February 4, 1937

LIB

Frederick Donald MacKenzie

Liberal

Mr. F. D. MacKENZIE (Neepawa):

Mr. Speaker, as very often happens when a question is before this house, after several members have taken part in the debate there is

very little to be said. It is not my intention to try to bring anything new into the discussion, but rather to emphasize and stress an idea already put forward.

In my opinion the first and third parts of the resolution have received more consideration than they deserve. The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) I think disposed of these completely. The second part of the resolution contains the germ of an idea which has some merit of a very practical kind. However, the wording of the resolution is too all-embracing, so much so that it defeats its own purpose. I think the

resolution should read something like this:

That, in the opinion of this house, legislation should be placed on the statute books of Canada ensuring that on the outbreak of war, in which Canada was engaged, Canadian citizens should not profiteer at the expense of their country.

Perhaps it could read something like this:

That legislation should be enacted committing the country to the principle that should Canada ever be called upon to fight, either in defence of her frontiers or for other reasons, all the resources of the country such as men, money and material should be mobilized in a national scheme.

It could be put shortly as follows:

If and when Canada goes to war, all the country's resources shall be nationalized.

In my opinion a resolution in the terms of the last one I have read would merit support.

When we returned to Canada from the last war there was a general feeling among the boys whom I knew that the conscription of wealth and labour, as well as of men for fighting, should be the basis of any arrangement for Canada entering another war. This opinion has become more general; as time has gone on I have found that more people support it. It is supported also by editorials in the press. From my own observations I have come to believe that the view is now very widely held that if Canada is forced into another war or undertakes another war, there must be a conscription of men and money.

This opinion is being expressed not only on the streets, in the clubs, and in the editorial columns of our newspapers, but by organizations of various kinds. Resolutions in support of this principle have been passed by organizations of province-wide strength. I hold in my hand a copy of a resolution passed by such an organization. I refer to the United Farmers of Manitoba, an organization which has always stood for sane, progressive and forward policies and which has

Foreign Policy-Mr. MacKenzie (Neepawa)

always shown a careful, intelligent and conscientious leadership. This is no wild, irresponsible group of radical agriculturists; it is a body made up of men possessing keen minds and sound judgment. And generally speaking they are all peace loving men. On November 27, 28 and 29 a provincial conference of this organization was held at Neepawa. I should like to quote briefly from a resolution adopted at that meeting dealing with this very matter. The debate thereon was very interesting and in my opinion compared quite favourably with the debate we have just, listened to on this resolution. I listened to men whose voices in years past had been heard and heard with effect right here in this chamber. Two findings of more than ordinary importance were agreed upon and embodied in a resolution. Right here may I say that the government might very well note the support in this resolution for their defence program, an implied support offered prior to the announced government program and anticipating some such program of defence. May I quote briefly:

Whereas under the changed conditions as regards world peace, many people expect the Canadian government to enter upon a new and extended defence program, and

Whereas, in our opinion, one of the vital elements in any defence policy should be the maintenance and extension of the spirit of peace,

Therefore, be it resolved that we urge upon the government that if any defence budget is adopted, a reasonable and definite proportion of the total sum be devoted to promoting the peace spirit among our people and to giving the peoples of the world to know that in the hearts of our people there is a deep, intense and universal desire to live at peace with them all.

The resolution goes on to show how this plan might be put into operation, but I shall not take up the time of the house with the details. It continues:

That in the undertaking of any preparations for the possible contingency of war (1) the government take steps to commit the nation to the principle that immediately upon the declaration of war, financial control of all industry shall be assumed by the government so that profiteering of every kind, out of war conditions and services, shall be rendered impossible and that all wealth shall be conserved and applied to the national purpose of maintenance of the population and the realization of the nation's war objective.

I commend this next clause to the attention of the Minister of National Defence. It reads:

That the working out of plans for such mobilization of economic resources be made a part of any defence policy upon which the nation may enter.

I think hon. members will agree with me that the resolution I have quoted needs little elucidation. When one reads it carefully and follows out all its implications, can there be any doubt that here is possibly the greatest assurance of peace obtainable anywhere? It may be nationalization, yes, but only after a declaration of war and only after the ground .has been prepared well ahead of time. There will have to be nationalization in some form or other should Canada enter another war. If legislation to this effect is placed upon our statute books so that all may know that the next war will not mean fat profits, that it will mean nationalization, the mobilization of all the men and resources for the country's fight, I ask you if we are likely to have another war in which Canada is concerned.

When we refer to the munitions maker I think we have in mind anyone who makes a profit out of war. Will the munitions maker want war when he knows that this plan has been put in effect? Will he want war when he knows that the government in case of war will immediately step in and take over control of all the production of the state? Think of this in all its implications. I want to leave this question with you.

How practicable is this resolution? Having seen something of war operations in more than one theatre, I know the tremendous problem of organization involved. The problem would not be increased, but rather would be lessened by preparation ahead of time. I realize that there are difficulties in the way of obtaining goods and services when the profit motive is removed; it might be said that we would be crippling our own cause as other nations would not do likewise, but I answer that by saying: If you have considered all the implications of the scheme and their consequences you will see, as I see, that this applies only after we are at war-at war under a national scheme-and if there is a firing squad for cowardice, for slacking or other mistakes on the fighting front, there would no doubt, under a scheme of nationalization, be the same arrangement for slackers on the home front, just as there is in Russia to-diay.

I think the people should thin!' of these things and be prepared for what is ahead if Canada enters another war. For myself I cannot conceive of the country ever entering another war on the free and easy basis on which we did the last. And when hon. members object to this scheme because it means nationalization in war, and would lead to a possible continuation of the same type of government after war, I would answer, quite

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Foreign Policy-Mr. Marshall

true; but what hope of a democratic form of government, what hope of anything but dictatorship or anarchy, or what hope of any kind would follow another world war?

I cannot, Mr. Speaker, support the resolution as it stands on the order paper.

Topic:   FOREIGN EOLICY
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SC

James Alexander Marshall

Social Credit

Mr. J. A. MARSHALL (Camrose):

I had not intended, Mr. Speaker, to take part in this debate, for one reason. At the first session of the present parliament there was introduced for discussion by the hon. member for Weyburn (Mr. Douglas), a resolution which in many respects is similar to the one we are now discussing. For example, it stated "that, unless and until, there is a sincere acceptance and application of 'the above"

referring to certain principles therein stated-"by the member-nations of the league, Canada will refuse to participate in any foreign war no matter who the belligerents may be." On that occasion I spoke briefly to the resolution and outlined the studied opinion of the social credit group on war. This year the resolution which is sponsored by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) goes further, in my opinion; it has been broadened- to include such matters as war profiteering and government plans to remove causes of war. I should, however, like to read from what the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre said last year in the debate on the resolution of the hon. member for Weyburn, to which I have already referredi. It is found at page 675 of Hansard, and is as follows:

We come to the policies of our country, and as yet, unfortunately in my judgment, this country, like a good many other countries is still relying more or less upon armaments as a last resort. I suggest that an isolationist position cannot be successfully maintained in the world to-day. Things may come to such a pass, if we are about to be dragged into a war and there may be no other policy open to us. We may be forced to adopt an isolationist policy and refuse to be dragged in. But it should be remembered that to-day the world is becoming more or less integrated industrially, financially and socially. We cannot stay out by ourselves. As long as we are in the world neighbourhood we have to deal with the people whom we meet in that neighbourhood. So we ought to recognize that the League of Nations, in so far as it is an association of nations seeking to promote peace, ought to be supported.

In my opinion this does not conform strictly to the first section of the present resolution. It is quite possible that I have missed the purport of the hon. member's remarks on that occasion, or indeed may have misconstrued them; if I have, I know he will put me right and I shall be glad to have him do so.

Some days ago the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) outlined definitely and concisely the Liberal viewpoint of the world situation as it now presents itself to us and as it affects Canada. I think I am safe in saying that it was not an imperialistic viewpoint. He was followed by one of the younger members of the Conservative party, who spoke definitely in favour of imperialism, and I think he was speaking on behalf of the whole of his party. The leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation group placed upon Hansard the complete manifesto of his party upon the subject. To me has been given the task of outlining what we of the Social Credit party sincerely believe are the causes of war and how such a calamity can not only be avoided but forever wiped out. Before doing this, however, I should like to make one or two general remarks.

The thing which concerns me most at the moment is not whether I am an isolationist or an imperialist, but what we should do now, when every nation is rearming feverishly. I must confess that I lean towards Canada taking some action now, although my whole being cries out against rearmament. I sometimes say to myself when thinking of the situation: What would you do, if you were leader in this Dominion of Canada, should the United States and Japan make up their minds some morning to shoot it out on the Pacific, or if one of these nations established or attempted to establish a base somewhere in Canada from which to carry on its operations? It is imperative that we face the facts now and make a decision on this difficult position.

In this resolution we are asked to lend our support to the taking of profits out of war. As the Prime Minister has said, if we eliminate profits from guns and ammunition and tanks we must also eliminate profits from horses and cattle, grain and foodstuffs. That would mean the socialization of industry, and I am afraid I cannot go that far. However, I will say this. I will support whole-heartedly any movement or any organization which pledges itself to smash munition rings and the international financiers who stand behind those rings.

Then we come to the last section. The Prime Minister said it should have come first. I agree with him entirely, but I would go further and say it should come first, last and all the time. We call the fire engine to put out a fire, but when the danger is over we plan how to prevent fires in the future. The League of Nations did the best it could, but we must see to it that a new league shall try out new schemes and new plans. If we

Foreign Policy-Mr. Lapointe (Quebec East)

persist in following the old ideas of bygone days we shall always have trouble. We must develop the courage to try new methods even though we may be prejudiced against them.

High tariffs and economic nationalism have been advanced as reasons for international friction. I do not agree. Tariffs are simply herrings drawn across the trail to deceive; and as for economic nationalism, I cannot see what is wrong with any nation aiming to develop itself internally to such a degree that its citizens may have all the food they want, all the clothes they want to wear and the finest homes they can possibly build to live in. That is what my understanding of economic nationalism is, and until a better definition of the term is forthcoming that definition is good enough for me. I believe I can bring many eminent authorities to substantiate the statement that commercial and industrial rivalry are entirely responsible for the jealousy and hatred amongst nations to-day.

It is surprising that on many occasions I find myself heartily in accord with the Prime Minister, but there is the odd occasion when we part company. Speaking the other day he said that if ever war should have to be declared parliament would decide. Well, Mr. Speaker, as a member of this house I certainly do not crave or yearn for the responsibility; in fact I am not so sure that is the right course to adopt. Most of us at present sitting in this House of Commons and in the Senate as well have reached the stage in life when it would be exceedingly difficult for us to man a machine gun, to take up a bomber laden with deadly disease or gas bombs, or perhaps to take our turn in a trench or in a dugout. Yet in our hands lies the power to send some other mother's son to do the job for us. We have not yet by any means paid for the last war; we have not given economic security to those to whom such security was promised. We are at our wit's end to know what to do with the returned soldier problem. The Minister of Pensions is doing his very best, but the new problems that are constantly confronting him are in my judgment almost insurmountable. He, of all ministers in the cabinet, is deserving of much sympathy. Those who would have to suffer, and if need be die; those who have to bear the terrible burden and the costs of another war, should surely have something to say as to whether war should or should not be declared. In my judgment we should refer the matter to the people for their decision by means of a referendum. It can be done; it simply must be done.

And now may I read the statement which I mentioned a few moments ago as outlining the policy of the Social Credit party:

Because we recognize that war is one of the inevitable consequences of the present monetary system brought about to a very large degree by the struggle for markets to establish favourable trade balances, and because we realize that until tile nations of the world are prepared to depart from traditional monetary methods and substitute a money system based upon the productive capacity of the nations, we believe there can be little hope for lasting peace. We also believe that the greatest success in eliminating war may be achieved by the proper adjustment of consumption in relation to production and this, we believe, can most readily be brought about by the adoption of the basic principles of Social Credit.

We believe that the nations of the world must be prepared to bring into operation systems based upon human values rather than material values so as to satisfy the requirements of their people to the full capacity of industry to produce and deliver goods and services.

Having these objects in view we, therefore, propose to strive for their attainment which we believe will bring about among the nations:

(1) The reduction of armaments;

(2) The reduction of armies and navies;

(3) The training of youth in other than warlike channels;

(4) The discouragement of all activities having war-like tendencies;

(5) The elimination of artificial trade barriers.

You may disagree entirely with our viewpoint; that is only to be expected. Nevertheless, I assure you, Mr. Speaker, that we are sincere when we say that only by these methods will war and its hellish horrors ever be obliterated.

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Justice); Mr. Speaker, the resolution introduced by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) is indeed a very important one, and although it is impossible for me to support it I am pleased to say that it serves a good purpose in bringing to the attention of the country conditions as they are in the world to-day.

My hon. friend has painted a picture of war which certainly is not overdrawn; he could have said a good deal more about it. Another world war under present conditions would result necessarily in a cataclysm which might be the end of civilization. Many thinkers believe that another world war would bring about revolution, and that is one of the chief reasons why the leaders of the world, in spite of difficulties they have to meet, are I think opposed to war and will try to avoid it. It is all very well to speak of neutrality, but scientific developments have bound all the nations of the world together in such a way that the fate of every one

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Foreign Policy-Mr. Lapointe (Quebec East)

of them depends largely on the fate of the others. That is why it is essential that they should unite in order to prevent war and the consequences which would necessarily follow.

The best way to avoid our being involved in a war is to do our utmost to prevent it. The best way not to be involved in a war is to take steps to ensure that there shall be no war. And the statesmen of the world, to whatever country they belong, who may be in any way responsible for the prevention of the catastrophe of war will deserve well not only of their own fellow countrymen but of the citizens of other countries, even if they make mistakes in other policies. I do not yield to my hon. friend in my hatred of war.

I hate war in every fibre of my being. I will do anything to try to prevent Canada being involved in a war. But peace is twosided. As a world statesman, the present premier of France, Leon Blum, said recently, peace must be general because war would be general. _

The main fault I find with the resolution of my hon. friend is that it is not at all constructive; indeed, to my mind it is destructive. Has my hon. friend realized that if his resolution were adopted by this parliament. Canada would be out of the League of Nations? My hon. friend and some of those who agree with him profess loyalty to the league, at least they give it lip service. But if this resolution were carried we should advertise to the world that we would not do anything in regard to observance of the pledges which this country has given to_ the sister members of the League of Nations. To article X, to article XVI of the covenant of the league, we are pledged. It is true that parliament would decide to what extent we should help a fellow member of the league if attacked by an aggressor. But reserving the right to judge as to the extent of our participation in the defence of that member is not neutrality, nor does it mean that in economic or diplomatic matters we would not side with the victim of the aggression rather than with the aggressor.

Topic:   FOREIGN EOLICY
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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

May I asik-

Topic:   FOREIGN EOLICY
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

I would crave my hon. friend's indulgence to allow me to proceed without interruption.

There is no doubt that this resolution if carried would mean the withdrawal of Canada from the League of Nations. Thus we should be left with no connection with any organization through which we could work with the other nations of the world for the establishment of international peace. Yet my hon. friend says he is in favour of the League of Nations. They all say that. But

in what way would he support the League of Nations? I agree that the League of Nations is not as effective as I would like it to be, not as effective as it was meant to be. But I will not admit that it has failed, as many hon. members including, I think, the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett), have said. Some nations have failed the league; my hon. friend is failing the league in introducing this resolution. But the League of Nations has not failed. When the league was created after the war there was behind it a strong wave of public sentiment. It answered a psychological need, a state of mind that existed everywhere after the war. The people of the world were eager for peace; they were craving peace; they had a passionate desire for peace. It is a state of mind which perhaps does not exist to-day, but this sentimental and mystic feeling still prevails. There is need that a prophet should arise somewhere to rekindle the flame. But the league is not dead.

I say more than that. If there were another war, from that terrible cataclysm the League of Nations would arise again and' be revivified. It would emerge with some changes, perhaps; but surely the movement towards international order in the civilized world will not stop; it will go on. The only question is whether new blood may be necessary in order that the league may be more solidly entrenched in the world. After all, the League of Nations is only twenty years old, and it has to fight a condition that has existed for thousands of years. It has to replace with brotherly love and friendship the ferocious attitude which exists in many quarters of the world. This is a difficult work, but everyone should assist in it instead of trying to find reasons for criticism and blaming the league for not having done more than it has been able to do. And who can say that the league has not prevented wars? Conditions have been terribly difficult during the few years which have elapsed since the end of the war. War has loomed up many times, and the league has been successful in doing something. If it has not been successful in some instances, particularly in two glaring ones, does this fact take away every credit the league may have in regard to other instances with which my hon. friend is well acquainted? In that respect may I quote the words of the' present Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, uttered only a few weeks ago. This is wihat Mr. Yvon Delbos said:

Doubtless, also, some who pretent to be realists set up the concept of peace imposed by the single law of force against the ideal of peace through justice, the failure of which they proclaim. But are not they themselves

Foreign Policy-Mr. Lapointe (Quebec East)

the creators of the impotence which they denounce? In fact, the family of nations is weak only so far as they weaken it. Moreover, it is less feeble than they claim and than they desire. As for _ the concept which they set up against it, this has been tried out only too thoroughly. All history proves to us that the reign of force has never resulted in anything but bloody conflicts. And how can one claim that war is avoided by multiplying the sinews of war and the temptations to recur to it while refusing procedures which tend to avoid it; that the security of the weak is guaranteed by placing no restraint on abuses by the strong; that harmony among the peoples is to be accomplished by preventing them from organizing; that a champion of order is one who does not admit any international law? Such an attitude bears its own condemnation. But the risks of war which it creates and the obstacles which it opposes to peace-loving nations unfortunately retard the necessary organization.

That is no reason to renounce the ideal. On the contrary', redoubled efforts are necessary.

I associate myself with those words, and I commend them to the consideration of hon. members.

Oceosionally there is some talk of the cost of the League of Nations. Well, Mr. Speaker, the whole cost of the League of Nations, the world court and the international labour office amounts to $9,500,000, which is less than the cost of a single first-class cruiser such as those which are being constructed by many at the present time.

I am not like my hon. friend,, who believes in having force behind the League of Nations. I do not think war should be avoided by means of war.

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

Mr. MOODS WORTH@

I ask the minister not to put into my mouth what I did not say.

Topic:   FOREIGN EOLICY
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

I do not want to put anything into my hon. friend's mouth; there is plenty in it already. I was of opinion that my hon. friend had most openly expressed himself in the way I described, but I accept his statement. I say I am opposed to force being exercised by the League of Nations, but I believe we should help the victim against the aggressor, economically, diplomatically or otherwise. I refuse to agree that we should treat the gangster, international or otherwise, just as we treat his victim, the one who is struck by him.

The weakness of the league, if weakness exists, is due to the anarchy which prevails in the world at the present time much more than to any defect in the structure of the league. Of course the extremists, whether they are militarists or pacifists, speak against the league; all those on the extreme side

usually denounce the league. But that is the very reason why we who claim to be moderate should support it as strongly as we can.

There are contradictions in my hon. friend's position, as I think he will admit. For instance. he says he is not an isolationist. How does he reconcile that statement with the terms of his resolution? If this motion is adopted, we go out entirely from the concert of nations, and mind you, Mr. Speaker, it is not only to the League of Nations that we as a country have given pledges. When we signed the Pact of Paris we pledged ourselves to consider as a criminal any nation which would try to effect the settlement of an international conflict by means of war or which would accept war as a national policy in solving disputes. In that Pact of Paris which we signed, and which was accepted here unanimously, we declared that any nation taking that position would be an enemy of Canada. That is what is really stated in the Pact of Paris, but my hon, friend brushes that aside together with the pact of the League of Nations.

he seriously considered what a declaration of absolute neutrality, as embodied in his resolution, would mean? Has he considered that, according to all constitutional writers, this would mean the secession of Canada from the commonwealth of nations? I do not think my hon. friend wants to go that far. There is all the difference in the world between neutrality, and participation or non-participation, which we shall be always free to declare, in the event of any war. The parliament of Canada will be always free to say whether or not we shall participate in any war. But neutrality is quite different. In the constitutional position of Canada to-day neutrality would mean that an enemy of our king could be a friend of Canada; that we could trade with him during a war in which the king might be engaged; that to nations with which the king might be at war we could send ordinary material, anything that a neutral nation could sell to countries actively engaged in war.

This question as to the right of the dominions to be strictly neutral is one of the questions yet to be solved;, and it will not be solved in the way suggested by my hon. friend. My hon. friend referred to South Africa and said that Canada should' do as South Africa has done in that regard. I have before me the debates of the South African parliament for 1934 when the constitutional

548 COMMONS

Foreign Policy-Mr. Lapointe (Quebec East)

act of that country was discussed. At page 1939 I find these words, which were uttered by the Minister of the Interior, who was in charge of the bill:

If South Africa has not got the right of neutrality it can still do three things. It can decide to participate actively in the war. Or it can still be passively belligerent. And the third thing that may happen, it may want to go further, or it is possible that the hostile power may not be content with its passivity, and then South Africa, as the master of its own destiny, can, in the last resort, exercise its power of secession. I am not talking about the right of secession, but it can break away and thus assume that right of neutrality. We say, then, that whatever line we follow, whether we have the right of neutrality or not we find ourselves in exactly the same position. Any one of these things can happen and the ultimate result is the same. The only difference is that in the one case you have a revolution. That is to say that if we exercise the power of secession without the right of secession, it means revolution, but apart from that, the result is the same. So I return to the point I make, and that is. that in practice this question is an academic question on which we may have a difference of view.

Then may I particularly direct the attention of the house to a statement made by the Minister of Justice, General Smuts, who is well known throughout the British commonwealth of nations, and who has always fought for South African autonomy. This statement appears at page 2080:

To my mind these things, secession, neutrality and the like are impracticable and academic. I do not believe that anything we can say in a constitution will settle our attitude or influence it -when we come to the day of secession or to the day to declare our neutrality. These events, if ever they come to pass, would shake the whole British Empire and perhaps the whole world to its foundations. It is futile. You may talk about these things in a debating way if you are a debating society, but men who have been through the ordeals we have been through attach no importance to formulae of words. Consider, for example, the position of the United States of America during the war. The United States did her utmost to keep out of the Great war. She fought a presidential election during the war to keep out of it, and everybody was pledged to the full to keep out of the war; but in spite of all in a couple of months she was in the war. She could not maintain her neutrality. Whether it is neutrality or secession or any of these things they will be decided, not by legal documents or the phraseology of a bill like this-

I might add-or a resolution like that of my hon. friend.

-but by the ordeal of facts, of great events which might shake not only this country, but even the world to its foundations. But sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Wise men leave these things alone.

I commend) that to my hon. friend. I have not time to read all the quotations I have before me, but I would direct the attention of

my hon. friend and of the house to a very valuable work. The Present Juridical Status of the British Dominions in International Law, written by Mr. Baker, who is a jurist of repute in Britain and who some time ago was elected as a labour member of the British parliament. Mr. Baker has a whole chapter devoted to this subject, headed The Problem of "Automatic Belligerency" and the Effect of the Covenant of the League of Nations, in which he takes exactly the view I have tried to submit to the house, and in which he quotes Pearce Higgins, Duncan Hall, Smith and Corbett, who are Canadian constitutional authors, as well as McNair, Keith and various other authors. He concludes with these words:

As Keith has said of the application of the covenant to inter-commonwealth relations, "the truth is.. . .that the matter could not be thought out in advance," and in consequence it "presents a problem which time and usage alone can solve."

Mr. Baker states there what I have been saying, that there is all the difference between neutrality and passive belligerency; that participation in any war will be a matter strictly for the parliament of each dominion to decide, and. that this decision will be taken in the light of the circumstances as they exist at the time.

May I conclude this phase of the discussion by quoting what my old leader, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, stated in regard to this matter:

Whilst T cannot admit that Canada should take part in all the wars of Great Britain, neither am I prepared to say that she should not take part in any war at all. I am prepared to look upon each case upon its merits as it arises. . . .1 claim for Canada this, that in future Canada shall be at liberty to act or not to act, to interfere or not to interfere, to do just as she pleases, and that she shall reserve to herself the right to judge whether or not there is cause for her to act.

History has shown that when a war breaks out, matters of this kind are not decided by whatever resolutions or even laws have been placed upon the statute books. They are decided in the light of conditions as they exist and, unfortunately by the feelings that are aroused when the time comes and hostilities begin. But that is human nature. It would be futile to place a resolution of this kind in the records of parliament. Parliament cannot bind its successors on this or on any other question. A resolution of this parliament would not bind the parliament which would be at the head of affairs when trouble came to Canada. By no means could future parliaments be 'bound by an act or by words of this parliament. I say that elementary prudence requires us to preserve our liberty, our freedom and our independence of judgment for the time when the occasion arises.

FEBRUARY 4, 1937 54c

Foreign Policy-Mr. Lapointe (Quebec East)

Let me tell my hon. friend that neutrality does not mean doing away with the necessity of armaments. The United States have proclaimed their desire for neutrality-they have passed no resolution of this kind-but they are increasing their armaments to a degree greater than has been seen by any American. Just a few weeks ago the King of Belgium made a statement to the world which aroused great interest. He proclaimed the neutrality of Belgium and stated that it was absolutely without any commitments to any other country. But he said that in order to assure that neutrality, Belgium would have to increase her armaments. He asked the Belgian nation to support the government in its policy of increased armaments. Increased armaments and neutrality go together. May I translate one or two sentences from his speech?

Unless she possesses herself of a system of defence capable of resisting, Belgium will see herself from the outset invaded and massacred. That is why we must, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs has stated recently, pursue a policy completely Belgian. This policy looks to our being placed outside the conflicts of our neighbours, it insures our national ideals, but it must be sustained by a military and financial effort. This will bring about the unity of Belgium and animate her people with an intense and primordial desire for peace.

Switzerland is perhaps the classical example of a neutral country, but I do not think my hon. friend would like to see Canada militarized to the extent of Switzerland. The Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) was telling me that when he was at the League of Nations there were posters on nearly every wall in Geneva asking the people of Switzerland to subscribe to a national loan for armaments. When my hon. friend uses opposition to armaments as an argument in support of a resolution declaring neutrality, I think he is entirely wrong. Experience has shown that those countries which are stated, by law or otherwise, to be neutral, are compelled to have many armaments in order to protect themselves and their neutrality. The hon. member for Winnipeg North (Mr. Heaps) wanted us to ask President Roosevelt to convene a world conference on peace. Everyone knows that the president is an apostle of peace and is working for peace. Does he think that is sufficient to warrant a policy of no protection at all for the United States? I have in my hands the New York Times of Saturday, August 15. 1936, which contains the full text of a speech on international affairs delivered by President Roosevelt at Chautauqua. This speech has been read by many people in Canada. The president said:

We are not isolationists except in so far as we seek to isolate ourselves completely from war. Yet we must remember that so long as

war exists on earth there will be some danger t.iat even the nation which most ardently desires peace may be drawn into war.

I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen two hundred limping, exhausted men come out of line-the survivors of a regiment of one thousand that went forward forty-eight hours before. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.

I have passed unnumbered hours, I shall pass unnumbered hours, thinking and planning how war may be kept from this nation.

I wish I could keep war from all nations, but that is beyond my power. I can at least make certain that no act of the United States helps to produce or to promote war. I can at least make clear that the conscience of America revolts against war and that any nation which provokes war forfeits the sympathy of the people of the United States.

Many causes produce war. There are ancient hatreds, turbulent frontiers, the "legacy of old forgotten far off things, and battles long ago. There are new-born fanaticisms, convictions on the part of certain peoples that they have become the unique depositories of ultimate truth and right.

A dark old world was devastated by wars between conflicting religions. A dark, modern world faces wars between conflicting economic and political fanaticisms in which are intertwined race ratreds. To bring it home, it is as it within the territorial limits of the United States, forty-eight nations with forty-eight forms of government, forty-eight customs barriers, forty-eight languages and forty-eight eternal and different verities, were spending their time and their substance in a frenzy of effort to make themselves strong enough to conquer their neighbours or strong enough to defend themselves against their neighbours.

Further on, he says:

In spite of every possible forethought, international relations involve of necessity a vast unchartered area. In that area safe sailing will depend on the know-ledge and the experience and the wisdom of those who direct our foreign policy. Feace will depend on their day to day decisions.

At this late date, with the wisdom -which is so easy after the event and so difficult before tile event, we find it possible to trace the tragic series of small decisions which led Europe into the great war in 1914 and eventually engulfed us and many other nations.

We can keep out of w-ar if those who watch and decide have a sufficiently detailed understanding of international affairs to make certain that the small decisions of each day do not lead toward war, and if, at the same time, they possess the courage to say "no" to those who selfishly or unwisely would let us go to war.

Of all the nations of the world to-day we are in many ways most singularly blessed. Our closest neighbours are good neighbours. If there are remoter nations that w-ish us not good but ill. they know that w-e are strong; they know that we can and will defend ourselves and defend our neighbourhood.

550 COMMONS

Foreign Policy-Mr. Lapointe (Quebec East)

We seek to dominate no other nation. We ask no territorial expansion. We appose imperialism. We desire reduction in world armaments. .

We believe in democracy; we believe in freedom; we believe in peace. We offer to every nation of the world the handclasp of the good neighbour. Let those who wish our friendship look us in the eye and take our hand.

I think those words of President Roosevelt could be reechoed by us and certainly represent the feelings of most Canadians. We are in a splendid position geographically, and we thank God for it. But perhaps we are over enthusiastic if we suppose that other countries are not thinking of Canada and* its resources. The other day, while in the library reading some books on this question, I put my hand1 on a publication, "The Future of the League of Nations," which is a record of a series of discussions held at Chatham House during 1936. In attendance there were some of the best known British thinkers, including Sir Norman Angell, Lord Arnold, Sir James Barrett, Hon. R. H. Brand, Lord Howard, the Marquis of Lothian and other distinguished' men. Even our friend H. G. Wells was one of the conferees, also Sir Arthur Salter and many other men who are well known to members of this house. This is what one of the main participants in the conference, Doctor Toynbee, said at page 120:

I think the Italian case-

He was discussing the Italo-Ethiopian conflict.

-shows the strength of the universal scheme. It seems to me that what really sent the Italians to fight Abyssinia was two things done by North American countries. The first was in 1927 when the Italians raised the point of access to raw materials and the Canadian delegate stamped on it; and the second was the passing of the two American Immigration Acts of 1921 and 1924 which produced this mass of baulked young men in Italy who had to be turned to something good or bad.

So it is obvious that the problem of the natural resources in which some countries are lacking, and which constitute the great wealth of this country, is far from being solved, and that Canada's resources are certainly coveted by many interests elsewhere. President Roosevelt, in the speech from which I have quoted, spoke of world conditions and the nature of the new conflicts that are raging in the world. To-day there are groups organized and ready to fight and die for an abstract creed. These are no longer wars of trade and frontiers; such groups are fighting for abstract ideas. My hon. friend mentioned two countries not by their names but by the names of their leaders, Hitler and Mussolini. I wish he had mentioned Russia as well. They are all

fighting freedom and democracy, and we must include them all in our abhorrence of the creeds which they try to preach and spread throughout the world. In this connection may I say to an organization from which I receive occasional resolutions and other communications and which calls itself the League against War and Fascism, that I should be inclined to consider its resolutions and communications with more sympathy if it would add to its name and activities so as to make it read, the league against war and fascism "and communism," which it refrains from doing.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

And deliberately.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

And deliberately? I do not know. One of my hon. friends says so. But as far as we in Canada are concerned we are for our free institutions and we defend them, and if a big war in Europe is occasioned by a conflict between these two creeds or doctrines, Canada should not spend one cent or one life in support of either of them. Possibly it is unfortunate that some Canadians are taking sides in the conflict which is going on over there to-day. We should remain loyal to Canadian ideals. Totalitarian states, absolutism, dictatorships, the prevention of people speaking their own minds on pain of being sent to some island or concentration camp-to all these things whether they come from the right or the left, we in Canada are opposed; they are bad for us Canadians; I do not see why anybody should fight in support of either side in such a conflict, and we shall not.

But we must be able to defend our citizens against the madness of some present day rulers. If international chiefs or gangsters ever come to assail us in a mad impulse^-because the world is mad at the present time -we cannot meet them with a declaration of neutrality. That will not do at all. In that regard, as my hon. friend often talks of South Africa, may I read one article in the platform of the nationalist party in South Africa, that is, the extreme party for South African autonomy. I find it in the Journal of the Parliaments of the Empire, where there is a report of the debate on May 22 last, and the leader of the nationalist party said:

In connection with the status of South Africa, the Prime Minister and other members of the government had said, over and over again that they were on a footing of closest cooperation with the British defence force. They stood for the maintenance of that connection and therefore differed in nothing from Colonel Stallard and his party.

The Nationalist party, in its program of principles, acknowledged " the duty of the government to provide an efficient system of

Foreign Policy-Mr. Brunelle

land defence, both on land and sea, and in the air, for the protection of the country and its interests and consistent with our national independence."

I said1 that if on a mad impulse, in the course of a war, some of these people should come and try to injure Canada in any way, it would be our duty to defend ourselves. But there must be some preparation for that defence. When a house is burning it is too late to organize a fire brigade; that must be done before the fire occurs. When a flood is in progress it is then too late to build a dam; the damage is done before this precaution has been resorted to. Similarly, if we believe-if we do not, I give up my case immediately-it is the duty of Canada to protect its own citizens against any possible emergency, then I do not think anybody could oppose what is an elementary necessity for such defence, and for such defence alone.

My hon. friend took it upon himself to make a sort of appeal to the French-Canadian members. May I tell him that possibly the French-Canadian members will not accept his leadership in this regard. I was a member of parliament during the great war and had some experience of what took place; I had experience of what occurred in my own province. In the fight against conscription, against compulsory military service, which was waged_ in Quebec, I said to all who took part in it-and this statement was everywhere emphasized!-that everyone in that province was ready to do anything for the defence of Canada when the time came. And that statement still holds good. We are prepared to do anything for the defence of Canada. But I do not think our people would like to be involved in a war that might be waged between communism and fascism, because they hate both. They are prepared, however, to defend their own country, and in that respect my hon. friend will not succeed in his passionate appeal to them.

The other day I read this statement by the great American economist, Roger W. Babson:

The Spanish revolution is only the first round in a world conflict which will last for a long time.

If this is true, and if Canada wishes to remain outside that conflict, we must see to it that we shall be able to defend the women and children of our country should these madmen, in a moment of insane impulse, try to attack us.

These are my last words. The duties of a public man are difficult but they must be discharged. If I believe that there is some possibility of danger-and everybody says

there is-I will accept my responsibility. I will not trust to the impassioned speeches of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre or to the misrepresentations of any section of the press whether in my own province or elsewhere. I do my duty as my conscience bids me; I do my duty because I should not want to be accused at any time of not having done something to prevent the death of any Canadian woman or child. This is the position I take and by it I stand.

As to the last part of my hon. friend's resolution, let me assure him that Canada is anxious to do anything it can to prevent international conflict andt to work for peace. We will do everything we can to throw Canada's influence into the scale on the side of peace, and we have always done so. May I refer to certain incidents. Take the Chanak affair; we refused to be bound to go to war because of some conflict in the far east. Take Locarno; we were asked to guarantee the eastern frontier of some countries and we refused to do that. We refused to be committed, and I regarded that as the proper course to adopt. We are not committed ; we shall decide when the time comes whether we shall participate or not, and I trust that circumstances will justify Canada in remaining outside any conflict. But we want to reserve our freedom and our independence, as free men should, and not to be committed by any resolution such as my hon. friend has proposed.

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LIB

Hervé-Edgar Brunelle

Liberal

Mr. H. E. BRUNELLE (Champlain) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, before the house is called upon to vote upon so important a question as that of Canada's neutrality in the event of war, I deem it my duty to express my opinion. I shall do so with the frankness and straightforwardness that the gravity of the situation demands.

The government, perhaps with good reason, seems to have deviated somewhat from the policy adhered to in recent years as regards armaments and national defence. This deviation is seen especially in an increase in the defence estimates. I must say, Mr. Speaker, that I have been taken rather unawares and1 that I have not been able to give to my remarks all the attention I should have liked. However, in view of the turn events have taken and of a body of opinion this is manifesting itself in many parts of the country, I feel that I should speak up without hesitation and, of course, without provocation, while fully respecting the opinions of those who entertain regarding our national situation, views that differ from mine.

I agree with the hon. member for Grey-Bruce (Miss Macphail) that we should

Foreign Policy-Mr. Brunelle

cultivate a North American rather than a European mentality. It is hardly necessary to point out in detail the difference between these two mentalities. In most of the countries of Europe children, even on their mother's knees, constantly hear talk of war, of the enemy frontier, of hostile neighbours and their hated inhabitants. Later, at school, they learn how to make war, how to invade and attack some foreign nation. It is therefore not surprising that Europeans should be ready to sacrifice almost everything for armaments, for they have grown up in an atmosphere that we in this country hardly know. That is why, when war is seriously spoken of in Canada, a considerable part of the population becomes alarmed. Besides, we have been brought up in the hatred of war, of armaments and all their works. We have been told that many European nations make war in order to acquire territory, while we in Canada possess more territory than we can occupy and develop. Our public men and our leaders have taught us that competition in armaments was wrong or at least dangerous. Like many others who whisper what I shall say out loud, I have formed an opinion in accordance with that of the people among whom I live. In order to be logical and sincere, I must say that I am in favour of the first part of the resolution of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) in so far as he wishes Canada to declare its neutrality, but on condition that such neutrality be compatible with our obligations, our honour and our national protection. Indeed, as representatives of the people, we must protect our citizens; our duty requires it. On the other hand, it must be admitted that should the empire be attacked Canada, as part of the empire, would be exposed1 to attack, and if we simply say: we are neutral, we will not fight, the enemy will have but one answer, which will be to summon us to surrender.

On the question of Canada's neutrality and her armaments, I should like to form an honest opinion, based on realities as well as on prudence, and this is how I analyse the situation. First, what alternatives have we? Should we separate from the empire? If so, we would naturally become an absolutely independent nation, and as such we could rely only on ourselves for our defence. We would have to provide for our defence and do so alone. Would that cost us less than it does now? Would we be better protected? We are told that the United States would defend us, but if they spend millions of dollars and sacrifice the lives of their soldiers for us, they will

naturally seek some compensation. Do we want to belong to the United States?

Secondly, do we want to remain in the empire? If so, can we remain in it by folding our arms in case of a war, even of defence? In the event of an attack against the empire and against us as part of the empire, can we simply not defend ourselves but call England or the rest of the empire to our aid?

Thirdly, can we afford to arm ourselves sufficiently to repel a serious attack? Are we sufficiently rich in men and money to do so?

I say that we are not. A small nation whose population is concentrated in a limited area with a short boundary line can resist an enemy far more powerful that she is, but Canada is too large in area and too small in population to offer a serious defence m case of attack. I believe that Canada could not defend herself against most of the European nations taken individually. I go as far as to say that, under present conditions, any defence that Canada could offer against a serious attack would be almost futile.

However, I consider that considerations of prudence and foresight demand that Canada, as one of the nations of the world, should have some kind of an army, in the same way that every city needs a police force. We therefore need an army whose size and cost should be measured by the danger that threatens us and our ability to pay. My opinion is that we are not exposed to great danger, and it is a fact that the state of our finances does not permit us to undertake any expenditure that is not absolutely necessary. I therefore object to the provision of armaments to an extent not justified by any immediate danger and by the financial resources of the country. Above all, Mr. Speaker, I object to any participation by Canada in the armament race. The most distressing, disconcerting and discouraging part of it is the apparent approval given, through a combination of circumstances both visible and invisible, to Canada's entry in the race for armaments.

With such boundaries as the north pole, the Atlantic ocean, the Pacific ocean, and the United States, whose president recently declared: "Our boundary line is the link that unites us," I wonder against what enemies we should protect ourselves if not, perhaps with some reason, against domestic agitators or certain subversive elements already active in this country.

Lastly, I am opposed to anything that smacks of imperialism. If my opinion in this matter differs from that of the members of the party to which I belong, and which no

Foreign Policy-Mr. Brunelle

doubt is the best, there is no reason for astonishment, as I believe the Liberal party to be big and wide enough to include different opinions.

Mr. Speaker, with the reservations already mentioned, I agree with the principle of the first paragraph of the resolution now before this house:

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

As to the second paragraph of the resolution of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre-his riding is like his resolutions, it extends in every direction

I cannot support this proposal which reads as follows:

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

I fail to see why we should object to the manufacture of war munitions to be sold to an unjustly attacked nation. When a country attacks another unjustly, the country thus attacked is justified in defending itself and in looking for assistance. Since I do not agree with the resolution in its entirety, I have no other alternative but to vote against it as is customary. I felt that it was my duty to give these explanations before voting on the resolution.

When the National Defence estimates are brought down, I will follow the dictates of my conscience. I will take into account local requirements and certain menacing factors now prevailing in this country. For instance, I will bear in mind the significance of the recent uprising at Guelph, Ontario, which it is claimed is the result of subversive movements in our dominion. Recent occurrences in Quebec city will also be taken into account. I will recall the rather strange statement made recently by the hon. the premier of the province of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres, which reads as follows:

Speaking as Attorney General of this province, I affirm that communistic organizations distributed a short time ago money to the young men of the province of Quebec for the purpose of enrolling them in the Spanish communist armies, and they even supplied them with Canadian passports.

Again, I will not lose sight of the disturbing forces already mentioned that have been prevalent in other countries and which are now at w'ork in Spain. I will take into account the extent to which Spain and other countries have suffered from the activities of these agitators, and I will not forget that we have in the province of Quebec similar principles and institutions to defend.

I will postpone to a later date the discussion on the possibility or likelihood of Canada being attacked. I may say that Norway and Holland have for many years followed an anti-armament policy, and both these countries found that, as a result, they were far better off. I submit that nations that have no armament program are less subject to aggression, as a country is often attacked as a result of armament. Approximately 50,000 human lives were sacrificed during the last war, exclusive of the huge expenditures that we had to meet and that still constitute a problem to-day. The consequences of the last war and our national defence program represent nearly two fifths of our budget estimates. This should be a lesson to us. In Canada, we should be chiefly concerned with the clearing of lands that are fit for cultivation; we should strive to develop our mines that are so rich and abundant. Unemployment is the worst enemy that we have to combat; we must wipe out our national debt by means of a sound and practical policy.

As a North American country, the first duty of Canada is to ensure peace and progress at home. Personally, like the rest of our population, I wish to convey the assurance of my loyalty to the crown but, I repeat, I am utterly opposed to any imperialistic tendency. I was taught to believe that I am not a mere colonial but that I belong to an independent, free and self-governing dominion. As a citizen of such a dominion, I am proud to say that I am a plain Canadian. It is as subjects of the British Empire that many of our people are led to take an interest in European affairs.

Personally, I would like all Canadians to be plain Canadians, and would be pleased to see Canada, in relation to the empire, placed in the position of those solid bodies that do not dissolve when they come in contact with or under the influence of surrounding elements.

In conclusion, I may say that before preparing ourselves, or whilst preparing to face any enemy from outside, it is urgent that we should maintain peace within our boundaries by putting an end to all dissensions, so that our citizens may enjoy their rights in Canada. Let those who constitute the majority of the Canadian population show generosity towards the minority; if not for the sake of love, let it be at least in a true spirit of solidarity. Let us make a truce, and rid ourselves of such political tactics as those used by the Ontario Conservative leader who sits in this house, and by his friend Mr. Drew

Foreign Policy-Mr. Mallette

against the French-Canadian population in the course of a by-election in the province of Ontario.

Let us first settle our local and national difficulties and, once for all, may we realize that Canada is big enough to ensure the complete development of the ideals and the free enjoyment of the respective rights of the two great races in this country. Let the " bonne entente " be our motto, not only in theory but in practice. We will feel better inclined to greater sacrifices for our country that we love so much at the present time, but for which we will show a greater love when vve are sure that all the members of the Canadian family are prepared to gladly march forward hand in hand.

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LIB

Joseph Léon Vital Mallette

Liberal

Mr. VITAL MALLETTE (Jacques-Cartier) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, when the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) spoke on his motion on January 25th, he invited the French-Canadian members to express their views on the advisability for Canada, in the event of war, to remain strictly neutral regardless of who the belligerents may be. The hon. member may rest assured that the French-Canadian members, who are all patriots, have, irrespective of party, carefully considered his resolution. Notwithstanding the importance of the issue, it is not likely that every member will give his opinion to this house; but in order to make my position clear, I wish to say a few words on this subject.

The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre moves:

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

Mr. Speaker, this is a most interesting proposal. If the mere accepting of the motion could settle this question to the satisfaction of all, I am sure that the members of this house would be in favour of it. The province of Quebec is undoubtedly opposed to imperialism. The belief there is that the word means the taking over of territory belonging to other nations by means of warfare. Quebec is not inclined to enter into partnership with the gentlemen from London or elsewhere who have their eyes on oil fields, diamond mines, gold mines, etc., etc., lying in foreign lands. These men would not hesitate in any way to have the empire, including Canada, engaged in a war to enrich themselves at the expense of poor defenceless peoples, by sending young men from all parts of the British Empire as cannon fodder, so as to satisfy the lust of these worshippers of the Golden Calf. Que-

bee is utterly against it, and it is not a party question at that. I also believe that the other provinces of the Dominion are no more anxious to embark upon ventures of this kind. The province of Quebec is also of the opinion that Canada has never been the cause of any war in which England was involved since the Treaty of Paris in 1763; but on the other hand, Canada has been invaded: by the enemies of England, first at the time of the American Revolution, then in the war of 1812, not to speak of the trouble occasioned by the Fenian raids some time later. I say England, because at that time, the words British Empire and British Commonwealth of Nations were unknown. I may say that all the questions pertaining to the settling of the Canadian boundaries were subject to arbitration and I do not think that Canada has gained very much by it. The Privy Council lately settled the Labrador boundary. The. province of Quebec was far from being satisfied with this judgment, but accepted it without protest.

As to the cost of war, I would advise the members of this house to study the figures given by the hon. member for Kindersley (Mr. Elliott) in his speech delivered on January 28th, which will be found at page 381 of Hansard. These figures, I believe, appeared in Maclean's magazine of September 1, 1936. They show that from 1915 to 1936- both years included-the war has cost Canada a total of 84,602,968,368, of which $2,000,000,000 is for interest only. And this is not the end; the worst is yet to come. As others have stated before me and with great eloquence, the worst feature of it all is the useless sacrifice of human lives, and the ensuing misery which seems endless. Unfortunately, this does not settle the question because, even though the Canadian parliament should agree to this resolution, this would not guarantee safety to this country, in the event of one of the great powers declaring war upon Great Britain. Such an enemy would not hesitate to attack the empire anywhere. Should a naval or air squadron reach our shores, could we protect ourselves simply by informing the officer commanding that we are neutral? The answer admits of no doubt. Indeed, it is evident that, neutral or not, Canada, in the eyes of nonBritish people, forms part of the empire.

It has been said that the United States would protect us. That may be. But I am not simple enough to 'believe that if our American neighbours come to our defence they will do so without our paying the cost in some way or another. We have not forgotten the case of Belgium. For many years Belgium had been protected by treaties signed by the

Foreign Policy-Mr. Robichaud

principal European powers, but in spite of these treaties which were considered sacred, which were almost considered as the keystone of European politics, Belgium was invaded.

Here, we have had the Chanak incident, when Lloyd George, at the time Prime Minister of Great Britain, inquired of the dominions, of Canada in particular, whether they would support his country against the Turks. Canada's Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Mackenzie King, replied that the matter would be submitted to parliament. It must not be forgotten that, speaking at Geneva some time ago, the right hon. the Prime Minister reiterated this position which, more recently, he asserted again in this house. Such is therefore the Liberal policy, the policy which we have adopted, the policy which received the approval and the encouragement of the thinking citizens of this country. Certainly, we are against all participation in war if it can possibly be avoided. We take the position that we are opposed to war. But should we be attacked we would necessarily have to defend ourselves.

I know that some people make a great deal of a separatist movement in Quebec. This movement should not be given greater importance than it deserves. There is no doubt that some of our young men are dissatisfied with the present situation. We can hardly blame them when we see hundreds upon hundreds of well-educated, healthy young men vainly seeking suitable employment. Their discontent is only natural. These young men find a further cause of discontent in the conviction that they hold1-and I may add that we, the French-Canadian members of this house, are pretty much of their opinion-that our people do not obtain all the civil service positions they should occupy. Therein lies one of the causes of discontent. This discontent will vanish as soon as its causes are removed.

As to this separatist movement, there is in, the province of Quebec a man qualified above all others by the high office he occupies to pass judgment upon it. This man is Hon. Maurice Duplessis, Premier of the province of Quebec. In its edition of January 18, 1937, the Gazette reports the premier as having said at a dinner given by the Provincial Command of the Federation of Catholic Scouts of the Province of Quebec:

Again he condemned any separatist movement in the province, urging rather unity with all the other provinces for the real progress of the country.

Not only did Hon. Maurice Duplessis make this statement, but another member of his government, Hon. Bona Dussault, Minister of

Agriculture, spoke as follows at a banquet of the Canadian Ayrshire Breeders' Association held at the Queens Hotel, Montreal:

It is not by locking ourselves up in the province of Quebec that we shall be able to achieve anything tangible and stable. It is said that a separatist movement is manifesting itself in this province. I can assure you that it does not represent the sentiment of our population. I can understand how our young men, imbued with new theories and filled with ambition, should have wished for a moment to isolate Quebec from the other provinces of the dominion. Let us hope that those who launched this movement will return to the sound ideals of their fathers who wanted a United Canada.

This statement was published in Le Canada of January 29, 1937, and is to be found in La Presse and La Patrie of the same date. I hold these papers at the disposal of anyone who wishes to consult them.

I shall conclude without referring to the two other clauses of the resolution, as they are not the most important ones. The resolution is an excellent one from an academic viewpoint. Unfortunately, it belongs to the realm of dreams. Were the house to agree to it, it would have the same value as most of the resolutions that are so lightly made at the beginning of each new year.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

Mr. LOUIS P. A. ROBICHAUD (Kent, N.B.): Mr. Speaker, I had not intended to take part in this debate, but in view of what may develop I feel it only right that I should place on record the reason why I am going to vote against this resolution, if it comes to a vote.

The first part of the resolution states that Canada should remain strictly neutral regardless of who the belligerents may be. Let me say that I agree with the mover of the resolution in those sentiments. I think we should do everything possible to remain neutral in any future war, and strangely enough that is the very reason why I am going to vote against the resolution. It has been said by some hon. members, whether in or out of this house I do not know, that this resolution really is insincere; that it was meant to put some of us on the spot, as one might say. Of course I am too generous to sa3r that of the mover of this resolution; I believe he is sincere, but to my mind he is taking the very course which will defeat his purpose.

Foreign Policy-Mr. Rinfret

I say that for this reason: Let us suppose we pass the resolution to-night, and word goes out that Canada is not going to take part in any future war. The very men who would be interested in moulding public opinion, in keeping alert and awake, in acting as watch-dogs against our taking part in any future war, would be lulled into a false sense of security, believing that since the parliament of Canada passed this resolution we would not take part in any war which might develop. Thus the purpose for which this resolution is brought forward would be defeated. I do not want to take part in any future war, but at the same time I want to keep public opinion alive and alert in working against this idea, of security from participation on our part in any future war, so I am going to vote against this motion. As was explained by the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), if a time should come when parliament had to take a stand, no doubt emotion would sway a large part of the people, and if we are not constantly vigilant there would be the danger that this movement would carry us off our feet, so that before we knew it we would be at war. So I say that if we passed this resolution tonight it would have the effect of lulling us into a false sense of security. We would think, "Well, we have passed this resolution, so there is no danger of Canada taking part in any war that may arise." For that reason I am going to vote against the resolution.

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LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. FERNAND RINFRET (Secretary of State):

Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to

make a long speech on this motion. It has been before the house on several occasions; many speeches have already been delivered in connection with it, but inasmuch as it touches a question which in one way or another has been brought very often before those who are in public life, I think before casting my vote I should clearly and briefly give my reasons for opposing the resolution. In presenting my argument I may occasionally refer to facts that already have been placed before the house, but at the same time, in order to make my speech complete though terse and brief, I shall have to repeat some of the things that have been said already.

My first objection to the motion is that in my opinion it is inopportune. I do not see why at this stage either of this year or of this session our time should be taken up with a heated discussion of a problem which is only hypothetical and which is not really before us. I believe we have so many ques-

tions to solve and so many actual, local problems to deal with that it is, I shall not say a waste of time, but an inopportune time to bring up a question of this kind.

I also share the view already expressed that we should not bind our liberty and freedom of thought by a pronouncement in advance as to an event which may happen only five or ten years hence, under circumstances we can neither foresee nor foretell. I may say further-and this is another view of the question-that if we take the motion seriously and vote upon it as an engagement to be undertaken not only for the moment but for the coming years, then the argument as to refusing to bind our liberty as to future pronouncements is very strong.

I would be inclined to say, however, that I oppose the motion because of its futility under the guise of great importance and moment. Not only can we not bind another parliament by a decision here to-night; we cannot even bind this parliament for another session. We may decide to-night that we agree with the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth). Then we may come back next year with a motion of a different kind. Every hon. member who voted for this motion might rise on that occasion and say, "Well, I have reconsidered the matter. There are new circumstances which I had not foreseen or which did not exist at the time I voted before, so I am going to reverse my vote." Therefore, Mr. Speaker, whether we consider that by voting on this motion we may bind ourselves for the future or whether we consider on the contrary that it is futile to make a solemn pronouncement to-day on a matter which may impress us differently at another session, I do not intend to vote for the motion.

It has been pointed out ateo, with great effect, that there is an immense difference between neutrality and participation. We may decide to participate or not to participate in any war abroad. We may take our stand as to that. I say without hesitation that it certainly would require exceptional circumstances to convince me that we should participate in any European conflict, but neutrality is another thing. You may decide to be neutral but the other party may not want to consider you as such. Who is to say that when war is declared on Great Britain any of these European or Asiatic countries will accept a declaration of neutrality on the part of Canada, even if it should come from us? It is better not to mention any names, but if one country should decide on an expeditionary force against Canada, a flotilla of airships, for instance, to be sent

Foreign Policy-Mr. Woodsworth

against Halifax or Vancouver, it would not suffice for my hon. friend to stand on the wharves of Halifax or Vancouver and- wave his little resolution as a white flag in the hope of convincing that country that Canada was neutral. Therefore a declaration of neutrality by Canada means nothing; it is a matter that is not within our control. We may like to be neutral, and we may say to the aviators, "Do not shoot at us; do you not know that we are neutral?"- but if they do shoot, we cease to be neutral. I do not wish to be harsh or discourteous to the hon. member, but when I consider the resolution, notwithstanding my effort to give it every consideration I believe I am still more opposed to it when I realize that it can lead us nowhere.

There is another side of the question I am proud to present to-night, and it comes from one who represents a county in the province of Quebec. It is well known that in that province we are not militaristic; it is well known that we are not anxious to support participation in European wars. Yet, Mr. Speaker, I am not sure that a true Britisher from my province would like to speak the language of the resolution. After all, we form part of one of the British nations. We are part of the commonwealth, and what do we declare in the resolution? These are the words:

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

If we take that declaration we must realize that it means this: Just for the whimsical

caprice of saying it, and for no good reason at all, we are saying to Great Britain, "It does not matter what happens; it does not matter in what war you may be engaged; it does not matter if you are on the brink of defeat and destruction, we are not going to help you." I am too good a Britisher to hold with such language on the subject. It is the attitude one friendly country would not hold toward another. Certainly it is language which France would not use towards Great Britain, because they are on good terms. Are we going to say to the mother country, to Australia or to the sister nation of South Africa: "No matter what happens, no matter what your miseries or difficulties may be, even though you may be facing complete annihilation, we take a certain cynical pleasure in declaring to you that even if matters go that far we will do nothing to help you."

I repeat that a pronouncement of that kind is either futile or unacceptable and I shall not support it in either ease. Why have we this

motion? I know it is wrong to impute motive to a member, and in the present instance I do not impute one to the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. I must add, however, that I can see what certain groups in the country are going to do with the resolution. They will use it in an effort to appeal to a certain class of people they have not the least chance of reaching otherwise. Through it they will try to bring those people to certain of their social ideas.

I take exception to the motion because of its complex nature. In paragraph 1 it says one thing and in paragraph 2 it says another. There are very few people who would vote for the second paragraph, but those people might be induced to regard it with certain favour on account of the first one. Certain people may not be socialists, and may be far from communism or anything of the kind, but they are such confirmed pacifists that they might be induced to accept the resolution- at least that would seem to be the hope behind it.

It is a great mistake to place before the House of Commons a complex motion which can only confuse the issue. I have been trying to be clear rather than prolonged or eloquent and shall be content to conclude by saying that I am in favour of the third paragraph, namely that Canada should make every effort to discover and remove the causes of international friction and social injustice, but I believe the best way to do that is to vote against the two other paragraphs.

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

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

Mr. Speaker, it is a great satisfaction to me to know that my resolution has brought fdrth a serious discussion on our foreign policy. On the whole I believe the speeches have been in good spirit. Undoubtedly we face a great and complicated problem, and I am pleased to know that most hon. members take the matter seriously. I am sure most of the speakers will forgive me if I do not discuss in detail the various criticisms they have offered.

The Secretary of State (Mr. Rinfret), who has just made a short speech, has suggested that we have so many practical problems to face that we ought not to waste time on a merely academic discussion. I think he must be hard put to it when he brings forward an argument of that kind. Surely we all recognize the serious state of Europe to-day. None of us can read the newspapers without realizing that Canada may possibly be called upon to face a war in Europe. Surely then a discussion on foreign policy cannot be called academic. Further if the possibility of war

558 COMMONS

Foreign Policy-Mr. Woodsworth

in Europe is so remote, I should like to know why the government has included in its estimates a great increase for armaments. If war is so far away there can be no reason for changing our peace policy and increasing our armaments.

Throughout the years I have had great respect for the clear logic of the French people. But as I listened to the speech of the Secretary of State and even to that of the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), I am bound to say I hoped they did not represent the logic of the French people in Canada. The Secretary of State has said that decisions of this parliament cannot bind decisions of future parliaments. No one is attempting to .do that. In the resolution we simply decide what at the time we think best. If the arguments we have heard were carried out to its logical conclusion, this would mean that parliament could do no business, or could not express itself. Again, I hope that the argument of the Secretary of State is not a sample of French logic.

May I refer, too, to the eloquent speech of the Minister of Justice. I would point out, however, that it was not so much a speech on my resolution as a defence of the increased military estimates, and a statement or, in my opinion, a misstatement-of the situation in Spain. In one place the minister said that we must not treat the gangster as we treat his victim; yet apparently he proposes to treat a recognized government in precisely the same way as he would treat rebels. I do not propose to go into those particular matters to-night as there will be opportunities in the future. I shall simply point out that the Minister of Justice has interjected questions which'are quite outside the scope of the resolution. He resented very much what he called my appeal to the French-Canadians and he suggested, rather sarcastically, that I might be endeavouring to be the leader of the French-Canadians.

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?

An hon, MEMBER:

No danger.

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I have no such ambition, but I would point out that if the Minister of Justice keeps on as he has been doing he will cease to be the leader of French-Canadian opinion. Surely he is not so fearful of the policies of his government that he will not even permit an. appeal to French-Canadians. I happen to be an English-Cana-dian from the west; there are others from Ontario who are French-Canadians. Surely we are all Canadians.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Then why does the hon. member single out French-Canadians?

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I spoke of the FrenctHCanadians as I would speak of western Canadians or of residents of any other part of the dominion. I spoke of the French-Canadians for this special reason-I do not mean what I have to say as a disparagement of the French-Canadians. I do not know whether I should be expected to be ashamed of the fact; indeed I am not, but during the war I opposed conscription. At that time Sir Wilfrid Laurier led' the opposition to conscription. I rather imagined: that that fact, if nothing else, would give me the right to make an appeal to French-Canadians against militarism. Of course, if the present leaders of the French-Canadians in this house undertake to go back on the position of Sir Wilfrid Laurier-

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No, no.

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Hon. members say, "no, no," but let me assure them and the house that if we have war, conscription is inevitable. The Minister of Justice doubtless is sincere-I am afraid, judging from his speech, he does not credit me with sincerity- but in talking as he does he seems to me to be betraying the principles of peace and the whole collective idea which lies behind the League of Nations. In following the lead of other nations and attempting to plead that Canada increase her armaments, I think he has betrayed the fundamental principles of peace. Since he is the recognized leader among French-Canadians, have I not the right to appeal to them on that point just as I would appeal to my own group?

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CON

Richard Langton Baker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAKER:

Would it not be better to use the words "French-speaking Canadians?"

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February 4, 1937