January 25, 1937

CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Will my right hon. friend permit me? I believe that even last year the Prime Minister refused to enter into a discussion of foreign policy on the ground that it was not wise to do so at that time.

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

An hon. MEMBER:

He adjourned the

debate.

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

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

If I recall

correctly what took place last session, it was that it was considered advisable to agree upon a day for the discussion of foreign policy; that conditions in Europe at the time rendered it inadvisable to have the discussion early rather than a little later on. The house generally agreed with that view. When the time came, a full day and, I think, more than a day, was allowed for the discussion. .

However, my purpose in speaking^ to-night is not to disagree with my hon. friend any more than I can possibly help but rather to agree with him as much as I can. There is much in the resolution which he has introduced, which, I believe, is in the right direction.

The resolution has three distinct proposals setting forth principles to which Canada's foreign policy should conform. With one of them I am in entire agreement. With another, I agree in part. With the third. I totally disagree. I believe the hon. member would have made his resolution more logical if he had dealt with its third proposal first, and reversed the order in which he discussed the other two. The resolution reads:

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.

I submit that the last of these proposals should have been discussed first. If causes of international friction and social injustices were removed there would be no wars. There would be no occasion to discuss neutrality if there were no war. I agree entirely with my hon. friend when he says that the Canadian government should make every effort to discover and remove the causes of international friction and social injustice. I believe it is true that the governments of Canada, speaking generally, have had that as a primary objective. So far as opportunities have permitted, this country, speaking generally, has

sought, in cooperation with other countries, to do what it could toward removing the causes of international friction. Certainly the present administration has put that objective in the forefront of all its endeavours. There never before was a time when, so far as relations with other countries are concerned, Canada's position was better than it is to-day. The policy of the good neighbour is outstanding, I believe, in the relations between the United States and Canada. So far as other countries are concerned, we have sought in every way possible to show them that it is our desire not only to trade with them, but to have the friendliest relations in all directions, and to cooperate with them as much as possible in removing their grievances as well as our own. My hon. friend will not say that the world must look to Canada alone to remove social injustice or the causes of international friction. That is work which of necessity requires cooperative effort. I believe that this country, in conjunction with the great country to the south, in the constitution of the International Joint Commission, to which are referred questions capable of creating differences between the two countries, has set the world the finest example it enjoys in the way of dealing with possible international differences. By the establishment of legations in the United States, in Japan, and in France, we have endeavoured to show our desire to conduct our relations with these nations, our nearest neighbours, in a way which would help to promote good will as between them and us.

Speaking of concrete policies, we hold very strongly, and I believe my hon. friend does also, that certain economic policies may be the cause of international friction; that, for example, high tariff barriers, which destroy trade between countries, help to create a condition of economic nationalism which is at the root of much of the unrest from which the world is suffering to-day. From the time the present administration came into office, we have done our best to remove some of these causes, and to make clear that our policies were in the direction of removing them as generally as we possibly could. 1 cannot recall any instances where we have imposed barriers to trade. I can mention innumerable instances in which we have removed barriers and. to that extent, created a more friendly and favourable relation between other countries and ourselves.

May I refer to two outstanding causes of friction between other nations and Canada which we found when we came into office. We had left office in 1930 with a prosperous trade

Foreign Policy-Mr. Mackenzie King

between Japan and Canada, and with the best of relations existing between the two countries. When we came back into office in 1935, a trade war was being waged between Japan and Canada. Owing to disputes over the interpretation of statutes and restrictions imposed in various ways, there had come about a cessation of trade between the two countries. This trade war might have led to bitter enmity between the two countries had it been allowed to continue indefinitely. We set about immediately to remove the causes of friction. We succeeded in removing them, and from that day to this the relations between Japan and Canada have improved economically and in other ways to the mutual benefit of the two countries.

Under the previous administration Canada had placed an embargo on certain of the products of another great country, as a result of which an embargo had been placed on products going to that country from Canada. In less than a year from the time the present government came into office, we were successful in arranging for the lifting of the embargoes which had served to destroy trade between Russia and Canada. When I attended the League of Nations last fall, I had occasion to speak on the relations of Canada with other countries of the world. Fortunately I was able to say that, so far as Canada was concerned, there was not a single country in the world toward which we were exercising discrimination in the matter of our trade; that we were ready and willing to trade with any country which was prepared to trade with us. But had it not been for the removal of the embargoes which were in force when we assumed office, I should have had to make an exception to that statement, an exception which it would have been most unfortunate for me to have to make at that particular time and in that particular place. These are but instances of the general policy of the government, a part of its foreign policy based upon a determined effort to remove causes of friction wherever they may exist between other nations and ourselves.

I believe that another way in which that objective can be furthered and is being furthered by Canada, and has been furthered by all governments that have held office in Canada, is through a policy of non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries. We have become so used to boasting of our right to govern ourselves, and of our complete autonomy in all matters of government, that it is very natural for us to adopt toward other countries the attitude that their matters of domestic concern should not be made the

subject of direction on the part of other countries. That is a very important position to maintain to-day having regard to the turn of events in many countries. As the house well knows, some nations have changed their form of government and system of social organization. There are political philosophies and economic doctrines held by some nations, to which other nations strongly object. I am certain that any effort on the part of one country to dictate to other countries what their political or social systems shall be. cannot, in the long run, do anything other than make for trouble and friction. Canada has been careful not to interfere in any way with the domestic affairs of any other country. I might go on to mention numerous other instances where we have sought to avoid and to remove the causes of friction, but perhaps I have given enough to make clear what the objective of the ministry is in that particular. I cannot, on the other hand, think of any case in which the present government has created friction with other nations. That, after all, is perhaps the strongest indication of what we are seeking to do in our relations with other countries and of the success of our foreign policy.

I listened with interest to what my hon. friend said in the concluding part of his remarks about trying to improve conditions generally; his suggestion was that instead of spending money on armaments and munitions, it should be spent on social well-being and human betterment. As my hon. friend spoke, there came to my mind those lines which Longfellow wrote many years ago on the Arsenal at Springfield. As nearly as I recall them at the moment, they ran something like this:

Were half the power that fills the world with terror,

Were half the wealth bestowed on camps and courts,

Given to redeem the human mind from error, There were no need of arsenals or forts:

The warrior s name would be a name abhorred!

And every nation that should lift again

Its hand against a brother, on its forehead Would wear for evermore the curse of Cain!

These words were written some years ago. They were true then. They were equally true nearly two thousand years ago. The great principles which underlie them were enunciated by the founder of Christendom almost two thousand years ago.

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

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Never practised,

though.

246 COMMONS

Foreign Policy-Mr. Mackenzie King

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

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

No, that is the unfortunate part, and it is because they are not practised that we find it necessary to do some things which otherwise it would not be necessary for us to do.

My hon. friend, speaking about social conditions, referred in the earlier part of his argument to conditions in cities. He said that we would not have any need of fire engines and like apparatus or of firemen if our houses were all properly built, and if we did not have jerry-ibuilt houses. Well that is not quite true. Let us assume for the moment that we have a city with properly constructed buildings. My hon. friend has not made allowance for one thing, the thing of which we have been speaking, namely the possibility of someone whose mind is not free from error being guilty of arson, setting fire to a building, and the certainty of the fire spreading to all parts of the city unless there are firemen and fire engines and other forms of protection. That is pretty much the position the world, is in to-day. There are many men and women in all countries who are just as anxious as my hon. friend not to have their sons sent to war, not to have their homes bombed, not to have their families smothered with gas. But they are trembling to-day lest those very things may come to pass. That' fear is not confined to any one country; it exists more or less in every country of the world. We are fortunate in having reason to feel that we are least likely to suffer in this way. The possibility of these conditions exists because the human heart is not free from error, because the principles of Christianity, which I believe my hon. friend shares as strongly as I do, have not been practised, and men throughout the world still lack that regard for their neighbours which they ought to have, and are not prepared to extend to their fellow mem the understanding, the sympathy and the love which they should extend. That is what makes it necessary for those who desire to follow the law of peace and health and work to place themselves also in a position where they may be able to resist those forces which make for destruction and death.

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

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Are we to wait until the others practise all these virtues first before we try to put them into effect?

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

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I do not know that I quite get the force of my hon. friend's remark. Unhappily the angels of light or of darkness do not preside exclusively over any particular country, over any particular race or any particular class; they contend for

[Mr Woodsworfch.l

supremacy in the breast of every individual. In some breasts the angels of darkness triumph, and in others the angels of light. As long as they continue to carry on their conflict in individual lives, so long will those who are seeking the good of their fellows have to be prepared. Whether they like it or not, to protect themselves and others against the possible injury which may be wrought where the wrong forces obtain the ascendancy.

To explain the causes of the world's unrest to-day, one would have to soar into the realm of metaphysics and discuss the fundamental problem of good and evil. There can be no denying the fact that forces of evil are present in the world, fighting against the forces of good. As long as there is this conflict, those who wish to see the good triumph must take every possible means to prevent evil from gaining control.

My hon. friend referred to the estimates. He stated some were claiming they were evidence of preparation for another European war. The hon. member asked: Are these estimates for that purpose? Are they for the defence of Canada, or what are they for? I am not going to anticipate what the Minister of Defence (Mr. Mackenzie) may have to say when the estimates of his department are before this house for discussion. But I do wish to say at once that, as far as the estimates presented to parliament at this session are concerned, any increase placed there has been only and solely because of what the government believe to be necessary for the defence of Canada, and for Canada alone. The estimates have not been framed with any thought of participation in European wars. They have not been framed as a result of any combined effort or consultation with the British authorities, beyond what would obviously be in the interests of all in the matter of gaining the benefit of expert opinion where expert opinion was obviously desirable. So far as policy is concerned, I wish to make it perfectly clear that no request of any kind has come from the British government to our government with respect to a single item that appears in the estimates as they have been brought down. Whatever is there is there as .a result of what this government feel is necessary in Canada to-day, Canada being part of the world as the world is to-day.

My hon. friend has referred to the United States and the detached position of that nation, and the determination of the United States not to become entangled in European or Asiatic affairs. What he said in that

Foreign Policy-Mr. Mackenzie King

regard is perfectly true. But it must be obvious that at no previous time has the United States found it necessary to spend the amount of money it is spending to-day on purposes of defence. May I repeat that whatever has been done or is being proposed with respect to necessary increases and expenditure to bring Canada's defence to a more efficient standard than at present has been done with consideration for the needs of Canada and of Canada alone. _

I come now to the second clause in my hon. friend's resolution-

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

-Here I find myself pretty much in accord with what I think my hon. friend has in mind. I share the hon. member's abhorrence of anything in the nature of profiteering. I cannot imagine a more contemptible means of seeking to make one's fortune than by doing so at the expense of the lives of others. But that is not the purport of the resolution. The resolution states that at no time should Canadian citizens be permitted to make profits out of supplying war munitions or materials. "No time" goes pretty far. That is where my hon. friend, perhaps more often than anyone else, errs in the drafting of his resolutions. He goes to too great an extreme. When he says "at no time," he simply renders it impossible to have an exception made regardless of what conditions may be.

Let us assume that there .were a war; that this country unhappily were in the war, and that we had to secure munitions. Does my hon. friend say that we should not allow any Canadian citizen to make profits out of supplying war munitions or materials? If he does, then all the munitions and the equipment necessary for war would have to be made under nationalized industry. Perhaps the nationalization of the entire munitions industry may be what he has in mind.

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

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I should be very glad to have it nationalized, but that is not contained in my resolution. The resolution states that no profits should be made out of it. We would not have had our great war debt to-day if there had been no profits made out of the last war.

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

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

If there are to be no profits, I cannot think of any way in which industry can be carried on other than by its complete nationalization. If my hon. friend can tell me of another way, I shall be glad to learn of it. Of one thing I am perfectly sure; no manufacturer of munitions

will engage in that business for the sake ol charity. The choice lies between state monopoly and private industry, or partly the one and partly the other. Some years ago the League of Nations recognized that there was great danger in permitting private industry to engage too largely in the manufacture of munitions. I think the league was right in that. I think private industry, where it is engaged in the manufacture of munitions and war materials, has to be watched closely, for the very reason mentioned by my hon. friend, namely to see that excessive profits are not made.

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

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Did not the private soldier have to risk his life for $1.10 a day?

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

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Yes, but that does not affect the point. I am speaking now of how munitions are to be produced without profit, which is what my hon. friend says should be made a part of our foreign policy. At "no time" may mean a period when the country actually may be at war, or it may be a time when the country is not at war. Let us take conditions as they are at present. At the present time, in order to be prepared in the matter of defence, we must have a supply of small arms and of munitions of different kinds. Does my hon. friend say that it should all be manufactured under state ownership and control, which would eliminate the possibility of profits altogether? Unless he goes that far, he must concede that the only other way in which these materials can be supplied, if they are to be obtained in Canada, is through private industry. I agree with my hon. friend that we should seek most carefully to control private industry, but I cannot see how, in a system of competitive industry, you can totally eliminate the possibility of some profit being made.

Guns and shot and powder are not the only materials required for war. They are not the only materials that present a temptation in the matter of profits when war occurs. I think my hon. friend was in this house when we saw at the time of the last war what had happened with respect to the sale of horses and binoculars. Grain and foodstuffs of different kinds become in the nature of war supplies.

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

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Wheat and beef and pork and cheese and potatoes.

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

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Yes, and all the rest of the necessary supplies.

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

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

You might throw in nickel for good measure.

248 COMMONS

Foreign Policy-Mr. Mackenzie King

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

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

And boots and shoes and clothing. Are all these things to be procured only under a government owned and controlled system which will not permit of profits being made? All that could result from a policy of that sort, if it were possible, would be the creation of a non-profit socialist island inside a competitive economy. But I doubt very much if we could get that far in Canada in a great many years, and, even if we did, whether it would be a good thing for the country. Even if we succeeded in bringing about the nationalization of industry to the extent that all war materials could be manufactured without profit, I am afraid that for a long time to come we would not recover what in the interval we had lost in the way of individual initiative and freedom.

As no doubt hon. members know, this question has recently been the subject of very careful study in the old country by a royal commission on the private manufacture of and trading in arms. The commission has just presented its report. As yet the report has not been either accepted or rejected. If I am not wrongly informed, however, members of all political parties served on the commission, the finding of which with respect to this matter is of interest. That finding is as follows:

The establishment of a universal system of state monopoly of the manufacture of arms is likely to be impracticable, and in present conditions the promotion of general state monopoly should not be a part of the policy of this country.

The abolition of the private industry inthe United Kingdom and the substitution for it of a system of state monopoly may bepracticable; but it is undesirable. No sufficient case has in our opinion been made out fortaking so drastic a step. We believe that the

reasons for maintaining the private industry outweigh those for its abolition.

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

Abraham Albert Heaps

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

Mr. HEAPS:

May I ask the right hon. gentleman if that report was unanimous?

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

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

My impression is that it was.

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

Abraham Albert Heaps

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

Mr. HEAPS:

I have a different impression.

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

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

There may be some reservations here and there, but my impression is that with regard to the clause I have just read, there was complete agreement. The signatures of all the members named on the commission are subscribed at the conclusion of the report. However, I do not wish to argue that point. What I do say is that I believe any similar inquiry in Canada would bring about similar conclusions. Government manufacture may be desirable in regard to certain kinds of essential supplies which

[Mr. Woodsworth.J

we require continuously. As hon. members of the house know, there is a great variety of special articles required as war supplies and equipment. It would be going much too far not to expect these to be obtained, at least in part, from private concerns which would expect to make some profit. Where, however, private industry is permitted to undertake the manufacture of munitions and war supplies, I believe there should be very strict government supervision. All contracts should contain provisions which will ensure that there will be no opportunity for other than a reasonable profit. I may tell my hon. friend that this whole matter has been given very careful consideration by the government. So far as any contracts with which we may have anything to do are concerned, every effort will be made to prevent anything in the nature of undue profits being secured by those who obtain the contracts.

Let me cdme to the first, and as far as I am concerned the last of the three clauses of the resolution. It reads:

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.

The first objection which I have to that clause is that it binds the hands of parliament entirely. After all, we who sit in this House of Commons have been sent here as representatives of the people of Canada. They have placed their trust in us. They expect us. particularly with regard to matters of peace and war more than anything else, to exercise the wisest judgment it is possible for human beings to exercise. If my hon. friend's resolution were to carry, the hands of this parliament would be immediately tied with respect to the attitude of Canada in regard to war, regardless of what the circumstances of the war might be or of who the parties concerned might be. This is something I could not accept for a moment. Parliament must be free to decide its attitude in the light of the circumstances as they may exist at the time. Parliament acting for the people is the supreme authority in the state with respect to all matters, and certainly with respect to what is most vital to the nation, namely, the question of whether or not it shall be involved in war. The policy of the present administration is that, in deciding matters of this kind, as the representatives of the people parliament shall be the voice of the nation; parliament shall decide.

Foreign Policy-Mr. Mackenzie King

My hon. friend says that, having regard to existing international relations, Canada should remain strictly neutral regardless of who the belligerents may be. In other words, it does not matter in the least to my hon. friend what the circumstances of a great world conflict may be. It does not matter who is responsible for the conflict. It does not matter what the issue may be. It does not matter what other countries are involved, or what their attitude may be. It does not matter what danger there may be to Canada or the extent to which Canada's interests may be involved. It does not matter what other considerations may be involved. We are to declare now that, under all circumstances, this country will remain neutral. I do not believe that any member of this house except my hon. friend-and I doubt very much whether he actually would-would sanction this parliament tying its hands to that extent.

The question of Canada's participation in a war has been discussed many times in this parliament. Neutrality is just another aspect of the same question. Participation in war is the positive aspect, if I may put it in that way, and the question of neutrality is the negative aspect. Over and over again we have laid down the principle that so far as participation by Canada in war is concerned, it will be for our parliament to decide. Having taken that attitude with respect to participation, I think we might well take a similar attitude with respect to neutrality. It will be for this parliament to say in any given situation whether or not Canada shall remain neutral. At any rate that is the position which the present administration proposes to take.

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

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

In order that the

house may be perfectly clear on that matter, may I ask this question: Suppose a crisis should arise where it would not be convenient to call parliament within a few days-it might take a week or two-am I to understand that the government would take no action committing the country to war until parliament had been called?

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

January 25, 1937