February 6, 1942

CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. H. HARRIS (Danforth):

Mr. Speaker, in common with a large number of members in this chamber, and a considerable number of people across Canada who are thinking these days, my greatest concern is whether or not we are giving everything that we might in an all-out war effort. These thoughts are brought most forcibly to my mind, and they crowd out all else, when I remember what Winston Churchill said not

The Address-Mr. Harris (Danjorth)

so long ago with regard to the part that our own Canadian boys will probably play, and perhaps very shortly, in this conflict. Within a few months, when the invasion season returns, we may find our Canadians in the United Kingdom in one of the bloodiest battles the world has ever known. Surely that one expression of opinion, coming from the world's greatest statesman to-day, should do more to unite our people than some of the bickerings we hear across this floor. And when that great statesman further said that 1942 might see a clearing up of the skies, provided that we use our man-power-hesaid man-power first; brain-power was second -virility and valour in an all-out effort, and provided that we stay at our task, thatgreat galaxy of English-speaking peoples would give a good account of themselves in 1942, he no doubt had good reason for

making the statement.

So we have our task before us, and I

implore each and all to apply themselves to the task. It was my pleasure to emphasize the same sentiment on armistice day, November 11, 1941, in this chamber. I felt a sense of frustration then, as to what we as individual members were doing. I still feel the same sense of frustration, that we are not doing enough to-day.

If the premise I lay down is sound, and if we should have this unity to accomplish the common goal, then I have no difficulty in endorsing the mild-mannered, calm statements made with respect to unity by the hon. member for Hull (Mr. Fournier). But without taking time to compliment him upon his speech-and he understands where I stand in the matter-I say to him and to all hon. members that the deductions he drew from the arguments he set up do not in their entirety meet with my views. And when I say they do not meet with my views I am thinking of what has happened both before and since he spoke. I call as my first witness the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). While appreciating the load he is carrying and the difficulties which surround his position in these days, I suggest that he take the keynote of the speech of the hon. member for Hull, the keynote of unity, and that in all his utterances he should see to it that no word comes from his lips which would tend to set our people one against the other.

I have in mind a reference made in this chamber by the Prime Minister when he was referring to certain people from Toronto, in answer to a question by the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Church). The Prime Minister did not see fit to withdraw his

statement that some people from Toronto take too literally what they read in the press. Not a very serious statement, no- but you know, Mr. Speaker, and I know, that when tinder is as dry as it is now, waiting to be ignited to a flame of passion among the different elements of our people, it does not take much to set it off. And it takes very much less when responsible members in this chamber are the ones to light the tinder. How much faster does it rage when the Prime Minister is the one to set the match!

A word about Toronto in a moment or two, but a word first about one of the first citizens of Toronto. For seven years the hon. member for Broadview was first magistrate of that city. During those most trying years he took his place as a servant of the people, giving leadership in respect to matters of profound magnitude during the last war. What train came back with invalids from the last war, what train came back with returned soldiers, whether it arrived at two o'clock in the morning or two o'clock in the afternoon, did not find the hon. member for Broadview, Toronto's first magistrate, in company with his city clerk, Mr. James Somers, O.B.E., waiting to meet it? The city authorities were always given instructions to see that these men, their wives and families, were cared for. That service was given unremittingly for twenty-four hours of the day.

Since that time, what hon. member will gainsay the fact that on every occasion on which the question of empire connection of the great Anglo-Saxon race in Great Britain and throughout the empire has been discussed, the hon. member for Broadview has risen in his place and given voice to the maintenance of that connection which we all hold so dear.

Every time the opportunity presented itself he offered his empire views, which were largely the views of a great number of hon. members in this chamber as well as of the people of the city of Toronto. I say to these hon. members, and in a moment I shall recite whence they come, that they should 'remember that they are speaking of a great city. Toronto is no mean city. It is a city of industry, a city of intelligence and a city of integrity. This great city with its fine educational institutions, this great city with its extensive public ownership system, is always ready to rise up on every occasion of emergency to help out in war loans or anything else. The young men of that city are ready also to undertake the supreme job of work, that of seeing that the ranks of our different divisions are filled with men ready

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The Address-Mr. Harris (Danjorth)

to serve the empire during this difficult time. I do not say that Toronto is in the premier position in this regard, but her record will compare most favourably with that of any other city.

So I say as kindly and as sincerely as I can that it ill behooves the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Turner) to rise in his place and say what he did. He comes from Manitoba, a province that we love as we love all Canadian provinces. I do not think he should drag in the name of Toronto for his own political purposes. It would have been far better for my hon. friend, before discussing the question he had in his mind at that time, to go into a caucus of the Manitoba provincial members and obtain their views as to what he should enunciate on the floor of this Canadian House of Commons on behalf of Manitoba.

The hon. member for Fraser Valley (Mr. Cruiekshank) does not consider that any speech he makes is complete unless he is able to slam somebody or something. Because of his sense of humour, we try to forgive him his shortcomings. His depositing of the Japs in Ontario, however, is something with which I shall deal when the proper time comes. I would say to the hon. member for Fraser Valley that it does not help things in Canada to-day to single out one part of the country and say something about it which is absolutely unnecessary.

The hon. member for Beauce (Mr. Lacroix) is a business man of some standing and a French-Canadian colleague for whom I have admiration as I have for gll French-Canadian members. Their forbears came to this country in 1666; I would be proud if mine could date back that far. They are real Canadians, but I do not think they should drag in the name of the city of Toronto in order to support their contentions. I have been twenty years in this house, and I ask you to search the records to find one word that ever came from my lips which was in any way derogatory to those who were Canadians long before we were. The reverse is true.

I pause for a moment to make reference to the late Minister of Justice. I regret his passing. He was a great personal friend, and I should like to interject my tribute at this time. As my time is short I am sure you will understand why I do not enlarge upon it at the moment. In my younger days in 1922 I advocated the development of the Quebec harbour.

Moose Jaw cannot be very proud to-day of its representative because of what he read into the record. Mark you, I am not saying anything to the newer members of this house about reading things into the record, but when one of the older members reads into the record

an essay of the kind read in last night by the hon. member for Moose Jaw (Mr. Ross), it does not make for unity in this country. We all understand that the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot) must take a rise out of every question that comes along. I think he realizes that Toronto is a city of learning, and I forgive him for some of the things he said, but not all. The hon. member for Cochrane (Mr. Bradette) was fair when he said that 99J per cent of the people of Toronto are sound and all right. I quite agree with him, as I think all hon. members do in their hearts. You all know that Toronto is a great city and that you should not stir up strife at this time. If my pleadings will have any effect upon hon. members in this chamber, the matter will be allowed to rest there.

The Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) is coming along with a war loan. The people of Canada must subscribe to it; they must oversubscribe the loan. I hope everything possible will be done to see that it is oversubscribed. The committee for total war effort will get behind this war loan. Too much has been said about those who signed that petition. I do not know them, but they are men and women of the ilk of those who sit in front of me. That is political history, and I do not want to drag in politics. I plead with the two hundred who signed: forget about 'what has been said about you in this chamber and see to it that everything possible is done to make sure that this war loan goes over. I know they will do that. In fact, they have accepted the challenge already. I endorse what they say in their resolutions and advertising. I should like to say something else: they have proved themselves to be

greater Canadians than they are partisans. When the war loan comes along I am sure they will be greater Canadians than they are partisans, and I am satisfied that the loan will go over.

To my mind our people to-day are not fully conscious of their total responsibilities in the struggle that faces us. We have too many carnival makers. The theatres are crowded, the hotel lobbies are filled, our transportation facilities are taxed to their limit. We are spending money, a lot of it recklessly. Something is being done to curb this spending, but I say that these same carnival makers, these convention attenders and whatnot, will see to it that the enthusiasm they have for their country will put over our war loan. I am not fearful of the result.

What makes them slow down, as well as those of us who perhaps have more responsibility, is the sort of appeasement policy which seems to envelop particularly the Prime

The Address-Mr. Harris (Danjorth)

Minister. In history we have had the "wait and see" policy, which almost destroyed our effort in the last war. After that, we had a tendency to take too much for granted. In Washington, for example, we had the Japanese ambassador talking to a great statesman of the United States while at that very moment Pearl Harbour was being smashed. Then, before that, we had a gentleman with an umbrella. I do not say that disparagingly at all. These were great men. The "wait and see" man was a great man, so was the man with an umbrella, and so also the man who talked with the Japanese envoy while Pearl Harbour was being bombed. But the man with a dog-the dog is now dead-should take lessons from what happened on these other occasions and discontinue his appeasement policy. He should step into the breach and lay the whip on our backs, give us more work to do, expect more from us and get more from the Canadian people. I am satisfied that in such a policy he would be endorsed by the Canadian people.

The hon. member who seconded the address W'as Macdonald by name but not in stature. He read most of what he had to say, and the thought ran through my mind, as it did as I listened to previous observations, that it would have been far better if. he had thrown his notes to one side and let his heart and mind coordinate so that he could give voice to what was in his very soul, instead of reading an essay, as is done by so many other members, Mr. Speaker, in violation of the rules of the house. It would have been far better if the hon. gentleman had let his heart and mind speak, instead of simply letting his mind read something which kills the soul and leaves it dead. This has happened on many occasions, and it must have happened to my hon. friend when he shifted his position on the question of the plebiscite. Surely after he had been overseas and seen what he saw there-some of us have not been so fortunate but we will get there yet-he must have realized that the position he took in this debate did not live up to the traditions of the British or his own record. I am sure the gallant gentleman must have had heartburnings when his own Local Council of Women sent him a resolution denouncing the plebiscite, and when his own branch of the Trades and Labour Congress sent him a resolution in similar terms.

My hon. friend the member for Cariboo (Mr. Turgeon), who gave us such an eloquent address the other day, called in the Army and Navy Veterans, of which he was a member and quoted something they had said prior to the assembling of this house. Why did he 44561-26

not quote the resolution he had received from that body on that day, dated February 2, and tell us that the Army and Navy Veterans, and not only that body but thirty-two other veteran organizations and kindred bodies in solemn convention assembled, had passed unanimously and sent to the hon. Prime Minister a demand for conscription at once, and no plebiscite at all. It is so easy to pick out here and there something which suits your purpose. We all know the Legion. They are men of experience, honourable and gallant men, and there are some of them in the cabinet. There they sat on the treasury benches, sphinx-like for quite a while, but gradually one by one they have risen from their seats to give voice to the feelings within them, and little by little they are getting a little closer to the precipice, as I think some call it, with regard to compulsory overseas service which they want to get over. We had an example to-day in the Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. Mackenzie). His address brought him a little closer to the brink of the precipice. Why not take the whole jump? But the Prime Minister says no. After that most eloquent address had been given by my leader in this chamber, in which he covered the ground so thoroughly, point by point, in the fashion of a learned gentleman in building up our case, the Prime Minister followed him to tear it down, and then after delivering his speech he caucused his members, and then caucused them again. The fuehrer had spoken, and the members of the cabinet sat dormant and silent. They seemed to be anaesthetized; they could not give voice to what was in their heart and mind. It was the war loan campaign which provided an excuse for the first minister to rise in his place and express his views, and to-day we have had another minister, the Minister of Pensions and National Health, as the second example. I began to think for a while that there was no war on except the war between the different elements within the Liberal party, but one by one the ministers are breaking away from the position they took in the earlier days of the session. But they are not yet giving full expression to what they really think about the plebiscite. That is verboten. The fuehrer has spoken to them, and the result is that we are not getting a free expression of opinion from hon. gentlemen opposite.

Of course, Mr. Speaker, we in this party shall vote for the plebiscite if it is forced upon us. We will vote "Ja" in the same

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The Address-Mr. Harris (Danforth)

manner as the Czechoslovakians and the Sudetens voted "Ja", but not for the same reason. They were afraid to vote against their plebiscite. We are voting for the plebiscite because we have been put in a position where a coin is flipped in such a way that heads you win and tails I lose. I do not say that disparagingly, but that is exactly how it stands. You know, Mr. Speaker, where we stand in this chamber. We would not let Canada down by voting no, and the present administration knows that. But had we no plebiscite at all, the Prime Minister and my hon. leader (Mr. Hanson) would have been in a much stronger position to vote on a resolution presented to this chamber on the question, and I am sure that it would have received almost the unanimous vote of this house.

Not only that, Mr. Speaker, but the sound people of Canada have provided us with this edifice in which to enunciate for them their views. Their views of two years ago have no bearing on the views of the Canadian people to-day. I took a note while my hon. friend the minister of pensions was speaking with regard to marshalling public opinion. To-day we find marshalled against us a common enemy possessed of a strength and1 force that we never even dreamed of in 1940 when the last election took place. Not only that: the common enemy is right at our gates. It is no time to stop and take a plebiscite.

Let me recite some of the other reasons, as briefly and hurriedly as I can.

I have been through six elections. Two hundred and fifty thousand people had the opportunity of voting in the different constituencies which I have had the honour to represent. The money spent by parties, by newspapers, by private individuals and by the candidates themselves, amounted to well over a dollar for each vote which was cast in those elections. Yet, with all the energy, the enthusiasm and the interest aroused over the many issues which have arisen during the last twenty years to excite our people and bring them to the polls; with the assistance of the clergy, of the schools, and all other agencies, the proportion of voters to those entitled to vote amounted to not more than 52 T per cent-we will call it 53 per cent for easy figuring. The Stevens candidate got 1-4 per cent, the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation candidate polled 1-6 per cent-he came in lately; previously the Labour party candidate got 1-4 per cent-the Liberal party, 13-2 per cent; and Conservative supporters honoured me with 35-4 per cent. And this, as I have said, as a result of much energy, effort and enthusiasm and all manner of means

employed to bring people to the polls: we did not get anything like a complete expression of opinion. Nor will you get much of an expression of opinion by this plebiscite, for you will be unable to get the people to the polls. Of course you will get the malcontents. But do you want them? Of course you do not. Nevertheless the plebiscite is going to be held.

Let me give the government one warning now with regard to the temper of the Canadian people on this matter. Do not have dominion ministers publicize this plebiscite on the screen. Not long ago I was humiliated, while a newsreel was being run, to hear our Prime Minister booed and hissed when his picture was on the screen. That is bad business. I was ashamed of our Canadian people when I heard it. And it did not happen in the city of Toronto.

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LIB

William Henry Golding

Liberal

Mr. GOLDING:

Where was it?

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CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HARRIS (Danforth):

That should not happen. I believe my hon. friend does not come from very far from where it occurred. It was when 1 was waiting for a train connection. I am not going to damn another Ontario town by mentioning the name. It could happen in Toronto. It could happen in Stratford. I think my hon. friend who recited one or two days ago correspondence and editorials which have come to his desk, might recite to this house the dayletter he received from the editor of the Stratford Beacon-Herald: he would know that the feeling of which I have spoken is rampant throughout his own district as well as in Toronto.

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LIB

William Henry Golding

Liberal

Mr. GOLDING:

I did not receive any letter at all.

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CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HARRIS (Danforth):

I will send the hon. member a copy.

I thought the Minister of Pensions and National Health would have said more to-day about his own province. To my mind there is a situation there the seriousness of which the people of Canada do not realize. Do you suppose that if 24.000 Canadians were living in a vulnerable point in Japan they would be left there? The danger to British Columbia of leaving the Japanese in their present locations is something to which the government, after the experience of our United States friends at Pearl Harbour, should give immediate consideration. True, a number of them arc Canadian nationals. True, each of those Canadian nationals was registered by the consul when he came into the country. But you cannot be sure of them all. We can be kind to them. We can treat them in the

The Address-Mr. Harris (Danforth)

British fashion. There are wide expanses in Canada where they can be placed, far away from the danger zone.

The Minister of National War Services (Mr. Thorson) is not in his seat. I understand he is of Icelandic origin. Also I am given to understand that lake Winnipegosis and lake Winnipeg, in his province, contain a fine species of fish called gold-eye. These Japanese are good fishermen. I understand that the Icelandic people who fish for gold-eye could fish just as well for salmon. I would transfer those Japanese to the district of lake Winnipegosis and lake Winnipeg and put them to work and be kind to them, but I would get them out of British Columbia and replace them with Icelandic people. Some of them could be sent down to Quebec, where our friends could use them in the lumber mills and saw mills. Many of these Japanese know how to work in a saw mill. Some could be transferred to Ontario. But let us get them out of the coast province and show the rest of our Canadian people that we are prepared to do something on behalf of national security.

I was sorry to hear an hon. member refer to "gold-diggers." References of that kind are not very helpful to the Minister of Finance in his task of raising the war loan. Who are these gold-diggers? Have they hard cash? The minister knows that their assets are largely made up of bank overdrafts, employing the money of others. He knows they are respectable citizens.

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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

You have got to go to

them to get money.

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CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HARRIS (Danforth):

When the

hon. member for Northumberland, Ont. (Mr. Fraser), said so many things in such a burlesque fashion with regard to these people, I looked him over, and as he was talking about "Who's Who" I thought to myself, and who are you? He talked about

I thought he said Moloch.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Mulocks!

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CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HARRIS (Danforth):

Then I thought it was Mulocks, and then I wasn't sure whether it could not be Mohocks, but I discovered it was Murdock, the same hon. gentlemen who by this administration was placed on the Canadian National railway board and is doing a good job on behalf of Canada. I say that, holding no brief for him and never to my knowledge having met him at any time. Nor do I know Charles Burton. I have met Mr. Morrow. He could have gone a good deal further with his "Who's Who," but what good does it do? What useful service did he give to Canada in that dia-

44561-26*

tribe? Was he not just asking himself and other members of his party to "Keep on whistling, boys, until this vote on the plebiscite is taken; we must keep up our courage?" Every time the Prime Minister's name was mentioned we heard loud applause from the boys who are on their way to the political graveyard, a lot of these one-trippers who have so much to say and make for so much disunity in this country. They rise in their places and simply make for more disunity.

I close with something which came to my desk the other day. I hesitate to use it, but at the same time it does enunciate some ideas that are not going to help our position at the present time:

They have a rendezvous with death,

On desert plain or tropic hill,

Where lethal bullets whistle shrill,

And hell's black legions, winging high, Darken the April sky.

For they have pledged and will be true; They will not fail their rendezvous.

But we, when April brings its rain,

Must argue whether we will keep Our faith with all the brave who sleep.

Our cross-to break or to renew Another's pledge; our rendezvous With indecision and disgrace;

Our shrine-the shabby polling place.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Shabby.

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CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HARRIS (Danforth):

It is, I am sorry to say, and it is more so on this plebiscite.

When I read that I also read this, from the world's greatest statesman, who received a vote of confidence recently of 490 to 1. How grand and glorious it would be if at this time we could do likewise in this chamber 1 He said:

I avow my confidence was never stronger than at this moment that we shall bring this conflict to an end in a manner agreeable to the interests of our country and the future of the world.

That is Mr. Churchill. I commend that sentiment and feel likewise.

I add now a statement made by another great statesman, and it applies right this minute to one and all of us:

There are tremendous things which need to be done and done now, with vigour, thoroughness and dispatch. We need more men for the overseas forces; we need a reallocation of men who are idling or who are wasting or halfwasting their time-the farm-the fighting forces.

We are two years late in organizing this nation for the stern, grim compulsions of war. Political expediency has held us in its grip. Hadn't we better prepare to strengthen those men overseas? Hadn't we better get them reinforcements?

In this hour when the whole world is writhing in flames, in this hour when the guns are roaring nearer and nearer to our shores, and when the enemy tightens his grip on

Excess Profits Tax

civilization, we are not going to waste our time counting noses. Right now we want a sharp, swift drive for results.

That is from the Right Hon. Arthur Meighen.

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LIB

William Henry Golding

Liberal

Mr. GOLDING:

The hon. member has intimated that I have received some letter from a Stratford paper. I want the hon. member to lay that letter on the table of this house. And I want to know what connivance is going on here.

On motion of Mr. Ross (Calgary East) the debate was adjourned.

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EXCESS PROFITS TAX

ANNOUNCEMENT AS TO PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO ACT

LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

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

I wish to make a brief statement. For the information of the business community I ordinarily would give it to the press, but as the house is sitting it is more appropriate that I give it here.

It is the intention of the government to introduce during the present session a minor amendment to the .section of the Excess Profits Tax Act which defines the "standard period". The proposed amendment relates to new businesses which commenced operations after January 1, 1939, and *will preclude them from taking the record of actual earnings in their first fiscal period as their standard profit. Such companies will have to apply to the board of referees for a determination of their standard profit.

Under the law as it now stands, taxpayers who commenced business after December 31, 1937, have the option either of taking their actual profits as their standard or of applying to the board of referees. In some cases this may give very unfair advantages to those taxpayers who commenced business after January 1, 1939. For example, if a company commenced business in the latter part of 1939, after war broke out, and, due to the war situation, made exceptionally large profits in its first fiscal period, these earnings under the present law would constitute the base from which excess profits would be measured. The proposed amendment will disallow this and make it necessary for such a company to apply to the board of referees for a determination of its standard profit.

On behalf of my colleague the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Gibson) I wish also to say that the commissioner of income tax has clarified the position of sole proprietorships and partnerships in respect of the minimum standard profit of $5,000. He will interpret the wording providing for this minimum as

allowing the minimum to apply after rather than before the deduction of reasonable salary.

On motion of Mr. Mackenzie (Vancouver Centre) the house adjourned at 6.07 p.m.

Monday, February 9, 1942

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February 6, 1942