I will name some of them right now. But no promise he ever made had the political significance or the political repercussions of this promise with regard to compulsory service for overseas. I could go back to 1919, and to the various elections held since then, and quote promise after promise that the Prime Minister made which he has never tried to carry out and has no intention of ever carrying out. But let us come to more recent days, to the election of 1935. Many of the members of this house will remember that throughout this country at that time large camps had been established in which unemployed young men were housed and clothed and fed and trained. During the campaign of 1935 the present Prime Minister directed attention to these camps every time he made a speech, and he always referred to their military aspect, to the fact that they were administered by the Department of National Defence. He tried to sow in the minds of the people of this country the idea that these camps were simply a military move, and that the boys were there under military rule and discipline, which might mean that eventually they would become soldiers. He was going to close all of these camps. He was going to take the boys out of the camps and give them lucrative employment. He painted a glowing picture of these boys marching out of the camps and working on the railways and other great public projects throughout this country. He closed the camps all right, but what did he do with the boys? The boys were left to wander up and down the highways and byways of this country, unwanted by anybody. If that was a sacred promise of the Prime Minister, and it certainly was a promise, he did not carry it out.
Again, speaking in the wTest before he went to England, the Prime Minister made another promise. He reiterated his stand on conscription for overseas service. He told the young men that they ought to get into the army or the finger of shame would be pointed at them as long as they lived, and then he added: "I give this pledge, that there will be no coercion for overseas service." Is there any hon. member of this house who will stand
up to-day and say there has been no coercion in Canada for overseas service? Why, Mr. Speaker, I said during the last session of the house, in November, and I repeat now, that we have had in Canada the most cowardly system of coercion for overseas service that was ever conceived, because the boys who were taken into the training camps were shamed and humiliated and everything possible was done to drive them into active service for overseas.
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY