September 2, 1950


Alistair McLeod Stewart

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

Mr. Alistair Stewart (Winnipeg North):

Mr. Speaker, foreign policy and that which cannot be divorced from it, namely defence policy, are usually evolved on the basis of calculated risks. That is easy to understand, for one cannot possibly hope to take care of every contingency which may arise. What we therefore hope for is that the calculations are based on the best and soundest judgment.

I share the fear of the hon. member for Lambton-Kent (Mr. MacKenzie) that the United States has made an error in policy with regard to Formosa; and it is right and proper that we should consider that policy here because we are going to be directly affected by it either as a close neighbour and a good friend of the United States or else, of course, at the security council.

I have consistently taken the position that our policy with regard to China should be directed toward keeping that country neutral in either a hot or a cold war. I do not deceive myself by thinking that we can secure an ally in China. But I am not yet convinced in my own mind that China is thoroughly in the grip of the Soviet union. I find it hard to believe that the Chinese people will become a willing tool of the Kremlin. After all, they are members of an ancient and a proud nation. I may be wrong, but I do not think that they will be content to suffer under the yoke of soviet domination. If the policy of the western world then should be directed to keeping China neutral as far as possible, I say again that an error has been made in American policy towards Formosa; for that policy seems to have been tailored with the idea of antagonizing China; and we may be involved.

I think that the United States took one of the biggest gambles in all its history last June when it decided to try to isolate Formosa from the civil war which had been raging on the mainland. Unfortunately, there may have been an element of bluff about this gamble because I doubt very much whether, if the

The Address-Mr. A. Stewart

Peiping regime decided to take Formosa by force, the United States has adequate vessels or troops on hand to repel an invasion. In international affairs it is always a mistake to place yourself in a position where your bluff may be called. .

There is a fear afflicting not only Asians but also many in the western world that the United States, while it is ostensibly defending Formosa, is in reality defending Chiang Kai-shek. There is a fear-and there is a basis for that fear-that there may have been another orientation of policy on the part of the United States. The reason for that we need not enter into here. I think most of us are familiar with the stresses and strains of American politics. We are concerned, however, with the net result.

I was discouraged by the visit of General MacArthur at the beginning of August to Chiang Kai-shek. I think that visit merely added fuel to the flames of fear which already obsessed many Asians about the policies of the west towards them. Not only was the visit misguided but what was even worse-and I do not know whether this was done with or without the consent of the state department-not long afterwards not only was advice given to Chiang Kai-shek from General MacArthur's headquarters but also supplies were sent. We had the extraordinary situation, a few days ago, of General MacArthur-whom I regard at this moment not so much as an American general but as a general in command of the United Nations forces, which include Canadian forces, so he has some responsibility to Canada-trying to make policy in the Far East.

That was a blunder which, of course, the soviets are going to capitalize on to the very limit. The pity is that American blunders in the Far East have been so much worse than their crimes. They have that advantage over the Soviet union. The Soviet's crimes against humanity have been unforgivable. But there is shared by many responsible observers the fear that the United States once again is becoming entangled in Chiang's ambitions; and if that is going to happen, then obviously the United States is going to play the role which the Soviet union desires to see it play.

It is one of the aims of the Soviet union to isolate, as far as possible, the United States from its friends and allies. I am certain that it will not succeed in doing so. Nevertheless, the policy with regard to Formosa has perhaps estranged to some extent the people of India and has certainly made the position of the United Kingdom more than uncomfortable. The United Kingdom has recognized the Peiping regime, and now it

tMr. Stewart (Winnipeg North).]

sees its best friend and benefactor apparently aiding those who are opposed to it. The predicament then in which the British government finds itself is easily recognized. But we know what the policy of the Soviet union is. We know what they would like to have us do, and I do not think any of us is going to be lured into such a position that we shall desert the United States. It is only right, however, that the United States should know clearly and unequivocably what our position is.

Discussing the possibility of a red attack on Formosa, the hon. member for Lambton-Kent this afternoon said that it would complicate matters. That was a notable understatement. I can imagine few contingencies more dreadful, because I think that today the potentialities of the Formosan situation are much more dangerous than those in Korea. I believe that Russia would ask for nothing more than that the United States should be embroiled in a war with the Chinese government. That would suit Russian policy admirably, and unfortunately the Americans seem to be playing the role according to Russian desires.

I do not share the fear of many that Russia is at this moment prepared on its own part for active aggression. Russia does not need to indulge in aggression so long as it can get others to do its fighting for it, as in Korea, as might conceivably happen in a moment of tragedy if war were to result between the United States and China, as might happen if non-government members in Indo-China staged a revolt, as might happen today in Greece if the Bulgars carried even further their sporadic raids across into Grecian territory, as might happen today in Germany where in the east there are many Germans only too willing to play the part of Russian puppets and perhaps attack the west. In that case, if we were to defend all those danger spots by going to war, we should find ourselves so weakened and so enfeebled, while the Soviet union itself remained strong and powerful, that the fate of the western world would be precarious. For that reason, if for none other, I welcome the fact that Formosa is going to be presented to the United Nations, and that the United Nations will decide as to what shall be done there.

I agree completely with my leader, the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell), when he suggests that one of the best things which could be done would be the ejection from Formosa of Chiang Kai-shek. I need not dwell at all upon the demerits of that late ruler of China. The hon. member for Lamb-ton-Kent (Mr. MacKenzie) did an admirable job on them this afternoon; but I am certain

that much tension would be relieved if Chiang Kai-shek could be removed from Formosa, and certainly tension will be relieved when the matter comes before the United Nations, and when the United States accepts the advice of that body.

The situation as regards Korea of course is obviously different. There can be no question in the minds of any of us as to the cor-rectitude and the rectitude of the action which the United Nations is now taking. Here was a clear case of aggression, and it was one which if collective security had reality had to be stopped. The United Nations working together have set up police action to stop it; and while today the news seems a little brighter than it has in the past few weeks, nevertheless I do not think we should take too much comfort from it, for I suspect that the operations there will last many long and weary months.

As has been pointed out by other speakers, we made blunders in Korea, blunders which have cost us dearly, as we have made blunders in other Asian areas. We supported the forces of reaction. We supported exiles whom their countrymen had almost forgotten. We supported collaborators of the Japanese; and although our motives were good, the political effect was serious.

The Japanese owned altogether some 80 per cent of the wealth of the island when they were thrown out. In North Korea, the industrial area of the country, the Russians took over the plants, took over the factories, organized and unionized the workers, and gave them the hope that so many Asians today are looking for, namely, the hope of a better living. In South Korea, unfortunately, those who eventually got control of the land were the very collaborators who had worked with the Japanese; and as history shows, those who possess the wealth of a nation very rapidly become its rulers. In that case, then, we need not be unduly surprised if the troops of South Korea have not shown the same enthusiasm as have the troops of North Korea in recent battles.

We know what we are fighting against. There can be no question, no shadow of a doubt about that. We are fighting against soviet aggression, soviet imperialism. What is perhaps more important, I wonder how many people know what we are fighting for. Few of the Asian people know what the western world is fighting for in Korea. They have been given the Russian side of the story. Mr. Malik, while he was chairman of the security council, directed all his speeches to Asia. He did a far better job on propaganda in many ways than we did.

The Address-Mr. A. Stewart

I refer to the remarks of my leader the other day when he told us that he had listened to those broadcasts over the Mutual Broadcasting Company between alleged experts on this side of the water and reporters in Japan. I heard two of them; and on each occasion Mr. J. B. McGeachy from Toronto was the Canadian member of the board. Each time he asked this question: "What are we fighting for?" and each time he got no answer, or something which was completely and utterly unsatisfactory. I assume that we are not fighting of necessity to put Syngman Rhee back where he was. I assume we are not fighting to put the collaborators back in the position of power which they occupied. I hope we are fighting for the freedom of the people of Korea and, if possible, for a united Korea, for the chance of Koreans to live their lives and to decide on their own form of government, and to live in freedom and with some security. I think that is the aim of the United Nations. If it is the aim it has not yet been sufficiently publicized throughout Asia.

In his speech the other day the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearsoij) used these profoundly true words, as reported at page 90 of Hansard of August 31:

Military strength is absolutely necessary, of course, but it must be supplemented by imaginative economic and social programs if the march of communism as a social and economic doctrine is to be halted.

That is true. This is not the first time he has uttered such words, nor is it the first time that I have, but unfortunately while he states that is the policy of his government, I have yet to find out what the government proposes to do or what it has done to implement that lofty aspiration. I heard only a faint echo of the applause which he received and I see only his words in Hansard. The time has come to put into practice these things which he says should be done.

A few days ago the British Labour party published a document whicjh eventually may become official, in the sense that it may become British governmental policy. It was a world plan for mutual aid, with the intention of attacking poverty throughout the world no matter where it exists. The hope is that all free peoples will contribute to this plan in an attempt to raise the standards of living all over the globe, and by this most practical and concrete way combat communism. I still believe that bread and butter are more inimical to communism than guns ever will be. The purpose of this fund, plan, call it what you like, is to take the place of Marshall aid when it stops. Its purpose is to help those in the underprivileged areas to have roads built, bridges built, factories


The Address-Mr, A. Stewart built and equipped and staffed with competent workmen; to irrigate lands so that crops may be raised, so that in turn the people might be fed. There is something in which I think we could play a noble and magnanimous part.

I refer again to a remark, a suggestion given by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar to this house last year; and it is one which perhaps might save us yet from a sea of troubles. It was to this effect: that the Canadian government should enter into negotiations with the United Kingdom government to find out what that country needed from us in the way of foodstuffs and vital raw materials. Payments would be made in sterling. The first effect would be to guarantee our primary producers on the prairies and on the farms everywhere, in the logging camps and our fisherman also that there would be some market for the commodities which they produce or were able to sell on that market. Secondly, it would conserve the United Kingdom dollars which they still need. Thirdly, the sterling balances in London would not be frozen there as a debt of the United Kingdom to Canada, but they would be converted in turn into aid given to those underprivileged areas.

If we were to follow a policy such as that we would, I feel, kill several birds with one stone, and still carry out the policy which the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) desires to see carried out, as I am sure do many of the rest of us. It will be argued, and has been argued, although not with much vehemence now, that our program is costly. The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) told us the other night that taxes would have to be raised in Canada, and I think none of us have any illusions about the matter. Taxes will have to be raised, and taxes must be raised. But they have got to be raised with justice and equity.

The situation today among vast numbers of the working people is that the unseen tax of inflation is taking from them so much that if they are otherwise taxed directly by the government they will fall substantially below the standard of living which we should like to see in Canada. The government openly and willingly, under its own policy, has decided that this inflationary spiral shall be permitted to continue. Today, I believe, the index has reached almost 170. Inflation is taxing the incomes of the primary producers and the workers in this country without mercy.

If taxation is to be raised, as it must be, then I hope it wiP not be indirect taxation.

I hope it will be direct, so that we shall know what we are paying. I hope, too, that it

will not be levied upon the poorer-paid members of our community. But if, perchance, owing to the nature of the financial provisions which we must make, they must accept some share of it, then I think it would be wrong to tax them in the sense of their paying income tax. If they have to pay anything, then it should be done as it was done during the war, by way of compulsory savings. It would not be right to penalize the poorer members of our society any more than they are already being penalized.

There will be of course additional taxation on corporations. This year is going to be probably the best year, so far as profits are concerned, that Canadian corporations have ever experienced. They may even, I hope, be asked to pay excess profits taxes-and I hope they will be heavy. I say that because I see no reason why corporations, or others for that matter, should be allowed to make excess profits out of a national emergency. If there is an excess profits tax it will have to be based upon a certain period. That period might be 1940-1944, because I do not think corporations should be allowed to make any more out of this emergency that they did during the war.

I have spoken about inflation; and there are dangers associated with inflation, especially when we are trying to bring all our people together in an attempt to achieve a national aim. One of the dangers of the inflationary spiral is the renewed set of demands on the part of organized labour for higher wages. Who is there who will blame labour when they see how prices are going up all around them?

It is not unnatural for the Canadian worker to compare his income with that of his coworker on the other side of the boundary line, in the United States. I have been in the United States several times in the last two or three years. Each time I go I take the opportunity to go into the stores and the groceterias to see how prices are over there. By and large, with certain exceptions, the prices which the American workingman has to pay for those commodities he requires to live are lower than the prices his Canadian counterpart has to pay. Yet there is quite a disparity in the wages earned by the two groups.

In this connection I turn to the figures for 1946, the year following the war, and the latest figures I have been able to obtain for 1950. In the United States between 1946 and 1950 there were certain significant price movements. Wholesale prices over there increased by some 26 per cent in that time, whereas wholesale prices in Canada during the same period increased by 47 per cent. As one would expect, extending from the

increased wholesale prices, the cost of living was affected. However in the United States it was up only to the extent of 20 per cent while in Canada it was up by 33 per cent. Let it be remembered that in Canada wages have not kept pace with this increase.

The real wages of American workers increased in that period by some $2.46 a week whereas the real wages of Canadian workers have increased by only about $1.25 per week. It may be argued that in those four years we saw the greatest increase in wages that Canadian workers had yet received. That is true; I will not deny it. The average hourly earnings of a man in 1946 were about 70 cents whereas in 1950 they were $1.02, or an increase of roughly 45 per cent.

But when we say that the income of the wage earner increased we must remember that unearned income also increased. The profits of the 450 corporations mentioned in the Bank of Canada statistical summary increased altogether by some 66 per cent. If there is going to be justice in this country in a common effort, then the taxation of corporations must be such as to let the average individual feel that unearned income is not being given preference over earned income.

Along with that it is in the opinion of our party essential that price controls be reinstituted, not in the sense of the rigid controls mentioned today by the hon. member for Edmonton West (Mr. Prudham), but in a much more selective sense than was necessary in the early days of the war. Not only should price controls be instituted for, let us say, the necessary commodities of life, but subsidies might also have to be granted.

The argument against that is that we lack the constitutional power. The question arises: Are we or are we not at war? To the legal mind it may be argued that our action in Korea is merely compliance with United Nations obligations on the part of Canada, and that technically we are not at war. However, I feel that the brigade going to Korea may see neither the difference nor the distinction in the legal technicality. That is a point which perhaps the courts might consider.

But if we are not at war, then according to the motions which the government is going to present to us, we are assuredly in a state of apprehended war, and certain action will have to be taken for the peace, order and good government of the country. I find it difficult to believe that any court in Canada or outside Canada would reject legislation if, in the face of apprehended war, this parliament decided that it would be advisable to reintroduce price controls and subsidies. I do not think

The Address-Mr. Poulin the constitutional question is a barrier today. I believe the real barrier is a lack of desire on the part of the government to institute these very necessary controls. This is all most regrettable because the people of Canada must have some protection, and they can have that protection only from their own democratically-elected government.

Whether or not we are concerned about the costs of an apprehended war, no matter how real the apprehension may be, we must not permit those costs to blind us to the fact that there is a great group of people in this country, our old age pensioners, our senior citizens, who still lack security-and security is the right of every person in a democracy.

I hope the coming appropriations will not be used as an excuse to prevent the removal of the means test, and some amelioration in the conditions of the older people in this country. The responsibility is that of the government. They will take the odium or they will take the praise. But I know that their share will be odium if they do not give protection to the people of Canada from an unseemly rise in the cost of living, by the institution of controls and the provision of necessary subsidies.



Raoul Poulin


Mr. Raoul Poulin (Beauce):

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join with the hon. members who have preceded me in this debate in offering to the mover (Mr. Cannon) and the seconder (Mr. Bennett) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne the usual congratulations. I do so not merely because it is the custom but because I am convinced they have ably performed their difficult duty and shown they well deserve the confidence placed in them.

Canada is now facing a complex situation. Important and tragic events are happening thousands of miles from our coasts, for which we are in no way to blame. War rages all over Korea, a small country in Asia. The physical cause of this war lies in the fact that at the end of the world war, two great powers, both our allies, both interested in that part of the world, Russia and the United States, arbitrarily divided the territory of that country in two parts. This division, awkward, artificial and perhaps somewhat selfish, has resulted in the invasion of one section of the country by the other.

From the humane point of view, the invasion of South Korea by the people of North Korea might be regarded simply as a sort of brutal reuniting of two members of the same family

The Address-Mr. Poulin whose guardians had felt able to keep asunder in order to exploit them more thoroughly.

It would then be a civil war. In that case, why should we take sides in a family squabble? Should we not let the estranged brothers settle their differences in their own way? When civil war was raging in China, Canada did not meddle, nor did the United States.

But apart from the physical cause, political reasons over which Canada had no control contributed to bring about this war. Clever and well managed propaganda does much to show-and perhaps rightly-that behind the North Korean aggressor lurks the Russian bear, that it is a war of communist ideology against democracy and freedom. This is just short of saying that not only is Canada's territorial integrity endangered, but that the liberty, religion and way of life of her people are at stake. And we have to vote millions of dollars, take up arms, dispatch ships, airplanes, men, a special brigade in order to stem the advance of our communist enemy and help our allies who, in turn, will help us.

I am all for helping our allies, or avoiding isolationism. I agree too that we should fight communism. But how are we to go about it?

To take up arms against communism in a far-away land may be a fine thing; but it would have been much wiser to squelch it at home in the first place, to stifle its propaganda at the start to prevent its peddlers from travelling here, there and everywhere, going abroad for instructions in communist countries, and especially to deny them the right to stand as candidates for public office. It has been stated lately in this house that there are very few communists in Canada. However, in the last election, the communist candidate in Cartier received over 4,000 votes. That is why I should have been pleased if, during the last session, all communist activity in this country had been banned by an act of parliament.

Let us seek to bring happiness to all peoples; strive to give the destitute at least the bread they need to stay their hunger and brighten their outlook; offer the various nations the means to develop in accordance with the normal bent of their national, religious and cultural aspirations; help peoples to establish their economy in such a way that they will not always be the menials of a group of countries who enslave and exploit them, thus fostering feelings of hate and resentment. There we have a very

incomplete and imperfect account of means less costly and less inhuman than war and which, however, remain the first and best weapon against communism. By all means, let us help our allies in the Korean war. Still we might do well to examine the sequence of events at the time of the aggression. It might enable us to foresee at the same time what may happen in the future and, as a result, would help us to determine the attitude we will have to take now.

The aggression began on June 25. On June 27 the President of the United States ordered the protection and support of the South Korean government troops. It was only several hours later the same day that the security council recommended to the members of the United Nations to bring assistance to Korea. It is therefore undeniable that the United States took sides in this issue before receiving the order to do so from the security council. Anyone doubting this statement need only refer to page 268 of the July 1950 number of External Affairs to see that as the hon. the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) admitted himself:

The United States government took this position on its own authority.

Can this not lead to serious misuse of the organization whose might and influence are exercised with such power among the United Nations?

It might be said that this first premature decision was timely, but who knows, should it happen again, that the same will hold true. In other instances the interests of the United States might conflict with those of the United Nations. What would happen then if a premature action were again taken? We would find ourselves in a dilemma and, because of the precedent, we would be compelled to carry on against our will, against common sense and against our own interests.

Today it is Korea, tomorrow it will be Formosa. What about Formosa, the defence of which is being prepared? There an attempt will also be made to save the wreckage of nationalist China in her last positions, those concerned having forgotten to defend her on the continent. Did not the commander-in-chief of the United Nations forces just state that an attack against Formosa would start a general war?

After Formosa, perhaps the Philippines, then Indo-China and so on. Nevertheless we shall go ahead because, as we are told, we are bound by our signature.

Instead of rushing headlong into the fight could not Canada have tried something else in order to help her allies? Could she not have brought pressure to bear by means of peaceful tactics?

It seems that nations must have a police force. Since when has the revolver been the only weapon used by the police in apprehending bandits, and would it be true that they must of necessity kill those over whom they want the upper hand? Is blowing on a fire the only way to put it out?

That is not what was indicated recently under other circumstances. In a book entitled "Canada and the United Nations", published by the external affairs department, one reads, on page 18, a number of general remarks from which the following extract is taken:

. . . the security council was the instrument in 1949 through which the international community dealt with three dangerously inflammable problems- Indonesia, Kashmir and Palestine. In most difficult circumstances, the security council managed in all three areas to bring an end to fighting when it occurred.

The most effective action taken by the security council related to Indonesia. When the year began, a major military engagement had been undertaken in Indonesia and it seemed that nothing but a trial of strength lasting over an indefinite period would bring a solution to the political problems of that part of the world. Before the end of the year, however, an agreement had been reached between the people of the Netherlands and the people of Indonesia which gives every evidence of providing a permanent basis of settlement.

Should Canada have taken such a stand it would have been no cause for surprise, since it would have been strictly in keeping with her obligations. I notice at page 241 in appendix 7 of the book from which I have just quoted a resolution carried by the general assembly regarding the essentials of peace. Canada voted in favour of the said resolution introduced on December 1, 1949. I now quote paragraph 11:

The general assembly calls upon every nation to settle international disputes by peaceful means.

Do you not think that that would be an excellent way of helping our allies? Some answer that it would have been of no avail; perhaps, but who can say? And further:

-in connection with three dangerously inflammable problems . . . where it seemed that nothing but a trial of strength would bring a solution-

Are we sure that what succeeded so well in 1949 would have been less efficient in 1950?

Again, some may say that it would not have been sufficient. Perhaps; but Canada can do more and I am in favour. I am not against

The Address-Mr. Poulin voting reasonable appropriations for defence, I am not opposed to voluntary enlistment, even on a large scale, as long as those Canadian soldiers remain in Canada. It would be very costly to send an expeditionary force to a foreign country mainly on account of the distances involved. Canada's financial resources are far from being inexhaustible. The $15 billion spent during the last war have had bitter consequences, as we are all aware. It is also well known that people in the low income groups feel more than others the brunt of economic depressions, which inevitably result from excessive spending.

Freedom is said to be priceless. Just the same it would be paying too high a price for it if we have to throw ourselves into an economic mess so great that it would be impossible for us to enjoy it. What would you say if the head of a family, in order to get his family out of the slum conditions in which they lived, would use all his savings to buy a sumptuous abode into which it would be impossible for him to move without depriving his family of essential things? He would certainly have paid too high a price for that liberty, because his family would not be in a position to enjoy it.

Our military defence must be organized at home. We have a vast underpopulated country with extended and widely separated coast lines; it is dotted with huge wastelands, including our large barren northland which an enemy could not easily reach, but which also could not be easily defended. Spanned by extensive waterways, of great importance to our economy and, in part, within easy reach of enemy submarines, Canada has some densely populated cities of strategic importance on account of their industries. These might have to be declared open cities, because they could not be adequately protected.

Our country, as I have just described it, must concentrate all its productive powers. I declare without fear that the skill of our trained soldiers, the strength of all our young men, the experience of all our grown men, the abilities of all our young women, the development of all our resources, all that is not too much to maintain in Canada a proper standard of living. Canada needs all those skills to ensure our own protection and to put us in the convenient and effective position of "armed and benevolent neutrality" which has so well served the cause of our common allies when practised by a powerful country which today does not seem to want to recog-

The Address-Mr. Poulin nize its timeliness and efficiency, and which is therefore turning its back so lightly on her past.

Would not the defence of our country be the surest and most practical way of helping our allies and neighbours, the United States?

It is planned to send a special brigade of Canadian soldiers to Korea or anywhere the government sees fit. I feel impelled to stand strictly against that for reasons already stated. We need those skills for the defence of our country, and it would be too burdensome for the Canadian people. Another reason, and not the least, is that this levy of volunteers would sooner or later bring conscription for service beyond our shores.

I believe the government have the best of intentions. I believe they are sincere when they speak of volunteers, and that they have no wish at this time to conscript our young men for service outside this country. However, when all the volunteers shall have been used up who will replace the dead, the wounded or the missing, especially if-as we may foresee-events such as are happening in Korea occur in several places in the world?

The lessons of the past, those learned by the Conservative government in the first world war, those learned by the Liberal government during the last war, prove that it is easy to decide how to start a war but that one is powerless to decide how to end it. Promises are forgotten, walls are broken down and the people have to pay for unconsidered and hasty decisions taken in the first enthusiasm and soon forgotten or denied in the heat of war.

The people of Quebec have stated in 1942 their attitude towards conscription. Even though they have not had any opportunity to further state their position since, we may rightfully assume they have not changed their minds.

Mr. Speaker, I have no wish to labour the point. I have expressed an opinion, at least I very humbly endeavoured to justify views which, I am aware, are not shared by the majority of members but are shared and upheld, I believe, by the majority of electors of the constituency of Beauce who have asked me to represent them in the parliament of their country.

I have dealt with a timely, thorny and ticklish matter. I have tried to speak in a calm, objective manner. I did not seek, and I was careful not to stir up any passions or drag in old grudges. When my constituents

read my humble speech, if they do so, they will find that I have spoken in this house, on this difficult occasion, with respect, dignity and frankness typical of the fair population of Beauce.



James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. M. Macdonnell (Greenwood):

Mr. Speaker, we have been called here to this special session to deal with two matters of great importance, the railway strike and the situation in Korea which, of course, involves considerations going far beyond Korea. The first of these matters has been dealt with, and we are in the midst of debating the second. I suppose it is not straining ordinary language to say that this is a matter of the greatest gravity to us. Perhaps if one uses the words "a matter of life and death" one is not exaggerating. Yet I believe anyone who was in this chamber this afternoon at three o'clock, and saw half the members absent, would have thought it was a strange commentary on the seriousness of the situation. I am not blaming those who are away. Perhaps they have the feeling that some of the rest of us have, that we are in the hands of a government which will pay no attention to the reasonableness of requests, and which will turn down a request proffered by all those who are free to express their views. What I really complain about is that, without the semblance of what anyone would call a reason of any kind-the only reason being the will of the majority and we know too well what that means - a request is turned down. The majority were not prepared to express their views, but were prepared to be absent today. On that, I have nothing more to say.

I come now to consider the grave problems which face us. We have the Korean situation and all that flows from it. We cannot, of course, discuss it without having in the forefront of our minds the question of Russia. But I suggest it would be desirable, even though we have Russia on our minds, that we do not allow ourselves to have Russia on the brain. Some wise remarks were made this afternoon by the member for Lambton-Kent (Mr. MacKenzie) when he pointed to what I like to remind myself of, and what Mr. Churchill has often pointed out, that the Russians are not always so clever as we are inclined to think. They have their own difficulties. It is for that reason I deprecate our regarding war as already here. I deprecate statements such as the one made in this house last night that we are ninety per cent sure we shall have a war soon. Nobody knows that. I believe

the sensible words are the words which Churchill uses. I heard him in a broadcast just a week ago tonight in London. He says that we are in great danger, and although he did not add these words from Henry V then, I have no doubt he had them in mind:

Gloucester, 'tis true we are in great danger;

The greater therefore should our courage be.

What Churchill says is the practical thing. He says we may have, because of the atom bomb, some years of time; let us use them well in preparation. I suggest that that is the task of those of us who are here.

The member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis) well said last night that we are a kind of liaison with the citizens of Canada. I think we have a particular duty to see whether we can rise to the heights of that great challenge at a time when certainly the danger is great. I think we should also remind ourselves that in preparing for war we should, in spite of the difficulties and disappointments, try to reach out for every prospect of peace. We must remember that even in the most absolute monarchy the consent of the governed is not wholly an illusion. After all, from time to time we read of sabotage and absenteeism. After all, what are these purges for? They do not have purges because everything in the garden is lovely. They have purges because they still have people who are regarded as disloyal. I suggest that, without relaxing every effort for military preparation, we should not omit these other things which may have an importance that is often hard to believe.

I should like to consider the military situation briefly. Last night the member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes) dealt with the Pacific situation. I have no further comment to make on that. It seems to me lamentable in many ways. With the tide of battle swaying uneasily and perhaps uncertainly as it is in Korea today I doubt if we feel happy that there is not a single one of our men on the ground there-I mean literally on the ground, apart from the air or the sea-to help those who are so hard-pressed. What I want to do this evening is to spend a few minutes in dealing with the Atlantic scene and western Europe.

I need not take time to remind you of the vast importance of western Europe to us economically, because that is our traditional market. If anything happened to western Europe, I mean anything irreparable, if their economy were destroyed, it could be most serious for us. "Serious" is hardly a strong enough word to use. I need not remind you either of the strategical situation. On that I shall endeavour to say a word or two later.

The Address-Mr. Macdonnell

This summer I had the privilege of spending two days at Strasbourg during the meetings of the council of Europe. Briefly the council of Europe is a sort of parliament of Europe. It has no powers except powers of recommendation. It is made up of representatives, certainly in the case of England and I think in the other member countries, from all parties of the various parliaments of the countries represented on the council. It was interesting to be there, and to hear the discussions. The impression one brought away was of a people who were harried, oppressed and uncertain, who were in need of all the help that could be given. I was there when the Schuman plan was adopted; and one felt that while to us the Schuman plan, suggests merely the rationalization of iron and steel, to them in some strange way it seems to be a kind of new evangel, a kind of new gospel, which is going to enable them to heal, they hope, the age-old wounds of Europe and to come into a better day.

In that connection I should like to quote briefly, because it states what I have been saying and does so extremely well, from an article in Lloyd's Bank Review of July, written by an able English economist who, besides being skilled in economics, has a good deal of experience in government. He is reviewing this western European situation and he has this to say. This is quite a brief quotation but I think it goes to the very point at issue, and he sums up the situation which I think we ourselves have to face and which comes very close to us. No one who has been wafted across the Atlantic in one of the planes of the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) in a few hours can for one moment feel that Europe is any longer at a distance from us. We realize only too well what Wendell Willkie meant when he wrote "One World". Robbins, in this Lloyd's Bank Review, says this:

For the plain fact is that in the present or any probable future state of military preparation, the allies of western Europe, including Great Britain, are not likely to be able, unaided, to resist an invasion from the east-even if they were all to fight. It is not the military power of this group which, so far, has prevented the men in the Kremlin from letting their armies march ... it is the fear of the resources and power of the world beyond western Europe, which would inevitably be drawn into such a conflict.

And later he says:

It is, indeed, the central contention of this paper that, on the basis of the Atlantic pact, there has been achieved a grouping which, if developed and suitably consolidated, may yet arrest the tide of advancing barbarism and be a safeguard of peace and prosperity for as many years to come as it is sensible to think about. It is a grouping which can be sufficiently strong: it includes the main industrial power of two continents. It is a grouping within which we ourselves can wholeheartedly co-operate without fear of destroying existing connections . . .


The Address-Mr. Macdonnell

It is a grouping, moreover, which corresponds to the main area of our spiritual solidarity: the United States, equally with Europe and the commonwealth, is now the repository of the great tradition.

Having said that, I should like to read a sentence or two from a speech made by the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) in June last. That follows directly on what I have just read you from Lloyd's Bank Review. Speaking of the North Atlantic pact, as reported at page 3189 of Hansard of June 5, 1950, he says this:

North Atlantic strategy cannot mean, and our agreement does not imply, a strategy of liberation after destruction and occupation. There could be no hope for Europe in that strategy because the next time there may well be nothing to liberate.

I might add to that that it fits in exactly with what I heard said in the very short time I was in France, namely that they were tired of being liberated. They are not looking for that again. If we wish them to preserve themselves, it can only be done by the United States, the United Kingdom and whoever else is ready being able to help them in time. And "in time" of course does not mean after they have been overrun.

This house has approved the Atlantic pact. As a matter of fact, we have not only approved it but we have patted ourselves a good deal on the back because we had a great deal to do, so we say-and I have no reason to doubt it-with the preparation of it. Yet I think we should do some searching of heart to see what it has really amounted to. I think it was Mr. Reynaud a former premier of France, who dismissed it rather summarily by saying that it was just talk, talk, talk. I suggest that we should look searchingly and ask to be informed fully as to just what is involved in it, as to just what the aims are, and just how far we have got in giving effect to the far-reaching aims.

In June last, when the Secretary of State for External Affairs made his speech, I think we all approved of what he said. The objectives were approved by us. But I think some of us had the feeling at that time-certainly I myself had it-that there was not quite enough sense of urgency. It was either then or in his speech the other day, I am not quite sure which, that he said that of course these are plans that it will take time to work out. Indeed I felt, in listening to him, that at the rate we are going it might take many months or even some years before the thing became very practical.

My hope is, and it is the sole purpose of my remarks tonight, to try to put it to the government that we in this parliament should be put in a position to know what the situation is before we are asked to vote money; that we

was because things needed stimulating; that was because industry was at a somewhat low level, the absolute antithesis of the situation which we have now. This is the final quotation that I wish to read: *

With an economy at full production and employment, the only result of expanding money and credit is to raise prices without increasing production. At such a point commences the cumulative spiral of inflation with all its deadly consequences to the economy.

I suggest that those who made this decision seem to have forgotten September 12, 1939. It seems that this logic is irresistible. It seems to me that what I have read applies in the most inescapable manner to the situation of today. It seems to me quite clear that what has been done is exactly the opposite of what was considered to be the wise thing as set out at that time.


Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. H. W. Herridge (Kootenay West):

Mr. Speaker, I rise this evening to speak briefly and directly to the subamendment moved by our leader, the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell). I do so because that subamendment contains proposals which are of serious concern to many of the people I have the honour to represent. I refer to the proposals to secure some measure of economic stability at home and abroad.

I have found in travelling around my constituency since the house rose at the end of June that a great number of my constituents are concerned about this problem. They are concerned at home with-the question of rising prices and the inflationary spiral of rising costs. They are concerned with the effect it has on the thinking or, shall I say, the psychology of the people of this Dominion of Canada. Then, in addition, particularly since the advent of the Korean war, they are very much concerned that in addition to its military preparation for the defence of this country and in support of its pledges to the United Nations, -this government should do more at least to work in co-operation with the other nations for the development of economic stability in undeveloped countries.

I should like first to read the amendment moved by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) and the subamendment by my leader, so as directly to focus the attention of the house on these questions. The amendment of the leader of the opposition reads in this way:

We regret that Your Excellency's advisers have failed to provide adequately for the defence of Canada and have failed to take steps to deal with inflation and the rapidly rising cost of living.

The hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar, our leader, added the following as an amendment to the amendment:

by the imposition of price controls and the provision of necessary subsidies; we regret further

that Your Excellency's advisers have failed to include in Canada's defence program substantial economic aid for underdeveloped countries, for it is the opinion of this house that the spread of communism cannot be prevented by military action alone, but only by the provision, in addition, of all possible assistance to bring about social and economic progress in such countries.

As I said before, we in this group believe that our subamendment offers a program for the development of economic stability at home and abroad. The day before yesterday I listened with a great deal of interest to the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson), and noted with satisfaction that according to several statements he made on that occasion he must agree with a great portion of the contents of the subamendment moved by our leader. I was very interested to note that, as reported at page 90 of Hansard, he said this:

They can be met and overcome, as indeed they are being overcome, by the initiative of the free world in many places, notably in western Europe; but they cannot be defeated by military action alone. Military strength is absolutely necessary, of course, but it must be supplemented by imaginative economic and social programs if the march of communism as a social and economic doctrine is to be halted before it reaches a point at which a military attack will commend itself to the members of the politburo as likely to succeed.

My point is that, unfortunately, we in the House of Commons have listened on several occasions to very similar splendid statements but, to date, we see very little action on the part of the government to use its influence in the United Nations and in the domestic field to give effect to those high-sounding phrases -phrases with which we absolutely agree. This government has not given support to the proposal for a world food pool. This government has not given ear to the proposal of the agricultural producers of this country and the agricultural producers of the free world with respect to the distribution of food in undeveloped countries. This government has not brought the attention of the United Nations to the necessity for investment in underdeveloped countries, and the necessity for low-interest loans and, if necessary, gifts of equipment and so on.

In our opinion nothing has been done to convince the people of Asia, the peoples in the undeveloped portions of the world, that we are concerned in their welfare, their economic well-being and their economic security. I suggest that, as a concrete demonstration of our integrity, plans should now be drafted by the government, and announced, for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of South Korea, when this incident is ended.

I know very well that relatively we are a small nation, in population; but I think this

The Address-Mr. Herridge government can use its influence and its prestige in the United Nations to urge immediately the necessity of drafting a positive program for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of South Korea, so that we can prove to these people that we mean what we say, that we realize the necessity of giving assistance to them and that we intend to support a democratic regime. Our policy in my opinion should be a policy of helping the people of Asia, particularly, to help themselves. There they have masses of manpower and masses of labour. Surely if we face the problem in a constructive way, in co-operation with our fellow nations in the United Nations, we can do something constructive to turn the tide in Asia.

While I do not intend to speak at length this evening, I should like now to make a few suggestions to which effect could be given immediately, without great delay or expense on the part of the government or the United Nations Organization. I believe we should be bringing students to the North American continent from Asia, in large numbers, to be trained in our universities, technical schools and other institutions of that type. We should be bringing those students here so that we shall have a larger corps of people in those countries who will be trained in the principles of democratic institutions and democratic administration. We should have large numbers who are trained in our industrial techniques, and even greater numbers trained in our agricultural practices.

I suggest that is a program to which immediate effect could be given without any overall large expense. This would have a tremendous influence in my opinion and be of tremendous value in indicating to the people of those countries that we are interested in them and that we intend to help them to help themselves. When those countries, undeveloped and backward as they are in many respects, have established the democratic regimes which we hope will be established, they will require engineers, scientists, and scientific agriculturists. I am of the opinion that is something practical which could be done in the immediate future.

I am also of the opinion that we should supply to them surpluses of food and industrial equipment. These could be supplied in considerable quantities through the United Nations Organization and, I hope, as a result of prodding and insistence on the part of the Canadian government, and as a result of collective action by the United Nations. In my opinion it is only by means of economic stability that we can build permanent collective security. I look upon the military phase as



The Address-Mr. Herridge being something that is unfortunately necessary, a temporary phase. That is all I am going to say on that aspect of the question. I mention it because a large number of the people I have the honour to represent are concerned with that aspect of the question. When the Atlantic pact was adopted in this house we were informed that it was to be not only a military assistance pact but a pact to bring together the nations of the Atlantic union for mutual economic aid, for economic assistance. We all know that to date very little has been done in that respect. Now we have the Korean situation with its immediate military necessities. We in this group hope that this government will take the initiative and the lead, will use the prestige of Canada as a western progressive democratic nation to push these policies in the United Nations. I wish to refer briefly to the second portion of our amendment which deals with price controls and subsidies. The question of price controls and subsidies is of increasing concern to a large number of Canadians who are finding it most difficult to carry on under present conditions. I was interested in reading the amendment moved by the leader of the Progressive Conservatives. It is obvious to anyone who reads that amendment that our friends to the right are changing their tune. I am glad to see that. I was interested in reading Hansard of 1947 to note a reference to an article reported in the Toronto Star which was made by the high priest of free enterprise, the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Macdonnell). The quotation which he gave at that time reads as follows: It is not always easy to be as confident about the benefits of private enterprise as we would like to be. And if we should run into a minor recession, who is going to benefit by it? The Progressive Conservatives? No. The C.C.F. There are price agreements today. There are a lot of people trying to charge what the traffic will bear. If the businessmen really believed in freedom, they would not do that. Apparently, from what has occurred, some ousinessmen in this country do not believe in freedom. I continue to quote: Socialists say prices are going up. I say we are going to cure that by production. If we don't, then it is going to be too bad. When the emergency powers legislation was being considered in 1946 and 1947 our friends to the right voted against controls and pressed for the return to free enterprise and free markets. That action was quite justifiable from their point of view, believing as they did that that was the only solution to the economic instability existing at that time. But what are the facts? Do not forget that the hon. member for Greenwood said

that we were going to cure that condition by production. What he meant was rising prices. What has happened? Let us look at the figures of industrial and agricultural production. The figures I intend to give are based on an index of 100 for the period 1935-39. The index for industrial production for 1947 is given as 175-9; for 1950 it is 195-6. There you have a considerable increase in industrial production. The index for agricultural production for 1947 is 116, and for 1949, 121-8. I was not able to get the index for the total production in Canada for 1947 and 1950 but I submit that the figures for industrial and agricultural production reflect fairly well the increase in the total production in Canada between 1947 and 1950, an increased production which the hon. member for Greenwood suggested would lower prices. What has happened? The Canadian Statistical Review published by the bureau of statistics gives the following cost-of-living index figures: 1935-39 100 1947 135.5 1949 160.8 August 1, 1950 168.5 Instead of increased production reducing prices, with increased production we have had rising prices. Since the Korean incident there have been fluctuating and rapidly rising prices. I thing it can be truthfully said that the Progressive Conservative argument of 1947 has been proved definitely by the facts and figures to be invalid. I submit that the C.C.F. argument, which has been consistent throughout the years, that control and regulation are necessary in the modern state, has been proved to be valid. Regardless of our private opinions, in a modern industrial society increasing control must be exercised by the state. This group is concerned about whom those controls will benefit. We want controls and regulations to be in the interests of the people as a whole. When you have controls that work in that direction you have social democracy. When you have controls and regulations which are applied in the interests of a minority then you are walking toward fascism. Our group has consistently advocated state controls and regulations in order to provide stability and security for the larger number of people in this country under present conditions. I do not think any hon. member can challenge the fact that the program of this group in that respect has been vindicated. Before concluding I should like to bring to the attention of the house the serious condition that exists with regard to rising prices. I am interested to note that the champion of free enterprise on the opposite side from Winnipeg-I forget his constituency-is listening with apparent interest and I trust he learns something.


Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

I should like to give some figures contained in a review made by the Financial Post which I think most hon. members will admit has provided fairly accurate information on financial matters, prices and so on, throughout the years. Since the Korean war the prices of bread, sugar and meat have gone up. What about clothing? These are all things that affect the lives of the average person in this country, particularly that half of the population which has a relatively small income. Wool has increased ten per cent since the Korean war. Cotton has increased ten per cent; rubber footwear ten per cent; shoes ten per cent and furniture five per cent on the average and in some cases ten per cent. Certain types of electrical equipment have increased in price by twenty per cent.

What about building materials, in which so many veterans and others in this country are interested? Many of these people felt that at last they could begin to build homes at the beginning of this year when materials were coming into greater supply. What do we find in that respect? The prices of nails, steel and steel tools have gone up an average of 15 per cent. Paint has gone up an average of 7i per cent. What about lumber? I know a little about lumber, as does the hon. member for Comox-Alberni (Mr. Gibson), whom I see sitting over there and also listening with great interest. The fact is that the average price of lumber in Canada has increased to such an extent in the last six months that the cost of building an average home has increased $500. That is a most serious thing, Mr. Speaker, to people whose resources are limited. The increase since April 1 varies according to the locality and the type of lumber-

Topic:   HOUSE Of

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

-from 20 to 90 per cent. On April 1 this year dressed dimension timber was being sold in British Columbia for $45 a thousand. Today it is being sold for $87 a thousand from some mills.

Topic:   HOUSE Of

An hon. Member:


Topic:   HOUSE Of

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

Those prices have gone up, stimulated largely by the great United States demand for lumber, although on the whole there has been a relatively slight increase in the cost of operation of such companies and the manufacture of the lumber. Owing to the

The Address-Mr. Herridge increase in freight rates the cost of transportation has gone up, as we all know. That is reflected in the cost of living of the average person. What about telephone service? I have not the figures for British Columbia, but I have the Financial Post and I shall read the figures for Ontario. In Ontario the cost of long distance telephone calls has been increased by 20 per cent in recent months. Ontario local telephone calls have been increased by 10 per cent, and so we go on.

I have mentioned a few of the basic essentials in the cost of living, food, furniture, clothing, housing and transportation. All these have shown rapid increases. What is the result? It results not only in economic instability but also in psychological instability. In my opinion, Mr. Speaker, democracy cannot function and develop satisfactorily unless it operates in an atmosphere of relative security. In a period of insecurity an opportunity is provided to extremes of the right or left to appeal to the people suffering under such circumstances. The greatest necessity for democracy is at least a relative measure of security for the great mass of the population of the country.

What effect has this had on the working people? Union contracts are made for a year, some for two years, and in some cases as much as from three to five years. How can you expect labour stability, how can you expect labour peace when within the last three or four or five months-six months at the most-we have had these increases in the basic cost of living? Look at the insecurity of the average wage earner. Look at the insecurity of everybody in this country, wage earners, business people and others. Some contractors today are bidding exorbitant amounts for construction jobs because they are not quite certain what the cost of materials is going to be. I know one contractor who bid $36,000 for the construction of a wharf in my constituency on the basis of purchasing his lumber last April at $45 a thousand. Mind you, piling and timber products compose the greater portion of the materials used in the construction of wharves in a district such as mine. If he proceeds with the contract under present prices he may lose thousands of dollars.

That situation is permeating our whole economy. There is the position of the wage earner, the small businessman, the contractor, and all those people who are taking part in the development of the country. What about the old age pensioners? Last session we were talking about $50 a month for old age pensioners. The increases that have taken place already in the cost of living would have wiped out the advantage that the extra

The Address-Mr. J. G. L. Langlois $10 would have given them. What about the disability pensioners who received an increase of 25 per cent a year or two ago? Look at the increase in the cost of living. What about war veterans allowance? Surely parliament could do something about that in view of the increasing cost of living. What about industrial pensions? Many people have retired on small pensions that were bought with dollars that, twenty, thirty or forty years ago, purchased three to five times as much as dollars do today. What about those who have retired on annuities, the many little people living on fixed incomes of various types?

It is a most serious situation, Mr. Speaker. There is no question about it. Whether or not we like the suggestion of controls and regulations, if our economy is to remain on a democratic basis, if we are going to have the necessary measure of stability in the country, both economic and psychological, it is absolutely necessary that the government give immediate and serious attention to invoking a measure of price control and subsidies. Again I say that time has proven our policy correct in this respect. In the interests of the Canadian people as a whole,

I trust what are now, I am sure, the repentant Liberals and Progressive Conservatives will support the amendment to the amendment when the vote is taken.


Topic:   HOUSE Of

J. G. Léopold Langlois


Mr. J. G. L. Langlois (Gaspe):

Mr. Speaker,

I am pleased, at the outset of my remarks, to join with other members who spoke before in congratulating the mover (Mr. Cafmon) and the seconder (Mr. Bennett) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne on the excellent speeches they both delivered.

The hon. member for Iles-de-la-Madeleine has fulfilled his duty particularly well and I join with him in thanking the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) for the honour he has bestowed upon the electors of Iles-de-la-Madeleine in giving their representative in this house the opportunity once more to speak in this important debate. Indeed, Mr. Speaker, this is the second time in five years the representative of Iles-de-la-Madeleine has moved or seconded the address in reply to the speech from the throne. In 1945, at the first session of the twentieth parliament, I had the honour, as representative of the constituency of Gaspe, which included then the Magdalen islands, to second the motion for an address to- His Excellency the Governor General of Canada. The seconder has also carried out his task admirably well and I reiterate my congratulations to both speakers.


I also wish to congratulate the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) on his choice of two new ministers to head the Department of Labour and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The newly appointed ministers both have remarkable records of service in the armed forces and in the public service of Canada. They are highly qualified to fill their new appointments, and I feel sure I express the opinion of the house when I wish both of them every success in their new jobs.

Now that we have disposed of the important question of the railway strike, the attention of the house is directed toward the important problems arising out of the international situation and their implications so far as the affairs of Canada are concerned. Much has been said so far in this debate on these important subjects. I wish to draw the attention of the house, 'Mr. Speaker, more particularly to the remarks made last night by the member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes). I do not intend to attempt to surpass the efforts of my colleague from Vancouver Centre (Mr. Campney), who did a remarkable job in tearing that speech to pieces in the few moments at his disposal. I do want to convey, however, the impression that I gained last night as I listened to the speech. In one breath the hon. member said he blamed the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) for depriving the west coast of protection by sending three destroyers to Korea. In the next breath, and during the same speech, Mr. Speaker, he blamed the government for not having sent the army to Korea. It is hard for me, as I imagine it is for most members in this house, to reconcile the two ideas expressed in that speech by the member for Nanaimo.

At this stage I wish to join with my colleague, the member for Vancouver Centre, in asking our friends of the opposition to try to get together for once on this problem. I ask the member for Kamloops (Mr. Fulton) to repeat in this house the statement he made elsewhere when he requested the veterans of the last war not to join the special force for Korea. This statement is in direct conflict with the statement made last night by the military critic of the opposition, or should I say expert, the member for Nanaimo. I also hope that at an early stage in this debate we have the opportunity of hearing from the two Conservative representatives from the province of Quebec. I am curious to find out what they think on this subject, and I believe the people of the province of Quebec would also like to know whether these two hon. gentlemen will fall in line with the statements made by their leader and their colleague, the member for Nanaimo.

This international situation, Mr. Speaker, is grave, and has serious implications so far as the affairs of this country are concerned. I was glad to hear the speeches of the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson), and the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton). They both gave this house as full statements of the policy of their respective departments as the members could reasonably expect. Now that we are aware of the policies of these two departments, we are in a position to study the important measures which this house will be asked to pass in the next few days. Tonight we listened to a speech by the member for Beauce (Mr. Poulin). Since the hon. member for Beauce spoke in French, I shall comment on his speech in that language.


Tonight I had the pleasure of listening to the speech of the hon. member for Beauce (Mr. Poulin). I believe I am being fair to him in saying what follows is a summary, as complete as possible, of the remarks he made. The hon. member has contended that the Korean problem is but a family quarrel, a dispute between two sections of the same country that disagreed with one another and that it is a matter of uniting estranged brothers. Those are the exact terms he used.

I feel duty bound to set things straight and especially to point out to him that Korea was not divided into North and South Korea through a common understanding between the United States and Russia, as he seemed to imply in his remarks. Those who have seen the facts brought to light by our daily newspapers since the beginning of the conflict know that such is not the case. Everyone knows that North Korea is under communist domination. I do not believe it is necessary to quote facts to prove my contention. What is the government's policy in regard to Korea? Why is Canada taking part in the Korean conflict? In answer to those questions may I first be permitted to quote an editorial appearing under the signature of Mr. Camille L'Heureux, in Le Droit of Wednesday August 9. The item is entitled: "To safeguard peace". I quote:

Prime Minister St. Laurent announced Monday-night the policy the Canadian government will follow in order to ward off a new world war and, if we have the misfortune to be thrown into it, to ensure our freedom within the framework of the United Nations and the Atlantic pact.

This policy involves the setting up, through voluntary enlistment, of a special brigade, which will enable our country to fulfil its international obligations towards the United Nations and as a

The Address-Mr. J. G. L. Langlois signatory power of the Atlantic pact; intensification of recruiting for active service in Canada's air, ground and naval forces; increased production of war material of all kinds: planes, warships, munitions. [DOT]

Without hesitation, our paper gives support, in principle, to that policy. It also agrees with the general lines the Prime Minister has already indicated. As for the details, the special session which will be summoned within six or seven weeks will afford us an opportunity to appraise them.

And the newspaper added:

Those who imagine that simply by wanting peace they will avoid war and preserve the rest of the free world from soviet slavery are mistaken. While exerting every effort to solve international problems by peaceful means, we must take all necessary precautions so that our common weaknesses may not induce an aggressor to launch an attack. Politically speaking, the free world's main chance of maintaining peace rests in the union of all its forces under the United Nations and the North Atlantic pact which supplements the charter. Canada is both a member of the United Nations and a party to the pact. It cannot refuse now to assume its obligations in accordance with its means. No nation mindful of its own interests and of the general interests of the world must, in fact, remain an idle spectator, unperturbably neutral in the face of the present international situation. This is what the Canadian government, under the leadership of Mr. St. Laurent, has realized, and rightly so.

I read that article first because in my opinion it answers the two questions I have just asked. In that article Le Droit states the issue.

In a subsequent article the same newspaper glaringly contradicts the facts mentioned tonight by the hon. member for Beauce.

I refer now to an article that appeared in the same newspaper on August 18, 1950, also signed by Camille L'Heureux. I quote:

The stand of the Soviet and of certain Canadians with regard to the police action by the United Nations in Korea is strikingly similar.

What does Moscow claim? At first, in Korea we were faced with only a civil war. It was merely a matter of internal politics and of no possible concern to the United Nations, the United States or any other nation. Subsequently Washington was guilty of aggression against that country under the cloak of the United Nations. To prevent war from spreading and for the sake of international peace, Koreans should be left to settle their own internal problems.

Mr. Speaker, I would call your attention to the similarity between what Le Droit states to be Moscow's claim and the speech the hon. member has delivered tonight.

I quote further:

According to Soviet Russia, Canada has therefore no business in the Korean struggle. By taking part in it, Canada is getting involved in matters in which it is not concerned, just as the United States and the United Nations, and thus risks spreading the scope of the struggle.

In a practically identical form, this opinion is held by some Canadians.

Mr. Speaker, I would add that if this article carried tomorrow's date rather than

The Address-Mr. J. G. L. Langlois that of August 18, Mr. L'Heureux could also say:

-and by the member for Beauce.

The editorial goes on:

Thus, since the beginning of the invasion of South Korea by North Korea, we hear or read opinions such as these: Canada has no business in this conflict; it is only a civil war; it is a clash between two powerful antagonists; to take part in the struggle would mean spreading the scope of the struggle.

Canada must follow a policy of absolute neutrality or non-intervention.

The hon. member for Beauce stated tonight that he is not opposed to the training of soldiers as long as we keep them at home.

That is the policy of non-intervention mentioned in Le Droit, the policy of isolation criticized in the article I have just quoted.

According to Canadians who speak thus, Stalin is defending the right and common good of the whole world, as well as Canada's general interests, in the Korean conflict. That is the logical but false conclusion which from the legal and practical standpoints stems from these two basically identical arguments.

Thus could be justified, at one fell swoop, the tactics which enabled Russia, through her agents-

And that is what happened in Korea.

-to impose her will in Poland, Roumania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and western Germany. Moscow has always put forward the same principles: solution of a political difficulty of purely internal character, non-intervention of foreign powers and of the United Nations, will of the majority but, in fact, dictatorship by the minority.

Le Droit represents a group of men whose opinions,-and with that everybody agrees,- are not always shared by the government with which I have the honour of sitting tonight. Everyone in my province is equally convinced of the neutrality and independence of that newspaper in the political field.

If the hon. member for Beauce is still in a state of uncertainty as to the soundness of the policy of this government in respect to the Korean problem, may I refer him to a leading editorial appearing in the Thursday edition of L'Action Catholique. Allow me to quote in part this important editorial:

Certain acts of aggression are tantamount to an attempt on the majesty of God.

First of all, this is what Pius XXI has to say about a war of aggression. In this speech delivered Christmas day 1948, the Pope stated:

Any war of aggression against these values that the divine order of peace unconditionally compels to respect and' guarantee, and consequently also to protect and defend, is a sin, an offence and an attempt against the majesty of God, creator of the world and source of all order.

It is not only against another state that the aggressor directs his attacks, but against the very

majesty of God, against the order He has created. And so it is that serious responsibilities stem from this vital truth. Pope Pius XII adds: A people

threatened by or already the victim of an unjust aggression cannot, if it is to think and act in a Christian manner, remain passively indifferent; it therefore stands that the solidarity of the family of nations prohibits them from acting as idle spectators and preserving an attitude of unconcerned neutrality.

I call the attention of the hon. member to the following paragraph:

Therefore, now and henceforth condemnation is already heaped on the attitude of those who, unthinkingly we hope, oppose any Canadian intervention in world affairs. Let them reflect upon this other judgment of the Holy Father:

Who can even estimate the damage caused in the past by such indifference, quite foreign to Christian feelings, towards an aggressive war. How sharply it has made us feel that there was a lack of security among the "great" powers and particularly among the "small" ones! Has it, by way of compensation, brought any advantages? On the contrary, it has only heartened and encouraged those guilty of aggression, forcing every nation, left to its own devices, to increase its armament to an indefinite extent.

Here is a last quotation taken from the same newspaper, L'Action Catholique, of Friday, September 1. This article is entitled: "Canada and Korea". I shall not read the first part of that article in which a review is made of the facts already mentioned in the articles which I have just quoted from La Droit. There are two subtitles which read as follows: "There has been an unjustified aggression" and "Intervention is logical". I quote:

It would seem clear that Canada, from the standpoint of Christian principles-

I would again call the attention of the hon. member for Beauce to the expression "from the standpoint of Christian principles".

-has the moral as well as the legal obligation to intervene; but can it be strictly concluded that such intervention must be military?

The Church lets states determine the manner in which they can perform their duty. It is for the Canadian government to decide how it can best defeat aggression and bring the aggressor to reason. Citizens are quite free to express opinions in this regard provided they do so without hatred or passion and with respect for the opinion of others.

As for us, we cannot consider it illogical that Canada should play its part, even a military part-

I repeat "even a military part".

-to quell the aggressor, provided our leaders have due regard for our real responsibilities, the requirements of our security and provided especially their ultimate purpose is to prevent, and not to launch war, and so put an end as quickly as possible to the Russian problem.

Mr. Speaker, it is admittedly not for me to give advice to the hon. member for Beauce. However, I urge him to study the articles I have just quoted. He will find that the

remarks he made tonight by no means agree with the opinion expressed by those two newspapers, which are leaders of public opinion in my province and other Frenchspeaking centres.

As has been explained by the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), our policy of intervention in Korea is the logical consequence of our membership in the United Nations and their operation, as well as the logical consequence of our share in the organization, operation and application of the North Atlantic pact.

In 1945, Canada played a leading part in the United Nations Organization. At the initial meeting in San Francisco, the former prime minister and the present Prime Minister both played a part which was all to the honour of Canada. That was on the eve of the general election of 1945.

Did the people of my province and the people of this country condemn, in 1945, the attitude of the late Mackenzie King and the present Prime Minister, after they had just taken part in the organization of the United Nations? Needless to add that the people of this country during the elections which immediately followed this first organizational conference supported heartily the stand taken by the late Mackenzie King and the present Prime Minister.

Moreover, when Canada made the decision to adhere to the North Atlantic pact, the people of my province gave their support to the Prime Minister for the attitude he had taken and we are proud of our part in the organization of this pact of friendship and mutual assistance. In 1949 in fact, the present Prime Minister paid a visit to the electors of his province and to those of the whole country and explained to them the obligations implied for Canada. What was the answer of the people of Canada? I am sure that the hon. member for Beauce remembers that answer. They gave it with a firm and unanimous voice on June 27, 1949, when they sent to Ottawa, to conduct the business of this country for another five-year term, the Right Hon. Louis St. Laurent by the biggest majority ever given a political leader in Canada.

My hon. colleague from Beauce has claimed tonight he was expressing and abiding by the opinion of his electors. That is a very easy part to play. Yet, although the hon. member represents in this house the people of Beauce constituency, he must not remain under the impression that that is all he has to do. We are here to help direct the affairs of

The Address-Mr. J. G. L. Langlois the Canadian nation. It is true that we represent our respective constituencies, but we have, each and every one of us, responsibilities towards the whole people of Canada. Even if the hon. member for Beauce is under the impression that the voters of his constituency share his opinion, it nevertheless devolves upon him to consider the interests of Canada as a whole.

I wish to point out to my colleague that he belongs to one of the opposition groups and as such it is his duty in this house to speak on behalf of his province within that group. As I believe there are certain links, certain affiliations between him and the other Conservative members from the province of Quebec in this house, I would ask him to advise his colleagues from Three Rivers (Mr. Balcer) and from Labelle (Mr. Courtemanche) to go on record on this important issue. As I said a moment ago in English, not only their colleagues in this house but the whole population of the province of Quebec have the right to know what they think; they have the right to know once and for all what their stand is with regard to this crisis, this serious situation.

As I stated a while ago, after the 1945 elections and the 1949 elections, we were able to conclude from the overwhelming majority obtained that the nation supported the logical and sensible policy which our Prime Minister stated on behalf of Canada before the United Nations and the countries bound by the North Atlantic pact. The majority obtained all over Canada by the Prime Minister was more overwhelming in the province of the hon. member for Beauce than anywhere else in the country.

Mr. Speaker, I know that the electors of the province of Quebec do not like war; I do not like it any better than the hon. member for Beauce. I only wish to remind him that I had the honour of serving for five years and some months during the last war. I hate war, everyone hates war; nobody wants another conflict. However, as has been so well said by the editor of Le Droit, when it is forced upon us, we must defend ourselves and repel aggression wherever it breaks out.

Such should be the stand of every rightthinking Canadian in the present instance. There can be no other.

Before concluding my remarks I would like to mention more particularly the part played by Canada's naval forces in this conflict. As I stated earlier, I had the honour

The Address-Division

of serving in the navy during the last war. I have always been proud of the humble part I played in the activities of the Canadian navy and I am twice as proud today for having had that privilege when I realize that the Canadian navy is carrying on its difficult task in Korea. I hope that it will always be able to keep up that tradition, so dear to the hearts of our sailors, of being the first in action.

I read in some newspapers that complaints were made to the effect that the activities of the Canadian navy in Korea were not known by the public. Let me point out to those who complain that what is most typical of the Canadian navy is that it is the silent service; "the silent navy" as we call it. We take pride in keeping this tradition because the members of the Canadian navy find immediate reward for their valour in having done their duty and in having once again carried proudly the great name of Canada in the Korean conflict.

Mr. Speaker, the three units of the Canadian navy engaged in action today remind me of the glorious part played by the same navy at the beginning of the 1939-1945 war when, practically alone, it protected our convoys across the north Atlantic.

Those who have read the memoirs of the Right Hon. Winston Churchill were proud, as Canadians, to realize that in his book the eminent statesman conceded great importance to the part played by the Canadian navy in world war II.

I am certain that my former comrades in arms of the Royal Canadian Navy will again be a credit to their country in Korea and will again fill us with legitimate pride in days to come.


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Gordon Francis Higgins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. F. Higgins (St. John's East):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to support the amendment proposed by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew), I should first of all like to offer congratulations to the mover (Mr. Cannon) and the seconder (Mr. Bennett) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. I realize fully the difficulty that the hon. member for Iles-de-la-Madeleine (Mr. Cannon) and the hon. member for Grey North (Mr. Bennett) were under in making their addresses because at this session there was a considerable departure from the customary speech from the throne. Consequently they were not permitted to make the usual speeches that such an event calls for. Under the circumstances I think I can join with all other members of the house in congratulating them on doing a very difficult task in a most excellent manner indeed.

As all hon, members are aware, this session was called for two purposes only. The first of those purposes has now been accomplished. The railroad strike has been settled, and I may say that the action of the union leaders following the decision of parliament is indeed to be commended. It was a great

pleasure to me, as a new Canadian, to see the straightforward way in which the union leaders accepted the direction of parliament when the decision had been made. I feel certain that any bitterness occasioned by the strike has now been forgotten. I feel sure that all of us realize the just demands of these men of the unions. Some of us may think they went a little too far in actually engaging in a strike but we realize the justice of their demands, and I feel that most of us will want the official arbitrator to bear that in mind in coming to any decision he may have to reach in the event of a settlement not being arrived at between labour and management.

I also trust that the demands made with respect to two of the unions in particular, those connected with water transport and railway hotels, will not be forgotten in the event of a settlement by arbitration becoming necessary. We all realize that the cost of living has spiralled and the wages of the workers have not gone up in accordance with the spiralling cost of living. Therefore it is only fair and just that both water transport and railway hotel workers should be given the same proportionate increase in their wages as the regular railway workers.

I am particularly interested in the water transport workers, and I speak with some vestige of authority because of the fact, through accident or otherwise, that for a space of three years I was the president of a labour union known as the Newfoundland seamen's union. As you are aware, the greatest and last province of Canada is an island, and the only connection with the railways is by water ferry. I am quite certain that the water ferry providing the connection between Port aux Basques and North Sydney, and the operators thereof, should be regarded in exactly the same light as all other operators of the Newfoundland services of the Canadian National Railways. I feel that the same provisions should apply to the other steamships operated by the C.N.R. on our coast, and indeed on the west coast of Canada as well. Having made these remarks, Mr. Speaker, I have no more to say so far as that subject is concerned. It is a closed chapter, and I think it has been closed in such a way that it has done honour not only to this parliament but also to the unions of Canada.

It is unfortunate that the second part of our troubles occasioning the calling of this session of parliament could not have been settled in somewhat the same way. It is true that we have introduced into labour matters a new factor that labour did not want to see, and which my leader very properly called compulsory abritration. It is, in effect, compulsory arbitration. I trust it is merely in effect to 69262-13

The Address-Mr. Higgins settle this one particular difficulty, and that it will not be used as a pattern in the future. If we could use compulsory arbitration in the case of the other difficulty that we are now facing, then I think every one of us would be satisfied to regard it as a just and proper way to handle the situation. Unfortunately we cannot handle it by arbitration. It would appear that the only way to meet the threat to the whole civilized world as we know it, and not only to Korea, is by force.

The other day the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) gave us a very clear exposition of the situation, and he was followed by the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton). Frankly, however, I must say that I was confused in the picture that I had on leaving here when parliament prorogued last June. I understood, and I believe many other members of parliament had the same impression, that in so far as Canada's defence forces were concerned everything was rosy. If the picture was rosy then it does not appear to be too rosy at the present time. If we take the situation as presented by the Minister of National Defence and the picture presented by the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes) and some others, there is great divergence in their opinions and views. Somebody must be wrong. I do not know who is wrong, but somebody must be.

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An hon. Member:

You are wrong.

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Gordon Francis Higgins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Higgins:

One thing we do know is that hon. members can evaluate for themselves the rather extraordinary statement-at least it was to me-made by the Secretary of State for External Affairs. I listened to him the other night rather carefully, as I am sure we all did, and I read the statement again to be quite certain I had heard it correctly. At page 94 of Hansard he said:

Canadian defence policy, therefore, until June of this year, had been based on the concept of providing a small, highly-skilled regular army, charged with responsibility of doing its immediate share of North American defence, especially in the Arctic, and designed to be capable of rapid expansion in the event of a general war which might require Canada to be defended outside of Canada.

This is the important part of that paragraph.

The furnishing to the United Nations on short notice of expeditionary forces capable of quick deployment in distant areas wherever acts of aggression might take place had not, I admit, entered into our planning as it had not entered into the planning of any other country.

To me, Mr. Speaker, that was a most extraordinary statement. I do not blame the Secretary of State for External Affairs for not expecting a war in Korea. Surely, however, with the picture presented to us in June of last year, and indeed I believe in October, 1949, he and the cabinet must have

The Address-Mr. Higgins expected a war, such as broke out in Korea, to occur somewhere. There could be no question of that. A war was expected somewhere, because that was the policy of Russia, and yet no plans whatever were made to take care of that war.

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Some hon. Members:

What war?

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Gordon Francis Higgins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Higgins:

I do not care what war it was. Perhaps there is no war over in Korea. Perhaps hon. members of the government feel there is no war. It is probably just a little picnic over there.

It does appear to me, Mr. Speaker, to be a rather extraordinary statement to say that no plans were put into effect for such an eventuality; that had to be taken into consideration, and that was the thinking of the minister. It must have been. What was done about it? Nothing.

Then there is the statement of the Minister of National Defence at page 99 of Hansard. He said:

That is not ordinarily the role of a medium size nation, and it was not the planned role of Canada. It was no part of our defence program; there was no promise that it would be done, and there was no suggestion that we should prepare to do it.

It is difficult to reconcile that statement with the statement of the mover of the address in reply to the speech from the throne, who at page 85 of Hansard says:

Canada, Mr. Speaker, is a member of the United Nations. She signed the United Nations charter in

1945, and this signature was ratified by both houses of parliament. Under the charter Canada has assumed obligations toward the other signatory nations. She has agreed to take effective collective measures for the suppression of acts of aggression, to give the United Nations every assistance in any action they take in accordance with the charter, and to accept and to carry out the decisions of the security council, also in accordance with the charter.

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William Alfred Robinson


Mr. Robinson:

Why don't you go on to tell about the representations which Canada made to the United Nations in 1946?

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September 2, 1950