Mr. D. KING HAZEN (St. John-Albert):
Mr. Speaker, I was of opinion when I first entered the house, an opinion which has been strengthened during the eventful days that have passed, that this is no time for us to indulge either in platitudes or in recriminations about the achievements or the mistakes of the government; nor is it the time for us to play party politics, but it is our duty as Canadians to unite and in our own interests do everything within our power to bring the war in which we are now engaged, and in which we have suffered great reverses, to a victorious conclusion.
It is my opinion, and I believe the opinion of most of us, that it is the duty of the government to cooperate with and to assist in every possible way the government of 95826-79
Great Britain and the government of that part of France which proposes to continue the war until the last gun is fired.
It is the duty of the government also to make plans and preparations to defend this country in the event of its being invaded.
I believe practically all members of the house, irrespective of politics, are in agreement on those two policies, and it is not my intention to discuss them in detail this afternoon.
I would say, however, that in my opinion the plans and preparations to defend Canada should be made and should be carried out with all possible speed. Those plans should be based on the possibility that this country will be invaded within three months' time. I do not say that Canada is going to be invaded in that time; I do not know, nor does any other person know what may happen. But the government should be prepared to meet every eventuality. It should set a time limit for the completion of its preparations, and should gear up industry and mobilize manpower to meet requirements so as to come within that time limit.
The government has been given what amounts practically to dictatorial powers under the mobilization measure passed a short time ago. It is now up to the government to put those powers into operation, so far as it is necessary to do so, in order to defend Canada from invasion. Responsibility for our defence rests with the government. No government in our history has had to shoulder such heavy responsibilities, and the people of the dominion look to it, not without some feelings of uneasiness, for greater effort and for more action. They want to see results. They want to see the preparations for the defence of this country completed before it is too late.
Towards the end of 1916, when the existing machinery of the then British government appeared inadequate to deal with the task ahead of it, and when Serbia was overwhelmed, Lloyd George made his famous "too late" speech. "Too late" he said, " in moving here; too late in arriving there; too late in coming to this decision; too late in starting that enterprise; too late in preparing. In this way the footsteps of the allied forces have been dogged by the mocking spectre of too late. And unless we quicken our movements damnation will fall on the sacred cause for which so much gallant blood has flowed."
The Prime Minister of Canada (Mr. Mackenzie King) may well ponder those words. They are not altogether inapplicable to what has happened in Canada in the last few months, since war was declared. Unless we quicken the movement of the machinery of government, damnation and defeat will be our lot.
The Budget-Mr. Hazen
In his budget speech the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ralston) has proposed the most drastic taxation for the current year the people of Canada have ever been called upon to bear; taxation which it is estimated will produce a revenue of $760,000,000. The additional taxes will cause a certain amount of hardship in many homes. In my opinion the increased income tax will not bear equally on all Canadians. Those in the lower brackets will have the greatest sacrifice to make. These taxes will result also in a certain amount of unemployment among certain classes of people. Just how much unemployment they will create it is of course impossible to tell. They will result also in a certain reduced purchasing power and in the lowering of our standards of living.
Most of us will have to curtail. Most of us have found it pretty hard as things have been during recent years to pay our household expenses, to educate our children, to meet the interest on the mortgages on our home, to pay excessive municipal taxes on income and real estate and to pay our insurance policies; in short, to keep our heads above water financially.
I do not wish to be understood as complaining or finding serious fault with the budget brought down by the Minister of Finance. We must make these financial sacrifices and other sacrifices which will be much greater. W e must make them with good spirit and with the knowledge, as the minister said, that every time we pay our tax we know we are dealing a smashing blow at Hitler.
Money must be raised to carry on the war, and the war must be carried on until Hitler and the evils he represents are eliminated from this earth. Victory at all costs is preferable to defeat, when all will be lost.
If the income tax is found to bear unfairly upon certain classes, that inequality can be corrected when the next war budget is brought down. I think we must face the fact that there will be further war budgets, that there will be higher taxes and that greater sacrifices will have to be made. There will be more government control and more regimentation. We must face the situation. We must realize also that the ideals of a more abundant life with higher standards of living, with more luxuries and with greater ease must be set aside. In their stead we must have new ideals of service, of work, of thrift and of sacrifice; we must face a harder, simpler and a tougher way of life.
I have referred to the importance of this government cooperating in every possible way with the governments of Great Britain and that part of France which proposes to continue
to carry on the war. I have referred also to the importance of making immediate plans and preparations to defend this country in case it is invaded. But there is one thing more that this government must do. It must provide efficient leadership in these critical times if the confidence of the people is to be maintained and victory achieved.
The people of this country look to this government for such leadership. They look to it for vigorous and courageous action; they look to it for outspoken and plain speech. It may be all very well in times of peace for a government to say that it is the servant of the people, although I always thought that was only a half truth, but in times of war the government of a country must be the leader of the people in the literal sense of the word. It must take a firm grasp on the situation and it must tell the Canadian people what they are to do and see that its orders and directions are carried out. Most of our people are only too anxious to be told what to do and how they can be of the greatest assistance in bringing this war to a successful conclusion.
In my opinion greater emphasis should be placed upon the glory of war, upon the glory and virtue of courage, upon the glory and virtue of duty, upon the glory and virtue of tenacity and upon the glory and virtue of sacrifice. To all men upon this earth death cometh sooner or later. How can they do better than to face the dangers they are called upon to face in this war in the defence of their families and in the defence of freedom, and in order to conquer brute force, tyranny and enslavement? In my opinion there should be more bands, more martial music, more parades and more flag-flying. Our soldiers should not be allowed to depart in the dark as if they were under a cloud.
In my judgment the time has come when this government should cease to be a party government. In the minds of the people a party government is associated with party politics, with political favouritism and political patronage. The carrying on of a war is not the kind of job that a party government should undertake; it is too big. If confidence is to be maintained, if the utmost effort is to be put forth, we should have a government in which all political parties are represented.
The leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) asked on the floor of this house that a national government be formed; but a few days ago, in reply to that request, the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) said that a party which had 183 members out of a total membership of 245 might pretty well claim to be a national government in the truest sense of the word. He overlooked the fact
that although the elections were held only a few months ago, since then events of the greatest importance have happened. The war situation has completely changed; the map of Europe has been almost completely changed, and we are living in a different and far more perilous time. However much I regret the decision, the decision was his, and the responsibility rests upon his shoulders.
What else did he say at that time? He said that when he took additional gentlemen into his government to strengthen it, "one of the first qualifications which I shall require of them is loyalty to myself, and not a disposition to stab the leader of the party in the breast when he is trying to serve his country to the best of his ability in a time of war". When the Prime Minister said that he did not want to take into his government any gentleman who would stab him in the breast, I know that he was speaking figuratively and that he did not want to be stabbed politically. But when he made that statement, Mr. Speaker, it seemed to me that he had uppermost in his mind political considerations, and not those considerations which are of most vital importance to Canada at this time of crisis.
This, Mr. Speaker, is a time for iron sacrifice of body, will and soul, and the people of this country, in the knowledge that we strove for _ peace and that we fight for the right, are prepared to make these sacrifices, but they look to the government for more energetic leadership and greater results.