October 2, 1945 (20th Parliament, 1st Session)


George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. R. PEARKES (Nanaimo):

Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to make any address such as "Praise God and pass the ammunition" or to enter into any discussion regarding controls. But while the government- is considering the questions which have been put to them to-day, I should like to raise one point. I have no desire whatever to be provocative or anything but constructive.
We have just come to the victorious conclusion of campaigns in northwest Europe and in the Pacific. Perhaps I use the word "campaigns" advisedly, because I must admit I am a little confused as to whether or not the war is over. One of the principal lessons we have learned from those victorious campaigns is that it has been essential that there should be coordinated effort between the navies, armies and air forces of the allied nations. A few weeks ago we had the privilege of seeing the models and films of "Mulberry", which was the development of .the ports for landing on the coast of France on V-day. I think everyone who saw and studied those models must have been convinced that a vast amount of skilful and detailed planning -had been carried out beforehand in order to ensure the success of the men who were fighting on the

War and Demobilization
beaches, because without that forethought no amount of gallantry would have been of any avail. From the earliest inception of these plans soldiers, sailors and airmen worked together as one staff, closeted in rooms, considering every detail of the parts which those three services should play when the great day came. I may say equally that this practice was followed in the great amphibian operations which were carried out in the Pacific theatte of war.
I submit that we are in the planning stage now when we come to consider the estimates of the three defence services, the planning stage in order that we may preserve the hard-won peace during the next two or three years. I know that is referred to as an interim period; I am not suggesting that the planning is going any farther than this interim period, but I suggest that this is an important period and quite possibly a dangerous one. Therefore I would plead that we do not lose sight of the great lesson we learned during the war, that there must be proper cooperation between the navy, the army and the air force as a prerequisite to any success. I do not believe the ministers of the government and their executive officers have been working in water-tight compartments during the preparation of the estimates they are about to submit for this interim period. I am sure they must have progressed beyond those unhappy days when service estimates were prepared behind closed doors, with the greatest secrecy, because one service was competing against the others for what defence funds the government of the day were prepared to make available.
I do not wish to retard the business of this house. On the contrary I believe that the estimates of the services would be considered more efficiently and dealt with more expeditiously if, before we take up these estimates in committee, some member of the government would give us the results of their deliberations and tell us the over-all picture, so that before we consider each individual service estimate we can see what is the defensive policy of the government and make sure that the three services are coordinated. Otherwise we shall be arguing in the dark, discussing this service and that service without having an over-all picture.
Mr. DOUGLAS G. ROSS (St. Paul's): In the beginning of my remarks, Mr. Deputy Speaker, may I congratulate you upon the honour which has been bestowed upon you in your appointment to the position you now hold.
At a time like this, after a period during which conditions have been so disturbed, and when we find the Big Five having a great deal of difficulty, I think we should consider for a few moments what should be the position of Canada. My ancestors, like those of many others in this house, came to this country years ago. People of many nationalities came to Canada, and they came here because of the British traditions which are followed in this country. They wanted to be free; and when you read the history of Canada you find that all our institutions are founded on the freedom of man and on democracy, based on British traditions. For more than a year Britain stood alone against the whole of Europe. No country helped her except the nations of the commonwealth; and, thank God, Canada was one of those nations. I think it is now about time we supported her in the difficult position in which she finds herself to-day. Everything we have that is good, everything that means freedom, comes to us from those traditions which we have had handed down to us and for which our forefathers shed their blood. They are not new; they are old, the foundation of democracy as we have it to-day, and I think the least we can do is to give Great Britain our support in these difficult times.
The world to-day depends on Great Britain and the United States, a country which has followed our traditions. Let us support Great Britain as one of the members of the Big Five. Let us see to it that we support Great Britain and the United States in their fight for freedom.

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