James Alexander MARSHALL

MARSHALL, James Alexander

Personal Data

Social Credit
Camrose (Alberta)
Birth Date
September 16, 1888
Deceased Date
June 30, 1977
secretary, teacher

Parliamentary Career

October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
  Camrose (Alberta)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
  Camrose (Alberta)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
  Camrose (Alberta)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 138)

August 5, 1960

Mr. Minshall:

When will the program be completely finished?

Secretary Gates: Completely in being?

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August 5, 1960

Mr. Minshall:

Completely in being.

Secretary Gates: By the end of fiscal year 1963.

Well, Mr. Chairman, 1963 is too late. The Canadian government is spending the taxpayers' money on a system which will be too late to be useful enough to justify the expenditure.

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July 2, 1959

Mr. Minshall:

You think it is another Maginot line?

Admiral Hayward: I certainly do.

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July 2, 1959

Mr. Minshall:

Would you feel, then, that we should put any more money into the Bomarc system?

Admiral Hayward: Personally I say no, I would not.

Then, after testimony was heard by the two committees, one in the Senate and the other in the House of Representatives of the United States, and the committees made their reports, the United States administration apparently decided not to go so far as Admiral Hayward suggested, but to divide its money and its resources between territorial defence and the maintenance of a deterrent of overwhelming retaliatory power ready and effective for swift and devastating counterblow, and known by the potential aggressor to be ready and effective for that blow. A deterrent of this kind is now in existence and has been in existence for a good many years.

This, of course, produces an uneasy stalemate in the world situation which so far as calculated aggression is concerned may remain indefinitely. Therefore peace, the kind of peace-if you can call it that-which we

have, rests largely now on what the United Kingdom 1958 defence white paper called the balancing forces of mutual annihilation. As this deterrent is, in my view, so important in the maintenance of peace, surely our contribution to it, our attitude to it, should have a bearing on Canada's defence policy. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, though I am straining the patience of the committee, I should like for a few minutes to examine the nature of this deterrent and what our relation in Canada should be, what can it do, what can it not do, and what contribution should we, as part of our contribution to collective security, make to this deterrent. But in discussing this we should remember that this nuclear deterrent, however powerful it may be, may not prevent direct limited military action. It may not prevent indirect military action. It may not prevent the catastrophe of miscalculation. It will not prevent, however powerful it may be it will not hinder and indeed it may even facilitate economic penetration and political subversion. Therefore it has its limitations.

If the deterrent, however, is our main protection at the present time against all-out war, how much nuclear power is needed to deter? How far do you have to go before deterrent power is sufficient to deter? And if you go further the additional power is not only unnecessary and wasteful, but more weapons on the other side cancel out your own increased power, and both sides are merely wasting money, energy and power itself.

This kind of deterrent by force may, I admit, be absolutely essential at the present time against attack; but its use, if it ever had to be used, is also an assurance of the destruction of yourself as well as the enemy. Therefore if both sides have this power and cannot be prevented from using it in retaliation against an attack, then neither side will dare use it. It becomes sterilized, and paradoxically the objective of defence policy and even defence strategy is to keep it sterilized.

Yet, while we would be afraid to use it because of its results against ourselves, we might slide into such use by the nature of our defence against what might be a limited aggression. We might-and this is one of the major dangers that confront the western alliance today-by the very nature of our collective arrangements convert little wars into big wars. The minister himself in statements he has made has, I think, suggested this when he expressed scepticism about whether it would be possible to start with a minor and limited defence against a limited aggression using, if you like, tactical nuclear weapons in a limited way; whether it would be possible to start these, without going to the ultimate weapon of the hydrogen bomb and all that this implies.


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The United States position is certainly all-important in this matter, but that position seems to me to be dangerously ambiguous. The army chief of staff, General Taylor-I think he was army chief of staff until a few weeks ago; I do not think he is now-had this to say to a subcommittee of the Senate on March 11, and I quote from his testimony:

We must have a real shield of NATO forces on the ground to reassure NATO that indeed we do have some response other than general war to any aggressive action. The most likely way to have a general war is either to back into it, to have a limited operation expand into a bigger operation or perhaps to have a miscalculation of a gross kind on the part of one side or the other.

I suggest those are very wise words indeed. But the President of the United States had this to say at a press conference, I believe, on the very same date, and these are words which certainly rang around the world:

We are certainly not going to fight a ground war in Europe.

That is, the United States. What is the alternative? An atomic air war of mutual destruction? But the President added at the same press conference:

I don't know how you could free anything with nuclear weapons.

Yet he had just said only a short time before, "We are not going to fight a ground war in Europe." Well, Mr. Chairman, what voice has Canada in resolving what I can perhaps call the ultimate dilemma? Where do we stand? What is the answer to all this? What can we do to find the right answer?

I believe we have to retain, and I have to say it, the nuclear deterrent now in the hands of the United States-I wish we could do without it-and in part in the hands of the United Kingdom, to be used only after a collective NATO decision except in retaliation to an all-out, massive, sudden assault when there would be no time for consultation, indeed perhaps no time for anything else. To throw away or to urge the United States to throw away the nuclear deterrent does not seem to me to involve any service to peace but, indeed, might be a provocation and temptation to aggression on the part of a state which retained it. If we could do so by international agreement, of course, that would be the perfect solution.

But while I feel we have to retain this horribly devastating nuclear deterrent in the interests of the uneasy stalemate on which peace now rests, I believe also that there should be a shift of emphasis in the west pending an agreed reduction in armaments, a shift of emphasis also in NATO, a shift of emphasis and priority of resources from total

Supply-National Defence war weapons, especially of so-called deterrence, toward conventional weapons, conventional strength and conventional planning. In other words we should accept the total war stalemate while trying to resolve it by negotiation and reduction of armaments. We should give greater priority to improving the strength and mobility of conventional forces. We should make effective, and not merely talk about it, the concept of balanced collective forces and a co-ordinated program of collective development and production of arms which would really reflect interdependence.

The minister said it this morning, and I have said it more than once when I sat on the other side, that collective security in NATO was based on this principle of balanced collective forces. That certainly was the principle adopted many years ago, but surely the time has come when the strategy and the planning of NATO should reflect that principle more effectively than is the case at the present time. If we cannot effectively work out our arrangements in NATO on that principle, then one of these days, and it will be a great tragedy, NATO will weaken and perhaps even collapse.

What about Canada then? Even on the lowest grounds of national self-interest we should do everything we possibly can to keep NATO active, strong and vigorous; because if it should disappear, what about Canada then? Fortress America or neutralism or what? If the deterrent is largely in the hands of the United States, and it is, and in part also in the hands of the United Kingdom, though there is a debate going on there now whether it should be retained, where does NATO come in, NATO which remains the cornerstone in our system of collective defence though it is being subjected these days to increased national, political and military pressures which may impair its effectiveness?

I certainly believe in NATO as strongly as I ever did. I am talking now about the defence side of things. But here again I suggest that its purposes, plans and methods of defence should be re-examined in the light of new developments. I do not know whether that is being done. We know what the purpose of NATO is. The minister has explained it and other ministers have explained it. It is primarily, I think, to prevent an accident, to remove a temptation, to avoid, above all, having to depend entirely on nuclear retaliation. We know what the nature of this shield is. Its principle is integrated balanced forces, which is insufficiently realized partly because of our reliance on nuclear deterrence and partly because of

a growing national sensitiveness and pride which makes genuine collective control increasingly difficult.

So the question arises, is the shield really NATO-we talk so much about the NATO shield-or is it the strategic air command, which is no more a part of NATO than is NORAD? What is this NATO shield? It is perhaps now only a subsidiary shield but that would not remove its importance even if that were true. The strength of the shield, we are told, and I have never seen these figures controverted, is 21 divisions and effective air forces. On the question of air forces I should like to ask the minister -I brought this up in the house in a question a few days ago-to tell us in the course of the debate what effect the removal of United States squadrons from France would have on the supply and equipment position, the logistic position, of Canadian squadrons which remained in France.

We have been told that the NATO program is now based on a document adopted in December, 1957, dealing with minimum force needs from 1958 to 1963. Writing in the Financial Post of last February 7, Mr. Michael Barkway quoted high NATO military authorities as saying with regard to the minimum force needs paper:

For the first time each government now has in front of it a written statement showing precisely what is expected of it. Each can now refer to this annually when it makes up its military budget.

I should like to ask the minister how this program is progressing. Is it up to schedule? I should like to ask him if he can tell us what is Canada's commitment in this five year program. Have we indicated to NATO our acceptance of this five year program and how do we propose to discharge it? Is the Canadian government satisfied with the arms and equipment of its NATO forces?

To return again to the congressional subcommittee, may I point out that General Norstad had this to say on February 19 with respect to the question of the arms and equipment of NATO forces:

Within the NATO forces we are dependent upon atomic forces. We have no forces that are exclusively conventional or non-nuclear.

"No forces", he said.

Within the alliance, the forces which we have are based upon the full exploitation of atomic weapons and new delivery means. Without them they could not deal with a serious situation. When or if strategic air forces would be involved is a matter of writing some ground rules and making a tremendous amount of assumptions. It would be a very "iffy" question and a very "Iffy" answer on my part.

I prefer to leave the answer on the basis that if we are to deal with any significant situation we

must use atomic weapons, whether they are so-called tactical or strategic. It is very difficult to draw the line.

These are the words of the NATO commander in chief, General Norstad. They apply, presumably, to all the forces under his command.

On March 5 last the commander of the Canadian brigade was visited by a correspondent for the Globe and Mail, and these words were attributed to Brigadier Cameron: Our defence plans-

Presumably these are Canadian defence plans.

-are based on the nuclear weapon.

But I assume that the Canadian brigade has now no nuclear capability. I have no reason to believe, the minister can correct me if I am wrong, that it has any authority from the government to use such weapons if it possessed them. I would be grateful if the minister would clear up these very important points about the relationship of our Canadian forces in Europe to the use of nuclear weapons which General Norstad, the commander of NATO, says are absolutely essential for the effective operation and defence of these forces.

I apologize again to the committee, and I appreciate its patience, but I should like to close by saying a few words about what I think are some of the principles which should guide Canadian policies on defence at the present time. The minister dealt with some of these this morning. I certainly have no dogmatic view on matters so complex or matters concerning which, as I have already indicated, we in the opposition have not the access-I do not complain about this-to all the information which the minister has. I do not know all the answers, but I should like to get as much information as possible upon which, as a Canadian, I can base my answers to these questions.

In the first place-I believe, I have said this already more than once in my statement-I believe in collective security as strongly as I ever did. But I am worried about collective security becoming more and more continental and less and less Atlantic. I believe this should be the foundation of our policy, as indeed the minister indicated it was in his statement.

I believe in the strongest possible support for a permanent United Nations peace force to carry out United Nations decisions, to police armistice settlements, as he said in his statement this morning, and patrol danger areas to prevent small conflicts deteriorating into large wars.

Pending agreement at the United Nations for such a permanent force, and there are

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Supply-National Defence great obstacles there in the way of this development, I see no reason at all against, and many reasons for, following a course by which Canada could negotiate with other middle powers for the organization and equipment of such a force, based on a treaty relationship, which force would be made available to the United Nations on request by an assembly decision. I believe that as an integral part of our defence policy appropriate Canadian forces should be trained and equipped for such international peace preserving service as this.

1 believe that for this purpose perhaps we should have a brigade group which would be entirely airborne, air transported with all its equipment in an emergency. Certainly, the R.C.A.F. would have a big new part to play in that kind of development. Furthermore, I think that land and air forces should continue to be made available to NATO as part of a collective, and I hope it will be a genuinely collective effort.

Having said that, I should like to add that in my view NATO strategy and planning must be made effective in a way which gives its members enough strength in Europe to defend western Europe against an aggression without having to rely on every occasion on massive nuclear retaliation by the United States, the effect of which, as I said, would be to convert every limited war into nuclear suicide. I believe Canada should insist- perhaps insist is too strong a word-Canada should do its best to bring about the acceptance of NATO strategy and strength based on a balance of collective forces to which each NATO member makes a fair contribution, and for which each accepts NATO control and authority over its forces through the NATO command. I feel that this control and command should be extended over the whole NATO area. I know, as well as the minister knows, the difficulty in bringing that about, but I believe it is an objective which we should keep pressing to achieve.

I believe Canada's continued participation in NATO forces in Europe should be under continuous examination in the light of the progress made in achieving this objective. As long as our present forces remain in Europe they should know the role that they are to play in an agreed and acceptable strategy, and they must be given the most effective equipment with which to play it. It was for this reason we on this side were gratified to hear the minister say this morning that the government had decided to re-equip the air division. I am not in a position to comment on whether this new equipment is the best that could be obtained. I do not even know exactly what the purpose of the air division will be. The minister


Supply-National Defence outlined it this morning, but certainly it will require a good deal of study. It seemed to me to be an entirely new purpose for the air division, attack support, a very important purpose indeed in the defence of western Europe, a very onerous task for the air force. I think the decision, notwithstanding what the minister has said, should have been made months ago, but it is better to have made it now than to have postponed it further because surely it has become clear to all that the air division, in its present form and with its present equipment, the F-86, was not in a position to discharge effectively the kind of task it would have been called upon to discharge.

This is no reflection on what is perhaps the best body of airmen in Europe. This is a reflection, rather, on the speed of events and it shows how quickly equipment can get out of date. Certainly the air division in Europe is second to none in any air force for skill, courage and determination of its men. It deserves, and I hope it is receiving now, a clear-cut role, which perhaps we can discuss, and the best means of playing that role.

Then, next what should the relationship of Canada be, in my view, to continental air defence? It seems to me that if Canada is to continue to subscribe to the theory of defence in depth against manned bombers, we should not deceive ourselves that this is going to be an effective defence for the Canadian people and Canadian soil. Let us not delude ourselves. This would be Canadian association with a defence deterrent which is a United States deterrent so far as this continent is concerned, except in so far as we are contributing to the early warning system.

If we are to continue to take part in this form of continental defence, surely the Canadian squadrons for that purpose must be reequipped with the latest planes. It is not fair, it certainly will not be fair in the months ahead to ask them to take their full part in continental air defence armed with CF-lOO's alongside United States squadrons armed with the latest type of interceptor, eventually perhaps the F-108.

If, on the other hand-although there is no indication of it in the minister's statement this morning-the government should consider leaving this particular form of continental defence to the United States, and giving the R.C.A.F. perhaps another and more Canadian part to play, surely the government should insist that the United States interceptor squadrons be based far enough north to permit contact with the enemy long before he reaches Canadian industrial areas and populated areas.

The minister said this morning, and I agree, that we should continue to take some share of the responsibility for the existing early warning systems while those systems are considered to be effective. However, we should leave the development of B.M.E.W.'s-ballistic missile early warnings-as we should leave the development of anti-missile missiles, to the United States. I gather from the minister this morning that he would not disagree with that statement. I think this development is not in our particular economic sphere.

I would go further, however, and say that whenever the United States desires facilities or rights to operate on Canadian soil for defence purposes which are deemed by the United States government to be essential and not by us to be undesirable though not essential, at least as a Canadian effort; I believe in these circumstances that we should give the United States those rights as part of this partnership about which the minister spoke, as is done in the United Kingdom and as was done in the case of the D.E.W. line. But only in each case after we have worked out an intergovernmental agreement which reserves all Canadian rights of sovereignty and political control.

We were able to do this when we negotiated the D.E.W. line. We discussed at that time the desirability of making this an all Canadian effort and taking full control of it. However, it was decided that that was not a good thing to do in view of the speculative character of the effectiveness of this line. But if the United States felt it was essential we agreed they should be given the right to do it and we would make our contribution to the other line. But the right to go ahead would be governed by a political agreement which was made at that time and which as the minister knows reserves every right of Canadian sovereignty and ultimate control. While I would be the last person-because I believe in collective security-to refuse any member of the Atlantic alliance any facility which they claim to be essential for collective security and require to use on our territory and which we do not wish to do ourselves; while I believe we have no right to refuse that kind of thing in that kind of emergency, nevertheless on every occasion we should make sure that through political arrangements between the two governments on the highest level Canadian rights are safeguarded and protected.

I would go further than that. We should do ourselves all of the things in our country we possibly can and that we think are necessary for continental defence. This is not an easy problem because the United States is a great power with world interests and world responsibilities. The United States cannot

allow any sector to go unguarded. They have to participate in every form of defence activity, even though they may have doubts themselves, as they have in connection with the Bomarc. But Canada is not in that position. We have a limited amount-although a big amount-to spend on defence and we have to be particularly careful that we use it to the best advantage. Normally the best way in which to use it is for defence which makes a contribution to genuine collective security. If we feel that certain proposals which are put forward are not in our view desirable for Canadian action then we cannot be a dog in the manger and prevent others from doing them who are our allies if they work for collective security.

So far as the army is concerned, it seems to me that the army should consist-and I put this suggestion forward with some hesitation to an expert in this field-of mobile brigade groups and that there should be sufficient air transport available to pick up an entire brigade group and deliver it anywhere in the world where required, whether it is required as part of a NATO contribution, as an international peace contingent or for other duties specified by the Canadian government from time to time. I think nothing can be much more important now than the equipment of the army for that purpose. If that means cutting down on some other expenditure it should be done. I think the government must now decide, and presumably it is in the midst of negotiation with the United States with a view to coming to a decision on the use of tactical nuclear weapons. The government, especially in view of what General Norstad has said, must decide whether these forces are to be armed with tactical nuclear weapons. If the decision is in the affirmative, surely the government must insist that any such weapons are under Canadian control and operation. It is a position that I think that any self-respecting nation would take. I cannot believe that, when confronted with the necessity for taking that position, the United States would consider it an unreasonable one.

There are some considerations which must be in the minds of the government in coming to a conclusion in this matter, and I hope the conclusion will be reached shortly. Perhaps I might mention one or two of them. The minister will know that tactical nuclear weapons have now been reduced to a point where they can be used by small formations against purely military targets. They are conventional almost in the sense that they are ordinary weapons with nuclear ammunition, but used in almost the same way as if it were ordinary ammunition. Second, if these weapons were not used, NATO forces in

Supply-National Defence Europe would be facing armies which had them and would not hesitate to use them. Unless we can get international agreement on this matter, the resulting military disparity created might well be considered intolerable to NATO morale. If the Canadian forces were deprived of these weapons or were not permitted to use them-this is a consideration which no doubt the government has very much in mind-their morale could hardly be expected to remain very high if they were serving alongside NATO forces which had these tactical nuclear weapons.

The matter is obviously as complex as it is important but it should certainly be given consideration, and I hope the house will have the views of the government on this matter before long. One important factor-and I want to mention this so that what I have said will not be misunderstood-in coming to a decision on this matter surely must be the possibility of abolishing the use of all atomic weapons by international agreement. Whatever decision is reached on this particular matter, I believe that Canada should use to the utmost its influence to discourage nations-and I have mentioned this matter before; it is perhaps a matter for the United Nations-which do not now manufacture atomic weapons from embarking on programs for their production. Nothing could be more disastrous for peace and security in the future than if twenty, thirty, forty or fifty nations in the world were producing nuclear weapons.

As far as naval policy is concerned, I may have a little bit more to say on that matter later. It seems to me that naval policy should be based, if not exclusively, almost exclusively on protection against submarine attacks. If nuclear submarines are required, as Admiral Rickover has stated, as the most effective submarine killers, perhaps Canada should explore the possibilities of a production sharing arrangement with Great Britain or the United States whereby Canada might obtain her requirements in exchange for components or other Canadian defence equipment without the necessity of embarking on an extensive program of development and production which it seems to me, in view of economic circumstances, would be unwise.

The upshot of all this, Mr. Chairman, is that I am advocating a complete re-examination and re-assessment of the defence problem as a means of solving defence problems on the part of the government in the light of the changes that have taken place. I am not now advocating a reduction or a substantial reduction of our defence effort. But I do not think that we are getting the maximum results for the expenditures we are making. I think we are making expenditures on

Supply-National Defence defence, in the light of situations and circumstances which do not any longer exist. I think we should, as I have said, make a complete re-assessment of the nature of our defence effort and our defence expenditures in the light of the fundamental changes in the last two years.

But Canada has to pay its fair share of the collective insurance policy against war. While we might be able to cut-and I think we could do so-defence expenditures, no one on this side of the chamber would advocate doing that at the expense of our security or at the expense of our position in the NATO alliance. I think it is possible to make a more effective contribution for less expenditures because I believe some of our expenditures now are not justifying themselves in the return they make to our security.

Above all, I believe, as I said at the beginning of my statement, that while military defence remains important and while a deterrent has to be maintained, while these millions have to be spent, the only real defence is peace, and everything must be subordinated in this government as in other free governments to the search for peace by negotiation to make the astronomic defence expenditures unnecessary in the long run. The minister said this morning that the world is perhaps approaching the stage when the use of force is no longer valid as an instrument of policy to settle man's differences. The minister might take the word "perhaps" out of that statement. The world certainly has approached that stage, and defence policy cannot surely in these days be based realistically on any other consideration. While military defence remains essential and while military deterrents remain essential, the use of these deterrents and the use of this force as an instrument of policy to settle man's differences has now become intolerable.

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March 9, 1948


I was paired with the hon. member for Fort William (Mr. Melvor). Had I voted, I would have voted against the motion.


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