July 7, 1942

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Transport; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

No, Mr. Speaker; Mr. Bell as director of aircraft production had no authority over a plant that did not have direct contract with the government.

Topic:   AIRCRAFT PRODUCTION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF RALPH P. BELL AS AIRCRAFT CONTROLLER
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LABOUR CONDITIONS

ORDER IN COUNCIL CONFIRMING EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE AGREEMENTS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA SHIPYARDS


On the orders of the day:


CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. ANGUS MacINNIS (Vancouver East):

I understand an order in council has been passed confirming certain agreements between the employers and employees in the shipyards of British Columbia. Would the Minister of Labour table a copy of the order in council?

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   ORDER IN COUNCIL CONFIRMING EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE AGREEMENTS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA SHIPYARDS
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. HUMPHREY MITCHELL (Minister of Labour):

I shall be glad to do that to-morrow.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   ORDER IN COUNCIL CONFIRMING EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE AGREEMENTS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA SHIPYARDS
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MOBILIZATION ACT

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


The house resumed from Monday, July 6, 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. Mr. JEAN-FRANCOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata): Mr. Speaker, I hold in my a hand a clipping from the newspaper L'Evenement- Joumal of Quebec city, under date of October 30 last, in which the leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson), who had just returned from abroad, is quoted as comparing the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) to Hitler and blaming him for a lack of energy. According to that clipping the hon. gentleman, who had just arrived from England, said that he had been requested to ask for conscription. Then, sir, I have another clipping from the Ottawa Journal of June 12 of this year, in which it is stated that the Conservative vote will be cast to save the government. We see what quantities of water ran under the bridge during that period of time. Now, sir, I hold in my hand a copy of the Canadian Mining Reporter of January 16, 1942, published in Toronto, in which appears an editorial headed "The Pro-Conscription Banquet", in which these words appear: It was a meeting largely composed of people too old to fight and, therefore, exempt from military service, called for the purpose of making military service outside of Canada compulsory upon those who are not too old to fight. Then it continues: It is one of the strangest things that a group of men and women



That is, the committee of two hundred. -so highly placed as are the people attending this banquet to promote conscription (to use the exact name) should be so blind to the unethical import of their action in urging the government of Canada to violate its solemn pledge to the people of Canada not to introduce conscription without first consulting the people of Canada. One of our chief taunts at Hitler is levelled at his breaking of pledges ami violation of treaties. Yet this honourable company of citizens, too old to fight, sees no inconsistency in seeking to bring sufficient pressure to bear upon the government as will compel them to betray the people of Canada who voted for them on the understanding that conscription would not be introduced without a mandate from the people. Sir, I obtain my inspiration from what was said by the Prime Minister himself in this house on June 19, 1940, at page 922 of Hansard: An hon. member on this side of the house made the statement publicly this morning that he felt he could go into his constituency and, by making it known to his constituents that this measure had to do with the protection of Canada and our own Canadians soil



That was the mobilization act. -bring forward in a very short time men from the forests, from the fields and from the factories, all prepared immediately to join the Canadian forces to resist any possible invasion, and that he would be prepared to guarantee that that could be done in constituency after constituency throughout the country, once it was understood that there was the necessity of defending our own Canadian shores. I Mobilization Act-Mr. Pouliot



pointed out to him that in doing that he might be making the greatest mistake possible with respect to the national interest; that, to win this war, we might wish to keep at work in the forests the men who are now working in the forests, to provide the timber which will be required for docks and wharves and required immediately; that the men who are working in the factories may be a thousand times more useful to the government of this country in giving their skilled labour to the manufacture of aircraft, munitions, or other weapons of war than they could possibly be in lining up and presenting themselves for military service; equally, that on the farms, if we are to perform what will be expected of us, we shall need all the production that can be effectively and rapidly carried out on the farms of our country. This part of it should be completed by reading a letter which I wrote to the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) on May 16, 1941, when he asked us to help him in the recruiting of volunteers for service abroad. Ottawa, May 16, 1941. The Honourable J. L. Ralston, K.C., Minister of National Defence, Ottawa. My dear Minister, Referring to your letter of May 11, there is something that I do not understand. Eleven months ago, the Prime Minister pointed out to me that in doing voluntary recruiting for the defence of Canada. I might be making the greatest mistake possible with l'espect to the national interest. Would there be no mistake possible with respect to the national interest in doing it for overseas service? In other words, how can I do, at your request and for another country, what I had been precluded to do by the Prime Minister for our native country? Then at page 1905 of Hansard for April 23 of this year another hon. member of this house quoted what was said by General Browne: "Tile reserve force may have to fight and it must be ready to fight as soou as possible," he said. "After all, there is no more war overseas than there is here now, and we may have some here sooner than they have, in view of the threats to our coast." Then Hon. Mr. Godbout, premier of the province of Quebec, on February 20 stated that Quebec was open to attack from the Atlantic. That view was supported by Rear Admiral G. C. Jones, commanding officer of the Atlantic coast, who with Rear Admiral P. W. Nelles does not rule out the possibility of German submarines and a supply ship penetrating into the gulf of St. Lawrence this summer. Everyone knows that submarines have come very close to my constituency. Unfortunately they caught the navy napping at the time, because I understand they were chased by a boat that was not sufficiently speedy. Then there is something else of the utmost importance; it is a question that I directed to the Prime Minister in this house on February 16, 1942, appearing at page 598 of Hansard: Mr. Jean-Frangois Pouliot (Temiscouata): Mr. Speaker, as a private Liberal member of this honourable house, may I ask the government if the Canadian people, following the deplorable fall of Singapore and the notorious escape of a German naval squadron from Brest, can secure a definite guarantee that this country will not be invaded before the end of the war; and if so, what is it? If not, is it the policy of the government to create a large number of mobile units and to improve at once all means and ways of communication throughout this country? Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King (Prime Minister): Mr. Speaker, on these questions of strategy and war policy, questions that affect other parts of the world as well as Canada and other nations as well as our own, I do not think any question should either be asked in a form which is likely to cause embarrassment, or answered, or attempted to be answered, if there is the slightest possibility of either the question or the answer being misunderstood in any part of the world. I am afraid that my hon. friend's question has been asked on the spur of the moment, and I for one would certainly not wish to reply without due consideration. The question was put on February 16, and I have received no reply. Then, at Selkirk, the Minister of National War Services (Mr. Thorson) said that Canadians were the most mobile of all allied armies. Surely they are; they are all outside of Canada. What is needed, sir, is a decentralization of the army in this country. We need good military roads and we need men who are fit to defend our own country. Here is another question, which I put on June 20, 1940, two days after the mobilization bill was brought up. I said-Hansard, page 1053: Mr. Pouliot: I want to make myself as clear as posible, I am speaking only of mobilization for home defence, and I want to know if a man not in the class that may be called for military service in connection with home defence may enlist just the same, without being obliged to agree to overseas service. Mr. Mackenzie King: The answer is yes. Well, now, what appears in the enlistment form? Here is the declaration to be made by a man on attestation: I do solemnly declare that the above particulars are true, and I hereby engage to serve in any active formation or unit of the Canadian Army so long as an emergency, i.e., war, invasion, riot or insurrection, real or apprehended, exists, and for the period of demobilization after said emergency ceases to exist, and in any event for a period of not less than one year, provided His Majesty should so require my services. We are told that Canada is just lacking in draftees; that is the news which appeared in Mobilization Act-Mrs. Nielsen the press on June 3. On the first page of the Ottawa Evening Journal of yesterday I see that men of special ages will be drafted for the reserve-"Government to follow call-up plan made by George Mcllraith." All the cream of our youth is sent overseas, and all we have to defend this country is just the skimmed milk, men who- have passed the military age or who are unfit for military service when the distance to be covered by Canadian units is so great.


LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Mr. Speaker, I want to interrupt and say that this statement is just as untrue-

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

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

That is all right. I have no time, and he will answer afterwards. I have only two minutes left, and I do not want to be interruptecTwhen I have something to say. If that is not so, the minister had only to deny it on the orders of the day.

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

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I am denying it now.

It is just as untrue as it is mischievous.

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

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

What I want at the head

of the Department of National Defence is not a negative minister as much as it is a positive minister.

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

Thomas Bruce McNevin

Liberal

Mr. McNEVIN:

Well, you haven't the say in this matter.

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

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I will ask my hon. friend

to keep quiet. He represents the county of Victoria, Ontario, which was Sam Hughes' constituency. We should exhume or resurrect Sam Hughes, to improve the department.

In the Journal we find an article about ministers who are favourable to conscription. They are all named, and there are nine of them. Do they forget that it is time now to look after the defence of our own country? But they are the victims of propaganda. I pity them. We have their names here, in an editorial on June 13: they are all for conscription. Sometimes they say they are for voluntary enlistment, and sometimes they say that conscription will be required if voluntary enlistment is not sufficient. Well, at the rate it is going on, voluntary enlistment will not be sufficient for a long time, because after our resources of men are exhausted what can we do for the defence of this country?

There is only one other thing I will say now, though I shall say something more afterwards. I hold in my hand a newspaper of November 10, 1917, with a report of a meeting held in Quebec city, addressed by Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the one leader who can be compared with Sir John A. Macdonald. We are just as proud of Sir Wilfrid as we are of

Sir John A. Macdonald. He said at that time that conscription for overseas was not necessary.

What we need is to proceed according to the act that we have on the statute book. Nothing has been done for the defence of Canada under the mobilization act which we are about to change, but pressure has been exercised on the trainees in the camps so that they shall enlist for overseas. And we call it voluntary enlistment-voluntary enlistment 1 Farmers who have joined up have in many places no opportunity of getting leave. In many cases it has been denied to them when it should have been given to them. What will happen to the army and to the civilian population if the farmers cannot work on the land?

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

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

On a

question of privilege, if I understood the hon. gentleman correctly he stated that on one occasion I compared the Prime Minister to Hitler. I should like to say that at no time, at no place, on no occasion did I ever compare the Prime Minister to Hitler.

Mrs. DORISE W. NIELSEN (North Battleford): I had not intended to speak again in this debate, but I felt that it was very necessary to correct a statement made by the hon. member for Temiseouata (Mr. Pouliot) who has just taken his seat. When he was speaking last evening he said that I had compared French-speaking Canadians to quislings. I take great objection to that remark. I wish very much that the hon. member for Temis-couata would have a little more regard for the truth when he makes statements to this house.

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

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

The hon. member is not a gentleman!

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

July 7, 1942