February 1, 1916

LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

General Hughes did not get the information, because there was no part of the money being expended that was Canadian money, it was all coming out of the British Exchequer; but this time part of the money is our money, and we ought to know what is being done. Let me give you a higher authority to which you will all submit. As the Minister of Militia says, this is the balance wheel of the Government; while he and others may be erratic,

the Prime Minister is the balance wheel. Here is what he said in 1903:

Either the Minister of Agriculture was doing this as a Minister of the Crown or he was not. Was he doing it as Mr. Sydney Fisher, providing his own clerks, and as a matter of private [DOT] business between himself and the Imperial Government. If that be the case, we would not press the motion. But if he was doing this as a Minister of the Crown, and not as Mr. Sydney Fisher, but because he held the position of Minister of Agriculture we do not see any reason why all the information should not be laid on the Table. I do not think the hon. the Minister of Finance has suggested any. If I understand the position of the Minister of Agriculture, he was acting as Minister of the Crown of Canada on behalf of the Imperial government, using the officers under his' control who are paid out of the revenues of this country; and therefore I cannot understand what objection there can be, from any reasonable standpoint, to bringing down the papers.

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CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

That was after the war.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

My hon. ' friend's reason would be that the war is in progress?

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CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

Yes, there are a good many things that enter into that.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

I do not see why, as I said before, we should allow anybody to break into the treasury because it is war time.

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CON

William Folger Nickle

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NICKLE:

Do I understand you to argue that if this money were all British money an inquiry would be out of order?

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

I was snot arguing that. I was arguing that the men now forming the Government, in 1903 insisted that although it was all British money, still this Parliament had a right to investigate anything its officers or ministers had done. But in this case, it being admitted that it was at least partially Canadian money, that is all solved, and there is no excuse, I think, constitutionally, etiquettieally, or otherwise, why the Canadian Parliament should not order an investigation at the present time.

Now I come to the question of recruiting. The recruiting in Canada, I think, has been going on at a marvellously satisfactory rate. We are compared to other countries -and herein I may collide with some of my good friends-in the matter of recruiting and in some other ways. But these other countries have not the conditions that we have in the Dominion of Canada. They are not attempting, as we are, to furnish the Allies with food, to furnish them with clothing so far as we can, and to furnish them, to a large extent, with raunitions, as well as to furnish them with

men. And we must take into consideration the fact that men are needed on the* farms if we are to keep up the production, that men are needed in the factories, and, further than that, that our business, in a measure, must go on as usual, so far as possible, unless commercially we are to fall down; and if Canada falls down commercially and financially she will be a burden on the Allies instead of a help to them. The recruiting, taking into consideration all the conditions, has, I think, been marvellous, and I have the utmost faith in the people of the Dominion of Canada, that as the days go by and the necessity is pressed home upon them they will rise to the situation and1 contribute every man they possibly can to aid in this, great work. It has been said that the young native born all over the Dominion have not enlisted as did our young friends from across the sea. At first that was absolutely true. The young men from the Old Land were sons of military fathers. Some of them had served in the militia themselves. They had been brought up in an atmosphere where war was not a new thing, and the moment these young men heard the call they knew what it meant, threw down their employment, joined the colours, and rushed to the front. I say from my place in Parliament: All honour to the British-born who. were the first to enlist in large numbers in the Dominion of Canada. But now as to our own young men. They have been brought up in an atmosphere of peace; their conquests were to be conquests of commerce, conquests of peace, conquests of industry, and they had never thought of war. It took some time for it to be brought home to them ju-st what the call to arms meant, just what was the necessity for the call. But, Sir, as they have been reading and thinking and finding out, the patriotism of the young man of Canada has come strongly to the surface. It has been found that his heart is in the right place, and today the native born Canadians are flocking to the colours and enlisting as rapidly as we can possibly expect them to enlist.

My hon. friend, who spoke a few moments ago, discussed the difficulties of recruiting in Quebec. I may be pardoned for discussing them for a few moments also, though I may tell you, Mr. Speaker, that recruiting difficulties, if difficulties there be, are not altogether confined to the province of Quebec. In reference to the province of Quebec, let me say in all kindness, and I am looking right in the

faces of certain hon. gentlemen whom I have in mind-that this Government came into power having no personal service to the British Empire outside of Canada as one plank in the combined Nationalist-Conservative platform. I think that is putting it mildly. The resolution, which has been referred to, said no service of any kind, neither of money nor of men, but a little later there seemed to be a deviation from that, though I have never heard any further explanation of it. At any rate, I will give them the benefit of the doubt, and put in one word that plank in the platform on which they were elected, a plank of no personal service to the British Empire unless in the Dominion of Canada. Now it may be true that they have repented, but if those twenty-one men had not taken that stand the probabilities are that the present Government would not have been in power. If those twenty-one men had been Liberals they would not have been in power surely.

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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. H. BENNETT:

Does my hon. friend think 'that that cuts much figure in Ontario which is where the Liberal party got its death blow?

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

We got it in a few places, and worst in Ontario, but I may remind my hon. friend that two members from Ontario were elected having as their plank "no Canadian Navy," and that Mr. Bour-as-sa went into their constituencies and gave that plank to them. I -say again that if those twenty-one men were on this side of the House this Government could not last twenty-four hours. That being the case-I am not going into that any further; I refer to it merely as a premise to what I am going to say-it is not sufficient for the Government to say: we are all right now. The best recruiting that can be done in the province of Quebec can be accomplished by those twenty-one men going throughout that province where they went in 1911, and telling the young m-en they were wrong, and that personal service was requisite for the young men of Canada. It will not do for them to merely stand up in this House and say so, because many young men would not hear them. I will give the House a little personal experience I hiad. I know the French-Canadian character perhaps as well as any English-speaking member of this House, because I associate with them a great deal. I was in Montreal a few weeks ago and had a conversation with three or four very bright and highly educated

32i

young men, none brighter in the Dominion. We began discussing the question of recruiting, and they strongly demurred to what had been said in the Ontario newspapers. I was urging recruiting as strongly as 1 could when one young man turned to me and said: " Here is the other side of it,

Mr. Graham. In 1911 I was a youth, IT years old, just at an impressionable age. At the door of the church, which I attended, a gentleman who is now a minister of the Crown, argued most strenuously that we were not required, either by loyalty, by the British North America Act, or by anything else, to take part in lany war, outside of fighting, if necessary, on our own shores for the defence of Canada. That impressed me as a young man, and the impression has not left me. Now, I see that man, holding those views which have never been repudiated, taken into the Government of the Dominion of Canada, and I ask myself, can that man be serious in asking me to recruit in 1915?" That was the argument put up by the young man; I am not going further into it, but in all kindness to the Government, and to those gentlemen who support it, I say that the only way by. which the harm that has been done in Quebec can be undone is for those gentlemen to go through the province as they did in 1911, and, instead of advocating no personal service, to impress upon the young men the duty and privilege of personal service, and, as far as possible, take back what they said in 1911.

Now, I -come to another thing which I believe hurts recruiting in- the province of Quebec, -and that is the remarks made by the Ontario newspapers. I can speak freely on this matter, being associated with the press -myself. Nothing is to be gained in the work of recruiting by abusing anybody. You c-anmot get a young Canadian, if he is worthy the name of a young Canuck, to do anything iby abusing him; but you -can lead him to do anything if you can show him it is right to do it in the first place. In Ontario, where weiboast so much of our loyalty that we have to carry Union Jacks to be expressive enough sometimes, criticisms have been made in certain newspapers concerning the attitude of Quebec, which are hindering recruiting in the latter province in a degree second only to that I have already referred to. I -adjure the press of Ontario to -stop this carping, and to remember only this one thing: that we are not French, we are not German, we are not Scotch, we are not English; we are citizens of the

Dominion of Canada, prepared to fight for tile great cause in which we are so deeply interested.

Sir, in Ontario, we have our own troubles regarding recruiting. I go into a farming community to recruit and am met with 'the question right away, " What should I

young man in those circumstances. I have had young men in Ontario tell me: " We would' be willing and glad to recruit, but here is the situation: if I go, I leave my father absolutely alone on a 100-acre farm and production will stop." In those circumstances I am not so sure that the man is not entitled to stay at home. We must keep a level head in this matter, and try to do what is best in the circumstances;; and if it be better for a man to continue to produce to assist in feeding the Allies, it is very questionable whether he should enlist for he might be doing just as valuable work on his farm.

I have gone to a workshop-I am entering into details. because I have practically done nothing else since August but attend recruiting and patriotic meetings-and discussed the matter with the manufacturer. He said to me: " We are manufacturing shells or clothing or boots, as the case may be; here is our order; it is a rush order, what are we to do? My son is ready to go, or so-and-so in my factory wants to go, but if they do I must get some one else, or production must stop." I made this proposition: " Cannot some person who has advanced beyond the military age do that work?" I was taken into a foundry where they were doing a lot of work. The men were pushed, for it is very exacting work.

This man said to me: " These young men are getting out these forgings; no old men could do this work; if I let these young men go I curtail the output of my establishment, which the Munitions Board says I must speed up." You see there are very great difficulties in the way.

There are other difficulties, and this is a question which has been put to me within the last week. The men who go to the front

are not sure of the financial standing of their families while they are gone. I am not saying this in spirit of carping criticism; I just wish to bring it to the attention of the Government and before the hon. gentleman who is managing the Patriotic Fund- A man with a family is asked to enlist. He immediately wants to know whether his family will be protected. He is told that the Government provides so much in various ways and that the Patriotic Fund provides so much. But under the present arrangement if the Patriotic Fund falls down, that man's family also falls down. That is not the way to get recruits, and it is one of the difficulties that must be overcome. I am in favour of the Patriotic Fund in as large amounts as can be secured from the very liberal people of Canada, but I do say that it is the duty of a government engaged in a great national war such as this to be able to say to every man who goes to the front, and not only to say it but to guarantee the carrying out of their promise, that that man's wife and children will get a certain stated amount while he is gone. There should be no question of the Patriotic Fund entering into the amount that will be guaranteed that man's family while he is gone. The present arrangement is against recruiting, and I give this criticism in all kindness to the Government. It would help recruiting all over Canada if the Government would fix a sum sufficient to keep a soldier's family, and if the soldier was guaranteed that the Government stood behind the pledge to give that sum. The soldier would then feel that his family would not be dependent upon the kindness of neighbours whose bowels of compassion might dry up, and leave his family without the money he thought they were going to get.

I have another remark to make with reference to the various funds, and I say it advisedly. There are too many people passing the hat. I do not mean that I would advocate any lessening of effort, but I think it is time, the Government concentrated the efforts and the givings of the people into certain well-defined channels. Let me give a little personal experience. I have spoken at various towns on behalf of recruiting and the Patriotic Fund. In one place I found the town divided into two camps; one was working for one fund, and another for another, and they were actually quarrelling with each other, spending their energy fighting each other instead

of spending it collecting money for this great purpose. In another place, and this happened in more than one town, I was asked to speak at what might be called an opposition meeting. There were two camps organized for money-raising purposes, and each was trying to get its meeting in ahead of the other. A minister of the Crown and myself quite innocently nearly got into a mix-up over it. I think it is high time the Government took the direction of the collection of all funds into its own hands so far as possible, and then have the spending of those funds carried on through well-defined channels, so that the people would know when a persqn came collecting money he or she was duly authorized, and the money would go where it was intended to go-

There is another point. I think it is a mistake that the wives of the soldiers who have gone to the front should be treated in a - patronizing way when they are getting their money. I know families who are proud in spirit, and entitled to be proud in spirit, for they are among nature's noblemen and noble women, though in ordinary circumstances. Ladies with the very best intentions, with a heart bubbling over to do something, would visit these homes, and without knowing it, would leave the impression that they were peddling out a charitable pittance to some person who for some fault of their own was on the municipality or the Government. That is not the way funds should be distributed. Every man who goes to the front is earning his money more than we who are at home, and his family is entitled by right to that' money, and no person has any right whatever to treat that soldier's family as if they were getting a charitable dole to which they were not *entitled. These soldiers' wives are. not on the charity of the people. The people of Canada owe them a debt of gratitude. They do not owe the people a dollar. There should be some arrangement by which these soldiers' wives could feel the equal or superior of those who visit them at their homes and bring them the money. But that is not the ease at the present time. Men have told me that they would not enlist so long as their families were going to be patronized and treated as if they were on charity by reason of some act of omission or commission performed by the soldier.

There is another thing I would like to say with reference to passing the hat. The Minister of Militia is not here, but I will point out what I mean. Nearly every battalion, I am told, needs a few things that the Government does not provide. Why should not the Government provide these things if they are needed? Why should any company be asking a citizen to give them a kitchen with which to do the cooking for the men? "

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID :

I think the Government supplies the kitchens.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

No. I thought I had' in my possession here a clipping from somewhere, but I cannot find it just now. It was to the effect that in the county of Lanark, not far removed from here, a vote-came up in the town *council of Perth, or *it may have been the county council. The-suggestion had been made that the council make a grant for the supply of a: kitchen to a local battalion. The proposal was carried on a fie vote. Those opposed to the motion said that they were not opposed to doing everything possible on, behalf of their country, but that they believed it to be the duty of the Government to supply kitchens.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

The Government are ordering a lot of these kitchens.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

I do not want to tell anything out of school, but men are being canvassed for these kitchens.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I am surprised.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

So was I. The Government ought to supply them. If they are-supplying them, the battalions do not know it. I say that honestly, because within -the last week a certain public man was asked for a contribution towards a kitchen, and he contributed, notwithstanding he thought that the Government ought to supply the kitchen. ,

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

They do.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Possibly the Government does not know these men are being, canvassed. I say the Government should concentrate and bring together these funds,, and let the people know that the Government is supplying the necessities. Then the Patriotic Fund could be reserved for-oomforts, for looking after those who suffer-in disasters, or through the dozen and one-things that may happen to the families or . to the soldiers, which cannot be provided: against in any statute you may pass.

In regard to a few lessons from the-war, 1 think one of the first lessons we have learned is that the farmers-of Canada have succeeded by a super-

human effort in increasing their

production during the past year.

If you go into some of the homes in the province of Ontario-and I suppose this is true 'everywhere-you will find that the men there., at the request of the powers that be, work longer hours and harder than they have done for a long time in order that they may produce more. This is also applicable to the manufacturers of the Dominion who1 have shown that they can speed up and compete with any people in the world. I criticised the War Office a Sew moments ago, but I am not surprised that Great Britain thought we could not do anything in this country in the manufacturing line.

I remember not so very long ago reading a document which the Prime Minister placed upon the table of the House as coming from the First Lord of the Admiralty, to explain why we could not make ships in Canada. Two of the reasons given were: first, that it required very firm ground on which to have the shipyards established; and, second, that it needed cranes of 150 tons capacity to handle the ships. These were two reasons given by the Admiralty itself, and when the Government of Canada endorsed them, of course, the War Office thought that we could not make shells or anything of that kind. They would not bother with people who had not earth strong enough to hold up a ship and who were not able to build cranes of 150 tons' capacity. They took us at our word, and perhaps that is the reason why they said to Russia and France: Go to the

United States; Canada says she cannot do anything. I will not discuss that point any further, but I will just point out when a man starts on a wrong road where it is apt to lead him. The Government never thought, when they accepted these reasons for not being able To build ships in Canada, that so soon Canada herself, through her manufacturing establishments, would give them a direct denial and would show the people of the whole world that in Canada the artisans and mechanics and manufacturers could do anything that could be done with machinery anywhere.

Another thing that we have learned from the war is that the naval policy of this Government is of no use in time of stress. Had the policy of the right hon. gentleman who sits at my right (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) not been repudiated by the Government, the Minister of Agriculture

(Mr. Burrell) would not have been in such trouble as he was on the British Columbia coast. That brings me to the question of submarines. I am going to discuss it from another angle, because I am trying to discuss everything at some angle from which it has not been viewed previously. I am not going to argue that too much money was paid for the submarines, or that they were no good. I am going to take Sir Richard McBride at his word and follow his statement up with evidence from the Minister of Agriculture. First I will ask the question: were the submarines needed? Yes. Why were they needed? Because British Columbia, on its coast, was naked of the first vestige of defence. I think I agree with Sir Richard and the Minister of Agriculture on that point. Why was it naked?

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

The Rainbow was there.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

If the hon. gentleman will read the speech of the Minister of Agriculture 'he will find that the Minister said it was somewhere else. The coast of British Columbia was naked, because the Minister of Agriculture said so. Sir Richard McBride's action in buying two submarines [DOT]-his not to reason why, his but to rush and buy-must be taken by the Government as proof that'the submarines were needed. If they were not needed it was an awful thing to buy them without any authority. They were needed. But lest you might think that Sir Richard had gone astray and got excited and did not really know the situation, I would like to give another proof that the British Columbia coast was naked,-

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LIB

February 1, 1916