Saturday, June 18, 2005

Flying Saucers & Canadian Socialism [1953]

The following excerpt, from a speech given in the House of Commons on 18 February, 1953 by C.C.F. Member of Parliament E. G. McCullough, shows that flying saucers had entered the realm of general political discourse in Canada - albeit as a prop by a left-wing M.P. at the end of a speech that was primarily concerned with Canadian farming, and the Farm Improvement Loans Act in particular. This section of McCullough's speech is also notable for the first reference in the House of Commons to the Shirley's Bay "flying saucer observatory," which had recently been reported in the papers.

"Mr. E. G. McCullough (Moose Mountain)... I know that today one can drive anywhere in Saskatchewan and find wheat lying out in the open, wheat being destroyed by rain and by rodents. Surely this is a contradiction of the fundamental principles in which we believe. I am suggesting therefore to the government that it should undertake seriously a plan to store wheat in Canada for any eventuality, and for a long period of time if necessary - wheat perhaps to the extent of a thousand million bushels. I read in an Ottawa paper the other day a statement to the effect that stations were to be set up in the vicinity of Ottawa to observe flying saucers. If any of our planetary friends should come down here on flying saucers and observe us who, as we are told in the first chapter of Genesis, are to have dominion over the world, they would see people who under their stupid, crazy capitalist system were trying to bring about peace and good will among men, and at the same time allowing our foodstuffs to go uncared for. Surely they would not come down to what seems to me to be a type of insanity existing under the capitalist system. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I suggest that consideration be given to what I have just said. We of the C.C.F. group believe in a humanity-first program, and that program is in keeping with what I have just indicated. I urge the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) and his colleagues, together with members of the Liberal party, to undertake a program under which we shall not have the situation that exists in western Canada today, where farmers are in desperate straits, simply because they have produced more wheat than can be immediately marketed."

It struck me as I read this passage that Mr. McCullough probably would have gotten along quite well, at least politically, with members of the contactee movement back then, or people like Steven Greer and Michael Salla today.

Also interesting, in the more specific context of Wilbert Smith's later testimony to the Special Committee on Broadcasting, is the speaker who immediately followed McCullough on 18 February, 1953 - Donald M. Flemming, the Tory M.P. who questioned Smith at the Committee hearing two years later.

Paul Kimball

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