The Images of a Country
Saskatchewan Council for Archives & Archivists
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"A Pox On Both Your Houses"

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Federal MPs had recently awarded themselves a pay raise, to $18,000.00 a year; proposed changes to the Old Age Pension would increase benefits to $75 a month. an article in the Ottawa Citizen stated bluntly, "our basic economic problems remain untouched and unsolved."

Outside Canada, American involvement in the Vietnam War was escalating and tensions were mounting in Cyprus and the Congo.

As the flag debate continued endlessly in the House of Commons, with the Conservative Party threatening a filibuster and the Liberals threatening closure, many Canadians wearied of the whole issue and were outraged that it continued to dominate more urgent matters.

I bitterly resent MY FLAG being used as a political football and the spectacle presented to the world is very sad when compared to the small but important reputation Canada has been gaining in world diplomacy.

Nova Scotia, 20 May 1964

Since the end of World War II, the people of Canada have been steadily losing control of the economy of their nation. At the same time, to a certain degree, we have been losing political control. Politically and economic control of the affairs of this country are the very things the youth fought and died for during the past 50 years. What benefit is there in having a national flag without a country to call our own?

Nova Scotia, 28 May 1964

As all this flag talk is an attempt to pull wool over our eyes and hide their inability to cope with the problems confronting us today, I would therefore say the flag should be made of wool, and instead of three maple leaves it could have three hands each holding an $18,000 cheque.

British Columbia, n.d.

From this distance seems all important Parliament devote time and energy to business and economic problems, toward increasing our gross national product, our international trade and development domestic potential generally which is crying out for deserved attention.

-telegram from Canadian in England, 24 August 1964

Cartoon by Duncan Macpherson

I urge you to find a speedy and honourable conclusion to the long dragged out flag debate. No symbol of a country is as important as the country itself, and Canada is waiting for urgently needed legislation.

British Columbia, 2 November 1964

I personally...would most certainly accept any flag provided we could have a prosperous Canada in which poverty were unknown.

British Columbia, 31 July 1964

Direct your efforts towards a better Canada instead of a bitter one.

Ontario, n.d.

Who, in their right mind, could be concerned with a petty issue like a flag at a time when there are so many urgent issues at stake. It doesn't seem to matter that the world is in ferment and badly needs leaders of integrity and courage and ACTION. Without them, we shall no doubt go up in nuclear smoke - and the flag along with us.

British Columbia, 13 August 1964

"When did you last wave a flag?"

Len Norris - The Vancouver Sun; 15 May 1964



 2003 Diefenbaker Canada Centre Archives