February 18, 1937 (18th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. ANGUS MacINNIS (Vancouver East):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that the preceding speaker (Mr. Lalonde) will excuse me if I do not follow him in his remarks. Whatever their content may have been, I am quite sure that his speech was delivered in very good style.
Judging from the speeches that have been made in this chamber since the amendment was moved, Mr. Speaker, I think this group can take credit to itself for having given the members of this house an opportunity of expressing their views on the question now before us. Most of the discussion has not been altogether against our point of view. The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie), in opening his speech on Monday evening, took strong exception to the form of the amendment. He called it a doublebarrelled amendment. Let me read the amendment and see to what extent it is double-barrelled:
This house views with grave concern the startling increases of expenditure proposed by the government for purposes of national armament in contrast with the inadequate provision for the social security of all sections of the Canadian people.
The Minister of National Defence, having read the amendment, immediately referred to a resolution that was proposed in this house in 1933, and then, turning to the members behind him, he made this most peculiar statement, which you will find at page 896 of Hansard:
The hon. member for Vancouver North by his amendment is seeking to obtain power, because the carrying of his amendment would mean the defeat of this government; a socialist government would then be in control in this dominion, and we would have the establishment of a socialist state. That is what the amendment means, and nothing else.
Now, that may be good strategy on the part of the Minister of National Defence, but it is certainly not statesmanship. He may think a thing like that will go over with the province of Quebec, where the people may have been prejudiced against socialism, but let me tell him that it is not going to do for the people of this country generally. All that we do in this amendment is to draw attention to and say that we are opposed to the great increase in the military estimates in comparison with what has been done in regard to social services to meet the needs of
National Defence-Mr. Maclnnis
the people of this country. If our amendment is double-barrelled the reason is that we are dealing with a two-faced government, a government that was elected not to increase the military appropriations for defence but to deal with the serious economic and social conditions within this country.

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