June 24, 1925

PRO
LAB
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

My hon.

friend will not stop wars for a while yet. I would advise the hon. member for Southeast Grey to take a trip over to Europe when the session closes this week and there widen her vision; let her see what is going on in the world and then come back and tell us who was right and who was wrong. Now let me read what the governor of New York said:

Let the men of eligible age under our constitution voluntarily join, as did their forbears, their home defense units on July 4 for parade and patriotic demonstrations and to show those units as we depend upon them in their present strength so they can rely on us to strengthen them in case of need.

Let there be places in all our exercises on July 4 for our school children, so that they, who will hold us responsible for the way we have led them, may imbibe from their elders moral strength to meet their duties and obligations as future citizens.

That is the message which appeared a day or two ago in the newspapers from the governor of New York, and endorsed by the President of the United States.

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LAB
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

Let my hon. friend possess his soul in patience. He does not like to hear what the great nation to the south is doing now. But that is what they are doing, and we are dealing with facts and not theories. Now that I have submitted the exact situation in regard to the question of cadet training I do not see any reason why hon. members should object to the passage of this vote. The statement has been made that France has abolished cadet training, but that bare statement conveys a wrong impression. What occurred was this. France, realizing how imminent the German menace was becoming, appreciated the importance of increasing her permanent force and as she had to strengthen it to 800,000 men she found that she could not bear the extra expense entailed in cadet training. For that reason she suspended cadet training for the time being.

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

Does the minister mean to say that cadet training is a cheap way of getting soldiers?

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

I did not say that. I simply explained the reason- for tlie temporary abolition of cadet training in

France. Now, as regards this vote, if the provincial authorities of Ontario, for example, through the superintendent of education intimate to the officials of my department that they do not want a cadet unit in any particular school in the province it shall be abolished immediately. The educational authorities in each of the provinces are responsible for the existence of every unit with which they are concerned. Lord Strathcona's bequest in 1908 originated on a permanent footing the system which has existed since 1879. None of us want to see war again; God forbid that such a thing should occur. But we all want to see our children physically trained and trained properly, and military exercises constitute a part of such training. That is the opinion throughout the country; it is held by most educational authorities, and it is my own opinion. For these reasons I do not think that the motion should be entertained.

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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

The remarks that have

been made on this subject to-night I regard as an insult to -the soldiers and militia of the city from which I come, andl L am perfectly sure that the opinions expressed by the hon. member for Southeast Grey are shared by very few of the people whom she represents. I would not have entered this debate but for the insults that have been hurled at the city of Toronto where some six thousand mothers mourn the loss of sons who died in Flanders while fighting for us all. I sympathize with the minister and his predecessors in having to meet this unreasonable opposition. The vote of 8400,000 is not too much for the puiposes for which it is intended. Nobody in this country wants to see war; we all want to see peace prevail. But pacifism can be carried too far, and such speeches as that of the hon. lady member (Miss M-acphail) and her colleagues, Mr. E. C. Drury and others in Ontario, are not at all to be commended. Mr. Drury and, his colleagues in the late provincial government went up and down the province of Ontario preaching the same gospel of pacifism. Ontario gave a negative answer to the question shall a province which was saved by a Brock be ruled by a Drury, and I have no hesitation in declaring right here and now that I for one would not want to be a member of parliament if such speeches were countenanced. They certainly do not reflect credit on this deliberative body. You could not make such speeches in the United States, and this must be a very free country indeed where such sentiments can be expressed. The oath which every member

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of parliament takes and the prayers which are read at the opening of the House every day refer to one king, one flag and one empire. The cadet of to-day is the militiaman of tomorrow. Members to my left, I am sorry to say, do not seem to know what the cadet movement really is, or they would not make the speeches we have listened to to-night. The cadet movement is not a military movement. It started in the public schools and the Y.M.C.A. It instils the principles of respect for authority, love of country and love of empire in the cadets. You cannot have cadet training without some leadership, just as you have in the boy scouts and in every branch of athletic sports-there must be a captain or leader. In the United States to-day the cadet movement is carried on in every school. Even the child in the kindergarten class is taught to love the flag, and at the opening hour a series of lessons on the flag and what it stands for are given to the children. In fact in no other country in the world have they more militarism than in the United States to-day. There is no pacifism there. They have respect for their flag, they instil lessons of patriotism; and that is what I admire the American people for. We are going to continue the cadet movement in Toronto whether the hon. lady from Southeast Grey likes it or not. The taxpayers of Toronto are paying for it, as they pay for everything else, and it is none of her business.

I would not have spoken but for the attack made on the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Macdonald). He has been a good, progressive minister, and our returned men want to see him in our city as long as he is head of the department. In conclusion, I do not think I can do better than read to hon. gentlemen two paragraphs from an article in the English Review of February, 1925, on the dangers threatening the empire to-day and the need of military preparation. To my regret, we have been cutting down the militia estimates to about nine million dollars. The article to which I refer is written by Captain J. Brifaut, Flight Captain of the Reserve and member of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives. Quoting Dr. Gustave Lebon on The Uncertainties of the Present Hour:

"A /people does not resign itself to defeat when it considers itself superior to its victors. A German attempt at revenge can, therefore, be considered as one of the most certain events of future history."

He says:

Are these words too pessimistic? Ought we to expect a German revenge? The question might have appeared out of place two years ago, four years ago even more so. But to-day? Who would still dare to be astonished and to affirm that a fresh war is impossible,

or even improbable? In order to have the right to do this, one must be unaware of the return of the Crown Prince to Berlin; of the striking manifestations of che monarchists in Prussia and Bavaria; of the political crimes; of the complicated network of secret societies and innumerable organizations of veterans and young persons aiming at military preparation; of the manufacture, clandestine and open, of fresh arms; of the speeches and the results of the last elections to the Reichstag; of the incessant and aggressive threats in deed and in word, which reach us from the other side of the Rhine, and which become clearer and more numerous from day to day.

One must, above all, deny the advantage which Germany, thanks to her genius for organization and to her prodigious industrial power, can derive from the two new arms Tevealed by the last war, and developed since then: aviation and gas.

Then he goes on to refer to the strides made in connection with aviation, and also to what he speaks of as the chemical danger. He says:

Germany possesses the most formidable chemical industry that there is in the world. It is useless to give the production figures of the "Interessen Gemeinschaft". that chemical Krupp's, which is a federation of the great German chemical works.

With her thousands of specialized chemists, with her up-to-date laboratories, with her public and private resources, Germany is pursuing in an active manner, and without any control, researches similar to those which allowed her on April 15th, 1915, December 19th, 1915, and on July 22nd, 1917, to make her murderous emissions of chlorine, phosgene, and yperite, to which we were not in a position effectively to reply until ten months, seven months, and eleven months respectively, after having suffered these disastrous surprises.

Are we threatened with similar experiences in the perhaps near future?

Nobody wants war, but we should take our experience from the past. We have had these same pacifist representations with regard to cadet movements in. past years. Let me point out that in the city from which I come those who are interested in this training, or many of them, buy their own uniforms. The officers have to meet the cost of the organization of the department. Every regiment in Toronto has a cadet service and they pay for their own services, and the Board of Education pays for its services. We are spending less on military training than any other country in the world. Here are some of the figures:

Amount devoted to defence out of every $100 of total expenditure

Canada $ 2 99

Great Britain

19 98Australia

5 95New Zealand

2 08South Africa

5 38United States

16 96Argentine Republic

17 55Belgium

10 96France

20 16Italy

15 87Japan

36 00The Netherlands

14 17Switzerland

15 43

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It will be noted that the United States out of every $100 of total expenditure spends $16.96 on defence-and this is the country that is so often referred to iby my hon. friends to my left. Here we are spending a little bit of pin money on defence. We have no fleet; and are content for our maritime freedom to sponge on the hard earnings of the British taxpayer that has his food taxed to provide a navay to defend Canada's shores, and we depend upon the Mother Country in a maritime way for the protection and the liberty that we enjoy. Were it not for the British fleet and for the protection which the Mother Country gives us, we would be spending $20 or $25 a head on defence, instead of depending on the hard earnings of the poor British taxpayer. I protest against language in this honourable House of the kind that the hon. member for Southeast Grey has used, and it should be expunged from the records of the House. 'Silly war memorials I " Such an insult to those who lost their all in the Great war and their glorious dead.

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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

Mr. Chairman, I will

not detain the committee long with the few observations I have to make upon this subject. I intend to support the motion made by the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail) and I wish to give very briefly the reasons why I do so. First of all I think we should envisage this question properly; we should not exaggerate the situation. We are a country whose military expenditure is reduced to a very low figure. I do not think there is any country in the world which contains less of agressive militarism than this Canada of ours. I do not think any party in the state, I do not think any responsible statesman in Canada, is anything but a lover of peace; where we may differ is as to the methods which we may follow to attain this end.

Now, the minister has referred to a trip he took to Europe, and he says that wdien he was there last year he found things in a very disturbed condition. I am afraid that he is right, but I would like to direct the attention of the commitee for a moment to the reasons why Europe is in a disturbed condition. We fought a great war, we were told, to end war.

I believe the mass of the British people, the people in England, Ireland, and Scotland, the peoples in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, who leaped to the call for arms in August of 1914, were inbued with high patriotic ideas.

I believe they had no idea of fighting the war for aggrandizement. I believe they honestly thought they were fighting a war to end war.

But what happened when the Peace treaty was formed? Unfortunately the high ideals with which the warring nations started, with which the British people started, had been lost. In Great Britain an election had been won shortly before the beginning of the negotiations on an appeal to national feeling and on an appeal to hatred of their enemies, and unfortunately that spirit was brought into the peace negotiations. Unfortunately a peace was negotiated which instead of ensuring peace ensured more difficulty, and that is one reason why Europe is in a disturbed condition to-day. Another reason is that instead of laying down their arms, instead of disarming, the peoples kept on arming one against the other, and I say that the history of mankind shows very plainly that the way to obtain security is not through military preparedness. If there is any lesson which the war has driven home on the consciousness of thinking people, surely that is the lesson. The minister has said that we need in this country some military force for the maintenance of internal order. I am prepared to grant him that. I would like to see our military establishment on such a footing as may be required to maintain internal order, and the more righteousness and justice and generosity and fair dealing obtain between class and class, between employer and employee, so much less will that establishment require to be from year to year.

The member for Southeast Grey has not beclouded the issue. I think she has enlightened the committee. In every great movement there are heroes and in every great movement in the history of the world there have been heroines, and I consider that the member for Southeast Grey belongs to that class. She assuredly has so conducted the battle that she has put the gallant and hon. Minister of National Defence almost on his defence. He says that the responsibility for the existence of cadet services in this country is not on his department but on the departments of education of the different provinces who ask for them. Let them not ask for it, says the minister, and they will not receive.

I would suggest that the responsibility was joint and I would think that efforts should be made in both directions to have these cadet services eliminated. Surely it is patent to all of us that whatever mankind did in the past in the way of ensuring peace by preparing for war, they were wrong, and surely the children and the young people should be given a chance. Whatever is required to secure us by way of military expenditure and military establishment, surely we should give the new gener-

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ation an opportunity to try another way, the old way having proved to be such a dismal failure.

It is said that military training gives the best discipline. I do not know about that. I do not knew whether military discipline has been shown in the past to be the very best training for mind or for body. It has got some advantages, no doubt., but could not these advantages be obtained through physical exercise, and even physical drill, if necessary, without attaching it to military pomp and military procedure. It seems to me that it could. There is an organization in the country to which an enormous number of young boys belong, the Boy Scouts; it has physical drill; it has physical exercise. It appeals to the gregarious feeling in youth by combining them in companies and subjecting them to a certain amount of discipline and organization, but it is removed in spirit from the spirit of war and the spirit of hate. It depends for its excellence upon entirely another spirit.

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CON

Arthur Edward Ross

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROSS (Kingston):

What is the difference between physical training and military training? I do not know; I ask just for information..

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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

I would imagine that

when a boy is given a gun in his hand and a uniform is put on his back, the idea conveyed is that he is to be trained to kill somebody in a certain eventuality.

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CON
LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

If we are going to keep

the cadets in jerseys, if we are going to uniform them like the Boy Scouts, if we are going to keep guns out of their hands, then I suppose I would ask the genial member for Kingston, when is a cadet not a cadet?

Both parties in this verbal controversy have appealed to the United States. Some people in the United States are thoroughly convinced that the security of mankind is not to be maintained through military preparedness, and I think they represent the majority of that great people. There are others who make the common error of confounding patriotism with militarism, and who are prepared to denounce those who do not like militarism as being unpatriotic. Well, if that is what the pacifist has got to bear-to be called unpatriotic-then I am prepared to be called unpatriotic.

Let me say just two words in closing. Some criticism has been directed to the member for Southeast Grey because of her desire to

see war memorials take a shape different from the shape they take at the present time. There are those who think it wise to raise stone memorials to those who have fallen and to the beloved ones who have passed over. I for my part have no objection to that, but I think there is a better way. If I may be permitted a personal reference, a college society to which I belonged in my ycuth lost two-thirds of its active chapter during the war, and what we did was this: We raised no brass tablet, we raised no stone monument, but we subscribed until we had a fund of upwards of $20,000, and we founded a scholarship at the university to which we belonged.

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

Does my

hon. friend mean to say that the publication every year of the names of the winners of that scholarship and the purpose for which it was founded, does not carry to the mind the very same lesson that would be carried by looking at a war monument?

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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

I think it would carry

the lesson a great deal better because it would show that in better knowledge, with bet'er information, there might be found a way out of the morass which we all wish to avoid. We should try to find the greatest common ground. I do not think there is much that divides us, but what I want to insist upon to the members of this House is that to surround children with a military atmosphere is, I think, a mistake. It has been done in the past, said the minister. Why, everything has been done in the past that we wish to get rid of.

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

Are the

educational authorities in every province in the Dominion wrong?

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Yes.

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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

In so far as the educational authorities ask for cadet training in their schools, I think they are wrong, and I would also say this: I believe that if a vote were taken of all the teachers and all the parents in all the provinces, a very handsome majority would be registered against cadet training. That is my view. We have taken no plebiscite and I may be mistaken, but I think that is the view of the Canadian people.

There is one bright ray in this picture, and it is this, that not only have those who have generally been called pacifists come out strongly in denunciation of war, but it is no longer regarded as the school of hardy virtue. We used to be told when I was a boy that nations required war, that if they did not have war they would become

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effeminate, that wars were required to build up a strong and virile people. You do not hear that sort of talk to-day except among people who are perfectly crazy. Great generals, like Sir Arthur Currie, General Sir Ian Hamilton, great military leaders like Earl - Haig are just as strong and stern in their denunciation of war, and in their declarations that war never settled anything, and that mankind has to find a better way for settling international disputes. Under these circumstances, is it quite fair to the rising generation to put them in touch with military matters in this way? I think it would be wiser not to do so. After all, as John Bright once said, we are the true ancients-we stand on the shoulders of our forefathers and can see farther, and I think the best of modern thought would be that we might well leave out this expenditure of public money for the purpose for which it is asked this evening.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

The only sad thing I

see about cadet training is that every twelve months it parts me from the member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail). I do not like to be put in that position, because I knew neither one of us likes it. I would rather be able just to say we agree on everything, and if it was not for this cadet training I think we might always be in what the musicians call close harmony. I feel a good deal as she does about war. God knows I have not any love for war. I am not a militarist, nothing of the kind. I will go further than my hon. friend from Brome (Mr. McMaster), that is, in a statement of opinion, although I will not go so far into history. I find great difficulty in convincing myself of the great benefits we got from the last war. The further we get away from it the clearer, it may be, our vision becomes, and while so far as I am concerned I feel that Canada would have to do her duty in another war, if we are called on to do so, still I fail to see the great benefits that were derived from the last war. I am not unpatriotic in saying that, but at this distance, I would say the war in a measure resulted from the collapse of proper diplomacy. That is my view.

War has nothing to do with cadet training, as far as I am concerned. I am not talking from any theory. I will say two or three words, and I hope it will not be thought that I am injecting my own domestic affairs into this debate. As to the boys not liking the cadet training, I may say here, as the father of two cadets, that they love the training. I had one son, a very tall young man, who grew very rapidly, and the cadet training made a physical man of him. I do not

care whether he carried a gun or did not. I know that he had physical training at school, and from a long drawn-out younster he became a well developed young man, and I attribute it more to the training he got in the cadets than anything else. That cadet training did not impel him to go to war, but when he felt it his duty to go to war he had the physique that the cadet training gave him to enable him to go to war and do his duty. The other son was of a different stature, but he was very fond of the cadet training, went all through it and became a strong, a stalwart young man, as every person who saw him in the press gallery here knows. Under those circumstances this is what I feel, not theoretically but practically; that I would vote for cutting out every item in the National Defence estimates before I would vote to cut out the cadet training.

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IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

I do not think the importance of the subject we have been discussing this evening can be over-estimated. If we cannot find some way out of the morass that we have been struggling in for the last few years, I see little hope for civilization or humanity. There is, of course, no difference of opinion between any of us as to the evils of war and as to our desire to get rid of them. But I submit to you, Mr. Chairman, and to the House, there is a great difference of opinion as to how we can best get rid of war. That is the vital question we have to consider and decide.

I am free to admit the difficulties of the situation. I am free to admit it is a most difficult subject to discuss between ourselves, because it touches some of the deepest feelings, instincts, prejudices and passions in humanity. I remember reading some few years ago a very significant little tract by the late Professor William James of Harvard University, one of the most eminent psychologists this age has seen. In this tract he stated in effect: That in human affairs reason was a very small factor, while passion and prejudices were the big factors. He said that reason was like a little sandbank in a wild and hungry ocean, but as the sandbank may increase gradually through the drifting of sand upon it, under the action of the storms and waves from all directions, so the accumulation of reason may grow in spite of the fury of the waves of passion and prejudice that beat upon it from all directions. That perhaps is a parable of life and history, and I think our effort ought to be if possible to add some increment to that little sandbank of reason, which perhaps in this instance may

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preserve humanity from destruction, and also our sons and daughters and the future generation from destruction. In this matter there is a good deal of muddy thinking. We are under an obligation in this, as in other matters, to try to clear our thought from the influence of those waves of passion and prejudice to which I have referred. Going back to the outbreak of the Great war in 1914-

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June 24, 1925