February 4, 1937

CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Exactly; I meant the hon. member for Winnipeg South. I was going to say that I think the great majority of men who went to the front did so with the idea that they were giving patriotic service to their country. Other people stayed at home and profiteered out o-f the war-there is no doubt about that-and they have never been held to an accounting. Certain inquiries were made by the Liberals just after the war, but before long this investigation petered out, and we have never dealt with the profiteers who

criminally in my judgment

made money while others of their fellow-citizens died in France. I am firmly of opinion that, as the hon. member for Winnipeg South suggested, if we could take the profit out of war we would do away with a great deal that now foments and fosters war. I have not time tonight to go into the revelations which have been made by the Nye committee and by a host of books like Merchants of Death.

Again, the Prime Minister, in referring to the British commission that dealt with the possibility of nationalizing armaments, says:

Members of all political parties served on the commission.

This leaves a false impression. Let me quote a note from Foreign Affairs in an article

Foreign Policy-Mr. Woodsworlh

on the American and British munitions investigation, January, 1937, pages 320 and 328:

This commission also consisted of seven members but, unlike the American group, they did not hold public office. The chairman, Sir John Eldon Bankes, was a retired judge, 81 years of age. Two members (one a cooperator and one a retired magazine editor) were well over 70. The other members were a professor of comparative law, a journalist, a business man, and a woman who was formerly an official of the league. The personnel did not offer much promise of an aggressive enquiry; the members themselves had no first-hand knowledge of the problems with which they were to deal, and they were not authorized, as the senate committee was, to employ experts to direct the investigation and examine the witnesses. . . .

A little later:

It was not authorized, under its terms of reference, to undertake a detailed investigation of the evils ascribed to the munitions traffic, and consequently only three instances of alleged abuse were brought to its attention. On the whole, the argument for nationalization as presented to the commission, was, in its own words, "purely speculative in character and unsupported by evidence." But under the commission's mode of procedure it was impossible for the advocates of nationalization to present anything more than a speculative case. Possible evils could be cited, but no opportunity was provided to prove the existence of actual evils. . . .

There is, therefore, nothing that has been brought forward by the Prime Minister to offset the statements which were made to the effect that there had been grievous abuses under private manufacture, or to warrant anyone in saying that there is any evidence to prove that the munitions business should not be nationalized.

I urge that we do not deceive ourselves. Armaments mean war; there is no other reason for armaments than possible war, and the furnishing of armaments is one of the surest ways of inducing war. Let me cite two statements in support of that. Earl Grey, in Twenty-Five Years, said:

The enormous growth of armaments, the sense of insecurity and fear caused by them, it was these that made war inevitable.

We are following in the same old path. On this point I should like to quote some rather remarkable words spoken a few years ago by the present leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett). In referring to the peace pact he said:

The very essence of this instrument is that those who sign it . . . begin at once to destroy by peaceful means those instruments by which peace is rendered impossible. . . . We must therefore destroy the instruments that make for war, so that when such appeals are made to the emotions there will be no response-no cannon, no navy, no troops. That is the only

way by which peace can be made lasting in this world.

Well, instead of that we are now proposing to provide more cannon, a greater navy and more troops and air forces. I wonder whether we are heading in the way that makes for peace. In connection with the heavy increase for national defence, may I venture to express the opinion that there should be no increase until the veterans of the last war are adequately provided for. We have at the present time some 50,000 veterans who are unemployed. I do not think I am asking too much when I make a plea on behalf of hundreds of veterans in my own constituency as well as those throughout the west, who have written and spoken to me. I urge that we should not make any further expenditures for war until the men who are suffering from the last war are adequately provided for. I would say further that there should be no increase in expenditures until the burden of taxation is shifted from the shoulders of those who now bear it to the shoulders of those who made profits out of the last war. That is only fair. We still have in our midst people who made profits out of the war and salted them down in tax-free bonds, while the whole population, including returned men themselves, are struggling under the burden. I say that no more funds should be voted for war purposes until those who made profits out of the last war are forced to surrender their ill-gotten gains.

Again, I would suggest to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) that there be no increase for national defence until there is full provision for social services. Only last year the blind made an appeal to the minister for special attention. It is quite true that this year the age limit for the old age pension is being lowered to sixty-five in the case of the blind.

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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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

Nobody said that.

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Below seventy.

That, however, will not provide for the vast number of the blind. Last year when this question was under consideration the minister told us from his place in the house that he was quite sympathetic; but, he said, we have no money. We have no money. That was last year, and yet to-day the Minister of Finance can apparently supply, I do not know how much, perhaps twelve, fourteen and possibly, before we are through twenty million dollars additional for national defence. We have our unemployed boys sent to farms, receiving 85 a month and if they can possibly stick it out until the spring they

Foreign Policy-Mr. Woodsworth

get $7.50-and this after five years of unemployment. But we are told that we have no money to do anything better for them. I say, Mr. Speaker, that no money should be spent on war preparations until these boys are provided for. Every day brings to my desk letters from destitute people in the far-off districts of northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan, farmers and their wives in destitute circumstances. What can I say? I can only inform them that the government says it has no money; that relief is a provincial responsibility. There are districts out in the west that have been hard1 hit by the drought and the municipalities themselves are bankrupt; yet all the minister can say is, "Well, under our constitution nothing can be done; it is a provincial responsibility."

Topic:   FOREIGN EOLICY
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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

We are spending millions there.

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Yes, but we should spend millions more until these people are adequately provided for; we have no right to spend money in armaments until that is done. Teachers in the west are almost starving and children cannot go to school. But there is money enough to send Canada into the ranks of the militarist nations. Our medical services are hopelessly inadequate in almost every province, and housing is abominable throughout the dominion. We have no money for any of these things, but we are asked to vote large sums for increased military expenditures.

The Prime Minister said the other day that the increase for defence is for the defence of Canada and of Canada alone. Well, that may be his idea, but I would remark that this scheme fits in admirably with the imperialistic designs of a great many people in the old land. The other day I read in the Ottawa Journal the following statement:

Swansea, Wales, Jan. 28 (CP).-A complete air defence force of 1,000 fighting 'planes was advocated for Canada to-day by Sir Henry Page Croft, Conservative member of parliament for Bournemouth.

"Collective security within the empire is essential," he said, "in view of the failure of collective security for the world."

I am sure that every effort will be made to draw Canada into such a relationship rvith the old land that Great Britain will be free to carry on her imperialistic enterprises. Frankly I am afraid of the influence these coronation ceremonies may have on those Canadians who go over to London to represent the government. I know how easy it is to be polite on such occasions, how easy it is to try to make a good showing from the standpoint of the Canadian people. In the

same issue of the Journal from which I quoted, on the next page I saw this item:

London, January 27. Purchase of twenty United States designed planes by the Australian government was questioned in the house to-day ... 4

Both he and Colonel Burton inquired if reasonable steps had been taken to coordinate the Australian-manufactured planes with British Air Force requirements or assign the licences to British firms.

Sir Philip, replying, said: "The commonwealth government consulted His Majesty s government in the United Kingdom with regard to the projected factory early last year, and since that time close contact has been maintained. Negotiations have proceeded on the basis that the types of service aircraft to be produced in the factory would be British designed, and this is accepted by the commonwealth government as general policy.

It seems to me that our forces will fit in just like spare parts to the great imperial machine. Either the British manufacturers are eager for sales or the British government is insisting upon a uniform type. I do not want to-night to go into the question of our national armaments, but why should we have mechanized army equipment? Why an air force? Surely these are forces which could readily be transported abroad and are designed more for such purposes than to defend our coasts.

There are some who say that those who oppose armaments live in a dream land. But in reality have we anything to fear from the United States? Is there any reasonable supposition that Germany is going to invade Canada, or that Japan would invade our country? I do not think so. Until there is, can we not go on our own peaceable way?

The Minister of Justice had a good deal to say about neutrality. Let me point out that he differed very decidedly from the Prime Minister. The other day the Prime Minister made this statement, as reported at page 219 of Hansard:

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 in war is concerned, it will be for the parliament of Canada to decide. Having taken that attitude with respect to participation, I think we might well take the same attitude with respect to neutrality.

The Prime Minister was either leading the house to believe or labouring under the impression that we could decide in parliament whether or not we would be neutral. The Minister of Justice to-day took the other point of view, and I think the correct one. I should like to ask the Prime Minister some time-he is not in his seat-Is not Canada automatically at war when Great Britain is

Foreign Policy-Mr. Woodsworth

at war? It is all very well to say that it is for ns to determine the extent to which we shall send reinforcements, if at all; but as the Minister of Justice explained toKlay, if Great Britain is at war we are at war. But the Prime Minister says that parliament is going to decide as to neutrality. It is rather important to know that he thinks that way, but unfortunately that position is not sound. It is at present constitutionally impossible for parliament to decide to remain neutral in case of a war in which Great Britain is involved, until the first steps have been taken, as in South Africa, to secure Canadian control of the documents evidencing the crown's intentions. Canada has never yet declared war or made peace for herself, and could not do so as matters now stand.

The Minister of Justice quoted Professor Berriedale Keith. I too would like to quote Keith. In the Journal of Comparative Legislation, 1935, page 274, he is reported as saying that certain decisions-

seem to establish that any royal prerogative in respect of a dominion may under suitable legislation be controlled by that dominion.

It seems to me it is possible for Canada to control her neutrality, but this cannot be done on the mere say-so of the Prime Minister, or even of parliament. As an authority on the constitutional aspect wrote me-and I take it as my own-from the point of view of constitutional law the question seems to depend upon whether the crown has or has not been divided; that is, whether or not the empire is now merely an association of states united by a common sovereignty or a common crown. There is a reasonable amount of evidence that the crown is still undivided and unitary.

From the point of view of international law, he says:

While dominions of the British commonwealth have acquired international status as separate entities, the exact status which they have obtained is far from clear. The separate negotiation, signature and ratification of treaties on their behalf, the separate representation of the dominions in the League of Nations and the exchange of diplomatic representatives with certain dominions by certain foreign governments, may be interpreted merely as de facto recognition of the dominions as separate, though not necessarily independent, international persons. It does not follow that other member states of the family of nations have recognized the independence of Canada or other dominions de jure, nor their capacity to declare neutrality or war on their own behalf. The recognition of the independence of a territory or colony formerly part of a sovereign state without the express consent of that former state is generally regarded by authorities in international law, as well as by the practice of nations, as an unfriendly act.

311X1-36J

By analogy it might be considered an unfriendly act on the part of other states to recognize the right of Canada to be neutral in the event of Great Britain being involved in war without the express assent of the government of Great Britain or other recognized constitutional authority such as the Imperial conference.

It would appear to be necessary that some formal declaration of the right of Canada to declare neutrality be made. The appropriate constitutional authority would be the imperial conference, and the appropriate procedure a formal declaration communicated to foreign governments.

As usual, I think I may say, the Prime Minister advocated the middle way, which means in effect, a do-nothing policy. He said, as reported at page 252 of Hansard:

I believe that with a revision of the covenant which will enable the league to proceed along lines which with further consultation, conciliation, and mediation, we shall see develop a great institution that will serve the world well.

Topic:   FOREIGN EOLICY
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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. gentleman, but his time has expired.

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

May I have five minutes longer?

Topic:   FOREIGN EOLICY
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No.

Topic:   FOREIGN EOLICY
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Go ahead.

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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member has already had the advantage of about four minutes additional.

Topic:   FOREIGN EOLICY
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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

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

Mr. HEAPS:

The Minister of Justice had the advantage of almost half an hour.

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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member cannot continue unless he has the unanimous consent of the house.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Agreed.

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I thank the house for their courtesy. The Minister of Justice objected to the use of force by the league.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

My hon. friend said I put words into his mouth. I have the reference before me; it is page 239 of Hansard. That is what he advocated, to give armaments to the league to enforce its decisions.

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

This is my position; I have said that personally I do not believe in the exercise of force in international affairs. I have said that I did not think the building up of our armies was the way to promote peace, but I have realized that our governments are not travelling in that direction. Under the circumstances it would be a decided step forward if we could have collective security instead of attempted security by the exercise of power on the part of individual nations. That was my point, and in substantiation of that I should like to

Foreign Policy-Mr. Woodsworth

read this paragraph by Mr. H. N. Brailsford, in his pamphlet Towards a New League, pages 58 and 59:

The Genevan idea that one can allow history to run on by its own uncoordinated motions, and then pull oneself up from time to time to arbitrate a "dispute"-this is thinking too obsolete for serious discussion...

What statesman of mature mind and ripe experience will undertake to give us peace, unless he can control such fundamental economic happenings? There are, of course, "disputes" that can be handled on police court lines- the Corfu affair was nothing more. But every major dispute demands planning and legislation on a wide international scale. If we mean to forbid the Japanese to conquer Manchuria, to fend off the Italians from Ethiopia, and to divert the Germans from an adventure at Russia's expense, we must have the authority and the intelligence to meet in other ways their problems of markets, capital investment, raw materials, and population. It is not enough to tackle these problems by improvisation after the dispute has arisen, as the league tried to do in the Lytton report and the Paris terms of August. Tliose were attempts to buy off the aggressor by a compromise at the sole expense of China and Abyssinia. That is not the way to do it. The only civilized way is by authoritative planning, which will assure to every nation the facilities indispensable in the modern world for an economic life geared to the highest attainable standard. This it must do for all, and not merely for such powers as are strong enough and egoistic enough to make a dangerous fuss. It must do it steadily, the world over, and not spasmodically at the expense of selected victims. This means more than the holding from time to time of an economic conference, whose recommendations can have no effect, until a miscellaneous horde of governments afterwards separately ratifies them. It means, in plain words, federal government, with a general staff for economic planning, and a strong executive responsible to a democratic legislature, that can enact its measures by majority vote.

This afternoon we heard the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) quote President Roosevelt as to the horrors of the next war. We all realize at least something of what those horrors might be. I simply ask that this house, as a group of reasonable people using the same methods, which, I think, they would employ in their private affairs, should seriously consider whether there is no other way of bringing about peace than by beginning to travel the road which, throughout the years, inevitably has led to disaster.

Motion negatived on division.

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MOTION FOR PAPERS

MONT-LAURIER, QUEV POSTMISTRESS

LIB

Maurice Lalonde

Liberal

Mr. LALONDE:

For a copy of all correspondence, letters, evidence, reports and other documents in the possession of the Post Office Department, relating to an investigation conducted by the said

[ Mr. Woodsworth.1

department at Mont-Laurier in August, 1936, in connection with a charge made against the postmistress of Mont-Laurier.

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Subtopic:   MONT-LAURIER, QUEV POSTMISTRESS
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WAR MEASURES

February 4, 1937