February 5, 1942

CON

Norman James Macdonald Lockhart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LOCKHART:

Yes, burlesque, if you wish to call it that, which is so evident in the house.

We are faced with a desperate situation. Let me say a word at this point about the effect of national compulsory service on the farmers, a subject which has had some consideration in the house. Let me give a specific example which indicates the extent of the problem in my section of the country. One man came to me recently and told me that he had just returned from one of the largest food processing factories in that vicinity. The manager of the plant had asked this farmer to sign again this year the contract he had signed in past years calling for the production of certain lines of foodstuffs. The man said to me, "I visited that factory about three weeks ago, and learned that I had to buy five tons of a particular type of fertilizer, involving an investment of considerable money. When I came home my only son met me at the door and produced a notice to serve in the army." The father was in a dilemma. On the following morning he and his boy drove to Toronto to discuss the matter with the regional director. The result of their trip was nothing but evasion. They were promised a deferment.

I have no doubt other hon. members have heard similar stories. This is not a new problem, and I could give many other examples. That man urged upon me that his only son was needed at home. I told him that he might obtain a deferment, but he would have to use his own judgment. The man said to me, "The manager of the processing plant is urging me to take this contract, but I cannot sign it if my son is to be taken."

The time has come when each one of us in Canada must be told what he is to do and how he is to do it. The farmer must be told what he is to produce, and he must be given guarantee that at least an only son will be left to help carry through his obligation to produce for Great Britain and our lads overseas.

I shall not detain the house, but when hon. members discuss these matters with their constituents, and when they learn about the

chaos in the present set-up, surely they should stand in their places and tell the house that we must have selective service of every man and woman in Canada. Every industry and every resource must be mobilized in the most effective way-and now. Evidence of that is apparent on every side. And so I ask: Why do we delay? Canada

is one of the granaries of the world. We have become one of the chief sources of supply of foodstuffs for Great Britain. We have become one of the main sources of supply for those thousands of our boys who have gone overseas. A clear, comprehensive and constructive policy must be given to the farmers by the government, and given without delay.

I pass on. Thinking back over the references which have been made in this house I realize that there are many hon. members who are too ready to dig up dead horses. They have been ready to go back into the history of the last war and attempt to discredit the public life of men some of whom have long been dead. They bring in all kinds of inferences which have no bearing upon the crisis which now confronts us. I urge hon. members to cease this idle twaddle; let us get down to present realities and accomplish something. When the hon. member for Cariboo (Mr. Turgeon) was making his defence of the plebiscite he told us what he thought of compulsory service two years ago. We know how the President of the United States was swept into power; we know that a few weeks afterwards he went to congress without any plebiscite and said that he must have compulsory service in every part of the world where the enemy might be met.

Why can we not have the same thing in this country? That is what I am urging should be done. We read the newspapers, we know what is happening, we realize the possibilities in Australia and we see the reverses that our armed forces are encountering. Surely the crisis is just as great now. Why should we sit here and talk idly about technicalities or make inferences which have no bearing upon the present emergency?

The Prime Minister must give some thought to the definite demand in this country for compulsory selective service. Let us try to guide him; let us tell him the views of our own people on this matter. That is my duty this afternoon, to try to show him exactly what my own constituents are saying. We should not have any differences of opinion about this, because that is all it amounts to in connection with this plebiscite. It is just a case of one man thinking one thing, and another man thinking something else. But it

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has created a lot of disunity. If the elected representatives of the people would deal with this question here in the house I believe it could be settled just as well as it will be three months, six months or a year hence. The men who are now overseas are demanding it. Surely all hon. members are receiving letters daily urging that this action be taken, demanding it. These men are wondering, if they have to go to Hong Kong or some such place, whether there will be somebody to step in should they have to make the supreme sacrifice. I say this advisedly because I am receiving scores of letters from overseas.

There is only one important step to be taken-compulsory selective service. What have we in Canada to-day? Industry has been regimented and our money has been conscripted. You may call it what you like, but the fact is that it is being taken from us. Our young men were called up for thirty days' training and they had to go. That training was found to be totally inadequate; some people made what was termed a "war shout" over the cost, and then young men were called for four months. That also proved entirely inadequate for the situation which was becoming more acute. The defence of our own shores began to loom up, and these men were then called in for the duration of the war. Call it conscription if you like, but it is compulsory selective service. They had to serve.

There is only one more step we need to take in this parliament. Instead of calling for service in Canada, we should call for service anywhere in the world. We should not be frightened about compulsory service. The only difference is as to where we have to serve. I am not afraid of its being said that I have been conscripted. I am prepared to assume whatever share of the burden I am asked to take. Those who are overseas are calling for assistance, and there is just one more step which the Prime Minister and this government have to take in order that we may have all-out compulsory selective service. Why hesitate any longer?

We are in the midst of a mad race for supremacy with a ruthless enemy. I think that must be conceded. Let us stop pussyfooting in this parliament which is supposed to be the last word in directing this country. The world is looking upon us at this time, with parliament in session, to give some kind of lead and not play for political positions, not trifle with the great questions that confront us. Never before to my knowledge has there been such a demand upon the courage of men, that they act like men. Surely we have an example in yie men who have

gone overseas. They stand out because of their courageous action. We, the elected representatives of this country, must have the courage of our convictions. I say again that it is a race for supremacy, the supremacy of all that is right and decent. This supremacy cannot be won if we do not strain our resources to the last ounce. Otherwise we may lose. That is the tragedy with which we are confronted. That is what may happen if we do not measure up, if we are hot courageous.

I urge upon the government, I urge upon the Prime Minister as leader of the government, as leader of the war time cabinet, that these possibilities be seriously considered. I urge upon him that he come frankly before parliament and place upon every hon. member the responsibility of doing his duty. In this race he holds the starter's pistol. If he pulls the trigger, we have to go. I say to hon. members: if the Prime Minister will just pull the trigger, let every one of us go to the last ounce of our strength before it is too late.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. ANGUS MacINNIS (Vancouver East):

Mr. Speaker, it is with much diffidence that I rise to take part in this debate. The issues confronting us are so many and so complex and . the war itself is on such a world-wide scale that it is next to impossible for the human mind to grasp its full extent and implications. But this much I think is clear. We know much better to-day than we did two years ago, or in September, 1939, who our enemies and who our friends are. Yet as I go among the people I find that there are many things which are not clear to them, and some of these will, I believe, have to be clarified before we get a full war effort.

We are being told by the radio, the press, the churches and a hundred and one other agencies that we are fighting for freedom, for liberty and for democracy. Yet we can see every day that there is a never-ceasing struggle, and sometimes I think a losing struggle, carried on in our midst during this time of war. Instead of class conflict becoming less as we prepare to meet increasing difficulties, it is becoming more intense and more bitter. As anti-social employers gloat over victories gained over their workers, with the assistance of a servile and anti-labour government, smouldering bitterness grows in the hearts and souls of beaten and sullen workers. These are some of the important issues in this war, and they are some of the issues that are preventing us from getting a full war effort. As I shall show before I finish, the government of to-day not only has ignored labour, but is fastening more and more tightly the shackles of big business

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control on the people of this country. The speech from the throne says that this is no ordinary war but a conflict between irreconcilable forces. The government uses these words but seemingly does not understand them. Cannot the members of this government see that the very same conflict is going on in miniature in our very midst? If, however, they do see it, are they doing anything to remove the causes of that conflict in order to leave us more free to fight the common enemy?

I think, Mr. Speaker, we shall have to realize, before we fully understand the nature of this war, that it did not begin in September, 1939, and also that it is, as the speech from the throne says, more than an ordinary war; it is a world revolution. This war began in January, 1933, with the destruction of the German trade unions and socialist parties by Hitler. It was continued and has continued on a score of different fronts, and in a thousand different ways, before Poland was invaded in September, 1939. It was continued by the destruction of the Vienna socialists in 1934; it was continued in 1936 and 1937 and 1938 in Spain, as the hon. member for Northumberland, Ont., (Mr. Fraser), already pointed out this afternoon. In Spain the women and children of Madrid, Barcelona and Burgos were bombed by the war planes of Hitler and Mussolini, and we helped them destroy the loyalist government of that country. I remember speaking in this house on May 26, 1938-and what the hon. member for Northumberland, Ont., said to-day brought it to my mind-and I tried to get parliament to reverse the attitude which this government had taken in the Spanish civil war. But no one cared. I should like to read a few words of what I said on that occasion. It is important now because the democracies could just as easily have had a democratic Spain as they have a fascist Spain. I said as reported at page 3246 of Hansard of May 26, 1938:

I am going to confine my remarks to one aspect of our foreign policy which seems to me to transcend all other aspects, even at this time when we are beset on all sides with questions of very great import. I refer to our policy with regard to Spain. To me our policy in connection with the Spanish situation has been and is devoid of every semblance of equity, justice, fairness or the application of international law.

I do not wish to quote more, but that much was apparent then. I pointed out that the result of our policy would be that either fascism or communism would become dominant in Spain. I have often wondered how some of the members of the cabinet of that day could stay in the cabinet-the present Minister

of Finance (Mr. Ilsley), for instance, or the present Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. Mackenzie)-realizing as they must have done what the consequences of the policy they were endorsing would be. I may come back, if I have time, to the question of the labour policy of the government.

First, however, I want to say something with regard to the plebiscite. The announcement of the plebiscite is the most important item in the speech from the throne. For myself I am not finding fault with the principle of referring matters to the people for an expression of opinion, but in referring such matters to a popular vote there are, it seems to me, two essential requirements before an intelligent verdict can be given or expected: (1) there must be a clear-cut question which can be answered yes or no and from which predictable results will follow, having regard to the popular decision; (2) the people who are to decide must have reliable information on which to form an opinion. In the proposed plebiscite the first essential consideration is missing, and, so far, there is no indication that the people will get reliable information as to the need or otherwise of compulsory military service for overseas.

No member of the government, as far as I know, has yet said that compulsory military service for overseas is urgently needed or that it is not needed. I was not in the house when the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) spoke on January 26, but I have read his speech with great care. It is a good speech until he begins to deal with the matter of the plebiscite. I admit that he has made a good case for a reference to the people, but he has not made a case for the kind of reference proposed-and I reiterate that my objection is not to the principle of a plebiscite even in times of national crisis. My objection is based on the fact that the question to be placed before the people, on which they will be asked to vote, is not the straight question yes or no on conscription, the only question at issue at this time. The question on which the people will be asked to vote was stated by the Prime Minister and has been read in this house a number of times. It is this:

Are you in favour of releasing the government from any obligation arising out of any past commitments restricting the methods of raising men for military service?

I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, in all sincerity that that is not a proper question to put before the people of Canada at this time. There is only one matter on which the government feels its hands tied. The government, if it wants to be released, should ask for release without any beating about the bush. A vote

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taken on the question proposed will in some parts of Canada be a vote on conscription; in other parts of Canada it will not be a vote on conscription. It will depend in what part of the country one happens to be. In places where sentiment is favourable to conscription, people will be told that a favourable vote will result in the government introducing a conscription bill; in parts of the country where there is opposition to conscription, the people will be told that a favourable vote will not mean conscription. The premier of Quebec, as well as other speakers in that province, has already stated that a favourable vote will not be followed by conscription.

This plebiscite, then, is neither fish, flesh nor fowl, but it is a good red herring. It is about as clever-or as clumsy, whichever term you choose to use-a piece of subterfuge as has ever been perpetrated upon a people.

During the past two months the acting leader of this group and I have crossed this country from the Atlantic to the Pacific. We stopped at all the larger centres of population and at some not so large. We met and spoke with thousands of people in all walks of life. I think we are both convinced that the people are more ready for conscription to-day, if it is necessary, than they were for the declaration of war in September, 1939. I say that they are more ready, but I say it with a proviso. They are ready provided it is not only conscription of flesh and blood, but also conscription of the amassed wealth, industrial capital and financial resources of the country as well. They want an all-out war effort with all the resources which the people of Canada possess.

The fathers and mothers of the youth of Canada are not prepared to sacrifice their sons to safeguard the wealth and special privileges of the Crabtrees, the MacMillan's and the McLean's, who already own too much of Canada for Canada's good. Indeed, the Canadian people are disturbed over the complete control of the economic life of the country which has been given since the war began to these exploiters by the Prime Minister and his cabinet.

The group with which I sit are, as we -have already stated, in favour of a vote on the clear issue of conscription, because we believe it is the real issue confronting the people of Canada to-day. We favour a vote on two questions: (a) conscription of man-power; (b) conscription of material resources, industry and finance. If both questions were given to the people for endorsation or rejection, I feel convinced that they would approve both provided they were told it was necessary.

The Prime Minister in -his speech said -that there were three ways by which the government could seek release -from past commitments-with respect to the methods of raising men for military service: (1) a general election; (2) a referendum on conscription; (3) a plebiscite in which the government would ask for release from past promises. Two of the means mentioned by the Prime Minister are, in my opinion, clear and definite, namely, a general election or a referendum on conscription. The third means, a plebiscite, wooljed up in words, is not clear, and true to form, it is the means by which the Prime Minister asks the people to decide. He asks them to decide without furnishing them with the information necessary to an intelligent expression of opinion.

The Prime Minister rejects the idea of a general election, although he admits that conscription would be the main issue, but other issues might enter. He rejects the idea of a referendum because the vote would be a definite vote on -conscription. He rejects the one because it would not be clear; he rejects the other because it would be clear. It does not seem to me to make sense. I think, really, it is juggling with an important issue, and that is not desirable at this time.

The Prime Minister knows, as every member of this house knows, that only one commitment or reservation was made with regard to military service, namely, that there would be no conscription for overseas service. That reservation, surely, was based upon conditions as they existed in Canada at the -beginning of the war; but if those conditions do not apply to-day-and the Prime Minister indicated in his speech that they do not apply-it is the duty of the Prime Minister and -his ministers boldly and clearly to tell the house and the people of Canada what the real situation is. There is no other way by -which either members of parliament or the -people of Canada can make wise decisions. Let us then be done with this humbug. Let the people of Canada decide whether they want conscription for overseas service and also whether they want effective conscription of industry, accumulated wealth and finance for an all-out war effort.

I wish to make brief reference to our situation on the Pacific coast -because of recent happenings. The question has already been covered fairly well by the hon, member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green), the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Reid) and also the hon. member for Fraser Valley (Mr. Cruickshank). Three main questions are disturbing the people there. The first is, Are the defences on the Pacific coast ade-

The Address-Mr. Maclnnis

quate? I do not know; I imagine no one here knows. But I support the suggestion made by the hon. member for New Westminster the other day, that the government should ask General MeNaughton, who is now in Canada, to go to the Pacific coast and make a thorough inspection of the defences there. I am sure that because of the knowledge he must have of the defences built in Great Britain, he will be able to advise the military authorities and the government here wisely.

Another question that is disturbing the minds of the people on the Pacific coast is the question of Japanese nationals and Canadian Japanese. I have made some investigations on my own behalf of what the government has done and is doing in that connection. I am satisfied that the government has the situation in hand. We must always keep in mind that most of the Japanese in British Columbia-the people of Japanese origin- are not Japanese, they are Canadians. Today we heard a plea for tolerance for another minority in Canada, a much larger minority, of course. But minorities must be treated fairly not because they are large but because they have certain rights as Canadians. In considering this question we should remember that we are Canadians and that we also are British, and in dealing with minorities we must not adopt the policies either of Japan or of Germany or of any other country that are not as good as ours. I was pleased with the very reasonable way in which the hon. member for New Westminster dealt with this question the other day, and I do not wish to say a word that would take away from the good effect of his speech. But I was rather surprised to hear him put forward as an example of what we should do with the Japanese in British Columbia the fact that the Russians moved a whole population of some 350,000 people to Siberia. Moving people to Siberia is a habit in Russia. The czars moved tens of thousands of people to Siberia, and thousands of them died there.

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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

For the protection and safeguarding of the state.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

It was always for the protection of the state.

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An hon. MEMBER:

For the protection of the czar.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

The czar moved them for the protection of the state, but we cannot save the state by means like that. We save the state by justice or we do not save it. As an hon. member suggests, it is not worth saving if we cannot save it in that way.

I have as I say discussed this matter with the people in charge. After discussing it with the Royal Canadian Mounted police, I am inclined to think better of the government, because I have a feeling that a police force can never be better than the government which directs it, and I am satisfied with the attitude taken by the Royal Canadian Mounted police with regard to our Canadian Japanese.

Then there is the question of air raid precautions. I agree with what the hon. member for Vancouver South said in that regard. I believe that while to a large extent this work may be done by civilians, the government must furnish the larger direction and also the funds to provide the equipment. I do not believe that is being done at the present time. In fact I believe it is in a very bad muddle indeed.

I ' now wish to turn to labour matters which I referred to in my opening remarks. I have been trying, trying, trying for the past two years to get this government to take a democratic attitude towards labour. And I have failed. The situation is getting worse. I am going to try now, and I believe I can convince even hon. members opposite that the situation is getting worse. The hon. member for Edmonton East (Mrs. Casselman) asked yesterday, when the hon. member for .Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis) was speaking, if we would not consider the appointment of the new Minister of Labour as something on the credit side of the ledger as far as the government's attitude toward labour is concerned. I am going to try to give this house a picture of what about two months' administration of the Department of Labour under the new minister amounts to. I regret to have to do it, but I do it because there is no other way by which the people concerned can get access to the government of this country. They are double-crossed by the Department of Labour, and they cannot get access to the Prime Minister.

For lack of understanding of working-class needs, and for the most colossal ineptitude in dealing with labour problems, I thought the former Minister of Labour was in a class by himself; I thought he had no equal. But without being yet long enough in office to be elected to parliament, I believe the new minister has already shattered the record of my hon. friend the Secretary of State (Mr. McLarty) in the Department of Labour for doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.

I shall submit to this house two cases and let hon. members decide for themselves as to the fitness not only of the new Minister of

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Labour to hold that office, but also as to the rightness of the policy that has been followed by this government.

First, I want to refer to the Kirkland Lake strike. It was referred to yesterday by the hon. member for Cape Breton South. In that strike the miners used every avenue provided by law and usage to get a conference with the employers, but they failed.

I have before me the report of the conciliation board which heard the dispute between the miners and their employers. This is a unanimous report, signed by the chairman, Mr. Justice C. P. McTague, Mr. F. Wilkinson, the member for the employers, and Mr. J. L. Cohen, the member for the employees. This board had experience; it had tried previous cases; and in making its report on the Kirkland Lake dispute it quoted some paragraphs from a report which was made by the same persons sitting as a board in another dispute and which appeared in the Labour Gazette of February, 1941, from which I shall read briefly:

As industry has grown and developed, the right of work people to organize into collective associations or trade unions, and through such organizations to bargain collectively with their employers as to the terms and conditions of their employment, has been increasingly emphasized. It is a right asknowledged by law, by industrial practice, and by public policy. It has been verified by many important public pronouncements.

That is what the miners were asking. Then the report goes on:

The abstract rights which it is now conceded belong to labour, can only be said to exist in a concrete sense if collective bargaining is practised and collective agreements are concluded.

Then they point out that the employers in the present dispute based their refusal to negotiate with the miners' organization on the fact that its headquarters are in the United States. On that point the board has this to say:

It is our view that this is an erroneous and illogical approach to the matter. There is no law that we know of that prevents any group of workers from joining an international union and constituting it as bargaining agent. In fact it seems to have been recognized policy for a great number of years to encourage the activities of international unions in Canada. Otherwise it is hard to explain section 2 of the Immigration Act-

I need not give the reference.

-in force as far back as 1921, placing accredited representatives of international unions entering Canada for the temporary exercise of their calling within the class of persons entitled to entry without restriction.

Then the board continues:

The problem, if there is a problem, would seem not to consist in discrimination against

particular international unions but rather in making sure that international unions, national unions and employers as well, conform to the laws of this country while carrying on their activities here. In this particular matter the board was denied, on account of the course followed by the mine operators, any opportunity to conciliate the differences betwen the parties at all. At a comparatively early stage in the proceedings counsel for the mine operators informed the board that his clients were unalterably opposed to recognizing the union and wished to withdraw from any further participation in the proceedings. Manifestly, the use of such technique makes completely futile the appointment of conciliation boards to deal with questions of recognition.

I have been telling the Minister of Labour and this house that the question of union recognition should not be a matter for conciliation boards. I find now that this board agrees with me. I quote:

As a matter of fact, it is more than doubtful that the question of union recognition falls within the purview of the Industrial Disputes Investigation Act at all. The employment of such a technique, together with a doubt as to jurisdiction under the act, would seem to leave the broad question of collective bargaining to be dealt with by parliament or cabinet council rather than by the old process of conciliation boards under the Industrial Disputes Investigation Act.

This government never hesitates to use an order in council when it wants to do something, but it would not use an order in council to compel those employers to bargain collectively with their employees, according to the principles laid down by the government.

Now, just for a moment, I am going to show the position of the present Minister of Labour with regard to this dispute. On Friday, January 16, there was a meeting of the war labour board, and Mr. Mitchell proposed that this board act as arbitrator in the Kirkland Lake dispute. This proposal was immediately sent to the miners, and it was supposed that it was also sent to the mine operators. The miners dealt with the matter on January 18, and informed the minister that they had accepted the proposal. Nothing being heard from the employers after several days, inquiry was made as to what they intended to do. The first reply was that they had not received any proposal at all. Some time later Mr. Mitchell sent another letter to the miners outlining a proposal altogether different from the one he had submitted formerly, the one they had accepted. I should like to read to the house a few words from a letter written by Mr. Mosher, president of the Canadian Congress of Labour, with which the Kirkland Lake miners are affiliated, just to show exactly what Mr. Mosher thinks of the Minister of Labour, and I think Mr. Mosher is right:

The Address-Mr. Maclnnis

I acknowledge receipt of a copy of your letter of January 21, to Mr. William Simpson, president of the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, local No. 240, Kirkland Lake, and I should like to point out, as I did in my conversation with you yesterday, that I regard the contents of that letter as embodying a proposal which is at variance with that which you requested me to submit to the miners, and which I informed you subsequently had been accepted by them.

Then Mr. Mosher says:

It seems to me that, in the circumstances, I should have been consulted with regard to any change in the original proposal which might be contemplated by you, and that your action in submitting a new proposal direct to the miners was most objectionable from the standpoint of both courtesy and ethics.

It is important that there should be no misunderstanding on the part of the miners or the public in this connection, and I must, in fairness to myself, make the facts known to all concerned.

That is signed by Mr. A. R. Mosher under date of January 24.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I take up another case, affecting another union. The C.I.O., or the unions affiliated with it, may be just as bad as Premier Hepburn says they are; but from what has been said about Premier Hepburn in this house during the last few days by his "friends", perhaps Premier Hepburn's word is not worth much, or is worth just as much as his morals, and that is not very much. The union concerned is an American Federation of Labour affiliate. The facts, however, show the same ignoring of organized labour and the same kowtowing to employers' interests, regardless of whether the head of the Department of Labour is a lawyer, financier or an ex-trade unionist.

In the summer of 1941 the boilermakers and plumbers and steamfitters employed by Morton shipyards in Quebec made application for a board. The board sat and heard both sides in the dispute; but before it had finished its deliberations, the then Minister of Labour, who is now Secretary of State had set up a royal commission to investigate all shipbuilding industries in Ontario and Quebec. Despite the fact that a national labour supply council had been created by the government, and was supposed to be consulted in matters of this kind, the appointment of the royal commission was not referred to it. Three lawyers were appointed to act as commissioners.

Lawyers may be the best sort of people to act on commissions of this kind, but I do not see how lawyers would know so very much about shipbuilding, and the wages of shipyard workers. I do not believe they have much experience in that kind of work. The fact remains, however, that the commission was composed of lawyers.

fMr. Maclnnis.]

The Minister of Labour, Mr. Mitchell, invited Mr. W. J. Coyle representing the boilermakers, and Mr. J. W. Bruce, representing the plumbers and steamfitters working for the Morton yards to come to his office to discuss wages in the Morton shipyards. At that interview wages and bonuses were agreed upon which were acceptable to labour representatives, the Department of Labour and the Department of Munitions and Supply. That is stated in a letter forwarded to Mr. Bruce by Bryce Stewart, Deputy Minister of Labour. The letter is dated December 23, and in it Mr. Stewart suggested that the proposals were made without prejudice to any reference to the national war labour board, in the event of any dissatisfaction. They agreed to vary the findings of the arbitration board, and there was agreement to accept a lower scale- five cents an hour less than the board's award. The representatives, Mr. Bruce and Mr. Coyle, put the proposals before the employees of the Morton shipyards and induced them to accept.

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LIB

Thomas Vien (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

The hon. member's time has expired. Unless there is unanimous consent he cannot continue.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Go ahead.

Mr. MaeINNIS: I shall try to be as brief

as possible, and I thank hon. members for permitting me to finish.

Under date of a communication dated December 29, 1941, Mr. Bruce advised the Minister of Labour that the workers concerned had accepted the proposals of the department. Then there is another telegram dated December 31 from the Minister of Labour thanking Mr. Bruce for his wire. In the meantime it appears that there had been consultation with the employers, and that the employers did not like the agreement made by the labour department. The next thing Mr. Bruce and Mr. Coyle learned about the matter was the passing of an order in council on January 26, while the house was in session, repudiating completely the agreement already agreed to by the Minister of Labour, and attaching a new scale of wages and bonuses to the order. Not only that, but the order in council placed the setting of wages in the hands of the Minister of Labour, without reserve.

Order in council P.C. 269, dated January 26, 1942, contains this paragraph:

2. The Minister of Labour is hereby authorized to adjust the basic wage rates for other classifications of employees of the aforesaid shipyards in such relationship to the basic wage rates specified for mechanics and in such amounts as in his opinion, having regard to all the circumstances, are fair and reasonable.

The Address

Mr. Claxton

Mr. Bruce then replied in a telegram dated January 29, 1942. I draw the attention of hon. members to the similarity of this wire to the letter from Mr. Mosher which I placed on record. The wire is addressed to the Hon. Humphrey Mitchell, Minister of Labour at Ottawa, and is in these words:

On December 22 you requested vice-president Coyle and myself to come to Ottawa to discuss report of the board of conciliation in the Morton shipyards. After considerable discussion with Deputy Minister Stewart and director of industrial relations Crawford it was agreed, and a proposition submitted to us in writing on December 23, that was to be submitted to the men with rates of wages based on reports of the royal commission on shipyards and other provisions of the report of the board of conciliation would be accepted acting on your suggestion and as a war measure this proposition was submitted to the men with our endorsement and adopted and notification was conveyed to you by telegram from myself under date of December 29. I was considerably surprised to-day to receive word that Morton company had posted notices repudiating our agreement vice-president Coyle informs me that Deputy Minister Stewart has informed him that the department had repudiated the conditions we agreed upon. If this is so without any recognition of our rights or consultation with us is an outrageous and unwarranted violation of our agreement and a breach of faith by a department of government and will warrant the disapproval of the workers throughout the whole dominion and bring the government into disrespect for repudiating a written agreement thereby placing myself and Coyle in a very unsatisfactory position as the men accepted our endorsation in good faith. We would appreciate some explanation of the situation.

No explanation was given. Is the Prime Minister going to stand for that sort of thing in the Department of Labour? Does he agree with that kind of double-crossing by his ministers? If he does not, then he had better clean house in the Department of Labour.

As matters stand to-day, wages are regulated by order in council. The government which in 1940 put itself on record as favouring collective bargaining has virtually abolished collective bargaining. Order in council P.C. 8253 abolished the previous order in council P.C. 7440, which recognized collective bargaining. Under order in council P.C. 8253 a national war labour board was set up, with an elaborate system of regional boards. Before this system had properly begun to function, the government abolished-in this case at any rate-the manner of appeal for which they had made provision.

This is a matter that calls for the condemnation of every member of this house. Unless we are able to deal with the small matters at home, we should stop trying to bring a better world into being, because we cannot do it.

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much; and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

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LIB

Brooke Claxton

Liberal

Mr. BROOKE CLAXTON (St. Lawrence-St. George):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Maclnnis) absolved all lawyers from any special knowledge of labour problems, and I shall take that as my excuse for not following him in the remarks I am going to make. I should like, however, to refer to another lawyer who addressed this house yesterday, making a magnificent speech that appealed to hon. members in all parts of the house as well as to thousands and thousands of Canadians in every province oi Canada. It is exceedingly difficult to follow him with any speech this afternoon. In showing his love of Canada the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) took us right back to the beginning of this debate, which was opened by two hon. members who also showed a similar love of our country.

I am glad to add my quota of congratulations to the hon. member for Hull (Mr. Fournier) and the hon. member for Brantford City (Mr. Macdonald) upon opening this debate. They are two of the most popular and respected members of the house, and their speeches were worthy of them. One is of French descent from my own province of Quebec; the other is of Scotch descent from the province of Ontario, but they both spoke only as Canadians. In love of their country, in devotion to its service, in appreciation of its problems they are second to none in this house. They are representative of the great body of Canadians who stand between the two extremes referred to yesterday by the Minister of Finance. One extreme may be said to be represented by the hon. member for Parkdale (Mr. Bruce), and the other by the hon. member for Laval-Two Mountains (Mr. Lacombe). The one appears to want conscription for overseas service no matter what it costs; the other appears to want no conscription for overseas service no matter what it costs. There is no hope for the unity or for the future or safety of Canada in either of them.

In what I have to say I hope to follow the hon. member for Hull and the hon. member for Brantford City and speak as a Canadian calling to all of Canada. I must do that because the constituency I represent is made up of people of every race and every station in life. It may be expected that the census of last year will show that Canada is less Anglo-Saxon than the United States. Every day in the week I am reminded that thirty per cent of the population are of French origin and twenty per cent are of neither French nor British origin. I am reminded that the one bond we have in common is our attachment to Canada, that we can make that

The Address-Mr. Claxton

bond as strong and no stronger than we preserve our unity and show our love for our country.

This debate is taking place at the most crucial time in the history of the world and of our country. It is in the minds of everyone that we should do our utmost to see that our country puts forth its greatest effort at this time, so that in cooperation with our allies we may defeat Hitler and Japan as soon as possible and gain the opportunity to work for a better world. I would have thought that this discussion would fall under three heads, that we would have discussed what we have done, what more we can do and how best we can do it. But there has been little criticism from any opposition group as to what we have done, and there has been even less suggestion as to what we should do. The Conservative opposition in the house and the mixed opposition outside the house have concentrated their attention upon how we should do one particular thing in our war effort, namely, the method of raising men for overseas service. They say that we should have conscription now. Why now? Because, they say, voluntary recruiting has failed. Because they want conscription now, they do not want a plebiscite. I shall have something more to say about the position taken by the opposition groups, but I should like to start my contribution to this debate at the right end and refer to what we have done and what we propose to do. '

What have we done? One would think that at this time there would be no need to refer to what we have done, that it would no longer be necessary to tell the Canadian people of the effort that has been put forth by our country. However, the campaign of unlimited detraction that has been carried on makes it necessary that we should go over this again and again so that there may be no misunderstanding on the part of the public about it.

Canada with a population of eleven and a half million people probably has a higher man-power overhead than any other country in the world. By man-power overhead I mean that we have proportionately more people engaged in transportation and other essential services necessary to keep the country going. With our population we have to carry on the services of a country equal in area to the United States but with only one-eleventh of its population. Despite that, to-day Canada's fighting forces total over

400,000 men who have enlisted voluntarily for service anywhere in the world. We have four divisions in England, with over 100,000 in the army alone. We are told that in equip-

ment, training, physique and morale they will stand comparison with any other armed force in any part of the world. They stand at the place of honour in Great Britain to-day.

We are more than glad to welcome back to our shores this week their gallant commander Lieutenant-General A. G. L. McNaughton, and to congratulate him upon his recovery from an illness due entirely to overwork in our cause. In his message to the troops under his command on the second anniversary of the arrival in December, 1939, of the leading elements of the first division, General McNaughton said:

It now is two years since leading elements of the Canadian army arrived in this country. The equipment and training of these formations was completed and since then a steadily increas-ing_ force_has been held ready for any service which might be required; meanwhile other forces have been organized by Canada and dispatched to the far east and to our own western shore, now menaced by a new foe.

So far it has been our principal duty to stand guard in these islands. We recognize the need for this decision for, with the enemy's hordes within a few short miles of this vital centre of civilization, the reason is evident to all.

Nevertheless, through long months on watch and in repeated routine training there have been many disappointments at action deferred and great patience has been required. It has been given without complaint and I count it a privilege and a satisfaction to be able to say so and to thank all ranks for the steady purpose and acceptance or conditions which they have shown.

On behalf of all our force I thank the people of Britain also for their continued hospitality and friendliness, which have done so much to ease our path.

From a very small beginning the Canadian army has now grown to many tens of thousands of men and women. New units and formations and reserves have come to us as quickly as ships could be found to bring them here, and as they have arrived the organization of our military headquarters, reinforcement units, hospitals, schools, repair establishments and many other needed facilities have been pressed forward; meanwhile our engineer and signal and forestry corps have made their contribution to the life and welfare of the community.

Throughout this long period of preparation which circumstances has given us, the corps, divisions, armoured formations and other field units have been completed in equipment and trained together and with squadrons of the Royal Canadian Air Force assigned to army cooperation. These tasks have been pursued with unrelaxed attention and the whole has been made ready for decisive employment when the opportunity comes to take full effect on the enemy.

That the future holds great difficulties and dangers and much hardship there is no doubt, but we go forward firm in our confidence in the ultimate result-the triumph of justice and right over the dark forces of evil which oppose us.

The Address-Mr. Claxton

I think, Mr. Speaker, the house should have that message, and I count it a privilege to be allowed to read it to the house and put it on Hansard because, when in the last war General McNaughton was placed in command of the Canadian Corps heavy artillery, I was serving in one of the batthries under his command as a non-commissioned officer. The hon. member for Grenville-Dundas (Mr. Cassel-man), the Conservative whip, who was in the same unit with me will remember that General McNaughton was a fighting general. He was appointed a general at the age of thirty-one. He gained distinction as no other man on the western front did for work as an artillery officer. I am glad now, not only to welcome him back to Canada and to put before the house his fine message, but also to wish him and the forces he commands all possible success in whatever lies ahead.

I was speaking of our army in Britain. In addition to the men outside Canada, we have on the strength in Canada certainly over

150.000 men in the army alone, enlisted for voluntary service anywhere in the world; and including the air force and the navy we must have in Canada alone well over a quarter of a million men enlisted for service anywhere in the world. In the navy we have 28,000 sailors in 350 ships helping to keep the seas open. The air force has over 100,000 men in more than 100 establishments, producing thousands of air fighters a month to keep the planes in action in the air over the enemy. The air training plan has cost us more than the Canadian Pacific railway. It is a major factor in the war and a magnificent achievement.

Few people in this house and few people in Canada realize that in eight months we have increased our armed forces, voluntarily enlisted for service anywhere, by more than sixty-six per cent. Men have enlisted in that period for all the services at an average of

20.000 a month, and that, it may be noted, is more than the average for the whole war, so the last eight months are better than the previous period. The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) announced in the house last week that January showed recruits for the army alone of 11,000 men, which I think would make January one of the very best recruiting months since the outbreak of the war.

There is no shortage of recruits for the navy. There is no shortage of recruits for the air force. Canadian boys do not lack courage, and they want action. For this and other reasons recruiting for the army did not compare as well during some months at various periods; but during the last few months, with

the dastardly attack of Japan on Pearl Harbour and the possibility of action, recruiting has picked up, and I would not be surprised to learn that January will be among the best months since the outbreak of the war.

Men have been discharged at the rate of about 1,500 a month. But that wastage has been more than made up. Reinforcements have been built up in England and in Canada. The fact that we have only about 15,000 men called up for service in Canada for the duration of the. war indicates that we are getting all the volunteers that we can equip and train at the present time.

I have spent a moment or two on the subject of our accomplishments with regard to the armed services. Think of what has been done in agriculture. Despite the loss of probably 150,000 farmers and farm labourers to the armed forces and to munitions work, the farmers of Canada have produced three-quarters of a billion pounds of bacon, two hundred million pounds of cheese and immense quantities of other foods for Britain. We have sent all the food that ships can be found to carry.

In thousands of factories, over six hundred thousand workers are producing planes and guns and shells and tanks, practically the whole equipment of an infantry division every six weeks. We are equipping our own forces and also equipping five times as many more.

Of course there are occasional shortages. Everybody has had the experience of going to a departmental store and finding -that they are out of something. Our guns and planes and equipment are sent to the -places where they will do the most good. A shortage in a training camp in Canada may -be caused- by equipment having been sent closer to -the firing line, where it should be sent. I remember in the last war, after four months of service in Canada, we had not seen a firing -weapon of any kind, and we were four months in service in England before we saw a modern gun. To-day we are sending munitions to every corner of the world.

The changed character of the war is shown most dramatically in motor vehicles. In the last war w-e had 153 motor vehicles for a division compared with 2,500 in this war, and those 2,500 develop a horse-power of 400,000, equivalent to that used in the city of Toronto. The difference -between this war and the last is also shown by the fact that for every fighting man we need a motor vehicle and a firepower weapon bigger than the rifle. It is a totally different war, and it is high time that all of us realized this.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

The Address-Mr. Claxton

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

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LIB

Brooke Claxton

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

When the house rose at six o'clock I was speaking of our war effort and giving some figures. In addition to what I have indicated, we are shipping to Britain all the munitions and food that ships can be found to carry, and we are building the ships too. We are building this year one million tons of cargo ships, about as much as Britain will build herself. We are raising enough money in taxes to meet our own war costs, and this year we are borrowing from the Canadian people a billion and a half dollars to meet ordinary costs of government and the expense of what we are sending to Britain.

This year we are sending to Britain, without receiving payment except by way of a book entry, twice as much as we ever sold to her in any year before; and in proportion to national income or population the tax burden on the Canadian people is comparable with that in Britain to-day.

Mr. Churchill said not long ago that in the twenty-sixth month of the war Britain was employing her resources to a degree that was comparable with what she had accomplished in the forty-ninth month of the last war. In Canada, because our effort is relatively so much greater than it was in the last war, in the twenty-sixth month we are spending at a rate which is nearly ten times as great as it was in the forty-ninth month of the last war, in terms of the same money. This year we are spending on the war nearly twice as much as we spent in the entire period from 1914 to 1918, and we are getting more value for our money because the government had the foresight and courage to take steps to stop inflation and prevent profiteering by more drastic measures than had ever been taken before in any democracy.

There have been no disorders m Canada, no sabotage, no panics, no shortages, no scandals and no irretrievable mistakes. Canadian industry, Canadian labour and Canadian organizing skill have been equal to every challenge. It has been an orderly, steady march even though it has had no brass band. We have every reason to be proud of our achievement; we would have every reason to be dissatisfied if it stopped there.

So I come to the second head, namely, what it is proposed to do to-day, what policy or plan the government has laid out for the future. This was indicated in the speech from the throne and in the Prime Minister's speech. We are to have a Canadian army of two corps, one of three infantry divisions and two tank brigades, while the other corps will

consist of two armoured divisions. The army will be a force of terrific hitting power.

Now, has there been any criticism of this plan in this house? Has there been any other suggestion put forward by the opposition? I have not heard any. They have said that we should have a much larger force-much bigger. How much bigger? We all know the "For God's sake do something" school of criticism, the people who say that we must do more, without saying how it is to be done or indicating what the inevitable limits of anyone's efforts are. They do not say how we can equip and train and reinforce a force in England bigger than an army and, in addition, maintain the air force with recruits at the rate of tens of thousands a year, and a navy and land forces to defend Canada, and supply munitions and food in ever-increasing quantities.

These critics do not strike a balance and say what is possible and what is not possible. They just say they want more, and more, and more. When this kind of pressure is put on, there is danger that we may be stampeded into biting off more than we can chew, stampeded into getting the war effort out of balance, so that we have an army when we have not the men to make the munitions to outfit that army.

The cry for conscription now is based on the assertion that we are not getting sufficient recruits by voluntary methods. The leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson), in his speech, said that he was basing his plea on recruiting statistics, but if you look through his speech you do not see a single sign of anything in the way of recruiting statistics. There is not one there. If the facts and figures given us in the house by the Minister of National Defence (Mr, Ralston), are true, we do not need conscription to-day because of any shortage of recruits, for the reason that we are getting them in sufficient numbers.

The leader of the opposition quoted speeches made by recruiting officers, and those speeches indicate that recruiting is going on. They do not indicate that recruiting has failed. In recruiting speeches would you expect the recruiting officers to say that they do not need men? They are asking for recruits because they need them, and recruits have been coming forward in adequate numbers. In support of his argument the leader of the opposition cited a comment which Lincoln is reported to have made-and "reported" should be put in quotation marks, because that was the language of the leader of the opposition, which will be found at page 25 of Hansard. I ask the leader of the opposi-

The Address-Mr. Claxton

tion where that reference came from. It begins:

Voluntarism is the unprincipled dodge of cowardly politicians.

This language has been used in a number of newspapers, the first reference to it having been found in the Canadian Airman; and when we tried to track it down we found that the man who had written the article had lost his notes. I have in my hand a letter from the library of congress indicating that the most careful search has been made of Lincoln's speeches, correspondence and books, and there is no reference to any such statement in anything that Lincoln ever said.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

That does not detract from the logic of the statement just the same.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Synthetic logic.

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Brooke Claxton

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

Let me, however, quote

words that Lincoln did use in 1863. He said:

It is the people who in the end must decide.

The question of how Canadians are to deal with this matter is one for Canadians; and references, whether accurate or inaccurate, to what Lincoln said or may not have said in 1863 have not much significance for us to-day. We have to tackle this question as a Canadian question, and that is the way we are doing it.

The problem of conscription has hung like a cloud over Canada for twenty-five years, and the government is making an effort to remove the shadow of that cloud from Canada, to remove the method of raising men for overseas service from the emotional entanglements in which it has become involved. To accomplish this, the government proposes to ask the people in a plebiscite one question:

Are you in favour of releasing the government from any obligation arising out of any past commitments restricting the methods of raising men for military service?

It is said and said rightly that the mandate given to the government in the election of 1940 was a mandate to carry on the war. But that mandate was subject to the limitation, to the restriction made expressly by every leader of every party, that there would be no conscription for overseas service. The object of the plebiscite is to remove the limitation and restore responsible government. If the answer to the plebiscite is "yes", the question of the best method of recruiting our soldiers for service anywhere may be placed before parliament, free from any shackles should the question arise.

It is asserted that in resorting to a plebiscite

the government is denying responsible government. The government say that the place to decide the question how to raise man-power is in parliament. It is not evading responsibility, but is asking for more responsibility.

The hon. member for Vancouver East said the question should be put in the form: Are you in favour of conscription? But that would be an abnegation of responsible government. Here we are seeking to be released from the pledge; nothing more.

The most extraordinary line of argument taken by the opposition and others outside the house is that we should not have given these pledges.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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Brooke Claxton

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

I hear someone say

"Hear, hear." I ask hon. members to go back to the outbreak of the war. We have already heard references to that and to what happened then, made by the Prime Minister and others in their speeches. I ask hon. members to go on a step to the Quebec election of October, 1939. I ask them to put themselves in the position they were in then when Mr. Duplessis called an election for the purpose of testing whether or not the province of Quebec would cooperate fully in the war; I ask them to think with what relief they heard that the late Right Hon. Mr. Lapointe, the Minister of Transport (Mr. Cardin) and the Minister of National Defence for Air (Mr. Power) were going to Quebec to fight out there the issue whether or not Quebec would fully cooperate in the war. Was there a word of protest heard throughout the land when Mr. Lapointe gave pledges and repeated the pledges already given? Was any person or any newspaper heard to say that he was wrong? And that was the same Lapointe who in a speech that I heard myself at the Montreal Forum on October 21, 1939, speaking to an audience that was almost entirely French-speaking, said:

In this campaign I am defending Canada, I am defending the future of our country, I am defending the future of my children and yours.

Je eherche i defendre, a maintenir, k soutenir, l'oeuvre de Cartier et de Macdonald.

And switching into English he said1:

I am trying to defend, to maintain, to uphold the work of Cartier and Macdonald. We want to preserve their -work. We want to make this a great nation inhabited by a united people.

The crowd rose as one man. The election was won; every man in Canada was glad. I hold in my hand clippings from newspapers from end to end of Canada; every one of them was more than relieved. The Ottawa Journal said:

Let us accept it as a great healing, a healing of prejudices wherever they may live.

The Address-Mr. Claxton

Not a word that Lapointe was wrong. The Winnipeg Tribune began its editorial with "0 Canada" in French and English, and it said:

Mr. Lapointe is the man of the hour. . . . If he were to die to-morrow he would be ranked, along with Laurier, among the greatest of Canadians.

The greatest monument to his memory is the contribution he made to Canada's unity and to Canada's cause in the last two years of his life. Are we now going back on that word? Are we going back on the series of most solemn promises ever given to any electorate? Some people say we should, that our word should be broken. In another place it was said:

Their pledge is no more important than others that have been given in the past in election time and thrown into the scrap basket immediately after.

Can we break faith? How can the electors of Canada believe anything said by these people who now urge that such a solemn pledge should be broken? They do not trust the people, and the people will not trust them.

Conscription is no ordinary question. It is difficult to explain it to English-speaking Canadians from outside Quebec. It is no ordinary question; there is no other question in Canadian life that has been anything like this in the history of Canada. And the reasons are very difficult to explain; they go back three hundred years. For three hundred years the citizens of Quebec have been isolated; they have had to fight for their survival; they have had to fight their environment, and at times the fight has been bitter, made bitter often by the people they had to fight to preserve their integrity. They are a different race. It is exceedingly difficult to explain how they feel about a question like this, particularly to a Conservative opposition that has not a single French-Canadian member in it. I could go back to 1917; I could go in detail through the terrible history of those years-

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Frederick Clayton Casselman

Mr. CASSELMAN:

I would not suggest that.

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Brooke Claxton

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

-if it were not for the fact that then I would be accused1 of raising passions and prejudice.

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Frederick Clayton Casselman

Mr. CASSELMAN:

What else would you be doing?

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Brooke Claxton

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

I would be disclosing what happened.

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Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

And the things you have kept alive ever since.

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February 5, 1942