February 1, 1916 (12th Parliament, 6th Session)


George Perry Graham



I was snot arguing that. I was arguing that the men now forming the Government, in 1903 insisted that although it was all British money, still this Parliament had a right to investigate anything its officers or ministers had done. But in this case, it being admitted that it was at least partially Canadian money, that is all solved, and there is no excuse, I think, constitutionally, etiquettieally, or otherwise, why the Canadian Parliament should not order an investigation at the present time.
Now I come to the question of recruiting. The recruiting in Canada, I think, has been going on at a marvellously satisfactory rate. We are compared to other countries -and herein I may collide with some of my good friends-in the matter of recruiting and in some other ways. But these other countries have not the conditions that we have in the Dominion of Canada. They are not attempting, as we are, to furnish the Allies with food, to furnish them with clothing so far as we can, and to furnish them, to a large extent, with raunitions, as well as to furnish them with
men. And we must take into consideration the fact that men are needed on the* farms if we are to keep up the production, that men are needed in the factories, and, further than that, that our business, in a measure, must go on as usual, so far as possible, unless commercially we are to fall down; and if Canada falls down commercially and financially she will be a burden on the Allies instead of a help to them. The recruiting, taking into consideration all the conditions, has, I think, been marvellous, and I have the utmost faith in the people of the Dominion of Canada, that as the days go by and the necessity is pressed home upon them they will rise to the situation and1 contribute every man they possibly can to aid in this, great work. It has been said that the young native born all over the Dominion have not enlisted as did our young friends from across the sea. At first that was absolutely true. The young men from the Old Land were sons of military fathers. Some of them had served in the militia themselves. They had been brought up in an atmosphere where war was not a new thing, and the moment these young men heard the call they knew what it meant, threw down their employment, joined the colours, and rushed to the front. I say from my place in Parliament: All honour to the British-born who. were the first to enlist in large numbers in the Dominion of Canada. But now as to our own young men. They have been brought up in an atmosphere of peace; their conquests were to be conquests of commerce, conquests of peace, conquests of industry, and they had never thought of war. It took some time for it to be brought home to them ju-st what the call to arms meant, just what was the necessity for the call. But, Sir, as they have been reading and thinking and finding out, the patriotism of the young man of Canada has come strongly to the surface. It has been found that his heart is in the right place, and today the native born Canadians are flocking to the colours and enlisting as rapidly as we can possibly expect them to enlist.
My hon. friend, who spoke a few moments ago, discussed the difficulties of recruiting in Quebec. I may be pardoned for discussing them for a few moments also, though I may tell you, Mr. Speaker, that recruiting difficulties, if difficulties there be, are not altogether confined to the province of Quebec. In reference to the province of Quebec, let me say in all kindness, and I am looking right in the

faces of certain hon. gentlemen whom I have in mind-that this Government came into power having no personal service to the British Empire outside of Canada as one plank in the combined Nationalist-Conservative platform. I think that is putting it mildly. The resolution, which has been referred to, said no service of any kind, neither of money nor of men, but a little later there seemed to be a deviation from that, though I have never heard any further explanation of it. At any rate, I will give them the benefit of the doubt, and put in one word that plank in the platform on which they were elected, a plank of no personal service to the British Empire unless in the Dominion of Canada. Now it may be true that they have repented, but if those twenty-one men had not taken that stand the probabilities are that the present Government would not have been in power. If those twenty-one men had been Liberals they would not have been in power surely.

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