The Address-Mr. Gillis
and that there is terrific fighting ahead, with terrific sacrifices to be made by the people of this country. During the past six months I have been disturbed to find prominent men warning the people of North America, both in the press and over the air, that the war might come to a sudden end. Such propaganda is, in my opinion, designed for only one purpose, namely, to prepare the people for a negotiated peace. That is not in accordance with the policy enunciated by the united -nations, when they declared that only the unconditional surrender of the totalitarian powers will be accepted. Those who carry on the sort of propaganda that I have mentioned are doing a great disservice to the war effort of all the united nations. We must emphasize the fact that we still have to win the war. Let the people of the North American continent make no mistake about it; that is still their major task, because the termination of this war upon any terms other than the unconditional surrender of Germany and its allied powers will mean that we have lost this war and laid the basis for the next one. Nothing else can happen. In the countries of Europe that we are endeavouring to liberate there is no one but Hitler with whom to negotiate a peace, and any negotiations with him mean further appeasement and the acceptance of at least some of the ideas that he intended to foist upon the world. Therefore, in this respect I think the Prime Minister was absolutely correct when he emphasized the fact that certain opinions being expressed tend to take the minds of the people away from the real, main issue, which is the prosecution of the war to the fullest possible extent until we bring about the complete capitulation of Germany and her allies.
In my remarks this afternoon I intend to deal specifically with a most important matter which is closely related to our whole war effort and to the question of what will be the position of Canada when this war is over. In my view the two questions to which we should give the greatest consideration at this time, in an endeavour to see that the least possible disturbance is caused and the greatest possible good is done to those now in our armed services, are the matters of demobilization and reconstruction or rehabilitation. These two questions will require considerable machinery if we are to do a job on them and carry out our duty as we shall be expected to do by those now in the armed services. We must not lose sight of the fact that we in this house are privileged to talk about reconstruction and what will be the future of society on this continent, because the boys and girls in the armed forces, par-Gillis.]
ticularly those serving in theatres of war, recognized that the totalitarian military machine must be kept as far as possible from our shores and made their contribution by getting into uniform and crossing the ocean. They are there to-day. They have been successful in their mission, and have stopped the onward march of Hitler and those with whom he is associated. They are on the offensive to-day, and while the struggle may yet be severe, nevertheless they have guaranteed to us on this continent the privilege to do something about the future structure of society in Canada.
Next to the importance of winning the war, I think emphasis must be placed on the care of those who have made it possible for us to say that in the future we intend to reconstruct this country along democratic lines, and those of a Christian civilization. To them we owe the first obligation in the matter of rehabilitating Canada.
That is our first and main task. There is one paragraph in the speech from the throne which sets out the fact that a broad and comprehensive programme writh respect to the reestablishment of service personnel returning to Canada has been developed, and that it applies not only to the armed services, but to the merchant navy. This would lead one to conclude that the government is now completely satisfied with the machinery now functioning, and that it believes such machinery is adequate to take care of this matter. I was disappointed, and I believe the government was presumptuous when it included the merchant navy in the present scheme of rehabilitation. I say that because, with the exception of extending the privilege by order in council of coming under pensions regulations for disability they are not included in the present set-up of reconstruction and rehabilitation, and must be considered as a separate unit.
We are led to believe that they are included ini the scheme. However, before the house rises I say it should extend to that particular branch of the service every benefit which is now enjoyed by the personnel returning from the fighting services. In my opinion the programme is totally inadequate, and it is not working. I do not say this by way of criticism, or for the purpose of hearing myself talk or of advancing any particular political philosophy. I believe the Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. Mackenzie), under whose department this scheme has been functioning, has been working as hard and as conscientiously as any other minister or any other member of the house. I have always found him cooperative, and quite prepared to do anything he could to adjust grievances arising from the