July 6, 1942

SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

For a copy of all letters, telegrams, communications and other documents exchanged between the government and the town of Blairmore, Alberta, and/or any other person or persons in respect to flood conditions in the Crowsnest pass during 1942.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   CROWSNEST PASS FLOOD CONDITIONS
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WARTIME PRICES AND TRADE BOARD-BAKING INDUSTRY

CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. COLDWELL:

For a copy of a report or reports by J. D. Woods of the wartime prices and trade board, regarding the baking industry.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WARTIME PRICES AND TRADE BOARD-BAKING INDUSTRY
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I cannot agree to this motion, because this is a privileged document, a confidential document. It relates to reports of conditions existing in certain private enterprises or businesses, and I object to making it public.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WARTIME PRICES AND TRADE BOARD-BAKING INDUSTRY
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. COLDWELL:

Before it is dropped I want to point out that I asked for this from the wartime prices and trade board. It was understood at the beginning that it was a confidential document, but a member of the advisory council of the board circulated it among the employers, and if the employers have seen it, then surely the employees, who are also vitally concerned,, should see it. I am taking the only course that seems open to me in asking that the report be tabled, since it has been made public to one section of the people concerned.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WARTIME PRICES AND TRADE BOARD-BAKING INDUSTRY
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I was informed that it was not made public with the authority of the board, if it was made public. I have no knowledge that it was, other than what the hon. gentleman has just said. I did gather from what was said to me by the board that one copy may have got out-

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WARTIME PRICES AND TRADE BOARD-BAKING INDUSTRY
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. COLDWELL:

That is right.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WARTIME PRICES AND TRADE BOARD-BAKING INDUSTRY
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

-but it was not with the authority of the board. However, I will make inquiries and see whether, in view of that fact, there is any way in which it can be made available to my hon. friend. But I have taken the stand on a question of principle that reports of this kind are not producible in the house.

Motion stands.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WARTIME PRICES AND TRADE BOARD-BAKING INDUSTRY
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PRIVILEGE-MR. RALSTON REFERENCE TO NEWS DISPATCH IN "l'ACTION CATHOLIQUE" OF JULY 4


On the orders of the day:


LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. J. L. RALSTON (Minister of National Defence):

My attention has been called to the fact that in the issue of L'Action Catholique of July 4 there is a news dispatch from Ottawa under the date line July 4, marked (DNC), which I understand means "from our own correspondent". I will read the translation:

Ottawa, July 4 (F.O.C.) (D.N.C.) Hon. J. L. Ralston, Minister of National Defence, announced yesterday in the House of Commons he had discussed-when he was acting Minister of Finance-the amalgamation of Canadian Railways in the course of an interview with Sir Edward Peacock, English director of the Canadian Pacific.

An accusation along that line had been made against Colonel Ralston the day before by Mr. Jean Francois Pouliot, Liberal member for Temiseouata.

Mobilization Act-Mr. Bonnier

I wish to point out that what is herein stated is directly contrary to the facts, as appears from Hansard itself. I assume that the dispatch appears as it stands either through a misprint or through an unintentional misreading, because I am sure that no responsible correspondent or publication would publish an incorrect statement of that kind. What I did say will be seen in Hansard at page 3910.

I said-

. . . that I never at any time, either as a member of the government or personally, discussed with Sir Edward Peacock, or anybody representing him, the amalgamation of the Canadian National and the Canadian Pacific railways or anything relating to the railways.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. RALSTON REFERENCE TO NEWS DISPATCH IN "l'ACTION CATHOLIQUE" OF JULY 4
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METALS AND MINERALS

PRESS REPORT AS TO ARRANGEMENT TO INCREASE PRODUCTION


On the orders of the day:


CON

John George Diefenbaker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. G. DIEFENBAKER (Lake Centre):

I wish to ask the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe) a question based on a press dispatch of this morning's date which reads:

An arrangement has been made to increase Canada's production of war metals and minerals, which will probably result in the opening of certain marginal and sub-marginal deposits, the munitions and supply department announced last night.

The question I should like to ask the minister is this: What is the arrangement; will the government finance the investigation and development of mineral areas; and is it intended by the government to encourage production of war metals and minerals in all provinces in which they are procurable?

Topic:   METALS AND MINERALS
Subtopic:   PRESS REPORT AS TO ARRANGEMENT TO INCREASE PRODUCTION
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LIB

Georges Parent (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. This seems definitely a question for the order paper.

Topic:   METALS AND MINERALS
Subtopic:   PRESS REPORT AS TO ARRANGEMENT TO INCREASE PRODUCTION
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MOBILIZATION ACT

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


The house resumed from Monday, June 29, 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

Joseph-Arsène Bonnier

Liberal

Mr. J. A. BONNIER (St. Henri) (Translation) :

Mr. Speaker, to resume the thread of my remarks at the point where they were interrupted by the closing hour last Friday, I was speaking at the time of the former Minister of Public Works and Transport (Mr. Cardin) and of the stand he adopted when he saw that the government, following a change of policy, intended now to pursue a course of action diametrically opposed to that which the Liberal

party had followed for over twenty-five years. Despite the gravity of the situation, he unhesitatingly obeyed the dictates of his conscience and resigned from the cabinet. This act alone took on considerable import, and the address he delivered on June 11 was not of lesser moment.

As Minister of Public Works and Transport and as a member of this house, Mr. Cardin rendered countless services to members from all parts of the country during a period of thirty years. He was the most popular of the Prime Minister's colleagues, especially since the passing of Mr. Lapointe. His speech was thus listened to respectfully and, I might even add, with admiration by the entire house. No one can gainsay the sincerity of his decision.

What we have been unable to do throughout the country, the former minister may be able to achieve in the house. We have failed to reach the people of the country at large but, in the commons, Mr. Cardin and those who share his views will be heard by that country's representatives. Shall we succeed in convincing the majority of our colleagues of the merits of our cause? Let us hope so, yet we cannot be sure of it.

Now more than ever the unity of all men of good will is urgent not only in Ottawa, not only in Quebec, but in the whole of Canada. We rejoice in the fact that our province is no longer divided against itself as it was in the past.

I hope, Mr. Speaker, that the speech delivered by the former Minister of Public Works and Transport has made the Canadian people think and that they will realize the French Canadians have done everything in their power to promote friendly understanding throughout the country. For the last thirty years, the former Minister of Public Works and the late Mr. Lapointe have preached unity and mutual understanding in our province and throughout Canada, in order to increase the strength and prosperity of the nation. To attain this ideal, each one of the parties to confederation must do its share and be tolerant towards the others. It should not always be the duty of the minority to be tolerant, and the privilege of the majority to use what may be termed strong-arm methods. In the present circumstances, if the English-speaking part of the population were really desirous of attaining that unity of which they speak so much, they would avoid the ever-recurrent issue of conscription. At every election, conscription has been damned up by our various governments and yet, as soon as Britain declares war, the issue always crops up again. It is well known

Mobilization Act-Mr. Bonnier

that French Canada is opposed to the principle underlying such a method of raising men, for we have always been led to think that conscription would never be enacted and that enlistments would be voluntary. Why bring up then, every time our country goes to war, this issue of conscription which the French Canadians cannot endorse? They are willing to do everything possible through the voluntary system but are irrevocably against conscription. I wonder whether the advocates of conscription are quite sincere. If they want unity in this country, let them stop talking about conscription and we shall accept everything else for victory and the efficient administration of Canada. As everyone knows, we have no wish to stir up trouble but we do not want conscription. Why this persistence in trying to foist it upon us?

Besides, the voluntary system has been satisfactory so far. The Minister of National War Services (Mr. Thorson) has emphasized, after his colleagues, that there is no possible comparison between the voluntary system and inscription as regards military efficiency and quality of personnel. In the air force especially, coercion would give poor results, a remark that also applies to the navy. It is therefore preferable to stick to the present methods of recruitment which have so far proved more than adequate in bringing the active army up to strength and have afforded the required supply of labour for agricultural and industrial production.

The government, led by the Right Hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) is endeavouring to balance and coordinate our war effort as much as possible, which is the best way to ensure its complete success. Conscription for overseas service would be a harmful measure and, in placing their trust in the Prime Minister, the Canadian people no doubt wish that its enactment will never become necessary, however grave the situation.

On April 27 last, the province of Quebec voted "no" on the plebiscite while the other provinces gave an affirmative answer. The results in my constituency were as follows: 9,851 ayes, 22,071 nays and 690 spoiled ballots.

I left my constituents free to vote as they thought best and, abiding by their verdict, I must now voice my opposition to Bill No. 80 which we are considering and which is but a further step towards conscription.

Much is made of the fact that eight provinces voted in the affirmative, but a close analysis of the results shows that the "no" votes in Quebec cancel out the "yes" votes in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Which

reduces to a great extent that impressive majority of eight to one. Moreover, the plebiscite vote was not taken on the direct issue of conscription. On the contrary, our leaders emphasized time and again in their radio addresses that its purpose was not the immediate enforcement of conscription but merely to obtain release for the government of commitments made before 1940. The picture might be different if the enacting of such a measure appeared necessary, but the voluntary has been fully adequate until now and that is why the province of Quebec voted in the negative. Indeed all the reverses our allies have suffered can be traced to the lack of artillery and motorized units and not to their need of man-power.

The advocates of conscription claim in every one of their speeches that they wish to maintain harmony and unity in this country. Now is it fair to expect the province of Quebec to knuckle down every time there is a sacrifice to be made? Let our friends from the other provinces who never stop talking about Canadian unity lead the way to a better understanding and cease all this chatter about conscription. That would be the best evidence of the fact they are willing to make some sacrifices for the sake of national unity.

Mr. Speaker, the cabinet has a new member who seems determined to run the whole show. There was a man down our way named Aubertin, who called such people who cannot refrain from throwing their weight around in any group they belong to "the man in the straw hat." I think this new minister should drop his managerial attitude and withdraw from the stand he has taken on conscription. Perhaps he is actuated by some hidden motive. Perhaps he wishes to step into someone's shoes. Let him beware. After the death of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, one of his lieutenants, the Hon. Mr. Fielding, endeavoured to take over as leader of the Liberal party. However, you may remember that a convention wms held to find a new party leader. What happened? Delegates were appointed. I was requested to appoint one myself. After the meeting our delegate was instructed not to support anyone who had voted against Laurier on the conscription issue. When the time came to select the leader, the Hon. Mr. Fielding seemed to have a clear field. However, at that time, the Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe was living and very active in political circles and so was the former Minister of Public Works (Mr. Cardin). They pointed out that in 1917 Mr. Fielding had favoured conscription and had forsaken Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Mr. Fielding was put aside and the present Prime Minister

Mobilization Act-Mr. Stirling

was chosen as leader of the Liberal party for his devotion to Liberal traditions and his stand on conscription.

Let the Prime Minister keep that in mind lest the same thing happen to him. The province of Quebec has a long memory.

In conclusion, I repeat that there should be an end to these requests for all-out sacrifices on our part during this war. We are not opposed to the budget in spite of all the sacrifices it will mean for us. Our people are by no means in affluent circumstances. Most of my constituents are working men but they nevertheless accept every sacrifice necessary to win the war. However, a matter on which we disagree is the method of conducting this war. On that point, we disagree with our Englishspeaking fellow citizens. We support the voluntary system of enlistment while they favour conscription.

In every victory loan and Red Cross campaign launched in the country, we have exceeded our quotas. We can surely not be accused of having failed to contribute our share. The former Minister of Public Works has always done everything he could, and he remembers the pledges he gave in the province of Quebec. He has waged many political campaigns in every part of the province. Everywhere he was scheduled to speak, the people were eager to hear him. The same could be said of the Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe. Were he still alive, he would speak along the same lines. His words are sacred and no one can overlook his statements. Lapointe and Cardin had both promised that there would be no conscription. The former Minister of Public Works did not hesitate to resign when he saw that the enforcement of conscription was advocated. We are fortunate in having Mr. Cardin to uphold our cause. We are prepared to follow him, and all my constituents have intimated to me that they are pleased by the stand taken by the former Minister of Public Works.

Not long ago, Mr. Speaker, I heard the hon. member for Laval Two-Mountains (Mr. Lacombe) and the hon. member for Gaspe (Mr. Roy) criticize the former Minister of Public Works. Such criticism is regrettable. People who have the same purpose in view should try to get along with each other. Mr. Cardin has given up his portfolio and I would ask those two hon. members to maintain a friendly attitude toward a man who thinks as they do, who has one wish and one purpose in common with them: opposition to conscription.

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT TO SERVICE OVERSEAS
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July 6, 1942