I should like to ask the Minister of Trade and Commerce a further question. In view of the fact that many farmers in western Canada are now threshing, can the minister say when the prices for the various grades will be set, and when the elevator companies will be able to pay cash for deliveries?
Topic: QUESTION AS TO FINAL PAYMENT ON FIVE YEAR POOL
I inquired two or three days ago and I was told that it is hoped that the spreads could be fixed by the end of next week. It is difficult this year, on account of the uncertainty as to the quality and quantity of the various grades, to fix the spreads, but it is hoped that it can be done after another week.
Topic: QUESTION AS TO FINAL PAYMENT ON FIVE YEAR POOL
The house resumed, from Friday, September 1, consideration of the motion of Mr. Charles Cannon for an address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Drew, and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Coldwell.
Mr. Speaker, as indicated in the speech from the throne, this session was called to consider two grave matters, the railroad strike, and our defence problems. The Korean affair and the extremely serious world situation have made it necessary to review our defences. Not only is it necessary to review them; 'it has become
apparent that they must be considerably enlarged, from the point of view of both manpower and of equipment. I am glad to see that the government already has taken steps in that direction.
On arriving here I think all hon. members realized that the international situation and matters concerning defence were the more important of the matters to be considered, but the more immediately pressing matter was the strike, which was dealt with first, as its urgency demanded. In much the same way the Canadian people have .two great questions on their minds, or perhaps I should say two great worries. The first and more important is the fear of another war and the devastation and suffering it would bring. The second is the evidence of inflationary trends which are causing constant increases in the cost of living and creating difficulties from week to week in the feeding, clothing and sheltering of families. That is the immediate and pressing problem in connection with which our people look to this government to take some immediate action which will give them a measure of relief.
It has been said many times, and I think it will bear repetition now, that the people on whom inflation imposes the greatest difficulties are the so-called white-collar workers- clerks in stores, office people, and others of that type, and people living on fixed incomes, particularly pensioners, but also people living on annuities and other forms of savings. Every increase in the cost of living imposes further hardships on such people. In most cases there is nothing they can do about it, no action they can take to improve their lot. I think the point has been reached where steps must be taken to end the constant decline in the purchasing power of the dollar which makes it difficult for all of us, but particularly for that large section of the population about whom I have just been speaking.
I now wish to say something about the general world situation. Its gravity has been emphasized by every speaker who has taken part in the debate. Essentially it is no more grave now than it was three months ago, but the outbreak of war in Korea has more or less focused it in the minds of the people of the free world, and has brought about the realization that the masters of the Kremlin are engaged in a program of world domination that will halt only when opposed by sufficient forces to persuade them that further advances are not likely to be successful. As a result of that realization, and the fact that the only hope for peace is a rearmed western world, vast rearmament programs have now been undertaken by the United States, Great Britain, France, and in fact by all the rest of the
western world. So far as Canada is concerned, we have an indication of what Canada is doing in the issue of Votes and Proceedings for yesterday, available to members today.
In his speech at the beginning of this debate the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) referred to what has been a subject of discussion for some time in many papers, namely, that more occurrences such as Korea are likely to take place from now on. I think there is no doubt that the Russians will try to get us to disperse our forces in these comparatively small wars and thus weaken ourselves. The problem of meeting this type of aggression is an extremely serious one. I think we all agree that further communist advances must be stopped, but the western world cannot afford to commit its strength piecemeal in various parts of the world. Quite frankly I have no pat answer as to how the problem must be met, but it is a question upon which decisions must be made. Certainly Canada cannot afford to send small forces to every place where an outbreak may occur, such as countries in the Far East, Persia, and so on. In other words, if we are to be strong at home, which I think is the first and vital necessity, we cannot send forces to every trouble spot in the world. I think the Secretary of State for External Affairs or the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) should make a further statement about how we propose to meet this problem which seems certain to develop. We should know whether or not the government has any definite ideas on the matter.
I was glad to gather from the speech of the Secretary of State for External Affairs that we are now prepared to look at the world situation more realistically than we have viewed it in many instances in the past. I thought this was demonstrated particularly by his reference to the rearmament of Germany. I should like to remind the house that I put forward the same proposition on June 8 of this year when we were discussing the defence estimates. I think I cannot do better than to read what I said at that time. I do so because I should like to restate the position I took then and elaborate on it to some extent. At that time I said, as recorded at page 3357 of Hansard:
One of the most important considerations in the strategy set out by the Secretary of State for External Affairs for the protection of western Europe is what is to be done with western Germany. Russia is now arming the Germans in the Russian zone of Germany. In my opinion the decision is squarely up to the Atlantic pact nations to do the same thing in the western zone, or, if we are not prepared at the present time to arm the Germans in our zone, we must accept the proposition that none of the western zone of Germany can be defended.
The Address-Mr. Harkness We shall have to write it off in the beginning as an area to be overrun by the Russians, in the event of war with them.
Personally I think it is also extremely unlikely that, without the armed manpower of western Germany, any of the western European nations with the exception of the peninsulas-Italy, possibly, and more likely Spain, and of course Great Britain because of her island position-could be held successfully. But apart from those countries it would seem to me most unlikely that the North Atlantic pact countries, as the strategy enunciated suggests, could be saved from occupation unless that large pool of manpower in western Germany is utilized.
I should like to know whether this aspect of the matter has been considered in formulating our defence policy, and what the conclusions have been with respect thereto. I know that this whole question is a very thorny one, concerning which most governments in western Europe do not wish to commit themselves, because there is still a large body of opinion mortally afraid of a rearmed Germany. However, in my view this is one of the most important questions to be faced-indeed, perhaps the vital one-if this new strategy is to be carried into effect.
If our government has any opinion in the matter, then we should be told about it in the House of Commons. If our military leaders have anything like the view I have enunciated, we should be told. If they do take that view, then we as a country should be prepared to press for its adoption.
Evidently since that time the government has come to the conclusion that the rearmament of western Germany has become a necessity, or, alternatively, that sufficient forces must be stationed in western Europe to defend that country against a possible Russian attack. I do not think that is a practical proposition. In my opinion the question of rearming western Germany is the crux of the defence of western Europe, and thus we may say of the whole free world. If Russia takes the final step of plunging the world into war, western Europe can be saved from conquest-I say "can" and not "would be" saved-by rearming Germany together with the forces of the other western powers.
But I am afraid that without a rearmed Germany-in fact I feel certain in my own mind-western Europe cannot be saved. The leader of the Progressive Conservative party (Mr. Drew) indicated yesterday something of the disparity in forces existing in that area. The western nations have twelve divisions and the Russians have 176. I think it must be apparent to everyone that we cannot possibly maintain anything like a sufficient number of troops on the continent to counter the mass of men and armour that the Russians have poised there, and which they could put in motion very rapidly.
Another point in connection with this matter to which I should like to direct attention, and it is perhaps even more important, is that a rearmed western Germany would be the greatest deterrent, after the atomic bomb, to Russia attempting a move westward. In other words, I think it would be the greatest
The Address-Mr. Harkness force to prevent war, the greatest action which could be taken to prevent war at the present time of any of the various rearmament measures that are being carried out.
There was one other matter to which I referred last year, and I was disappointed that the Secretary of State for External Affairs did not mention it. It concerns the matter of coming to some agreement with Spain. When a war threatens it is well to consider the worst that could happen. If the Russians march in Europe within any appreciable time in the future, there is nothing to stop them from overrunning western Germany,. Belgium, Holland and France in two or three weeks. There is not the force there, and it could not be got there. The only place which could be defended with the forces available in that country, or available to the western powers, is Spain. I do not believe there is any doubt that it could be held. It might be possible to hold Italy as well, but certainly Spain could be held. If it could be held, and the worst happened, that would give us a place for air operations against the Russians, and provide a base upon which men and materials could be assembled to do what we had to do in the last war, retake the continent from the conquerors. It seems to me that this matter of coming to some arrangement with Spain has now become an extremely important one, and one on which this government should take some stand. As I say, I am glad the government has taken a stand on the German question. I think it was long overdue.
Coming now, Mr. Speaker, to our own defence problems, the Secretary of State for External Affairs and the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) stressed the point that it had never been envisaged that the United Nations would take military measures. As a result no role of that kind had been planned for any Canadian force. Even if that be so, my point is that when aggression occurred in Korea we had no force in being, other than naval, which could fight effectively anywhere, including our own territory. The general reaction which I found among the people in Calgary, and the most frequent phrase I heard used when the Korean force was officially announced, was one with which you are all familiar, "Too little and too late". Whether that force is too little, I am not prepared to argue. The dispersal of the forces is a prime consideration in any decision on the question whether forces can be sent to a place like Korea. It is a matter upon which I should not like to express an opinion without knowing more about the entire situation, and what forces we are likely to have in the next few months.
Certainly, Mr. Speaker, our response to the United Nations request for ground troops was too late. I think there is no question about that. It was too late particularly from the psychological point of view. I believe the slowness of our response did a great deal of damage amongst our own people, and a great deal of damage to our reputation throughout the world. I am very much afraid that the delay of nearly a month created the general impression that our brave words of the past in support of the United Nations were mere talk which we were not prepared to back up with action. Surely it was clear when the United Nations asked us for ground troops to support the action in Korea that we must reply affirmatively. Under those circumstances I find it difficult to understand why this delay of a month took place before any answer was given. Surely it would have been much better from every point of view to say that we would send ground forces. As I say, it seems to me it was clear that if we were to continue to support the United Nations, if the United Nations was to be effective, we had to reply affirmatively. Why the delay of a month, which created this bad impression at home and abroad? It seems to me the only answer is the inability of the government to make up its mind. The same difficulty has characterized it on many other occasions. The government hates to make a decision which may lose some votes some time some place.
In that connection I should like to say that Canadians were shocked to learn, after all the reassuring statements by the Minister of National Defence and the government, and after all the large amounts of money which have been spent on defence, that we had no ground troops we could send when the United Nations asked for them. The people of this country found it impossible to believe that, because the opposite picture had been built up in their minds. They were told we were well prepared; that we had forces of all kinds. If the true picture had been presented to the people, that with the possible exception of one battalion we had no ground troops available to fight anywhere, including Canada, the shock would have been much greater. That is the situation, Mr. Speaker. We have not ground forces available to fight anywhere, except that one battalion. The people of Canada do not realize that yet. They think we have the forces available but have kepi them home to defend this country. We could not have sent anything when the United Nations asked for it, except that one battalion, because we did not have troops ready tc fight. By troops ready to fight I mean units up to strength, fully equipped and fullj armed. No other troops can be said to be
ready to fight. There is no use throwing troops into action who are partly equipped and partly trained.
The only information which this house or the general public has received on this matter of troops was given on June 8 last, about a month before the ground troops were requested by the United Nations. This is the only definite information we have ever received about ground troops that even the government pretended were fighting units. I am referring to the airborne brigade group. This is what we were told about the brigade group on June 8, as it appears at page 3377 of Hansard. The minister was answering a question I had asked, and he said:
Then he asked whether the brigade group was up to strength. I can tell him that it is at eighty per cent of the establishment. I might say, since the hon. member has expressed interest in it before, that at the present time we have more trained paratroopers in Canada than landed in the low countries in the German invasion in May, 1940.
A brigade group consists of three infantry battalions, an artillery regiment, an antitank battery, an engineer company, a signal company, and medical and other service units. I happen to know that one battalion was up to strength, so on the basis of the whole brigade being up to eighty per cent of strength the other two battalions must have been short approximately 250 men each, or about two-thirds of strength. We will take it that the other units were all at eighty per cent of strength, although actually I do not think they were. I believe there was a considerable variation. At any rate, there is our situation so far as the three fighting battalions are concerned.
As has been pointed out by the member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes), the units of the brigade group have never been brought together for training. They have no signal staff trained to control their operations. They have no headquarters staff, no commander or staff officers trained for the job. The brigade had no exercise as a group, and was therefore in no position to operate as a brigade group. It could not have been sent to Korea, nor could it have fought in this country if it had been required to do so when the demand was made. I only hope that so far as strength and equipment is concerned it is now in a position to do so. I know it is not in a position to do so from the point of view of operating together, because the brigade group has still never been trained together as a formation.
The minister is well aware, as are many other members of the house, of the fact that for over three years, I have pointed out in every defence debate-and other members have done the same thing-that we had no
The Address-Mr. Harkness ground forces ready to fight. This is not a new thing. It has been pointed out in every defence debate for the last three years. We have pounded this thing home time after time. We have pointed out that the Canadian army, which the minister constantly described in round figures as at about 20,000, was chiefly a desk and caretaking establishment, made up of men who were in services of various sorts, but that so far as having a fighting force was concerned, we did not have it.
The whole point is that that realization was never brought home to the people. They did not grasp the fact. They heard the minister's assurances, in speeches all over the country, that we had about 20,000 men in the army, that it was the best-trained army of its size in the world, that it was well equipped, and so forth. But the thing that they were never told, and the thing that they did not realize was that we had at most three to four thousand men in fighting units; that that is all that were available to fight under any circumstances, and furthermore, that those men had never been trained to fight together.
That was the picture and that has- been the picture right up to the present time. We just have not any ground forces in being ready to fight. It is a situation which must be corrected, and corrected immediately.
The type of thing we have had is contained in the latter part of this statement I have just read:
I might say, since the hon. member has expressed interest in it before, that at the present time we have more trained paratroopers in Canada than landed in the low countries in the German invasion in May, 1940.
That statement was given wide publicity. Everybody in this country practically had in his mind the idea that the Germans just rained down paratroopers in the low countries in 1940, that they had thousands and thousands of them. I do not know whether the minister intended to give that impression, but certainly that was the one that was given.
As I say, that statement is typical of the statements he has been making for the last two or three years. He has made statement after statement reassuring the people about what a fine state our defence forces were in, and they were all statements of this kind. They misled people. They gave them completely wrong information about the situation. It is difficult for me to understand *why the minister has done this sort of thing so frequently.
We have the same sort of thing in the speech that the minister made here the day before yesterday in this very debate. He
The Address-Mr. Harkness gave us a list of things which had been ordered, and a list of things that were to be bought, and stuff along that line; and he talked in rather general terms about what a fine condition everything was in. The general impression of the speech on persons who knew little about the matter would be: Well, everything is in good hands; the defence forces are going ahead splendidly; they are going to get sill the equipment they need and all the men they need; everything is fine; we do not need to worry about our defence. That is the impression they would get, whereas exactly the reverse is the situation.
The other day the Prime Minister, in reply to the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew), said that if the strictures contained in the amendment that was moved by the leader of the opposition were correct, the government should resign. I do not think there is any question that the strictures with regard to defence are correct. The country has not been adequately looked after in the matter of defence, having regard to the amount of money which has been voted for it. In other words, the funds which have been voted for defence have not been wisely expended. They have not succeeded in giving us a fighting force in being; and that is what is needed when it comes to war. All these other things on which the money has been spent are all very well in their way. They would all be extremely necessary if we had an army of six or seven divisions, but they do not give us anything on the ground, ready to go in with a bayonet or a machine gun and eject any invader who happened to land in this country.
So much for the past, Mr. Speaker. It is the present and the future which we must now consider. To begin with, the government must be much more frank than they have been in the past with this house and with the people of Canada in regard to the state of our defences. We have asked repeatedly for a committee on defence in which the true picture of our forces could be obtained. The need for it is now greater than ever, and I should like to reiterate what the leader of the opposition said yesterday, namely, that such a committee should be set up forthwith and should proceed immediately to the business of finding out just what our defence picture is, just what is necessary to correct the situation in which we find ourselves, and whether or not it is being done.
The whole point is that we have not been able to do that. The Prime Minister said that this House of Commons would be a committee on defence, that the whole assembly would
be a committee on defence. He and everyone else knows that that is not a practicable proposition. We cannot bring the defence chiefs into this house and question them about details on defence matters. In many cases there are things about which we would not want to question them publicly, in any event. It needs no argument on my part or on the part of anyone else to make it quite clear that anything like a reasonable and full examination of defence matters cannot be undertaken by the House of Commons itself. It is just not a practicable proposition.
Recruiting for the special service brigade has been good, and I am extremely glad that is so. Our men answered the appeal of the government, which in this case was couched in terms that persuaded them they were needed. That is what has been necessary in the past, and that is what we have not had in the past. The appeal for recruits which was made last year and the year before for the regular forces, and the appeal for recruits in the reserve units, have not been of a kind which brought home to the individual young man in the street the fact that there was any urgency in the matter, that his services were really needed. As a consequence we did not get a good result.
The minister has constantly claimed, for the last two or three years, that they were getting all the recruits they needed for the regular force, but that they would like to get a few more for the reserve force. I do not think they ever got all they wanted. In fact I know they did not for the permanent force, and they certainly got only a trickle for the reserve force. The men who were brought into the reserve force were brought in, in my experience, which is considerable, almost entirely by men who were already in units. Any action taken by the government had little effect and brought in few recruits. The recruits who were brought in were brought in as a result of individual effort. As a matter of fact, many of the reserve units at the present time are going to desperate lengths to try to get recruits. They are resorting to bribery and so on; they are practically paying people to join up.
That is a situation which we should not have in this country, and I am convinced that it is a situation which we do not need to have. It seems to me that the government must make the appeal in such terms and must show the urgency of this matter in such a way that we shall get a response. I am convinced that we shall get a response if the young men of this country are convinced that they are needed, and that is something of which so far they have not been convinced.
It has been apparent for some considerable time that the existing dangerous situation in the world made it necessary that we have in Canada for the defence of Canada at least one division of regular troops. I think that is a minimum; there should not be any question about it. I doubt whether the minister would argue very much on that point at the present time. In addition to that, however, the really basic defence of the country, in the case of a general war breaking out, must be the reserve army. The reserve army can constitute that basic defence only if it is fairly well up to strength.
We have in this country left over from the last war sufficient equipment of the type that was used at that time-it is true it is not the most up-to-date equipment in the world, but it is sufficiently up to date for the job, namely, the basic defence of this country. What we need is the men. It is the government's responsibility to take measures to get these men, to get them into the permanent force, and to get them into the reserve units. So far that responsibility has not been met.
The minister talked in vague terms about the splendid summer training that the reserve force units received. He said that the reserve force units would be strengthened in the coming year. A general statement of that kind means nothing. It means nothing to me; it means nothing to anybody in Canada, and it will probably result in no action. What we want to know here, what we should know, is how these reserve units are to be strengthened. I have pointed out that the problem is to get men into them. How do the government propose to get these men in? I repeat, they failed to get them in the past because they did not carry home to the people the urgency of the matter, and that must be done.
In his statement the minister said a good deal about the increase in naval strength. He spoke about the number of ships that were now in commission, the number being built, the number being recommissioned, and so forth. I was glad to hear that. I trust that there will be no undue delay in getting these ships finished and getting the ones which have been out of commission recommissioned and in action.
It is all very well to hear those fine stories that we will do this, that and the other thing, but I should like to have something much more specific and definite as to the approximate dates on which these things will be done. The same thing applies to the air force. We have quite a few figures in regard to the increased jet engine production which was to take place, and the number of jet planes which we would have. When shall we have
The Address-Mr. Harkness them? That is what I should like to know. How many shall we have on various dates?
The minister said that a hundred Mustangs had been purchased from the United States. Mustangs have proved fine for strafing ground troops and for close support of the infantry. In Korea they have been very useful. The reason they have been so useful there is that the enemy had no jet fighters to oppose them. Had there been any jet fighter strength on the part of the North Koreans, those Mustangs would have been shot out of the air very quickly.
The provision of the hundred Mustangs is a reasonable step to take as an interim measure, but it should not be represented to the people of Canada as a great step forward in the defence of this country. These Mustang fighters will fill an interim need until we get jet fighters, but I hope the period during which they have to fill that need is short. They could help if we had sufficient jet fighters to engage more or less the majority that the enemy could put up at any time. They could be useful for the purpose for which they are being used now in North Korea, namely, for ground strafing, and so forth. But let no one fool himself by thinking that these Mustangs are fighter planes which are capable of defending this country against a modernly equipped enemy.
No objection has ever been raised in this house to voting the money asked for defence needs. The criticisms in the matter of defence have all been directed to how the money was spent and whether we were getting value for it. It is now apparent to everyone in this country that we were not getting value for it, and that it was not being spent in the best way possible.
There is no question at the present moment about the house voting the large sums, which, as is indicated in today's Votes and Proceedings, we shall be asked to vote next week for defence. However, when we vote these sums we want to know in detail how the money has been spent in the past, and what these increases will give us in the matter of definite protection-not vague general statements.
As I said before, the speech of the Minister of National Defence was chiefly a list of equipment; as somebody observed to me afterwards, it sounded much like a quartermaster's indent, combined with a list of things which are going to be done. That is not what we want. We want to know definitely what has been done, and on what dates other things will be done. By "dates" I do not mean down to the minute or the hour; I mean approximately.
When the appropriation bill comes up we must have this detailed information. At the
162 HOUSE OF
The Address-Mr. Prudham present moment I do not propose to go into further details so far as the defence situation is concerned. But I shall certainly reserve the right to ask questions and get all the information which appears to be necessary when the appropriation bill is before us.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Mr. Speaker, I .do not pretend to be an expert on national defence or international affairs, but I should like to make a few remarks on the general economic and production frontier at home in Canada.
In my youth I learned a trade. I carried the tools, and I am very proud to say that I carried a union card. Over the years I have slowly been able to accumulate working capital and arrived at the place where I had several hundred employees. I think I know the views of the workingman at first hand, and I know the problems of meeting a payroll.
I believe that the average man in every walk of life is honest and anxious not only to make a decent living for himself and his family but to make a real contribution to the welfare of the community and the country.
As a result of the depression of the thirties there has been a widespread fear of unemployment. During those dreadful years and since, many theorists with good intentions have preached that overproduction was the cause of our troubles and the cause of our unemployment. With the advent of the machine and improved techniques it was only reasonable that the worker should expect that some of the benefits of the improved techniques and machines and the savings in time should be passed on to him.
During the war the demand for shorter hours was forgotten. The people of this country went all-out to produce the weapons and the sinews of war. Despite the greatly reduced supply of manpower, production in this country went to heights which were thought impossible before that time. After the war, and with the return of the men from the forces, there was great fear that we would have another period of unemployment. Largely as a result of that fear trade unions and people in other walks of life began to think in terms of shorter hours of work, in order that the available employment might be distributed among as many people as possible.
Since the war we have enjoyed a period of almost full employment, and with greater prosperity than this country has ever known before. The government, trade unions and business management can take a great deal of credit and satisfaction from the splendid way Canada has emerged from a wartime to a peacetime economy. I believe the fact that we work shorter hours has had a beneficial
effect upon the attainment of full employment since the war. In my opinion that same condition of shorter hours has also had its drawbacks. A shorter working period with the same or higher pay inevitably adds to the cost of production, and higher costs to the consumer.
Full employment has reduced competition in the labour field, and the great post-war demand for consumer goods has reduced competition in business. Since the war, with the backlog of demands for consumer goods, and employment at a level higher than we have ever known it before, there has been a measure of inefficiency all through our production and distribution system which, before the war, by means of competition was kept at a minimum. This has all contributed to higher prices for the consumer.
Highly desirable social services have been initiated on a national scale and they, too, have contributed to the higher costs charged the consumer. I am not finding fault with those social services. They are most desirable. We are blessed with great resources in Canada, and produce food and other products which the rest of the world requires and is prepared to buy. We are becoming more self-sufficient in manufactured goods and, if left to our own devices, I am sure we could continue to raise our standard of living and improve our social services without interruption.
However, the fact that we have attained the position of one of the great nations of the world, the fact that we are assuming the stature of a first-class nation, not only places world obligations upon us but also invites the envy of other nations. Our population is small. No other thirteen and a half million people anywhere in the world have a greater heritage than we have in Canada. While in other parts of the world there is overcrowding, so that according to our standards the people must live under subnormal conditions, we cannot sidestep world obligations.
In the world of nations the law of the jungle still applies. There are still aggressors who have the ambition to dominate the world. Reluctant though we are to admit it, we must face that challenge and must realize that only the fittest nations are going to survive. The aggressor is already on the rampage. Even now our armed forces are fighting and some of them dying. We are reluctant to accept the reality that we are going to have not only to prepare our defences at home but to be ready to meet the aggressor in other parts of the world.
The point I make is that however beneficial and desirable shorter hours of work
have been to our post-war economy, I do not believe such a condition should even be considered when our very survival is threatened. I believe every workman should be paid an adequate wage. I believe industry and thrift in the field of labour and business should be rewarded, but I also believe that we are only kidding ourselves if we think we can work shorter hours and maintain a higher standard of living, and at the same time defend our country and help defend the other free nations of the world. There is a danger that within a very short time we will be fighting for our very lives. Would it not be wisdom for this country now, before our backs are to the wall, to forget about shorter hours, and to go to a forty-four or forty-eight hour week? The price of freedom is, in my opinion, not money, but production. Maximum national security can be obtained only by every section of the community going all-out in an effort to produce. I am also convinced that greater production at this time would help to stop the upward spiral of prices.
I know there are hon. members in the house who advocate that the economy of the country should be placed again under rigid control. I believe there is a better way of attaining the desired result. It is my view that the people of Canada could do it voluntarily, and I say controls should be avoided as long as possible.
It has long been recognized that a voluntary fighting force has better morale than a conscripted force. The same applies to the home front. If we can make an all-out effort voluntarily it would be much better than if we are forced by law or through the circumstance of war.
The Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) has stated that the next ten months will be critical months. I believe if the people of Canada should now forget about shorter hours and go all-out to produce, not only could we maintain our present standard of living but we would have a much better chance of defending our country and playing our part in the defence of the free world. In my view the sooner we realize this the better will our chances of survival be. I may be pessimistic, but that is the way I feel about it. The barbarian is looking down upon us and grinning to himself. Great numbers of the peoples of the world are living under a police state. They do not know what the forty-hour week means. We are greatly outnumbered, our chief advantages being our industrial and productive capacity, our intelligence and the fact that we are a free people.
The Address-Mr. Noseworthy
In my view members of parliament should tell the people of the seriousness of the international situation and now, while there is still time, urge them to make an all-out effort.
As reported at page 97 of Hansard for August 31, the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) says:
In such circumstances there is bound to be sc temptation to settle back into complacency and' unconcern when events beyond our borders seem so complex and so intractable; to hope that we can enjoy immunity from both obligations and misfortunes. Such a course would be fatal in the face? of the present menace to our security and to our very existence; when meeting that menace we must make a defence effort far greater than we have ever attempted before in peacetime.
The minister was speaking seriously and sincerely when he made that statement. I am convinced that our only hope of preventing war and of surviving it, if and when it comes, is through harder work, longer hours and greater production.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Mr. Speaker, first I should like to congratulate the mover (Mr. Cannon) and the seconder (Mr. Bennett) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. I should like also to congratulate the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) on the account he gave us on Thursday of the Korean situation and also on the good work which he has done in his department and as a representative of this country at international conferences. Just how much better his work would have been had he been a member of a less reactionary government, only those of us who know him best can judge.
He told us on Thursday that Korea must be the centre of our attention these days. He said that it is there that the struggle with soviet communism has come completely into the open and its nature most clearly shown. He turned then to the events which had led up to the present crisis in Korea. Because it is important to all of us who will undoubtedly meet in our constituencies with many of those well-meaning people to whom the minister referred as idealists and who are so much concerned about the crisis facing Canada in this connection, even at the risk of repeating some of the things the minister said I propose to summarize again, the course of events.
Exactly one week after Russia's declara>-tion of war on Japan in August, 1945, Japan capitulated. One of the few places which Russia had been able to invade during that intervening week was Korea. Korea is ai country the size of Great Britain with ai population of thirty million people. It had lost its independence and for forty years had.
The Address-Mr. Noseworthy been a satellite of Japan. While the Russians were fighting down from the north during that week before capitulation the United States troops had landed in Korea and were fighting up from the south.
When Japan acknowledged defeat the question then arose as to which army should accept the surrender of the Koreans and this problem was solved by drawing an imaginary line across the country at the 38th parallel of latitude. That line roughly bisects the country with approximately 20,000,000 of the 30,000,000 people living south of the line but with much of the country's mineral and industrial wealth lying north of that 38th parallel.
Back in 1943 before Russia had intervened in the war the United Kingdom and the United States, after the Cairo declaration of December, 1943, declared jointly that in due course Korea should become free and independent. Russia joined with the United Kingdom and the United States in reaffirming that declaration at Potsdam in July, 1945. When the shooting was over the three powers met in Moscow and agreed in December, 1945, to establish a four-power trusteeship of Korea, the four powers being Great Britain, the United States, China and Russia.
It was agreed that in five years the trustees were to hand over Korea to a democratic, independent Korean government. To begin with, a joint United States-Soviet commission was to take over and set up in Korea a provisional government which was to cooperate with the trustees. This Moscow agreement was also signed by the Soviet union, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Then the trouble began. The Soviet union would accept no Koreans for the provisional government except communist members. In May, 1946, the attempt to set up a provisional government was abandoned. The United States then proposed a four-power conference on the question of Korea, but Molotov said, "No". The United States then brought the problem to the assembly of the United Nations and in November, 1947, the United Nations decided by forty-three votes, with the Soviet bloc being absent, that a Korean national government should be formed and that the armies of both rival powers should withdraw within ninety days. A United, Nations temporary commission was sent out to supervise the election.
By this time there was an iron curtain across Korea. The Soviet occupation authorities refused to permit the United Nations commissioners to cross the 38th parallel. The conflict from then on became not
a conflict between North and South Korea, not a conflict between the United States and Russia; it became a conflict between the Soviet union and the United Nations. The United Nations did the only thing they could do short of invading North Korea with United1 Nations forces, of which there were none. On May 10, 1948, they set about to hold elections in the south, leaving vacancies to be filled by elections in the north at a later date.
In the meantime the Soviet occupation forces had hastily formed a puppet government and appealed to the South Koreans to boycott the elections. In spite of that appeal and in the face of intimidation the fact is that 80 per cent of those in South Korea who were eligible to vote went to the polls. One hundred of the 300 seats were left vacant to be filled at a later date by members from North Korea.
Three months after that election, in August, 1948, the Soviet authorities of North Korea and their puppet government organized an election in North Korea. As is usual in those circumstances, communists and their friends were elected.
There were then two governments in the country, each claiming to represent the entire country. In December, 1948, the general assembly of the United Nations decided to recognize the South Korean government. Needless to say the Soviet bloc opposed this and refused to accept the decision of the majority. Both the occupying armies were withdrawn, the Russians from the north and the United Nations from the south. Only the United Nations commissioners remained, their task being to unify the country under a single democratic government.
The first report that that commission made to the United Nations on September 1, 1948, confessed that every effort to make contact with North Korea had been fruitless. It went on to say that the most courteous appeals for facilities that would permit a visit to the north and allow the initiation of the subject of unification had been without reply.
With the armies of their protectors no longer on the spot, the two governments sought guarantees of assistance from the rival powers. In March, 1949, the North Korean prime minister went to Moscow to sign a ten-year treaty of economic and cultural co-operation with the soviet, which made North Korea just as much a part of the communist family as eastern Germany. In January of that year Dr. Rhee, the prime minister of South Korea, signed an agreement
with the United States for the receipt of arms under the mutual defence assistance program.
This was the position on June 25 when the troops of the north, plentifully armed with up-to-date Russian weapons, advanced across the 38th parallel. A republic of Korea existed with a government in control to the south of the 38th parallel. It had been established after the holding of free elections, supervised by a United Nations commission, in which it had been intended that North Korea would take part. Two-thirds of the population lived in the area administered by this government. It was recognized as the lawful government of Korea by the United Nations general assembly, by the United Kingdom and eleven other nations. It had an agreement with the United States for the provision of arms.
North of the 38th parallel was the government known as the democratic people's republic of Korea, a communist government, also claiming to be the lawful government of Korea. It had been established in the first place by the soviet occupation authorities who had refused to allow the ten million inhabitants of this part of Korea to take part in the May, 1948, elections held at the request and under the supervision of the United Nations. It was recognized only by the Soviet union and members of the soviet bloc. It had a ten-year agreement for economic co-operation with the Soviet union.
There was also in the country the United Nations commission on Korea. Its principal task was to resolve the differences between the two governments in order to bring into being a united democratic Korea.
As soon as Washington heard of the fighting on the morning of June 25, the United States authorities asked for an emergency meeting of the security council, which was held the same afternoon. Every one of the eleven members, except the soviet delegate, turned up. They were the United Kingdom, United States, France, China-still represented by the Chiang Kai-shek government-Norway, Cuba, Egypt, Ecuador, India and Yugoslavia. By nine votes to zero, Yugoslavia abstaining, the security council called for an immediate ceasefire. "This action constitutes a breach of the peace", the council told the world, which had already reached that impression. The council went on to demand the immediate cessation of hostilities and the withdrawal of all North Korean forces to the 38th parallel. Then, in what may prove to be a historic passage, it called upon all members of the United Nations "to render every assistance to the United Nations, and to refrain from giving assistance to the North Korean authorities."
The Address-Mr. Noseworthy
It was in accordance with these instructions that United States Superforts went into action in far-away Korea and the Royal Navy placed its services at the disposal of General MacArthur. Canada and other members of the United Nations came forward with offers of help. We are all in full accord with the action taken by the United Nations in its attempt to call a halt to communist aggression. As was said in this chamber by a number of members last spring, it is very encouraging indeed to know that the free nations of the world may learn to co-operate with one another in providing some measure of collective support for the defence of freedom and the maintenance of peace.
Ever since the first world war and the old league of nations we had been paying lip service to an international police force armed to restrain aggression and to establish the rule of law among nations. In sheer self-defence of our way of life we are now driven to making a beginning at providing for the United Nations the military forces that were visualized in the charter. It is easy to be critical of the shortcomings of the United Nations in' its handling of the Korean and other inters national situations. The United Nations Organization has probably gone as far and as fast as its constituent nations would permit. This ideal of creating one world in which all nations can live in peace with one another, or even the basic purpose for which the United Nations was established, that of maintaining peace and preventing wars, is difficult to achieve under any circumstances. It is particularly difficult to achieve when one nation, and that one of the most powerful military nations of the world, together with its satellites sets out to conquer the world, and to conquer it without the slightest regard for any rules of the game and by whatever means may serve its purpose.
That is the situation in today's world in which the United Nations is seeking to function. Democracy as we know it, democracy with all its faults, is just as definitely engaged in the life and death struggle with communism today as if we were actually engaged in a world war with Russia. The fight is on for us and those who believe with us in democratic parliaments, democratic trade unions and all the other institutions that democratic peoples have evolved through the years. The conflict is for the survival of this particular way of life. The question that each one of us must ask and answer for himself is whether or not he wants a communist-controlled world.
No one who has even the most superficial acquaintance with communism doubts for one moment that the rallying call of communists the world over is the conquest of the world for communism. Do we want that kind of world, or do we want to salvage the best of
The Address-Mr. Noseworthy our democratic institutions and work for their improvement? Those forces in our society which have through the centuries sought to liberate the souls and bodies of men and women from slavery and oppression are today facing one of the most momentous crises of history. We are living in one of the most crucial periods of human history. Our success or failure in this crisis will determine whether civilization as we know it survives or whether we enter upon another of those dark ages such as have marked the course of human history in the past. We face in fact a twofold threat, first whether we proceed to annihilate one another in atomic warfare, and whether in surviving we survive in freedom or slavery of soul and body.
Two obligations rest upon the free people today. The first is that of preserving democracy and democratic institutions; not because of our belief that those institutions are perfect, but because we believe that under our democratic system we have the freedom and opportunities necessary for growth and improvement. The second is that of avoiding the catastrophe of another world war, whether it be atomic or any other type. Whether we can fulfil our first and second obligations at the same time is something that only history can tell. Certainly it is the hope and prayer of millions of people that the war in Korea is not the beginning of a general world war.
This, however, is also true. Repulsive as war may be, and costly as it may be in human lives and human suffering, there are some values in life greater than life itself. There are values for which men and women throughout history have been willing to lay down their lives. To meet the danger of a communist-dominated world we must be prepared to meet force with force whenever force is the means used by the enemy, as was the case in Korea. As a nation we must be prepared to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to fulfil our obligations, and to do our utmost to preserve our way of life.
As the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) pointed out, we dare not rely on military preparation alone. Herbert Morrison, of the British Labour government, speaking in Manchester on July 2 said:
I sincerely believe that only by showing that the free democracies will take a stand can we hope to convince disturbers of the peace that aggression does not pay.
He went on to express in the following words the sound advice given to this house by the minister for external affairs on Thursday. He said:
While armed opposition is necessary in reply to armed aggression the path we and other like-thinking people mu-t follow is in removing the causes of
communism, by alleviating the malnutrition and misery that affects so many millions of people, particularly throughout Asia.
While we can all congratulate this government on its action in recruiting and equipping a special force to be placed at the service of the United Nations, while we can congratulate the government on the example it has given to the rest of the world in offering to make that force available to the United Nations for service anywhere, we could wish that our government had shown more leadership in fulfilling the second requirement set forth by its own minister- that of removing the cause of communism both at home and abroad. The rising cost of living at home, the unemployment that faced thousands of our people last winter, the deplorable housing conditions under which our people have been suffering for years, the profiteering that is taking place today with government acquiescence, the lack of adequate protection against sickness and old age, are all factors which in this country contribute to the spread of communism and which it is the responsibility of the government to remove.
In the international sphere this government's refusal to support the food and agriculture organization's plans for distributing food to needy people, its opposition to the United Nations proposal for international action to maintain full employment, and the insignificant contribution made so far by Canada to plans for economic aid to the underdeveloped areas of the world, are all illustrations of the failure on the part of this government to meet the urgent need for constructive action in that sphere. It is our failure to meet the challenge of communism on all fronts at home, and to show that democracy can do in reality what communism merely promises to do, that encourages the spread of communism in this country. It does more than that. The presence of want and injustice in a land of plenty and freedom creates a greater sympathy for communism among many Canadians who are not communists than is warranted.
Today Russia and the other communist countries dare not reveal to the world the actual conditions under which their people live. Nor do they dare to let their people know the conditions under which we on this continent live. They are obliged to keep knowledge of themselves from the rest of the world, and knowledge of us from their people by surrounding themselves by the so-called iron curtain. We have only their promises and little factual information about the condition of life in the iron curtain countries. Were we more aggressive in sharing with all our
own people, and with the needy in every part of the world, the abundance we can produce in this country, communism would have little appeal to Canadians. As it is today we have thousands of Canadian citizens confused in their thinking regarding the promises of communism, partly through lack of information regarding communism and partly through our failure to provide a standard of living for our people that we are capable of providing.
Many thousands of Canadians, for example, signed a petition to abolish the bomb. Thousands of Canadians signed that petition in good faith and from a sincere desire to maintain peace. Little do they know of the efforts that have been made by the United Nations to secure the abolition of the bomb upon the only conditions its abolition could possibly be achieved, that of United Nations control and adequate inspection. Little do those people know the ends to which Russia has gone to frustrate all those efforts made by the United Nations. I want to see the bomb abolished, as does every other member in this house, and I am sure every good Canadian, for that matter. We want to be sure that present stocks are destroyed in Russia as well as elsewhere, and that measures are provided to make sure that no secret manufacture of the bomb can be undertaken anywhere. More than that, I am sure we would all be happy to see an effective disarmament program in effect throughout the world to render any war, atomic or otherwise, impossible. We must, however, take into account the kind of world in which we are living today. Certainly it would be evidence of nothing but weakness on the part of the democracies to disarm themselves of atomic or other weapons until democracy's greatest enemy is prepared to co-operate with the United Nations for the prevention of war.
Many of these people to whom I have referred are also requesting that the Korean situation be settled by a process of conciliation. I, in common with other Canadians, prefer to see any dispute, either domestic or international, settled by conciliation wherever that is possible rather than resort to force. Here again it would merely be a sign of weakness to subject ourselves to the conciliation of our dispute solely on the enemy's terms. Aggression must learn that aggression does not pay. To meet the challenge of communism on all fronts and to preserve our democratic way of life we require sacrifice, just as every cause worth defending has always meant sacrifice. We must first make democracy work at home so efficiently that our people will feel amply justified in making the necessary sacrifices. Nor must those sacrifices fall entirely or
The Address-Mr. Noseworthy even largely on those who enlist for services abroad and their families. Business, agriculture and labour must all bear their share. These together with our press, our radio, our churches and other great national organizations have a responsible role to play in what Dean Acheson calls total diplomacy. All must agree to concert their efforts in this one overriding task. The task will not be easy. Miss Dorothy Thompson, in writing for the American people a few days ago on the inroads which communism has made in Asiatic countries, said:
We have already lost Asia. Stalin has not won it. He wants us to win it for him.
Whether or not the democracies have yet lost Asia may be a debatable point. Certain it is that unless great care is taken we shall lose it to the communists, and we could still lose it even if we won a military victory in Korea.
On that point I should like to quote a brief passage from an editorial which appeared in the Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper, on Thursday, August 17. The article has this to say:
It is clear that the mass of Koreans-whose division into north and south is temporary and artificial -have not welcomed the Americans as "liberators." On the contrary, it is certain that a vast majority of them see the Americans as interlopers and imperialists. Russian propaganda to that effect has been dinned into their ears and, quite evidently, has inspired the north Koreans to fight with great enthusiasm. According to Tokyo reporters, counterpropaganda from American or UN sources is not just ineffective-it doesn't exist. The Russians are not being answered. An American correspondent in Tokyo said on the air the other night that he and his colleagues had given up in "disgust" asking general headquarters what its end military objective was. As for the political aims of the United Nations in Korea, they have never been defined.
The editorial goes on to say:
It would be perfectly natural, then, for the Koreans to assume that the sole purpose of the Americans is to restore the Syngman Rhee government at Seoul. They know that this regime was corrupt and oppressive, treating its political prisoners with harsh brutality, and that it failed to carry out promised land reforms and other economic improvements. Can anyone be surprised, then, that the Korean masses have failed to greet the Americans with garlands of flowers and hymns of praise?
The west, and that means chiefly the United States, must offer the Asian peoples a program and a vision just as heart-warming as communism is supplying.
It is that point that I should like to call to the attention of the minister and, through him in his office as our representative at the United Nations, to the United Nations. It will be much more difficult for the western world to sell that program to the east than it will be for Russia to sell her program. The experience of western capitalistic imperialism which Asiatic people have had in the
The Address-Mr. Hees past has not been such as to inspire confidence in western policies. Somehow, if we are not to turn Asia to communism and if the blood shed in Korea is not to be shed in vain, we must find some way of undoing the evil that has been done in the past and of inspiring some degree of confidence in these people.
That will mean assistance in relieving hunger and oppression. We shall not gain the confidence of Koreans if they believe our purpose there is to restore the regime of Mr. Rhee. Nor shall we gain the confidence of the Chinese if they are led to believe that our interest in China is the restoration of Chiang. We must assist in the creation of economic, political, social and psychological conditions that will create and strengthen confidence in the democratic way of life. We must do what we can to help these people to help themselves, even to the extent of gifts of food where such gifts are necessary and to the extent of buying their products in order to enable them to pay for ours in turn, even to the extent that some of our own industries may suffer as a consequence. That will be a part of the cost that we must pay.
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I wish to strike a slightly more optimistic note. All is not lost nor is there any good reason why democracy should continue to lose ground to communism. The non-communist countries together have two-thirds of the world's population, three-fourths of the world's economic productive powers and a potential preponderance of the world's military powers. They have the highest standard of living. They have the greatest ability to help undeveloped areas to achieve higher standards of living. They have on their side the appeal of independence and national loyalties. They have the greatest attraction of all, human freedom. With these forces on our side, we can win if only we can succeed in showing eastern people, attacked by communism, that our object is to preserve for them that human freedom and independence and not to conquer them, to impose upon them our way of life or to exploit their resources for western profit.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Mr. Speaker, on August 18 last I wrote to the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) and, as a member of our present reserve forces, stated to him why I believe that our forces today are totally inadequate for defending this country. I also stated specifically what I considered should be done in order to fill these deficiencies. As I have had, to date, no answer from the minister, I am going to state again the points which I made in my
letter to him, in the hope that I may receive an answer on the floor of this house. In my letter to the minister I said the following:
A few days ago, our government authorized the formation of a United Nations brigade. This step was endorsed by the vast majority of Canadians, because it enables us to live up to our obligations as a member of the United Nations.
This is one important step. The next, and even more important, is to prepare an armed force so that we can defend this country against the kind of attack which could be brought to bear against our shores at any time.
The possibility of this country becoming the Belgium of the third world war is a very real one. The oft-avowed aim of the communists is world domination, and this can only be accomplished by the subjugation of the United States. Canada would be the pathway for such an attack, and the possibility of this country becoming a battleground at some future date is something which every Canadian must bring himself to face.
First, then, what kind of force must we be prepared to meet? The Korean war has taught us that when the communists attack, their forces are well trained, well equipped, well directed, and in sufficient numbers to maintain the momentum of the attack. If they attack our west coast, they will do so in large numbers, and with heavy equipment. The ease with which such an attack can be launched from a distance of many hundreds of miles was demonstrated by the allied landings in Sicily in the summer of 1943. In that invasion, the first Canadian division sailed direct from England to the Sicilian beaches, a distance of many hundreds of miles by water. An invasion force of this kind could easily be protected by the large fleet of super submarines-both Russian and German-which the communists are known to have.
What, then, have we available to meet such an attack if one should come? The present brigade which is being recruited for Korea is for service in other parts of the world. When that force leaves this country, the only force which will be available for repelling an attack is one brigade group, consisting of 4,500 men, or less than one-third of a division.
As was pointed out last night by the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes), this brigade group has no headquarters, and has no means of going into action as a formation until considerably further preparations have been made.
A force of that size could do no more than fight a brief delaying action against the size and type of force which could be landed.
In addition to the permanent brigade group which I have mentioned, we have our active reserve. As these reserve forces are up to no more than one-quarter strength, have very little equipment, and have never trained as complete battle formations, a minimum of six months to one year would be required before any reserve unit could take the field as an effective fighting force.
With what, then, do we plan to meet an attack if one should come? At the present time it is obvious that we have no plan, and equally obvious that, without one, we are living in a fool's paradise. I believe that we must recruit, train and equip a force which could be immediately available to lfieet and halt an attack, at least until American reinforcements arrive. The absolute minimum force which could do this would be, I believe, one armoured division, or an infantry division supported by an armoured brigade.
In order that such a force should be raised and maintained at the minimum cost to the taxpayer, I propose the following plan:
1st. The present recruiting and training plan should be expanded to include volunteers for a special reserve force, which would be known as "The Special Active Army Reserve".
2nd. Those who volunteer would receive training under active army conditions and rates of pay for whatever period the Department of National Defence considers necessary to bring them to a state of fighting fitness.
3rd. Legislation should be re-enacted to protect those who enlist by ensuring their release for necessary training or service by their present employers, without jeopardizing their job or seniority.
4th. Suitably located units of the present reserve army would be selected to organize 1st battalions or regiments, as an active army reserve, and continue their present units as 2nd battalions or regiments of the reserve army.
5th. Upon completion of the initial training period, personnel would join the active army reserve unit nearest to their home, and continue their training on a part-time basis while continuing to work at their regular employment.
6th. Terms of service would be for duty as and when required by the Department of National Defence, in any area. When on duty, active army regulations would apply, including casualty pensions.
7th. After the initial training period has been completed, a retaining fee of $30 a month for officers and $20 a month for other ranks should be paid, in addition to pay for intermittent training periods. This will help to attract battle-tried veterans, and make the service attractive to new recruits.
8th. Active army reserve battalions and regiments should be supplied with a full-time skeleton staff to maintain equipment, which should be procured at the earliest possible date, and in sufficient quantity, to place units on a war footing when ordered on service.
The initial training and equipping of this force would cost a considerable amount of money, but the overhead required to maintain the skeleton staffs and house the equipment, plus the yearly compensation, would make available an effective defence force at a minimum cost, and ensure its readiness on very short notice. The fact that this force would be considered as an integral part of our first line defence would have a strong appeal to the best type of fighting soldier, and the retaining fee when not on full-time duty would be an excellent drawing card for new recruits. In addition to the army, there is no reason why the plan I have outlined could not be applied to the navy and the air force in the same manner as to the army.
This is the only way in which we can prepare ourselves to repel armed aggression against this country if it should come. It is also our best insurance against being attacked, because the only language which the communists understand is strength and preparedness. If we are strong and prepared, we are far less likely to be attacked than if we remain in the weak and vulnerable position we "are in today.
We can never permit a recurrence of what happened in the last war, when young men with little training and equipment were sent to Hong Kong, and as reinforcements to Italy and northwest Europe. Let us train and equip ourselves now before it is too late.
I am submitting this plan for preparedness to the government, as a veteran of the last war, as a member of the present reserve army, and as a Canadian who wishes to see his country remain free. I sincerely hope that the Minister of
The Address-Mr. Hees
National Defence will see fit to put this plan, or some better plan, into operation before world events catch up with us.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
I sent a letter to the minister stating that these were opinions which I held and which I had expressed in a radio speech, which in no way minimized the suggestions I made. I said I would appreciate very much his comments, and that I sincerely believed this plan merited consideration by the government. I sent a copy of the same letter to the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) and received a prompt reply saying that this matter would be brought to the attention of the government. I am reciting these points at the present time because in my view this is an exceedingly important matter. I would like to see the government consider it and either produce a plan of this kind, or some better one-and I am not partial to mine- at the earliest opportunity.
On Tuesday last when the Prime Minister was reciting the series of events leading up to, and including, the rail strike, he told us that when the strike occurred the government was taken completely by surprise, as he believed everybody was. Those were his words as stated last Tuesday and reported at page 13 of Hansard. He said the rail strike had caught the government completely by surprise because they had believed it could not happen here.
If that kind of thinking is applied to national defence, it will be a disaster. That such thinking does exist in the Department of National Defence was made evident by the minister's speech two days ago, when he outlined the situation as one completely in control, exactly as the country would wish it to be, and left the impression that no Canadian had anything to worry about.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
This is a matter of tremendous urgency. We are met here to hear from the government what plans they are ready to put forward for the adequate defence of this country-a defence which I believe has been demonstrated to be in a very shaky condition. I appeal to the Minister of National Defence
The Address-Mr. MacKenzie and the Prime Minister to lay before the house at the earliest possible moment adequate plans for the defence of this country.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Mr. Speaker, in rising to speak in the debate in reply to the speech from the throne I realize that this is a special session of parliament called to deal chiefly with two urgent problems that concerned the government and people of Canada. As one of those problems has already been dealt with, I should like at this time to make a few observations respecting our foreign affairs policy, particularly as it applies to the situation in the Far East and the Korean fields.
I must confess I have been amazed at the hon. members who have been giving such expert advice on this subject. I am reminded of the old adage that says that the less a man knows about a subject the more he is inclined to speak about it. Keeping that in mind, and applying it to myself on this occasion, I shall be brief in my remarks.
I followed the address in the house last Thursday delivered by the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) and I have since read his speech as it is printed in Hansard. In my opinion he gave a comprehensive report of the Korean and Far Eastern situation of which I believe any reasonable man would approve. May I commend him for his frankness and his up-to-the-moment analysis of the situation in that quarter. In my opinion Canada is fortunate indeed to have a man of his character, diplomacy and ability in a position of such importance at this time of world crisis.
While I spent a little over two years in the Orient, it was not my privilege to visit Korea, although I did have some close contacts with the situation there. An American citizen whom I knew very well and who lived in China for many years and had married a Polish girl was engaged in the same branch of UNRRA as that with which I was associated. After a year with UNRRA he accepted a similar post with the United States government to do the same type of work in the Korean field. He left his family in China, and proceeded to that post. This man made several visits to Shanghai while I was there in 1947, and I had frequent talks with him when he came to China regarding the situation in Korea.
He claimed that conditions in Korea were quite similar to those in many parts of China. It was his feeling at that time that it was a serious mistake to attempt to divide Korea into two parts. The Koreans are an oriental
race, having many of the same characteristics, including skin, hair and other features, as the Chinese. Their background is chiefly from that origin.
Korea is a comparatively small country which was taken over by the Japanese about forty years ago. The Japanese virtually owned it for the last thirty-five years. Japan was master, and practically made slaves out of the Koreans, exploiting them in every possible way. At the conclusion of the war the army commands, chiefly those of Russia and the United States, divided Korea into two parts, the northern and southern sections. I believe that division was made at the 38th parallel, with the Russians being given jurisdiction in the northern area and the United States in the southern. It should be remembered that the northern part contains large areas of rough country. While it is greater in extent, the south has approximately twice the population of the north. I believe early in 1948 free elections were held, and two separate republics were formed. That was a great mistake as few people cou'ld see any good reason why Korea should be divided into two parts. If that country had been given its freedom as one republic war probably would have been avoided.
However, that is water under the bridge and the problem now is how to deal with the situation that faces us today. After the election of 1948 Dr. Syngman Rhee was chosen as the first president. He had been a nationalist patriot who had fled Korea almost 30 years before and resided in the United States during that time. He had made an attempt to set up some form of government in the United States claiming to represent Korea. He was reactionary in character.
With a few of his loyal lieutenants he ruled South Korea with an iron hand and put literally hundreds of people in jail simply because they objected to or criticized his government. He became so unpopular that in May of this year he was defeated in parliament and was unable to get sufficient support to carry on. It is not hard to realize why the South Koreans have not supported the armies during the present war as was expected and have left the United States to fight the battle alone to a large extent.
It is true that as members of the Atlantic pact we must be prepared to fight aggression anywhere and must go to the aid of the armies fighting in South Korea as quickly as possible. In this connection Canada will do her full share. But we might as well face
the facts of what we are up against in Korea. The government there was not satisfactory and the Kremlin capitalized on that fact in a big way. The fight there will be long and arduous but there is no question about who will eventually win.
I should like to say a word with regard to the situation in Formosa and the China field. The minister of external affairs stated in the house a few days ago, if I got it correctly, that in his opinion the greatest danger of outbreaks similar to that which has occurred in Korea was in Germany, Iran and Indo-China. We must be prepared for such emergencies. While I am aware that that situation exists, it is my opinion that the greatest danger, one that might well lead to a world war, is to be found in Formosa.
I am familiar to some extent with the situation there as I spent two years in the China field. I have references here to the work I did in China by the director-general of the United Nations relief and rehabilitation organization in Washington, D.C. I have another reference by a colonel who was the inspector-general and investigator at that time. I have still another reference from the China office. I am reluctant to put these on the record but I must say that I am happy to have them. In fact I have one framed and hanging above my mantel at home.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY