February 18, 1937

LIB

Hervé-Edgar Brunelle

Liberal

Mr. H. E. BRUNELLE (Champlain):

Some hon. members were perhaps able to come to a quick decision as to our necessities in regard to armaments. I confess that I took considerable time to study the proposition from every angle, and that I found it very embarrassing. But after all there are only two views; there is the imperialist point of view, which means that Canada's welfare is of necessity connected with the welfare of the empire or of the British commonwealth of nations, and there is the Canadian point of view-shall I call it the "home-made"

National Defence-Mr. Brunelle

point of view?-which means that once for all we must cease to look at or think of the empire or the motherland in framing our policies. The latter is my viewpoint. We must regulate our business as an independent nation, free to help or not to help a country which may be at war, and free to arm or to disarm as we see fit. I understand that it is difficult for some Canadians to break the last link which unites Canada to England and to view our situation regardless of what tiheir feelings may be as to the old country. I, however, venture the assertion that of the 245 members or thereabouts of this house there is not one who has not given the most serious thought to the question of national defence. I am sure every hon. member will be sincere when he votes on the question of armament. One may discuss different points of view; one may disagree with another, but one must give others the same credit for sincerity and honesty and patriotism as he expects for himself. The duty of a representative of the people is, after all, to try to find the right path, and to express such views and act in such a way as may be in conformity with his conscience.

If there were only two courses to follow; if I had to vote either for the government or for the Conservative party, I admit I would not hesitate for one moment, for I am certain that the Conservative party, according to past declarations and the past policy of that party, would consider $15,000,000 for rearming our nation to be only small change. In regard to this most important question of armaments I must place what I sincerely believe is the interest of my constituents before any party interest. To make my position clear and to be consistent with myself I shall read what I said in this house on February 4 last:

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.

Believing that the war danger in Canada is not pronounced, believing that our means are not abundant enough, and believing that an adequate Canadian defensive or offensive army would be almost an impossibility, I

regret I must come to the conclusion that the increase in our military estimates is too large. I am of opinion that we must have some protection, but the difference between the previous year's military estimates and those of this year is too great. The answer to the question whether or not we should spend more for armaments this year is not selfevident. It is not, as the expression goes, lying under one's very nose. There are some people who believe we ought to arm to the extent that we are preparing to arm, and there are other people who do not so believe. After all, we are preparing for future events, and we do not know with any certainty what those future events will be. So there is no certainty upon which one can base his attitude with regard to armaments. The only certain thing is that this year we contemplate spending a great deal more than we spent last year.

It is sometimes hard to do one's duty as one sees it, Mr. Speaker. I find it painful to disagree with the leaders of my party and so many of my Liberal friends. I respect the opinions of those who have different views, and I hope that my opinions will be respected also. I have considered this question just as seriously as a person could consider any question; I have listened to the speeches that have been made in this house; I have listened to the statistics that have been presented and the arguments that have been advanced both for and against the increase in the estimates. As I have already said, I have been forced to make up my mind to vote against the increase in the estimates for our Department of National Defence.

I like people who speak their minds freely. I like people who look a situation in the face and say what they think. It seems to me queer that our hon. friends who form His Majesty's most loyal opposition should be so quiet on this subject. It appears to me that the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett), who thought it expedient to speak for about two hours with regard to the appointment of Mr. John Vallance in connection with rehabilitation work in western Canadb, should not have five minutes in which to address us and to demonstrate that an expenditure of $15,000,000 is not very much, that perhaps he would be prepared to go to the extent of $75,000,000 or $100,000,000. Probably if that were done, it might help us to form a better judgment on this issue. I would have expected our very eloquent friend the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Massey) to give us an illuminating address on this important question. I should like to have heard the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe

National Defence-Mr. Brunelle

(Mr. Rowe), who has the honour of leading the Conservative party in the province of Ontario, give this house the views of the farmers of Ontario. Probably, however, there is some justification for his absence, he is busy, and I have no doubt he is concentrating on a measure which will equitably apportion certain school taxes in the said province. I am a new member of this house; I have not had much experience in politics, but I wonder whether it is possible that political expediency may have something to do with the attitude of the Conservative party on this matter. I am tempted to apply to the Conservative group a word that was applied by the poet La Fontaine to a cat which was hunting in very poor disguise. He said:

Ce bloc enfarine ne me dit rien qui vaille.

The "wait andi see" policy which is being followed by the opposition is not very courageous, nor does it seem very frank. I might compare the attitude of the right hon. leader of the opposition with the attitude of a certain accused person who, when asked by the magistrate whether or not he was guilty, replied, "How can I tell whether or not I am guilty until I have heard what the witnesses have to say?"

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

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LIB

Hervé-Edgar Brunelle

Liberal

Mr. BRUNELLE:

Mr. Speaker, the amendment now before the house reads as follows:

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.

The mover of the amendment (Mr. Mac-Neil) did not see fit to stop when his idea had been well expressed, and when he had expressed his views against an increase in armaments, in the following terms:

This house views with grave concern the startling increases of expenditure proposed by the government for purposes of national armament.

With that part of the amendment I am in accord, and would have been content to support it. But he complicated matters by connecting with the first part of the amendment another part dealing with social security and social legislation, that sort of socialism which is and has been advocated in and out of this house by members of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation. It will be noticed that both the mover and the seconder of the

amendment are members of that party. I am sure they are sincere, and I am sure they are not communists, but I feel that a great deal of what they say is of a nature to develop communistic ideas in the minds of some, and to encourage others who have graduated in the most advanced form of communism, to go ahead and operate among our people.

My views on social legislation are quite different from those of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation. I should not want the moneys now allocated to armaments to be employed for the development or realization of the reforms preached by the party I have just named. Besides, this is a vote of want of confidence. It is evident that if the government were overthrown the Conservative party would have to assume office and the direction of the country. The expenses incurred would be very great, when we remember that during that party's last term of office, between 1930 and 1935, they increased the national debt by $920,000,000.

I shall vote against the amendment now before the house, because I find fault with the last part of it. But I shall also vote against the estimates, when they come before the committee of supply, because I do not deem it expedient that the government should spend so much or increase the estimates to such an extent in one year.

Mr. Speaker, I think it is a quality to be frank and outspoken. I say the impression should not go out to the public that I hold the view that the present government, and particularly the ministers from Quebec, are imperialists. I am sure they are not imperialists, any more than I am-and I am not an imperialist. I do not want the impression to go out to the public that the present cabinet, and particularly those members of it who are from Quebec, are in favour of Canada's participation in any imperial or European war, because they are no more in favour of our participating in such wars than I am-and I am not in favour of such participation. They simply wish to protect Canada against attack, and to increase the national defence estimates by $15,000,000 for that purpose. That is their sincere point of view. My humble belief is that the $15,000,000 increase is too much, and that is the reason for my dissent.

While I am on my feet may I fulfil another duty, in the name of justice. I wish to denounce a certain section of the press of the province of Quebec for the falsehoods, misrepresentations and sins of commission and omission which appear regularly in their pages with respect to the attitude of the present

National Defence-Mr. Brunette

cabinet, particularly the ministers from Quebec, and the Liberal party in general, concerning armaments. A great deal of the press of the province of Quebec is at this time making a determined effort to mislead the people of that province, and to make political capital out of the question of armaments. I am sure our ministers can well defend themselves, but to represent the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) or other ministers from the province of Quebec as imperialists or as ministers in favour of Canada's participation in European wars is to show malice aforethought and to express a base lie.

May I mention particularly L'lllustration as the best example of how vile, how low and how reptile-like a newspaper may be, in the paid service of unscrupulous and furious political opponents. As a new member I have observed what has been going on in the chamber and, astonishing as the fact may be, day after day I have seen that yellow paper, L'lllustration, on the desk and in the hands of the hon. member for Argenteuil (Sir George Perley) and have seen him and the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) bend their heads together over that abominable sort of paper, which I call L'lllustration, apparently enjoy the perusal of its articles and make feast of the outrageous and deliberate falsehoods appearing in its pages about the attitude of the ministers from Quebec. Those are falsehoods which are intended to make the people of Quebec lose confidence in the Minister of Justice, in the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Cardin), in the Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. Power), and in the Secretary of State (Mr. Rinfret).

May I praise most heartily the independent press for the good work it is doing for its readers, and the impartial newspapers for the service they render their subscribers, but let me loathe and deprecate a paper such as L'lllustration for the bad sendee it renders to the citizens of the province of Quebec.

I regret that in connection with the issue of armaments and the increase in the estimate for the Department of National Defence I have to disagree with the government, but in doing so I am getting not nearer but much farther away from the Conservative party, which in Canada is known as the imperialist party. It is quite possible that the government is right in its present defence policy and it is also possible the future will prove that the estimates for this year were not excessive. Time will tell. I foresee that the estimates for national defence will be passed by this house and I am sure they will be found to be much too small by the Conservative party, whether or not they admit it. I

am proud to declare that the policy of the Liberal party has been proved to be good and profitable to the country in every respect. I believe in that policy, but I disagree as to the amount intended to be spent this year on armaments.

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LIB

Léonard-David Sweezey Tremblay

Liberal

Mr. L. D. TREMBLAY (Dorchester):

Mr. Speaker, in rising this evening to oppose the amendment now before the house, I am conscious of fulfilling a serious and imperative duty. Since the beginning of this debate I have listened to the views which have been expressed. I have given much attention to this question of armaments. The amendment reads:

This house views with grave concern the startling increases of expenditure proposed by the government for purpose of national armament-

I ask the mover of this amendment (Mr. MacNeil) if the house should not also view with concern the conditions facing the whole world at the present time. Every nation is increasing its armaments at a terrific pace. Against whom are they arming? Is my hon. friend in a position to tell me? Does he think what is going on now in Europe is encouraging? Does he view conditions in Spain as a proof of peace? Let us not be satisfied with words. In June, 1914, who ever thought that a European war was impending? The hon. member is a fellow war veteran and I want to assure him that I am not discussing such a momentous problem from a partisan point of view. Will my hon. friend state that in the spring of 1914 there were even a dozen men in Canada who foresaw the war that came in that year? I hate war just as much as do he and my other war comrades. Like all hon. members of this house I do not want my children-I am proud to say that I have eleven-to have to go to war, and I shall not betray them and my fellow citizens and force them to undergo the terrible experiences which the men of my generation had to go through.

Surely the mover of this amendment realizes that the world hardly perceives where it is going and does not realize what may be in store for it. I am astounded at some of the statements made by hon. members. They say that Canada either will be threatened with war, or will not. If she is threatened with war, some hon. members say that either England or the United States will defend us and we need not worry. If she is not threatened with war, some hon. members say, "Why should we arm?" I wish to take up the first alternative, namely, that in case of war England or the United States would defend us. May I be permitted to quote a

National Defence-Mr. Tremblay

paragraph, from an article written by Doctor Jules Dorion, editor of L'Action Catholique, on January 14 .last. This is what he said:

Of course some people are of the opinion that as we can do but so little it would be unwise to spend money in armament and we should be satisfied with leaning on others. Well let us not forget the proverb that says: Help yourself and God will help you. The weakest among men is in duty bound to do his share before relying on his neighbours, and the same thing may be said, of states. Their limited area and their small population do not prevent Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark and other Scandinavian states from having their own army, kept on the best possible footing, and their own navy, when necessary. Belgium has just reorganized her army and made it more efficient, although that country is well aware of the fact that France and England are greatly interested in having her territorial integrity duly respected. Belgium is a living example of a small country being ransacked, notwithstanding the sanctity of treaties and the sympathetic concern of powerful neighbours.

On the other side, accepting protection from one who is not bound to afford it cannot go on very long without servitude. We do not feel inclined to barter our provincial status in almost a sovereign dominion for that of an ordinary state in the neighbouring country.

Not only do I make those words my own, but I think I am sufficiently acquainted with the population of the constituency of Dorchester, which it is my privilege to represent, to say that the people of Dorchester, whether of French, English, Irish or Scotch origin, do not feel inclined1 to barter their provincial status in an almost sovereign dominion for that of an ordinary state in a neighbouring country. I wish I could say with the same righteous candour which other hon. members have shown, that we need only fold our arms, urge peace and do nothing to provoke another country, in order to ensure the perpetuity of peace in Canada. Let me ask these pacifists if little Belgium provoked anybody in 1914. Did she do anything to justify invasion of her territory? Certainly not. History will show future generations, just as the actual facts have proved to us, that a country can be not only invaded but ransacked in spite of its peaceful feelings and strict neutrality. Against whom do we arm? This is what the hon. member for Bellechasse (Mr. Boulanger) said last Tuesday evening:

We are arming not against somebody in particular, but rather against anybody. It is impossible to foresee what we shall do with this army that we wish to make more efficient and more mobile. What we can say to our fellow-citizens is that we want an army which is really useful and which we can use in case of emergency. Against whom do we arm? Many of us have an accident insurance policy for which we have been paying premiums since 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. We have not yet been hit by a motor car, and still we keep on paying

the premiums. It is impossible to say on which date, at which time and by which car we may be hit some day.

Sir, we are not arming against anybody, but we want everybody to know that we are ready to defend our own country. With regard to danger from the outside, nobody in this house can give us the assurance that we are immune.

Again, the pacifists say that everything is fine within our borders and that we do not need any protection on that account. But is that statement in conformity with the facts? The hon. member for Beauharnois-Laprairie (Mr. Raymond), who spoke with such common sense and judgment last Monday evening, provided us with ample material for reflection on the menace from within. He said:

Quite recently, speaking about the strike in the General Motors plants, Father Coughlin pointed out the influence of communism in that strike, and he brought to the attention of the authorities, before it might be too late, the threat of a revolution. During that strike the civil and judicial authorities were flouted.

He also pointed out the fact that Canadians have left their country to enlist in the Spanish army. Is it not true, Mr. Speaker, that the press daily brings to light the fact that we are living in disquieting times? Do the events in Spain not cause grave concern to the hon. member for Vancouver North? Does he consider as a purely local incident the shocking trials which her people are going through? Like myself, I am sure he reads the Canadian Veteran, and has he not read in its January issue the following editorial?

With German and Italian "volunteers" forming the major strength of the forces under command of rebel General Franco, plus the prospective addition of several thousand Japanese, on one side; and a large so-called international force aiding the Spanish government on the other side, the war in Spain long since has lost its purely domestic significance. If there had been no outside interference prior to and at the outset, the uprising would have found its own solution in short order for neither faction had the materials with which to wage war for long. But II Duce saw in Franco's bid for dictatorship an opportunity of making the Mediterranean a truly Italian sea; the Fuehrer envisioned a cordon of nations hemming in France, plus an opportunity of regaining a foothold in Africa. Stalin was aroused by the dual threat to this first real prospect of extending the World International movement beyond Russia..

So Spain has become the cockpit of a little "Great War," her towns and cities ravaged, her people starved and murdered, her treasures destroyed, her social and economic life wholly disrupted. Whatever eventuates, Spain can only be a pliant tool in the hands of foreign schemers for years to come, an unwilling threat to the peace of the world.

1018 COMMONS

National Defence-Mr. Tremblay

Right here in Canada, Mr. Speaker, we find disciples of these two political schools who at present have Spain as their battleground, but whose object it is to have the whole world as their sphere of action.

I shall not pass judgment on the systems of government which other nations have thought fit to adopt, but I am emphatically opposed to these nations taking it upon themselves to make us benefit by their experiments. I submit that the forms of government which may have brought order out of chaos in Russia, in Italy or in Germany will never be accepted by the free people of my country, and the propagandists who are paid by the expounders of these doctrines must know that the government of Canada is ready to thwart them by force, should the occasion arise.

Now what about communism? Canada is not exempt in this regard. Only a short time ago I was reading a pamphlet published recently by Les Editions de l'Universite 1'Ottawa, in which Father Sauve, O.M.I., said: Communism, in Canada, possesses now an organization whose ramifications extend to all sections of the dominion. Every year, the communists hold anti-capitalistic meetings in several places: at Montreal, in Toronto, in Winnipeg, in Vancouver. . . .

Lenin's revolutionary tree has rooted in Russia, but its branches are already extending to all parts of the world. . . .

Soon, if we do not take care, they will bring about a furious storm. Indeed the hour is momentous and this problem must be faced from its real aspect. . . .

Is it not His Eminence Cardinal Villeneuve who said: "Communism in Canada is not merely hypothetical, it has become a reality. It is ablaze in our midst. To encompass it is a matter of urgency."

In his recent pamphlet Mr. Rene Bergeron, of Montreal, also tells us that "communism is a force and that this force is a menace to Canada."

With such unequivocal opinions before us, I cannot act like the ostrich, and I shall certainly not deal in any haphazard way with so vital a question as that of national defence. It is true that I am not an imperialist or a jingo, and I will say bluntly that I am entirely and emphatically opposed to Canada's participation in extra-territorial wars. But I want my country to be protected from any invasion, no matter where it comes from, and I shall vote against the motion now before the house. I believe, in so declaring,

I am perfectly in accord with my leaders.

Like the hon. member for Bellechasse, whom I like very much, I am only a countryman, and if I reflect the opinion of the "habitant" from down home, I want to impress upon the house that I have no

apology to make. On the contrary I am proud to speak for the "habitant." On such important matters as those which are now being considered by this house, I do not claim to be an expert, but I believe in my leaders, and I am happy to tell them that I accepted the invitation to be the candidate of the right hon. gentleman (Mr. Mackenzie King) who is now at the head of the government because I placed all my confidence in him and because I admired above all his true Canadian spirit. During the election campaign, on every platform in my constituency and elsewhere I delivered addresses I expressed approval of the policy that he was expounding, and my fellow-citizens elected me to this house. I wish to state here that I believe in my leaders and that I am satisfied with the statements of policy which have been made in the house.

My province, Mr. Speaker, stands second to none in the matter of patriotism. History is there to prove this. We are essentially Canadians and it is our desire to remain such. We do not want Canada to embark upon costly overseas ventures, but, following the example of our forefathers, we are ready to defend our land. The Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), whom we respect in Quebec because, sir, he does credit to our people in the government of our country and because he represents the best of our race, and the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie)-all have declared what I could sum up by quoting what the Minister of National Defence said on Monday evening in this house:

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.

Such emphatic statements, made by men whom we trust, give us much satisfaction.

In conclusion, may I say that Canada, in the critical hours through which we are passing, should be proud to have at the head of her government our present Prime Minister. An imperial conference will be held in London in a few weeks. Those who will represent the government of their country at the conference will bear a heavy responsibility. It is obvious that the defence issue will constitute one of the gravest problems the conference will have to deal with, and our delegates will have 'the strict duty of representing Canadian sentiment. I firmly believe they will do so.

May I be permitted to read what the Evening Citizen of February 15 had to say with regard to our principal delegates to the next conference:

National Defence-Mr. Jaques

Canada could be represented by no abler minister at the conference table than Premier Mackenzie King. With a lifetime of experience in round table conferences, affecting industrial and social conditions, as well as in the international field of politics, he is a natural leader along paths of conciliation. The spirit of Canada, the spirit of friendly cooperation, readiness to meet the other man half-way as the most hopeful way to make an enduring agreement, is reflected in every substantial achievement of the prime minister's long political career. . . .

It should be helpful also to bear in mind that there is little danger of this government being led away along any path of imperial adventure. With Messrs. Mackenzie King and Ernest Lapointe sitting together, as they doubtless will, at the imperial conference, no zealous nationalist need have any fear about the safeguarding of the national interest of Canada. . . .

I am fully in accord with the sentiments expressed in this editorial.

Mr. Speaker, I shall vote against the amendment.

((Translation): I would not like to resume

my seat without saying a few words, not in my maternal tongue, because my mother was English, but in my father's language, which is also that of the majority of my constituents. I have followed very attentively the debate on the amendment, which I consider as most important and I wanted to express, in the language of the majority of the members of this house, the attitude I intended taking.

Mr. Speaker, it is certainly not without due consideration that I have taken the stand I am taking now. I have given this question much thought and study and I have tried to understand this matter of increase in the armaments estimates.

I think that I am absolutely justified, so far as I can judge personally, to rely on the leaders of my party. But a few months ago, I was the candidate of the party which, today, is responsible for the administration of the country. I then had faith in them and I was sincere, and now that I have to face a problem the details of which I cannot understand-I admit it very candidly and very honestly-it seems to me that, in conscience, I have but just one thing to do: to leave the matter to those in whom I have put my trust.

Since I have been elected, from the day I have had the honour of representing in this house 27,000 constituents of the county of Dorchester, I have found no reason to withdraw the trust which I placed in my leaders in October, 1935.

Mr. Speaker, is there in the Canadian confederation any province that should trust more the Liberal party's leader than the province of Quebec?

We have experienced some sad days through Canada's political history, and I believe that we should not forget them.

We have been attacked, but I well remember that it is the leader of our party who defended us, and fought against those who were attacking us. It was he who stood up in our defence at the very door of Toronto. And we would lose faith in our government? Personally, I think that we would be wrong, and we will surely not do it.

The province of Quebec expects its representatives to declare in this house that we, from Quebec, refuse to participate in military operations outside our own territory. Nobody has said otherwise since the beginning of this debate, and never, I believe, through all the Canadian history, have we seen ministers sitting on your right, Mr. Speaker, and speaking as members of the government, being as positive and as sincere as the members of the present government.

Mr. Speaker, I certainly will continue- and I am sure that the province of Quebec will be satisfied, a least I know that the constituents of the county of Dorchester will be- to vote confidence in the King government. I am sure that the province of Quebec as well as its members in this house, realize that nowadays we are happy-and we should thank Providence for it-to have such an eminent man at the head of the government of this country.

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SC

Norman Jaques

Social Credit

Mr. NORMAN JAQUES (Wetaskiwin):

I desire to say but a few words. It seems to me that the point of the amendment has been largely missed. The amendment reads:

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 am one who believes that the best guarantee for external security is internal security. At present very few Canadians enjoy security. I believe that the best, and I might say the only real contribution which Canada can make to the peace of the world, is to bring about a condition of things such that the Canadian people may enjoy real security in Canada. If we can do that-and we are among the very few nations, perhaps we are the only nation, that can do it without fear of outside interference, by reason of our geographical position-if we can do that, I feel that we shall make by far the best contribution to

National Defence-Mr. Jaques

the peace of the world. In connection with this I should like to read an extract from a pamphlet written by Mr. Vincent C. Vickers, late director of the Bank of England. This pamphlet contains a petition to His Majesty the King concerning the abolition of poverty, and the removal of the main causes of economic warfare between nations. I am going to read not the petition, but an extract from Mr. Vickers' reasons for signing it:

I personally need no immediate change; I am one of those who can afford to wait; for me things seem to be on the upgrade. But I have signed it because there are many hundreds of thousands of men, women and children in this country-loyal subjects of the king-to whom waiting is an inhuman tragedy, and a national disgrace with which this country should be branded no longer.

He was speaking of England, of course, but I submit that the condition of hundreds of thousands of Canadians at this moment is a national disgrace. Then he goes on to say:

I have signed this petition, also, because over the last ten years I have known the man in the street and the under dog, and from them I have learnt something the existence of which the city of London does not even suspect and cannot therefore appreciate. I hold views which the London press vould not publish.

I had occasion the other day to mention the fact that it was impossible to get certain views published in the British press, and this is a confirmation of that statement. The press gave me a great deal of notice in connection with that statement; I wonder whether they will give me the same notice on this. But possibly they may come to the conclusion that silence is sometimes golden. Mr. Vickers goes on to say:

Can it be denied that a system which is based on and exists solely by the creation and enforcement of debt, much of which can never be extinguished, is the source of poverty, discontent and discord at home and abroad, and constitutes a permanent incentive to war.

And finally he says:

Rightly or wrongly the world no longer has confidence in the monetary system. The repeated failures of finance and the collapse of the gold standard system in each and every emergency has undermined the faith of the public in the honesty of its money. The known solidity of our banks and the proved integrity of our bankers have failed to stem the growing mistrust of the currency and credit system which banks and bankers uphold and operate. The money industry should consider their own position. Were they to do so they would-in my very humble opinion they must-arrive at the conclusion that the future welfare of the money industry as it is at present constituted depends entirely upon its own power to crush out the human impulse to go forward and upon its ability to override the will of the people, and so to govern the world.

That is the opinion of a former director of the Bank of England, who bears the name of Vickers, a name not unknown in the business of making munitions.

As I said before, we have no security. Even if we have these one hundred fast aeroplanes, we have no guarantee that we shall be permitted to use them or to practise with them. It is not within the province of this house even to say that. We have no guarantee that even if we get these armaments we can practise with them in time of peace. And certainly we have no economic security. It is because I see no reason to believe, and I have heard nothing in this house which gives me any reason to believe, that the government have any idea of trying to do anything to overcome this evergrowing power of finance, that I intend to vote for the amendment.

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Subtopic:   Hull, P.Q.
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LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. J. A. VERVTLLE (Lotbiniere) (Translation) :

Mr. Speaker, I rise merely for the purpose of explaining the vote I shall be called upon to give in a few hours. The amendment before the house denounces the increases in the estimates of the Department of National Defence; but it implies as well direct condemnation of the general, social and economic policies of the government.

A vote for the amendment is a vote of non confidence in the present administration-to whose advantage? To the advantage of our Conservative friends whose political program the people of this country repudiated in 1935. Surely such a gesture would be ill-advised on our part. We have the other alternative of throwing ourselves info the arms of our friends of the C.CJF., the authors of the amendment. For my part, I may tell you right now, Mr. Speaker, that I am not ready for any such adventure. The government in power at the present time enjoys the full confidence of the citizens of this country and I personally have no hesitation in declaring my complete faith in the present Liberal policy and in our leaders. This trust is built on the glorious past of the Liberal party, the sincerity of the chieftains of that party, and the excellent results of Liberal policy. The people are contented. Confidence returned once more when the present government came into power and this confidence is felt throughout all the branches of our economic activity. The people have begun to get their breath; and I am wondering why we do not let them breathe in peace for a few more years.

I repeat, Mr. Speaker, that the application of the present Liberal government policies is deserving of our utmost trust; and I unhesi-

National Defence-Mr. Verville

tatingly state my approval of these policies. As a proof of my feeling towards my leaders I shall vote against the motion which condemns them.

This does not mean, however, that I favour an increase in the estimates of the Department of National Defence, I am entirely and unqualifiedly opposed to the suggested increase. I have always been an opponent of armaments, and I believe, at this hour, I would be remiss in my duty towards myself and towards my trusting constituents, were I to change my attitude. I feel that what I always fought against when it was proposed by our opponents, from 1911 to 1925, is not more acceptable now that the party, to which I am proud to belong, has been elected to office. It is all one to me that this increased military expenditure will be for defensive purposes in Canada alone, as we were assured by the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), the hon. Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie), the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapoinite) and other leaders. I do not doubt their word; nor do I doubt their sincerity.

It is simply that, as a matter of principle, I do not see this thing in the same light as they do. I am opposed to armaments in any shape or form, because I am convinced-I may be wrong, I admit-that this expenditure is useless and cannot give us the protection that is expected, apparently. Moreover, the financial state of the country is such that we cannot afford to spend these sums to fight enemies who may never materialize. Finally, we do not know how far this movement will carry us in the years to come.

Economy is the watchword of the day: the government itself preaches economy. When we ask for certain grants for our constituencies we are told that the estimates have had to be pared down for reasons of economy; for instance, this year we are voting still less money for agriculture. It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that we have no right to increase our military expenditure at a time when, for alleged reasons of economy, we are reducing the estimates of the Department of Agriculture, which should receive a larger share of public funds, seeing that the farming industry is sorely in need of money.

One thing puzzles me, perhaps without reason, but at any rate allow me to say frankly what is in my mind. After going through the estimates and listening to the explanations given us so far I find it quite obvious that the money we are asked to vote will for the most part, be spent on warships and on aeroplanes. These ships and 'planes will be bought in England. To me this appears to be an indirect contribution to the

British armament program. Why not keep this money in Canada, to give employment to our own shipyards, employ Canadian labour and lighten the burden of direct relief? I would even be willing, if I were convinced of the necessity for so doing, to vote for a larger increase in our military estimates, on conditions that the money were to be spent in Canada, for the benefit of ouir fellow citizens who ask for bread and who want to work for it.

I cannot for one instant doubt the word of the leaders of the Liberal party when they assure us that the money voted will be spent solely for the defence of Canada; but I cannot help the feeling and, so to say, the unshakable conviction, that in voting for these estimates we are being drawn into the military armaments movement, with the mother country and for her benefit.

And I add this: Can those who are defending us to-day, who are at the head of the national government, and are ever ready to stand guard over Canadian interests, give us the assurance that they will be here very long? I certainly hope they will be; but certainty in such matters is rather out of the question. And after they are gone, will those who take their place be in a position to give us such guarantees? There is a big question mark there, Mr. Speaker. Once the precedent has been established it can be appealed to, and then willy nilly we will have to bow to whatever fate is meted out to us, as a consequence of the responsibilities we are taking upon ourselves to-day.

Mr. Speaker, I may be wrong; and I hope with all my heart that the government has chosen the right road, that the future will justify the government's decision. I express this hope in all sincerity. But, once again, I cannot follow my party in this matter. I am opposed to any increase of military estimates, even for purely Canadian defence purposes, simply because I believe that such expenditure is useless, because nothing appears to justify any such increase, because the organization of our national defence has been sufficient up till now; and also because I see in this increase the first step in the realization of an armaments plan that some day, whether we wish it or not, will be used for other purposes than those proclaimed to-day.

Mr. Speaker, I believe that in acting as I do I am faithful to the trust of those who elected me to represent them here. I know that if they were here their attitude on this question would be the same as my own. Since they cannot all be here themselves they have sent me here as their spokesman. Hence my

1022 COMMONS

National Defence-Mr. Sylvestre

duty to express their opinions and to respect their convictions. By good fortune it so happens that their convictions and mine are identical both against the increase in miltary estimates and for the continuation in office of the present government.

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LIB

Armand Sylvestre

Liberal

Mr. ARMAND SYLVESTRE (Lake St. John-Roberval) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, I cannot let pass this debate on the armaments question which, to my mind, is of capital interest to Canada not only for the present but for the future, without explaining clearly my own position and the course I intend to follow.

I must say first of all that I am, have always been, and will always be, a Liberal. As I see it, we may at times have different opinions on matters of public concern; but for all that we are not rebels, we are not insurgents, we have not lost faith in those whom the voters have put at the head of the nation's affairs.

So, with regard to the motion of non-confidence, as it is worded, I am entirely opposed to it and I shall vote against it because it condemns the general policy of the Liberal party.

I hold that Liberal policy alone has reestablished our equilibrium, that Liberal policy alone has brought renewed confidence to the country, and set up an orderly administration in the place of the disorder that was rife under our Conservative predecessors.

Mr. Speaker, since 1919 there have been eleven elections held in my province: six provincial and five federal. I have always taken an active part in each one of them. I have even had the honour of being a candidate on four occasions; and up to the present time I am here solely as the representative of my constituents. Since I have always been in the thick of the fight, I know that my electors have put their trust in me because I have always fought with all my might against militarism and imperialism, in any and every shape or form. Hence I do not believe I would be justified in changing my attitude this evening.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Armand Sylvestre

Liberal

Mr. SYLVESTRE:

That is why, with the deep conviction acquired through my experience in public life, I find myself under the necessity of stating that I am opposed to this sudden and unforeseen increase in the military forces of this country. In the light of my own experience, and what knowledge I have gleaned from books on the history of all wars, I am convinced that such a policy is chiefly to the advantage of those who

produce and supply armaments and munitions, people who are guided by self-interest alone, heartless, pitiless men who strive merely to increase their fortunes; and who, on occasion, wear the mask of patriotism and unhesitatingly lead their country to ruin so that they may garner further riches. We saw frequent examples of this, Mr. Speaker, during the last war which laid waste the entire earth.

That is the reason for my objection to armaments; and I believe that, on this point, my constituents will back me up.

I notice, however, that a large amount is being voted for the development of aviation, both civil and military, in our country. Aviation is a new science which exerts a powerful attraction on youth; unfortunately I must state, without hesitation, that so far our people have not received the fair treatment they were entitled to. I have tried myself to find a place in aviation for young men of talent who seemed to me fully qualified for that calling. The door was closed in their faces simply because of their insufficient knowledge of English. I hope that this time Quebec will get its fair share; that the necessary steps will be taken to found flying schools in our province, with competent instructors who speak and understand the French tongue. Then our young men who are desirous of entering this new career will be able to obtain the necessary knowledge and training to qualify. It seems to me that if a mechanic is competent, if a man is a good pilot, the language he speaks, whether French, English or any other, is of secondary importance; in Quebec our young men should be in a position to learn a trade which should be taught them in their mother tongue.

While I am on that point let me say that after an absence of five years I notice, on coming back to Ottawa, that during the five years of Tory rule there has been built up in Ottawa a powerful hierarchy, which includes the heads of a great many departmental branches, men who are not in sympathy with us and who connive with a majority on the civil service commission to deprive our people of their due rights. It is my duty to raise my voice in protest, so that the dissatisfaction that is evident all around us will not spread further still and the day come when it will be too late to correct the evils that exist to-day.

So, Mr. Speaker, for the reasons I have given I intend to vote against the motion of non-confidence. Like the hon. member who spoke before me, and like all the voters in my riding I have the fullest and most

National Defence-Mr. Lacroix

complete confidence in our leaders; and if I cannot see eye to eye with them on a question which is purely a matter of administration and armaments, I remain deeply attached to their leadership. If I vote to-day against an increase in the estimates, and the future should prove me wrong, I shall be the first to admit it. Like the gentleman who preceded me, I hope the government will prove to be right, and I shall then make due apology.

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LIB

Wilfrid Lacroix

Liberal

Mr. WILFRID LACROIX (Quebec-Mont-morency) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, I

wrote the following letter to the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) on December 31, 1936:

As a member of parliament, I take the liberty of making certain suggestions to you respecting military expenditures which, according to rumours, will show a substantial increase in the coming estimates.

I believe the province of Quebec would frown on this increase which would be interpreted as a direction from London.

Do you not think that our policy should aim at avoiding all participation in European wars, even if England were compelled to intervene in a conflict by reason of treaties or agreements that bind or may bind her to France and Belgium?

In order to avoid all misunderstanding, has the hour not arrived when we should hold a permanent seat in the Pan-American Conference? This gesture would indicate the part we mean to play in European conflicts in which England might be interested.

Should Canada not consider that the time has arrived when it should sever its connection with the League of Nations and study at the same time its status in the British Commonwealth. The fact that our King is the King of England should not imply that we must join in a war on the European or Asiatic continent or in any other quarter of the globe.

It is evident that if Canada clearly defines by legislative enactment its intention not to inter-fere in any war of the empire, such a course would free us, in the event of European or Asiatic difficulties, from the possibility of attack and would prevent all military expenditures both useless and disastrous for a young country such as ours.

1 make these observations to you in a spirit of humility, as a Canadian who loves his country and as a Liberal trustful in the political wisdom of his party.

Please accept, Mr. Prime Minister, the expression of my deepest regards.

And the right hon. the Prime Minister wrote me the following reply on January 19, 1937:

I read with much interest your letter of December 31 respecting military expenditures and Canada's foreign policy.

With respect to expenditures having to do with defence, any expenditure contemplated and decided upon will as in the past relate to the defence of Canada. We consider that whatever action Canada will take in this regard is a matter to be determined by the Canadian

government and parliament, and our defence estimates were not discussed with London on this occasion any more than in any other circumstance.

The policy of our government is to strive by all possible means to avoid war. There exists a wide difference of opinion in Canada and in other countries as to the best way of achieving that end. As regards the League of Nations,

I do not think it would be advisable to withdraw from that body which if properly developed can constitute a powerful agency for conciliation and peace throughout the world.

I would prefer seeking the safeguards against the danger which you see in our relations with the League of Nations by calling it into play as an instrument of conciliation and study rather than as an instrument for the application of economic or military sanctions. I am pleased to forward you herewith a copy of the speech I delivered at Geneva during the last assembly;

I believe it will clearly indicate to you the line of conduct suggested on subjects pertaining to the league and on other matters.

The matter of relationships to be established with the Pan-American Conference is an important question. We have given the matter attention but it involves more than one factor which must be taken into account.

I am pleased to know that you interest yourself in these important questions and I greatly value the clarity with which you have outlined to me the views you hold on the difficult situation that confronts us.

I do not want to question the words of the right hon. Prime Minister when he tells us:

We consider that whatever action Canada will take in this regard is a matter to be determined by the Canadian government and parliament.

I have faith in him and in his ministers, but I ask myself if the events that may occur following a declaration of war against the United Kingdom by any nation, will not be so swiftly moving in character that they will control government action in such a manner that parliament will find itself face to face with an accomplished fact and will be merely called upon to ratify an existing policy.

Moreover, were we not given a concrete example recently bearing out what I have just said, when, on the day following the abdication of King Edward the Eighth, the government by a mere order in council recognized his successor and set in motion the mechanism of the Statute of Westminster in such a manner that when parliament convened we had but one thing to do: approve what had been done.

As a matter of fact, I readily bow to the decision taken and approve whole-heartedly the order in council that gave us as successor to Edward the Eighth His Majesty George the Sixth; yet, when I analyse the events that followed one another at the time, I recall the words of Georges Sorel in a conversation captioned " Democracy is compelled to act

National Defence-Mr. Lacroix

like other forms of government," and of whom Mussolini said at the end of 1934: "I owe what I am to Georges Sorel."

That which concerns the internal affairs of a country is much less visible than that which relates to external affairs. In the latter case, the part ministers play greatly resembles, even in a democracy, that of an absolute sovereign. Once a conversation is started with the representatives of a foreign power, no obstacle can paralyse a responsible minister. A diplomatic conversation is a sort of battle in which the most unforeseen factors suddenly crop up, and a minister who would telephone every ten minutes to the Speaker of a house before answering his colleagues would be quickly put out of action.

With respect to the management of affairs, one must resign oneself to accept that those who are charged with same enjoy freedom of movement, lacking which they cannot do anything. The error of democracies consists in wanting to control government in all its acts, but control implies acknowledgment of an act after that act has taken place. If harm has been done one consoles oneself by the dismissal of a minister, but it is a poor consolation and the country derives no effective reparation from it.

What was known of yore as "the prince's secret" exists nowadays with all the added complications and niceties of modern international politics; and, admitting, for a moment, that there is a state without "prince's secrets," the ministers of that state will have to deal with other nations which do have "prince's secrets." As a consequence, secret diplomacy will hold sway and the ministers of that state will have to bear it without being able to do anything whatever about it. Hence, they will be compelled, if they' wish to serve their country profitably, to subscribe to views of which the parliamentarian, their judge, and the voter who elected their judge, cannot form the least idea.

The political conditions of a nation, its industrial and commercial interests, its fiscal revenues, the obligations of its neighbourhoods, the maintenance of its influence, are so many skeins that unwind into extremely complicated ramifications which the gentleman reading his newspaper in the tram-car could not possibly suspect by the widest stretch of the imagination.

Hence, Mr. Speaker, there is not the slightest shadow of doubt that events which will arise will control the decision of the ministry, a decision compelling rapid action with respect to the interests of what is called to-day the Commonwealth of British Nations; but that is probably where the Canadian people will not find themselves in agreement with the men then in power, and one must not, as I see it, overlook any security factor as regards our eventual non-participation in wars wherein the interest of the United Kingdom, alone, may be involved.

We are told that the League of Nations is an agency for peace; I have grave doubts as to that, for, in the event of a war in which the League of Nations would declare Japan the aggressor country, the economic sanction

machinery of the League of Nations would function immediately in favour of Russia; and as for us, members of the league, we would be compelled, as in the case of Ethiopia, to give effect to the covenants we signed as a member of the league: I say the League of Nations would compel us to apply economic sanctions to Japan. There is not a shadow of doubt that the adoption by our country of such economic sanctions with respect to Japan would be considered by that nation an act that would justify it in invading our country; and we would be face to face with the distressing situation of a country such as ours which holds communism in horror, aligning itself with a nation whose ideal is absolutely contrary to that of our Canadian people; for, in this country, our history, our traditions, our very existence rest on a belief that is the corner-stone of any society that aims to live and respect itself, that is to say, belief in God. Now, Russian communism involves the complete negation of God, the basis of our social structure. No, Mr. Speaker, I do not believe that the League of Nations as constituted, is an instrument for peace. I look upon Geneva, its magnificient lake, the luxuriant verdure surrounding the palace of the League of Nations simply as a place well-suited for politicians who are holiday-bent.

We are told that should we vote the increased military estimates which are presently submitted to our approval, such sums will never be utilized beyond our country. Now, if I turn to the Canada Militia Act, I find that Section 64 reads in part as follows:

The Governor in Council may place the militia or any part thereof in active service anywhere in Canada and also beyond Canada for the defence thereof, at any time when it appears advisable so to do by reason of emergency.

Who tells us that the government then holding office will not apply that clause of the Militia Act which empowers the cabinet, by a simple order in council, to use our military organization beyond Canada?

No, Mr. Speaker, I think there is only one logical course for us to follow: that is to occupy as soon as possible a seat at the PanAmerican Conference to which, as a matter of fact, we were invited by that good friend of ours and lover of peace, Mr. Franklin Roosevelt. We would thus be proclaiming to all nations our desire to remain what we are actually, an essentially American nation. As a result, with the immense resources that are at our disposal, we would find ourselves free to devote, in a spirit of peace, all our efforts to the development of our country, instead of burdening our budget with a fairly

National Defence-Mr. Kuhl

heavy outlay for military purposes. We have not yet emerged from the crisis borne of the war and our commitments resulting from our participation in the conflict of 1914-1918 now exceed 84,600,000,000.

I do not approve the amendment proposed by my hon. colleague from Vancouver North (Mr. MacNeil), because part of it censures the government concerning its social legislation; and I do not hesitate to state that in that field the country never had a man with a better understanding of the interests of the labour class than my hon. colleague the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) whose direct action in connection with the labour legislation adopted by this house has proven extremely helpful in the realm of relations between employers and employees. On the other hand, I wish to state that I shall vote against the increased military appropriations because I am convinced our country owes it to itself to direct its efforts into other channels of greater benefit to the Canadian community to which we have the honour to belong.

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SC

Walter Frederick Kuhl

Social Credit

Mr. W. F. KUHL (Jasper-Edson):

Mr. Speaker, since a great deal has already been said on the subject of war and peace, I desire to say only sufficient to indicate my stand on the amendment. War is a disease, though not an incurable one. It is not a cause; it is an effect. Disease cannot be cured without removing the cause; neither can war be eliminated without removing the cause.

Minor causes of war have been digcussed a great deal in the house, but in my opinion the major cause has not. At page 103 of the evidence taken before the agriculture committee of the legislature of Alberta, Major Douglas states what he believes to be the major cause of crime. I agree with him when he says:

There is no question that at the present time practically ninety per cent of the crime in the world is directly due to the financial system.

In my opinion war is the greatest crime. It is nothing less than legalized murder.

What the world has yet to realize is that war arises not because of the natural antipathy of races but because of a defective money system in each country. Nothing but a change in the financial system can save this or any other country from destruction. In my opinion Canada has done nothing by way of eliminating the major cause of war. This defective money system makes it necessary each year that more and more of each nation's products shall be shipped abroad and sold in foreign markets. The only reason most of these products cannot be bought at home 31111-65

is that people have not enough money with which to buy them. Since all nations have become highly industrialized, the world has become full of sellers and empty of buyers.

The world of to-day is just like a great stock-market. Brokers representing Canada, the United States, England, France, Russia, Germany and other countries are clamouring for buyers, and failing to find them. But unlike brokers in ordinary industrial life, nations can do things to shut out undesirable sellers. They can enact tariffs, and impose embargoes, quotas and trade restrictions of various kinds. When this is done, national antipathy, mutual distrust, jealousy of favoured nations and, finally, suspicions arise. Presently the war munitions racketeer, who knows no country and who plies his abominable trade in every country, appears upon the scene. He thrives upon distrust and suspicion, and fosters international hatred. In recent years his fiendish trade has been carried on with all the cunning efficiency of the devil himself.

I should like to quote part of an article written by Senator Gerald P. Nye of North Dakota, chairman of the senate munitions lobby investigating committee, to indicate how the munitions makers ply their nefarious schemes. The senator says this:

An investigation of the arms question without treading upon official and semi-official toes would be no investigation at all. Of necessity we have had to deal with the secret courses pursued by the manufacturers and sellers of instruments of war. For years these makers and their salesmen have been weaving their way into governments, deceiving, frightening, corrupting, as their welfare and profit dictated.

Because of the manner in which they have woven themselves into the very fabric of governments, the industry has won a status of sacredness and secrecy which has enlarged its opportunity to thrive in a way to return great profit to its owners. Rackets thrive best when nourished by dark secrecy, and when governments lend hands to the racketeers the sky is the limit as far as the flow of profits and blood money is concerned.

I repeat that there is no racket to compare with that of the sale of munitions of war. Our government has fought, at great cost, the beer, liquor, white slave, dope and kidnap rackets.

The munitions racket, one whose victims is all civilization, has governments as its partners, unconsciously on the part of some of the governments perhaps. Doubly difficult, then, becomes the task of destroying or controlling the racket, a racket wearing the cloak of respectability by reason of its association with and in governments.

That such a partnership exists is one of the clear conclusions growing out of this present investigation. It must therefore be apparent that nothing short of wide and sweeping disclosures of the truth will ever waken the world to a degree that will win reform to check the mad race now on toward more war.

National Defence-Mr. Kuhl

National Defence-Mr. Brasset

if that money had been used for the enrichment of life rather than for its destruction. This man stated that the financial cost of the war was $400,000,000,000; that such a sum could have provided for every family in the United States, Canada, Australia, the British isles, France, Belgium, Germany and Russia, a house worth $2,500 with furniture worth $1,000, on a piece of land worth S500; for all cities of 20,000 and over a library worth $5,000,000, and a university worth $10,000.000, and that with the remainder there could have been established a fund which at five per cent would have provided $1,000 a year for 125,000 teachers and 125,000 nurses.

I venture to assert that if this money had been used for that purpose there would never have been a world war, and instead of a hell on earth there could now have been a virtual paradise of beautiful homes.

Another great contribution which Canada could make towards world peace would be to demonstrate that a nation becomes prosperous, not because she exports more than she imports, but because she distributes among her own people as much of her own goods as her own people desire to consume and exports only the real surplus, and that not until she has imported goods equivalent in value to that of her surplus. If Canada gave the lie to the so-called favourable balance of trade policy and the necessity for struggling and competing for foreign markets, she would have taught a lesson which the nations of the world could not very well ignore. Since the necessity for forcing our way into foreign markets would be obviated, great armies and navies to defend the hard-won foreign markets and to keep open against all comers these precious foreign trade routes would no longer be necessary. The job of the armament makers would vanish for lack of material to work on. When what I have suggested is done, instead of international distrust and suspicion, the nations of the world will find a basis for harmonious cooperation. Then, and not until then, will peace visit the earth.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I would say this: Let the prerogative of the crown be restored to parliament, and as a result of the exercising of that power let the peoples of the world discover that in comparison with population Canada has the largest number of beautiful homes. Let it be known that the occupants of Canadian homes are the most enlightened, the healthiest and the happiest people on earth, and it will ndt be long before the peoples of other countries will demand that their governments institute policies similar to those of Canada and thus avert a

[Mr. Khul.l

universal catastrophe. If the Liberal government had done last year what it led the people of Canada to believe it was going to do, we no doubt would at this time be enjoying the fruits of a policy such as I have suggested. But because they have not restored to government its sacred and sovereign right, and propose to finance appropriations for armaments with debt money, I intend to vote in favour of the amendment.

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LIB

Maurice Brasset

Liberal

Mr. MAURICE BRASSET (Gasps) ((Translation) :

Mr. Speaker, following the many speeches we have listened to in this chamber,

I do not intend to speak at any great length on this question. I merely wish to state why I shall vote to-morrow against the motion of the hon. member for Vancouver North (Mr. MacNeil) and why I shall also vote for the armament expenditures which the present government is submitting for our approval.

Mr. Speaker, I hesitated a long time before reaching this decision. I received from all sides, but particularly from large cities, resolutions adopted by people who presumed to dictate the stand to be taken by members of this house and I wondered whether the increased expenditure we were asked to approve was really necessary to ensure the security of our country.

However, the arguments advanced by those who spoke in this chamber against the increased outlay for armaments and the resolutions I received have not convinced me that the sum requested by the government is unnecessary.

I have greater faith, Mr. Speaker, in men such as the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), the leader of the province of Quebec, the hon. the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), and the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie) than I have in all those organizations that ask us to vote on a question they do not even understand. Moreover, among the organizations that wrote to us and asked us to register our vote, the most serious minded did not ask us to vote against the proposed military outlays. I hold in my hand a resolution passed by the Societe Saint-Jean-Baptiste, of Montreal, which merely asks us to vote so that the necessary expenditures shall be applied to the defence of Canada properly speaking, within its territorial limits. As I see it, we were asked to vote a sum of money merely for the territorial defence of Canada and we were not asked to approve the expenditure of a single cent for empire defence. Moreover, we were told our armaments had to be more up to date. We were told of the necessity of increasing our

National Defence-Mr. O'Neill

armament for the defence of our territory, and with this view I fully agree, and I intend supporting the government. I think the time has come for us to consider our defence requirements, and that we should not merely rely upon England and the United States for our protection but that we can and must defend ourselves.

Let us not repeat the mistake of 1911. At that time a movement was started in the province of Quebec which brought about the downfall of Sir Wilfrid Laurier. I may say that this movement which broke out in 1911 in the province of Quebec wTas the immediate cause of Sir AVilfrid Laurier's defeat. What happened? Once Sir Wilfrid Laurier was no longer in power there came that fateful hour for Canada in 1914, and we had not then at the head of the government a man like Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who could have actually assumed the leadership of the Canadian people. Our leaders in this country were rabid imperialists, men who at once, without consulting parliament, without consulting the country, plunged Canada into the war of 1914-1918; and these are the same men who later on, in 1917, applied conscription.

The statements by our Prime Minister at Geneva and elsewhere, as well as those he made in this chamber, convince me that there is a determination to avoid repeating the mistake of 1914, and that, in fact, when the country is called upon to make a decision, it will not be the Prime Minister and his colleagues in the government who will make it. The Prime Minister has pledged himself upon his honour to consult the House of Commons, and it will rest with the whole country to determine whether we shall participate or not in a conflict. That is what all the provinces of Canada asked for, that is what my own province urged, and that is the reason why 1 am ready to give a vote of confidence in the government.

Mr. Speaker. I have no other remarks to add. I do know that an overwhelming majority of Liberals in this chamber will follow the counsel given us by our political leaders and I believe that such a course will be conducive to Canada's welfare. Hence, I will, for these reasons, give my support to the government.

Mr. T. J. O'NEILL (Kamloops): In rising to speak to this motion I wish to call attention to the fact that most of our time in this debate has been taken up with talk about war, rumours of war, preparations for war and matters of that kind. I do not consider that a discussion such as we have had for the past four days serves any good purpose.

We are only delaying the work of the house, and accomplishing nothing. Some of the subjects that have been brought up relate to former resolutions. One of these was the first clause of a resolution introduced by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth), as follows:

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

In the absence of any armaments how could we enforce that neutrality? It is all very well to say that we should remain neutral, but if we have no armaments to enforce that neutrality we would not be neutral very long.

Another matter to which I wish to refer is in connection with the motion of the hon. member for Weyburn (Mr. Douglas), that:

-in the event of another war involving Canada's active participation, every agency, financial, industrial, transportation or natural resources, shall automatically be conscripted for the duration of such a war, and that a penalty be imposed for the violation thereof.

I say here and now that I am opposed to any form of conscription, whether it be man power or anything else. If we have the proper conditions existing in Canada there will be no occasion to conscript people; if the country is attacked they will protect the country themselves because they have something to protect. It is not necessary to conscript wealth or to conscript industry; that cannot be done very well, but what can be done is to impose such taxation on the wealth and industry in the country that there will not be any profit made out of war. That is quite possible, but I do not believe conscription can be enforced, and I am not in favour of conscription, because there would occur something like what happened when there was an attempt in this country to reduce interest rates. Interest rates were reduced. certainly, but they were reduced on deposits, and you still paid as much to draw money as you did before. That is what would happen if you started to conscript. Men who had one hundred head of stock would have them all taken, but a fellow who had one hundred thousand head would probably have plenty left after you got through conscripting. I am not in favour of conscripting anything at any time, but if you do conscript the man power, then you should provide by some means that there would not be any profit made out of the slaughter. It is a deplorable thing to make a profit out of slaughter.

Let us look a little further into this resolution :

-that a penalty be imposed for the violation thereof.

National Defence-Mr. O'Neill

How are you going to impose a penalty, and what is the penalty going to be? It seems to me you must have police and courts in order to impose a penalty. I have never had any desire at any time to join the police force, but I think it necessary to have a police force, and a well-equipped one, and I do not think that having a well-equipped police force is an incentive to crime. If you have armaments I do not believe they are an incentive to war. I hate war just as much as does any hon. member. I have a great deal to lose if war came. As far as I am concerned I would probably not be considered fit for a soldier at my time of life, but I have three sons. I would not want to see those boys conscripted and taken to war, or taken in any other way. It seems to me that we have confused the issue a great deal. We have been talking about whether we should go to war and all that, but that is not the issue. In my opinion the issue is whether we should have national defence, and if we should, whether these estimates are in order. That is what we should be considering.

Many hon. members have made the suggestion that we should rely upon the United States for protection. A good many hon. members on this side of the house have referred to the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation as the representative of labour. I cannot agree with that, although I have no quarrel with any of the hon. gentlemen who sit in the ranks of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation. But I do not wish hon. members who are not well acquainted with labour affairs to refer to the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation as the representatives of labour. 1 grant that they represent some classes of labour, but they do not represent all the labour people in this dominion. Organized labour men despise people who will take the privileges thrt are gained by organized labour but will not help to maintain the organization which gets them those privileges. The action of such people is on a par with the suggestion that we should depend upon the United States to protect us and pay nothing for that protection. There are many labour men in this country- and my friends of the cooperative commonwealth federation know it-who will take all the privileges that the labour organizations secure for them, but will not pay any dues. The argument they put up is: Why should I pay dues? The other fellow has to protect me when he is protecting himself. And they ride on the coat-tails of the others. As a Canadian I do not want to be riding on the

coat-tails of Uncle Sam. They are good and long but I do not want to ride on them.

This afternoon the hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Maclnnis), replying to a remark by the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie), in reference to the motion of the hon. member for Vancouver North (Mr. MacNeil), that it was double-barrelled, said that if it were double-barrelled it was for the purpose of dealing with a two-faced government. That is what the hon. member said if I heard him correctly. I wished to interject a question at that time, but the hon. member sat on me and sat on me pretty hard. That was his privilege, and I am not holding anything against him for it, but in saying he would not permit a question I take it he included all hon. members on the government side of the house. Being one of those members I naturally resent that. I have been working in the interests of organized labour for thirty-five years, and I have never at any time done anything that was not in the interest of organized labour as I saw it. I may be wrong, but that is the way I see it. The hon. member is altogether too vulnerable to make a statement of that kind. I should like to refer to a couple of instances in the last session. I was not here very much during that session on account of sickness, but I read from the record in Hansard which I assume is correct. This is a motion moved last year by the hon. member for Vancouver East:

Whereas it is detrimental to the best interests of Canada that there should be in the country groups to whom, because of race or religious beliefs, we do not extend all the right of citizenship;

Therefore be it resolved, that, in the opinion of this house, the government should take the necessary measures to exclude from the country all persons belonging to those groups to whom we do not grant the full rights and privileges of citizenship.

At that time, Mr. Speaker, I was a young member of this house, in experience if not in years, and I was very new to parliamentary procedure. I did not fully realize what my position would be if I did not speak on a question of that kind. In British Columbia we naturally have a greater percentage of orientals than in any other province, and I should have been among those who spoke to that motion. I did not say anything because I was not in a position to vote for the resolution. It was not that I wanted to see more orientals in British Columbia, but there are many more important things to be considered than the few orientals who may be allowed into this country. At the time I was objecting most strenuously to the importation of

National Defence-Mr. Duffus

orientals, they were being brought here in boatloads to work on the railways and for similar work, to displace white labour. The few orientals who come into Canada now are mainly of the better class, educated men, scientists, doctors, lawyers and so on. I was not very much interested in those few men, and moreover we had an agreement with Japan, so I did not think it would be very good business to stir up too much trouble. I had no objection to the hon. member for Vancouver East bringing in his resolution, but I did object very strenuously to a statement he made in closing the debate, and of course when he spoke the second time he concluded the debate on that resolution. This is what he said:

Anyone voting against it votes for the principle that we should let people come into this country to stay permanently to whom we cannot grant the rights and privileges of citizenship. He will also vote for the continued coming of these people into the country.

As everyone knows, that was not the idea at all. We were not voting to allow these people to come in; we were simply voting not to disturb an agreement that existed between this country and Japan. There is no doubt at all in my mind, however, that during the next election in British Columbia this will be used against me, and there is just enough truth in it that one cannot say it is a lie. This will be broadcast from the platforms of British Columbia against me during the next election, if I run.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker; I have not the slightest objection to the hon. member discussing this resolution, because I do not think it is anything to my discredit, but what has it to do with the motion now before the house? It has absolutely nothing to do with it.

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

As to the point of order, there has been very wide latitude allowed during this debate, and I do not think I should rule the hon. gentleman out of order at this time.

Mr. O'NEILL: There is another matter to which I should like to direct attention at this time; I refer to another remark made by the hon. member for Vancouver East for which he did not apologize, and I am very much surprised that he was permitted to get away with it. I do not think he should be allowed to get away with it even now. This was the remark he made:

However, that did not prevent the Liberal party from helping the communists in Vancouver East. I am told that the communist candidate in Vancouver East did not put in an account of his election expenses, and I

understand his reason for refraining was that the Liberal party had provided the funds and that it was up to them to put in the expense account.

Two days later, Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman made this statement:

Since that time I have received information from Mr. Bruce, who was the communist candidate, that my statement was not correct. As he has no one here to make the statement for him, I wish to put that on record.

That is something else which, I suppose, will be used during the next election in British Columbia. The first statement was published on the front pages of newspapers in British Columbia, but the second statement appeared on the back pages of the newspapers, in among the advertisements, in a very small space.

As to the question of whether or not we should increase our armaments, let me say this: I started to work in British Columbia when I was a kid. I have never had to fight since I left school, but I did not make that enviable record by advertising to the world that I could not or would not fight.

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LIB

Joseph James Duffus

Liberal

Mr. J. J. DUFFUS (Peterborough West):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to address the house at this time I give my assurance that I shall do my best to be very brief. Until a few hours ago I bad no thought of taking part in this debate, for the reason that to me Canada's need for additional security is so obvious that I took it for granted that the proper time for discussion would be when the estimates were before the committee. But, when I read in the press of Tuesday evening that Great Britain was planning to again increase armaments on both land and sea, it brought very forcefully to my mind the question of Canada's defence, and awakened in me a greater responsibility, as a member of this parliament, towards the people whom I have the honour to represent.

If the report which I observed in the press were correct, as undoubtedly it was, that Great Britain is planning to spend well over $250,000,000 for capital ships, cruisers, infantry and tank battalions, and so on, with a large increase for her navy, then it must be patent to all either that Great Britain is putting forth an even more strenuous effort to avert war or that she suspects that a crisis is imminent. I think I am substantially correct when I say that at one time it was considered heroic to provoke or to promote war but that to-day, so far as Great Britain and Canada are concerned, the opposite is true. In my opinion one of the outstanding characteristics of the mother country in recent years has been her desperate, determined and ever

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increasing efforts 'to avert war. I think it can be truly said that she was the last great nation to follow this rearmament policy.

Let it be distinctly understood that I am definitely opposed to war, and that I consider it my duty to do everything in my power to this end. Moreover, I am unalterably against everything in the nature of increased taxation, where it can be judiciously and economically avoided. If I thought the amount in the estimates was to be voted for the purpose of sending our men and boys and resources overseas, or out of Canada, I would vote against it. But the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie) and the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) have reiterated time and again most, emphatically that not one dollar of the estimates is for defence other than in our own country and for the security of our homes, our families, our cities, our industries, our trade routes, our canals, our harbours and coastlines, our self-respect, and the preservation of her vast area, rich on the surface and underneath, which is the envy of all the warring nations of the world.

Moreover, everyone in Canada knows it is the policy, written and implied, of this government, that not one soldier will be called upon to serve out of Canada without the sanction of parliament being first obtained. Furthermore, the people have implicit confidence that these commitments will be carried out-that is, if there is sufficient time for that to be done. My reason for the last observation is that we must not overlook the fact that fleets of bombing aeroplanes could leave Europe at this time to-night and have these parliament buildings blown to pieces by this time to-morrow. Does anyone in the house or elsewhere believe that we shall be immune from danger of attack simply because we provide nothing for our protection? If that principle be true, why not apply it to our police protection in the municipalities throughout the country. Why do we retain officers all through these buildings and on government property in Ottawa and elsewhere? We do so because there is possibility of some insidious act on the part of ill-disposed persons. Self-preservation is the first law of nature.

For these and many other reasons I could mention, had I not the keen desire to conserve the time of the house, I intend to vote against the amendment which, after all, is little more than a motion of want of confidence in the government. It also involves condemnation of the government for the inadequacy of its social security program. Just why the hon. members for Vancouver (Mr. MacNeil) and Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) presented

the amendment in its present form and saw fit to precipitate a long debate costing the taxpayers of Canada tens of thousands of dollars, is beyond my comprehension.

On Tuesday, February 16, the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woods-worth), referring to the amendment, is reported at page 961 of Hansard as follows:

It is well worded; I have no objection to the wording of it.

My well-considered opinion is that the amendment is drafted in its present scientific form so as to make it impossible to obtain the support of the members of both the Liberal and the Conservative party in the house, so that when hon. members of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation party have an opportunity of later discussing the matter on the public platform they will reiterate their oft-repeated accusation that neither of the older parties mentioned has the interests of our people at heart.

Whatever may be the opinion of the people of Canada as to whether the amount in the estimates is too great or too little, I am sure they are all opposed' to this expensive and futile debate, more particularly since it is quite obvious to all that the amendment will obtain the support of only a handful of the members of the house.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. BLACKMORE (Lethbridge):

Mr. Speaker, over and over in my life have I found the thing that I ought to do not at all the thing that I liked to do. On this occasion I once more find it so. With the minds of people throughout Canada so filled with doubt, disagreement and fear, who is there that, if his conscience would let him, would not in connection with anything pertaining to war, gladly hold his peace? And yet in these so critical times, with all of yesterday's glowing achievement and all of to-morrow's glorious promise trembling in hazard, one must speak, prayerful that his remarks be wise.

May I say at the outset that no socialist in this building or out of it hates war more heartily than I do. I will grant with anyone, that war never settles anything, that no peace ever satisfies any of the people who make it. Let any treaty 'be made as wisely as possible, the next generation will likely rise up and curse it. Every modern treaty contains the seeds of a greater war than it closes. I will grant all that. These things are freely and heartily conceded, but I cannot and will not entirely blame the delegates who made or must make that peace. The deficiencies in any given treaty are there not necessarily because

National Defence-Mr. Blackmore

of the treachery, the wickedness, the ignorance, the weakness or the indiscretion of the delegates, but because of the clash of interests, the fierceness of passion, the pressure of public opinion and the general set-up of circumstance in the clutch of which the delegates usually find themselves hopelessly gripped.

I will grant furthermore with ready alacrity that war is a fearful waste, that war is monstrously destructive of lives, of health, of comfort and virtue, of happiness and of both real and financial wealth. War fastens upon all participating nations a bondage of debt which enslaves their peoples to the third and fourth generations, and even beyond that. I concede that in any war any participant or combination of participants risks its national freedom, if not its very existence.

Beyond that I will go and concede that the causes of war appear never to be righteous and are almost never what they seem. I will agree that financiers, through hidden international intrigue, manipulate the factors which produce war, and that with them in their baleful endeavours are -bound up the munition makers. It must further be conceded that war as always motivated by selfishness and greed, frequently the selfishness and greed of great private corporations and industries, and that secret treaties also help to cause war, as do likewise political machination and trickery. I frankly concede that propaganda, rousing fear, suspicion and hatred, often by shameful lies, both provokes war and tends to prolong it.

Again I will further allow and even contend that war is morally wicked; that it is nothing short of mass murder and mass robbery and -that it both engenders and is engendered by -mass hatred. As everyone knows, these three things are grossly unChristian. Yet -again I will with enthusiasm maintain that the burdens of war are unjustly distributed. Both suffering and sacrifice are -borne by the poor, while little, if any, of -these are borne by the rich. The values wasted in war are human values more than material values. The real fighters, the really deserving ones, rarely if ever get such rewards as come from war. The greatest sufferers are the mothers, -the sisters, -the wives and the sweethearts, the innocent and helpless among us. Could it avail us anything, I would at this -time cry out as loudly and as -bitterly as anyone against the monstrous wrong and the shameful pity of it all. But alas an outcry would be -but an outcry.

Having expressed in some measure my hatred of war, let me now challenge any man in this dominion to sho-w that he is more earnest and more determined than I in his desire and in his efforts to remove -the real causes of war. I know what those causes are and I know they must be removed. I have some notion as to bow -they might be removed, and in so far as in me lies, I shall gladly dev-ote my life's energies in any intelligent effort to remove those causes.

Le-t me here briefly review -a few of the factors which result in war. I am aware that it was largely poverty, especially poverty in the mid-st of plenty, tha-t rendered possible a Hitler, a Mussolini, a Lenin and a Franco. I am aware also that trade rivalry and the struggle for markets spur nations to outbursts of envy, jealousy and hatred and were in a large measure responsible for -the terrible ~ crisis of 1914. I am painfully aware that there are flagrant inequalities among nations; that certain nations such as Italy and Japan are manifestly cramped in point of territory; that many are hampered by lack of resources such as coal -and oil and nickel and o-ther commodities needed in the modern industrial world, while -at the same time -they see neighbour nations, such as our own, keeping almost unused a superabundance of the very -things they require. I perceive that in the relentless struggle for markets which must characterize an industrialized world under the present economic system, many weaker or less fortunate nations have seen -their markets appropriated by stronger and more fortunate nations. No one senses more keenly than I that somehow, in a general spirit of international compromise and cooperative goodwill, we must remove these irksome inequalities.

Of the fact that there are other galling handicaps, I am not ignorant. No one needs to point out to me how there are nations lacking access to ocean- highways -because of geographical and artificial boundaries, lacking, as for example Poland did, access to ports and seas. Such a state of affairs makes people fret. It is not as it should be. Years ago it was brought home to me that there are certain races whose nationalities were suppressed by other races. Examples that come readily to mind are the Germans of Austria, the Magyars of former Austria-Hungary and the Poles before the treaty of Versailles. Such a condition creates a breeding ground for the generation of bitterness. It should somehow be removed. Let me, here and now, declare that I will set my foot as far as he who goes farthest in any sane attempt to remove these conditions. But who can tell me how? Where is

1034 COMMONS

National Defence-Mr. Blackmore

he who knows? Eagerly and hungrily searching, I will listen to anyone's idea and give it my utmost respect. I am ready to go far in sacrifice or compromise once I have confidence that the sacrifice will permanently solve the problem. Meanwhile, living in a world of stark realities, I know that men must carry on and I conceive it to be my duty to give my support to those who are trying to carry on to the best of their ability and with apparently the best wisdom that man has attained.

Mr. Speaker, I dread war as much as any pacifist in the land-I dread and abhor it. There are four sons in my household, any one of whom means many times more to me than my own life and health. Three of them would be in immediate danger in the next war. As dear to me as my sons are several brothers whose names would almost surely be numbered for service. I have daughters and sisters who might be bereaved. In my life as a teacher I have learned to love with a peculiar tenderness the great numbers of boys and girls whose lives have been entrusted to my care. No one can value more the youth of this land. When I see a young man on the street and there flashes into my mind, as there does so often, a vision of his splendid body shattered by the hand of war, sickness comes over me so nauseating as to make me almost faint. When I see the beautiful face of any of our girls and the vision flashes into my mind of that face distorted with woe, I am moved almost beyond control. At the same time I realize that in the next war civilization is likely to be wiped out entirely. But what can be done about it? If we leave our country utterly undefended while the nations all around are arming, how can we hope that our weakness will prevent our destruction? When has the helplessness of the lamb rendered it immune from the wolf, or the defencelessness of the innocent child saved it from the kidnapping marauder.

As vividly as any man I sense the many excuses which we might offer for not now preparing. Many a youth, for example, is brooding in his heart and saying such bitter words as: "You fellows making the laws do not have to do the fighting; if you did, you would not be quite so ready to talk about armaments." To them I can only reply: " Perhaps so, but our elders decided the last war for us." Had we known all that they knew, I think we would have agreed with them. We members now bear the responsibility. We are trying to do for those whom we represent, perhaps not altogether what they now would ask us to do, but what we

believe they would want us to do if they knew what we know and sensed what we sense. We are trying to do what they might wish we had done when they know, ten years from now, more than they now know. Again there are heard throughout the land voices muttering, not loud but deep: " Make Canada fit to live in; make it worth defending and we will gladly defend it. Give a square deal to the men who did your dirty work in the last war." With such voices I feelingly sympathize. I know men have mismanaged this house of ours, this Canada, and we cannot yet agree how to manage it; but shall we because of that, and while we are arguing how to manage it, let our enemies snatch it away from us or bomib our children within it?

Others are saying that the United States will defend us. Probably so, but could we lift up our heads and call ourselves an independent nation if another nation had to defend us? If upon the United States' depended the responsibility for defending us, how long would it be before the United States would demand a potent voice in the management of our external affairs? Many ardent souls have struggled through many decades to make Canada independent and to assert Canada's nationhood. What for? That Canada might become a dependant of the United States?

Still other people are saying: "Britain will defend us." But suppose the strain should be too great and Britain should fall. Would Canadians then feel as safe as they feel now when Britain stands? Suppose that she should fall and we knew that that fall had come because she had risked her safety to defend us. Could Canadians ever again be reconciled? If we failed to do our share in preparing to defend our own coasts, and if, because of that, the democracies of the world should fail, could we ever hold up our heads? At other times I hear voices say: What can Canada possibly do to defend herself in modern warfare-there is no safety in war? Such truth as lies in their contention I gladly grant. At the same time I must remember the story of the little drops of water that can make a mighty ocean. Besides, did anyone say during the great war that Canada could do so little? Did anyone think such a thing just after the great war? ( I cannot help feeling that if we in Canada do anything less than all we can in reason do, then in case of a disaster we must stand blameworthy both to ourselves and to all generations. We shall have betrayed our trust. ^

National Defence-Mr. Blackmore

Some voices say: Well, Canada's place is in union with the United States; let us leave our defence to the United States, and let what will be, be. These people I beg to remind that even if they become a part of the United States they could not possibly escape the responsibilities of war. Witness what is going on in the United States at the present time!

Still other voices argue: Let us keep ourselves helpless so that we cannot fight, and then we will be sure not to fight. My knowledge of history does not permit me to agree with them. It has generally been found that when men want to fight, they fight, regardless of preparation. Look at ourselves in the last war. Britain, they tell me, was not fully prepared until 1918; yet she fought, and for having been unprepared, terrible was the price she paid. Let hon. members in this connection recall what they heard men in . this country saying one year ago while Ethiopia was being lacerated. Did they not hear many regretting Canada's inaction as a member of the league? How would Canadians have felt if it had been Australia instead of Ethiopia? How would they feel should New Zealand now be attacked? Would they say: Leave her to it? I have not yet found a single Canadian who would state that he would consent to such a thing. Suppose that Newfoundland were attacked: then what?

Let us come right down to the present moment: How do our people feel about Spain now? Let me read to the members of this house a resolution which I received from a Canadian city only this morning, and that from the very kind of men who are most bitterly opposing Canadian preparedness:

Whereas it has been learned that the great fighter for Spanish and world democracy, General Emil Kleber, has been captured by the insurgent armies in the storming of Malaga and,

Whereas we believe that the efforts of General Kleber, a Canadian citizen, in the leading of the international brigade, is a heroic work in support of Spanish and world democracy, and that his great work is in line -with the mission that our own Doctor Bethune is carrying on in Madrid.

therefore be it resolved that we do urgently petition the federal M.P.'s at Ottawa to take this matter up at once with the federal government to demand the immediate release of General Kleber out of the hands of the fascist executioners at Malaga, who are being openly aided by the fascist countries of Germany and Italy, in violation of the non-intervention agreement that they have themselves signed,

And be it further resolved that we do urge upon the federal government that they do

everything in their power to call upon the non-intervention committee in London that they demand of the fascist junta in Burgos, Spain, that General Kleber be granted freedom at once.

What would happen to the world if members did what these men urge? What would occur if we could get done what they want us to do? The world would likely be plunged into war, and we along with the rest. How many people have you talked with in Canada who wished to volunteer to go and help the Spanish loyalists? In her present state of unpreparedness Canada could do little or nothing on either side, no matter what she might want to do. Even if bombs were dropped by raiders on this parliament building, on our food factories, on our other industrial centres or on our railway stations, what could we do right now? We are living in a world in which wolves abound. Shall we, to make sure that we will not shoot any of these wolves in case they attack us, leave ourselves without a gun? It would surely seem to be the part of wisdom in us to buy ourselves a good gun and a supply of cartridges, and to learn how to shoot. What we will shoot, or whether we will shoot, we can leave ourselves free to decide, if and when the emergency arises.

I long found myself persistently mystified whenever I tried to make clear to myself why it was that Canada which, from shore to shore, twenty years ago was throbbing with patriotic fervour was becoming not only largely apathetic to considerations of unity, but actually hostile. A British commonwealth which paid so great a price for racial safety now gives palpable evidence of approaching disintegration. The people are the same; their ideals are the same; their danger is as great as ever; but something appears to be progressively embittering them. The blame for this whole development I am going to lay relentlessly upon the financial system under which we live. Our present system, outgrown, obsolete, utterly inadequate, is deteriorating to the point of irreparable ruin-not only the whole British Empire but the whole British people. It might with much reason be argued that every government which is stubbornly clinging to the present system is doing more to compass the destruction of the British race than is any man or movement in the outside world to-day.

Major Douglas as far back as 1923 warned democracy over and over again of the coming of this depression and of the coming of this awful danger of war. Even earlier than that he gave all British people instructions how

National Defence-Mr. Blackmore

they might avoid the approaching disaster, and all he got for his pains was supercilious sneers. How can it possibly be that men, rather than accept a new idea, will so risk irretrievable disaster? Even without accepting any new ideas, the men who have been in charge of British nations since the beginning of the great war could have avoided a great deal of this bitterness. Had they only so controlled profitmaking during the great war that Canadians would not have had to reflect upon millionaires whose ill-gotten gains were amassed under the guise of patriotism while their fellow-Cana-dians suffered and bled, we should all be feeling better now.

Let me now turn to one of the most urgent reasons against preparation-one which is suggested in the amendment, namely, consideration for the bad economic conditions and the crying need everywhere obtaining in Canada, the thought how shameful it is to use for defence, money so gravely needed for relief. I do not believe that we should or need use for our defence any of the money which we should or would otherwise use for relief or for other social services. I have urged before in this house, and will perhaps urge many times again, that this dominion government under existing circumstances can safely create a considerable amount of money and safely use it for any necessary purpose.

I have been answered with the retort that such procedure would cause inflation. There has thus far been advanced no argument that can justify that answer. How would Canada proceed to finance herself if war were to break out and she were to become involved? With people in such poverty as they now are throughout this country, how could we possibly hope to raise great victory loans as we did in the last war? During those years Britain spent far more money, I am told, than there was in the whole of Britain, and she still had plenty to carry on. Where did the money come from? Apparently the banks created a great deal of it. Who would create the money in Canada in case of another crisis? Would the banks or would the government? If not the government, why not? The government backs the money anyway, by backing the banks. Why should new money whether created by the banks or by government cause inflation? The government of Great Britain financed the war with a sort of government money. It worked and was sound.

The argument has been laboured that we must have goods; that goods and services are the only purchasing power. If we grant that, how then can we possibly have overproduction?

fMr. RlackmorB.)

And if goods are purchasing power why then are not banks now lending freely to produce more goods, and why is the government not campaigning for more production of milk, meats, vegetables, sugar, clothing, electricity, building material, coal and the like? We are told the Liberals want more purchasing power; why are they not then taking the most direct method of getting it? We now want purchasing power to finance defence. Why not produce the goods and services, and with them as purchasing power finance our defence? In this manner can be swept away a great deal of the present opposition to the government's defence policy.

And now, Mr. Speaker, having dealt with certain considerations pertaining to defence, and having given to some extent the reasons which prevent these considerations from persuading me to oppose the government's policy, let me now give some of the thoughts which have led me this year to support that policy.

I choose to use homely and simple illustrations, for I find myself able to think to better advantage in terms of concrete experience. We all recognize that any man has the right to kill in self defence. We, therefore, must regard the individual human life as sacred above all things. If I entered my neighbour's home with intent to kill him, or to do him serious bodily harm, everyone would justify him in killing me. Most people would censure him if he did not kill me. If I entered his home with intent to harm any of -his family, and he knew my purpose, most people would justify him in stopping me by force, even to the extent of killing me. If he, knowing or strongly surmising my intent, did not prevent me 'by force if need be, most people would blame him; many would despise him, his wife and his children among them.

Now, if that neighbour, knowing that I was coming armed, failed to prepare himself against me, he would be almost universally blamed, if not censured. What applies to an individual must surely apply to a community of individuals. Even if my neighbour knew that I was bringing a machine gun or a bomb, or any other deadly device, most people would expect him to do all that he could, even to the extent of giving his life, to save his family. The same reasoning ought to apply to any community of individuals. If, knowing that I was armed and that I might by chance violate his home, he failed to arm himself against my coming, he would be blamed for failure to arm himself against my coming. After I had armed, if he so armed himself, could anyone possibly

National Defence-Mr. Blackmore

reason that his arming had caused me to attack him? Again, if that neighbour of mine found himself dwelling in a vicinity where most of the men were armed, would you not hold him blameworthy if he did not arm himself? And if, under such circumstances he did arm himself, can anyone consistently contend that his arming himself would cause me or any of his other armed neighbours to attack him? This reasoning, again, applying as it manifestly does to an individual, appears to me to apply with equal force to communities of individuals.

Now, Canada is that neighbour; she lives in an armed world community; she is filled with resources, fabulously rich-rich in the very materials which ambitious nations covet. If her rulers neglect to arm her, how they can possibly escape the censure of all carefully thinking people it is beyond my power to comprehend.

It seems fitting to me that I should dwell with some care upon certain other causes of war which hitherto, as far as I recollect, have not, in this debate, been greatly stressed. Let me return again to individuals and their neighbours. Let us suppose that my neighbour has a sixteen year old boy. Everybody recognizes that this boy will naturally express himself. He may shout and sing a great deal, not because he wishes to annoy his parents or their neighbours, but just because he wishes to express himself. His parents naturally will endeavour to restrain him. Suppose, now, that he refuses to listen to persuasion or to reason, no matter how much we all remonstrate with him, what can we do about it? Most ordinary people would say that in some manner or another, sooner or later, force would have to be applied to that boy. If his parents did not do it, some of his neighbours, perhaps his neighbour's sixteen year old boy, would likely do it. There are boys among nations. It is because of this fact that we have come to think of collective security through alliances, ententes, leagues of nations and the like. So long as there are no alliances or leagues of nations sufficient to give this collective security, it would seem to be beyond question that each of the neighbours must be prepared, either individually or in cooperation with several neighbours, either to administer correction or to fill the rowdy ones with a measure of awe. There appears no way of avoiding the implications of this reasoning.

Here is another thought. Each race becomes passionately attached to its own way of doing things, to its own civilization, as we

call it. A people's language, habits of thought, modes of life, et cetera, constitute something which the Germans called kultur. Now, it is a well-known fact that it is the natural impulse of each human being to try to get other human beings to do as he or she does. As we say, it is the natural impulse, almost an instinct, of nearly everyone .to try to impose his will upon his neighbour. It is an equally potent and prevalent impulse for everyone to resent any attempt of his neighbour to impose his will upon him; that is, as we say, each one naturally wants his own way about it. This impulse to impose one's will upon another, and this equally urgent impulse to resent such imposition, and to develop oneself in one's own way, cause ceaseless struggle among individual human beings. Generally the struggle takes the form of a clash of personality resulting in quarrels. But if satisfactory results cannot be obtained by a quarrel, there will be a fight; that is, there will be a resort to force.

Now, each nation or race is incessantly attempting to impose its will upon each other race; that is, each nation is trying to bring about universal acceptance of its kultur, its language, its religion in some cases, its education, et cetera. Just as sternly as one individual resents and resists and must resist the imposition of another's will upon him, so sternly does each nation or race resist the imposition of any other race's will or kultur upon it. Away down deep in the heart of even' race this instinct resides, ever present. One of the most cogent causes of war is this very impulse. It is the impulse which has in our day resulted in a Mussolini promising his people all the land that the Roman empire ever ruled; this, too, has resulted in the passionate ebullition of racial feeling which has thrust and is still thrusting Hitler into prominence. Thus far, no one that I have ever heard of has been able to give any sufficient remedy for this cause. Canada has her own kultur, though we call it our own civilization. Is it worth preparing to defend? Every people, so far as I can judge, must be constantly on its guard, ready to defend its own culture. There are, at the present time in the world, at least five great peoples, each definitely dreaming of world dominion, each instinctively if not consciously planning to impose upon us and upon others its own kultur,^ I do not believe that the Anglo-Saxon race-the British peoples-should strive to impose their will upon others, at least by any aggressive means. At the same time who can see any reason that would justify us in allowing others to impose their will upon us?

1038 COMMONS

National Defence-Mr. Blackmore

We must be ready to give and take with all peoples. We must be ready to compromise. We must cultivate in our own hearts understanding of the legitimate aspirations of other peoples and an honest disposition to help them to obtain the good things of this world. We must constantly strive to allow every other race the full right and opportunity to realize the complete development and expression of its own culture, and to contribute that culture to the enrichment of the world's

life, always granted that it does not, by realizing itself, hinder unwarrantably the selfrealization of its fellow races. That no race might be able to hinder our own self-realization, we must, I conceive, prepare to defend ourselves in case of need. )

Mr. Speaker, it is eleven o'clock.

Topic:   SUPPLY-NATIONAL DEFENCE CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Subtopic:   Hull, P.Q.
Permalink

At eleven o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order.


END OE VOLUME I

February 18, 1937