Mr. ROWE (Athabaska):
We shall be
debating the trade agreement in a few days, and we can go into that in greater detail then.
If I may now continue, the Prime Minister said, at page 56 of Hansard:
I believe if policies of economic nationalism continue to make headway among the different nations, that war will follow as certain as night the day.
And he asks the people of this country to believe that other countries are to blame for this situation. I ask him to ponder the words of the late President Wilson, who, speaking in St. Louis just a few days before his death, said:
Is there a man or woman, nay, is there a child in this audience, who does not know that the seeds of war are sown in hot, successful, commercial rivalry?
That is the point. If there is commercial rivalry, then we are engaged in it. We are one of the leading trading nations of the world. We are engaged in commercial rivalry to a greater extent per capita than any other nation on the face of the globe, and it leads inevitably to war. May I just quote one sentence from the headline book, Peaceful Change, published by the Foreign Policy Association. At page 27 I read the following words:
Through the Ottawa agreements of 1932, the members of the British empire including India, the dominions and a number of British colonies, established a system of trade preferences, favouring each other, and discriminating against outside countries. Since the trade of the British empire amounted to 29-1 per cent of the world total in 1934, such a policy is of serious concern to the rest of the world. Outside countries like Germany and Japan are thus placed at a disadvantage in all these Imperial markets.
I have stated many times in this house that poverty at home is the cause of war abroad; that the farmers and workers who produce the wealth are paid so little for their labour that they cannot buy the goods they have produced. These goods are then shipped abroad in a frantic effort to sell them; but the masses of workers and farmers in other countries are also so poor that they cannot buy our goods, and the resulting scramble for non-existent markets leads inevitably to war. I repeat, Mr. Speaker, how can the three million farmers in Canada who average per family an income of $474 possibly buy the goods they need, or the 98 per cent of Canadian workers whose annual income is $664,
or the French farmers, 30 per cent of whom have lost their farms in the last few years, or the British people, thirteen and a half million of whom are gravely undernourished, and thirty-four million of whom are living on less than $500 per family? How can they buy either their production or ours? How can the American people, sixty million of whom get an average of $830 per family, and twenty-one million of whom are on relief-how can all these people who are not getting enough to buy the bare necessities of life, possibly pay for the comforts of life? War may be the ultimate curse, but the preparation for war has now become necessary to the stability of the whole country.
Thus a nation at peace becomes hopelessly dependent on the war effort to support the nation in peace. This is the tragic mess into which the advocates of armaments as the guardian and guarantee of peace have at last drawn the unhappy world. They began by provoking arms manufacture to protect their societies from war. They end by making the war industry essential to protect society from an equally terrible enemy-industrial collapse. The world cannot live without the arms plants and cannot live with them. Now the wide-circling waves of this mad current have touched our own shores, and flooded into our own country. The workers are now feverishly engaged in forging the means of their own destruction; one of these days the cynical old men, whose spiritual blindness, mental confusion, political stupidity, economic ignorance and business incompetence, have brought about this situation, will sit around a table, and like the criminal fools that they are, order the flower of the world's young manhood into another vast international abattoir to murder and be murdered by other young men whom they never saw before, and against whom they cannot possibly have any quarrel, and thus will the last flickering lights of the present civilization go out.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, because I believe that a planned economy would banish poverty and war forever from the earth; because I believe that the Canadian people have an unexampled opportunity to lead the world along this path back to sanity, and because I believe there is no other way to do this, I have much pleasure in seconding the subamendment, and urging all hon. members to vote for it.
On motion of Mr. Heaps the debate was adjourned.
On motion of Mr. Lapointe (Quebec East) the house adjourned at 10.55 p.m.
Monday, January 30, 1939
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY