Mr. MACKENZIE KING:
I would say
that is absolutely so.
Now I wish to read what I, as Prime Minister of this country, and the government are setting forth as the grounds on which parliament should base its decision and what we are asking parliament to decide when it registers its views on the address which is being presented to his excellency in reply to the speech from the throne:
For months, indeed for years, the shadow of impending conflict in Europe has been ever present. Through these troubled years, no stone has been left unturned, no road unexplored in the patient search for peace.
Unhappily for the world, Herr Hitler and the Nazi regime in Germany have persisted in their attempt to extend their control over other peoples and countries, and to pursue their aggressive designs in wanton disregard of all treaty obligations, and peaceful methods of adjusting international disputes. They have had resort increasingly to agencies of deception, terrorism, and violence. It is this reliance upon force, this lust for conquest, this determination to dominate throughout the world, which is the real cause of the war that to-day threatens the freedom of mankind.
The fate of a single city, the preservation of the independence of a particular nation, are the occasion, not the real cause of the present conflict. The forces of evil have been loosed in the world in a struggle between the pagan conception of a social order which ignores the individual and is based upon the doctrine of might,_ and a civilization based upon the Christian conception of the brotherhood of man with its regard for the sanctity of contractual relations and the sacredness of human personality.
As President Roosevelt said on opening congress on January 4:
"There comes a time in the affairs of men when they must prepare to defend not their
homes alone, but the tenets of faiths and humanity on which their churches, their governments, and their very civilization are founded. The defence of religion, of democracy, and of good faith among nations is all the same fight. To save one, we must make up our minds to save all."
This, I believe, is the position in which all nations that cherish free institutions, individual liberty and social justice, find themselves to-day.
I need not review the events of the last few days. They must be present in the minds of all. Despite her unceasing efforts to preserve the peace of Europe, the United Kingdom has to-day, in the determination to honour her pledges and meet her treaty obligations, become involved in war.
This morning, the king, speaking to his peoples at home and across the seas, appealed to all, to make their own, the cause of freedom, which Britain again has taken up. Canada has already answered that call. On Friday last, the government, speaking on behalf of the Canadian people, announced that in the event of the United Kingdom becoming engaged in war in the effort to resist aggression, they would, as soon as parliament meets, seek its authority for effective cooperation by Canada at the side of Britain.
As you are aware, I have all along felt that the danger of war was such that parliament should not be dissolved, but be available to consider any emergency that might arise.
Parliament will meet Thursday next. Between now and then, all necessary measures will be taken for the defence of Canada. Consultations with the United Kingdom will be continued. In the light of all the information at its disposal, the government will then recommend to parliament the measures which it believes to be the most effective for cooperation and defence.
That parliament will sanction all necessary measures, I have not the least doubt. Already, I have received from the leader of the opposition and from representatives of the other parties in the House of Commons, assurances of their full appreciation of the gravity of the situation, and of their desire to see that such measures are adopted as, in the present crisis, will best serve the national interest.
Our first concern is with the defence of Canada. To be helpful to others, we must ourselves be strong, secure, and united. In anticipation of a state of war, the government has already availed itself of the provisions of the War Measures Act, to take essential measures for the defence of our coasts, our land and our people. As has already been announced, the militia of Canada, the naval service and the air force are already on active service.
This morning these measures were supplemented by others including the putting into effect of the ' Defence of Canada Regulations." Measures have also been taken to prevent profiteering in the necessaries of life. Of the latter measures my colleague, the Minister of .Labour, will speak to you in a moment.
In what manner and to what extent Canada may most effectively be able to co-operate in the common cause is as I have already stated, something which parliament itself will decide. All I need to add at the moment is that Canada, as a free nation of the British Commonwealth, is bringing her cooperation voluntarily. Our effort will be voluntary.
The people of Canada will, I know, face the days of stress and strain which lie ahead with
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calm and resolute courage. There is no home in Canada, no family, and no individual whose fortunes and freedom are not bound up in the present struggle. I appeal to my fellow Canadians to unite in a national effort to save from destruction all that makes life itself worth living, and to preserve for future generations those liberties and institutions which others have bequeathed to us.
Let me repeat: The views there expressed
are those of the government with respect to the issue that is involved in this present struggle. The issue being what it is, Britain and France having taken their stand beside Poland to redeem pledges which they made for the purpose of avoiding hostilities and as a means of avoiding further aggression, if parliament supports the administration this country will go into this war to be at the side of Britain, cooperating with her and with France towards those great and imperative ends, and equally to defend its own institutions and liberties.
What are the measures and methods that we propose to adopt in prosecuting our effort in the defence of Canada and in cooperation with Britain? So far as cooperation is concerned our efforts will be carried out in the light of the fullest information we can obtain in regard to the whole situation, as the result of consultation with the British authorities, and of the knowledge we ourselves may possess, or obtain from other sources. We have had before us all along the common consensus of view of the imperial conference of 1937, the year of the coronation, as to how cooperation if agreed to could be made most effective for the purpose of preserving peace and of avoiding aggression. It is I think important that I read to the house what those view's are, because they express the views which were agreed to by this government at that time, and which have evidently been accepted as in every way appropriate and authoritative, seeing that the report has been before parliament for two years and that no exception has been taken to them by any members.
Reading from the summary of proceedings of the imperial conference of 1937, I turn to the part which deals with foreign affairs. It is as follows. I shall, in reading, only quote the more relevant excerpts:
At the plenary meeting of the imperial conference on May 14, the chairman made the following statement in the course of his opening speech:
"Though we shall discuss other important subjects, we are agreed that questions 'of foreign affairs and defence shall be our main subjects. It is fitting that they should be. For we are met at a time when the international situation is difficult and even threatening, and the responsibility rests upon us to see that our deliberations not only are of service to ourtMr. Mackenzie King.]
selves but also may help in some measure towards the solution of those international problems which are now perplexing the world."
The conference recorded the results of its deliberations on the subject of foreign affairs in the following statement:
The representatives of the governments of the British commonwealth of nations gathered in the conference, have in the course of their proceedings had an opportunity of exchanging views upon foreign affairs and the international situation as it affects their respective interests and responsibilities.
While no attempt was made to formulate commitments, which in any event could not be made effective until approved and confirmed by the respective parliaments, the representatives of the governments concerned found themselves in close agreement upon a number of general propositions which they thought it desirable to set out in the present statement.
I ask the house to note those words:
... no attempt was made to formulate commitments, which in any event could not be made effective until approved and confirmed by the respective parliaments.
That is the position we are in to-day. Until this parliament now assembled is prepared to approve and confirm what has been done under the War Measures Act and what remains to be done under the measures which will be introduced into this house there will be no commitments that will be binding upon this country. The summary continues:
Thus they agreed that for each member of the commonwealth the first objective is the preservation of peace. In their view the settlement of differences that may arise between nations and the adjustment of national needs should be sought by methods of cooperation, joint enquiry and conciliation. It is in such methods, and not in recourse to the use of force between nation and nation, that the surest guarantee will be found for the improvement of international relations and respect for mutual engagements. _
Holding these views and desiring to base their policies upon the aims and ideals of the League of Nations, they found themselves unanimous in declaring that their respective armaments will never be used for purposes of aggression or for any purpose inconsistent with the covenant of the League of Nations or the Pact of Paris.
Let me remind the house that this country is one of the signatories to the pact of Paris. That was an agreement to renounce war as an instrument of national policy. Germany was also a signatory to that agreement. She has violated that treaty. We propose to hold to all of the treaties we have entered into which have been fashioned for the purpose of preserving peace. One of the reasons we are asking this parliament to support our policy at the present time is that we believe that it is only by the triumph of those nations which are seeking to-day to keep treaties intact, and only as treaties are
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regarded as sacred, will it ever be possible for a civilization based upon contractual relations to exist hereafter. The summary continues:
They all desired earnestly to see as wide a measure of disarmament as could be obtained. At the same time they were agreed that the several governments of which they are the representatives are bound to adopt such measures of defence as they may deem essential for their security, as well as for the fulfilment of such international obligations as they may respectively have assumed.
Being convinced that the influence of each of them in the cause of peace was likely to be greatly enhanced by their common agreement to use that influence in the same direction, they declared their intention of continuing to consult and cooperate with one another in this vital interest and all other matters of common concern.
And then, with respect to defence we find the following in the summary:
The conference gave close attention to the subject of defence, and considered ways in which it would be possible for the governments concerned to cooperate in measures for their own security. The occasion was taken for a detailed review of the state of defence in each of the countries represented at the conference and this opportunity was generally welcomed.
The discussions began with a review of the events which led up to the adoption by His Majesty's government in the United Kingdom of their rearmament program, and of defence problems generally. The members of the conference noted with deep concern that since the session of 1930 international tension had increased in a marked degree, and that there had been a large and rapid increase in the armaments of all the principal powers. They were impressed by tbe world-wide effect of these increased armaments on the international situation and on the financial and economic position of the nations concerned.
Then, at another point:
Reference was made to the increasing importance of the industrial side of defence owing to the progress of technical development in armaments, and emphasis was placed on the advantages attending cooperation in the production and supply of munitions and raw materials as well as of food and feeding stuffs to meet the several requirements of the United Kingdom, the dominions and India, and the colonial empire.... The conference took note of the measures, recently adopted by the various countries represented at the conference, often at a heavy cost, and recognized that the increased programs of armaments were no more than sufficient for the defence of their territories and trade and the fulfilment of such obligations as each might have assumed.
The conference recognized the vital importance of measures to safeguard maritime communications, including routes and waterways essential to defence and trade, and to provide naval bases and facilities for repairs and fuelling of ships....
The conference heard with satisfaction of the important steps taken by His Majesty's government in the United Kingdom for the maintenance of a home defence air force of sufficient strength to afford adequate protection against attack by the strongest air force which may be at any time within striking distance of 87134-3
the shores of the United Kingdom. In this connection the conference took note of the extensive preparations that are being made by His Majesty's government in_ the United Kingdom in the spheres of both active and passive defence against air invasion.
The conference also recorded the progress made by the several governments in creating and maintaining an adequate ehain of air bases and refuelling stations along the lines of communications between the different parts of the Empire.
The conference noted with satisfaction that in accordance with recommendations of previous conferences a common system of organization and training and the use of uniform manuals, patterns of arms, equipment, and stores had been adopted, as far as practicable, for the naval, military and air forces of their several countries. Each of them would thus be enabled to ensure more effectively its own security and-
Please note these words:
*-if it so desired, to cooperate with other countries of the commonwealth with the least possible delay....
The conference gave careful attention to the question of munitions and supplies required for defence both by tbe United Kingdom and other parts of the commonwealth, and also to the question of the supply of food and feeding stuffs in time of emergency. The conference was impressed with the value of the free interchange of detailed technical information and recommended that it should be continued between the technical officers of the governments concerned, it being understood that any questions of policy arising in connection with any such technical exchange and discussion would be submitted to the respective governments for decision and that each government reserve to itself complete freedom of decision and action.
In the course of the discussions, the conference found general agreement among its members that the security of each of their countries can be increased by cooperation in such matters as the free interchange of information concerning the state of their naval, military and air forces, the continuance of the arrangements already initiated by some of them for concerting the scale of the defences of ports, and measures for cooperation in the defence of communications and other common interests. At the same time the conference recognized that it is the sole responsibility of the several parliaments of the British commonwealth to decide the nature and scope of their own defence policy.
I have read these extracts to make perfectly plain that when in 1937 the different members of the British commonwealth were gathered together it was expressed in the clearest terms possible that each parliament of the British commonwealth was to decide for itself the nature and scope of its own defence policies, and that any action that might be taken in the case of a grave situation such as has developed to-day would be taken only after independent action by the parliaments affected. I have read these extracts for another purpose. They help to make perfectly clear what in 1937 was thought by the representatives of
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the different parts of the commonwealth then assembled in London would be the most effective means of cooperating if the time should come when that might become necessary and cooperation be agreed upon.
I have read these extracts also because I wish to give now to the house a statement more in detail of Canada's war action. If will be seen that in working out the plan we have, we have had much in mind the statements that were made as to what would likely in the future prove to be most helpful should Canada wish to cooperate with the United Kingdom and other members of the commonwealth in time of war.
The government, I need scarcely say, has been giving continuous consideration to the question of the most feasible and effective measures which Canada could take in the furtherance of the great task that now lies before us, I may be allowed to quote from a statement which I made to this house on March 30 of this year, when I said:
While another world war will, I trust, never recur, it is desirable nevertheless to consider some questions which would arise in the event of our participation in such a conflict. That participation could not be passive or formal, nor could it be unplanned or irresponsible. It would be necessary to consider in consultation with others involved and with regard to the objectives and operations of the enemy, what would be the most effective form our action and our cooperation could take.
It is clear that the conditions determining the nature of participation in such a conflict have undergone a great change since the last war. The balance of world power has shifted, and Canada has to keep its Pacific as well as its Atlantic coast in mind. Prom both the military and the economic aspect, the attitude of the United States would be immensely more important for the world and for us, than twenty years ago. The weapons and tactics of war have materially changed; naval conditions have perhaps not greatly altered, so far as the sea reaches, but armies have become mechanized, great Maginot or Siegfried lines bar the possibility of rapid infantry advance. Aeroplanes have brought new resources and scope to other arms in joint operations, and have in themselves given war new range, new flexibility and new terrors. Mechanization on land and in the air, and the colossal demands for supplies and renewed equipment, demands which would begin far beyond where the demands of the last war left off, greatly increase the importance of the economic factor, the indispensability of adequate supplies and staying power-factors in which the democratic countries are overwhelmingly strong.
It is not possible at this stage to forecast the character and requirement of the titanic conflict which has already commenced and which threatens the peace not of Europe only but of the entire world. We know the present alignment of nations and can in some measure conceive the economic and strategic factors inherent in the present situation. We
cannot, however, be certain as to what other countries may enter the conflict on one side of the struggle or the other, and the consequent readjustment both of tasks to be met and of contributions to that end. We have vivid in our memories the experience of the last war, from which we have much to learn both as to heroic endeavour to be emulated and mistakes to be avoided. It is clear, however, that in many vital respects the conditions of the present struggle differ very greatly from those of the last, and that we cannot simply assume that the methods and objectives of 1914 are applicable to 1939. We must frame our policy in the light of our knowledge of the present situation and the best information we can obtain as to the probable course of future developments. To this end, as I have already indicated, we have been and shall of course remain in close consultation with the government of the United Kingdom, so that the assistance Canada is to render, if it is to have the greatest effectiveness, shall not be unplanned and irresponsible.
The primary task and responsibility of the people of Canada is the defence and security of Canada. The Minister of National Defence defined these needs in this house on February 15, 1937, as reported on page 892 of Hansard, when he stated:
National security, national defence, the direct defence of Canada, of our coastal areas, our ports, our shipping terminals, our territorial waters, the focal areas of our trade routes adjacent to our harbour mouths-these are the matters dealt with in these estimates.
This involves, in the first instance, military measures of defence. I have already outlined the steps which have been taken to safeguard the situation by calling out the active militia and the naval and air forces. Further measures will be taken in the directions where the need proves most imperative.
Again, we must provide for internal security and guard against sabotage, disturbance of vital military and economic establishments, and against hostile propaganda. A wide range of economic defence measures must be considered. The outbreak of war involves a tremendous upheaval both in international and in internal trade. It involves the redirection of many energies, the intensification of some forms of effort, the reduction of those less vitally necessary. It involves vigilant action to furnish the necessary financial support for the military measures to be taken, and to maintain the credit and the financial relations of Canada. As I said this afternoon, profiteering must and will be rigidly controlled. Close cooperation with the provinces and with representatives of industry and agri-
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culture, of labour and of commerce will be established. Some of the immediate measures necessary to this end have already been taken; others will be adopted shortly.
Next, we must consider measures of cooperation with the United Kingdom. The safety of Canada depends upon the adequate safeguarding of our coastal regions and the great avenues of approach to the heart of this country. Foremost among these is the St. Lawrence river and gulf. At the entrance to the St. Lawrence stands the neighbouring British territory of Newfoundland and Labrador. The integrity of Newfoundland and Labrador is essential to the security of Canada. By contributing as far as we are able to the defence of Newfoundland and the other British and French territories in this hemisphere, we will not only be defending Canada but we will also be assisting Great Britain and France by enabling them to concentrate their own energies more in that part of the world in which their own immediate security is at stake. The British government, in reply to the inquiry we have made, have indicated their agreement that this would be an effective and desirable means of cooperation.
We propose to cooperate in economic pressure, which is an essential factor in the situation that faces us. Measures looking to the prevention of trading with the enemy, control of essential exports and appropriate measures with regard to alien enemies, merchant ships and property will be taken. Of special and vital importance is the furnishing of supplies of all kinds to the British and allied powers, munitions, manufactures and raw materials and foodstuffs.
The urgent necessity of a constant supply of munitions, and the ability of Canada, because of its industrial equipment and its relative accessibility to the main theatres of the war, to meet these needs in great measure, are apparent. It is-a subject on which there has been consultation with the government of the United Kingdom. The British aircraft mission which was sent to this country in 1938 placed initial orders with a representative cooperative group of Canadian aircraft manufacturers. With the concurrence of the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom, a delegation organized by the Canadian Manufacturers' Association and widely representative of Canadian industry recently visited the United Kingdom to study on the spot all forms of armament and munitions production with a view to the expeditious adaptation of Canadian industry to these forms of production. Representatives of the delegation recently presented to the government a report of their inquiries and conclusions. I may say that the inquiry 87134-3i
was carried out in the most thorough-going way, and will prove of decided help to the governments both of Canada and the United Kingdom, and that it is a fine example of the ' capacity and readiness to cooperate of leaders in Canadian business.
A special British mission has just arrived from the United Kingdom to survey the munitions situation further. It has been authorized by the government of the United Kingdom to place certain orders in Canada on the lines explored in consultation with the Canadian mission and to make a further survey of the situation.
Canada is, of all non-European countries, the nearest and surest source of these indispensable materials and supplies. It may be said with assurance that a determined national effort to bring our industry and agriculture to the point of highest efficiency and to keep them at that high level will be of the utmost importance to the common cause. Specific measures of economic and financial cooperation which we propose to recommend in order to make an effective contribution in this and other fields will shortly be announced.
As regards action in. other theatres of war and the means and measures that might be taken, certain essential information touching the character of British and allied action and contemplated plans must be available before any intelligent and definitive decision could be made as to Canadian action even in the immediate future. On this all-important aspect of cooperation in defence, the Canadian government, like the governments of other of the dominions, is in consultation with the British government. We will continue to consult with the purpose of determining the course of action which may be regarded as most effective.
The question of an expeditionary force or units of service overseas is particularly one of wide reaching significance which will require the fullest examination. I note that Sir Henry Gullett, Australian minister for external affairs, told the Australian house of representatives on Wednesday that his government had not yet seriously considered dispatching an expeditionary force overseas. He declared that when the commonwealth had discharged its first duty to the empire, which was to ensure its own safety, and when it was better able to assess the strength of its enemies and the nature of the conflict, it would evolve proposals for further participation in the war for submission to the people. That statement indicates the Australian government are making the same general approach to the consideration of this problem as the government of Canada. There are certain
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measures of economic, naval and air cooperation which are obviously necessary and desirable and which it is possible to undertake without delay. I have already referred to economic measures. The information we have obtained indicates that the most immediate and effective further means of cooperation would be a rapid expansion of air training, and of air and naval facilities, and the dispatch of trained air personnel. These measures we propose to institute immediately.
I wish now to repeat the undertaking I gave in parliament on behalf of the government on March 30 last. The present government believe that conscription of men for overseas service will not be a necessary or an effective step. No such measure will be introduced by the present administration. We have full faith in the readiness of Canadian men and women to put forth every effort in their power to preserve and defend free institutions, and in particular to resist aggression on the part of a tyrannical regime which aims at the domination of the world by force. The government, as representing the people of Canada, will use their authority and power to the utmost in promoting the most effective organized effort toward these imperative ends.
We cannot shut our eyes to the fact that the task before us may be long and terribly difficult. It is a task that will require all the strength and fortitude, all the effective organization of our resources, that we can achieve. There can 'be no doubt of the final outcome of the war. Whatever may be the initial trends in local actions, the resources, military and economic, on which the countries fighting for freedom can draw are fortunately greatly preponderant.
We cannot yet look forward to the conclusion or to the peace that must some day be made; but we must from the start remember that force alone can settle nothing; that force is helpful only in so far as it ensures the establishment and maintenance of enduring peace.
The efforts made after the last war to build up a new world order have tragically failed for the moment, but they have not been in vain. The people have still in their hearts the ideal of a world where change can come by peaceful means, where disputes can be settled by discussion and conciliation, and where the nations will increasingly find the interests they have in common stronger than the interests which divided them, and agree to the measure of world organization and subordination of excessive nationalism that are necessary to give expression to this conviction. We have through the operation of the League of Nations, experience of what can
and cannot be done. We have a new realization of the urgency of the need, a new determination to avert the ghastly possibility of a world war every generation. The peoples of continental Europe must find in some way, through federal relationships or economic partnerships or rebirth of democratic institutions and the spirit of liberty, the art of learning to live together. The rest of the world that cares for freeedom must strive in complementary ways alike for the repelling of to-day's aggression, and for the upholding of to-morrow's saner way of life.
I have, Mr. Speaker, indicated this evening, as far as it seems wise and prudent to go at the present time, the nature of the war efforts which this House of Commons during this present special session will be asked to support. I am pleased to be able to say that I hold in my hand communications from practically all the governments of the several provinces of Canada offering to support this administration in policies which it might put forward for the purpose of making the greatest possible concerted and united effort in the great cause in which we are engaged. I shall read these communications in the order in which they have been received. All are addressed to myself as prime minister.
The first to be received was a communication from the premier of the province of Saskatchewan:
Regina, Sask., Sept. 2, 1939
May I assure you of the sincere and wholehearted cooperation of the government of this province in any plan the federal government may evolve to give effective cooperation to Great Britain in the present crisis and can assure you of the undivided support of the people of the province of Saskatchewan in any action that may be authorized by the parliament of Canada.
W. J. Patterson.
The next communication came from the premier of the province of Manitoba.
Winnipeg, Man., Sept. 3, 1939
Manitoba government has followed with deep anxiety the disturbing events of the past few days, the culmination of which has profoundly shocked the peace-loving peoples of the whole world. In the difficult and responsible task that now faces you and your colleagues in this time of national concern, I wish, at this early date to assure you of the fullest cooperation of the government of Manitoba. We have noted with interest and approval that your government is making plans to insure that Canada's contribution will be as worth while and effective as possible. In any such plans that you may make for the defence of freedom and the settlement of international disputes without _ resort to force you may count upon the assistance of any service of this province which can in any way be useful to those in authority in discharging such obligations as it may be found necessary for the nation to assume. Please feel
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free to call upon the provincial government or any of its members for such cooperation as lies within our power to give.
The next communication received came from the premier of the province of British Columbia :
Victoria, B.C., Sept. 4, 1939
On my return this morning from aerial trip covering Mackenzie Basin, Yukon and Alaska, I hasten to assure you that our provincial government will cooperate with you to fullest possible extent in war which is being thrust upon us. I know that you will not hesitate to call upon us for anything which we can possibly do to be of assistance. With kindest personal regards.
(Signed) T. D. Pattullo.
The next is from the premier of the province of Ontario:
Toronto, Ont., Sept. 5, 1939
Following a meeting of entire cabinet, am pleased to advise that each minister places at disposal of federal government his services in any capacity. This administration further offers every cooperation in releasing for use of the militia, provincial buildings, lands or any other asset that you might require, including our entire provincial air service. In regard to personnel, am also offering now the use of our six tubercular clinics made up of skilled trained and efficient doctors and technicians, who can serve a very useful purpose in assisting with proper medical inspection of volunters to Canadian army. The services of all departments of government are available to you.
M. F. Hepburn.
Next is a communication from the premier of Prince Edward Island:
Charlottetown, P.E.I., Sept. 6, 1939.
The government and people of Prince Edward Island wish to assure the dominion government and parliament of the fullest cooperation in all measures taken to secure the defence of Canada, or to support the cause of Great Britain and her allies.
Thane A. Campbell.
On the same day there came from the premier of the province of Nova Scotia the following communication:
Halifax, N.S., Sept. 6, 1939.
At a meeting of the Nova Scotia government to-day. I was authorized to send you the following message. Meeting to-day in a city and province whose association with the martial achievements of the empire is rich and historic, the government of Nova Scotia wishes to affirm its loyalty to the crown, and to pledge its unswerving support to the government of Canada in whatever measures that government may take to support the motherland^ in the present crisis. Anything and everything that we can do as a government, or as individuals, will be cheerfully done. I have been greatly heartened by offers of service from people in every walk of life throughout the province, and I am confident that the response of Nova Scotians to any demands made upon them will be spontaneous and generous.
A. L. Macdonald.
On the same day, from the premier of the province of New Brunswick, there came this communication:
Fredericton, N.B., Sept. 6.
At their first meeting since the existence of a state of war involving the empire, the government of New Brunswick, to-day, affirmed their desire to lend all assistance possible to your government in their determination to cooperate wi-th Great Britain in the struggle in which she is now engaged. I desire to assure you of the willingness of the members of my cabinet to assist in any capacity that may be thought desirable or expedient by those directing the efforts of our dominion in these times.
A. A. Dysart.
The last communication, which was received to-day, came from the premier of the province of Alberta. It is as follows:
Office of the Premier Alberta
Edmonton, September 6, 1939. My Dear Prime Minister:
In view of the present crisis confronting Canada and the empire, and realizing the grave responsibility that is resting upon you as Prime Minister of Canada, may I present my personal greetings to you and assure you that we as a government stand ready to cooperate with you in all measures necessary and requisite for the proper control of conditions arising in the present day.
We all realize that there are many irregularities which unfortunately follow the declaration of war. These of necessity require prompt action on the part of governments to prevent an accumulation of disorder and chaos, particularly in the merchandising of foodstuff and other commodities, and to protect our people from a system of vicious profiteering that will add to the suffering which war produces.
From press statements we understand that your government has appointed or is about to set up a price control board, for the purpose of preventing such profiteering. We are wondering how soon this hoard will begin to function.
We do not know what is happening in eastern Canada in this connection, but we find that in the west prices of certain staple commodities are increasing much more rapidly than the prices of the raw products from which they are produced.
For example. The price of flour has increased from $4.90 per barrel to $6.75 in the last week, while the price of wheat has increased from 55 cents per bushel to 70 cents. At the present price of wheat, flour should have increased very little, if at all.
A similar condition seems likely to develop with respect to sugar, another staple commodity. We feel that some definite action should be taken at once. Under the provincial Department of Trade and Industry Act, we have the authority to establish a price spreads board, which we feel should be set up at once to prevent these conditions from becoming even more serious. We are therefore very anxious to know at the earliest possible date, what action your price control board contemplates.
I trust that you will understand our concern in this matter, and our whole-hearted willing-
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ness to cooperate with you in every possible way in the dreadful calamity that has overtaken our nation.
Very sincerely yours,
William Aberhart, Premier, Province of Alberta.
These communications, I think, indicate quite clearly what the mind of the people of Canada is with respect to the situation with which this country and the world is faced today. They indicate cooperation of a powerful and effective nature. I have also received a large number of communications from various organizations offering their cooperation. I cannot attempt to quote from them, but I should like to express my thanks to the organizations concerned and to give a list of those that have offered their services to the administration in ways which they believe and hope will be helpful:
1. National Organizations-
Ex-service organizations of both men and women;
All Canadian Congress of Labour;
Canadian Chamber of Commerce;
Canadian Medical Association.
Canadian Red Cross Society;
Canadian Pacific Railway Company;
Christian Social Council of Canada;
Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire, National Chapter;
Junior Leagues of Canada;
National Council of Women of Canada;
Native Sons of Canada, National Council;
The Salvation Army.
Y.M.C.A. National Council;
Y.W.C.A. National Executive;
2. Local Bodies-
Numerous resolutions expressing loyalty and pledging support have been received fromboards of trade;
civic and municipal corporations;
commercial and mercantile groups; fraternal associations; welfare councils.
3. Organizations of foreign born-
Canadian Slovak League; Canadian-Hungarian Democratic Association;
Canadian-Japanese Citizens League (Vancouver)
Croatian Educational Association; Federation of Canadian Hungarian Clubs (National Executive);
German-Canadian branches); Independent Order B.C.:
Association (various Fiorde Italia, Fernie,
National Alliance of Slovaks, Czechs, and Carpatho Russians;
National Council Canadian Ukrainian Youth Federation;
Polish People's Association (Central Executive Committee) ;
Ukrainian Sporting Organization of Canada;
Ukrainian Self-Reliance Bureau of Canada.
Hundreds of communications have been received from individuals throughout Canada, and many from residents of the United States. These communications relate only to offers that have come to my own office. They are but a fraction of those that have been received. There is not a minister of the government who has not received a large number of communications. The Minister of National Defence in particular has received any number of offers of services during the last few days. Steps are being taken to set up under the cabinet subcommittee on public information, a civilian cooperation bureau, which will undertake the collection of all information regarding offers of assistance, with a view to making of it the best possible use.
I should like in the name of the government again to express my thanks to these various organizations and individuals.
I am afraid I have taken much more of the time of the house than I should have taken. But I should not like to conclude without giving the house an expression of my own conviction as to where the responsibility lies for the present conflict. To help other's to understand the situation which the world is facing such judgment as I should like to make on Hitler and the nazi regime of Germany, I should like to pronounce from the lips of Hitler himself.
I have in my hand a copy of a speech delivered in the Reichstag on May 21, 1935, by Adolf Hitler, Fuehrer and Chancellor. This copy was given to me by one of Hitler's official circle when I was in Germany two years ago, as continuing to express the views of Herr Hitler at that time and those of the members of the nazi regime. I ask hon. members to judge for themselves from the Chancellor's own lips what lies at the back of his mind and of the mind of the nazi regime in the series of acts of aggression, the latest the invasion of Poland, and the effort now being made both by terrorism and violence, to continue conquests they have been seeking to make ini the last two years. At the time the following statements were made Herr Hitler was speaking to his own parliament. I quote only a few of the more significant passages.
The introduction was as follows:
At the wish of the government, General Goering. my party colleague and chairman of the reicbstag, has called you together for the purpose of hearing from me, as representative of the German nation, some explanatory statements which I consider necessary for the understanding of the attitude taken up by the government of the Reich and the decisions it has made in regard to certain great issues which affect us all at the present time.
The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King
For this purpose I am speaking to you and through you to the German nation. But I wish that my words may also have a wider echo and reach all those in the outside world who, from duty or interest, have endeavoured to obtain an insight into our thoughts on those same problems which also concern themselves.
... it gives me not only the right, but indeed the sacred duty, to be absolutely open and to speak with all frankness about the various problems. The German nation has the right to demand this from me and I am determined to comply with the demand.
Here is the first significant statement:
It is therefore neither our wish nor our intention to deprive alien sections of our population of their nationalism, language or culture, in order to replace these by something German and foreign to them. We issue no directions for the Germanisation of nonGerman names; on the contrary, we do not wish that. Our racial theory therefore regarde every war for the subjection and domination of an alien people as a proceeding which sooner or later changes and weakens the victor internally and eventually brings about his defeat. But we do not believe for a moment that in Europe the nations whose nationalism has been completely consolidated could in the era of the principle of nationalities be deprived of their national birthright at all. The last one hundred and fifty years provide more than enough instructive warnings of this.
The blood shed on the European continent in the course of the last three hundred years bears no proportion to the national result of the events. In the end France has remained France, Germany Germany, Poland Poland, and Italy Italy. What dynastic egoism, political passion and patriotic blindness have attained in the way of apparently far-reaching political changes by shedding rivers of blood has, as regards national feeling, done no more than touched the skin of the nations. It has not substantially altered their fundamental characters. If these states had applied merely a fraction of their sacrifices to wiser purposes the success would certainly have been greater and more permanent. . . '
No! National socialist Germany wants peace because of its fundamental convictions. And it wants peace also owing to the realization of the simple primitive fact that no war will be likely essentially to alter the distress of Europe. It would probably increase it. . . .
What then could I wish more than peace and tranquillity? But if it is said that this is merely the desire of the leaders, I can reply that if only the leaders and rulers desire peace, the nations themselves will never wish for war.
I ask the house to listen to that statement anew and to note where Hitler himself places the responsibility for war, whether he places responsibility on the German people or on its leaders. He said:
I reply that if only the leaders and rulers desire peace the nations themselves will never wish for war.
It is clear from this statement that it is the leaders, not the German people, who do not desire peace at this time. And that is why we have war.
.. .the world war should serve as a terrible warning. I do not believe that Europe can survive such a catastrophe for a second time without the most frightful upheaval.
Hitler has deliberately brought on this war notwithstanding his conviction that Europe cannot survive such a catastrophe as the last war without a most frightful upheaval. To serve his ambitions he is prepared to sacrifice the whole of Europe. Let me read another extract or two;
Germany has solemnly recognized and guaranteed France her frontiers as determined after the Saar plebiscite. Without taking the past into account Germany has concluded a nonaggression pact with Poland. There is more than a valuable contribution to European peace, and we shall adhere to it unconditionally. We dearly wish that it may continue without interruption and that it may tend to still more profound and friendly sincerity in the mutual relationships between our two countries. The German Reich-and in particular the present German government-have no other wish than to live on friendly and peaceful terms with all neighbouring states. We entertain these feelings not only towards the larger states, but also towards the neighbouring smaller states. As soon as the dogs of war are loosed on the nations the end begins to justify every means. And then people soon begin to lose all clear sense of right and wrong. Germany to-day is a national socialist state. The ideas by which we are governed are diametrically opposed to those of Soviet Russia. National socialism is a doctrine which applies exclusively to the German people. Bolshevism lays emphasis on its international mission. Bolshevism preaches the constitution of the world empire and only recognizes sections of a central international. Bolshevism preaches an international class conflict and the carrying out of a world revolution by means of terror and force.
That is the country with which an agreement has just been secured by the German Chancellor.
So far as bolshevism draws Germany within its range, however, we are its deadliest and most fanatical enemies.
Germany has nothing to gain by a European war of any kind. What we want is freedom and independence. For this reason we were ready to conclude pacts of non-aggression with all our neighbours, Lithuania excepted. _ The sole reason for this exception, however, is not that we wish for a war against that country, but because we cannot make political treaties with a state which ignores the most primitive laws of human society.... With this exception, however-an exception which can be removed at any time by the great powers who are responsible'-we are ready, through pacts and non-aggression undertakings, to give any nation whose frontiers borders on ours that assurance which will also be beneficial to ourselves...
Germany neither intends nor wishes to inte~-fere in the internal affairs of Austria, to annex Austria or conclude an anschluss. The German people and the German government _ have, however, the very comprehensible desire, arising out of a simple feeling of solidarity due to a common national descent-namely, that the right to self-determination should be guaranteed not only for foreign nations but to the German
The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King
people everywhere. I myself believe that no regime which does not rest on public consent and is not supported by the people can continue permanently.
Here is the conclusion:
Members of the German Reichstag.
I have been at pains to give you a picture of the problems which confront us to-day. However great the difficulties and worries may be in individual questions, I consider that I owe it to my .position as Fuehrer and Chancellor of the Reich not to admit a single doubt as to the possibility of maintaining peace. The peoples wish for peace. It must be possible for the governments to maintain it...
We believe that if the peoples of the world can agree to destroy all their gas. inflammatory, and explosive bombs this would be a more useful undertaking than using them to destroy one another.
This is the sentence with which the address concludes:
I cannot better conclude my speech of to-day to you, my fellow fighters and trustees of the nation, than by repeating our confession of faith in peace. The nature of our new constitution makes it possible for us in Germany to put a stop to the machinations of the war agitators. May the other nations too be able to give bold expressions to their real inner longing for peace. Whoever lights the torch of war in Europe can wish for nothing but chaos.
Those are the words of the leader of the German people of to-day, who has just invaded Poland after a series of acts of aggression against a number of the states with whom he said his only desire was to be at peace. Having regard to these statements, which until a year or two ago and even until the very recent past have been put forward as the profession of faith of the naai regime, I ask hon. members if it is possible to believe anything at all that may be said by that regime and its leader. No, Mr. Speaker. What this world is facing to-day is deception, terror, violence and force, by a ruthless and tyrannical power which seeks world domination. I say there has not been a time, the period of the last war not excepted, when the countries of the world have faced such a crisis as they face to-day.
I want to ask hon. members and the people of Canada: In w'hat spirit are you going
to face this crisis? Are you going to face it believing in the rights of individuals, believing in the sacredness of human personality, believing in the freedom of nations, believing in all the sanctities of human life? I believe you are. I believe that through their representatives in this parliament the Canadian people will so indicate in no uncertain way. .
Some years ago, in the forties of last century, there was a bitter anti-slavery agitation in the United States. At that time one of the greatest of the American poets contributed to his nation a poem which he thought might have
its effect in causing the people to see in its true light the significance of the existing situation. The poem was entitled "The Present Crisis." The poet was James Russell Lowell, who some thirty years later became ambassador from the United States to Great Britain. The agitation, as to whether human beings were to be slaves or were to be free, continued over the years, and finally in the sixties the United States found itself engaged in civil war to determine whether the nation was to be half slave and half free. That was a crisis which affected only one country on one continent. The present crisis, the crisis of 1939, affects every country on every continent of the world.
I find in the words of this poem the opposite of all I find in those I have read from the speech of Hitler. I ask hon. members of this house, I ask the people of Canada, and I ask the people of this continent and of all continents: What is to be your choice? I make no apologies for the length of the poem. Its every verse is a call to service. In the present crisis I pray that one and all may play their part in the spirit set forth in the following prophetic and soul stirring words:
When a deed is done fo-r Freedom, through the broad earth's aching breast Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west,
And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels the soul within him climb
To the awful verge of manhood, as the energy sublime
Of a century bursts full-blossomed on the thorny stem of Time.
Through the walls of hut and palace shoots the
WTien the travail of the Ages 'wrings earth's systems to and fro;
At the birth of each new Era, with a recognising start,
Nation wildly looks at nation, standing with mute lips apart,
And glad Truth's yet mightier man-child leaps beneath the Future's heart.
So the Evil's triumph sendeth, with a terror and a chill,
Under continent to continent, the sense of coming ill,
And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels his sympathies with God
In hot tear-drops ebbing earthward, to be drunk up by the sod,
Till a corpse crawls round unburied, delving in the nobler clod.
For mankind are one in spirit, and an instinct bears along,
Round the earth's electric circle, the swift flash of right or wrong;
Whether conscious or unconscious, yet Humanity's vast frame
Through its ocean-sundered fibres feels the gush of joy or shame;-
In the gain or loss of one race all the rest have equal claim.
The Address-Mr. Woodsworth
Once to every man and nation comes the moment
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight, [DOT]
Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right,
And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and that light.
Has thou chosen, O my people, on whose party thou shalt stand,
Ere the Doom from its worn sandals shakes the dust against our land?
Though the cause of Evil prosper, yet 'tis Truth *alone is strong.
And, albeit she wander outcast now, I see around her throng-
Troops of beautiful, tall angels, to enshield her from all wrong.
Backward look across the ages and the beacon-moments see,
That, like peaks of some sunk continent, jut through Oblivion's sea;
Not an ear in court or market for the low foreboding cry
Of those Crises, God's stern winnowers, from whose feet earth's chaff must fly;
Never shows the choice momentous till the judgment hath passed by.
Careless seems the great Avenger; history's pages but record
One death-grapple in the darkness 'twixt old systems and the Word;
Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,-*
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.
We see dimly in the Present what is small and what is great,
Slow of faith, how weak an arm may turn the iron helm of fate,
But the soul is still oracular; amid the market's din,
List the ominous stern whisper from the Delphic cave within,-
'They enslave their children's children who make compromise with sin'.
Slavery, the earth-born Cyclops, fellest of the giant brood,
Sons of brutish Force and Darkness, who have drenched the earth with blood,
Famished in his self-made desert, blinded by our purer day,
Gropes in yet unblasted regions for his miserable prey;-
Shall we guide his gory fingers where our helpless children play?
Then to side with Truth is noble when we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and 't is
prosperous to be just,
Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands aside,
Doubting in his abject spirit, till his Lord is crucified,
And the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.
Count me o'er earth's chosen heroes,-they were souls that stood alone,
While the men they agonized for hurled the contumelious stone,
Stood serene, and down the future saw the golden beam incline
To the side of perfect justice, mastered by their faith divine,
By one man's plain truth to manhood and to God's supreme design.
By ,the light of burning heretics Christ's bleeding feet I track, _
Toiling up new Calvaries ever with the cross that turns not back.
And these mounts of anguish number how each generation learned
One new word of that grand Credo which in prophet-hearts hath burned Since the first man stood God-conquered with his face to heaven upturned.
For Humanity sweeps onward; where to-day the martyr stands,
On the morrow crouches Judas with the silver in his hands;
Far in front the cross stands ready and the crackling fagots burn,
While the hooting mob of yesterday in silent awe return
To glean up the scattered ashes into History's golden urn.
Subtopic: ADDRESS IN REPLY, MOVED BY MR. H. S. HAMILTON AND SECONDED BY MR. J. A. BLANCHETTE