September 7, 1939 (18th Parliament, 5th Session)


Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)



I have the honour to inform the house that when the house did attend His Excellency the Governor General this day in the senate chamber His Excellency was pleased to make a speech to both houses of parliament. To prevent mistakes I have obtained a copy, which is as follows: Honourable Members of the Senate:
Members of the House of Commons:
As you are only too well aware, all efforts to maintain the peace of Europe have failed. The United Kingdom, in honouring pledges given as 87134-1
a means of avoiding hostilities, has become engaged in war with Germany. You have been summoned at the earliest moment in order that the government may seek authority for the measures necessary for the defence of Canada, and for co-operation in the determined effort which is being made to resist further aggression, and to prevent the appeal to force instead of to pacific means in the settlement of international disputes. Already the militia, the naval service and the air force have been placed on active service, and certain other provisions have been made for the defence of our coasts and our internal security under the War Measures Act and other existing authority. Proposals for further effective action by Canada will be laid before you without delay.
Members of the House of Commons:
You will be asked to consider estimates to provide for expenditure which has been or may be caused by the state of war which now exists.
Honourable Members of the Senate:
Members of the House of Commons:
I need not speak of the extreme gravity of this hour. There can have been few, if any, more critical in the history of the world. The people of Canada are facing the crisis with the same fortitude that to-day supports the peoples of the United Kingdom and other of the nations of the British commonwealth. My ministers are convinced that Canada is prepared to unite in a national effort to defend to the utmost liberties and institutions which are a common heritage.

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