February 6, 1942

LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Yes, in round numbers about 45,000. That number is approximately correct.

Apart from agriculture, therefore, we have harnessed to the war effort over a million men; that is, in a little more than two years we have exceeded under our voluntary system the total man-power effort of four and a half years of the last war. These are only round figures; they are not by any means exhaustive. But on the studies now in progress, our manpower policy must ultimately be determined.

Now I approach my conclusion, with the [DOT]indulgence of the house.

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?

Frederick Clayton Casselman

Mr. CASSELMAN:

No. The hon. member has spoken over an hour now.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I approach the conclusion of this presentation by pointing out some of the possible disadvantages of introducing compulsory selective service for overseas. First, there is the risk of sacrificing that spirit of national harmony and unity which until very recently prevailed throughout our dominion. Second, there is the possibility of stirring up antagonisms as between those of different racial origin in Canada. It is only necessary to remember the situation that existed in the last war- some of us recall it now-to recognize the importance of racial accord in our dominion. We have lived together in peace and harmony in Canada for 175 years. The nearest approach to a breach was in 1917. I believe that only the calm, wise and prudent leadership of Sir Wilfrid Laurier prevented violence and bloodshed then. He confined his opposition to parliamentary and democratic methods.

I say again that before the war came, this government gave a solemn pledge that, in the [DOT]event of war, service outside Canada should only be undertaken freely. When war came, this pledge was solemnly reaffirmed both by the government and by the opposition of the present day, by practically all hon. members of this parliament; not only in the general election and before the war but in the very midst of the war that policy of declaring ourselves on this very issue on which we are now seeking a plebiscite of the people was endorsed by the overwhelming majority of the free-voting people of Canada.

As to whether, at this time of all times, the spokesmen for a nation engaged in this war should disregard their solemn pledges, I cannot do better than quote the words of the Prime Minister in an address which he delivered at Vancouver on June 30 last:

The present unhappy state of the world is, in a large part, the result of broken pledges. Bad faith, broken pledges and disregard of the popular will are the very forces against which Canada is fighting to-day.

That being so, I wish the more emphatically to affirm the government's intention to keep the pledge repeatedly given to the people of Canada.

So, Mr. Speaker, I leave this issue to the house. I have endeavoured to make the situation as clear as possible. I have endeavoured to analyse the significance of theamendment to the amendment and why I cannot accept or receive it. I have endeavoured to analyse the significance of the

amendment itself, and its implications in several respects. I have endeavoured to make clear to the house that both the subamendment and the main amendment are definite declarations of a lack of confidence in this administration. I must emphasize, therefore, with all the strength at my command, that any vote for the subamendment is a vote of non-confidence in this government. I must further emphasize that any vote for the main amendment is a vote of non-confidence in this government.

I believe I have fairly and honestly endeavoured to meet the arguments which have been adduced in support of their protestations. We are not seeking dictatorial powers. We are appealing to the people, who are the masters of parliament. We are appealing through parliament, who are our masters, to the people, who are the masters of us all. We are appealing to the people for a mandate, if you will, to be unrestricted and untrammelled, not impeded or retarded, in adopting such measures in connection with the provision of men for military service as in the government's best judgment are necessary for the fullest and most whole-hearted war effort by the Dominion of Canada. I would plead, if the plea would be of any avail, that to-day, if possible, we should unite our forces and remember only the dark clouds that hang over this nation, and the uncertain course of our sacred cause. ,

I fear, however, that we must have dissension. I trust that the conscience of every hon. lady and gentleman in this house is clear in regard to the course that he or she is pursuing. I do aver and strongly avow that in my judgment, at this stage, we should even sacrifice some of our convictions in order to get together, if possible, upon a common,

382 COMMONS

The Address-Mr. Mackenzie (Vancouver)

united policy for the future of Canada, which we all in this chamber endeavour to serve and for which we have a deep-seated affection.

I trust that the great majesty of the effort we have made up until now may not be marred by bickerings or dissensions or discords among ourselves. I trust that we all may be prepared, as I certainly am prepared, to sacrifice much for the sake of a common unity and a common harmony, so that we may be privileged, in this dark period of our nation's destiny, together to work out a plan for Canada in this great struggle, which shall be a plan of purpose, a plan of honour, a plan of unstinted effort and a plan, I would hope in the end, of great achievement and proud accomplishment.

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NAT

William Kemble Esling

National Government

Mr. W. K. ESLING (Kootenay West):

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. Mackenzie), who has just concluded a lengthy address, has given a complete and extended review of the shortcomings, the sins of omission and of commission, of this party. I hope he has not omitted anything. If I were able to speak with the fervour, the fluency and the high-powered eloquence of the minister, perhaps I might 'be able to make some impression. However, I shall endeavour to keep below the boiling point, and to confine my remarks to the speech from the throne.

This debate is on the address in reply to the speech from the throne. That speech is brief and very carefully worded. In some respects it is as clear as it is possible for words to be; in other instances it is just about as vague as expediency could demand. During the last campaign the government gave this pledge against compulsory service outside Canada; and, at this time of gravest crisis in the history of the world, it is proposed to hold a plebiscite asking the people of Canada to relieve the government of that pledge. The National Resources Mobilization Act provides for compulsory service within Canada. The speech from the throne does not tell us what is going to happen whether the plebiscite vote is yes or no, but the basis of this entire discussion is simply: shall we or shall we not have compulsory service for overseas, to reinforce and relieve those young Canadians now voluntarily serving beyond Canadian shores?

The plebiscite is vague in this respect, that if the people of Canada vote against it the situation simply remains as it is. If they vote for it the government then is given freedom to act as its judgment may dictate. Well, this is a very live question right across the dominion. Some portions of Canada are

calling for conscription; other portions are very much opposed to it. In the province of Quebec we have the Minister of Justice contesting a by-election. I do not say that he says outright that there will not be conscription for overseas service, but certainly he is creating an atmosphere of assurance to the people of Quebec that there will not be such conscription; and in that respect he is supported by the premier of Quebec, who simply says, "Well, you need not fear; Mr. King will not bring in conscription. He is opposed to it." That is the situation, whether or not the government takes exception to it. Then we also have a by-election in Welland, being contested by the Minister of Labour. I can tell this house that the government candidate there, and those speaking for him, are having the greatest difficulty in selecting words which will fit their endeavour to soothe the people of that district into the belief that the government will bring in conscription. So that we have two opposite views, and we cannot blame the people of this country for being a little concerned about it.

I am very much in accord with the suggestion put forward yesterday by the hon. member for Lincoln (Mr. Lockhart) that this parliament should be permitted to decide the question. Parliament is not deciding the question whether we shall have conscription; that is not the wording of it. Parliament is deciding only whether it will relieve the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and the government from its election obligations. As is stated in the speech from the throne, the government then reserves the freedom of acting as its judgment dictates. The progress of the war makes it necessary for one to change one's pledge. The Prime Minister himself has told us over and over again that the government has laid down the principle that there will be no participation by Canada in a war without presenting the matter to parliament. But we had a declaration of war against Roumania, one against Finland and one against Hungary, without the government's coming to parliament; we had a further declaration against Japan without coming to parliament, and I am sure nobody in Canada has taken exception to the government's action in those respects-not at all.

I believe the people of Canada would, without question, approve action by parliament to decide this matter, and which would relieve the Prime Minister of his obligations, thereby saving the time, money and discontent which would naturally be connected with a plebiscite, at a time when all the energy of our people should be directed to war activities, when the time of -the government should be

The Address-Mr. Esling

taken up with war measures, and when every interest centres around the putting through successfully of a loan for the purpose of carrying on our part in the war.

The other day the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) stated his position with respect to public opinion and the plebiscite. He comes from Nova Scotia. In the constituency of Kootenay West we have innumerable people who in the early days came from that province. There were lawyers, doctors and farmers, and they have done well in British Columbia. They form a creditable portion of the people in my constituency. A similar cross-section of the residents of every constituency in Canada would show a similar representation from the maritime provinces. The minister acts precisely as his conscience dictates, and I believe that is just the way every hon. member acts. He reflects the views of his constituents, and if he does not do it in a way that will retain the confidence of his electors he will have a successor at the next election.

In October last the executive council of the Canadian Legion presented to the Prime Minister an appeal for the total utilization of our resources and man-power in the prosecution of the war. That appeal was endorsed by 1,470 branches of the Legion across Canada. It has been endorsed by the fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters of the members of those 1,470 branches, and those people ask that the mobilization act be amended so that compulsory service will apply beyond the shores of Canada, as well as within Canada.

That must be accepted as the general opinion of the people in my district, even if hon. members are not willing to accept it as the opinion of people in the provinces east of Ontario. The appeal by the Legion has been endorsed by industrial, mining and agricultural communities in my district; it has been endorsed by boards of trade, by municipal councils, by school boards, by ministerial associations, by service clubs, by fraternal organizations, and others. I say that as a member of the house one must reflect and act upon the views of his constituents.

The speech from the throne contains the statement that the policy of the government is one of total national effort for total war. That is one of the vague phrases in the speech. What does it mean? Nobody knows what it means, and the government will not tell us. But surely any hon. member will admit that the man on the street interprets it to mean that there will be compulsory service to relieve those who have volunteered for service overseas.

On many occasions the government has made it clear that parliament is supreme. The speech from the throne points out that at this time of greatest crisis in the world's history the administration should possess complete freedom to act, subject only to its responsibility to parliament and irrespective of previous commitments, as its judgment dictates. Without being prejudiced, one might properly construe that to mean, as political expediency dictates.

I emphasize the fact that as members directly representing the people of Canada surely we have the power in parliament to relieve the Prime Minister of his obligations. We can pass laws; we can tell the people what they shall and shall not do; we can tell them where they shall and shall not go. We can tell them what price they shall or shall not pay for an article. The people at large have given us that responsibility; surely they will acknowledge our authority to relieve the government of an obligation which was not so urgent at the time it was made.

Last Monday the hon. member for Davenport (Mr. MacNicol) referred to useless extravagance in recruiting. I believe the Minister of Finance could not do better than see to it that there is some curtailment in general expenditures.

One of the branches of the Legion in my district sent in a resolution protesting against the holding of a general conference in Victoria early in November. Recruiting officers and citizens received invitations to attend this conference, as did many people in West Kootenay and other parts of British Columbia. The conference was called to discuss recruiting methods, notwithstanding the fact that every minister of the crown and other people whose services they could enlist had been speaking over the radio on the same matter. Some two hundred guests attended, and they had their travelling and living expenses paid. They were given a good time.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Also a banquet.

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NAT

William Kemble Esling

National Government

Mr. ESLING:

At the very least the cost must have been 810.000. This created so much criticism that the Rossland branch of the Canadian Legion protested against this extravagance. There is every reason why they should. The government is engaged in raising war loans, and the children and fathers and mothers of this country are being asked to purchase war savings stamps and certificates. Not a very healthy atmosphere is created when the public see such useless expenditures of money. I was interested in hearing the

The Address-Mr. Esling

Minister of Finance say that he had received letters threatening a boycott of the war loan. I hope that these threats are confined to the few letters the minister has received. There is an old saying that a member of the opposition should never send a bouquet across to a cabinet minister unless it is followed by a brick. I have no bricks. I just want to say that in my district it is considered that the energy, the aggressiveness and the sincerity of the Minister of Finance have been the dominant factors in the success of the war loans.

I should like to quote two instances of what I would term absolute negligence in connection with recruiting, I do not think we can blame young men who have good jobs for not wanting to enlist. They feel that if they do, someone else will take their jobs. Take the Doukhobors for instance. They are absolved from enlisting or from undergoing training of any kind. The government laid out a piece of work and told them that if they would not go into the training camps they would have to do some public work, such as road building. They were to receive fifty cents a day and their board, and were to work under the control of guards appointed by the provincial government. Their reply was simply that "we are not going into training camps, we are not going to do road work, we are not going to do war service; so what are you going to do about it?" The government can do nothing.

I should like to give an illustration of indifference on the part of those who should be held responsible for men who have enlisted and then been discharged because of illness. Previously I cited the case of a young man from my constituency who enlisted in the 111th battery. He went to Edmonton with the rest of his battery and was not there very long before he had to go to hospital for one month. He was discharged from the hospital and also from the army. He was given a warrant for his fare back to his home in my district, but no provision was made for berth or meals. His mother was with him and she purchased a berth for him and his meals. When the train reached Nelson, the place of embarkation, he was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and he stayed there one month. After that he made his way to his home, some fifty miles distant. He was there only ten days when they had to send for an ambulance again to take him to another hospital, where he remained for four months. He had sold a service station he was running, and because of all these bills he and his parents found themselves out of pocket to the extent of an amount in excess of $900. He

made his way to the coast in search of a job, and while there he applied to the Shaughnessy hospital for treatment but was told that there was no authority to give him treatment and he did not get it. He is now walking the streets of Vancouver. I should like to ask the minister if steps will not be taken to give better attention to such matters and provide more encouragement for enlisting.

I should like to ask the government what steps are being taken for the defence of the most vulnerable point in the interior of British Columbia, the city of Trail and the adjacent territory in which power plants are located. At this point is located the largest metallurgical plant in the world. It is really a munitions plant, and what it is producing there is for the British government. The only evidence of defence there is a partial unit of the Rocky Mountain Rangers which was organized a few weeks ago, and a company of the veterans guard. There should be some protection against aircraft.

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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

Are there no anti-aircraft guns?

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NAT

William Kemble Esling

National Government

Mr. ESLING:

No anti-aircraft guns or protection of any kind. While I am on this matter of the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company I should like to say that I think some of the remarks made by hon. members of this house about this company are most unfair. I am sure they would not be made if hon. members were more intimately acquainted with the operations of this company. I have seen it grow from a little slag pot plant to its present size. It is where it is to-day because of the work carried on by its research committee. It is able to furnish the British government to-day with lead and zinc at a price much lower than has prevailed in any average ten years in the history of Canada. This company is providing zinc for the British government at just one-eighth of what it was sold for by the United States companies during the last war. In the early days of that war there was no process available in Canada for separating the lead and zinc in the ore. Many people do not have a proper conception of the industrial relations which exist between this company and its employees. The company has provided non-contributory pensions for its employees. They provide their employees, free of charge, with a large amount of insurance, put a seventy-five dollar cheque in their pay envelope at Christmas time, and when you consider that they have loaned employees a million and a half dollars for housing purposes, and have given to employees company shares valued at one million and a half, the company is not doing so badly, and

The Address-Mr. Cleaver

I think there should be a greater sense of fairness than has been displayed in the disparaging remarks against it. I do not believe that the heads of industries in this dominion are all bandits and profiteers. They create industry and employment, and that is what we want. It is the only thing which can make this country prosperous.

In conclusion may I again appeal to the government to accept the suggestion of the hon. member for Lincoln, and let this parliament release the government from its pledge. The Prime Minister himself has told us many times that parliament is supreme. This plebiscite does not require the government to bring in conscription. Parliament itself, as the direct representative of the people, can release the Prime Minister from his obligations, and I am sure that if this question were submitted to parliament it would release the Prime Minister, and the country at large would thoroughly approve such action.

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LIB

Hughes Cleaver

Liberal

Mr. HUGHES CLEAVER (Halton):

Mr. Speaker, I have already extended my personal congratulations to the mover (Mr. Fournier), and the seconder (Mr. Macdonald), of the motion which we are now discussing, for an address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to the speech from the throne.

We are now well into the third year of the war. At this the opening of another session it is well that we should, look back over what has happened in the past as well as study the present and plan for the future. The opening year of the war was fraught with almost overwhelming dangers. It is a fact, well known now, that if Germany had immediately followed Dunkirk with an invasion of Great Britain, all might have been lost. Even as it was, only the fortitude and bravery of the British people saved the world.

Since then Hitler's aims of world, domination have become apparent to all, and now practically all of the democracies have banded together at Britain's side. To-day, while in certain countries the tide of war is still against us, we can rest assured that we are not going to lose the war. Democracies are peace-loving countries and do not lightly become engaged in warfare, but now that the decision has been made we find them all gearing up bo end the war successfully and as quickly as possible.

Canada, though only a small country of eleven and one half million people, in the short space of two and one half years has made wonderful strides. Some of our people were impatient at the start and wanted us to throw everything into the struggle without any planning for .the future. Some people quite sincerely thought that the war would be

won or lost in a year. Your government had no such illusions and planned our war effort for a long struggle, planned our war effort so that each year it would become increasingly stronger, and in furtherance of this policy in the opening months of the war took the time and spent large sums of money to build new factories for the production of armament and equipment. They took the time and money to build and create the greatest air training establishment in the world. They enlarged shipyards and built plate mills to fabricate plates for vessels. They increased the production of steel and other necessary materials. As a result, Canada stands to-day as a living example of what foresight, courage and initiative can accomplish. We have seen our navy personnel increase from less than 2,000 all ranks to over 27,000. We have seen our air force increase from less than 5,000 to over

100.000. We have seen our army for overseas increase from 4,500 active soldiers to nearly

260.000. and we have a reserve army of over

150.000. On top of all this, hundreds of thousands of workmen are employed in war industries all over the country.

To sum it all up, the total cost of the last war to Canada, including the cost of demobilization, was just under 1,700 million dollars. We are crowding into just this one year of this war one and one half times the .total cost of the last war. In the present fiscal year, ending March, 1942, we shall have spent 1,500 millions on our direct war effort, and .we shall 'have sent to Great Britain over a thousand million dollars' worth of shells, guns, planes, motorized equipment and foodstuffs. It is truly a stupendous effort.

Now, what of the future? Our Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) has already advised us that the navy will be expanded in personnel as rapidly as naval ships can be built. Already we have expanded our navy from 20 ships at the outbreak of war to 350 ships. We have built in Canada over 120 corvettes and mine-sweepers. Just before the freeze-up we were receiving deliveries of these vessels at the rate of one every four days. These little ships will outride any gale on any sea. They are the answer to the submarine menace. They are just as effective against the submarine as destroyers are.

As to merchant shipping, if we are able to maintain our 1942 programme, by the end of this year we shall be turning out merchant shipping at a rate equal to that of Great Britain.

In the air our enlistments will be maintained to the capacity of our training schools, which are as yet unsurpassed by any country.

In the army thus far we are planning an additional armoured division and an additional

The Address-Mr. Cleaver

tank brigade. This, added to the armoured division already planned, and the three infantry divisions and the tank brigade already in Great Britain, will bring up our army to three infantry divisions, two armoured divisions and two tank brigades, as well as all necessary ancillary troops for two Canadian corps.

As a private member with only slight military service in the last war I hesitate to express any military views, but for what my opinion is worth I should like to urge that for our armed forces overseas Canada should concentrate on armoured divisions and tank brigades. We are now industrially equipped for this type of work, and when the time arrives for an invasion of the continent I believe that the air force and swift-striking mechanized troops will be of paramount importance. Canadians in the air have shown tremendous courage, self-reliance and initiative. These same qualities will be of equal value in land operations.

There are some people who believe that industrially we have about reached the peak of our national capacity. In this I do not agree. I concede at once that we have very few skilled men out of work, but this country has not as yet really got down to business. We still have many men performing services which are not essential in war time. We still have duplication of services. Many of our people are still using luxuries we can well do without.

Let me illustrate. In my home town of Burlington, with less than 4,000 people, there are seven trucks and seven truck drivers driving up and down the streets delivering milk. In the city of Hamilton there are over three hundred coal dealers serving that city. I am told on good authority that four of the larger firms could amply supply the fuel needs of that city. We have thousands of salesmen still carrying on competitive selling which is unnecessary. Take life insurance, for example. There are thousands of life insurance agents going up and down this country. I think they could be well spared for the war effort. Then, too, we have many industries still engaged in the production of non-essentials. Thousands of men could be transferred from this non-essential work and placed in war production.

In addition to all these groups I have mentioned, we have hundreds of thousands of women in this country who are willing and anxious to work for war purposes.

For all of these reasons I would urge that orders should be placed at once which would substantially increase Canada's production of war equipment. There are still many small machine shops dotted over this country which are not being fully utilized.

Some may question Canada's ability to pay for any greater war effort. I have a suggestion to make in that regard as well. If I judge aright the temper of the Canadian people, they are not only cheerfully responding to the present demands that we are making upon them, but they are positively asking that we should request greater sacrifices on their part. There is a feeling abroad that we as a people are spending too much money and using up too much valuable material on non-essentials. In my opinion we should get down to business and stop trying to "keep up with the Joneses".

During the first ten months of this fiscal year we have collected nearly $500,000,000 in income tax, compared with a total of less than $10,000,000 collected in the entire period of the last war. This is a pretty good record, but to me it is not good enough. We have not gone far enough. At a time like this, why should we leave untouched $100,000 of income in the hands of any individual in Canada? To-day a man with an income of $500,000 is left with $100,000 in the clear. Coming down to the moderate incomes, why should we leave $15,000 in the hands of any individual as income, untouched?-and that is just what we are doing in regard to a man earning an income of $30,000. Roughly speaking, on $30,000 we take half. I wish to urge in all seriousness and with all the sincerity at my command that we should take all income over and above the living exemptions. It would mean that thousands of personal servants would have to be discharged, but these would be available for war work. It would mean that everyone would have to be his own butler and his own valet. When the safety of the world is at stake, when the flower of Canada's manhood is in the front line, or on the way to it, I ask you, should anyone at home complain if cut down to the bare necessities of life?

In the financing of this war I still have another suggestion to make. We do not hesitate to make a capital levy with respect to the estate of a deceased person. This is just exactly what we do under our succession duties acts. I firmly believe that the present situation is grave enough to justify serious consideration of the subject of a capital levy for war purposes. After setting up exemptions to provide amply for family responsibilities, for illness, and for old age, in my opinion any surplus capital over and above that should be taxed for war purposes. When a young Canadian gives his life in defence of this country, that is a one hundred per cent capital levy so far as that young man is concerned. Should wealth object to a partial capital levy?

The Address-Mr. Cleaver

Right here I should like to make a suggestion in regard to the armed forces. Many of those who have stayed at home have earned good wages. Some have spent them; others -many-have accumulated savings. I would urge, Mr. Speaker, that a savings fund should be set up for the armed forces. I would urge that every member of our armed forces while serving in Canada, should receive an additional SI per day, and, while in active service overseas, an additional S2 per day. These savings should not be paid now, but at the end of the war. When the boys return, some will want to complete their education. Many of them will marry. Certainly all of them will find it difficult to get back into civilian life. None of the money would have to be paid now. This would not detract from the war effort. It would be no hardship to continue war-time taxation for a few years after the war. There is another feature about this. The proposed payments would establish a tremendous reservoir of consumer demand for goods at a time when this country will badly need a consumer demand for goods to start its industries going again in peace-time operations, turning over from war-time operations.

In some communities considerable harm is being done to the war effort through the high wages being paid, especially on piece work, in war-time industry. In this regard I have a suggestion to make. I want to say at once that these young lads who are making $7, $8, $9 and some as high as $10 a day are earning their money on a competitive labour market and should have that wage. I would not do anything which would tend to cut down the production of war material. But I do not believe that in time of war any workman in Canada should receive a greater cash wage than the equivalent of what he would receive were he in the army. In the army, a single man without dependents receives the equivalent of about $17 a week, that is, $1.30 a day, his board, clothes, medical and dental services. A married man with two children receives the equivalent of $30 a week, because you must add, in excess of the amount paid to the single man, the $35 per month dependent's allowance to the wife, and $12 a month for each of the children. I do not think that, during a war such as this, any workman in Canada should receive in cash more than the equivalent of what he would receive were he in the army. Of course it must be kept in mind that in the army there are varying rates of pay; non-commissioned officers and commissioned officers receive more money. In the factories, superintendents would have to get more money. But my suggestion is that, in the main, the cash wage to the worker of Can-44561- 25J

ada should be the equivalent of the cash wage he would receive if he were in the army.

I said a moment ago that I would not deny any man the wage he earns. I would pay him the balance of his wages in a non-negotiable war savings certificate, which he could not cash, pledge, nor give away until the war is over. Thereby you would be doing two things beneficial to this war effort. You would be preventing that man from calling now for consumer goods, using up materials which should go into the war effort, and you would also be building up a postponed consumer demand which will come in very handy when the war is over.

I now come to a subject which I hesitate to discuss, because I frankly admit that perhaps sometimes I myself may have transgressed. The hon. member for Waterloo South (Mr. Homuth), who is now looking so seriously at me, may in a measure concur in that regard. A deliberate attempt is being made at this time to stir up political strife in Canada, to stir up sectional and racial strife, to pit French Canada against English-speaking Canada. I wish to protest against this practice with all the vehemence at my command. It is selfish, it is disloyal, it is doing a lot of harm to Canada's war effort. I suggest that I on my part should search my heart, and that every hon. member should search his at this time. I should ask myself: Am I doing anything at which my Conservative friends could take offence? Am I doing anything which will harm the morale of the Canadian people? If I am, then I am being disloyal to Canada. Before saying anything in this chamber or out of it I should ask myself the question: Will what I am about to say help, or will it actually harm, Canada's war effort? I am not suggesting that unfair attacks should not be answered; where the occasion demands plainspeaking we should speak our minds. Perhaps in the past I have on occasions been too vehement in my views, but notwithstanding all this I say to myself and to every hon. member: think of Canada's war effort before speaking.

I freely admit that I have already dictated and thrown away two speeches for this debate, and I am not satisfied with my speech to-day; it is not good enough for the times. It is a shame that in the midst of the present life-and-death struggle we should have to take time to discuss anything but the war effort. However, during the few days that this house has been in session, and throughout the country, so much has been said about the present government being a single-party government, motivated by the party spirit, that I feel I should frankly express my view.

The Address-Mr. Cleaver

At the outbreak of the war we had in office a government that did not have a mandate from the people to carry on a war. Everyone agreed that there must be a general election, that the Canadian people had a right to elect a government to carry on the war, and that that election should take place as soon as possible. The Canadian war effort had first to be set in motion. That was done, and as soon as possible, having regard to the exigencies of the war, a general election was called.

In that election there was only one issue, namely, Canada's war effort. Both parties were sincerely and honestly in favour of an all-out war effort. Both parties were sincere and honest in agreeing that if a maximum war effort was to be made we simply had to have a united Canada; we had to forget politics until the wrar was over. The Conservative party thought that the best way to take politics out of the war effort was the formation of a national government composed of leading men of both parties. This suggestion had considerable merit; it was a view honestly reached by the Conservative party, and no one has any right to question their sincerity or loyalty in arriving at that decision.

The Liberal party, though seeking -the same end, took a totally different view of the problem. We thought the best way to take politics out of the war effort was to divorce the war effort from government, to let the army heads run the army, the air heads run the air force, and the navy heads run the navy. As to production of goods, we thought the best way to take politics out of Canada's war effort was to call in leading industrialists from across Canada, irrespective of political affiliations, and say to them; Look after Canada's war production.

Those two points of view, both seeking the same end, but in method as wide apart as the poles, were placed before the Canadian people. Both were eloquently argued, over the air, on the public platform and in the press. When voting day came, the Canadian people, fortunately for Canada, spoke very decisively; there was no room for doubt. The Canadian people had a right to choose the form of government they thought would be the strongest in time of war, and, rightly or wrongly, they chose a single-party government.

The promise made by the Liberal party ' has been fully carried out. I have yet to hear of one criticism, in this house or in the corridors, of political interference in regard to any of the armed forces. I have yet to hear one criticism on the floor of this house in regard to political interference in letting a war contract. It is a well known fact that well over three-quarters of all army, navy and air force

1 < .1 v *'*?,! 1

officers are Conservatives. It is well known that a considerably higher percentage than that of the dollar-a-year men in the Department of Munitions and Supply are Conservatives, and they are doing a wonderful job. Take for example, Mr. Allan Nicholson, the timber controller. He comes from my home town of Burlington. He was urged to contest the 1940 election as Conservative candidate. He is to-day vice-president of the Conservative association in my riding. Will anybody suggest that he is a political appointee? And he has done a wonderful job for Canada in connection with its war effort. He has saved this country millions of dollars in the purchase of timber and lumber.

Every dollar's worth of goods bought for war purposes is bought on competitive tender, or, if a type where competitive tender is not possible, is purchased in a businesslike manner from the source that can best supply it. Though hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent monthly, we have yet to hear of any serious misconduct or any political favouritism.

Right here, with all these facts in mind, I implore the opposition to cease making the charge that this is a party government motivated by party feelings. The charge is not true. Hon. members who make such a charge are not being fair to themselves or to the Canadian people. It is harmful to our war effort to stir up in the public mind distrust of the war government. We have honestly tried to take politics out of the war effort. If some are still playing politics, I say to the opposition, denounce them; give us the particulars; let us smoke them out and punish them. So far as I am concerned I owe it to the Conservative party organization in my riding to say that they have fully cooperated with me in the past, and I am confident that this will continue in future as long as the war lasts.

Personally I renounced party politics the very day war was declared. Since September, 1939, I have not made one single political appointment. At the time of the national registration, after consulting with the defeated Conservative candidate I suggested for nomination the president of the Conservative association and the president of the Liberal association as the two key men in my riding to take the national registration. These men made fifty-fifty appointments in every ward in the riding; the entire work was done on a fifty-fifty cooperative basis, and not one man accepted one dollar for his work. The national registration in Halton county cost this country nothing except the cost of printing and advertising.

The Address-Mr. Cleaver

In this connection let me make a suggestion in regard to the plebiscite. Halton county is going to take the plebiscite vote in the same way; it will not cost this country one dollar in Halton county except for the printing and advertising.

As I have heard over the radio and read in the press the many ill-advised, unfair and bitter attacks which are now being made, I have asked myself this question: Do these men know that they are doing exactly what Hitler would want them to do? I have toyed with this idea: What would I do if I were a paid German agent, hired by Hitler to try to thwart this country's war effort?

In the first place, just as soon as a campaign was launched for voluntary enlistments, I would immediately sponsor conscription. I would tell of all the evils and weaknesses of voluntary enlistment, and I would be all out for conscription. Why? Not because I wanted men; not because I wanted to help the war effort, but because I wanted to harm the war effort and dry up voluntary enlistment.

In the second place, wrhen a victory loan campaign was announced, I would at once charge the government with reckless and extravagant expenditures, with throwing away money in taking a plebiscite, and so on. I would charge them writh anything that would undermine public confidence in the government.

In the third place there would be only one thing I could do, other than blow up a factory. I would try deliberately to undermine public confidence in the government by bringing about disunity among the people. I would charge the government with complacency. By doing this I would hope to alienate from the government all the impulsive and restless people who are never satisfied, no matter what is being done, unless they are doing it themselves.

Then I would take the other tack; I would also charge the government with being too ruthless and too energetic in the prosecution of the war. I would charge it with interfering with business; I would charge it with doing public business by order in council. I would charge it with failing to trust the people. By doing all of these things, as a paid agent of Hitler I would hope to overthrow the government and so disturb the public mind that unity would be lost.

The Prime Minister, Mr. Speaker, is carrying a terrific load. The ministers of the five war departments are working to the extreme limit of their strength. Where, I ask, would you find five better men in Canada than Hon. J. L. Ralston, Hon. C. G. Power, Hon. Angus Macdonald, Hon. C. D. Howe, and

Hon. J. T. Thorson? I sometimes wonder if the Canadian people realize the load these men are carrying, and the load being carried by our Minister of Finance (Mr. Usley), the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner), and every other minister of the crown.

What about this complaint about lack of leadership? What man in Canada to-day other than Mackenzie King could have organized our war effort as successfully as it has been organized? What other public man in Canada to-day holds the confidence of all groups as he does? But, Mr. Speaker, the results speak far more eloquently than I can speak, so let us look at the results. What of Canada's morale? Are the Canadian people tired of this war? They are paying heavy taxes; they are making no profits; we are interfering with their private business, but notwithstanding all this what do we find? Instead of being tired of the war the Canadian people to-day are demanding a still greater war effort. If these results do not prove masterly leadership, then I do not know what leadership means.

The load being carried by the Prime Minister to-day in directing Canada's war effort is not by any means his sole task. It is fortunate for Canada, fortunate for the British commonwealth of nations and indeed for all the democracies of the world that at this time Canada should have as Prime Minister a personal friend of the President of the United States. Friend and foe alike agree that this fortunate circumstance has, during both peace and war, served as a valuable liaison between Great Britain and the United States. It is strange but true, Mr. Speaker, that no really great man is universally recognized as such during his lifetime. I believe history will record the fact that in our present war leader we have the greatest statesman Canada has yet produced. I do not for a moment expect my hon. friends of the opposition to concur in my views; but I do say, irrespective of the views they hold of the Prime Minister, that he was chosen by the people of Canada to lead our war effort. And, health permitting, he will lead Canada until victory is won.

Now just a word about conscription and the plebiscite, and I am through. We had conscription for ten months of the last war, and the total number of troops raised during that ten months' period was less than 85,000. If any hon. gentleman wishes to check that up I shall be glad to give him the reference. During the past seven months of this war we have had voluntary enlistments at the rate of nearly 20.000 a moijth. As long as voluntary enlistments can be maintained at this rate, conscription would do more harm than good to Canada's war effort. During this period

The Address-Mr. Cleaver

when conscription is unnecessary, many people are opposed to it; and I want to say that they are not all in French Canada, as some would lead us to believe.

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SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON (Bow River):

Then why the plebiscite?

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LIB

Hughes Cleaver

Liberal

Mr. CLEAVER:

If the hon. gentleman will just possess himself in patience for a moment, I am coming to that. If the time ever comes when voluntary enlistments fail to supply our needs, all Canadians, French Canadians and those of British stock, will support conscription; make no mistake about that. Forcing the issue now, before it is necessary, will do untold harm. My hon. friend shakes his head.

1 am just as sincere in my views as he in his.

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SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON (Bow River):

The Minister of Justice does not take that stand.

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LIB

Hughes Cleaver

Liberal

Mr. CLEAVER:

This may be a long war. Voluntary recruiting may become inadequate. The government realizes that the time may come in the future when conscription may be necessary. At the general election of 1940 both major parties solemnly pledged themselves against conscription. Looking to needs which may arise in the future, the government is asking the people, by a plebiscite, to cancel this non-conscription pledge. This is a democratic means of seeking the cancellation of a pledge made to the electors. The pledge was given to them, and only they can release the government from it. Every loyal Canadian who wants an all-out war effort in the final analysis must support the plebiscite. The Duplessis rabble in Quebec are opposed to any war effort at all, and of course they will vote against the plebiscite; but the loyal French Canadians-and they form a large majority-will carry the plebiscite in Quebec. As to the rest of Canada, there are some disgruntled politicians who wish to embarrass this government. There are some selfish business interests who do not like to pay taxes, who yearn for the excess profits which they enjoyed during the last war. These people, in baffled rage-there is nothing else to call it-are to-day making statements of which I predict they will very soon be ashamed. The great middle class of this country will once again assert themselves, and will carry this plebiscite with a splendid majority.

The resolution I am about to read, which was passed at a caucus of Ontario Liberal members held yesterday, gives our answer to one public man in Canada to-day who thinks he is thinking but is only rearranging his grudges:

Whereas the Liberal members of the House of Commons from the province of Ontario, in

caucus assembled, desire at this time to reaffirm their loyalty to and their confidence in the leadership of the Right Honourable W. L. Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada;

And whereas the Premier of Ontario, Mitchell F. Hepburn, for some years has directed his efforts toward embarrassing and insulting the Prime Minister of Canada;

And whereas Mitchell F. Hepburn, the premier of Ontario, is now endeavouring to discredit and to undermine the present government of Canada by indiscriminate and ill-considered criticism of the measures taken for the effective prosecution of the war;

And whereas he is presently seeking to defeat a minister of the crown who would be helpful to the government and to the Canadian people at this critical time;

Now, therefore, the Liberal members of the House of Commons from the province of Ontario desire to record their loyalty to and their confidence in the Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King as Prime Minister of Canada and as leader of the Liberal party.

It is with regret that the said Liberal members of the House of Commons record their disapproval of the actions of Mitchell F. Hepburn and express the belief that he no longer represents liberalism in the province of Ontario.

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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

Was that endorsed by all the Ontario Liberal members in the House of Commons?

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Take it as read.

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LIB

Hughes Cleaver

Liberal

Mr. CLEAVER:

I cannot invite my hon. friend to caucus; I think he would be out of place. I cannot break the confidence of caucus, so that I shall have to leave him in suspense.

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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

The hon. member said "the" Liberal members from Ontario. Apparently he includes them all.

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LIB

Hughes Cleaver

Liberal

Mr. CLEAVER:

I must assure the hon. member that I read the resolution correctly.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Curiosity killed the cat.

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LIB

Hughes Cleaver

Liberal

Mr. CLEAVER:

I cannot help thinking what a wonderful thing it would be for our country's war effort if the Hepburns and the Drews of this country could have a change of heart, and would use their time in coining catch phrases to help instead of harm this country's war effort.

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February 6, 1942