June 24, 1925 (14th Parliament, 4th Session)


Andrew Ross McMaster



In so far as the educational authorities ask for cadet training in their schools, I think they are wrong, and I would also say this: I believe that if a vote were taken of all the teachers and all the parents in all the provinces, a very handsome majority would be registered against cadet training. That is my view. We have taken no plebiscite and I may be mistaken, but I think that is the view of the Canadian people.
There is one bright ray in this picture, and it is this, that not only have those who have generally been called pacifists come out strongly in denunciation of war, but it is no longer regarded as the school of hardy virtue. We used to be told when I was a boy that nations required war, that if they did not have war they would become

effeminate, that wars were required to build up a strong and virile people. You do not hear that sort of talk to-day except among people who are perfectly crazy. Great generals, like Sir Arthur Currie, General Sir Ian Hamilton, great military leaders like Earl - Haig are just as strong and stern in their denunciation of war, and in their declarations that war never settled anything, and that mankind has to find a better way for settling international disputes. Under these circumstances, is it quite fair to the rising generation to put them in touch with military matters in this way? I think it would be wiser not to do so. After all, as John Bright once said, we are the true ancients-we stand on the shoulders of our forefathers and can see farther, and I think the best of modern thought would be that we might well leave out this expenditure of public money for the purpose for which it is asked this evening.

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