February 6, 1942 (19th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)


Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I am glad my hon. friend has amended his opinion.
On the other hand, if we listened to those who advocate another point of view, we might be led into a course which might greatly imperil the defence of our own Canadian soil. The situation on the Pacific coast we all know hinges on the outcome of the present battle in the far ea9t, and the outcome of that struggle is not yet determined.
Now a word on the question of man-power. Some figures have come to my attention, but in their application I do not attempt to speak with final authority. Figures in regard to our man-power resources are undergoing most intensive study at the present time, in order that we may have the most complete and

accurate information possible. That is the sort of information that any country must have before any final decision is reached in regard to the broad placement of its manpower.
Our duty in Canada is, first, to defend our own territory to the uttermost; and second, to contribute to the striking power of the united nations in such a way as, in the end, to destroy the enemy. This involves the best possible use of our man-power.
The census reveals that Canada's population is approximately 43 per cent greater now than at the time of the last war. But a detailed analysis indicates that the increase in the-number of men of military age is not nearly as great as the increase in the general population. In 1914 Canada had just had a tremendous influx of young immigrants, mostly unmarried and of military age.
In the last war, when industry utilized less than half as many people as are engaged in war production to-day, when we had no air training plan and no real problem of home defence, Canada supported in the field four army divisions, and a fifth was mobilized but had to be broken up for reinforcements. The government were advised by their military staff in pre-war years that having regard to population and the claims of other services, the number of divisions which this country could maintain in warfare was seven. We have already formed six, and we have made demands upon our man-power for other purposes not fully anticipated when those estimates were made.
Let us consider how we have utilized our resources. Financially, Canada has declared that there is no limit; that what we have capacity to do physically we can and will endeavour to finance.
Industrially, we have undertaken tasks of a kind and magnitude never attempted in Canada before. Prior to the outbreak of this war Canada had never manufactured any weapons except rifles, although the manufacture of machine guns had been begun. We had made a small beginning in the production of modern service types of aircraft, never made in Canada prior to 1937. To-day Canada is turning out tanks, heavy and light artillery guns. We have the greatest machine gun factory to-day in the whole world-and for that, with some modesty, I may perhaps claim some credit-and we are manufacturing seven different types of service aircraft.
In the last war, Canada recruited into the Canadian expeditionary force, by the voluntary system and conscription combined,
619,000 men in four and a half years of war. She utilized also 275,000 in war industry, a

The Address-Mr. Mackenzie (Vancouver)
total of 894,000 men. In the present war, in two and a half years we have built up the strength of our armed forces to over 400,000 men, and in addition we are utilizing in industry 625,000 persons of whom 550,000 are men.

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