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


George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)



The only sad thing I
see about cadet training is that every twelve months it parts me from the member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail). I do not like to be put in that position, because I knew neither one of us likes it. I would rather be able just to say we agree on everything, and if it was not for this cadet training I think we might always be in what the musicians call close harmony. I feel a good deal as she does about war. God knows I have not any love for war. I am not a militarist, nothing of the kind. I will go further than my hon. friend from Brome (Mr. McMaster), that is, in a statement of opinion, although I will not go so far into history. I find great difficulty in convincing myself of the great benefits we got from the last war. The further we get away from it the clearer, it may be, our vision becomes, and while so far as I am concerned I feel that Canada would have to do her duty in another war, if we are called on to do so, still I fail to see the great benefits that were derived from the last war. I am not unpatriotic in saying that, but at this distance, I would say the war in a measure resulted from the collapse of proper diplomacy. That is my view.
War has nothing to do with cadet training, as far as I am concerned. I am not talking from any theory. I will say two or three words, and I hope it will not be thought that I am injecting my own domestic affairs into this debate. As to the boys not liking the cadet training, I may say here, as the father of two cadets, that they love the training. I had one son, a very tall young man, who grew very rapidly, and the cadet training made a physical man of him. I do not

care whether he carried a gun or did not. I know that he had physical training at school, and from a long drawn-out younster he became a well developed young man, and I attribute it more to the training he got in the cadets than anything else. That cadet training did not impel him to go to war, but when he felt it his duty to go to war he had the physique that the cadet training gave him to enable him to go to war and do his duty. The other son was of a different stature, but he was very fond of the cadet training, went all through it and became a strong, a stalwart young man, as every person who saw him in the press gallery here knows. Under those circumstances this is what I feel, not theoretically but practically; that I would vote for cutting out every item in the National Defence estimates before I would vote to cut out the cadet training.

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