There is another point
I should like to bring to the attention of hon. members. Sometimes people wish to make it seem that the province from which I come has not done its full share. I do not say that these people point directly at us and single us out, but they claim that if recruiting is not as active as they would like it, that has been due to lack of interest in the affairs of the country and because our people have not done what they should. I wish to say most emphatically that the people of Quebec have responded to the call to the best of their ability; and if some changes had been made and improvements brought about, the response would have been even better. Only yesterday I read in one of the Ottawa newspapers a letter signed by a former member of this house, Mrs. George Black, who said:
With extreme regret, as well as great annoyance, I have noted a growing habit of accusing Quebec of lack of loyalty to Canada and the empire, because of an aversion to compulsory military service.
Probably no member of parliament, with his wife, does of necessity cover more of Canada from the far north to the east than do George Black, M.P. for Yukon, and I. In our many trips across Canada, we have observed as much apathy and lack of enthusiasm for active service in the armed forces of Canada in other provinces as in Quebec.
Let us of the other parts of this dominion forget our smug complacency and force ourselves to realize that Quebec is as loyal as the other provinces.
We are component parts of a great empire. Let each one do his, or her, part to unite Canada in support of that empire, forgetting petty racial and religious prejudices. We must work, we must fight for the right to worship one God, to be loyal to one king, and to hold a united empire, that our children's children may enjoy the freedom we hold so dear.
There is a great deal in this letter over which some hon. members in the house, and other people outside, should ponder. I do not wish to carry on this debate much longer. We have heard in the house many speeches from quarters directly opposite the government. They have pointed out that the government has been lagging and derelict in its duty. I want to ask hon. members if there was foundation for any of those criticisms.
The government of the present Prime Minister has at all times been able to handle the situation with one thing in view, that of maintaining unity in this country-unity of the various races in Canada. Without that we would not be able to carry on this war. I do not wish to attribute motives to any other
The War-Mr. Rowe
persons, but some who are facing me to-day, and others in other parts of the country, are carrying on certain propaganda in the press. I say to them, and to all those who hold such views, to consider that they are not giving good service to the Canadian people and the empire at large.
In all the provinces of Canada are to be found peoples of various races, creeds and religions. It is the aim of the country to keep all those various elements united together in order that we may present a united front, and be able to carry the burdens of the day and to give to this dominion of ours and to the empire the greatest service possible. It is helping the empire to defeat Hitler, and that is the aim of this country. It is the aim of this government, and it is the aim of all British countries.
Topic: THE WAR