April 11, 1945 (19th Parliament, 6th Session)


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



And, further to what I have said, there was no obligation, under the constitution of Canada, nothing in the procedure of parliament itself, to render it necessary for the government to call another session. There was absolutely nothing. We had had our five sessions, and we know that this parliament has been one of the longest in the history of Canada. There was no obligation on the government. But the government, once it was clear that a general election could not be brought on before the victory loan campaign was over, anxious to do what was fitting, deemed it desirable to bring the House of Commons together for the purpose of voting the necessary interim supply which would be required over the time of the general election and the reassembling of a new parliament.
May I state there is another reason why parliament was called into special session. That was the invitation to the San Francisco conference. It was obviously desirable, the moment it was known that the conference on world security was to be called, that Canada should be represented at that conference. That rendered necessary the holding of the general election some time after the conference. But I say, if there had been no victory loan and no San Francisco conference and the decisive battles had been fought, this country in all probability would either have had an election over at this time, or would have been in the middle of it, or near the end of it. Once we had to consider the two things, the war loan and the San Francisco conference, apart altogether from the time of the cessation of hostilities, it meant that we had to hold the general election after those two events.
_ Here again may I say that the government is only too anxious to allow just sufficient time for an appeal to be made properly to the people of Canada after those two events are' concluded, before the day of polling itself. So far as this session is concerned, all we are asking for is to give the people of Canada what they are entitled to have under the constitution, namely the right to determine under conditions governing a general election what government is to be in power in Canada for the next five years, and for the House of Commons to make this possible, through moneys supplied1 by parliament, rather than by governor general's warrants. That is what we are seeking to have done; let the people decide the government they want.

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