February 3, 1942

CITY OF OTTAWA AGREEMENT AUTHORIZATION OP PAYMENT OF $100,000 FOR THE YEAR ENDING JULY 1, 1942


Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (for the Minister of Public Works) moved that the house go into committee at the next sitting to consider the following resolution: That it is expedient to introduce a measure to authorize the Minister of Public Works on behalf of His Majesty to enter into an agreement to pay to the corporation of the city of Ottawa the sum of $100,000 for the year ending July 1, 1942. He said: His Excellency the Governor General, having been made acquainted with the subject matter of this resolution, recommends it to the consideration of the house. Motion agreed to.


"COMMITTEE FOR TOTAL WAR"

PRESS ADVERTISEMENT-BY-ELECTION IN SOUTH YORK


On the orders of the day: Mr. JEAN-FRANQOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata): Mr. Speaker, yesterday, at page 211 of Hansard, I asked a question which was perhaps not clear enough or was not well enough understood. It was about the "Committee For Total War." My question was: Is it possible to ascertain how many of the two hundred "Tailors of Tooley Street," Toronto, who signed that proclamation are qualified voters in South York? What I should like to know from the government is how many of these peacocks have a right to vote in South York. I think it is possible to know that. Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister): May I say to my hon. friend that I am afraid he will have to frame his question in different words if he wishes to have an answer, but I imagine, no matter in what words his question were expressed, that it would not be possible to secure the information.


INCOME TAX

INQUIRY AS TO WHEN 1941 FORMS WILL BE BEADY


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. G. K. FRASER (Peterborough West):

Mr. Speaker, may I ask the Minister of Finance when the income tax forms for 1941 will be ready? Will they have to wait until the tax agreements with the provinces are signed?

Topic:   INCOME TAX
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO WHEN 1941 FORMS WILL BE BEADY
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. J. L. ILSLEY (Minister of Finance):

All I can do is to bring the question to the attention of my colleague the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Gibson). The matter is in his department, not in the finance department.

Topic:   INCOME TAX
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO WHEN 1941 FORMS WILL BE BEADY
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

INQUIRY AS TO LEGISLATIVE PROGRAMME FOR THE SESSION


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):

I should like to ask the Prime Minister when we may expect a statement of government legislation for the session, inasmuch as there is no indication in the speech from the throne that any legislation will be brought down. 1 think he should tell the house as soon as possible what the legislative programme of the government is and, generally speaking, its nature and extent. I assume, of course, that there will be an appropriation bill, but what else will there be?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO LEGISLATIVE PROGRAMME FOR THE SESSION
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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):

I shall endeavour to give my hon. friend a reply in due course.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO LEGISLATIVE PROGRAMME FOR THE SESSION
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GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH

CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY


The house resumed from Monday, February 2, 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.


LIB

James Gray Turgeon

Liberal

Mr. J. G. TURGEON (Cariboo):

Mr. Speaker, will you permit me first of all, on rising to take part in this debate, to tell you that I am particularly nervous, not only because of the strain which naturally comes from the necessity or thought of making a speech, but also because of the stress which surrounds everyone who takes part in this debate owing to the bitterness which has

The Address-Mr. Turgeon

been aroused, not so much in this house but in the country at large, in connection with the subject matter of any speech made to-day by an hon. member on the motion to present an address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to the speech from the throne.

It is my intention to deal frankly and bluntly with some of the questions at issue and with some of the agitation which is being aroused outside of this house.

First of all, however, may I deal with a more pleasing thing. May I join with other members who have spoken by paying a tribute to the hon. member for Hull (Mr. Fournier) and the hon. member for Brantford City (Mr. Macdonald) for the excellent addresses with which they opened this debate. I feel that they did better because of the experiences they had among the people of the British isles. It is too bad that it is not possible for every hon. member to do what these hon. members were able to do-visit Great Britain during this time of stress. I did not have the honour of hearing the mover and the seconder, but I read their speeches, and one who heard them or one who read them can tell that both hon. members spoke not only from their own points of view but also from that emotion which was aroused in them because of what they saw among the people of Great Britain. They found men and women like ourselves protecting their lives and their homes, and looking after their children-who after all are like our own children. May I leave this thought with the house and with certain sections of the people of Canada, that these hon. members found in the British isles a people who were not fighting for the spreading or for the maintenance and perpetuation of imperialism, but against the most ruthless expansion of imperialism that the world has ever seen. Neither we nor the people of the British isles are fighting for imperialism. We are defending ourselves against it. And the courage which has been shown by the people of Great Britain is precisely that quality which Doctor Johnson said was the first condition of virtue, because without it there can be no virtue. They were fighting, as some day we may have to fight, for home, for fireside, and for children.

To turn now to another matter, I have noticed lately, in spite of this demand for conscription, of which I shall speak later, that county councils and other organizations are demanding of this government that it stop taking men from agricultural communities into the armed forces of Canada. That demand has been made not only in the province of Quebec-which I mention because

it is on the lips of nearly everyone outside this chamber who has taken part in the discussion of this question-but also in Ontario and other parts of English-speaking Canada. In my own riding of Cariboo there is a shortage of farm labour. Our cattle men do not know how they will make their hay next fall. Our grain growers and our farmers who are dealing with ordinary agriculture are in exactly the same position. I do not want anyone to misunderstand me. I feel that at a time such as we are now entering it is the duty of every member of parliament, not only to argue this matter and try to create public opinion, although that is a supreme task, but also to make his position clear so that the people whom we directly represent, and the people of all Canada whom also each one of us represents, shall have no doubt as to where we stand.

It is therefore my intention to state clearly at the outset, though probably I shall return to it later, that I have every intention of supporting the plebiscite proposed by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). I voted, when in uniform overseas, against conscription in 1917. I had not the faintest hesitation in voting against it, not because of conscription in itself, but because of the dastardly associations which surrounded it at that time. To-day I am not unmindful of the same associations that some people are trying to weave about it, but I am quite ready to trust this government, and, naturally, particularly the Prime Minister, in dealing with the various situations as they may arise. Again without hesitation, so that everybody will know where I stand, I say it is my intention, after this plebiscite is taken and the people vote favourably upon it, as I sincerely hope they will in every province of Canada, to support every measure of compulsory service-I am not afraid of the word "conscription"-that the Prime Minister and those who are surrounding him in government may think it necessary to bring to the people of Canada.

Wendell Willkie, speaking some time ago, said that democracy rises to its greatest heights at its worst moments. I am afraid that to-day we in Canada are entering upon one of the evil moments, if not the worst moment, of democracy. We talk of leadership.

I wonder if hon. members who speak of leadership every time they make a recommendation which is not accepted, realize that we are so formed that sometimes we recognize leadership only when leadership agrees with * our own opinions, and that we are inclined to say there is lack of leadership when a leader goes in a direction contrary to that in which we want him to go.

The Address-Mr. Turgeon

I intend to say something to-day about leadership, with particular reference to leadership at the present moment, having in mind among other things, naturally, this plebiscite and the leadership that is being given us so that from time to time we may be able to continue the total war effort which we have been making without arousing too many of those basic prejudices which of themselves, when brought to the surface, interfere with our full effort-leadership at the present moment, which after all merges so fast into the future. In speaking thus, one must not forget the immediate past, in spite of the fact that it has been streaming so swiftly by us that all of it to-day is obscured and most of it forgotten.

I remember something of the fateful session of September, 1939, which authorized this government to declare war on behalf of Canada against Germany. As I remember, we met on Thursday; we started the address on Friday, and we closed the house on Saturday by adopting the address, which gave authority to the Prime Minister to advise the crown to declare war on our behalf. I ask any member of this house to-day, who was in parliament then, if he will rise in his seat now and say that if the Prime Minister had suggested conscription at that time we could have finished that debate in time for the declaration of war by Canada on Sunday. There is not a member of this house who does not know that, if we had talked of conscription then,, that debate would have gone on interminably.

Speaking of leadership, I want to ask hon. members what would have been the position of Canada in the eyes of the world, if through lack of leadership the Prime Minister had permitted this country to pass that fateful week-end without the declaration of war. Talk about what is being said to-day! He would have been eternally damned, and he would have deserved it if he had allowed that to happen.

Continuing then with the question of leadership, I would ask you to let your minds go back again. There is without question one man who has captured the imagination of the world to a greater extent than any other man in history, whether in times of emergency or in times of peace. That man is Winston Churchill, the Prim^ Minister of Great Britain. But I ask you this. Next to the things that Winston Churchill has done for us, next to what he has done in the marvellous encouragement which he gave the people of Great Britain after Dunkirk, is there anything that was greater, as a means of helping Great Britain and ourselves in the conduct of the war, than the magnificent

material help supplied to us by the people of the United States through the leadership of President Roosevelt?

I think I am safe in saying that, next to what was done by Churchill, the help that was given us by the United States has been greatest. Now, where did our own Prime Minister come in? Unfortunately, and I say this deliberately, when you listen to some people speaking, when you read some of the newspapers of the day, with reference to the question of leadership, you have to wonder, as I have often wondered, whether some of them hate Adolf Hitler most, or Mackenzie King. I say that deliberately. There are groups of men in this country who are anxious for total war against Germany; but they are anxious for total war against Germany only to the extent that it will not interfere with their total war against Mackenzie King. That is one of the truths of the situation which it is necessary for somebody to bring to public notice-and you will note, I say it is one of the truths of the situation.

I was speaking of Churchill and Roosevelt, and I spoke of the past slipping away so rapidly from us that we are inclined to forget it. To-day we talk about the Atlantic charter, which came from the conference between Churchill and Roosevelt, and we take for granted that help which went to Britain through the lease-lend agreement before the United States was actually in the war in consequence of attack from Japan. What brought about these things? To-day, I venture to say, even m the minds of many hon. members, there is only at best a dim recollection of Ogdensburg, the historic meeting between our Prime Minister and the President of the United States, which took place in August 1940. From that meeting at Ogdensburg have flowed all the things for which to-day the people of the allied nations are thanking President Roosevelt and the people of the United States; and if it had not been for the leadership of our own Canadian Prime Minister, there would have been no Ogdensburg. The lease-lend agreement would never have become an accomplished fact, the meeting between Churchill and Roosevelt would not have taken place, the Atlantic charter would still be a dream of some of us, the aid that has gone since then to Russia would not have been sent. And every part of that is attributable to the man who sits here to-day as leader of this government.

I come from the province of British Columbia, and many who sit here know that in northern Alberta, in northern British Columbia and in the Yukon, there has been constructed a series of airports designed to protect

The Address-Mr. Turgeon

western Canada-both British Columbia and Alberta-against attack from Japan across Alaska or the waters surrounding Alaska, and the Yukon territory. I will say more about that later. But who in this house forgets that the hon. member who then occupied the seat of the Leader of the Opposition, as soon as war was declared, rose in his place, properly so, and asked for some protection against air attack or attack in any other form across Hudson bay. You do not hear much of that to-day. Why not? We have our airports in western Canada, constructed or largely under construction, to protect us from attack from the west. The reason you do not hear much demand to-day for further protection against attack across Hudson bay is that United States troops joined in the occupation of Iceland.

Again I ask you, if the right hon. the Prime Minister of Canada had not given to the President and the people of the United States that inspiration which was the foundation of the leadership given us by that president, would there have been an occupation of Iceland by the troops of the United States? There is not a member of this house who will rise and say that he does not see a direct connection between Ogdensburg and the occupation of Iceland by United States soldiers.

There is nobody in this house or outside who will not see in the occupation of Iceland a direct connection with the winning of the battle of the Atlantic. Talk about leadership! What could have been better either for Great Britain or for Canada-and especially for us in Canada-than to save ourselves from defeat in the battle of the Atlantic? That perhaps has been the greatest thing that has yet been done since war was declared in September, 1939. And the saving of the battle of the Atlantic is traceable directly back to the meeting between the Canadian Prime Minister and the President of the United States at Ogdensburg; there is no doubt whatever about that.

I said, Mr. Speaker, I was going to support the plebiscite, and that I was prepared to accept whatever measure of compulsory service may be deemed necessary from time to time by our competent authorities, both civil and military. I spoke of our attitude towards leadership. I have made recommendations to this government which have not been carried out. But am I to rise up and say that because my recommendations were not accepted I am opposed to the government and do not believe in their leadership? What right have I to say that? Yet I have as much right-though none at all-as any other citizen of Canada or any hon. member of this house. But I should

be foolish if I thought every recommendation made by me must be accepted, otherwise I would consider it lack of leadership.

On the day on which Japan made her attack in the south Pacific I telegraphed the Prime Minister of Canada as follows:

As member of Commons House of Parliament I strongly recommend that Canadian government take all possible action against Japan through executive authority without awaiting special session of parliament. I also urge that your government take favourable action upon my previous recommendations, first that ministry for war be created and secondly that National Mobilization Act be extended to include military service in any part of western hemisphere and in Siberia and that further extensions be considered from time to time as circumstances warrant.

That recommendation has not been carried out, but I sincerely hope that in time it will be carried out. In the meantime I am accepting the leadership that says "the time has not come to accept your recommendations." I made that recommendation some considerable time before Japan entered the war; I wanted the National Resources Mobilization Act extended in that manner, first, because I thought it would be of general help, and secondly, because I could see, as every hon. member in this house could see, the coming of war with Japan.

We in British Columbia and those who come from Alberta-the people of these two provinces particularly-are in a dangerous position. I am not so much afraid of a direct attack, unless it be of a sporadic nature, against Vancouver and Esquimalt, as I am of positively planned attack across Alaska or over the Aleutian islands. If I may be permitted to bring to your attention, Sir, the geographic situation of the western coast of Canada, it will be seen that the Pacific coast does not run, as people generally in the east think it does, north and south, but northwesterly. The Yukon and Alaska are considerably west of Vancouver and Victoria, and just across the straits from Alaska are islands leading to the Asiatic mainland, Siberia and Manchukuo, and to Japan. Therefore I say it is our supreme duty to make it certain that we have every possible line of defence available for the Pacific coast.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON (Bow River):

What about the military road?

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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February 3, 1942