These men who have performed all these wonderful deeds for Canada are now returning in tens of thousands to our shores to display to us in peace the same noble virtues that they have exhibited in war. Now that they are coming back to become once more a part of our civil life, it is our bounden duty to do everything possible to aid them in becoming citizens of peace, and I am glad to see that the Government is doing a great deal with this object in view. For example, the increase of the postdischarge pay up to six months is admirable, as this gives the men an opportunity of resting their nervous systems after the exhaustion due to the turmoil and excitement of battle, and much other legislation already passed has objects akin to this and so deserves praise. I believe that in these matters the Government has done as well as any Government elected by the people of Canada could have done. There has been a great deal of criticism in many quarters, much of it destructive criticism, a great deal of it unjust, some of it, perhaps, just. But so long, Mr. Speaker, as the governments of this world are made up of human beings, mistakes are occasionally inevitable, and so criticism will sometimes be just. The governments of the next world are, no doubt, perfect, but even the most learned of theologians can give no absolute proofs to that effect.
Mr. Speaker, as the Speech from the Throne speaks of the accomplishments of .Canada as a whole in the war, let us look for one minute at what this little country of Canada, little in population although large in area, has done. This country, Sir, which for over one hundred years has known nothing of war, and which has been celebrating in history, song, and story, so-called battles in which a few platoons on either side were the extent of the armies. Here we have a country which, in 1914, had lived in peace and fraternity with its great neighbour to the South for over a century, and which considered a militia force of 3,000 men and a few Mounted Police quite sufficient defence for all possible contingencies, and yet this country of less than eight million people, in the four years and three months of war, performed the following almost unbelievable feats of patriotism, the figures given being in round numbers, but being approximately correct:
Canada enlisted, voluntarily, 465,000 men, under the Military Service Act 85,000 men. Add to this Reservists, and a few others, and we have a total of nearly 600,000 men, of whom nearly 418,000 proceeded overseas.
Our casualties were over 200,000, and our deaths unhappily almost 60,000.
Honours granted to the members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, including Victoria Crosses, Distinguished Service Orders, Military Crosses, Distinguished Conduct Medals, Military Medals and a few foreign decorations, number about 12,000, and over 3,000 more were mentioned in despatches.
In shipbuilding, including ships built to the order of the Imperial Munitions Board and other private contracts, we built 103 ships, with a dead weight carrying capacity of 367,000 tons. We built for the Imperial Government over 700 small armed trawlers and drifters of various types; for the French Government over 40 armed trawlers, and coastal patrol motor boats. Why, Sir, in my own ihland port city of Fort William, 1,500 .miles from the Atlantic coast, up there on the shores of Lake Superior, which were explored 200 years ago by French voyageurs and coureurs des bois, we built for the native land of those Frenchmen 12 armed trawlers, which sailed down the lakes and rivers of what was originally New France, on their way to the shores of Old France. What- a historical romance for the pen of a Parker!
In financing our record is as good. To think, Mr. Speaker, that this new pioneer country raised, in domestic loans from its people, the enormous sum of nearly $1,500,000,000, or about $200 per head for every man, woman and child in the country, and yet, at the conclusion of the [DOT] war our savings deposits were approximately $400,000,000 in excess of those of August, 1914. We established credits of over $700,000,000 on behalf of the Imperial Government.
'[DOT] The Imperial Munitions Board placed orders to the extent of $1,200,000,000, the bulk of which was spent on goods which had never before been made in Canada, such as shells, cartridge cases, fuses, and aeroplanes. Why, Mr. Speaker, the vast majority of the people of Canada had never heard an artillery shell explode, or seen an aeroplane, let alone manufacture them.
Then, Sir, on top of all this, the people gave voluntarily to the Patriotic and Red Cross Funds, Belgian and Serbian Relief Funds, Y.M.C.A. and Knights of Columbus Hut Funds, contributions amounting to a .grand total of some $95,000,000.
This is just an outline, the details of which I have left unmentioned, but take into account only these things I have spoken of, and I think you will agree with me, Mr. Speaker, that this is a record that we