June 29, 1943

EMPIRE PARLIAMENTARY ASSOCIATION

OTTAWA MEETINGS-DELEGATION FROM UNITED STATES CONGRESS

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):

Mr. Speaker, it would, I think, be in keeping with the wishes of hon. members were I to make a brief reference to the conference concluded to-day by the Empire Parliamentary Association. The meetings were attended by delegations from the parliaments of the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand and from the legislative assembly of Bermuda, as well as by many hon. members of our own parliament. The proceedings throughout were of a high order and demonstrated the value of the free expression and interchange of ideas among the nations of the commonwealth which the conference had been formed to promote.

The conference will be particularly memorable because of the attendance, yesterday and to-day, of a distinguished delegation of visitors from the two houses of the congress of the United States. The delegation, comprising senators and members of the house of representatives, was appointed by a concurrent resolution of the congress of the United States of America, accepting the invitation of the Canadian branch of the empire parliamentary association. The resolution itself will, in time, become an historic document. It is a signal honour, paid to Canada and to the empire parliamentary association, by the congress of the United States. The resolution is also of historic significance, as adding another bond to those which already join the nations of the British commonwealth of nations and the United States in the common defence of free institutions.

Empire Parliamentary Association

The house will, I am confident, wish to record its appreciation of the visit, at a time of war, of our distinguished fellow parliamentarians from other nations of the commonwealth, and its satisfaction that Canada should have been the place of the meeting for the first time of a delegation from the United States congress with the empire parliamentary association. In this meeting we can see the development of the understanding, friendship and good-will on which even now is being laid the enduring foundations of a new world order.

Topic:   EMPIRE PARLIAMENTARY ASSOCIATION
Subtopic:   OTTAWA MEETINGS-DELEGATION FROM UNITED STATES CONGRESS
Permalink
NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I am glad at this point to associate myself and the members of the party which I have the honour to lead with the sentiments which have been voiced so eloquently by the Prime Minister. The meetings of the Empire Parliamentary Association which concluded to-day have been memorable in character. They have served a most useful purpose and in future will be looked upon as having been of great value, not only in relation to the problems which may arise during the war period through which we are passing, but also in relation to the tangled problems which the nations and governments of the British empire, the United States and others will have to solve in the post-war period.

In my opinion the meeting of representatives of the people rather than the heads of government is an occasion of which we should take cognizance. If permanent peace is to come, the common man of each nation must learn to respect and to understand the common man of all the other nations. These meetings have brought forth a new feeling and have generated a new spirit which will be of great value in the days that lie ahead. I wish to echo the words of welcome extended by the Prime Minister to the delegates from the various parts of the British commonwealth and also from the United States. We view with a great deal of interest the renewal of the acquaintanceship, friendship and brotherhood among those who met together.

Topic:   EMPIRE PARLIAMENTARY ASSOCIATION
Subtopic:   OTTAWA MEETINGS-DELEGATION FROM UNITED STATES CONGRESS
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. M. J. COLDWELL (Rosetown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of our party I should like to add an expression of appreciation that this conference has been held in Canada. To those of us who visited Great Britain some eighteen months ago it was indeed a pleasure to welcome such a delegation to Canada.

There is not much that one can say, except that conferences of this kind, participated in by what we might term the rank and file of our legislative bodies, including on this occasion representatives of the congress of the United States, can bring nothing but good to the united nations and to the world. I hope that it will be the first of many such conferences.

Topic:   EMPIRE PARLIAMENTARY ASSOCIATION
Subtopic:   OTTAWA MEETINGS-DELEGATION FROM UNITED STATES CONGRESS
Permalink
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. BLACKMORE (Lethbridge):

Mr. Speaker, the members of my party rejoice along with other Canadians in the fact that we have laid the foundation for the development of good-will between the two great branches of the Anglo-Saxon race. The conferences which have just been held were epoch-making in their significance. I do not believe I have ever attended meetings at which such frankness, candor and good-will were displayed. I am grateful indeed to those who arranged the conference and to those who have taken part in the meetings.

Topic:   EMPIRE PARLIAMENTARY ASSOCIATION
Subtopic:   OTTAWA MEETINGS-DELEGATION FROM UNITED STATES CONGRESS
Permalink

PRIVILEGE-MR. CHURCH REFERENCE TO ARTICLE IN MONTREAL "GAZETTE OF TUESDAY, JUNE 29


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Thomas Langton Church

National Government

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview):

Mr. Speaker, I regret having to rise to a question of privilege. I wish to call the attention of the house to what purports to be a reprint in this morning's Montreal Gazette of an item from I'Evenement of June 9, but I can find no such article in I'Evenement. It refers to me as "one of the survivors of the Conservative opposition of 1908 which accused Laurier of building a tin-pot navy." I was not a member of the house in 1908 or for fourteen years afterwards, and I never attacked Laurier on the navy or used any such words as "tin-pot navy". It goes on to say:

"It remained to Mr. Church to deny also the utility of the Canadian army and air force," I'Evenement Journal said.

I never did. That is ridiculous. It says further:

It is not a bad thing, perhaps, that a representative of the Tory party in the House of Commons should demonstrate, by his extravagant words, that there is more than one blunderhead in parliament-that the province of Ontario can count one.

I was no blunderhead when I predicted that in this war the enemy might sail up the St. Lawrence and bomb the citadel, and advocated before the war that we should rearm on land and sea and in the air.

War Appropriation-Labour

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. CHURCH REFERENCE TO ARTICLE IN MONTREAL "GAZETTE OF TUESDAY, JUNE 29
Permalink

WAR APPROPRIATION BILL

PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY


The house resumed from Monday, June 28, consideration in committee of a resolution to grant to his majesty certain sums of money for the carrying out of measures consequent upon the existence of a state of war-Mr. Ilsley-Mr. Donnelly in the chair.


DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR


National selective service programme, $8,680,225.


LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Mr. Chairman, in my

humble view this is the most important matter that has been brought before us this session, because by virtue of chapter 13 of 4 George VI the Minister of Labour has authority over everybody in this country who is not in the army. This is the law:

Subject to the provisions of section three hereof, the governor in council may do and authorize such acts and things, and make from time to time such orders and regulations, requiring persons to place themselves, their services and their property at the disposal of His Majesty in the right of Canada, as may be deemed necessary or expedient for securing the public safety, the defence of Canada, the maintenance of public order, or the efficient prosecution of the war, or for maintaining supplies or services essential to the life of the community.

This is selective service as it has existed since the midsummer of 1940. In 1942 orders in council were passed specifying the powers granted to the minister and to the head of national selective service. The matter was understood by Mr. Little in a clear and very simple way. I have here a publication that was sent to all of us, Canadian Business, of June of last year, which sets forth the conception which Mr. Little had of his work and of national selective service, as follows:

The ideal behind national selective service is the fitting of every Canadian into the place where he can serve most effectively. Just coming into force, the new regulations provide for the gradual carrying out of this plan. Management's wholehearted cooperation is essential for its success, particularly in the field of personnel relations.

After March of 1942 we had the plebiscite, the effect of which was described in a contradictory way by the correspondent of a big daily, the New' York Times. The same issue of the paper, November 1, 1942, had two articles on the plebiscite, one of which was entitled, "Canada is stirred by plebiscite," and the other "Plebiscite debate unifies Canadians". That shows there was a divergence of views about the matter. I shall not go into the whole chain of procedure which has been summarized by the member for Temiscouata

rMr. Church.]

in an article published in Le Saint-Laurent of February 4 this year, because that has been sent to all members, especially the members of the government.

The other day, I think it was on Friday, I asked the Minister of Labour for some information about Mr. Alexander Gunn, who was called here from England to make suggestions about essential and non-essential industries. I regret very much that the minister has not yet supplied the committee with that information.

It was said in the Montreal Gazette of April 26 of this year, "Mitchell gets wider control of man-power." He could not get wider control than he has now. The only thing that could make a change would be the exercise of the powers that he now has.

I have here a letter dated November 16, 1942, from an official of national selective service, in which he states:

We conform ourselves to the requisitions made by the Department of National Defence according to their training plans, and our registrars act accordingly.

Which, I find, is all wrong, as I have stated before, because all the youth of this country should be under the control of the Minister of Labour, and the Minister of Labour should not be for any consideration the subaltern of the Minister of National Defence.

For a time matters were so bad that, according to a news item which appeared in one of the Ottawa papers on January 16, 1943, the Prime Minister wrote the Minister of Labour asking him, what about man-power?

"What about man-power?" Mr. King asks Mr. Mitchell.

Said requesting detailed answers to 19 "pertinent" questions.

"Among the things to which Mr. King is said to seek answers are:

"What has been done to stabilize employment in agriculture?

"What is the true situation regarding labour supply?

"What has been done to give effect to the mobilization regulations of December 1?

"VVhat has been done to ensure the uniform application of these regulations throughout the nation? ..."

The dispatch says it is learned that Mr. Mitchell has set up a special six-man committee of selective service and labour department officials to prepare the replies to the questions. The committee is described as made up of:

C. F. Needham, recently appointed associate director, civilian, of selective service, chairman; Brig. Riley, associate director, military; Dr. Walter Couper, special assistant to the deputy minister; Allan Mitchell, director of unemployment offices; Harry Hereford, formerly chief of man-power records and now special assistant to the deputy, "and one other."

War Appropriation-Labour

Quoting from the Globe and Mail:

The theme of the 19 questions is said to be:

"What has been done to give effect to my man-power speeches of March 23 and August 19?" On March 23 last Mr. King announced the establishment of national selective service . . . and defined its policy. On August 19 in a nation-wide broadcast he told of the extension of that policy in order to put every competent man and woman to work in essential industry.

There is a great difference between the United States regulations and ours. American regulations specify what positions are essential; ours mention what positions are nonessential. That makes all the difference in the world. In the first place, what we should know is what positions are essential, and I regret very much to have to admit that in this connection the United States list is much more practical than that of this country.

Now with regard to the farming question. Here I have news items which appeared in the papers on January 28 of this year, in which are stated two things which may surprise us very much. In the first place, Lord Wool ton said he was absolutely satisfied with the food situation, while we in Canada are expressing fears that there will be famine during next winter. Something was said about the legacy which the Minister of Labour inherited. I think it is a proper word to describe what happened. We must go back to the first draft of the regulations concerning conscripts. The first draft was passed in 1940 of the order in council which was adopted afterwards, and then some justification was sought in the report which was made by five men who had to decide about essential industry. They were: the deputy minister of agriculture, a gentleman from the Department of Fisheries, another man from the Department of Mines and Resources, another official from the Department of Transport, and the timber controller. They made a report which was sent to the deputy minister of labour, and by him to the Department of National War Services, and by that department to all registrars. Here is what is said about agriculture. It is considered in that report a primary industry for the south half of Quebec from May to August, and for the north half from June to September. It is a secondary industry regarding animal and vegetable products, butter and cheese, from May to October; other dairy products, June to August; fruit and vegetable preparations, July to September; tobacco processing and packing, January to March; leather goods and mitts, July and August; aerated and mineral waters, from June to August. What farmer in the province of Quebec is interested in making aerated and mineral waters? But what is essential to note is precisely that agriculture

was not considered a primary industry for more than one-half of the year, when everybody knows that farmers are working from dawn to dusk a great deal of the year. That was all wrong.

The Minister of Agriculture was Minister of National War Services from July 12, 1940 to June 11, 1941. In Hansard of November 13, 1941, the Minister of National Defence for Air, who was taking the place of the Minister of National Defence on that occasion, mentioned that the thirty days' training had been decided and ordered by P.C. 4904 of September 17, 1940. May I point out to you, sir, that Lieutenant-General Crerar, who is commanding a division in Great Britain at the present time, has a fine military record, and he stated at the time that one month was enough for the training of those young men-

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
NAT
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

-which raised a storm, in which my hon. friend from York-Sunbury took part-

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

The chief of the general staff never said anything of the sort. He said that one month was all that they could put into effect for the time being; and he stated the reason why-that the youth of Canada had to be taught a sense of national obligation.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Words speak for themselves, and if the hon. member for York-Sunbury has a power of attorney from Lieutenant-General Crerar it should be delivered to the Chair.

Well, sir, the extension of the four months was by P.C. 1910 of March 18, 1941, when the Minister of Agriculture was still Minister of National War Services, and clause 8 (f) regarding the thirty-day period was amended as follows:

Upon so becoming a member of the active militia each "R recruit" shall forthwith undergo training for a period of four months, or for such other period as the minister of defence may from time to time prescribe, unless in the meantime he is required for service or duty.

On July 2, 1941, the Minister of National Defence, by a stroke of the pen,, extended the training for the duration. There were many young men who recognized their obligation to go to camp for training, but they were told by everyone that training "Was only for one month, and afterwards they found that it had been extended to cover four months. Well, they said that they would take the training during the dead season, but after having understood that their training would last one month, and then four months, and having made arrangements accordingly, they

War Appropriation-Labour

were detained in the camp by means of an order, not an order in council but an order, signed by the Minister of National Defence in virtue of an order in council that was passed when the Minister of Agriculture was also Minister of National War Services. The farmers had no protection from the Department of Agriculture in their endeavour to remain on the farm.

In the first place, in consequence of that famous report that I have already read, in which agriculture was described as not being an essential industry throughout the entire year, and also because of the fact that they have had to remain for training, these men have not received the protection which they could have expected. Let me tell the Minister of Labour of the troubles we have had in the province of Quebec from the time we began to fight for the farmers. I have here a letter from the then chairman. I will send him the original, which I would ask him to return to me later. I quote:

But you must understand that we cannot postpone their service indefinitely.

Seulement il faut que tu comprennes que l'on ne peut pas remettre leurs services indefiniment.

That is why we have to fight so hard. The fact is that these people did not understand either the letter or the spirit of the regulations and we have had to put up a struggle for the farmers. For everyone will realize the loss that must result when the farmers are taken away from their farms. It is disastrous.

Next I called the attention of the predecessor of the present Minister of National War Services, Judge Thorson, who entirely agreed with me, to the fact that the farmers had the same rights as others and were entitled to postponement. The staff had to be changed because there was no possibility of getting any understanding. Now, when we hear some people saying that the farmers are exempted from service, it is untrue because there are a good many young men whose place is not in the army but on the farm. They went to the army in good faith but they were kept there by men who are not expert in agriculture, -as the minister admitted, to the great surprise of the hon. member for Belleehasse. It is those people, who have no experience in agriculture, that decide upon the necessity or otherwise of men remaining on the farms or going into the army. That cannot work.

There are many farms that cannot do as well now7 as they did before, and that is exactly the reason. But, I may say, I wrote certain articles in our local newspaper and sent a copy of each article to the ministers

[Mr. Pouliot.l

at the time. Some of these articles were translated; they had an opportunity to translate them at any rate. These articles explained the situation in the province of Quebec. I have high regard for the minister personally, but I believe that he was wrong in some of his utterances. Unfortunately, I have only the French version of the speech which he made on September 12, 1941. At that time he w7as not Minister of National War Services, but here is a translation of what he said:

If we have to raise a million men for our armed forces vre will have seven million other men. in Canada, aged over 16. These seven million were organized and determined to help the armed forces, by directing our farms, our dairy industry and our business offices in a way which w7ill give the required production.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LIB

June 29, 1943