Mr. Speaker, I move that the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, presented on Thursday, May 7, 1998, be concurred in.
I rise today representing the constituents of Edmonton East to move concurrence in this motion. As the sands of time run out on the 20th century they do too for Canada's World War II veterans who were captured and enslaved by Japan 57 years ago.
On Christmas Day in 1941, 2,000 soldiers surrendered to Japan beginning a 44 month tenure of a hell of inhumanity at the hands of the Japanese and at the feet of Emperor Hirohito. Many barely survived, only to suffer lifelong misery from the effects of Japan's engineered slave labour camps. These men were sentenced to pay with their lives and health by a Canadian government eager for a war posting and by an enemy, Japan, indifferent to humanitarian treatment and the Geneva convention.
Japan went on to recover from its war injuries to prosper as an industrial giant, somewhat due to our veterans' efforts. Canada's Hong Kong enslavement veterans deserve an apology and some recompense. It is fair. It is right and the Liberals agree.
Some of these very modern industries then employed slave labour treating the workers with brutality beyond contempt. On the eve of the new millennium as we face the globalization of the international marketplace, Canada must take a leadership role in insisting that we Canadians are not simply purveyors of timber and oilfield technology. Canadians also export our Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms. When the outside world sees our flag, the symbol of our nation, it feels warm in the solace that it stands for freedom and rights of all Canadians.
Our government could do well and reflect on this to act to redress wrongs committed years ago to our brave veterans. By example Canada could lead the way to show to other nations as Japan that their shame is our shame if we do not act.
Japan's shame is well documented in all the nations of the world except Japan itself. Revisionists and extinguishment of history may well suit the Japanese population as a whole but Canada should not participate. Canada must not wait for Japan to act. Canada must reference Japan's shame, lead by example and act alone.
To acquiesce and support Hong Kong veterans in spirit but not in recompense as the Minister of Veterans Affairs wishes is to be an accomplice to the same and to share Emperor Akihito's bewilderment in the veterans' disdain and to share Hirohito's shame. To be mute to the outrageous honouring of Hirohito's son Akihito for chivalry when our Hong Kong veterans still suffer from the ravages of enslavement is unconscionable and displays a government callousness that cries out for question.
Certainly the Government of Canada must achieve fiscal responsibility by a balanced budget and reduced taxes, but we have a duty to show Canadians that we care and will support their legitimate concerns. We also have a duty to show to the world that we are not followers but rather a leader when recognition and recompense are appropriate.
We can and must act now to do right and provide compensation to our war veterans who were forced to endure slave labour at the hands of the Japanese and Hirohito. We must not hesitate or skip one heartbeat in the conduct of our duty to Canada's veterans. Certainly we should claim costs from Japan but at a later date.
Today I will read a list of survivors' names to put a human face to this request and hopefully to add a sense of urgency as well. This list contains 361 names. It is shorter than it was a week ago. It will be shorter again a week from now. I ask in the name of decency that I will not be in the House on this matter to read again a much shorter list next year and the year after. I ask that you pick up the torch. I ask that you not fail in the task lest we all forget.
Hong Kong veterans Robert Acton, Leslie Adams, Borge Agerbak, Knud Agerkak, Peter Allain, William Allister, Arthur Ambrose, Francis Andrews, Alexander Archibald, Harold Atkinson, Alfred Babin, James Badger, Harold Baker, Stanley Banfill, George Barron, Robert Barter, Thomas Barton, Eric Batley, John Beaton, George Belcourt, James Bell, William Bell, Jack Bennett, Duncan Benton, Leo Berard, Donat Bernier, Walter Billson, Leonard Birchall, Gerard Bisson, August Bitzer, Clement Blacquière, Joseph Blacquière, Phillip Bliss, Sydney Blow, Eugene Bond, Graham Boudreau, Armand Bourrbonnière, Robert Bowman, William Bradley, Charles Brady, Ray Bronson, Charles Broome, Frank Brown, Lucine Brunet, Ernest Buck, Ludovic Bujold, Clarence Burgess, Bruce Cadoret, Wallace Cake, Kenneth Cambon, Charles Campbell, Railton Campbell, Edward Campbellton, Leslie Canivet, Charles Cardinal, Arnold Carrière, Lloyd Carter, Bernard Castonguay, Robert Chamberlain, George Chanell, Frederick Chapman, Leslie Chater, Charles Chesser, Glyn Chipping, Kathleen Christie, Ronald Claricoates, Oswald Clark, Robert John Clayton, Bliss Cole, Lloyd Cole, Fred Cooper, Claude Corbett, Renaud Côté, Leonard Cotton, Kenneth Court, George Coutts, Albert Cox, Bryce Craig, Winston Cunningham, Adolphe Cyr, Roger Cyr, Theophil Cyr, Wilmer Cyr, Donald Dainard, Charles Dallain, Jean-Paul Dallain, Paul Dancause, John Danielson, James Darrah, John Davies, Morgan Davies, Frederick Dawe, John Dearden, Pierre-Lionel Delarosbil, Albert Delbridge, Elmer Denison, William Derhak, Thomas Dewar, Ralph Dewby, Arthur Diehl, Samuel Disensi, Phillip Doddridge, John Doiron, Leonard Doiron, Rosaire Doiron, Gerald Doucette, Lts Doull, Lloyd Doull, Robert Dunlop, Gordon Dunn, Daniel Dunseath, Gordon Durrant, George Edgecombe, Harold Englehart, Arley Enright, Roderick Everson, Kenneth Ewing, John Fair, John Fertal, Cecil Fines, Horace Fitchett, Audrey Flegg, John Fleming, Robert Fleming, Thomas Forsyth, Earl Francis, Homidas Fredette, Isaac Friesen, Frederick Gard, John Gauthier, Donald Geraghty, Horace Gerrard, David Golden, Jack Goodey, Edward Granham, Walter Gray, Glenford Gregoire, Richard Grieves, Anthony Grimston, Gerald Gunson, James Guthrie, Harry Gyselman, Michael Haddad, George Hallada, Lloyd Hanna, George Harbour, Allan Harper, Wallace Harrington, Harry Hawryshok, John Hay, Harold Heath, Norman Henderson, Walter Henderson, Elwin Herring, Joseph Hickey, William Hickie, Henry Hladych, Kenneth Hogarth, James Houston, Alfred Hunt, Clarence Hunt, Hector Hunt, Joseph Hunt, Edmond Hurd, Thomas Hutchinson, Kenneth Inche, Walter Inglis, Gilbert Jacquard, John James, James Jessop, Alton Jewers, Richard Johnson, Thomas Jones, Wilfred Jones, Richard Keays, Lloyd Keene, Frederick Kelly, Reginald Kerr, John Kinahan, Michael Kudlovich, Thodore Kurluk, Ernest Ladde, Thomas Laflamme, William Laidlaw, Regis Lajeunesse, Jean Pierre Lalime, Frederick Lanyon, Eugene Lapointe, Maurice Lapointe, John Lavoie, Reginald Law, Philip Lawlis, John Lebelle, Jean-Paul Leblanc, Joseph Leblanc, Leandre Leblanc, Leopold Leblanc, Lionel Lecouffe, Lesly Leggo, Richard Leir, Wilbert Lester, John Levitt, Stanley Lloyd, William Lockwood, Arthur Lousier, John Lowe, Oswald Luce, Wilbert Lynch, Henry Lyons, Robert Lytle, Gerald Marley, Allison MacDonald, Edward MacDonald, George MacDonell, Laurie MacKay, Ralph MacLean, James MacMillan, Donald MacPherson, Eldon MacWhirter, William MacWhirter, Eric Maloney, William Maltman, Williams Marks, Geoffrey Marston, Allen Martin, David Martin, Douglas Martin, John Maruschak, Frederick Mason, Eugene Matchett, Alfred Matthews, Clifford Matthews, William Mayne, Richard Maze, William McAuley, Clifford McDavid, Milton McDonald, Roy McDonald, Lewis McFawn, John McGee, John McGreevy, Gordon McLellan, William McNaughton, Angus McRitichie, George Merritt, Joe Michalkow, Joseph Miller, James Mitchell, James Moar, William Muir, Leon Murphy, Raymond Murray, Howard Naylor, Donald Nelson, Frank Neufeld, William Nicholson, Cornelius Nickel, Wallace Normand, Walter O'Hara, Lloyd O'Leary, Albert Oakford, Robert Olscamp, Carl Olsson, Grenville Onyette, Douglas Orr, Marcel Ouellet, William Overton, Gordon Palin, Parker Robert, Soren Paulson, Raymond Pellor, Gerard Pentland, Abraham Peters, George Peterson, Arthur Pifher, Leo Pitre, Joseph Poirier, Ferdinand Poitras, Allison Pollock, Coleman Pollock, John Pollock, William Pople, Arnold Porter, Ross Purse, Edward Query, Raymond Quirion, Charles Rame, Lawrence Rattie, Douglas Rees, Douglas Reid, James Riddoch, Arthur Roberts, Austin Roberts, Ernest Roberts, Roy Robinson, William Rodgers, Edwin Rodrigues, Peter Rollick, Jacob Rose, Arnold Ross, Lancelot Ross, Lawrence Ross, John Roussel, Ronald Routledge, Berthrand Roy, Albert Russell, Fred Ryman, Mattew Sandford, William Sarginson, Oliver Sauson, Adam Schnell, Theodore Schultz, Arthur Schwartz, Leonard Seaborn, Lloyd Seaward, Edward Shayler, John Simcoe, Harold Smith, Jack Smith, John Smith, Raymond Smith, John Snively, Donald Southworth, Lionel Speller, Arthur Squires, Robert Stager, Lawrence Stebbe, Clarence, Leslie Stickles, John Stroud, Gerald Sunstrum, Royce Sweet, Dempsey Syvret, John Tayler, George Taylor, Joseph Tennier, Elved Thomas, Bernard Thompson, Daniel Thompson, Percy Thompson, Wendell Thompson, Raoul Tremblay, Sidney Vale, Johannes Van Baalen, Emile Van Raes, Alfred Wagner, Howard Ward, Robert Warren, Lenoard Watson, John Webb, Harry White, Allan Whitman, Richard Wilson, Cecil Windsor, Peter Wing, Leonard Wood, Arthur Wright, Frederick Wright, John Yanota, Lavin Zaharychuk and Nick Zytaruk.
This tribute is to Canada's forgotten war veterans to remind the all party committee of its unanimous agreement to compensate Canada's Hong Kong war veterans for enslavement. I want to recognize the human element of a well documented statistical history.
I wish now to conclude my tribute to the surviving veterans of Japan's evil enslavement with a call for support for compensation for Canada's Hong Kong veterans.