February 21, 1944

THE WAR

SINKING OF UNITED STATES TRANSPORT-MESSAGE OF SYMPATHY TO PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT


On the order for motions:


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, I should like to read to the house a telegram which I sent this morning to the President of the United States, a message which, I believe, the house will very warmly approve:

The President,

The White House, Washington.

The people of Canada have learned with feelings of deepest regret of the loss, through enemy action in European waters, of a thousand American soldiers. The sinking of this transport comes all the more as a shock because of the rarity of such losses. The loss of these brave lives is one which has aroused a widespread feeling of sorrow, in which the government and people of Canada share. On behalf of the government, I should like to express to you, and to the people of the United States, our sympathy in this national loss. Linked with our expression of sympathy is an ever-deeper realization of our comradeship-in-arms in the unrelenting effort to save the world as largely as may be possible from the continued inhuman acts of barbarous enemies seeking to dominate the world.

W. L. Mackenzie King.

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   SINKING OF UNITED STATES TRANSPORT-MESSAGE OF SYMPATHY TO PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

WAR EXPENDITURES AND DEFENCE OF CANADA REGULATIONS COMMITTEES-PROPOSAL THAT HOUSE SHALL NOT SIT WEDNESDAYS


On the order for motions:


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, I should like to say a few words to hon. members about the business of the house for to-day and for next week. It was announced last night that this afternoon we would take up the civil estimates of the Department of National Defence and later, the estimates of .the Department of Agriculture. Also it was stated that the house would sit this evening.

There is on the order paper a notice of motion in the name of the Minister of Justice to constitute a select committee of the house to consider and review the defence of Canada regulations. There is another notice of motion in the name of the Minister of National War Services with respect to constituting a committee on radio broadcasting. Hon. members will see in the Votes and Proceedings of yesterday that I gave notice last night to the Clerk of my intention to move for a com-

Wednesday Adjournments

mittee on national war expenditures. Notice of this motion will appear on the order paper on Monday next.

The wish has been generally expressed that we should constitute all committees as rapidly as possible, and I believe it will further the wishes of hon. members if we do not delay any longer than is absolutely necessary in setting up these committees. The select committee on the defence of Canada regulations I would hope might be constituted this afternoon. I suggest that on Monday the house consider the war expenditures committee resolution, also the resolution regarding the committee on radio broadcasting. With respect to war expenditures a desire was expressed by hon. gentlemen opposite to be given an opportunity to debate the third report of the committee presented at the close of last session. Hon members will have noticed that I introduced the other day and the house approved a resolution permitting a discussion of that report. Concurrence in the report will have to be moved, and I should think the best way of proceeding would be to have concurrence moved on Monday and the debate on war expenditures take place on that resolution. I do not wish to restrict hon. members from debating the resolution to set up the committee if they so desire. It might be understood however that, on one or the other motion, whatever hon. members may wish to discuss could be discussed. In that way we would be expediting the business of the house.

Also on Monday the government would like to get one or two more departments into supply, to call an item, so that the estimates of those departments may be taken up on any day.

Hon. members have said that they thought, and I think rightly so, that the proceedings of the house might be expedited if more work were done by committees than has been the case in the past.

With that view the government is in accord. We believe that a good deal of discussion that takes place here in debate might be avoided if some matters were threshed out a little more fully in committees in the first instance. To help to meet that objective, I mentioned when speaking in the debate on the address that at a later stage in.the session I would propose that the house do not sit on Wednesday afternoons but that Wednesday be kept free for members to give special attention to the work of committees.

The government proposes that from now on that the house should sit on Friday evenings unless it otherwise orders, so that in reality the time to be devoted to discussion in the

house, if the procedure I have outlined is carried out, will be the equivalent week by week of what it was during the last session, the difference being that we shall be sitting on Friday evenings instead of on Wednesday afternoons. More should be accomplished as there would be more work done in committees than would otherwise be possible.

One objection that hon. members have to the committees meeting from day to day is the difficulty of their being in two places at the same time, especially in the early part of the session. Toward the end of the session permission has been given committees to sit while the house is sitting, but the proposed procedure will enable members for the most part to give their attention to the work in committees for an entire day in addition to whatever further time may be necessary, thereby obviating the necessity of their being absent from the house when important discussions are taking place.

There is a further reason which I mentioned. I should like to have the house approve the procedure I have referred to because it is absolutely necessary for the government, I mean the cabinet, and in particular the war committee of the cabinet, to have at this stage of the war more time to discuss and very carefully consider the weighty questions that are coming before us not only from week to week but from day to day. Hon. members will realize that at the present time scarcely a day passes that does not bring some unexpected subject for consideration by the government as a whole. Unless the government has opportunity to have unbroken sittings over a considerable length of time

we shall not be in a position to give to some of these measures the careful thought and attention they demand. Members of the government cannot do that in cabinet council and at the same time be present in the house to follow its proceedings. The procedure I have in mind has been framed so as to enable these two objectives to be met, and to be met in a way which will, in the end, I think, expedite the business of parliament and protect the interests of the public.

When the time occupied by sittings has come up before for discussion, reference has been made to the parliament at Westminster. I believe it has been said that in the United Kingdom the House of Commons sits for a much longer time. As a matter of fact, the parliament at Westminster until this year, while holding regular weekly sittings, has sat only three days in the week since the war began. The Prime Minister has announced at the close of the sittings of each week, which has been on a Thursday at 5.30 pm.,

Wednesday Adjournments

when the house will meet in the coming week and which has been usually on the following Tuesday, and has indicated some of the measures that would likely be brought forward in the following week. As I say, during most of the past four years the house has not met until Tuesday, and during that time it has been customary for the house to adjourn on Thursday. This year, I understand, because of special reasons, the house is meeting on Friday as well as on the other three days, but it does not meet until Tuesday.

Another matter I should mention in connection with the sittings at Westminster is that the House of Commons does not sit at night but adjourns at 5.30 p.m.; it has also morning sittings. It meets, I understand, at eleven o'clock in the morning, and adjourns at five-thirty in the afternoon. That has been because of the black-out. I doubt, however, whether hon. members realize that the whole business at Westminster has been carried on with sittings on an average of three days a week, and with only morning and afternoon sittings. I have a compilation of the days of sitting of our parliament and of the British parliament, and I think it will interest hon. members for me to give a tabular comparison of the length of time occupied in the sittings of the British and Canadian houses respectively:

Comparison of length of sitting of the British and Canadian parliaments in the period since the Canadian parliament met after the 1940 elections

Sitting

British parliament- days

May 21, 1940-Nov. 20, 1940 62

Canadian parliament (complete session)-

May 16, 1940-Nov. 5, 1940 61

British parliament (complete session) -

Nov. 21, 1940-Nov. 11, 1941 113

Canadian parliament (complete session)-

Nov. 7, 1940-Jan. 21, 1942 105

British parliament-

Nov. 12, 1944-Nov. 10, 1942 116

Canadian parliament-

Jan. 22, 1942-Jan. 27, 1943 124

British parliament-

Nov. 11, 1942-Nov. 23, 1943 122

Canadian parliament-

Jan. 28, 1943-Jan. 26, 1944 120

It is an interesting fact that in this House of Commons we have actually occupied the same amount of time each year in our discussions over the last four years as the British parliament. Of course, the explanation in part is that at Westminster they have more frequent adjournments and sit fewer days in each week.

I had intended, with the permission of the house, to move this afternoon that when this

house adjourns on Tuesday, the 22nd instant, it stand adjourned until Thursday, the 24th instant, and unless otherwise ordered, when the house adjourns on Tuesday evening it shall stand adjourned until the following Thursday, and that standing order 2 be suspended in relation thereto for the present session.

This is a motion that does not require notice and could be proceeded with at once, but I imagine hon. members may wish to give it a little consideration and I shall not press it today. I shall let it stand as a notice and will move it on Monday next. I do hope that hon. members will find it possible to comply with the wishes of the government in this matter, our wishes being based entirely upon what, after very.careful thought, we believe to be advisable, for the reasons I have mentioned, at this stage of the war, and believe will prove to be of advantage in the expedition of business of this house, and equally of advantage to the country in the understanding of its business and the greater care which it will be possible to give to the all-important problems of our day.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   WAR EXPENDITURES AND DEFENCE OF CANADA REGULATIONS COMMITTEES-PROPOSAL THAT HOUSE SHALL NOT SIT WEDNESDAYS
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Leader of the Opposition):

With respect to the matter dealt with by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) I should first of all like to say a word on the point he raised touching the war expenditures committee, and, coupled with that, the suggestion he made relating to the motion for concurrence in the three subcommittee reports of the committee, which I believe were contained in the final and third report which he mentioned a moment ago.

I think it would be preferable from every angle if matters relating to the war expenditure committee of last year and the setting up of the committee this year were dealt with in one debate. There is an objection to proceeding otherwise which I think will be sustained by most members of the house. I do not think we should have two debates on war expenditures; they might involve considerable repetition. I should like to point out, in connection with the procedure to be adopted in the setting up of the war expenditures committee and the motion for concurrence, that in order to regularize the proceedings the house might be agreeable to discussing first the motion for concurrence in the reports and agreeing that the debate thereon should be sufficiently wide to cover the setting up of the committee. This could be done immediately after discussion on the motion for concurrence is concluded.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   WAR EXPENDITURES AND DEFENCE OF CANADA REGULATIONS COMMITTEES-PROPOSAL THAT HOUSE SHALL NOT SIT WEDNESDAYS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

That was my suggestion.

Defence of Canada Regulations

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   WAR EXPENDITURES AND DEFENCE OF CANADA REGULATIONS COMMITTEES-PROPOSAL THAT HOUSE SHALL NOT SIT WEDNESDAYS
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

I wish to make that clear. I believe the Prime Minister left it in such a position that either one or the other might be dealt with.

So far as the other matter dealt with by the Prime Minister is concerned, I am pleased that he did not insist on pressing his motion to-day. I thank him for that, because our party are desirous of giving more consideration to the point raised. I think we shall be in a position on Monday to deal with it. There are rather serious and momentous questions involved in connection with the motion proposed by the Prime Minister. I desire not to go farther than that at the moment, except to point out that we do want to give the matter every possible consideration and examine every angle. The proposal is perhaps more far-reaching than appears on the surface. It is our desire that whatever decision is arrived at, at least due consideration will have been given to the problem.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   WAR EXPENDITURES AND DEFENCE OF CANADA REGULATIONS COMMITTEES-PROPOSAL THAT HOUSE SHALL NOT SIT WEDNESDAYS
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NAVAL SERVICES

TABLING OF CERTAIN NAVAL ORDERS


Hon. ANGUS L. MACDONALD (Minister of National Defence for Naval Services): I should like to table certain naval orders dated February 12, 1944. May I say to the hon, member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) that the orders contain a provision with respect to transportation similar to that existing in the army orders. When I wrote my hon. friend on February 7 they had not been passed.


DEFENCE OF CANADA REGULATIONS

APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER AND REVIEW REGULATIONS AND AMENDMENTS THERETO


Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Minister of Justice) moved: That a select committee of this house, consisting of the following members:-Messrs. Bertrand (Laurier), Black (Yukon), Claxton, Dorion, Dupuis, Ilazen, Hlynka, McKinnon (Kenora-Rainy River), Martin, Maybank, McGeer, Noseworthy, Ross (Calgary), Slaght, Stirling, be appointed to consider and review the defence of Canada regulations (consolidation) 1942, and amendments thereto; with power to send for persons, papers and records; to examine witnesses under oath; and to report their opinions and observations from time to time to the house.


NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. H. C. GREEN (Vancouver South):

Mr. Speaker, this motion gives the proposed committee power to deal with the defence of Canada regulations only. I suggest that it should be extended to give power to deal also with the questions of naturalization and deportation, which are related to the defence of

fMr. Graj'don.]

Canada regulations. These regulations override naturalization in many respects, and they bring up the question whether or not the people who have been interned under them can be deported after the war.

This is the fifth year in which we have had a special committee of this type. In each of the other years, with the exception of 1942, the committee was given power to deal with naturalization and deportation in addition to the defence of Canada regulations. Last year, as hon. members will recall the motion as originally brought in was restricted, as it is this year, to the defence of Canada regulations. An amendment which was moved extending its scope to include naturalization and deportation was accepted by the government and1 duly passed. What happened after that was this: the committee did not deal with the defence of Canada regulations at all; it dealt only with the two questions of naturalization and deportation. It held seven meetings, and each one of those meetings was devoted to the two questions I have just mentioned. I hold in my hand the Votes and Proceedings of July 23, 1943, in which the hon. members will find the report of the committee. The last paragraph reads as follows:

Your committee is of the opinion that further study should be given to the whole subject of naturalization, deportation and admission to Canada with a view to the revision of the law relating thereto, and recommends, to that end, that a special committee of the house be appointed at the next session of parliament.

Therefore I intend to move that the motion be amended to extend the powers of the committee. In other years the meetings of the defence of Canada regulations committee have been held in camera. I suggest that this year consideration be given by the committee to throwing its sittings open to the press and to the public. It may be necessary to meet in camera when dealing with the regulations, but when dealing with the questions of naturalization and deportation I believe it would be advisable to throw open the doors. It may be advisable also to invite representations from certain of the naturalization judges in Canada. They have had very extensive experience in naturalization, and I think there is a good deal of discontent with the law as it stands at the present time. I believe many of the judges feel that some improvements should be made.

Representations should also be invited from clubs that are interested in the subject. Take, for example, the Canadian clubs of Canada. Two or three years ago they made representations to the committee which was considering the subject; they showed a great deal of interest in the matter, and they should be invited to send representatives.

Defence of Canada Regulations

Naturalization and deportation are of great importance. They become of greater importance as the end of the war draws nearer. I believe they are more important this year than the defence of Canada regulations. Hon. members will be interested to know that four or five times as many persons have been naturalized in Canada as in all of the other parts of the empire put together. Some steps have been taken to meet the situation. As an example, last year it was provided by order in council that an applicant for naturalization must give a year's notice of his intention to apply. It was also provided that the oath of allegiance must be taken in open court rather than before a notary public or a justice of the peace and then mailed to the Department of the Secretary of State. The effect of this change is, of course, to attach more solemnity to the actual giving of citizenship to the new Canadian.

There are further steps that might very well be taken. For example, it has been suggested that there should be naturalization schools, that applicants for citizenship should be given an opportunity to get instruction with regard to our history, our laws, our constitution and so on; that there should be a test to ascertain whether or not they have acquired sufficient knowledge of those subjects to entitle them to citizenship, and that some provision should be made for text books. Then the suggestion has been made that successful applicants should be given an official welcome into citizenship, and I think it would be very well worth while to provide that when our own young Canadians become twenty-one years of age they too should be welcomed into citizenship along with applicants for naturalization who have been granted certificates. Steps such as these would lead to the making of better Canadians, and that should be and I know is the objective of every hon. member of this house.

Another very practical question which arises is the question of dual citizenship, such as we have in the case of the Japanese in Canada. Many of them, we feel, are mentally citizens of both Japan and Canada, and that position should be remedied. When a person becomes a Canadian citizen he should drop his citizenship in any other nation. This present session is the time to bring our naturalization laws up to date. After all, the way a nation looks upon naturalization shows the value it places upon its own citizenship, and also shows the degree to which it will accept the new citizen. If very little importance is attached to naturalization -and I am afraid that has been the view of the average Canadian for many years- then citizenship means very little to the new

citizen, and as a result he is perhaps never really accepted as a Canadian. That condition is entirely wrong. When a man becomes naturalized he should be accepted as a Canadian together with those of us who were born here and whose ancestors have resided here for generations.

So much for the naturalization law. The question of deportation of course has to do with the Immigration Act which, according to my understanding, provides that if a person has lived in Canada for five years and is considered to have Canadian domicile, to all intents and purposes he cannot be deported. We are in this position, that we have in Canada certain nazis whom we had to intern because they were a menace to the state. We also have certain Japanese who have been interned for the same reason; yet under our present immigration laws they cannot be deported after the war. I believe that after the last war an order in council was passed to deal with that situation, but so far nothing of the kind has been done in the present war. I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that Canada cannot get rid of these people too soon. There is no reason at all why they should be kept here a day longer than is absolutely necessary. The trouble is that once the war is over they will all choose to remain here. They will not want to go home; why should they? We should make up our minds that they are to go out at the first opportunity, and to do that, amendments must be made to the immigration laws. I therefore move, seconded by the hon. member for Yukon (Mr. Black), that the motion be amended by adding after the word "thereto" in the sixth line, the following:

and the law relating to naturalization and to deportation.

Topic:   DEFENCE OF CANADA REGULATIONS
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER AND REVIEW REGULATIONS AND AMENDMENTS THERETO
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CCF

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. J. W. NOSEWORTHY (York South):

Mr. Speaker, I shall not delay the house long, but I want to support the amendment; and in so doing I should like to direct attention to a statement made by the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green), that last year the committee concerned itself entirely not with the subject of the original motion but with the subject of this amendment. I would recall also that last year the committee recommended that a committee be set up this year for the purpose of giving further study to the questions of naturalization and deportation.

In supporting this amendment, however, I should like to remind hon. members of the fact that in the spring of 1942 a committee studying these matters made a report, which never came up for discussion in the house, in which attention was directed to the fact that at that time there were in this country certain organizations which had been declared

Defence of Canada Regulations

illegal, and the committee recommended that this ban be lifted. Since that time much has been done in this direction by the government, through the Department of Justice, and I think this would be an appropriate occasion for the minister to tell us just which of those organizations which were formerly considered illegal have been legalized since that time. In the report to which I have referred reference was also made to the confiscation of the property of one of these organizations, the Ukrainian Farmer Labour Temple Association, and I understand that steps have been taken to return some or all of that property. I think this would be a suitable occasion for the house to be informed as to the steps that have been taken in this connection.

A third matter was referred to in that report; that is, the internment camps. From time to time questions were asked with regard to people interned in those camps, and I understand that many have been released in the interval. I have received notices from the department concerning some individual cases about which I have been writing, and I am informed that these internees have been released on certain conditions. I think we should know just what is the present situation in our internment camps and who have been released. Perhaps the minister would care to tell us in some detail just how many are still interned in these camps. Personally I should like to know under what conditions these people were released from the internment camps. These are matters of public concern, and this motion affords an opportunity for the government to give us a report on the steps taken in regard to the defence of Canada regulations up to the present time.

Mr. LIGUORI LACOMBE (Laval-Two

Mountains) (Translation): Yesterday, in reply to an inquiry I had made about the detention of Mr. Camillien Houde, the hon. the Minister of Justice (Mr. St. Laurent) laid some documents on the table of the house. However, no mention is made in Hansard of any statement by the Minister of Justice or of the said documents.

Such an omission seems strange to me. Therefore, I request that the documents tabled by the Minister of Justice be recorded in the House of Commons Debates. The minister's reply was as follows:

The hon. member for Laval-Two Mountains asked me on February 15 whether the Department of Justice had received a letter dated January 26. 1944, in which Mr. Camillien Houde requested his release, through an order in council, from an internment camp, and it was added in the question "in view of the fact that his internment was carried out by means of an order in council."

I have found, on looking up the file, that on. January 26 Mr. Houde Wrote to the deputy Minister of Justice a letter, copy of which I am tabling, and which contains this sentence:

That statement of Mr. Houde is not in accordance with the facts. The procedure followed when he was interned was not "through an order in council"; he was interned, as hundreds of other persons, through an order made by the then Minister of Justice under section 21 of the defence of Canada regulations. The matter of his release must be determined in accordance with the procedure laid down in the said regulations.

No case within the purview of the regulations has been dealt with through an order in council and the regulations do not involve such a procedure.

Mr. Speaker, in order that many points relating to this particular case and several others may be cleared up, I shall support the amendment moved by the hon. member.

Topic:   DEFENCE OF CANADA REGULATIONS
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER AND REVIEW REGULATIONS AND AMENDMENTS THERETO
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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. E. G. HANSELL (MacFod):

Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether the amendment is superfluous, but I am in favour of it. I cannot recall now whether we have before us the exact wording of the motion made last year when the committee was set up. I am informed by one of my colleagues the amendment is made so as to make the motion read in exactly the same terms as last year's motion. I am heartily in favour of that, because as a member of last year's committee I recall our work was not finished, so far as a discussion respecting naturalization, deportation and related matters was concerned. These are big subjects, and their consideration will require a lot of time. Not only are we concerned with our own laws, the subject is often complicated by corresponding laws in other countries.

We shall vote for this amendment. In my view we have reason at least to some extent tc revise the naturalization regulations. I have in mind particularly the fact that naturalization has been refused on account of applicants not being able to read and write English. I agree with what has been said by the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green) respecting a school of preparation for those to be naturalized. In my view those who seek naturalization should be able to speak and write English, but there should be a dead-line set. I am under the impression there is no provision in the naturalization laws which compels one to be able to read or write English. It would appear that the judges who hear these cases use their own judgment, and that many applications have been refused on this ground. Years ago many persons came to Canada at our invitation and the invitation of those who were sponsoring great immigration movements, and among the number were

Defence of Canada Regulations

mothers and fathers who brought their families. I am sure the older people found the learning of English a laborious task, and in many instances they have not continued their studies to the point where one could say that they can read, write and speak English. They have reared their families, and the members of their families have become good Canadians. Some of them are fighting in this war. Among these older people there are those who feel they would like to become naturalized, and they make their applications. Judges hear their cases, and simply because some of them cannot read or write, their applications are refused and they cannot become naturalized.

If this regulation is to be enforced we should tell people who are coming to this country that if they want to become naturalized they will have to -be able to read and write and understand some of the principles of Canadian citizenship and nationhood. My observations this afternoon are more particularly on behalf of those who have been here for some years. Some of the older people who have raised their families and have contributed to the welfare of our country have applied for old age pensions, and because they have been good Canadians their applications should be granted. In the legal sense however they are not Canadians, with the result that without their naturalization certificates they cannot draw pensions. Their naturalization is not considered favourably because decisions are made against them on the ground that they cannot read and write. To many people this may not be a vital point, but it is vital to some who have been in this country for years and who now desire to become naturalized. If the amendment is accepted, and the committee pursues its work along the lines suggested, I would ask that this matter be considered.

Topic:   DEFENCE OF CANADA REGULATIONS
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER AND REVIEW REGULATIONS AND AMENDMENTS THERETO
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February 21, 1944