Mr. F. G. SANDERSON (Perth):
Mr. Speaker, I rise to make some brief observations in this important debate which is before parliament and this country. History will record it as the most important and far-reaching in its consequences, not for a day, a week or a month, but down the years to come.
The government of the day under the leadership of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) has a war record, to date, second to none of the allies fighting with Canada in the same cause, on land, on the sea and in the air, for victory and peace. In my humble judgment, since the war started in 1939 the government of the day has received from all parties and groups in the house considerable support pertaining to the war. This is as it should be. We are all united for victory and peace. The government of the day has also received strong support from all the people in every province in its victory loans, with every loan oversubscribed by millions of dollars. The people of Canada, wherever they live, east or west, north or south, are war conscious, not politically conscious. They want the government to go on with the war without hesitating, and the government of the day or any other government that might be formed, should beware. The voters who send members to parliament are not thinking of political parties or candidates at the next election. They are working and praying for victory and peace, and that our gallant men overseas will never lack reinforcements.
I now come to the mounting casualties as shown in the army lists we receive each day, and I am afraid these casualties will continue for a long time. Do not let us fool ourselves by thinking and saying this war will be over in a few months. We must fight, and with all our might, to the bitter end.
To my hon. friends from Quebec I wish to say briefly that all down through the years since 1925, when I was first elected to parliament, they have been very kind to me. I have many close friends who come from Quebec. I do not hold the same views on conscription that they do, but when I retire from political life I shall always cherish my friendship with them.
I should like also to pay sincere tribute to the former minister of national defence (Mr. Ralston), the former minister of national defence for air (Mr. Power), the Minister of National Defence for Naval Services (Mr. Macdonald), the Minister of Munitions and
War Effort-Government Policy
Supply (Mr. Howe) and the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley), and I should like also to wish the new Minister of National Defence, General McNaughton, every success in his new responsibilities.
My riding in Ontario, the county of Perth, is very strong for conscription. A very large majority voted "yes" in the plebiscite, as the records will show.
In closing, may I say that I sincerely hope that before the January session commences the Minister of National Defence will be able to send overseas all the reinforcements needed by our fighting men. With this in mind I will vote against the amendment and in favour of the main motion.
Topic: QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic: THE WAR