May 9, 1922

LIB

George Newcombe Gordon (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Dropped.

Bill reported, read the third time and passed.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   ESQUIMALT AND NANAIMO RAIDWAY COMPANY
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CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY


House in committee on Bill No. 5, respecting the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.-Mr. Knox. On section 1-Extension of time for construction : TMr. Neill. 1


PRO

Archibald M. Carmichael

Progressive

Mr. CARMICHAEL:

I served notice of an amendment to this bill.

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LIB

George Newcombe Gordon (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

It is moved in amendment by Mr. Carmichael to strike out in clause 1 all the words after the word "railway" in line 22, page 2, of the said bill.

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PRO

Archibald M. Carmichael

Progressive

Mr. CARMICHAEL:

It looks almost

futile to say anything in regard to this amendment, after the decision of the House on the amendment proposed to Bill No. 6, because this amendment is similar. It appears to me that this is a matter between a wealthy corporation and the supporters which it has, and the common people of Canada and the supporters which they have. I have no antagonism against the Canadian Pacific Railway, and it is not with any feeling of hostility that I move this amendment. I have every respect for that great corporation that, 37 years ago, commenced operations in Canada and to-day holds the position it does financially and as a service to the public. But, Mr. Chairman, when it comes to making a choice between a wealthy corporation and the common people of Canada, I am on the side of the common people of Canada.

I am particularly interested in subsections (c) and (d) of this clause, because the extensions proposed in those two subsections run through the constituency which I represent. Some time ago the Canadian Pacific Railway got a charter to build two extensions through this portion of the constituency. It may be in the minds of some hon. gentlemen that my constituency is in very bad shape, and has not any need of any railway extension, but'I wish to remind the House that the constituency is a very large one. It extends about 150 miles east and west, and between 75 and 80 miles north and south. While the southern portion of the constituency is hard hit financially, the northern portion is in good shape. The farmers are doing fairly well, the district is well settled, and the settlers have been in there for some 15 years. The land is productive, and has been producing for a number of years large quantities of grain. This district which is supposed _ to be served by these railway extensions is about 50 miles east and west, by about 35 miles north and south. You will readily understand that some of these settlers are from 20 to 25 miles from a railway point, and any person who has been raised on a farm can understand what that means in the

Canadian Pacific

hauling of grain. The large quantities of grain produced in this district have to be hauled a great distance, which goes a long way in reducing the profits which should go to the farmers. I have not proposed any amendment in regard to the time for building these extensions. This bill provides two years for commencing and five years for completing the work. I do not propose to make any change in the time. The amendment provides for the deletion of the words in the latter part of clause 1, which reads:

And if within the said periods respectively the said lines are not commenced, or are not completed, and put into operation, the powers of construction conferred upon the company by parliament shall cease and be null and void as respects so much of the said line as shall then remain uncompleted.

On a cursory examination it would appear that it did not make much difference whether these words 'were in the bill or out of it, hut, while I am not a lawyer, and never expect to be one, yet in my opinion the fact of these words being ip the bill makes a great difference in the operation of it, because when these words are in the bill, construction on these branch lines comes under the provision of this bill and is outside the provisions of the Railway Act of Canada, but when these words are eliminated from the bill, the construction of these branch lines comes under the provisions of the Railway Act of Canada. In section 3 of the Railway Act I find subsection (b), which reads:

*Where the provisions of this act and of any special act passed by the parliament of Canada relate to the same subject matter the provisions of the special act shall, in so far as is necessary to give effect to such special act, be taken to over-ride the provisions of this act.

That is exactly the provision which the Canadian Pacific Railway gets the advantage of if these words are included in this special act. The object of the amendment is to delete these words and bring the construction under the Railway Act of Canada.

Section 161 of the Railway Act reads:

If the construction of the railway is not commenced and fifteen per centum of the amount of the capital stock is not expended thereon in survey, purchase of right of way, and actual construction work, or, in the case of a branch or extension of the railway, if fifteen per centum of the bond issue authorized therefor is not expended thereon in actual construction work, within two years after the passing of the act authorizing the construction of such railway, branch, or extension, as the case may be, or, where the Parliament of Canada grants an extension of the time for commencing such

construction, within the time so granted; or, if the railway or branch, or extension, as the case may be, is not completed and put in operation within five years from the passing of such act, or, where the Parliament of Canada grants an extension of time for completion, within the time so granted; then the powers granted by suoh act or by this act shall cease and be null and void as respects so much of the railway or branch or extension, as the case may be, as then remains uncompleted.

You will notice section 161 makes special provision for the expenditure of 15 per cent of the bond issue within the first two years, in order to enable the railway company to say they have commenced construction. That means something in Bill No. 5, because it is intended to build those two lines. The hon. member for Victoria City (Mr. Tolmie), in speaking to Bill No. 6, stated that it was not necessary to have restriction for the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, because jthey did not_intend to Build the Tine" anyway, and he further stated that there was no provision for bonds in Bill No. 6. In Bill No. 5 provision is made for the issue of bonds or debentures to the extent of $40,000 per mile. If the construction of these branch lines is brought under the Railway Act of Canada, the railway company is compelled to expend 15 per cent of their $40,000 per mile within the first two years, in order to show that they intend to build these lines. That is just a mere matter of $6,000 per mile to be expended within the first two years, to show their good faith. Otherwise, if this provision of the Railway Act is not adhered to, the railway company might send a man out with a spade and throw up a little mound of earth within the first two years, and they would be clear, under the provisions of their own bill. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, I submit that this amendment is a very vital one and deeply concerns the people whom I represent.

With regard to a company which is able to make such immense earnings, as the Canadian Pacific Railway has done in spite of hard times, financial distress amongst the farmers and business depression amongst our companies, a company that is able to pile up the large profits that the Canadian Pacific has done, that has been able in the past year to declare a 10 per cent dividend, and the hulk of whose stock is held outside Canada, so that the large proportion of its earnings is going outside of Canada, it seems to me it is not unrea

sonable to ask that such a corporation shall expend at least some of that money amongst the people who have helped to

Canadian Pacific

contribute towards those dividends which the Canadian Pacific has declared. Therefore, I have pleasure in moving this amendment.

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PRO

John Evans

Progressive

Mr. EVANS:

I have pleasure in seconding the amendment; and while I am particularly interested in sub-clause (b), I should like to bring to the attention of the committee the wishes of the people of my part of the country for a railroad. This railroad was first proposed some years ago, and it should have been built, perhaps, before the war. The first survey through this part of the country was run by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, and the bonds were at that time guaranteed by the Saskatchewan government. Through stress of the times, however, the charter was allowed to lapse until about two years ago when the Canadian Pacific obtained a charter for this road. No work has ever been done on it; and although people went into that part of the country from twelve to thirteen years ago with the expectation that the railroad would be built immediately, they are in dire need now for transportation facilities in order to market their produce.

This is not at all a line to be built with the prospect of the country being settled in the near or distant future; the country is settled all the way through from one end to the other. I know for a fact that, as regards some of the townships in that district, three-quarters of them are under cultivation, and the farms are as well established as in any other part of the country. The settlers who went in there first were mostly Ontario men and women, and besides raising grain, they have now herds of cattle. The position of the settlers in this district, although they are not as far from a railway as some people throughout the West are to-day, is a very difficult one. To the south of them it is impossible to reach the present Canadian Pacific line, the Pheasant hills branch, owing to the crossing of the Eagle hills. They are compelled to go north to the main line of the Canadian National Railways in order to market their crops. To do this they have to cross the river, and this is where the great problem comes in. When I was crossing there myself two years ago with a light rig, we first of all got on to one of the ferries which took us out into the middle of the bed of the river, and there we landed on a sand bank. After shifting up and down on that sand bank and getting into line with the cables, we got upon another ferry which landed us further out on an-

other sand bank, from which we had to make the best of our way to the shore. That day I met men with teams drawing about thirty bushels of wheat, and I wondered why they did not load their wagons. But the fact of the matter was that, if they could keep going over the bed of the river on these sand banks, they might get through; but if they once got down there was nothing for them to do but to unload. In the winter time it is impossible to go south owing to the Eagle hills which extend over a great deal of that country. Then to go north, several of them have to go together and put all the teams possible on to one load in order to get up out of the river bed. The shifting sand bars in the river, in the summer time or in the early fall, make ferry service very difficult, and sometimes these people have been even a whole month at a time without getting their mail from the post offices.

The marketing of their produce is the great handicap. When I went through there during the campaign of last fall, I found that most of these people were living in log houses; they were all postponing the building of better houses until the railway was in sight. They informed me that if the railway were at all in sight during the next year or so, they would settle down and make permanent homes; otherwise they would go back to where they came from and abandon the country. This is a well-settled district which is calculated to pay dividends on any railway that may be built at any time, and the Canadian Pacific is quite able at the present time to build this line. The Canadian Pacific has had for some years now a short spur out from Asquith to what is known as the gravel pit. If another twenty-five miles were constructed from the end of that line, such a railway would serve that country, and perhaps, it would relieve those settlers of many of the difficulties they are now under. The country is settled all the way through from Saskatoon to Cloan, and I think this Parliament should give these settlers, isolated as they are, the greatest consideration.

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PRO

Henry Elvins Spencer

Progressive

Mr. SPENCER:

I wish to speak for a few minutes in support of the amendment. This suggested railway runs through a part of my constituency, and the people living along the route that the rails will follow have sent quantities of letters to me asking me to work against any further postponement of the building of this railway. Hundreds of these people are hauling their grain from twenty to twenty-five

Canadian Pacific

miles, and no one who has not hauled produce for twenty to twenty-five miles over a rough trail can have any appreciation of what sort of a task that is. It means not only a great waste of time in the summer when farmers should be spending all the time they have on field work, but a great hardship, particularly so in the winter time when most of their grain is hauled. These people have been in that part of the country for a good many years; they went there on the promise of the railway being built, and if that promise had not been made, the country would not have been settled. It is because promises have been made that railways would be built in so many parts of western Canada that we have to-day settlers living such distances from present-day railways, and this is unfair to these people.

We have heard a great deal about the necessity for bringing a large number of immigrants into the country, but I for one think it would pay us more to emphasize the need of providing the means by which to keep the present settlers that we already have. Because of promises that have been made in the past and not fulfilled, because of assurances in years gone by that railways would be built in this place and the other, while no attempt was made to carry out these undertakings, we are now losing our population. It does not matter how many settlers we bring into the country, or where they come from, when they live fifteen, twenty, twenty-five and thirty miles from a railway, they will not remain on the land. If settlers come into the country with the idea of building homes and being successful within a short number of years, we cannot hope at all to keep them if we do not carry out the promises we make. It is well known that in Alberta, where they do not get a crop every year, it requires on an average one crop in every three to pay for landing the produce at the seaboard. So that if you do not provide transportation facilities to farmers who are now living between twenty and thirty miles from a railway, you are only adding to the expense of growing grain; and besides that you are increasing the discontent of those who are already dissatisfied. No matter how much advertising you may do through Government agencies, so long as we have dissatisfied people at home who cannot make a success of their business because of the lack of transportation facilities, we cannot hope to secure new settlers, because those who are already 102

on the land here will do their level best to keep their friends, their relations and their acquaintances in different parts of the world from coming and settling in this country.

A questionnaire is in circulation in the neighbourhood through which this railway is supposed to be built, and in it questions are asked as to how many years ago a railway was promised, what was the amount of produce and stock raised in that part of the country, the number of miles people have to travel to get to the railway, and the cost per bushel for hauling produce that distance. And one rather interesting question is as to the number of. people who have left in the last ten years because the railway had not been built through this part of the country. I would call that last question particularly to the attention of hon. members, because it is one that should be seriously considered. If we are going to give the railway company the right to postpone indefinitely the building of this railway, then we are simply deferring the time when we shall be able to induce present settlers to stay on their farms. If we do not guarantee them transportation, and that within a reasonable time, we can expect to see settlers in the next ten years leaving in greater numbers than they have left in the past decade.

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PRO

Thomas Henry McConica

Progressive

Mr. McCONICA:

The amendment pending affects the extension of the charters of two roads in the constituency I have the honour to represent-charters that have been in existence for some time. A considerable portion of one of these roads has been constructed, and beyond the construction in both cases there are people who have long been in need of a railway for which they are still anxiously waiting. I have much sympathy with some things that have been said about the railway situation in Canada; but I am of those who are convinced that the railways in this country are worth to-day far more than they cost. These railways have served the country in time of great need and have vindicated themselves, and they are well worth a place in the history of the country. They did much during the Great War to carry to the front those things without which we could not have accomplished what we did; and I for one do not think that Canada has come to the time when we should quit and declare that we are bankrupt and shall go no further. I do not think it is time yet for us to say that we are "broke", and that we are going to lie down and wait for the sheriff.

Supply-Militia

This is going to be a great country, and the sooner we realize that and begin to get busy and start the wheels of industry the sooner we shall accomplish something. We need branch lines in order that we may feed and bring tonnage to the trunk lines that we have constructed. When we get those branch lines we shall increase business and population as well, and take care of those immigrants whom we

9 p.m. say we ought to secure. Now here is a proposition to extend certain charters. Under the terms of the proposal that is presented to us we say we will extend them for five years if these people throw a shovelful or two of dirt on each road within two years. I think that the amendment proposed is a reasonable one. It requires that within two years substantial progress shall be made and within five years these lines shall be completed. I hope hon. gentlemen will see the reasonableness of that proposition. The railways should mean something when they ask for an extension for five years; otherwise-

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LIB

George Newcombe Gordon (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Order. I must direct the hon. member's attention to the fact that it is nine o'clock.

Progress reported.

The House again in Committee of Supply-Mr. GordoiP in the Chair.

MILITIA AND DEFENCE .

Militia and Defence-annual drill, $1,400,000.

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LIB

George Newcombe Gordon (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

When the committee rose this item was under consideration, with an amendment by Mr. Power and an amendment to the amendment by Mr. Lapointe.

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PRO

Oliver Robert Gould

Progressive

Mr. GOULD:

When the committee rose at six o'clock I was pointing out that we of the Progressive party were not opposed to a militia in Canada, though that erroneous impression had been sent broadcast throughout the country. We feel, however, that we are justified in the attitude we have taken, not only this year but in past years; and that the persistent fight which is being carried on in support of that attitude will ultimately result in some recognition of it. We believe we are fighting the battle of the plain people. Perhaps we may all take that credit to ourselves, each from a different point of view, but it seems to me that some hon. members who have been in this House have not always had a single eve for the interests of the plain people.

iMr. MeConica. ]

I was also endeavouring to show that the spending of money is not a necessary condition of loyalty; that a large vote for militia and defence does not in itself constitute loyalty to our country,-does not mean that those who propose it are any more loyal than those who seek to have it reduced. If we have established that-and I believe we have; if not in the minds of all members of the House, at any rate in the minds of the people who read the press-then I think we have performed a great mission here. We believe in the equitable spending of money, but evidence enough has been produced on the floor of the House to prove that a portion of the moneys voted in the past-and this may apply to some of the moneys now asked to be voted- have not been spent as they should have been. That is the sore spot in the minds of the people of Canada. It is not that they object to a militia or that they object to defence; it is that under the guise of defence we have been paying for some things we have not been receiving.

A few nights ago the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) pointed out that 56,000,000 pounds of butter had been sent to Belgium, a large exporting country of butter and dairy products. It was stated that Belgium was to have twenty years within which to pay for this 56,000,000 pounds of butter which it became necessary for her to import as the result of the ravages of war. Can you wonder, therefore, that agriculture throughout Canada and other countries protests so strongly against all the things which lead to war? In that respect we are not alone; other parliaments and other governments are taking the same attitude. I have before me a clipping with reference to the Diet of Japan which I will read for the benefit of the committee. It says:

As Prince Yamagata lay dying, the elected house of the Imperial Diet was the scene of an agitation for the reduction by 50 per cent of the army which gave Yamagata his career and which his powerful leadership made the most masterful element in the Japanese state. The contrast is symbolical, for though the Diet agitation will fail, it is the sign of a movement which has time on its side. The old age is dying and the new is knocking at the door.

I think there is a lesson in that last sentence for hon. members of this House: "The old age is dying, and the new is knocking at the door." It is demanding admission and an opportunity of demonstrating whether the theories advocated with sincerity now as in years past are not better than those followed by adminis-

Supply-M ilitia

trators more or less up to the present time.

I have on former occasions in this House directed the attention of hon. members to these circumstances: Should a war again occur-and that is problematical, of course; we all admit that-your trained militia would not be effective. The next war will be fought in the air. The next war will be fought in such a way that the civilian will be in the heart of the warfare. It is my prediction, and it is the prediction of " men and women who are paying attention to this question, that the civilian thousands of miles from the scene of action will be the recipient of blows and subjected to the dangers incidental to warfare. Science will make such progress that even crops far from the theatre of war will be destroyed and civilians will suffer as many hardships as the men who fight at the front. In view of these facts, therefore, it is all folly for us at the present time to proceed on the basis of a poor, narrow conception that the militia is the defence to which we shall resort in the case of war occurring again. It is a conception of the past; he is a reactionary who thinks that this will be our chief method of defending ourselves in future warfare.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I wish to pay a compliment to the Minister of Militia. I have more than ordinary respect for his attitude. I appreciate the high altitude to which he rose when the estimates were last before the House. As to the strong plea he made on that occasion with respect to the estimates brought down, no one would on that account accuse the minister of being militaristic in his views. Our endorsing his proposals would not have been an intimation on our part that we considered him militaristic while we were not. But the minister will appreciate that in the course which we have taken in all sincerity we are trying to carry out the wishes of the people who sent us here; and as I have said many times before, that is something which many hon. members forget to do when they reach this Chamber.

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Since this discussion began some two weeks ago I submit we have wandered far from the original subject. This afternoon we heard from all sides of the House accusations that one party was militaristic and that another was Tory; we have heard it stated that still another was the party of the plain people. Some hon. members expressed themselves as willing to cut out 1021

the arsenals; others wished to abolish the staff; some wished to cut the militia estimates as a whole, and throughout the whole discussion we wandered from the subject generally. But the question before the committee is simply this: the estimate brought down originally by the Government was for $1,400,000 for annual drill. A certain number on this side favoured the elimination altogether of the annual training and with the idea of bringing this about it was moved that thei item be reduced by $1,100,000. Now, I understand -I was not in the House at the time- that it has been moved by a member of the Government that the item be reduced by $400,000 only. The minister has declared, in effect, that if we reduce his estimate by $400,000 we are doing away with annual camps. Because $1,400,000 is too much, he asks that we cut out $400,000 from the annual training and cut out certain other items. The argument, then, is that annual drill is not as good as it was two weeks ago, but it will be quite good if we cut off a million from something else. The point before the House is whether or not annual training is what we wish to have in this country at the present time. To reduce this vote by $400,000 simply means this, that we lose a great part of the efficiency of these camps, if they even were efficient, and we do not help in any way the militia of Canada.

Since this question was brought before the House those of us who do not agree with the minister have had attributed to us various motives. Some of our friends, and some of those who are not our friends, have suggested that certain members on this side of the House were actuated by ambition, others that we were prompted by jealousy, and still others that we were moving for reductions purely for the sake of petulant criticism. May I say that so far as I am concerned, and I think so far as the few on this side of the House who will vote with me are concerned, we have no other motive except that of attempting to be consistent with ourselves on matters of public policy. Last year the Liberal opposition moved that the annual training vote be reduced by $750,000. May I call the attention of hon. members to the fact that this year when we have a Liberal party in power, a party elected in a large measure on an anti-militarist platform, and pledged to retrenchment and reform, they move to reduce the vote by only $400,000. I think we ought at least

Supply-Militia

to be consistent with ourselves and move for a reduction of this vote by $750,000. My idea two weeks ago was that annual training was the easiest thing for us to do away with at this stage of our country's finances. I have not changed since then. I believe still that we can easily do away with annual training, that it is not necessary, and that it is costly.

I have listened to hon. members giving us in a more or less amiable tone of voice their reasons in favour of annual training, or rather, in favour of this estimate. We have been told that if we were to take a military holiday and do away with annual training camps this year, it would be disastrous to the country generally, and that it would be no longer possible to have any such camps for the rest of the Dominion's existence. I submit that a great many of us believe that perhaps these camps never were any good, and never will be any good. More of us are of the opinion that if for this year the troops do not go to these country camps, no great harm could come to the country. Others have stated that if we do not have these annual training camps we shall cease to develop a military spirit in this country. I do not know whether this military spirit will cease to exist, but should that be so, I for one would be delighted and think that this country had made a long step towards progress and prosperity.

It has been stated by hon. members who are opposed to this estimate that it was unnecessary because we had in Canada at the present moment 400,000 of the best trained troops in any country in the world, that these troops would be prepared at any time to join the colours and to go through the same four years of hell, as was adequately said by one hon. gentleman opposite, that they have already been through. To that argument let me answer this: I am firmly convinced that if war should break out, these same men will be willing at any moment to rejoin the colours. Hon. gentlemen opposite say that we should not ask them to rejoin the colours, but whether we like it or not, the first to join the colours in the event of war would be those who have already served. You would find it easier for them to join the colours if the governments both past and present had treated them as they should have been treated in the past, and treat them as they should be treated now. If you treat the returned soldiers decently and properly, vou will find them the most reputable and

hard-working citizens of this country. They, I think, feel that before you start preparing for another war you should repair the wounds of the last war. I am speaking only for myself when I make this statement.

I have within the last few days consulted some men whom I respect highly, two of them Tories and one a Liberal. All three served with great distinction during the war, and all three became generals. I would be only too glad to give* their names in confidence to any member of the House, but for reasons which all will respect I think it is perhaps better to withhold their names at the present moment. These three, all of whom had served in the militia and had served with distinction overseas, stated that a reduction in the vote for annual training at this time would be just what was needed in this country, that it would save the country considerable money where it could be saved most easily, and would in no way impair the efficiency of the Canadian forces.

I had intended-perhaps I may as well say it-to criticise the attitude of some hon. gentlemen who stated that at Valcar-tier, ninety per cent of the troops were old militia men. That may be true, but I would like to know where they got their figures, and would like to be allowed to criticise them. I do know this, that in 1918 when the troops were coming back from the front, we repeatedly asked questions from the Minister of Militia, now the hon. member for East Hamilton, as to what was the war service of every member of the militia headquarters' staffs in Canada. In so far as one staff was concerned, seventy-five per cent of the pay was being given to troops who had served in the militia with high rank, but had never served overseas, whilst at the very same time a large number of returned soldiers were walking the streets looking for a job.

Before concluding, may I say this? It is with very deep regret that owing to force of circumstances I shall to-night be in the unfortunate position of voting with the Tory party-if the hon. gentleman who spoke about the Tory party this afternoon will pardon my calling him a Tory. I have been a Liberal all my life, a Liberal by birth, education, and conviction, and I still intend to remain a Liberal. Owing to circumstances here to-night, owing to the fact that a certain number of hon. gentlemen opposite oppose the Government for reasons widely different from ours, I shall probably be in the most embarrassing position of

Supply-Militia

having to vote with them. Nevertheless, I intend to remain true to the principles I have advocated, and I intend not to withdraw my motion. It is with great regret that I do so. I have every respect for the Minister of Militia and for the leaders of the Liberal party, but respect must end when we come to conviction.

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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

I am sorry I cannot

agree with my hon. friend from Quebec South (Mr. Power), who is a good soldier and a good citizen. Since these estimates were last before the House I have had the opportunity of consulting many leading military men in Ontario. I saw a number of the most eminent Canadian generals during the last week, and some of the ablest non-commissioned officers and men of the permanent force and militia of Ontario and they did not agree with the views expressed by my hon. friend from Quebec. I conferred with these officers and men during the last week end in the city of Toronto which sent 60,000 men to the war. Other parts of Canada, of course, did equally well in that regard; I am not speaking about what Toronto did because all parts of Canada did well in the furnishing of troops. But I assert here to-night that we always had a militia in Canada from the days of General Wolfe. As the hon. member for Kingston (Mr. Ross) said to-day, we have had to engage in war almost every eighteen years since Wolfe conquered Quebec. At frequent intervals during that period we have participated in wars of one kind or another, and our militia have constantly been called upon to defend our land in many quarters of Canada.

I say God forbid that the time should ever come in Canada when we shall not have a militia, because not only in the late war, but also in the days of General Brock, if we had not had a militia the British flag would not be flying over this country today. In the war of 1812 General Brock had to face the same criticism by the legislature sitting in the town of Newark, now Niagara. The legislature in 1810-11 would not give him the money needed to maintain the necessary defence force. There were many farmers and others, many prominent men, who said "We will not give you the money, we cannot afford it; there is no emergency." That was the attitude adopted by a great many men in the legislature in 1810 and 1811, and General Brock was greatly disturbed in consequence. He almost asked to be recalled; but he decided to stay and the war

was won, and Canada was saved by the successful battle waged in the Niagara district as a result of having a brave militia force. Under General Brock were the York volunteers from the constituency of the Prime Minister, and other noble regiments. These men saved the province of Ontario from invasion at Niagara and at other points.

The same thing occurred in the Rebellion of 1837, in the Fenian Raid of 1867, in the Northwest rebellion of 1885, also in the South African war, and in the recent great struggle. Does anyone contend for a moment that if the militia of Canada had not had training this Dominion would have been able in the great war to make the showing it did?

My hon. friend from Assiniboia (Mr. Gould) spoke the other day about a "belted aristocracy." I was sorry to hear such a term applied to our officers. I do not believe that our military officers can be so characterized. I also heard the same hon. member express his belief that the men who composed the Canadian contingents despatched overseas did not have military training. Well, I asked for a return showing the composition of the first Canadian contingent the other day and this return when brought down by the Minister of Militia disclosed that of the 30,000 troops who composed that force, ninety-two per cent had military training. Take the 6,000 men of the first Canadian contingent who went from the city of Toronto; I refer to the third battalion, the 15th battalion, the engineers, the medical corps, and the rest of the units. Ninety-nine per cent of these men had received military training in the militia. I think the same thing is true of the men in the rest of the contingents. I contend that if it had not been for their military training the men from Canada would not have been able to make the showing they did overseas.

My hon. friends opposite were wont to boast in olden days-I refer to the period from 1896 to 1911-that their party had made Canada a nation. I am not going to express any opinion on that point further than to say that Canada had in striking manner demonstrated its virility and its military prowess long before that. If we are a nation why not have a militia and a proper one and not go back 150 years to become a Crown colony and depend on the army of the Mother Country to defend Canada?

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take some form of physical exercise and drill and before long it will be the law of all the large universities.

The Government is responsible for the defence of Canada. If this reduction is made, on the shoulders of the Prime Minister and the Government will lie the responsibility to see that nothing shall be done to injure the defence forces of Canada. I say it is a responsibility and the responsibility is theirs as long as they are there.

It is all very well to talk about the League of Nations. In the United States President Harding was opposed to the League of Nations. He did not believe in it, and he and the Republican party fought against it, but when he came into office public opinion forced him to call a meeting, and the meeting was called. The Washington Conference did their work, but I have my doubts as to the results of their work, in view of the conference which is being held in Europe at Genoa at the present time. There will be wars as long as the world lasts.

I heard some criticism in this House, and I read some criticism in Hansard today of the militia. Away back in 1910 there was some carping criticism about the summer camps and drill and many other items on the programme of the Militia Department. I looked over the 1913 Hansard, and I found some members in the House said there was no emergency, that there was not going to be a war, and they raised similar objections to those which my hon. friends opposite have raised to-night.

This motion strikes at the very back bone and root of the militia. If this amendment carries, it is going to be "good-day" to the militia of Canada, and the Militia Department might as well put up the shutters. I have consulted men who have been in charge of Niagara and other camps, and I say advisedly that when you cut down the items in this way you cannot have efficiency, and the balance of the money might as well be thrown into the Ottawa river. You cannot obtain efficiency with the amount of money which will be left, and you are going to tie the hands of the department forever.

I was talking to a recruiting officer of the old 12th York battalion and he told me he found a great deal of difficulty in getting men and in training his battalion, and why? The Government would not give them a permanent home. They have no drill hall in Toronto for this unit. The city of Toronto had to come along and give them as-

sistance and an armoury free. He said he was not allowed enough money to provide for recruiting, stores and equipment. It was necessary to employ stenographers and send out letters, and he had to pay for it out of his own pocket. Every unit has to pass around the hat to-day. I was asked about it, and we had to try and get the city to help them out. Then in the case of the 36th battalion in Peel county, the city had to come along and give them armoury accommodation and a grant also. They are without a home, and the city gave this unit an armounry in the Junction, and another unit, the 110th, in St. Lawrence market. These armouries are now heated, lighted and a caretaker provided by the city. If the Government are so hard up that they cannot assist these battalions, they should abolish the Militia Department altogether. They should have a proper official militia, or we do not want a militia department at all.

If the same state of affairs had existed in Canada in 1912 and 1913, we would not have been able to take the part in the Great War which we did. What are these experts in the Department of Militia for? They mobilized the first contingent at Val-cartier, and the various other contingents. We took their advice during the war, so why should we not do so now? They say that if this appropriation is reduced, it will sound the death knell of the militia, and I believe General MacBrien is speaking the truth when he makes that statement.

I do not wish to detain the House very much longer. You have the experience of Australia, and the experience of South Africa. General Smuts, who is not a militarist iby any means, said the other day:

Warfare has become so horrible because of the advance in chemical science-that this very advance will bring it to an end. All long for the day that nations and men achieve a standard of reason and common sense that war shall be no more

but it is a long way off yet I fear.

That is all very well in its way, but people had the same ideas in the days of our Lord and in the days of the Romans end Persians. They had a league of nations then; we have a league of nations now; but the only league of nations that I have ever known that has protected civilization is the British fleet. If the British fleet is dismantled, good-bye to the League of Nations. If there is ever formed a league of nations that can make as good a showing during the next four centuries on the land as the British fleet has made on the seas in the last four centuries dur-

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ing the days of Philip of Spain, Louis XIV, Napoleon and the Kaiser, it will be doing a good work for civilization and there will be some need of a league of nations.

This proposed reduction in the militia estimates is false economy; I do not believe it is economy at all. As General Mac-Brien has said, "Later on you will suffer for it." We have a pretty state of affairs in this country. We should have responsible government, but I am beginning to doubt whether we have that or not. This is the first time that we have had the group system in this House, and I do not believe it is responsible government for a government to submit, to a party caucus, the country's estimates of expenditure, a matter which should be run on a business basis. This is a national matter, a defence matter, a patriotic matter for the Minister of Militia and Defence (Mr. Graham) and it is one in regard to which the people in all the provinces will stand by the minister. If the hon. member for North Ontario (Mr. Halbert) would resign his seat and appeal to his constituents on the speech which he made in this House this afternoon, I believe he would be defeated.

I do not believe any one wants war again, but it is a pretty hard thing to prevent war. I have consulted many people about this question; I have consulted many financial men, men who have great stakes in the country, men who pay heavy taxes; I have consulted labour men, military men, municipal officers, and they all believe that no reduction should be made in these estimates. In conclusion, therefore, I hope that this amendment will be withdrawn.

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UFO

Robert Henry Halbert

United Farmers of Ontario

Mr. HALBERT:

I should just like to answer the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Church). I used those words on almost every platform in the riding which I represent.

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LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

We have an amendment, and an amendment to the amendment, both providing for substantial reductions in the estimates. The amendment, if I am correct, calls for a reduction of $1,100,000. The amendment to the amendment calls for a reduction of $400,000 on one item, and $700,000 on the estimate as a whole. Inasmuch as they both call for a reduction, it is necessary for me to explain that I shall vote against the smaller reduction in order to have an opportunity of voting for the larger reduction.

This discussion has disclosed a rather singular situation. We have witnessed the Opposition not only defending the estimates of the Government, but pleading that their estimates might be increased. That is not, I believe, the ordinary practice; they usually criticise because the estimates are supposed to be too high. I do not know, however, if this situation is a dangerous one, or if it augurs badly for the future. Perhaps it is an evidence of that democracy which we have heard talked about so much of late.

It has been suggested, however, in connection with this estimate that simply because the Minister of Militia saw fit to change his mind with regard to his original estimate, he should resign. As a matter of fact, I think it will be proved from any angle whatsoever that the fact of his change of mind on this item will simply establish his fitness for the position. It has made clear this point at least, that some measure of parliamentary power is being allowed by the Government, instead of our having the old machine government which we have known so much about in Canada. I believe the spirit of the Prime Minister's campaign during the recent election was to let the people rule, to give Parliament back the power which it originally had, and I am rather surprised that the Opposition, which sought a vote of censure a short time ago because this Government had forgotten about its promises, should be so anxious to criticise that Government now for having carried out the spirit of its promises in consulting Parliament as well as its own supporters before passing estimates.

It has been shown, I think, conclusively by those who have already spoken on this issue, that the reduction of the estimates proposed, or, better still, the reduction that is moved in the amendment, is warranted, first because of the urgent necessity for financial retrenchment. That has been sufficiently dealt with during the debate, and I merely refer to it in recapitulating the outstanding points which have been made in the discussion. Second, it has been shown that training, in the manner in which it is provided under our militia regulations, is futile. I refer you, in connection with that point, to the excellent argument put forward by the hon. member for West Calgary (Mr. Shaw) this afternoon, and it would be presumptuous for me to attempt to improve upon that.

I want, however, to mention one or two other matters, in order to express the point of view of the Labour group which I have the honour to represent. We need this money urgently, to re-establish our soldiers

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who have already done some fighting. We have widespread demands throughout Canada to-day for some measure of a soldier's bonus. Some of our returned men are asking to be better re-established on the land, while others who have no intention of going on the land want to have some aid in being re-established in other walks of life. While the $11,000,000, if we should give the whole of it to the re-establishment of our returned soldiers, would not be sufficient, yet that would be a better investment of the money than that in which we are going to invest it. Not only so, but we would discover that an investment along that line, if it is going to be necessary to continue war, would be of greater value than an investment in the kind of training in which we are going to invest our money.

The spirit of an army is equal at least to the training of that army; and when we look around us and see how the men who have fought have been treated for their fighting, there is no great incentive for men to join the army if we were to have a war immediately. In fact, the treatment of the men would discourage very materially any re-enlisting; whereas, if we had treated the soldiers better, the rising generation would be more ready to shoulder arms, if we were thrown into another war. As it is, under present circumstances, even if young men could feel assured that they were not going to give up their lives on the battlefield, they would hesitate before going into the army in view of our poor treatment of those who have already been there.

I should like to spend the entire estimate for the next ten years in the re-establishment of returned soldiers. But that, perhaps, might be considered a little too drastic, and so I shall not move an amendment to the amendment to the amendment. I shall rather speak on the amendment. I am not so particular about the actual amount of the reduction as I am about the principle involved. We are really making a choice- of principle that will shape the national character of this country for the future.

Two tendencies have been evident since the Great War. One of these is the tendency towards the re-birth of German militarism in the countries that have been called victors; the second is the tendency to challenge the whole barbaric system of human murder which has been adopted even by civilisation as a means of settling international disputes. I should like to see

manifested, even in the discussion of these estimates and in the decision thereon, Canada's attitude towards the future in this regard; and I should like to see her take a position strongly upon the latter principle, that she is going to discard the military means of settling disputes between nations and find some other method more satisfactory and more in keeping with the intelligence of the times in which we are living.

This is indeed Canada's opportunity; Canada can do it perhaps better than any other nation. First of all, as has already been pointed out in the debate, Canada is a young nation which has not yet been bound by the military fetters that bind other countries. She has no military traditions to live down; she is practically starting afresh. Moreover, her population is drawn from many nations; and she has succeeded so far, and I trust that in the future she will be even more successful, in welding these peoples from many nations into one national unity. If therefore she has succeeded in forming a unity out of these various elements, it is only natural that she should take the leadership in seeking to weld together, at least in the principle of co-operation, these nations from which her own population has been derived. So that we are looking to Canada to take the initiative on this new principle. We expect her to lead the way from militarism towards justice and humanity.

The desire to seek safety in military preparation is a static desire; that is, it deals only with effects. It makes no attempt whatever to deal with the causes of war, and we cannot expect to have anything else but war if we permit the causes to run rampant. Now I admit that we should still be dealing with the effects merely if we attempted to stop entirely at disarmament. We ought to be able to give some real constructive, dynamic lead and follow that lead, with our own confidence, by disarming. Wars have economic causes, that is the philosophy of the labor movement; and if wars are caused chiefly by economic conditions, they can be stopped only by economic solutions. And so, if we are really desirous of promoting the safety of Canada, against the attack of nations, [DOT] we would be much more to the point in spending $11,000,000 in trying to set before the world a better method of economics than in merely training a few men or giving them a holiday for a couple of weeks every year and spending money on rifles, and so forth.

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Moreover, it has been well established that the great war from which we have just emerged, as well as other great wars in history, have been caused largely through the competition of the nations of the world for the limited markets at their disposal in which to sell their supposed surplus goods; and if we are anxious to remove ourselves from the danger of conflict with other nations we should begin by adopting a sane system within our own country, so that we might be able to develop our own home markets, and not scramble with other people for a market that does not belong to us. I do not mean at all that we should isolate ourselves in the fair and necessary exchange of trade, but I do mean to say, as I pointed out before, that as we are now producing more than we are allowed to consume, if we can find some means of permitting our people to consume what they produce, it is possible we shall not want to fight with any foreigners for markets for our goods.

War is the world's most dismal failure. Politics may be a failure, if you like; and party government has no doubt dismally failed, at least in the past few years. But I do not know of any more dismal failure in the world's history than war, the very thing we are going to spend over $10,000,000 of Canada's money at this time to keep alive. If war, then, is the greatest failure, would it not be well to look for some other way of settling international disputes? The last war was the greatest of all failures; it proved, more conclusively than any other war has done, that resort to arms is an utter futility as a means of settling anything. Its greatest demonstration of this truth lies in the fact that the victor has become the vanquished. We have not been able to defeat the German sentiment for we see it bubbling around us every day. The sentiment of military preparedness, as I said at the outset, has been re-born in many great nations, and we have had this sentiment echoed on the floor of this House to-day. We have not therefore killed the sentiment nor the philosophy of war. Nor have we been able to conquer Germany in the sense of having made her pay for the war . If we made her pay for the war, even supposing that she were financially able to do so, we would ruin the industrial institutions of Great Britain, France and the United States. So that having won the war, and having attained the position of being able to compel Germany to pay for it, we dare not exercise that compulsion because we would destroy our own country thereby.

That is the fiasco of the Great War. War is a complete failure from the point of view of a settlement of disputes as

10 p.m. between different nations. It is philosophically false; it is inhuman; it is un-economic; and worse than all, the peace based on that colossal failure is going to be the basis of subsequent wars.

I presume that is why some of our people are so anxious to have more preparation.

Carrying out this tendency to get away from war as a colossal failure in settling human affairs, we have had such things as the League of Nations and the Disarmament Conference. In view therefore of the fact that war is indeed a dismal failure and that it is necessary that there should be some better method of settling disputes; and in view of our hope that Canada will take the lead in finding that better method I think it will be agreed that we cannot afford to spend this money at this time on further preparation for war. Even if we could afford to spend this amount it could be better devoted to rehabilitating returned men and also taking care of many of our unemployed and trying to find better means of employing those who are unemployed, as well as in building better homes in Canada in order to make the country a better place to live in. This kind of military training is futile, not onl-because of its inefficiency, but because of the fact that war is just as progressive as human ingenuity is: when you have trained your men in what are supposed to be modern tactics of warfare, you very soon find out they are not modern at all; you have to train your men on the spot in order to keep pace with the development of modern warfare.

For these reasons, and also for the reason that economics are at the base of world politics and that if we are to tackle this problem seriously we must tackle it on the economic ground, I am opposed to this estimate. I am in sympathy with the expressed opinion of organized labour, not only in this country, but in the United Kingdom, when I say that we look forward to complete disarmament and will take every step possible to achieve that end. Whenever I have an opportunity as a representative of labour to vote for the reduction of armaments, I must vote for the largest possible reduction; therefore I shall vote for the amendment in this case. I am glad, however, to notice that the present Government has made some reduction; I hope it will be greater next year. I am glad for that larger measure of

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democracy which the Government has exhibited, and I am only sorry that I have to vote against the reduction which it proposes in order that I may be able to vote for the amendment which would reduce the estimate by the larger amount.

I conclude with the hope, Mr. Chairman, that our action on this issue will be Canada's first step toward a great, new social order that is approaching; that Canada's action will be a first example and a lead to the nations of the world in the discovery of a new method and a new principle of settling national disputes; that we will thus give out to the world the intimation that in spirit and in sentiment we stand for the enthronement of human rights as the dominating principle in world politics.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Mr. Chairman, I am not able to give the committee any opinion of real value as to what is the best military organization or how best to spend a given amount of money for the maximum military effect. Nor can I say anything as to how future wars are to be fought- nothing, at least, that the committee would be justified in listening to. I have not had the actual war experience of other hon. members in this House, including the hon. member from Quebec (Mr. Power), sufficient to enable me to measure just what is the value of annual military training for purposes of war. And I have no vision of the future, no such prophetic power as, evidently, is possessed by the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Gould) and some others to enable me to define just in what portion of the great universe on earth in air or sea the future conflicts of mankind are to take place. I would like to say something, though, as to what appear from the story of the past, from the ordinary layman's reading of history, as being sound principles that a country like this should follow in determining what should be the measure, of its military organization.

If I held to the principles just enunciated by the hon. member for Calgary (Mr. Irvine) and, indeed, also by the member for Assiniboia, if the line of argument followed by the hon. member for Dufferin (Mr. Woods) appealed to me in the least degree-that is to say, if I felt it good as demanding the reduction by a single dollar of these estimates-I would consider it absolutely good, and, indeed, inescapable, for the wiping out of the whole appropriation. If we are going to march toward what my hon. friend calls a " great, new social

order " merely by cutting out our defence; if we are going, as he says, to put Canada in the lead at this great climacteric in our history-put Canada in the lead in ushering in a new and better order in this world by the easy process of dropping the military estimates-why, then, I would want to drop them all; I would not tolerate a dollar. But I have not observed that, in the past or to-day, nations that did not gird on their armour and play the part of men in the world, but rather lolled back in self-indulgence, have been leaders either toward a new social order or toward any other order.

I do not know in what sense the word "militarist" has been used so often in the course of this debate. I would say that a militarist nation is a nation that hopes to gain iby conquest, either for purposes of revenge or for mere purposes of acquisition; and that a citizen of a nation who believes in that course would be a militarist. But surely it is an abuse of words to say that a citizen of a nation whose purpose is only to be in a position to defend itself, to get reasonably ready for defence in case some militarist nation takes it into its head to act aggressively toward it, is a militarist. If that is the case, the whole world has been militaristic since the birth of creation; and though I do not like to speak of the future, I am afraid it is going to be militaristic forever. A nation, if it is to be a nation at all, must just the same as an individual be in a position to take care of itself-both internally against disorder and revolutionary insolence and externally against aggression. I do not say that it can insure itself against all possibility of harm, but, that it should under all circumstances that surround it, become reasonably ready to guard against being wiped out of existence or losing its hold on its own properties before the assistance of an awakened and enlightened world can come to its defence. Now, if by having a military organization we are only getting ready for war; if we are only taking a step to precipitate another conflict such as the war from which we have emerged, then let us stand for none at all; let us hav.e nothing whatsoever. But while every one hopes -at least every one would like, though he may not dare to hope-that there would be no more great wars, I do not think the sensible people of the world are of opinion that the British Empire and other nations of like character are going to hasten that time merely by themselves disarming, throwing away all means of self-defence.

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Surely it has been made manifest in recent years that some at least of the greater nations of the world, and undoubtedly the leading statesmen of those nations, have exerted-yes, exhausted-every imaginable effort to ensure, so far as they can ensure, that great conflicts are past. I do not know anything that Great Britain has failed to do that could have been done. I believe that the United States, using its best judgment, though we may differ from that judgment, has exerted itself to the same end.

If we are to get past the time of war, to my mind there is only one path we can tread that is likely to get us there. It is for those nations that undoubtedly have no militaristic purposes, that undoubtedly are not animated by sentiments of revenge or by ambitions of conquest, to stand together, stand together in a world policy, endeavour to bring other nations into line with themselves, and all as one group be in a position to make their policy and their pacific purposes reign. That is what they are trying to do now. I do not need to name the nations that are of that temperament, that call themselves peace-loving people, that undoubtedly are peace-loving people, but I have not the least hesitation in naming two, and I name the United States of America, and the British Empire, inclusive of all its dominions. Those are to the extent they are able to hold together -*and I would not for one minute exclude others, but I am undoubtedly within the unanimous opinion of this assembly when I bring those two into that category- to the extent they are able to stand together, to the extent they are able to support their opinion by that reserve of force which alone in world politics creates influence and supports opinions, they are the real contributors to the peace of nations.

There is nobody in the British Empire, there is nobody in the United States, there is no considerable, respectable body of opinion in either of these great countries which believes for one minute that even though they stand together, they can get anywhere unless they have very considerable forces behind their opinion. The British Empire has to have such force. Who is there who has any feeling for that Empire at all who would dare to suggest at this hour that Great Britain throw down her arms and place herself in the position where her word in the councils of Europe and in the councils of the world would mean nothing at all? Who is there who would

suggest that the United States do the same thing? We know they cannot do it. Much as they love peace, however devotedly, however unitedly all their efforts are concentrated to secure peace, we know they cannot adopt such a policy as that. Such being the case surely it follows that we, as an integral part of the British Empire, must maintain a fair share and proportion of that means of defence which all the Empire must sustain. Surely that follows. Sui'ely that is incumbent upon us out of regard for our self respect, out of regard for the very manhood of our people.

Then the question is, how far can you go? Where should you stop and be sure that you have not gone too far, but that you have reached, the right line? Well, it is a difficult matter; it is a very difficult matter to decide. Opinions differ as to the state of the world; opinions differ as to the share incumbent on the different peace-seeking countries of the world; opinions differ as to the share of the various nations of the Empire. Some say that the late war so exhausted humanity that even if it would, through the perversity of human nature, it cannot wage a conflict for many years to come. I fear, though, that the state of the nations to-day affords not quite so good ground for the optimism of that class of people as it did even a few months ago. I do not think we can look to the horizon in the direction of Europe and be quite so sanguine, so certain, that the world is very far from war. I am not an alarmist by any means. I am sure that recent events have taughf us this, that though the heart of one great nation, is doubtless more determinedly bent on peace, more poignantly so than it ever was, that great nation is certainly not more hopeful than it was two years ago. In Europe at this hour there is strain and stress, there is cloud and sign of storm in every direction. One nation struggles to have its way; another battles for a more excellent way-antagonism and schism result. One seems animated by revenge. Another seems to harbour perilous hopes but to cry for help against revenge. Another appears to have no purpose save to make it impossible for those nations that it describes as of the old order to live in peace at all. In a word, there is just about the antithesis of harmony in the whole European atmosphere at this hour. Very well, that is the condition, deplore it as we will, struggle against it as we will-and I am sure the Empire of

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which we are part does not despair- struggle against it as we will, nevertheless, that is the condition that confronts us.

There are those who say-or think if they do not say: " Ah, we are here on the North American continent; we are far from any eastern menace, we are far from any western menace, if menace there is east or west; we are along the boundary of the great United States; the Monroe doctrine has sheltered this continent for nigh a hundred years." Let me express my sentiments:-In the fold of this Empire we have more safety than in any shelter of geography or in any doctrine of a foreign land. But let us never forget that if any portion of the Empire of which we are part is in peril, it cannot be long before that peril is equally real right here in Canada. Surely the Great War, if it taught us anything, taught us this, that any considerable war of the future will be such that no nation knows whether it will be possible for it to withhold its hand and its part in that war. Surely it taught us, if it taught us anything, that the British Empire can be maintained only to the extent it stands united, and that we are secure here as a part of that Empire only to the extent that the whole Empire is secure. If any one doubts that, let him get up and say so. For myself, my reason cannot bring me to the conviction that there is any security at all for us save in the security of the Empire of Britain.

We are asked, where is the foe? Where is the enemy that is going to attack us? Let me put the answer this way. Was there ever a time, no matter how close war actually turned out to be, when any government of a civilized country if asked across the floor of its parliament where the enemy was that was going to attack, would be in a position to rise and point out the enemy? That cannot be done. First, we dc not know; next, if we did know, it would be impossible public policy, unspeakable public policy, to make the declaration. We are told we have no foe. Had Canada any foe in 1913? But foes came. The world is smaller to-day than it was two or three hundred years ago, and as time goes on the relations of continents and nations become closer, the dependence becomes closer, and the security of the one depends more and more on the security of the other; the peace of each depends more and more upon the peace of all.

We are told: We are here on the North American continent; the United States of America is a great and powerful republic,

[Mr. Meighen.l

and any attack on our shores would be resisted by them. Well, if we really rest in that belief, if we really lull ourselves into a measure of indulgence because of that consideration surely it behooves us to take the same part of the burden of such security proportionate to our numbers, proportionate to our wealth and resources, that the United States takes. But we are not taking that part to-day. The United States of America to-day is devoting 19.1 per cent of its entire expenditure to the purposes of' defence; we arespending about 31 per cent of oursfor the purpose of defence. Theirsamounts to about $13.13 per head of their people. Ours amounts to about $1.69 per head of our people. I could compare similarly with Australia, with New Zealand, with Great Britain, with other parts of our Empire. Relatively to them all we are by far the lowest, and relatively to every other nation in the world we are the lowest. So from the argument of comparison it cannot be said that we have been led by militarists and by brass caps in this country. Our governments have rather sought to keep our expenditure on defence as low as it could be kept, consistent with national self respect and a reasonable degree of security.

Now the question comes: These estimates that are brought down, do they do more than meet that requirement? For myself, no one is more anxious, I think, than I am to hold expenditure on defence down to the lowest point consistent with national selfrespect, consistent with reasonable security. We are told the militia is a non-productive body and that we have a large debt to-day; that we have a tremendous interest burden to carry year after year, and that consequently we should cut down the militia. That argument proceeds upon the hypothesis that the militia, the defence force, is a mere luxury-that the reason it is maintained by a nation is because that nation has some money to throw away. The militia organization is maintained not for luxury, not in any sense merely to appease the parading ambitions of any class of people. It is maintained by a nation first to preserve law and order within the country; and second, to be a nucleus around which the national forces can gather if danger comes from without. Those who preach that we ought to cut down because our debt has grown have a wrong conception of what the militia is for. We ought to maintain-and I admit it is very difficult to tell just Where the line should be

Supply-Militia

drawn-we ought to maintain a militia not proportionate inversely to our debt, but proportionate directly to the need for the militia itself, proportionate to the size of the purposes the militia is to meet.

Now1, then, I come to inquire whether or not the estimates that are before us in the form presented are more than sufficient for that need. First, I find that these estimates, as originally presented, are about $1,100,000 less than last year's estimates. Last year's estimates were designed and prepared to meet the requirements that I defined a few minutes ago, the purposes the Minister of Militia defined in his address of April 25, and to do no more than meet those purposes. The present estimates were designed to the same ends and to no other; and the minister's statement to this House was such as to show thatrin his judgment, they were no more than sufficient to meet the needs of law and order, to meet any contingency that might arise out of a breaking of law and order at home, and also to be the nucleus of an organization of trained men who, at least, could offer some show of resistance at first in the event of war, and who would constitute the personnel to train in time of peril the other young men of our country. They would be the advance guard that the others could follow and thereby, if trouble comes, make some sort of a showing on behalf of this nation. Are they more than sufficient for that purpose? They are $1,100,000 less than last year. I do not think this is any more than could reasonably be expected to be saved because of reductions of costs. I do not think it is claimed by the minister that it is more than that. Certainly in respect of this item the minister made no other claim than that the amount taken off was about sufficient to take care of reductions of costs of supplies and the like that could be made this year as against last year. Very well then, the minister's duty was to ascertain whether or not last year we went too far. After investigation the minister Came to the conclusion we did not; that we only apportioned such an amount as was required for the purpose of this military training.

There are those who say "Yes, we should have a military organization"-I am referring particularly to the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power)-"but we do not need any military training." My hon. friend ought to be a better judge of that than I am, but may I appeal to the hon. member-

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

If the hon. member will

pardon me I said "yes, we should have militia but we should not have annual training for a militia camp". We should have permanent militia and in that I agree with the hon. gentleman.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

That is what I intended to represent my hon. friend as saying: We should have militia but we do not require this annual training.

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LIB

May 9, 1922