February 19, 1937

UFOL

Agnes Campbell Macphail

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour

Miss MACPHAIL:

Would the Prime Minister not call it a war obligation rather than a social service?

National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie King

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

A war obligation? Most of our social services to-day have arisen out of war obligations.

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UFOL

Agnes Campbell Macphail

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour

Miss MACPHAIL:

Thank you. That is very good.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

And the fact that our social services have become so vastly increased on account of war is an added reason why this parliament, which is responsible for defence, should do its utmost to prevent another war arising with the additional social service obligation certain to grow out of it. The fact that we know what war costs a nation in life and limb, and health, is the strongest of reasons why a nation should do everything it can to prevent anything of the kind occurring again. That is the whole purpose of our defence estimates, to assist in preventing aggression on the part of other nations.

Here is the next item: European war pensions, $210,105,583. I say that every dollar that has been spent out of the federal treasury as a war pension is money which has gone to serve the needs of those whose needs have arisen out of the services which they have rendered to the state.

Then there are these items: The writing down of soldier and general land settlement loans, $3,223,413; payments re 1930 wheat crop, $22,456,645; payments re loss on 1930 oats pool under guarantee, $174,383; wheat bonus, 1931-32 and 1932-33, $12,719,900; or a sum in addition to the total I gave a moment ago of $300,130,853.

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Does the Prime Minister include interest on war debts?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

No, I have not included interest on war debts but I think it ought to be included. That is another obligation which falls on this federal treasury which does not fall on the provinces, which does not fall on the municipalities, but which nevertheless makes it more difficult for the federal treasury to meet what it otherwise might be in a position to meet on many services. The justice of the situation demands that we view what are the obligations which this government has to meet. There is no escaping any of these obligations. Before we can begin to vote a dollar for other purposes, obligations of the character I have just mentioned, European war pensions and the like, have to be met.

The figures I have given make a total of expenditures by the dominion government

during the last five years on account of social services amounting to $680,911,129. In addition to that, this dominion has made loans for relief purposes to the provinces, and the net amount outstanding on February 1 of this year was $102,150,000. Those loans have all helped the provinces to meet obligations in the nature of social services of one kind or another. I place on Hansard in tabular form the figures I have just given:

Estimate of Expenditures by Dominion Government during the last five fiscal years on account of Social Services (Fiscal years 1932-33 to 1936-37)

Unemployment relief $254,871,231

Special public works and undertakings for relief of unemployment 38,253,127

Old age pensions 78,033,081

Technical education 620,251

Employment offices, Co-ordination Act 750,000

Labour, including administration of: annuities, conciliation and

labour, fair wages and inspection. industrial disputes investigation, employment offices, limitation of hours of work, etc., acts.. 2,381,922

National Health 3,752,895

Grants to various private institutions for social purposes.. 468,950

Employment and Social Insurance

Act 93,862

Farmers Creditors' Arrangement Act (administrative costs).. .. 1,532,266

Dominion Housing Act 22,691

Outlays re additional social services:

Treatment and after-care returned soldiers $ 51,450,929

European war pensions. 210,105,583

Write-down of soldiers hnd general land settlement loans. .. 3,223,413

Payments re 1930 wheat crop.... 22,456,645

Payments re loss on 1930 Oats

Pool under guarantee.... 174,383

Wheat bonus, 1931-32 and 1932-33 12,719.900

Total $680,911,129

Loans to provinces for relief purposes, net amount outstanding February 1, 1937 $102,150,000

Let me now give some of the social services that the provinces have been carrying on, and carrying on in part out of loans and grants which have been made to them from the federal treasury. The Dominion Bureau of Statistics

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National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie King

estimate of expenditure by all provincial governments for public welfare and education for the five-year period 1932-1936 is as follows:

Estimate of Expenditure by all Provincial

Governments

(The Statistics for 1935 and 1936 are estimated)

Total for Five Years, 1932-1936

Public Health [DOT] $ 11,866,067

Including boards of health, clinics, laboratories, grants to health associations, research and disease control.

Public Institutions 83,753,112

Including mental institutions, tuberculosis control, children's homes, homes for aged, incurables and rescue homes, reformatories, industrial farms, grants to blind institutions.

General Hospitals 1,385,007

Government controlled (exclusive of mental hospitals).

General Hospitals 23,606,773

(Exclusive of mental) Grants and assistance to.

Child Welfare and Maternal Assistance 6.277,069

Old Age Pensions 19,884,503

(Less dominion government and municipal contributions).

Mothers' and Deserted Wives'

Allowances [DOT] [DOT] 20,769,300

(Including municipal contributions).

Charities, Miscellaneous 2.362.860

Labour 4,970,445

Including employment bureaux, workmen's compensation, inspection of factories, boilers, public buildings, hotels and boarding houses, other labour regulations.

Interest, sinking fund and collection charges on public charities

funds (Quebec only) 9,161,252

Unemployment Relief 173,743,777

(Less dominion government and municipal contributions and deductions from government employees' salaries).

Total Public Welfare . .. $357,780 165

If I were to add education, which is a social service, the additional amount would be:

Education-Including grants to primary, secondary and technical schools, universities, colleges, normal and training schools, inspection. examinations, free school texts, libraries, deaf and dumb education, and other miscellaneous $148,564,113

Or a grand total for public welfare and education for the provinces of $506,344,278.

Let me now give some figures relating to the municipalities. Naturally they are only a partial amount, but are such figures as the bureau of statistics has been able to secure. I would ask the house to allow these tables to appear in Hansard in tabular form so that they may be more readily understood:

Dominion Bureau of Statistics estimate of expenditure of municipalities throughout Canada on public welfare for the five-year period 1931-

1935, also expenditure by school boards five years 1931-1935:

: Five Years 1931-1935

Health-Including sanitation and

hygiene $ 36,631,467

Charities and recreations-Including grants and aids to benevolent institutions, hospitals, poor relief and social service 118,235,836

Total welfare $154,867,303

School board current expenditure 2457,726,057

Total welfare and schools $612,593,360

'Health and charities arrived at by taking the total expenditure for years 1931, 1932 and 1933. and an average of these three years for 1934 and 1935.

2Sehool expenditure arrived at by taking the total expenditure for years 1931, 1932, 1933 and 1934, and an average of these four years for 1935.

I have given these figures to the house, Mr. Speaker, because in estimating what we are spending in Canada for defence, and comparing that expenditure with what is being spent in Canada for social services, it is necessary' to take in all that has been spent on each account; and the social service account includes, as I have indicated, moneys paid out by the provinces, moneys paid out by the municipalities, and moneys paid out by this federal government.

Anyone who wishes to be just and fair to the taxpayers of the country, to the country itself and to municipal administrations, the governments of the provinces, and the federal government ought to quote every one of the figures which I have quoted here to-day.

In the light of that comparison it would seem there was little to concern ourselves about as respects the inadequacy of amounts for social services in contrast with outlays for defence. Yet this is what the amendment asks the house to declare:

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.

It is clear from its wording that the amendment of the hon. member for Vancouver North, necessitates taking into account the social security of all sections of the Canadian people, which means of course what is being looked after by the provinces and the municipalities as well as by the dominion. In the light of the figures which have been given here to-day, there is not a member of the group responsible

National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie King

for this amendment who ought to think for one moment of supporting it; they all ought to ask to have it withdrawn.

Comparisons or contrasts of the kind are however beside the question. Either money is needed for purposes of defence or it is not. What we propose to spend on defence is not to be justified by comparison with anything else, it is to be justified with respect to the needs of defence alone. It could be justified in all these other ways if one wished to do so, but my point is that any criticism of the government in respect to the defence estimates must be made on the score of what we are spending for defence in the light of the world situation as we know it and of Canada's position as we know it in reference to dangers that may arise. I should like to ask hon. members of the group opposite if any one of them to-day will rise in his seat and say that in the light of the world situation, as he understands it, he thinks we are spending too much for defence in Canada at this time.

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

That is the position we take. I do not need to reiterate it. I think it is simple nonsense to be spending as much as we are.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Well, if that is the position my hon. friend takes, he has not had the courage to put it in his amendment. That is just the criticism I make of the amendment. I know very well what is going to happen as time slips along. Let the dangers increase to some extent, and what will hon. members say who support this amendment? "Oh, we never opposed the amount of money that the government was proposing to spend for defence."

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

You will see, when we come to it.

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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

"All we did was to say that the contrast between what was being spent for defence and what was being

spent for social services was a matter of concern."

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

We are concerned about it.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Let me now come to what we are proposing to spend for purposes of defence, and why the amount is what it is. And just here may I say that governments are necessarily controlled, in the matters which they submit to parliament, by the actual conditions with which their countries may be faced at any particular time. When

a government brings in its estimates it does not bring in just what it pleases or what pleases it most. It has regard to conditions as they exist, and must consider what is necessary, and what it believes the people of the country believe to be necessary properly to meet those conditions. If there were no dangers in the world at the present time, if there were no threat of international war, if there were no impending calamity on a scale such as everyone, who is reflecting on the world situation, realizes that there is, certainly it would be an extraordinary thing for the government to bring in increases in defence estimates. But when countries are facing an altogether new situation, a government which has responsibility for defence must assume that responsibility in the light of existing conditions.

To understand why the defence estimates contain the increases they do, it is necessary to take account not merely of what has happened within the last year or two, but to view the world situation as it has developed in the years since the war. Quickly reviewing conditions, as they are known to all, we can see the reason why, for a considerable period of time, defepce estimates were kept at a very low figure, and also why, at the present time, estimates have had to be increased not only by Canada but by countries all over the world that are seeking to maintain their liberties and freedom and free institutions.

After the war, when the treaty of Versailles had been negotiated and signed, and there was brought into being the League of Nations, the world was war weary. There was not a nation which had not had enough of war -as sentiment was reflected in the minds of most of its people-for all time. The world looked for some other means of settling differences which might arise and saw in the League of Nations an institution that seemed to give promise of relieving nations from the necessity of competitive arming in the future. Here, they thought, was an institution that, by bringing into its membership all the nations of the world, would be in a position through the collective security it would ensure to avoid the necessity of any one nation arming against another. The vision was so compelling that it seemed to create the very conditions that were needed for its fulfilment. People did not stop to ask themselves very seriously whether this means of security upon which they were relying, which the league was to bring into being, would actually meet the situation; they were satisfied to accept it. The peoples of the different countries were ready to abandon old methods of settling disputes and to adopt the new and

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better ones symbolized in the league. It was a popular gospel to preach, this gospel of the league of nations and all that it stood for, and political parties rivalled each other in their support of the league. Up to a certain point they had very good reason for the ground they took. But as years went by new situations developed. I suppose that the League of Nations as the instrument of collective security was at the zenith of its influence around the year 1926, when, in addition to all that the league represented, the world witnessed the United States join with France in bringing into being the Kellogg-Briand pact, or the Pact of Paris, as it is better known, under the provisions of which the nations that were parties to that instrument agreed from that time on to renounce war as an instrument of national policy. I remember very well the scene in Paris at the time that the pact was signed, because I had the honour of signing it on behalf of Canada. It was a beautiful day, above the foreign office in Paris were flying the flags of the nations of the world. In front of the building were hundreds if not thousands of men, women and children for the most part still dressed in black, rejoicing in this new promise of salvation from aggression, but still having very vividly in their minds the ravages of the war not so many years before. Great were the expectations in those years of the new instruments framed for the purpose of maintaining peace.

Well, how have the hopes once entertained of the League of Nations been realized? The League of Nations first of all was based on the idea of universality of membership. It was brought into being oy the United States, one of the greatest powers in the world, and a power, considered largely disinterested. Other countries felt that, with the United States one of the members, collective security among the league members was going to be great indeed. Unfortunately, the United States subsequently did not see its way to becoming a member of the institution which owed its origin to the inspiration of that country. That was the first great disappointment. That was the first great gap in universal membership. As time went on, nations began to withdraw from the league. Japan, one of the great powers, withdrew, and shortly afterwards Germany, another great power, did the same. Brazil withdrew from the league. At the last meeting of the assembly, Italy was not represented. Thus, at the last assembly of the great powers that were in the war, Japan, Germany and Italy were not at the league.

Now, that is a very different kind of league from anything which was thought of, or talked about, during the years in which so much em-

phasis was put upon the security which all nations were going to derive from the League of Nations. I shall a little later on have something to say about the position of the league and what is involved in membership at the present time. It is I think an open question whether, instead of being a security, it may not in the present situation be something of a liability to be under the obligations which the covenant of the league imposes on its members with its membership restricted in the manner in which it is. That is a factor which must be taken into account at the present time.

There was another disappointment. The war ended, new democracies it was believed would come into being, and the league was to further that end. Instead of democracies the world has seen growing up in Russia, in Germany and in Italy as well as in other European countries dictatorships of the most powerful character. Instead of the people controlling their institutions and parliaments we have seen in the last few years parliaments swept out of existence. The league's whole strength lay in the fact that it was the people who were going to have the say: the people were going to have the say in Germany, in Italy and elsewhere. Well, we have seen the suppression of parliaments in some of these countries.

Then there was disarmament. That was another of the disappointments. Disarmament was foremost among the objectives of the league. It cannot be said that many nations did not strive to effect that great end. It has, however, thus far failed of accomplishment, and competitive arming is taking its place.

The league was going to bring about a condition wherein peace would be maintained by the furtherance of conciliation and arbitration and by treaties. There were to be all b;r>ds of agreements between the different countries, that belonged to the league. Peace was to be secured by contract, process of law, judicial settlement, a world order based upon contractual relationship; and a world that liked to believe in the sanctity of contracts saw in this extension of treaty obligations another great hope for the maintenance of peace. What is the position to-day with regard to treaties and contracts between nations? We have seen how far the treaty of Versailles has been respected. We have seen how Locarno has been violated. We have but to look at the pronouncements made from day to day by certain nations to discover that they put no faith at all in contracts and will not if it suits their purpose regard themselves as bound by any agreement or obligation. Some nations avowedly are placing their confidence

National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie King

in might not in right; in force not in reason. That is a very different situation from that with which the world was faced a little while ago. These circumstances have changed the whole position of security so far as the nations of the world are concerned.

The league was in existence at the time of aggression against a league member in Manchuria, and the league was found to be a helpless institution in preventing that aggression. The league was in existence at the time of the Chaco war in South America, and the league did not intervene there though nations which were members of the league were involved. More persons were killed in that war than in the Ethiopian war. The league has been seen to be essentially a European institution. The league was in existence when Italy invaded Ethiopia and an effort was made by the application of sanctions to enforce what the league had felt would be the most effective means of ending aggression and maintaining peace. But what was discovered at that time? It was discovered that economic sanctions if they were to be effective at all would lead inevitably to military sanctions, and that military sanctions meant war. That is a very different condition from what most people had thought was likely to be the case when they were advocating membership in the League of Nations.

The result of all this has been that the attitude of nations generally has changed very materially towards the league viewed as an>

instrument for maintaining peace. Collective security under some of the league's provisions is none other than a reliance upon force. I am not saying that the League of Nations cannot fulfil a useful purpose and that it is not absolutely necessary; I believe it is. But the league in some of its provisions is based too much on a war mentality. The league, as its covenant is drafted, puts far too much reliance upon what force may beexpected to accomplish. At any rate that is so to my way of thinking. There may be others who hold a different view. Ibelieve that the league as an instrument to further peace by peaceful means, by constructive peace policies, by reliance upon conciliation, investigation and the power of public opinion by the formulation of world opinion and methods of that kind can be of very great service to mankind and canbe made a universal league and a league

which will be effective in bringing injustices to light and having them ultimately remedied. But a league which in the light of the developments of the last few years continues to place its reliance on force is going to be a very different institution from that which most of

us have conceived the League of Nations to be. And those who are going to put their faith in a league which relies upon force as its means of effecting collective security will have to consider anew what force they are going to be prepared to contribute from the country to which they themselves belong. The change in the position of the league, and in the possibility of its being able to serve the ends it was intended to serve, is another factor which has greatly affected world conditions.

But there is something else which has had a far-reaching effect and it is this. The old struggles, which were in the minds of people in the days when the league was formed, were struggles between nations; the league was formed to prevent one nation flying at the throat of another. But what is the nature of the struggle that is going on in Europe at the present time? What we see is a new kind of struggle, a conflict spreading throughout the world, a class struggle which sweeps right across the frontiers of nations without regard to boundaries-a class struggle on a scale scarcely contemplated by the mind of man. We see violent conflicts of classes and social systems, forms of social and political organization; the peoples beginning to fight among themselves-fighting for their social philosophies with a zeal akin to that of the days of the old religious wars. In other words, it is no longer a matter of nation protecting itself against nation; it has come to be a question of conflicting ideologies, to use an expression that covers the ground better than any other, and as to which of the contending forces is to prevail. All this has been accompanied by new and increasingly terrible weapons and methods of warfare, the wider range of aircraft and submarine and the use of deadly bombs and poisonous germs.

On different occasions I have quoted a passage which I should like to quote again because of its evident application to the present world situation. It is a quotation from one who was not a jingo, but a great scientist, a great humanitarian, one of the benefactors of mankind, one who knew a great deal more about human beings and human nature than most men of his own or any other day- the great scientist Louis Pasteur. In 1888 when Pasteur was being honoured by his country in the opening of the great institute which bears his name he was so overcome by the reception accorded him by the statesmen and scholars of France that he was unable to read from the manuscript he had prepared. He handed it to his son who read from its pages the following memorable words:

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Two contrary laws seem to be wrestling with each other nowadays; the one, a law of blood and of death, ever imagining new means of destruction, and forcing nations to be constantly ready for the battlefield, the other, a law of peace, work and health, ever evolving new means for delivering man from the scourges which beset him. The one seeks violent conquests, the other the relief of humanity. The latter places one human life above any victory; while the former would sacrifice hundreds of thousands of lives to the ambition of one. Which of these two laws shall ultimately prevail God alone knows.

Now that is a statement of actual truth never more clearly demonstrated than in our own day. It is a truth we witnessed at the time of the great war, that we are witnessing again to a degree that no one hitherto could have dreamed of. We see in the world forces that are working for destruction and for death. We see forces that are working for peace, health and work. What I want to say to my hon. friends who seem to claim a monopoly of belonging to those forces that are working for peace, health and work is this, that you cannot go on with that work unless you protect yourself from the other forces. That is something to be kept in mind. When some of us to protect ourselves and our country against the forces of blood and of death ask parliament to vote money for purposes of defence, that we may continue to further the law of peace and work and health we are told that we are preparing for and promoting war. We are doing nothing of the kind. We are trying to make the national position secure to enable the law of peace, work and health to prevail and progress. This we believe is only possible as we keep at bay those forces that are making for death and destruction. No one can deny that there is coming over the face of Europe, if not of other parts of the world as well, something in the nature of an alignment of forces which are wrestling with each other, forces which do not confine themselves to any one country and which are operating in ways that are exceedingly dangerous. All that is changing the situation from what it was a few years ago with respect to the need of defence in different countries.

But more than that. We have at the present time and have had since July of last year a great civil war waging in Spain, one of the great countries of Europe. We have seen how difficult it is for other nations to keep their own nationals out of that war. That is something to be considered and to be reckoned with. The fact that in these many months we have seen coming from all parts of Europe men who are prepared to throw their lives into that ghastly furnace, fighting on one side or the other makes pretty clear

what we may expect if war ever gets beyond the boundaries of that country to a greater extent than it has at the present time. It has required all the ingenuity and skill that the statesmen of Britain and other countries in Europe could command to confine that conflict within the boundaries of that single unfortunate country. Who will say that those of us who are sitting here may not before the end of this present parliament witness some terrible expansion of that conflict, unless it is totally ended within that period of time. If the conflict spreads, if a conflict of that character becomes international, is it likely that any part of the world is going to escape its terrors? Facing such a possibility, not to speak of others scarcely less evident, can a government which has the responsibility of looking after the defence of its own country, ignore altogether what is necessary for the protection of its coasts, its harbours, its great cities, its people wherever they are, in contingencies that may arise.

These are things which the present administration have had to consider. The situation would be appalling and hopeless if there were not other factors which help greatly to relieve it. It would not be fair to leave the house or the country with the impression that the existing situation menacing as it may be is one that cannot be met. It is a condition that has been continuous more or less for the past five or six years. Europe has been in a very unsettled state. But some way or another, by the working together of men of good will, the nations have been able to maintain peace to a very considerable extent, and we hope and pray that they may be able to continue so to do. And there are many reasons to believe that perhaps they will. I do not suppose that Germany wants to go to war, I do not suppose she is ready to go to war at the present time. I imagine Italy has had enough of war for a while. I imagine Russia knows what it would mean to have to carry on a war in any country other than her own. So far as Japan is concerned there is evidence that the power of the people there who desire peace is very strong. We know whatever the ambitions of their rulers may be that throughout the world the peoples as a whole are anxious to preserve peace. On the whole there has been some improvement, a less tense strain in the international situation, a balancing of forces. a growing recognition on the part of every government of the uncertainties of success and the penalties of failure, a growing readiness too to seek to remove the causes of conflict, the sources of friction and to realize that in the end war settles nothing even for the victor. But one thing is certain, and that

National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie King

is that this competitive arming cannot continue indefinitely without some terrible crash coming. If what hon. members of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation group say is true, that competitive arming means war, then war on a colossal scale is inevitable, and it is surely time that we begin to see that our country should be in a position to protect itself against possible contingencies arising out of such a situation.

Do they say, holding the convictions they do. that we should sit by and do nothing to defend our shores, our harbours, our shipping terminals, our great centres against contingencies of a kind that may arise?

Let me read what one gentleman who is not an alarmist and who has had a very strong faith in the League of Nations feels about the world situation to-day. I quote from Mr. John W. Dafoe, president and editor of the Winnipeg Free Press. I imagine Mr. Dafoe has been as strong a supporter of the league as any man in Canada and that he is as little given to exaggeration as any student of international affairs. Speaking in Toronto only a few days ago Mr. Dafoe said:

It is not possible to be optimistic. If the piling up of armaments, the regimentation of people and the constant interchange of threats between nations must continue, war is inevitable, given time, and perhaps it will come sooner rather than later. Why is the world in its present condition? Because we have reverted to the pre-war conception of relationships between nations. The post-war idea of the

keeping of peace being an obligation upon all nations has been submerged. It may return of course but for the time being that great idea has vanished from the world and we are back to a conception that excludes all considerations of morality in international relationships.

There is one Canadian speaking out of his knowledge of conditions and careful study over many years. Let me read-and it is the only other quotation I shall give in this connection-what another public man of great experience in world affairs has been saying about the situation as he sees it. Mr. Lloyd George gave an interview before he left the West Indies in which he stated his view of the present situation and where it was likely to lead. This was on February 5:

The world is going mad. At the present moment we are spending $1,500,000,000 . on armaments. Ten years ago the entire world spent $3,500,000,000 for armaments, mow it is spending $12,500,000,000. They have almost quadrupled it in the past ten years and it is still going up. You must have followed what is happening in Europe to-day, nations are arming again. Within ten years the world armaments have trebled and are on the way to be quadrupled all within ten years. It is going on at an accelerating pace, Europe is thoroughly scared, they are frightened of war, all the

prayers for peace which you hear everywhere are drowned by the ring of the anvil, countless anvils hammering out the most terrible machinery of war that has ever been invented.

I give these quotations not to alarm the country but to bring home to hon. members some appreciation of the obligation that rests on the government of this country at this time. I ask any hon. member of this house, no matter from what part of the country he comes, if you were in the position of responsibility that I am in to-day, would you do nothing? Would you stand here and tell your fellow countrymen that in the light of statements such as these and in the light of the situation as we all know it, there was no need to do anything in preparation for what may take place later on, I ask this, particularly after having heard the statement made by the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie) as to the present position of Canada's defences. I must say that I regret very much that the Minister of National Defence found it necessary to tell the house the condition in which the defence forces of this country find themselves at the present time. It does not strengthen our country to have the weak spots in

its armour known all over the world. But apparently something of the kind was necessary to persuade hon. members generally that there was need for replacement of obsolete armaments and equipment, that there was need for making good necessary stores and inadequate supplies, that there was need for something being done to cope with new methods of warfare from the air as well as on land and sea.

Let me answer one question at once. We are asked: What good is the little you are doing, in the teeth of a threatening world situation such as you have described? Why waste the money? If we were without friends, if we were not part of a world seeking to preserve its liberties, I would say it would be quite useless to do anything. But fortunately there are many countries that still love liberty; fortunately there are still many democracies in the world, and I believe we can rely upon many other countries doing their part, if we are prepared to do ours, in meeting the dangers of any situation which may affect this part of the world.

May I point out that undoubtedly Canada is the most secure of all countries. Fortunately, geographically we are better situated than most countries. Fortunately, by nature perhaps we are richer in resources than any other country of comparable size. Fortunately, we have no neighbours to the north, and to the south of us we have the best of

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National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie King

neighbours. Fortunately we are separated by vast oceans from Europe and Asia. Fortunately, there are no countries which could be described as our enemies, or which can be said to be arming directly against us. All of these circumstances are fortunate indeed. Then, fortunately, above all else, we are a part of a great commonwealth of nations which has stood for freedom, and which is in a position to defend its freedom. It is because we are so fortunate that we are able to keep our defence expenditures down to a very small point. That is what I want hon. menv bers to realize.

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UFOL

Agnes Campbell Macphail

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour

Miss MACPHAIL:

We do realize it.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The hon.

member may, but I am afraid many about her do not, because we have been told that even these comparatively small expenditures are unnecessary. I want to bring home to the house the fact that the government would not be justified in asking parliament for such a small amount by way of increase, were it not for all the other factors which time in and time out have been mentioned here as reasons why we should do nothing.

By all means, let us make the most of our friendship with the United States. By all means, let us make the most of our friendship and kinship with Great Britain and with every other part of the British empire. By all means let us continue to be friends with every other nation, because in that direction, more perhaps than in any other, security lies. But let us realize that unless we do something to help ourselves these countries cannot be expected to help at a time of world crisis, or great peril. It is not contended that that danger is great for us. There is a danger but so far as Canada is concerned, it is, as I have already pointed out, an incidental contingency. Relatively -our danger is small. Another great war, however, might lead to exposure to dangers, which might be great indeed.

I was explaining why the increases have to be made at this particular time. They are necessary because of the changed conditions I have described and the consequent dangers which beset all countries. But there are more immediate reasons, and they are these: During the last few years we have not been spending on defence the amount which normally we ought to have been spending. We have neglected our defence forces. I am not going to criticize my predecessors in office because of the extent to which economies were effected in the Department of National Defence. I am prepared to write those economies down to the depression. The fact is,

through years of depression, while there were large expenditures in some directions there were economies in others. It was perhaps natural that the Department of National Defence should have been considered a department in which economies could be effected. Let us not forget, however, that the depression has operated in two ways: It occasioned

economies in defence so far as Canada was concerned, but it operated in other ways to make nations excessively restless. The depression has been responsible for much of the feeling which to-day is asserting itself in violence of one form or another. The fact that we tried to meet the depression as we did has only added to our immediate necessities as respects defence.

When the present government assumed office we naturally at once made a survey of all departments of government. The Minister of National Defence reported to his colleagues the condition as he found it in the department of defence. As he said the other day, discovering the condition he did as respects the lack of defence equipment and supplies, he would have been guilty of treason had he not in an emphatic manner reported upon it to his colleagues and in particular to myself as Prime Minister. Had the Minister of National Defence been able to carry out his wishes and what he believed to be his duty, most of the present estimates would have been submitted last year instead of this year, because even at that time the world was facing a critical situation and the need for precautions was apparent. But there was a special reason why it seemed unwise to present increased estimates for national defence at that time. I think hon. members can surmise the reason.

When we assumed office the Italo-Ethiopian war was already in progress and we found the League of Nations had already asked that economic sanctions against Italy be imposed by its several members. Almost the first obligation which fell upon the new administration was that of imposing economic sanctions against Italy because of Canada's membership in the league. Then we were faced with the report that Canada was urging that oil sanctions should be added to the others. Those of us who had responsibility realized what the consequence of the imposition of oil sanctions might have been. We were questioned about it at the time, but since then more than one public man with knowledge of the situation has made it pretty clear that, had oil sanctions been imposed at the time by the league, the world might have seen the whole of Europe in flames last year. With

National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie King

the European situation as it stood at the time, as a government we felt it would be unwise to arouse discussion in this house on matters of defence, especially when there was the possibility that our action would have been entirely misunderstood by other countries as well as our own. We urged the Minister of National Defence not to press for moneys to make good the depletions and deficiencies in defence to the extent he deemed necessary until the European situation, as it related to the war between Italy and Ethiopia, had somewhat cleared. The understanding was that we would come to parliament with a full statement of the situation at a time when such a statement was not likely to add to the difficulties of those who were dealing with affairs in Europe.

We wished moreover for further opportunity to see that the expenditures requested were absolutely essential, and that whatever it might be necessary to have done would be effective. I have listened to much of what has been said about the Department of National Defence. I know it is a popular pastime to make fun of the brass hats, as they are termed, and to ridicule those who wear gold braid, as it it termed. May I say however-and I say this as the Prime Minister of Canada-that the defence forces of Canada are part of the public service. Persons in those branches of government are not free to defend themselves on the floors of parliament. They are not supposed even to defend themselves in the press of the country, and I think it is most unchivalrous for members of parliament to belittle men who have served their country at the risk of their lives in the past, and who, in the face of a world situation such as we have to-day, are prepared, if necessary, to offer their lives in its 'service again.

I observed that the group opposite seemed to be greatly amused when one member read from a regulation stating the size of ties that were to toe worn in relation to the size of collars and how they were to be made up. I have noticed among men who have had a military training, that one finds at their homes, both in and out of doors, evidences of order and system, which frequently are not to be found in other homes. The continuous attention paid to little things and the discipline necessary to cause a man to pay attention to such things often goes a long way towards ensuring that in a moment of action one who may be called upon to place a gun in position, will do so with accuracy; or one whose duty it is to direct a beam of light will do so with exactness and precision. Hon. members may ridicule these little things but they are a part of the training and discipline

which help to make men efficient in times of need.

Knowing that there would be the criticism that officers of the Department of National Defence were seeking to increase their own importance and to enlarge unduly the scope of the defence forces, after prorogation last year I suggested to my colleagues with the approval of the Minister of National Defence that we should have a special committee of the cabinet to take up with the Minister and the officials of his department the whole question of the defence estimates, and that we form from among members of the cabinet a Canadian defence committee. I did that for the reason I have mentioned, but even more for the reason that having regard to the world situation, I thought it important that members of the cabinet should have the fullest possible information with respect to the general defence services. I asked the Minister of National Defence to give to every member of the cabinet a secret memorandum setting forth in detail what was being proposed, what needs were likely to be served, and at what cost they would be met, in order that the defence committee of the cabinet might be in a position to take up with the heads of the branches of the defence department any points of criticism that might occur to any of them after the information had been placed before and considered by the cabinet as a whole.

I shall read the minute of His Excellency in Council of August 20, 1936, which established the defence committee:

The committee of the privy council have had before them a report, dated 19th August, 1936, from the Right Honourable the Prime Minister, submitting that he is of the opinion that a subcommittee of council should be constituted to consider problems respecting defence.

The Prime Minister therefore recommends that a subcommittee of council, to be known as the "Canadian Defence Committee" and to consist of the Right Honourable the Prime Minister, the Honourables the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of National Defence, be appointed, the Right Honourable the Prime Minister to be chairman of the said committee.

The Prime Minister further recommends that the said committee shall have power to call before it any official or employee of the government and any officer of the naval, military or air force of Canada, whose duty it shall be to afford the committee every assistance and all information in connection with any subject in regard to which the committee may desire to be informed.

The committee concur in the foregoing recommendations and submit the same for approval.

After it was formed, the committee had three important meetings with officers of the defence department in addition to other conferences. Before this committee of the cabinet

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the chief of the naval forces, the chief of the air forces and the chief of the militia appeared with other members of the staff. A considerable part of a day was spent going over item by item every recommendation that was made. The estimates were then further considered by the cabinet as a whole.

Let me now say a word as to the extent of the increases in the estimates being submitted. In the light of all that I have said, what are we asking this house to do? What items account for the increases? First of all, we are asking parliament to enable us to replace two destroyers which had become obsolete with two destroyers which will be up to date and effective. For a good many years past we have had four destroyers, two of which had been obtained on loan from the British government. Those two had become obsolete and we had to ask ourselves whether we would approach the British government at a time when they were being hard pressed themselves, and ask them in the name of Canada to lend us two more destroyers or whether we would ask them if they could spare us out of their number two destroyers at a reasonable figure. Is there any hon. member who thinks that we should have allowed the two destroyers which had become obsolete not to be replaced? Is there any hon. member who thinks that we should have sought to borrow two destroyers instead of purchasing them? Is there any member of the group opposite who have been criticizing the estimates who will say that we ought to have left these two obsolete destroyers unreplaced in the little service that we provide for our coasts?

We are asking this house to enable us to purchase four mine sweepers, which will be built in Canada. A few years ago we had four mine sweepers regularly in commission. One is still in existence but is ready for scrapping, one was sunk and the other two have been out of commission for some time. We are simply replacing what we had as a part of the regular service a few years ago. I am told that during the war there were 125 mine sweepers between Halifax and Sydney to protect that portion of the shores of Canada. I ask my hon. friends opposite who are criticizing these estimates if they will say that we should not purchase four mine sweepers, when we have only one in Canada to-day? They do not reply. Why then do they criticize these estimates, why do they bring in a vote of want of confidence in the administration because we ask for the small increases we are asking for in order to begin

to undertake some sort of defence around our coasts? We propose to have these mine sweepers constructed in Canada. During the war twelve were constructed in this country so that we will be able to do the work ourselves. That covers the naval equipment with the exception of one training ship. We were told that a training ship was essential and we are providing for this ship which also will be constructed in Canada.

Come next to the air forces. I think everyone recognizes that an air force will be a very necessary form of protection from now on. Part of the necessity for this expenditure is due to the change in the nature of present day warfare. Air forces did not exist before the last war and submarines came into general use during that war. Air fighting has become the most significant feature of modem warfare. Well do we know how air forces are being developed in other countries of the world. When the Liberal administration was in office some years ago we felt that everyone would recognize of what great advantage extensive air navigation would be in a country the size of Canada. We thought that we ought to encourage civil aviation and at the same time develop an air force for defence purposes. We made a beginning in that direction, indeed we went quite a way. No exception was taken and this parliament voted the money necessary for the air forces. The expenditures for air defence purposes reached a point just about equal to that which is now being proposed. When my right hon. friend the leader of the opposition came into office in 1930 and encountered years of depression his government thought it advisable to cut down the air force. We criticized him at the time very strongly for that; the Liberal party in Canada, the Liberal members of this House of Commons, criticized the then government for cutting down the air force. All we are doing at the present time is continuing our policy as it was then by restoring the air force to a point where it will be effective and of some real service.

How were the expenditures cut down? In 1930-31, the year we went out of office, the total expenditure for defence purposes was $21,700,-

000. When my right hon. friend came into office he had by 1932-33 cut that $21,700,000 to $12,600,000. An increase of five million dollars in the present estimates which are required for the air force is accounted for by the extent to which the air force was depleted during the time we were out of office. The entire air force appropriation may be considered as replacement. Does anyone say we should not spend that five million dollars

National Defence-Mr. Mackenzie King

to bring back the air force to where it was at that time? Will anyone in the group opposite who have been criticizing the government say that? I do not hear anyone say so.

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

May I ask the Prime Minister if he will be fair enough to allow us to speak when we have the opportunity when the estimates are under discussion?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

My hon. friend has had the opportunity to speak, and he has spoken many times. I am asking him a question now, which I am asking any of those opposite who have been criticizing the government.

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I would say to the Prime Minister that I do not propose to answer under these circumstances.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

That is all I want. I want to make it clear to the country as well as to the house that while hon. gentlemen opposite are taking refuge behind the amendment which has been brought into this house-

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February 19, 1937