September 11, 1939

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

May I say to my hon. friend that I do not think the chairman had any intention of unduly pressing a vote at that moment. The chairman was looking at the amendment and did not see the hon. member for Beauce rise at the time. But there is no doubt that the hon. member for Beauce did rise, and I think the chairman has since taken that fact into consideration by being aDout to call the motion again. It would, I am sure, be the wish of the committee to have the motion called again.

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LIB

Édouard Lacroix

Liberal

Mr. LACROIX (Beauce) (Translation):

Mr. Chairman, allow me, on this important matter of a war budget, to raise my voice and express my opinion.

War appropriations are being asked for:

(a) the security, defence, peace, order and welfare of Canada;

(b) the conduct of naval, military and air operations in or beyond Canada.

On September 8, the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) made in -this house the following statement, reported on page 35 of Hansard.

The question of an expeditionary force or units of service overseas is particularly one of wide-reaching significance which will require the iullest examination. I note that Sir Henry Gullett, Australian minister for external affairs, told the Australian house of representatives on Wednesday that his government had not yet seriously considered dispatching an expeditionary force overseas. He declared that when the commonwealth had discharged its first duty to the empire, which was to ensure its own safety, and when it was better able to assess the strength of its enemies and the nature of the conflict, it would evolve proposals for further participation in the war for submission to the people. That statement indicates the Australian government are making the same general IMr. Lacroix.]

approach to the consideration of this problem as the government of Canada.

I understood from the statement of the right hon. the Prime Minister that Canada would not send overseas volunteer forces financed by this country without first giving the matter serious consideration.

Now, on the morrow of that declaration, we are being asked to include in the war appropriations a sum of $100,000,000 for military, naval and air operations in or beyond Canada, which means overseas.

I do not agree with the right hon. the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) when he says that it would be a dishonourable thing for Canada if our volunteer forces were raised at the expense of England.

No, no, Mr. Chairman, there is nothing dishonourable for Canada in trying to remain solvent during a conflict which is not directly our own war.

We bled our country white from 1914 to 1918. We made lavish expenditures. Canada lost 60,000 human lives. We have nearly

40,000 men crippled for life, to whom we are paying pensions. We are paying yearly for interest $114,000,000 more than in 1914 and the pensions to veterans of the great war are costing us $40,774,880.80 a year.

From 1930 to the present day, our country has not been able to collect from the ratepayers enough taxes to meet her obligations. Our working class is living in slavery. Our farmers have abandoned and are still abandoning their lands through the lack of the necessary income or credit.

I have always been willing to vote and I have always voted in favour of the military appropriations required for the defence of the country. But when I am asked to vote this appropriation to maintain an army outside the country, I say that we cannot afford it, while England can very well afford it if she wishes. And if we have volunteers ready to go to help her she should refund to Canada the expenditure involved.

England has financial facilities and financial experts which a young country has not. Only recently, she bought on the Canadian market nearly 100.000,000 bushels of wheat at about 55 cents a bushel, knowing very well that two years ago we had guaranteed to our farmers 70 and 80 cents a bushel. There would be no dishonour in England's using these 25 millions of dollars towards refunding to Canada the expense of supplying her with volunteers, and there would be no dishonour in Canada accepting it. I should feel no embarrassment nor shame if England used these 25 million dollars for that purpose.

War Appropriation Bill

Moreover, should we maintain one or two army corps of volunteers in England and then find ourselves short of men to keep them up to strength, would we not soon be on the way to compulsory service?

Another compelling reason for not embarking upon a war overseas lies in our geographical situation. More than ever is it time for this country to endeavour to remain Canada. The French Canadian particularly, who holds fast to his religion, his language and his schools, should give serious thought to the matter at this juncture. Our forefathers fought to preserve their liberties in that regard.

What would become of a Canada fallen into complete bankruptcy? The debtor belongs to his creditor; he falls under the latter's thumb when he is no longer able to finance himself. Is there not danger of us falling under the dependency of the United States, our principal creditor, in the event of our becoming bankrupt?

In order to remain what we are we shall have to look to our finances and to our outside expenditures. We went to extremes from 1914 to 1918 in giving unto the last man and the last dollar.

For these reasons I feel in duty bound to vote for the amendment which has just been moved.

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LIB

Joseph-Alphida Crête

Liberal

Mr. CRETE (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, may I be permitted, at this stage of the discussion, to express a personal opinion. It is useless to underline once again the importance of this special session, since this is only the second war session in the whole history of Canadian confederation. It is most unfortunate and regrettable, however, that this second war session, necessary as it may be, should take place hardly a quarter of a century after the first, that is, a period ranging from the birth of our sons to their attainment of young manhood.

I do not harbour the slightest doubt, nor have I any grounds to do so, respecting the good faith and the sincerity which all the representatives of the Canadian people, gathered here, have shown with regard to the means that would best ensure the security and survival of Canada and her people. It is undoubtedly due to the different mentality of the various groups of people in this country, that the proposals advanced with respect to participation do not all harmonize, and that, in certain cases, they would almost seem to be contradictory.

I shall not attempt to analyse our position from the international standpoint, nor to justify our neutrality or non-neutrality. Notwithstanding the assistance of the world map which I have studied from every angle during

the last two days, I have as yet been unable completely to understand a single one of the important speeches made in this house since the opening of the session.

Apparently, if I am to believe the oft repeated statements of our leaders, parliament has not the competency to discuss, and much less to declare Canada's neutrality; with this in mind, I wonder through what miracle the Canadian parliament finds itself in a position to formulate, on its own authority, a declaration of war against Germany.

Neither shall I waste the house's time in discussing the conscription of manpower, since all parties and groups are agreed on this matter and have assured the Canadian people that such conscription would not be established, save for the relatively unimportant group of social credit members opposite us, who probably wished thereby to throw into complete confusion their already few supporters in Quebec.

There is, however, the very important question of Canada's participation in empire wars concerning which I would like to express my frank opinion.

Having no desire to make political capital out of this, I shall speak simply and frankly, avoiding the husting's manner which is out of place when the survival of a nation is at stake.

We have heard a great deal, during the last few days, about different kinds of participation, and I hasten to state my own point of view. I can see no objection to Canada's supplying England with everything she needs for the provisioning of her troops, and I am sincerely convinced that this would be our most effective form of cooperation. Nor do I see any objection to the voluntary enlistment in the English army of any Canadian who so desires, provided England bear the cost of such.

But, were Canada to repeat the experience of 1914-18, I could not approve of such action, and I would add that I could not believe any more in the friendship of England for Canada, were England to demand that our country ruin itself, in capital and in man power, by a contribution similar to that of the last war, that is a contribution both unreasonable and out of proportion with its resources.

Consequently I will oppose any appropriations for the purpose of equipping a contingent, even of volunteers, for overseas service.

Mr. Chairman, true to my deepest convictions and to my conscience, before the country which is mine and which I love, of my province, my constituency and my family, I reiterate to-day the stand I have already taken

War Appropriation Bill

on the question of participation, and I am sincerely convinced that that stand only will guarantee to our children that they never will be drawn into military service on foreign soil.

Let me conclude by formulating the wish that the same God, to whom our king was praying on the morning of the declaration of war, will soon dispel the hatred between nations, stop the roaring of cann'on and the rattling of machine-guns which are mowing human lives like ours and killing adolescents like our sons.

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LIB

Maurice Lalonde

Liberal

Mr. LALONDE (Translation):

Mr. Chairman, may I be permitted a word with respect to the amendment moved by our hon. friends on the other side of the house. I believe it my duty, in view of the events which have recently taken place in this house, to make clear my attitude on the government's policy respecting Canada's participation in this European war. That much I owe to my constituents and to my conscience. I have repeatedly declared that I stood opposed in principle, in common, I believe, with the majority of the members of this house, to the idea of squandering our country's resources and the life-blood of our sons in any external war where, note well, Canada's interests were not at stake. A Montreal newspaper went so far as to quote me to the effect that I was opposed to any participation whatever in empire wars, and that f would vote against my party should such a policy be put forward in this house. That is not quite correct.

It is now high time that I should clearly define the policy I intend to follow and on behalf of which I shall fight unremittingly. I wish it understood that I am opposed to the conscription of Canadian man power and wealth for participation in any external empire war where this country's interests are not at stake. And our participation must be proportionate to our means and our interest in the conflict. That is the sole meaning and extent of the statements I have made in and outside this house.

Last Saturday evening, there was moved an amendment to the address in reply to the speech from the throne, which amendment simply amounted to a declaration of complete neutrality, a matter which had been decided upon negatively a few sessions ago when the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) had moved the adoption of a resolution of neutrality. I need not add that in view of the basic significance of such a motion, I would have voted against the amendment.

I desire it to be clearly recorded that I deeply hate war and that my sole wish was that our beloved country might be able to

*Mr. Crete.]

keep out of this world conflict between the supporters of pagan barbarism and the heroic defenders of the Christian democracies. Alas, Mr. Chairman, in view of her constitutional position, in view of her political situation and of the impossibility for her to proclaim and enforce complete neutrality, Canada finds herself to-day engaged in a disastrous world war that is bound to shake the foundations of modern civilization. I listened with a great deal of sympathy to the speech made by the right hon. the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), in which he set forth the practical results of Canadian neutrality. Once again, sir, even though I would greatly desire to see our country remain neutral in this conflict, I am forced to agree with my hon friend from Argenteuil (Mr. Heon), that our constitutional status does not permit it. The deficiencies and insufficiencies of the statute of Westminster, the racial sympathies of the majority of our citizens, the economic ties which bind us to the British commonwealth are as many reasons, as many paths leading us directly and unfortunately into this world conflict, with the sole result, as the hon. member for Beauce (Mr. Lacroix) stated recently that the burden of our national debt will be increased, that the lives of a great many enlisted men will be sacrificed and that we shall have to recognize that our beloved country does not enjoy the absolute freedom of completely autonomous nations.

Indeed, Mr. Speaker, even though it be trumpeted from the house tops that Westminster has granted us complete independence, I will not believe it. Such nations only as possess the attributes of complete autonomy have a right to proclaim their neutrality and to enforce it. I respectfully submit, as a corollary, that this does not apply with regard to a declaration of war, as was suggested by my excellent friend the member for St-Mau-rice-Lafleche (Mr. Crete), and I doubt that the adoption of the address in reply to the speech from the throne can be legally considered to have the effect of a formal declaration of war on the German Reich As a consequence of the splendid work accomplished by the leading advocates of the statute of Westminster, I admit that we have obtained noteworthy concessions, such as the right to adopt extraterritorial legislation, to abolish appeals to the Privy Council, and such as the repeal of the Colonial Laws Validity Act. This means a great step forward, but the ties previously referred to still remain, over and above our inability, which we must perforce recognize, to amend our constitution without first

War Appropriation Bill

obtaining permission from London and our obligation to refer our legislation to the governor general for assent.

Adoption of an absolute neutrality measure in Canada might lead to a serious constitutional crisis should such a step prove contrary to British interests to which we are still bound. I cannot do better than quote the words uttered in this house, on March 31, 1939, by the right hon. the Minister of Justice:

The Statute of Westminster never purported to dissolve the bonds between nations of the commonwealth. Indeed it was intended' to strengthen and maintain that bond, which is the principle of unity.

I would add to this testimony that of Professor Keith.

Though the governor general has ceased to be an agent of the imperial government, his position is still not that of the mere figurehead of a dominion government. The constitutions grant to him the office of reserving bills, and the right to give instructions as to reservation is vested in the king advised by the imperial government, and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom did not fail to intimate immediately after the conference that this power was not surrendered nor, as we have seen, did the conference arrive at any conclusion as to its abolition. It is obvious, moreover, that apart from royal instructions the representative of the crown would be bound on his own authority to oppose resistance to any legislative measure contrary to his duty of allegiance and fidelity to his oath of office and his position as representative of the crown. Hence General Smuts' dictum still applies; it would be impossible for the governor general to assent to any bill which purported to destroy British sovereignty over the Union.

Moreover, it must be pointed out that the choice of the governor general does not rest, as is claimed in the Irish Free State, with the dominion government. The position is defined in article 3 of the treaty of 1921 by which "the representative of the crown in Ireland shall be appointed in like manner as the Governor General of Canada and in accordance with the practice observed in the making of such appointments." This means, as Mr. Lloyd George explained on December 13, 1921, '"that the government of the Irish Free State will be consulted so as to ensure a selection acceptable to the Irish government before any recommendation is made to His Majesty." Unquestionably, this _ principle is observed as regards all the dominions, but the recommendation is that of the imperial government, with which the right to secure appointment, subject to the king's personal approval of his 'representative necessarily lies.

Then, this question is asked by Professor Keith:

Is the right of neutrality possible under the constitution of the empire? The only answer is that the preponderant weight of empire opinion denies the right of neutrality. It would insist on the tie of common allegiance to the crown and the voluntary association in the

British commonwealth, together with the agreement to exchange information on foreign affairs, as negativing the right to remain neutral.

Would a declaration of neutrality entitle the Union of South Africa to neutral rights at the hands of other powers? To this question there is available a very definite answer. The rights of neutrality can be claimed only by a power which is able and willing to perform the duties of a neutral.

To these legal arguments must be added racial considerations which we must not underestimate. I have heard and approved the English-speaking members of the house who, in the course of the debate, made an appeal to Canadian unity. I hope that such sincere dispositions will manifest themselves in the future in every field of national life where cooperation between the two races is essential to the progress and prosperity of Canada and that certain Jingo elements of our population will act accordingly when the occasion arises. If French Canadians must not ignore that their compatriots of English origin have jealously kept a deep-rooted love for the mother country and that we must not blame them for the apprehension which they feel when Great Britain is threatened, likewise Jingoes and ultra-imperialists have no right to question the loyalty of the French Canadians to the British crown because they are not moved by the same reasons as their compatriots of English origin to fly to the assistance of England. Canadian history is more eloquent than I can be to refute the quibbles of the demagogues who have insulted the men of my race by calling them "slackers," those men who, on two different occasions, have saved for the British crown, at the price of their blood, the Canadian territory which to-day we are called upon to defend; those men who have crossed the sea in 1914 to offer their lives for the democratic ideology. I hope, Mr. Chairman, that, were my compatriots freely and voluntarily to decide to fight against brutal German supremacy, they will be true, on the battlefields of Europe, to the noble traditions of gallantry which brighten the pages of their history.

Moreover, the economic ties which so closely bind Canada to the commonwealth have had their influence in making Canada greatly dependent upon England.

Our trade with the British commonwealth amounts to nearly 50 per cent of our total trade. I cannot believe that those economic interests are not for something in the relative dependency from which we are suffering to-day.

Such are, frankly expressed, the reasons why we cannot seriously claim that our country enjoys complete sovereignty in the British commonwealth. Because of that and because we must submit to an existing fact, we must

War Appropriation Bill

admit that it is constitutionally and economically impossible for Canada to proclaim its absolute neutrality and that our country is necessarily drawn into the catastrophic whirlwind which threatens the very life of Europe.

We then have to decide the form and the scope of Canada's participation in the European war.

I felt greatly relieved when I heard the statements of principle enunciated by the right hon. the Prime Minister on September 8 last. They can be reduced to four main points: 1. The defence of our territory:

The primary task and responsibility of the people of Canada is the defence and security of Canada.

2. Economic cooperation:

We propose to cooperate in economic pressure.

3. The solemn engagement not to propose nor enact a compulsory military service act and

4. Not to send any contingents beyond the seas without having obtained the prior approval of the people of Canada.

We have before us a motion to amend paragraph (b), I believe, of section 2. When the address in reply to the speech from the throne was carried, the house approved the principle of Canada's participation to the extent of cooperating with England in the war which has just been unleashed on the world.

May I now ask, Mr. Chairman, how it would be possible for us to maintain to-day the opposite of what we admitted previously. I now come to the sending overseas of an expeditionary force. I am going to express my personal opinion. The right hon. the Prime Minister said: What I want is the free expression of a free parliament. I fear-and I do not hesitate to say so-that the dispatching of contingents of volunteers is but the prelude of a compromise which later will bring about a union government from which military conscription will ensue. In the present occurrence should we not choose the lesser evil?

Mr. Chairman, I find in the definite statement of the right hon. the Minister of Justice sufficient evidence that we are not going to have in Canada, military conscription to which I am irrevocably opposed. Knowing as we do how unsparingly he and his colleagues from the province of Quebec have laboured towards the acceptance of the FrenchdUanadian view as regards military cooperation, I think we can pause for a moment to say that military conscription shall never be approved and adopted by the present Liberal government. On the other hand, this sending of forces overseas, even on a voluntary basis, is causing me, despite

everything, a great deal of apprehension. I

cannot help suspecting, as my hon. friend for Portneuf (M.r. Gauthier) said, that "the force of circumstances will perhaps be stronger than -the will of men," and that, in view of the facts, notwithstanding the integrity and honesty of purpose of the hon. ministers who have promised that no such thing would be done, Canada may to-morrow be forced to accept such a course under a union government. We should accordingly strive to prevent the formation of a union government in Canada. We would then have conscription within six months.

Mr. Chairman, for that sole reason, I cannot concur in the amendment which has just been moved by the hon. member for Vancouver-North (Mr. MacNeil). I am in sympathy with the principle he is laying down, but I wonder what would happen to-morrow if we were to oppose the present government for the benefit of a union government.

What would happen to-morrow should we fight the present government? We would be faced with the necessity of setting up a union government. The lesson learned during the last war is more eloquent than anything I can say. I believe the people of Canada feel that the present government should be maintained instead of setting up a union government. This is my own opinion, and I want every hon. member to understand that. What happened during the last great war? At that time we saw the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) and the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) fighting with Sir Wilfrid Laurier against conscription. The same thing will happen if we fight them to-day, and I do not want that. My people do not want that and the province of Quebec does not want that. We want unity on the part of every citizen and every member of this house. We want united support for the present government so that we shall not be blamed for unsound and unfair policies so far as our cooperation or participation in this war is concerned. This is the reason why I cannot stand behind the hon. member who moved this amendment.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Mr. Chairman, I wish to say a word to bring home to all hon. members the significance of the amendment which has been proposed. The government is asking that the house should make an appropriation of 8100,000,000 to be used, among other things, for the conduct of naval, military and air operations in or beyond Canada. The amendment would substitute for the words "or beyond Canada" the words "or adjacent to Canada," so that the clause would read:

(b) the conduct of naval, military and air operations in or adjacent to Canada.

War Appropriation Bill

The first question I wish to ask is this: What precisely is meant by "adjacent to" Canada? By "adjacent to" Canada, do we mean confined to our own shores? If that is to be the interpretation, what is to become of the view that is taken by those who are best able to speak of what even in its narrowest application is essential to the defence of Canada itself, namely the necessity of our naval and air forces cooperating with other forces, in the defence of Newfoundland and of St. Pierre and Miquelon, those islands which are beyond our coast? The amendment, as I see it, would certainly leave in doubt whether we would be permitted to use our naval and air forces in cooperation with the British or French naval and air forces in the protection of Newfoundland and St. Pierre and Miquelon. Their protection is essential to our protection. Once an enemy is permitted to take possession of Newfoundland or the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, and use those islands as a base for their operations, what real security is left for our Canadian Atlantic coast? And yet this amendment, as I read it, unless it be given a much broader interpretation than was given by some who have already spoken, would make it absolutely impossible for us to use our naval and air forces in that way for the defence of our own Canadian coast. I venture to say that if the committee realizes such to be the case, it will not think of amending this section in that particular way.

May I add another word? I am afraid that many hon. members to-day, and very naturally, have still vividly in their minds the last war, and do not realize sufficiently the changes that have come about with respect to both the methods and the objectives of war in the course of years. There is no comparison between what may or may not have been the wise thing to do in 1914 and what may or may not be the wise thing to do in 1939. The whole strategy of war and the implements of war have changed in the interval. I imagine that some hon. members, who may be supporting the proposed amendment, have mostly in mind only the one question of an expeditionary force overseas. Assume that the question of an expeditionary force were not being considered at the moment at all; the amendment as proposed would rule out any kind of effective cooperation between the British and French navies and our naval and air forces for the defence of Canada itself. I do not think any hon. member of this house would wish for one moment to have the government's power to defend our own country limited in that way. I have given one illustration only as respects the Atlantic. Many others might be given, and in relation to the Pacific coast as well.

May I point out that the government has stated its policy in the speech from the throne which has already been adopted, and in the course of the debate on the address I gave in more specific detail essential features of that policy. I made quite clear the scope in part of cooperative measures we propose to institute immediately. My statement was. in part as follows:

There are certain measures of economic,, naval and air cooperation which are obviously necessary and desirable and which it is possible to undertake without delay. 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 dispatch of trained air personnel. These measures we propose to institute immediately.

This amendment would deny the government the right of going the length it has already stated it intends to go and, may I add, which this House of Commons by the adoption of the address has give it the authority to go. The address has been adopted; this house has approved the government's policy as specifically set forth. Surely at this stage of our proceedings we should not unduly delay matters by an attempted refusal to give the government all the authority its policy demands.

One word in conclusion. I sympathize with those who feel certain that measures should be debated at this stage. I go back, however, to what I said at the beginning of this afternoon's session of this house. Men are dying by thousands, yes, by hundreds of thousands, on the field of battle in Europe now. The struggle is rapidly extending to parts of Europe other than Poland. There have already been attacks upon France and attacks upon Britain, and there have been attacks upon the high seas. It is not disclosing a fact that is not pretty generally known when I say that enemy submarines are believed to be scattered over not only the Atlantic ocean but also the Pacific. Where enemy warplanes may be a few days from now, or to-night, none of us knows. The way to meet an aeroplane or a submarine attack is not to wait until the enemy reaches your shores but to go out and meet him and try to prevent him from ever reaching your shores. I hope that for the balance of the session members of the house will not fail constantly to realize that the government has a tremendous responsibility in getting on with very pressing matters. We are asking the house to enable us to do our part in cooperating as effectively as we possibly can cooperate, and to that end we must have the opportunity to act and cooperate expeditiously. Accordingly I would ask the house,

no

War Appropriation Bill

with regard to further amendments to any measures, to be if possible prepared to vote on them at once, and not take up unnecessary time in discussion, when Canada is, as she now is, at war with Germany.

Amendment negatived: yeas, 16; nays, 151.

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Section agreed to. Sections 3 to 5 inclusive agreed to. On section 6-Loans authorized.


CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

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CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

How does the hon. member know that the board has not made it?

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

The hon. gentleman

interrupted me. I know because, according to press reports, the board stated early in August that the carry-over of wheat had passed out of its hands and it was waiting for the new crop.

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CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

The hon. member knows that the board has options.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

I do not know anything about the buying of options, but if I remember aright, the party to which the hon. gentleman belongs criticized the former wheat board under Mr. McEarland for having anything to do with the option market; consequently I am concluding ihat the Liberal party would not tolerate the buying of options.

I am pointing that out. I also point out that if we pick up our daily newspapers we find that stocks and shares of industries which are connected with the war have risen very rapidly during the past several weeks; fortunes have already been made. It seems to me that if we are going to finance this war we ought to finance it as far as possible out of current revenue. As it was put by one of my hon. friends to my left, we should adopt a pay-as-you-go policy. On behalf of the group with which I am associated I suggest that in the initial stages of this great conflict we should as far as possible lay down the rule that we are not going to burden future generations with the cost of this war which, after all, has been brought about by the policies of the generation to which we belong.

I say, further, that we could repeal the legislation which gave in effect a rebate of income tax to organizations which made certain extensions and replacements in their industries this year. Maybe this will be done before parliament prorogues. We could yet further increase taxation on higher incomes, and we could begin to tax excess profits. Already, as has been pointed out in this chamber, the cost of commodities has risen, in my opinion without warrant and without justice. I appeal to the government this afternoon not to institute a policy of war loan and load this country again with a burden which, if it increases, will inevitably bring about a total economic and social collapse in Canada within a measurable period of time. We should not authorize the government at the very first stage of this great conflict to borrow $100,000,000. We have in the national bank an instrument which can relieve our present necessity. I listened to the governor of the bank telling the committee that the coverage we had of gold, securities and so on was sufficient to enable us, if we

War Appropriation Bill

wished, largely to increase the amount of money we could issue and recover it by new taxation. I am no believer in printing press money. But I point out that where you have a necessity and where you have the coverage you can, if you will, avoid the making of loans at high rates of interest. As an hon. member pointed out this afternoon, an attempt will be made, in view of the world outlook, to increase the interest rates, which have been low.

In summing up what I wanted to say, I suggest that we should relieve our necessity at the moment by the use of the instrument which this parliament created, namely the Bank of Canada. Then ways and means should be devised to finance this 8100,000,000. I believe it could be wholly financed out of a capital gains tax and an excess profits tax and we wmuld still have the income tax in the higher brackets to assist us in the future. I urge, then, these policies upon the government instead of the policy laid down in this clause, which in my opinion sets our feet upon the path of economic and social ruin in the future.

At six o'clock the committee took recess.

After Recess

The committee resumed at eight o'clock.

On section 6-loans authorized.

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LIB

Lucien Dubois

Liberal

Mir. DUBOIS (Translation):

Mr. Chairman, for the last three years I have opposed any increase in the militia estimates, foreseeing as I did what is happening to-day. I have never realized more fully than I do to-day the responsibility of the mandate which my electors entrusted to me in 1935. I have no bitterness towards anyone, I am moved by no spirit of hatred; I am guided by duty -alone in this fateful hour. Sitting in a free parliament, in a free country, I wish to say freely to this house that I cannot support this bill so long as the words "or beyond" have not been deleted from section 2, subsection 1, paragraph 3.

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LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. GAUTHIER (Translation):

Mr. Chairman, I have no desire needlessly to prolong this debate, but I owe to myself and to my constituents a word of explanation on the vote which I gave this afternoon. Having enjoyed the privileges of a democratic country and a democratic parliament and also making use of the privileges of a Liberal member of that parliament, I wish to state that, in voting a single cent for an overseas expeditionary force, I would do an injustice to myself and my personal convictions as well as to my constituents, and I would be false

to them after the battles that I fought in the county of Portneuf at the side of men who have left in this chamber the reputation of good fighters, good Liberals, men of strong and lasting convictions, for instance Hon. Lucien Cannon who, in 1935, was elected member for Portneuf and who, during the campaign, when I was fighting at his side, stated on all the platforms of the county that he would not vote a cent for an overseas expeditionary force, and I supported that statement. Consequently, I would do an injustice to my constituents and, moreover,

I would be adopting an attitude quite contrary to the stand I have taken in the House of Commons ever since. In 1937, I stated in this chamber, in a speech on the military votes, that I was opposed to the enlistment of men for external wars and I am still of the same opinion. At that time

I expressed my fear of the possibility of the appropriations then voted being used for the dispatch of an expeditionary force, knowing that if a single man-be he cavalryman or airman-paid by Canada went overseas to serve in this war, the vote I would have given in favour of the appropriation used to send that man overseas would have been a vote against my convictions and contrary to the principle for which I have stood ever since I became a member of the House of Commons. I feared then, as I fear now, that the moment we begin participating, even on a voluntary basis, we will have one foot in the saddle and, sooner or later, would be galloping off on a participation less voluntary than it appeared.

In 1914 I was of military age. I remember friends of mine who went to bed free men and woke up the next morning to find themselves enlisted. Service was voluntary at that time. I also remember friends of mine who enlisted of their own free will. I did all I could to remain in Canada. I advised those who would listen to me to remain in Canada for the defence of Canada and Canada alone. This advice I still give and will continue to give. My views will never change. I will continue to advise my fellow-citizens not to enlist for service in a foreign war. Here, Mr. Chairman, we have an immense country with a population of only

II million. The immensity of our country compels us to keep our people here to defend it. We should not increase our already enormous debt by excessive participation in this war.

May I say, Mr. Chairman, that if we are now giving utterance to opinions which are not shared by the majority of the members

War Appropriation Bill

of the house, we are entitled, without causing scandal, to make use of the privileges which we enjoy as representatives of the people. It is our right to make use of the privileges belonging to a democratic parliament in a democracy. That is what we are doing. And I do so, Mr. Chairman, not, as has been stated, to draw forth applause nor to obtain ephemeral political success, but by conviction and because I do not wish to change my views, believing that I should devote all my strength to the defence of my country alone which, whatever may be thought, I wish to keep under the British crown. I share the opinion of my friend the hon. member for Beauce (Mr. Lacroix) who this afternoon presented an irrefutable argument to prove our desire to maintain the Dominion of Canada under the British crown and in the free association of the British commonwealth of nations.

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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

I fail to see that the last speaker was in order in reference to this section.

In 1937-38 the governor in council was given power, and he had power long before that to raise money. A great deal of this money was not spent. I am supporting every clause of the bill; I do not object to the bill, but I should be glad if the Minister of National Defence to-day or to-morrow would clarify this way of spending $100,000,000, because it was criticized in the late war as a blank cheque. We want to get value for our money, and I should like to have some clarification of the policy of the government with regard to unexpended money. Last session $63,000,000 was voted for the Department of National Defence, but owing to the length of the session very few orders have been placed. Now is the time to act; there has been altogether too much metaphysical language used since we met last Thursday. It should be made clear what these orders in council under section 6 relate to and what sums remain unspent or unborrowed and on what program and policy. Not a day should be lost in connection with the provision of man power, food, clothing and munitions. It is going to take a long time, one year or two, to get the money spent, to get orders for munitions delivered, and to equip recruits, because man power is the most important thing of all, and get them trained and equipped. There has been a great deal of complaint that with the money provided last session and some under orders in council, when the men went to the camps equipment- boots, clothing, rifles and so on-was lacking.

I do not wish to delay the passage of this bill, but either in connection with this section or on third reading I hope that, instead of all this metaphysical language that has been

used here during the last three days, the government will let the house and the country know exactly what they propose to do. I think everyone in the country wants, in such a world crisis, to give the government the maximum of help with the very minimum of criticism. So I hope that to-morrow or the next day the government will take some definite stand in order to help voluntary recruiting. Some of these unemployed youths, who have had very little help from parliament, nevertheless are extremely anxious to help the government and enlist, so I hope we shall have a clarification of all the talk that has gone on during the last three or four days.

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SC

John Charles Landeryou

Social Credit

Mr. LANDERYOU:

Mr. Chairman, I do not intend to delay the government during this session, but I desire to take this opportunity of once more protesting against this method of raising funds for government purposes. If we can borrow money on the credit of the nation, for the life of me I do not see why we cannot issue money on the same credit. It is the same basis. Why must we continue to borrow money rather than issue it? I have never had any statement from the minister in charge of the financial affairs of this nation as to just why we as a nation cannot issue money upon credit instead of borrowing it upon credit. I hope that in the expenditures that will be made in the years to come, if this war continues for any length of time, the government will give due consideration to the propositions we have advanced during the years we have been members of this house.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. JEAN FRANCOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata) (Translation):

Mr, Chairman, the hon. member who has just spoken must not expect that we are going to refute for the thousandth time the argument put forth by his group to the effect that soldiers should be paid in worthless paper. If soldiers enlist, they deserve to be paid with currency that will enable them to purchase the things they need and to help their families. It is quite ridiculous for social credit members to propound once more before the house their groundless theories purporting to pay the soldiers with worthless paper.

I wish, first of all, to extend my congratulations to the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Usley) who during several months has acquitted himself of a double task without neglecting the business of his own department. He was in charge of Department of Finance and he had given proof of his business experience and good judgment. When only a private member, he had shown himself quite helpful to me on several occasions and I have always valued his keen knowledge of public affairs and to him I wish to extend my best wishes.

War Appropriation Bill

The question we are to deal with is the most important I have been called upon to consider in the fifteen years during which I have had the honour of representing Temis-couata county in this house. Sentiment, here in parliament, cannot serve as a basis for discussion. We must listen to the voice of reason alone. Particularly at critical junctures we must be calm in our appreciation of every question. Certain facts pertaining to international law and domestic constitutional law must be clearly brought out so that all may understand the present status of this colony which we are agreed to call the Dominion of Canada. In previous debates, certain speakers have stated that freedom of speech constituted one of the benefits of our system. They have mentioned the names of two of my colleagues, whom I congratulate, for it has not always been my privilege to express so freely my opinion in this house, even though I remained at the time within the limits of parliamentary rules and though the terms I used were not contrary to parliamentary custom.

While duly appreciating the efforts made by certain statesmen in favour of peace, we cannot fail to observe, now more than ever before, the futility of the labours of the League of Nations on every continent: the Gran Chaco in South America, Abyssinia in Africa, China in Asia and Czecho-Slovakia in Europe. I do not wish to belittle the sincerity of these statesmen who put their faith in the League of Nations, but as Lord Baldwin admitted, in the last public speech he made at the time of the coronation of His Gracious Majesty, King George VI, the League of Nations has been of little use, and Mr. Chamberlain, moreover, repeated the same thing last year with greater emphasis. There has been much talk about "status" in Canada. It has been said that the British Empire is made up of free nations, possessing equal rights, which is false. In the course of another debate, a prominent speaker stated that no one in our province of Quebec- and he insisted on the word-journalists, members of parliament and others, had solved or even attempted to solve the insurmountable, I almost said insoluble, legal difficulties offered by our constitution and the neutrality of our country. To speak of the member for Temiscouata is repugnant to me, Mr. Chairman, but I may remind hon. members that two years ago, in the columns of the greatest French newspaper in America, La Presse of Montreal, he who now speaks to you showed, in words which were crystal clear and lucid as the mid-day sun, that Canada was not a sovereign country. I regret that on this point of law I do not share the view of my

leader the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) who spoke the other day of a "full nation." "Full" was translated in Hansard by "veritable."

I defy anyone to find in any dictionary the French word "veritable" as a translation of the English word "full." We are a "veritable nation" in the sense that we are an agglomeration of individuals in a territory having certain boundaries, but Canada is not a sovereign nation, and that, because of our constitution. There is not a single member of the house, I suppose, who has not read over and over again the British North America Act, particularly sections 53, 54, 55, 56 and 57, concerning the disallowance of laws passed by this parliament. In the first place, His Excellency the Governor General of Canada, according to one of these sections, may refuse to give them his sanction and submit them to the British government; and even if, in accordance with the terms of section 56, His Excellency the Governor General of Canada, in his capacity of official representative of His Majesty the King of Canada, gives the royal sanction to a law enacted by both houses of the Canadian parliament, His Majesty the King of Great Britain in council may disallow that law in the space of two years. That means that the King of Great Britain, assisted by his council, has two years in which to disallow any law, even if that law has received the sanction of the official representative of His Majesty the King of Canada.

To avoid any misunderstanding, Mr. Chairman, let me quote section 56 of the British North America Act, which everybody knows by heart:

Where the governor general assents to a bill in the queen's name, he shall by the first convenient opportunity send an authentic copy of the act to one of Her Majesty's principal secretaries of state, and if the queen in council within two years after receipt thereof by the Secretary of State thinks fit to disallow the act, such disallowance (with a certificate of the Secretary of State of the day on which the act was received by him) -

And that means the Secretary of State at Westminster, not at Ottawa-

-being signified by the governor general, by speech or message to each of the houses of the parliament or by proclamation, shall annul the act from and after the day of such signification.

This is exactly what I was just saying. How, then, can we claim to be a sovereign nation if our king, not as king of Canada but as king of Great Britain, assisted by the British cabinet at Westminster, may disallow any law enacted by this parliament?

Consequently, Canada may be a nation geographically, but juridically it is evident that Canada is not a sovereign nation. And for that reason I am of the opinion that the

War Appropriation Bill

Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) was perfectly right in stating that Canada cannot be a neutral in the present war. I am in agreement with him when he says that there is no such thing as partial or mitigated neutrality. A great deal of fuss has been made about proclaiming the neutrality of Canada, but those who will take the trouble to read the British North America Act, particularly the sections concerning disallowance, will fully realize that Canada is not an independent country, that Canada is not a sovereign country and that, even if we have made progress in the constitutional field, it is progress in words only and, as a matter of fact, absolutely devoid of juridical meaning. Canada is a colony and has made no progress in the last hundred years.

Mr. Chairman, Canada, being a British country, was at war the moment England was at war, for the good reason that Canada was considered a British dominion, and that only sovereign nations may proclaim their neutrality in time of war. Consequently, Canada's declaration of war simply amounted to an official confirmation of a fact already established and a consequence of what we see in the British North America Act, and also in the field of external trade, since our trade commissioners are under the authority of the English consul or diplomat in every country in the world where Canada has no minister of her own.

Furthermore, it is with Sir Thomas Inskip, who recently entered the House of Lords, that our high commissioner in London, Mr. Massey, had to communicate to get acquainted with the details of the negotiations taking place between the British government and the other powers. Mr. Massey has no direct contact with the French and German embassies in London, and any news he receives originates either from the Foreign Office or the members of the British cabinet.

Let us nurse no illusions, Mr. Chairman, and at such a critical moment as this, let us carefully measure our words. That is why I am in complete agreement with the Minister of Justice when he declares that this country could not remain neutral in the present war because our neutrality ended at the very moment England forwarded her ultimatum to the German Reichfuehrer.

Such being the case, let no one henceforth repeat that Canada is a nation, let there be no further hints to the effect that Canada is a free and sovereign nation. The whole truth must be told, and it must be admitted that Canada's status has not been raised since the days when she was a colony, save that her trade has expanded and that we are

represented by more or less efficient ministers -except in France and Belgium-in several countries of the world.

I am very proud, Mr. Chairman, of coming from that part of the province of Quebec of which the Minister of Justice is himself a native. He knows that I have the greatest respect for him and that I also greatly respect the leader of the Liberal party, the Prime Minister and their colleagues. I am in close contact with the labouring and agricultural classes of the province of Quebec,-at least as regards my constituency, and I might even add outside that. Moreover, anyone who converses daily with workmen and farmers, attentively listening to them in order fully to understand their problems, finally obtains what might be termed a composite picture of the opinions of both those classes.

And you know, Mr. Chairman, that Canada is not to be judged by the Ottawa atmosphere. No place lends itself better to meditation than the countryside. I had the very great privilege to deliver speeches in many cities and towns of the province of Ontario, from Windsor to Ottawa, especially while campaigning in 1932, 1933, 1934 and 1935 on behalf of my friend the Hon. Mitchell Hepburn, Premier of Ontario. There is perhaps not one member representing a rural constituency in the province of Quebec who had the opportunity of meeting as many farmers and working men from the good province of Ontario. In Windsor, Chatham, London, Toronto, and Ottawa, at Casselman, Finch and Rockland and many other rural localities, I noticed that no one looks so much like the good farmers of the province of Quebec, as the Scotch Presbyterian farmers of Ontario. I was able to make many friends among those farmers. I took pleasure in discussing with them and they reminded me of the electors of my county. Their problems were identical.

Mr. Chairman, you will be surprised, I believe, in hearing the text of a resolution carried unanimously by the municipal council of the parish of Saint-Hubert, in the county of Temiscouata. That parish lies at a distance of nine miles from the station of Saint-Honore on the Temiscouata Railway, and twenty miles south of the St. Lawrence river. The resolution which was sent to me speaks for itself, but I especially wish to call your attention to its wording, which shows that the French Canadians from the province of Quebec are considering tne situation with all the seriousness it calls for and that they are offering suggestions which every one can put to good use, from the leaders of the House of Commons to the humble member that I am.

War Appropriation Bill

Province of Quebec.

Municipality of Saint Hubert.

At its meeting of September, 1939, the municipal council of Saint Hubert adopted the following resolution:

Moved by councillor Charles Theriault,

Seconded by councillor Alphonse Chouinard;

Whereas England is at war against Germany for a just cause;

Whereas the Canadian parliament has been summoned for a special session in order to determine the attitude of Canada in the present conflict;

Whereas our member in the said parliament, Mr. J. F. Pouliot, would probably like to have the opinion of his electors made clear to him so as to be able to express it in the house during the present session;

To this end, it was unanimously resolved that the parish of Saint Hubert, through its municipal council, convey to him its views on the present conflict;

1. Canada must first provide for the defence of her territory, and this in the most efficient manner possible.

2. Canada can best help England by supplying her, out of Canadian resources with products of every kind.

3. Canada is not in a position, on account of her debt, to send expeditionary forces, the necessity of which, besides, is not obvious.

4. Conscription would be disastrous for the country and, in the end, more harmful than useful to England. Therefore, we hope you will endorse our views and that you will uphold them in the house as you have always furthered the interests of the Canadian people.

Carried unanimously.

(Signed) Geo. April,

Sec. Treas.

Countersigned by

Freddy Masse, mayor.

That is the opinion of the farmers of Saint Hubert. Were my colleagues from the province of Quebec to forward that resolution to every municipal council in their counties, I am sure it would be carried unanimously in the great majority of cases.

Now, Mr. Chairman, I have one more thing to say, and it is that my English-speaking fellow-citizens imagine that the province of Quebec is opposed to conscription because the French Canadians are afraid to fight, and they feel contempt for those they deem to be cowards. That is a grave error. If French Canadians are opposed to conscription it is because, in most cases, their families have been living in Canada for two or three hundred years and that they are Canadian to the core. Their fatherland is, first of all, the place where they live surrounded by beautiful scenery, the place where their parents have lived, and where their sons shall also live; that is their home. They cherish both their province and their country.

The resolution is categorical. Canada must provide first for the defence of its territory and that with the greatest efficiency possible. We have no objection to our helping England by organizing the defence of Canada on a sound and practical basis, so that the sacrifice of those who enlist may be of some use and that they may not be marched to slaughter under incompetent leaders and lacking the necessary armaments. When a man makes the sacrifice of his life he gives his all and he is entitled to the protection of the government and of the country, so that his effort may be most useful to the community. I invite my English-speaking colleagues to come in my county next summer, so that I may be privileged to present to them some of the good farmers of Temiscouata. I am sure they will have for them, if they do not already know them, the same respect that I have for the farmers whom I met in the course of electoral campaigns in the provinces of Ontario and New Brunswick.

I believe that the resolution I have just read virtually represents the sentiment of the province of Quebec. I congratulate my good friend the right hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) on the statements he made the other day about conscription. Conscription is not necessary. We have no need of it for war outside Canada and it would be superfluous in Canada, for there is not a healthy old man that I know of who would refuse to fight for the defence of our country. For all these reasons, I understand that Canada's formal declaration of war, made when Canada was in fact already at war, was a concession. We are ready to go that far but no farther. We are ready to make a concession for the sake of Canadian unity, but on condition that the province of Quebec be not made the scapegoat for all the jingoes and war profiteers of whom it is said that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels. During the last war aspersions were cast at the province of Quebec, which entertained no prejudices, whose population was composed of good citizens and which had a right to its opinion if Canada is really a democracy.

There is something else that I wish to say. To my great surprise I read in the newspapers reports of meetings where young men objected to the existence of armaments in Canada. Are they those who advocated separation of the province of Quebec from the rest of the country. If a province of Canada were to secede from the others it would necessarily have to be better armed and we would have to spend considerably more for its defence.

War Appropriation Bill

There is something else in this resolution, Mr. Chairman, to which I particularly call your attention and that is that an expeditionary force does not seem to be necessary at present. Why expose our country to attack and to sabotage for the sake of sending our forces to fight in Europe?

To begin with, the population of England is four times that of Canada and the army is, at the present time, nearly the same as the Canadian arm}'- was at the end of the great war. Let us keep a sense of proportion. We must keep cool. Let us see things as they are and ask ourselves if Canada must make an effort four times as great as that of England in this war. Here, we have no battalions of women; nurses are not digging trenches around hospitals, as we have seen in telephotographs appearing in newspapers. That is not done. In our country, the women are as brave as the men, but they set the example of family virtues, which is in accordance with the established tradition.

I abide by the terms of this resolution and, I think I thus express the sentiment of the electors not only of St. Hubert but also of the county of Temiscou&ta, and of the immense majority of the province of Quebec, in the urban as well as the rural communities.

Let me add a word in conclusion. The question of a union government has been mentioned. The leader of the opposition (Mr. Manion) has been kind enough to offer his cooperation to the present government. The leaders of the other parties did likewise. And, though the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) has expressed personal objections, I am sure that he will not hinder the work of the government in order, as far as possible, to maintain order in this country. With that, I am in agreement. Now, as regards a union government, I was informed last year that a five-year campaign had been started in favour of the amalgamation of the Canadian Pacific and the Canadian National railways. We are now in the second year and I am satisfied that those who so strongly advocate a union government are the very people who favour amalgamation of the railways. You need only read the newspapers to realize this. And if these people seize upon such a critical time to further their plans, at no other time can it be more aptly said that patriotism is the refuge of scoundrels.

Do not think, Mr. Chairman, that French Canadians are disloyal subjects of his majesty. Far from it. Had you witnessed the crowd of people, old men, young men, middle aged men, women and children who vied with each

other at Riviere-du-Loup station to pay homage to it-heir majesties as they graciously consented to stop there, had you seen the large number of people who had travelled miles and miles to greet our gracious sovereigns, you would have fully realized that it was not out of curiosity but out of deep reverence that they had come. I would also let you know, Mr. Chairman, that every Sunday, in every Catholic church, is sung the hymn Domine, salvum jac Regem, the Latin version of God save the King. And do you know what my venerable parish priest said at high mass last Sunday, when commenting upon a letter received from His Eminence the Cardinal-Archbishop of Quebec? He said: "Pray for peace." He asked his parishioners to turn to Heaven and beg Almighty God to put an end to this barbaric state of war. I trust that the universal prayer shall be heard.

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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

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

Mr. HEAPS:

Mr. Chairman, before clause

6 is passed, I am tempted to rise because of the statement made by the Prime Minister in this house a day or so ago, and repeated this afternoon, that the government are prepared to listen to suggestions made by hon. members. The total amount authorized to be raised by this measure is 8100,000,000, most of which is to be spent in Canada for the purposes of Canadian defence. My purpose in rising is to suggest to the government- and I hope they will receive my suggestion with a good deal of sympathy-that in view of the very serious situation that now exists, parliament might well make a gesture of real friendship to the mother country at this time by appropriating to the credit of the British government in Canada the sum of $100,000,000 to be utilized by the British government in *purchasing the goods we produce in Canada, the products of our mines, our forests and our farms. I suggest that it be an absolute gift from this dominion to the mother country. I believe such a gesture by this parliament at this time would have a very fine effect on the people both of Great Britain and of this dominion.

We in Canada have to a certain extent profited by the events that have been taking place in Europe during the past few days. A couple of weeks ago our wheat was a tremendous financial problem to the government of this country. By tire increase in the price of wheat on account of the war, this government is going to save a vast amount of money, possibly $50,000,000. I cannot of course state just what the amount will be because whatever sum might be mentioned could be only a guess.

War Appropriation Bill

We shall profit also because our unemployment situation will be mitigated to a large extent. The number of unemployed will be much smaller as a result of the war which has just broken out.

We gain also through the tendency of all commodities to rise in price as has happened during the past few days.

Because of these facts, Mr. Chairman, I think it would not be out of place if the Canadian government placed to the credit of the British government the sum of $100,000,000 as a gesture of friendship to the people of Great Britain in this hour of their crisis. I trust that the Prime Minister and the cabinet will give this suggestion very serious and, I hope, sympathetic consideration.

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Section agreed to. On section 7-Report to the house.


LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

There is one

expenditure which the government is proposing to make under the War Appropriation Act, when passed, -which is of a special nature, and therefore I feel I ought to draw it at once to the attention of hon. members. It is an expenditure the advantage of which I think will be immediately apparent. Hon. members will recall that two years ago I mentioned that the next development in our external relations would be the appointment of high commissioners to other of the dominions. The government of Great Britain has appointed high commissioners to most of the dominions, the first being to Canada, which was the first of the dominions to appoint a high commissioner to Great Britain. Since that time, last year in fact, the Union of South Africa appointed to Canada Mr. de Waal Meyer, as Accredited Representative of South Africa in Canada. Within the last two weeks we have had the pleasure of receiving a high commissioner from Eire in the person of Mr. John J. Hearne, who is now resident in the capital. The several dominions are now- represented by high commissioners in London. That development has been fully justified.

We have felt that at the outbreak of war there is more necessity than ever for rapid and confidential communication with the other dominions, and that effective cooperation between the dominions themselves would be very much furthered if we had high commissioners in all of the dominions as well as in London. Having a high commissioner in London in a position to consult w'ith the British government and the British government with him has proven to be of very great assistance to ourselves and I believe also to

the British government; and the British and inter-dominion representation that we have had in Canada thus far has been of very real and substantial benefit to our government, and I believe also to the governments which have their representatives here. In addition to planning to reciprocate the South African and Irish appointments, we have intimated to Australia and New Zealand that we should welcome an exchange of high commissioners with those two countries, and they have stated that they would very cordially receive high commissioners from Canada.

Hon. members will, I imagine, recognize immediately that this is an effort at a more effective cooperation between the different parts of the British empire all of which are more or less involved in this war. It would be of very material assistance to our government to have in South Africa, in Ireland, in Australia and in New Zealand, as we have long had in the United Kingdom, a representative of our own, in the person of a high commissioner, who would be able to give us through Canadian eyes his impression of different measures and matters which may require very careful consideration both here and there. I mention this important development as it appears special in its nature, seeing the provision of the War Appropriation Act will be availed of for the purpose of making these appointments.

Mr. POUiLIOT: May I ask the Prime

Minister if the high commissioner in London gets in touch with the British government or with the embassies of the various countries?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The high commissioner in London is in touch with members of the British government, particularly the secretary of state for the dominions. Through the latter source he frequently obtains information of an inside nature which he communicates immediately to the government here. He does not however come into official relations with ambassadors of other countries.

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September 11, 1939