June 10, 1940

THE LATE HON. NORMAN ROGERS DEATH OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE IN AEROPLANE ACCIDENT'-TRIBUTES TO HIS MEMORY

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):

Mr. Speaker, about seven

o'clock last night I received a telephone message from my colleague the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Rogers) asking me if I had received news that seemed more threatening at that moment than any which had been received before. He was referring to the possibility of Italy coming into the war

to-day. He mentioned, as his reason for asking me this question, that he had made an engagement to address the Empire and Canadian clubs at Toronto to-day, but was considering, in the light of the menacing situation abroad, the possibility of cancelling that particular meeting. He asked me my opinion about his doing so. I replied that I considered it important that all of us should realize the seriousness of the situation as it was at the moment, but said I was afraid that, if he were to cancel his trip to Toronto at this time, some undue alarm might be occasioned from the fact that the Minister of National Defence had not been able to carry out an important engagement which he had made. He said to me that he would like to be in the house to-day, and would arrange to fly to Toronto and return by aeroplane after the meeting.

I received this afternoon the intimation that my colleague and very dear friend had left this morning about eleven o'clock to go to Toronto to keep his engagement. He had been working on departmental work until the moment he left. At twenty minutes to three this afternoon word came that the plane in which the Minister of National Defence and others were flying to Toronto had crashed somewhere near Newcastle. It is my very sad duty to have to inform hon. members of the house that among others who were killed in that accident was my friend the Minister of National Defence.

I should say to the house that when we had concluded our conversation, the last words Mr. Rogers addressed to me were, "Very well, I will carry on"-carry on with the engagement that he had made. I feel that these are the words that he would like me to give to my colleagues, to all hon. members of this house and to the people of the country at this time. Come what may, a solemn obligation rests upon the shoulders of all of us, and that obligation is to carry on, no matter what the circumstances may be.

This house and the country will appreciate to the full, I believe, how great is the loss Canada has sustained in the death of the Minister of National Defence. I have known many noble characters in my life, but I believe I speak not only my own feelings but the feelings of my colleagues and of many others of those around me when I say that I have never known a more faithful public servant. I do not know that I have ever known a better administrator of public affairs. I have never known a more disinterested servant of the state, nor have I ever known a more beautiful nature or a nobler soul than that of Norman Rogers.

European War-Canada-Italy

Topic:   THE LATE HON. NORMAN ROGERS DEATH OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE IN AEROPLANE ACCIDENT'-TRIBUTES TO HIS MEMORY
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Hon. R. B. HANSON (Leader of the Opposition):

I am sure we are all profoundly shocked at the sad intelligence which came to us just a few minutes ago. It was not my privilege to know Mr. Rogers intimately. In fact I cannot recall having seen him until I reentered this house a few weeks ago. But I have long known of his fine intellectual qualities and activities, and I have foreseen for him a great future in the public service of this country. He came from a province which has contributed perhaps more than any other, having regard to its numbers, to the ' intellectual and public life of Canada. He came of fine old Welsh stock. I am satisfied that had Norman Rogers lived he would have occupied an even higher place in the councils of this nation. I cannot say more at this moment except that from the heart and mind of eveiyone here there will go forth to his loved ones the utmost sympathy of which we are capable.

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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:

Before concluding, I had intended to mention to my hon. friend that it has been my sad duty just before the house met to impart to Mrs. Rogers the news of her loss. I was going to ask, as my hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) has already done, that you, Mr. Speaker, convey to Mrs. Rogers and her two sons, and I might also add to Mr. Rogers' father and mother, the very deep sympathy of all hon. members of this House of Commons.

Topic:   THE LATE HON. NORMAN ROGERS DEATH OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE IN AEROPLANE ACCIDENT'-TRIBUTES TO HIS MEMORY
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Thomas Miller Bell

Mr. M. J. COLD WELL (Rosetown-Biggar):

On behalf of the group with which I am associated I wish to extend our heartfelt sympathy to the government, to the friends of the late Mr. Rogers in this House of Commons, and to his widow, children and other relatives who have suffered such a sad loss. May I say simply and in a few words that we in this group have had a very high regard for the late Minister of National Defence. We have admired his integrity; we have appreciated his singleness of purpose. We sympathized with him in his arduous duties as Minister of Labour, and we feel that the government and this house have lost a valuable colleague and our country the services of a worthy son.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Right Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Justice) (Translation):

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. BLACKMORE (Lethbridge):

I believe all will agree that the late minister was one whom all men instinctively trusted; I know of nothing greater that could be said of any man. My group sympathizes deeply with the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), both personally and as the chief executive of this dominion, in this hour of great trial. We trust that the hand of providence will so manage matters that the loss will not be irreparable. To those who have been bereaved we extend sympathy which lies altogether too deep for words.

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EUROPEAN WAR

RESOLUTION OF BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT APPROVING ENTRY OF CANADA INTO STATE OF WAR WITH ITALY

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):

Mr. Speaker, in the circumstances of our great loss, ordinarily I would move that the house should now adjourn. But just a few moments ago, I received a cable from London, dated June 10 and signed by the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, worded as follows:

Signor Mussolini is reported to have stated at 6 p.m. to-day that declaration of war had already been handed to the ambassadors of Great Britain and France.

We may assume I think that this statement indicates sufficient authority for this house to declare at as early a moment as possible where it stands in reference to the situation created by Premier Mussolini's action, which was not unexpected. In anticipation that at any moment this step might be taken, I had prepared a few words which I believed to be appropriate. I have added to them somewhat since the announcement of Italy's entry into this war was received. I should like to place them on Hansard, and when completed, move a resolution, a copy of which has been sent to my hon. friend, the leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson), and which he has been kind enough to say he would be prepared to second.

I have just this instant been handed a note from the under secretary of state for external affairs, which reads:

National Defence says Admiralty signal received saying hostilities will commence against Italy midnight, seven p.m. Ottawa time.

European War-Canada-Italy

After many months of preparation, provocation in act and word and threat of open hostility, Italy has thrown her resources into the war at the side of nazi Germany.

The motives that have inspired the government of Italy, and the methods which Italy has pursued are well known. With a callousness and treachery second only to that of Hitler, the German dictator, Mussolini, the dictator who holds the Italian people in thrall has chosen what he believes to be the psychological moment to strike at Britain and France in the Mediterranean and Africa in order to satiate his lust for conquest and territorial aggrandizement, and for such glory as calculated duplicity and treachery can bring.

Barely eighty years ago, the peoples of Italy passed from serfdom and disunion to liberty and unity. In the struggles which are imperishably associated with the names of Mazzini, Cavour and Garibaldi, the English speaking peoples gave to the Italian people a moral and material support that contributed in no small measure to the establishment and preservation of the Italian nation. At a time when the rest of Europe looked with eyes of apathy, and even of hostility, upon the rebirth of Italy, the government of the United Kingdom in a memorable dispatch advised the Italian people that they turned their sympathetic eyes to the gratifying prospect of a people building up the edifice of their liberties, and consolidating the work of their independence. The shouts of welcome of the British people to Garibaldi still ring through the years. As his great English biographer said:

Garibaldi will live as the incarnate symbol of two passions not likely soon to die out of the world, of love of country and the love of freedom kept pure by the one thing that can tame and yet not weaken them, the tenderest humanity for all mankind.

Italy grew in power and influence amidst many evidences of goodwill from those who had hailed her rise to nationhood. Her citizens were welcomed in all the lands of the British commonwealth beyond the seas, and not least in Canada. In the last great war, she shared with us the burden of the day. She was rewarded with some of the fruits of victory. Through many generations Britain and France and their sons and daughters have turned to the art and literature of Italy for solace and inspiration. To countless millions her capital city has been one of the holy places of the world. From Rome the spiritual power and comfort of an ancient and undying faith have gone into the lands of all the earth.

All members of the house will join me, I know, in paying a tribute to the noble example set by the present occupant of the Holy See

in his unceasing work for the preservation of peace and the exaltation of humanity itself, amidst the discord and clamour of the world which is falling in ruins around us. All these ancient traditions of freedom and good-will, of true religion, of literature and of art, have been trampled upon and cast by wicked men into the darkness and dust.

It would be a great mistake to underestimate the seriousness of the new situation which has been created. Italy is a nation of forty millions. Under the domination of her dictator, she has been preparing for war longer than any other nation in Europe. A whole [DOT] generation has been educated to glorify force.

It is useless further at this time to regret the degradation of a free and peaceful people, to seek the causes for the change, or to condemn the evil doctrines which have poisoned the hearts and minds of Italian youth. The very names of Ethiopia and Albania are reminders of the use of overwhelming force to subdue the weak.

While at the moment the allied world breathes harder, it may truly be said that it breathes more easily. The suspense of the Italian threat which, since the outbreak of war in Europe, has hung like the sword of Damocles over the heads of the British and French peoples, has now been removed. They are no longer faced with endless duplicity. The addition of Italian strength to the enemy will need redoubled energy and increased determination on the part of us all. Knowing where Italy stands has, nevertheless, cleared the atmosphere and freed the hands of Britain and France for immediate and vigorous action.

The spread of ruthless warfare into other seas, and on other shores, may well have an incalculable effect upon the opinion and attitude of those who still call themselves neutral. While Italy has it in her power to occasion much damage, and to divert the allied effort from the main task of defeating her senior partner, she is herself particularly vulnerable both on the military and economic fronts, and cannot for long hope to stand the strain of war.

History, I believe, will record no action more ignoble than that of Mussolini. During these tragic months he has sat like a carrion bird of prey waiting for brave men to die.

To-day, he has declared war on those who were the traditional friends of his countrymen.

Callously and cynically, he has chosen what he believes is the fateful hour for the swoop and the treacherous blow.

Peaceful overtures, preferred concessions, bonds of ancient friendship sealed by the memory of common sacrifices in the cause of freedom-all these he has bartered for the vision of conquest and the phantom of power.

European War-Canada-Italy

No one can foretell the horrors that the spread of warfare may bring to the world. But one thing is sure. Retribution will overtake all tyrants, and the dictator of Italy amongst them. It is too early to predict the final effect of this treachery upon those who cannot sit idly by and watch the whole world engulfed in the seas of battle. We may rest assured however that the forces of liberty will rally in a supreme effort of victory.

As for Canada, this new peril to the allied cause will only increase our country's determination to stand resolutely at the side of Britain and France until the powers of evil which threaten the freedom of mankind are vanquished once and for all.

May I add for the information of hon. members in the house that appropriate steps have already been taken to ensure within Canada itself against any threat to internal security arising out of the action of the Italian dictator and his fascist forces.

I should like now to move, seconded by my hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson):

Whereas Italy lias declared her intention to enter the war on the side of Germany and against the allied powers; and,

Whereas .a state of war now exists between the United Kingdom and France on the one hand and Italy, on the other; and

Whereas at the outbreak of war the parliament of Canada decided to stand at the side of the United Kingdom and France in their determined effort to resist aggression and to preserve freedom;

It is expedient that the houses of parliament do approve the entry of Canada into a state of war with Italy, and that this house does approve the same.

May I say that when this resolution is passed, its adoption by both houses will be followed by a submission to His Majesty from his Privy Council for Canada, with a view to the authorization by him of a proclamation declaring the existence of a state of war between Canada and Italy.

Topic:   EUROPEAN WAR
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION OF BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT APPROVING ENTRY OF CANADA INTO STATE OF WAR WITH ITALY
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Hon. R. B. HANSON (Leader of the Opposition) :

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was good enough to communicate to me notice of the intention of the government to introduce this resolution in the event of Italy declaring war on the side of Germany and against the allied powers.

This afternoon he sent me a copy of the resolution, and I rise for the purpose of seconding and supporting the resolution and the action of the government in the premises. To do anything less would be evidence of a lack of solidarity on the part of this nation.

The fascist dictator has proven true to the predictions of the peoples of the civilized

democracies. Like the vulture, he viewed the progress of events from afar, and now, thinking this hour the hour of extremity of our gallant ally France, he swoops, like the vulture he is, in order that if possible he may profit by the situation.

While I have no authority to speak on behalf of the allies, yet I do feel it incumbent upon me to voice the feeling that, while the entry of Italy into the war is adding to the great burden which the allies are carrying, it will be met with dauntless courage on the part of the allied nations. The move has been long expected. I feel the utmost confidence that this adverse situation, having long been foreseen, will have been discounted and that the armed forces of the allies, chief among them the French and British fleets, will be prepared to meet this added emergency.

As to Canada's attitude, there can be no doubt. Remote as we are from Italy, yet when she declares war on Britain she declares war on Canada. Notwithstanding the question of unpreparedness, Canada will do her part. We shall make some contribution against this new enemy.

This new situation constitutes a new challenge to Canada as an integral part of the empire. Let us meet it with high hope and courage, with the high purpose that, come what may, the British empire and Canada with it shall not yield until might yields to right and until Christian ideas and philosophies once more triumph in this distracted world.

I hope-I know-that this resolution will be unanimously passed. I know it will meet with the unanimous approval of the Canadian people.

Topic:   EUROPEAN WAR
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION OF BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT APPROVING ENTRY OF CANADA INTO STATE OF WAR WITH ITALY
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Thomas Miller Bell

Mr. M. J. COLDWELL (Rosetown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, last September parliament decided that Canada would participate in the war against Germany. To-day Italy has declared war against the allied nations. This war is none of our seeking; it is thrust upon us. And we have no option, it seems to me, but to accept the challenge and to go forward to ultimate victory.

There is no use entering into recriminations, but the long series of events marked by the names of Ethiopia, Spain and Albania afforded us perhaps opportunities in the past of preventing the disaster that has now come upon us. However, that is in the past; we live in the present. We shall cooperate with others in the house and in the country to endeavour to meet the challenge to our democratic institutions and to stop the spirit of aggression which now threatens the whole world.

European War-Canada-1 taly

May I take this opportunity of suggesting again that the time has arrived, when the government should consider the mobilization of Canadian industry and resources in order that we may conduct the war efficiently and assist our allies to the best of our ability.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. BLACKMORE (Lethbridge):

Mr. Speaker, when, last fall, hostilities broke out, even before Canada declared war, the movement which my group represents in this house announced from Edmonton a firm determination to stand by the side of Great Britain with everything we had until victory was assured. To-day we are equally sternly resolved to do so. We feel that Canada thus far has not concentrated with singleness of purpose or completeness of effort upon the winning of this war. We believe that there are measures which must be taken before we can with full national unity and utmost endeavour prosecute this war with the best possible chance of winning it. We urge at this time upon the government that such measures be taken as will enable this country to go forward with assurance, with confidence, with perfect morale, with maximum effectiveness toward the goal of ultimate victory for Christianity, democracy, and righteous ideals.

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NAT

Thomas Langton Church

National Government

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to challenge the doctrine of the motion upon the same grounds which I expressed when we declared war against Germany, namely, that I am opposed to any such separatist motion because when Britain is at war Canada is at war; also because it is not Canada that will decide what shall be done-the enemy, a belligerent, will decide that Canada is at war. Ever since 1921 I have opposed in this house the policy of separatism. We see to-day the results of that policy. This house in the Ethiopian war passed a resolution for sanctions against Italy; then, when the Prime Minister was down south, they revoked sanctions against Italy. In the result, Italy, one of our oldest allies, was driven into the German orbit. On Good Friday of last year she was shoved into Albania by Germany, and she became in my opinion nothing but a vassal state of the German reich. Another of our loyal allies, Japan, by the abrogation of the Anglo-Japanese alliance in 1921, in order to appease the United States, was driven out of her alliance with the British empire.

Let it be remembered that for four and a half years in the last war Germany fought the whole civilized world when the allies had Italy, Japan and ultimately the United States of America on our side. The reaction to the collapse of Dunkirk, the Yimy Ridge disaster, and the entrance of Italy into the

war should be to place the onus upon the government and not let the government shelter itself behind the appointment of committees or commissions. The onus is upon the government to tell the people of Canada our position in this crisis, and their policy, on the question of national service; it is for them. Are we safe? We know we are not safe. We know that, so far as the issue of this war is concerned, the fate of Canada will not be decided at Quebec or Vancouver or Montreal. It will be decided for this dominion on the English channel and on the soil of France, and in England, and by the air force over England.

I have opposed all along this policy of separatism. I believe that the policy which we adopted and which had the almost unanimous support of the group to my immediate left, the policy of the pacifist, the subordination of the empire to the league, has brought on this war and the disastrous defection of Italy and Japan, two of our best and oldest allies. I am opposed to any such declaration as is here proposed, because we are part of the British empire, and when Britain is at war so are we. In a radio address the other evening the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) referred to England as . our "ally". England is not our ally. We are part and parcel of the British empire in peace and war alike. It is such separatist policies and declarations whioh led our enemies in Germany and Italy to believe that the dominions would not respond to the call of the mother country.

For these reasons I repeat my protest against this resolution as unnecessary. I desire to challenge again in this house the doctrine upon which it is based, as I challenged it when the motion was passed declaring war upon Germany.

Topic:   EUROPEAN WAR
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Motion agreed to. On motion of Mr. Mackenzie King the house adjourned at 3.40 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, 1940


THE LATE HON. NORMAN ROGERS DEATH OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE IN AEROPLANE ACCIDENT'-TRIBUTES TO HIS MEMORY

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):

Mr. Speaker, about seven

o'clock last night I received a telephone message from my colleague the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Rogers) asking me if I had received news that seemed more threatening at that moment than any which had been received before. He was referring to the possibility of Italy coming into the war

to-day. He mentioned, as his reason for asking me this question, that he had made an engagement to address the Empire and Canadian clubs at Toronto to-day, but was considering, in the light of the menacing situation abroad, the possibility of cancelling that particular meeting. He asked me my opinion about his doing so. I replied that I considered it important that all of us should realize the seriousness of the situation as it was at the moment, but said I was afraid that, if he were to cancel his trip to Toronto at this time, some undue alarm might be occasioned from the fact that the Minister of National Defence had not been able to carry out an important engagement which he had made. He said to me that he would like to be in the house to-day, and would arrange to fly to Toronto and return by aeroplane after the meeting.

I received this afternoon the intimation that my colleague and very dear friend had left this morning about eleven o'clock to go to Toronto to keep his engagement. He had been working on departmental work until the moment he left. At twenty minutes to three this afternoon word came that the plane in which the Minister of National Defence and others were flying to Toronto had crashed somewhere near Newcastle. It is my very sad duty to have to inform hon. members of the house that among others who were killed in that accident was my friend the Minister of National Defence.

I should say to the house that when we had concluded our conversation, the last words Mr. Rogers addressed to me were, "Very well, I will carry on"-carry on with the engagement that he had made. I feel that these are the words that he would like me to give to my colleagues, to all hon. members of this house and to the people of the country at this time. Come what may, a solemn obligation rests upon the shoulders of all of us, and that obligation is to carry on, no matter what the circumstances may be.

This house and the country will appreciate to the full, I believe, how great is the loss Canada has sustained in the death of the Minister of National Defence. I have known many noble characters in my life, but I believe I speak not only my own feelings but the feelings of my colleagues and of many others of those around me when I say that I have never known a more faithful public servant. I do not know that I have ever known a better administrator of public affairs. I have never known a more disinterested servant of the state, nor have I ever known a more beautiful nature or a nobler soul than that of Norman Rogers.

European War-Canada-Italy

Topic:   THE LATE HON. NORMAN ROGERS DEATH OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE IN AEROPLANE ACCIDENT'-TRIBUTES TO HIS MEMORY
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Hon. R. B. HANSON (Leader of the Opposition):

I am sure we are all profoundly shocked at the sad intelligence which came to us just a few minutes ago. It was not my privilege to know Mr. Rogers intimately. In fact I cannot recall having seen him until I reentered this house a few weeks ago. But I have long known of his fine intellectual qualities and activities, and I have foreseen for him a great future in the public service of this country. He came from a province which has contributed perhaps more than any other, having regard to its numbers, to the ' intellectual and public life of Canada. He came of fine old Welsh stock. I am satisfied that had Norman Rogers lived he would have occupied an even higher place in the councils of this nation. I cannot say more at this moment except that from the heart and mind of eveiyone here there will go forth to his loved ones the utmost sympathy of which we are capable.

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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:

Before concluding, I had intended to mention to my hon. friend that it has been my sad duty just before the house met to impart to Mrs. Rogers the news of her loss. I was going to ask, as my hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) has already done, that you, Mr. Speaker, convey to Mrs. Rogers and her two sons, and I might also add to Mr. Rogers' father and mother, the very deep sympathy of all hon. members of this House of Commons.

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Thomas Miller Bell

Mr. M. J. COLD WELL (Rosetown-Biggar):

On behalf of the group with which I am associated I wish to extend our heartfelt sympathy to the government, to the friends of the late Mr. Rogers in this House of Commons, and to his widow, children and other relatives who have suffered such a sad loss. May I say simply and in a few words that we in this group have had a very high regard for the late Minister of National Defence. We have admired his integrity; we have appreciated his singleness of purpose. We sympathized with him in his arduous duties as Minister of Labour, and we feel that the government and this house have lost a valuable colleague and our country the services of a worthy son.

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June 10, 1940