Box 08-128 LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR
Oct 12 1955 Wednesday
ONE LANGUAGE CONCEPTION OF UNITY IS NAIVE1
To the Editor:
Has your correspondent Robert J. Murdock never travelled farther than Buffalo? Is he unaware that there are other continents in the world besides North America? Has he ever heard or read of a continent called Europe where there are several countries with more than one national language?
Switzerland has three: French, German and Italian. Yet one never hears of any lack of national unity there, and there are no finer people in the world than the Swiss, nor any with a higher or broader culture.
Of all the old established nations in the world, France seems to be the one most notoriously lacking in national unity, and it has only one official language. So his naive idea that "there will never be national unity in Canada until one language and one only is the means of communications" does not seem to find much support from the facts of life in other countries. When he says, "There will never be national unity in Canada as in other countries, notably the U.S.A.," I would like to know where he gets the idea that the United States is a "notable" example of national unity in anything except its devotion to baseball. Is the national unity of the United States actually more complete or remarkable than that of Canada?
Of course, only those of us who have actually lived in Quebec can fully realize what French Canadians and their superior culture as incarnated in Canada's two greatest prime ministers, Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Louis St. Laurent, have done to enrich our national life.
I thank God I had the privilege of spending two years in Montreal as a reporter and columnist on a daily paper, living in French Canadian homes and enjoying their generous hospitality and friendliness.
Those two years and many summer and winter holidays in Quebec City, among the habitants in the country, and around the coast of Gaspe, have given me the most profound admiration and deepest affection for them, and my only regret is that in recent years my visits to Quebec have been so few and brief that I have almost lost what facility I have had in the use of their noble language.
1 Rev. Calvin McQuesten is responding to a letter to the editor by Robert J. Murdock, see Box 08-127.