August 12, 1944

CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

I wish to say that the leader of the opposition need not worry as to our attitude toward the present government, or toward the Liberal party; but that does not deflect us from realizing that at the present time everything possible should be done to bring to an end the arousing of the country and the inflaming of sectional interests and prejudices. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I say quite frankly we feel that in the government's readiness to accept the amendment we have moved at this last moment we have won, not just for this group but for this parliament and for the people of Canada, a victory over the crisis through which we have passed. We feel that the amendment should be adopted and the motion in the amended form should be carried by this house.

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Picard

Liberal

Mr. L. PHILIPPE PICARD (Bellechasse):

The proceedings of this house during the last three weeks would remind one of a game of hockey or a game of hide-and-seek. People have been trying to find the puck and are wondering where it has gone. We have been trying to find the issue and to-night we are wandering where it has gone. The government has accepted the C.C.F. amendment.

100-436|

Why? When the government summoned parliament to Ottawa it had for its purpose the approval of its policy. To-night at the last moment we see the government changing and accepting the suggestion of the C.C.F. party to take all the sense out of its motion. If we leave these three words out of this motion it becomes exactly similar to the subamendment I proposed earlier in the debate, according to the words of Mr. Speaker. At that time Mr. Speaker said:

The amendment is not complete in its form. It is the expression of a general opinion which may be moved in any public body but has no connection with the business of the house.

The object of the house is to suggest, approve or disapprove of the government's policy.

If wo leave these three words out where are we? Where is the government's policy? In 1942, when bill 80 was passed, the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) told the house that if at any time he implemented the provisions of that bill he would come to the house and ask for a vote of confidence. What we have before the house to-night is or is not a motion of confidence. If it is a motion of confidence these three words have to stay in it. If the government accepts the amendment of the C.C.F. party, it is not a motion of confidence; it is just a literary effort and it does not concern at all the approving or disapproving of the government's policy. Withdrawing of the three words at the last moment will not change the feelings of the people at the present time. I am not to speak for those who feel that the government in its programme has not done everything it should have done, but I am to speak for myself, believing that the policy of the government as it stood on the day its motion was presented included the approval of the principle of bill 80 and the approval of order in council 8891. The deleting of three words to-night have not changed the sense of the government's policy. The withdrawing of three words will not withdraw one of the men who are on their way overseas by reason of order in council 8891. I cannot understand how the government at a moment like this, of such seriousness in the history of the country, can accept the taking of all sense from the motion, because, as it stands now, the motion simply reads that we are approving or aiding the government in maintaining a vigorous war effort. I support the stand taken by the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres (Mr. Cardin) when he said: "Can the government maintain a war effort without a policy?" The policy that the government called us to Ottawa to approve included those three words. What is it now?

War Effort-Government Policy

Has it changed suddenly overnight? Does the government mean to convince us that one thing has been changed in a few moments? The policy is the same. The government cannot take it out and ask us to approve or disapprove and play on the feelings of the hon. members in this house.

I have said and I repeat that I have confidence in the present Prime Minister, and I cannot express my sentiments in any better way than when I spoke previously. I respect the Prime Minister; I am sure his mind is a thousand times superior to mine; but I have to judge the issue with my own mind and, as things stand now, I cannot approve the motion. The Prime Minister definitely said in 1942 that if at any time he applied bill 80 he would come before the house and by means of a vote of confidence ask for approval. Are we to be given another chance, Mr. Speaker? If this is just a literary effort, are we to be given another chance at another moment in this session to approve or disapprove the government's action on bill 80. or is this the motion of confidence that the Prime Minister meant? Has anything changed in the policy of the government? The government had one policy at six o'clock to-night. Has it changed since? I know that things change quickly. On Wednesday, the opening day of this part of the session, we had one policy. The second afternoon the government had another policy. To-night is it the third policy? The house should not be played with. The feelings and the intelligence of the hon. members should not be mocked in such a way. We are here as citizens of a free country to use our minds in a free way. Mine is vastly inferior to that of the Prime Minister, but I have to judge the issue with the powers that have been given to me, and I cannot find any sense in the motion as it is, deprived of the intention it contained when it was first put before the house, and, Mr. Speaker, I contend that the application of the ruling you gave on my subamendment, namely, that:

The object of the house is to suggest, approve or disapprove of the government's policy . . .

applies to the motion as it is now. Therefore I say that it should be ruled out of order.

Mr. JEAN-FRANCOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata): After the quick about:tum of November 22, we had the quick about-turn of December 7. The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) should teach quick about-turn to the people; he would be a past master at such a performance. We have the leader of the government putting on the order paper a motion of confidence after consultation with

all his ministers, but to-night we have witnessed a spectacle that could not have been foreseen by any of us; we have seen the Prime Minister mediating to the point of accepting the suggestion of the leader of the C.C.F. group without consulting with his colleagues in the cabinet, unless there was an understanding between the leader of the C.C.F. group and the Prime Minister before the amendment was moved.

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?

Mr. M. J. COLD WELL@Rosetown-Biggar

I can assure you that there was not.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I thank the hon. gentleman. It is even worse than I thought. . I remember a time in another parliament when I was asked by the Chair to withdraw a statement I made that Lord Bennett was acting without consulting his colleagues of the cabinet. What happened to-night? In the sight of all of us there has happened what I blamed Bennett for doing and what I had to withdraw to my great humiliation. But to-night I did not have to do that. The Prime Minister did not pass any paper around the treasury benches and I am sure no minister thought he would accept a suggestion or an amendment made by the leader of the C.C.F. group.

Is the leader of the C.C.F. group the new spiritual adviser of the Prime Minister after the Tory party was declared dead yesterday? What a performance! We are told about the supremacy of parliament. We are told about the great principles of the Prime Minister who wants to consult parliament. It is all a farce. He does not consult his own colleagues in the cabinet before subjecting himself to the dictates of the leader of an opposite group.

Would Sir Wilfrid Laurier have done that? Would Sir Robert Borden, with whom the Prime Minister, according to Sir Robert, thought to join in a union cabinet, have done that? That has never been denied by the Prime Minister himself. Would either Sir Wilfrid Laurier or Sir Robert Borden have done that?

When I went to my constituency after the quick about-turn of the Prime Minister on November 22 I found my people in consternation and humiliation. To-night I do not belong to the party led by the Prime Minister, and I am proud of that. However, as a member of the House of Commons I .feel greatly humiliated that on a motion of confidence which presumably has been put on the order paper by the Prime Minister after consultation with his colleagues, he should then choose to appease the leader of the C.C.F. group, appease in the Munich sense. What humiliation! What consternation! What

War Effort-Government Policy

an abomination! The Prime Minister is not alone in the valley of humiliation to-night; we are all in it.

This is responsible government! We have been summoned here but what is the policy of the government? As the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres '(Mr. Cardin) has so aptly said, there is none. I can understand our being called on April 1 as April fools, but we are now in December; we are on the eve of Christmas.

There are fourteen vacant seats in the senate. I checked the names at the door of the senate, and I noticed that out of thirty-three appointments which had been made by this government, only fourteen were former members of this house. According to that well-established precedent, hon. gentlemen opposite who may have legitimate claims to promotion for services rendered in this chamber will be very lucky if they get a place, because out of the fourteen candidates there will be only four chosen.

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

I have not been able to follow very closely the remarks of the hon. member for Temiscouata, but I do not think the matter of replacements in the senate would be relevant to the present motion before the house. I would ask him to keep within the motion.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I presume it is part of the policy of the government to fill senate vacancies until they get what they want from the members. That is my point and I condemn them very strongly. We are discussing a policy which has not been enunciated. We do not know what it is about; it may be about the man in the moon or anything else. I am not the man in the moon, but perhaps the Prime Minister is. It is vague; it is incoherent, and from the Liberal point of view it contains the grease spot of the C.C.F.

I do not say that in any offensive way, but I speak as a true and straight Liberal. I referred to something yesterday which I will elaborate to-day. I decided some time ago to leave the party led by the Prime Minister, and on August 19 I told him personally that if I ran again I would not run as one of his candidates. To be sure to be elected I will run as Jean-Francois Pouliot; and until then the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres (Mr. Cardin), the hon. member for Lotbiniere (Mr. Lapointe), the hon. member for Belle-chasse (Mr. Picard), the hon. member for Quebec West and South (Mr. Parent), the hon. member for Levis (Mr. Bourget), my humble self, and all other hon. members who have voted against him here this afternoon-*

each one of us will be a living remorse to the Prime Minister. We will remind him of promises broken; and we may tell him that we may go back to our constituencies and enjoy the respect of our people. We wonder if he will be able to get the same respect when he goes back to Prince Albert, at the time of his next defeat, when he will lose his deposit in the province of Saskatchewan?

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

That is all.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. BLACKMORE (Lethbridge):

Mr. Speaker, during the last hour or two I believe we have had added to our deliberations much more heat than light. Perhaps it would be well to try to orientate ourselves correctly by reflecting upon one or two serious matters.

In the first place, every vote cast to-night either for or against this resolution will be carefully noted overseas. It will be noted in the office of Hitler; it will be noted by the soldiers on the battle line; it will be noted in Washington and London; it will be noted in the camps of our N.R.M.A. men. I believe it would be well for hon. members to ask themselves this question: How will every vote against this resolution be interpreted by each and every one of the agencies I have mentioned? That is the question I have been endeavouring to answer for myself, ever since we came together.

We are living in a time of great confusion. It is very difficult for men to keep their feet on the ground and their heads cool. To most people there appear to be two issues before the house: first, shall the House of Commons do all in its power to supply reinforcements for Canada's hard-pressed soldiers overseas and, second, shall the present government in Canada be defeated, or shall it be supported so as to carry on across the stream of war time?

Having two issues before him, any person might find it hard to avoid confusion of thought. He might find it difficult to determine which is the main issue. It should be remembered, I think, that the present crisis developed over conscription, or the sending of reinforcements overseas. It did not develop over the question of whether or not the Liberal government was satisfactorily administering the affairs of the country, or whether that government was leading Canada in an acceptable war effort.

Consequently the matter of confidence hardly entered into the cause of calling the house together, if we are to believe the reports we have heard, and to take at face value the

War Effort-Government Policy

evidence which I think has been adduced rather plentifully since we came to attend this session.

Any member of parliament in this present critical session must keep his eye on the ball. The ball, in this instance, is reinforcements for the infantry section of the Canadian Army overseas. This is definitely a war session, and has been called together to deal with a specific war problem. That problem is the one of determining how to obtain trained infantrymen urgently needed by the sons of Canada who are now desperately fighting on the battle front. We want men who are physically qualified and properly trained to fight as infantrymen. We want them now, as soon as possible. There is no time to think about political considerations. That which might be politically expedient must be disregarded in the interests of what is nationally expedient.

Where can be found the kind of men we need? The only men really accessible are the N.R.M.A. men. Of these, some 16,000 acceptably qualified are in Canada, and 8,000 are ready to move at once. However, up to the present time these 16,000 N.R.M.A. men in large measure have failed to volunteer. Canada has had to find an effective means of rendering immediately available 16,000 N.R.M.A. men.

In Colonel Ralston's opinion the only means was conscription. Many of the cabinet ministers agreed with him. Other cabinet ministers were determined that conscription should not be used. However, Colonel Ralston was so confident that he was right that he left the cabinet over the question: Shall conscription be used to render available for service overseas Canadian soldiers known as N.R.M.A. men?

That, Mr. Speaker, is the situation as I interpret it up to the present time. General McNaughton was called to the cabinet because he declared he believed that the voluntary method would succeed. The high court of parliament was called to hear the evidence on the question of conscription for overseas service. Members of parliament were divided on the question. Most of them have exceedingly stern attitudes either for or against. During my nine years in the House of Commons I have never known a time when I have seen men so stern either for or against a question as are the men I meet in the corridors to-day.

This is the point which must be borne in mind. There is a violent clash of opinion as to the advisability or otherwise of using conscription to send N.R.M.A. men overseas.

Likewise, Canadian voters are sternly divided. Very soon after parliament assembled the (new Minister of National Defence, Mr. McNaughton, confessed, apparently, that under circumstances prevailing at the present time the voluntary system simply would not get the required number of men in time. Therefore he presumably recommended to the government that conscription be used until

16,000 suitable men were obtained. The government passed an order in council empowering General McNaughton to raise 16,000 men, by conscription if necessary.

The Prime Minister of Canada (Mr. Mackenzie King), has introduced a resolution stating that this house will aid the government in its policy of maintaining a vigorous war effort. As I see it, what the individual member of parliament must decide is this: Shall I vote to support the application of conscription at the present time, so as to enable Canada to send overseas the 16,000 N.R.M.A. men so-sorely needed as infantrymen in the battle zone-yes or no? I believe, Mr. Speaker, that the question is just as simple as that, shorn of all the confusion engendered.

Here is a Canadian government that has passed an order in council to conscript, if needs be, 16,000 N.R.M.A. men. I may or may not like the government. I may or may not have confidence in it. I may say that I have not confidence in it. I may or may not favour its general policies on various things that it has done while in office in war time or in pre-war time-and in a general way I may say that I personally do not approve the policies which it has followed either before the war or during the war. I may or may not agree with its future proposals during the remaining war years, or with its proposals for the post-war years. But the question to-night is: Do I agree with its decision on conscription now, to send 16,000 suitable men overseas to reinforce in time the sons of Canada whose lives and whose cause are at stake in the heat of action right now. The answer which I as one member give to my country, to the anguished loved ones of my country, to the noble boys who have already suffered and some of whom have died, and to their sorrowing bereaved ones is: Yes, I will. I think, Mr. Speaker, that my answer must be just thai if I am to prove myself worthy of the responsibility which I bear as one member of this house in this critical year of 1944. Disregarding all other considerations I will vote "yes" in support of the resolution to apply conscription to certain N.R.M.A. men.

War Effort-Government Policy

Whether the Mackenzie King government merits or does not merit my confidence as a war government is not in my judgment the issue in this vote. Early in 1945 parliament is to reassemble and then hon. members will have an opportunity to vote non-confidence or confidence in the government as may at that time appear to be in the interests of our country. Let this government carry on for the time being until we can have another opportunity to appraise their efforts and to sit in judgment upon them. We have only six weeks to wait. That will give us time enough to grow cool and calm and collected and to make a decision when our minds are not fired with the passions which have been engendered by means which have been clearly indicated during this debate.

But there are other considerations worthy of mention as I come to my decision. Do well-informed and thoughtful Canadians, Canadians of good will, desire an election at the present time? As I came through my province on my way to Ottawa I got in touch with several hundreds of people and not a single one was in favour of an election at this time. Is it in the public interest of Canada as a nation or in the interest of Canadians as a people; is it in the interest of the British commonwealth as a whole; is it in the best interests of the united nations and the cause of freedom to which they have dedicated themselves; is it in the best interests of Canada itself that we should have an election at this time? The opinions of many people might be quoted. Being a Social Crediter I shall refer to only one, that of the Hon. Solon Low, national leader of the Social Credit Association. Mr. Low has recently issued a statement, a portion of which reads as follows:

To plunge the nation into an election at this time would be criminal folly.

And, Mr. Speaker, for reasons which the ordinary member of this house and the ordinary citizen of this country appreciate full well I agree with Mr. Solon Low in this matter one hundred per cent. This statement clearly shows that Social Crediters, however much they may disagree with the policies of the present administration, are not urging or advising an election at the present time- this for many reasons. A vote against the government's resolution is a vote for an election at once.

Social Crediters endeavour to be consistent. Years ago they foresaw that under the present economic system involving avid, ruthless, reckless scrambling for foreign markets, a calamitous conflict would be inevitable.

Major C. H. Douglas earnestly warned of the danger and feared the complete destruction of civilization if that danger were not averted. He pleaded with the nations to consider with him suitable changes in their economic system to avert the impending catastrophe. The nations chose rather to plunge into the catastrophe. Seeing that such would be the case, Social Credit leaders, years ago, began to call for adequate preparation for the defence of our people. In February, 1936, I, as leader of this group, issued to the press in Edmonton, Alberta, a statement worded in terms as strong as I could devise, calling for immediate preparation for national defence. This statement will be found in both the Edmonton Journal and the Edmonton Bulletin of February, 1936, the 11th or 12th of February, if my memory serves me aright. On arriving in Ottawa for the 1937 session, I said in an interview that I would support the Prime Minister's proposals for increased expenditure upon national defence. This I did throughout the session of 1937. From that time forward in public meetings I constantly sought to impress Canadians with the need of prompt and effective measures for defence.

In the special session of 1939, I delivered a speech as recorded in Hansard of September 8, pages 47 to 50. In that speech I went on record in language as follows:

Therefore, the New Democracy declares that justice, equality, effectiveness, depend upon the conscription of finance, industry and man-power.

And again on page 49:

We must do all we can and go where we are asked to go, in order to meet the enemy of religion, of freedom and of race. It is stupid and insincere to draw a distinction between home and foreign service. There can be no distinction.

From this strong position, Mr. Speaker, this group has never receded.

The present occasion and the government resolution now before the house afford Social Crediters the first opportunity of proving their sincerity and steadfastness by voting for a measure of conscription. A vote against the government's resolution would be a vote which, in effect, would be a vote against conscription of 16,000 men, well-trained and in good physical condition, to go in support of their brother Canadians in a time of great stress and peril. I must vote for sending, by compulsion if necessary, 16,000 N.R.M.A. men to the theatres of war at the earliest possible date.

Social Crediters deplore the fact that on the outbreak of war, the government failed to conscript finance, industry and man-power.

War Effort-Government Policy

In my speech of September 8, 1939, as recorded on page 48 of Hansard, I warned the

government that to conscript man-power without first conscripting finance and industry, or to conscript any one of the three without conscripting the other two, would bring about injustices, discrimination and class distinction which would result in "inequality, disaster and chaos." I had the impression that cabinet ministers and members of parliament generally disregarded my warning; treated it lightly.

Well, now the troubles are here and the end is not yet. Not yet has the full impact of Canada's colossal war debt been realized by Canadians. Not yet has it been borne in upon them how onerous will be the taxation structure once war expenditures cease. Not yet have many realized how destructive of Canadian freedom will be found the degree of centralization and bureaucratic control which have resulted from the government's financial and industrial policies. Not yet have Canadians even dimly visualized the intensity of the bitterness of disillusionment which our boys will experience when, after their return from the war zones, they will find how helpless the government, using the present system, will be to give them fitting rewards for their services rendered. When these dreadful things, looming in the future, become realities, then will be discovered the ominous portent of the words I used in my speech of September 8, 1939.

By conscription of finance I did not mean taking over the banks of the country by the government, or the seizing of the savings of the people. I meant that the dominion government should conscript or take away from the banking fraternity the power and function of creating the money, rendered possible by Canada's capacity to produce and to deliver goods and services to the extent of which she is capable. Exercising this power the government could have dealt with our debt problem without injury to Canada's economy, and could have mobilized industry far more effectively than it has now been mobilized, could have left that industry in the hands of private enterprise, and could have had that industry strong to sustain the shocks of the aftermath of war. Wielding the power of finance, the government could have guaranteed our boys, in return for their services, such rewards as would have impelled every eligible man or woman to seek enrolment in the armed services of Canada. Thus could conscription of man-power have been arrived at by an indirect method1-the method of inducement by rewards-far more effectively and happily than it has been accomplished by the government's

indirect method, the method of coercion through the use of law, restriction, and economic pressure.

This picture, of which I have endeavoured to give a faint glimpse, could have been realized if wisdom had prevailed in high places in Canada in 1939. When I reflect upon the happiness, the unity, the hope, which could have filled the hearts of Canadians, even through these days of universal mourning, I find it exceedingly difficult to be calm. I find it exceedingly difficult to vote confidence in an administration consisting of men who callously and stubbornly refused even to consider the possibilities of a better way of life for our Canadian people. In fact, I cannot and will not at the present time vote confidence in this government. Nevertheless, for reasons which I have already indicated, I must vote for the government's resolution to support the use of compulsion, if necessary, in sending overseas 16,000 men of the N.R.M.A.

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LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. DANIEL McIVOR (Fort William):

Mr. Speaker, I think we have had enough speeches to-day to last us for a long time. I believe the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) should be allowed to close this debate. It is not our business to have to sit here and listen to men read at least part of their speeches. We have not had very much that is new to-night, and' I think it would be in order at this sweet hour of the morning for the Prime Minister now to close the debate.

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LIB

Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Mr. Mackenzie King

moves, seconded by Mr. Crerar:

That this house will aid the government in its policy of maintaining a vigorous war effort.

To which Mr. Coldwell moves, seconded by Mr. Gillis:

That the motion be amended by deleting the words "its policy of".

So' that the motion as amended will read:

That this house will aid the government in maintaining a vigorous war effort.

The house is voting on the amendment. If the amendment carries it will then be added to the motion and then the debate will follow on the motion as amended, upon which a vote may be recorded. The question therefore is on the amendment.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Carried. Carried.

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LIB

Sarto Fournier

Liberal

Mr. FOURNIER (Maisonneuve-Rose-mont):

No, no. Mr. Speaker, we should follow the regular procedure, and you should continue on, saying, "Those opposed will say "nay", and then we will see what is to happen.

War EffortmS

-Government Policy

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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):

At the present time the fate of nations is being decided on the battlefields of Europe. How soon the decision will come God only knows. One thing we know is that anything that supports our fighting men will hasten that decision. Anything that withholds support that they need, and that is at all within our power to give, may have consequences for them and for us of which I hesitate to speak.

I have been amazed at some of the speeches that have been made in this house during the course of the debate not only to-night, but particularly to-day and yesterday, when, one considers what the motion is that is before the house, and when it is apparent that it relates wholly and exclusively to the support that can be given to our fighting men overseas in this sixth year of war.

This evening the leader of the official opposition spoke in the debate. I leave it to' the hon. members to say for themselves whether I am right or whether I am wrong

Hazen

Homuth

Jackman

Laeombe

LaCroix

Laflamme

Lafontaine

Lalonde

Lapointe (Lotbiniere)

Leader

Leclerc

Lockhart

McDonald (Pontiac)

McGregor

MacKinnon

(Kootenay East) MacNieol Neill Parent Perley Picard Pouliot Raymond Rheaume Ross (St. Pauls)

Ross (Souris)

Rowe

Roy

Ryan

Senn

Stirling

Stokes

Sylvestre

Tremblay

Tustin

White-70.

War Effort-Government Policy

when I state that his remarks had almost exclusively to do with matters of petty politics between the different political parties in this country. He sought to have this house believe that there was some sort of agreement or understanding between the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation party and the Liberal party whereby we were going to work together to defeat the Tory party. Mr. Speaker, the Tory party is defeated beyond all shadow of doubt. We are not concerning ourselves about the Tory party, nor are the people of this country. But we are concerned about the winning of the war and having this war won as speedily as possible, and having as much glory come to our men in the victory that is to come as it is possible for them to gain.

My hon. friend the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (Mr. Coldwell) has moved an amendment to clarify the situation. It is natural that in this parliament, where all of us for years have attached great significance to every word in a resolution, hon. members should sometimes read into a particular resolution a meaning that was never intended or ever thought of at the time that the resolution was drafted. My hon. friend has seen something in the words "its policy of". May I say to him now, as I said when he moved his amendment, that to me the resolution as I read it now as amended carries with it all the meaning that it had in the original motion as I proposed it.

I have nothing to add and nothing to subtract from what I said in opening the present debate as to the meaning, significance and importance of the vote to be taken on the resolution which is now before the house.

I must thank my hon. friend for his obvious desire, one which I myself believed would be shared by every hon. member of this house, to make it perfectly clear to our men overseas, to other nations, yes, and to the enemy, that this house was united and determined upon having a vigorous war effort in support of our men overseas; a policy of maintaining a vigorous war effort. The entire world knows we have had it in the past. During these past five years, there is no nation in the world that has had a finer war effort than Canada has had. It is that effort which we wish to maintain and it is to that effort alone that the resolution, before the house at this moment relates.

I thought I made it very clear in my remarks in opening this debate that I was not asking for any vote of confidence on the government's policies generally. I shall not take the time to-night to run over what I said before; the words will be found in Hansard.

However, I should like to reassure my hon. friends who have raised the question that neither this motion as amended nor the original motion as it was before it was amended in any way sought to gain from this house an expression of confidence in all the policies of the government. The leader of the C.C.F. has said that he wants to have it clearly understood that I am not asking for a vote of confidence in all the policies of the government, and another member of his party said that he wished to be sure that we were not asking for an unlimited vote of confidence. May I tell them both that we are not.

What we are asking for is that a vigorous war effort shall be maintained. May I say, in passing, that it cannot be maintained without support, and strong support from this House of Commons. Anyone who has had the responsibilities that I have had over the past five years knows something about the difficulties of maintaining a war effort on the scale on which this government has been maintaining it right along. Anyone who has the knowledge that I have at the present time, knowledge that every hon. member has to a greater or less degree, about the seriousness of the situation at this moment, a seriousness so grave that it can scarcely be imagined, would if he were in my position want to have in no uncertain way the support of this House of Commons in continuing that war effort.

I doubt very much if hon. members of this house can begin to imagine what this war is like at this moment, what it may lead to or what the position of our country may be in future years, years not too far distant, if we show much of division in this House of Commons on any matter that relates to sustaining the war effort of Canada. It is for that reason that I ask that the motion as amended be carried in no uncertain way.

My hon. friend, the leader of the Social Credit party (Mr. Blackmore) has touched upon the real note. He said to all intents and purposes that not alone the people of Canada, but the people of Great Britain, the people of those countries in Europe that have been overrun, and are only just being liberated, the peoples of other allied countries, yes, the peoples of enemy countries as well are watching keenly to see what the result of the vote in the Canadian House of Commons on Canada's war effort is going to be. Germany wishes for nothing more than evidence that in any part of the British commonwealth of nations there is beginning to be a break-up in the determination of the people to keep up their war effort. No succour could come to the enemy equal to that he will receive from

War Effort-Government Policy

anything that goes to show that a parliament in any part of the British commonwealth of nations is not united in support of its fighting men, and in its determination to do the utmost that can be done in helping to make a great war effort a complete success.

My hon. friend has said that men who have been standing by comrades and seen them fall, who themselves are standing not knowing whether they may not be the next to fall, will look to-morrow with anxious eyes to see *what this Canadian House of Commons has done to-night. They will scan carefully the figures which will disclose what has been the division in this house. They will be either uplifted in spirit and strengthened in might by a strong vote in support of their need in this House of Commons tonight, or they will be weakened' in their power; they will become dispirited if they find, as my young friend and gallant soldier, the son of the truest friend I have ever had in this House of Commons, told this house the other night, that while they are united and can stand side by side, French and English, Catholic and Protestant, of whatever kin or race they may be, that while they are fighting to preserve our liberties we cannot be equally united here in their support in this terrible war.

I ask all hon. members of this house to think of the men who are fighting for them. Think of them as fighting for your homes. Think of them as fighting for our country and its future. Then ask yourselves if at this time you are going to encourage them by giving them all the aid that it is possible for this parliament of Canada to give. You may find it difficult to explain some situations. Some of you may and no doubt will find it difficult by yourselves or others going into the past'- I am going to have a word to say on that in a moment-and recalling things that have been said, promises that have been made, to explain the present situation to the electors in your constituencies, as I hear different members saying they will have. I have more faith than some who have spoken in the intelligence of your electors and in their hearts. Is there any man in this house who will say, if the situation is properly explained, that they will not be the first to recognize what it means to them, and will mean through years to come, that at this time of war their member stood up in the House of Commons of Canada and supported the men who are fighting to defend them and their homes? Will they say that he is not doing the noblest thing for his own constituents and for our country that could possibly be done?

Take this larger vision. May I say to hon. members of this house that we have passed the day, and it is long past, when questions of purely local concern can mean anything relatively in the future of our country. The world has moved far during the past five years, five years of war against the most powerful enemy that has ever sought to oppress other nations, against a group of powerful enemies who have sought to dominate the world. These five years of war have brought into being possibilities for future destruction beyond the imagination of any of us here in this parliament. I say to my fellow members in this house and to my fellow Canadians, beware, beware of doing anything or letting anything be done that may give those enemies or the people of any land cause to believe that the democracies are weakening, that within and between themselves they are becoming divided with the consequence that in their own eyes the power our enemies, present or future, may possess or come to possess may come to loom much greater than anything they behold elsewhere. We, as I say, have passed the day when local issues or provincial issues-I might almost say the issues in any one country itself-can be separated from the larger question of how this world is going to hold together in the next few years in a way which will enable men to enjoy liberty, and to preserve their lives and their homes.

All of that is at stake at this present time. And so, Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. friend the leader of the C.C.F. party (Mr. Coldwell) for helping to join in making as nearly possible as can be a unanimous vote in this house on the resolution before us. I thank, too, my hon. friend the leader of the Social Credit party (Mr. Blackmore) for what he has done in the same direction. I thank hon. members around me, here, for the support that I know they are going to give to this resolution.

In my heart, I am profoundly sorry that I cannot thank the leader of the opposition, or the followers who are behind him.

At this late hour I do not wish to detain the house many minutes longer. I do, however, before concluding, desire to add a word or two respecting what has been said in the course of this debate about broken promises, and faith in public men. Much has been said about those two things in the course of this debate, and they should not be allowed to pass unnoticed. Perhaps in referring to them I may be able the better to make my own position clear, and to make clear to the house what is before it in respect of the resolution on which we are now about to vote.

War Effort-Government Policy

First of all, as to pledges. It is true that before the present war, recalling the results of the introduction of conscription in the last war, and more particularly the methods employed to secure its introduction and its enforcement, I, like others of my party, and many of all parties in Canada, took the position that, if Canada were to participate in another European war I would not support but would oppose conscription for service overseas.

After the outbreak of war, in the general elections of 1940, I, along with the leaders, and most of the members, of all parties, with the possible exception of the Social Credit party, took the position that conscription for service overseas should not be resorted to. That was at a time when it was generally believed thfit the war would be primarily a European war.

I wish to emphasize the point that when I gave the undertaking I did, it was given to the country as a whole, and not to any province or section of the country.

Time went by, and one country after another in Europe was invaded and overrun by the armed forces of nazi Germany. Italy, on June 10, 1940, and Japan on December 7, 1941, just three years ago today, joined the nazi aggressors in an all-out effort to dominate the world. It became increasingly apparent, that the pledges given not to resort to conscription for service overseas might, at some time, prevent the government of our country from taking a step which might become necessary to maintain our fighting forces in the field, and which would be necessary to enable them to do their part in the preservation of our freedom, bound up as it is with the freedom of all the allied nations.

In anticipation of such a possibility, a plebiscite was held on April 27, 1942. As a result of the plebiscite the Canadian people as a whole, to whom the pledges had been made, released the government and all parties in this house from all pledges respecting conscription, and gave to all complete freedom, from that time forward, to take in this war whatever course in their judgment was necessary and advisable in support of the cause for which our armies are fighting.

Bill 80 was subsequently introduced and the National Resources Mobilization Act amended in 1942 so as to permit, if necessary, the use of conscription for service overseas. The issue of conscription for overseas service was settled, once Bill 80 became law.

As head of the administration, I undertook, at that time, that the power conferred by Bill 80 would not be used unless it became necessary. I also undertook that it would be used if that became necessary and advisable. That

pledge I gave to this House of Commons. It was no less a pledge to the people of Canada as a whole. Above all, it was a pledge to our army overseas that it would not lack support in its fight, in association with the forces of the allied nations, to preserve Christian civilization and human freedom.

That was two and a half years ago. Canada is fortunate indeed that the need has not arisen until this late date in the war. The need having arisen, by ensuring against any possible lack of reinforcements, I feel that to-day I am keeping faith with this House of Commons, with the people of Canada, and with the fighting men in Canada's army overseas.

War Effort-Government Policy

Macmillan Ross (Calgary East)

MeNevin Ross (Hamilton East)

Marier Ross (Middlesex East)

Marshall Ross (Moose Jaw)

Martin St. Laurent

Matthews Sanderson

May bank Shaw

May hew Sinclair

Michaud Sissons

Mitchell Slaght

Mulock Soper

Mutch T aylor

Nicholson Thauvette

Nielsen, Mrs. Tomlinson

Nixon Tripp

Noseworthy Tucker

O'Neill Turgeon

Pinard Turner

Pottier V eniot

Purdy Ward

Queleh Warren

Ralston Weir

Reid Whitman

Rennie Winkler

Rickard Wood

Roebuck Rose Wright-143.

NAYS Messrs:

Adamson Hazen

Authier Homuth

Bence Jackman

.Bertrand (Prescott) Laeombe

Black (Cumberland) LaCroix

Black (Yukon) Laflamme

Blanchette Lafontaine

Bonnier Lalonde

Boucher Lapointe (Lotbiniere)

Bourget Leader

Brooks Leclerc

Bruce Lockhart

Brunelle McDonald (Pontiac)

Cardiff McGregor

Cardin MacKinnon

Casselman (Kootenay East)

(Grenville-Dundas) MacNicol

Choquette Neill

Church Parent

Cloutier Perley

Crete Picard

d'Anjou Pouliot

Denis Raymond

Desmond Rheaume

Diefenbaker Ross < St. Paul's)

Dorion Ross (Souris)

Dubois Rowe

Dubuc Roy

Esling Ryan

Eudes Senn

Ferron Stirling

Fournier (Maison- Stokes

neuve-Rosemont) Sylvestre

Graydon Tremblay

Green Tustin

Halle Harris (Danforth) White-70. PAIRS

(The list of pairs is furnished by the chief whips.) Messrs:

Telford Hanson (York-Sunbury)

Evans Aylesworth

Mills Fraser

(Peterborough West)

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   POLICY OF THE GOVERNMENT IN MAINTAINING VIGOROUS WAR EFFORT-CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON MOTION OF THE PRIME MINISTER
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LIB

James Horace King (Minister Without Portfolio; Leader of the Government in the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Mr. Speaker, I thank the house for undertaking to aid the government in maintaining a vigorous war effort. I now move that the house adjourn.

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   POLICY OF THE GOVERNMENT IN MAINTAINING VIGOROUS WAR EFFORT-CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON MOTION OF THE PRIME MINISTER
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON:

I understand that the house adjourns until the 31st of January. Is it the intention, if the house then is convened, to commence a new session the day afterwards, as is usually the custom?

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   POLICY OF THE GOVERNMENT IN MAINTAINING VIGOROUS WAR EFFORT-CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON MOTION OF THE PRIME MINISTER
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LIB

James Horace King (Minister Without Portfolio; Leader of the Government in the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I cannot

answer that question. May I say to my hon. friend that it will all depend upon circumstances as they exist at the time. My hon. friend may rely on the government doing what it believes to be in the best interests of the country.

Motion agreed to and the house adjourned at 120 a.m. until Wednesday, January 31, 1945, at three o'clock in the afternoon.

Wednesday, January 31, 1945.

The house met at three o'clock.

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   POLICY OF THE GOVERNMENT IN MAINTAINING VIGOROUS WAR EFFORT-CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON MOTION OF THE PRIME MINISTER
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PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT

MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SECRETARY

LIB

Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I have the honour to inform the house that I have received the following message:

Ottawa, January 29, 1945.

Sir:

I have the honour to inform you that the Honourable Thibaudeau Jtinfret, the Chief Justice of Canada, acting as Deputy of His Excellency the Governor General, will proceed to the Senate chamber on Wednesday the 31st of January at 3 p.m. for the purpose of proroguing the present session of parliament.

I have the honour to be, sir,

Your obedient servant,

F. L. C. Pereira, Assistant Secretary to the Governor General.

Topic:   PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT
Subtopic:   MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SECRETARY
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August 12, 1944