Yes, sir. As I have already said, the case is different with the department for naval services and the department for air on the one hand, and this department of militia on the other hand, because the minister for naval services and his colleague the minister for air indulge in recruiting in the normal way, by posters, certain propaganda and so on, but it is not at all the same system which binds the Department of National War Services and the Department of National Defence. If the Minister of National Defence for Naval Services-and I regret that his colleague the Minister of National Defence for Air is not here at present -needs men, the only way for him to get those men is through propaganda, by putting advertisements in the press that we need men for the navy. Similarly the Minister of National Defence for Air will advertise that we need men for the air force. But the Department of National Defence proceeds otherwise; and when it has not enough men, those fellows who are high-ranking officers, and many of whom have never been to any theatre of war either in the last war or in the present one-a fact which I am not going to withdraw, because it is established in a return and is well known to all hon. members- may make a requisition in the same fashion as they requisition for Bren guns or anything else: "We need 2,000 Bren guns; we need 2,000 men, 10,000 men, 25,000 men, 30,000 men." They do not consider the effect of that order on men from the farms, from industry, lumberjacks, and so on. As the Prime Minister pointed out to me, in June, 1940, they do not consider at all the effect of taking those men away from their occupations, from the munitions plants, from railways, from everywhere. They do not consider that at all. They say, "We need so many men and the men must come", just the same as they must have their Bren guns, or caps or uniforms or long coats or anything else. That is one thing.
Another thing I want the Minister of National Defence to tell this committee is what pledge he made in London when he was there in the winter of 1940-41; what pledge of men, Canadian men, not to the British army but to the English army; I would say first to the English army, and in the second place to British army. The minister may say that I do not know my business, but I take the trouble to read the publications of his department, and I have enough friends in the army who inform me
about what is going on. In fact he has never denied specifically any statement I have made with care and with proof in hand. During the last war there were four divisions, and it took all the man-power of Canada at the time to fill those four divisions. We are now making a war effort which is much more considerable than that of the last war. I am credibly informed that we have eight divisions, and therefore the number of men who are expected to fill those eight divisions should be twice as many as those who filled the four divisions during the last war. This may be denied, but I know that it is true. Therefore, since we had 600,000 men under arms during the last war, and since we nearly exhausted the manpower of our country at that time, if we double that man-power effort now the number of men required from this country in the three branches of the armed forces will be at least 1,200,000. It is impossible for us to send that number of men overseas when there are practically none to defend this country now. The Prime Minister stated in reply to one hon. gentleman opposite that the time was not ripe to submit the question of confidence to this house, and I maintain that it will not be opportune to do so unless the defence of this country is completed and assured. Therefore the government will have ample time to consider the matter, and I hope that no such order will be passed before the population of Canada is defended as it should be. Some of my hon. friends opposite and some on this side of the house are of the opinion that it should be done right now, and they have expressed their views in that regard. I respect such views when they come from one like the hon. member for Lambton West (Mr. Gray), who is a returned man, who went through the last war. I cannot conceive how anyone who is not a veteran of the last war and whose children are not all serving under the colours can say that he is in favour of conscription of others for service overseas. But conscription for home defence is the duty of every born Canadian and of every man born outside Canada who has made Canada the country of his choice.
Subtopic: EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic: APPLICATION OF CIVIL SERVICE SUPERANNUATION ACT TO CERTAIN DIPLOMATIC OR CONSULAR REPRESENTATIVES