February 5, 1942

LIB

Brooke Claxton

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

What are they trying to do? They are trying to get us to break our pledges in the same way they broke their pledges in 1917. If the government broke its pledges now, who would believe a politician again? Who would believe a political leader again? People have faith in their leaders if their leaders keep faith with them.

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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

"Politician" is right.

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LIB

Brooke Claxton

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

It looks sometimes as if Hitler and some extremists in Canada want to save us from the horrors of self-government. They talk about the delay in recruiting. Recruiting is going on; I do not believe the people know what the figures are. I have said something about that. But if there were conscription to-day, how many more men would be taken into the armed forces? The Minister of National Defence may answer that, but I would be surprised if there would be any more. They talk about the expense. We are spending three billions to defend democracy; surely it is worth spending a few cents per capita to maintain democracy, and the basis of democracy is faith in the integrity of public men.

The hon. member for Parkdale asked: "Are we going to abandon them now?" Colonel Cockeram, a former member of this house, said: "We are telling our men overseas that they need not expect reinforcements, that they are left to fight the battle alone." Where do you find that? How can you possibly read that from the fact that we are holding a plebiscite? Those statements condemn themselves. The strain, this emotional tension that has been built up in Canada, has not been created by Hitler or by any crisis of the war; it has been created in Canada by Canadians, and it has been created for the purpose of upsetting public confidence in this government.

We are going to have this plebiscite, and the question is what we are going to do about it. If we want to get on with the war, then I suggest that we should vote "yes". I am very glad indeed to see that the vice-president of the Canadian Legion in Montreal, Colonel Nicholson, a friend of mine, in a speech yesterday urged that everyone should vote "yes".

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Did he approve of the plebiscite?

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LIB

Brooke Claxton

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

He said nothing about that.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

He has already said he does not approve of it.

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LIB

Brooke Claxton

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

He said to vote "yes"; he is not reported yesterday as saying anything about the plebiscite itself. I will ask my

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electors, and I urge the people of Quebec to vote "yes". They have reason to know, from what I said in this house last year, that I am sympathetic to them and that I am trying to understand and to explain them to our fellow Canadians in other parts. I do so for reasons I set forth in a letter to Le Devoir, part of which I should like to read:

We are in this war, not as a satellite, but as a principal. We are fighting this war not because some other country is in danger but because Canada is in danger and because the welfare of Canada is bound up with the defeat of Hitler. Wherever there is a front against Hitler or Japan, there we are defending Canada, as surely as we would be on the ramparts at Quebec.

This is why Canadians of all races and creeds and ages want Canada to do her utmost in the war for Canada and for humanity. Differences of language, differences of background and outlook, make it difficult for all Canadians to feel alike and to act as one. But to-day we are all challenged. Everything Canada has stood for through three centuries is at the hazard.

If there ever was an occasion when all Canadians can have the same feeling and act together it is in our desire to defeat nazism. We may differ on the means. There can be no room for uncertainty that we are united as to the end.

Quebec is a vital part of Canada. Quebec's history and distinctive character make what it says and does in the war of supreme interest to the world. For three hundred years people who speak the French tongue have kept their integrity in a fight against their environment. At times the fight has been bitter. The lingering recollection of that bitterness must not be allowed to blind any Canadian as to where their interest is to-day. It is of vital importance to all of us that there should be no misunderstanding anywhere in our fundamental attitude in the array of civilized feeling against Hitler.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

If I may ask the hon. member a question, has Le Devoir replied to that letter?

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LIB

Brooke Claxton

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

As far as I am aware, the only comment by Le Devoir was made in a footnote to the letter, which I should be glad to show my hon. friend.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

I suppose the hon. gentleman knows that Le Devoir says, "No; never."

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LIB

Brooke Claxton

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

It was because I knew their attitude that I wrote what I did.

Now, Mr. Speaker, my time has gone.

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LIB

Georges Parent (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Has the hon. member unanimous consent to continue?

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Carry on.

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LIB

Brooke Claxton

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

If I had not devoted so much time to this question, perhaps I might have dealt more usefully with some other aspects of the war. I should like to have said something about man-power and the means of organizing it; about the difficulties yet the

necessity for making the utmost use of our resources, and of ways in which we might do that. If I had time, I should like to have said something about the better mobilization of parliament itself, following along the line of the suggestions made by the hon. member for Saskatoon City (Mr. Bence) and the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker). I think there is a good deal in their suggestion that we can do far more useful work if we get down to business in committee, and that we do creative work in committees of parliament. I should like also to have suggested that we might do something more in connection with the organization of debate. The Minister of Finance will remember the debate last year on the war appropriation bill, on which we spent twenty-eight days. During that time there were usually nine or ten cabinet ministers present, among them always the Minister of Finance. I think something more should be done in the way of organizing debates in order to prevent a recurrence of the free-for-all which took place on that occasion. It may interest hon. members to know that in the course of those twenty-eight days the leader of the opposition had no less than 954 separate innings.

I should like to remind the house to-day, Mr. Speaker, that this year is the seventy-fifth anniversary of confederation. Seventy-five years ago to-day the delegation representing the two provinces of Canada and the two colonies were in London working out the draft of the bill which was to be presented in the House of Lords on February 12, 1867. This year we celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of confederation. It is a challenge to us, a challenge to meet the emergencies, the urgencies of this terrible time with the same courage, the same foresight that the fathers of confederation displayed back in those early days.

Ours is a great country. Good people came before us, all from across the seas. They discovered, cleared and settled the land, harnessed nature, brought the colonies together, built railways and industries. Nothing stumped them; but before this war we were not responding so well to Canada's challenge. We were putting our problems on the shelf. Now and then we took them down, dusted them off before a royal commission, and put them back on the shelf again. We were zealous in finding reasons why things should not be done. Every time we failed to deal with a problem we lost faith in ourselves. Some of us became frightened of freedom and disliked new ideas because they were new. We need now a new birth of the democratic faith; belief in the people; belief in each other; faith in our own ability to hoist ourselves by our own

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boot-straps, if we have to do it. "A vital democracy is a community of people working out its own salvation." We must change frustration into creative, buoyant enthusiasm, and give Canadians everywhere the joy of achievement again.

Concluding a speech made in the debates in the first session of the first parliament in Canada, in 1867, the Hon. D'Arcy McGee made certain remarks which I am now pleased to repeat because the constituency he then represented, namely that of Montreal West, was the seat which is now divided between the hon. member for St. Antoine-Westmount (Mr. Abbott) and myself. His words on that occasion might be applied to-day to that class of people described by the Minister of Finance as "smearing Canada". These were his words:

The policy of self-abasement I cannot see in the light of policy at all. I trust this first parliament of the dominion will stamp its reprobation upon every mention of such a policy, and that while avoiding all bravado on the one hand, as unbecoming men in our position, we will in this place endeavour to elevate, and not to depress, the public spirit of the country. Mr. Howe said the other night he would not take back anything he had said as to the extent of these provinces. He leaves us. unabridged, our square miles, and I trust also that he will leave us unshaken, what is more essential the faith of our people in their own future, the faith of every man, of every Canadian in Canada, and of every province in its sister province. This faith wrongs no one, burthens no one, menaces no one, dishonours no one. As it was said of old, faith moves mountains, so I venture reverently to express my own belief that the pure, patriotic faith of a united people will be all-sufficient to overcome and triumph over all difficulties that lie ahead.

The fathers of confederation left us a legacy of courage. They moved the frontiers back. The only new frontier now is what lies ahead. We are fighting for the chance to make the future not Hitler's, but our own. We are united with our allies in our determination to save humanity and set it on the forward march again.

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NAT

Harry Rutherford Jackman

National Government

Mr. H. R. JACKMAN (Rosedale):

Mr. Speaker, speaking in support of the amendment moved by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson), which states that this house regrets that his excellency's advisers "have sought to evade their responsibilities by holding a plebiscite, which, in the view of this house, is the negation of responsible government," I wish first to congratulate the mover and the seconder of the address, my very good friends the hon. member for Hull (Mr. Fournier) and the hon member for Brantford City (Mr. Macdonald). They, like myself, had an unrivalled opportunity last November

to see Great Britain at war. They have seen the peril which that nation is facing, and they have seen the sacrifices which every British man, woman and child is called upon to make. They have come to a visual realization that the defence of Canada lies on the coast of Dover. While I might not agree with the action which they would immediately take to face the common danger of nazi domination, nevertheless I compliment them upon the able manner in which they expressed their point of view.

The main aspects of the unshackling measure, called a plebiscite, mentioned in the speech from the throne, are, as I see them, two in number. First, will conscription for military service overseas become necessary and, second, how is it best brought about? As to the latter aspect, I can only say at this time that the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) had, under constitutional practice, no right to bind the hands of parliament. What, under section 106 of the elections act, he could not do in writing, he has attempted to do orally. It is a breach of the spirit of the act, if not the letter. Under the greatly changed circumstances admitted by all, he is not even morally bound by any alleged pledge. On the other hand he is morally bound to provide leadership and security to the state.

I believe it is the duty of every representative to speak for his constituency. Lord Asquith said that a referendum would impair, if it did not destroy, the sense of parliamentary responsibility. To quote from him, he said:

It would really destroy the law of government by representation.

The armed services are only one form of contribution. As to the industrial side of our war effort, time will only allow me to say here that I believe in the mobilization of industry and resources, which is referred to by some as conscription of wealth, to the utmost extent necessary to the winning of the war. I believe our industrial effort is notable, but it is impossible that we should have increased civilian consumption as measured by retail sales 20 per cent in 1941 over 1940, and claim that we are having a full-out industrial war effort.

This government has not seen fit to put in the address anything in black and white which would suggest conscription for military service overseas. Even the microscope used by the Prime Minister when reading the Conservative amendment fails to disclose it. But since conscription for overseas is the only limitation placed on our war effort by a so-called party pledge, and the Liberal government wishes to be relieved of that pledge,

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Mr. Jackman

the purpose of that release must be in order that compulsory military service for overseas will be contemplated, should the need arise.

This government desires to be released from any obligations arising out of any past commitments restricting the methods of raising men for military service. Their request is for a blank cheque, when in the opinion of many, none is needed. Nevertheless I am alarmed by the preamble to the speech from the throne, which states:

My advisers believe that the magnitude and balanced nature of Canada's war effort is being obscured and impaired by controversy concerning commitments with respect to the methods of raising men for military service which were made prior to the spread of the war to all parts of the world.

Surely the Prime Minister is not asking to be relieved of the so-called pledge in order only to remove the cause of controversy. If the government would place on the statute books a measure for compulsory service wherever it believes the defence of Canada lies, it [DOT]would do much to remove the feeling of national dishonour. Examination of the requirements of total war might then be made, if it has not already been made, to determine where our man-power can most effectively be used.

What are the present military proposals of this government? According to the administration's figures there are now more than

260.000 men enlisted in the army for overseas service anywhere. Of these, 120,000 are already defending Canada outside Canada. The Prime Minister has laid down the programme for the army overseas, for the year ending March 31, 1943, which will require the services of 200,000 men. This figure includes reserves and reinforcements. If there are any casualties, the figures may have to be increased. But is this programme a really full-out contribution by Canada even allowing for the greatly increased contribution through our navy and air force, now amounting together to more than 130,000 men? March 31, 1943, will have seen us in this war for a period of three and one half years. In the last great war, what was the contribution of Canada in man-power after three and one half years? By the end of 1917 Canada had serving overseas 258,893 men, and the Royal Air Force was noted for the numbers and quality of its Canadian pilots. In addition, casualties who did not see service again, probably' amounted to another

100.000 men. These comparative figures would of themselves be startling enough; but when one recalls that the population of Canada has grown in the interval between the two wars by no less than 43-6 per cent,

or from 7,879,000 to 11,315,000, it looks as though the scales were out of balance. The size of this proposed army overseas requires a most careful examination by a committee of the house aided by military experts.

What answer is there to the contention that the Prime Minister is playing politics, which he dignifies by the terms "national unity" and "not getting on with the war." Has he evaded the issue by wasting a month's time in debating whether we are to have a plebiscite, with another three or four months to find out the results. He has thrown the total-war supporters a sop, and now they need only trust in him to do the right thing. Other parts of the country are free to expect him to follow the opposite course. He has done something; he has held a plebiscite; surely that will keep them quiet for a few months longer while he thinks up other dodges to placate the people, while the nazi-Japanese hordes draw ever nearer to our Canadian shores. Is it to be the policy of the government -to keep down our military contribution overseas so that the need for conscription will not become clamant, because if the need for reinforcements becomes urgent and is unsatisfied, as in the last war, there can be only one answer? The Prime Minister knows it, as does the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston), the Minister of Mines and Resources (Mr. Crerar), the Minister of National Defence for Air (Mr. Power), as well as every member of this house.

The Prime Minister has made some caustic and uncalled for remarks about the committee for total war, which committee has its headquarters in Toronto, a city truly great in spirit and in stature. Two incidents with respect to opinions held about this total-war movement have been highly amusing. A group of my fellow Conservative members, seeing a preponderance of Liberal names on the committee, felt that the movement was a sly and cunning Liberal trick to embarrass the Conservative party or to help the Liberal party in some way or another. Then to hear from the lips of the Prime Minister that it is a political move against his government is to reel with laughter between the pillar of suspicion and the post of cynicism. The truth is that there never was a committee more non-political, there never was a committee more Canadian, there never was a committee better apprised of Canada's danger, Canada's need and Canada's duty. The Prime Minister, in setting an example for the members of the house, referred with innuendo to the fact that the

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movement was highly financed. In looking over the names of those who instituted the movement, I find that most of the highly financial ones are personal friends of the Prime Minister.

I was amazed this afternoon, to hear the hon. member for Northumberland, Ont. (Mr. Fraser), saying things about the various members who signed that petition. I recall that one very good Liberal friend of mine from Toronto who signed the petition has no less than four sons serving in the forces, and yet men of that character have to be subjected to such things in this house.

In order that they might realize the true nature of Canada's peril and the fact that England, ten hours flying time away, is Canada's outer rampart, I wish every hon. member of this house could visit the beleaguered isle of Great Britain. Only to refresh our memories may I point out that in area Great Britain is no greater than a narrow strip of land running from Windsor to Montreal and contains 46,000,000 people. In this overcrowded little island country which _ is the workshop for those from whom she imports raw materials and foodstuffs, the members of the empire parliamentary association delegation, drawn from all parties in this house, as well as the Prime Minister, the leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson), and others who have recently visited that country, saw for themselves, in the brief time at their disposal, something of what a country once totally unprepared can do to meet total war.

Here may I pay a tribute to the United Kingdom branch of the Empire Parliamentary Association for having the foresight to give to the representatives of our various parties an opportunity of seeing how our only line of defence was being maintained. My special thanks are due to the secretariat of the association, Sir Howard d'Egville, Sir Drummond Shiels, Mr. Spencer-Hess, to Doctor Beau-chesne, and to our Prime Minister for wishing us godspeed.

Only viewing the situation with our own eyes could make us realize how near the forces of freedom came to defeat at the hands of Germany when France fell and the evacuation of Dunkirk by a miracle saved the lives of 300,000 British soldiers, including Canadians; with what intrepid bravery and valour the battle of Britain was won when the pilots of the Royal Air Force, single-handed, attacked whole enemy squadrons and beat them off; and how Britain must remain guarded by a great army, with our own Canadian troops holding one of the most important positions facing the enemy. One realized as

never before that if England fell, nothing, not a thing, stood between the shores of Canada and slaughter and worse by the nazis.

There on the coast of Dover we saw the enemy in occupied France, only twenty-four miles away, with his guns pointed on that city, and we saw where his shells had killed many of its defenceless citizens. Twenty-four miles is but a step in an age of modem transportation, and one wondered where and when on that coastline the enemy might land in the darkness of the night, or in the thickness of a fog. One trembled not alone for England, but for Canada; and when one saw the steel work defences in the sands with the barbed wire entanglements behind that, and the cement blocks staggered to prevent the landing of tanks, one said: Is this all that stands between Canada and the hun?

In Great Britain all hearts and all hands are directed against the nazi invader. Food, clothing and shelter are limited to the minimum human requirements, thus releasing all possible man-power. In agriculture, farmers cannot sow their lands to crops which are unsuitable, and labourers cannot leave the farms for the factory, if their services are required for food production. There the state has called upon every man and woman to serve wherever he or she is best fitted. Is Canada willing to do less in a common

struggle?

On June 18, 1917, as reported on page 2392 of Hansard, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, discussing the principle that the state has the right to call upon the service of every citizen in its own defence, and the particular application of that principle to the laws of Canada said.

That is the way I understand the existing law And in this the law of this land, is not singular, for such has been the law of civilized nations everywhere. It was the law of France when Canada was m possession of France, it was the law of England when Canada came into possession of England. In France that law remained unaltered until 1798 when compulsion was introduced for the first time; it remained the law of England until last year If ever there was a principle which was embedded in the very soil of Britain, it was that the king could demand no service of his people except for the protection of their land and the repelling of invasion. It is well known that the King of England could not for any other purpose claim the service of any of his subjects. The English people were always afraid of permanent armies; the English people again and again have fought against their kings, to vindicate the principle that large permanent armies be not established in Great Britain.

TturfVipr on. at Dage 2393, Sir Wilfrid Laurier

said; ,

I sav that he could not under the act as it is, send anybody across the ocean to serve m the war. He said the other day, and he has

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just repeated it, that the first line of our defence to-day is in Flanders and France. I claim against him that there never was any danger of invasion of Canada on the part of Germany. If I have taken the position I have hitherto taken it is not because I feared an invasion of Canada by Germany. Nobody could say consistently that at this time, or at any time within the three years of the war, Canada was for one instant in danger of invasion. If I have taken the position I have taken, if I have been, as I was and as I am, in favour of our participation in the war, it was not because I feared invasion but because I believed that the victory of Germany would mean for Canada, as for the rest of the world, envelopment in the black shroud of German hegemony with its insolence, cruelties, and barbarities.

Surely in essence Sir Wilfrid Laurier said that he was in favour of Canada's participation in the great war because of the disastrous effect a German victory would have on Canada, but he limited our participation overseas to the voluntary system, arid in support of that position he said:

I claim against him that there never was any danger of invasion of Canada on the part of Germany. If I have taken the position I have hitherto taken, it is not because I feared an invasion of Canada by Germany. Nobody could say consistently that at this time, or at any time within the three years of the war, Canada was for one instant in danger of invasion.

Would Sir Wilfrid Laurier or any thinking man or woman to-day say that Canada is not in fear of invasion, not only by Germany but by Japan? Those who were privileged to hear the great speech of the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green) know how imminent is that danger on the Pacific coast. I have endeavoured to show how imminent is that danger to our maritime provinces and to Quebec unless we help to hold the Japanese and the Germans at bay. It would be futile to wait until the enemy is on the shores of Canada if we can stop him across the Atlantic or across the Pacific. We must be realistic and destroy the enemy abroad before he destroys us. Canada is fortunate because our allies have fought and held the enemy on their own home lands, fortunate that the forces of righteousness have been saved from defeat by the forces of evil. The road ahead is long and hard. We are far from victory unless all the allied nations wage total war. We must not minimize our potentialities. Great Britain, with 46,000,000 people, has held the fort against Germany's 85,000,000, Italy's 45,000,000, together with the industrial production of France's 40,000,000 and Poland's 37,000,000, to say nothing of the industrial production of Czechoslovakia, Belgium and Holland.

How can we expect our friends to answer our cries for help if we refuse to put ourselves in a position to go to their help when needed?

Should the enemy attack us on Canadian soil, let us entitle ourselves to call on our friends, both in America and abroad, by first fighting the common enemy on their homelands. He who does not put out his neighbour's fire, his own house shall be consumed.

Are we still going to follow the policy of "divide and be conquered"? Belgium, Holland and Norway are all examples of countries that refused to throw in their lot with France and Great Britain until it was too late. At the very moment that Norway was being overrun by the nazis, the Norwegian foreign secretary was drafting a note of protest to Great Britain over some alleged technical violation of her neutrality.

May I appeal to my French-Canadian compatriots to realize that this is Canada's war as well as Britain's. I could not help being startled when my friend the hon. member for Hull (Mr. Fournier) stated, in describing his visit to Great Britain, that he came back with some impressions, the strongest of which was the love of king, flag and country shown by those people. Then he said: "They do not speak about aggression." It seemed incredible that anyone should have thought that this was a war of aggression on the part of Britain. I do not suggest that my hon. friend ever entertained such an idea, but it does give one a conception of the background held by some of our French-Canadian compatriots. There was an age, but certainly not in this century, when new lands of the world were subject to exploration and conquest, but that age has long since passed, and force as an instrument of national policy gave way to disarmament programmes until Germany made it otherwise.

One is always learning something new in parliament, and I was struck when the hon. member for Hull said in relation to the plebiscite:

r ^ .'IF1 supporting the policy of the government. I will say to the people of my province: "If you want national unity now, make this sacrifice " I do not know whether those who have spoken against the French-speaking people in Canada would make the same sacrifice.

I am sensitive to his feeling, but not to his logic.^ Possibly we fail to understand each other s backgrounds, but may I assure him that the people of British origin in this country have no desire but to live in peace and harmony and cooperation with their fellow French-Canadians, and have nothing but the sincerest wishes for their welfare.

We fail to understand why the element of sacrifice in conscription is peculiar to them. We would never ask them to do anything, to assume any obligation or perform any duty which we would not first exact of ourselves. We believe we are fighting in a common

The Address-Mr. Jackman

cause and that just as the enjoyment of Canada is as much their right as it is ours, so is the protection of Canada as much their duty as it is ours. Rightly they will say that such a principle goes without saying, and it does. Whatever difference of opinion there may be between us arises because of different conceptions of wherein lies the defence of Canada.

There is a feeling on the part of some French-Canadians that those of British origin still have close associations with friends and relatives in Great Britain. To some extent that is true, but it can be greatly overestimated. I confess that when the Prime Minister was in England and was given a banquet at the Mansion House and he said that Canada would never have entered the war for the sake of Britain alone, a shiver of shame ran down my spine. It was not something to boast of at a public dinner.

French Canada has not the affinity of racial ties that those of British origin have, but it has the same strong attachment to British institutions, which are to everyone of us the surest guarantee of liberty and freedom.

June 18, 1940, was a very revealing day in this house. I am wondering what the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot) would report as the present opinion "of the entire rural population where there exists a strong sentiment in favour of annexation to the United States, or at least of a formal alliance with our powerful neighbours." Are his constituents who were willing to join the United States willing to be led by their laws now just as are the million or more French-Canadians in the New England states? What is the opinion of the hon. member for Quebec-Montmorency (Mr. LaCroix) who stated:

Why not continue with our voluntary participation and wait at least until the United states enact conscription of men?

He was then taking shelter under the Monroe doctrine. Is he now willing to fight for it? National unity is a phrase which has arisen in the province of Quebec to describe an attitude, the attitude of one player in a game who says, "If I cannot make the rules I won't play." We have had war forced upon us, whether we like it or not. We cannot make the rules; we must conquer or be conquered.

One great reason for the difference of opinion which still seems to obtain between Quebec and the rest of Canada on the question of conscription lies not so much in what should be done under a given set of circumstances as in the appraisal of what the present circumstances of the war are. Undoubtedly because of historical background, suspicion, prejudice

and failure to understand the issues at stake, there are many in the province of Quebec who believe the present war to be an imperialistic war and that the vital interests of Canada are not at stake. Does the loss of lives, including those of their fellow-French-Canadians at Hong Kong, stimulate them to a feeling of revenge upon the Japanese? They look upon Hong Kong as a British colony in which Canada should have no interest. They look upon the magnificent contribution which Australia has made to the Libyan campaign as a colossal mistake, particularly now that Australia is herself in fear of imminent invasion. Do the people of Quebec not realize that if northern Africa and the Suez canal were to fall to the axis powers, a short way would be open for the German hordes to invade the island continent of Australia?

We have lived together, we of British and French origin, in happy harmony for generations and centuries. We are struggling against a common foe who would change the lives and institutions of everyone of us. I cannot help but recall a story which I read when I was struggling with the French language to pass my examinations. It was called La Derniere Classe, by Alphonse Daudet, a great French author. In it were described the feelings of the old schoolmaster and the little French children at school in Alsace after the Franco-German war of 1871 when, on the following day, all the lessons had to be taught in the German language. Those hon. members who have read the Black Record by Sir Ralph Vansittart well know that the brutal German methods of 1871 are the same to-day, only worse.

Hitler's promises to Vichy are as all the false promises he made to all the other countries; the supremacy of the German herrenvolk is the supreme objective, and, in his view, the end justifies the means, however base, however cruel.

Is Canada going to subscribe to the theory of all those peace-loving and neutral nations of Europe who succumbed to the siren song of Hitler, allowing themselves to be divided and conquered? Only by meeting force with greater force can the enemy be overcome. What possible hope have we in Canada of successfully meeting an invasion? Consider the extent of our coastline. Consider the smallness of our population. Consider the extent of the enemy's forces. Should they once break through the island fortress of Britain or be able to maintain their command of the Pacific ocean, we are lost although hundreds of thousands of us may die in the losing.

The Address-Mr. Jackman

Let me say to my French-Canadian compatriots, that no Canadian, no Britisher wants war. Nobody wants to sacrifice his material possessions. Nobody wants to have to fight; nobody wants to have conscription; nobody wants to lose his life. But these things are forced upon us. They are not of our making, but we are prepared to die rather than to become a slave race. Only a quisling could prefer otherwise.

To no one is his own way of life dearer, more precious, more sacred than to my fellow Canadians in the province of Quebec, and no one is more willing to fight and to lay down his life for what he considers vital. During the special war session of 1939 the Prime Minister said, as reported at page 22 of Hansard:

My hon. friend gave his impression of the prize the Germans would seek in the event of victory. He said the prize would be Canada.

Then later on:

There is no portion of the globe which any nation would be likely to covet more than this Dominion of Canada. There is no other portion of the earth's surface that contains such wealth as lies buried here. Nowhere are there such stretches of territory capable of feeding for generations to come not hundreds of thousands but millions of people.

Even more forcible is the view expressed by the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Cardin) on June 18, 1940, as reported at page 895:

The people of my province possessed enough vision, enough intelligence to realize that by restricting their participation to the defence of the Canadian soil only, their participation should prove of no avail, that it would prove fruitless whenever Britain and France were crushed. At such a time rhetorical high-sounding speeches and empty words concerning the defence of Canada shall partake only of the theatrical and shall be devoid of any quality of true patriotism to be found among men whose main preoccupation is to forestall possible threatening dangers and to prepare, as intelligent men, for the defence of the country.

If our fellow Canadians in Quebec put anything like the same interpretation upon world events as does the rest of Canada, then there would be little difficulty about obtaining harmony and unity of policy. I believe that the Prime Minister and the members of his cabinet put the same interpretation on world events as I do, namely, that Canada's vital interests are in imminent danger and that if they cannot be protected overseas, they cannot be saved on Canadian soil. Why is it not the first duty, then, of the Prime Minister and his cabinet, giving reasons for their conclusions as to why Canada's vital interests are at stake, to instruct the people of Quebec, as to why Canada's best and surest defence lies in defeating the enemy where the war is now being waged. Surely leadership of that kind, since

it is required, is the first and most compelling duty of any prime minister and his cabinet. What has been the effect of Hong Kong? The Prime Minister would probably say his first duty is to keep Canada united. Why, then, is he not in Quebec telling the people something of the nature of this war, something of the issues at stake, something of the imminent danger this country is facing and something as to the best means of meeting that danger, something of the fallacy of falling into Hitler's trap and being divided and conquered rather than resisting and destroying the enemy by a great united effort? If our sister commonwealth of Australia was not being subjected to attack, it might indeed be ourselves. This war is everyone's war everywhere. Can we with honour ask the United States to protect us. as we surely must, if we are not prepared to levy every available man to fight for her protection? Can we face the powers that are fighting with us and refuse to ask our nationals to fight anywhere along with their nationals? Is Canada a country without honour?

The unfairness of the present method of recruiting, even if results were adequate, is manifest for reasons which have already been advanced in this debate. As the great United States nation has decreed, universal compulsory military service is the only fair and democratic method. Why should only the best of our. young men go, those with spirit', those with courage, those who in future years would be the leaders of a greater Canada? Why enlist when no reinforcements are promised, when some slacker will take one's job?

The invidious differences between different parts of the country make for inequality and injustice. Legitimate differences of opinion as to medical fitness make the number of recruits accepted in one centre vary greatly from the number accepted in another centre, because the general war disposition of the people in the respective centres differs. Injustice destroys national unity.

Conscription is inevitable if our armed forces are to destroy the enemy and reserves and reinforcements are not forthcoming. Is there anything in the present record of recruiting for the active army which holds the slightest promise that we can maintain an adequate fighting forces overseas? Even if the rate of enlistment was continuously satisfactory, the method itself is unfair. Great Britain has had its Dunkirk; the United States has had its Pearl Harbour, and Canada has had its Hong Kong. Must we have our Halifax, our Quebec, our Victoria and Vancouver before

The Address-Mr. Jackman

Canada is geared to total effort? If our soldiers get into action on a full scale, then I believe that, dislike it as we may, we shall have conscription. We are being geared to 1943 when we may be lost in 1942.

I have set my course only with the gravest consideration and with heart-burnings that all my fellow-Canadians do not at this moment think alike on the issue of conscription. I know it is unpopular in some quarters; but I believe it is necessary, that honour demands it, and that the people of Canada, if they once realized the necessity, would be prepared to make any sacrifice to achieve victory.

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LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. J. G. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

For a number of days now, and probably for many more to come, we have heard and shall hear over and over again arguments for and against the plebiscite and other aspects of government policy. For the Conservative opposition the plebiscite seems to be the only topic which can be discussed. Why? For the sole reason I hat they think they have an issue to confuse and confound, to disturb and distress. Whether it does the same thing to the war effort is not as important to them as party strategy. Why party strategy? Well, there is a by-election to win; a gathering hope of national government, and the smacking of lips as the office-hungry Tories dream of a return to power; by the front door if they can, by the back door if they must. Even a hand-out through the pantry window would be appreciated.

We hear a lot about leadership, about courageous action. In fact the demand for "courageous action" seems to have been adopted as the party slogan by the Tories; Tories in name, Tories in nature, including the new mascot for the party, Mitch Hepburn. Speaking of Mitch, the mascot, here is what he has to say about the plebiscite:

Special to the Gazette.

St. Thomas, January 22.-"I was astounded by the announcement from Ottawa to-day in the speech from the throne that a plebiscite of the Canadian people is to be taken on the conscription issue. I think this is one of the most dastardly, contemptible and cowardly things ever perpetrated on a respected and dignified people by any government.

"I appeal to Grits and Tories of Canada alike to show their indignation quickly and forcibly against this cowardly suggestion from Ottawa to-day, which will make Canada and Canadians the laughing-stock of the allied nations fighting our battles for freedom."

There is a ringing declaration for you! Mitch the man of courage who is reported in this week's press as saying that he is "dropping the idea of lowering the school age to aid the war effort"-Why? Because there was too much opposition to it. Another courageous and ringing declaration!

Incidentally this is the same courageous leader, the only man in public life in Canada to-day whose courage is such that he employs, presumably at government expense, a personal bodyguard. Perhaps he is trying to emulate the late Huey Long of Baton Rouge further in his political life, or perhaps he got the idea from some of his stiletto-handling friends.

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CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

Maybe he is afraid some of his friends will stab him in the back.

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LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

Yes, he stabs many in the back. He is trying to stab your party in the back right now.

But we are used to Mitch's ringing declarations, to his high patriotism, to the subordination of his personal interests and those of his friends to the cause of country. I shall not take time to go over Mr. Hepburn's war record; it is pretty well known in this country. Put briefly, he talks big and acts small. While scuttling the Sirois conference he did his utmost to prevent the all-out use of Canada's financial resources in our war. Why? The reason is plain. He wanted to keep the money flowing into the treasury of Ontario, which he controlled. We all remember the speech he made last September in New York, when he dragged the name of Canada in the mud, to the delight of the isolationists of the United States. By that speech he not only hurt Canada, he injured the whole allied cause. Let me quote what was said about that performance by a leading isolationist newspaper, the Boston Daily Record, on September 30, 1941:

A great many correspondents ask: what will happen to us in case Germany wins the European conflict? That is a natural and legitimate inquiry. It seems at the moment to be within the possibilities that the Germans might defeat the Russians and completely occupy Russia, including the Ukraine. And since the rest of Europe is already in the hands of the, axis powers, there is point to the query.

What would that complete control of Europe mean to Europe, to us, and the world? Mitchell F. Hepburn, the distinguished Premier of Ontario, Canada, is not dismayed by the prospect. He predicts a triumph of Germany over Russia, but sees as a result closer relations and collaboration between the United States and Canada until "ultimately there will be no boundary line between us, because of the need and necessity of national defence." . . .

"Germany is going to overrun Russia," says Premier Hepburn, according to the dispatches, "and will have all Europe in a state of subjection." . . . "Germany will have at her command industrial resources, the mineral reserves, and the oil and the loot of a nation populated by almost two hundred million people. But," continued the premier, "we will win the war with our resources." . . . "We have resources-man-power, brain-power and money." . . . "Great Britain is the outpost of America,"

The Address-Mr. Ross (Moose Jaw)

and "I speak on behalf of Winston Churchill, the great Prime Minister of Britain, who has asked us to supply him with the tools in order that he can carry on the war for us."

There is a good deal of sound sense in what the noted premier of Ontario says. We can give Britain the tools with which to fight. But there is not much sense in giving Russia the tools with which to surrender.

And further:

Why not save something to defend our own democracy if, as Premier Hepburn says, "Germany is going to overrun Russia" and "will have all Europe in a state of subjection"? To be sure, Canada and the United States and all the Americas "have resources", as the premier states, if we husband them . . . Finally, as the premier says, "we have man-power." . . . Yet we do not want to fertilize foreign battlefields with the blood and bones of our fine young Americans.

That is the comment which was prompted by a speech delivered by Mitchell Hepburn in New York, while this war was in progress. Does anyone think that helped the allied cause?

There is an old saying, that you may know a man by his friends. Here are a few of Mitch's boon companions: "Sell-'em" Ben Smith, Wall street promoter, arch-isolationist and appeaser, whose trail from Vichy to Wall street to Bay street to St. Thomas, Ontario, is well known to Mitch; Franceschini, exinternee, reported to be the angel of Mitch's tour to Australia; and', as the latest bed-fellows, George Drew and Arthur Meighen, concerning whom Mitch has often held forth in his usual vigorous style. I need not repeat what is already on the records of this house on this subject, but I might add a bit by giving you George Drew: colonel, military expert extraordinary, world traveller, author, man about town, and what have you. There is little time to deal with "Gorgeous George" except as a military expert, and in that capacity chief adviser by remote control to the opposition. Let us listen to George, the expert, the man who wanted to close up the Bren gun factory as his contribution to the war effort. We all remember George of "the broken-down boiler factory, run by a friend of the minister." That "broken-down boiler factory" has turned out to be one of the greatest assets of Canada and the empire in this war. The excellent guns made in that factory are blazing at the enemy to-night on every front from Singapore to Libya. But even "Gorgeous George" should be allowed one mistake. He still claims to be an expert. Let us hear him in that capacity on Russia, as reported in the Toronto Telegram of January 21, 1939. Speaking at Sault Ste. Marie, "Gorgeous George" is reported to have said: "Russia would not be a vital factor in any

war." He had seen the Russian troops when he visited that country, and in his opinion the Russian army was a "broken reed." Even after war broke out "Gorgeous George" was still an expert on Russia. At a meeting of the Toronto branch of the Queen's Alumnae on November 17, George said:

Russia's troops are disorganized, sloppy. The guns and tanks you see pictured in great display in Moscow's Red Square are mostly of German construction. Russian soldiers have no ammunition, except for the purpose of their own execution squads. The propaganda of Russia's might is merely amusing.

I have not time even to go over "Gorgeous George's" amazing record as an expert. But with such an adviser, it is little wonder that the opposition do so much muddling meddling in military matters.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

You are an expert 1

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LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

And now, spotlight, camera, action!-little Arthur himself the new leader, the white hope of the party' Oh, I am not going to be unfair to the right hon. gentleman. I shall not go back to 1914 and give R.B.'s reference to him-that is, R. B. Bennett-as the gramophone of the Mackenzie and Mann interests. I shall not bring up the speech-the "Ready, aye, ready" speech of 1922, or the semi-ready speech of Hamilton, in 1925. I shall not embarrass the opposition by reading the bitter denunciation of Meighen by the Hon. G. Howard Ferguson, the former Conservative Premier of Ontario at the Winnipeg convention in 1927 when, for the only time in history, the Right Hon. Arthur Meighen stood before a great convention of Conservatives of Canada, and they discarded him as a leader-and those same Conservatives have never asked him to come back.

Even less will I go over the sordid tale of the Ontario power service corporation bonds, so ably set out by Mitchell Hepburn in 1934 and 1936, and referred to in this house the other day by the hon. member for Leeds (Mr. Fulford). No; I will be kind to Mr. Meighen, and refer only to his record within the past few days, when he was reported on January 27 as having said, "If we have to conscript wealth to win the war. we will. But people of common sense do not advocate that until the last gasp."

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February 5, 1942