinion that the amicable relations between the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of the United States, which had existed between Mr. King and President Roosevelt, were of great importance to our two countries, I was pleased to accept an invitation from President Truman to spend a weekend in Washington in February to renew and strengthen the bonds of friendship that have united us since his visit here two years ago. This weekend visit in no way delayed the work of the House.
But, as the Parliamentary session progressed, it became more and more evident that the perspective of an election was making it more difficult to conduct the work of the House in an orderly manner and that it would be in the interests of the Canadian people to hold elections as soon as possible.
Nevertheless, when Parliament adjourned for the Easter break, we had accomplished a great deal. Newfoundland had become the tenth Canadian province; the NATO alliance had been signed with Parliament’s approval; the urgent legislation had been passed and the budget had been tabled.
On my return from the West after Easter, it was clear that the Canadian people expected an election and that the country would be living in an election atmosphere for as long as the election was not held.
We were of the opinion that the government -- because our government is a new government -- had successfully concluded almost all the urgent business and that we would serve our fellow citizens more effectively after having received a vote of confidence from the people themselves. In other words, let us say that it was our opinion that the time had come for the people to decide to whom they wanted to entrust public affairs for the next four or five years.
Public affairs are simply the affairs of the people -- your affairs. And it is through general elections that the country’s people maintain control over its government and over the administration of its affairs.
On June 27, Canadians will choose 262 men and women to represent them in the House of Commons. By electing your Member of Parliament, you will help decide what government the country will have for the next four or five years.
In our opinion, it would not have been fair to a great number of voters, who travel far from their homes in the middle of summer, to delay the election until after the end of June; but we were also of the opinion that we had to ask Parliament to approve certain measures without delay. We wanted, if possible, to have Parliament vote the supply required for the country’s administration during the electoral period and until the summons of the new Parliament. I am happy to be able to say that the necessary supply was voted on the last day of April.
The government had also proposed that the old age pensions and pensions for the blind, which had been established by the Liberal government and increased twice already under Liberal administrations, be raised again.
We believed that Canadians wanted to see this project accomplished and we succeeded in having Parliament authorize increasing these pension rates by $10 per month. As you know, these pensions for elderly and the blind are administered by the provincial governments but the federal government pays 75 percent of them.
One of the greatest social measures passed by the Liberal government is the Family Allowances Act. After we realized the great benefits of this act, which improved the health and well-being of our children, increased school attendance and made family life happier, we of the government came to the conclusion that the allowances had to be paid, without a decrease in the level, for all the children in the family, however many there were. We also believed that the children of families newly settled in Canada should be entitled to the allowances after one year of residence in the country instead of three.
I am happy to be able to say that both these amendments to the Family Allowances Act were passed during the last week of the session.
During this same session, Canada’s representatives signed the International Wheat Agreement in Washington. In our opinion, it was important to have this agreement, which is of the greatest importance to our farmers and for our entire economy, approved by Parliament. The agreement was approved by Parliament towards the end of the session.
Lastly, we secured the unanimous approval by Parliament of the NATO alliance, which was ratified by Canada in Washington last Tuesday. I believe that Canadians will be happy that our country was the first to ratify the treaty, thereby demonstrating that we Canadians are ready to do our part to ward off the threat of totalitarian communism and to ensure peace.
There was also a comforting change of historical importance in the relations between Commonwealth nations, which allowed India to remain within our free association of nations. This change began during the Prime Ministers’ meeting in London last October which I attended. It was completed at a second meeting held last month, at which Canada was fittingly represented by Mr. Pearson, Secretary of State for External Affairs.
There you have a report on the manner in which we have administered your affairs for the past six months. But we are not asking you to judge the government solely on its accomplishments of the past six months. Even though the present government is a new government, it is also a Liberal government; our accomplishments span the four years that have elapsed since the 1945 election and, in truth, well before 1945. I am sure you are all expecting me to account for this as well.
At the time of the 1945 elections, we promised to reduce income tax and we also promised to do what we could to trim the national debt.
We have kept these promises.
Income tax has been lowered every year since 1945 and so has the national debt. Canadians, I am certain, feel it is wise to pay one’s debts and they also agree that it is good to reduce the national debt when it is possible. You know that the more we reduce the national debt, the easier it is for us to then reduce income tax. As a result of the last budget, seven hundred and fifty thousand Canadians no longer have to pay a penny in income tax. And others' taxes have been reduced substantially. The income tax exemptions now are nearly at the pre-war level and, in almost all cases, the tax rate is lower than that of Great Britain and the United States.
Since 1945, we have completely removed many taxes established during the war, and many others have been considerably reduced. And, while reducing income tax and the debt, we have still managed to raise social security to a level unprecedented in the history of Canada.
In the face of these achievements, I am certain that the majority of you will admit that the present government has administered the public finances, which are your finances, with discipline and wisdom.
I would also like to remind you of several other accomplishments of the past four years that have brought about great changes in Canada.
Our country has addressed the rehabilitation of veterans and care for the war victims in a manner unparalleled in the world.
Since 1945, Canada has enjoyed -- and still enjoys today -- a high level of employment and prosperity. Industry has rapidly moved from war production to peace production. Management and labour collaborated in this conversion.
And I am happy to say tht labour in general has acted with moderation and judgement in these post-war years. I doubt that there have been other periods of such sudden changes in which management-labour relations have been so satisfactory.
Our policy was developed in such a way as to maintain employment at a very high level. But we have also increased the security of a greater number of workers and families by amending the Unemployment Insurance Act enacted by the Liberal government in 1941.
I have already mentioned the recent changes to the Family Allowances Act and the Old Age Pensions Act, other milestones in our social security program. Last year, we set up a program of grants for provincial governments to improve health and hospitalization services on a national basis and for paving the way for new progress in this important public health domain.
The present government has established minimum prices for ensuring greater security for farmers and fishermen. We are of the opinion that farmers and fishermen are entitled to their fair share of the national income, and never have they been as prosperous as in these past years. The government has assisted in the maintenance and rehabilitation of international trade and our foreign markets, disrupted by the war.
We have finalized fiscal arrangements with most of the provincial governments. These agreements have strengthened their financial situation and their true autonomy.
In the course of the last four years, Canadian industry has taken giant steps and our prosperity has never faltered. In fact, no country in the world can boast of any greater achievements. And the people of Canada are proud that their citizenship has been defined in the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1946.
The greatest of our achievements was not even anticipated in 1945. I believe that is was a source of satisfaction for all of you, as it was for the members of the government, that we were able to achieve this union with Newfoundland, of which Canadians had been dreaming for more than eighty years, and thereby complete the dream of the Fathers of the Confederation.
In this era when so many countries are worrying about the integrity of their territory and even about their survival, it is extraordinary that, through the free and peaceful choice of two peoples, we have been able to expand our territory by several hundred thousand square miles and our population by three hundred thousand new Canadians.
One of the reasons that it has been possible for us to accomplish so much is that our government is not in the hands of one man but in the hands of a team of exceptionally qualified men.
No government can hope to cope with the day’s very difficult problems if the Cabinet does not contain several first-rate men, of whom at least a certain number have acquired the wisdom that only experience can bring. Furthermore, no government can remain alert and vigorous if it does not continue to attract young, talented men. Very few years have gone by since the beginning of the war without new men entering the government to strengthen it and help it cope with new responsibilities.
In a coming speech, I intend to tell you more about my Cabinet colleagues. You know them, at least by reputation. Ask yourself for a minute how many such gifted men the other parties combined can supply.
I believe you will admit that, whatever a political party’s program, it cannot serve the Canadian people as they have the right to be served, if it does not have among its leaders men and women who possess the capabilities and experience to implement its program and administer the country’s current affairs.
We have shown that we are a government capable of settling major issues such as the union with Newfoundland and the NATO alliance; and we have shown that we are also capable of taking an interest in those problems that affect the life of every individual, such as family allowances, old age pensions and rent control.
When you have to decide to which party you would like to entrust the responsibility of governing our country, you will want to know what each party has achieved and who are the men within. You will also want to know what its politics are and whether these politics are the best for the whole of Canada.
In the next election, we will have to choose between three political philosophies in most ridings.
One of them is socialism. I do not believe that many Canadians want socialism, even those whom I have described as liberals, in a pinch.
Another choice might be the old-fashioned conservatism disguised under a new name. I do not believe that many Canadians wish the return to reactionary conservatism, whatever it may be called for the moment.
I do believe that the attitude and the principles of the Liberal Party match the wishes of most Canadians -- and even of a large number who say they are not Liberals. And here I am specially addressing these one million young Canadian men and women who will be entitled to vote for the first time next June 27. Allow me to remind you that to be truly progressive, it is not enough to add the word “progressive” to the name of a political party.
No party has more zeal for social reforms than the Liberal Party. But what clearly distinguishes the Liberals from the CCF is that we do not want to take away from people what they already have nor regiment a large proportion of the voters in State enterprises.
No party believes more deeply than the Liberals that individual initiative and private enterprise are fundamental to a sound, prosperous and progressive nation. The Liberal Party does not want to change the State into an instrument for exploitation; but the Liberals are ready to use the powers of the State to help give everyone equal opportunity and to prevent the exploitation of the population by self-centred interests.
This, I believe, is the attitude that the majority of Canadians approve and is the reason that liberalism attracts them so strongly.
In 1945, our country was still organized for a total war effort. In the election held that year, the Liberal government asked the Canadian people for a mandate to organize the transition from war to peace. Our conversion from a war economy to a peace economy has been achieved and achieved successfully.
Within the Canadian borders, Providence has spared us from a great number of the dangers and hardships that threaten so many nations. If some individuals and families still have problems and hardships, almost all Canadians live free and prosperous lives in a country where all men and women have equal rights and where we make every effort to ensure equal opportunity for everyone.
Too few countries are as fortunate as ours; and I believe that we have all learned that our safety and our prosperity depend at least as much on what occurs on all sides of our borders as on what happens at home. This is why the government’s first concern is maintaining peace and security. And I am sure that this is also your first concern.
I am sure there are few Canadians who do not realize that maintaining prosperity in all parts of Canada depends on our maintaining trade with other countries. And this is why trade has such importance in our program.
In 1945, the Liberal government asked you for a mandate to maintain a high level of employment and increase social security. On the domestic front, this remains the primary objective of the current government.
Today, Canada is a mature nation. We want this to be fully recognized in our constitution and in our legislation. And we also want to encourage the expression of our national spirit.
We are now asking you for a new mandate - a mandate to continue to work towards peace and security, towards increasing our trade and our prosperity, towards maintaining employment and social security; towards the full recognition of the Canadian nation’s mature status and towards furthering the development of our intellectual, scientific and artistic resources, in one word, our national conscience.
Now, a word about my electoral campaign projects.
The government’s duty in a democratic country is to administer the people’s affairs in everyone's interest. Since not everyone can decide on all questions themselves, they elect representatives to act on their behalf. If our system of government is to function, the people must elect representatives in whom they have confidence. This is why confidence in people in public life is an essential condition for any democratic government.
Confidence in someone is the result of what we know of his achievements and, whenever this is possible, of the man himself. This is why, ever since I became Prime Minister, I have not missed an opportunity to visit different regions of Canada and to meet as many of my fellow citizens as possible. In less than six months, I have visited numerous places from Halifax to Victoria.
In the course of the fortnight I spent in Western Canada at Easter time, I met several thousand Canadians, I chatted with them and I would like to thank everyone I met, men, women and children, for the cordial way in which they welcomed my wife, my daughter and me. Everywhere we went, we felt at home and we remarked that being a Canadian citizen has advantages that no Parliamentary law can express. All those we met, whether of French or British origin or new Canadians of other origins, set great store by our homeland and all are proud to call themselves Canadians.
Over the course of this campaign, I am going to continue these friendly visits and those I have already met will understand, I have no doubt, that I want first to go to the places I have not already visited. Canada is even bigger today than when I became Prime Minister and it will be a celebration for me to visit my fellow citizens of Newfoundland.
And everywhere I go, whether I speak in English or in French, I will speak in the same manner and I will reveal the same program.
The Liberal Party does not favour ideas that differ according to whom it addresses in one region or another, in one class or another. Our policy is designed for the good of all Canadians in all parts of Canada. Our goal is a peaceful Canada in a peaceful world, and I am sure it is also yours.
Our objective is an increasingly prosperous country, and I know it is also yours.
Our objective is work for all those who are capable of working and security for the family and home, and I am sure that it is also yours.
Our objective is a strong and united Canada where a free and vigorous people can increasingly build on its talents and its energies, and I am sure this it is also yours.
Let us all have a hand in making our great and happy country even greater and happier.
Address on the entry of Newfoundland into Confederation, April 1, 1949


===============================================================

I should like to direct my first words today to the people of the new Canadian province of Newfoundland. I know I am speaking for the people of the other nine provinces when I say that we welcome you warmly as fellow Canadians.
In greeting you as fellow citizens we do not feel that you in Newfoundland have ever been strangers. In peace we have been happy to live and work beside you. In two wars we have been glad you were in our company and we in yours. We have the same traditions and the same way of life. We are both proud of our association in the British Commonwealth of Nations. We have shared -- and continue to share -- a common loyalty to His Majesty the King.
At this time, when we are taking a major step in the life of Newfoundland and of all Canada, the people of the nine older provinces and those of Newfoundland are equally aware that one circumstance that has contributed to union is our common loyalty to His Majesty the King. That common loyalty will continue to be one of the most important forces in the life of our united nation. With those thoughts in mind, I asked His Excellency the Governor General to convey a message this morning -- the first full day of the new union -- to His Majesty, King George VI. The message reads as follows:
"On the occasion of the entry of Newfoundland into Confederation as a province of Canada I send to your Majesty, on behalf of the Government and people of Canada, the expression of our devoted loyalty together with our sincere good wishes to you and to Her Majesty the Queen. The people of Canada, those of Newfoundland and those of the other provinces of Canada, now one nation under the Crown, are happy to leam of Your Majesty's improvement in health, and join in wishing you a speedy recovery."
The union we celebrate today was not concluded without the most careful consideration by representatives of both Canada and Newfoundland.
In 1947, when the delegation from your National Convention came to Ottawa to see if a satisfactory basis could be found for the political union, we were pleased. We had no hesitation in making it clear that we would welcome union. But we recognized the decision was one for you to make yourselves. We were happy when you, the people of Newfoundland, decided by a free vote that you favoured union. And we are happy today to have the union completed.
In welcoming you as partners in the Canadian Nation, we, of the rest of Canada, feel you are joining a good country -- a country of which you will come to be as proud as we are. Canada is a country with a distinctive character and distinctive qualities.
Our nation in its origin is a union of two great races that have joined their talents without merging their identities. The union includes peoples of many other national origins. Our country covers a vast area between two oceans, with great differences of soil and climate and industry. But from end to end of Canada there is an ever deepening sense of community of interest and of purpose. We have a common pride in being Canadians. We are proud of Canada's past and of the record of our men and women in peace and in war. We are confident of our country's future. We feel that our nation can hold its head high among the nations of the world.
With the pleasure we have in welcoming you of Newfoundland as Canadians today, there is mingled a feeling that you could have joined no better nation. The formal union is completed today. But the real union -- the union of hearts and minds -- took place in the recent terrible war -- in which Canadians and Newfoundlanders were so closely joined.
It is not only in war that we have come to know and appreciate the qualities of the people of Newfoundland. During the centuries since the original settlement of Newfoundland, the people of your island have met the forces of nature, on sea and on land. In adversity and in prosperity they have developed qualities of heart and spirit for which they are renowned.
Some of those qualities are referred to by your native son E. J. Pratt who has written:
"This is their culture, this - their master passion
Of giving shelter and of sharing bread,
Of answering rocket signals in the fashion
Of losing life to save it. In the spread
Of time -- the Gilbert-Grenfell-Bartlett span --
The headlines cannot dim their daily story,
Nor calls like London! Gander! Teheran!
Outplay the drama of the sled and dory."
In becoming a province of Canada, you in Newfoundland will not lose your own identity, of which you are all so justly proud.
A Canadian province is not a mere administrative unit of the central government. Each of our provinces has its won distinctive political existence and political traditions. Within its field of jurisdiction, the provincial legislature is as sovereign as the Parliament of Canada is within its field. The provincial legislature has jurisdiction over education; property and civil rights; charitable, local and municipal institutions. To the province, also, falls the primary responsibility for public hearth and social welfare.
In entrusting such jurisdiction to the province, the Fathers, in their wisdom, left to the province the primary responsibility for the protection of the family, the school, the church, the very foundations of our society.
Our constitution thus assures to each province that it may preserve its ancient traditions, its own culture and all those distinctive characteristics which add variety and colour to our national life.
Newfoundland today enters Confederation as a full and equal partner with the older provinces. It is my hope and belief that in the future the advantages of the union will be increasingly recognized by the great majority of the people of Newfoundland and of all Canada.
We are completing our union at a troubled time for all people who believe in freedom and democracy and who hope for peace. The free and peace-loving countries of the North Atlantic Community are at the present moment taking steps, within the Charter of the United Nations, to band themselves together for greater security against any would-be aggressor.
Newfoundland is in the very centre of the North Atlantic Community. Canada as a whole occupies a large part of the North Atlantic area. The nations of that whole area will be more secure in the new North Atlantic association. In the same way, Canada and Newfoundland will have greater security in being bound together in federal union. From today all Canadians, old and new, will work as one to preserve peace and to win security. And in a world where free people can work in security and peace, the opportunities for the enlarged Canada, with its ten provinces, are immense.
Among our people there are some who still do not have that standard of life we think all Canadians should have. There are some who still do not enjoy an adequate degree of social security. We shall not cease to work for a larger measure of prosperity and security for all our people in all parts of Canada.
But while there is yet room for improvement, there is no country in the world where that improvement is more possible, or indeed, more certain. The wealth of Canada is the wealth of half a continent. The talents and the energies of our people are those of free men who work together for the benefit of all. Our wealth, our talents, our energy, and our co-operation constitute the promise of our country.
The people of Newfoundland, who have today become citizens of Canada, will share with the people of the rest of Canada in the work and in the wealth of our nation. Together, we shall strive, under God's guidance, and with confidence in our future, to build a greater and a better land.
In conclusion, I welcome as a colleague in the Government of Canada, the Honourable Gordon Bradley of Newfoundland who this morning was sworn to the Privy Council and becomes Secretary of State of Canada.
I should like to give to the Newfoundlanders of yesterday, who are Canadians today, the assurance that, in addressing to them these words of welcome in English, I do so quite as much in the name of their new compatriots whose mother tongue is French, as in the name of those whose language is English.
They belong now to a nation whose two principal races have both retained their attachment to the traditions, to the culture, and to the language of their ancestors. That is the best guarantee to our new fellow-citizens that their entry into this new nation will not lose for them their own ancestral patrimony, but that, on the contrary, it will make its contribution with ours to the common good of all Canadian citizens.
Mr. Bradley will now address his fellow Canadians in all the ten provinces.

Patriot said...

Thank-you Agnes for your kind words. I appreciate your comments and take heart in what you say.

Under the circumstances I have decided to print your comment in relation to this article since you prefaced it by talking about my motives (which sort of relate to the topic of my article) but I would really appreciate it if in future you assign your comments (items like historical speaches) to articles that are more directly related to what you have to say. That way those looking for information on a particular subject will be more likely to read your comments and more likely to get a full picture of the topic at hand.

Thanks again and come back often. It's through open discussion and speaking out that we the truth will prevail.

Cheers,
M