February 14, 1933

PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

That is my opinion, and I have as much a right to it as the Deputy Speaker has to his. If that is the reason, namely, that it is money that, so they suppose, does not come out of the immediate community-although in the last analysis it does-but comes from the federal treasury and therefore they try to get more and more of it, that is not a very sound argument in favour of cadet training. All the old arguments have been reviewed. It is a very good thing from a financial point of view for the teacher of cadet training, but from that of the boys themselves, from that of the financial condition of the country and from that of education, I think the argument is all against cadet training. While I am not going to move that the item be reduced, since the minister tells us that most of it is already spent, I should like to say once more that I am entirely opposed to cadet training in either public or high schools. I believe the tendency of public opinion is in that direction and the vote will decrease from year to year.

Mr. LaVERGNE : May I remind the hon. member, who holds such an opinion about Quebec, that she should travel through that province and she would find the money question is not the great object there. My people have been trained to believe that man does not live by bread alone.

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LIB

James Houston Spence

Liberal

Mr. SPENCE:

The hon. member for Southeast Grey keeps repeating that some of this money is for buying uniforms, yet the minister has stated two or three times that in the item there is no amount for uniforms. Cadet training is only voluntary in the city of Toronto and no boy has to train if he does not wish to do so. As regards Toronto stopping cadet training, this is only temporary because there is a diversity of opinion there. In the first place, it was thought, owing to the depression, it would be wise to cut down expenses to help out the government. Cadet training is the finest thing in the world for a boy. It brightens his intellect; it gives him good discipline and manhood. A man in the army who starts in the ranks as a private and continues until he becomes a captain, is

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built up in manners and physique, and that is what cadet training does to the boy. I should have been glad if Toronto had not intervened; it was the biggest mistake they ever made, but the situation is only temporary and it will be changed later.

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LAB

Humphrey Mitchell

Labour

Mr. MITCHELL:

I have listened to the observations of the Deputy Speaker. I do not know whether they were intended for me as a recent arrival in this country, but I should like to point out that I did my little bit so far as the past war is concerned and I think I can say without fear of contradiction I possibly served as long as did any other horn, member of this house.

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LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

That is why the hon. gentleman is a member of parliament now; it is his reward.

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LAB

Humphrey Mitchell

Labour

Mr. MITCHELL:

Possibly. I think anybody who passed through that war and Who would express the sentiments uttered by the Deputy Speaker, is a glutton for punishment.

I had an experience of my own, although I do not like to speak about these things, where I saw men walk through eight inches of blood and salt water of the good young chaps to whom he referred. That should be a lasting lesson against anyone trying to inculcate in the minds of boys and girls who are growing up the idea that war is absolutely necessary. The depression through which we are passing was, it is admitted on every hand, largely brought about by the great war that took place between 1914 and 1918. I am in full accord with the sentiments expressed by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre and by the 'hon. member for Southeast Grey. I believe war is absolutely unnecessary; I appreciate the fact that unless one passes through it, it is hard to understand the enormity of it, and unless those who went through the last great war preach its utter uselessness to the young people who are growing up and who have not had that experience, there is no reason why there should not be another war.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I want to say just a word to the hon. member for Montmagny, who wonders why some of us are opposed to this vote for cadet training. He rather intimated that he is of the older Canadian stock and that some of us are very new arrivals. Some of our ancestors may have come here a little bit more recently than his, but I am of the old Canadian stock, of three, four or five generations, and a number of my people came over after the revolutionary war in the United States; therefore I think I have just as much right to speak in the house as have some of the hon. members from Quebec. Further than

that, he suggested that we should have cadet training because of the virtue in being able to defend our country, to give our lives in the service of our country; and he went on to quote the Scripture, that man shall not live by bread alone. As the father of four boys I earnestly hope that not one of them will lift a sword or Shouldbr a gun. Some may laugh at that, but I have a right to my own opinion. I aim just as earnest and just as zealous as anybody in wishing to see my own boys develop all the virtues and all the patriotism and all the devotion to their country that anybody should have, but I think we have reached the point in our .civilization when we ought to teach our boys that they can Show their devotion, to their country in some better way than by fighting. I had hoped that that was the great lesson that was taught by the last war, and those of us Who feel that way have a perfect right to advocate another type of virtue rather than the military virtue. It is for that reason above everything else that I oppose this vote for the cadets.

Mr. LaVERGNE: I think the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre is a little too sensitive. We are all with 'him in being opposed to war. Nobody wants war, but I think that those who have kept their heads upon their shoulders know that the best way to prepare for peace is to be ready for war. That is a very old saying, and it is very well known to be true.

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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

Keep your powder dtry.

Mr. LaVERGNE: Yes. My hon. friend from Winnipeg North Centre is often quoting the example of Russia. He should take another trip to Russia-not as a tourist this time- Where he would see quite a number of .cadet corps in training, as any well informed magazine, English, French or Italian, will tell you. Just read the last issue of La Revue des Deux Mondes, of Paris, which quotes an agent of Moscow whom, my hon. friend knows well, Mr. George Williams of Saskatchewan, who I believe is very closely related to the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Let me reply briefly. It seems very strange that one cannot make a remark along this line without some hon. member immediately suggesting Russia. I have no objection; I intend to say what I want to say. One of the things in respect to which I have been most critical of Russia is that that country has depended upon force, and I have stated so frankly and openly ever since the Russian revolution. I am opposed to military force in Russia just as I am opposed to it in Canada. I know that the

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Russians are training, and I am very sorry for it. Were I in Russia I would try to assert my position, though it is likely I would have my head taken off. We are better off in that regard in Canada, and I am thankful as a Canadian that I can assert my position without being rushed off to Siberia or anything of that kind.

I challenge the main point of the last speaker, that the way to prepare for peace is to be ready to fight. This idea may have come down to us from antiquity, but I do not believe it is true. The fact that we have had so many wars proves, I think, that it is untrue, because all nations that have prepared for war in the past have found that such preparation inevitably led to war. I recall a very fine speech which the Prime Minister made a few years ago, in which he took the position I am taking to-night-that as long as men have the instruments of war in their hands they are likely to use them. I believe that is undoubtedly true. If it were not so, why should we be having a disarmament conference to-day through which we are trying to establish peace on a different [DOT]basis than that of armament? If indeed we are disappointed in the disarmament conference is it not because each man believes in his own heart that it will ultimately be necessary to fight?

Mr. POUIilOT: I am pleased indeed to note that this vote has been decreased by three-fourths, but there is still one-fourth left, which might better be nothing. I remember distinctly urging upon the house last year the desirability of giving footballs and baseball bats and boxing gloves to our young boys instead of guns and drums and other militaristic paraphernalia. We on this side are not to be insulted because we do not share the views of the government members. We are free to have our own views and to express them just as are the government members. I am opposed to cadet training. I thing it is most foolish to see young boys who are just growing up being trained in the militarist system. Do you not think it is foolish, Mr. Chairman? We advocate peace. We now have the Royal Canadian Mounted Police looking after those who shoot migratory birds; we have them acting also as truancy officers to look after Indian children, and now our young men are to be trained so that when they grow up they will be able to replace those who are not British-born in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. We have our boys in our colleges being trained as soldiers. It would be better for the government to subscribe $25 or so to the different schools for

fMr. Woodsworth.]

the purchase of footballs, baseball bats, and boxing gloves so that our young boys would get the benefit of the sport and physical exercise. Boxing would be a good thing for every member on the other side of the house, and it would be much better for us to box with them than to shoot at them because we might kill them. We do not want to kill them, because, in the words of the great St. Augustine, we seek, not the death, but the conversion of sinners.

My 'hon. friend from Montmagny said that he was in favour of cadet training. That is his own business, but he need not drag in anything about Russia just because some members of this house do not share his views. I have never been to Russia, and the hon. member knows as well as anyone in this house that I have nothing to do with communism or Russia or the Soviet or the U.S.S.R. I am not interested in them at all. I try to advocate common sense in this house, but unfortunately I am not very successful with hon. gentlemen opposite. The government subscribes hundreds of thousands of dollars to the League of Nations to prevent war, and at the same time trains our young boys in the warlike spirit, with instructors to shout at them, "Right, left, right, left!" They are being trained to be militarists. We hear a lot of drum-beating. I do not know whether my hon. friend from Long Lake is a bottle or a drum, but he makes a noise just the same. I am not surprised that he is in favour of the cadet system, but I am surprised that my hon. friend from Montmagny should share his views. They kiss each other. They should not. They should keep a certain distance.

Mr. LaVERGNE: Is my hon. friend

jealous?

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I am not. I am not in

favour of it at all; in fact, I do not understand it. Is it not possible for the genial Minister of National Defence to appreciate that we wish to prevent war as much as anybody? I think he does too, and so much so that perhaps he would resign in favour of the hon. member for Southeast Grey, who everyone knows would abolish the Department of National Defence as soon as she became its minister. Would it not be possible for my good friend the Minister of National Defence to reconsider his decision concerning this vote? The children in Canada who are now in cadet corps would be just as healthy if the government would spend this amount in buying them footballs, bats, boxing gloves, hockey pucks, aind the like.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

And golf balls.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Yes, and golf balls, or

tennis racquets. The government would make the children happy, and would not instil into their minds that warlike spirit which cadet training engenders. I am sure if the minister would postpone his decision until to-morrow he would agree with me, because as we say in French, la nuit porte conseil.

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CON

Walter Davy Cowan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COWAN (Long Lake):

I am pleased

beyond measure to state that this is one of the happiest nights I have ever spent in this chamber. I have discovered that the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre is ashamed of being called a Russian, that he does not want to be a Russian, and that he does not want to live in Russia for fear they may cut his head off or transport him to the Arctic regions. Secondly, I have discovered that my good friend from Temis-couata is afraid to fight. He is scared of getting into a scrap for fear he may get a licking. At last I am safe. For my part I believe thoroughly in cadet training for our boys at school. During my term of office on the Regina collegiate board I found that the boys wanted to have that training; they wanted to learn how to defend themselves. They did not want to lick anybody, but they would be hanged if they were going to let anybody lick them. That is still their spirit.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

The chief difference

between the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre and the hon. member for Long Lake is that the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre has a beard and the hon. member for Long Lake has not.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I do not think it is

fair to state that hon. members who do not favour this item are following the example set by people in Russia. In my view the contrary is the case. The fact is that in Russia to-day there is more military training than in any other country of the world. Under ordinary circumstances I should be happy to agree with the hon. member for Montmagny, but during these times when so many children have no food I believe it would be better to use this $300,000 to provide food and shelter for them than to put arms or weapons in their hands.

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

Since the beginning

of the debate on this item I have noticed a full page advertisement in the Ottawa Journal headed by the words: " Share or children suffer," and then, in smaller print, the following:

When do we eat? That's the query expressed at regular intervals by the hungry youngster everywhere. Whether it is voiced in words or carried by a cry, it must be answered.

When it is found necessary in Ottawa, the city of Canada least touched by the depression, to insert a full page advertisement of the type I have described, surely it is nonsensical at the same time to be voting $300,000 for the military training of school children. I therefore move seconded by Mr. Maclnnis:

That vote No. 84 be reduced by the sum of $30,000.

which is the sum being asked for by the United Charities drive in Ottawa.

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CON

Donald Matheson Sutherland (Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Mr. Chairman, the

hon. member for Southeast Grey apparently has a reason for her amendment concerning the reduction of this vote. It would seem that she has based it on an article appearing in an Ottawa newspaper. We know that there is a great deal of suffering throughout the country; no one denies that, and no one regrets it more than hon. members of this house. But the people of Ottawa will be able to handle any problem with which they may be confronted. The point made by the hon. members for Southeast Grey and Winnipeg North Centre is that the cadet movement is of a military nature. On that point I must differ from them, because in no sense is it military. The fact that young lads are given certain elementary drill which is given to soldiers does not indicate that they are receiving military training. There is no suggestion of military training unless in the minds of those taking part there is the object of defeating some enemy. In the cadet movement there is nothing of that kind.

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PRO
CON

Donald Matheson Sutherland (Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Rifle shooting is a

sport, the same as any other game in which young people take part. It develops precision of aim and steadiness of nerve, and is one of the best exercises for mind and body. The small rifles used by the cadets have no connection whatever with military training. When soldiers manoeuvre on drill parade they have in mind an enemy, and at that time and under such conditions they are under military training. But cadets may march along in fours with no idea of an enemy at all. They merely have setting up exercises, and are taught respect for authority and discipline. This government has never urged cadet training on any community. The hon. member for Vancouver South has told us that in Vancouver they took the stand that as they were getting their cadet training for nothing they might as well have it. Such an understanding would

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not be correct, because if Vancouver cadets are wearing uniforms they will have to pay for such uniforms themselves. The cost of uniforms is one of the greatest costs in the cadet movement. Owing to the difficult times through which some cities are passing the cadet movement has been temporarily shelved, as has been described by the hon. member for Park-dale. Well and good; we do not urge that other action be taken. However there is a demand on the part of many people and many schools to have the young people taught the elementary principles of discipline. The hon. member for Southeast Grey realizes the fact that for some considerable time there has been provision in the estimates for this expenditure, -and to cut it down as the hon. member has suggested-

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

It cannot all have been expended if it carries on until June.

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CON

Donald Matheson Sutherland (Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

The cadet movement in Toronto will not be stopped until the end of the present term. In my view it would be a breach of faith on the part of hon. members to support the amendment suggested by the hon. member for Southeast Grey.

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February 14, 1933