June 18, 1940

LIB

Joseph Thorarinn Thorson

Liberal

Mr. J. T. THORSON (Selkirk):

This is

surely no time for recriminations of any kind. I entirely agree with the remarks of the leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) this afternoon that to-day, when we are witnessing the tragic events taking place in Europe, is not the time for recriminations, whether they come from the other side of the house or from this side. Views that may have been expressed years ago were honestly held and honestly expressed.

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Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MOBILIZATION OF HUMAN AND MATERIAL RESOURCES IN THE PRESENT WAR
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NAT

Alfred Johnson Brooks

National Government

Mr. BROOKS:

Not so many years ago.

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LIB

Joseph Thorarinn Thorson

Liberal

Mr. THORSON:

This is no time for seeking to cast blame. We are witnessing a tragic turn of events in Europe, and the safety of Canada is involved. As a Canadian whose

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origin is neither British nor French, I give my whole-hearted support to this measure. In giving that support I speak as a Canadian whose undivided loyalty is to Canada. When' I entered this house first in 1926, my main motive was that in all I should do as a member of the House of Commons I should further the destiny of Canada as a great nation. And when I speak as I do, I believe that I voice the sentiments of many Canadians, over two million of them, whose origin is neither British nor French but who know no other country than Canada. Canada has their undivided loyalty.

I am opposed to conscription for overseas service. We on this side of the house are pledged to resist conscription for overseas service, and I stand by that pledge. I listened this afternoon to the impassioned plea of the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) when he said more eloquently than any other man in this house could say it, that in the defence of Canada, our own land, there could be no limitations, There can be no limitations to the defence of Canada. I stand with the Minister of Justice and with his leader the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) in this attitude expressed in this bill, that all the forces of Canada, man-power and material resources must be devoted to the aid of Canada, for the defence of Canada.

I say also that in this extremity we must have faith. This is an enabling bill, giving to the government of the day wide and extensive powers to deal with a dire emergency. We must have faith that the government will use those powers in the best interests of Canada. I, for one, have that faith, and I support this measure.

Topic:   EMERGENCY POWERS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MOBILIZATION OF HUMAN AND MATERIAL RESOURCES IN THE PRESENT WAR
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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. E. G. HANSELL (Macleod):

In

rising to speak on the second reading of this bill, I feel it necessary to make some statements. Prefacing my remarks, I should like to remind the house of the most noble stand that this group made in the special war session of last September. The leader of our group, the hon. member for Lethbridge (Mr. Blaekmore) to-day reiterated that stand. He pointed out that in that stand we were particularly anxious and careful to see that finance should be conscripted first. The stand that we made last September I think I can say was one of the most noble stands that could have been made at that time. I think I can add that this group foresaw certain probabilities which have come to pass, perhaps a little faster than we expected, nevertheless they have taken place. Since we took that stand last September, there has been an election. I am not going to dwell upon that event; that is history but during that election certain speakers in Alberta misrepresented our stand. They portrayed us as conscriptionists of the first order. That misrepresentation perhaps cost this group several seats. On the other hand, perhaps one reason why the government now sits with its huge majority may be the promise that conscription would not be sponsored by them. That misrepresentation necessitated our correcting the false impression that was left. The reason why I speak along this line at the moment is to give to the house the same thoughts that I had to give to my constituents. I believe I speak for all the members of this group in saying that what we told our constituents was that while we reiterated our stand of last September, we would demand of the government that before they brought in a measure of conscription of man-power they must first conscript finance.

I said a little while ago that this was a noble stand. I know that between last September and now many things have happened; I know the exigencies of the hour, and that we must put our utmost efforts into winning this war. But we are not so certain-and in that we agree with the hon. member for Wey-bum (Mr. Douglas)-that this bill expresses all that it is desirable that it should express. In our view it seems somewhat evasive, and we believe that on second reading of the bill the Prime Minister should be willing to make some amendments to clarify the meaning of the bill and to set forth in it what things are to be mobilized for the successful prosecution of the war. We believe that the bill should go further than it does in its present form. Of course we shall discuss this in more detail in committee. The second section reads:

Subject to the provisions of section 3 hereof, the governor in council may do and authorize such acts and things, and make from time to time such orders and regulations, requiring persons to place themselves, their services and their property at the disposal of his majesty.

There are three things; persons, their services, and their property; while this financial system as it is now set up still rides in the saddle. That is what we are against. We say that finance must be conscripted. It is not enough to say that the people's savings must be taken; the banking system, the financial system, must be taken and made to make financially possible that which is physically possible. I say we want to go further than this legislation goes. I have no desire to seek sympathy, but I say this for the benefit of those in the press gallery; I ask them to be fair in dealing with the stand we take on this matter.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

That is all right. I am appealing to the press gallery to be fair in reporting anything that is said during this debate. I am quite certain our Quebec members want them to be fair. I believe they will be, but sometimes things can be coloured a little. It may be that it is not our desire to support the bill as it is now worded, and the report may go out that we are not in favour of the conscription of these things. What we are in favour of is something more than this bill gives us. I said I was not seeking sympathy, but let me tell this house that my own father and mother are living in England to-day, right in the line of attack. In addition to that, I have three boys, one nineteen and the other two, seventeen years of age. So after the stand we made in this house last September, a stand which I believe to have been a noble one, if I am now to vote for a bill which may send my boys to war, I say that if they are to march in battle, finance must march with them.

We could say a great deal about these matters. The leader of our group has referred to the evidence which was given before the banking and commerce committee a year ago, and in which the governor of the Bank of Canada declared that that which was physically possible was financially possible. But I have a very, very strong feeling that the reason why we have not advanced as far as we should, in the entire British empire, is because of the restrictions placed upon us by reason of the present financial set-up. One gets worked up a little about such measures as this. This is perhaps the most important bill we shall be asked to vote upon this session. Some time ago I read in the press that in a speech the governor of the Bank of Canada had told the people what they should do, and later I saw the report of another speech by the deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, also telling the people what they should do. Well, if I were the man on the street, believing in democracy as I do, I would say, "Who is this Graham Towers, anyway; what right has he to tell the people what to do?"

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LIB

Joseph Thorarinn Thorson

Liberal

Mr. THORSON:

He is a very able man.

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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

I admit that he is an able man; I am not questioning that. I say, however, that the government, whose responsibility it is to bring this nation to the greatest possible efficiency in the prosecution of the war, is the body that should tell the governor of the Bank of Canada what to do, and that in no uncertain terms. If that which is physically possible can be made financially possible, why has it not been done? That is the question.

(Mr. Hansell.]

A week or so ago I asked the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ralston) how he was going to finance the present war policy of the government. His reply was that it would be done as it was in the last war. Perhaps the situation has changed in the last couple of weeks; but I say that if the policy of financing this war from now on is to be the same as that followed in the last war, then this bill falls far short of what it should be. That is not the conscription of finance.

I should like to refer to the new democracy platform that was issued during the election campaign, in order to state our position once more:

We believe that Canada should finance her share in this war by the creation of the necessary debt-free credit and currency, with definite price regulations to prevent any inflationary rise in prices, thereby enabling the dominion to give the most effective support without the nation incurring huge debts by borrowing or resorting to exhorbitant taxation.

I am reading a paragraph from the division entitled "Preservation of the Empire." The next paragraph reads:

We strongly support the just demands of Canadians for the greatest possible equalization of sacrifice, including adequate measures to ensure the present and future economic security of all our people. We affirm that the conscription of finance, without expropriation of individual's property or money, should precede the conscription of man-power.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, may I say to you that it is our desire that when this bill is in committee, the Prime Minister should so word its sections as to state very clearly that the banking institutions, the financial institutions, the industries and the corporations of this country will be conscripted before we have any conscription of man-power.

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LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. PIERRE GAUTHIER (Portneuf) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, I hope that

participation by hon. members in the debate on this all important measure will not lead this house or the Canadian people-English or French speaking-to believe that they are afraid to defend their country or that they are devoid of bravery or courage.

We have recently been elected mainly on that time-worn subject of conscription. If 10,035 out of 14,200 electors registered in my constituency elected me as their representative, it was because I had been, like themselves, opposed to the enforcement of conscription in this country. Let me explain. In 1937, some fellow-members and I initiated in this house a struggle in the course of which we have opposed the dispatch of contingents overseas. We have stood against participation in external wars and on several

Emergency Powers-Mr. Gauthier

occasions we have asked for a reduction of money votes because we believed that a contribution in the form of munitions, foodstuffs and clothing would be more useful to the allies and would better answer the needs of our country than a contribution in manpower. At each session we have risen in debate against the dispatch of troops overseas. We were unsuccessful. However, during the provincial electoral campaign held in 1939, which we waged and won in supporting Liberal candidates on the assurance that there would be no conscription, we did accept the dispatch of troops overseas because we were sure that there would be no conscription. During the last federal campaign, this conscription act was discussed. I did not ask my electors the plain question: "Are you in favour of conscription in this country?" and if I have risen to-night in this house, if I ask the government not to be too hasty in having this act passed by the house, it is because of my wish to be consistently honest toward my electors and to have the opportunity of asking them what they think of the enforcement of conscription in Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I am told that the people are in favour of the establishment of conscription in this country. I shall await the opportunity of consulting them before expressing an opinion on that point. I can assume my responsibilities as well as any one in this house or outside, and my purpose in rising to-night is not merely to embarrass or criticize the government. I have no such wish, but, as a representative of the people, I am entitled to ask the government to avoid hasty decisions. The system of voluntary enlistment is still giving results; we can only accept 1,200 or 1,400 volunteers a day according to the honourable the Minister for Air (Mr. Power), and we could raise 400,000 soldiers through voluntary enlistment just as easily as if we resorted to conscription. If we were to enforce conscription in this country while continuing to dispatch forces overseas, would this not, Mr. Speaker, lead the people to believe that volunteers are no longer coming forward? I do not say that because of any lack of confidence in the Liberal government simply because outside of the cabinet, outside of the house, there are over-zealous officials. I have been visited by people who wanted to enlist and who had complaints to make in that regard. One man who wanted to enlist as a dentist was unsuccessful, and why? Because preference was being given to men who could speak both languages more fluently, mainly the English language. I do not say that this was done with the knowledge of the authorities; it may very well have happened without government officials being aware of it.

It may also happen that men who enlisted exclusively for military service in Canada will be sent overseas against their will. That has already happened-in the 1914-1918 war. And I know that certain recruiting agents used more or less commendable methods to persuade men-their fellow-citizens-to enlist. Some of these men went to bed at night unconscripted, unenlisted, to awaken the following morning as enlisted soldiers without knowing how it had been done. That must not happen this time. Why not exhaust the voluntary system before resorting to conscription. Why go so fast? I am ready to admit that the news from Europe is not good; I am ready to admit that what is told us is the truth; I admit that we are heart-broken at seeing France forced to yield to the enemy; but at this time I look at the matter in my own way from the purely Canadian point of view. I do not claim to be infallible, but 1 claim the same right as others have to express my opinion and to discuss this question without being considered as lacking in courage when the defence of the country is involved. I shall not be the last man to offer his services for the defence of Canada, but I consider that we are going too fast in imposing conscription upon the country before having exhausted the voluntary system. That is my view, and I cannot declare myself in the matter without having at least slightly consulted those who gave me their confidence at the last election, when conscription was one of the issues. I cannot vote on the question without ascertaining their views. I have an account to render to those who sent me here to represent them, and, if I want to be honest, I have to ascertain their opinion before casting my vote for a measure of the vital importance of this one. I believe that we could continue with the voluntary system even for the defence of Canada and that the question of conscription could very well be postponed until we have an opportunity of consulting our electors. But, Mr. Speaker, there is one other thing that grieves me, as a Liberal. There are within and without this house men who have for years pinned the label of conscription to their party and who with a broad smile and very comprehensible satisfaction can now say that they have pinned the label of conscription to the Liberal party. They are already exulting. That makes me sick at heart, Mr. Speaker. I say so in this house and I know that I am telling the truth.

Mr. Speaker, I have said what I had to say, and may I add in closing that I believe that if errors have been made, unpardonable errors have been committed by other countries; it seems to me that Canada has played her part in paying the way she has;

Emergency Powers-Mr. Roy

she has done her share, has she not, in the way of munitions, food and supplies. Canada is ready to do her part in order to assure her people that she is doing everything in her power for the protection and maintenance of the British empire and of Canada, but, after all there is a limit to paying. I hear someone saying in this house that this is not the time to speak of past errors. If never a word is said about these errors, they will be committed again, as it has happened in the past when, before and during the war, supplies were sent to the enemy and our soldiers killed and wounded by shells made of Canadian metal or of ore extracted from the soil of the Allies.

Topic:   EMERGENCY POWERS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MOBILIZATION OF HUMAN AND MATERIAL RESOURCES IN THE PRESENT WAR
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IND

Joseph Sasseville Roy

Independent Conservative

Mr. J. SASSEVILLE ROY (Gaspe) (Translation) :

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister of Canada evoked in moving terms this afternoon the sorrow of France, that unfortunate country which has fallen a prey to aggression, and when he promised England once more in most forceful terms all that Canada could do to help her even to the utmost of our capacity, this house might have thought that the government, realizing the full gravity of the situation, was now leading us on from a stage of amateurish war, which we had declared upon Germany, to a stage of serious and definite action, and that the comedy was over.

Unfortunately, it was not quite that yet. The Prime Minister stated, if I understood him correctly, after announcing compulsory mobilization in Canada-you will observe immediately the play on words, fearing the use of the term " conscription ", (and the honourable member who just spoke gave the reason for this)-after announcing, as I said, general mobilization of wealth, resources and men in this country, immediately added " not for service overseas but for the defence of Canada and only on our own soil, for the present government is opposed to the conscription of men for service overseas." These are contradictory statements, Mr. Speaker. How can we promise to help France rise from the ruins scattered over her blood soaked land, how can we promise England to come to her aid to the utmost of our resources if we state at the same time that we will not send over there the men we are about to conscript?

There is something there that we do not understand. As a matter of principle, I am not opposed to the mobilization of all of the resources of Canada, both human and natural and financial for the purpose of defending our country in case of attack, which is after all possible. For that reason, I would not object to the principle of the bill. If I could only place confidence in those who are now running

the country. In declaring war on Germany in September last, we laid the country open to dangers which we rightly seek to avert to-day. If France is compelled to surrender her navy and whatever arms she may still possess, I can easily see the danger that lies ahead for Great Britain. And if, in turn, Great Britain which we wanted to defend and which we are now defending were to be conquered by Germany, I believe that Canada would be in much greater danger because of all the armaments which Germany and Italy already possess, and which are superior to those of the democratic powers, and which would be further strengthened by the addition of the conquered navies. Like all other French Canadians, I am in no way opposed to making provision for the defence of Canada and I am glad to endorse the statement which the honourable member-whom I do not know as yet-has just made. I shall congratulate him later on his speech. I gladly agree with him when he says that the French Canadians, anything to the contrary notwithstanding, will be ready to do their duty if Canada is attacked, even if we have been drawn into the conflict for failing to mind our own business.

Tre right hon. the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) has said over and over again in the province of Quebec during the last twenty-five years that participation in the empire's wars was no concern of ours. Only a few years ago, he said in this house: "I am opposed to any participation in external wars on the part of Canada." This he repeated in the constituency of Lotbiniere last summer. He said in this house and repeated afterwards: "I am opposed to the dispatch of expeditionary forces overseas." During the electoral campaign in the province of Quebec last fall, he spoke along the same lines. He said that the war we had declared on Germany was a moderate, an amateurish war and that if the electors voted for the Hon. Mr. Duplessis, conscription would be enforced and he, the Minister of Justice, would retire and leave his post. He said: "I am the bulwark that protects you. Follow my advice. Vote for us in this election. Vote for the Hon. Mr. Godbout; otherwise, you will have conscription and Mr. Duplessis will forsake you."

Cartoons published in le Soleil, the official organ of the liberal party in the province of Quebec, during the campaign led by the Hon. Mr. Patenaude in 1925, showed side by side Mr. Patenaude and the Hon. Arthur Meighen, then leader of the Conservative party with the legend, printed in heavy type: "A vote for these men is a vote for war, for participa-

8S5

Emergency Powers-Mr. Roy

tion in England's wars to the last man and the last cent." Near them could be seen the Right Hon. Mr. Lapointe and the Right Hon. Mr. William Lyon Mackenzie King, the minister of justice and the prime minister-I mention Mr. Lapointe and Mr. King by name because they are so indicated in the newspaper. The cartoon bore the legend "Not one man, not one cent for the empire." It is as a result of such propaganda that the province of Quebec is opposed to participation in wars overseas. As was said by the hon. member who has just spoken, the province accepted, for want of better, to participate in the European war on the strength of the assurance or promise that there would be no conscription for overseas service. We accepted participation but we never ceased to be opposed to conscription.

On June 12 last, to mention a more recent date, the right hon the Minister of Justice, was reported by French language newspapers, and particularly by La Presse, of Montreal, as having said in a radio address to the province of Quebec that our participation-1 am quoting from that paper-was to be voluntary and unsolicited. Let me ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether it is voluntary to-day. For the defence of our country, as I said before, I am not opposed to the mobilization of all our resources. French-Canadians will discharge their duty like all others. That is what I was saying in this house some time ago. We have an opportunity of proving our sincerity, our loyalty to England, and I shall repeat the words of Sir Etienne-Pascal Tache, who said: "If this country ever ceases to be British, the last shot for the preservation of British sovereignty in America will be fired by a French-Canadian."

I believe that we would all repeat these words to-night for the defence of the Crown, on Canadian soil. The question of conscription is now before us with the assurance that it is intended for the defence of Canada alone. As far as I am concerned, I do not believe this statement. The Right Hon. Prime Minister contradicted himself this afternoon. He promised to help England to the extreme limit of our capacities, then a few minutes later he said he was opposed to conscription for overseas service. Those two statements are contradictory. Moreover, I refer to the whole of this party's past, who has so often deceived us during the last twenty-five years. In order to triumph in the province of Quebec, this party declared during March last: "Participation must be on a voluntary basis. We are opposed to the raising of expeditionary forces for overseas service." Our soldiers are already on foreign soil. "We are against any

form of participation in wars," did they say in time of peace, in Lotbiniere county. And in this house, when the budget of the Department of National Defence was being voted, they continued to repeat: "We are against any participation in the wars of the empire." This was in time of peace, always.

To-day, we are in time of war. The hour is very grave, they say. Everybody agrees that it is. Surely we are serious enough to admit that when we are at war, we cannot command the enemy to wage war against us in an easy-going and pleasant manner. A war is always serious and dangerous.

But in peace time, those people have sought to develop among us a certain mentality by leading us to believe that we did not have to participate in external wars or that if we did participate in them, it should be in a moderate way.

To-day, inconvenienced as they are by having made so many thoughtless election promises, they loudly proclaim that we are in dire peril and they do not hesitate to disavow their former statements in adopting a policy which they have so strongly opposed.

That is why I am wondering, along with several members on the government side of the house, why the government are showing so much haste, and why they no longer stand by their statements and promises. They are beginning to gild the pill by introducing a conscription bill supposedly for the defence of Canada on her own territory. Having been deceived so many times, we have every reason to believe that this conscription will eventually result in the dispatch of our sons overseas if the European war goes on for a long time. That is why we cannot trust them.

Furthermore, I am opposed to this bill to-day because I 'believe that it is the seed from which will sprout conscription which they denounced only a short time ago. I realize, however, that the situation is serious in Europe and, that being the case, let us seriously consider that situation. Let us, according to the advice given by our English or French language newspapers, avoid falling a prey to hysterics or losing our heads. In so doing we shall probably be better able to uphold our cause. And there are numerous means, which are imperative, more pressing even and more necessary than conscription for which there is no immediate necessity. I believe that a careful analysis of the dangers involved in such a bill will show that it can quite possibly bring more trouble than good results in our war effort.

An understanding is quite possible without resorting to petty politics, without accusing one another and without seeking political

Emergency Powers-Mr. Roy

advantage. If we keep on making mistakes, if the government persists in playing politics, as they have done in the past, politics may be greatly discredited thereby. It is time for our leaders to take their duties seriously and to seek the best means of assisting France and England and of warding off the dangers that threaten us and that we have brought upon ourselves.

The hon. member who just spoke stated that we did not need men. That is a fact. The Minister for Air told us this afternoon that we can only equip between 800 and 1,200 men a day. Why then conscript manpower, when we are unable to accept the large numbers who besiege our recruiting offices? I have repeatedly brought to the attention of the military authorities that a certain Major de Gruchy, living in my constituency, who was a recruiting officer from 1914 to 1918, has been offering his services since September last. Recently, he informed me in a letter which I transmitted to the Department of National Defence that a great number of young men were going to offer him their services to help France and England. He replied that he had no official authority and that they must apply elsewhere. These young men did not have enough money to go to other recruiting camps. Therefore, in the Gaspe peninsula, there are a number of valiant young men offering their services, but unable to enlist. A man of experience like Major de Gruchy is not accepted either, though he is offering his services since almost eight months. The services of Captain Louis-Phillippe Cote who is in this house tonight, are not accepted, though he is offering his services since August 29. He is a qualified instructor, 43 years of age and in perfect health. Two or three weeks ago I met in Quebec two or three returned army officers willing to serve in the Canadian army and who have not the chance. Since all the generous offers of voluntary enlistment cannot be accepted why must we have recourse to conscription? We have no rifles, as some hon. members have just stated, we have no finished products and no raw material for use in this war, and we are going to send more men to be crushed by the German tanks while armed only with bayonets or hay forks. This is nonsense. We should commence at home; we should make use of all our undeveloped natural resources. Let us fit our ports, particularly that of Gaspe which is the key-port of the gulf of St. Lawrence, to accommodate the British and French navies in case of emergency. Let us develop the vast Gaspe oilfields covering from 700 to 800 square miles on the surface of which runs a valuable fuel oil. It is a war factor to-day and to-morrow

it will bring us victory. Let us organize those primary resources. In that way we will be able to carry on the fight against the dangerous enemy who is at our doors. Let us mobilize our man-power for the production of what we lack, because there lies our shortcoming in the present war.

There is no urgent need for conscription. We are unable to equip the conscripts, we cannot provide arms for a greater number of soldiers. Let us accept those who generously offer their services and their blood. We might possibly enlist as many as half a million men, as stated a moment ago by the hon. member.

I wish to call attention to another danger, that of trouble in the province of Quebec. We will be told that those who have distorted the mentality of the Quebec people in dealing with conscription for electoral purposes will appease them. Only a few days ago, the Quebec French papers were condemning most bitterly the speeches made by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate because he had called for a more active participation and also for conscription. How is it possible to enforce conscription without stirring up trouble? Those who anticipate disturbances are wise and responsible men. Careless handling of such a dangerous subject cannot go without risk for conscription has been the hue and cry among the people ever since 1917. The leaders of the government are themselves worried over the consequences of their utterances. That is the reason why the expression " conscription of men " is not used. It is stated that this measure applies only for service in this country, for if there were question of service overseas, every one knows what would happen. The danger is quite real. Why should there be such haste, then, in running the risk of causing so much trouble?

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I wish to state that I am not in principle against such a measure which may yet prove necessary. Should we find our country in danger, we would defend it as bravely as any one in the land. As for conscription for service overseas, I repeat that in view of the mentality developed in Quebec by the very people who are now in power, the best advice I can give to the government and to all those who have expressed a desire to serve their country well, to protect it against all danger, is to admit that such a measure providing for conscription under another guise may do us more harm than good.

Topic:   EMERGENCY POWERS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MOBILIZATION OF HUMAN AND MATERIAL RESOURCES IN THE PRESENT WAR
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LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. DANIEL McIVOR (Fort William):

The reason why we who support the government are not making speeches is, not that we have not anything to say, but because of the

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splendid statement by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and the clear statement by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson). I think we should swallow our speeches and express our sentiments in a vote, send this measure to the upper chamber at once, and get action. Hitler is ready. Let us tell him we are ready.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. ANGUS MacINNIS (Vancouver East):

I fully agree with the wise remark

made by the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Thorson) when, speaking earlier this evening he said that there should be no recriminations. In the past we may all have made mistakes. We of this group do not claim for ourselves infallibility, any more, I suppose, than do other groups in the house. I do not believe that it is really a matter for shame that this country did not make greater military preparations between the end of the last war and 1937 or 1938. I really think, on the contrary, it is a matter for pride. It indicates that this is a peace-loving country; that we are not a warlike people; that we do not want from other people something that we have to take by force.

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NAT

Alfred Johnson Brooks

National Government

Mr. BROOKS:

How about protecting ourselves?

Topic:   EMERGENCY POWERS
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

Our lack of preparation did not cause this war. What caused this war was the stupid international policy followed not only by Canada but by most of the other democracies during the last ten or twelve years. On other occasions statements have been made by all parties in the house that we did not intend to take part in European wars; that we would defend Canada; that we could live in isolation. But we cannot live in isolation, and this is beginning to dawn upon us at this time. If anyone shouts, " Why did you do this or that in 1937?" let his shout.

Topic:   EMERGENCY POWERS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MOBILIZATION OF HUMAN AND MATERIAL RESOURCES IN THE PRESENT WAR
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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Northumberland, Ont.):

I will tell you. You have always been wrong.

Topic:   EMERGENCY POWERS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MOBILIZATION OF HUMAN AND MATERIAL RESOURCES IN THE PRESENT WAR
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

No, I have not always

been wrong, and even if I were I do not think you are the one to tell me.

Topic:   EMERGENCY POWERS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MOBILIZATION OF HUMAN AND MATERIAL RESOURCES IN THE PRESENT WAR
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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Northumberland, Ont.):

I told you three years ago.

Topic:   EMERGENCY POWERS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MOBILIZATION OF HUMAN AND MATERIAL RESOURCES IN THE PRESENT WAR
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

Do not glower at me; you will not scare me.

Topic:   EMERGENCY POWERS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MOBILIZATION OF HUMAN AND MATERIAL RESOURCES IN THE PRESENT WAR
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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Northumberland, Ont.):

I am not glowering; I am smiling.

Topic:   EMERGENCY POWERS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MOBILIZATION OF HUMAN AND MATERIAL RESOURCES IN THE PRESENT WAR
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

We are going to put our position before the house and we are going to do so in very few words, so that hon. members will know where we stand. As far

as I am concerned, I favoured Canada's participation in this war. I favoured it regardless of the past policies either of this government or of the British government, because I was not unconcerned as to who would win this war; and because I was not unconcerned as to who would win the war I could not say, let the other fellow win it, we will keep out. I felt it affected me; it was my concern, and consequently I favoured Canadian participation in the war.

In Canada we have a country that is wonderfully rich-a country with great wealth and also great poverty. We want to see Canada's participation in the war carried on so that when it is over, the rich will not be richer and the poor poorer as they were after the last war. As soon as the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) gives us that assurance, as soon as he assures us that the government will take effective measures to see that such a thing will not happen again, we will vote for this bill. In the bill that has been put before the house, however, there is nothing to indicate that it will not happen. As a matter of fact, as far as I can see, there is nothing in the bill introduced to-day that is not contained in the bill we passed yesterday evening, except the conscription of man-power. The government took every power in the bill that was before the house last night to do all of the things provided for in this bill except the conscription of man-power, so that this bill is put before us to-day for the conscription of manpower and nothing else. But we want to see other things conscripted so that, as I said a few moments ago, we shall not end this war with the rich richer and the poor poorer. We want a certain amount of assurance. I have in my hand the British House of Commons debates of May 22, 1940, when a similar bill was introduced there. Mr. Attlee, who was piloting that bill, said:

This is an enabling bill under which regulations can be made.

The bill before us is an enabling bill under which regulations can be made. He went on;

I want to give an indication as to the sort of regulations and the kind of control that may have to be exercised.

The Prime Minister to-day did not give any indication of the kind of control that would be exercised.

Let me say that I do not want anyone to jump to the conclusion that all of a sudden everybody is going to be ordered to do something different from what he is doing now.

Now, we do not expect that, if this bill is passed to-day and the Prime Minister said that certain industries were going to be nationalized, therefore to-morrow all the

88S COMMONS

Emergency Powers-Mr. Maclnnis

industries in Canada would be nationalized. We do not expect that, nor do we ask it. But we ask that an indication be given of what is going to be done with our industries. We were talking to-day about the position of the trade union movement. Will this bill be used to break down labour conditions that have already been won? We have no indication of what may happen in that regard. Mr. Attlee continues:

With regard to conditions and pay, it is proposed that we should carry out, wherever they exist, industrial agreements which have been arrived at, and, wherever such agreements have not been arrived at, observe the rates normally paid by good employers. If there are cases, in which people are asked to shift from one district to another, there should be payment to deal with things of that kind. . . . Let me deal with a few points about control over property. Some establishments will be controlled altogether right away.

We have no indication that such will be the case here. Mr. Attlee continues:

Others may be controlled later. They will in effect be working on government account. Wages and profits will be under government control. The excess profits tax will be at the rate of 100 per cent.

Topic:   EMERGENCY POWERS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MOBILIZATION OF HUMAN AND MATERIAL RESOURCES IN THE PRESENT WAR
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June 18, 1940