June 25, 1917

LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

How many of these

are in the infantry?

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.
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CON

Albert Edward Kemp (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir EDWARD KEMP:

I have not the

details before me. I wish to refer to something that was said by some hon. gentlemen opposite as to retarding enlistment. Enlistment has not been retarded; enlistment by voluntary methods is going on today, os it has gone on from the beginning of the war. So far as I know, no attempt was ever made to retard it.

My hon. friend from West Lambton (Mr. Pardee) suggested that we might pursue the voluntary system further. But the reason against this course is that which I have suggested to the House-that we cannot select the unit into which we desire to have the men go, and consequently they go into the most popular branches of the service, and the infantry is left without sufficient troops. Besides, the difficulty' arises that men are taken from occupations where they are needed, leaving at home men who could be spared for the front. It seems to me the time has come when all this should be regulated. The hon. member for .Kam-ouraska (Mr. E. Lapointe) is pessimistic. He fears that there will be inequality in the administration of the measure, that there will be " discrimination, favouritism, and patronage." It seems to me that such a thing is imposible, considering the way the tribunals are formed and the safeguards that are thrown around the administration of the measure.

The sorrows and grievances attendant upon our participation in the war, and which are incident thereto, reflect themselves doubtless to a greater extent than in any other place in the department over which I have the honour to preside. From this position one can look out over the whole theatre. One sees the obstacles to be overcome, he sees the heartburnings, and realizes that the greater part of the people of this country harbour deep convictions in their hearts regarding many aspects of the war. A sentiment, I believe, has developed in this 'country which speaks in thunder tones. It asks that the lives of those who have been sacrificed shall not be spent in vain; that the sorrows of the mothers, the

fathers, the brothers and the sisters, the orphans, shall not go . for naught. This sentiment is deeper in. the hearts of the people in those parts of the country which have sent the most soldiers to the front.

The contestants are now engaged in a life and death struggle. Owing to a great extent to the Russian situation, the combat is now more fierce than at any time since 1914, the burden having fallen upon the mother countries of the two great races in Canada.

Those who have been at the front, and who have written both poetry and prose, reflect more keenly the situation than can any words that I might utter. The poem read in the House by the hon. member for South Wellington, " In Flanders Fields " will have more influence upon this country than the writer ever imagined. Several of such poems and writings have come into my possession, and I feel that they convey to the hearts and minds tof the people deeper thoughts than could any words of mine. I desire to read two references to the war. The probability is that hon. members have already read them. They are not poetry like the contribution read by my hon. friend from South Wellington, written by a friend of his own, Jack Me-Crae. Perry Robinson, telegraphing from British headquarters in France, describes at length the horrible desolation of Viimy Ridge. Referring to the Canadian cemetery there, he says:

"In the middle of the waste on the summit of Vimy Ridge there is a little group of white painted wooden crosses marking the graves of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, who fell in the capture of the ridge. These Canadian Seaforths were mostly British Columbians. A long, long way they came to die, these long-limbed sons of Victoria, Vancouver, Westminster and Nanaimo. Some came even farther, for they came from the far off slopes and peaks of the mountains or upper waters of the Fraser river, when they heard the call.

*Nothing Finer in the War. *

"Many other feet will tread the same journey after them, the feet of pilgrims, who through generations yet to be horn, will come here as to a shrine. The little graveyard will be as a flame of inspiration to Canada in the ages, for there was nothing finer done in the war than the achievement of those western men on the ridge."

Stewart Lyon, whom most of the members of this House know, only last week sent the following despatch:

Yesterday, while out visiting the front, I saw an incident that proves that the finer feelings of the men are not blunted by daily contact with death. Three bodies of victims of the enemy artillery lay on a mortuary

truck, awaiting removal to the cemetery behind the lines. Each was wrapped up in his blanket, which is the universal substitute at the front for a winding sheet and coffin, a companion of the dead lads, himself a young fellow, barely out of his teens, had risen early and gone out into the wood of "The Swallows" to find some flowers that he might lay upon the breasts of his friends as a last tribute of affection. He returned carrying an armful of roses, wet with the dew of morn and shedding their fragrance widely. It was a touch of poetic sentiment amid the grit and prose of war.

Later in the woods we came upon the place where the roses grew in great abundance. In a small clearing girt about by German wire entanglements lay the ruins of an isolated cottage. A shell had so smashed it that scarcely one brick remained unbroken. Around this heap of "war desolation" bloomed a rose garden that must have been the pride of its owner. A refugee far from the roses she had tended with still evident care, the woman of the rose garden, would find consolation in the thought that her flowers had lain on the breasts of men who came from the surf-beaten shores of Canada to redeem her garden with their life blood.

These things speak louder to the people of this country than any worde I can utter. The sufferings of 68,629 wounded speak to us; 2,460 prisoners of war in Germany send their appeal; 28,550 dead call to us in the words of Jack McCrea.

The Bill which has 'been introduced is not for the purpose of doing an injustice to any one; it is to ameliorate the conditions which now exist, not only looking forward to the filling of the ranks at the front, but to provide equal, right, and just treatment to those in Canada who want to bring about better order in respect to enlistment.

The measure is not a political measure; the Government in framing and introducing it never looked upon it in this way and as one which would bring political kudos. But the Government could not refrain from instituting so fair and just a measure under all the circumstances.

The Government may or may not go down to defeat under this measure; but rather than not to have taken such a step it would be better for the Government to have been defeated a hundred times.

It is our duty to supply men equal to the wastage at the front. How could we ever look these grand men in the face when they return did we not promptly and steadily fill up the gaps. How could we bear to see our splendid battalions dwindle to half or one-third their strength, thereby losing their morale, and fretting their hearts out because we had forgotten and left them to their fate, and we ourselves had become

tired. It is only by reinforcements that we can . maintain our honour in France, in Canada and in the British Empire.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.
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LIB

William Manley German

Liberal

Mr. W. M. GERMAN (Welland):

Mr. Speaker, I rise with a good deal of trepidation to address the House, for I realize that the seriousness of the occasion demands not only our intelligent thinking but the courageous action of every man in Canada. I would approach this subject dispassionately and with a desire to arrive at a conclusion which would be not only satisfactory to myself but to those whom I have the honour to represent and to the people of the country generally. We have a duty to perform to our country, to our King and to our Empire, and how best to perform that duty is the question which we are to consider at the present time. While our sons, our relations and our countrymen are fighting and dying that freedom miay live, it is our duty to see to it that we do not deal a greater blow to freedom in this country by our actions in this House. "Win the war," as announced the other day by the hon. member for Russell (Mr. Murphy, was the slogan of the country. Win the war is our wish, our desire. At the beginning of the war the Montreal Star sent throughout the whole country, and to all members of Parliament, a telegram. I had one, asking what, in my view, was Canada's duty in the emergency. My reply was that Canada should spend her last dollar and give her last man to secure success in this conflict. I have not changed my mind, I am of the same opinion, that Canada should give her last dollar and give her last man to win this great war for freedom. The most effectual way to produce the last dollar and the last man to the winning of the war, is the question to be considered.

I have a resolution passed at a meeting in my own town of Welland a few nights ago. It was a public meeting addressed by Mr. Arthur Bawkes and gotten up by the Welland branch of the Organization of Resources Committee at the request of the Win the War Association. A like meeting was addressed by Mr. Hawkes in Niagara Falls the night before. These meetings are part of a province-wide campaign of education on the conscription issue. At the meeting in Welland a resolution was moved by Mr. John H. Crow and seconded by W. J. Hickey and unanimously passed, strongly urging myself as their member to speak and vote for the Military Service Bill and to Use my utmost influence for a coalition

Government. At that meeting, which was held in the course of a win-the-war campaign on the conscription issue, Mr. Hawkes used words that would naturally have a considerable effect on any resolution which might be passed. Mr. Hawkes words were:

I hope I have not given the impression that Quebec will not accept conscription. My fear is that it will not without a referendum. It is only just to Sir Wilfrid Laurier to say that he pledges his support to conscription if the country proves that it wants conscription. If believe, too, that the clergy in Quebec would see that the law is enforced. What I want to emphasize is that I believe Canada can have conscription and national unity too.

And, Sir, I am prepared to subscribe to those words of Mr. Hawkes: If conscription is necessary, I believe that, by adopting a proper method, we can have conscription and national unity also. I have received this resolution, passed unanimously at that meeting in Welland after Mr. Hawkes had made that observation. Undoubtedly the resolution would be influenced to some extent by the remarks of Mr. Hawkes who was the principal speaker.

I have also had resolutions and statements, letters, communications, from many individuals, associations and organizations in that county and other parts of Canada, some in favour of this referendum proposal, some of them opposed absolutely to conscription. Thus we see that there are resolutions and suggestions and propositions not only in favour of conscription but opposed to conscription, and in favour of a referendum and conscription if necessary. It seems to me, in view of that situation, only one course is open to a member of Parliament, and so far as I am concerned I shall follow that course; that is to decide for myself as to what stand I shall take in regard to this matter, and leave my action to the judgment of the people. That; Sir, is the position that I propose to take. I cannot speak for the people of the county of Welland because the people of that county have not, except by letters, resolutions and so on sent to me, expressed their views on that subject. On that subject I do not represent the people of the county of Welland, and no man in this House represents the constituents of any part of Canada. So, Sir, all that I can do, and what I will do as courageously as I can and as intelligently as I may, is to express my own views on this important subject and leave the result to the judgment of the people whom I represent.

The boys of our country have gone to the -war. The son of the very gentleman who moved this resolution, a bright young man who was just finishing his medical course at Toronto University, enlisted and went to the war, and received rewards for distinguished bravery over there. His dead body fills a hero's grave. Other friends of mine in that country, numbers of them, have had their sons go to the war-some of them have been crippled for life, many of them have been killed. A son of mine is in a machine gun section some place there, and while I speak his mangled remains may be lying on the shell-torn plains of Flanders. Around me sit men whose sons have paid the last sacrifice. Shall it be said that we shall stand in the way of winning this war or doing anything that mortal man can do to win this war? I think, Sir, that no one will say that or should say that.

As I have said, my suggestion was, and ' I believe it is right, that the last dollar and the last man should be devoted to the winning of this war. But how,is that to be done? My hon. friend from South Renfrew (Mr. Graham) has given notice of a resolution in regard to the raising of money in advance of anything that the Government has done or suggested. The Minister of Finance last year and this yehr was requested and urged to do something towards, to use the expression which has been employed, the conscription of wealth, the procuring of the last dollar to the winning of this war, but nothing has been done. My hon. friend from South Renfrew has given notice of a resolution for the procuring of money; the Government has given notice of a resolution for the procuring of the men, and it is to that that I shall devote my attention. It is acknowledged that voluntary recruiting has fallen down. The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster) in his remarks said that, after about three years, voluntary recruiting has fallen down. That is admitted on all sides. Well, is it much wonder that voluntary recruiting has fallen down? I do not wish [DOT] to criticise to too great an extent, but I might be allowed this expression of opinion, that everything the Government has touched in regard to this war so far has fallen down. Their national service scheme fell down, and fell down lamentably; their home defence scheme fell down, and fell down lamentably; their voluntary recruiting has fallen down, and fallen down lamentably. Why? The ex-Minister of Militia and Defence (Sir Sam Hughes) gives some reasons-I think that I can give another good reason which has come directly within my own observation. In the begin-

ning of this war, as the Minister of Militia rightly said only a short time ago, every man, woman and child throughout the province of Ontario put his shoulder to the wheel and did everything he could to procure enlistment, and that continued for some little time until the serpent of politics began to raise its slimy head, and then what happened? Patriotic endeavour began to wither and die, and it was politics that caused the death of that effort, and politics only. I am not charging the Prime Minister, perhaps, with knowledge of this- But had politics been kept out of the voluntary recruiting system, we would have had voluntary recruiting to-day as energetically as ever it was carried on. But, Sir, that was one of the reasons why it fell down, and fell down so lamentably.

Undoubtedly this House has the power to pass this Bill, but as was stated by the leader of the Opposition, we have no right to pass this Bill without the approval of the people. I should like to see a Bill passed which would bring about compulsory service, but I want to see a Bill passed that will be effective and that will have the approval of the people behind it. Unless you pass a Bill with the approval of the people behind it, you might as well not pass any Bill.

It is said that the Parliament of Great Britain, which passed a Conscription Bill, has outlived the term for which it was elected. That is quite right; but what a difference there is between the situation in Great Britain and the situation in Canada. In the first place, in Great Britain they have a coalition government. The Minister of Militia said this afternoon that he was sorry that a coalition government had not been formed in Canada. I am sorry also that a coalition government had not been formed in Canada-but when should a coalition government have been formed? Now, or when the war began? Hon. gentlemen talk now about a coalition government after the Government's mismanaging everything as badly as everything could be mismanaged. They produce a policy which they know would not be accepted by the leader of the Opposition, and they say: join us in a coalition government, help us pass this con-pulsion Bill, and then the coalition government will appeal to the people. Sir, had they fairly, honestly, and patriotically desired the formation of a coalition government, or, what might be called a national government-a government behind which the* people could stand-they would have made the proposal not to-day, but a year

or two years ago. That is what they did in England at the beginning of the war.

Further, the British Government, being a coalition Government, has been in touch with the people from the day the war began. They have had by-elections-three, four, and five every year-since the war began. In this Parliament twenty constituencies wThich should be represented under the redistribution measure are not represented. There has been no expression of opinion from the people in any one constituency since the war began as to the conduct of this Government in the management of our part in the war. The only expressions of opinion obtained have come in the way of resolutions adopted by different societies and communications sent to members of Parliament. I say, therefore, that there is absolutely no comparison between the situation in England and the situation in Canada.

I admit that the need for men is imperative. In this terrific struggle in which the Allied nations are engaged, men are being slaughtered by thousands, and their places must be filled if the war is to be won by the Allied nations. Men must be got; that is the need of the hour. The Government says: We will pass this Bill. The right hon. leader of the Opposition proposes what is, in my opinion, a better, safer and surer course: that of asking the people whether -they are in favour of compulsory service for the remainder of the war. The Prime Minister has spoken of a general election. The member for South Renfrew (Mr. Graham) said the other day that we were to have a general election. But the question of compulsory service cannot be properly settled through the medium of a general election- there are too many side issues to bo considered; too many sins of commission and omission on the part of the Government have to be discussed and criticised. The question of conscription, therefore, could not in a general election be treated as it should be treated or given the consideration that it deserves. To my mind, the only way is to go straight to the people, with candour and with courage. And if we do,

I am sure that we shall not go in vain; I believe that the people will support the measure.

The question is whether this Bill shall be further proceeded with, or whether we shall stop now and submit the matter to the people for their approval or disapproval. That is the issue in this discussion. Whether we do or do not need the men; whether we

are in favour of conscription now or of its adoption later, is not the issue at this moment. The question is: Shall this

matter be submitted to the people? Some members of this House, and some prominent gentlemen out of the House, have said :We do not favour a referendum, because, we believe that the people are overwhelmingly against . conscription. In the name of high Heaven, what doctrine is that to preach in this country? We will not ask the people for their approval or'disapproval of a proposed measure, because we believe that the people are absolutely opposed to it; therefore we will try to force it upon them! That is the doctrine which these gentlemen advocate. For my part, I will never subscribe to a doctrine of that kind. It is Prussianism; it may be Toryism, but it is not Liberalism and it is not democracy-and to Liberalism and democracy I pin my faith. The leader of the Opposition says: Trust the people, .1 trust the people, and in doing so I follow in the footsteps of such illustrious Liberals as Baldwin, Lafontaine, Brown, Dorion and Mowat.

I am proud to-day to assist our great leader to carry aloft the banner of Liberalism so nobly raised by these eminent gentlemen. Only a few days ago one of England's greatest statesmen, a gentleman born in the purple almost, a Tory of the Tories, uttered from the Speaker's dais in this chamber these words, which should be engraved in- enduring marble:-

Ever more clearly as the months go on, It becomes evident that this is becoming a world war between the powers of democracy on the one side and the powers of autocracy on the other side. We in this room, whatever shades of differences may separate us, oan, in such a contest take only one side. We can only be on the side of democracy

We are convinced that for every human combination who have reached the degree of civilization and development that has been reached by all the great western communities, there is but one form of Government, under whatever name it may be called and that is the Government in which the ultimate control lies with the people. We have staked our last dollar upon democracy, and if democracy fail us we are bankrupt indeed. But X know that democracy will not fail us.

That is the way I feel about that matter, that democracy will not fail us on this occasion and on this question. In my opinion there never was and never will be an occasion so grave or a condition so critical that we can afford to ignore the basic principles of democracy and pass legislation in this House against the expressed wishes of the people.

At six o'clock the House took recess.

After Recess.

The House resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.
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LIB

William Manley German

Liberal

Mr. W. M. GERMAN (Welland) (Resuming) :

At six o'clock I was reading to the House the eloquent words used by the Right Hon. A. J. Balfour when he addressed this House a few weeks ago, and I think one sentence of his is worth repeating:

There is but one form of government, under whatever name it may be called, and that is the government in which the ultimate control lies with the people.

That is the doctrine in which I was brought up and have always lived; it is the principle which I always intend to maintain, in season and out of season, irrespective of what any one else may do, irrespective of what any newspaper may say. I say that we in this House would be better employed if at this hour we were going through the country endeavouring to induce the people to agree to the proposals which have been submitted by the Government, than enacting here a law against the wishes of the people. If by dispassionate appeal, by moral suasion and friendly intercourse, we cannot get the people to.agree to these proposals, we can never get the people to agree to them when they are embodied in enforced legislation. This law cannot be enforced if it is against the wishes of the people, and if some hon. gentlemen who have spoken in this House are correct in their judgment the wishes of the people are absolutely opposed to the principle of conscription. Punitive legislation such as this has never been placed on the statute book and enforced unless there was behind it a predominant public opinion. I have heard that statement made on several occasions by the Hon. Sir Oliver Mowat and by practically every man of thought in Canada; it has been made by the present Prime Minister, it has been made by the Minister of Trade and Commerce in this House in regard to temperance legislation.

The experience of the past is a better guide than present theories, and the experience of the past teaches every man who has given any thought at all to this question that punitive legislation cannot be enforced unless public opinion is in its favour.

Let me cite one very pronounced example. In many of the states of the Union [DOT]-states in which there is a law-abiding, honest, chivalrous and intelligent population-positive laws have been enacted against lynching. But of what effect have they been? In many of the states when a

[DOT]2634

diabolical crime has been committed and the people fear that fitting punishment will not be meted out, a lynching takes place, although the laws against it are most stringent. Did any one ever hear of a person in, those states of the Union being even prosecuted, much less convicted, for taking part in a lynching? Np. Why? Simply because public sentiment among the law-abiding citizens in those sections appears to be in favour of lynching under certain circumstances. There are instances of that continually.

Take the case of Ireland. The British Parliament has passed a conscription law, but it was not applied to Ireland.- Why was it not applied to Ireland as well as tp England and Wales and Scotland? Because public sentiment in Ireland was against it. I apprehend that the British Government knew the law could not, be enforced in Ireland, that it would do more harm than good if they attempted to enforce it. What further has happened? For centuries Ireland has been governed by laws made in England against the will of the Irish people. The result has been murder, bloodshed, and anarchy almost. Why? Because public sentiment in Ireland was against the legislation. But now the British people have cpme to their senses. At long last they have decided that the people of Ireland must rule and shall rule themselves. They have said to the people of Ireland: " Go your own way to this extent. Select men from among yourselves and work out a suitable form of government. When you have settled upon that form of government we will embody it in legislation at Westminster, and peace and harmony will then reign instead of anarchy and rebellion." Is not that an object lesson to us in this crisis?

Some people say: Why hesitate? Pass this law. I hesitate because there is a pronounced public sentiment against the law as at present being enacted. I doubt very much whether, if the people were educated on this matter, they would oppose the law so strongly; I dp not believe they would. If we went to the people honestly and fairly and gave them an opportunity to express their opinion in a referendum, without reference to any political conditions, withput any circumstances to detract their mind from the one question of winning the war,

I believe we should get an expression of [DOT] popular opinion in favpur of the Bill. It is because I believe you will get an expression of popular opinion in its favour that I am in favour of the amendment before

[Mr. German. 1

the House. What does pur honoured leader say about this matter? Here are his words:

What I propose is that we should have a referendum and a consultation of the people upon this question. I have taken the referendum, not that I have been very favourable towards it, but I find that the idea of the referendum has made enormous progress in Canada, and that it has been adopted by the political associations in the western provinces as a method of political action. If we are to have peace, if there is to be unity, we must meet the wishes of the labouring classes, who have asked for this privilege. When the consultation with the people has been had, when the verdict has been pronounced, I pledge my word, my reputation, that to the verdict, such as it is, every man will have to submit, and I claim to speak at least so far as is concerned the province from which I come. Is that an unfair situation, is that an unfair appeal? Can anybody say that it is not in accordance with true democratic principles? This I leave to the consideration of those whom I see before me.

I say that it is so fair, so true to democratic principles, that I, for one, support it now and continually. I want a Bill that can be made effective, and it is for that reason that I support this proposition. It is alleged that time will be lost if there is a referendum. How long would it take? The Minister of Militia has told us that we could not get the soldiers' votes. But the Government are the people who have assured us that we could get the , soldiers' votes. They intended to have an election last year.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Two years ago.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.
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LIB

William Manley German

Liberal

Mr. GERMAN:

Yes. And they were going to take the soldiers' votes. Their ballot boxes and ballots are over there in England now. They could cable to the High Commissioner in London the form of ballot: " Are you in favour of compulsory military service in Canada during the progress of this war? Yes or no." That ballot could be printed there and distributed among the soldiers, and they could get the vote of the soldiers as quickly as you can get a vote here. It would take six weeks at the outside. Give the women votes. I will cast my vote with the mothers of this country; I am riot afraid to give the women votes in this referendum. Let every person who has an interest in this war have a vote in this matter. Having taken a referendum, you will have a full expression of the people's will, and we will carry out in legislation the will of the people, no matter what it may be. Time will not be lost-time will be gained.

The hon. member for South Renfrew (Mr. Graham) says we shall have an election.

The Prime Minister says: pass the Bill and then have an election and coalition government. Did any one ever hear of a contest of physical strength in which one contestant says to the other: "I will shackle your feet and hands, I will tie your elbows, and having shackled you to my satisfaction I will match strength with you?" That is the way it would be if a coalition government passed this Bill and submitted it to the people. With both parties united on this principle, with every organization in their support, and the people without organization and without leadership, what possible chance would they have to express an opinion? They would not submit to that any more than they would submit to this proposition if it is .forced on them now. But give the people a chance to express their opinion freely and frankly at the polls, and I for one believe that the majority of the people would toe in its favour. That is why I say have a referendum.

I trust the proposition we make will be accepted. I believe it is the safest proposition; it is the only democratic proposition. But, if the proposition is refused, what then? The occasion is grave, the possibilities are grave. I would like the Government to adopt the proposition in favour of a referendum, but if they refuse, then, in consequence of the gravity of the situation, I will not by my vote -stand in the way of the Government putting the Bill through and making it a success, if they can, and desire to.

Now, I ask, what is going to happen? It is said that coming events cast their shadows before. The shadows of coming events are hanging over us now, -and beneath those shadows I venture to express an opinion as to what the events themselves will be. I do not wish to impute motives, but you will see that this is what will happen. This eBill will pass this House. - In about six weeks, or, perhaps, more, it will receive the assent of His Excellency the Governor General. The Government will then immediately appoint their officials, who will immediately begin to draw their pay. They will then begin to make regulations, for the making of which they intend to take power. They will, perhaps, issue a proclamation calling up the first section of recruits. And they will stop there. Their courts of appeal, the machinery with which this Bill is weighted, will stop the proceedings from that time on. And they will have an election.

They will dissolve this Parliament, they will go to the country and say: We want

the approval of the people to this Conscription Bill. We will have an election, not on conscription-that will not be the issue-but the issue will be between English and French, between Protestant and Catholic. We will have an election which will not be excelled by the villainous P.P.A. election in this province of Ontario in the campaign against Sir Oliver Mowat in 1894, the enmities from which have not died out yet. I do not want to .see that. I would like to see this matter amicably settled now by sending it to the people for their approval or disapproval. If you do that you will get harmony; if you do not you will have disunion and disruption. I feel strongly on this matter because I have seen in our province of Ontario these same questions raised and I feel in my soul that the question will be raised now. I fear that this is not a Bill to gain recruits; it is more like -a Bill to gain an election. They had a Minister of Militia who was striving to win the war, they have a Minister of Public Works who strives to win elections. They put out the Minister of Militia who was -striving to win the war and they keep the Minister of Public Works who strives to win elections. It1 is more like winning an election than it is like winnng the war.

I do not know that I .should occupy the time of this House any further. I have stated my position with as great fairness as I am capable of. I contend that .the safe way, the sur-e way, the only way to bring about compulsory military -service is to secure the will of the people in favour of that policy and then carry it out. If you have not the will of the people in favour of it, you will have discontent, distrust, disunion and disaster. Get the will of the people and all that discontent is done away with. I would like to adopt the eloquent words of the Prime Minister in closing the speech with which he introduced this Bill. I would in .thought call to our deliberations our brave comrades who have fought, and the spirits of those who will fight no more, and in their presence, and with all the solemnity that presence would command, I would say that I will do everything that in me lies to bring about success and victory for the allied cause in (this great struggle for freedom and to see to it that the sacrifices which have been made shall not have been made in vain. But in doing that I will endeavour to maintain unity in thought and action between all classes of people in this country for whose freedom those brave comrades have made their sacrifice and given their lives.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.
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CON

Albert Sévigny (Minister of Mines; Secretary of State of Canada; Minister of Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. ALBERT SEVIGNY (Minister of Inland Revenue) :

to do-and thank God if it may be that in a certain measure we succeed.

Many of my right minded compatriots have advised me to stick to my post, and I thank them for their advice. I know that in the performance of my duty I may end my political career, but such a sacrifice would be still less great than the one which has been made by jrur soldiers who have died on the field of honour, while making for us a bulwark of their breasts. Mr. Speaker, I want to communicate to the House a letter which I have received from a man I do not know, but whose father has played a very important part in the history of our country:-

National Trust Building,

Winnipeg, June 11th, 1917. The Hon. Albert Sfrvigny,

House of Commons,

Ottawa, Ont.

My dear Mr. Sdvigny,

Although a stranger to you, I cannot refrain from addressing you as I have done and from writing to congratulate you most warmly on your patriotism in deciding to retain your Portfolio. I have always had a deep and warm interest in my French Canadian fellow-citizens, whom I used to know extremely well when I was a boy and a young man, and it would be very strange if this were not the case, as, during my father's long political career, he never had a friend with whom his relations were so intimate, in whom he placed so much confidence and for whom he had such a deep affection, as Sir George E. Cartier, with the possible exception of Sir Charles Tupper. Sir George and he (I mean my father) were, as you, of course, learned from history, generally known#as "The Siamese Twins" and it was to a great extent due to their joint efforts that Confederation was possible. Such being the case, I cannot but regard with horror the prospect of seeing our people divided on racial lines, for I can conceive no greater misfortune that could befall our young Dominion. It is impossible for me, or any one else, to foretell what the consequence might be, but that they would be serious no one can doubt, and I congratulate you on playing the part of a true patriot in doing what in you lies, and that is much to avoid such a catastrophe. It must have required no small amount of moral courage to take the position you are doing, when, by adopting a different course and appealing to the passions and prejudices of your compatriots, you might, and probably would, have greatly increased your popularity with them. This, however, could at best been have temporary, and I am sure you have adopted what in the end will prove to have been the wisest course.

With kindest regards and best wishes for your future success in every way, I remain. Yours very, sincerely,

(Sgd) Hugh J Macdonald

The member for Kamouraska (Mr. E. Lapointe) said in his speech that public opinion in the English provinces, the United States, France and England, had

been poisoned against French Canadians. Will what has 'been going on in this House and in our province since the conscription measure was spoken of restore public opinion in our favour? No; far from it. The people will still more firmly believe that the French Canadians refuse to enlist and to take their part in the present war. How can it be otherwise, surrounded as we are, we French Canadians, with a population which does not understand our language, and consequently does not read our newspapers and our books?

We must regretfully admit that in the English provinces and in the United States those persons are very scarce who take the trouble of defending us or even of trying to understand us. The result is that the public believes what is said about us and renders its judgment accordingly.

Many members have stated that effective measures to stimulate recruiting in the province of Quebec have not been employed since the beginning of the war. I think, however, that the time has come to speak frankly. I do not hesitate to sav that the French Canadians have not used the means they should have employed. In my opinion, a French Canadian organization, independent of politics, and composed of earnest men, should have been formed long ago in the province of Quebec to encourage recruiting. Furthermore, we should have completely put aside our political feuds. If our public men had worked hand in hand and had placed before our people the question of the war as it presented itself, it would have been easier to have the province of Quebec answer the appeal with the other provinces of the Dominion. Various influences have strongly contributed to paralyse recruiting. If we had had an organization composed of earnest men who would have taken upon themselves the responsibility of consulting the Government respecting the measures to be taken in our province, I am convinced that this organization would have triumphed over those which were discouraging recruiting.

To prove to you that French Canadians know how to do their duty when unfavourable influences are not exerted, let us look at what has taken place in the English provinces. We will see that French-Cana-dians have answered the call in great numbers. This fact was brought out by the figures which were submitted to the House a few days ago by the Minister of Militia.

Let us look at what took place in the United States when the American Govern-

ment applied to all men from 21Ao 31 years of age to register for conscription.

I sent the following message to Hon. A. J. Pothier, of Woonsocket, and Mr. L. N. Asselin, of Biddeford, Maine:

Please tell me how French Canadians and Americans^ of French origin have answered to the application of the American Government to establish conscription in the United States.

I received from Mr. L. N. Asselin, of Biddeford, Maine, colonization agent for the Canadian Government, the following

message:

In Maine, I may say generally New England, French Canadians and French Americans have answered call conscription unanimously and heartily. Locally 792 French Canadians registered.

I received the following answer from Hon. A. J. Pothier, of Rhode Island:

Franco-Americans have answered loyally and patriotically to conscription. Fair number of

French American volunteers enlisted.

I received also from the newspaper L'Opinion Publique, of Worcester, Mass., U.S.A., the following message:

Our French compatriots have answered to the call of the country with loyalty and unanimity which deserves the admiration of all. We exceed all other elements of the population for the figures of enlistments.

Many soldiers returned from the front have expressed to me the greatest praise of French Canadians who are in the army. To-day we have but to mention the brave . deeds of the 22nd regiment before an audience in the province of Quebec to see that our population is proud of the conduct of these brave men. -

Unfortunately there are too many narrowminded people who have undertaken the task- of hindering our population from doing as others have done. Since the question of conscription came up, men of talent, in newspapers or in public meetings, denounce our participation in the war, making believe, to succeed better in their denunciation, that the country is ruined, that we have done enough, and that we owe nothing .to England-: Some others,

more brave, advise people to stay here to defend Canada if ever Germany wants to come here to attack us. To those who tell me the country is ruined, I answer, as far as the province of Quebec is concerned, that that province has never been more prosperous. The farmers have made a fortune since the beginning of .the war; everywhere in the cities there is much work to do.

I know as well as any one that the expenses of the war are heavy, but as we have decided to take part in the conflict, we could not hope to carry on the war with prayers alone. If .the Allies were to begin to consider the great sacrifices of money which they have made for three years, they would certainly feel, if they were like the economists of our country, th-at the time had come to stop the struggle. Those who say that we have done enough are those who would have wanted to do nothing from the beginning and who have done nothing else since that time but arouse passions and prejudices, while receiving their large salaries.

Some people say that we are not concerned in this war. It is certain that we have not wished nor provoked this terrible scourge which is sowing in the world devastation, mourning and ruin. However, in spite of the fact that we have not wished nor provoked the conflict, the fact remains that we are in the war in spite of ourselves, and we must accept the fact, and the terrible consequences.

It is a regrettable situation. It is'a situation extremely critical for us. But it is not a question of knowing if it is in spite of us or with our consent that the European nations launched themselves against each other in the month of August, 1914. We have but one thing to do, and that is to realize the sorrowful state of affairs; to realize that we are at war; that we are living in a troublous period in the history of the world, and that, unfortunately, we must bear the terrible consequences.

We must then accept the brutal fact of the war and that leads me to ask, Mr. Speaker, if it was possible for us to remain out of the conflict. I do not think so. Some people have said: ''If we were in the United States, we would be free from all this trouble." Those people were mistaken. Despite ourselves, we have been drawn into the war, as the United States themselves were a few months ago. But how many insults and indignities was not our neighbour of the South, the great American Republic, subjected to before entering the war. They endured all that was humanely possible to hear before definitely entering into the conflict. The time came, however, when endurance could no longer be tolerated and the greatest and most powerful wf all neutral countries on earth oast its sword into the balance to assure the triumph of democracy and crush forever the Huns who are eager to enslave humanity.

Such has been the fate of the United States, and such would have been our fate if, in the month of August, 1914, we had refrained from entering into the struggle. We would inevitably have been drawn into the battle, as were our powerful neighbours of the South. If one of the most peaceful nations of the globe could not keep away from the horrors of the battlefields, how could we remain indifferent to the great drama which is being enacted to-day on the European continent, and on the great seas of the world?

Others, Mr. Speaker, have said: " We owe nothing to England, so why fight for her?" To those I answer: We are not fighting for England, but we are fighting with England. England is fighting to protect her Empire; we are fighting to protect our territory. In the same wray we are fighting, not for France, but with France. We know fairly well that if France is conquered

9 p.m. England will be conquered also, and that Canada would then suffer the horrors o.f_ defeat. If England were defeated the territory of our Mother Country would be invaded, and then it would require only six more days for the Germans to invade Canada. The time would be passed then to organize armies and issue the call to arms. Our country would be pillaged and plundered, our population slaughtered, and we would witness the horrors and crimes committed in Belgium and in northern France by the barbarians of the twentieth century. When we study the situation we should consider ourselves fortunate, indeed, to defend our country on foreign territory, especially when we know what misery and distress have been inflicted on the inhabitants of northern France and Belgium, whom a cruel invader has robbed of their homes and possessions, .and who today, in order to regain possession of those villages where they were born and grew up, are forced to shell the places they have loved so well. So, we are not fighting for England, but for ourselves, and it is to secure liberty for ourselves and for those who will follow us that we are fighting today. Since I have proved that we are fighting, not for England, but for ourselves, it is needless to ask if we owe anything to England.

But there is one point on which it is not permitted to differ, viz.: since the beginning of the war the British fleet has kept the route from America to Europe open, and we have thus been permitted to export our products at prices so remunerative that our population has never been so prosperous as

since 1914. The British fleet has kept the way free for our commerce, and that fact has been worth millions to us. What would have happened without the British fleet? We would not haVU been able to export to Europe a single bushel of grain or .a single manufactured article. Our harvest of 1914 would have remained on our hands. The United States would have been in the same position. The farmer, with his harvest of 1914 on his hands, would not have sown his land in 1915, and as early as 1915 famine would have prevailed in the great cities of Canada and of the United States. The farmer would have said: Why should I work my land at such a high cost when I cannot market my products? Consequently our cities would have suffered from lack of production. The large cities of Russia are actually suffering from famine. The Russian farmers are producing for themselves only. Blockaded by land and sea, they were unable to export the surplus of their harvest of 1914. They used to export about 300 million bushels of wheat. In 1915, as their harvest of 1914 was still on their hands, farming was considerably decreased. In 1916, they produced enough for themselves only, and as a result, the inhabitants of the large cities are famishing. This economic situation, due to the blockade, is more disastrous to the Russian people than the invasion of their territory by the Germans. Russia is virtually under the ban of an embargo imposed by Germany.

We owe more than that to England, because, without England's powerful fleet, this British colony, Canada, would have been conquered by the Germans as the German colonies were by the Allies. What would have happened to Canada if the British fleet had not cleared the seas of the German fleet? We would have seen our cities, such as Halifax, St. John, and Quebec, bombarded by the German fleet and forced to accept the conditions imposed upon our country. Our people would have been crushed with taxation, and instead of the abundance we have known since 1914, we would have experienced misery and poverty as Belgium did.

The reason why we do not stand humiliated in face of the services rendered us is to be found in the presence of our Canadian boys at Ypres, Festubert, Givenchy, St. Eloi, Neuve Chapelle, Courcelette, Vimy, and those who stand prepared, up to the last, to die in defence of the cause, with the soldiers of England, of France, and soon, of the United States. If valuable services have been rendered us, let us be proud of

those who enable us to say that we also have done our share, and let us not forget that our boys kept the Germans from reaching Calais in 1915. Let those who have sacrificed themselves for us, as we have sacrificed ourselves for them, speak. This is what M. Viviani said to us but a few weeks ago:

Yes, Sir, your Canadian boys have fought along with the English and French troops without paying any heed to racial differences. Under the flags of all the Allies they have all shown a similar courage. It must not he forgotten that in the month of February, near the Belgian frontier, in a country devastated by floods, after the terrific assault of the German soldiers by means of asphyxiating gases -Germany, the country that has caused science to swerve from its true ends, and, instead of pouring its benefits upon mankind, has visited humanity with manifold evils and crimes. -the same Germany has had to meet your Canadian soldiers. On that terrific day, your sons, rising in their might, saved the situation.

And throughout many battles, throughout numerous and recent victories, the soldiers of Canada stood up heroically against the foe. Even at this moment, we have before our eyes your boys, so alert, so athletic, so brave, the first to storm, victoriously carrying their flag to those heights of Vimy which were reputed to be impregnable.

I am proud to see in this chamber one of our heroes of Vimy in the person of our colleague, the hon. member for Parry Sound (Mr. Arthurs).

Let us solemnly register these words of Marshall Joffre:

What the soldiers of Montreal and of Canada have accomplished will always be appreciated in France. The soldiers of Canada are courageous; they despise death, and their bravery equals that of the French troops. 1 thank you for what you have said and hope that your words will bear fruit, but send; along more men, we need them all.

The law authorizes the raising of 100,000 men, .in nine provinces. I do not know what number of men the tribunals of each province will decide to send to the army, but let us suppose it will be as follows: British Columbia, 10,000; Alberta, 10,000; Saskatchewan, 10,00(f; Manitoba, 10,000; Ontario, 25,000; Quebec, 25,COO; New Brunswick, 5,000; Nova Scotia, 5,000; Prince Edward Island, 2,000. We reach 'a total of 102,000 men; the law authorizes but 100,000. The Government thinks they can be found, but once more, I say the tribunals will decide.

The leader of the Opposition stated the other day that he regretted that the French Canadians were not in greater number in our expeditionary forces. I ask him, and I also ask his followers from Quebec who are in favour of our participation, as they

have proved to be since the beginning of the war, if they think that Quebec would be ruined if she had furnished 25,000 more French Canadians. I know that the leader of the Opposition, the hon. member for Eouville (Mr. Lemieux), the hon. member for Kamouraska (Mr. E. Lapointe), and all the other members for the province of Quebec would be as happy as I to say that we have 25,000 more French Canadians in the army. I know that we would reca" this fact with pride, to state that we hav done our share as have all the others. I know that the French Canadians would be proud to have many regiments like the 22nd, which has shed such glory upon the French Canadians' name. If the province of Quebec had furnished 25,000 more men, would she be ruined? Without hesitation,

I say, no. Will she be in a position to furnish them under this Bill? That is for the tribunals to decide, just as in the other provinces. No difference will exist between the French Canadians of Quebec and the English Canadians of the other provinces.

Our public men will be in a position to see that the law is carried out with justice to every one. Furthermore, a French Canadian organization should be formed to take special care of our soldiers and of their families. This organization could ask the Government to place French Canadian officers in charge of the military commands of our province, and I am sure that this request would be favourably received; and the same could be done in regard to promotions. This measure would restore the harmony between the two races and remove certain grievances which actually divide us.

In concluding, I say to my fellow citizens that we are proud of our ancestors of 1775 and of 1812 who saved this country for Great Britain. We are proud of these words so often repeated: "The last shot for the defence of the British flag shall be fired by French Canadians." We are proud of our pontifical Zouaves and we have cause to be proud of them. They have fought for sacred causes. But never a more sacred cause has called men to the flag than that of the present war, and -millions have so far answered the call.

For our glorious ancestors dead on the battlefield; for our brothers who died or are ready to die in the trenches; for the sacred cause of justice, religion, democracy and civilization; so that our children and our grandchildren may be proud of us as we of our ancestors; to have understanding between the two races which God has placed in this young and great country; so that our fellow citizens of other provinces

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Hon. WILLIAM PUGSLEY (St. John):

Mr. Speaker, I am very sorry indeed that the hon. Minister of Inland Revenue impaired what in most respects was a very admirable speech by the reference he made at the commencement to my right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition. Let me say to that hon. gentleman that in future years the historian will say: There is no man occupying a place in Canadian history who has done more to promote harmony between the two races than my right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition. His whole life has been devoted to that cause. Others might have won in a larger measure than he did the approval of his compatriots, but he has always sacrificed his personal, ambition to his desire to promote unity and to add to the grandeur of our glorious Dominion. He has known no race and no creed, but has been in all respects and at all times a true Canadian citizen. I am s.orry, as I have said, that my hon. friend made the reference which he did to my right hon. leader.

There is just one other remark which I have to' make in regard to the hon. gentleman. He says there are many people in the province of Quebec to-day who are saying that Canada owes nothing to England. Let me ask my hon. friend if that statement is made by gentlemen who have great respect for my hon. friend. Is it made by those who listened to the hon. gentleman himself years ago when on platform after platform he stated that Canada owed nothing to England and should take no part in the wars of the Empire? True, Sir, down in Valleyfield not long ago the hon. gentleman said that when he made that statement he was young and his mind immature, his intellect had not been fully developed, he was only 30 years of age. Down in our part of the country it is generally supposed that fish is a very good article of diet, which leads to mental de-

velopment, but let me say that I think there is no better food than the food which the hon. gentleman gets at the Government crib, for it seems tp have developed his intellect and to have brought him at last to a right way of thinking, and to an appreciation of the duty which every man in this country owes to Canada and to the Empire.

The hon. gentleman said to-night that a great crisis has arisen. He intimated that the people of the province that he represents in the Government are greatly agitated over this question. If that is so, why does he not unite with my right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition, who has moved an amendment to the Bill calculated to promote harmony and unity between the different races in this country, and calculated also to serve the best ends of Canada and the Empire in this great world war? Why does he not do that, and show that he is prepared to sacrifice his place in the Government for the good of his country?

With regard to the question before the House, in my opinion the proper time to have introduced a measure of compulsory service was when this war broke out. The public men of this country knew then as well as they know to-day that this would be a conflict of giants. They knew then as well as they know now that Germany had been preparing for this war for 50 years, that she was armed to the teeth with great guns and plenty of ammunition, and that it would be a long and hard struggle. If the Government thought that it would be desirable at any time to introduce compulsory service into this country, the time to introduce it was when the war broke out, just as the United States Government, immediately war was declared, provided means for the enlistment of her soldiers. This Government, however, did not do that. You will remember, Sir, that at the session of August, 1914, my right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition was asked by the Government to assist in putting through as speedily as possible the different war measures which the Government desired to pass. My right hon. friend readily acquiesoed. He took part in voting all the money that the Government required and assisted in every way, so far as this Parliament could assist, in the financial operations necessary to send our boys to the front. Not a murmur of dissatisfaction was raised against what the Government proposed to do. This side of the House assured the Government that anything they required for'the carrying on of the war would be cheerfully given;

and from that day to this, that has been the policy pursued 'by this side. There was no suggestion that conscription would be resorted' to; there was no suggestion that the compulsory system then or at any time was likely to be found better than the voluntary. To-day, the Government is trying to take shelter, so far as this Bill is concerned, behind the fact that the Militia Act of 1904 provided for compulsory service. They say they are making no change in principle, but merely an alteration in detail. I do not believe the Government at that time thought that the Militia Act would enable them to do what they are doing, and what this country has supported them in doing, namely, sending hundreds of thousands of our young men across the seas to fight the battles of the Empire, ot freedom and of civilization, and to crush German militarism. To-day they seek an excuse for what they propose that this Parliament-which has extended beyond the term for which it was elected by the people -should do; and they seek alse to afford the enemies in the province of Quebec of the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) an opportunity of saying that this Bill is not more stringent in ite provisions than the Militia Act of 1904, which was passed under the guidance of the Government of which that right hon. gentleman was the head. Other members who have spoken in support of this Bill claim that under the Militia Act the same thing could he done which is proposed to be done under this Act. The leader of the Government (Sir Robert Borden) went so far as to say that the Act of 1904 was the same as the Act that was in force before that statute was passed-similar in its provisions, but with a very slight difference in its terms. In order to show you that that was not the ease, let me call attention to the Act that was in force before 1904, which will be found in the Revised Statutes of 1886. Section 79 of that Act, which is the section corresponding with section 69 in the Act of 1904, provides:

Her Majesty may call out the Militia, or any part thereof, for active service either within or without Canada, at any time when it appears advisable so to do by reason of war, invasion or insurrection, or danger of any of them.

The power to call out the militia was not limited to an occasion which made that calling out necessary "for the defence of Canada." The words " for the defence of Canada " were omitted from the Revised Statutes. When this Parliament, in 1904, reenacted the militia law, it sought to make

it clear that the intent of the Militia Act was that our soldiers should be called out to serve, inside or outside the country, only for the defence of Canada. That is the material point in which the Act of 1904 differs from the Act of 1868 which was re-enacted in the Revised Statutes of 1886. Now, the Prime Minister and the newspaper supporters of the Government in the province of Quebec, such as L'Evenement, claim that the Liberal party is responsible for this conscription law, the law of compulsory service passed in 1904. But the change in that year was made for the purpose of making it clear that the militia could not be sent outside of Canada except for the defence of Canada. When this war broke out-no matter what we may think of it to-day-the people of Canada had no thought for their own safety and their own defence. They recognized that this was a case in which Germany had ruthlessly broken her treaties with Belgium and ruthlessly invaded France; that the British Empire must fill the breach in defence , of liberty and civilization; and Canada determined to throw in her lot with the Empire. We did not think of Canada, but of the Empire, and of the noble ideals for which that Empire and the Allied nations were waging this war. With a unanimity which was wonderful the'people of Canada themselves, and as represented in this Parliament, agreed that our boys who volunteered should be sent to the front to fight for these ideals. Surely it comes with ill grace from the Prime Minister to say that his excuse for the proposed law is that it is not a departure from the Act of 1904, that it does not change the principle of that Act but only some of its details. The Minister of Militia (Sir Edward Kemp) emphasized this phase of the argument. Let me, then, even at the risk of repeating what was put before the House when my hon. friend from Kamouraska (Mr. Ernest Lapointe) and my hon. friend from St. Johns-Iberville (Mr. Demers) spoke, read what took place in the session of 1904. Sir Frederick Borden was then Minister of Militia, and he it was who had charge of the Bill. Speaking under the advice he had, he said that the reason for putting in the Bill the words " for the defence of Canada " was that this had been the spirit in which the Militia Acts had been administered, and that he was only making the matter clear so that it could not be questioned. J find that it was aTgued that as the law then stood troops could be sent under the Militia Act in defence of the Empire; but

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Now to come down with this Bill and to refuse the amendment that it shall be left to the people to determine is a breach of faith .of the grossest possible character, not alone with the right hon. leader of the Opposition, hut with the

members of this House and "with the people of this country.

One hon. gentleman opposite has said that in these times of war he would puncture the constitution to pieces. I suppose he would say, too, that in this time of war there is no condemnation to be meted out to public men who break their promises, who disregard their pledges. I suppose he will say that. But, Sir, 1 think upon sober reflection the members of this House and the people of this country will entertain a different view. Further, when that resolution for the extension of Parliament came before this House, the leader of the Government said that he had had discussions with the right hon. leader of the Opposition with regard to the extension and as to what should take place if the extension were granted. There was to be no party warfare; if vacancies occurred by-elections were to be held and in each case the representative of the party which had held the seat before was to be elected by acclamation. But there was to be no party warfare. Yet only one year afterwards we find the right hon. leader of the Government coming down and proposing a measure which must necessarily be regarded as most partisan in its character, inasmuch as a large number of the members of this House are firmly and unalterably opposed to it, and inasmuch as some millions of the people of this country are also determinedly opposed to it. How could you get a measure more partisan in its character? For a measure to be partisan, simply means that upon it Parliament and the people of this country are divided, and, as I say, there never was a measure introduced in any Parliament which from that standpoint is more partisan than the Bill now before this House. At that time the right hon. leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), in his address in support of the resolution, referred to the fact that all was harmony, that the members of this House were united in the prosecution of the war, and he said:

We are now at the beginning, of the third campaigiT, and at this stage we may well appropriate to ourselves the invocation of the American poet:

Our fathers' God! from out whose hand The centuries fall like grains of sand,

We meet to-day, united, free,

Loyal to our land and Thee.

To thank Thee for the era done And trust Thee for the opening one.

In the words of the poet, we meet to-day, united, free.

But we now have this Bill introduced into this moribund Parliament by a Government

which is not here through the suffrages of the people of this country, but is holding power by the vote of this- House, owing to the fact that we asked the Imperial Parliament to keep us in office beyond our term. This moribund Government is asking this moribund Parliament to pass this law of conscription, which will interfere with the liberties of the young men of this country. Whether, under other circumstances, it would be right or wrong to introduce such a measure, I need not say at the present time, but, by reason of their introducing this measure, Parliament is divided, the people of this country are torn asunder, and no man can tell what will be the outcome if this Bill is passed into law and an attempt is made to enforce it by compulsion. What a different picture is presented to-day from that which was presented to the people of this country a little more than one year ago! Now, Sir, is there any need of this? As I said before, the time to introduce a law of conscription was when the war broke out. At that time a vigorous effort should have been made by a non-party Government to organize for the national service the wealth and all the industries and all the resources of this country for the purpose of winning this war and doing the very best which it was possible for Canada to do in connection with that great purpose. That was the time to act. But this Government has Mone nothing in that direction. As has been said by hon. gentlemen who have spoken, as has even been said by hon. gentlemen on this side who have felt constrained to support this measure, from the beginning of the war until now, partisanship, party spirit, party patronage, have entered into almost every act of this Government in connection with the carrying on of the war. Apart from sending our young men to the front, they have taken no steps to organize the national resources of this country, no steps to make the wealth of this country respond t) its duty in connection with the carrying on of this war. All they have thought of is to get our young men to the front; all they think of to-day is to pass a law of conscription under which they can send their officers throughout this country and take the young men from their homes, take them from their mothers, their fathers, their sisters, their sweethearts, their wives, and send them across the seas-that is all they think of. They have not built a ship. They have not built a ship to carry the products of Canada across the ocean. They have not taken one single step to cheapen transportation in

order that England and our Allies may be supplied with food which may be needed, and needed in the most dreadful way, before the-war is through. They have taken no steps to control food prices in this country. They have allowed the cost of living to go up by leaps and bounds, so that the young man who has gone to the front and who has left his wife or family at home, is to-day in the greatest possible anxiety as to the way in which they are able to live on the small means which they receive. They have done nothing to assist in the production of food. They have

seen the prftspect of the crops being less and less from year to year owing to the scarcity of farm labour. They have had appeals made to them by members of this House and by the people to assist tlje farmers by putting fertilizers and farm tractors on the free list so that thousands, and tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of acres might be put under cultivation, as could have been done if reasonable and progressive methods had been pursued, but they have done absolutely nothing. As I said, all that they think of, the only thing in respect to which apparently they think they have any duty at all, is to send our young men to the front.

I ask you, Sir, is it necessary to introduce this measure at this time? Canada has enlisted over 400,000 men for military service. As the Minister of Finance said the other day, the effort which Canada has put forward can be described as nothing less than a mighty effort, unparalleled in history. If Canada's effort were equalled by the people of the great republic to the south, they would send between six and seven million young men across the ocean to fight the battle of freedom as Canada has been fighting it side by side with the Allies during the past three years. The question is, after the putting forth of this great effort, is this the time to introduce conscription? Is it necessary to do so? We have endeavoured, but in vain, to get accurate figures from the Minister of Militia and from gentlemen who have spoken on behalf of the Government. When I asked the Minister of Labour, who knows about as much concerning Government matters as any other member of the Government-I am not quite sure, Sir, whether you will regard that as high praise-if the report in the newspapers was true that last month voluntary enlistments in Canada had reached about 7,000, what did he say? Bear in mind that before I had asked him the

question he, a responsible minister of the Government, had told the House that voluntary enlistment had absolutely fallen down; that we could not get any more men; that the only thing to do was to resort to conscription. In response to my inquiry whether 7,000 men had actually enlisted in the month of May, the Minister of Labour replied that he did not know anything about it; he could not answer. Yet, he, a member of the Government, who is willing to take upon himself the responsibility of passing a law under which 100,000 young men can be deprived of their liberty, was not able to give the House any figures to show the necessity for such a course of action. Today the Minister of Militia stated that

420.000 men had enlisted and that 330,000 had gone overseas. That would leave

90.000 still in Canada.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, no.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Yes, 330,000 had gone across the seas.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HERBERT AMES:

Of that 90,000 fully half did not stay in the service.

Mr. PUGSLEY': That has not been explained to us. The member for St. Antoine may know about these things, but he is not a member of the Government; he is not the gentleman to whom we have a right to look for information of this kind. These are the figures which were given to us: 420,000 had enlisted, 330,000 had been sent across the ocean; there were 130,000 in France and 126,000 still in England. The casualties have amounted to 87,000 or 90,000. If the Minister of Militia is right, and we are still raising in Canada 70,000 to 80,000 men a year, the figures are these: We have in Canada 90,000 men. If we get in a year

80.000 more, that will be 170,000. Add to that number 126,00CT who are in England, and you will have available within a year about 300,000 men for the service of the Empire, in addition to those now at the front.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

Charles Murphy

Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

But you will have no

election cry against Quebec.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HERBERT AMES:

I understand that there are not over 17,000 men in Canada who are in training for combatant service?

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

The hon. gentleman

should at. once be favourably considered for .the position of Minister of Militia, or of assistant to the minister.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HERBERT AMES:

I have quite

enough on my hands at present.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Well, we will put it at 17,000. Out of 90,000, only 17,000 remain; that means that 73,000 men who enlisted in Canada have disappeared. Of that we have no explanation. The minister did tell us that 126,000 men were in England, ready for service or being prepared for service. There were 90,000 men in Canada, 73,000 of whom, the member for St. Antoine has kindly informed us, have disappeared, so that only 17,000 remain. However, if you add to these 17,000 the 126,000 who are in England and' the 80,000 men that we would raise in a year under voluntary enlistment, you have upwards of 200,000 men available inside of a year for service at the front or for training in England. Mr. Speaker, that is not a had showing, nearly at the end of the third year of the war. I am unable for the life of me to see why the Prime Minister, in the face of the pledges and promises which 'he made to the people, should introduce this measure. I fail to see any justification for such a course at the present time. One ought to take this stand whether he he in favour of conscription or against it: Having started upon the policy of

carrying on the war by voluntary enlistment-Canada having contributed to the Empire far beyond what anybody dreamed was possible, thereby gaining the admiration of the whole world-we should not resort to compulsory service until every other resource has been exhausted and until absolute necessity arises.

The Prime Minister says that the crying need to-day is for infantry. What did he say when he came from England? He taws about the call from the trenches-a call which I doubt he ever heard. I doubt if the men in the trenches would feel it in accordance with the oath which they took to offer any complaint or make any representations with regard to what should or should not be done for them-. But the Prime Minister made some very interesting remarks as to what he saw at the front. He is reported as follows, on page IfiO of Hansard of this year:

I was particularly proud to have the privilege of seeing Courcelette, because the Canadians distinguished themselves in its capture, and in that attack and on other battlefields, no regiment bore itself more worthily than the 22nd French Canadian regiment, which did splendid work in every engagement in which it participated.

That statement ought to be remembered by those newspaper men who write those savage articles about Quebec and who speak

[Sir Herbert Ames.l

about civil war and about its being a very good thing if our soldiers, while passing through Quebec on their way to fight the Germans, would have a little fight with the French Canadians. It ought to be a rebuke to hon. members like the hon. meriiber for South Perth (Mr. Steele), who, at a meeting of the Liberal-Conservative Convention held the other night at Mitchell, in his constituency, is reported in the Montreal Star to have said that the people of Quebec did not want to engage in this war; that they would sooner fight the people of Ontario than fight the Germans.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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CON

Michael Steele

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEELE:

I should have excepted the '8,000 who have enlisted from the province of Quebec.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

The hon. member, I am sorry to say, admits the truth of the report made of the speech delivered by him on that occasion. It is language like that, coming from responsible members of this House; it is writings like that appearing in newspapers in Ontario, which incite racial passions and prejudices in Quebec. That is a course which should be frowned down by every hon. member who loves his country and who wishes to see his fellow countrymen of all races live in peace and unity. The Prime Minister says further:-

The Canadian Railway Construction Corps is performing work of the most vital importance. As far back as 1915 it was, I believe, suggested to the war authorities that railways could be constructed behind the fighting line and utilized to great advantage. The matter was not taken up immediately; but it has been taken up since, and one of the chief requests that we received from the War Office while we were in England was for additional men for the Canadian Railway Construction Corps -and for the Canadian Forestry Corps. What I have said of the Canadian Railway Construction Corps applies with equal force to the Canadian Forestry Corps The work of these units is not so impressive, but is almost equally important as that of the combatant forces. It is absolutely necessary, as things are at present, that Great Britain should cut down to the utmost the tonnage for the conveyance of articles other than food supplies, and timber takes up an enormous quantity of tonnage. Therefore, in Great Britain and France forests are being sacrificed to-day on every hand in order that the necessary timber for the prosecution of the war may be provided. It is universally admitted on the other side of the Atlantic that the Canadian Forestry Corps is most highly efficient, and the request to us is that we shall send men in as large numbers as possible to assist in the work which they are carrying on.

That, he tells us, when making his statement to Parliament, is the request that was made to him upon the other side. A few days afterwards, when he submits the Bill for military service, he says: Oh, it is in-

fantry that is required; the crying need is for infantry. The voice which he heard in regard to infantry- is, I believe, not the voice of the Imperial authorities, but the voice of Toronto; it is the voice of those who do not want to see voluntary enlistment carried on; it is the voice of those who want a measure of conscription introduced; it is the voice of those who wish to raise racial cries and issues in this country. I am sure the people of this country will agree that by a vigorous effort the Government could easily secure in four months 100,000 men to engage in railway construction work and forestry work, and those are the very men that the military authorities on the other side say would be so useful .to the Empire. Yet, when we are asked to pass this Conscription Bill, tfie Government tell us: We want

young men to go into the trenches; we have more artillery men than we require. We have no word such as that from any military authority in England; the only word we have is to send all the men we can for forestry service and for railway construction work. I have seen a despatch from Mr. Stewart Lyon, special correspondent of the Canadian Press, dated the 21st of June, in which he says:

The drafts from the Canadian depots in England to make good the wastage in the corps are of good quality.

This is sent from the Canadian headquarters in France:

I hear nothing but praise for the new men, especially the artillery drafts.

The Canadian artillery men have covered themselves and their country with glory upon the battlefields. They are the very best men in the service, young men of great intelligence and skill. They have been of enormous benefit, and their ability has been recognized by the highest artillery officers in England. The Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. 10 p.m. Hazen) knows that one young man, Major Magee, from St. John, has done most magnificent work, which is beyond all praise, and that has been the case with all the artillery men whom Canada has sent to the front. The , artillery requires great ingenuity, originative ability, executive skill and high intelligence, and these qualities are usually possessed by our Canadian boys, perhaps to a greater extent than by the soldiers of any other country. Yet when we have an opportunity to secure such men, when

out boys are crying for an opportunity to enlist, when during the last month son\e 1,400 have enlisted for the artillery service, the order goes out from Ottawa: We do

not want any more artillery men; stop recruiting for the artillery. Yet next week,

I am sure we shall hear some hon. members saying: This is a battle of big guns and shells; this is a battle of engineers.

Mr. AiRTHURS: Has the hon. member

read the synopsis of the men now in England wherein it is stated that on the 14th of May there were available for military service, 279 artillery officers and 3,700 artillery men who were apparently not required for the artillery.?

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.
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June 25, 1917