June 24, 1925

PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

A boy who refuses to take military training is boycotted, he is discriminated against in sports by the teachers as well as by the pupils. I found that to be true in London, Ontario, and in many other places. I object to military training in schools as an educational feature-and it is supposed to be educational. We hear it said that military training in school makes for discipline. But we must not confuse external discipline with self-control. Self-control must be discipline of ourselves by ourselves; but discipline inflicted from without is not that same thing at all, and the tendency is rather for the children to go to greater extremes of indulgence, almost license, when the pressure of outside force is taken away.

I object to compulsory military training in schools because it confuses the regimental with the co-operative spirit. Boys are put in groups, it is quite true, but not in groups of their own choosing, not groups that gather around them spirits congenial to their own and that make for better mental and spiritual development of the boy, but enforced groups which usually have no social meaning. The president of the New York Evening Post says in regard to cadet training in schools: On moral grounds I believe the argument against :t is unanswerable. It falsifies values, lays emphasis on brute force, and makes directly against the ethical training which is supposed to be the teacher's first duty.

I oppose cadet training as a form of physical braining in schools-and that is what it is thought to mean-because by it girls are excluded from any sort of physical training. It is in reality more important to the future of the race that we should have women with good physique and healthy bodies than that we should have men with strong bodies. I believe that we should have a national system of physical education. If, whatever government is in power in the next parliament, should be willing to bring in a large vote under the Department of Health to set up a system of physical education, patterned possibly after the Swedish plan, I would wholeheartedly support it. After all, public opinion

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makes governments do that which they languidly do, and I am confident that it would support such a move. I believe the people want physical training for children and youth, they want both boys and girls to have something that will give an outlet for their spirit of adventure. I think that this physical training could have all the lure of colour, of music, of form, that is now woven about military training in our schools. I believe that such a system would result in very much improving the health of our school children, and would leave Canada in a perfectly safe position, because if our future citizens have strong, well-developed bodies and unprejudiced and open minds, then Canada need not fear the future.

I have read quite a good deal on this subject, and I find that those who have made a life study of it claim that military training does not at all compete with sports in the developing of children, such traits as initiative, resourcefulness, co-operation, group loyalty. Games give very much greater chance for the developing of these desirable traits.

Possibly, though, the thing that we should most oppose this vote for is that by having military training in our schools the mind of the child is blinded, it is not led to think of any other means of settling international disputes other than this one method of war -this one method that has been absolutely discredited by all people who know most about it. Under this system the younger generation have no chance of having free ideals and shaping social evolution by their means, but instead they are shaped to the existing forms, to the idea of nationality which it pleases their rulers they should possess. I do not believe that was ever more true than it is to-day, although by this discussion and others that we have previously had in this House we have shown that there is an awakening in Canada, that there is another school of thought growing up in regard to military training. But it is too true that instead of letting the child think its way out, we superimpose upon it our false values, we put upon it what we, if we are honest with ourselves, have found to be unsound and unsafe, and we teach the child that that is the thing that will lead it to happiness in an international way.

Military training relies on force. It does not call out the highest or the best in humanity. It is pagan. I want to quote from a book entitled "West Point," by a man who just loves military training, so in whatever he says he will be perfectly fair about it. He is enthusiastic about military training, and in referring to the wonderful

chapel they have at West Point-he calls it an architect's dream-he says this:

The jewel of the interior is a great chancel window with its noble inscription:

"Erected to the glory of the God of Battles and .n faithful memory of the departed graduates of the United States Military Academy, West Point, by the living alumni".

Then he goes on to tell more about the beauty of it. He says:

There are twenty-seven panels each of which contains an almost life-size figure representing one of the chief militant figures of the Bible.

That is, they go back to pagan times to bring out ideals for the youth of to-day to worship.

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IND
PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

Yes, pagan ideals, and all the while we think of ourselves as Christian people, a people who have left pagan methods behind. It is true that in most things we have, but in this,one tremendous thing, this matter of adjusting international disputes, we are altogether pagan.

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LIB
PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

Richardson. It is so easy to descend to brute force. In fact, sometimes I feel I have to work very hard to restrain myself from employing brute force, but still, one is always repaid for restraining. It is a much more difficult but a much greater thing to call upon the resources of mind and spirit than it is to bash one another's noses when we do not agree with each other's opinions, and that is what we have not learned to do internationally. Instead of bringing the best of our mind and the best of our spirit, the resources of ourselves, to bear on international questions, we simply descend to brute force. I do not care so much about the old men doing that; really I am not much concerned about it at all. But I am tremendously concerned that the old men before they pass on do not leave firmly imprinted on the mind of youth the impression that this is the highest and best way of settling things. There was a time when disputes between individuals were settled in that way-that is, when a man's honour was reflected upon-they had a duel, and whichever one was best won out and the other passed on. But now we do not have that, and people, I think, are quite as honourable as they used to be.

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LIB
PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

Yes, and quite as polite. Now, I notice that in Canada, if we find that other countries are doing a thing,

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timid little creatures that we are, we feel it is quite safe to step out in that path where others are ahead of us. France, after her crushing defeat of 1871, began to train her school iboys in the practice of arms, but in 1890, after fifteen years' experience, she abandoned the cadet system, not because the problem of defence was less urgent, but because military training was lessening the physical development of her secondary school boys. Australia tried the military system of training, and after a study of the many systems of Europe, gave it up and substituted for it a system of games and organized athletic sports as the best physical training for school children. I was reading something of what in Scotland they wanted their teachers to do under physical education. This manual pointed out that in order to obtain the best results from a lesson in physical training, the training should be made as enjoyable and as interesting as possible to the children; that all stiff, restraining and unnatural positions should be avoided. And anyone who has watched military training knows that it abounds with stiff, restrained movements.

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LIB

Thomas Vien

Liberal

Mr. VIEN:

Would my hon. friend cite her authority on the point that France has abandoned the cadet training?

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

Yes; my authority is " Militarism and Education," by John Lang-don-Davies. The Minister of Education in the state of Victoria, Australia, has gone much further than that; be has just issued an order that no articles or songs extolling wars, battles, or heroes of past wars are to be printed in the school books or papers. I quote now from the Canadian Railway Employees Magazine.

The Labor Minister of Education in Queensland has issued a similar order for the schools in his state. What he says about war and war propaganda makes interesting reading:

"I am going to exclude from the schoolbooks anything likely to inflame the minds of youth with ambition for war. I intend to explain to the children the causes of the war and the capitalist influences that bring it about. Tha-t, to my mind, will tend toward wiping out war. Too much hypocrisy and jingoism is displayed at present, and not enough sincerity by those called upon to give advice with regard to Australia's welfare/'

Military training in schools, both public and secondary schools, is not left standingalone. If it were simply military training, just plain drill, I do not think it would .last long, because I doubt very much if the boys are interested in the drill itself. I do not want to weary the House by quoting fromthis authority, "A Public School in WarTime ", by S. P. B. Mains, who is head

master of one of the great public schools in England. He was an enthusiast in the matter

of military training in schools, and he points out that during the war the boys took an interest in the military drill in schools. It goes on to say that before the war everybody hated the drill, both the boys and the masters, and that when they would come in from the field after the drill they were all irritable; they all had a grouch at something, because military drill did not satisfy any desire either mental or physical. And he is so glad that that has passed away and that they are all now-this was in war time-enjoying the military drill. That, of course, will not be true of this day, eight years after the war.

I had started to say that military training is not left to stand alone; it is surrounded by music and colour and pomp, offers of adventure and class distinction. Possibly that last is one of the great lures, the class distinction offered by military training in schools, and the uniform and the music and the applause of watching crowds-all that appeals to children. When we go to school concerts at Christmas time, or to exercises at the commencement of the term, or to any place where children are performing, we know that they glory in interesting their elders, their relatives and friends. Until recently-it is almost true yet-the state, the school and the church condoned cadet training in schools- that is,^ they approved of it. Before these very buildings we have seen, when cadets were parading the silk hat of the politician, the robe of the divine, and the sober garb of the schoolmaster. I noticed that the schoolmasters trailed rather dismally a long piece behind the state and the church, but they got there just the same. So it is not surprising that the boys who are parading think it is a very fine thing when they can get the leaders of this country to come out and approve of and smile at what they are doing. And yet, pleasant as it looks on the beautiful green sward before these buildings-and despite the charm of colour, music, pomp, and class distinction-we must never forget that the spirit of the thing is the grinning demon of war. Amid all the beauty and all the music and all the colour, that is the dominant thing.

I notice too that the daily press, or most of the daily press, does its part to make as appealing as possible the gentleman cadet I am quoting from the Toronto Globe, or the Toronto Mail and Empire, I think it is the Globe; there is not much difference. In speaking of the visit of the cadets from the Military^ College of Kingston to Toronto just a little time ago, it told how many thousands of children viewed one of their performances, and said:

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For thousands of boys a new hero was bom on Saturday afternoon, and the name of him was the Gentleman Cadet.

That is quite true. That is the disastrous thing. We hold up a natty looking boy, full of life and adventure and beauty, a splendid fellow, Who knows nothing about war, who does not know what causes it, does not know what it is, does not know what the result of it is, and we who do know sit here and let the children who see that nattily dressed cadet think that there is ideal manhood. To them he is emblematic of war. As one of the reviewing officers said, they are sound to the core. It is true. The boys are all right, but the thing they are doing is false to the core. It has no soundness, and what is more, if they were left alone, they would not do it at all. Boys do not do that silly sort of thing. It is the old fellows who put that into their heads. _

Empire Day! To my mind Empire Day has been degraded. I am ashamed of it. It is nothing but a flaunting of war in the face of people who would like to see the world live in peace. Why do they not show on Empire Day the things the empire is trying to do for civilzation, and the things that other netiorv' have done for civilization? Empire Day is made the occasion for nothing but a strutty, silly, pompous, bombastic performances by military men and those who are backing them. Do you know-possibly the government does not know-that the common people of Canada laugh heartily, though they know it is a dreadful thing, a tragedy, but they are moved to mirth by the speeches and performances they hear and see on such a day as Empire Day.

There are, though, through the darkness some gleams of light. One that I am very pleased to quote was seen at the first great assembly of the United Church of Canada. On the motion of Judge S. A. Chesiey the following resolution was referred to the conference and was later adopted:

That as the training of young men for war is contrary to the spirit of Christ, it is resolved that we discontinue the officers' training corps in the schools of the United Church, and urge the government to abolish cadet training in the schools of the Dominion.

I think there is an ever-increasing body of people in Canada who are coming to the same conclusion, that military training in schools is bad for the boys. It is bad every way you think of it, mentally and phvsically. It is not an educational force, and should be entirely divorced from education. Among the bodies in Canada that have been protesting and are protesting against it is the

Parent-Teacher Federation of British Columbia-a most interesting thing. The Parent-Teacher Federation of British Columbia this year, helped, too by the Educational department of British Columbia-I almost think there must be some radicals living in British Columbia-put in a goodwill day, on the 18th of May, which was observed in nearly all the schools in British Columbia. It held up the ideal of trying to live at peace with the other nations of the world, rather than arming ourselves to some time attack them, or to protect ourselves against them.

The city of London last year held an interesting mass meeting at which all the bodies of that city were represented, a sort of community gathering of the city of London, and they protested against the whole business ot war and against this cadet training.

The United Farmers of Canada, through the Canadian Council of Agriculture, presented to the government, and I need not read it to them, a resolution asking that we cease this vote for cadet training in schools, that we cease cadet training in schools altogether, and substitute for it physical training that will have no connection with the military authorities at all.

The Trades and Labour Congress and the Trades Councils have for a great many years past been opposed to war, and particularly to this form of putting into our children's minds false ideals.

One could go on and on. There is no end to the material that is at hand. In fact, there is a whole literature to-day on this new school of thought that is coming up as against the old one of militarism, the new school of thought that is determined that the resources of the mind and the spirit will be given a chance to settle international discords. One might say from reading and talking to young people, after hearing the many things that are being said by young people, that a new spirit is emerging, and that that spirit is the spirit of youth. That youth is asking of its elders that they be allowed to find a way out, that they be allowed to think their way out unhampered by their elder's preconceived, and I might add, exploded ideas. If we had to go to the pacifists for proof that the last war amounted to very little now that it is all over, I would not expect hon. gentlemen in this chamber to listen to it, but when you can go to the people who had the most to do with the great war, and when they say the thing was a failure, that it got us out of nothing, that what caused the war still exists and, as Lloyd George says, exists in a greater degree than ever before, the causes

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being more sharply defined-when that is true, when great military people say that the war did not solve our problems, can we with safety trust that it ever will? I think not. Lloyd George said:

I, all the heroism of miliions, their sacrifice and their sufferings, are to be thrown away, it will be the most colossal, criminal and infamous waste ever perpetrated in human history.

I think surely that is true.

We talk a great deal about being true to the boys who went overseas and who made the sacrifice that we thought and they thought was needed, and we say we want to do something for them, and so mistakenly we stick up silly war memorials all over this country, things that have no meaning but one, and that is they put into childish minds, into the minds of unthinking people, the ideal of war; that it is a great thing. They are memorials to war, rather than memorials to those beloved Canadian sons who paid the supreme sacrifice.

Mr. \ IEN: In that my hon. friend is

very much mistaken. A war memorial erected to the memory of the soldiers who died for their country is not a memorial to inspire a war spirit in our children.

. Miss MACPHAIL: I know that is not the idea of the people who erect them, but that is the result. I think that is so true that we do not need to argue about it at all We will have to face it sometime, and I might as well do it now.

The causes of war are not the things we thought they were. The causes of war are very sordid things. They are things that are so sordid that they must be covered, or there can be no wars fought. I might quote you authorities on that, but it is not necessary. You can pick up almost any of the new books that came out about the end of the war, and since, and you will find that fact uncovered by those who know best. The great warriors are saying-why, Marshal Foch himself has said what the orthodox people would say is quite a dreadful thing, that when the thing gets too congested, then you have cannons to clear the space that is needed.

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LIB
PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

I had forgotten the

presence of the hon. gentleman. And when we consider the cost, which I am not going into, since it has been given, we find that it was enormous. There were twenty-three nations engaged in that war. It cost 337 billions of dollars and 13 millions of lives, and what is the result of that? We are preparing

again this year for that same thing to the extent of $14,400,000. I am going to quote just two or three authorities. Viscount Grey says:

The real victor in the Great War was war itself.

Sir Ian Hamilton said, speaking about war:

We must not listen too much to the men who made the war, because they are bound to crack it up.

Weil, they have to. What else could they do? If they do not crack it up they let themselves down, and that to them would be the worst thing that could happen. Sir Arthur Currie says:

By the World War, we gained a truer appreciation and a better realization of war's unspeakable waste, its dreadful hardships, its cruel slaughter and its aftermath of loneliness, sorrow and broken hearts. We now know that as a means of solving the world's problems and removing international discord, war is a delusion and a lie.

If it is a delusion and a lie, why do we not say so? Why do we not put that in the school books of this country? Why do we not burn the lies that to-day pass as history, and put out books which tell the truth? Why do we not put in the readers of our country ideals and heroes that will lead us out of the woods and not back into them again. I quote now from Arnold Bennett, the eminent English writer who says:

Everybody knows that war is idiotic, futile, calamitous and settles nothing. And yet everybody says, "There must always be -war." Why must there always be war? In past days people no doubt said, "Brides must always be won by knocking girls on the head and carrying them off senseless. Evidence must always be obtained by torture. Christians must always murder each other in the name of Christ. Little children must always work eighteen hours a day

because human nature will always be like that." Well, they were wrong. Human nature did not continue to be like that.

War is contrary to common sense, and it is therefore absolutely certain that the institution of war will one day be ridiculed and shrivelled out of existence. Human nature will change in its attitude to war by casting out fear. War is not the product of courage; it is a product. of fear. Hence the insane maxim that if you want peace you must prepare for war. If you prepare for bankruptcy, you will have bankruptcy: if you prepare for war you will have war; and equally if you prepare for peace you will have peace.

A brother of Sir Philip Gibbs says that the one thing that we have never called out against war is the weapon of ridicule, and he goes on to sajc

War can be laughed, ridiculed, off the face of th( earth.

He proceeds to say how we read about it in history, and I was reading similar stuff in some of our Empire day books, the "glory of the trenches", the "living bayonets", the "privates who would rather fight than eat". He says further:

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The ghastly humour of all that stuff appeals to us. We know. But the non-combatants do not. They take it all literally-as it was intended that they should in order to keep the game going.

It is dangerous to put such things as that, into school books and lead little children, who depend on us to tell them the truth, to believe that war is glorious when it is not. There are many things we could do to prepare for peace, and if national defence means to prepare ourselves for peace, I am willing to vote for the fourteen millions of money, but if it is to prepare ourselves against peace, fourteen million dollars is altogether too much. There are many things we could do, there are things we could begin to do and keep on doing consistently until we would through enlightenment see there was another way, and that war must not occur again if future civilization is to exist.

I move that this item be reduced by the sum of $399,999.

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pietou):

I am sure

the House will agree with me that my hon. and gallant friend from Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail) has delivered a very eloquent address, and the House will also agree with me, as I am sure every man and woman in the country will agree with me, that the last thing this country wants is war. Who wants war after the terrible catastrophe that overtook the whole world ten or eleven years ago? But war is not to be stopped by eloquent addresses such as that made by my hon. and gallant friend. War may occur from conditions over which neither she, nor any-else in this country, has any control whatever. I learned last year, when the opportunity came to me to visit the continent of Europe, about conditions existing there, under which war may arise at any time. It is conceded on all hands that the settlement and readjustment of the nations of Europe by the treaty of Versailles left conditions out of which difficulties may occur at any time. If that is the situation-and if war results, are we going to be able to stop it by eloquent addresses and by saying that we do not want war? We are dealing with conditions now. Let me remark that the quotations which my hon. friend made from numerous authorities on cadet and military training, and upon war generally, are familiar to us, but they are entirely beside the question which we have to consider in this country, and which the United States is considering, namely, that every nation for the purpose of keeping peace and order within its borders, has to maintain some military force. In Canada, with its boundary line, extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific,

and situated alongside the United States- with which nation I hope we will always live in peace-there are only three thousand men in the permanent force. It is below the minimum strength, and we in Canada pay less per capita for military expenditure than any country in any part of the British Empire, or any nation of the world, except Paraguay in South America.

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LAB
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pietou):

It simply

proves that we in Canada are maintaining the minimum force and making the minimum expenditure in maintaining such a force as every country must maintain.

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PRO

Edward Joseph Garland

Progressive

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

I ask the

minister, had we any difficulty in maintaining peace along that three thousand mile border in 1913 when we only spent a little over $3,000,000 on armaments?

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pietou):

I have not the figures for that year, but let me remind my hon. friend that the cost of living has increased enormously since that time, and the expenditure to-day is less in proportion than at that time.

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LAB
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pietou):

Perhaps the hon. member will let me finish my remarks, and then I will answer his question. I may say that for years previous to confederation, and for many years after, Great Britain maintained at Halifax and Esquimalt permanent military forces, infantry and engineers and artillery men to man the forts. There were infantry there and also infantry in British Columbia. There came a time when, after negotiations between the government of the day and the government of Great Britain, we undertook to take over, as part of our duty to the empire, the maintenance of a reasonable defence force in Canada and we have to carry out our obligation. Surely no one will suggest that we should not do that.

Let me come to the question of cadet training. My hon. friend (Miss Macphail) has made some studies in connection with the matter, but she has not got at the whole root of the question yet. She has assumed too many things, and she has not given to the committee, I concede quite unintentionally, the real situation in regard to cadet training in Canada. She stated that cadet training has been originated in this country by Sir Frederick Borden in 1904. It has been going on in Canada since 1879.

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PRO
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

When the

Militia Act was last passed, the statute provided for what has been going on, as a matter of practice and association, long before that. The beginning that occurred in

Bishops College commenced in 1879 and continued year after year and expanded until Lord Strathcona in 1908 donated $500,000 to supplement the efforts of the college in encouraging physical and military training in the school. That fund is still in existence, and the interest upon it is used for the purpose of carrying out the terms of Lord Stratheona's trust. My hon. and gallant friend, speaking about military training in the schools, entirely beclouded the issue and, I think, quite unintentionally misled the committee. But the facts are these. There is physical training in the schools with certain military exercises going with it, but physical training is the basis of the whole system of cadet training and the military exercises are only an incident.

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June 24, 1925