July 21, 1931 (17th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Agnes Campbell Macphail


Miss AGNES MACPHAIL (Southeast Grey):

I do not agree, Mr. Speaker, with the first two recommendations of the committee.
I do not agree with the statement of the committee that expenditure for national defence and cadet training is not money spent on war, because I think that defence when there is no war is really war in an inactive period or a native war. I do not agree with those two recommendations, and I shall say no more about them.
The committee also is of the opinion that scholarships and chairs on international relationships are not feasible partly because of the expense necessary for the establishment of the chairs, and partly by reason of the question of legislative jurisdiction as between the provinces and the Dominion. If scholarships and a chair in even one university would do anything at all to prevent war, I think we could very well afford it because we have spent huge sums and are still spending very considerable sums on defence. I do not agree that we cannot afford to spend the money necessary for the establishment of international professorships and scholarships. The other reason against such establishment given by the committee is the constitutional difficulties in the way. So long as we have a Royal Military college the money for which is voted by this parliament, the college being under federal jurisdiction, so long as the federal parliament is voting sums of money for technical education and cadet training or military education in schools, I do not and will not agree that there is a constitutional difficulty. Besides that we have the Minister of Justice in the late government (Mr. Lapointe) and the Minister of Justice (Mr. Guthrie) in this government, as well as eminent professors of international law at McGill and Toronto universities, all saying that the constitutional difficulty can be got around. I think, therefore, we can conclude that whatever the reason is that we do not go forward with scholarships at the moment, it is not the reason given in the report. My opinion is that we are not interested enough, and the moment that we are, we shall find ways of spending money for scholarships on international relations.
The third recommendation of the committee deals with the extension of the library of the Department of External Affairs and the making of that library available to research students. That recommendation is an admirable one, and I think it may be the beginning of a sort of summer school to which students ol this particular subject can come and study. It may be that in the near future they may have the help of a librarian or professor, or someone who knows the work there.

Industrial Relations Report

The fourth clause of the committee's report is a pious wish for the success of the League of Nations Society in Canada. That is possibly better than nothing, but I am not so sure that it is much better than nothing, though I agree with it as far as it goes. That is all I care to say at the moment.

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