June 26, 1942

FOOD CORPORATION

BEEF SUPPLIES-REPRESENTATION OF PRODUCERS


On the orders of the day:


CON

Mark Cecil Senn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. M. C. SENN (Haldimand):

I wish to address a question to the Minister of Agriculture. According to press reports a corporation is to be set up which will purchase and handle beef supplies. Will the minister give the house some assurance that the producers will be represented on that corporation?

Topic:   FOOD CORPORATION
Subtopic:   BEEF SUPPLIES-REPRESENTATION OF PRODUCERS
Permalink
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. J. G. GARDINER (Minister of Agriculture) :

The corporation is being set up under the wartime prices and trade board, which is under the Minister of Finance. The corporation itself, I believe, is headed by Mr. Taggart, who is minister of agriculture for Saskatchewan.

Topic:   FOOD CORPORATION
Subtopic:   BEEF SUPPLIES-REPRESENTATION OF PRODUCERS
Permalink
CON

Mark Cecil Senn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SENN:

Then may I ask the Minister of Finance if the matter will be attended to? Even if the minister of agriculture for Saskatchewan is on the board, I doubt whether the producers would be represented by him in the way that a representative of the producers organization might represent them.

Topic:   FOOD CORPORATION
Subtopic:   BEEF SUPPLIES-REPRESENTATION OF PRODUCERS
Permalink
LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

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

The food purchasing corporation is merely a group of government employees, like so many other crown corporations, and I do not think it is intended to give nublie representation on it at all. If we undertook to do that we should certainly have to give much wider representation than to agriculture. It is really a government agency.

Topic:   FOOD CORPORATION
Subtopic:   BEEF SUPPLIES-REPRESENTATION OF PRODUCERS
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CON

Mark Cecil Senn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SENN:

It has wide powers.

Topic:   FOOD CORPORATION
Subtopic:   BEEF SUPPLIES-REPRESENTATION OF PRODUCERS
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WASHINGTON WAR CONFERENCES

STATEMENT OF THE PRIME MINISTER-SITUATION IN NEAR AND MIDDLE EAST


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Hon. R. B. HANSON (Leader of the Opposition):

I should like to welcome the Prime Minister back from his recent journey to Washington and ask whether he has anything to tell the country as a result.

Topic:   WASHINGTON WAR CONFERENCES
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF THE PRIME MINISTER-SITUATION IN NEAR AND MIDDLE EAST
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

I thank my hon. friend for his welcome, and hon. members for the manner in which the house has received his words. I went to Washington, as I believe hon. members are -aware, on the personal invitation of the President and also of Mr. Churchill. While there I attended two con-

ferences in particular, one of which was presided over by the Prime Minister of Great Britain and which was composed of representatives of the different parts of the British commonwealth of nations. The other conference was the Pacific war council, which, was presided over by the President, and at which representatives of different powers surrounding the Pacific attended. At both conferences the war situation was very fully reviewed. There was opportunity for discussion of matters that were of concern to any of those who were present. Unfortunately, I cannot disclose the nature of the proceedings or indeed anything that took place at either conference. Hon. members will appreciate the fact that the conferences were wholly confidential. However, I might give to the house the impressions I gathered while at Washington, both at the conferences themselves and in personal conversation with Prime Minister Churchill and the President, and from other opportunities I had of discussing matters with the Hon. Mr. Hull, the Secretary of State, and Mr. Sumner Welles, the Under-Secretary of State.

The position is one which I imagine will be more or less present in the minds of all hon. members. There can be no doubt at all that the situation at the moment is one of the most critical with which the united nations have been faced, one of the most serious that has arisen in the course of the whole war. To get the true perspective one has, however, to recall the very critical situations which have arisen in the past, and to remind oneself that the forces of the united nations have been able to rise superior to any temporary reverse, and that to-day there can be no doubt that the united nations are stronger and better organized than they have been at any time since the war began. While it is true that the situation is much more serious in the near and middle east than it has been, it is equally true that it is not quite so critical in some other parts. My own view is that the present conflict will have more to do with the probable duration of the war than with any question of its ultimate outcome. It may be that as a result of the present conflict the struggle will be much longer than up to the present we have hoped and expected it might be. It will be a very bitter struggle indeed, and it is just possible that the war may, instead of ending in 1943 as all of us I think had hoped it might, may instead run on for two or three more years.

One thing is quite certain; it is that every country that is a member of the united nations will have to put forth its utmost effort in helping to overcome the enemy.

Mobilization Act-Mr. Power

At the conferences at which I was present I was accompanied by the Hon. Leighton McCarthy, our minister at Washington.

I think that is all I have to say at present.

Topic:   WASHINGTON WAR CONFERENCES
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF THE PRIME MINISTER-SITUATION IN NEAR AND MIDDLE EAST
Permalink

MOBILIZATION ACT

AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT OP SERVICE OVERSEAS


The house resumed from Thursday, June 25, consideration of the motion of Mr. Mackenzie King for the second reading of Bill No. 80, to amend the National Resources Mobilization Act, 1940, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Roy.


LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. C. G. POWER (Minister of National Defence for Air):

Mr. Speaker, like many who have recently taken part in this debate I wish to disclaim any intention of adding any new light on this subject, which has already been debated for some considerable time. I assure you, sir, that I have no intention of entering into argument and discussion, apology, or even recrimination; but I propose, perhaps rather shamelessly, to use the facilities of this house as a sounding board to address myself to the electors of the constituency which I represent.

Before doing so I should like to make reference to matters of a personal nature which are bound to influence the decision I have to make in the matter which is now before the house.

Since 1901 the constituency of Quebec South has, with the exception of three years, been represented by two men, my father and myself. The electoral subdivisions in the legislative assembly and in the legislative council have during the same time been represented by other members of the family. During those forty years our relations with the French-Canadian population who comprise the majority of the electorate of the constituency have been of the most cordial and most friendly. Time after time they have given to us spontaneous and sometimes unanimous expressions of trust and confidence, in business, socially, and in politics. Up to very recently, within a few weeks, the relations which existed between us were such that in most matters, national and political, our views were identical or if not identical at least reasonably capable of accommodation.

If however I am to judge from the expression of opinion which was given in the plebiscite a few weeks ago, the time has come when, in appearance if not in substance, there is a sharp difference of opinion between us. My people-I think I can call them that, because so far there has been no appearance of rancour, of anger or even of distrust-if I am to judge by their vote on the plebiscite,

believe that the measure which is now before the house opens the door to conscription for overseas service. I believe they are right; I agree with them that, this legislation does that very thing. I know that the vast majority of them hold the very word "conscription" in utter abhorrence, and I must take their views into consideration. To a large extent I share them. I have strenuous objections to compulsion or coercion in any form. But I am also and have been for many years a member of this House of Commons of Canada. I am a Canadian, and by Canada I mean every part and every province of Canada. I mean Vancouver, Halifax, Winnipeg, just as much as I mean Quebec. The people of this country as a whole have pronounced themselves by an overwhelming vote clearly and unequivocally in favour of action of which this legislation is possibly the least expression. Following the ordinary democratic process, and being a Canadian before I am a Quebecker, I propose to vote for this bill.

Having said that with respect to my electors I anticipate that this house will expect me, as one of the service ministers, at least to express an opinion on one of the matters which have been frequently discussed in this debate, namely, where the defence line of Canada lies. In this may I say that I am in entire and hearty agreement with my colleagues the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) and the Minister of National Defence for Naval Services (Mr. Macdonald). This conviction of mine is brought about to a considerable extent by the job of work in which we are at present engaged; because those of us who have to do with the air force know that there is no factor which has come so close to annihilating time and space as the use of air power in modern war. The vast majority of the young men with whom I have to do are Canadians. They know no other homeland than Canada. They have been brought up in our cities and towns and on our farms; they have been educated in our schools and colleges and universities. Very many of them, I would say most of them, had never left the confines of this country until the call of duty took them to the four comers of the earth. They went there because they realized that the spirit of Canada could not and would not survive in a world dominated by racial tyranny and subjugated by racial slavery. And whether they watch the coast of Labrador, or patrol the shores of the Pacific, or fight the Jap in the Indian ocean, or fight the Italian in Libya, or bomb Berlin, they are firmly convinced that they are defending Canada.

Mobilization Act-Mr. Power

The isolationist combat school, which believes that Canada can best be defended by its armed forces remaining within its own boundaries, presents to them a very peculiar aspect which perhaps I may illustrate in this way. Only three to four weeks ago we sent to the Aleutian islands a number of Canadian squadrons, at least some of which were commanded by men who served their apprenticeship in the battle of Britain, battle-scarred heroes who returned from overseas and who are now commanding our men in American Alaska. These men believed when they were half-way round the world over Germany, just as much as they believe now when they are half-way round the world in the other direction that they were defending Canada. We have had no complaint because of the fact that these squadrons have been sent to Alaska; yet a glance at the map will indicate that to the end of the Aleutian islands is 4,500 miles from Ottawa; to the shores of Britain is only 3,000 miles. It is almost as far from Prince Rupert to the Aleutian islands as from Sydney to Liverpool; so our men find it very difficult to understand why there should be more reluctance to move' eastward than to move westward, and why we can better defend Canada on one front line than on the other. Our enemies are perhaps not geographical experts, but they seem to have little difficulty in crossing the boundaries of countries and continents. They have attacked in Africa; they have attacked in Asia; they have attacked in Australasia, and only recently they have been sinking ships on one side of our territory and shelling stations on ithe other side. Our enemies feel that the only way to win victory is to seek out those whom they wish to destroy, wherever they may be, and destroy them. We in the air force feel exactly the same way. We know that for every aircraft destroyed in an aircraft factory in Augsburg, where our men led a raid only a few weeks ago; for every bomb or shell destroyed in blasting the Krupp factory, in which raid Canadians took such a magnificent part, and for every bomber brought down over the English channel, there is one less bomb or shell, one less aircraft or one less bomber which might come to Canada and bomb us. We believe that the best and only way to defend Canada is to take the offensive outside Canada.

Now, sir, having said this, I should like to revert for a moment to my relations with my electors. My future course must depend upon circumstances; but I should like to say simply and plainly, and without fear of being misinterpreted by the people with whom I have been associated for so long, that one cannot believe in a democratic system or in a demo-

"Mr. Power.]

cratic government and continue indefinitely to represent a constituency the majority of whose people are in political opposition. Should it develop that, as a result of this legislation or of any consequential enactment, there should continue to be a wide divergence of view between the electors of Quebec South and their representative; should this severance be of more than a temporary character; should they, as is their right, desire to be represented by someone who more nearly interprets their views with prestige and conviction then all I have to say is that I have no quarrel with that, but I only hope that the parting will come with as much friendship on their side as it will come with deep gratitude on my side for favours of the past.

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT OP SERVICE OVERSEAS
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NAT

George Black

National Government

Mr. GEORGE BLACK (Yukon):

This

debate is on the motion for the second reading of Bill No. 80, to amend the National Resources Mobilization Act, by removing from that act section 3, which restricts the government in raising men for service elsewhere than in Canada. The legislation we are discussing to-day is made necessary by, and this debate has resulted from, pledges made by many candidates at the last general election, pledges made to catch the votes of disloyal people, the votes of slackers, those who were afraid to assume the duties they owed their country. I am happy to be able to tell this house that I made no such pledges, that during that campaign I stated that in my epinion compulsory selective service was the only fair and proper w'ay to raise a fighting force, and that any other method was unfair. The voluntary method is unfair. Under that method the loyal, courageous men enlist, while those who are disloyal, those who have not sufficient courage, hang back and let their fellows go forward to perform the duty they should perform.

As the law stood when Canada declared war in the fall of 1939, men could have been called up by the government for service anywhere in the world; but in 1940 this mobilization act was passed by this parliament, containing this restricting clause, and since then the hands of the government have been tied. Since that time, by a plebiscite, a great majority of the people have freed the hands of the government, have removed that handicap, and this legislation is the result.

I must say that a few days ago I was shocked and disappointed to hear the Minister of Justice (Mr. St. Laurent) make the following statement in the house:

It may be great and glorious to fight and die for the world's salvation, for the salvation of the united nations, for the salvation of democracy and Christian civilization; but that is a privilege of each man, a privilege he has the

Mobilization Act-Mr. Black (Yukon)

right to choose for himself; it is not a duty which citizenship imposes as an obligation correlative to the rights which citizenship guarantees as a privilege.

I decidedly disagree with that sentiment. I say that it is not only a privilege but a duty of citizenship. As I understand the duties of citizenship, every citizen of the state owes his life to the state. It is his duty to offer his life and, if necessary, to give it in defence of the state. There should be equality of service. Every citizen should enjoy all the rights and privileges of citizenship, but should escape none of its obligations; nor should he wish to escape any of its obligations.

I was shocked and disappointed to hear the Minister of Justice pronounce those sentiments in the house, and I was puzzled when the same minister, the one who voiced the sentiments I have just quoted, authorized the prosecution of a man with a splendid record of loyalty and courage for criticizing the report of a commissioner on an investigation recently held with respect to a public matter. This was the criticism of a counsel who was present at the inquiry and who heard the evidence. True, the inquiry was in secret, but it should not have been in secret. The matter investigated was one of great public concern, and concerning which the public should know all the facts. I shall be surprised if that investigation is not the subject of discussion and criticism, and perhaps praise as well, in this House of Commons which, I say, has the duty to perform of discussing the matter. To say that criticism of the report is likely to prejudice recruiting is, to say the least, farfetched, and in my opinion is utter nonsense and an improper exercise of authority.

Addressing the house a few days ago, the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) said he prefers a volunteer army. So do I. I admire the volunteer. He shows his courage; he shows his interest in the state by offering his all in her defence. But when one cannot get enough men to compose and maintain the strength of an army, a navy or an air force one must go out and get them. At the time of the great war the mistake was made of putting compulsory selective service into force three years after the war began. The then government waited three years before doing what it should have done at the outbreak of war. During those three years the people who were not courageous enough to volunteer had been lulled into a sense of security. They thought they were going to get off without doing their duty to the state. When the state was forced to make them perform that duty they rebelled.

This government has made the same mistake in this war. It has put off compulsory selective service for nearly three years. If it attempts to enforce it now, there will be dissension, trouble and disunity. That law should have been enacted with the declaration of war; it should have been simultaneous.

As the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) indicated in his remarks at the opening of the house to-day, we have to admit that the united nations, including Canada, are far from winning the war. The last disaster which overtook the allied nations was the fall of Tobruk. Why did it fall? The excuse given is that there was a surprise attack. How could it have been a surprise attack, when the place had been under attack for a year. Dunkirk was a surprise; Singapore was a surprise; Hong Kong was a surprise. The excuse is given that at Tobruk the enemy tanks were more powerful than those of the allied nations, and that their anti-tank guns were more powerful and more destructive. Why should that be? We hear about the wonderful productive capacity of Great Britain; we hear about the wonderful production of armaments in Canada and in the factories of our neighbour to the south. What is the use of production if the enemy is producing more powerful weapons? There is no sense in urging the undertaking of mass production or, indeed, any production of ineffective weapons of war. We were told that the guns defending the fortress of Singapore were mounted to meet an attack from the sea. Those who were in charge never thought of having to defend themselves from the land at the rear. They believed they were defended by the jungle. Surely they must have known that if monkeys, baboons and gorillas could penetrate the jungles, then their brothers the Japanese could penetrate the jungle, too. They did penetrate the jungle, and made their attack successfully-along with the rest of the gorillas and baboons.

Before Pearl Harbour the United States had been warned that the Japanese might attack. Even when the Japanese emissaries of peace were conferring with the President of the United States it was known that attack was imminent. Canada and the United States have a joint defence board. If the United States members on that board knew of the imminent Japanese attack, it is passing strange that Canada was not warned. What judgment does the joint defence board exercise? For one thing I say, if that board has not better judgment in other matters than it has shown in the selection of a route for the Alaska highway, then I have not very much admiration for the board. May I point out that they say they picked the route.

3726 COMMONS

Mobilization Act-Mr. Black (Yukon)

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT OP SERVICE OVERSEAS
Permalink
LIB

Arthur Graeme Slaght

Liberal

Mr. SLAGHT:

Would my hon. friend dissolve the board?

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT OP SERVICE OVERSEAS
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

British

Columbia says the same thing.

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT OP SERVICE OVERSEAS
Permalink

June 26, 1942