From a Special Correspondent
In an address to Canadian and Empire Clubs, Cardinal Rodigrue Villeneuve, Archbishop of Quebec, appealed for national unity " at this moment when Canada is engaged with other nations of the Empire in the battle for priceless ideals."
Though the Cardinal put the stress on prayers, he warned against " Germans still working underground in the countries they wish to conquer including our own." And His
Eminence spoke very clearly and plainly to enemies, whom he says he knows, who would divide Canada by appealing to the gullible with " mischievous rumours " of a Separatist movement in the province of Quebec.
MALICIOUS RUMOURS " We here in Quebec do not take much notice of this mischievous gossip," the Cardinal pointed out, " but unfortunately some English-speaking Canadians have had their suspicions aroused, purposely, therefore I await myself again of an opportunity to put an end once and far all to such ridiculous rumours."
" Never did I wish that Quebec should become a clerical or Fascist State," declared the Canadian Cardinal.
He has made this statement before. The charge that French Canadians were contemplating the establishment of a separate State in their province, and that the dominant influence of such a separatist movement was the Catholic Church, would, no doubt, create serious disruption in the Dominion of Canada were it not for the emphatic and prompt public denial of Cardinal Villeneuve on each and every occasion that it is brought up,
In the face of the fact that " Quebec has struck the greatest single blow for Canadian unity in the past quarter of a century at what seems to be unity's darkest hour," it is hardly credible that there. are those simple enough and so gullible as to give credence to rumours of a Separatist State in Quebec. However, there are those who are the dupes of Nazi connivers and fifth columnists, and no one realises this more clearly than he against whom the attacks are directed from time to time.
And they might have found a most fertile field to force an antagonism of race against rare or creed against creed in Canada, were it not for the distinguisbed leadership of the Cardinal-Archbishop of Quebec who, since the war and in those days immediately foreshadowing it, has never once failed to form a bulwark against any enemy who has tried to undermine him or his own beloved country's future. "Let them try," is the spirit of the Canadian Cardinal.
CANADA NOT DIVIDED BY RACE
To-day all reliable sources give testimony to the fact that Canadian Catholics are not " divided by race into French and English." And yet there are those who are seriously misinformed on the subject either because they are the dupes of those who would further their own ends for some reason, or they are the tools of Hitler.
" Hitler cannot destroy us." says Dorothy Thompson, internationally known newspaper woman in her recent broadcast over the Canadian radio. " He can only connive that we destroy ourselves by setting race against race, creed against creed, labour
against capital, and Catholic against Protestant, America against Canada."
In Canada this Fascist-Nazi plan might have succeeded; it was Quebec which first opened the eyes of all Canada to the necessity of official legal seizure of Communist propaganda, through its so-called " padlock law." It was thanks to this law and to the attacks of Quebec hierarchy upon Fascism and Communism which forestalled the Tim Bucks and Adricn Arcande before they even got a chance to launch their attacks to imperil Canadian unity as leaders of Fascist and Communist Parties in Canada.
THE " PADLOCK LAW"
To the eternal credit of Freneh Canada, before the war was even declared, and by pastoral leder of Canadian Hierarchy, Canadians were wained against this Fascist movement, and the Quebec Government had made it a criminal offence fiuTins Buck or any member of his Communist Party to speak in the province of Quebec.
And at this very time Tim Buck, who had just returned from Russia, was speaking on platforms of our Canadian cities, preaching and urging Canadians to stand side by side with the U.S.S.R. for social democracy, and charging Canadian capitalists with double-dealings to support Hitler and Mussolini; while in Quebec the seizure by police of all Communist literature was underway and Communism was banned as a criminal offence by definition of the socalled " padlock law."
Canada was slow to protect itself, it is admitted to-day, bat once awakened to the great danger to its national life, nothing was left undone to drive off the forces of evil from public life, and French Canada has not been able to hide its satisfaction at the great part it played in stemming the invasion which might have penetrated.
Cardinal Villeneuve to-day is applauded as a great Canadian for the stand he took on public platform in sponsoring the Quebec law prohibiting Communism at a time when many of our leading statesmen did not, realise the menace, deliberately set up by the Nazi regime.
In Canada we do not have to grapple with pro-Fascist spy rings, Nazi-dominated labour strikes and anti-Semitic confusion and controversy. which the United States is so ably beginning to defeat. And it was, thanks to the so-called " padlock law " of Quebec, bitterly fought by all Canada when it was first put on the provincial Statutes of the French Canadian Province.
It was declared an enemy to democracy and the rights of free speech, a fetter to freedom, tyrannical and unconstitutional, But Quebec held fast to its autonomy and refused to allow even Federal authority to interfere; thus Canada got a headstart in checking the subversive activities of Soviet-Nazis. It may be that the United States will have to enforce some similar measure to stop acts of sabotage of public buildings and industries, and we can surely tell them in Canada that this was a very effective weapon to stop the deadly aim of the Nazi machine and to check invasion in time.
The Archbishop of Quebec might well be proud of his French Canada, who so charged on the invaders in the face of heavy opposition and upset their plan to destroy political and social and religious life tong before war was declared. In his most recent speech to the people of French Canada he urges them again to keep on promoting the cause of unity. " The British Commonwealth of Nations, sharing substantially the ideals of social and international justice, honour and human dignity," he advised, " must be defended."