February 5, 1942 (19th Parliament, 3rd Session)


William Alexander Fraser


Mr. FRASER (Northumberland, Ont.):

Before this war is over my hon. friends who say "hear, hear" will hang their heads in shame. This man was Canada's representative in Washington, and yet he makes that statement in the heart of the empire. I feel that I can say without fear of contradiction by hon. members of this house, even by hon. members who have disagreed with me, even by my many sound-thinking friends in the Tory party, that everyone will reject that kind of attitude toward Canada at this time.
I should like to make one or two other references. First, let me refer to a statement made upon a public platform, during a byelection campaign, by the premier of the province of Ontario. The premier of Ontario has been a friend of mine of long standing. Perhaps there is no one who has cooperated as much with him, who has done more to have him adopt a moderate attitude than I. Here is what he said on January 28:
-"deliberately attempting to set the French against the British on the issue of compulsory selective service".
"I charge Mr. King with deliberately trying to set the French against the British through his chief lieutenant in Quebec, Mr. Godbout," said Mr. Hepburn.
I read that simply because I intend to refer to it again in a minute or two. Let me say this to my hon. friends in this house: Make
no mistake about it, there can be no equality of sacrifice in a war. Anyone who uses that phrase is not stopping to analyse its meaning. I ask my good friend, the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar: would the union men of Canada leave the production lines to go on our farms? Canada is a highly unionized country; I ask him if they would permit themselves to be pushed and shoved around. Obviously the answer is no. They are doing a wonderful job. They are just like the senior civil servants in Ottawa; they are giving all they have to Canada's contribution to the war effort. There can be no equality of sacrifice during a war. It is with a knowledge of Canada's contribution to the empire war effort

The Address[DOT]-Mr. Fraser (Northumberland)
that I am proud to say that 565,000 Canadian workmen are producing the implements of war for the air force, the navy and the army, not only for service overseas but in Canada. I am ready to depend upon the loyalty and the understanding of Canadian citizenship to put this job over without endeavouring to create dissension by conscripting people.
I am watching my time, Mr. Speaker. I have great respect for every member of the House of Commons, but if I did not know them all personally, if they were all strangers to me, I would still have the same respect for them because somewhere, in some part of Canada, they have offered themselves to their fellow Canadians to do the best they could for them as their representatives in this assembly of a democratic country. I have much less respect for men who pile up millions and have never offered themselves for service, men who try to browbeat and influence by prejudice and hate the good people of the Dominion of Canada. I have even less respect for those who have been rejected by the people of Canada as a whole but who insist on trying to dictate the policies of the government of Canada, and I want to spend the next three or four minutes appealing to my hon. friends opposite in this house.
This is going to be an appeal for unity, for understanding, cool heads and clear thinking, and appreciation of the facts. The first thing I want to say to my good friends in the Tory party in this house is that no one has ever suffered to a greater extent than they from the consequences of a house divided against itself. It was the Bennett-Stevens catastrophe of a few years ago that resulted in the position in which they find themselves to-day. Surely that is an example to prove that unity is necessary.
This government is running a three per cent war and a loan without interest war, not a five and a half per cent tax-free war for the plutocratic financiers of Canada under Arthur Meighen. No, this government is running a three per cent war. These are the facts, these are the realities I ask you to take into consideration.
This is a democratic assembly elected by all the people. We have in this house sixty-five members from the province of Quebec. I have not the Reverend Mr. Shields' hatred of religion and race. I have not and never could have the feeling of hate that was demonstrated by Colonel George Drew and Doctor Shields platforms in the East Hastings by-election when they said that the French-Canadians were a conquered race and must expect to be treated that way. I have not that hate and could not have that hate for my fellow

Canadians. They elect their representatives to this demoeractic assembly; they are our fellow Canadians, and you cannot get away from that. I do not care what bitterness, what hate, what passions and emotions others may appeal to, but my appeal to-day, Mr. Speaker, not only to those to your left but to every member of this house, regardless of race or creed, and to my fellow citizens everywhere, is to trust Canadians and the government of Canada by Canadians. This is a time to trust Canadians. You can turn the dial of your radio and listen in to the United States. There you have a government, not as the hon. member for Parkdale states, but a party government, and not universal compulsory service, as the hon. member for Parkdale stated. But there you have a highly-unionized country, a country where recompense and compensation and loyalty are the incentives-not the Hitler labour camps, but unity, loyalty, compensation, understanding, education. That is the guide and slogan in the United States, where you find Mr. Willkie speaking on a platform and over the air, appealing to the people of the United States, and standing shoulder to shoulder with Mr. Roosevelt.
While my hon. friends opposite may not realize this-and I have read or listened to every speech that has been made in this debate-I want to tell them that Mr. Mackenzie King is the Prime Minister of the Dominion of Canada in accordance with the wishes and the voice of the people of Canada. The hon. member for Parkdale, who came into this house after the 1940 election, day after day has stated that we need a new Prime Minister, but the people of Canada with an unmistakable voice said: Mackenzie King is the safest man to conduct the affairs of this country and to conduct the war. I say to you, Mr. Speaker, that he is still Prime Minister of Canada, and all the dastardly-and I say this for the record1-all the dastardly attacks and all the unspeakable epithets that have been hurled against William Lyon Mackenzie King by his enemies cannot change the fact that he is Prime Minister of Canada and the leader of responsible government' in Canada. We had an example in Spain of rebellion against constituted government there which cost over three million lives. We had a similar thing in France, a people divided against themselves-and not only in France but also in the low countries. It was Pearl Har-hour that cemented the people of the United States. Do not let us as Canadians require a Pearl Harbour or a Dunkirk to make us united. I will join with every man in this house and with every citizen of Canada who
The Address-Mr. Fraser (Northumberland)
will take as his slogan: Don't sell Canada short, because that would be selling your own country short. You would be sabotaging your own country. When you do that, you are not damning the man who is the Prime Minister and the head of responsible government in Canada; but you are damning and sabotaging your own country.
I know that to-morrow morning my name will be on the back page of that sheet, the Globe and Mail, but I trust that the sincerity of my voice and of my determination will go across this country from one end to the other when I appeal to my fellow Canadians to be Canadians, just as the Americans are Americans, and to back the Prime Minister and constituted government.
My time, Mr. Speaker, is up.

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