I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that the 40-minute rule with regard to speeches be changed to 15 minutes, which would require that the speeches be more carefully prepared and condensed. In order to illustrate my point I should like to tell a story of a clergyman who was asked if he would give a 15-minute address on a particular occasion. He declined on the ground that he had not time to prepare it. When surprise and disappointment were expressed he said, "I should be glad to give you an address of 40 minutes, because I could speak discursively, but if I have to concentrate and crystallize my remarks into a 15-minute speech I have not time to prepare it." That, I think, is a very apt illustration of a good deal of what we have heard here.
I make the further suggestion, that for the duration of the war Hansard be abolished. This would have the effect of saving a good deal of time and money which could then be devoted to war purposes. We are facing the greatest crisis in our history; the issue soon to be settled is whether we are to be free or slaves. We are up against the greatest combination of superbly trained and magnificently equipped military forces that this world has ever seen, who continue to inflict upon us defeat after defeat. Let us not deceive ourselves, but admit the fact that up to the present we have lost every battle, and unless we make a total war effort by utilizing at once all our resources both physical and human, we shall lose the war in this year 1942.
When Sir Stafford Cripps, who should1 be better informed on the situation in Europe, than any other man, arrived in New Delhi yesterday he said, "There is no time to lose and no time for long discussions." The able representatives of the newspapers in Canada in the press gallery can be relied upon to sift the wheat from the chaff, and I am sure the reading public will not suffer as a consequence of what I propose.
The Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe), speaking on the radio last night, revealed an alarming shortage of rubber, stating that when our present supply is exhausted there will be no more rubber available until the synthetic plants are built and able to produce, rubber. This, I understand, will take from one to two years. So it is quite obvious that our prospect of getting rubber in the near future is very remote. I wonder whether the government have done all that is possible to conserve our rubber supply. Have they taken an inventory of the tires in the hands of manufacturers and dealers throughout the country? Only two weeks ago I was told by a responsible citizen that
lie had been offered new tires for his car by a dealer who said that up to that time no inventory had been taken of his stock and therefore no one was in a position to check up as to what he did with his tires.
To be caught at this time with a shortage of rubber seems to indicate a lack of foresight on the part of those responsible for our war effort. I was told more than a year ago by a high official in the rubber industry in Canada that Japan was very likely to destroy our major sources of rubber. This man had1 this information; so surely some one connected with the Department of Munitions and Supply or with the war departments of the government would equally have had the opportunity of knowing what the situation was likely to be. Again "too little and too late".
The minister also announced last night that the speed limit wrould be reduced to forty miles an hour. Why not to thirty-five miles an hour? I know that investigators in the laboratories of some of the oil companies have proved that the most economical speed in regard to the use of gasoline and oil is thirty-five miles an hour, which was the speed limit in Ontario until a few years ago. I suggest that it be again reduced to thirty-five miles an hour to save gasoline and rubber tires.
I wish to express my approval of the suggestion made by the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green) last evening that we send a token force to Australia. We fought side by side in the last war, and I think all hon. members will appreciate what a wonderfully stimulating and encouraging effect that would have upon our brothers down under. The force need not be large, a regiment or a brigade. It would1 be very much better for us to fight Japan in Australia 'than in Vancouver.
I feel that some comment should be made on the recent adoption by the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) of the suggestion made by the hon. member for Vancouver South when the minister announced the appointment of officers to the supreme command on the west and east coasts of Canada. We are fighting Germany and Japan whose policy has been and is to require their senior officers to be trained in the three arms of the service-the navy, the air force and the army-before they are given a unified command. May I ask the Minister of National Defence what training the recently appointed commanders in chief on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts have had in the air force and the navy? We have had many indications that our enemies have adopted entirely new methods of warfare, which have been very successful, and if we are to have a chance of
defeating them we also must adopt new methods. Is Canada adopting new methods similar to those to which I have referred? True, we have three ministers of defence; I think it is true also to say that the plebiscite bill recently passed was a defence measure- a defence of members of the government for their past performances. May we not learn from our enemies, who have introduced into this war entirely new tactics? Only to-day a Japanese general is reported on the radio to have said, "Defence methods will never lead to victory." I would1 addi that Australia did not hesitate to place her military forces under the command of a man of experience and proven ability, even to the extent of going to the United States to secure such a man, when they obtained General MacArthur. Mr. Churchill did not hesitate to go to Australia to secure a man militarily and diplomatically capable of filling a position in the middle east, when he appointed Hon. Richard Casey of Australia to that important post, at the same time making him a member of the British war cabinet.
I have just one more suggestion to make, which I have saved till the last because, in my opinion, it is the most important of all. I am sure no one will gainsay the truth of my assertion when I say that we have in Canada to-day a man who has the knowledge and experience, and who stands out as the greatest leader this country has ever produced. I refer to Lieutenant-General A. L. McNaughton, whom I now suggest that the Prime Minister appoint as minister of war and deputy prime minister. It may be urged that he could not be spared from his position overseas, but I venture the opinion that after two years of effort and training and planning, someone else could now be found to carry on his duties over there. I am sure that this would go a long way toward satisfying and relieving the anxious and much perturbed Canadian people.
Subtopic: SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY