Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview):
they sought shelter and hiding in the inland creeks. During the debates this session I referred to Hitler's spring offensive for 1942, already begun, and my remarks will be found in Hansard. I said that he would seek a knock-out in 1942 on the Atlantic to cut Britain's life line. I referred also to the menace to the American continent' from the Atlantic and Pacific with perhaps an invasion of Canada from our front, side and back door. The extract I wish to read is from one of the most able papers in Great Britain, the National Review. I shall read just the relevant parts of this article which appeared in the February issue, page 121. The writer is the ablest man in this war; he has predicted everything that has happened so far. Referring to St. Pierre and Miquelon, he says:
Some weeks ago, Admiral Muselier, the commander of free French navy, did the allies the signal service of landing on St. Pierre and Miquelon, two French islands near Newfoundland, and taking them over in the name of General de Gaulle. He did this in response to a request from the inhabitants, who found themselves at odds with the Vichy officials who were still governing them. The sturdy descendants of Breton fishermen who live on the other side of the Atlantic had no mind to see their islands used against Canada and the British in the event of Vichy turning them over to Hitler.
Then follows reference to the same matter to which I referred, and the article continues:
During the ruthless German attack on our Atlantic shipping, it was criminal to leave such a nest for pirate-protection free to work its mischief. IV c do not know whether the attention of the British and American governments was called to what was going on. It seems probably that it was, for the activity of the Vichy friends of Germany was well known, not only to the fishermen on the islands-there are several thousands of them-but to the British in Newfoundland, barely twenty miles away. In any case nothing was done, the Monroe doctrine being invoked to defend inaction, while an agreement that there should be no disturbance of the American status quo during the war, was further used to produce inertia.
The last sentence reads:
Seeing that there would be no betterment in the affairs of their island from the two great powers, the inhabitants of St. Pierre and Miquelon appealed to General de Gaulle, who acted with military promptitude, and sent Admiral Muselier to seize the islands in the name of free France. This was done. The United States of America protested at once, and their press supported them, while certain elements in Canada were doubtful. A valuable passage in Mr. Churchill's Ottawa speech brushed away the anti-de Gaulle talk. The names of the Free French, he said, "will be held and are being held in increasing respect by nine Frenchmen out of every ten."
I think this is sufficient explanation. Further, I believe it is correct. I should like to give the
minister some other papers along the same lines, but they are in Toronto. I would point out also that various matters the minister speaks of as being private were known to the axis powers, as everything we do is known; so why the secrecy? I refer him to Ribben-trop's speech and radio talks about Canada since the war began, about the great lakes and the lack of defence on our two coasts. He lived here for years and got all the information.
Hon. ANGUS L. MACDONALD (Minister of National Defence for Naval Services): As I understand the statement made yesterday by the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Church) it was a statement of fact, namely, that for nearly the past two years German U-boats have sheltered in the creeks, inlets and harbours of St. Pierre and Miquelon where they flashed signals at night from the shores in order to help to sink Atlantic shipping. I asked the hon. gentleman yesterday if he were prepared to make that statement as a statement of fact on his responsibility as a member of this house and I have not been able to gather to-day that the hon. gentleman takes that responsibility. Does he state that he knows it to be a fact that there were German U-boats sheltering in the creeks and inlets of St. Pierre and Miquelon for the last two years?