January 25, 1940 (18th Parliament, 6th Session)


Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)



I will have it read by the clerk assistant.
Honourable Members of the Senate:
Members of the House of Commons:
During the months which have elapsed since the close of the special session, my ministers have given unremitting attention to the organization and prosecution of Canada's war effort. The government has been in constant consultation with the government of the United Kingdom, and the measures adopted have been those which it is believed will best serve the common cause.
Vigorous action has been taken through all branches of the armed forces to provide for the security and defence of Canada, and for cooperation with the allied forces on land, on sea and in the air.
For the effective prosecution of the war, Canada's industrial, financial and other resources are being steadily mobilized and all war activities coordinated. The production and marketing of agricultural and other primary products have been given constructive direction; and safeguards have been provided against undue enhancement, under war conditions, of the prices of food, fuel and other necessaries of life.

Since last you met the developments of the war have made increasingly clear the nature of the struggle in which we are engaged. The very existence of nations that cherish independence and democratic ideals is menaced by enemy forces of ruthless aggression which aim to dominate mankind by terror and violence. The Canadian people have shown their determination to share with Britain and France to the utmost of their strength in the defence of freedom.
My ministers are of the opinion that the effective prosecution of the war makes it imperative that those who are charged with the grave responsibility of carrying on the government of Canada should, in this critical period, be fortified by a direct and unquestioned mandate from the people. My advisers, accordingly, having regard to existing conditions and the stage of the life of the present parliament, have decided upon an immediate appeal to the country.
Honourable Members of the Senate:
Members of the House of Commons:
In all that pertains to the discharge of your responsible duties, may Divine Providence be your strength and guide.

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