September 11, 1939 (18th Parliament, 5th Session)


William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)


Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

I should like to take
advantage of the earliest moment possible to give to the house a statement of what has taken place since we adjourned on Saturday evening last.
On the orders of the day on Saturday I made the following statement:
I should like to make clear to the house the procedure which the government have in mind as to giving effect to the decision of parliament regarding Canadian participation in the war.
The adoption of the address in reply to the speech from the throne will be considered as approving not only the speech from the throne but approving the government's policy which I set out yesterday of immediate participation in the war.
If the address in reply to the speech from the throne is approved the government will

Proposed Legislation
therefore immediately take steps for the issue of a formal proclamation declaring the existence of a state of war between Canada and the German Reich.
On Saturday afternoon a telegram was sent to the Canadian High Commissioner in London requesting him to hold himself in readiness to make a submission to the king.
The address in reply to the speech from the throne was adopted by the House of Commons on Saturday evening just prior to the adjournment of the house ait 10.25. It had previously been adopted by the Senate.
The cabinet met immediately after the adjournment of the house, and a report was made to council recommending that on the advice of the King's Privy Council for Canada a petition should be submitted to His Majesty the King with a view to the authorization ' by him of the issue of a proclamation forthwith to be published in the Canada Gazette to the following effect:
Declaring that a state of war with the German Reich exists and has existed in Canada as and from the tenth day of September, 1939.
The committee of the privy council concurred in the recommendation and it received the approval of His Excellency the Governor General.
The Canadian High Commissioner was immediately instructed by telegram to submit to His Majesty the petition of the King's Privy Council for Canada that His Majesty would approve the issuing of a proclamation in his name embodying the declaration set forth in the order in council. It was added that a formal submission in writing would follow.
At 11.15 a.m. on September 10, that is yesterday, the Secretary of State for External Affairs was informed by the high commissioner that His Majesty had given his approval to the submission. A special issue of the Canada Gazette was published at 12.40 noon containing the proclamation as duly signed.

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