January 18, 1916

CON

William Foster Cockshutt

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCKSHTJTT:

I did not wish to misinterpret my hon. friend, and therefore I asked the question. We can conclude that as regards Canadian expenditure as compared with that of Great Britain, we are not doing too much if we provide 500,000 men.

Let us now see what Australia, the next elder member of the British family of nations is doing. Canada as the eldest child in the family should be the leader and not the follower. We have the resources, the population anil the extent of territory. Why should we follow any of the other members of the great family contained in the British Empire? As being the eldest and the first-born, so to speak, we *should show the way. In comparing our expenditure and also our resources in men,

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

What portion of that $225,000,000 is for munitions of war manufactured by the Australian Confederation?

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CON

William Foster Cockshutt

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCKSHUTT:

I am sorry that the information I have at hand does not permit me to answer the question. The estimated cost of the forces is all put in in one lump sum. The number of men, I presume, would answer that question, because the expenditure is almost entirely for the raising and equipping and the sending forth of those forces.

New Zealand, only about one-fifth the size of Australia, has a record about as good as that of Australia. South Africa first attended to a very serious insurrection on her borders, and finally put it down, and then that gallant soldier and loyal premier, Botha, who has the admiration of this House, because the right hon. the leader of the Opposition on many occasions has thrown a bouquet to that statesman over the seas, immediately steps out of the House where he -was leader and premier, buckles on the harness, and goes to show which side he is on and which side he is prepared to fight for. I say that the lead given by that hon. gentleman to the British Empire is one to which we should all take off our hats and say, God speed him. He has done nobly. I only refer to this in order that we may see that Canada is not alone in the great efforts she is making.

Then let us come to the great Empire of India. What has been done there? Immediately on the outbreak of the war they offered their resources of men and money. The princes and the rajahs cjme from far and near bringing their tributes of horses and camels, of jewels and silver and gold, and saying: Take these for that great Empire that has done so much for us. India was thought by the enemy to be on the verge of insurrection. Germany believed that the moment Great Britain got into a war, India would rebel and Britain would be unable to send her forces from that country. But we see that India is at the back of the Empire too.. There are three hundred and fifteen millions of people in that little empire-it is little by comparison, scarcely one-fifth the size of the Dominion of Canada. It has been shown that these darkskinned sons of the Empire know a good thing when they see it. Knowing British rule, British justice, British honour, British fair play, they declared: Though Britain has done some things that are not altogether to our taste, we prefer to have the rule of the good old benificent British Empire than to have Hun rule as exemplified in the continent of Europe. And so to-day we have a united Empire where Germany prophesied we should have discontent and division. Germany believed that Canada would take no part in the war; that India would break away, and above all that Ireland would immediately be in insurrection and that not only would England b'e unable to find a man jack in Ireland to send to the war but that she would have to send many troops to Ireland to keep the peace

there. These prophesies have failed. Some of the most heroic deeds of the war have been performed by Irishmen. Perhaps I may be pardoned if for a moment I tell *what was done by Michael O'Leary. Before dinner I recounted some deeds of Canadian valour and heroism; let me recall to you what that brave Irishman, little Mike O'Leary did. And, troth, I believe that Mike O'Leary lived for seven years in Western Canada and was a member of the Mounted Police when he enlisted, for the war. Michael O'Leary came of humble parents. We are told that they lived behind the hill fourteen miles from nowhere. But Britain does not forget even the humblest of her sons who performs a great deed, and when Michael O'Leary won the Victoria Cross, and won it in the most gallant way, his parents in their little home were advised by telegraph of the fact. The company in which Mike was serving was ordered to retire as the fight looked hopeless. But Mike said, " Sure I am not going to retire; I will fight it out myself." And he J>roke from the ranks, jumped into the German trench, killed five of the enemy and captured two and the machine gun. That is what Mike did. And when he was asked by a friend how he did it, he replied, " Why, faith, I surrounded them." So, the British Government telegraphed to Michael's mother that Mike had won the Victoria Cross. The dear old lady had never received a telegram in her life before and was naturally very much flustered, iiut very soon telegrams came pouring in from everywhere congratulating her on having such a brave son. Then came the dreadful news that though Michael O'Leary had won the Victoria Cross he had been killed. And the neighbours all turned out to mourn with the bereaved parents and to hold a wake. But while the wake was in progress came the news: Mike is not dead at all, but is alive and in London. And it is said that the mother declared, " I never believe again that Mike is dead until he tells me so himself."

This was the exploit of Michael O'Leary. And I think that we can claim that something of the heroism that he showed was built up in him by the seven years he served in the Mounted Police in Canada.

It is very pleasant to recount the daring deeds of our own countrymen and of the sons of the Empire. But we must remember that, we have a lot to do yet. If it was "A Long Way to Tipperary" when the war broke out eighteen months ago, it looks

almost as if it were a longer way to-day. Some think we are farther away than we were eighteen months ago. I never have been an optimist on this war. I have for years expected exactly what has come. As I do not want any hon. gentleman to say: It is easy to be wise after the event, I have taken the precaution to bring a clipping from the Mail and Empire of February 10, 1910, the heading, of which reads: "Immediate Aid to Empire Fleet- Empire Club Applauds Mr. W. F. Cock-shutt's Remarks-Danger from Germany- No Sacrifice too Great to Save Nation for Posterity." And here is the report of the address in which I endeavoured to show to the people of Toronto that, as I saw it, we were in danger then of exactly what has since then happened. I take no credit to myself for believing at that time that danger existed. I had read the remarks of such men as Earl Roberts, Mr. Maxse and Mr. Blatchford, the Socialist. As a Socialist, Mr. Blatchford did not believe that workmen should be called upon to engage in war, nor was he convinced that Germany intended to fight Britain. But he made up his mind to go to Germany and learn the facts in order that he might be able to contradict the statements that were made. He went a believer in Germany, a believer in peace, a believer in the peaceful designs of Germany in relation to Britain, a believer that there was no emergency and no danger. But he came back a converted man, and declared to the people of Britain that not only was there danger for. the future but that that danger then existed and that they could not prepare too quickly to meet it. It was reading the remarks of such men as these, men who faithfully endeavoured to tell the Mother Country of that peril that faced her, that convinced me eight or ten years ago that we must meet just such a crisis as that which has arisen.

It may be said that if Great Britain is furnishing about four million men and is spending about twenty-five millions of dollars a day, she is doing more than she ought to do. Let me state briefly what she has been doing up to date. I do not speak now of what she has done on the sea-as to that she has proved that Britannia rules the waves as she has done for hundreds of years and as she will do, I believe, to the end. But what is she doing on the land? It will be necessary to give a few figures which I will simply quote from memory. On the west front, the battle-line extends

for about five hundred miles, from the North Sea to the border of Switzerland. It was upwards of a year before Great Britain held one-tenth part of the ljne. She held only thirty miles of that five hundred miles for over a year, only thirty, and that with the assistance of Canada, Australia, the Indian Empire, and all of her overseas Empire! She held thirty miles, while France looked after four hundred and seventy miles. All honour to that brave nation that for upwards of a year has held as though it were an impregnable fortress four hundred ' and seventy miles of battle front against the most powerful enemy and the best equipped nation the world has ever seen. Britain held only thirty miles, so I think that France had every reason to ask the Mother Country to stretch her lines; but with heroic fortitude she hung on and did her share, and she waited and waited until, after the end of the first year, Britain has now extended her lines and is to-day holding about one hundred miles of that five hundred miles, or one out of five, leaving France four-fifths 'and taking care of one-fifth, so that we, as Britons, cannot say that we are doing too much as compared with that splendid ally, France, who, as I said before dinner, has every man, woman and child that is able to do a stroke for the country at the country's service. There is no haggling about rights, about whether I am doing a little too much and the other fellow a little too little; but every man, and every woman, and every child, has placed his or her services unreservedly at the command of the nation, and has said: Where I can serve, send me ! That is the spirit which we must display if we are going to wiri this war.

What have we won up to date? I do not want to be a pessimist, and it is not because I am a pessimist that I am trying to show you a few plain facts with regard to the war. But what have we gained up to date? Not one foot of German territory has yet been conquered, on the right, on the left, on the north or on the south- not one foot. Instead of that Belgium has been devastated from end to end; Poland has been devastated from end to end; Serbia has been devastated from end to end, and millions, yes millions of men, have bit the dust in this great war. The hon. member for Eouville (Mr. Lemieux) estimated the casualties up to date at twelve millions of men, and I think that is not very far wrong. I estimated from figures I have endeavoured

to collect with some care that about ten millions of men have been put out of business in this war up to date. Britain's casualties are a little over, half a million, five hundred and twenty thousand, including Canadians, Australians and others; so that Britain has lost about one-eighth part of her fighting force, provided she has four millions of men under arms. Thus she has lots of reserves left. Canada and Australia have both suffered, but, while we mourn our losses in Canada, let us remember, in comparing ourselves with others, that Australia has suffered more than twice as much loss in men as we have-and in a far more hopeless task. I was a pessimist when I spoke in the House on the Dardanelles situation a year ago. I was a pessimist on that, and anybody who refers to my speech on that occasion will see that when people were talking in the House and out of it of wheat pouring out of Russia in the near future through the Dardanelles I made the remark that it is a long way to Odessa, a long way to Constantinople, and that the Allies would not be through the Dardanelles for a long time to come. That prophecy has more than come true. The event has been far worse thap. I anticipated, and to-day the whole peninsula has been evacuated; we do not hold a foot of territory there and the Australians, whose lives have been sacrificed, are buried in that lonely land. To-day we have a force of two

hundred and fifty thousand men at Saloniki and I trust their fate will be more satisfactory than that of the British expedition in the Dardanelles. That goes to -show that when anybody sets out to tackle an enemy such as we are lined up against they must have reserves of men, guns and munitions of war, and that is where we were sadly lacking. That is where we were outclassed, so to speak, by the enemy, because they had been preparing for years while we had made comparatively little preparation. The result was that when the war began England had little in the way of munitions, guns or anything else necessary for fighting on anything like the scale that has been required in this war. That was a pity and cost us deaTly. But we are making up for that, and we are now called upon in Canada to raise another two hundred and fifty thousand meh. I want it to he distinctly understood that in anything I say with regard to conscription I am expressing my own view and speaking for myself alone. I am only a comparative back

bencher and do not claim to speak for anyone else. But I do believe that it will be necessary to take some other means before we get the five hundred thousand men we are asking for. I say it may be, and I think it will be necessary to take some more drastic means than we have taken with regard to the obtaining of recruits for the overseas service. Again I will quote from Australia, because there you have a democratic government and you have a labour government and surely what they do cannot be very far wrong. They are talking of conscription very strongly in Australia and have been for several months, under a labour government and it is a question to-day, if it were brought up in their House, whether it would not pass by three or four to one. That is the position in Australia. Let me tell you two or three of the arguments that they advance. This is what is said in one of their publications:

The unsatisfactoriness of the voluntary sys, tem is not only that it does not produce a sufficiency of aid in proportion to capacity, hut also that it induces the best to serve and leaves untouched the residue of careless and selfish, the " slackers " and the " cock-tails." The young men who have volunteered are among the best the country has. Thoughtful people ask whether it is justifiable that the flower of its youth should, by a process of " unnatural selection " be sent into the field whilst a larger and unworthier section remains behind.

That is one of the arguments used by the so-called conscriptionists in Australia. I shall read from a paper called the Bulletin. It is not the Edmonton Bulletin, but the Sydney Bulletin of Australia. That paper says

The time is ripe, has been ripe for months, for the abandonment of the old conventions. The first anomaly that ought to go is voluntary service. The business of wailing for recruits by means of posters, politicians' speeches, white feathers, and so forth, is as degrading as those other appeals by which our hospitals are periodically rescued from insolvency. Speaking broadly, the system gets the wrong men- the best-leaving the bad patriots and the cowards behind. There is everything against voluntary service as a means of raising a national army, and nothing but a few deceptive old catchwords in its favour. It is especially fatal in a war where every fit man is wanted, inasmuch as it can never rope in all the nation's fit men.

Now, I hope that conscription is" not necessary in Canada. I hope that it will not be necessary in Canada. But I make this statement-I do not know whether I am the only man who will make it in this House or not: If I have to choose between going in for conscription or the loss of this 5

war, I am going to be a conscriptionist. That is my view. I say that rather than lose this war I am going to be a conscriptionist, and I say that knowing that every member of my family fit to go has already enlisted and that therefore conscription has no terrors for me, and the old man who has his harness on to-night has placed his services in the hands of the minister to be used at any time he can use them; and when men of my class go I am prepared [DOT]and hope to go, but I say this House must realize that every fit man is wanted and wanted now. Our boys need them at the front. Why should we- not go over and rescue the prisoners who. have been held for a year in Germany? Why is not tnat front bench occupied by the late Postmaster General, a man whom we recall with honour to-night, Dr. Beland, who has been a captive in that far off country all these months? I say that calls like that ought to rouse every Briton. No deaf ear should be turned to a cry like that of our late Postmaster 'General. Let me give another instance. Talk about frightfulness in this war, talk about the frightfulness of the enemy! Was there-ever a more frightful deed in the history of the world than the murder of that faithful women Edith Cavell at the hands of the Huns? And will you say that recruits will not go when men deliberately march out a woman and put her up against a wall and shoot her down-one of the most heroic spirits the British Empire has produced in later years? I say the blood of that murdered nurse cries out to every Canadian from the ground to-night: Will you enlist in the

service of your King and country? That is a cry that should be heard, and it should be heard now.

These five hundred thousand men are wanted, and they are wanted now, there is no doubt of that; and we should be ready* at the call of our King and country to say that we are prepared to go if you can use us. That is the spirit that we must have, ancl the voluntary system is on its test right now. The test of the voluntary system is this, that if it does not produce the goods it is not the right system. It has been tried in Britain for generations, and in all ordinary wars it has filled the bill. But this is no ordinary war, whether you look at it in regard to the extent of territory ravished, the number of peoples at war, or the sacrifices we are making in material and financial resources. Viewed in that respect, all the wars of all the ages, as

My advisers, however, are of the opinion that the wishes of the Canadian people and the present requirements of the war would be best met by avoiding- the distraction and confusion consequent upon a general election at so critical a time.

Well, Mr. Speaker, I do not intend tonight to discuss the advisability, or otherwise, of extending the term of Parliament. That is a question which will come up when the resolution, of which notice has been given, receives consideration. But let me just' say, Sir, in passing, that in my judgment it is a most serious matter for this Parliament,, created as it was by the British North America Act, by agreement between all the provinces, and having its constitution fixed by the Imperial Parliament-it is in my judgment a most serious matter to alter the constitution and to extend the life of Parliament. Those who occupy seats in this House, private members as well as members of the Government, have been sent here by the people to serve them for a specified period of time; *and under our constitution, as it stands today, when that time expires we are obliged to go back to the people and resign to them the trust which they have placed in our hands. Therefore, as I have said, it is in my judgment a matter ot the most serious importance that Parliament should be asked to empower the Government to request the Imperial Parliament to make provision to extend the life of Parliament. I have no doubt that the Government have taken that point into their seTious consideration, and when they state that they are of the opinion that " the present requirements of the war would be best met by avoiding the distraction and confusion consequent upon a general election at so critical a time," we must assume that, having considered the importance of the situation, the Government would not ask Parliament to have this change made in the constitution unless for the gravest possible reasons. I, as one member of this House, will await the statement of these reasons with the greatest possible interest, and if these reasons commend themselves to me, it will afford me very great pleasure to comply with the wishes of the Government in this respect. Since this war began I, conjointly with the gentlemen with whom I have been associated in this House, have complied with every request which the Government has informed Parliament it was necessary to comply with in order to enable it the

fMr. Pugsley.]

better to take part in the carrying on of this war.

But, Sir, I shall be obliged, during the remarks which I feel it my duty to make to the House, to depart somewhat from the course which has been taken by hon. gentlemen who have spoken, and to find fault with certain actions of the Government, and also with their want of action, since this war began. I trust I shall not offend anybody by throwing into the discussion what may be deemed a discordant note. I do not intend to do so. My only purpose is to call attention to what I think have been the errors which have been committed, in the hope that these errors may be rectified and that a different course may be pursued in the future. When we feel there is anything to criticise or with which to find fault, I consider it our duty, sitting as members of Parliament, to criticise and find fault. If we are here simply to register what the Government brings down, to say no word to indicate our real views in regard to its conduct or misconduct, in regard to its actions or want of action, then we might better have stayed at home. We have come here under false pretenses, and we have no right to draw our indemnity if we fail to express our views on the questions which are before Parliament and the people. Therefore it is that I intend, in the discharge of what I believe to be my duty, to call the attention of the House, and, through the House, the attention of the country, to what I think have been grave errors of judgment committed by this Government since the war began. There are matters in regard to which, through their agents or through their appointees, this Government have been guilty of misconduct of the gravest character. I do not say that they have been guilty personally, but I say they have been guilty of wrongdoing through their agents, through those whom they have appointed to carry on matters in connection with this war.

First, in regard to their errors of judgment. Let us go back to the commencement of the war. Everybody who gave any thought to the matter must have been of the opinion that this was going to be a long war, that it was not going to be settled in two or three months, that it was going to be a war of long continuance. Everybody knew from the very day that the war began that Germany had been making preparations for a great many years. Everybody realised that she had vast stores of muni-

tions, that she had a vast army, that the war would be not only a great struggle, but a struggle which would not be easily ended, and that it might reasonably be expected to last for a number of years.

What steps did the Government take when the war broke out to prepare to do its duty and take that part in the struggle that the Canadian people, wished it to take? There were two matters to which attention should have been given at tne outset. 1 speak now with all respect, and as one humble member of this. House who feels bound to express his opinion with regard to these matters. One was the great subject of transportation. Canada is a great agricultural country, a country of abounding resources, a country in which the farmers produce, taking them man by man, many times as much as is produced in almost any other country. Canada has often been described as the granary of the Empire. Under proper cultivation Canada would be able to feed the British Empire. The Government very properly urged the farmers of Canada to increase their production. Produce, produce, produce, was the watchword which the hon. Minister of Finance and other members of the Government spoke to the farmers of Canada. The farmers of Canada responded nobly. They tilled the soil with great care. I am told by some of my hon. friends from the West that on hundreds of thousands of farms they went over the land two or three times with the harrow in order to prepare it thoroughly well for the crop of the coming year; they used the very best seed they could get; they bought additional machinery and teams of horses; and the result was that they produced the greatest crop known in the history of Canada. It has been said during this discussion that in the West alone the wheat crop amounted to 8139,000,000 bushels this year.

Was there not another consideration which the Government should have had in mind, and was not that the getting of the crop to the market or over sea to feed the Allies? What would you need for that? You would need proper rolling stodk upon the railways, proper ships and an abundance of ships upon the Atlantic, so as to assure to the producers of the country and the consumers on the other side of the water the transportation of these foodstuffs at reasonable rates. Was not that 'something which went right to the root and foundation of the production of the great

crop in Canada? What did the 'Government do? They bought not a single ship, they established not a isingle shipyard, they took no steps to build a single merchant vessel in Canada. Although they knew that the British Government would commandeer nmny British vessels, this Government took no steps whatever to ensure that the products of the Canadian people would he sent to the Allies at reasonable rates. What is the result of this want of action, Sir? That grain produced in our western country, brought from a long distance over the railways and reaching the Atlantic, has to pay a rate a thousand per cent greater than the rate was before the war broke out. The Government say: We are powerless to control the rates which are charged upon the steamers. Powerless, they say, we are, even in regard to those ships to which we pay enormous subsidies, notwithstanding that we have power by out contract with them to control the rates. Yet they say we are powerless, and as a result every bushel of grain which is crossing the Atlantic to-day is paying a thousand per cent more in freight than what the reasonable and ordinary rate was before the war began. Surely in that the Government fell down absolutely.

But what more was needed, and no one knows this better than my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Hazen). You must have elevators in different sections of the country, you must have great storage elevators upon the Atlantic coast, if you are going to ship your grain across the Atlantic. The Government had before them at that time the fact that there was- just lately completed the Transcontinental railway running from the city of Moncton, and through the Intercolonial extending from the ports of Halifax and St. John on to Winnipeg, and by means of its ally the Grand Trunk Pacific railway through pne of the most fertile sections of the Canadian West. This was a system of railways which was admirably adapted to bring the products of the West to the ports of the Atlantic, from which they might be sent across the ocean. Although nearly two years ago the grain elevator at the port of St. John connected with the Government railway system was burned down, this Government, although they appealed to the patriotism of the farmer to produce more and more grain, took no steps whatever to rebuild that elevator, and to-day its ashes remain as

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

Where?

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I could tell my hon. friend of a number.

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Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

Tell us one.

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William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I will tell you one. Just take one on Monday night. My hon. friend the Minister of Militia (Sir Sam Hughes) went to Prescott with about half a dozen Conservative members of this House, who were to speak, and not a single Liberal speaker was asked to address that meeting. Every speaker was put up to tell the audience that General Sir (Sam Hughes was the greatest soldier-perhaps he did not use these very words-who had appeared since Napoleon, and perhaps before.

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Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

Quite right. There is nothing political about that.

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William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I could tell my hon. friend about many others. The Postmaster General to-day admitted that he and his colleagues went around the province of Quebec professedly holding recruiting meetings. He said: It is true we defended the Government from the unjust attacks of the Opposition, but that was only in the line of our duty to the country; those he says were not political meetings. When I used to be a member of the Government half of my time in addressing meetings was taken up with the defence of the Government of which I was a member-and properly so. It is the duty of the Opposition to attack the Government in respect u>

matters which they think are worthy of attack, and it is the duty of the Government to defend themselves, and I venture to say that when the time comes that this Government must go to the people of this country the very largest part of the time

that they will take up in public meetings will be in defending themselves from the attacks which their opponents will make upon them.

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

That will be easy.

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William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

All the Postmaster General was doing was taking a preliminary canter along those lines down in the province of Quebec, and he called them recruiting meetings. If these gentlemen, however, had not the time to devote to these matters why did not they ask my hon. friend the Minister of Militia? He must have known that this would be a war of metal as well as of men. He must have known-he ought to have known, and this Government ought to have known also-that in this Dominion of Canada there is a class of manufacturers, who, for executive ability, for the ability to turn out machinery of the very highest character, are not excelled by the manufacturers in any part of the world. Would you not have thought, Sir, that he would have at once endeavoured to mobilize the industries of this country? Would you not have thought that he would have arranged in England to bring out experts, or to have got men from the United States, where, for many years, they have been manufacturing shrapnel and high explosives? Those great and magnificent workshops which have been built near the city of Winnipeg, those magnificent workshops in connection with the Intercolonial which have lately been erected at Moncton, those new shops at Quebec which are nearly or quite completed -would not .you have expected the Government to place , these great establishments at the. service of the Empire, saying to Great Britain and to her Allies: We will engage in the manufacture of these munitions which will go as far towards the ending of the war as even the sending of men, and we will furnish thm to the Empire at actual cost. We all know that Britain is engaged in a struggle which means civilization or barbarism, which means liberty or slavery, for the people of all the world. Canada is interested in this great struggle beyond any other question. Would it not have been reasonable then that the Government should say: We will put our men, our resources and our workshops at the service of the Empire to turn out shells, machine guns and field guns, not only for the use of the Canadian soldier boys, but for the use' of all the soldiers of the Empire, without exacting any profit for the people of Canada. Would not that have been the noble, the patriotic

and the wise course? But did the Government take that course? No.

Apparently, from the statements which the Minister of Militia has made, the first thing he knew about shells being required was when he was requested by the Home Government to order two hundred thousand shells in the United States. Why had not the Home Government been informed before this that Canada could turn out shells in any quantity required? If the members of the Cabinet could not go to Europe, where was the High Commissioner for Canada? Could not he have told the officials of the War Office something of the resources of Canada and of the ability of her manufacturers to turn out shells in great quantity? How different was the conduct of this Government from. the conduct of the Australian Government to which I will invite attention a little later on. Instead of utilizing the Government workshops to turn out munitions for the service of the Allies, the Minister of Militia and this Government proceeded to form a Shell Committee, and that Shell Committee's record is one which brings shame to the people of Canada. The actions of that Shell Committee have produced scandals from which this country is reeking almost from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The press has been filled with the stories of these scandals, and newspaper after newspaper, Conservative and Liberal, have joined in demanding that this Government shall investigate the actions of that Shell Committee. The Shell Committee proceeded upon the theory that their organization was a great machine through which favouritism could be shown towards those who were closely connected with its operation. They proceeded to give orders for millions of dollars to companies with which their members were closely associated. They gave the firm of John Bertram & Sons, a company of which Sir Alexander Bertram, the chairman, is vice-president, orders amounting to upwards of a million dollars. They gave to a company with which Mr. Carnegie, another member of the Shell Committee, is not only closely connected but is the directing head, orders for upwards of a million dollars. Orders for other vast amounts were given to other companies with which members of the Shell Committee are closely connected. And did they call for competitive prices? No, they fixed the prices far higher than would be reasonable to pay even if the shells were not being turned out in large quantities. And what was the excuse

they made? It was that they made a price at which manufacturers great_and small could produce. So, the company that was producing a million shells would get the same price as the firm that was turning out a small order of five thousand. This was the excuse given by General Bertram in his extraordinary valedictory when he retired from the chairmanship of the Shell Committee, taking with him the honour of knighthood and going away for a rest. He said that he had fixed these prices in order to enable orders to be placed throughout the country so as to relieve the industrial depression then existing. Sir, one would have thought that the supreme object would be to furnish munitions for the Allies at actual cost, and not to distribute these favours throughout the country in order to create small industries that could not possibly turn out shells at anything like the price for which they could be turned out by properly organized industrial establishments.

The story of the Shell Committee is one of very great interest, and as it will take some time for me to dispose of it, I will ask my hon. friend (Mr. Rogers) who* leads the House, to permit me to move the adjournment of the debate. Though it is only half past nine o'clock, still it is half an hour later wian the time at which the Postmaster General (Mr. Casgrain) moved the adjournment last night.

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

Go on until ten o'clock.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I will go on until twelve o'clock if the hon. gentleman wishes. If a commission is appointed

and I should like my hon. friend's assurance that it will be appointed-to investigate the actions of this Shell Committee, it will be .shown that through the bungling of this Government Prices were paid for shells far beyond what was reasonable and fair, and that the Allies have been called upon to pay vastly larger sums than would have been necessary if proper organization had taken place. Note the contrast. The Australian Government organized the industries of the country in the manner to which I intend to call attention when I address the House to-morrow, and fixed the price which they would give for shells. And remember, this was the finished shell, the eighteen-pounder high explosive shell, and the price they fixed was $5.05, which is about $2 per shell less than the price fixed by the Shell Committee of Canada. When I tell you that and when you bear in mind how much further advanced Canada is in manufacturing than is Australia, you will realize how excessive

[Mr. Pugslev 1

were the "prices fixed by the Shell Committee; prices, in which, as I have said, General Bertram, Mr. Carnegie, and I think possibly other gentlemen of the Shell Committee participated from the outset. This price of $5.05 fixed in Australia included the steel used for the making of the- shell, whereas the price of $5.70 fixed by the Shell Committee did not include the steel, but the [DOT]steel was furnished by the Shell Committee free of all cost to those who did the machining of the shell. The.result is, I say, to make the price fixed by the Shell Committee $2 per shell more than the price fixed by the Government of Australia.

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CON

Oliver James Wilcox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILCOX:

How did the Canadian price compare with the price that was paid in the United States at the same time?

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I take the statement of Mr. Thomas, who says that the price was higher in Canada. Mr. Thomas is a gentleman who was sent out from England in consequence, I take it, of the dissatisfaction which existed.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Will the hon. gentleman take all of Mr. Thomas's statement?

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I am quite willing to take all of Mr. Thomas's statement. Let my hon. friend take particularly Mr. Thomas's statement when he says that if he could raise the veil just a little-

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Will the hon. gentleman quote that from Mr. Thomas's statement?

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LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

All right, bring it out.

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January 18, 1916