The member for St. Ann. The letter reads:
Monday the people of Canada will go to the polls to register their decision on the appeal of the government for a release from commitments made during the election campaign of 1940.
As your elected i epresentative in the House of Commons, I urge you as true Canadians to give this matter very serious consideration and to cast an affirmative vote.
In the last general election the people of Canada by an overwhelming majority placed their confidence in Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King and the Liberal party to guide the country in its war effort. Since that time the whole aspect of the security of the entire world and especially that of our country has undergone a great change and our shores on the east and west coasts are in grave danger from enemy aggression.
If at that time you had confidence in your leader the same should apply in a greater measure today as our country together with the allied nations are in greater peril than ever before in our history.
I appeal to you, ladies and gentlemen, electors of St. Ann's division, regardless of your political belief or of race, creed or religion to go out and vote on the 27th and to see that all the members of your family also do their duty as citizens of our dominion by exercising the franchise-a privilege denied to so many people in Europe because of nazi aggression. I know that in voting "yes" you will show Hitler and his satellites that Canada is united with the other allied nations in the determination to defeat him and to bring peace once again to the world.
The future of this country depends to a large extent on the result of this vote and I feel that the people of St. Ann's division will join with the rest of the dominion in voting an overwhelming "yes" and giving to our government a free hand in the prosecution of our war effort.
I am anxious to see the people give an answer worthy of our glorious past. We are all sons and daughters of the same country. This war is our war. We must be united.
The government has stated that the voluntary system has been successful so far and that under that system we are getting enough men to satisfy the quota needed for our armed forces, and it has been repeated by our Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and other members of the cabinet that conscription is not necessary and that the voluntary system is the best method.
It will be noted that in the speech delivered by the Minister of National War Services (Mr. Thorson) in this house, he said that after the next call for men for the army there will not be many more eligible men who can be spared from essential activities in connection with the war effort to the armed forces.
Mobilization Act-Mr. Healy
In my riding I received a majority for the "yes" vote on the plebiscite, and I feel that I am expressing the wishes of the majority of my people in voting in favour of this bill to give the government a free hand in helping to conduct our war effort and join with the allied nations in bringing this war to a successful conclusion.
Our worthy leader and other members of the cabinet feel that conscription is not necessary at present, and I am prepared to accept their word. I am sure that the compulsory method would not accomplish a great deal in my riding, because thousands of the young men have joined either the army, the navy or the air force, and many more of them are engaged in essential war industries. French Canadians and those of English-speaking races work in harmony, and I would not want to see any dissension among them after all the efforts that have been expended to create the unity which now exists.
As the hon. member for Parry Sound (Mr. Slaght) stated, conscription in the last war did not accomplish anything like the voluntary system is doing at present.
Our worthy Prime Minister and his cabinet also know what it accomplished. That is the reason why it will not be put into force unless it is absolutely necessary for the protection of our dominion, and I am sure that no hon. member would object to have our boys protect our Canadian homes, and our women and children.
Canada's contribution to the war has been acknowledged as an outstanding one, and, as Winston Churchill said in this House of Commons, "Canada is doing a magnificent job". Also, quoting Mr. Balfour, he expressed the sentiment that Canada's war effort is wonderful. In every manner we are helping the allied nations, and for a young country with fewer than twelve million people we are doing everything possible to help to win this war. We have at present over half a million men in the armed forces and 800,000 working in essential war industries supplying guns, tanks, boats, planes, and other war machinery and dispatching these commodities to the places where they are most needed.
When our Prime Minister and his government kept their promise to ask the people, through a plebiscite, to release them from commitments made by both parties in 1940, it was an assurance to me of the sincerity of the government, and I am prepared to accept their word that the compulsory method is not yet necessary. The long record of our leader in public life is sufficient assurance for me, and I am prepared to support the bill.
May I conclude with a plea for national unity and for a united effort of all Canadians and a sympathetic understanding of the problems of all.
Subtopic: AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT TO SERVICE OVERSEAS