June 24, 1925

PRO

Alan Webster Neill

Progressive

Mr. NEILL:

I rise to a point of order. I do not want to be discourteous to the hon. gentleman, but I submit that there is a rule that the discussion of the estimates must be confined closely to the item under consideration. The hon. gentleman is giving us a well thought out address on war which I submit is beside the subject of the vote. While I do not wish to be discourteous, I have a hope and desire to get home before the snow comes.

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IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

Speaking to the point of order, I asked the minister some time ago if I would be permitted to discuss the general policy under this particular item. I refrained from participating in the discussion under the previous item on the assurance previously given that I would have liberty to discuss the general question under this item. I submit further, Mr. Chairman, that the general philosophy of the matter is pertinent to this item, and has already been discussed by a number of the hon. members who have taken part in the debate. Surely the hon. member for Southeast Grey discussed more than the one question of cadet training.

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PRO
IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

I claim I have the right, guaranteed me by the minister, when I refrained on the previous occasion, that I should have the opportunity now of discussing this matter.

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PRO

Arthur John Lewis

Progressive

Mr. LEWIS:

It seems to me very unfortunate that hon. members have discussed militarism in a general way under this item. I think it should have been discussed under any item except cadet training.

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LIB

Thomas Vien

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Vien):

I was not in the chair when the hon. member made the agreement with the Minister of National Defence. I understand we are now at item No. 97, cadet services, and I suppose the hon. member thus far is lajdng the foundation of his argument on that item. I must draw his attention to the fact that we are now discussing item 97, cadet services.

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

The hon.

member did ask me if he could discuss the administration of the department generally, 310

as I understood it. I did not suppose he was going to discuss the abstract principle purely, but that anything relating to my department could be discussed under this item.

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IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

Speaking again to the point of order, Mr. Chairman, unless you have ruled-

An hon. MEMBER Go ahead.

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LIB
IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

I wish to recall to members of the House the outbreak of the Great war in 1914. At that time I, as I suppose most other Canadians, felt that although we experienced no great satisfaction in the outbreak of any war, we did feel that it was then practically unavoidable, and that we were bound in honour to go ahead with the enterprise when undertaken. I think too, as the hon. member for Brome (Mr. McMaster) has so well said, that most of the people in Canada and in all British countries had the highest motives in participating in that war, but I submit that the upshot of the war is very disturbing to the views then current. I should like to quote one expression which a newspaper friend of mine used at that time and which I think is very significant as embodying the conviction to which I feel myself driven by subsequent events. He was perhaps rather hot, and this is the way in which he put the whole matter:

Scoundrels at the top, fools at the bottom.

That was his summing up of the whole war. I must say that the more I have looked into the records, the more I am convinced that such is a fairly accurate description of that great catastrophe.

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PRO

Thomas George McBride

Progressive

Mr. McBRIDE:

I think that is an insult- to our officers who went overseas and did splendid service, and I do not think it should be allowed to pass unchallenged in this House.

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IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

I do not refer to the officers when I mention the "men at the top." I am sure my friend whom I mentioned did not refer to them and I am sorry if he has been misunderstood.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

To whom did he refer ?

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IND
CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HARRIS:

Tell us who were the fools at the bottom?

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PRO

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

Progressive

Mr. KENNEDY (Edmonton):

They

threatened to hang one not long ago and they did not do it.

Supply-Defence

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IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

It seems to me that the world has been guilty of what I might call criminal insanity in going into this war. If we had a plague, an epidemic, that took away as many lives and destroyed as much property as the last Great war did, we would not go at the solution of such a problem in the way we have gone into the solution of this one. We would have set our medical men to work-studying. We would have concentrated upon this problem of the epidemic and striven to find the cause, to isolate the germ, if you like, to seek for a remedy and to apply that remedy. Frankly, I do not think the nations have adopted the same sensible method in attacking this awful plague of war that we certainly would have adopted in connection with a physical plague. It is significant that in 1917, during the war-

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

My hon. friend, in discussing the war of 1914 and its causes, is going very far afield from anything relating to a vote in my department.

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LIB

Thomas Vien

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Vien):

I must

again draw the attention of the hon. gentleman to paragraph 5 of rule 13, which says:

Speeches in committee of the Whole must be strictly relevant to the item or clause under consideration.

Therefore I draw the attention of the hon. gentleman to the fact that he must limit his remarks to that. The item under consideration is cadet services.

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IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

It is just a question whether

I shall have the right which was granted to me by the minister some little time ago. If I am denied the right to discuss the question, I suppose I shall have to acquiesce.

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June 24, 1925