May 18, 1939


On the orders of the day:


CON

George James Tustin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. G. J. TUSTIN (Prince Edward-Len-nox):

Mr. Speaker, it has been drawn to my attention that in certain government buildings lining the route to be followed by their majesties on Friday and Saturday of this week vantage points in the buildings from which one might view the procession are to be occupied by certain higher officials, their families and even their friends, and that those holding minor positions but with years of service in the various departments of government are to be deprived of this privilege. Is this being done with the knowledge and consent of the government?

Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Finance): Mr. Speaker, the government knows nothing of any such condition as that to which the hon. member refers. We will take cognizance of the question and make inquiries. I presume each department has authority with respect to its own offices. However the matter will have to be looked into.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS-PREFERENCE TO CERTAIN OFFICIALS IN VIEWING PROCESSION
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SUGGESTED HOLIDAY FOR STAFF OF HOUSE ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY-SPECIAL CIVIL SERVICE LEAVE


On the orders of the day:


CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. H. H. STEVENS (Kootenay East):

Mr. Speaker, may I bring to your attention again a matter which was mentioned yesterday, namely that the staff of the House of Commons should be given full opportunity to participate in this event?

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Let me add this word: I do not think any member of the house would wish stenographers and other junior members of the staff to be at their disposal to-morrow. I suggest, therefore, that your honour should definitely issue instructions that the staff should have this privilege.

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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I am glad this matter has been brought to my attention. The question was brought up yesterday, and may I say I

Supply-National Defence

will see that members of the House of Commons staff shall have the privilege of taking part in the festivities. Of course some will have to be here in the morning to attend to certain services, but they would be permitted to leave about ten o'clock. Then of course it is understood that in the afternoon the house will convene at three o'clock.

I received a letter this morning from the acting Under Secretary of State dated at Ottawa, May 16, 1939, as follows:

Sir:

I am authorized by the Secretary of State to inform you that on Friday, the 19th instant, the members of the civil service in Ottawa will be granted special leave with pay to participate in the celebration of the visit to Ottawa of Their Majesties the King and Queen. This leave is to be in lieu of that provided for by order in council P.C. 8/932 of the 22nd April, 1939, which will be cancelled because of the very material changes in the plans for the stay of their majesties in this city.

I am further authorized by the Secretary of State to say that this special leave for Friday, the 19th instant, is to apply to government employees in Ottawa who are paid on prevailing rates.

I shall be grateful if you will convey this information to the officers and members of your department.

This I think will apply also to Saturday.

PRIVILEGE-Mr. MacNEIL

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STATEMENT IN DEBATE ON DEFENCE ESTIMATES RESPECTING ROYAL MILITARY COLLEGE


On the orders of the day:


CCF

Charles Grant MacNeil

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

Mr. C. G. MacNEIL (Vancouver North):

Mr. Speaker, on a question of personal privilege, when the estimates of the Department of National Defence were before the committee of supply on Tuesday last I made the remark that there was an impression abroad that the Royal Military College was reserved exclusively for the members of aristocratic families, and that the gentlemen cadets were regarded as a snob outfit. Since that time I have received a very courteous communication from the president of the Royal Military College club, in which he assures me that with regard to the procedure of enrolment there is no more democratic institution in Canada, and that in no educational institution is less importance attached to the wealth of the parents of a student. He invited me to assure myself on this point.

I feel it my duty to convey his assurance to the house in order that no injustice may

be done to the members of the selection board or the staff of the college. May I say personally that I readily accept this assurance from officers for whom I hold a very great respect.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. IAN MACKENZIE (Minister of National Defence):

May I say on behalf of

the department that I am indebted to the hon. member for his remarks. They confirm what I endeavoured to convey to the committee the other afternoon.

The house in committee of supply, Mr. Sanderson in the chair.

DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE Militia services.

178. General stores, including authority for commitments against future years:

Chargeable to capital account-armament and equipment-(commitments $14,306,430), $4,561,595.

Mr. JEAN-FRANQOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata): I have just one observation to make in connection with these estimates. I believe that credit should be given where credit is due. Some years ago I referred to the type of horses which were being used by the Princess Louise Dragoons. They were a heavy type of horse, really suitable only for delivery wagon work. Because of the remarks made at that time by the hon. member for Temis-couata, there has been a great improvement in the appearance of the Princess Louise dragoons. Therefore I feel I must give credit to the hon. member for Temiscouata for that improvement.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

With becoming modesty.

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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH (Broadview):

On March 21, the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) told me that on this vote an opportunity would be granted for a general discussion of the affairs of the Department of National Defence and Foreign Affairs. I desire to say only a few words this morning. The minister has had charge of this department in a most critical time, and the same remark could be applied to many of his predecessors. I am not one of those who are ready to criticize this department simply because it is the Department of National Defence. I think it must be admitted that some mistakes have been made in this department ever since confederation. Canada has been criminally negligent

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since the war that now that we had the League of Nations to prevent war and as a result could disarm, we could put our feet on the table and go to sleep. I would say to one or two gentlemen to my left that you might as well talk about the American baseball league and the national league as the League of Nations. It used to be a grand thing for our delegates to go over to the League of Nations. Some of them went on boats sailing out of New York and had a glorious time. Some of the ministers went over there too. The very worthy lady member from Grey-Bruce suggested some years ago that I should be sent over as a delegate to the league. She said, I think, that if I had gone over there to criticize, after seeing the league at work, I would have come home to pray.

Something should be done for our militia men, Mr. Chairman. Why should our officers have to be continually putting their hands in their pockets to pay for equipment for their units? In the European crisis the mother country appealed over here a year ago for recruits for the air force, and some of our high school boys had to go to England at their own expense, or at the expense of their fathers and mothers. I say that we should help to build for the future a great national cadet corps. We should buy uniforms for our cadets. If you want to call it militarism, call it that or whatever you like. I am glad they do call it militarism, because if it were not for militarism, for Britain and rearmament, in this country hon. gentlemen to my left and other pacifists in the house and outside would not be enjoying the freedom and liberty they enjoy to-day. This week distinguished visitors, whom we rejoice to see and welcome, came up the St. Lawrence. But how would you like to have seen, last September, Hitler and other dictators, a week before the Munich crisis, coming up the St. Lawrence on a German warship, equipped with pom-pom guns and all the latest equipment carried by modem battleships, accompanied by aeroplanes which could attack us and bomb every public utility in Quebec, Montreal, Three Rivers, Toronto, Hamilton and Windsor in half a day? You would have had that but for the protection afforded by the mother country.

Pacifism extended 'beyond our boards of education to the churches. In almost every pulpit for several years you would hear a minister describing the League of Nations and pacifism and saying that expenditures on the militia were not necessary. But there has been a change. Even the thirty-seventh article of the Church of England says that it shall be lawful for Christian men at the command of the magistrates to take up arms and serve in

the wars. It is one of the duties of the church to preach that, as I see it, to work for God, king and country, and I am glad to see a change coming over the churches in that regard. Some would pray for the king and not give him the means to protect his empire and his throne or to defend the weaker nations that depend on us.

How are we going to get recruits for the militia? I know some of the men in the units in Toronto. Many of them live at Mimico, others in the Eglinton riding, at Thornhill and elsewhere. These men are out of work, they cannot afford carfare on the urban and suburban railways, and thqy have to walk to the armouries to take part in the drill, unprovided with proper boots or equipment or clothing. They have to carry on all this work themselves at their own expense. Why should we not spend a few millions on properly equipping recruits and encouraging them to join a unit for training? You can call it militarism or anything you like-it is necessary for security. Since when has it become a crime for a man to join the militia and defend his own country? What kind of patriotism is this pacifism which is preached in this house during debates on the cadet movement-an organization which teaches discipline, courtesy, respect for authority, manliness, duty, service, sacrifice and comradeship- qualities essential in the world to-day for progress in business and in life? Yet we have those in and out of the house who criticize the cadet movement as a militarist movement. Had it not been for the cadet movement and its training for the militia I do not believe that we should have had the Queen's Own Rifles or the Grenadiers or the Governor General's Body-guard, who, back in the days of the northwest rebellion, marched across lake Superior when the temperature was thirty and forty below zero, before the days of the railway, to save what is now the prairie provinces from being lost to confederation and to prevent our country being dislocated. Had it not been for the action of these men in 1885, units would not have been available to furnish the militia with the man-power to go to the South African war and other wars of the world.

We were told the other day by speakers on the left that some of these estimates are not necessary, that we can look to and lean on the United States, that we can depend on the League of Nations, the Monroe doctrine, pan-Americanism and isolation for our protection. Let me say that if we are to depend on these things alone there will be a day of reckoning. While it is of tremendous importance to the people of this country to be on good relations

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with our kinsmen and friends and colleagues and allies, the people of the United States, and while we have for them the utmost admiration and respect, we must look for our protection to ourselves and to what we have looked to all these years, the motherland and the British fleet. I say to those who preach doctrines of Americanism in and out of this house that the people of the United States speak with two voices. One is the voice of the president, which I call the ambassador side, the other is the voice of congress-the house of representatives and the senate-and congress in recent sessions has sought to limit the president's powers in the matter of treaty making, control of the army and navy, and the right to declare war. What is the policy of the Johnson act? In effect it is to put back the United States in respect of its foreign relations and defence to where it was in the days of Andrew Jackson and George Washington, namely that it should have no foreign alliances nor give any active aid on land, sea or air to any foreign country except when the United States itself is actually invaded and attacked; thus no aid would or could legally be given Canada. Although the Ludlow resolution did not pass congress, the government accepted it as government policy; it backs up the Johnson act, and if its provisions are adopted as regards United States policy in a foreign war that country will be back where it was in the time of George Washington and Andrew Jackson.

We have tried to please and appease the United States; that has been the trouble with British and Canadian policies since the war, to the detriment of armament. To please the United States we tossed overboard in 1922 our great ally, Japan, and at that time there were delegates from this country at the Washington conference. We discarded Japan, our best ally, and sent it over to German arms and the enemy's camp. We did the same, by means of our sanction policy, to Italy, our beloved ally which did so much for us in the great war. I am glad to see that Italy is beginning to regret leaving us, but her people were thrown into the arms of Germany by the pacifism of the League of Nations and, by Canada's sanctions.

Let me repeat that our complete dependence is upon the mother country. When you get down to brass tacks, we have no other reliance for our defence than upon Great Britain.

There are those in this chamber who advocate the appointment of a defence committee representing both houses of parliament. Speaking as a private member of the opposition, I am absolutely opposed to such a step; there is too much silence and secrecy now.

It will be an avenue for the government and members of this house to escape doing their duty. The trouble is that in Canada-it has not been so in England-there has been too much secrecy about all these matters of defence and foreign affairs. Here we are at the ninety-first day of the session, and the eighty-seventh day of the session was the first opportunity which this house had to discuss the question of defence on freedom and security. I have been on some of these select committees, and they are nothing but a burial place for any questions sent to them. They hold a few meetings, and the government of the day, controlling the majority of the committee, writes the reports to this house. That is what has happened in matters such as the railways and radio. They are nothing but a lot of whitewash and eyewash. Instead of sitting here as a house and determining these matters we take refuge in the appointment of a defence committee-for what? Had the government better not get some defence for Canada before they get a defence committee? I am absolutely opposed to such a policy. I care not from what part of the house it comes, I shall vote against it. When it was advocated fifteen years ago I took issue with it. I opposed my own leader after the West Hamilton and Bagot elections, when he stated in effect that he was in favour of the holding of a general referendum before Canada could act or go to Britain's aid if war were declared. I told him right in this house that Mr. General Election would never become by my vote commander in chief of the British forces, or admiral of the British fleet, or air marshal-the forces to which we owe all the freedom we enjoy to-day. I will take the same attitude again if necessary. I am for cooperating and coordinating it all with Britain.

I may say that in this regard I did not agree with the text of the foreign policy of the Conservative convention. I was not at that convention, I was not able to be present, but had I been there I would have opposed the resolution referring to joint action with other members of the commonwealth of nations. Do we want to cooperate and coordinate with South Africa in the isolationist and separatist stand which has been taken there? We see Mr. Pirow, the minister of defence of South Africa, over in Germany, two days after Munich, with Hitler by his side, taking the salute at a march past of 70,000 nazi troops. Are we going to cooperate with South Africa or with southern Ireland? Or do we want the neutrality and isolation of southern Ireland out of the empire altogether? They want to have a non-alien status by which they remain

Supply-National Defence

out of the empire 364 days of the year and accept, on the 365th day as a non-alien member of the commonwealth, the protection of the British fleet which they now enjoy, but they do not want to give anything in return. No; our policy should be one of cooperation and coordination in defence with Britain.

Reverting to this committee, mere excellence of machinery in a future war will not make up for lack of trained men. Various schools of thought are represented in this chamber. Adequate man power cannot be obtained in the twinkling of an eye; it is to be hoped that a generation of Canadians will arise which will appreciate the importance of security and recognize the necessity of preparation to defend this country, and so avoid the awful lessons which were taught in the great war through the lack of preparation and of trained men, and thus prevent the sacrifice and huge loss of men and the suffering which unpreparedness in 1914 entailed on Canada. Are these mistakes to be repeated, as they will be if untrained men are sent out to defend this country without proper and adequate protection?

As I see it all parties in this country are anxious to avoid war. No one wants it, it is detested. God forbid that we ever see one again, after all this country and the world went through in the great war, with the appalling loss of life and the long stagnation in business. The great war is not over even yet among the sick and the wounded and the suffering. We should have a generation of Canadians that would remember all these things and not go back to where we were but support rearmament by proper preparation give aid to the militia and to Britain.

At the present time the policy of this country is only lukewarm towards the mother country. At the time of Munich we gave her no support, not even moral support, which was all she asked for. For that stand we have been criticized by leading newspapers. We have been criticized because we did not do something practical, like New Zealand and Australia, to get recruits and assist the mother country in the great crisis by a forward rearmament policy on land and sea and in the air. One of the British magazines, the National Review, quotes census figures giving our population: I will read five or six sentences from the article:

In summary, the three major political parties in Canada are all anxious, though in varying degrees, that Canada should keep out of war.

That is true.

Is there anybody in the British empire or any other place who wants war?

The Conservative party is by tradition an Imperialist party, drawing its main support from those quarters predominantly British in sympathy. . . .

I do not say that this article is one hundred per cent correct, but it gives us a sample of some of the criticism in the mother country of the way we deal with these questions, and our lukewarmness. I have always contended when the defence estimates were up for discussion that to-day the dominions are nothing but a burden and a drag on the mother country; she has to go to all these expenditures alone, running to billions of dollars, largely to protect this country and the other dominions, and it is time we did something about it.

. . . the Liberal party owes its success at the present time largely to French-Canadian support, and French-Canada is to-day aggressively isolationist; the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, weak in numbers but relatively strong in its influence on Canadian opinion, is outspoken in its demands that in any future war Canada shall remain neutral. Of Canada's total population of 10,376,786 some 29 per cent are French Canadians, and another 29 per cent are of European, Irish or American origin; so that a majority of the people have no particular reason why they should fight to protect Great Britain. The remaining minority of British Canadians is to-day probably strongly isolationist in sentiment; but in time of war their ties with the mother country would perhaps prove stronger than the ties geographical, education and psychological that at present draw them towards the United States. Canada's economy, despite the rapid development of her mining industries, is still essentially an agricultural economy, and the Ottawa agreements of 1932, have helped to give Canadian farm products a substantial British market, the importance of which is not likely, in the near future, to be diminished either by a British policy of economic nationalism or the growth of trade between Canada and the United States resulting from the trade treaty of November, 1935. Canada's overseas trade will continue to be of major importance to her, and will make a neutrality policy difficult to carry out. War in the far east between Japan and one or other of the Pacific powers -would probably involve the United States, and this in turn would almost inevitably involve Canada.

However isolationist her people may be, and however disastrous the consequence of participation in war may be upon her national unity, Canada will find it difficult indeed to keep out of another war. For a while she might remain in North American isolation; but only, perhaps, for a while.

What I have just read should be a warning to the people of Canada and an indication of the menace that is hanging over us. British rearmament is the most important factor making for peace in the world to-day and I am glad that Britain is going on with a vigorous program in that direction. The prospect grows

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more certain every day that Britain is once again to become as strong as she has ever been, a dominant force in the world, and she will wrest agreements for peace from Hitler and other aggressor dictators. Britain's security is now a matter of practical politics. Italy is growing more and more tired of her new alliance, and I have no doubt she will wake up to a realization of her true interests.

The defence forces of Britain are necessary on the seven seas, because without adequate protection, such as is afforded by the British fleet, we cannot develop any trade. The submarine menace is the most deadly foe of the people of Canada. Here we have been discussing wheat for three weeks, but what is the use of any policy in regard to wheat or any other commodity in face of this menace to our shipping on the seven seas? The menace of a European war completely overshadows all the discussions that have been going on here on the business situation in Canada. Enemy submarines could destroy

our trade on the seven seas and we would be powerless without the help of the British navy. It would mean untold disaster to Canada. In 1918 submarines sank 600,000

tons of our shipping in one month, and all through each month of 1917 it had been the most deadly menace we had to face. Where would we be to-day without the British fleet? There are two thousand less ships of the merchant marine than before the great war, or 1,500.000 gross less than in 1914. Britain's tanker tonnage has decreased during the same period, leaving us weaker in the ships which carry foodstuffs and materials, to the extent of about 3,500,000 tons. Britain had 17,500,000 tons of such vessels in 1914 and she has only 14,000,000 tons now, and during that time the population of Great Britain has increased by four and a half million. She imports 90 per cent of her food and 96 per cent of her raw material, and. as in Easter week of 1918, she could be starved out in a month. Moreover, every merchant ship is regarded as a hostile belligerent and may be fired upon. On the whole, our navy to-day depends not on coal but on foreign petrol from Africa, Persia and South America and its supply can be intercepted by an enemy. While all this is so, add the sudden-shock tactics of the dictators, their brutality, their suddenness of attack, their ferocity and swiftness, and think of Canada without any aircraft to protect us, or any defensive means whatever to save our civilian population from air raids. I raised this question on a motion on going into supply in March, and on the defence votes I was to continue then by request of the Prime Minister then and do so now.

Britain is particularly weak in submarines, though to-day she has to look after not only the Atlantic, as in the great war, but in the next war all the seven seas; and when we reflect that Japan and Italy are now against her, and that Japanese submarines can cross the Pacific from Hong Kong to Vancouver and return without refuelling, we can well realize what we are up against. Italy has established submarine bases which enable the Italians from the bases in the Atlantic to round the Cape of Good Hope and travel to India and back without refuelling. But we have no policy.

What about what I asked on June 16, for an immediate national register of man power, food power, industrial and economic power, which was suggested by me on the first day that parliament met?

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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:

The hon. member has spoken for forty minutes. I would point out to the members of the committee-and possibly they will all agree with me-that the hon. member for Broadview has been discussing matters irrelevant to the item under consideration, though I did not call him to order. I realized that an agreement had been entered into whereby, on the first item called, a wide latitude of debate would be allowed, but I suggest that the committee should now confine itself to the subject matter of the item now before us.

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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

May I call your attention, Mr. Chairman, to what the Prime Minister then said to me in reply. He told me in the house-

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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:

Order. Shall the item carry?

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CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

May I ask-

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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

Others were allowed to continue for a very few minutes; why shouldn't I?

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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:

Order.

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May 18, 1939