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Reply to a Reporter's Question About Events in Canada.

October 19, 1970

Q. Mr. President, do you have any comment about the internal situation in Canada?

THE PRESIDENT. I called the Prime Minister yesterday and expressed my sympathy for what had happened.1 Naturally, I will not comment on the internal situation in Canada. That would not be appropriate.

1Pierre Laporte, Minister of Labor, Province of Quebec, was kidnapped on October 10, 1970, and held until October 17 when he was slain by members of the Quebec Liberation Front.

But the thing we have to bear in mind is that what happened in Canada--the issue there happens to be liberation for Quebec--is not limited to Canada. It is an international disease--the idea, if you have a cause, you use any means to bring about that cause, to accomplish it, and that the cause justifies the means. That is the principle that we must stand against, the idea that any means can be justified if the cause is right.

We have got to stand against that in the whole world community, whether it is Canada, the United States, or anything else. That involves hijackers, it involves demonstrators, and everybody else.

If it is peaceful, nobody can complain. That is in the great tradition of the free society. But if they engage in violence, then we should all stand firmly against it, and no cause justifies violence if the system provides, as ours does, the right to change it peacefully, and as Canada's does.

Note: The President spoke at approximately 1 p.m. as he left the Ohio State House in Columbus, Ohio.

Richard Nixon, Reply to a Reporter's Question About Events in Canada. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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