January 25, 1917 (12th Parliament, 7th Session)


William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative


I think I will be able to give some reasons why there should be

co-operation, but first I want to point out that the war situation to-day is more serious than it has ever been. Within a few weeks, there will probably be the greatest active line of battle ever known in history. All the battles of the past, all other struggles, will be mere ant-hill contests compared with what is now impending in Europe. The liberties of the world, of Canada, and the safety of our homes and families are all concerned in this enormous struggle, and if the issue is so stupendous, and if Canada is to do her part, as I believe she will do her part, we have to find a way, we ought to find a way, of uniting the country on the conduct of this war. We ought to have an absolutely united Government, a united nation, with a united people be' hind them for the accomplishment of the war. We should not be a divided people. We should not have the discussions we have had, and are having now. These discussions divert and use up the energy of the people that should be directed to winning the war. Mistakes have been made. I could pass reflections on the province of Quebec; I could pass reflections on other provinces, upon my own province. There may have bean derelictions iin certain directions, but these are not things to' talk about in the face of this great 'Struggle and in the face of the Canadian people who -are anxious to see this war brought to a successful conclusion. I thiink this House will learn when we go to the 'Country, and the country has an opportunity to express its opinion, that the people of Canada, irrespective of party, want to see national unity in the shape of a national Government for the successsful prosecution of the war. It is not a difficult thing to bring about. They have accomplished it in England where they had two or three adjustments. Call it a coalition Government if you will. The word " Coalition " may be objectionable; I am willing to take the responlhibility of saying that-call it a coalition government, or a national government or a new party, if you will

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