January 25, 1937

LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

I shall give first the percentage of sockeye salmon caught in traps as compared with the total catch:

Year Per Cent

1930 1-05

1931 0-97

1932 1-27

1933 ' 3-41

1934 1-49

1935 1-58

1936 1-00

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LIB

Olof Hanson

Liberal

Mr. HANSON:

Do those figures cover all the fish caught?

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LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

No; they refer only to sockeye salmon. The following table gives the percentages of all varieties of salmon caught in traps as compared with the total catch:

Year Per Cent

1930 0-44

1931 3-33

1932 1-04

1933 3-09

1934 0-55

1935 2-57

1936 0-5

I think these figures will show that there is no danger of exhausting the source of supply by permitting trap fishing in a particular area. Another argument has been that the elimination of traps will provide more employment. This is also a matter of opinion. I should like to lay before the house certain facts which will permit hon. members to obtain the proper viewpoint on this matter. It must not be forgotten that no other method of fishing could be resorted to in the areas now fished by means of traps. I do not think it is altogether correct to assume that the elimination of traps will provide employment for more fishermen. I understand that the industry which has been built up around these traps has made a specialty of supplying a better grade of salmon to the

fMr. Michaud.]

market. This helps to raise the standard of our exports to the markets of the world where we must compete with other countries. We must remember that the bulk of our canned salmon is exported. In order to maintain our position in the markets of the world we must compete against other countries which have not the same standard of living and which do not pay the same wages as those which prevail in Canada. We have been able to maintain our position because of the high quality of product we have been able to export. The canneries operating traps play a considerable part in maintaining this standard of quality.

Reference has been made to possible international complications. The neighbouring state of Washington during the past two years has permitted the operation of a large number of traps. In 1934 there were 235 traps in operation and in 1935 there were 209. These figures compare with three and four traps on the Canadian side during the same years respectively. I have not been able to find any records which would show any relationship between the two countries in connection with the abolition or use of traps. The records show that where traps have been removed from American waters the removal has been obtained by those who resort to other methods of fishing. This has been done through the cooperation of the trailers, the gill netters and the purse seiners. I do not think the permitting of traps in Canadian waters will have any effect upon action taken in connection with American waters. The argument advanced by those in the United States who are seeking to bring back the operation of traps is that the interest of the industry is dependent upon that type of fishing. The attitude of Canada has not entered into the picture at all. I can assure the house that if representations are made that the maintenance of traps in Canadian waters will bring about any increased use of traps in American waters and thus deprive the fishermen on the Fraser river of their full share of the fish that run in those waters, the government will not close their eyes or ears to such representations.

I can also assure the house that there is no intention to depart from the policy which has been in force and adhered to in this country since 1904, to limit the issue of licences for trap fishing to the waters which I have described south of Vancouver island. It is by way of an exception that these trap licences are issued, and for the very obvious reason that no other method of fishing can be resorted to in those waters. The fish that are

Salmon Trap Nets-Mr. Michaud

being caught there by traps would not otherwise be caught by Canadians, and a very high class product is being marketed by the Canadian industry by reason of its being permitted to use traps in those waters.

What would be the consequence of refusing to issue licences for trap fishing to those who have been licensed and have been operating traps for almost the last thirty-three years? There is a large capital investment, about $100,000 I am told, in those traps; there is being spent every year on every trap, in material and labour used to set up the traps, from $10,000 to $15,000, and in addition there are the wages paid to those who practise the fishing. Around that area there has grown up a community of about 300 people who are solely dependent upon the trap fishing and upon the canning factory. If licences were refused it would follow that those who are now operating the cannery would close it up, and all that community would be thrown out of employment. Many of them own their own houses; there are stores in the locality, and there is in the vicinity no other industry upon which these people could depend. So I submit, Mr. Speaker, that before adopting the resolution we must carefully consider the consequences. If we refuse to issue any more licences, we would, I repeat, be abandoning a policy which has been in force since 1904, and we would not be providing labour for any more people in British Columbia, because the fishermen could not resort to these waters to fish.

It might be advanced as an argument that the fish which is being canned in the cannery might be purchased elsewhere, from people who use other methods of fishing, but I am told, and I have the assurance of those who are operating the cannery, that they would not find it profitable to operate and maintain their very high standard of product if they used fish caught by any other method. So it is fair to assume that if we refused the licences the cannery would be closed, and those who are dependent upon the cannery for their livelihood would be thrown out of employment and deprived of the wages they now receive.

I have said that the capital investment in the traps is about $100,000. I am informed that the capital investment in the cannery, outside the traps altogether, is $150,000. There are at the cannery twenty-five permanent employees and 125 seasonal employees, who would be thrown out of employment if we refused to issue the licences. The annual pay-roll is $35,000. In addition it must be remembered that these people pay licence

fees; they pay high fees to the province of British Columbia, which imposes on them a special tax. All told, in fees and licences there is a revenue of about $7,500 a year, which would be lost if the licences were refused. The loss to the province and to the dominion government would be $35,000 in income and sales taxes, and so on.

The number of men permanently employed at the traps, exclusive of the cannery is forty, with an annual payroll of $58,000. There would also be the loss to those who sell the supplies. The employees at the traps have an average length of employment of 13^ years. The company has maintained group insurance on their men, several of whom own their own homes, and if they were thrown out of employment they would be losing not only their jobs but their savings invested in their homes.

So I submit, sir, that the house should be satisfied to leave it to the government of the day to continue the policy which has been followed for almost thirty-three years, and in the issuing of licences to try to consider the greatest number of people possible, at the same time bearing in mind the necessity of maintaining the industry at the high standard which it has reached in order that it may retain its position in the markets of the world. We should also be very careful to avoid the destruction of a community which apparently would have no other resources and would have to fall back on relief or start all over again to rebuild, with no prospect of employment in sight. I trust the house and particularly the hon. member for Comox-Albemi (Mr. Neill) will be satisfied with the assurance that the number of licences in British Columbia will not be increased, and I hope hon. members will be content that this peculiar situation, which is an exception, should be maintained until it is established that these people could be reabsorbed in other industry, and until it can be demonstrated that the revenue which they have been deriving from the industry in which they are at present engaged can be derived elsewhere. I can assure the house, with regard to any international complications arising out of the fact that the government of this country permits trap fishing in that area, that we shall do our best to avoid any such complications.

Topic:   SALMON TRAP NETS
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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

What is the objection to

referring this question to the fisheries committee where we might have an opportunity of calling as witnesses those who are better informed upon the subject than members of the house?

Salmon Trap Nets-Mr. Neill

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LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

I have no objection whatever to having this matter referred to a committee.

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. A. W. NEILL (Comox-Alberni):

Mr. Speaker, I suppose I should thank the members of the house who have supported this resolution; I assure them that in my opinion they were doing good work for the province from which they come, and I do not think the public will be remiss in remembering this when the time comes.

I am sorry that my first reference to my friend the hon. member for Victoria, B.C. (Mr. Tolmie) should be concerned with a difference of opinion. May I turn aside for a moment and heartily congratulate him upon his natal day and upon his reappearance in this house. I know that every one of us, irrespective of politics, is pleased to see him back here again, and I am sure I voice the wishes of all when I say that we hope he may enjoy many years of happiness, if happiness can be attained in this house, and that he may grow in grace as he has in stature.

I will, if only incoherently, so to speak, answer various objections that have been made. The hon. member for Kootenay East (Mr. Stevens) said that the fish caught in these traps were of such a kind that trailers could not catch, and I rather think he also suggested that the seiners would not do much. He also said that sockeye was the main run. For many years sockeye was the main run that was caught in these traps. But I have in my hand statistics furnished by the department which show that for the year 1936 sockeye caught-I am just quoting round numbers-were sockeye, 44,000; springs, 54,000; steelheads, 1,000, and cohoes, 36,000. So that the sockeye were not the dominant catch this last year. Springs, steelheads and cohoes are all fish that can be trolled. I am surprised to find that the hon. member for Victoria, B.C., and the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Taylor) did not take a stand in opposition to these traps, inasmuch as the traps catch so many springs, steelheads and cohoes, which are the mainstay of the tourist trade, the fishing to which we on Vancouver island look more and more to furnish a substantial revenue. There is every reason to hope that we can make Vancouver island the mecca of a tremendous number of tourists from all over the world if we facilitate their enjoyment of the fishing resources we have there. Steelheads, by the way, are not a salmon at all; they are a trout, and should Dot be taken in a trap. Cohoes and springs-the springs are the same class of fish-are the same variety for which, under the name of tyees, Campbell

river is so noted. I have met men from all over the world who were going to Campbell river; they said that each salmon they caught cost them ten dollars, but it was worth it because of the sport afforded by these tyees, which are identical with springs, and in the right place can be taken in the same way. As regards these 36,000 cohoes, it has been discovered in the last two or three years that they will rise to a fly, and English sporting fishermen want a fish that will rise to a fly. The possibilities of developing fishing in that country are enormous, but the catches are getting less, because they are being taken in seines and traps. I think Brentwood is within the district of the hon. member for Nanaimo, so he should support this proposal with both hands and both feet, because it means the devolpment, in the spring of the year, of travel there by tourists who for the moment cannot go anywhere else and who are enormously attracted by the possibilities of catching with a fly cohoes in that neighbourhood.

The hon. member for Vancouver North (Mr. MacNeil) spoke about its being a monopoly down there. He never said a truer word. I think the minister, when he came to that point, virtually admitted that there was a monopoly, although he suggested it was a beneficent one or one that could not well be vitiated. The hon. member for Vancouver North wondered why there were only four traps, or rather five last year and four the year before, while the number of licences taken out is eight. I will tell him-because they want to maintain a monopoly. It is ostensibly two companies, but the one washes the other one's hands. They take every valuable site-that is why they have 'eight licences-and pay a heavy licence fee, but operate only four or five. One would suppose that the whole of the strait of Juan de Fuca was available to these fish. But fish go exactly like a man driving a car; that is they go the nearest way. If a man is driving a car along a road and comes to a sharp turn to the right, will he not hug the righthand corner? Of course he will, and that is exactly what the fish do. That is also what these clever trap owners do. They take their reservations, their locations, out at the edge of the headland around which the fish 'have to go, and that is where they get them; they will take eight licences because experience has shown that there are only eight major profitable available sites there, and they will keep on paying for these eight sites although they take all they want from the operation of four traps.

Salmon Trap Nets-Mr. Neill

While I am on the subject, the minister said there is no fishing by seines in that area and that is evidence of its not being possible to fish there, because, he says, seines can fish in the strait of Juan de Fuca. Yes, they can, but the places where the fish run, where it can be calculated they can be caught, are around these headlands, and the trap owners have their sites located there. Then the minister told us his officials had informed him that seiners liked the traps because they afford a better opportunity for them to get fish. That is a misconception. Either his officials have deceived him or they have unwittingly misrepresented the situation. Perhaps it is true as regards the state of Washington, but we are dealing with British Columbia where conditions are quite different. In Washington where traps were located, apparently the custom was to give those traps to people much as is done on our side of the line, but there was no restriction outside the actual location of the trap; seiners could go and fish within ten feet of the trap if they so wished to. The seiners on the American side found this quite useful, because the fish congregated there in their endless attempt to get through this barrier before they started going to the right or to the left, and that was the place for the seiners to make a killing. I say that was true on the American side, but it is not true on the British Columbia side, because we have a regulation restraining the seiners from operating within a certain distance-half a mile, I believe-so that the traps do not give them any advantage; they do not have the effect of holding the fish for the seines, and no one in British Columbia would suggest that a seining organization or any other fishing body would ever favour the traps.

The hon. member for Victoria, B.C., said that the United States were going to open the traps in any event because they found on their side it was profitable to do so. If that is the case, let us not give them the excuse that they do so because Canada is not playing the game. The hon. member said that it was due to propaganda that the traps on the American side were abolished. That is not so. This was done through the operation of the initiative, and people do not propagandize when there is an initiative; it is the common people rising up and demanding .the enactment of the law; it is put before the people to be voted on, if I understand the situation correctly, by the people, and not by the legislature, which might be influenced by the big interests. That sort of influence cannot be exercised where there are thousands and thousands of people

voting. I think it is entirely unjust to say that it was propaganda which put over that restriction; I think rather that propaganda is behind the attempt to repeal the bill. The hon. member quotes Governor Martin, who is a well known reactionary, as against the operation of the initiative. I have no doubt he is, but let us remember that the present law was put through by the vote of all those citizens who are qualified to vote; it was not a vote of the legislature.

The hon. member for Victoria, B.C., says that the Sooke catch is small; I think he himself quoted it as being two per cent of the total catch. If so, and if there are only four or five traps, why grudge the elimination of such a small quantity when we have so much to gain? We are going to have the opportunity, in return for the giving up of four or five traps on our side, of having the Americans abandon 219 traps. Is that not a good deal? Why be fussy about two per cent when we stand to gain so much?

Topic:   SALMON TRAP NETS
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CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TOLMIE:

Has the hon. member any

guarantee that, if the traps are eliminated in British Columbia, Washington will not reinstate the traps on their side?

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

No; but the minister could

very well make a statement here to the effect that it was his intention to stop them in British Columbia this year provided Washington would not reinstate traps there; and we know that in dealing with nations and people there is such a thing as quid pro quo. When Canada gave the old country a preference we expected something in return and eventually we got it. The minister said that these waters were not adapted to seines. Well, here is Kyuquot Trollers' Cooperative Association making a statement on the subject-I suppose they know what they are talking about- and this is what they say:

Whereas the district of Sooke where the only traps in B.C. now are located would afford ideal fishing grounds for seiners thus increasing employment. . . .

That was passed on December 17, 1936. They are a well-established and thoroughly reputable body; I do not think they would make such a statement unless it could be proved, and it is capable of proof only when the traps are taken away, because they can not seine these waters when all the available fishing sites are already preempted. People have an idea that you can go into the ocean and catch fish anywhere. You can catch the odd one, but you can seine only where the fish congregate in schools, as they do around these headlands.

Salmon Trap Nets-Mr. Neill

The minister spoke at some length and his first and last argument was that this practice has been going on for forty years. As a matter of fact the actual operation has lasted thirty-two years. But conditions vary over the years and we must change with the times. We all know, looking back over a period of less than forty years, what changes have taken place in every direction. He said that fish cannot be caught in this district otherwise than by traps. I have quoted the opinion of the association in that regard; I might say that the same opinion was expressed by the Pacific Coast Fishermen's Union, and I have the authority of Major Motherwell, the chief supervisor, that the association is mainly composed of seiners.

The minister said that the traps would help the seines. I think I have explained that. It is curious, if the traps would help the seines, why the seiners are all so deadly opposed to traps. The minister said, further, that the few traps at Sooke would not kill the industry. Undoubtedly not; the operation of four or five will not kill the industry. But I am pointing out that this is perhaps our last chance to trade four or five traps for 219 on the other side. The sentiment was voiced by the hon. member for Skeena (Mr. Hanson), who pointed out that if the traps at Sooke were allowed to remain and the Americans kept theirs off, the justification would be gone for continuing that privilege to them alone, and every cannery in British Columbia would be demanding it.

The minister said that it would cause more memployment, but that this was a matter of opinion. It certainly is. I have already read the opinion of Mr. Bell, an expert in Alaska, who said:

By giving the seine fishermen a chance, we will be giving work to hundreds who have been practically forced to the wall by the traps. Two men with a trap can catch as many fish as twenty-five men with a seine.

That is not my opinion; Mr. Bell made that statement off his own bat some time ago. The minister said that the firm which has the monopoly at Sooke puts up good packs. Undoubtedly; but is that the only cannery in British Columbia which is putting up good packs? They all do. There are companies of greater importance that put up just as good packs, and I cannot allow it to be said that this particular cannery is the only one which puts up a good pack. Moreover, the others put up a good pack without traps. Why cannot this one do the same?

The minister gave us a picture of the losses in investment that would follow the shutting down of this cannery. Who said that it would

fMr. Neill.]

be shut down if this company did not have this long term privilege extended? Why, they did. Who said that the textile industry would shut down if the government made a deal with Japan? The textile industry did. And who opened their factory forthwith when they found their bluff called? I shall take a chance on this cannery shutting down.

The hon. member for Kootenay East (Mr. Stevens) says that they are in an isolated position. They are not, for every day tugs pass the door of that cannery going with fish from the west coast to the Fraser river to be canned. Why cannot this cannery buy its fish from these tugs? The whole trouble is that these people have enjoyed a monopoly for a very long time and now they are howling because they believe there is a danger of their losing it. It is nothing but propaganda. The same thing happened in the days of St. Paul, in Ephesus I believe, when a famous attack was made against the Christian religion Demetrius the silversmith gathered his people together and pointed out to them that they were likely to lose their business, which was the making of images of Diana. For the space of two hours-there was no forty minute rule there-they howled against St. Paul. They did not argue; they did not use logic; they simply howled, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians." Here we have pretty much the same sort of thing. These people are as reluctant as I should be to give up this valuable, profitable and fortune-making monopoly, and now they threaten to shut down. Not a bit of it. Talk about their investment of $20,000! Do you know that the investment of the troller association amounts to half a million dollars? Yet they are not looking for any special privilege, and there is no danger that they will discontinue operations. We need not fear this company shutting down if we take away this privilege. If forty-two or forty-eight other concerns can make a living and pay the same wages, and a good deal more for their fish than this company pays, why cannot this particular cannery do the same?

The minister said that he could see no connection between our traps being removed and the removal of the United States traps. There might not have been any connection, but we may rest assured that there will be a connection if we do not abandon our traps, because the legislature on the other side of the line is waiting to see what we are going to do, and if we do not play the game their traps will inevitably be restored.

Foreign Policy-Mr. Woodsworth

I must say, with all due deference to the hon. gentleman, that I was disappointed at the attitude he took. I thought his mind was rather turning toward a yielding on this point, but apparently his mind is made up, and I do not know that I can do anything more than vote for the motion as it stands. At any rate my skirts will be clear and I shall have done my duty to the constituency I represent. In his closing remarks, in reply to the hon. member for Fraser Valley (Mr. Barber), he said that he had no objection to referring the question to the fisheries committee. Well, it is always better to get something rather than nothing at all, and if he would move to have the motion amended to that effect I would be agreeable. I cannot amend my own motion, but if he would move such an amendment, to have the matter sent to the committee, though I cannot say that I should be glad I can say that it would be better than nothing.

Topic:   SALMON TRAP NETS
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LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

If the hon. member will allow me, my suggestion was that he should withdraw his motion and the matter be referred to the fisheries committee.

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Will the minister give that assurance?

Topic:   SALMON TRAP NETS
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LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

Oh, yes.

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Because, as the rule stands to-day-and I remember it being enforced last year-nothing can be debated in that committee unless sent to it by order of this house. But the minister's word is good to me. So with the consent of my seconder I shall withdraw the motion on that understanding, and I thank the minister for his courtesy.

Motion (Mr. Neill) withdrawn.

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FOREIGN POLICY

PROPOSED STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES TO APPLY IN RESPECT OF WAR, THE CAUSES OF WAR, AND WAR MUNITIONS OR MATERIALS

CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. J. S. WOODSWORTH (Winnipeg North Centre) moved:

That, in the opinion of this house, the foreign policy of Canada should conform to the following principles:

1. That under existing international relations, in the event of war, Canada should remain strictly neutral regardless of who the belligerents may be.

2. That at no time should Canadian citizens be permitted to make profits out of supplying war munitions or materials.

3. That the Canadian government should make every effort to discover and remove the causes of international friction and social injustice.

He said: It seems to me that unsettled conditions both in Europe and Asia make it imperative that we should consider our Canadian foreign policy. The world is rapidly becoming an armed camp. We were told that the last war was fought to end war, but now it would seem that the last war might easily prove to be simply the prelude to a greater one. The government have intimated that they are bringing down proposals for increased expenditure on armaments. In past years we have been told by Ministers of National Defence that we need an army only to keep subversive elements in order. Occasionally we have been told that we need forces to protect our own shores. Now we are being told that we need a force to protect our neutrality, whatever that may mean. A great number of people believe that these increased estimates definitely foreshadow the possibility of Canada being drawn into another European war. We are being told from very influential quarter that Canada must prepare to assist in the defence of the empire. It seems to me that now is the time when we should have very clearly expressed to us what the policy of the present government is on these matters.

Canada is no longer a colony; we all recognize that. I suggest that we have not yet adopted a policy of our own but are content to tag along, following the lead of Great Britain, or, what is even more serious, try to escape responsibility for any very active policy. I am well aware that there exist great diversities of opinion in Canada with regard to this matter, but for that very reason it seems to me we should face the question now rather than wait until some critical moment when we would find how divided the country really is. I suggest that the oncoming of a war, which might mean our participation, would split this country from stem to stern. One can hardly go to the province of Quebec, or read even cursorily the French-Canadian press, without realizing that there is a very strong sentiment there against being dragged into another war. I would respectfully suggest to the French-Canadian members of this house that if that is so, their responsibility is to say so here and now. I would suggest that when increased expenditures are proposed they ought to join with some of the rest of us and ask the reason for these increased expenditures. Are they merely for our own defence or are they being made in order that we may one day participate in a European war?

I think of the situation in the west. I do not think the west is any less loyal than any other part of this country. But over fifty per cent of the people there are not of Anglo-

foreign Policy-Mr. Woodsworth

Saxon origin. They are interested in the welfare of Canada; they are much less interested in the adventures which may be entered upon by Great Britain in various parts of the world. Many of them came here to escape the burden of militarism, and hence perhaps are able to see things a little more clearly than those who are almost blinded by a certain emotional attachment to the motherland. I can understand the attitude of people who were born in England and whose immediate relatives are still living there, but I do not take their word as final in matters of this kind.

Let me attempt to forestall some rather unwarranted criticisms which have been made of the position which I am trying to state in this resolution. First, I say emphatically that I am not what might properly be called an isolationist. I recognize that to-day no individual can live to himself; that in our modern life every day we are dependent for necessities upon the community around us. To prepare a very modest breakfast table requires the help of workers in almost every part of the world. In our industry, our commerce, our finance, we are closely connected with every other part of the world. No man to-day can live to himself. And as with individuals so with nations. Canada cannot live to herself. A very little disturbance on the stock market in New York is apt to bring about a decided disturbance in financial circles all over the world, and may affect the standard of living of a large part of our population. No, we cannot live apart from the larger world.

Again, I do not think I need tell at least the older members of this house that I am not anti-British or un-British. In Great Britain the policies of the country are discussed fully. The Labour party there may adopt a policy differing very widely from that cf some of the big industrialists. But there they consider it very desirable that all sections of the community should be heard from. That ought to be true in this country; it is the only way by which our democratic machinery can operate.

Furthermore, it seems to me thart the people who believe in military preparation as a means of defence have no monopoly of patriotism. Some of us who were born in Canada and whose ancestors were born here and helped to lay the foundation of this country have just as much right to speak on the subject as have some of the individuals who differ very widely from us. I think when I undertake to express my views I am far more British in spirit than if I slavishly followed the lead of some people who live in Great Britain.

TMr. Woodsworth.]

Topic:   FOREIGN POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSED STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES TO APPLY IN RESPECT OF WAR, THE CAUSES OF WAR, AND WAR MUNITIONS OR MATERIALS
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   FOREIGN POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSED STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES TO APPLY IN RESPECT OF WAR, THE CAUSES OF WAR, AND WAR MUNITIONS OR MATERIALS
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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Again, I am not

what might be called a do-nothing pacifist. But there are several things which I have come very firmly to believe. The first is that war settles nothing. A year or so ago Canadian Business quoted a statement by Nicholas Murray Butler, who estimated that the cost of the last war was some thirty million lives and some four hundred billion dollars. I do not know that there is any very clear statement as to what it cost Canada. The Financial Post, which is usually considered to be conservative in these matters, put it some time ago at $4,341,488,904. We lost over sixty thousand of our best men, and to-day we have some fifty thousand unemployed veterans who are not receiving the assistance they should get.

All this is but indicative of the cost in blood and treasure of the great war, and yet that great war settled no major problem. Eighteen years later instead of a kaiser we have a Hitler; instead of the assistance of Italy we have the aggressiveness of Mussolini; instead of a friendly Japan we have the oriental menace. Everywhere there is confusion, and the danger of a still greater war. I should like to ask whether there is any prospect that the "bigger and better" war of the future, to use the common phrase of the street, will settle anything.

Again, I am coming pretty firmly to the conclusion that as war settles nothing, so armaments are no insurance against war. Before the last war Germany was well prepared; yet Germany suffered very heavily. Responsible British leaders have assured us that England was never better prepared, but the last war came and the best prepared suffered the most severely. It is all very well for us to talk about fire insurance and ladders and hose, but if we live in a jerry-builttown I do not think the ladders and the hose are going to make our homes safe from catastrophe. More attention must be paid to the kind of buildings if we are to have any sort of security. If we are to secure peace we must adopt policies that are constructive. We must not be content with merely anegative attitude; we must set out deliberately to discover and adopt those policies which will help to prevent war. Further than that-and this is perhaps not quite so palatable to a good many people-we must be prepared to pay the price of peace. If, when war comes, we are prepared to spend ourhundreds of millions; if, even long before war comes, we are prepared to spend the

millions that are set out in the estimates now before us, I suggest that we should be

Foreign Policy-Mr. Woodsworth

willing to spend a half, a quarter, even only a tenth part of that amount, if you will, in attempting to carry out some sort of policies that might lead to peace.

In the first paragraph my resolution refers to existing international relations. I do not say that this should be so under some ideal system, or with a world league functioning properly; I say that under existing international relations, in the event of war Canada should remain neutral regardless of who may be the belligerents.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Does that mean subject to existing international obligations?

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I have not taken that particular matter into account in my resolution, because no nation connected with the League of Nations has lived up to its international obligations and, as an hon. member behind me suggests, Canada has never accepted any definite military obligations. We have always refused to give pledges beforehand.

In formulating a Canadian policy consideration must be given, it seems to me, to three things: Our relationship to the league; our relationship to the empire, and the welfare of Canada itself. I submit that the league as constituted has failed. I am not talking about the league as it should be. In more recent years I have endeavoured to do all that I could for the league, because it is the only instrument we have. Sometimes it has been said that when I spoke along this line I was repudiating the league. That is not my thought, but I do urge that as far as the safety of this country or of other countries is, at the moment concerned, we must confess that the league has failed. Manchuria and Ethiopia are the most outstanding examples, as well as indications of the inherent weakness of the present set-up. The fact is that the great nations have not taken the league seriously. From 1913 to 1930, before the last great armament race, Great Britain and France increased their armaments fifty per cent. That is, while talking about the league and while contributing small amounts to it, they were not relying upon it for their security; they were going ahead steadily with their individual armament programs long before this last crisis came upon us. The United States, which of course is not in the league, trebled its armaments. While we were supposed to be relying upon this rather evasive thing called "collective security," there were increased armaments all along the line.

I urge that Canada should work for a league in which each nation would be willing to surrender its sovereignty and its individual armaments; that is, in very simple terms, the

right to do as it pleases and, in the last resort, the power to enforce its own decision. That is what we do in our community life. We surrender to the courts what were once regarded as individual rights. There has been a general tendency to decry any attempt to erect the league to the position of being a super-state. I am convinced that it is only that kind of league which is going to prove worth while. Mr. Eden, according to the papers, is now advocating what is termed a tame league. Let me suggest that collective security should be more than a phrase. If we are to have collective security insured by armaments, then those armaments must be collective armaments. If we are to have collective security by other and more peaceful means, then there must be collective agreements. To those people who charge that we are giving up the league, I should like to put the question: Are you prepared to work for a league that will have teeth in it, a league that will be effective, a league to which the nations will give such allegiance that in the last analysis they will be willing to give up what the lawyers hitherto have termed our national sovereignty, and our national armaments?

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   FOREIGN POLICY
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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

When the house

took recess I was suggesting that in formulating a Canadian policy consideration must be given to our relationship to the league, our relationship to the empire and, lastly, the welfare of Canada. I suggested that the league, as it is at present constituted, had failed to offer security, and I urged that we must seek to build a more effective league. At the present time, in despair of attaining security through the collective agency of the league, there seems to be a tendency to revert to various alliances, to go back to the old system, and to depend upon the strength of the empire.

What is this empire that we are called upon to defend? Generally the term "commonwealth" has been used to designate the selfgoverning British nations, but recently there has been a tendency to use this synonymously with the word "empire." This seems to me subtle propaganda on the part of the imperialists. For example, in the Canadian Defence Quarterly of October, 1936, an editorial review of an article in the Round Table refers to the Mediterranean policy of the jommonwealth of nations. I must say that

240 COMMONS

Foreign Policy-Mr. Woodsworth

during my fifteen years in parliament I have never heard the most remote reference to a Canadian Mediterranean policy. At a recent meeting of the Imperial Parliamentary conference Sir Samuel Hoare spoke of the solidarity of the commonwealth upon the sea. He referred to Singapore as being a vital contribution to the British commonwealth. He said, "We look with confidence for the cooperation of the whole British commonwealth of nations." I rather thought we had settled that matter pretty well away back in Laurier's time. It would1 be strange indeed if the Liberal government of our day should succumb to the same old proposal brought forward in a somewhat camouflaged way.

Remember that the so-called self-governing nations constitute only fifteen per cent of the British Empire. What about the other eighty-five per cent? As a boy I used to read of the trial of Warren Hastings, and I then obtained a little idea of how a part of our empire had been acquired. During the Boer war I was a student in England and I remember how Lloyd George protested against the British action in the Transvaal. However, it was not until several years later that I really began to understand what imperialism meant. I can remember very distinctly visiting the army and navy museum in Whitehall. I remember seeing all the engines of war, ancient and modern. There were set out the tattered flags that had been carried by British regiments in all parts of the world. I saw blood stained garments worn by natives of almost every country in the world. I then began to understand a little more clearly the price of empire paid in human blood and human suffering.

A short time later, when returning from Egypt, I fell in with a young British engineer who told me in detail something of the progress of empire in northern Africa. He told me how the unscrupulous traders would go in and exploit the natives. The natives in desperation might murder a white man. Then an expeditionary force would be sent in. There would be reprisals and counter reprisals. A protectorate would be declared, and before very long this particular territory would be annexed as part of the British Empire. I am speaking particularly of the British Empire as I know a little more of that than I do of other empires, but the same proceeding has characterized the building up of the French empire, of the American empire and of the Japanese empire. These empires have been acquired to serve the interests of a very small part of the community which has had to

spend so much upon them. As I see it, imperialism is simply capitalism in international affairs. Recently I came across an almost prophetic statement by Sir Thomas More. He said:

Everywhere do I perceive a certain conspiracy of rich men seeking their own advantage under the name and pretext of a commonwealth.

Let me read J. A. Hobson's considered statement:

The decades of imperialism have been prolific in wars; most of these wars have been directly motivated by aggression of white races upon lower races by forcible seizure of territory. Every one of the steps of expansion in Africa, Asia and the Pacific has been accompanied by bloodshed.

What a terrific indictment of imperialism! I think anyone who has taken the trouble to read the history of imperialism must come to some such conclusion as that. If I can prevent it, I do not intend to have my boys and my neighbours' boys sacrificed to any such system, a system which results in exploiting native races or building up fortunes for a few industrial and financial magnates and war profiteers-all under the guise of patriotism. I have nothing whatever to say against that country which we so affectionately term, "The Motherland," but I think we in Canada must be very careful lest we lend ourselves to carrying out the policies of a few great industrial and commercial and financial groups in the motherland. I am getting somewhat tired of being told that we in this country are unpatriotic because we do not jump when Mr. Baldwin, Mr. Chamberlain or someone else tells us to do so.

I suggest that if the British connection is to be maintained, Canada must have an effective voice in the policies which vitally concern her people. Canada should claim at once the right to declare war or peace. I brought this matter up last year. I suggested that Canada is said to be autonomous under the Statute of Westminster, but we are also told that when Great Britain is at war, Canada is at war. It would appear that while Canada has now full control of her own legislation, she has not full control over the executive functions of government. South Africa by her Status of Union Act and Royal Executive Functions and Seals Act sought to attain such control over her own affairs. Some one may object that if that policy is carried out it will mean independence. If that is so, then I say, by all means let us have independence. On the other hand, as one who desires to preserve the British connection, I would suggest quite seriously that it is only

Foreign Policy-Mr. Woodswortli

in so far as we in Canada have effective control over the policies which concern our people, and the other dominions have similar control, that we shall be able to maintain the British commonwealth.

I assume I still have distant cousins living in Yorkshire. They may be in a position to decide what is a good thing with regard to the foreign policy of Great Britain, but I do not think it is egotistical for me to say that I, living in Canada, have just as good a right to take my part in deciding what ought to be the foreign policy of Canada. I think that should be clearly understood. I do not propose to take any position inferior to that of my distant cousins in Yorkshire. I suggest that the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) did not lose all the brains he possessed when he left the old land and should not be placed in an inferior position simply because he has come to Canada to reside. There is, then, the need of arranging our affairs in such a way that Canada shall have complete control over her foreign policy.

I should like to ask, in the next place: What should be Canada's policy, from a purely Canadian standpoint, with regard to war? Canada as a nation does not stand in any immediate danger. The United States is our only powerful neighbour, and she, I feel quite sure, will not make any military attack upon us. In fact, those who rely on military force may rest assured that the United States would resist outside aggression upon us, and that for her own sake. Some may feel that we should not be under obligations of this kind. On the other hand, let me ask: Why should we not take advantage of the position in which we find ourselves on this continent? If I live in an area of fireproof buildings, why should I not be happy in enjoying greater immunity from fire hazards?

Those who say that we ought not to be under any obligation to the United States should carry their reasoning to its logical conclusion. The United States has a population of some 120,000,000, and we a population of some 11,000,000. If we are going to be able to "talk up" to the United States, as they sometimes put it on the street, we ought to be prepared to have a national defence program at least as large as that of the United States. Surely that is an absolute absurdity. Why not, on the other hand, recognize that the people of the United States are our friends, and that we may be their friends, and be secure in that happy position?

Lest it should1 be considered that I am stating what is simply a personal position I should like to read to the house a resolution which was adopted last August by the national convention of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation held in the city of Toronto early in August. The following resolution on foreign policy and world peace was adopted:

The imperialist powers have betrayed the principles of the League of Nations and are feverishly preparing for another war. The situation is so serious that it is no longer possible to content ourselves with vague declarations about our devotion to peace. A clear and conscious foreign policy has become of paramount importance.

Government Policy and the People: The

stron&ly condemns the secrecy with which foreign policy has been conducted by .Liberals and Conservatives alike. Under Mr King as under Mr. Bennett, it has been the practice to delay and avoid discussion of what our Department of External Affairs has been doing and of what commitments it may have undertaken. Yet upon these secret decisions may depend the lives of tens of thousands of young Canadians. Such conduct is a denial of all the democratic principles of responsible government. A C.C.F. government will take the Canadian people into its confidence on this as on other matters.

Canada and the empire: At present, Canada has not legally achieved complete control over her foreign policy because she is technically at war when Great Britain is at war. The C.C F therefore favours legislation similar to that recently passed in South Africa, which will remove the legal and constitutional obstacles to independent action by the Canadian parliament and government on all questions of peace and war. Such legislation will make it clear to the world that Canada is free to be neutral m any war, even in one in which the other members of the British Commonwealth are engaged.

Canada and the League of Nations: The C.C.h. reaffirms its belief that the principle causes of war in the modern world are economic competition, the struggle for raw materials and markets, and the class conflicts, which are an essential part of the capitalist system. It is evident that the most socialist countries to-day are the strongest influence for peace, whilst militarism, aggressive nationalism and war propaganda are flourishing amongst the capitalist and fascist powers. The change from capitalism to a socialist economy planned in the interest of the people will be the best protection against war.

It is, however, clear that a properly organized League of Nations can be of great help in organizing world opinion against war and in establishing a system of collective security to prevent aggression. The present league has failed because imperialist governments have used it as a screen behind which to play the old game of power politics. To be effective the league must provide machinery for the peaceful change of treaties; it must deal fearlessly with economic conflicts arising from trade rivalries and from the struggle for raw materials; it must work out in advance a clear policy for

Foreign Policy-Mr. Woodsicorth

collective action against an aggressor; and its members must disarm. The C.C.F. will actively support any policy which aims at such developments in the league. .

Neutrality: Until such reorganization is

achieved, the C.C.F. believes that Canada should remain strictly neutral in case of war regardless of who the belligerents may be. The Canadian government should avoid all commitments in any schemes of imperial defence and should confine its defence policy to local Canadian needs.

An hon. MEMBER; Who wrote that?

Mr. WOODSWORTH; Somebody asks; Who wrote that? I am not quite sure who drafted the resolution, but it was passed at our convention with a very large majority.

Let me come to the second clause in my motion:

That at no time should Canadian citizens be permitted to make profits out of supplying war munitions or materials.

It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, to be utterly despicable to profit by the miseries of others. Canada like most other nations has imposed trade restrictions, which are always a cause of friction. Further, we have allowed certain groups of Canadians to profit out of the troubles of others, and apparently we are proposing to permit this on an even larger scale. Doctor Stephen Leacock is reported recently as having said:

Europe's preparation for \yar, in a cold mean business sense, helps us immensely.

Something more than a recognition that this is a cold, mean, business proposition is necessary if we are to avoid the inevitable consequences of such a policy. I venture to quote a passage from Scripture, which I think still holds good, "Be not deceived, God is not mocked." That nation which permits its citizens to profit out of the miseries and bloodshed of others, is headed for disaster and richly deserves its doom. As I said earlier in my remarks, if we want peace we must be prepared to pay the price of peace.

I come now to the third clause of my motion:

That the Canadian government should make every effort to discover and remove the causes of international friction and social injustice.

As I have done before in this house, I urge a scientific approach to this problem. We have all had more or less of a scientific training, either academic or practical. If your car stalls, you do not say resignedly, God wills it; you do not pray about it; you may curse it, it is true, but you get out and try to find out what is wrong. Before a doctor prescribes he makes what he calls a diagnosis, a careful study of the case in order to discover

the cause of the trouble. Ultimately the medical health officer, it appears to me, will to a large extent replace the individual practitioner. Now war, like disease, does not come simply out of thin air. It is the result of definite, ascertainable causes, and our job is to discover and to remove those causes.

What, then, are the causes of war? In the past there has been the pressure of population; there have been dynastic and religious wars, and so on. I think the cause of modern wars might be classed largely as psychological and economic. Many nations have developed a sort of megalomania, or magnified sense of their own importance, and in consequence we have "Deutchland uber Alles," "Britannia rules the waves," "Japan the child of heaven," and all that kind of thing. We learn to think and speak contemptuously of our rivals or of those whom we call "lesser breeds without the law." As long as we apply opprobrious terms and have this manner of looking at things, we are undoubtedly laying up trouble for ourselves in the future. But I submit that the economic causes of war are more fundamental. Since machine production has been adopted there has been a search for markets and for sources of raw materials. This was followed by an effort to secure fields of investment, which generally meant markets for capital goods. Markets and investments and trade routes had to be protected. The flag followed trade. Thus we see the development of that imperialism which is one of the characteristics of the last fifty years. Modern wars in a very large measure have been occasioned either by the extension of territory or by the defence of empire. According to a recent book issued by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the western powers now control 84-6 per cent of the earth's surface. Japan has recently more than trebled her holdings. Great Britain controls nearly twenty-five per cent of the world's total population. Here, then, we have a situation that undoubtedly is fraught with danger. Let me quote Mr. Harold Butler, director of the International Labour office:

War is not caused wholly or mainly by lust for territory or booty or prestige; it is also caused by low standards of living, by the feeling of economic insecurity, by the desire for moral or social emancipation. The founders of the organization were right when they discerned an indissoluble connection between peace and social justice.

There you have it in a nutshell-we cannot have peace until we have social justice.

As I see the matter, there are two cardinal principles that should underlie Canadian foreign policy. The first is to keep out of war-

Foreign Policy-Mr. Mackenzie King

I think I could almost add "at any cost." The second is that we must seek to remove the causes of war. Let me once more quote Mr. Butler:

No doubt the underlying causes which have brought the world once more face to face with disaster are largely to be found in the deep-seated flaws of the economic structure which were created or intolerably aggravated by the world war.

Future wars cannot be national wars. They will result from the clash of rival imperialisms and antagonistic class interests. In such wars there can be no neutrals, and it will be a fight to a finish. I ask: Is there no other way?

In closing, may I say that I do not accuse the members of this house or any other Canadian of really wanting to bring on war, but I am compelled to think that a great many rely upon armaments as a defence, even when again and again it has been shown that armaments are not effective. We as a people follow those policies that inevitably lead to war and we refuse to try out any policies that might bring peace.

Last Christmas, when peace and good will were literally in the air, or on the air, I listened on the radio to those messages of love which were going out from fathers and mothers to their sons in the far northern country. One could not but be stirred by the tones of the mothers whose voices trembled with emotion. They sent out a few words to their boys in far-off mining camps or in patrols in the Arctic. I felt that that is true Canadianism-not this talk of war, not this preparing to send those boys to Europe, but the conquest of the natural resources of our own country and the building up here of a country that is worth while. Then I listened again and I heard once more, in a round-the-world broadcast, those wonderful old Christmas carols so familial to us all. These were coming to us from the various British dominions, and not only from them but even from Germany and other countries that we are coming to hate or to despise but that, after all, share with us a great cultural heritage.

I am convinced that if we spent one-tenth of the money and effort which we would have to spend in war, in getting together now as groups and nations, to discover the road to peace, we would be able even yet to avoid that greatest of all disasters-another world war.

One other radio message to which I listened on Christmas day was the presentation of that old Christmas story of Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Carol." Some way or another old

31111-16$

Scrooge had discovered through that series of dreams a new way of life. It may seem to us quite inconsistent that a man can give up his money and still be happy. Scrooge learned, when he ceased to be a miser, that there was a great deal more in life than he had imagined. He entered upon a real life. I could not but wish that we had in Canada to-day some Charles Dickens who could do for us in these days, in some measure, what was done a hundred years ago in Great Britain. We need someone to-day to reveal to us what are the true realities and what is the true way to peace; that we can afford to give up instead of holding on, and be none the poorer; that we can afford to regard the stranger as a friend instead of an enemy. And while I do not want to be guilty of making a mere emotional appeal, I say that we stand to-day in a position in the history of our own country and of the world when it is imperative that every thoughtful citizen should consider whether there is not yet some way in which we can avoid a war; and further that if war comes, Canada at least may not be in it.

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING

(Prime Minister): The resolution which my

hon. friend the member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) has just introduced relates to the foreign policy of Canada, and it sets forth certain principles to which my hon. friend asks that the foreign policy of Canada should conform. May I at once say to my hon. friend that I agree with him in stressing the importance of discussion in this house of Canadian foreign policy. I do not think, however, he was quite fair either to himself or to the house when he told us that the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation had denounced both political parties- the old political parties so-called-for not having permitted in this house an early opportunity of discussion of foreign policy. My answer to my hon. friend is that we are now discussing foreign policy within ten days of the opening of parliament, and that at a very early stage of previous sessions, had they wished so to do, precisely the same method as he has adopted to-night was open to my hon. friend and to all other hon. members of the house to bring about a similar discussion of foreign policy. If, in previous sessions, my hon. friend has been disappointed in not having as early a discussion of foreign policy as he might have wished, he has only to thank himself for any delay or omission there may have been in the introduction of an appropriate motion.

Foreign Policy-Mr. Mackenzie King

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES TO APPLY IN RESPECT OF WAR, THE CAUSES OF WAR, AND WAR MUNITIONS OR MATERIALS
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January 25, 1937