April 1, 1938

SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

I am glad the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) reminded me of one important question I forgot. Yes; I say that too. I have been a most earnest student of this matter of the League of Nations, collective security and all that kind of thing. I may be a little simple; but I have found a number of people who seem to be most ardent advocates of collective security, rather disposed to scorn the other members of the British Commonwealth of Nations, who as far as I can see with my limited vision ought to be the most likely people with whom we could " collect " for collective security. I grant that is only the view of an extremely unimportant layman, but in my blundering way I cannot help reaching some such conclusion.

I continue with another quotation from Major Douglas:

International bankers are, almost to a man, strong advocates of national disarmament

That is a weighty remark. If that is true, it constitutes a sort of handwriting on the wall.

but their bank clerks, alone amongst civilian employees in this country, are armed with revolvers, and the strength of bank premises compares with that of modern fortresses.

I have weighed those words often, and the more I think about them the more I become inclined to national defence. Again he says:

Strength unaccompanied by a motive for aggression is a factor making for peace.

Those words express exactly my opinion. If, then, the Dominion of Canada wishes to be a factor making for peace, above all things let the Dominion of Canada be strong.

The question then arises, Wha-t constitutes strength? Strength does not lie in armaments

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or in large standing armies. This truth has been demonstrated many times in the world's history. Strength has its home in the strong hearts of a brave, contented people who feel that their country is a land to love. We in Canada to-day, I regret to say, have not so managed our economic life as to render our people contented and happy. We have not been able bo accord to those heroes whose blood was shed and whose health was sacrificed in the last war, that measure of comfort which we wanted to accord to them. The result is the very state of mind which the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar outlined, when our youth of to-day contemplate the possibility of going to war. We as social credit people say. and I am sure all hon. members agree, that it is our first duty to make Canada prosperous and economically sound, so that her people may be inclined to love her and ready to die for her as they were in 1914.

But in our modern day if we do not have, in addition to a strong, happy and contented people, the armaments which will enable us successfully to cope with those vast destructive machines which have been perfected, ready to be directed against us, our people are thrown under such a dreadful handicap as to render exceedingly doubtful the possibility of their emerging successfully from a conflict. Consequently, we need both a strong and happy people and adequate defences.

Much of what I am going to say pertains to how to finance these defence estimates. Trusting that my fellow members of the committee will continue to exercise that kind patience which they have thus far exercised, I am going to speak once more about a way in which we can raise money without drawing it from the very lifeblood of the people of this country, without depriving them of the relief and assistance of which so many of them are in desperate need. The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie) occupies a position which many times has made me feel the deepest sympathy for him. Before his election he was reported in the press as having said-and from my knowledge of the hon. gentleman's sincerity I am sure he meant it-that he would favour the creation of $500,000,000 of new money. The hon. gentleman meant that. With the character Which I have come to believe the hon. member possesses, I doubt very much that he would have stood for election unless he had assurance that his promise was possible of fulfilment. Consequently. he felt that there was a possibility of creating new money with which to finance

any project which might be found by the government to be desirable. May I revert to his own beliefs, which he expressed and which I am sure he still holds.

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LIB

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

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

I would point out to the hon. member that he is out of order. He should confine his remarks to the estimates of the Department of National Defence, and particularly to the item No. 180, which is under discussion.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I believe it will be found that the main point of discussion in this parliament with regard to these estimates will be the cost, the ways and means of financing our defence. Therefore, I feel it is perfectly in order for me to discuss the ways and means of financing the defences of this country. If we could not find that money, I would say there would be no use in talking about defences at all. So with your permission, Mr. Chairman, and with the hope that you will inform me if I deviate too far from the course I have laid down,

I shall proceed to discuss the ways and means of financing these estimates.

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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:

According to my hon. friend's own words, what he wishes to discuss ought to be said, if at all, in committee of ways and means, not in committee of supply. He says he wants to talk about ways and means now, and this is not the time for that.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

I speak subject to being called to order, and if I am not in order I do not wish to discuss the point; but virtually every resolution we receive from Alberta-and that, of Canada's nine provinces, is the one which we represent- says either to oppose defences or to ask that the defences be financed by national money, so that the cost will not have to be deducted from the amount the government spends for relief and other projects. So whether or not we should support defences would depend in large measure, as the Prime Minister will recognize, upon how those defences are to be financed.

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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:

I only point out to the hon. gentleman that there are two main committees of the house, one of which is constituted to deal with supply and the other with ways and means. At the present time we are in committee of supply. My hon. friend says he wishes to discuss ways and means, and I say he is out of order. When the house is in committee of ways and

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means will be the time to consider whether or not he is in order in discussing what he has in mind. Certainly he is not in order in discussing ways and means when we are in committee of supply.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Surely the Prime Minister is not going to suggest that when this committee of the whole is considering voting supply to the government, that is, authorizing the government to spend money, it is out of order for an hon. member to question the [DOT] government as to the source from which it expects to obtain the money for the particular project, whatever it might be.

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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 question

of the source is dealt with in the committee of ways and means. That is what that committee is for.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

What I wish to submit to you, Mr. Chairman, before the final ruling is made, is this: If the rules of the house are interpreted in the narrowest sense, obviously fair discussion cannot proceed. It has been the history of the British parliamentary system that rules are fairly generously interpreted; otherwise we could not possibly conduct a discussion. There is scarcely a moment we sit here when we could not raise a narrow point of order, but the Prime Minister surely cannot press the point that because the hon. gentleman is about to analyse some suggestions made by the Minister of National Defence with regard to ways of raising the money which he wishes to apply to this particular project, he is to be precluded from carrying on that discussion. For the sake of fair and free discussion I would urge the Prime Minister not to press that point of view to the extent of having a ruling made upon that narrow point.

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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:

I think the

committee will recognize that I desire to have the discussion just as free as possible, but I should like to have it in relation to the estimates under consideration, not with relation to monetary theories which is another matter altogether. We spent two or three weeks discussing the question of social credit, and now my hon. friend is quite frank about his purpose, much more so than his supporter at the moment, may I say. The hon. gentleman says what he wishes to discuss, and it is not to analyse some suggestion of the minister, which is what the hon. member for Kootenay East has just said. Quite frankly, in his own words, the hon. member has said it is the subject of social credit. Social credit does not enter into this discussion at all. The hon. gentleman referred to how the money is to

be raised to make good this supply; the words he used were, the ways and means in which the money is to be raised. The ways and means by which money is to be raised is a matter for the other main committee of this house, namely the committee of ways and means. The present committee discusses what supply, if any, is to be voted and determines that matter. The committee of ways and means discuses the ways and means in which the money is to be raised with which to provide the supply. I cannot think of anything that could be plainer than that. All that pertains to ways and means is entirely the work of a different committee.

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LIB

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

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Does any other hon.

member wish to speak to the point of order? In my opinion the point of order raised by the right hon. Prime Minister is well taken. As he has pointed out, we are in committee of supply, not in committee of ways and means. There has been a long debate which ended yesterday, in regard to social credit, and in my opinion the hon. member for Lethbridge was out of order when he followed the line he did in regard to monetary matters. Therefore, I would ask him to be good enough to confine his remarks to the resolution which is under discussion in relation to national defence estimates.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

Of course we are

new to the game and we do not know about all these things, but from my observation of what has been done in the house I would be inclined to think that what the hon. member for Kootenay East said was about right.

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CON
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

After all, what I was discussing was the suggestion made by the Minister of National Defence before the election. Certainly I do not believe he would call that social credit, but I bow to your ruling, Mr. Chairman, and will refrain from any discussion of this kind.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

You are abandoning the

social credit tendencies of the Minister of National Defence?

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

Yes. Mr. Chairman -and I assume I am in order in saying this, repeating what I said a moment ago to the Prime Minister-there is gathering in this dominion a tremendous body of opinion which would oppose national defence on this very ground. Dealing with the question of having a strong, united and happy people, I would say that unless a change of means of financing

Supply-National Defence

is made, there will develop in this country a greater and greater indisposition to support defences, an indisposition which may reach the point where the unity of this country is gravely endangered. I think I can safely say that without discussing what should be done.

Throughout Canada to-day there are great numbers of people on the verge of sickness from privation. No hon. member will question my statement that in this country there are thousands of men who served overseas for four years in the last war, who to-day are deprived of the very necessities of life. They have reached the point where they are almost in despair, and it is utterly impossible for them to find work or to enter into any kind of business through which they could support themselves.

The youth of the land see these men in towns and cities. I ask this question: Of what value is it to the youth of my home city of Lethbridge to go into Galt Gardens and see a splendid monument to those men who served overseas and, on the very benches not more than fifty feet away from the monument, see the remnants and wrecks of that war in clothes as shabby as would be found on any man in the city. On their faces are the most hopeless and despondent looks. Still they bravely stand up and face the world, with their chins up, "packing all their troubles in their old kit bags," as they did so heroically for four years.

If that condition continues to exist, and to be accentuated in Canada, to the extent to which the making of this country weak will risk the safety of democracy, just to that extent the government in power will be responsible for weakening the defences of democracy. I think no one can safely question that assertion. People not only in Alberta but in all the other provinces are beginning to feel very bitter about this condition. Therefore, I felt I would be quite in order if I were again to urge most earnestly the reasons why we need not take the dollars to be spent on armaments and to be spent on various devices necessary to making this country strong, from a military standpoint, from what has been devoted to the support of those who, through no fault of their own, are suffering.

However, I bow to your ruling, Mr. Chairman, and to the wishes of the Prime Minister and shall take some other opportunity to make my observations. But, just as sure as we are sitting in this chamber, this question of change of money policy must be met and it must be answered. It cannot be sidestepped indefinitely. One reason I thought it would be perfectly safe to discuss the matter was that the hon. member for Selkirk

(Mr. Thorson) last year made a most superb contribution to the discussions in the house when he pointed out the colossal debt which had resulted from the past war, and indicated to the people of Canada the sort of absolute impossibility they would face if they should be plunged into another war of relatively similar proportions, with no means of financing it other than those used in the last war.

I conclude by saying, first of all, that we oppose war as do all hon. members in the house. We believe that the causes of war are economic. I grant that there is among some peoples a desire for national aggrandizement; that is one of the causes; but we would not have a Mussolini or a Hitler had there not been all around them thousands and thousands of people who saw no other way out. I submit, sir, that if in this country we develop a condition whereby thousands and thousands of people can see no other way out, we are setting the stage for something we would hate to think about. The cause of war is fundamentally economic. We believe that those causes can and should be removed. We maintain that in an age of plenty, where man's mind has perfected the most magnificent machines, and where there are plenty of resources, it is utterly unnecessary that man should suffer from economic causes. With the greatest assiduity, these economic causes should be sought and removed, and the efforts should not stop if we try once and fail.

At present we believe war is imminent. I hope we may escape it for another year or two; I shall even be so sanguine as to hope that we may escape it entirely. After a most careful scrutiny of everything I have been able to learn regarding Great Britain and the British government, I have concluded that she has done everything in her power to manoeuvre Great Britain out of war. If that is not so, then it is because I do not know; and if I do not know, it is because it has not been written, or I have not been able to find it. I would say that so far as they possibly could, at least during the last few years the British government have kept Great Britain out of war; and I shall go far enough to say that I believe the same is true of our own Prime Minister.

Just the same, we must realize the cold, bitter fact that we are in a world where war is imminent, and no one can forecast from what quarter the thunderbolt will strike. Consequently, to contend that we should not prepare would be the part of great indiscretion. I say that we must change our economic system-we must do it, even to finance a war. We should do it to finance the preparation for war. We should not sacrifice our

Supply-National Defence

people's necessities in order to prepare. We should use new money, debt free and interest free.

I shall close my observations by saying that I purpose supporting the defence estimates, steadily-scrutinizingly, it is true, and expecting results from every dollar spent- but steadily so long as I see matters as I see them to-day.

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LIB

Wilfrid Gariépy

Liberal

Mr. WILFRID GARIEPY (Three Rivers) (Translation):

Mr. Chairman, when in the course of this debate the hon. member for Dorchester (Mr. Tremblay), who usually shows better judgment, bracketed under the collective appellation of communist all those who oppose the increased armament appropriations, he certainly was guilty of excessive zeal.

Still clinging to the views which I expressed last session on the matter under consideration, I view with alarm our mounting defence appropriations. Reduced under some items, increased under others, these appropriations are being maintained at unusually high levels, so much so that it can no longer be denied that we are gradually taking rank with the nations, great and small, which expend a large part of their revenue on rifles, on guns, on aeroplanes-in short on the whole machinery of war.

I wish to say to the hon. member for Dorchester that I am no more a communist than he is. He has misjudged me. A taxpayer of Quebec province, I have the mentality, the pride, the convictions, the faith which characterize my people. I am in favour of the Padlock Act passed by the Duplessis government; I consider it a safeguard against nefarious activities aimed at the safety of the nation.

There would be public protests should the Department of Justice arm itself with the power of disavowal in order to combat the legitimate autonomy of my province. We should be left free to protect ourselves against the ravages of error. That is my stand, and the hon. member for Dorchester should, before brandishing his excommunications, examine his own conscience and find his own way.

His Excellency Archbishop Gauthier had in mind a certain type of representative of the people when he said on March 15 last:

It is far more important to know whether the reasoning of our young men does not contain some germ of truth and whether our weaknesses, our hesitations, our indecision do not really work out to the advantage of communism. We seem to lack pride and courage. Our province of Quebec has been for several months past the object of most unjustified attacks. Because we try to prevent a handful of communists from doing as they please, we

are classed among the uncivilized tribes of darkest Africa. Has anyone risen in the Senate or the House of Commons to say what we are? And is it perchance in our province that the religious and educational liberty of the citizen is not fully respected?

Further on, His Lordship said:

We are now asked to go into action in order to save democracy. The theme is not unfamiliar. In 1914 volunteer armies were raised and, later on, conscription was forced upon us with the cry: "Let us make the world safe for

democracy." The professionals of communism no doubt think that a slogan that succeeded once will succeed again. So we hear to-day a refrain that greatly resembles the former one: "Let us save the life of democracy." There was reason to expect, we are told, that the sacrifices made during the great -war would permit us to extend to backward peoples the blessings of the democratic system.

Quebec is neither selfish nor apathetic; it does not lack in nobility and whole-hearted patriotism. Ever since 1760, its intelligent and laborious people have contributed their share to the country's development.

The hon. member for Belleehasse (Mr. Boulanger), in an effort not lacking in merit, has attempted to belittle the provinces. But the provinces are everything, as Sieyes said about the Third Estate: Le tiers etat, c'est tout. Sir John A. Macdonald met with a reverse when he failed to obtain the legislative union which he had sought. It was Cartier who imposed the federation of provinces that is, an association based on compromise, a pact founded on sacrifice. The provinces surrendered some rights, but they preserved, within clearly defined bounds, their own autonomy which made them masters in their own territory. Thus it is that Oliver Mowat, a former Conservative, understood the matter when, as head of a Liberal administration in Ontario, he made his opinion prevail, as against Sir John A. Macdonald, before the Privy Council.

Unrestrained concentration is an evil, it is a virus which will destroy confederation if a remedy is not found.

No one in Quebec will want separation; no one will uphold the doctrine known as separatism, providing we are not crushed, providing we are left our freedom, providing we are not drawn into the whirlpool of militarism.

Quebec is loyal, and in proof of this I may say that every design of a new Canadian flag that has been submitted to me included, in some shape or other, the Union Jack. We are proud of being British subjects, and our aspirations are toward ideals in which prejudice, narrow-mindedness and fanaticism are unknown.

Since 1918, did you ever hear a member from Quebec, whatever his political views

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may have been, whether conservative, liberal or nationalist, who opposed any contribution to the soldiers' settlement fund? And this amounts to $100,000,000, eighty per cent of which was paid by the two oldest provinces of this dominion: Ontario and Quebec.

Our war debt exceeds $2,000,000,000, and interest charges are draining our annual budget. Did we ever falter when faced with these national commitments; did we ever refuse to honour the signature of our country and the memory of those who sacrificed their lives for the motherland?

These thoughts should have come to the mind of the hon. member for Laurier (Mr. Bertrand) when, in the course of this debate, he tried to joke about the dangers that an aerial attack might entail for the city which I have the honour to represent.

The hon. member for Laurier would be well advised to limit his interest to the constituency which he represents. As a matter of fact he does not live there. He is an itinerant candidate who already tried his luck in Nicolet. He is known in our part of the country under the name of "Drop it or get out."

Let me tell him that by trying to be too witty one spoils what little wit one has. He spoils his case who tries to prove too much. There are no munition factories in the St. Maurice district. His observations were marked with childish malice. Why did he not talk about Quebec, Levis, Riviere du Loup, Roberval, Lake St. John and Gaspe?

Why are we not told where the attack will come from? What do we fear? Where is the cause for alarm? They are stirring up the bitterest emotions of the people through fears which are imaginary so far as Canada is concerned. Nobody threatened us, and no danger was disclosed.

The hon. member for Beauharnois-Laprairie (Mr. Raymond) reconsidered the stand that he took last year. He has a right to do so, just as I am entitled to ask why Canada is less secure because Japan invaded China, or Italy took possession of Ethiopia, or Germany absorbed Austria.

Since war is raging more than ever overseas, should we not be all the more cautious, and prevent any rash commitment on the part of Canada?

I wish to congratulate the hon. member for Grey-Bruce (Miss Macphail) for the illustrating and outspoken statement which she made during this debate and tell her that I concur in its general lines. That statement deserves a special mention, for it stands out with a peculiar brilliancy among all the other speeches.

Every member must do his duty to the best of his ability and conscience. It is not true that party discipline binds us to the point that all freedom and all desires for what is good be smothered.

In 1916, the hon. gentleman who was then member for Kamouraska did not secure a unanimous liberal vote when he submitted a motion to this house censuring the nefarious provisions of Ontario's school act. In 1917, the liberal majority deserted Laurier to rally under the banner of the Union government.

At present, like the hon. member for Grey-Bruce (Miss Macphail), the hon. member for Davenport (Mr. MacNicol), the hon. member for London (Mr. Betts) and the people, I see in the military development which is outlined an organization which is liable and calculated to draw my country into all kinds of wars.

Should the alarm be given, whatever it might be, the emotions of the people will be so stirred up that the decision of Parliament will be an accomplished fact and will serve no more as a protection against participation in the conflict and the sending of troops to the theatre of war.

The suggestion that the colony should assume the cost of defence is not a new one, for long before 1867 the mother country endeavoured to carry out such a scheme which was one of the main arguments put forward in support of the merging of British American colonies into a federation.

Last year, the hon. member for Beauharnois-Laprairie (Mr. Raymond) based his argument wholly upon the lack of a line of defence. But that line of defence is no more defined this year than it was last year. And we have, in addition, the threat of a widespread war in other continents.

Last week the hon. member for Lafleche-St. Maurice (Mr. Crete) again asked: "Where is the line of defence? Where is the line of demarcation? How far will our soldiers have to go?" Again no reply was forthcoming.

The Liberals as a party were identifying themselves better with the people when in Montreal East they administered such a crushing defeat to Sir Georges Etienne Cartier, the sponsor, nay the author, of the Militia Act. That act is still in existence, as was shown the other day by the hon. member for Two Mountains (Mr. Lacombe), without any one disputing the point. That act is quite elastic and broad, and it is also fraught with danger. What does it say? Section 2, chapter 132 of the revised statutes of Canada says:

(b) "emergency" means war, invasion, riot or insurrection, real or apprehended;

Supply-National Dojence

Section 8 reads as follows:

All tlie male inhabitants of Canada, of the age of eighteen years and upwards, and under sixty, not exempt or disqualified by law, and being British subjects, shall be liable to service in the militia; provided that the governor general may require all the male inhabitants of Canada, capable of bearing arms, to serve in the case of a levee en masse.

Section 64 provides that:

The governor in council may place the militia, or any part thereof, on 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.

Section 69 says:

The Army Act for the time being in force in Great Britain, the King's regulations and all other laws applicable to his majesty's troops in Canada and not inconsistent with this act or the regulations made hereunder, shall have force and effect as if they had been enacted by the parliament of Canada for the government of the militia.

Is that clear enough? Is that sufficiently convincing?

The right hon. the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) may contend that the Military Service Act is dead, but such is not the case with respect to the Militia Act, whose far-reaching tentacles are ever threatening us, and which makes us liable to service beyond Canada.

That is a far cry from national defence confined to the boundaries and the interests of Canada. That is the imperialistic doctrine being revived, taking shape again, coming to the fore and overpowering us with its whole might-[DOT]

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LIB

Liguori Lacombe

Liberal

Mr. LACOMBE:

May I ask a question

of the hon. member? Will he please tell me rvhether the Military Service Act is dead in Canada?

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LIB

Wilfrid Gariépy

Liberal

Mr. GARIEPY:

Mr. Chairman, I am not

discussing the Military Service Act; I shall be governed by the statement which the right honourable the Minister of Justice made the other day. My argument is based upon the Militia Act which unquestionably is still in force, which contains the sections I read a moment ago with respect to either matter, and which leads to a definite conclusion to be drawn by every reasonable man, by every patriot in whose mind the interests of our confederation are foremost.

I say that the imperialistic doctrine is being revived, is again taking shape, is coming to the fore and will be overpowering us with all its might unless parliament heeds the wishes of the people and confines our defence obligations to our geographical boundaries, unless, moreover, parliament defines beforehand the character of our external obligations

and declares upon our neutrality within well defined limits. I think my stand is consistent with the true Liberal tradition.

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LIB

Liguori Lacombe

Liberal

Mr. LACOMBE:

The hon. member has

not answered my question. I would like to know whether or not conscription has become a dead letter here.

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April 1, 1938