June 17, 1942

IND

Liguori Lacombe

Independent Liberal

Mr. LACOMBE:

And soon, you will be out of office.

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IND

Joseph Sasseville Roy

Independent

Mr. ROY:

The facts must be set in their true light so that history may record them faithfully. The hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres, in the course of his speech, has made this further statement:

The people of Quebec, the minority in Canada, as I have said, have no reason to be ashamed of the attitude its members are taking. So far as I am concerned I have a quiet conscience as a result of the course I have taken in resigning the two portfolios which the Prime Minister was kind enough to bestow on me. . . .

If we refer to another statement made over the radio on April 24 last by the exMinister of Public Works, we may well wonder if the minister has enhanced or lowered his prestige in turning against the members who campaigned against a yes vote during the plebiscite.

Here is what I find in Le Canada of Saturday, April 25, 1942:

Address delivered last night, April 24, over the C.B.C. network, on the plebiscite.

Strife was stirred in the province of Quebec, in order to oust Laurier from power! How-many statements of so-called independence, selfseeking denunciations from political partisans, accusations of weakness and treason, appeals to prejudice, did we hear at the time? It was exactly the same as to-day, except that the leaders of the movement were then more eminent and better endowed.

A few of the so-called saviours of that time are still to be found in to-day's agitation. They are a little older, but they seem to have learned nothing, no doubt because they did not suffer from w-hat they helped to create. Those agitators said that Laurier had turned coward and traitor; that he wanted power at all cost and that he was sold to England.

Everyone knows at whom this pun is directed, for he is none other than Mr. Henri Bourassa, of Montreal. Mr. Bourassa has certainly no lessons to receive from the former Minister of Public Works-

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Nor from you.

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IND

Joseph Sasseville Roy

Independent

Mr. ROY:

-because of the well-known purity and constancy of his patriotism. This

Mobilization Act-Mr. Roy

clear-sighted gentleman has no lessons to receive from the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres who, toward the end of his life, is beginning to learn what Mr. Bourassa knew long ago. The hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres now advances the very arguments used by Mr. Bourassa in 1911. The latter never made any concessions nor did he ever change his policy. He never had to explain his stand, nor to complain that he had been misled, that he had let himself be led into error. Wherever he spoke, be it in Ottawa, in Quebec, in Toronto or at the Eucharistic congress in 1910, he always propounded the same arguments. Never did he allow his patriotism to change or falter because of political considerations or a lust for power.

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LIB

Maurice Lalonde

Liberal

Mr. LALONDE:

He has changed in his

old age.

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IND

Joseph Sasseville Roy

Independent

Mr. ROY:

The former Minister of Public Works has nothing to teach that great Canadian patriot, who never compromised. Mr. Bourassa would never have allowed anyone to lay hands on that precious national asset I mentioned a moment ago, which was granted to us by fair and generous-hearted Englishmen such as were the McNabbs, the Macdonalds, the Baldwins, and such as would have been the present Prime Minister had he not gone back on his policy of 1939. This national asset we hold from such men as we find in this great race, when there are no Shields to stir up passions, religious and racial prejudices, or deter them from their natural straightforwardness and common-sense through all kinds of deceptive and erroneous statements, and when there is no exploitation of prejudices by fanatics or gain by an infamous international finance which, at the moment, is standing at the keyboard of the infernal carillon whose sinister echoes blend with smoking ruins and blood-soaked battle fields.

He certainly would not have made any such concessions, and perhaps we would not find ourselves faced with the critical situation which endures to-day.

Mr. Bourassa has certainly no need of me to defend him, but we, his juniors, wish to seek inspiration from his life of devotion, and we know that the seed he has sown will produce better results than that which the former Minister of Public Works and the Liberal party as a whole are reaping to-day. These attacks against him, whatever their source, deeply wound us, and that is why I protest. And as for that great orator of past campaigns -1917, 1921, 1925, 1926, that is every one of them including the plebiscite campaign-in vain would we seek in the sound of his voice

sufficient emotion, strong enough pathos to inspire belief in his sincerity, in his ability to stir up once more-

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LIB

Thomas Vien (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

Order. The hon. member may not contest the sincerity of an hon. member of this house. When he contests that of the hon. member for Chambly-Vercheres he is out of order. I call this once more to his attention in order that he may avoid a repetition of the same mistake.

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IND

Joseph Sasseville Roy

Independent

Mr. ROY:

I take back the word "sincerity." I rather meant to say that "he will not convince me that the flower of hope will ever bloom again on the remains of the political massacre which we are witnessing to-day." We shall be guided by other voices and inspired, we of the young generation, by other principles. We shall forever banish these electoral methods based on misleading promises, prejudices and expedients. Our doctrine, the fundamental points of our programme, will take their inspiration from Christian social justice and ethics and will have for cornerstones the family, the basic industries and the respect for others. This is how we are going to organize our national economic and social life and I hope that it will give better results and that peace and prosperity will flourish in this country. Mr. Speaker, I know that I have given more time than I intended to these considerations, before proposing the following amendment-

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LIB

Thomas Vien (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

I must draw the attention of the hon. member to the fact that he has exceeded his time by two minutes and a half.

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IND

Joseph Sasseville Roy

Independent

Mr. ROY:

I have been delayed by calls to order and I think I should be allowed a few minutes in order to submit the amendment I have in mind.

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LIB

Thomas Vien (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

I have to go by what the Clerk tells me. The hon. member has spoken for forty-two minutes.

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IND

Liguori Lacombe

Independent Liberal

Mr. LIGUORI LACOMBE (Laval-Two Mountains):

Notwithstanding the vote of April 27 last, the government is still bound by its previous commitments never to impose conscription. The result of the plebiscite is not conclusive, because the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and his colleagues asserted time and time again over the stations of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that it was not a matter of voting for or against conscription. What were the means employed to obtain a "yes" vote? There was a complete mobilization of the facilities of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which were placed at the service of the proponents

Mobilization Act-Mr. Lacombe

of a "yes" vote. With very few exceptions, all the newspapers of the country were in favour of the government and supported those who requested a "yes" vote. Why were we unjustly refused the use of the facilities of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation? Certainly it was not in the name of liberty, justice and right for which our soldiers, airmen and seamen are sacrificing their lives. It was done in order to favour party interests. All available means were used, and the population of the country was shamefully deprived of its sacred right to free and honest debate.

From personal experience I know that otherwise the result of the plebiscite would have been different from what the protagonists of the "yes" vote desired. The government is misled if it thinks that it is now freed from its solemn pledges. A small group of busybodies induced the government to hold this plebiscite to the detriment of national unity.

I know that many hon. members do not share my views concerning the best way of defending Canada, but at least they have to admit that I never hit my opponents in the back, not even on the side. I always attack from the front, as I do now by asserting that the result of the plebiscite is not at all conclusive and the government is still bound by its sacred commitments. Therefore the government should be careful not to enter upon the long road which leads to danger. It should pay no heed to the pernicious advice of those who in the name of liberty are ready to sacrifice liberty itself. Let it not trust those who, supposedly to defend democracy, would ruin and disorganize the defence of Canada. Let it repudiate as enemies of this country those overexcited persons who in their enthusiasm are determined to sacrifice our last man and our last cent in this great adventure far away from our first line of defence, which must remain here on our very shores. Let it always bear in mind that the first duty of Canadians is toward their country, whose defences must be organized before all.

There is great danger from political cancers. It is only recently that a certain man held a prominent diplomatic post. Why does Mr. Herridge refer to the province of Quebec as a cancer attached to the north American continent? Like everyone else he knows that Quebec is loyal and faithful to His Majesty the King. Our province is fulfilling its duty in connection with Canada's war effort. Thousands and thousands of its sons have enlisted voluntarily, and all victory loan campaigns have been oversubscribed. What was the first Canadian regiment to complete its

establishment for overseas service? It was Le Regiment Maisonneuve, which was raised in Quebec and made up of Quebec soldiers. There are many other compatriots in the army, the air force and the navy who answered spontaneously the call to the colours.

If ever Canada is attacked-and God forbid that it ever is-they will rush with all true Canadians to the defence of their country. They will dispute every inch of ground against the enemy. Our compatriots of English, Scotch, Irish and other extractions will then see a revival of national unity. Despite what may be said about it, national unity is not dead in Canada. It is only the defeatists and fifth columnists who claim it is. If it is necessary to defend Canadian territory, the whole population of this country will claim the supreme right of fighting the invader.

Let us examine the means employed by the government to obtain a "yes" vote. On March 24 last the Prime Minister asserted in this chamber that farmers, farmers' sons and farm hands would be exempted from compulsory military training. For many months and many years I had never ceased requesting this exemption, and on the same day I told the government how grateful and satisfied I was over the measure. I cannot express how surprised I was when I returned to my riding and became aware that the registrar was following his previous practice and calling up farmers and even the only sons of farmers whose occupation had always been farming. I could give to this house a long list of young farmers who have been called to the colours, such as the Guindons from St. Augustin, the Lauzons, the Ethiers, the Filiatreaults from Ste. Monique, the Gauthiers, the Godards from St. Eustache, the Pages from St. Hermas. The complete list would be much too long.

The reaction of the agricultural population which believed the word of the Prime Minister was quite widespread. It was even more so when the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell) and the Minister of National War Services (Mr. Thorson) stated subsequently that farmers and farmers' sons would be still liable to military service and compulsory training, except that they would have the privilege of asking for a postponement of training. How do you explain, Mr. Speaker, those statements, so formal and explicit, made by the Prime Minister upon such a capital question and then contradicted a few days after by his colleagues in the cabinet? From these contradictory statements part of the rural population quite naturally concluded that farmers and farmers' sons and farm hands were not exempt from compulsory military training, while others remained confident that they were.

Mobilization Act-Mr. Lacombe

As I said a while ago, if we had not been denied the facilities of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation during the campaign on the plebiscite we could have enlightened the population of the whole country upon such a far-reaching matter as the flagrant contradiction between the statements of the Prime Minister and those of his colleagues. But it does not seem that the owners of radio receiving sets, who pay the government a high fee for their licence, as well as tremendous taxes, are entitled to know the truth. The Canadian population which sacrifices its sons and its income for the war was denied the right to hear the truth. The Canadian party was refused the facilities of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and you will see on what a poor pretext, Mr. Speaker, when I read this letter which the Prime Minister wrote to me on April 13, 1942:

Office of the Prime Minister Canada

Ottawa, April 13, 1942. Liguori Lacombe, Esq., M.P.,

Ste. Scholastique,

Quebec.

Dear Mr. Lacombe:

I wish to acknowledge your letter of April the 10th regarding the use of the radio in the plebiscite campaign.

As you are, of course, aware, the government has no authority to give orders to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The policy worked out by arrangement with the corporation is set out in the statement given to the press yesterday by the Hon. W. P. Mulock which reads as follows:

"My attention has been drawn to a report in the press of to-day under the heading, 'Three Members to give addresses on Plebiscite,' and as acting Secretary of State, I wish to correct this statement immediately.

"The use of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's English and French networks, in dealing with the plebiscite, is restricted to use by the Prime Minister, members of the cabinet and the leaders of the recognized parties in the House of Commons.

"They are given free time similar to that received in election campaigns and are speaking by reason of the positions they hold and not by reason of the fact they are advocating a 'yes' or 'no' answer to the question.

"Any private members or other persons who desire to speak, provided they comply with the necessary regulations and either pay for the time themselves or have it donated to them, can, of course, speak from a local privately-owned broadcasting station."

The Prime Minister's letter continues:

The question as to whether a party is recognized from the point of view of broadcasting,

I understand, is one which is settled according to a formula worked out by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in consultation with all the political parties prior to the last general election.

Yours sincerely,

W. L. Mackenzie King.

The night before I had received the following telegram from the director of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Mr. Augustin Frigon:

Montreal, Quebec, April 11, 1942.

I am not authorized to rent stations or network of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to anyone or to loan others the networks indicated to me. The instructions I have received are explicit and final. You may use private stations.

Augustin Frigon.

Where is the truth, Mr. Speaker? Is it in the Prime Minister's letter or in the telegram sent to me by Mr. Augustin Frigon, a director of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation? Mr. Frigon states that his instructions are formal and definite. Who gave him those instructions? One sentence in the Prime Minister's letter will provide the answer:

The question as to whether a party is recognized from the point of view of broadcasting, I understand, is one which is settled according to a formula worked out by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in consultation with all the political parties prior to the last general election.

That is nothing but a cynical joke. And so the various political parties united in violation of their solemn pledges and sacred commitments to deny the use of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's facilities to the Canadian party and its founder. Where are now these political parties which existed prior to the last general election? Where is the official opposition in this house, the so-called National government candidates in the election of the 26th of March, 1940? Where is the Social Credit party, now the New Democracy? Where is the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation party since the loss of its distinguished leader, the late Mr. Woodsworth? Where are the other parties?

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LIB

Maurice Lalonde

Liberal

Mr. LALONDE:

Where is the Canadian party?

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IND

Liguori Lacombe

Independent Liberal

Mr. LACOMBE:

Yes, the Canadian party, my dear friend. I ask you, where is the Libera] party?

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LIB

Maurice Lalonde

Liberal

Mr. LALONDE:

Right here.

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IND

Liguori Lacombe

Independent Liberal

Mr. LACOMBE:

It is merged forever with the Conservative opposition, and you know it. It is merged with all the parties who advocated a "yes" answer in the plebiscite vote. Union government? Why create one? We have one right now, and it is more united than ever. The Conservative opposition, the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation party, the Social Credit party or the New Democracy, and the government itself, said so to the Canadian people during the plebiscite campaign. Let them pull together, and in these sacred and

Mobilization Act-Mr. Lacombe

farmers' sons and farm hands before starvation sets in in our army, among our civilian population and1 in our dear country. I implore them to cease tearing away from their farms young farmers who own their lands, using brute strength to do so, as happened at Sainte Monique and Saint Augustin, in Two-Mountains, during the night of the 9th of June. Is that the exemption promised by the Prime Minister on March 24 last?

If we adopt such a measure as this we shall give to the government and the opposition a free hand to destroy at a single stroke the work of Laurier, who devoted his long and brave career to the welfare of the country, and who at the end of that career fought with the energy of a lion the conscription act introduced by Borden in 1917. If we adopt such a measure we shall be taking an active part in insulting by means of this conscription issue the memory of that great Canadian. If we reject this amendment the nine provinces of the dominion will be given an opportunity to respect once more the illustrious name of Laurier. If we reject this amendment we will save in our dear country the national unity symbolized in our local cemetery by Laurier's glorious tombstone.

Mr. Speaker, we have many good reasons to fight this bill. Would we leave the protection of our sons against conscription in the hands of the present government, which has just rejected the mandate which it received from the people of Canada on March 26, 1940? Would we commit our dearest possessions to the charge of a government that was elected upon a policy condemning formally conscription for service everywhere and at all times, and that is now ready to pass conscription? Personally I am determined to fight with all my strength this infamous measure which more than sixty thousand soldiers defending this country urge us not to adopt. In the name of more than one million, six hundred thousand Canadians from all parts of the country I am determined to fight with all my strength this pernicious amendment. Why? Because the freedom and sovereignty of this country, as expressed by the statute of Westminster, urge us to do so. Why? In order to do away once and for all with this deplorable colonial mentality which still persists in Canada. Why? In order to recall the government to the true meaning of facts, and remind it that Canada is still Canada^ that our first line of defence is here and must remain here, on our own shores. Why? In order to tell the government that we refuse to migrate to Europe with the last shred of our homeland, the last cent of our public moneys, and the last son of Canada. Why? In order to protest against this project of

raising en masse all our young men, all the inhabitants of Canada, all our natural resources, all our vital strength, unless it be for the defence of Canada. Why? Because we must, before all, organize the defence of our territory, because Canada is our country, our homeland, the only one we have, and because we are more than ever determined to defend it.

One last word. I listened with great interest to the speech delivered last week by the former Minister of Public Works and Transport (Mr. Cardin). This speech from the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres would have been more practical and more effective if it had been delivered last February, during the debate on the dominion plebiscite bill. It is most unfortunate that such a piece of eloquence is given us at a moment when all hopes seem lost. How much more precious the intervention of the hon. member would have been for our province and our country if it had occurred when the government introduced its famous plebiscite bill! One might object that too late is better than never. To this I reply: Indeed, let us save what we can still save if, however, there is still something that can be saved. But I fear it is too late unless the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres and bis followers concur in the doctrine I have always advocated-an exclusively Canadian policy.

Mr. Speaker, can we accept a condition under which hon. members who never ceased to assert their anti-conscriptionist feelings still continue to sit beside the Prime Minister who is getting ready to raise all our vital strength, all our youth, all our sons, by repealing section 3 of the National Resources Mobilization Act, our last safeguard against conscription for overseas service? If my hon. colleagues are really against conscription, will they agree to be party to what the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres termed with such energy "the treason of the Prime Minister"? Personally, I never played upon words or upon the future of my country. He who violates his pledges, plays upon words and imperils the future of his country. The speech delivered by the former Minister of Public Works and Transport is the solemn assertion that actual events are proving that I was right. Furthermore, because the Canadian party does not proclaim the doctrine of one man, of one class or of one race in particular, but that of one nation, I invite the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres ,\nd his colleagues who share his views to join our ranks, in the next forty-eight hours, because afterwards it will be too late. Do not forget that.

Time presses. Hon. members may laugh. They will not laugh after the next general

Mobilization Act-Mr. Bradette

election if they do not join the ranks of the Canadian party; be sure of that. The interest of Canada orders you, orders them to sever the last links which still bind them to this government which the former Minister of Public Works and Transport branded so thoroughly and which will carry to the eyes of future generations the responsibility of having deceived and betrayed the Canadian people who honoured this government with a confidence never before equalled in the political history of this country.

I have the honour to move, seconded by the hon. member for Gaspe (Mr. Roy):

That all the words after the word "that" in the principal motion be deleted and the following substituted therefor:

this house is of the opinion that the ministers and most of the members from "Quebec" do not have a mandate allowing them to modify the National Resources Mobilization Act of 1940; that the voluntary contribution of soldiers for overseas service is satisfactory because of the dangers which are now threatening Canada and of growing difficulties arising from shortage of labour for production of food and other war necessities; that it is essential to maintain national unity; also that if there is a compulsory measure, the survey of which may be necessary, it is not conscription of men for overseas service but rather compulsory mobilization of accumulated wealth for the purpose of lightening the burden of the cost of war that lies so heavily on those in the lower income brackets of society.

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre); Mr. Speaker, this amendment is obviously out of order. If you will refer to a motion moved by the hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Maclnnis) on June 18, 1940, at that time it was ruled by Mr. Speaker that the motion, which was similar to the one now before the Chair, was a substantive motion which did not seek to amend the main motion. The amendment now moved by the hon. member for Laval-Two Mountains (Mr. Lacombe) does not seek to amend the main motion, and on that count alone is out of order. In the second place it mentions again the issue of the conscription of wealth, which has been twice disposed of in the judgment of this house during the present session of parliament. On that ground also it is definitely out of order.

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER; Does any other hon. member wish to speak to the point of order?

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IND

Liguori Lacombe

Independent Liberal

Mr. LACOMBE:

I want to know first on what grounds the Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. Mackenzie) bases his point of order. I did not understand his objection, and I would ask him to repeat it.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I shall be glad to do so. The only way in

which my hon. friend could move such a resolution would be within the terms of citation 755 of Beauchesne. A motion similar to the present amendment was moved on June 18, 1940, and was ruled out of order by the Speaker, which ruling was sustained by the house, on the ground that it was a substantive motion and did not seek to amend the main motion. There is nothing in the resolution now moved by my hon. friend that seeks to amend in the slightest way the motion for the second reading of the bill now before the house. The second point is that my hon. friend mentions an issue already twice disposed of by the house during the present session, once as an amendment to the address in reply and once as an amendment to the plebiscite bill.

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IND

Liguori Lacombe

Independent Liberal

Mr. LACOMBE:

I submit respectfully

that the case mentioned by the minister absolutely does not apply in the present instance.

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LIB

Thomas Vien (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

If no other

hon. member desires to speak, I shall give my ruling on the amendment. I find the amendment out of order because it covers a subject matter already discussed and dealt with earlier in the present session. Further, for the reasons suggested by the minister, namely, that it is a substantive motion, and that it anticipates possible amendments which may be made when the bill is in committee, I must also find this amendment out of order.

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June 17, 1942