January 30, 1942

GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH


The house resumed from Thursday, January 29, consideration of the motion of Mr. Alphonse Fournier for an address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Hanson (York-Sunbury), and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Coldwell. Mr. JEAN-FRANQOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata): Mr. Speaker, I think it would be fitting first to remind the house of a gentleman who died not long ago, who formerly sat upon the treasury benches of this house for several years, acting in various capacities, particularly as Minister of Public Works and Postmaster General. I refer to the Hon. John Campbell Elliott. Mr. Elliott was liked by all and was a very good minister. One of the joys of his later life was to have my chief, the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), ask for his advice, particularly concerning Ontario. I cannot forget one beautiful summer day, a Sunday in 1934, when a mass meeting attended by 10,000 people was held in the town of Trois Pistoles. This part of my constituency was taken away from me by Viscount Bennett. There were many speakers, among them our late lamented friend, the former Minister of Justice, the Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe; Mr. Elliott was there as well. There is in the vicinity of Trois Pistoles a summer school which is attended by many students from Western university in London who go to that school to learn French. Mr. Elliott spoke in French, but he did not mention the redistribution, nor did he refer to the gerrymander. He made a beautiful speech about good understanding, bonne entente. I offer my deepest sympathy to all my colleagues, to the members of the Senate and to the members of his family. The government has suffered another great loss in the death of the former deputy minister of public works, Mr. J. B. Hunter. Mr. Hunter was civil servant No. 1 following the death of Sir Arthur Doughty, who created our archives and placed at the disposal of every student in Canada official documents pertaining to Canadian history. This House of Commons is not the same at all since the death of the gentleman who was praised so highly on February 21, the man who was the right arm of the Prime Minister, who was a Liberal to the core, and a true disciple of Laurier. I refer to the late Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe. It was most fitting that a special tribute should be paid to him, and I was deeply moved by all the speeches that were made on that occasion. That was not the time to contradict anyone, but I remind the leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) that he made a slight error-this is important to me-when he stated that the late Mr. Lapointe had been born in Kam-ouraska county. Mr. Lapointe was born at St. Eloi, which was never taken away from Temiscouata. If it had been, there would have been a riot.


NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

I regret the error in my geography.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I know my hon. friend did it in good faith, but if he would consult me before making his speeches he would never make mistakes.

We have heard many interesting speeches. We live in a free country, and some of our colleagues hold certain views, while others hold altogether different views. That is their business. I do not intend to say anything unpleasant to anyone because he is in favour of conscription for overseas service while I am against it. That would be his right. But I do not want anyone to tread on my toes. I have sincere convictions and they are well known to all my colleagues. I quote:

If a member dislikes the government . ... he ought to have the manhood to testify to his opinions. Nobody need be mealy mouthed in this debate. . . . No one need be chicken-hearted in the division lobby. I have frequently voted .against governments which I have been elected to support and, looking back on it, I have sometimes felt very glad I did so. Everyone in these rough times must do what he considers his duty . . . Surely the hon. gentleman is not a man to be frightened of the whip.

That is fine language, but it is not mine.

I could have made it mine with a slight change. I have never voted against my party, although I have been near doing so at times. The man who said those words sat in this very place a short time ago, the Right Hon.

The Address-Mr. Pouliot

Winston Churchill. I was honoured to notice that Mr. Churchill sat right here when he was received in this chamber. I quote again:

Whoever speaks for Britain at this moment must be known to speak not only in the name of the people-and that I feel pretty sure I may-but in the name of parliament and, above all, the House of Commons.

I have said already that I am a Liberal to the core. I shall always be a Liberal and be true to the doctrines laid down by my late lamented leader, Mr. Lapointe, when he spoke at St. Roch de Quebec in his own constituency and said that if reforms were to be advocated, they should be advocated within the party. I believe the Liberal party is in good health, although it has two decayed teeth. If they are removed, its health will be splendid.

There are more important things, there are more urgent things, than a plebiscite. It is to make certain that democracy remains supreme in this parliament and that no one on the treasury benches shall be blackmailed or terrorized by any leader of any party. As I have said, opinions are free, and it is our common privilege to express them. But there is something very important, and that is that no leader of any party shall forget that he must always think, speak and act first as a Canadian, and as a good one.

Last summer I witnessed the ceremony held at St. Patrick, commemorating the anniversary of Sir John A. Macdonald, who spent twenty-seven summers in my constituency. At the same time a similar ceremony was being held at Kingston, the riding he represented for so long, and on that occasion the man who was at times Prime Minister of Canada spoke thus of Sir John:

Never at any time did he lose sight of or subordinate to a selfish Canadian purpose the oneness of our interest, the oneness of our security, and the oneness of our destiny with the British empire.

I am not anti-British; I am pro-Canadian, and in my humble view the interests of Canada must be considered first in all our dealings, whether with Great Britain, the United States or any other country in the world.

Let me speak now of the by-election in York South, and I have very good news. I cannot give it all at once but am giving it bit by bit in due course, and the members of parliament will get great comfort from it. I am not going to tell anything new. I just want to remind my colleagues in the House of Commons that the people of York South are just as sound-minded as the people of any other constituency in this country, and to say that Arthur Meighen will be beaten on the

ninth of February tvorse than he has ever been beaten before at the polls. I have a right to speak in this way because he is no longer a member of the Senate, and I can express my views about what is going on. It is the fight of democracy that is being waged in that constituency, and if Canadians look at it in that way, the by-election interests not only the electors of York South. We heard a lot about the leader of the opposition in the Senate, although his name was never mentioned. He was described as a very great man, and, of course, if a man is to be judged by the position he holds, undoubtedly he is a great man from the fact that he has been Prime Minister of Canada two or three times, although in that capacity he has never been elected by the Canadian people. The Canadian people turned their thumbs down on him every time he came before them because they did not trust him.

It appears that the Conservative party held a caucus, consisting of a handful of men, some of whom are very fine gentlemen-those are the Conservatives-and some others who are not such pleasant gentlemen-they are the Tories. It was rumoured on a Friday that they had made their selection and that Mr. Meighen would be the leader of the Conservative party, but it was only on the following Thursday that he accepted the position. What was the reason why Arthur Meighen did not want to represent such a fine group of gentlemen as I see in front of me? He was fearful; he was not sure of himself. It was not the voice of the people that chose him; it was just a handful of men, and he was preferred to my hon. friend the member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson); he was preferred to my hon. friend the member for Parkdale (Mr. Bruce), to my hon. friend the member for Davenport (Mr. MacNicol) and to all the other gentlemen who were there. It was a discovery. They were like Archimedes. They had found a marvel. They were also like Diogenes. They were out hunting with a lantern, and they went to the Senate door, where they found a man who had courage. Oh, courage, maybe, but no brains.

The first thing that was done under the instructions of Arthur Meighen was to play petty politics-petty politics, I repeat-in the press by resurrecting a few days later an incident that had arisen a few days before in the House of. Commons when I had complained of the way in which my leader the Prime Minister had been greeted by some of the troops in England. I shall not insist on that. But after Arthur Meighen was selected as leader, something very funny happened, and that is that only two members

The Address

Mr. Pouliot

out of the forty Conservative members of parliament offered him their seats-two out of forty. So evidently they liked him, but they did not want him to take any of their seats in parliament.

Here I have a clipping from a very interesting paper edited by one of the brightest journalists of our time, Miss Judith Robinson, daughter of the former editor of the Conservative Toronto Telegram. The article is headed "Tory patriot offers leader costly seat," and to my great surprise none of the Conservatives have protested against this article since the commencement of the session.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Because it is beneath notice.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Oh! The article goes on to say: [DOT]

The Conservative party has a great history. But something happened to it in that election of March, 1940. The group of men elected to the House of Commons, particularly from Ontario, do not represent the Conservatives who voted for them.

Hear, hear.

At least it is hoped they don't, for if they do the Conservative party is unwilling to make sacrifices; is unwilling to do anything but hold on to what it has and let someone else bear the burden.

The two men who offered their seats to Mr. Meighen were Col. Alan Cockeram and Earl Rowe.

Mr. Meighen did not want Rowe's seat-

And so forth. It goes on, referring to Col. Cockeram:

It isn't that Cockie doesn't like being a member of parliament, and his $4,000 per year. He believes Arthur Meighen, if he does nothing else, will give Mr. King the hot foot.

Oh, ho!

Other Ontario Conservative members were willing to step aside for their leader and do the cause some good. But one wanted $12,000 on the line, and Meighen's men refused to stand for blackmail. Others just disappeared. No answer to the telephone. No answer to wires.

Then there was this Ontario Tory who has one of the safest seats in the house. He isn't much as a member, never will be.

This is an appreciation by a good Conservative!

But he is a great patriot. He wouldn't step aside for anyone except his leader. Yes, he would for his leader, because it was his duty as a Britisher and a good Conservative. But he would have to have-*

How much?

:-$20,000. And only for Meighen would he do that. The big-hearted soul.

I do not blame Conservative members for not having offered their seats to Arthur Meighen. I praise them for that; and when

there was a rumour that the hon. member for Danforth (Mr. Harris) would give his seat to Arthur Meighen, I said that the new leader would not fill the gap caused by the retirement of the hon. member for Danforth. No; I do not blame those hon. members for having refused him their seats. I cannot conceive how sound-minded men, as they seem to be, should have been disturbed to the extent of selecting him as their leader, even temporarily.

At the time of the Tory convention last November an item appeared in the press that the Conservative caucus did not want the present leader of the opposition to declare himself for conscription overseas. Yet Meighen did it without further authorization. Now here is something interesting, which I take from the Le Canada, of Montreal, under date of January 21. After it was decided that Mr. Meighen would get Mr. Cockeram's seat in York South, he wrote to the Department of Justice asking the law clerks if they were not of opinion he could remain a senator untO the election was over-showing that he was not sure of himself, that he was afraid he would lose his election. Of course the answer at that time was sensible; it was "no". It was the right answer. The answer was, "resign as a senator if you want to stand for election as a member". There is a corridor between the House of Commons and the Senate, but it is not for a member of the Senate who wants to run in an election. Then the Hon. Leopold Macaulay, a Tory of the Tories, a former member of the Henry government, said, "Let everyone vote for Arthur Meighen. All of those who have been Conservatives at any time in their lives must vote for Arthur Meighen. There is not a vote to spare." This shows that he is not very well accepted by the Canadian people.

But there is more. I remember very well what was said on February 7, 1933, by Mr. Mitchell F. Hepburn, then hon. member for Elgin West. He said, as reported in Hansard, page 1867:

Mr. Speaker, the morning papers contain the personnel of the newly appointed tariff board, naming Mr. Justice Sedgewick as tariff chairman at a salary of $12,000. I should like to know if this is the same Mr. Justice Sedgewick who as an appointee of the Ontario government was the chairman of a commission which investigated the Ontario hydro commission and gave that body a complete whitewash.

Who was a member of the Ontario hydro commission at that time, one who has been similarly censured by Mr. Hepburn himself? It was the very same Arthur Meighen, and in my ears I still have the sound of the voice of Mr. Hepburn denouncing the dealings of Mr. Meighen with the Abitibi power company. If, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Meighen was not good

The Address-Mr. Pouliot

enough to be a hydro commissioner of Ontario, if he had to be denounced by the present premier of Ontario for wrong dealings with the Abitibi power company, how can he be accepted as leader of a great party and a prospective prime minister of Canada?

There were other statements, and I am not afraid to refer to them. I do not want any hon. member to say, "here is a French-Cana-dian from Quebec who is dealing with Ontario matters". I do not know whether the leader of the opposition is aware of it, but I may tell him that I have more friends than he thinks among the English-speaking members of his party-although it is a small one. Not only that, but some of my best friends are from Ontario. No less a gentleman than Doctor Edwards, former leader of the Orangemen, was a very dear friend of mine. When he died I came here to give the news to the then leader of the opposition, Mr. Bennett. I saw to it that Doctor Ross, of Kingston, came up to take care of Doctor Edwards, and I gave my room to Mrs. Edwards and to Mrs. Macdougall, wife of the then hon. member for Inverness. Moreover, I have in my room a letter, written in French in his own hand, by Doctor Edwards, which shows that in his later days he was thinking differently from what he did before. Apart from this, I had very dear friends in Ontario. One of them was Mr. Hepburn, who is still my friend, and the friendship started at the time when we were the two members of parliament whom Mr. Bennett hated most. This is the reason why I made the campaign for Mr. Hepburn. No member of parliament was invited to speak in a larger number of constituencies in Ontario in 1933 and in the provincial campaign of 1934 than the member for Temiscouata. I was delighted to meet good friends, and I returned afterwards at the time of the general election, saw old friends whom I had met there before, and spoke in the constituency of the hon. member for Huron-Perth (Mr. Golding). I was a Liberal speaker at the convention of the Secretary of State (Mr. McLarty), and I went to different places, meeting good Englishspeaking and French-speaking Canadians, and supported Mr. Hepburn because I thought he was a good man. And both of us, indeed all of us, regarded Arthur Meighen as one of the calamities of the world.

Therefore I am not a stranger in Ontario, although I do not now speak there very often.

I have many other good friends in that province. Besides Doctor Edwards, there was Mr. Alison Young, of the Windsor Star, a close friend of mine, and dear Harry Anderson

of the Toronto Globe, one of the finest citizens of this country. There are many others whom I have not the time to name.

Well, here is Arthur Meighen, the Charlie McCarthy of the Bergens of high finance in Toronto. He decided to run in that district, and immediately afterwards we saw a full-page advertisement published in the newspapers of this country, headed "Total war effort", signed by about two hundred persons-I have not counted them, but I know some of them -who want to substitute themselves for the elected members of parliament. They say that they want total war. We want total war, too, but we do not want to use total war as a pretext for some schemes which are shameful and which they try to hide under the flag.

One of them is the completion of the amalgamation of railways; and I have here official copies of the two speeches published by the king's printer, which had been delivered before in the Senate-one by Arthur Meighen, and the other by Senator Beaubien. The title of Meighen's speech is "United management of railways". Was it sent to me by Arthur Meighen? Was it sent to me by Senator Beaubien? Who sent it to me?

They have not yet succeeded in performing their operation. The idea is not at all to wage total war; the idea is to speculate in Canadian bonds, and that is all that is behind that move. That is why they are against my leader, the present Prime Minister. It is because he is not the man of Bay street and St. James street. They want their own tool here in the House of Commons at the head of the Conservative party, and they want him as the head of the government. They want to prevent the members of parliament from expressing their views, and they call them unpatriotic when they differ from them. Arthur Meighen and his gang-whether the members of his gang are in the house or outside

are the depositories, the only depositories, of pure patriotism-the purest!

To show the insincerity of that man, let us judge his own acts and his present words, comparing his behaviour with his speeches. In the Citizen of January 23 I find:

Never believed government capable of such an act. Right Hon. Arthur Meighen asserts plebiscite on conscription is admission of its necessity.

I do not want to say anything unpleasant about Mr. Hepburn, for whom I have great respect. I think he has rendered numerous services to the party. Although at times he was not satisfied with what was going on, we have remained friends. I cannot say anything unpleasant about him. Whatever he does, whatever he says, I shall continue to respect

The Address-Mr. Pouliot

him. On the other hand, his position will be very difficult. Senator Meighen says a referendum is a necessity; Mr. Hepburn is opposed to it. How will they explain it to the people? The other day I listened with great interest to the speech delivered by my friend the hon. member for Lambton West (Mr. Gray). He said, "I am for conscription at once; that is why I am against a plebiscite." He will vote against the plebiscite if he is logical with himself, and there he will meet another gentleman who holds entirely different views. He will meet my hon. friend the member for Laval-Two Mountains (Mr. Lacombe), the father of the new Canadian party. Both will vote on the same side, although for different reasons.

Now, sir, speaking of insincerity, I find this:

Meighen deplores failure to give armed forces vote.

Is it possible to have less tact than that? There is no man in Canada who is more tactless than Arthur Meighen. When he said that, he forgot the War-time Elections Act. that miserable piece of legislation for stealing votes in order to get power against the will of the people. There is one sentence that was used outside the house by the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston), which I will now' quote. It is most appropriate. He was referring to the loan:

I know the Canadian people will not grudge that money. It is necessary to save the most precious life in the world

the life of liberty.

That is, liberty, freedom-freedom of speech and freedom of vote.

I have here a telegram that was sent by the same Arthur Meighen, who wants the soldier's vote now. This telegram was sent in 1917 and was read at the Liberal convention which selected my leader in 1919. It was read by Judge Adamson.

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

It is on Hansard.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

The telegram reads:

Winnipeg November 30, 1917. Robert L. Borden, Ottawa, Ontario.

Would like one thousand soldiers' votes at large for Manitoba, of which 300 for Selkirk, balance divided between Provencher, Macdonald and Springfield, or same proportion of division, no matter what our allotment may be.

Arthur Meighen

This is the man who wants more soldier votes. Here is something else he said:

"Present system needs reform," Meighen says.

That appeared in the press on January 17; he said it on January 16. To continue:

Conservative leader, in by-election speech, calls for end to baseless aspersions and stop to fomenting of class antagonisms.

He made that statement in Toronto. I have here another telegram which is signed by a well-known citizen of the world with regard to illegal arrests in Winnipeg. It is dated June 17, 1919, and is a telegram from Mr. Meighen to Mr. Andrews:

Notwithstanding any doubt I have as to the technical legality of the arrest and the detention at Stony Mountain, I feel that rapid deportation is the best course now that the arrests are made, and later we can consider ratification.

The meaning of that is that the law did not authorize him to keep these men under arrest in the penitentiary. Nevertheless, as he says, afterwards we will ratify it by changing the law and making it valid. This was quoted by no less a man than the Hon. Peter Heenan, now a minister in Mr. Hepburn's cabinet, on June 2, 1926, as reported at page 4004 of Hansard of that year.

Is it surprising that after Mr. Meighen's speech of January 10, we had this news item in the press:

Fredericton, January 11. "Mr. Meighen's speech speaks for itself," said Hon. R. B. Hanson, acting Conservative house leader, when asked Saturday if he had any comment to make regarding the speech of Right Hon. Arthur Meighen at Toronto last night. "He is the leader of the Conservative party in Canada and I commend his views to the Canadian people," said Mr. Hanson.

The correspondent of the Gazette, a very distinguished journalist, Mr. Mears, wrote on January 12 that Mr. Meighen simply refused to admit that the present conflict is not a continuation or repetition of that of 19141918. Mark you, sir, the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) is not the leader of the opposition. He is acting leader of the opposition. His accepted leader is Arthur Meighen, who is now a candidate and who will be defeated on February 9.

The other day I, a Liberal member, said that the Minister of National Defence should resign. It was my right to say so, but should have been said before by the acting leader of the opposition. Arthur Meighen's supporter, Colonel Drew, made a statement in Toronto about Hong Kong. And when I spoke, the leader of the opposition said: "Order," meaning by that that he did not want me to express freely my opinion about that. How can he explain that? How can Arthur Meighen complain about the government when every time I have complaints about the government, the ministers were not defended by their colleagues, they were defended by the leader of the opposition himself, who was like Ferdinand the Bull and had a flower in his mouth for every cabinet minister on this side of the house?

The Address-Mr. Pouliot

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a point of order.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I withdraw at once.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Surely

this exhibition has gone far enough.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Mr. Speaker, I have the

floor, and I do not want my time taken up.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

This is

a point of- order. I object to the language being used by the hon. member, and I do not know why he has not been called to order before now, and especially by the hon. gentleman (Mr. Crerar) who is now leading the house. Do I have to listen to a comparison like that, from the hon. member for Temis-couata or anyone else? I call upon you, Mr. Speaker, to make him withdraw every word he said about me, and I call upon the leader of the house-

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I withdraw Ferdinand the

bull, nothing else.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

-to end this state of affairs.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

I have not followed all

the speech of the hon. member for Temis-couata because I was required to be out of the chamber for two brief periods. But from what I have heard I think the hon. member's remarks were in order until the last statement. he made, which he has already withdrawn.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I shall read from an

editorial in the Toronto Evening Telegram of January 23. It is headed:

Opposition forces the door to open inquiry into incompetence.

The editorial begins:

It is not often that it is possible to agree with J. F. Pouliot, M.P., the effervescent member for Temiseouata, yet in his statement that the Minister of Defence should resign over the Hong Kong affair-a statement that was drowned by cries of "Order!"-he appears to have been the only member of parliament who recognized the gravity of the situation revealed by the admissions of Hon. J. L. Ralston.

That concerns what I have said. There is one thing should be done; it is that all Canadians should unite to perform a national and patriotic duty to "squeeze" Arthur Meighen on February 9. I remember very well the day in the special session of 1939 when my leader, the Prime Minister, was speaking, through the chair, to the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth), and he said: "There is no man for whom I have more respect in this house." But at the

present time it is not a question of accepting all the views of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation; the question is to defeat Arthur Meighen so that the big financial interests and the "two hundred" in the city of Toronto do not rule this country. That is all I have to say for the moment.

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CON

John George Diefenbaker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. G. DIEFENBAKER (Lake Centre):

Mr. Speaker, my first words must be of congratulation to the mover and the seconder of the address in reply, the hon. member for Hull (Mr. Fournier) and the hon. member for Brantford City (Mr. Macdonald). They indeed had a great opportunity in having seen Britain, resolute and fearless. The inspiration that came to them from that opportunity was reflected in their words. The Empire Parliamentary Association is to be congratulated on having invited these hon. members to Westminster. I would make the suggestion that the government of Canada might well consider inviting a group from the congress of the United States to visit us, and at the same time the parliamentary association might arrange that some hon. members of this house have an opportunity to go to Washington, thus indicating to the United States of America our appreciation of the efforts they are putting forth as our allies and the magnificent assistance they gave us long before the actual outbreak of hostilities between the United States and the axis powers.

As I listened to the hon. member for Temiseouata (Mr. Pouliot) it came to me once more what democracy in this empire and this country means: That in the midst of war, when all of us are worried and concerned, an hon. member may rise in his place and make the type of speech he made to-day. That is freedom of speech-the opportunity to express one's view in parliament.

I am not going to endeavour to follow the hon. member in what he has said. I think now is not the time for me to endeavour to enter into any defence of our new leader. That may well be left to less perilous times. As I apprehend my responsibility as a member of parliament it is this, not to indulge in personalities, or in recriminations as to what took place in 1917 or since, but to try to place before the house and the country any ideas I may have that might be of assistance at this time.

The speech from the throne confined itself in general to an expression of the intention on the part of the government to extend the

The Address-Mr. Diefenbaker

war effort. But throughout the entire speech there is only one definite promise, contained in the following paragraph:

My ministers accordingly will seek, from the people, by means of a plebiscite, release from any obligation arising out of any past commitments restricting the methods of raising men for military service.

Two amendments have been proposed. The only point of conflict that I see between these amendments is that that proposed by my hon. leader is clear and unequivocal; we challenge the right of the government at this time in our history- to submit a matter of life and death to the people of the nation in this way. On the other hand the subamendment, while agreeing with all that we say in our amendment, suggests that provision should be made in the plebiscite for an additional question. Let me ask at once: is there any hon. member in this house to-day who denies the proposition that treasure should be mobilized with blood? Gould it ever be said that Canada would conscript her sons but not her wealth? No hon. member would say to-day that large profits should be permitted in time of war. We all admit that in war time large profits are indefensible and unjustifiable.

What is the amendment we propose? In essence it is this, that we should completely mobilize the wealth and material resources and, on a. selective basis, the full man and woman pow-er of the nation, to the end that the nation may wage total war in any theatre of war, and that we should supply the needs of agriculture and industry and the fighting forces and prepare for the post-war period.

I point to the order in which these requisites are referred to in the amendment-that we mobilize wealth and material resources, and mobilize on a selective basis the man-power of the nation.

Let me make just a reference to agriculture. We are asking that the imperative needs of agriculture shall be met. For almost two years in this house we have called attention to the situation of agriculture in western Canada. Population records now tell the story

parts of western Canada depopulated in large areas because of the fact that in part the government has failed to x-ealize that there is a problem in so far as western agriculture is concerned.

We on this side of the house have taken the stand consistently that so far as the wheat grower is concerned, as of right he should be entitled in this time of war to a parity price. Finally, the farmers of Saskatchewan, in desperation, knowing that there was no hope from this parliament unless they showed themselves

here, will arrive on Sunday next. On November 27 the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) was interviewed, and rather ridiculed the projected trip. His words were:

Asked about the plan Friday, the Hon. J. G. Gardiner, Minister of Agriculture, said if such a delegation does come they will no doubt be received and listened to attentively. I am afraid they will have left the impression that money- is more plentiful in western Canada than most of us believe it to be.

They are coming, Mr. Speaker, to demand their rights. They come in no threatening mood, but rather as individuals who to-day find themselves in a position bordering on economic slavery. The farmer must have parity prices for farm products, and I believe that when they do come, and when this government realizes they mean action-and by that I mean political action-the government will see the light and do that which it has not done, in spite of the representations made from this side of the house, during the last year. That is all I am going to say at the moment about agriculture. Our attitude is this-and it was the attitude of Mr. Meighen adopted when he accepted the leadership: our stand demands every sacrifice, whether of time, money, property, income as well as men for the army, so long as the laws making these demands are equitable and fair and apply to everyone without discrimination.

Here we are, Mr. Speaker, in the darkest period of the war. All of us to-day admit the peril to freedom. What the people of Canada are asking for is not a reference; it is not a consultation. What they are asking us to give is a plan, definite, comprehensive and fearless in its operation. They demand that. They have no way of getting it other than by asking for it, and by requiring their representatives in the house to stand up and make their demands on their behalf. Our responsibility as members is to give voice to their demands.

Great changes have come over the world in the last few weeks. The freedom-loving nations are banded together to forge the greatest chain for the preservation of liberty the world has ever known. They are banded together-1,720,000,000 people, as compared with 293,000,000 under the axis, and 215,000,000 in countries under the scourge of Hitler. They are banded together with over seventy per cent of the world's natural resources.

Wealth unused, man-power unmobilized and potential resources unless utilized avail nothing. We were told by Mr. Churchill when he was here that the period of consolidation is ending, that the pattern of victory is being designed. Yet even to-day Germany is spend-

The Address-Mr. Diejenbaker

ing $25,000,000,000 a year, while the British empire as a whole is spending approximately $23,000,000,000. I am not one who deprecates our war effort; it is fine, so far as it goes. We are all Canadians, but, Mr. Speaker, there are dangers which must be met. Hong Kong was to Canada its Dunkirk. Hong Kong was another example of that principle of "too little and too late"-"too little" in numbers, "too little in forces" and too late as to transport and armoured vehicles. I suggest to the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) that whoever was responsible for making the errors at Hong Kong should be punished and removed from office.

What will be necessary, I ask the minister, to awaken the people of Canada to immediate action regarding man-power? Will not the foreboding news of Singapore or the repulse in the Libyan campaign to-day? The answer of the government for not acting is that "national unity," must be preserved. Is "national unity" 'being used as a shibboleth to avoid responsibility, and as an excuse? I ask you, Mr. Speaker, will not the common danger which faces this empire to-day, which faces this country, and which was so admirably pictured last night in the eloquent speech of the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green), bring national unity in Canada?

Is Canada's war effort to be like a convoy in the Atlantic, the speed of which is to be determined by the slowest ship in the convoy? The Prime Minister says he believes in total war, and he has used striking words in that connection. He has said this:

There is only one way to meet total war, and that is by total effort, not for a day or a week or a month, but every day until victory is won.

Must we in Canada wait until every person agrees that the government in its good time takes action? The great majority of Canadian people are asking for and pleading for action, and the government seems to be hobbled by those who ask for moderation in the extent of Canada's war effort. It is no time for discouragement. It is time for courage, for action, and above all for a banishment of political considerations. It is time for us to take stock of our resources and to act resolutely. Once and for all we must determine that the days that are gone, are gone. 1917 is gone; the last election is a thing of the past. We remember what Churchill said, -"If we wrangle about yesterday we have lost to-morrow."

I make this appeal to-day: let us forget recriminations, forget the past and the mistakes which have been made: forget partisanship and forget jockeying for votes, with an

eye on the ballot box of the future. Let not Canada's effort be circumscribed by political considerations. What the people are asking for is not partisanship. They ask for psychological rearmament, rearmament of hope, and faith.

The heroes of Hong Kong went out into the night, a night of certain sacrifice. They went with courage unexampled, because they knew they would be avenged, that others would take their places, and that Canada represented by its parliament would not fail them. The foundation of morale is faith and knowledge -faith that those who serve will not be deserted, an appreciation of the eternity of the principles for which this empire stands, the knowledge that there will be no surrender by those who survive, and that though life is lost there will be others to take their places.

Lose morale and you court disaster. Who is the custodian of our morale? The responsibility rests upon parliament. The Canadian people can do nothing, they are helpless, they are shackled. However willing they may be to serve, they can be frustrated by a parliament that will not act. What happened twenty-four years ago has nothing to do with the question to-day. Our duty, our obligation, our trusteeship as members of parliament is to see that no man who serves is sacrificed unnecessarily, and that the wealth and resources of this nation are mobilized.

I think the time has come when the members of this house have the right to ask of the members of this government what their plans are, and to have the answer. What of the balanced programme that was referred to in the speech from the throne regarding increases in our armed forces and in the production of munitions and foodstuffs? Is Canada's main contribution to be materials? In the armed forces is the first consideration to be to secure men for the army, the navy or the air force? Instead of saying to the young men of this country, "we need you in the army, we need your services", a regulation goes out making provision for a new suit. In other words, the man shall determine where he will serve. This is not decided upon the basis of need according to government plan, it is decided by the individual upon the basis of whether or not the suit suits. Have we achieved maximum production? What is the plan for the mobilization of agriculture to assure producers a fair and reasonable return for their products? What is the plan regarding selective allocation of men to the places where they will give the maximum service to the war effort?

Are our objectives known? Except for the British empire training plan, which was worked

The Address-Mr. Diejenbaker

out a year and a half ago, our objectives have been announced piecemeal. We are told that there is a shortage of gasoline, that our forces need gasoline, and we are given a rationing scheme that is a sham. The people of this country are being allowed to drive for pleasure a total of 5,500 miles. We hear about a rubber shortage, but what is being done to mobilize the available resources of this nation? We have heard a lot about a salvage campaign, about the need for iron and steel and scrap iron. A plan, was evolved under which the people of Canada patriotically endeavoured to supply the needs of the government. But does the government accept that scrap iron? No, it goes to the clearance centres for its needs.

One instance comes to my mind. The farmers in the vicinity of Strongfield, in my constituency, believing that cast iron was needed, went out in their fields and removed all unnecessary parts from their machinery. They got together a total of 138,000 pounds, but they found there was no market. They finally got an offer of a certain price per ton which they had to accept although the price was low. They shipped the scrap iron and received a net amount of $400 upon the basis of a ton of 2,250 pounds. The purchasers pointed out that a ton of scrap iron is that weight according to the decision arrived at by the government last summer, but later on made up the difference in price.

Are men needed? When Mr. Churchill introduced his man-power bill in the British House of Commons extending compulsion to men up to fifty-one years of age and to women for the auxiliary services, he said this:

The crisis of equipment is largely over and an everbroadening flow is now assured. The crisis of man-power and woman-power is at hand and will dominate the year 1942. This crisis comes upon us for the following reasons: The great supply plants have largely been constructed; they are finished; they must be staffed. We must maintain the powerful mobile army we have created with so much pains both for home defence and foreign expedition.

General Auchinleck says that the empire needs men; Mr. Roosevelt says that the United States needs men, but the government of Canada says that there is no need. I ask the government to tell us what system they have for the mobilization of man-power.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

That is not so.

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CON

John George Diefenbaker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

How are they to be the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) said that they were getting enough men. That is the record of the last few days.

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January 30, 1942