July 6, 1942

CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

But the minister spoke for a few minutes after you had called him to order. I think I am right in that.

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

The hon. gentleman may proceed only by unanimous consent.

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

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

I am in the Speaker's hands, but surely my time should begin from the time I began to speak, and not from the time Your Honour called the Minister of Fisheries to order.

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
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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:

The hon. gentleman may proceed by unanimous consent.

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

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No.

Mr. O'NEILL: I think he should be allowed to proceed. There are only a few minutes left before six o'clock, and that time is no good to anyone else.

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

Frederick Primrose Whitman

Liberal

Mr. F. P. WHITMAN (Mount Royal):

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

Will the hon. member read a little louder, please?

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LIB

Elie-Oscar Bertrand

Liberal

Mr. BERTRAND (Prescott):

I thank my hon. friend for his good advice.

On the part of the French Canadian there has been the pressure of an inferiority complex, and also a lack of proper vocational training, especially in the natural and social sciences. Now that the French Canadians are making good some of their past deficiencies, their English-speaking compatriots must be ready to trust them further than they have done and to accept them as partners. That is the need -really to accept the French Canadians as equal partners in confederation, no more and no less.

In certain quarters we hear of French Canadian domination. It is a myth, Mr. Speaker. If the French Canadian wanted to dominate, he could well do so in the province of Quebec; 'there, he could very well try to impose his views and his ways upon his English-speaking and Protestant fellow-countrymen. Yet it is a fact that these people are left entirely free in their manner of religion, education, language and ways of life. All the French Canadian is asking for is to

enjoy, in this province and elsewhere in the dominion, the same treatment that Englishspeaking people enjoy in the province of Quebec.

Some English-speaking groups express the fear that the Catholic religion will dominate in the Dominion of Canada, and that Canada should not risk domination by Roman Catholicism, particularly of the brand practised in the province of Quebec.

Such fears or such derogatory remarks are certainly quite out of place. It was the

same derided Roman Catholicism which effectively advised its adherents to stand by the British empire at the time of the Pontiac rebellion in 1764, again during the American revolution, in the war of 1812-15, and against the "patriots" in the rebellion in 1837-38. Its voice was clear and firm during the great war of 1914-18. It is no less clear and firm when it speaks through the mouth of His Eminence, Cardinal Villeneuve, and the whole Roman Catholic hierarchy in the present war. Simply to make good my words, I would quote from the pastoral letter of the Roman Catholic bishops published on the 31st day of May of this 3rear. My quotations will be rather short. One passage reads:

One has only to study the anti-Christian doctrines and principles of nazism in the light of the encyclical "Mit brennender Sorge" of Pope Pius XI, and of the statements of the German hierarchy, ..nd of the record of oppression and destruction in every country which has come under the yoke of nazism, to realize the extremities of barbarism, persecution and irreligion to which it would reduce all nations in the world, conquest of which it dreams and towards which it strives.

Is this not a strong statement against our enemies? Again:

Consequently, dearly beloved in Christ, we were not surprised but sincerely and deeply elated at seeing you, from the very beginning of the conflict, generously respond to the call of your country. Truly a glorious page in our history will recall the devotion, courage, and heroism aroused in our people by this present war.

Is this not an appreciation of what our armies are doing in this war? Again I quote:

Our heart with holy and great expectation; generous courage in defence of the fundamentals of Christian civilization, and confident hope in their triumph.

Yes, "confident hope in their triumph". Therefore, in spite of what is being said and written in many parts of the country, the cry and appeal of the Roman Catholic clergy to-day is, first, against our enemies, second, appreciation of our armies, and third, prayers for victory.

Mobilization Act-Mr. Bertrand (Prescott)

In my opinion, had the French Canadians given an affirmative vote on the plebiscite on April 27, the unity of this country and the survival of French-Canadian culture would have been assured for all time; for real national unity is born, not out of eloquent orations but in the utmost collaboration in the common struggle for survival. That is why I was so strongly in favour of a "yes" vote on the plebiscite. But my French compatriots chose to vote "no".

I understand that it is a source of irritation to observe that certain powerful minorities may seem to thwart the wishes of the majority and hamper them in the performance of what they consider their national duty and their national mission. I also agree that this war is not primarily a war for the defence of the tight little island in the North sea. It is essentially a war for the survival of civilization itself, a war to maintain the liberty and dignity of human beings. To help to fight this war, Mr. Speaker, there are two of my sons in the forces-Guy, a pilot in the air force, and Rene a coder in the navy. Both are in the active service without commissions, and both volunteered. I am proud of them, but I am also proud of thousands and thousands of other French Canadians who have volunteered to do the same job. May I also say that I am proud of hundreds upon hundreds of men of all races who have volunteered from the constituency I represent. Among them I want to call attention to one name in particular, the name of Jean Paul Sabourin, of St. Isidore de Prescott, who enlisted at the beginning of the war. He became a pilot in the air force and was sent to England. He fought over Germany and again in Libya, and in both places he bagged numerous enemy planes and was decorated. He is still in Libya as pilot-instructor to teach new pilots who are going to the hot sands of north Africa. He deserves our appreciation.

This is a war which everyone of us as a Canadian citizen must see through to a successful end1. But to-day there is need of the best understanding of our problems in this country. I speak of problems which we have to face, but probably I should change that expression and say that we have to face a situation in Canada as disclosed by the result of the plebiscite. It' is true that the vote gave an immense majority in favour of "yes," but it is also true that the vote in the plebiscite was 2,900,000 "yes," in round figures, and 1,600,000 "no," in round figures. In other words, more than one-third of the total vote was "no." Eighty per cent of the "no" vote was given by French Canadians. I want to emphasize this: they were French Canadians

not only from the province of Quebec but from all over Canada, no matter in what section of the country they are living.

This was not an accident. I say also that it was not the result of the campaign carried on by the league for the defence of Canada for a "no" vote. This result has far deeper roots than that. I said something of what might be the cause in other countries, when a moment ago I mentioned Ireland, South Africa, India and Burma where there are also difficulties. In this plebiscite French Canadians were not voting to choose between two parties or two or more candidates in their constituencies. They were going to the polls to vote according to their national conscience, and according to their past history, traditions and aspirations. They want no conscription for service overseas, although they are willing to cooperate and collaborate to the fullest extent for a full effort in this war. They have good reasons for that.

May I be permitted to quote briefly from the speech of the Minister of Justice (Mr. St. Laurent) in this debate? On June 16 he said, as reported at page 3391 of Hansard:

Though some would volunteer to fight for France for sentimental reasons, no one would dare to say that it was a national duty for Canadians to fight for France.

I agree with the statement of the minister, for France is no longer our homeland.

I also wish to say that I agree with the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres (Mr. Cardin), speaking in this debate on June 11, when he said, as reported at page 3278 of Hansard:

Mr. Speaker, yourself and most hon. members of this house belong to the British race. You are proud of it, and I compliment you upon it. You have many reasons to be proud of being descendents of the great British race. But it is not your fault; it is an accident of nature. I am a descendent of the founders of Canada, those who first discovered and established this country as a civilized country. I am proud of my race. It is not my fault; it is an accident of nature. But when we come to consider problems such as the one confronting us at the present time, immediately any man who has any elementary knowledge of psychology will understand that your response is going to be much quicker than mine. Why? Because I have to reason in my mind why I have to support the British flag and spend my energies for the defence of British rule in this conflict, or perhaps elsewhere. It is the result of thinking, the result of reasoning, if I come to that conclusion; with you it is the impulse of the heart. Your heart becomes inflamed as soon as the name of England, of the British empire, is mentioned. It is quite natural, it is in your blood; it is your blood that makes that impulse. It cannot be the same with me. It would be against nature. I have to reason why I should take that step or not take it. I hope that my position is understood

3956 COMMONS

Mobilization Act-Mr. Bertrand (Prescott)

from that point of view. My position being understood, the position of the French Canadian is also understood.

Why? Because England is not our homeland. The same reason applies to France. Our homeland, our native land, our country, is Canada.

When His Majesty the King was making an address' to the cadets last Saturday he said that it was the duty of a citizen if necessary to die for his country and his compatriots. I hope no one will claim that this is not a declaration on which we stand, to say that we are not going to participate in this fight. But if, due to their past history, French Canadians do not want to participate upon compulsion, their viewpoint should have attentive consideration. The two quotations I have made explain clearly why French Canadians do not want conscription for service overseas.

Is conscription for service overseas necessary at this moment? Well, the Prime Minister and eight ministers of the crown all said in this debate that there was no urgent need at present, and that it may never become a necessity; so why amend a law that would so greatly disappoint one-third of our whole population? Are we short of men for military service? The figures given so far in this debate would indicate that we have all the men we can clothe and train in the navy, in aviation, and we have enough men through voluntary enlistment in the army. Our sailors will be found wherever they are needed, our aviators anywhere on the battle fronts of the world, and our French Canadians are willing to do their share under the voluntary system in any of the three services.

When section 3 is deleted from the mobilization act it will stand deleted not only for this government but for any government that may replace this one. It is to be the law of the land, as was said by the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres; and any government succeeding the present one, any prime minister succeeding the present Prime Minister will be in a position to apply the principle of conscription simply by order in council. That is the position; so has spoken the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres. I approve his attitude on this bill, and I shall vote against the amendment to the act. In the last war conscription for service overseas was considered an error by Sir Robert Borden, as stated in his memoirs. It has been the cause of discord and misunderstanding; so why take this risk again?

French Canadians are willing to do their share voluntarily. Why not let the leaders of French Canada be in a position to appeal with

force and success to their compatriots in favour of an all-out war effort? Why not continue the good work done by our Roman Catholic French clergy in that magnificent appeal made in their pastoral letter of May 31, 1942?

The war will prevent the celebration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of confederation this year. One thing we can do. We can concentrate our minds on the problem of a better understanding between French and English, between Roman Catholic and Protestant. Our main objective must be to rid our minds of at least some prejudices. Once the ground is clear of bias it will be possible to erect the solid framework of national unity. For this I appeal as strongly as I can to my French compatriots to join the army, navy and air force in large numbers, in order to defend the liberties of mankind threatened in this war. I also appeal to those in favour of conscription for service overseas to scrutinize carefully the point of view of the French-speaking population. I appeal for better understanding and unity between the two great races in this country. I appeal for the building of a nation in Canada, a nation with its own flag, with its own national anthem, a nation where the two great races will have equal rights and privileges all over Canada. Then, for my French compatriots the word "conscription" will no longer be a symbol which means, forced to enrol, to train, to fight and die in some other land for some other cause than that of their own country.

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LIB

Sarto Fournier

Liberal

Mr. SARTO FOURNIER (Maisonneuve-Rosemont):

This is the second time within a period of twenty-five years that the Canadian parliament has been called to decide upon a measure involving compulsory military service for Canadians overseas. The first occasion was in 1917, in the same circumstances and for the same purposes. Therefore we have a test case of brutal historical fact, a precedent that took place twenty-five years ago, which is a rather short period in the history of a nation, so that no dust has yet accumulated on the memory of this calamitous event. You, Mr. Speaker, know the meaning of "precedent' 'in a British parliament. How is it that through all the speeches delivered by those advocating or supporting a similar proposal to-day no one dared to suggest the repetition of that phase of our history? The reason for this is most simple; it is that we remember, and we know that the people of this country remember. That explains why the supporters of this bill are creating something like a new type of precedent, which consists in ignoring another precedent. By the fact that the whole nation is at war, the

Mobilization Act-Mr. Fournier (Maisonneuve)

conduct of the war is a Canadian affair; and those upon whom is placed the burden of the responsibility of framing the national policy are bound to be logical and true with themselves as well as with the facts. It would be a crime on their part to forget that great principle of wisdom and common sense, which is as old as the civilized world, that the same causes always have the same effects. What in former times was already recognized by the unanimous consent of the nation as a bad, useless and harmful experience both for the prosecution of the war and for the post-war development of the national life of this country, is still bad to-day; it cannot be otherwise.

Here, sir, experience meets and joins with reason to condemn Bill No. 80, as it is presented by a government which seems to be frightened by the blackmail and the threats of a little group of money makers and blackmailers, to whom the national welfare of the population of this country is the least of their cares; and who, by dint of manoeuvring and bargaining, have succeeded in forcing the hand of the government to the point of inducing them to introduce into this house a measure of legislation which, according to the testimony of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) himself, according to the evidence given by almost every one of his ministers, according to the testimony of past experience and common sense, is not necessary.

That is the position; but whether we like it or not we have to consider the question properly, upon its merits, in the light of circumstances prevailing in Canada, and take the best possible decision in the interests of the country. Since this question of conscription of men for military service overseas is a war measure closely and intimately connected with the whole problem of the man-power of the nation, it becomes ipso facto a problem of the highest importance. The problem is common to all the nations at war. It is the beginning and end of a nation's war effort. Because of the new aspects created by the unexpected magnitude of the conflict, this question, as never before, has attained a high degree of importance in itself, and of danger and difficulty in discovering a proper solution. No greater organizational problem has ever been faced than the marshalling, the direction and the conservation of all this human effort. In dealing with such a tremendous question, we must remember that we are not simply juggling with figures; we are trying to find a solution as to the best possible use that can be made of the very human capital of the nation. In this connection no error is permitted. Man-power is the number one raw

material of war, the only resource for which no substitute can be found; and it has to be utilized, accordingly, to the fullest capacity and, I repeat, in the light of circumstances prevailing in the country.

These circumstances are not the same everywhere. In Great Britain they differ from the circumstances in Australia; and there we all know to what extent they are contrary to the methods prevailing in Germany, where they have a particular way of dealing with the question, which way does not resemble the methods prevailing in the United States. Here in Canada the very nature of the problem is such as to make it first and last a Canadian problem. Since we have entered this war by the exercise of our own free will, in order to preserve the survival of our Christian, civilized and free way of living, the conduct of the war is a Canadian affair, just as it is a Russian problem in Russia, and different things in the different nations. We cannot be too prudent and take too many precautions in analysing the real conditions prevailing in the country. If we want to do that in a proper and honest way, we must make a necessary distinction between the real conditions as they exist, and some new, artificial conditions shining in the light of statistics newly obtained under false pretences by the holding of a plebiscite which has cast its sense just as at this season of the year the foxes shed their coats.

To take advantage of such artificial circumstances, which do not reflect either the feeling or the will of the nation, is the use of a power which has not been given or authorized by the people but is furnished by statistics only. The figures are there to help the government lead the nation properly; but if the government should decide to give up its duties and its responsibilities and call upon Mr. Symbol, who has no soul and no brain, to lead the nation, where are we going? After all, Mr. Speaker, who is running this country; who is carrying on this war on behalf of the Canadian people? Symbols? Statistics? Newspapers? Political parties? Arguments? The government? No, sir. All these are more or less useful and necessary elements which are supposed to make their contribution to the winning of the war; but this Canadian war effort is actually and really made by the Canadian people; and we have no right to forget its will, because it is the will of the nation.

We could undertake the responsibility of declaring war, organizing our war effort, prosecuting hostilities, and transforming the

3958 COMMONS

Mobilization Act-Mr. Fournier (Maisonneuve)

economy of our country until to-day she is rightly considered the arsenal of the united nations. We could raise by way of loans and taxation the enormous sums of money required to meet the expenditures necessitated by our magnificent war effort. We could raise all the men required for the three different branches of our armed forces. We could do all that and excel in many other splendid achievements which have been duly praised both in foreign countries and here in Canada by everybody who knows what he is talking about, and we could achieve all that because behind the action of the government there stood the will of the nation.

For nearly three years we have got along successfully under the voluntary system. But to-day, for reasons that have never been made clear, and in spite of the most solemn pledges given repeatedly time and again to millions and millions of Canadian citizens, the government proposes to repeat the shameful action, the great mistake of 1917, while at the same time stating that it is not necessary. Of course, it is not necessary and it never would be necessary provided the government had the courage to master that big-name, high-pressure, imperialist propaganda campaign which was started two years ago in this country by a little group of people whose patriotism is nothing but the heroism of others. That disaster can be avoided provided the government stands to its initial position and keeps the Canadian war effort geared1 to the will of the nation. So long as the nation refuses to accept voluntarily the principle of compulsion for military service overseas, any attempt on the part of the government to overthrow or crush this legitimate desire of the people constitutes an act of tyranny, a deplorable abuse of confidence, and the official recognition in this free country of that basic principle by virtue of which slave nations are governed. What adds to the danger is the fact that some people are going to be enriched by getting and filling contracts to equip those who are being compelled to die. As one of that younger generation, and' on their behalf, I urge upon the government, before it decides to cross the Rubicon, to consider well the consequences of the act which it is on the point of performing. When Canada is now writing another great chapter in her splendid history, why should we blot a fresh page with the ink of infamy, while those who did this once before, are yet living, buried under the contempt of two generations? When all of us know these things from past experience, surely we should not repeat the same mistake and hazard again the future of our nation for many years to come.

I wish now to deal with the same problem considered from the angle of actual war reality. Modern technical warfare is based on three main principles which have conditioned and determined the outcome of every battle which has taken place since the outbreak of the war. They constitute the basis of the value of an army. They are horsepower, man-power and brain-power. Since all these three are equally essential and, therefore, absolutely necessary, it is the duty of the government to see that our armies are sufficiently provided with them in adequately balanced proportions in order that we may have an effectively and intelligently directed effort down to the last unit of man-power that can be mustered.

(Translation): Mr. Speaker, future historians of this war will rightly point out that the reverses suffered by our allies were due to a lack of equipment and machines, to insufficient horse-power. We have never possessed until now the physical power, the necessary requirements in horse-power. If I may be allowed to do so, Mr. Speaker, I would like to give you an idea of a modern army's requirements from the point of view of horsepower. I shall take the liberty of quoting an excerpt from an address delivered last December, in Detroit, by Mr. Paul Garrick, vice-president of the General Motors Corporation:

War now is a war of horsepower. In 1918 an infantry division had equipment of 3,300 horse power. Now an armoured division has 400,000 horse-power.

Mr. Speaker, we are short of horse-power. So far, our armies have lacked physical power or strength. That explains the downfall of France. France did not lack men; she had all the soldiers she needed; neither did she lack courage or patriotism. She fell, vanquished by twenty thousand German soldiers. At that time she had at her disposal two million soldiers. But France fell because she lacked the necessary equipment, because she did not have the required machinery, because she was short of the horse-power without which modern armies have no chance of success.

If Italy has lost so many of the battles she has fought since the beginning of the war, the explanation is not that she lacked horsepower, that her forces were inadequate, that she was short of machinery, or that she lacked men-in these respects she was amply provided with everything she needed to vanquish her opponents. Italy has suffered humiliating defeats because the Italian nation lacked brain-power, because her soldiers would not shoot at British or French soldiers, because

Mobilization Act-Mr. Fournier (Maisonneuve)

never, or at least for quite a number of years, the Italian people never had any serious differences with the French or the British. But horse-power and brain-power can neither be conscripted nor coerced. Conscription measures written into the statute books of our country cannot increase the effective power and horse-power of any army sent overseas or elsewhere; such legislation cannot inspire our fighting men with the essential virtues of valour, courage and dauntlessness. The passing of a measure such as is now submitted to the house had already been forecast for a later date at the time of the plebiscite, as was so ably pointed out by my colleague the hon. member for Chambly-Vercheres (Mr. Cardin). It was to come later! That apparently meant, in the minds of those who made the statement and in the explanations which were given to us, when it should become "necessary", when new events should occur to render it absolutely necessary. Now these events have not come to pass, Mr. Speaker. Circumstances have not changed and yet this bill is upon us, this measure will be adopted, and "later" has become "to-day". On a matter such as we are now discussing, when the government is asking for power to adopt conscription, to enforce conscription in the country at any time, I fear that the word "later" when used during this debate offers no safer guarantee than it did at the time of the plebiscite. When one considers, Mr. Speaker, a modem army's great need of proper equipment, how it has to be in the pink of condition, it seems there is need and great need for increasing, improving and adding to the equipment supplied at present to our armed forces both at home and overseas, whether they are made up of volunteers or not.

The word has long gone around: Remember Hong Kong! We shall not fail to remember Hong Kong, but wishful thinking can be of no avail, even though coupled with a desire for vengeance. We shall not forget that disaster due to the insufficient training and especially to the lack of equipment under which' our men laboured unsuccessfully at Hong Kong.

Do we realize, Mr. Speaker, that in addition to equipping our own forces we must equip the British and Russian armies, send men and equipment to Australia and that over and above what we have to give to our own allies we shall probably have to send equipment to still other allied nations? Let us not be astonished at the disaster of Hong Kong. Let us not be surprised at the quick defeat which met our troops there. Should we send troops elsewhere, in any part of the world, under the same unfair conditions, with

the same training and with the same equipment; should the same conditions prevail in the future, fresh disasters await our Canadian armed forces. It is not the number of soldiers that counts, it is brains and brawn, whether that army be large or small. But what is needed above all is equipment.

Now, Mr. Speaker, what number of men can we reasonably contribute to this war, whatever our system of recruiting, whether conscription or voluntary enlistments? What is the potential capacity of the Canadian nation as regards man-power for our armed forces? Mr. Speaker, the problem of a nation's man-power has this in particular that it may be accurately appraised, accurately determined and calculated, and it may be defined in a practical way. No one can tell what the limit to our production of raw materials may be nor to what extent our soldiers may be courageous, but it is possible to determine the number of men it is convenient for us to raise. With regard to army requirements our maximum contribution may be determined. Mr. Speaker, in so far as our soldiers are concerned, we cannot go beyond certain limits.

Our American friends are a practical people. They started by taking a national census on the basis of their war needs. The census indicated a total population of 134 million inhabitants. Then they went about it logically, properly asking themselves how many men, how many women out of the total population must produce something for the immediate needs of the war. They left out children under sixteen years of age and persons over sixty, they left out married women whose duty it is to remain at home and look after the education and health of their children; they eliminated those living in hospitals, the weak and gaoled criminals.

After all these deductions, they found that the man-power, the effective strength of the American nation is about 71,700,000, or 54 per cent of the whole population. Canada has a population of about twelve million. If we take the American basis-and we can safely take it-if we take 54 per cent of the whole population of our country, we find that we have in man-power an effective strength of 6,500,000. How many of these people shall we send on the battlefields? How many shall we take into the army? We have to employ some in the mines, in the workshops, in the industries and all the other activities which are essential to our national life. Of these 6,500,000 men and women, how many shall we induct into our army as fighting strength?

3960 COMMONS

Mobilization Act-Mr. Fournier (Maisonneuve)

I have before me, Mr. Speaker, a circular letter issued by the Royal Bank of Canada which no one has yet taxed with ultranationalism. The officials of the Royal bank analyse in that booklet published in May, 1942, a certain aspect of the man-power problem in a nation. I quote:

We are often told of the highly technical nature of modern warfare, and of the necessity for organization of the home front to support the fighting services. Calculations have been made, showing that every man on active service must be supported by the efforts of eighteen men at home, in industry, agriculture and transportation, while only five workers were required for every fighting man in the world war of 1914-1918.

According to the Royal Bank of Canada, eighteen men are needed on the home front to maintain and reasonably equip a man on the fighting line. Others suggest that eight would be sufficient. I believe that both these figures represent extremes. It would seem to me much more fair and reasonable to strike off an. average, to use a middle term, and say that thirteen persons are sufficient to maintain a soldier fighting for our defence on the field of battle.

Our effective man-power of 6,500,000 people should therefore enable us to have an army of 500,000 men. But we have that army, Mr. Speaker, or we should have it. However, according to the figures quoted the other day by my hon. friend the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe) our actual man-power is inferior to what it should be; instead of having 6,500,000 people to draw from, we have only five millions. Where are the others? Where are the missing 1,500,000 persons? I would like to know. No one yet has been able to give us the answer. Yet, the health of our people cannot be inferior to that of our neighbours. The figures given by the Minister of Munitions and Supply indicate that we are below the average, and those given by the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) reveal a still worse condition.

It is stated by the Minister of Agriculture that we soon shall have 750,000 men under arms. On the other hand, the Minister of Munitions and Supply states that our available man-power, as regards our war needs, amounts to five million persons.

It is plain, Mr. Speaker, that we have not very many more persons behind each soldier than we had during the war of 1914-1918. We must have a full war effort in every sense of the word. We must therefore use common sense, intelligence and justice. It is a mistake, a terrible blunder and an injustice to send our fellow citizens to the front without giving

them the full guarantee that the country will provide them with all they need to accomplish their purpose.

Our cause is just; we must defend it and it must triumph by fair means. In all justice to our soldiers we must guarantee that behind each one of them stand at least thirteen of his fellow citizens who spend their days and nights to support him, to feed him, to provide him with the necessary tools and the mechanical power he needs to fight with a reasonable chance of success against a powerful enemy.

The courage of our soldiers and the superiority of their equipment alone will give them victory. No legislation will give us that. And, in that regard, Bill No. 80 is unfair, useless and humiliating to the Canadian people.

Several members have tried to explain why Quebec objects to conscription; many theories have been expounded; it was even claimed that the province of Quebec was against conscription because her political leaders had deceived her for over twenty-five years.

Yet, Messrs. Lapointe, Dandurand and Cardin were always honest with the people of Quebec. Those who would have us believe that we were deceived are precisely the ones who are trying to mislead us to-day.

The province of Quebec was not deceived before, but it is being deceived right now. It is not being deceived by its own representatives, but by people who are interested in doing so. We have always been and still are against conscription for overseas service, because our reasons for opposing conscription still exist. This piece of legislation is unjust, useless, stupid, and it will prove just as disastrous as ever.

We are against conscription because we do not suffer from megalomania, because we have retained a sense of proportion and because we know it is useless to ask the people to give an effort so violent that it will prove impossible to sustain should the war last a few years longer.

It has been stated that everything we have we owe to the mother country. Indeed, we share that opinion. But the mother country, as we understand it, is nowhere but in Canada. There is our only and our true mother country. This land is where we wish to live even as did our forefathers before us. As Russian soldiers fight for Russia, the English for England and Americans for the United States our fellow-citizens in the province of Quebec fight for no other country than Canada. For the defence of Canada no more devoted, no more understanding and no more enthusiastic citizens are to be found than those who live in the province of Quebec.

Mobilization Act-Mr. Hoblitzell

We have voluntarily entered this war for the defence of our country, that of all Canadians, and not to service as tools for the enemies of our race, our faith or of our religion. Our disdain for them is equal to theirs for us. We know their mentality is not characteristic of the majority of our English fellow-citizens. They talk of a show-down against us at the very moment when the nation is fighting the most redoubtable foes it has ever known. Quebec, for them, is Canada's first line of defence in this country. It entails no danger [DOT] for them, they are not risking one cent. Theirs is a special brand of courage! they seek for a fight which will not take place and they know it beforehand. May history be kind to them.

Mr. Speaker, in concluding these humble remarks, I would like to quote a few lines of a speech made by Sir Wilfrid Laurier in this house on July 24th, 1917:

I oppose this bill because it has in it the seeds of discord and disunion; because it is an obstacle and a bar to that union of heart and soul without which it is impossible to hope that this confederation will attain the aims and ends that we had in view when confederation was effected.

All my life I have fought coercion; all my life I have promoted union; and the inspiration which led me to that course shall be my guide at all times, so long as there is a breath left in my body.

This explains perfectly the sentiment of the people in the province of Quebec and the position they have taken on the bill that the government now asks us to pass.

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

Frederick George Hoblitzell

Liberal

Mr. F. G. HOBLITZELL (Eglinton):

Mr. Speaker, before proceeding with my remarks on the issue before the house, may I express

my appreciation of and the gratitude of my constituents for your indulgence in permitting me to speak at this time, because every normal avenue and procedure to do so was obviously purposely barred to me by the Liberal whip appointed under democratic parliamentary rule to facilitate the opportunity for a representative of the people to speak before this honourable assembly.

May I say at once without any doubt or hesitation that I support Bill No. 80, repealing section 3 of the National Resources Mobilization Act. The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) has told us that support of the bill now-before the house does not mean conscription for the present-that it may never mean conscription. The people of Canada thought they were voting in favour of conscription, no matter what statements may be made to the contrary. The constituency w-hich I have the honour to represent, Toronto-Eglinton, polled the largest percentage of "yes" votes of any

constituency in the dominion. From the hundreds of letters I received I know the vote meant only one thing to them-the immediate application of conscription. The people of Quebec were sure they were voting on conscription, and posters throughout that province asked them to vote "no." For that reason our allies and# our enemies believed that we were voting for conscription, and in friendly countries the press announced that we had voted overwhelmingly in favour of an all-out effort. I opposed the holding of a plebiscite because I believed it was the duty of the government of Canada to adopt the one fair course and to assure equality of service and of sacrifice in every field of our war effort. Everything that has happened since has convinced me more and more that it was a sorry day for Canada when the government decided to side-step its responsibility by adopting this device. Now we are going through the last stages of the colossal confusion.

During the plebiscite itself the people of Canada were exhorted to vote "yes" as a national duty so that the government would have a free hand toward an all-out war effort. A second group were demanding a "no" vote to make sure that there would be a definite limitation to our effort. Not being told definitely what the vote was intended to mean, the people made it clear what the vote did mean to them. When the people voted "yes" by a huge majority in most of Canada they left no doubt about the things they said, that they were instructing the government that they wanted no further delay in dealing with conscription.

We have now before us a bill to remove any limitation on the field of service of those who are drafted under the National Resources Mobilization Act, and at the same time we are told that if the bill is passed it means nothing for the present and may never mean anything at any time. We have been told by the Prime Minister that the passing of this bill does not mean the adoption of conscription; in other words, the debate is not to decide conscription. Nevertheless we are asked to debate conscription so that the issue will be decided once and for all. The course we are now following is just as indecisive and just as far from reality as was the plebiscite itself. We are asked to debate conscription and then to vote on something else. We are asked to say when and how compulsory service should be adopted, and at the same time we are told that what we say and our vote on the bill itself will have nothing whatever to do with, when and how it is adopted.

That sort of indecision and uncertainty in parliament has destroyed democracy before

Mobilization Act-Mr. Hoblitzell

and it can destroy democracy again. It is time this parliament realized what effect this is having on our people and on our friends. We have been told that conscription is not needed to supply man-power for our forces already overseas, and that it is possible it may never be needed. But if we wait until it is needed it will be too late. We must not blink facts any longer. A Canadian army has been created in England. If that army is engaged in direct contact with the enemy, we might need 100 per cent in numbers of the total force as reinforcements in one year. We have not that number of trained reinforcements outside of the units now in other divisional formations in Canada. It is possible that I have far underestimated the requirements of reinforcements. But it is certain that we cannot go on assuming that our land forces are going to suffer no substantial casualties. Wars are won by fighting, and in the fighting which will lead to victory the unhappy truth is that we cannot avoid heavy casualties.

But there is another point which is not being considered sufficiently in the discussions which are taking place. Even if it were certain that we would not need to send another man overseas for a long time to come, there could still be no excuse for not putting conscription into effect without any limitations. We have now a draft system which invites a form of compulsion which I think is a disgrace to every Canadian, Talk to any young men in the training centres and they will tell you of the methods that are adopted to force men drafted for home service to enlist for service overseas. I do not suggest that this is done under instructions from national defence headquarters. It is the inevitable result of placing young men side by side, some of whom are available for service anywhere and some who have been drafted under a system which limits their field of service.

That creates a sense of unfairness in the minds of those who may be called upon to go anywhere, and they adopt methods which young men find easy to devise to persuade other .young men to do their will. We have even heard the strange doctrine voiced in this debate that conscription for service anywhere on the north American continent is acceptable, but not conscription for overseas. It would indeed be a shameful day for Canada when it became the accepted policy that we were quite prepared to conscript our young men for service in foreign lands but were not prepared to apply the same principle to our partners in the British empire.

We are not fighting only for Britain when we send troops to Britain. We are fighting for that partnership of free men to which we

belong as a sovereign nation. It happens that Britain is the bastion of freedom which is holding back the armed forces of Germany from our shores. Where better can we fight for the defence of Canada than there? When the time comes to launch the offensive to crush the hated hun, where can our men start that offensive better than from that line of freedom on the British coast?

It is time for us to stop talking apologetically about our men being in Britain, as though we were ashamed of that partnership. Every Canadian who has helped to maintain the freedom on the soil of Britain has helped to maintain our freedom in Canada; and even if we were not fighting for ourselves, why should we not fight side by side with Britain when they have fought side by side with us to give us that place in the world which we hold so proudly to-day.

There is another thing we must not forget in this debate. Our Prime Minister himself has told us of the value of our friendship with the United States, and how important it is that we should be held in high regard by the people of that great country. He has told us that it has been possible for him to be of special service to Canada because of his friendly contact there. How, then, can we ignore the attitude of the people of the United States? Surely no one is any longer in doubt about what they are saying there. They do not understand all these fine arguments about the advantages of voluntary service. They are very proud of their own institutions, and they believe that their freedom and their way of life are second to none.

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

Harry Raymond Fleming

Liberal

Mr. FLEMING:

The hon. member is

reading his speech.

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

James Arthur Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

The member for

Humboldt (Mr. Fleming) read his speech, too.

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

out to the hon. member that it is against the rules to read speeches.

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

Frederick George Hoblitzell

Liberal

Mr. HOBLITZELL:

I am just following some notes very closely the same as some other hon. members, and I hope the same privilege will be extended to me.

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT TO SERVICE OVERSEAS
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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 the hon. gentleman states that he is only consulting his notes, I must accept his statement.

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

Frederick George Hoblitzell

Liberal

Mr. HOBLITZELL:

How do you think, Mr. Speaker, the people of the United States regard the suggestion that there is something shameful and improper about compelling young men to serve their country anywhere at any time that the enemy may be destroyed?

Mobilization Act-Mr. Laflamme

The people of the United States know that they have been at war for six months and more, and that their men are drafted for service anywhere at any time. They cannot understand why we are not willing to put aside our prejudices. All these distinctions between compulsory service for the defence of our own country and for service elsewhere are meaningless to them. Their young men are being drafted without any limitation upon the field of service. Already large numbers of them are in Australia, in Alaska, in Ireland, in England, in Africa and the far east. It is only necessary to read the press of the United States to know what they think about the matter.

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT TO SERVICE OVERSEAS
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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. I do not believe I can accept the view that the hon. member is only consulting his notes; I think he is consulting them very assiduously.

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

Frederick George Hoblitzell

Liberal

Mr. HOBLITZELL:

All the speeches that have been made about the value of Canadian contracts, the number of men in arms, and what these would mean if multiplied by the number of times their population exceeds ours, fall on deaf ears. Let there be no mistake about it; we have a very poor press in the United States at the present time. That will not be cured by high-paid agents writing stories about Canadian industrial production and what our men will do when the time comes. This one issue of conscription hangs like a cloud over everything.

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT TO SERVICE OVERSEAS
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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. gentleman should deliver his speech, not read it.

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

Frederick George Hoblitzell

Liberal

Mr. HOBLITZELL:

Yes, Mr. Speaker, I am following my notes. It is not fair that the flower of our youth should answer the call of duty-

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