May 7, 1918 (13th Parliament, 1st Session)


Hermas Deslauriers

Laurier Liberal


ada, while if they send but one million, Canada's showing will have heen six times as great.
Estimated in dollars and cents the disparity is still greater. The United States pay $1.00 per day to each 'soldier; Canada pays $1.10. Basing our assumption on Canada's figure of 420,000 soldiers and a possible .army of 2,000,000 men in the United-States-an average generally accepted' -every Canadian ratepayer, every man, woman and child, pays $24 a year for our army, while the American pays only $7. Should the - war keep on into 1919, the Canadians will be spending $120 and the Americans, $14. These figures have merely to do with the soldiers' pay. If we take into account officers' salaries, indemnities, pensions, transportation and equipment, the difference is much greater. So we must conclude that we are contributing ten times more than they in every respect and their newspapers are decidedly out of place when they heap insult upon us as they frequently do.
Now, have we the necessary means of transportation to carry on a policy like this? In a magazine published in the United States. The New (Republic, I read a short time ago, that 'millions of tons of foodstuffs and munitions-which are absolutely necessary to carry on the war, especially to-day-are piled up on the wharves along the Atlantic seaboard, with no immediate hope of being able to transport them, and that, in any case they will be transported under hazard of the hardest -kinds of difficulties, such as submarines and floating mines,-because there is a shortage of bottoms. On the 18th of last October the Tribune of New York stated that what tortured it most was the thought-that the Allies might be struck down dead before the United States had been able to send them help, because there were not enough ships. And M. Tardieu, High Commissioner for France, sent on a mission to America, stated in the American papers *that his greatest fear was that the United States did not have the ships necessary to forward; at the proper time, the food1 and munitions bought there, the need for which was becoming more urgent as the days went by.
To me it is permissible to think that since the Canadian government have an official ^representative of (the cabinet in Washington, they should be well aware of this shortage of ships and that, in -consequence, -they should energetically pro-
mote shipbuilding in this country so as to help the Allies and allow them to strike with their full strength. We all acknowledge that it is useless to transport splendid soldiers to France if we -have not also the wherewithal to feed them and to fulfil their requirements in tile matter of munitions, since we are suffering from a scarcity of the means of transportation. Besides, when we have before out very eyes the statements of eminent men, like Lord Reading Mr. Asquith, Mr. Lloyd George, Lord Rhondda, Mr. Hoover, Lord Northcliffe and Mr. Kemp himself, urging upon us the imperative necessity of shipping them food, while it is common knowledge throughout the world that France is put on rations and -that the bakers of England and Italy have not sufficient flour for baking bread; when, finally, we read the reports of eminent men like Dr. Robertson, Hon. Mr. Fisher, the Hon. Mr. Caron-, of Quebec, and the leaders of all our agricultural societies, demonstrating, figures in hand, that the present Administration is rapidly heading the -country towards famine; when we know that Canada, to-day is face to face with a shortage of 60,000 hands for getting -in the next crop; when /we know that, thanks to our excessive contributions of men, hundreds of acres suitable for cultivation and ready to be planted, will fail to be, on account of the scarcity of farm labour; is it practical, is it reason aide for the hon. Minister of the Interior to bring down legislation concerning our Indian reserves which have never been cultivated, while we have so much more land already for seeding? Is it really opportune, from a national standpoint, to amend the Military Service Act so as to recruit from our farmers and bur farm workers?
It is not with theories of that -sort that a country is governed wisely.
For my part I find irrefutable evidence that our friends on the Government benches entertain an entirely false conception of their duty to the State; they cannot expect to convince this House that we must ruin Canada, bring starvation upon our European allies and thus win final victory!
In the name of liberty, honour and patriotism, interpreted according to- their own light, they seem free to do anything at all, except what is right. In certain provinces they have succeeded in deceiving the people, but to-day the peop'e have grasped just what this patriotism of the hon. gentlemen amounts to, and to-morrow the people will brand upon the foreheads of

these hon. gentlemen a stigma which through all eternity will torture their souls.
We of the Opposition are in thie war to the very end, taking heed of our strength and our resources. No one detests Prus-sianism more than do we who have met with a few transitory samples of it in this country. Our ranks hold none of those emholdened talkers who on every occasion mouth the august name of liberty and then erase it wherever they find it emblazoned on the walls of our country. We have known what true freedom is and we would like to see the people of Canada continue to enjoy this true freedom.
A few words of recapitulation, _ Mr. Speaker, and I will have done. I maintain that the 'Government should, first of all, build ships so as not to be a burden to any one else; next, develop agriculture ini eveTy possible way so as to sustain, the vital forces of Europe and of Canada. Finally I say that, so far, Canada has done herself proud, in men, in money and in * food; and that Germany has never designed an attack upon Canada.
Mr. A. B. HUNT (Compton) moved tne adjournment of the debate. ,

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