September 9, 1939

LIB

Wilfrid Lacroix

Liberal

Mr. WILFRID LACROIX (Quebec-Montmoremcy) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, I have carefully listened to the following statement made yesterday by the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King):

The information we have obtained indicates that the most immediate and effective further means of cooperation would be a rapid expansion of air training, and of air and naval facilities, and the despatch of trained air personnel. These measures we propose to institute immediately.

If my understanding is correct, Mr. Speaker, this means that the government intends to participate by first sending air forces overseas and later, in conformity with the declaration made this afternoon by the right hon. the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) -probably much later-to send a voluntary expeditionary force.

Last year, I made a statement before the house which was contained in an editorial of the only liberal newspaper in Quebec city, le Soleil. Le Soleil, which is a fairly well known publicity medium in the province of Quebec, is taken, I believe, to at least reflect the views and thought of the liberals in the province. And what did that editorial state? I make the statement my own, not changing a line, a sentence, even a comma. The article, which appeared on March 31, 1939, was headed: "No conscription, but. . ." This is what it said:

Undoubtedly, should Britain call her sons to her aid, we shall see a legion of young Canadians rushing to answer the call of the mother country. In smaller numbers, Canadians of French or foreign descent shall follow their example, with sentiments toward Great Britain the strength of which shall be all the greater for the respect shown by British policy for the right of their respective native lands to freely determine their own destiny. To leave these voluntary recruits be absorbed into the imperial forces would be to follow the dictates of wisdom. Otherwise, should our national government raise Canadian contingents on its own, they would then assume a triple heavy responsibility: in the first place, that of acting in such a manner as to invite violent reprisals against Canada; in the second place, that of involving the credit of the country in a disastrous venture; and in the third place, that of accepting the consequences, logical or sentimental, which attach to such participation in a foreign war.

If we stop to analyse these three reasons, and if we look into them in the light of the policy which was set forth in the house this afternoon, we have a right to consider, as Canadians, what shall be the consequences attending upon the action we take when deciding to participate in a foreign war, arising from any cause whatsoever.

76 COMMONS

The Address-Mr. Lacroix (Montmorency)

As a consequence of the last war our debt now stands at four billion dollars. Should the present war last for any length of time, I may state without fear of exaggeration that it may reach 10 or 12 billion dollars in consequence of taking such a part in foreign wars.

As the Prime Minister stated himself, we must first mobilize our industries, we must first mobilize our national economy. This means, in plain words, that Canadian industry shall take care of all the unemployed in the country, that these shall be absorbed to the last man. And we have the right, I believe, before taking such an important step, to consider the problems with which we shall be faced, once the war is ended, as the result of this industrial and commercial mobilization of our country. When, on the morrow of victory, all those who will have had highly remunerated employment in our industries during the war shall be dismissed, together with those who, in one way or another have benefited by the war, in addition to all those who shall have been under arms during this period, we shall have on our hands an army of unemployed, an army of men suddenly become destitute and having to cope just as suddenly with new problems. And in what position shall we be, Mr. Speaker, to solve these problems? I say and I repeat that our country will be bankrupt. We shall have nothing on our hands but a bankrupt country whose financial resources will have been drained by participation, and it is this drainage which will prevent us, once the hostilities have ceased, from being able, by means of unemployment allowances, to take care of our destitute people, and, what is more, from being able to discharge the obligations which we shall have assumed toward the great war veterans, their widows and their children.

Mr. Speaker, I believe that, in connection with the problem which the house is now discussing, we must also consider the post-war problems, and, among them, none is more important than the industrial, commercial and military demobilization. I am satisfied that those who actively seek to force participation upon us are not inspired by the lessons of the past and are not looking forward to the future, because I claim that, if general bankruptcy creates in this country after the war a chaotic condition as a consequence of the obligations which we will incur, we will inevitably' throw ourselves in the arms of our powerful neighbours to the south. What will be the result, for us of the province of Quebec, if, as a consequence of our participation in this war-should it materialize, which I do not want to see-and of our financial situa-

tion, we throw ourselves in the arms of our neighbours who will have remained neutral and who will have at their disposal all the necessary financial resources? It will mean- and I wish to emphasize that point-the disappearance from our old province of Quebec of the institutions and the traditions for which our forefathers have fought and for which I myself continue to fight in advocating a policy of non-participation.

Mr. Speaker, we speak of the neutrality of the United States. Let me read a statement made by Mr. Herbert Hoover, former president of the United States, who speaks as an American while I speak as a Canadian.

Mr. Hoover said:

The whole nazi system is repugnant to the American people and the greatest sympathy of the Americans will go to the democracies, but, no matter what our sympathies may be, we cannot settle the problems of Europe.

Well, let me say this: Whatever its intervention may be, Canada cannot, any more than the United States, settle the problems of Europe.

Mr. Speaker, I pay tribute to the heroism of the people of Poland who are defending the sacred soil of their country. They are now writing one of the most beautiful pages in the history of their country. I pay tribute to the heroism of the Englishman and of the Frenchman who are defending the soil of their countries, but I also pay tribute to the good common sense of the Canadian who wishes to remain a Canadian. That will be my last word.

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SC

René-Antoine Pelletier

Social Credit

Mr. R. A. PELLETIER (Peace River):

Mr. Speaker, all of us realize at this time that we have indeed entered upon a very grave hour. This afternoon we listened with great attention to the dramatic and convincing appeal of the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), a member of parliament representing a constituency in the province of Quebec. We have also had the pleasure of listening to two other hon. members from the same province, both of whom held entirely different views to those expressed this afternoon by the Minister of Justice. This afternoon the Minister of Justice stated clearly and definitely the position of Canada with regard to our relationship with Great Britain and the rest of the empire. We know that so far as we are concerned at the present time the attitude taken by the Minister of Justice cannot be questioned.

So far as Canada is concerned the fact is that we are committed to be of help to Great Britain. This is a fact which could not have been ignored by hon. members from the province of Quebec prior to the present situation. During the course of his remarks this afternoon

The Address-Mr. Pelletier

the Minister of Justice said that we in this corner of the house must take upon our shoulders the full responsibility for dividing this country at this particular time. But where does this division come from? I ask hon. members if it comes from our group. So far as we are concerned we feel that we are taking the right attitude. Why? Because we know it always has been the policy of this government to commit us to the defence of Canada, of Great Britain and of the British empire.

When we passed estimates in this house for defence, it was a question of the defence of what? Of Canada only? Of course not. Those estimates were for the defence of the British empire as well as of ourselves. Yet to-day when we are called upon, to use those defences, on behalf not only of Canada but of the British empire, there are those in this country who say that we should have nothing to do with the British empire. I am sorry I cannot take that particular stand. In this grave hour I am in duty bound to follow the Minister of Justice of Canada because I believe that he has set out the position in a manner which cannot possibly be contradicted.

He has called upon Canada to unite. I repeat that we in this comer have sought to bring about unity in Canada by providing the means whereby we can at least have equality of sacrifice. In my opinion certain, hon. members from other parts of the country have failed to see the significance of what we have attempted to do and have seen fit to take a different course. They have been led to believe that the word "conscription" means something horrid. Who is to blame for that? I think my hon. leader pointed out quite clearly last night that the word had been used for political purposes and for political advantages. If to-day we are faced with a grave situation, if to-day there is possibly a lack of unity, who is to blame? It is those in Canada who played politics with the word "conscription" and sought to divide the country for a political expediency.

It is no use making recriminations. It is no use going back over the past. We have at the present time a situation which must be faced. I believe it was said by someone this afternoon that if we do not fight to defend the frontier of the Rhine, the time will come when we shall have to defend the frontier of the St. Lawrence. In my opinion that is quite correct. Those of us who do not want to take full, adequate and efficient measures for the protection of our own country may one day be called upon to face the same situation as other men and women have had to face. Not only have men. in other countries

had to sacrifice their blood and their lives, but their wives and daughters have had to serve behind guns in the trenches and elsewhere.

So far as the remarks this afternoon of the Minister of Justice are concerned, we in this corner take the stand that we quite agree with him in connection with the legal standing that exists between Canada and the rest of the British empire. We belong to the British empire, and we are committed to that action. The only way in which we could do otherwise would be for this parliament to declare its independence of the British empire, and I am sure that none of us is ready to do that at the present time. However, there is another question. The Minister of Justice stated definitely and clearly that he was absolutely opposed to conscription. He stated that if it was a question of coming down to conscription, he and certain of his colleagues whom he named would be prepared to step out and let others take their places.

Where does the division come from? Does it come from this corner of the house or does it come from somewhere else? We have sought to bring about equality of sacrifice in this country. We believe firmly that the only method by which that can be brought about is by universal conscription, what we have termed the conscription of finance, industry and man power. We have called conscription the poor man's friend. If hon. members in some parts of this house will reflect, I know they cannot help but take the same attitude we are taking. Only to-day I stood upon the corner of one of the streets in Ottawa, and what did I see? I saw some of the boys who had been newly conscripted walking up the street. Who were they? They were those whom we saw in the bread lines only a short time ago. They had been driven to conscription because of what? They were compelled to take this course because economic circumstances were such that they were forced to go somewhere in order to get a decent suit of clothes to put upon their backs and some bread to eat.

That is the situation, and there are those who say that conscription is something unfair. Those people fail to take cognizance of the fact that economic circumstances are forcing this conscription. They fail to realize that perhaps there are other men who are in a position different from that of these poor boys who have been unemployed up to the present time. There are men in this country who are not necessarily obliged to join up to get a suit of clothes and $1.30 a day. The only way whereby we can have justice and fair play is to bring about the conscription of man

The Address-Mr. Pelletier

power. We are insisting on that, but we are not insisting upon it any more than we are insisting upon the conscription of financial and industrial power.

We believe that in order to have efficiency, in order to prevent more bungling, in order to have more strength, in order to have some unity, it is necessary to have, not just the one but the three together. I ask hon. members to think about this. When Canadian mothers see their boys go out of the country to fight elsewhere-and that is what is going to happen-what will be the attitude of the other mothers? They will say, "We are going to see that our boys do not go across." In time the government will realize that pressure of public opinion will inevitably bring them to that conclusion. Then where will the Minister of Justice stand? He has declared himself to-day as being absolutely and bitterly opposed to conscription, and yet we know that he will have to face that situation at some time in the future.

There are other reasons why the situation is so grave at the present time; and we have urged the complete conscription of all our resources in Canada because we believe that this is absolutely necessary. We believe further that the time to do it is now, when there is some vitality left in this country, and not to wait until we have a situation where we are unable to do anything because of economic circumstances. The time to take such action is now.

Let me refer for a moment to the remarks of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). First, let me say that we fully realize how grave are the responsibilities resting upon the administration of this country at the present time. We realize full well that it is their duty and responsibility to give guidance, to supply information, and to let the house know what is going on so as to enable the members to reach sound and proper conclusions, and it is because we have placed our trust in the Prime Minister and in his advisers, and because we have listened to his words of warning, that we have come to the conclusion we have reached. Let me read his words once again. Are these not serious words? The Prime Minister at page 22 of Hansard said:

My hon. friend also gave his impression of what would be the prize the Germans would Beek in the event of victory. He said the prize would be Canada. I noticed in the press last evening that one of the German papers which is supposed to be an organ of the administration had quoted Hitler as saying that if England wished to fight she must remember that if she entered this fight the prize of victory would be the British empire.

Yet we are told in this house that if we oppose the government at this time we are not defending Canada; and that statement is made after it has been boldly stated that Germany's prize, if she won victory in this war, would be Canada. What logic or consistency is there in that argument? Are we to wait until the enemy has reached our frontiers before we strike a blow? That is not a question for us to decide; it is for those who are in a position to know best how this country should be defended.

The Prime Minister went on:

And as my hon. friend has said, there is no portion of the globe which some other nations covet so much, that any nation would be likely to covet so much, as this Dominion of Canada. There is no other portion of the earth's surface that contains such wealth as lies buried here. Nowhere are there such stretches of territory capable of feeding-not hundreds of thousands, but millions of people for generations and generations to come. No, Mr. Speaker, the ambition of this dictator is not Poland.

Again I repeat, these words are given us on the authority of the Prime Minister of this country, who is in a position to know, and therefore the only possible attitude we can take is one of complete reliance upon the information that he has given us. He has informed us that, not Great Britain, not France or some other European country, but Canada itself is facing danger, and the danger is not simply that a few of our soldiers might be killed abroad but that Canada may be invaded. So, as was said by another speaker this afternoon, if we lose the battle on the Rhine frontier the frontier of Canada might be the shores of the St. Lawrence.

There is someone else whom I can quote to show the gravity of the present situation. We have the words of Prime Minister Chamberlain in his letter of August 22, 1939, to the German chancellor, in which I find this paragraph :

It would be a dangerous illusion to think that if war once starts it will come to an early end even if success on any one of the several fronts on which it will be engaged should have been secured.

In the face of that statement, given to us upon the authority of the government, what do we find the policy of the Canadian government to be? It has declared for a policy of partial participation in the war. It has declared its desire to send overseas a certain portion of Canada's forces. But when the time comes for replacements to be provided, who is going to take the place of those who have been wiped out? They can be supplied only from our own country, and that is why I think the Minister of Justice placed

The Address-Mr. Heon

himself in an unsound position this afternoon, because none of us knows what is going to happen in the future.

We in this comer have agitated for a concrete, effective policy which would lead to unity and efficient conduct of our part in the war, a policy which would also prevent bungling and profiteering, and yet we have been told that we are trying to split the country in two. If that had been our attitude it would have been easy for us to move an amendment in order to precipitate such a condition, but we have made it quite clear to the Prime Minister that we do not desire to bring about any such condition in this dominion, that our only interest is in securing fair play for all concerned, and we say that the only just policy for Canada is a policy of complete conscription.

Nobody likes to face the thought of conscription. So far as we in this comer are concerned, at all events, so far as I am concerned, whatever the word "conscription" might convey to some people I am not afraid to face it because in my opinion it is the only action to take. It is the only way to ensure that everybody shall share equally in the sacrifices that will have to be made.

There are many things happening in Canada to-day, and one that surprised me was the attitude of the great leader of the Conservative party. I believe that he is not contributing to this country simply by stating that he will cooperate with the government, when the government has not taken the proper steps. Cooperate in what, I should like to know?

Once again I repeat that we in this corner are not afraid to face the word "conscription." We believe it has been used in the past for reasons of political expediency, by people jockeying to secure positions satisfactory to themselves. Motives have been ascribed to us for our attitude to-day. I deny those motives. We have taken this course for the simple reason that we believe it is in the best interests of this country, and because we are firmly convinced that before hostilities come to an end it will be the only means of saving Canada.

Stress has been laid upon the conscription of man power, but I would point out that we place just as much stress upon the conscription of finance. Some people have asked what we mean by the conscription of finance, and in order to be prepared we have set out definitely and concretely what we mean by the conscription of finance. Let me place it on the record.

We advocate the conscription of finance:

(a) By the creation by the government ol the necessary credit and currency combined, with definite price regulation to prevent any serious inflationary rise in prices;

(b) By borrowing abroad only for the purpose of obtaining needed goods and services beyond the capacity of our people to furnish;

(c) By placing an embargo on capital and capital assets as at the date of the declaration of war;

(d) By requiring that financial institutions and corporations reveal all undisclosed reserves as at the date of the declaration of war, and that these be forthwith conscripted by the government.

(e) By introducing more steeply graded income and profits taxes;

(f) By providing that all equivocation and/or evasion in this regard shall be treated as a treasonable offence.

That is what we have set out with regard to the conscription of finance. We would do the same so far as industry is concerned. When we say that we believe in regimentation at this time and in peace time, does that necessarily imply dictatorship? Of course not. It is simply to secure an effective method of control for the distribution of the products which we have at the present time.

We all realize that when any one of us speaks here this evening, we are slowing up the process of the declaration of war by this country because the Prime Minister made that statement quite plainly this afternoon, and he is now awaiting the vote of this parliament to decide what to do. So far as I am concerned, I have not much more to say, though many things could be said. All I wish to do is to make this assertion in conclusion. We have done what we have done because we believe it is in the best interests of the country. Personally I can do no more than offer my own services to the Minister of National Defence, and I do so here and now for any purpose for which he might wish to use them. This is the way we feel in this comer. Even though our hands, as Mr. Churchill said, become engaged in warlike gestures, nevertheless our hearts will remain at peace if we do our duty. We are doing our duty and we intend to see that others shall do theirs.

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IND

Georges-Henri Héon

Independent Conservative

Mr. G. H. HEON (Argenteuil) (Tramslationi):

Mr. Speaker, I had intended to speak in French, but considering the importance of the subject under discussion and the advisability of being immediately understood by ail the members of the house in the event of some lion, member wishing to ask me questions or to challenge some of my statements,

The Address-Mr. Heon

I shall speak -in English, one of two official languages used by the King and Queen of Canada during their -recent sojourn in this country.

(Text) Mr. Speaker, the free and autonomous Canadian nation finds itself to-day in one of -tlie most serious situations with which it has ever been confronted. Although pressing and urgent domestic problems are still unsolved, a decision has been made for the nation, and by this decision all dutiful Canadians must abide whether it be in conformity with their own personal views or no-t. Through -this commitment we find ourselves at the side of Britain, Poland and France in their struggle against Herr Hitler and his adventurers, who are seeking to dominate the world by force.

Various opinions have been and are being held as to the wisdom of such a momentous decision; yet at this stage we cannot help feeling deeply that the utmost moderation should be observed in pronouncements and that calm thinking and cool judgment should be with all of us. Public men of both races, whether in the federal, the provincial or the municipal arena, who will seek to capitalize upon this extremely dangerous moment to further their own cheap political advancement, and, to achieve this end, will publicly fan the searing flames of racial antagonism or divided loyalties, are traitors to Canada, because they seek thus to wreck the whole edifice of Cana-dianism which generations of French and English-Canadians have so laboriously striven to erect during the last 150 years.

Equally condemnable are those dishonest and unfair propagandists who distort the issues at stake and print or utter words that inspire fear in the minds of Canadian women and children. Our people do'not need to be sold the idea of the present war, and grotesque propaganda will not help them to decide where their duty lies. Freedom must reign in every Canadian mind and heart, particularly at this time; for no positive reaction will come that will be profound and sincere unless every Canadian in his heart and soul has decided freely where his loyalty lies.

Are we not to profit by the lessons of the last war? Must we see reenacted those deplorable scenes and hear again those utterances which then took place, thereby causing bitter antagonism between our two great races? Shall we have repetitions of the deep dissensions wrought by the war and the conscription issues, which were then used by unscrupulous politicians to secure votes and to set one section of the country against another? I cannot believe that this will be so, and we should pledge ourselves immediately so to conduct ourselves during the

present war that Canada shall emerge from this crucible a stronger, freer and more united nation.

We cannot and should not at this trying time cast epithets at one another; rather must we gather in one mighty effort to keep this great country together, remembering always that a disunited, bankrupt Canada would be a severe liability to the British commonwealth of nations. Accusations of disloyalty and treason must not be carelessly flung around just because important sections of Canadian public opinion have vastly differed up to now on the all-important question of foreign policy. Speakers have said it before me. Our various racial elements make for division of opinion, and Canada would be the poorest country in this troubled world to live in, similar to Russia and Germany, if anyone were made to suffer because he dared to offer a sincere opinion as to what Canada should or should not do in- the event of war. We are told that we are engaged in a war to end dictatorship. Well, we would be a dictatorship ourselves if attempts were made to impose extremist views on that section of Canadians whose ancestors fled from Europe to escape those very conditions which we are now being asked to help to- sweep from the face of Europe itself.

May I now -be allowed, on behalf of my own people, to make this urgent plea to my English-Canadian friends? Never have I striven to be more sincere or convincing in all my life than in the appeal I am about to make. An immense majority of my compatriots have never concerned themselves with foreign affairs. They have never kept track of the sinuous courses of European diplomacy, nor have they taken time out to look up the meaning of " putsch " and " anschluss " or seek on a map of Europe the strategical value of Memel and Pomorze, Warsaw and Lodz, Lauterbourg or the Saar basin.

The Frencli-Canadian has been mostly concerned, as were his ancestors before him, with clearing the forest, tilling the soil and providing food and shelter for the children with whom providence has blessed him from year to year. The practice of the golden rule, the presentation to the nation of stalwart intelligent sons and daughters, the defence of their territory against aggression, have been to my compatriots their main expressions of patriotism. The church, the little village, the large family, the soil enriched with their sweat, the peace and restfulness of the Quebec countryside, have drawn and kept their attention for three hundred years. The sons of French Canada have not been brought up in an atmosphere of militarism, nor have they

The Address-Mr. Heon

spent their young days in playing with toy cannon and soldiers. Most of them have never shouldered a gun except to provide game for the family table. Very few have ever had even elementary military training. It cannot be expected then that in three days every one of them will be clamouring for a one-way passage to the western front, or that, like some of us, their hearts will skip a beat at the mention of peace in Europe and the independence of Poland. Yet their honesty of purpose, their love of freedom, their devotion to Christian institutions, their loyalty to their king, cannot be challenged. It may well be that this passionate love for their own land has somewhat obscured the wider, the more international outlook on the welfare of mankind which we are now being asked to uphold and defend. But let me assure hon. members that when Baptiste discovers that his freedom, institutions and essential rights which he prizes so dearly are really threatened, there will be no one who will fight more savagely to defend them. Meanwhile do not judge him harshly or impute to him motives that he never even conceived. Give him the British treatment of fair play and fair dealing, and his courage will not fail when an emergency arises.

Now, Mr. Speaker, speaking as a French-Canadian and proud to be one, I wish to state most emphatically that my race never contemplated disloyalty to the king, nor is there at this moment any doubt as to where our duty lies. Our long and honourable history testifies eloquently to that effect, and it can be truthfully said that if this country is in danger of attack from within or without, if it be true that our liberties and freedom, our institutions and existence, are seriously threatened, every single French-Canadian, young and old, will approve and support each and every motivated step taken to ensure the maintenance of our status as a free nation within the British commonwealth, together with assuring the absolute inviolability of our territory.

Mr. Speaker, I have in this house at one time-and I do not regret it-expressed nationalistic views. I am still at heart a nationalist. But I claim to be also a good Canadian. And I have no shame in shelving my nationalistic principles for the time of this war. I have stated in this house that I was of the opinion that Canada was not necessarily at war when Great Britain was at war, and I have insisted that we should be the masters of our own destiny and that we should not and could not docilely accept direction of our foreign policy from anyone else. I still submit that we cannot be made pawns on the international chessboard, nor should we be ordered about. I still adhere profoundly to these views,

and I have no apology to offer for having expressed them in times of peace. Further, I believe and have always believed that under international law our neutrality might have been proclaimed, provided we had had the means to defend it. Yet it would serve no purpose to discuss these views to-day, because the issue of neutrality or war has been decided by our government and we have oast in our lot with that of Great Britain and France. The government of the day has a large majority. I have no doubt that it will declare itself able and willing to accept full responsibility for what has been done and will be done in the time to come.

I do not mind stating here that had France and Great Britain concluded an alliance with Soviet Russia, I should have doubted their sincerity in the defence of Christianity, and would have opposed participation, because I would have considered such an alliance a direct prostitution of all the Christian principles of freedom and individual liberty which we have now undertaken to uphold and defend. The evident perfection of the double-crossing methods followed by the Russian authorities should be sufficient indication of what may be expected here in Canada if communism is allowed to filter through. Communism can do no less than undermine our national edifice, and it should be considered an open enemy to Canada on the same footing as nazism. These two false ideologies are basically the same, and a further immediate danger lurks in the fact that they have to all intents and purposes recently merged in Europe, and will certainly do so here if not immediately checkmated. Yet there are some individuals in Canada who still have sufficient effrontery to glorify the communistic principles of their Russian comrades.

I accept unreservedly the view which has been expressed that we are in a state of war now, not so much because we are a part of the British commonwealth of free nations but because the government have already made known in the world that Canada stands at the side of Great Britain. That, in my humble opinion, is a direct and positive commitment from which we cannot recede, and we must abide by it. The government have spoken to the world for the nation, and we are definitely, irrevocably bound by what our government have said and done.

I for one deeply regret that the enormous sacrifices of men and money during the last war have not provided Canada with sufficient guarantees of lasting peace and of no further participation in continental wars. There is no doubt that after the present conflict is over, Canada will secure a clearer definition of its

The Address-Mr. Heon

international status, so that it will not be eternally bound to the changing courses of European diplomacy. However, this does not change our present international situation, and we must be prepared to face a long war with a treacherous, inhuman and diabolically intelligent enemy.

This parliament must now decide the degree and form of cooperation which Canada shall furnish to its allies. To my mind this cooperation should be such that, although it shall be precious and constant, it will not endanger the unity and internal peace of this nation, nor bring about financial ruin or economic suicide. The preservation of true Canadian interests should be our prime purpose, over and above the desire to help our allies, because we must ever remember that we owe ourselves first to Canada, which, notwithstanding what may be said, is the first country we are sworn to honour and defend. Nothing, however, should be done to weaken faith in the British link, and we must proceed by such means and degrees as will convince every Canadian that it is a privilege and an honour to belong to the commonwealth instead of a burden. Nothing should be done in the nature of coercion which will even faintly resemble nazi means -and methods. British ties and connections appear indispensable to most of us, but we must be prepared to do what is essential to preserve and maintain these links here. More than ever I think we must take stock of our financial situation and the everyday living conditions of our own people before we allow our loyalty and sympathy to run away with our better judgment. Our first responsibility is the welfare and security of our people, and we would not be serving the cause of the commonwealth or the principles of government it has come to represent if in these early days of conflict we embarked upon a policy of such proportions that the physical and economic well-being of the bulk of our population would be seriously threatened.

In the three days preceding this session, Mr. Speaker, in common with so many others from the province of Quebec I was inundated with letters and telegrams telling me what I should do and what I should not do. In view of these communications I immediately set out to consult representative English and French-Canadians in every poll of my constituency, and those I invited to my caucuses were both Liberals and Conservatives. I have spoken to clergymen, labourers, farmers, industrialists, young men and mothers, and I obtained these results: fifteen per cent favour enforced participation to the last man and the last dollar. Twenty per cent are for complete

CMr. Heon.]

isolation. Sixty-five per cent want cooperation within our means and resources, preferably by the extension of credits, gifts of provisions and foodstuffs, and the manufacture of planes and munitions. I must say frankly and sincerely, however, that in my constituency at least there is a very strong and earnest sentiment against conscription of man power.

My first duty, as I see it, is to the constituents who elected me, and I adopt the views expressed by the majority of my constituents, in whose good, hard common sense I have absolute faith. So, Mr. Speaker, I shall support cooperation with Great Britain and France. That cooperation, however, must first take into account our immediate and best Canadian interests, and that cooperation must not deprive the individual Canadian of his inalienable right to choose honestly for himself whether he shall or shall not serve. The preservation of individual liberty and freedom must be the keynote of this cooperation; for he only serves devotedly a cause which he espouses freely, while he who fights for a cause in which he does not believe is beaten before he starts. Perhaps I could best express my thoughts on the matter by saying that those who have indicated a desire to enlist can be immediately accommodated, while those who think they can best serve Canada by carrying on their tasks at home should not be molested. As I said before, we are engaged in a struggle for freedom. Let freedom of thought and action be first maintained and honoured within our own borders. Let every Canadian be made to feel that freedom, autonomy, justice and absolute liberty for everyone will forever be practised in this country, in time of peace as in time of war.

With these reservations I declare without hesitation that I choose to align myself with those other Canadians who feel that their greatest security and best guarantee at this time lie within the British commonwealth. Let me repeat that: I align myself with those who feel that their peace, security and welfare at the moment lie in the sincere acceptance of the will of the majority of this house. I shall vote for the address simply and only to indicate my willingness to cooperate. Of course at the same time I reserve tie right to decide on each measure and estimate that may be brought into the house. I do not subscribe to a blank cheque policy in matters of war, because when it comes to the lives of men and colossal expenditures, every elected member must very carefully study the measures brought down, since they directly affect the immediate safety and welfare of every man, woman and child in each constituency throughout the country.

The Address-Mr. Factor

Now, Mr. Speaker, I wish to close with these words: War is the very negation of

Christianity. Evidently, instead of rearming morally, as we should have been doing, we as individuals and as nations have been in some way derelict to the divine's precepts. Should it be said that God has cast his wrath upon the world and ordered that for the second time in twenty-five years we must be subjected to anxiety and misery? Be that as it may, it behooves Christianity to accept respectfully that which has been permitted by Him to happen. Surely we must no longer hesitate to vow voluntary obedience to His command, "Love thy neighbour." We must abandon and fight to the last ditch the pagan concept of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Yet I am sure victory shall be achieved, for He will not permit that one man shall rule by the sword without dying by the sword.

(Translation) Before bringing my remarks to a close, Mr. Speaker, I have a few words to say in French, words which I address to my bon. friends from Laval-Two Mountains (Mr. Lacombe) and from Quebec-Montmorency (Mr. Lacroix) both of whom I hold in high esteem and whose principles I share. I wish to state to these two bon. friends that should, in my opinion, -there exist the slightest chance of their viewpoints being adopted, I would certainly make a personal effort to support them; but I am enough of a realist to know that such a view cannot be adopted and would not be concurred in by the house or by the majority of the Canadian people at this particular juncture. And I do not intend to make the mistake of alienating a majority group which, at this very moment, is absolutely friendly and favourably disposed. Nor shall I play into the hands of a certain group which would like nothing better than to stir up the other provinces against our own, for the purpose of furthering their imperialistic ends. I am too well aware of the fanaticism of this group to play into their hands. For a purely local and immediate political success, it would have been quite easy for me to adhere to the views respecting isolation which I have once advocated. Some of my former supporters will brand me as a traitor and a coward. I know, still, as the saying goes, I have consulted my conscience, and I know that in casting my vote in favour of cooperation, but against the sending of an expeditionary force and against conscription, in this critical hour, I am really and truly serving my compatriots; and I am prepared to go and meet my constituents at any time.

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LIB

Samuel Factor

Liberal

Mr. SAMUEL FACTOR (Spadina):

Mr. *Speaker, may I congratulate the hon. member

(Mr. Heon) who has just taken his seat upon his fine, sincere and eloquent address.

On April 8, 1937, just about two and a half years ago, I had the privilege of addressing this house on the Canada-Germany trade agreement. My observations in that connection are to be found at page 2736 of Hansard for that year. At that time I spoke of the violence, the terror and the brutality directed by the nazi regime against a vast number of law-abiding and God-fearing people of all races and creeds. I appealed to hon. members and to all my fellow-Canadians, lovers of French chivalry and traditional British freedom, to raise their voices against Hitlerism, which had set a path of conquest and destruction. Mine was a lone voice in parliament at that time.

To-day, sir, we are plunged into this terrible tragedy called war. It is not of our making; we wanted peace. Great Britain and France wanted peace; but Hitler, the economic and social destroyer of minorities, the suppressor of the Catholic church, the persecutor of that brave Protestant pastor and servant of the church, Niemoller, has flaunted the opinion of the world's most civilized nations, and has made war upon us. Upon his head, sir, lies the blood and guilt of the many lives that will be sacrificed by the democracies on the altar of liberty.

How then, under these circumstances, can anyone oppose the rendering by Canada of such assistance as is essential? If the war is to be won against autocracy and national savagery, all that we are asked to do in this parliament to-day is to express our firm determination to do all we can to help Great Britain and France, the motherlands from which the two races in Canada have sprung. I cannot conceive, sir, how any of my fellow-citizens in any of the provinces of Canada can refuse whole-heartedly to support brave Britain and heroic France in this battle with the forces of evil and injustice.

Mr. Speaker, I am a Canadian. I was never more proud than I am to-day of being a British subject living under the far-flung union jack. I represent a large and cosmopolitan constituency. I do not represent any particular race or creed, but rather I represent all Canadians. But I am a member of a race and faith which throughout its history has stood and suffered for the principles of democracy. I belong to a minority that appreciates the blessings of liberty, such as we enjoy under the British system of government.

As one who took a small part in the last war, and who is ready to serve again, I can tell you, sir, speaking on behalf of my coreligionists in this country, that we are to a

The Address-Mr. Harris

man with Great Britain and France in the war these two great nations have been forced to wage to save not only civilization but our very souls. Canada has been generous to our race. All that we are we owe to our fellow-citizens, and we are ready to do all we can to destroy that system which has enslaved the German people and which seeks and threatens to extend its sway.

Before I conclude, sir, may I be permitted to pay a well deserved tribute to the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) for the splendid judgment he showed and the patience he exhibited during the very trying days which preceded England's declaration of war.

Mr. Speaker, those connected with the Liberal, Conservative, Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and Social Credit parties, French-Canadians, English-Canadians, Jews and Gentiles are to-day all Canadians; and as a united people we shall carry on to the victory that will be ours.

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CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. H. HARRIS (Danforth):

Mr. Speaker, at this critical time I feel very deeply the responsibility of saying a few words. But it is a duty I owe to the house and to my people to say at least one or two sentences which I would hope might help to unify and solidify the action of our Canadian people and Canadian public opinion at this time.

The eyes of Canada are on this chamber now. If they are, is it not then our duty to see to it that we unify our action and go forward with a united front? The reason for it is here before us. We know it; we realize it; our people know it and our people realize it. Christianity, democracy and personal liberty are fighting for their existence. As my hon. leader has said, the die is cast. I endorse heartily what he said in his speech on behalf of the people of Canada. While Great Britain and France are engaged in a war of life and death, we are engaged in a war of life and death, and there is no neutrality for Canada.

I endorse what the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) had to say in that regard. In this chamber there should be no bodies of opinion prevailing in one direction while other bodies of opinion prevail in another direction. When the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Thorson) rose in his place to-day and reminded us of the body of opinion the principles of which he had enunciated some few years ago, and then closed his speech by saying, "Now I am a Canadian; I represent Canada and will go as a Canadian through the tragedy which confronts us," I felt proud of him. But I was a little disturbed. This afternoon we heard the brilliant speech of the Minister of Justice during which he stated that there could be no fMr. Factor.]

neutrality. I hope he was not throwing down the gauntlet in connection with conscription. I hope he will not raise this question after the vote has been taken. I hope that the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), in the speeches that he may make from now on, will not turn round and appeal to one section of his followers here and to another section somewhere else. I hope he will speak straight out on behalf of Canada and not emphasize any particular opinion or idea of any group. I say this in all kindness. I say to the Minister of Justice: While you were saying this afternoon that you were ready to retire from public life on the conscription issue, the men who had been recruited into the army were not thinking of that particular issue and they do not want to be reminded of it at this time.

There are enough of them volunteering, so why dampen their enthusiasm? This is not the time. I rather liked the speech made by the gallant member for Algoma West (Mr. Hamilton). His speech ought to have been enough, along with the speech of the seconder (Mr. Blanchette). After we had heard the speeches of the two leaders the vote should have been taken then and there, but now a debate has been precipitated. I have seen hon. members rise in their places at this time to enunciate their own principles. The Social Credit party is guilty of that. I was sorry to see that and hence I felt that I ought to rise and plead that there should be no more of that until this war is over. The leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (Mr. Woodsworth) enunciated his views with regard to the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation movement which is taking place in Canada.

There is only one movement in Canada at the present time. That is the movement toward a united force of all the Canadian people to cooperate with Britain and France through, this difficult time. There should be no lines between race and creed; there should be no boundaries between the provinces, until this war is over. There should be no differences between rural and city life, between rural and city activities. I plead with, employers of labour and with employees to have no strife at this time. There should be no oceans between the different component parts which go to make up our commonwealth of nations. We ought to work as one to save Christianity and ourselves.

The people are filled with patriotic fervour at the present time, but they have not sufficient outlet for this feeling. I say to the government and to all members of this house: When you ask for calmness, courage and fortitude on the part of our people, you

The Address-Mr. Harris

should be ready to give them some leadership in providing some sort of activity that will take up their time. They should be given some patriotic work which they can grasp; they should be given something to do. They cannot play baseball and they are not interested in amusements and moving pictures. They do not even want to go fishing. If they do go, they take along their radios and spend more time listening to the radio news than in carrying on the art of fishing. We should provide activities for the people. Women do not want to play bridge at this time because their hearts are not in it. Their hearts are filled with the difficulties which the nation is facing at this time.

I say quite reverently that Lent is on at the present time for the Canadian people and something must be done to take up this slack. It is Saturday night and to-morrow more people will be attending church than would ordinarily be the case. I ask those who would support this amendment: Are

you ready to let Herr Hitler take away from our children and our children's children the privilege' of going to church? I ask them to abstain from voting for the amendment. What are we going to do to occupy the minds of the people? In my opinion there should be an immediate census of the capabilities of individual Canadians, of industries, of producers and of what they can produce. We ought to know where subversive elements are to be found in this country so that they may be controlled.

The civil service commission has a list of people who are fitted for different jobs. Every one of our citizenship should be registered so that we may know how he or she can best help the country. This ought to be gone on with at once. During the last tragic war in 1914-18 there were many examples of round pegs being fitted into square holes. This should not be repeated after that experience. The Prime Minister went on at some length to explain that the provinces were solidly behind him, but he did not indicate what particular line of help he was going to ask them to give. I should like to make one or two constructive suggestions. Inasmuch as the provinces are charged with the responsibility of education, I suggest that the students in the secondary schools ought to be told more about present-day geography and about the present situation. They ought to be told, as the Prime Minister told us yesterday, that in March, 1935, Herr Hitler, the chancellor of the Reichstag, announced that he had made a non-aggression pact with Poland. Yet Herr

Hitler declared war on Poland. He stated that they did not want to interfere with any of the smaller states, yet he rode roughshod over them. The students in the secondary schools should know this story so that they can go home and tell it to their mothers and fathers. Then the Canadian people would be more seized with their responsibilities and know more about what should be done.

I think the nursing curriculum in many of our hospitals should be shortened so that trained nurses would be available when their services are required. The clever young nurses in training of eighteen years of age who have passed their matriculation are perhaps of too tender years to enlist for war service, but many of those who could not get their matriculation and who are now twenty-five years of age or so should be permitted to train as war-time nurses and be available for service. We should shorten the nursing curriculum so that trained nurses would be available to take care of our soldiers when they find themselves in need of nursing service. Put the provinces to work and see that all essential power plants are running smoothly and that the power is there to operate industry. See to it that in the municipalities where there are so many factories lying idle, a list is made and that these plants be made available for production for the Canadian people.

To the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Euler) and to the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Ilsley) I say that one of your responsibilities is to see to it that raw materials should not be permitted to go out of this country if they are required in Canada, and thought ought to be given to an embargo on the required materials.

To the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) I say that if this is going to be a war of attrition lasting three or four years, see to it that increased production of all kinds of farm products is encouraged and that there be a careful conservation of our foodstuffs.

I close, Mr. Speaker, with this one thought. Fifty years ago in Canada we thought of the peoples of the maritimes as being the sons and daughters of Wolfe's Highlanders who fought on the Plains of Abraham, or of those Scotch people who came over on the steam- _ ship Hector. We thought of the people in British Columbia as English ranchers and of some Nordic people working in lumber mills. But now these Nordics and all these other people are Canadians of the first calibre; they are fine Canadians. We were disturbed at one time about the people who were settling on the western plains, but we know that they are real Canadians. We knew at that time and

The Address-Mr. Poole

we know now that our compatriots in the province of Quebec were Canadians long before you and I were. They love their Canada. We know that in the province of Ontario in that day and generation people were thought of as English, Irish or Scotch; but now all these people, without thought of their particular ancestry, realize that they are Canadians, and I plead with them as Christian Canadians that from now on, after this vote is taken, let us have no dissension of opinion in this house as to what must be done to accomplish what we have set out to do.

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SC

Eric Joseph Poole

Social Credit

Mr. E. J. POOLE (Red Deer):

Mr. Speaker, I shall not take up much of the time of the house, and I question if I would have spoken at all had it not been for some of the criticism levelled against this group to-day.

During the past two days a plea has been made for tolerance, but I note that those who are most loud in their appeals for tolerance are the least willing to practise it. I listened just now to the opening remarks of the hon. member for Danforth (Mr. Harris), when he accused this group of endeavouring to put over its own particular doctrines. I do not know how that accusation can be justified. Surely we did not come down to the house on this occasion simply to say yes to everything that the government proposed, without offering any constructive suggestions of our own. Are we to lose sight utterly of what may occur in the days ahead?

The hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) also made a plea for tolerance, but he did not show very much tolerance himself when he endeavoured to make political capital at the expense of this group by accusing us of believing in regimentation and in dictatorships under the guise of social credit. I ask you, Mr. Speaker, what group in this house leans more closely towards regimentation than the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation? Surely it must be evident that if w'e are to take over the means of production, it requires regimentation and a dictatorship. I notice that the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation have greatly changed their views in the past year. Last year, for instance, the hon. member would sooner go to gaol than go to war, and now this year they are differentiating between home service and service abroad. That is all nonsense; there is no difference. There should be no line of demarcation between the two services. Service for Canada means service anywhere for Canada, and without the facts before us we cannot tell w'here the front line of defence will be. If it is on the Rhine, that is where we should be as Canadians.

This group here has made its stand clear. We have made no bones about saying what we believe should be done in the present situation. Canada probably before this night is over will be at war. We shall never defeat the forces of Hitler by lip service. This group has proposed the conscription of finance, industry and man power. Why do we propose the conscription of man power? Because ^'e know that those who yesterday were public liabilities, those who were referred to by one member last session as "yaps," those who were driven from one town in one constituency to another town in another constituency because they were so embarrassingly plentiful and were a liability and charge against that city, will to-morrow be our national heroes. But they should not be the only ones. They should not be driven to war because of their economic circumstances. If you can tell me, Mr. Speaker, of a worse kind of conscription than that, I should like to hear of it. We are determined that in this war it shall be not only the working man's son who shall go but the rich man's son as well, that it shall not be just the working men's sons who shall lay down their lives for Canada while finance goes free; and the time to discuss these things is not when war is over but before war begins.

Probably the objection the previous speaker (Mr. Harris) had was to the conscription of finance that we propose. But, Mr. Speaker, we are irrevocably opposed to a dictatorship by Hitler, on the one hand, and to a dictatorship by finance on the other. They are equally obnoxious. and we in this group, representing a body of Canadian opinion, will fight both kinds of dictatorship on any front.

It has often been said in this house during the last few years since I have been a member that there was no money for public works. But there will be no question about money being provided for war. We know that we have been forced into war. but if we are going into it let us go into it with everything that we have, not with just half of what we have. We do not want the same cry that was raised when the last war was over and the survivors came straggling back to this country, those who had offered their all and then had to fight for the next twenty years for pensions and for jobs, only to be told by an apathetic parliament: We have not the money. Nor do we want them to be told, when it is proposed to create credit and currency, that this would mean inflation of a dangerous kind.

I suppose it is not in order to discuss these matters. The hon. member who spoke before me does not like any reference to them, but we must not blind ourselves to the facts. We

The Address-Mr. Lawson

in this group are fact finders; we work upon facts and not fiction. What objection is there to conscription of industry? Are we going to place ourselves in the position of the man who once said to Jesus that he had done everything, that he had led a good life, and who wanted to know what more he could do. The Lord said, "Go and give that which you have," but the man did not come back.

The hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldweli) is prepared to support war only to the extent of providing ammunition for others to fire. Those who believe in a profitless society have no objection to profits in time of war. Surely it must be evident to all of us that if you ship one load of wheat to a British port you are at war, because foodstuffs are just as essential as arms. Those who do not want Canada to participate in order to protect its own frontiers and to take its part within the British commonwealth of nations should ask themselves whether they are prepared to cut themselves off from all possibility of trade within the empire in future days. Surely that is something strange, coming particularly from members of a party whose whole political philosophy and planning are based upon the principle of exports. And now in time of war they would not participate.

I was born in England. My mother is there now and so are two of my sisters. They are in one of the greatest industrial centres of that country. When war comes to this dominion, and when conscription of wealth is declared, I shall be prepared as a Canadian citizen to do my share and to don a uniform for my country, Canada. But, Mr. Speaker, we should hesitate at any time to conscript men and allow finance to reap the reward of conflict in terms of dollars and cents.

Last year I read a report on the munitions industry compiled by a committee of the United States congress, in which it was shown that millions had been made out of war. It is no use talking about that when we are in the midst of war. These vultures are with us now and they will take every possible advantage they can of the situation. To these people human life means nothing. We claim that there must be equality of sacrifice, and that means equality of sacrifice by finance, by industry and by men.

The hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Pelletier) said that conscription was the working man's friend. What he meant by that was that when war comes, public assistance of every kind is cut off, and to force a man into war alll you have to do is to take away from him his meal ticket. The poor will go; they have always done so. And they have always been despised too.

I do not think a greater mistake could be made at this time than to participate in the war in a half-hearted manner. When you go to war you go to win, and therefore we should harness the whole forces of this country without exception. And finance should be the first to be conscripted. I hope that when this question is discussed on the political platform, man power will not be emphasized and finance subdued in the discussions by those who oppose us politically. We make it definite: finance, industry and man power.

There is another matter to which I wish to refer. Some guarantee should be given to those who go, whether as volunteers or under conscription, that they will receive better treatment after the next war than the men received after the last. In my constituency there is a man who this week lost his farm, which he purchased under the soldier settlement board. This man served overseas for four years and brought up four children. He cut down the trees on his farm, clearing eighty acres in twenty years. Yet to-day he has lost that farm. Is that fair treatment? He had no pension, notwithstanding appeals, because some nincompoop in the department locally did not like his politics. Someone pleads for tolerance. Well, if evidence is needed in support of the statement I make, I can give it; and if I prove that it is true, I would ask hon. members to help me to eradicate that sort of thing.

This group will support the motion; it will support the government. We believe that we are in for a long war and we believe that it is going to be bigger than the last; but we should enter it united, with a determination to wipe from this earth those who have denied ail reason and who know only force. That can best be done by putting all the resources of the country into the effort.

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CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. J. E. LAWSON (York South):

Mr. Speaker, the exigency of war makes it imperative that the business before the house should be dealt with with the utmost dispatch. Therefore I shall be very brief. I intend to vote in favour of the motion because that motion stands for the participation of Canada by the side of Great Britain and in support of the democracies. In the course of his enunciation of the policy of the government before this house the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), in dealing with one subject matter, namely, conscription made the following statement:

No such measure will be introduced by the present administration.

Lest my vote in support of the motion should be misconstrued by some, I rise merely to

The Address-Mr. Lawson

record that by that vote I do not subscribe to the policy contained in the words I have just quoted.

Amendment (Mr. Lacombe) negatived.

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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The question is on the main motion. Those in favour of the main motion will please say, "aye."

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Aye.

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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Those opposed will please say "nay."

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Nay.

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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I declare the motion carried.

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

There were some of us opposed to the main motion.

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CON

Arza Clair Casselman (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CASSELMAN:

Only one member rose.

Main motion (Mr. Hamilton) agreed to.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

On division.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister) moved:

That the address be engrossed and transmitted to His Excellency the Governor General by such members of the house as are of the honourable the Privy Council.

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Motion agreed to.


LIB

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

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

The next order of business is to set up the committees of supply and ways and means. I move:

That this house will on Monday next resolve itself into a committee to consider of a supply to be granted to His Majesty.

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Motion agreed to.


WAYS AND MEANS

September 9, 1939