Andrew Ross MCMASTER

MCMASTER, Andrew Ross, K.C., B.A., B.C.L.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Brome (Quebec)
Birth Date
November 6, 1876
Deceased Date
April 27, 1937
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Ross_McMaster
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=deaf5a4f-d8a1-49b8-a81b-f90eeaf06463&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer

Parliamentary Career

December 17, 1917 - October 4, 1921
L LIB
  Brome (Quebec)
December 6, 1921 - September 5, 1925
LIB
  Brome (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 497)


June 24, 1925

Mr. McMASTER:

If we are going to keep

the cadets in jerseys, if we are going to uniform them like the Boy Scouts, if we are going to keep guns out of their hands, then I suppose I would ask the genial member for Kingston, when is a cadet not a cadet?

Both parties in this verbal controversy have appealed to the United States. Some people in the United States are thoroughly convinced that the security of mankind is not to be maintained through military preparedness, and I think they represent the majority of that great people. There are others who make the common error of confounding patriotism with militarism, and who are prepared to denounce those who do not like militarism as being unpatriotic. Well, if that is what the pacifist has got to bear-to be called unpatriotic-then I am prepared to be called unpatriotic.

Let me say just two words in closing. Some criticism has been directed to the member for Southeast Grey because of her desire to

see war memorials take a shape different from the shape they take at the present time. There are those who think it wise to raise stone memorials to those who have fallen and to the beloved ones who have passed over. I for my part have no objection to that, but I think there is a better way. If I may be permitted a personal reference, a college society to which I belonged in my ycuth lost two-thirds of its active chapter during the war, and what we did was this: We raised no brass tablet, we raised no stone monument, but we subscribed until we had a fund of upwards of $20,000, and we founded a scholarship at the university to which we belonged.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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June 24, 1925

Mr. McMASTER:

In so far as the educational authorities ask for cadet training in their schools, I think they are wrong, and I would also say this: I believe that if a vote were taken of all the teachers and all the parents in all the provinces, a very handsome majority would be registered against cadet training. That is my view. We have taken no plebiscite and I may be mistaken, but I think that is the view of the Canadian people.

There is one bright ray in this picture, and it is this, that not only have those who have generally been called pacifists come out strongly in denunciation of war, but it is no longer regarded as the school of hardy virtue. We used to be told when I was a boy that nations required war, that if they did not have war they would become

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effeminate, that wars were required to build up a strong and virile people. You do not hear that sort of talk to-day except among people who are perfectly crazy. Great generals, like Sir Arthur Currie, General Sir Ian Hamilton, great military leaders like Earl - Haig are just as strong and stern in their denunciation of war, and in their declarations that war never settled anything, and that mankind has to find a better way for settling international disputes. Under these circumstances, is it quite fair to the rising generation to put them in touch with military matters in this way? I think it would be wiser not to do so. After all, as John Bright once said, we are the true ancients-we stand on the shoulders of our forefathers and can see farther, and I think the best of modern thought would be that we might well leave out this expenditure of public money for the purpose for which it is asked this evening.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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June 24, 1925

Mr. McMASTER:

No, those are hot

drawbacks.

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT
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June 24, 1925

Mr. McMASTER:

And quite as polite.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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June 24, 1925

Mr. McMASTER:

Mr. Chairman, I will

not detain the committee long with the few observations I have to make upon this subject. I intend to support the motion made by the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail) and I wish to give very briefly the reasons why I do so. First of all I think we should envisage this question properly; we should not exaggerate the situation. We are a country whose military expenditure is reduced to a very low figure. I do not think there is any country in the world which contains less of agressive militarism than this Canada of ours. I do not think any party in the state, I do not think any responsible statesman in Canada, is anything but a lover of peace; where we may differ is as to the methods which we may follow to attain this end.

Now, the minister has referred to a trip he took to Europe, and he says that wdien he was there last year he found things in a very disturbed condition. I am afraid that he is right, but I would like to direct the attention of the commitee for a moment to the reasons why Europe is in a disturbed condition. We fought a great war, we were told, to end war.

I believe the mass of the British people, the people in England, Ireland, and Scotland, the peoples in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, who leaped to the call for arms in August of 1914, were inbued with high patriotic ideas.

I believe they had no idea of fighting the war for aggrandizement. I believe they honestly thought they were fighting a war to end war.

But what happened when the Peace treaty was formed? Unfortunately the high ideals with which the warring nations started, with which the British people started, had been lost. In Great Britain an election had been won shortly before the beginning of the negotiations on an appeal to national feeling and on an appeal to hatred of their enemies, and unfortunately that spirit was brought into the peace negotiations. Unfortunately a peace was negotiated which instead of ensuring peace ensured more difficulty, and that is one reason why Europe is in a disturbed condition to-day. Another reason is that instead of laying down their arms, instead of disarming, the peoples kept on arming one against the other, and I say that the history of mankind shows very plainly that the way to obtain security is not through military preparedness. If there is any lesson which the war has driven home on the consciousness of thinking people, surely that is the lesson. The minister has said that we need in this country some military force for the maintenance of internal order. I am prepared to grant him that. I would like to see our military establishment on such a footing as may be required to maintain internal order, and the more righteousness and justice and generosity and fair dealing obtain between class and class, between employer and employee, so much less will that establishment require to be from year to year.

The member for Southeast Grey has not beclouded the issue. I think she has enlightened the committee. In every great movement there are heroes and in every great movement in the history of the world there have been heroines, and I consider that the member for Southeast Grey belongs to that class. She assuredly has so conducted the battle that she has put the gallant and hon. Minister of National Defence almost on his defence. He says that the responsibility for the existence of cadet services in this country is not on his department but on the departments of education of the different provinces who ask for them. Let them not ask for it, says the minister, and they will not receive.

I would suggest that the responsibility was joint and I would think that efforts should be made in both directions to have these cadet services eliminated. Surely it is patent to all of us that whatever mankind did in the past in the way of ensuring peace by preparing for war, they were wrong, and surely the children and the young people should be given a chance. Whatever is required to secure us by way of military expenditure and military establishment, surely we should give the new gener-

Supply-De fence

ation an opportunity to try another way, the old way having proved to be such a dismal failure.

It is said that military training gives the best discipline. I do not know about that. I do not knew whether military discipline has been shown in the past to be the very best training for mind or for body. It has got some advantages, no doubt., but could not these advantages be obtained through physical exercise, and even physical drill, if necessary, without attaching it to military pomp and military procedure. It seems to me that it could. There is an organization in the country to which an enormous number of young boys belong, the Boy Scouts; it has physical drill; it has physical exercise. It appeals to the gregarious feeling in youth by combining them in companies and subjecting them to a certain amount of discipline and organization, but it is removed in spirit from the spirit of war and the spirit of hate. It depends for its excellence upon entirely another spirit.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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