February 15, 1937

LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

The hon. gentleman used the phrase " military commitments." The question is, is he suggesting that this country has at the moment any military commitments?

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

I am suggesting that these estimates and the large increase in the amount appropriated imply that we have in effect understandings which may be interpreted as commitments. That is my interpretation, because, as I said a few moments ago, I cannot see any reason for these

increases unless we contemplate the use of our military machine in a war, and as far as we in Canada are concerned, I can see no possibility of such a war in the immediate future.

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I must deny categorically and immediately what my hon. friend has said. There are no commitments and no understandings in the nature of commitments between this government and the government of Great Britain or any other government.

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

I am glad to hear that; but may I say that with the increased estimates, with the presence of ten British military gentlemen in our militia department, the inference which I drew from these two facts was, I think, warranted under the circumstances. I am glad to get the Prime Minister's denial, which, of course, I accept.

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

But the hon. member keeps on repeating the statement.

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

The Minister of Finance says that I have repeated the statement. I have repeated it, and I have repeated it designedly because up to this time I, at least, have heard no denial of the particular statement.

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

In the plainest of terms this session.

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

We are opposed to the estimates because they move in the direction of war, because they deny to our people the social services which they need. You cannot under present conditions spend millions in armaments and provide the people with the social services which they lack. And when we hear the statement made that these appropriations are necessary to cope with the possibilities of subversive elements within our own country, I would observe that there is only one way to deal with subversive elements and that is to make conditions such that subversive elements will not appear and expand. That is the only way. Repression breeds revolt.

Surely our generation, at least, should have learned our lesson from the last war. Let me point out that had we spent for the good of humanity the billions which were spent in that war, the world would not now be faced with the types of dictatorship that prevail in many countries. The Manchester Guardian summarized the physical loss to the world very well when, in February, 1931, it made this very careful appraisal of the war expenditures:

With the war costs it would have been possible to provide every family in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Bel-

National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie (Vancouver)

gium, Germany, and Russia with a home costing $2,500 standing on a five acre plot, equipped with furniture worth $1,250 and to provide each group of 20,000 families with hospitals and educational institutions and pay the salaries of teachers, doctors, professors and nurses to operate these social services.

I am convinced, therefore, that if we in ^Canada are to progress we must stand clear / of this mad race for armaments which can lead only to war. On the other hand, if this house decides that we are going to i prepare for war, then I submit that those i who believe we should prepare, should bring II down proposals which are in line with that Sj preparedness. I would not support them, but || I maintain that the next war will be a chemical i j war, a war of scientists, and under the conditions which are likely to exist, our govern* ment, if it is going to prepare for war at all, should do it as economically and as efficiently as possible. Call in the best scientists you have in the country, chemists and others, and let them prepare the most horrible gases they can think of. Let them assemble the most terrible germs of the type the nations will use, and let them prepare adequately for the real war that they foreshadow in the future. And as for our young men, as my colleague from Vancouver North (Mr. MacNeil) has said, we should care for their physique and health for, after all, in any form of defence we need well-nurtured, well-developed bodies. As far as I am concerned, however, I oppose such war preparations. I oppose war because I do not believe in war, and I conscientiously object to it. But there is another thing that I believe, and it is this: that when people talk about the inevitability of war, at any rate let them not say that participation in war is a Christian duty.

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. IAN MACKENZIE (Minister of National Defence):

I desire to speak to the amendment moved by the hon. member for Vancouver North (Mr. MacNeil) and seconded by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell). The amendment reads:

That all the words after the word "that" in the motion be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

"This house views with grave concern the startling increases of expenditure proposed by the government for purposes of national armament in contrast with the inadequate provision for the social security of all sections of the Canadian people."

I do not at present intend to raise a question of order or procedure with reference to this amendment, although that could be done. I intend at the moment to point out the absolute inconsistency of this double^jarrelled amendment. If the two hon. gentlemen, the mover and the seconder of the amendment,

had been content this afternoon merely to express their disapproval of the increase in the estimates for the Department of National Defence, they could very well have concluded the phraseology of their amendment with the words "national armament," and that would have been a vote of want of confidence in this administration with respect to the estimates submitted to this house and to the committee afterwards for its approval.

What have they done? They have built up an alternative program, and thereby they are inviting every hon. member when he comes to record his vote, which if it were in support of this resolution would be a vote of no confidence in this administration, not only to express his disapproval of the extension of the estimates of the Departmental of National Defence, but to express approbation of tne measures of social security which would be adopted under the political philosophy with which my friends are identified. In other words, they are asking this House of Commons not only to express disapproval of the essential measures which have been proposed, not for purposes of war but for the security of this dominion at this time, but to endorse the political philosophy which my friend the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) has been preaching in this house and outside for many years.

Now, may I recall the occasion in February 1933, when the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre moved a resolution which concluded with these words:

That, in the opinion of this house, the government should immediately take measures looking to the setting up of a cooperative commonwealth in which all natural resources and the socially necessary machinery of production will be used in the interests of the people and not for the benefit of the few.

What took place? Speaking in the debate which followed the introduction of that resolution, the right hon. leader of the opposition at that time, now the Prime Minister of this country (Mr. Mackenzie King) outlined to the house and to the country an alternative program of social reconstruction and for social security throughout Canada, and that program consisted of the fourteen points and principles upon which the Liberal party went to the country in 1935, and which were endorsed by the biggest majority that any government has had in this house since confederation. So, I say, if they merely disapprove the estimates for national defence, why not say so boldly and bluntly, without intriguing through their amendment for some approbation of the political philosophy embodied in the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation program?

892 COMMONS

National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie (Vancouver)

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Or the Liberal program.

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Does the hon. gentleman intend to imply that the political philosophy of this group alone represents a program of social security for the Canadian people?

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

I implied the very opposite. His leader definitely specified in that resolution the remedies he proposed for providing social security for the Canadian people, and that policy was completely repudiated and rejected by the Canadian people in 1935.

I desire now very briefly to deal with some of the submissions made by the hon. member for Vancouver North. In the first place he says this is a declaration that Canada must now prepare for war. With all the knowledge I have of the preparation of these estimates I contend that they could not, by the wildest flight of imagination, be saidi to be designed to prepare Canada for war. These estimates-every cent of them-are intended only for the security of the Canadian people. The hon. member speaks of social security. I ask him this question: If he and I worked all our lives for the promotion by legislation and otherwise of social security for the Canadian people within this dominion, could that security be safeguarded if our national security were imperilled by a wanton assault from an enemy without? National security at all times must come first. I am sure that every hon. member, according to his particular political and economic philosophy, is glad and proud to do all he can to build up the fabric of social security within the confines of our territory. But national security, national defence, the direct defence of Canada, of our coastal areas, our ports, our shipping terminals, our territorial waters, the focal areas of our trade routes adjacent to our harbour mouths-there are the matters dealt with in these estimates. May I tell my hon. friend there is no new defence policy embodied in these estimates. There is no new policy here at all. These estimates represent only an honest attempt by those who for the time being are charged with responsibility for the national well-being, to see to it that we have something effective and efficient for the purposes of direct defence of Canada or for defending our neutrality should it be assailed by anyone outside.

I intend to deal with this further in detail after the recess, but the horn, member for Vancouver North said we are replacing the peace establishment with a war establishment. That is utter nonsense. We are not only not replacing the peace establishment with a war

establishment, but during the short time I have been in charge of the Department of National Defence, we have reduced the military establishment of this country from 135,000 to 90,000; in fact we have done that within twelve months. All we are doing now is to see to it that this small force shall be properly equipped. The hon. member quoted General Currie, saying that we had men in Canada who can defend Canada. Yes, sir, we have, I believe, the finest men in the whole world. But is he going to send his comrades, our Canadian citizens, to the coastal areas of Canad'a to defend our shores without guns, without equipment, or with equipment that the enemy can outrange by hundreds of thousands of yards? Is he going to send them with obsolete equipment, some of it twenty years old? When he says we have men to defend our shores, I say, yes, we have, and they will defend them; the men of every province are ready and willing to defend Canada's shores. But it is the duty of this government, it would be the duty of any government entrusted, with the responsibility of office at the present time, to see to it that our Canadian boys, if they have to defend our shores, are armed, and1 equipped with the most modern and efficient machinery of defence that the resources of this country can provide. That is the entire policy of this administration, with reference to this question of defence.

The hon. member said that warlike preparations bring a warlike attitude. I have not seen any warlike preparations. I have heard much discussion about the expansion of our naval program. Let us see what it amounts to. The entire increase of the Canadian navy is one little training ship in Nova Scotia. Yet I have heard people hush-hushing around about the great new naval policy of this administration. My hon. friend talked about cruisers. Unfortunately we have no cruisers in this country. When we took office last year we had two efficient modem destroyers, and two old and obsolete destroyers, which did not even belong to us, which are with us on loan from the British admiralty. The only change is that we have purchased from the British admiralty two practically new efficient destroyers-four years old-of the same type that we built in 1931, and in two or three months' time we shall have four destroyers, just as we have had for several years. That is all, except that the two we have acquired from the British admiralty are more modem and better equipped and more serviceable for the essential services of the defence of our Canadian coast line and harbours than the two which were demilitarized recently.

National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie (Vancouver)

Then there is provision for four mine sweepers. I think the item in the estimates is about $750,000; the total cost will be around $1,000,000. These will be built in Canadian yards. There is nothing new in that. We had four mine sweepers ever since 1920 until they became obsolete; we have one still which is very nearly obsolete, hardly fit for active service. So, in regard to the $1,000,000 proposed to be expended upon mine sweepers, there is no new policy there. We are trying, sir, to repair the gaps; we are trying to maintain the modest naval force we have had in this country for years.

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

They cannot be sent to the battlefields of Europe.

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

They

certainly cannot. I think my hon. friend himself proved that; they could not possibly cross those 3,000 miles of which he has spoken.

One of the hon. gentlemen spoke of the impossibility of attack by air. I wonder whether he recalls the great flight of General Balbo's squadron from Italy, over Montreal and on to Chicago, a few years ago. I wonder whether he saw in the press about ten days ago a description of the flight of a squadron of United States battle planes to Honolulu. I wonder whether he read a description which appeared in the press the other day of the manoeuvres at Singapore, with combined operations of the British fleet, the British air force and some other forces. I wonder whether my hon. friend has studied the bill passed by the United States in 1935, which bill particularly provided for the defence of that great republic against air attacks by nations three thousand miles and more distant. So, when my hon. friend pits his marvellous, strategic brain against wise counsel and wise influences, in reference to these matters, I think he is going a little too far.

Then the hon. gentleman said we wanted a calm, cool appraisal of this problem. I think by the time this discussion has been concluded it will be found to be very complete from his point of view. We have nothing to hide; we are only too glad to explain every single item with reference to the expenditures on national defence. As I have said before, Mr. Speaker, there is no idea whatever of sending a single Canadian soldier overseas in any expeditionary force, and there is not a single cent providing for that in the estimates this house will be asked to vote. I say again to my hon. friend, with reference to our friendly relations with the great republic to the south, that there is no idea of any possible conflict with that country, and not one

cent is provided for that purpose. We have an appreciation of our happy relationship with the United States extending over one hundred years, during which we have had peace, harmony and accord with that great republic, and under these estimates not a single cent is to be expended for the purpose of protection against that country. We believe, we know, protection is not necessary in that direction.

We have in this dominion, sir, a tremendous territory with two ocean flanks. Under modern conditions of warfare, which have changed so drastically in the last few years, it is the opinion of many of those who advise us that our flanks may be vulnerable. When the hon. member for Vancouver North referred to these estimates, he spoke of Canada becoming a highly militarized nation. I wonder whether I would shock hon. members if I told the house the truth. Later on this evening I am going to place upon Hansard the per capita expenditures upon armaments of every nation in Europe and every nation on the South American continent, as compared with Canada, as well as the per capita expenditure of those nations which my hon. friends visited and from which they returned with such evidence of admiration. I refer to Sweden, Norway and Denmark, and also that great nation of permanent neutrality, Switzerland. What is the comparison? As against our per capita expenditure last year of S1.77; as against Australian per capita expenditure last year of $5.28, we have the per capita expenditure of Switzerland upon armaments soaring to $19.50. Yet it is said that because of an increase of eleven and a half million dollars in the defence estimates we are becoming a highly militarized nation. The neutrality of Switzerland is guaranteed, but despite that fact-or possibly because of it-her per capita expenditures have mounted sky-high so that to-day they stand at $19.50. And the expenditures of Sweden, to which my hon. friend referred so eloquently, socialist Sweden-and I do not say that with disrespect-are very much higher per capita than are those of Canada. I admit that there are two obscure nations on the South American contin :nt whose per capita expenditures for defence are slightly lower than the Canadian figure, but those are the only two countries I can find in that category.

To-day, Mr. Speaker, we are faced with this fact and all this talk of war on the part of my hon. friends does not touch the essential problem: Can we afford to neglect altogether the question of national security? That is the question. With reference to the Department of National Defence, I listened to the

894 COMMONS

National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie (Vancouver)

criticism of the hon. member for Vancouver North. Certainly what he said is not in accordance with the facts; but even assuming that it might be true, the two alternatives confronting this or any other government worthy of the name would be these: Either abolish the Department of National Defence altogether or try to make that department efficient, and that is all we are trying to do at this time. We are making a definite effort to provide an efficient defence department in the Dominion of Canada; it is becoming efficient, and next year it will be more efficient than it is at the present time.

The hon. member for Vancouver North seems to have a particular dislike for some of the higher officers of the department. I wish to say to him at this time that most of those officers served Canada in the great war. Many of them served, as my hon. friend himself did, in the very honourable capacity of private soldiers. Many of them were seriously wounded and disabled in the great war. To-day, sir, in the competitions in which they take part with officers from other nations, I believe they are as well possessed of initiative and as well qualified to advise on questions of strategy as are the officers of any country in the world. As proof of that, let me cite this instance. A few days ago, in one of the colleges overseas, two of our Canadian boys, taking a course of training there, were placed first and second among those attending that school.

Does it do us any good as Canadians to have the quality and calibre of those who are doing all they can for their country, those who have great records as Canadians, maligned and impugned in this House of Commons? I do not think it does. I know these men and I know they are striving to do their very best for the protection and the defence of this dominion. The best proof which can be given of that is the fact that they are the first to be called upon if Canadian defence becomes an actuality. So I do not think we should criticize these men unduly. I have great admiration for their ability in the naval services, limited as they are; in the air services, limited as they are, and in the militia' services. We have at the head of our militia training in this dominion men who have won the highest decorations in the whole empire practically; yet my hon. friend says they are unable to give us proper and expert advice. Then, to show his wonderful consistency, he proceeds to say that he has consulted with some of them-I gathered that it was in a clandestine way, not officially-and they told

him that there was no danger of attack by a country 3,000 miles away. The best opinions to-day indicate that we are not invulnerable to such attacks.

Then my hon. friend went on to speak about social conditions in my own city, and I want to tell him this: Just as the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) said in this house the other day that those who believe in increasing the estimates for defence have no monopoly of patriotism, so I say to the hon. member for Vancouver North, to the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) and to the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, that the members of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation in this house or in the country have no monopoly of a real desire to help the struggling masses in the Dominion of Canada.

Then my hon. friend spoke of this " farce called national defence." I suggest that that was hardly worthy of a member of this house, because it reflects upon our Canadian citizens. There is nothing militaristic about any of the plans which are before the house at the present time. I have described what was done in regard to the navy, and this is only a humble attempt to repair the deficiencies in equipment that resulted from the years of depression in Canada. What was the result of those years of depression? There was no equipment for the training of our military service in Canada. I shall tell, later on, what we have done during the last year. We have taken some effective action, and this year we intend to pursue that course and to take further action along those lines.

The point I wish to establish is this: There is no expansion, no extension, no increase- we have only been making effective and efficient what we have at the present time. I concede that there is some increase in the air force. If hon. members will look back through the estimates of former years when this party was in power, they will find that about seven and a half million dollars were expended, and that probably through the necessities which arose during years of depression that amount was reduced to one and a quarter million dollars. Sixty-nine officers and two hundred air men were discharged from their duties. Some of those men were of the finest trained air men we had in Canada.

Once again I say we are trying to make good what was lost to Canada through policies which had to be pursued during years of depression. This year we are, I concede, increasing the personnel of our air force. We are to build more aeroplanes in Canada. May I tell the house that when this government

National Defence

Mr. Mackenzie (Vancouver)

took office in October, 1935, there was not a single fighting aeroplane in Canada; there was not a single bomb to be dropped by an aeroplane; there was scarcely any amount of ammunition for guns. If I were to hold office without looking after these details, I could be accused of treason to the high office I now have the honour to occupy. It was my duty to protect our Canadian people, knowing the conditions which prevailed in Canada at that time.

The policy of the present government is not one of seeking war; it is not a policy of affronting enemies. It is a peace loving policy, and every hon. member of the government and all private members in the house, including those who have expressed themselves, have no desire for war. As the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) said a few days ago, we detest war. We love peace, and will do all we can to preserve it. There are no commitments, no understandings, no agreements, open or secret, of any kind. The hon. member for Vancouver North seems to think there are. He said something about a blank cheque to be written in blood, or used some fearsome phrase such as that. I wish to say that I was in London for five or six days in connection with the great Vimy pilgrimage. At that time the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) was engaged in connection with the continuance of the trade treaty between the United Kingdom and Canada. Never was any suggestion made to me-and I am sure there was never one made to him- with reference to an agreement, blank or otherwise.

It is important that the country and the house should know these things. It is well that this talk, bludgeoning the house into fearsome fright with reference to war, which was indulged in by the hon. member for Vancouver North, should be discouraged. The house should know, without further discussion, for what purpose the estimates are intended. As I said before, they are entirely for the protection of Canadian shores, the protection of Canadian homes, the protection of Canadian shipping terminals and harbours. A few days ago someone said in the house that parliament might have power to regulate Canadian neutrality. May I say that any student of the law of neutrality knows that any other belligerent, without consulting this parliament, may declare us to be belligerents, and that we have not the power to protect our own neutrality.

So, Mr. Speaker, up to this point I have dealt only with the remarks of the mover and seconder of the amendment. After recess, I intend to explain exactly what these estimates are for, and to show that they are for the direct defence of Canada and for the defence of Canadian neutrality.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

Mr. Speaker, before the house took recess at six o'clock, I was endeavouring to reply to some of the points which were raised in the course of the discussion on the amendment moved by the hon. member for Vancouver North and seconded by the hon. member for Rose-town-Biggar. Since then I have examined certain notes which I took in the course of their remarks, and I should like now to deal with one or two of their observations before I proceed to a considered analysis of the present situation.

The hon. member for Vancouver North referred, during his remarks on the estimates for national defence, to conditions existing among ex-service men in the Dominion of Canada. Seeing that he and I have had the pleasure for many years, some twenty years now, of working together on many committees, both doing the best we could for the cause of ex-service men in this country, and seeing that there has been in this house for the last twenty years almost, ever since the armistice, a well-defined tradition that any legislation affecting ex-service men should not be interjected into any contentious or acrimonious debate, I was indeed surprised at the remarks made by my hon. friend. But when he referred to the Hyndman report and to the attitude of ex-service men, I think I am entitled to quote at this time a declaration of policy in regard to these very estimates which was made recently in the capital city of Canada by the Canadian Legion, of which my hon. friend as well as I are old members This was the Canadian Legion's declaration of policy:

(1) That the Canadian Legion believes that the first essential toward the promotion of world peace is universal disarmament to a point consistent with preservation of order within national territorial limits, and the efficient policing of the seas.

(2) But in view of the fact that efforts made since the war toward procuring universal disarmament have, thus far, been unsuccessful, and that as a result the nations of the world

896 COMMONS

National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie (Vancouver)

are now rearming to a greater degree than ever before and, in view of the fact .that certain of the great powers do not adhere to the League of Nations, and that others, on occasion, have flaunted its decisions, the Canadian Legion believes that the time has now come when the people of Canada should give consideration to the problem of national defence.

(3) That in view of the fact that since the passage of the Statute of Westminster Canada is now an independent nation within the commonwealth of the British Empire, it is necessary that Canada should assume the responsibilities of nationhood, and that we should not rely upon the United Kingdom for our defence by sea or land.

(4) That we, therefore, believe that it is essential that Canada should, forthwith, develop a defence policy which, in the first place, would be designed to enable us to effectively defend our neutrality in case of war and protect our trade and commerce, and ultimately enable us to defend our eastern and western coasts from aggression by enemy forces.

(5) That in so declaring we definitely exclude a policy of arming for purposes of aggression; that we regard our frontier with the United States as one which does not require protection, but we feel that if Canada is to retain her place as an independent nation in the world, she must be able to defend herself from threats of aggression from overseas, which in the present state of world politics cannot be regarded as idle.

(6) That accordingly-

This, Mr. Speaker, is the major organization representing the ex-service men in the Dominion of Canada, speaking within the last two weeks in the capital city of Canada:

(6) That accordingly, we endorse the proposals of the government to increase our national defences and trust that such defences may be developed along the lines suggested, to make our coast secure from attack by sea, land and air, and to preserve our position as an independent nation which does not seek to interfere with the rights of any other nation but only to develop its national life in a world where peace should prevail.

So I submit that when in a debate concerning an increase or extension in the estimates of the National Defence department, the hon. member for Vancouver North raises the issue of the Hyndman report, he is hardly doing justice to himself or to his splendid record of service over many years in the cause of the ex-service men in this dominion.

My hon. friend also said in the course of his remarks that instead of suppressing discontent we should try to remove the causes of discontent. I thoroughly agree with that sentiment.

Mr. WOOD8WORTH: Hear, hear.

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver); And the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre says, "Hear, hear." I want to tell my hon. friends

once again that in the removal of the causes of discontent in Canada they have no monopoly of intent or of idealism or of action.

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Rut may I suggest that the government has the power.

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

The hon. member for Vancouver North by his amendment is seeking to obtain power, because the carrying of his amendment would mean the defeat of this government; a socialist government would then be in control in this dominion, and we would have the establishment of a socialist state. That is what the amendment means, and nothing else.

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
?

An hon. MEMBER:

What is wrong with that?

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

The hon. member for Vancouver North spoke of vessels making sporadic raids on our Canadian shores, and asked: Does that require any additional defence? Well, Mr. Speaker, the whole theory of national defence to-day, with reference to coastal defence, deals with that specific problem, and it is for meeting these sporadic raiders or aircraft carriers that these estimates are compiled. If my hon. friend has read, as he probably has, the most recent pronouncement of those who are competent to make proper observations upon the subject, he would find that the entire conception of Canadian naval, military and aerial defence is based upon the action of sporadic raiders, or upon aircraft carriers. I want to tell my hon. friends this: We are prepared to build

a hundred aeroplanes in the country. These, sir, are not necessarily finally localized in any portion of this dominion. They would be machines of high velocity, capable of being moved within a few hours for the defence of any portion of Canada-available for the protection of the great St. Lawrence river, available for the protection of Montreal, available for the protection of Quebec, available for protection against any raid that might be made on the grain elevators of this country. In this day of aircraft earners it is quite conceivable that enemy nations might raid this nation, supplying food as a neutral amongst belligerents. Our elevators and our food supplies might be raided, and apart from our essential coast defence our food supplies must be protected in the case of any hostilities.

The hon. member for Vancouver North also mentioned the organization of war industries, and I intend1 to deal with that very briefly before I conclude. He also dealt with the

National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie (Vancouver)

question of profiteering. I desire, before I go any further, to say at this moment that ever since this government has been in power it has been giving very serious attention to this whole question. It has been dealing with the question of profits in peace time, dealing with the export of munitions in peace time and dealing with the provision of supplies in war time. I want to tell my hon. friend that all these matters of which he has been advocating a vigorous and relentless supervision, have been anxiously considered1 by the government with a view to meeting the situation. So it is purely academic for him to bring up the question at the present time.

I should like to deal briefly with some of the remarks made by the seconder of the resolution. He wanted an outline of government policy in relation to foreign affairs. I thought the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice had already given, during the present session, a concise and comprehensive review of the position of Canada with relation to foreign affairs, and I doubt not that before this debate is concluded a further contribution may be made in this regard. My hon. friend also spoke of the organization of potential war industries, and he said' that these estimates connot be construed as defence estimates but must be taken as estimates for an expeditionary force. I dealt with that before six o'clock.

My hon. friend also referred to imperial officers on exchange in this dominion. There is nothing new about that; it has been going on in Canada for a score or more of years. Officers have been on exchange from Canada to England, and from England to Canada, just the same as they have been on exchange with other portions of the commonwealth. That has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with questions of policy. It is purely for the purpose of a better understanding of training systems, systems of organization, and systems of equipment of the various nations. It has nothing whatever to do with the increase in the present estimates or with the policy of the nation in connection with these estimates.

I should like now to review briefly the world situation at the present time to indicate why it is necessary for us to repair the deficiencies that exist in our equipment and in our facilities in Canada if we are to provide reasonable security and reasonable defence.

Look at Spain torn with ruthless civil war, with class passions threatening any moment to engulf the whole group of European nations. Italy having just completed a successful defiance of the League of Nations, is continuing to arm at a furious pace. Germany is spending 84,000,000.000 on a.rmaxnents this year. Russia, armed and disciplined as she has never been before since the days of the czars, possesses the greatest air force in the world, and maintains constant vigilance on her coasts both east and west. Her defence appropriation last year, according to the estimates received, was $3,000,000,000. Czechoslovakia, the most perilously situate of all the mid-European states, has just enacted the most drastic law in history, appropriating to the state every soul between the ages of sixteen and sixty, and the use of any and all property, private and individual. The Popular Front government in France, dominated by socialist philosophy, has just put through a new three-year defence program. The Maginot line, costing $2,000,000 a mile, is to be extended from the Mediterranean to the North Sea. France is expending forty per cent of her budget upon her national defence. Poland likewise has set about erecting a maginot line of her own on her German frontier. What Great Britain is doing is, I think, known to every hon. member. Then let us cast our eyes to the far east, where China is torn with civil faction, and Japan seems to be restlessly seeking continental expansion. Clashes are in evidence every day. In Australia all parties, including the commonwealth Labour party, are joining together for an adequate plan of national defence. The other day we witnessed, as I mentioned before this afternoon, the British manoeuvres at Singapore, and last year, very near the Canadian, shores, off the coast of Alaska, we saw the greatest war manoeuvres in the history of this great peace loving neighbour of ours, the United States.

So let us face realities. Look at Europe; witness what has happened there-the conflict between force and reason, the repudiation of treaties, the destruction of dynasties, the violation of the cardinal principles of the League of Nations, and to-day the ugly menace of civil war. In the orient, I regret to say, conditions are scarcely better, and the United States is spending the greatest sums in her history upon the coastal defence of the Pacific ocean. Let us remember that many nations to-day are ruled not by parliaments but by individuals and dictators. We in Canada are very happily placed in that parliament still governs, democracy is still in the saddle, and autocracy has not yet obtained the supremacy. We are, as has been said, a fortunate nation, fortunate in our great institutions of liberty, fortunate in the contributions which all the various races have made toward the development and the upbuilding of this Canadian land. And that race, sir, of which you are such a distinguished

898 COMMONS

National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie (Vancouver)

representative, has made to this nation a contribution which is abiding and beyond price.

Let us look at our situation to-day. As my leader has said, I believe, the house in which we dwell, this Canada of ours, has its front door open with no one to watch it, and its back door open with scarcely anyone to guard it. We in this country, in this parliament, in this government, are not concerned with any policy of aggression; we are concerned purely and simply and entirely with the defence of Canada. As I said before, there is no need of defence against our great neighbour to the south. The possibility of conflict there has been entirely discounted. As I said before six o'clock, there is in the estimates nothing for any expeditionary force, but provision only for the defence of Canada against those who might assail us or violate our neutrality. I cannot repeat too often that the defence of our shores and the preservation of our neutrality are the cardinal principles of the defence policy of the Dominion of Canada.

This afternoon I heard an hon. member refer to protection from two other countries. May I say in reply that we cannot afford nor do we wish to lean too much upon any nation. Let us put our own house in order so that we shall not be dependent or a burden upon either the great republic adjoining us or the commonwealth of British nations to which we are so intensely proud to belong. Some in this house and in the country would have us do more than we are doing. Some in this house and in the country would have us do nothing at all. I desire to suggest that the safe policy is to preserve the unity of the Canadian people, to avoid, on the one hand, extremes of inaction as suggested here this afternoon, or, on the other, extremes of excessive action as may be suggested before this debate is concluded, and to preserve a prudent, moderate and safe course, in other words a rational policy of domestic defence for the Dominion of Canada.

Someone-I think it was the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar-referred this afternoon to our foreign policy. In my judgment, looking over the field in possibly an academic way, we should have a home policy and a foreign policy. In that I agree with my hon. friend. In my judgment our home policy is to preserve at all costs the unity of Canada and our Canadian people upon this and all other problems. In regard to foreign policy I think the finest guiding maxim that we ever had was given us by our leader the other day when he quoted from Holy Writ these words, "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you live peaceably

with all men." According to the practice of the Scottish Presbyterians I should like to divide that into three parts: in the first place, "if it be possible." In other words, we may not be the masters of our fate or the captains of our souls. But if it be possible, we are pledged to the great cause of world peace. The second part is, "as much as lieth in you." We may not be free agents eventually or finally in the settlement of this great problem. Other nations, unfriendly nations, may settle it against our judgment and against our will. But if the first two conditions are fulfilled, "if it be possible" and "as much as lieth in you," then what is the great ideal? "Live peaceably with all men." In other words, the ideal of this government and its supporters, and I believe the ideal of all hon. members of this house, is to do all we can for the preservation of world peace, in our nation, with other nations, and in our time.

That brings us to the inherent obligation of our dominion or its own primary responsibility, which is its own defence. The obvious responsibilities of Canada might be regarded as fourfold: the responsibilities of Canada to Canada itself; the responsibilities which might eventuate to Canada as a member of the British commonwealth; the responsibilities of Canada as a member of the League of Nations, and the responsibilities of Canada as one of the great and growing nations of the world. To sum it up again, may I say that these are threefold: the maintenance of internal security in our dominion; the preservation of strict neutrality, law and order within our territorial waters in time of peace, and the protection of our coasts and focal areas in case there may be conflict. In other words, as I have already mentioned, our duty is the direct defence of Canada and the defence of Canadian neutrality, and the latter is of significance with respect to Canada's responsibilities along her seaboard, and perhaps particularly along her western seaboard. At the present time, I must state, Canada's existing naval, military and air forces are incapable of ensuring anything approaching adequate supervision of her harbours, her coasts, and her great shipping ports. If we have this mad race of armaments to which reference has been made, that is the extreme in one direction. On the other hand, Canada has been neglecting the matter of essential armaments even to the point of endangering her national security, and that is the extreme in the other direction. It cannot be too strongly emphasized in connection with the estimates now before the house that the two essential principles have been observed in our action with

National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie (Vancouver)

reference to the friendly republic to the south and in the fact that there is not a single cent in the estimates for sending a mobile or expeditionary force overseas.

Now I should like, with the consent of the house, to place on Hansard the record of the per capita expenditures of Canada as compared with those of the other nations of the

world. First, there is a comparison between Canada and the other nations of the commonwealth with reference to per capita expenditures on armaments; second, a comparison between Canada and other nations on the American continent, and third, comparison between Canada and the other world nations with respect to the same expenditures:

Per Capita Defence Expenditure 1931-32 to 1936-37 for the Defence Forces of Canada, Australia, New Zealand

and South Africa

(Latest figures available)

Year Canada Australia (b) New Zealand (b) South Africa Canada's Defence Expenditure1931-32 $ cts. 1 71 (c) 1 35 (e) 1 24 (c) 1 19 tc) 1 41 (c) 1 77 (c) $ cts. 2 53 2 27 2 40 3 17 (a) 4 37 5 28 (a) $ cts. 1 66 2 00 1 50 2 22 (a) 2 38 (a) N.A. $ cts. 2 02 2 03 2 20 3 34 (a) 4 53 (a) N.A. $ 17,585,460 13,348,716 13,149,409 13,041,000 (d) 15,397,065 (d) 19,358,454 (d)1932-33 1933-34 1934-35 1935-36 1936-37

Notes: (a) The exchange rates used are those for December, 1934 and 1935 respectively.

(b) New census figures were available for 1935-36 and have been utilized for that year's com putations.

(c) Cost of civil air operations, civil aviation, general services (civil government), N.W.T radio

service and other similar services have not been included in computation of per capita expenditure. Information provided by F. S. Branch, National Defence Dept.

(d) Information supplied by F.S. branch, National Defence Dept.

N. A.-Information not available.

Expenditure on National Defence-South American Countries (latest available figures (a) ).

Country Population 1934-35 1935-36

National Defence Estimates(b) National Defence Estimates(b)

Total 000's omitted f cl Per capita Per cent of total Budget Total 000's omitted (c) Per capita Per cent of total Budget12.393.000 44.002.000 4.508.000 18.596.000 6.147.000 3.324.000 34^900 53,784 35,090 16,740 6,969 8,235 $ 2-82 1-22 7-78 0-90 M3 2-48 15-4 25-0 340 22-5 td) (d) $ 46,068 57,816 18,100 20,850 7,982 7,930 s 3-72 1-31 401 1-12 1- 30 2- 39 (d) (d) (d) (d) 22-0 (d)

Note: (a) The figures u^d were obtained from the League of Nations' Armaments Year Book (1936) and Statesman s Year Book (1935 and 1936), and are the latest available figures. No figures for 1936-37 available.

(b) Estimated expenditure only is available-no statements of actual defence expenditure for 1934-35 and of actual defence appropriations for 1935-36 are available.

(c) Currency rates prevailing in December of each year used in computing dollar figures.

(d) Total budget figures not available.

31111-57}

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink

EXPENDITURE ON NATIONAL DEFENCE-VARIOUS COUNTRIES

February 15, 1937