December 2, 1940

PRIVATE BILL

FIRST READING


Bill No. 6, to incorporate the Alberta Provincial Bank.-Mr. Blackmore.


PRINTING OF PARLIAMENT

JOINT COMMITTEE

LIB

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

Liberal

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

That a message be sent to the Senate to acquaint their honours that this house has substituted the name of Mr. Dupuis for that of Mr. Cloutier to act on the part of the House of Commons as a member of the joint committee of both houses on the printing of parliament.

And that the Clerk of the House do carry the said message to the Senate.

Topic:   PRINTING OF PARLIAMENT
Subtopic:   JOINT COMMITTEE
Sub-subtopic:   CHANGE IN PERSONNEL
Permalink

Motion agreed to.


THE WAR

STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER WITH RESPECT TO PRESENT POSITION

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, I have been asked, before parliament adjourns, to speak again on the war in Europe, on the present position of Britain and on Canada's cooperation in meeting the situation with which Britain is faced.

I doubt if there is much, if anything, I can add to the statement I made three weeks ago and to the very complete reviews since made by my colleagues in the government.

The War-Mr. Mackenzie King

The fact, however, that events or the reports of the past week or two should cause the leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) to express the opinion that the situation itself has greatly changed within that period of time affords perhaps the strongest of reasons why the house and the country cannot be reminded too often that the present is not a war of weeks or of months, but of years, and that this fact must never be lost to sight in viewing the fortunes of war abroad as they vary from place to place and from time to time. Moreover, as we seek to estimate the significance of our own effort in its relation to the future as well as the present, we must always remember that the demands upon this country and this continent may, a year from now, be vastly different in their application and extent.

As we ponder the magnitude of the struggle and of Canada's contribution, it is more than ever necessary to view isolated events in their relation to the whole, to correlate all the factors of time and place, and to maintain throughout a due sense of proportion and a true perspective. Sunshine and shadow are bound to alternate on the wide horizons of a world war. It is inevitable that there will be periods of success and periods of reverse. We would be foolish if we became unduly elated by an immediate triumph; we would be even more foolish if we became depressed by a momentary loss.

Recently many statements have been made in the press, in parliament, and over the air, by members of the government of the United Kingdom and other leading Britons. Some may seem pessimistic, others may sound optimistic. The truth is, of course, that there are many matters which give us grave concern. There are also many things to cheer us. If statements sometimes sound pessimistic, they reflect the willingness of British leaders to speak the truth, and the capacity of the British people to stand the truth. If to some they appear occasionally almost too optimistic, they reflect the courage, the hope and the determination of the British people and their refusal now, or at any time, to consider the prospect of defeat.

It has been the duty of my colleagues and myself, as it would be the duty of any government, to try to see the war steadily, and to see it whole. We have sought never to lose the ultimate in the prospect of the immediate; always to remember that what may appear best to serve the apparent interests of the present may be of ill service to the future. From the very beginning the policy of the present administration has been

to plan, in cooperation with the government of the United Kingdom, for a final victorious outcome of the struggle.

Let me give an illustration, the force of which will be immediately recognized. Had we been guided by vociferous demands that were made at the outset, we would have concentrated our effort, our wealth and our strength on, recruiting large numbers of men for service in the army overseas, rushing them across the ocean, with conscription as probably the only method of maintaining large supernumerary armies in the field. That might have served to meet a certain clamour of the hour, but, in the long run, it would have made for disunity in Canada, and in meeting Britain's need, proven to be, in large part, wanton waste. Instead of aiding Great Britain, as we are doing to-day, with our forces in the air and at sea, with munitions, with ships and with other equipment, materials and supplies in ever-increasing measure, we would have placed upon a beleaguered island the added burden of feeding numbers of men not required at the present time.

We did not yield to the clamour. The government, instead, laid its plans for a balanced development of all branches. We built up an air force and a navy, as well as an army. We developed war industries, and we conserved exchange for the use of Britain and ourselves. While planning for the battles overseas, we have also been mindful of our own shores, and the dangers with which they may at any moment be beset as the scenes of conflict change and war's terrors become intensified. This type of planning does not lend itself to display. But it brings real results in the end. As it is inevitable that the war will be long, it is equally inevitable that the results of a sustained effort can be realized only with the passage of time.

While it is true that neither Great Britain nor Canada nor the neutral countries which were invaded foresaw the course of events, it still to-day remains an incontrovertible truth that the broad outlines of British strategy for ultimate victory as planned from the outset are and were fundamentally sound. They contemplated a war, not of months but of years. They envisaged an increase in and the extension of the theatres of military operations. They visualized the necessity, not only of preserving freedom, but the necessity and the obligation to restore it.

From the very beginning, in presenting to this house and to the country the situation as I have had reason to view it, I have tried to speak not from impulse but from reflection. It is true I have not sought to be talking all the

The War-Mr. Mackenzie King

time. I have hoped that my words might carry the greater weight because they were not too freely and too frequently expressed. I have attempted, in so far as opportunity has permitted, to assess and to weigh the essentials. In almost every statement I have made about the war, I have said the struggle would be long and hard and terrible. I have told the people of Canada how much more serious the war would be than, in its early stages, many people seemed to realize, or have yet fully realized. I said that it would be a war, not of months but of years; that it would not be confined to Europe, but must inevitably spread to other continents; that at the back of all was the intent of world domination. I said, too, at the very outset that the nations of Europe, by placing their faith in neutrality, would find, as a consequence of their blindness and aloofness, that their own national existence might disappear.

In official pronouncements this house and the Canadian people have been told repeatedly that supremacy in the air was necessary for effective defence, and for the final offence which alone can gain victory. They have been told with equal emphasis that effective blockade, through the maintenance of British sea power, was essential, not only to victory but to survival. Above all, month in and month out, I have said with all the force at my command that freedom on this continent was inseparable from the preservation of British freedom; also that the preservation of British freedom was inseparable from the restoration of human freedom wherever it has been destroyed. I might add that the corollary is equally true. The restoration of human freedom depends upon the preservation of British freedom until the day comes when the forces of freedom, under the leadership of Britain, having mobilized their full strength, march forward to victory.

I have felt impelled to make these preliminary remarks because of the words used by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) on Thursday last in requesting me to make a further statement to the house. My hon. friend said:

In my view, in the view' of many hon. members of this house, and I feel quite certain in the view of many people in Canada, the war situation in Europe is more serious to-day than at any time since the fall of France.

May I say at once, and most emphatically, that such is not my view. My view is rather as I expressed it in my reply to the leader of the opposition at the beginning of the debate on the address. There can be no doubt in the world that the situation for Britain

and her allies is much better to-day than it was, not only at the time of the signing of the armistice between France and Germany, but as it developed in the months which immediately followed the fall of France. Even Hitler was not prepared for the speedy capitulation of Norway, Holland, Belgium and France. While the rapidity of those events shocked us, let it not be forgotten that it surprised Germany as well. If we were unprepared for it, so were the Germans. If Hitler's plans had been in accordance with such a schedule, it is easily conceivable that German armies might have landed on Britain's shores. It is possible that the resistance which could have been offered immediately after the evacuation of Dunkirk would not have been equal to the awe-inspiring task imposed upon it.

When France signed the armistice she believed, and most of the neutral European countries with her, that all was over with Britain as well as with herself. The great tragedy is that France did not know the truth. Believing that the enemy was invincible, she preferred surrender to the prospect of annihilation. In the United States, majority opinion was swayed for a time by the fear that Britain would be powerless to withstand so formidable a foe. It doubted her power to resist. The American people were asking themselves whether it might not be more prudent to retain the weapons of war, even though they were so desperately needed by Britain, in order that they might defend themselves against a peril which would become irresistible once the peoples of the British Isles were vanquished.

All that has changed, and changed completely. During the last three months, unsurpassed in the history of Britain, it has become increasingly clear that German mentality has never really understood the British people. Once again the men and women of the British Isles have revealed their dauntless courage and their ability to fight, and to endure, when their freedom is endangered. Like Cromwell's Ironsides, "They know for what they fight."

When we reflect upon the improved position in the Mediterranean, almost unbelievable three months ago; when we recall the transfer of the American destroyers; the enormous increase in war materials which are flowing from the United States and Canada to the island fortress; when in addition to witnessing the fruits of Canadian planning, we have also the certainty of the continuance of the policy of all possible aid to Britain confirmed by the vote of the American people, how can anyone come to feel, in the light of these

The War-Mr. Mackenzie King

facts-which are not the confidential property of the government, but all a matter of public knowledge-that the situation is more serious to-day than it was three or four months ago? It is true that the war is increasing in its fury. But it is also true that in the months that have elapsed since the downfall of France, Britain's strength has steadily increased.

The leader of the opposition has specified three things which he says indicate the seriousness of the position, and which evidently justify in his mind the opinion he and some others hold in regard to it. He referred first to what he described as "the virtual destruction of the cities of Birmingham, Bristol and Southampton"; secondly, to the loss of shipping as evidenced by press reports; and, thirdly, to the "utterances of the Marquess of Lothian, His Majesty's representative in the United States, particularly with respect to finance."

Let us see whether the facts with respect to these matters justify the conclusion my hon. friend, and those who think as he does, have reached. Here I hope hon. members will also have in mind what I have so frequently stressed, namely, that whatever is said in the parliament of Canada, while intended primarily for home consumption, may also be not without its influence upon Britain's actual or potential enemies. I shall leave hon. members to judge for themselves what the effect here or in Great Britain would be were word to be sent broadcast from a high source in Germany that, through British bombing, three or more of the leading industrial cities of Germany had been "virtually destroyed."

First, then, as to " the virtual destruction of the cities of Birmingham, Bristol and Southampton." May I say to my hon. friend that, even in the most glaring headlines of the more sensational newspapers of this continent I have seen nothing, and in the accents of the most vociferous radio announcer I have heard nothing, v'hich would justify either the assertion or the assumption that the cities of Birmingham, Bristol and Southampton have been virtually destroyed. Much less will the press dispatches themselves justify a belief in anything of the kind. Certainly nothing in the official reports w'hich have come from Britain to Canada supports such statements. There have been, of course, within the last few weeks, serious air raids upon each of these, and other British cities, notably Coventry. Birmingham is a city of 1,055,000 people, Bristol of 415,000 people, Southampton of 178,000 people. Coventry is a city of

204,000 people. The figures published in the press in the case of Coventry, about 400 dead

JMr. Mackenzie King.]

and 1,S00 injured, are correct. I am able to say that the casualties in the other cities are relatively much lower. What is most important, there was, in these raids, surprisingly little damage to military and industrial objectives.

It is true that night bombing presents a problem which has not yet been solved. It is true that darkness, while it denies to the marauder the opportunity of discriminate destruction, adds to his opportunity of indiscriminate murder. Against the successes which the enemy may claim for his ruthlessness, there must be offset what it has cost him in men and in planes. The percentage of British losses, both in the British Isles and in Europe, has been many times less. Moreover, Germany, by pursuing the policy of frightfulness, has greatly challenged the spirit of the British people. In the final analysis the war will be won by national character. By his murderous tactics, Hitler has succeeded in showing to the world that a German victory is impossible.

It is true, as Sir Walter Citrine said the other day in New Orleans, that the continuous bombing of British cities is having an effect upon British industrial output. But the damage to British towns and industry can be exaggerated, just as the damage to German military objectives can be minimized. Night after night for months the Royal Air Force, flying, it is true, much greater distances, in smaller numbers, and carrying fewer bombs, have been nevertheless resolutely following a clear line of effective destruction.

It was announced from London some weeks ago that the bomber command of the Royal Air Force had been following a " master plan " in aerial attacks upon targets of strategic and industrial importance in German and German-occupied territory. A glance at the map [DOT]will at once make it clear that the area open to attack by British planes is large, it extends in fact from the coasts of Norway to the Spanish frontier, and far inland to the industrial heart of Germany, and that the flying distances are correspondingly great. British heavy bombers have in fact flown single journeys of as much as 700 miles from their home bases, carrying them beyond the heavy industries of the Rhine valley to the important Skoda armaments establishments at Pilsen. They have crossed the Alps to bombard the industrial capitals of northern Italy, at Turin and Milan and elsewhere. They have attacked repeatedly

eighty or one hundred times since midsummer-synthetic oil refineries such as Gelsenkirchen; aluminium factories, railway marshalling yards-that of Hamm is one of the largest on the continent- docks and shipbuilding yards-the port of

The War-Mr. Mackenzie King

Hamburg is reported now to be unserviceable -the naval bases at Kiel and Wilhelmshaven, power stations, and a variety of other objectives.

Nearer at hand, since the coast line of the low countries and of most of France fell into enemy hands, the Royal Air Force has smashed repeatedly and relentlessly at the "invasion ports" of Lorient, LeHavre, Boulogne and Dunkirk. In these ports, submarine establishments and concentrations of barges intended for troop transport on a large scale have been steadily attacked, and on at least two occasions the unceasing vigilance and rapid striking power of the bomber and coastal commands defeated German attempts to launch a sea-borne invasion from this part of the channel coast.

I have said that the area open to British attack is large, and that the flying distances involved are great. By contrast, the area for German attacks is much more limited, and, since the channel coast affords nearer bases for German aircraft, the flying distance is considerably less. Partly for this reason, very large numbers of German planes have been employed in recent raids, and it is a tribute both to the fighting skill of British pilots and to the increasing destructiveness of ground defences that so small a proportion of German planes have actually succeeded in penetrating outer defences to attack key targets in Britain. German losses in operational planes have been large, but the more serious loss has been in terms of pilots and air crews. It can, of course, be argued that even numerically, superiority in bombing and fighter aircraft will not provide a guarantee against aerial invasion and aerial bombardment. What is certain is that as British aircraft production, aided by a steady flow of pilots from Canada and planes from the United States and Canada, succeeds in narrowing the gap in effective strength between the Royal Air Force and the German air force, the effect of German attacks upon Britain will be diminished, and the scale of British attacks upon enemy and enemy-occupied territory will be correspondingly increased.

Much the same is true of "the loss of shipping as evidenced by press reports," and of the limitation upon financial resources. To view these factors in their true perspective, their extent has to be measured first of all in its relation to the whole, and, secondly, in comparison with losses and shortages which the enemy has experienced and may reasonably be expected further to experience.

The shipping situation is serious, but. that does not mean it has suddenly changed the outlook. It is true that, in recent weeks, shipping under British ownership and control

has been lost at a rate greater than the present capacity of British shipyards to build new ships. Nevertheless, thousands of ships remain, and men and supplies are freely carried where allied necessity calls. British shipyards are working at full capacity, and in addition to British shipyards, Canadian, Australian and American shipyards are building merchantmen and other ships for Britain. The House of Commons has already been told by the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe) that in addition to the naval construction under way in Canada for the British admiralty, eighteen merchant vessels are also to be built here for the British government. [DOT]

In his speech on November 5, Mr. Churchill spoke plainly about the growing shipping problem. Since then, the British Minister of Shipping, Right Hon. Ronald Cross, said in a broadcast on November 26:

I am not going to hide the fact that the rate at which we are building ships does not make up for our losses.

Mr. Cross was, however, careful to add that orders were being placed in the United States. The real significance of his words is to be found in the sentence with which he concluded:

We must have ships. We cannot make too sure of our shipping in the months and years that may elapse before victory is assured. We must have a safety margin.

The result of the frankness of Mr. Churchill and Mr. Cross is reflected in our own present commitments, and in the additional keels that will be laid down every month in the shipyards of the United States and of the British commonwealth.

Let it not be forgotten that Germany, too, has suffered considerable shipping losses. Almost daily we hear of another German supply ship sunk off the coast of Norway, in the North Sea, or in the channel. German shipping and German barges have been bombed repeatedly in the channel ports. The great German shipyards at Hamburg and Bremen, and even in the Baltic, have been visited again and again by the bombers of the Royal Air Force. In the Mediterranean the Italian shipping losses have been heavy. On the high seas, German and Italian merchantmen have disappeared. I do not think they will take any part in the world's commerce until this war is over.

The British navy is still supreme on the seas of battle. Although the British navy in this war, single-handed, enforces the blockade, and although the coasts to be blockaded are more extensive, nevertheless the blockade is proving its effectiveness. Apart from Russia,

The War-Mr. Mackenzie King

there are no neutral countries to which Germany can turn with confidence for imported supplies.

The vast quantities of supplies which Britain requires from north America to supplement the deficiencies of her own production must, of course, be paid for, and, when ordered from the United States, they must be paid for in American dollars. The problem of providing United States exchange which faces the British government is a very real one.

To view in its true light the statement by Lord Lothian to which the leader of the opposition has specifically referred, it must be recalled that what the British ambassador said about Britain being near the end of her financial resources and about the need she would have for financial aid, had reference to British purchases in the United States.

The problem of providing United States exchange which faces the British government is a problem which also faces our own government; for we too must provide for vast outlays of United States dollars to pay for our purchases of essential war material. Later this afternoon, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) will propose certain measures which, at this juncture, seem to the government necessary in order further to conserve our supply of exchange for this purpose.

It may help us to view the financial problem in a true perspective if, as with bombing and with shipping losses, we make comparison with the situation as it is in Germany.

While it is true that Britain and Canada are faced with the problem of providing exchange to pay for their purchases in the United States, it is also true that in the United States we have access to the greatest industrial resources in the world.

What is the German situation? Germany, of course, has acquired the industries and resources of France, Belgium, Holland and Czechoslovakia, but outside the borders of Germany and the territories she has conquered she can look to only two important outside sources of supply-Sweden and Russia. The capacity and the willingness of Russia to spare supplies to Germany is very doubtful. In the conquered territories she must keep the workers alive if they are to continue to produce. She must face, too, the ever-present hazard of sabotage.

In many essentials Germany has, through sacrifices of her standard of living and through conquest, made herself self-contained. But, as the British Minister of Economic Warfare, Right Hon. Hugh Dalton, pointed out in a broadcast yesterday, the blockade has imposed upon the enemy "serious shortages of rubber,

copper, ferro-alloys needed to harden steel, and textiles." As for oil, Mr. Dalton had this to say:

So long as the British navy continues to command the sea, including the eastern Mediterranean, as it will; so long as our air force continues, as it will, to bomb the enemy's oil plants, oil stocks and oil refineries; and so long as the enemy continues to fight at all-and he cannot fight without using up oil-then in a period measured in months and not in years the enemy's oil position will be one of great and growing scarcity.

Mr. Dalton also stated that the stocks of supplies looted from the conquered nations had been used, and that, through the blockade, the Germans were "now back where they were six months ago, or worse."

Nor would Germany's position be materially , improved even if she could command the financial resources to which Britain still has access. Germany is in fact unable, except at the cost of fighting and the loss of the men and materials of war, to obtain some of the essentials of war.

Despite these weaknesses, no greater mistake could be made than to minimize the economic gains which have resulted from the German conquests. They can be balanced and exceeded only by the economic and industrial resources of this continent. Whatever difficulties of a financial nature we may be facing, Germany is denied all access, both financial and physical, to the potentially decisive North American sources of supplies.

Perhaps, before concluding, I should say one word about the situation in the Balkans and the Mediterranean. As I pointed out at the beginning, we must keep constantly before us the conflict as a whole. The accession under duress of Roumania, Hungary and Slovakia to the axis adds no new strength to the pre-datoiy powers. Even if it did, the abstention of Yugoslavia and of Bulgaria has far greater significance.

It will be recalled that in his statement to the House of Commons on November 5, Mr. Churchill mentioned that the balance of forces on the frontiers of Egypt and the Soudan was far less unfavourable than at the time of the French collapse. So far as subsequent information has been made public, it can be said that the British position has been strengthened on all fronts.

The amazing success of the heroic Greek people, reviving as it does the memory of their ancient glories, has not made the European situation more serious than it was. The successes of the Royal Air Force and the British Navy in cooperation with the Greek forces have not advanced the cause of Italy and Germany. The state of affairs in Albania,

The War-Mr. Hanson (York-Sunbury)

the disorder in Roumania, and the reluctance of Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, have not greatly aided Hitler in the creation of his new order for Europe.

While what I have said may help us to keep a truer perspective as regards immediate happenings and dangers, what I wish most of all to emphasize is that this is only the picture as it presents itself at the moment, and that no one can foretell to what proportions of danger, peril and frightfulness it may develop at any time. Like the ostrich which hides its head in the sand to escape realities, we shall completely err if for a moment we fail to recognize how appalling is the danger which threatens, not only Britain, but civilization, and be tempted thereby to relax any and every effort to put forth the utmost of our strength.

Above all else, let us remember how formidable is Germany's present military strength. There has never been anything hitherto comparable to it. Let us remember, too, that her great armies are undefeated; that they are equipped with all the machines of modem warfare; that, excepting Switzerland, all of Europe west of the Vistula, and extending from Sweden to Portugal and Spain, lie under her control. Her own resources of factory and of mine, of men and materials, have been reinforced by the material power of the nations which she has conquered; to her millions of soldiers and workmen has been added the man-power of the lands she occupies, however reluctant the men of Norway, of Holland, of Belgium, and of France may be to turn their spears against the breast of freedom. To adopt the graphic words of Mr. P. J. Philip, the Ottawa correspondent of the New York Times, who speaks from knowledge gained in the very smoke of the battle of France:

... we also know, and every man and woman making munitions, and every man in training as private and as officer should remember every morning, that that terrific force of men and machines which broke the French and Belgian armies last May, and sent us scurrying home from Dunkirk is still intact, possibly stronger than ever, and it is that force which we are fighting now almost alone. It is going to take all, that all of us can give, to beat it.

Upon the forces of Britain has been placed the greatest task in the history of the world. She has to watch and fight, she has to fight in the British isles and in the seas that surround them, she has to fight in the Mediterranean, in the middle east, in Africa; she has to watch the far east, in Hong Kong, in Singapore; she has to keep India constantly in mind. Anywhere, at any time, she may find it necessary to send ships and men to

meet a new threat to her lines of communication and supply, or to face fresh horrors in some distant quarter of the globe.

This bare recital of facts proves, of course, that the situation is serious, but certainly not more serious than it has been during the last three months. The only difference is that people themselves in all parts of the world are beginning to realize more of the truth. The situation is bound to become increasingly serious as warfare spreads to new seas and shores and as mutual destruction continues, as it most certainly will, with ever-increasing fury. It is wholly probable that we shall witness much of anarchy as well as of war ere the death-grapple between totalitarianism and democracy has told its tale.

No one can say that the world, even now, may not be heading for Armageddon. The one thing that, under the providence of God, may save the world this supreme tragedy is the might of Britain, strengthened, supported and sustained by the power of the British dominions and India, the help of the United States, and such aid as it may yet be within the power of other liberty-loving peoples to give. To use words I have just quoted: In order to overthrow the enemy and to save mankind "it is going to take all, that all of us can give."

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER WITH RESPECT TO PRESENT POSITION
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

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

Mr. Speaker, I am sure we have all listened with the greatest of interest to the recital which has just been made to the house and country by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). When on Thursday last I ventured to suggest to him that we should have a report from the government as to the war situation, I had in mind, as I indicated, the seriousness of the reports that were coming to us, and I also had in mind the fact that he as the Prime Minister of Canada, being in intimate communication with the mother country, would of course have information which he might deem to be available to the public of Canada in order to give us a true picture of what the situation was. That was the primary idea I had in mind. I asked the Prime Minister to divulge information to the house and the country.

To-day the right hon. gentleman has made a long statement, with most of which I may say we were already familiar through press reports. He has not given us anything of a confidential character-and it may be that he is not able to do so. I make no complaint on that score. Nor do I make any complaint as to the manner of his presentation of the report. He rather scolded me; but I must say what he said on that score left me cold, and I am not going to discuss that phase.

550 COMMONS

The War-Mr. Hanson (York-Sunbury)

What did I say on Thursday last? I said, as the Prime Minister has quoted:

In my view, in the view of many hon. members of this house, and I feel quite certain in the view of many people in Canada, the war situation in Europe is more serious to-day than at any time since the fall of France.

I then indicated what I have already suggested, namely, that he should give to the house and country such information as was available to him, and which he felt he might with safety reveal to the Canadian people. I went further and said that having regard to the premises which I had laid down I should like him to outline what, if anything more, Canada could do at this juncture toward aiding and assisting the mother country in her war effort, whether it be in the nature of men, materials, supplies or equipment. There has been absolutely no answer to that inquiry.

What was the attitude of the Prime Minister on Thursday last, as contrasted with his position to-day? To-day he told us in emphatic terms that he does not agree with the premises which I then laid down. Well, what did he say on Thursday? Speaking without any notes, and speaking evidently the truth as he then saw it, and expressing the views which were then in his mind, he said:

I would say to my hon. friend that I have had in mind making a statement to the house before adjournment with respect to the situation.

The Prime Minister was of course referring to the war situation. He continued:

I should like to have a little time to think over what it would be best to say. I agree with my hon. friend in his view that the situation is a serious one.

He concurred in that view. He concurred in my statement that the situation was more serious than at any time it had been since the fall of France. Then he continued:

I think anyone reading the press would gather that opinion. I would also say that such information as the government itself is receiving the press would appear to be reflecting accurately.

I suggest, with all due humility, that the two points of view do not agree.

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER WITH RESPECT TO PRESENT POSITION
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RADIO BROADCASTING

TRANSRADIO PRESS SERVICE-ACTION BY CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION


On the orders of the day: Mr. KARL K. HOMUTH (Waterloo South): Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe) if he has anything further to report as to the attitude of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation with regard to Transradio news? Have they come to any definite decision?


LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Hon. C. D. HOWE (Minister of Munitions and Supply):

My understanding is that at

its last meeting the board appointed a special committee to make further investigations and to deal with the matter. Certain official information came to the attention of the board while it was in session which seemed to require special consideration, and it was decided that a committee should deal with the situation.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   TRANSRADIO PRESS SERVICE-ACTION BY CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION
Permalink

TRADE AGREEMENTS

INQUIRY AS TO TABLING OF AGREEMENTS WITH BRITISH GOVERNMENT RESPECTING BACON


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

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

May I ask the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) if he will table the bacon agreements at once? On November 14, as reported on page 101 of Hansard, I asked the minister if these agreements would be available and he said that they would be tabled as soon as they were in shape. On November 27, thirteen days afterwards, I addressed a question to the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) in the absence of the Minister of Agriculture asking when this year's and last year's agreements would be tabled. The Minister of Justice promised to convey my request to his colleague, but these agreements have not yet been tabled.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO TABLING OF AGREEMENTS WITH BRITISH GOVERNMENT RESPECTING BACON
Permalink
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of National War Services; Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. J. G. GARDINER (Minister of Agriculture) :

There are some features of the agreement which have yet to be discussed with the other parties concerned before it can be brought down. As soon as that is done, both agreements will be brought down.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO TABLING OF AGREEMENTS WITH BRITISH GOVERNMENT RESPECTING BACON
Permalink

December 2, 1940