June 26, 1917

LIB

Médéric Martin

Liberal

Mr. MEDERIC MARTIN:

I am asking

for the number.

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

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARTHURS:

I suppose there would be about 20 or 25. I can let my hon. friend know the exact number later, if he wants to know. There were also a couple of cases in my battalion of French Canadians who had enlisted no less than four times in different regiments. This is another reason why the enlistment figures for French Canadians are abnormally puffed up. These two men had enlisted as early as in the 22nd Battalion from Quebeo; they deserted and eventually drifted into my battalion. They deserted again, and I had the honour not long ago of arresting one of them in the city of Ottawa; and I think he is still behind the bars. The fact remains that the province of Quebec with its 1,600,000 French Canadian inhabitants has sent to the front to-day only one battalion, the 22nd, comprising in round figures 1,000 men. I have nothing but praise for the 22nd Battalion and the other battalions who are engaged with the Canadians at the front at the present time, but I think it is a shame that hon. members from the province of Quebec should oppose this Bill instead of being actively engaged in securing the men that are required to reinforce the 22nd Battalion.

There is in England one reserve battalion composed entirely of French Canadians. I was in close touch with them for a week or two when I was in England, and I know that the battalion is largely composed of officers and n.o.o's; there are Very few privates in the battalions.

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

William F. Carroll

Liberal

Mr. CARROLL:

Wlhat has become of

the rest of the 8,000 men who enlisted in the province of Quebec?

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

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARTHURS:

The hon. member will

remember that I have stated that according to the figures I have, only 6,900 enlisted in the province of Quebec.

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

William F. Carroll

Liberal

Mr. CARROLL:

What has become of the balance anyway?

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

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARTHURS:

Probably they deserted

too. It must be remembered that the enlistment of 6,900 men does not necessarily mean that number of men at the front. Many men after enlistment become unfit. They are subject to sickness, accident, disease and death just as are men who have not enlisted, and the forces are continually being depleted from these causes, if from no other. Desertions also account for a considerable number.

According to the figures given by the Premier the other evening, 325,000 in all have been sent overseas. About 126.000 are still in England or were in England on the 14tn of May, and of these, 27,000 were available for immediate service in France. In his speech last night the hon. member for St. John, using suppositious figures, placed the number of men in Canada at 17,000. and the number who could be obtained under the present system at 80,000. He then said, "Here are sufficient reinforcements in Canada to last for a whole year." That is an absolute fallacy. The 126,000 men in England are not 126,000 men newly sent over from Canada. They are what is left of the 326,000 men who have already gone forward, and include the staff, which is quite large in England, those in hospitals, amounting to between 18,000 and 20,000, and the Army Service Corps, which must be maintained in England, and which numbers many .thousands. The various noncombatant units have also to be kept up. So the actual number of men fit to fight must necessarily be small as compared with the total number in reserve in England at any particular time.

There are in England about 12,900 men who should be returned to Canada. Personally I do not believe that any man .should be kept in England who is unfit to fight in France, or about to become unfit. Every man in Class B now in England should be returned to Canada in order to provide the necessary labour requirea on our farms and in our factories. These men are perfectly fit in the ordinary sense of the word, but unfit for service in France simply through some minor defect in their eyesight, hearing, feet, or something of that kind, and which probably has been discovered after their enlistment. To my mind there is no earthly reason why these 12,900 men should be kept in England, except that if our losses should be as large in the future as they have been in the past, it would be absolutely necessary to send these men to France unless the needed reinforcements went forward from Canada.

Just a word about the referendum. I did not intend to say anything about this, for I do not think it is necessary. To my mind the referendum is a farce. We have only had one referendum in Canada, and that was on the prohibition question. On that occasion the leader of the Opposition in words just as eloquent as he used the other day, said he would give the country a referendum and if the people decided in favour of prohibition, prohibition they should have. The referendum was held and the people decided in favour of prohibition by a considerable majority. One of the provinces of the Dominion of Canada, however decided they did not want prohibition, and the result was that the right hon. leader said: "We cannot pass this Act because all the provinces are not in favour of it." That situation is exactly the opposite of what we have to-day. I can see no reason why we should get any further ahead by having a referendum to-day, than we did on that occasion. After all, what is the referendum to decide? We are all agreed-I think the leader of the Opposition and every man behind him are agreed-that it is absolutely necessary to send forward reinforcements for our men at the front. The hon. member for St. John last night very eloquently said that this Bill would tear the child from its mother, the husband from his wife, and the lover from his sweetheart. This Bill is for the very purpose of preventing that. We believe that under selective conscription we shall get the number of men required, and they will be the men who can most easily De spared. The Compulsory Service Act will avoid the very trouble that was in the mind of the hon. member for St. John. There is not a man within sound of my voice who does not know of hundreds of cases where it was an absolute shame to have men go to the front leaving their wives and families a charge upon the public. It is to avoid this very condition that the Conscription Bill is brought in. Both .sides of the House are agreed that it is absolutely necessary to get the men, and I say quite frankly that all a referendum could decide would be what class of men should go forward.

In order to prove the .absolute necessity for reinforcements, I will read a short extract from a letter sent by General Currie the other day to the Prime Minister of this Dominion. General Currie is the greatest Canadian soldier to-day. He is the man who has charge of all our Canadians at the front, the man who is responsible for their well-being, for their leadership and for

everything connected with them so far as France is concerned. This is what he said:

I note with special gratification your assurance that the troops in the field can rely upon Canada giving them all necessary support. They have given of their blood freely to maintain their nation's honour and now confidently expect that the full fruits of their sacrifice will not be prejudiced. It is an imperative and urgent necessity that steps be immediately taken to ensure that sufficient drafts of officers and men are sent from Canada to keep the corps at its full strength.

Mr. Speaker, this Bill is necessary because many men at the front have been without a day's leave for over twelve months, some of theip for over eighteen months. Men are in the line in France who should have medical attendance for diseases and minor ailments .and who .are compelled to take their places in the trenches without such attendance, as the officers cannot afford to allow them the necessary time. Platoons and corps go up into the line far under strength, which makes the work much harder for those who go. There should be reserves right at hand, and I agree with the former Minister of Militia (Sir Sam Hughes), who said in his recent speech that it would be far wiser to have our reserves close behind the lines in France rather than in England, for various reasons. I have spoken to hundreds of our men in France, and I did not meet one who did not ask for conscription, not because they were afraid for themselves, but because they see the absolute unfairness of the voluntary system. Their fathers are working overtime on the farm while others on adjoining farms keep their sons at home. Slackers are' taking their jobs in factories at from $4 to $8 a day, while they are working hard in France, risking their lives, and are paid the magnificent sum of twenty cents a day-that is all that the soldier gets to-day in France. It is absolutely unfair to the Canadians in France that they should not be supported, that they should not have the necessary rest, or that they should not know that every man in Canada is doing his duty as they themselves are.

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

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Sir SAM HUGHES:

I know the hon. member (Mr. Arthurs) does not wish to leave a wrong impression. A soldier in France gets more than twenty cents a day-the balance over that amount is credited to him.

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

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARTHURS:

The soldier is paid

thirty-five francs a month. The 'balance, as stated by the ex-Minister of Militia (Sir Sam Hughes) is placed at his credit. If the poor fellow lives long enough, he. gets

it when he comes back. But all he gets in France is approximately twenty cents a day.

I have been quoted by some newspapers in the province of Quebec, copied, I believe, by the Toronto Star, as being opposed to conscription. I have always been in favour of compulsory service, and I am now. I am in favour of this Bill, and I will support it regardless of political or any .other consequences, because I feel that in doing so I am voicing the opinion of the great majority of loyal Canadians, and I am doing what ninety-nine per cent of the men at the front wish me to do. I have been requested by all I came in contact with in France to support compulsory service and make all do their fair share.

I have seen our boys enduring all sorts of hardships at the front. I have seen a battalion of our men twelve days in the front line, in mud .often knee deep, standing in mud and water all night without relief, every night for that time. I have seen our brave boys wounded, thousands of them, and never heard a groan or a complaint. I have seen them die, bravely, cheerfully facing the enemy, and cheering for Canada. The cemeteries of France shall always be dear to Canadians. I should not be doing my duty to these men; I should not be worthy of my place in this House if I did not vote for this Bill which is necessary to give our boys the support now needed and to ensure tnat those who have died shall not have. sacrificed their lives in vain.

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

Michael Clark

Liberal

Mr. MICHAEL CLARK (Red Deer):

Mr. Speaker, my views upon this question have received so much publicity that I trust that I shall not need to trespass upon the time of the House at too great length. 1 do not think that there is any doubt anywhere as to where I stand. I shall support the Government's measure; support it with a clear conscience and a stout heart, believing that it is absolutely in the best interests of the country, of the Empire, of the world, and of the cause of civilization for which we are fighting.

I desire to approach the consideration of the question in the cold light cf facts and Teason, and to avoid altogether the language of passion or recrimination. There is no man in this House or in this country who is more opposed by nature and by training to compulsion-unnecessary compulsion-than I am. But I think that if there is one lesson which every sensible man has learned in the last three years it is that in the course of a war like this no

one connected with it can afford to cling to his previous predilections and to refuse to adapt himself to the circumstances and exigencies of the time. I heard my Tight hon. friend and leader (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) criticise, or rather oppose conscription, as I understood him, on the ground that the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Borden) had said we would never resort to it. Well, I do not know whether the Prime Minister ever said any thing so strong as that. If he did, and is resorting to conscription, I am grateful, Sir, that he is greater in his gifts of patriotism than in his gifts of prophecy.

Think of what we have seen in the course of this war. England, that true home of freedom and of individualism, has been turned into a State-run bureaucracy. The Government has taken hold of mines and forests, of farms and factories, and the war is being better prosecuted because they have done it than if these things had remained in private hands. We must distinguish very sharply on the question between peace and war, and between conscription in peace and conscription in war. Conscription in peace is part of the machinery of a militaristic state, it is part and parcel of that militarism which-we are told on all hands, as we have been told by my right hon. friends on both sides of this House-it is the object of this war to put an end to. Conscription in war is the expedient of a country which is in dire extremity and must take the steps necessary to put forth its greatest efforts. I take it that that distinction is perfectly cleaT. I take it that the fact that we were not in favour of conscription before the war measures that we were not militarists before the war; but being in a war like this, and every man being in it, I believe it becomes the part of common sense to adapt ourselves to the needs of the moment. That is exactly the case wdth Mr. Lloyd George. There is no man in this House who is a stronger anti-con-scriptionist that Mr. Lloyd George was; there is no man in the world who is a stronger anti-militarist than Mr. Lloyd George is at the present moment, but, he has put aside all his previous predilections and become the chief advocate of conscription because he realizes that this is a war to end war, and so a man may be thoroughly logical and true to his previous convictions if he adopts conscription to put an end to conscription.

Exactly the same thing is happening in the United States.. Does any one contend

that the United States is turning its back on its whole pacific history? Does any one contend tnat the people of the United States to-day are more in favour of the war than, ever they were? We have noted the reluctance with which they went to war, the slow steps by which the President led the people up to the inevitable decision. I contend that the United States is in exactly the same position as Mr. Lloyd George at the present time. They are as pacific as ever they were when they adopt conscription, and the procession of men on the day when registration took place must have filled every impartial and thoughtful mind with admiration for that great peop'e.

If there is anything that should inspire us it is to see those 10,000,000 young Americans who left their homes under compulsion-or under the President's call, shall I say?-to register their names as citizens of a common country, and soldiers, if need be to fight and die for that country.

Conscription is the only fair method in the last analysis under circumstances such as those we find ourselves in now. It is the only method under which we can fill up the gaps in our ranks. Who can go on the platform in this country and plead that it is fair, that it is even decent, that one family in one district, or one province-and I do not name any province-should be able to shelter in comfort and prosperity beneath the flag, that other people, other provinces, and other men are fighting for? It is the * only practical method. In Britain it is notorious that whole battalions which had enlisted under the voluntary principle had to be brought back from Franceto Lancashire because it was found in the course of the war that these men were more useful in Lancashire than in France. That is a very important consideration. Conscription is necessary at this stage of the war to say who shall stay at home as well as to say who shall go. It is the method by which you are going to organize your nation and get the last ounce of strength out of the nation either for service at home or for service abroad as the wisdom of those making the choice shall dictate.

It is said in some parts of the country, and my right hon. friend and leader rather indicated a predilection for that doctrine,

I think, by the quotations he made from the Militia Act: that the proper place for a Canadian to fight is on the soil of Canada. In the same quarters of the country where this is said, it is called England's war. As an Englishman with a vein of Scotch in

me

Scotch logic I mean-it surely is permissible for me to ask the question: Is England fighting her battle on England's soil? England, Sir, is fighting this war wherever she sees the turban of a Turk or a helmet of a Teuton. She is fighting it in Egypt, in Mesopotamia, in Macedonia, in Belgium, but she is fighting it most of all in France It is there that she is pouring out her bl iod in small rivers. My friends will forgive me

I know they will forgive me-when I oay to them that if there is one consideration that should have made every drop of French Mocd in Canada course more rap' 1-ly, it is the consideration that Englishmen by the million are on the soil where the language of France is spoken and where the literature of France is produced, of which literature we have men as proud in Canada as they are proud of it in France herself.

Talk about not sending the right recruiting agents to one part of the country or the other! Who w.as the recruiting agent that the led the .sons of the Empire to leap to the colours in every portion of the world and to come trooping across the seven seas? I will tell you in one word-it was Belgium. That was the recruiting agent. Belgium, guaranteed her neutrality and independence by Britain, and therefore by the British Empire-guaranteed it also by Germany-Belgium was trodden under foot by Germany and to every full-blooded man under the flag that meant that there was" only one course for him to pursue. They felt: If the Huns trod Belgium under foot we mustaneet them with our last man and our last dollar, fight on the opposite side of the ditch and see that Belgium was restored to all that could be restored to her. And, if Belgium needed no assistance in the way of a recruiting agent what shall be said of the north east of France? Those who have been on the spot know what is happening in that country-the beautiful fields turned under, the very inside of the earth turned up, the villages desolated. These things have happened and what is happening there to-day?

I wonder if those who hesitate about what they should do on this Bill reflect that the present moment in France, as the Teuton is compelled to retire, he is taking with him every French female above the age of 14 years to work, to suffer, and God knows what else. These are the recruiting agents that appealed to the wide dominions of this Empire. May I add, not uncharitably, I hope, that if men will not listen

to this, neither would they listen to one risen from the dead.

I have referred to Germany's methods of wax at the present moment. Do I need to impress upon this House that the events of the moment on the battlefront, demand this Bill. Have we all read the figures on the bulletin to-day of the casualties in the last raid on London-150 dead in the heart of the Empire where the flag floats that floats over us-'and, we are as morally bound to act as men in support of the flag as they are in London.

One hundred and fifty killed and four hundred and thirty injured in the last German air raid, most of the killed women and children, little children going to school! That is going on now. Cargoes of Canadian produce going to Britain are being sent to the bottom of the sea at the present moment by the thousand tons. That is going on now. That cargo which we sell now is as important to us as to the British who are going to buy it, as a commercial transaction; it is more important to them from the eating point of view, of course. That is how close the war is to us at the moment. Those are the circumstances that we are living through.

And watch the diplomacy of the Huns to-day, following exactly the traditions that came down from that old blackguard -whom I could never understand God Almighty letting die in his bed, Frederick the Great, called Great because, as we all know who have read anything of his history, he was so great in defeat. At the end of the Seven Years War, beaten on the field past all hope of redemption, he tried to win his way by diplomacy, and, unfor-. tunately, by his diplomacy he fooled Great Britain at the moment. History is repeating itself to-day. There is no doubt that we are gradually getting the better of them on the field, very gradually and very slowly, and what do they do then? The powers that be in Germany use the very socialists whom they hate, and whose view's they hate, and try to get them into Russia and into Stockholm and into other places to mix with their fellow workmen, and so to win by diplomacy what they can not win by arms. That is going on at the moment, and if we removed our hand from the plough in this matter we would be faced by the danger, one of the greatest that could possibly threaten the world, of an early and therefore an inconclusive peace. That is the greatest danger to the world at this moment: that the war-weariness of the

nations will compel the people to come together, and that an inconclusive peace will be arranged. But from all I have seen of Canadians, I do not think they will take any part in that business.

And if we had an inconclusive peace, what would it mean? It would mean that the Romanoffs would be replaced upon the throne of Russia; that Constantine would probably go back to the throne of Greece, that the Hohenzollerns' hold upon the necks of the German people would be tightened and renewed, and that of the Hapsburgs upon the people of Austria. And for ourselves, what would it mean? It would mean that, just as surely as the next generation of men come around, this would have to be done again by our children or our grandchildren. May I make a personal allusion? I have a little toddling grandchild on my farm out West to-day, whose father was stricken with a gunshot wound in the neck two weeks ago. I say to you, Sir, that on my soul and conscience, I support this Bill because I believe it is part of the necessary machinery which will save that little fellow, a born Canuck, and thousands of others like him, from ever going through what his father and his uncles are going through at the present time.

I was surprised at so astute a gentleman as my hon. friend from St. John (Mr. Pugs-ley) using an argument last evening which appears to me to be the very weakest argument that could 'be addressed to the Canadian nation. I am only talking about his argument, I never talk personalities at all. The hon. member for St. John said that there was no need foT hurry-as I understood him, although I have not Hansard by me-now that America was in the field. Well, I am proud that America is in the field. There is a nation in this world which has never fought except to conquer or at least to come out of the contest with the honours divided, except in one case, when she was not conquered, but withdrew her troops from the field, and that is the little nation of Great Britain. But America's record in regard to wars is even greater, because in the beginning of her history, much against her will, she resisted what I consider were the false fiscal proposals of British statesmen of that time, and won her independence from the Mother Country. In the middle of the last century her sons waded in their own blood to keep the unity of their nation and to free the slave; and it is a magnificent spectacle to see that

great nation, at the beginning of the twentieth century, coming at last to be possibly the decisive factor in this greatest of all world wars. A splendid history, the spectacle is grand to look at. But it is only [DOT]half the spectacle. The other picture- the old mother who lost the great colony by acts of statesmen's folly at the time, reunited [DOT]once more to her heart and in spirit and in soul and in purpose, and the two great empires marching out together with our Allies to save the world's civilization. Is that the moment that I as a Canadian am to be told that we should go a little more easily? The majority of Canadians, Sir, are not built that way. A great example never deters a well set up man from doing his duty, it leads him to do it more strongly and better. Where should Canada be when the British Empire and the United States [DOT]are marching side by 6ide? She should be where she has been from the beginning, in the front of the battle-she will be there. The glories of this little people were not exhausted at Courcelette, at Vimy Ridge or at any other of the battles where they have, won immortal glory for themselves- the glories of this little people are going to be extended, but not, by taking advantage of the entry of the United States into the war, to go a little more slowly.

We are told that organized labour is against this Bill. Well, I do not think so; I do not believe it; I think it is a slander. If it were so it would be a very unfortunate thing for organized labour, and I agree with my hon. friend the Minister of Trade and, Commerce (Sir George Foster) on this point. We approach our way of thinking from different points. I do not [DOT]know that he was ever a radical in the English sense of the term, but in the school of polities in which I was raised, I did not believe in calling a lord by'a big "L;" neither do I believe in pronouncing labour with a big "L." 'Either labour or lord, or anything between the two, is just as good as he is himself; I value a man for what ihe is and what he is capable of. And organized labour, after all, has only 65,000 enrolled members in this country. A great many of those thousands we can say are not opposed to this Bill, because we have had the evidence of the gallant gentleman who preceded me (Mr. Arthurs) that nearly every man at the front wants the Bill, wants conscription, wants compulsory service, and there are thousands of organized labourers in the trenches in France and Flanders.

But to the extent that that view has prevailed with the leaders of organized labour,

[DOT]2S64

it is a most unfortunate, and, I think, indefensible viewpoint-indefensible, in the first place, because, if Germany won this war, it would be bad enough for all of us, but there are none for whom it would be so bad as the organized labourer. He would then get conscription with a vengeance, morning, noon and night, every day in the year. In the second place, I cannot understand how organized labour can be opposed to compulsory service, because they are themselves, as members of trades unions, very considerable conscriptionists. If a man in their trade does not join the union, does not work the hours of the union, or if he works when the union does not want him to work at all, he is called a black-leg. I do not want to use that term in regard to anybody in Canada, least of all to the leaders of organized labour, but I will permit myself to say that the national blacklegs, if there are such things, are not in France and Flanders to-day. They must be somewhere else. Organized labour should be the easiest people in the world to persuade that conscription for national purposes is a good thing. Surely, according to their own tenets, if they conscript in the interests of their trade-using the very considerable compulsion of trades union rules in the interests of their trade-the greater includes the less, and we must be logical, and we must really have taken up their position when we propose to conscript in the interests of the nation.

On this head, however, I have endeavoured to learn what labour men are thinking, and what I think is that they are opposed to this Bill, as if it were the only thing that the Government were going to do in the coming months to bring about that, after all, we need at the moment, and that is an organization of the moral power, an organization, and a mobilization, shall I say, of the moral power, material power, and the man power of Canada. That is what we need at the present moment. I told the Government a few months ago that their strength in regard to this measure is that it is aimed to put Canada on all fours with Britain and the United States, and practically every other belligerent country, and that is a very great strength. The weakness of the Government is in this, if I may say - so, that, while they copy the United States and Great Britain in bringing in this Bill for the organization and mobilization erf our man power, they have been tardy and backward in regard to what I consider the proper methods of taxation for fMr. M. Clark.]

such a time as we are passing through. I was not long in placing myself oa record on this question. In the first short war session, lasting five days, I expressed regret that the Minister of Finance did not introduce an income tax. The value of such a tax, and the absolute duty of introducing it has been impressed upon the minister every session since the war began, and the reason is obvious. We cannot fight this war on the principle of limited liability. We are in it to the last man and the last dollar, and we must not stop. We must get the dollar. The other belligerent countries are taxing themselves until they suffer, and no one has suffered, sacrificed and served more freely and more splendidly than the very richest people in England. Many of them are sitting up nights in the House of Commons to vote the heaviest taxes upon themselves which have ever been placed upon the shoulders of human beings, and that is an example of patriotism that falls only short, as, of course, it must fall short, of the sacrifice which is made by the man who goes into the trenches and lays down his life for his friend, his flag and his country. These heavy burdens are being imposed on the people in England, and we should follow suit.

While I am speaking in regard to organized labour, I would suggest very seriously and in a friendly spirit to the Government, that they will make their passage through the country much smoother, if they give due weight to this proposition: Sweep all patronage out of the military service.

The Government has done an excellent thing in appointing food and fuel controllers. That is along the line of the organization of material resources. From my point of view, I say to the Government-You would do a still better thing if you gave fuel and food free of customs duties, and then you would give these controllers something to organize about? I am afraid, Sir, that the doctrine of free fuel would not find absolute acceptance, even on my own side of the House. Do some of these things, do anything else that you can, following the example of the countries with whom you are in alliance, and beside whom you are fighting, and you will disarm a great deal of the opposition of organized labour, such as it is.

I listened to the hon. gentleman (Mr. Arthurs) who preceded me, with very great pleasure. He referred to the number of men in England not needed there. If they are not needed there they should get back to the habits of their early boyhood, and go on

a farm. I could do with some of them out in the West. I would put a very fine comb very liberally through the men in khaki both in England and in Canada, and see that every man wearing khaki and drawing pay is giving services to the country, or I would get rid of him.

I have indicated, I think, in a way that will be understood, that I am supporting the Bill. It follows, of course, that I am not in much sympathy with the referendum. I was taught not to be in sympathy with referendum for I have been >a very good follower of my hon. friend the leader of the Opposition, perhaps a little skittish, as he might call me, and difficult to control at times, but I will remind him at this moment that, when he came back to the old House defeated, I was one of the first of his followers in the Chamber to tell him I never received anything from him, and never wanted anything, but I was prouder of him in defeat than I had ever been before, because he stood for a principle and died politically for a principle. That was not an attitude of unfriendliness on my part. We had a naval debate some years ago, and if my memory does not fail me, there was something in the nature of a referendum moved at that time. Referen-dums seem to take origin in Quebec. The hon. Mr. Monk moved a. referendum, and my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) had not much use for it.

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

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

That was in 1910.

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

Michael Clark

Liberal

Mr. CLARK:

It does not matter if it was in 1019; I am not giving lessons in history; I am trying to deal with a serious problem. If my memory is wrong as to dates, it is nevertheless all right. My right hon. friend indicated then very scant respect for a referendum. He called it unBritish. But now he will not forgive the Prime Minister for changing his mind on a more important point: conscription of men for the trenches. I consider that, after all, the clear cut policy of this Bill. The referendum idea, it will he seen, follows some rather remarkable passages in the history of the country.

I am honestly very much put out, because I think my right hon. friend, towards the end of a career which, in my humble judgment, has made him the greatest Canadian we have ever produced in politics, is taking a position in which he will be misunderstood by numbers of those who have walked with him, fought with him, won with him, and been defeated with him. My right hon. friend says: My policy is the same as that

of the Premier-Win the war. Well, so say we all. At a certain point in the history of Canada, just as at a certain point in the history of nearly all the other portions of the Empire, a proposition, which seems to have been of the most generous description, comes for a coalition Government, so that we can make better progress towards the winning of the war. The impartial historian of the future will record that the offer was magnificent, and therefore, I am afraid the declinature of the offer will be described as not quite in that moral category. " Win the war " is the common policy of both sides of this House. The Prime Minister, having failed to get the coalition he wanted, brings down a Conscription Bill, and we must remember that conscription is in force in nearly all other countries.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

The Prime Minister

brought down the Conscription Bill before proposing a. coalition Government.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

Michael Clark

Liberal

Mr. MICHAEL CLARK:

When was the Bill brought down? My hon. friend (Mr. Marcil) is a former Speaker of this House, and he ought to know when a Bill is supposed to be submitted to the House.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

The condition of coalition was to carry conscription.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

Michael Clark

Liberal

Mr. MICHAEL CLARK:

Yes, to win the war. How does my hon. friend from Bona-venture expect to win the war? Not by orations, however eloquent. You can win the war only by putting men on the firing Mne. Again my right hon. friend runs what I consider a very grave risk of being misunderstood, because when it comes to some. thing practical in the way of winning the war, he speaks in opposition to conscription. He made no bones of his position, and I admire him for his 'honesty. His speech was a speech against conscription; we all know where he stands in the matter.

I suppose, one of these days, the Government, if it lives up to its programme, will bring down-just as it did last year, with the idea of preserving the unity of the nation-a proposition for the extension of Parliament. According to the morning papers, when that happens, my right hon. friend indicated the way he will go when he applauded the remark's of the hon. member for St. John (Mr. Pugsley) last night, who said he would not repeat the mistake of last year and vote for an extension of the term of Parliament. If my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) repeats the mistake of last year and if he

accompanies his action by as eloquent and persuasive a speech as he made on that occasion, he will do something that will make all the people of Canada proud of him. But he is not going to do that. If it is a question of getting men for the trenches, or of a coalition Government, or of winning the war by keeping the people united and, if possible, avoiding an election during the acute stages of the war-it does not matter what the question is-any right hon. friend takes a road opposite to that of the Government. I want to be quite candid; I do not believe it will be possible to persuade a large number of our fellow citizens that those who are responsible for such a policy are thinking more of winning elections than of winning the war.

I want to come a little mo-re specifically to the referendum, and to give my reasons for being absolutely opposed to it. The first ground of my opposition to a referendum is that there is something deplorable and indescribably mean, as it appears to my mind-I am not characterizing the action of any one else-in the idea of taking a referendum from the people at home as to what is to happen on the firing line, when you cannot by any device you may conceive get the full opinion of the men on the firing line. My objection to a referendum is exactly my objection to an election in war time. Of course, I know we had a soldiers' voting Bill, and when it was brought into Parliament I spoke pretty frankly as to what I thought of that being of any use. You cannot conduct an election at Vimy Ridge; the soldiers are engaged in too sprious business there. It is impossible to secure .a full vote of the men at the front. And, that would be equally -true of an election or of a referendum. I have been consistent in regard to the matter. As regards an election, I think at one time or another I have had almost every hon. gentleman in this House in agreement with me. For about five minutes after war broke out we were in good agreement. Sometimes one side has been more opposed to an election than the other, and sometimes the other more than the one. There has been a little politics in more than one quarter of the globe. My first objection, therefore, to a referendum is that you cannot possibly do justice to the best men and the best voters you have. I say that without fear of successful contradiction. You cannot do justice to that section of your electorate wh.o are fighting for us; they will be debarred from having a full

voice in the proceedings of an election. There is a collateral thought in connection with that, that, by this proposition you absolutely put a premium on neglect of national duty, because you enhance in value the votes of those who stay at hbme, and you enhance in value the votes of those parts of the country which have recruited the least number of men. Is that, to upstanding Canadians not a strong objection to this proposition? My hon. friend (Mr. Arthurs) said: The greatest objection to a referendum is that it will get us nowhere, and I agree with that. By the way, this referendum is very interesting to me on the grounds of its parentage. It has a very dubious parentage. The mover pf the referendum amendment-shall I say the father .of the referendum-is my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) who is frankly opposed to conscription. But the mother-

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, oh.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

Michael Clark

Liberal

Mr. MICHAEL CLARK:

-or rather I should say, the stepfather of the amendment is absolutely a fierce conscriptionist. Therefore, I venture to repeat that the parentage of this referendum is a little dubious. We will suppose that the referendum is taken, and that according to the views of the father and the foster-father of the amendment, a general election follpws. What is going' to happeen? Suppose my right hon. friend is returned to power with a majority of Liberals at his back; where would he he in regard to conscription? I suppose my hpn. friend from Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) would sit down in a Cabinet with my right hon. friend, and on personal grounds, I should be glad to see him there. The first question that comes up is: What are we going to do about this policy of winning the war? I have no doubt that my right hon. friend will he able to get along better with the hon. member for Edmonton than he did with the Prime Minister; but where are they logically in the matter? Suppose, during war time, with our boys dying at the front looking to us for reinforcements, you have a Cabinet in power whose father is a strong anti-con-scriptionist and whose fpster-father is just as fierce a eonscriptionist; where would be your effectiveness in bringing in conscription or any other measure for the successful prosecution of the war? A Cabinet cpn-stituted on such principles would be no good for Armageddon-they would really be the first promise of a millenium. The lion frpm Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) would lie down with the lamb from Quebee (Sir

Wilfrid Laurier), with a little child, perhaps from Pictou (Mr. Macdonald), to lead them.

I do not want to forget before sitting down that with the majority of the people of this country this war is a serious business, much too serious to be committed to two opposite lines of policy in a general election. I shall support this measure on its second reading, and I shall vote against the referendum, because I believe this law is one more step in the long series of events, booming very long now, which have been marshalling Canada into her proud place in the front rank of the nations of the world -another of that necessary series of events by which Canada is moulding her own destiny at the moment that she is helping so mightily in moulding the destiny of the world and the future of the world's civilization. The greatness of the cause, the gloriousness and the certainty of the coming triumph, the honour of our country, and above all the needs of the boys make me feel sure that in this House and in this country not only this step but every other that is needed and that will be provided, as I believe, by my right hon. friend (Sir Robert Borden) until the war is won, will be supported up to the hilt.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

Onésiphore Turgeon

Liberal

Mr. ONESIPHORE TURGEON (Gloucester) :

Mr. Speaker, I might perhaps be permitted to say before proceeding with the remarks I have to make on this Bill, that the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Clark) who has just sat down has perhaps never had a more sincere admirer of his policies and eloquence than I. In order not to delay the House I shall be as brief as possible. I shall have nothing new to say, no principles that I have not enunciated before-principles which, notwithstanding the eloquent address of my hon. friend from Red Deer, are as dear to me to-day as ever before. The hon. member from Red Deer looks at this question from an international standpoint. If he had been with us for thirty or forty years more he would perhaps have given us different counsel. He might perhaps have inspired us with a love for our constitution and for the traditions of this country.

I come from the largest Acadian constituency in' the Maritime Provinces. The French population of Canada has not received many eulogies since I have been in the House to-day, but let me tell you, Sir, that I was perhaps the first person in Gloucester county and northern New Brunswick to call on my compatriots to

fight in the cause of humanity and for the Empire. Gloucester county is entirely an agricultural constituency, but I am proud to say that nearly 1,000 of our young men have responded to my appeal for recruits, ninety per cent of them Acadians. In the first year of the war I went from district to district, from parish to parish, urging our young men to join their fellow Canadians from the West and East, and to sacrifice their lives, if need be, in the sacred cause of humanity and civilization. I told them when they came back they would be the idols of the nation, and that if they should not come back, their names would be written in letters of gold in the roll of Canadian heroes, while the gates of Heaven would open to their soul. Many of the Acadians of Gloucester county who have enlisted have been recruited in other parts of Canada, in Ottawa, for instance, Quebec and Valcartier. Some of our young men, wishing to avoid the sadness of parting, would leave their old fireside telling their parents they were going to other cities to find work, and would then enlist in a different part of the country. They had enlisted in the 165th Acadian Regiment, but hundreds of them had enrolled before that regiment was started; they have enlisted in the 26th Battalion under Colonel McVeity, whose name has been famous in Canada for a long time, and they have enlisted in the 104th and other battalions. The English battalions have in their ranks hundreds of Acadians from the county of Gloucester and other counties in Northern New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. In the English battalion which was recruited from the counties of Restigouehe, Gloucester and Northumberland, and which was fully equipped last December, there are 740 Acadians. So I think I may say that the Acadians of Gloucester county and the other counties of New Brunswick have done their duty in a most noble manner. Every Acadian family in Gloucester county is represented at the front. I have moved among the Acadian people for the last 46 years, and I look upon them as my own brothers and sisters. Letters come to me every day from mothers whose sons have gone to the front, perhaps at my special instigation, asking me for the assistance that they greatly Tequire and asking me also to look after the modest estates of their boys.

The blood in my veins is French, and I am proud of it. I am proud also of being a Canadian. But while I am proudest of this great Dominion and all that is is and

constitutional establishments is our representation in this House; that was the question of most vital concern at the time of Confederation, more particularly to the provinces by the sea, the smaller provinces, who were afraid of meeting a preponderance of representatives from the West in the near future, to their possible disadvantage. So it was provided that no amendment could be made until that first step had been taken. It is not the duty of the Imperial Parliament, when asked to extend the life of this Parliament, to inquire from this Parliament if that step had been taken; it was their natural inference to presume that it had been taken by this Parliament. Although I am not a lawyer, I have given a great deal of thought to this question of the only mode of amending the constitution ; I have studied it all my lifetime, and I say that if to-day the position of this Parliament were to be referred to the Privy Council, the Privy Council would dismiss us to-morrow morning.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

It might not be a bad thing.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

Onésiphore Turgeon

Liberal

Mr. TURGEON:

It might not be a bad thing, and I wish we could do it with as much expedition as our friends opposite desire to pass this measure. I say that we have no mandate to be here, our position is ephemeral; this Parliament really has no existence. And so, when we ask for a referendum, we ask for it because we know that the people of Canada to-day are aware that we are here without a mandate. When, in January, 1916, the question was debated, public opinion had not yet settled upon our position. A great class of people in Canada, especially those engaged in the manufacture of munitions, who were earning thousands of dollars every day, did not want an election; everything was going on well, they said, do not disturb us. Others, influenced also by a desire not to be disturbed, said the same thing. But the country would have been less disturbed by an election eighteen months ago than it may possibly be disturbed to-day by this measure, however reluctant we may be to create any disturbance.

I do not see the great objection to an election or a referendum in this country; 1 do not see that it would be a calamity in time of war. I have more confidence in the sober judgment and the sober qualities of the people of Canada than to think that to-day, because it is war time, the war

t.Mr. Turgeon.]

being fought out on battlefields remote from Canada, we would not be able to conduct ourselves like men, like Canadians, like British subjects, on the day of an election, just as we could on the day before and the day after. In my opinion it is an insult to the intelligence and the morality of the people of Canada to say that they could not, on one day, go to the polls as they have gone for the last one hundred years, and as they will have to go for all time to come. An election is the only possible means of clearing the minds of the people, who know that we are here without a mandate, and may perhaps attribute unworthy motives to us in sitting here drawing our indemnities and paying the salaries of ministers and all the expenses of this Parliament without the authority and consent of the people, which is the greatest crime against British precedents and policy.

I do not say that we should look solely to the conscription of blood to-day. The hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Clark) said that he had asked from the first session after the outbreak of war for the imposition of an income tax. I have been as loud as he or any other member in urging an income tax; I did so only a month ago when speaking on the Budget of this session. Every time we have asked for the imposition of such a tax, the Minister of Finance has smiled away our proposal; and even to-day, when the Government can hear the voice of the people as expressed at various meetings and through newspapers, and know that they cannot avoid the establishment of some kind of conscription of wealth or some form of income tax, he tells us that there are a great many difficulties in the way, that perhaps later on they will impose an income tax. We have told him all the benefits that could be derived from it. I cited to him the advantage of the large increase in the income tax recently made by the Congress of the United States, under which those in receipt of a million dollars a year are taxed to 40 per cent or 45 per cent. The hon. Minister of Finance has replied to the member for Red Deer (Mr. Clark) that it was a costly way of collecting taxes, and that perhaps he would not derive enough revenue from the tax to pay for the cost of administering it. I claim that if the minister would only look amongst his colleagues in the cabinet, among the millionaires of the cabinet, he would see that we could raise enough money by such a tax on them to pay the expenses of collecting the income tax throughout the country.

In 1915 the Prime Minister came hack from England and from the front, and in a very eloquent speech in England before returning to Canada he declared to the people of the British Empire and of Canada, that, so far as Canada was concerned, the whole power of the nation would be consecrated to the task of winning the war. From that day on we have 'been asking for the conscription of the whole strength and power of the nation in these matters, yet nothing has been done. To-day my hon. friend comes with another message from the front, to fill the gaps. We are bound to fill the gaps as strongly as Canada can possibly do it to-day. They tell us that, failing reinforcements from Canada, our friends may be decimated in such a way that the British authorities would allow our Canadian army corps to be disbanded, and would not replenish their ranks by soldiers from England or other parts of the Empire. I say that to put this argument before the country is an injury to the British name and to the British fame, and to the British military authorities on the other side. We want to send all the men we can, all the men we can spare, and when my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) asks for a referendum he says that, if the majority of the people of Canada vote in favour of conscription, he will submit to it, and the members from Quebec will go willingly into their constituencies, and advocate abiding by the law. Everybody in Canada .knows that there is no more law abiding people in the country than the French Canadians. If the Minister of Militia and my colleague from New Brunswick were here to-day, I would make the same statement to them. I will go to the county of Gloucester, and take the same position, and I think my voice in that county would amount to something. But, Mr. Speaker, the action which this Government is taking is not the proper one. For the last three years we have asked them to conscript the wealth. People say, " We do not understand what is meant by conscription of wealth," but put it in any form you like, call it income tax or anything else, it comes to the same thing. I believe my right hon. friend to-day is commencing at the wrong end in calling for conscription of manhood, before first conscripting wealth and incomes. We are told that England has passed a conscription law, but England is not in the same position. She has raised an immense army, comprising millions of men. Lord Roberts wished to raise a voluntary army, and it was thought it might not be necessary to establish conscription of manhood. I do not believe the army of Britain has benefited a great deal from the conscription of manhood. The recruits would have come later, under the voluntary system which is adopted in other places. I think we should commence by the conscription of wealth, resources, and utilities. One of the best informed men in the industrial line, Lord Rhondda, was sent out here in 1915, to suggest to this Government the conscription of wealth and nationalization of the services of the country. He advocated the nationalization of the large shops at Winnipeg and other places in order that they might be converted into munition works. Our authorities did not listen to the suggestion made by Lord Rhondda. Conscription has been adopted in England, but let me tell hon. gentlemen that this Government has had advice very recently from a great authority, Sir Joseph Ward, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand. Speaking at Winnipeg a few weeks ago, he said:

Let me tell you, gentlemen, that you will have to do more than make up your minds to conscript the man power of the country-you. will have to conscript the wealth also.

Britain would never have been able to introduce conscription of her men if she had not first practically conscripted the wealth of the country. She could never have put it through. If you are going to call upon certain men in this country to go out and sacrifice their all-their lives if need be-you must be prepared, you men of wealth, to see that they are properly pensioned, to see that your money is employed in the country's behalf where you cannot give yourselves, to provide the wherewithal. Canada has done magnificently, but she must go on; there must be no turning back.

That is the advice given to the Government of this country. We have the advice of the labour element. They are calling first of all for the conscription of wealth, and, if required later on, conscription of labour. We are told that the labour element is not of one mind. Resolutions have been passed: by a majority of the members of these labour unions, otherwise they would not have been forwarded to Parliament. Therefore, the majority of the labour men view the situation with the same seriousness as we view it. Not merely members on this side of the House, hut members on the other side, and particularly members from Ontario, advocate conscription of wealth to-day, no matter what the result may be, so far as the present and future generations are concerned.

Last night in the great loyal city of Toronto the council met to discuss this matter and to send resolutions to the representatives of the people. A despatch, dated 25th June, from Toronto to the Ottawa papers reads as follows:

Toronto, June 25.-The Toronto city council showed itself to he anything but, unanimous for the present Military Service Act of the Borden Government when this afternoon it defeated by a vote of thirteen to two a motion to force conscription on the eligible man power of the civic service, and listened without protest to vigorous speeches by two leaders of the council denouncing the conscription of liesh and blood without the conscription of wealth.

The motion under debate provided that all single employees of the per nanent staff of the corporation or those marri d since the beginning of the war eligible f rr military service be given until July 9th to enlist or forfeit their positions. Aid. S. Ryding, the mover, and Aid. H. H. Ball, the seconder, were the only two members of council who spoke in support of the motion.

Increase Soldiers' Pay.

At an earlier stage of the meeting Aid. J. G. Ramsden, chairman of the works committee, had introduced a motion urging the Dominion Government to increase the pay of the men at the front and this motion had carried without discussion. In speaking to the conscription of civic employees motion Aid. Ramsden took occasion to combine the two motions in his argument by declaring, "It is said if we pay the men at the front as they should be paid that the country will be bankrupt. Bourassa has said so, I presume he means bankrupt as far as cash is concerned. Bankrupt be damned.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.
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June 26, 1917