January 23, 1917

LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

I said that if the statements made by Dr. Bruce and by the ex-Minister of Militia were correct, a serious condition existed and an investigation should be had.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Then, my hon. friend does not speak from any knowledge of his own?

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

I have spoken only as my hon. friend has done; I was not over there and did not see the hospitals. I have spoken from Dr. Bruce's report.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

My hon. friend said that he had never seen the report of Dr. Bruce and yet he has the audacity to say to this House that the statements made by Dr. Bruce are true as to the condition which obtains in France.

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

What I stated to the House was that I had seen newspaper reports of Dr. Bruce's statement.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Oh, he is getting down to newspaper reports now.

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

My hon. friend need not be so very fly. He cannot misrepresent me because I will not permit him to and he need not try.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

My hon. friend is very brave. On newspaper reports my hon. friend makes an attack on this Government regarding the hospitals in France and England. My answer to that is this- died of sickness up to date, 494 of the men overseas. I care not a snap of my finger what my hon. friend imagines, or what my hon. friend has read in the papers, where he gets his information; I challenge any country in the world to produce from the medical service of its army a condition equal to that. I challenge my hon. friend to produce statistics which will show such an excellent record elsewhere. As a matter of fact, the general results of the medical service of Canada and Great Britain are unsurpassed by those of any other nation engaged in this war. The mortality o' this House-and I speak with reverence on

this subject because some of our colleagues have passed away-has been greater from sickness during the period of the war than the mortality among the Canadian troops overseas. Is that not a record worthy of commendation rather than of the vicious attacks which have fallen from the lips of my hon. friend?

Then my hon. friend asks: Is this the way in which you are going to stimulate recruiting? Will his speech stimulate recruiting? Will charges based upon unsupported statements, mere rumors, fancies gained by the hon. gentleman here and there from newspapers, that he does no* and dare not quote, stimulate recruiting? If there is one thing that we in this House and in this country should be at this time it is serious and sincere in everything we state. Before making statements we should see that we have the facts behind them upon which to base sound complaints, if such complaints are to be made.

Then my hon. friend proceeded in his vociferous manner with a most violent attack on the Government for interfering with the military control. " I have heard," says he, " that a man by the name of Gwatkin " -we all know that there is a gentleman by the name of General Gwatkin-" I have heard that there is a man by the name of Gwatkin who has control of affairs." And the hon. member asked: "Will anybody dare say that he has control of affairs?" He then went on with a long tirade of abuse against the Government for not having dared, according to the hon. member, to interfere with the head of the military affairs. He passed on, perhaps thinking we would forget what he had said, and happily we do forget most of it. But a little later on the hon. gentleman who had given expression to these sentiments again attacked the Premier because he had not interfered when the 85;th Regiment was broken up. Why, sir, the 85th was not the only regiment that was broken up. The same thing happened to the Irish Rangers and to the 121st Battalion, and a dozen others I could mention. Because the chief of the general staff thought it best to use these men as reinforcements for the regiments at the front, the hon. member for Pictou heaps abuse on the head of the Prime Minister for not interfering with the War Office and having these battalions handled exactly as the friends at 'home would like to see. I take second place to no man in my desire to see our boys from Vancouver, Pictou, Toronto, or any other centre, kept together.

I remember well the 121st Battalion, which,

with others, I undertook to raise. In less than five weeks we had raised the battalion to full strength. It went overseas, and we hoped the regiment would not be broken up, as all the boys came from the same locality. But I got word from some of the boys overseas that the battalion was being broken up in just the same way as my hon. friend says the 85th was broken up. But, surely, upon second thoughts, we must realize that we must bow to any decisions that are made in the interests of efficiency at the front, and I must say that I differ from my hon. friend, if I am to judge him by the sentiments he expressed this afternoon. I have confidence in Sir Douglas Haig, confidence in the War Office, in the British authorities and in the Canadian officers. I have confidence in the men who are running this war. I am not so foolish as to think they do not make mistakes, but I am confident they are doing their best to discharge the responsibilities resting upon them, and it ill becomes the hon. member for Pictou to urge the Government to interfere in these important matters overseas. I am sure he would be the first man to stand up in the House and condemn the Government for such interference. As a matter of fact, he has done it in his speech to-day. The hon. member for Pictou claims to have an honoured military record himself; so he ought to know the King's regulations and all about the proper procedure in military affairs. He knows perfectly well that the statements he made this afternoon and the charges and innuendos he heaped upon this Government were unjustified and unfair, and certainly not in the interest of recruiting in this country. He says he would like to know what the Prime Minister thinks of conscription. Why does not my hon. friend tell us what he thinks of conscription himself? ,

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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. H. BENNETT:

He is waiting to see what will happen on Saturday next.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

The Prime Minister has taken the stand before the people of this country that if it ,is humanly possible the troops that go overseas from Canada shall be volunteers. He has stated that he has seen no occasion for bringing in conscription so far as our present needs are concerned.

I would draw my hon, friend's attention to another effort on the part of the Government, on which he might also, have given us his opinion, ,and that is the National Service scheme. Some of his friends are saying that National Service is but a step

to conscription. I would point out to him, and others who think like Mm and there are a few-that the National Service propaganda which has been endorsed by the right hon. leader of the Opposition is a propaganda by which it is expected to get the last possible effort out of the people of Canada; that is the basis of it. Let my hon. friend and his leader, and his colleagues support the National Service propaganda, and them perhaps conscription, will never be necessary. I hope it never will be necessary in Canada. I hope we shall be able to fill the bill without having anything in the nature of conscription. If my hon. friend did that he would be doing a much better service ito the country than by standing up here and twitting the Prime Minister. The hom. gentleman said that if the Prime Minister spoke he could still the uneasiness of the country at once. Surely my hon. friend is not going 'to take second place to the Prime Minister. Why does he not still the uneasiness himself by giving the country his views on conscription? The hon. gentleman then proceeded to review at very great length the correspondence between the Prime Minister and the ex-Minister of Militia. One of his chief arguments, over which he laboured very long, was this: that other ministers of the Crown had expended money without Order in Council. Now my hon. friend takes second place to no one in the House in astuteness as a parliamentarian; he claims to be a lawyer of the first rank. As such, the hon. member must know that when he and the rest of us sitting in this House vote an appropriation bil'l, every item of that bill is appropriated without requiring any Order in Council. He also knows, if he has given it a moment's thought-and I am afraid he has not-that the $250,000,000 voted for war purposes was voted to the Government without any particular allotment. The result is that every dollar of that $250,000,000 must be expended by Order in Council; whereas the appropriations in, the estimates require no Order in Council. That is clear to those of us who are mere novices, and it certainly must be clear to my hon. friend, if he gives it a moment's thought. I question very much, indeed, his sincerity in the long and laboured argument he made in regard to the $250,000,000. I think he knows perfectly well that there was nothing in that argument at all except the desire to stir up a little internal trouble in this party and in the Government. In fact, his. whole speech, except the part which he

read at the end, was an endeavour to make trouble and cause ill-feeling. I do not propose to deal at any further length with his remarks. He said a great deal more, but there was very little in it.

I wish to make two suggestions to the Government, for I believe it is the duty of hon. gentlemen of this House, coming as they do from all parts of this country, over 4,000 miles in length, to make suggestions to the Government, because the Government, of course, cannot be intimately in touch with affairs in all parts of the country.

I think one of the most important questions in the carrying on of the war is that of the supply of lead, zinc, copper, molybdenite, and other minerals of that kind. Those four in particular that I have mentioned are produced in large quantities in British Columbia, and I wish to draw, the attention of the Government to this fact. The owners of minerals in British Columbia experience a great deal of difficulty in having their minerals smelted. There is one smelter up the coast at Anyox, belonging to the British Columbia Copper Company, I think, or to the Granby Company. That company has recently stopped accepting custom ores; that is, they do not do any smelting for outside concerns. There is also a smelter at Ladysmith, the Tyie smelter, which lias been idle for a great many years; and a month or so ago they decided to again start this smelter. -

But as near as I can learn from careful inquiry there is some' sinister influence preventing the Tyie smelter from opening up, and also preventing the Granby smelter from taking custom ores. I want, in a very serious manner, to draw the attention of the Government to the fact that steps should immediately be taken to see that every facility for smelting ores is placed at the disposal of the mine owners of British Columbia. I am not speaking about the large mines; I am speaking about the smaller ones. There are millions of tons of copper ore blocked out, Teady for taking out of the mine and for smelting if the facilities were accorded. I lay that upon the Government, and may I lay this upon the Government also? Two years ago I spoke in regard to the matter and some results have been obtained, but I am going to draw the matter to their attention again. The Government should establish .adequate refining facilities for the product of the smelting of these ores. It is true that the Trail smelter has in the last two years added refining facilities, but those facilities are not sufficient and we want a refinery on the coast. One mine on

the coast employing about two thousand men produces every week thousands upon thousands of tons of the richest copper ore, and all of this is shipped to Tacoma and finds a market on the other side of the line. That copper should be smelted and refined in Canada and the product shipped to the old country, where there is a great demand for it. There is no reason in the world that I can discover, after looking carefully into the matter, why that should not be done. I ask the Government to give consideration to these facts. I have here a great deal of correspondence on the subject, some of which I have received to-day, but I shall not weary the House with it.

We have recently been receiving in Canada a number of returned soldiers. I think about six hundred have returned to Vancouver alone, and corresponding numbers to other places. A great many of these boys are wounded, some of them incapacitated for life, and every effort is being made to look after them. I want to congratulate the Government on what they have done up to the present time; but as time goes on the number of returning soldiers will increase to such an extent that the task that will face us is appalling. I believe this House could well spend considerable time in studying out the problem of taking care of the soldiers returning from the front. There are many ways in which this could be done, but I have one suggestion to make to the Government at the present time, and I believe they will act upon it favourably. The British Columbia University is prepared to give free tuition and instruction to men in a thorough course of agriculture. It is absolutely useless to take men who have not been accustomed to farming and put them on the land, although we hear a great deal of putting men on the land-, as if you can. pick up a man like a pawn and put him on the land and expect him to make a successful farmer. For a man to make a success of farming he must have some agricultural training, and a thorough course in a university of agriculture would give him a start and also confidence in his new life. Hon. members from British Columbia know that there are millions of acres of splendid land in that province; but if we simply give a hundred or a hundred and sixty acres to a returned soldier and then trust to luck whether he makes good or not. We are not going to solve the problem of the returned soldier successfully. I make this suggestion, not in a critical spirit, that this Parliament should combine its 5i

energies in an effort to solve ttiese after-the-war problems which are to-day commencing to face us- We are getting only a small number of returned soldiers at present, but in a very few months the number will increase and the problem will grow accordingly. The Military Hospitals Commission is doing splendid work, but I do not think it will be capable of meeting the demands that will be made upon it in a few months. I lay upon this Government and upon every member of the House the responsibility of joining together and endeavouring to solve these problems.

My remarks have been made in the latter part with the idea of bringing forward one or two suggestions which I know to be important. There are many other suggestions which may fall from the lips of other members wfoo know local conditions better, but I believe that our efforts as Canadians and as Britishers should be 'Combined with the one object of making Canada more efficient and more capable of carrying on. this great war. I am as proud as any man of what we have accomplished, but there is a greater task before us and I -hope and believe that the people of Canada, especially the members of this House, will measure up to the demands made upon them.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Hon. FRANK OLIVER (Edmonton):

Mr. Speaker, it is hardly necessary for me to add my congratulations to you on your elevation to your present position- I will only say that I think the House is as fortunate as yourself. -

In regard to the remarks of my hon. friend (Mr. Stevens), it strikes me that the Government has not been altogether fortunate in its selection of an apologist on this occasion. While my hon. friend is prepared to endorse everything that the Government has done or everything that it has left undone in connection with the war, he is not prepared to endorse what it has done or left undone in regard to the smelting and refining industry of British Columbia. The Government, which cannot be trusted in what is not as important a matter as the war-which my hon. friend cannot trust to its own guidance in this so much less important matter-he is prepared to defend with all the ability, and, if I may say, the vociferation, of which he is capable in regard to that greater matter in reference to which even he might think that iihe Government which he supports might some-

times or somehow or on some occasion fall short of the ideal.

My !hon. friend criticises certain phases of the speech of my hon. friend from Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) on the ground that they might have an injurious effect upon recruiting; but when my hon- friend himself began to touch on the questions that are arising to-day in connection with our returned soldiers, I am not so sure that, judged by the same standard as he set up for my hon. friend from Pictou, his speech was not just as detrimental to recruiting, because the suggestion was contained in it that there is something lacking, something that needs his suggestion in this House, in regard to the betterment of the conditions of those men who have rendered service and who. have suffered in the cause. Not only does he make that suggestion himself, but Ihe calls on all the members of this House to aid him in bringing the matter to the attention of the Government and of the country to see that it is properly adjusted. I do not think that any one is entitled to criticise, nor should any one be afraid of criticism, because we in this Parliament discuss matters relating to the administration of the war.

I may be permitted, perhaps, to traverse to some degree the positions that have already been taken in this debate in regard to the war at large, and to say that, for my part, I am not able to agree with the views of the Prime Minister as to the successful progress of the war, any more than I am able to agree with his views as to the means taken to secure its successful termination. I am afraid that if, to-day, the allied arms are not in a better position than they are, it is largely because we, the people of the allied nations, have not been willing to look the facts in the face. We have tried to win the war on paper, by argument and demonstration and proof, while the war can only be won by blood and sacrifice. The more fully and the more quickly we face that condition and prepare ourselves to meet it, the sooner and the more certainly shall we win success. I do not think there can be any exaggeration of the gravity of the position as it is to-day. When I read that the beautiful parks of England are being ploughed up to raise food because of the exigencies of the war; when I hear that the people of England, [DOT]of rich England, have to eat black bread ibecause of the war; when I read that the Premier of England calls on the people of

the Empire to offer sacrifice of men and means uncounted and uncountable,-I say we are not doing ourselves justice, we are not doing justice to the cause, if we do not look the facts squarely in the face and recognize that our part is to do everything we can, to do it well, and to do it now.

There seems to me to be a certain measure of confusion of mind as to the value of the respective services rendered in the war. I have read, I have heard it sugges ed, that the services of raising food, of making munitions, of transportation, are on an equality with the service of the men who stand in the battle line. I cannot agree with that view. Not only do I think that view mistaken, but I think it is bound to be terribly injurious to the effective prosecution of our share in the war. I do not minimize in any degree the importance of the -labour of any man in any of these callings. Perhaps I shall be unable to place before this House lucidly the case, as it strikes my mind, of the difference between the man who leaves his home, his friends, his property, and his prospects- leaves everything behind-and takes upon himself the terrible hardship of the battle-front, and who risks from day to day and from moment to moment his life and limb for the cause in which he fights; I say I cannot make a comparison of equality between the services rendered by that man and those rendered by the man, let him be as able as he may, who works in a munitions plant, or on a farm, or in transportation, or in any other necessary service, for which service he is well paid, and through which he enjoys every comfort of life as though there were no war-as a matter of fact, in many cases, draws betteT wages and lives under conditions immeasurably better than would be the case if there were no war. I think it is a mistake to place these two classes of service on an equality. If I do not weary the House with this form of discussion, let me say it strikes me in this way. The man who is to render service in the battle line, in the first place, must be the pick of our country in the matter of physical perfection. It is not every man, indeed it is a comparatively small percentage of the men of our country, who are physically fit to take upon themselves the hardships and risks of the battle front. A man who is not fit for the battle front may well be fit for these other occupations in which he may Tender excellent service, necessary service. But the number of men you can put in the battle front aTe the pick of our manhood, and they are only a com-

paratively small proportion of that manhood. Therefore, the first essential is the man in the battle line, and unless we have enough of them, and unless they are of the right quality, both physically and spiritually, of what account is it that we have munition factories, or that we have farms producing food, or that we have transportation facilities? The man in the battle line is the man who wins tire war, and it is with the question of putting the right kind of men into the battle line, putting them there at the right time and under proper leadership, that we have to deal. First things first; let us recognize that to get our men into the battle line is the first duty of those who have the direction of our affairs.

We must assume that that principle was recognized when, on New Year's Day, 1916, the Premier of Canada issued a call to the people of Canada for half a million men. That call was received by the people with every consideration, with the recognition of its propriety and justice, and there was not, from any part of the country, so far as I am aware, any protest or objection against that call being made. Such a call, made by the Premier of Canada and received without objection by the people of Canada, was a pledge of the honour of Canada to herself, to the Empire to which she belongs and to the Allied powers that she would make good her promise. Since that time there have been heavy enlistments of men, as the Premier said yesterday when he told us of the number of enlistments that had been made. It would be impossible to exaggerate the magnificence of the response made by our people to that call under the circumstances as they stand. We boasted that we were a peace-loving people; that for a hundred years we had been in a condition of peace. Peace was preached from our pulpits and spoken from every platform. Our whole education was an education of peacefulness; and that our men should have responded as they did to the call that was made, certainly showed in large measure a realization of the terrible character of the conflict and of the necessity of Canada's participation in it.

May I say on that point, as I wish to voice the idea that I believe to be in the minds of our people, that this war was not Britain's war or the war of the Allied powers; it was the war of humanity to preserve liberty, to preserve in this world a free civilization against the attack of military autocracy. It is in my mind, and I

am sure it is in the mind of many others, that the success of the Central Powers of Europe, as allied to-day, would mean the re-establishment not only on the continent of Europe, but throughout the world, of a condition of militarist authority and of military tyranny as existed throughout the world in the dark ages when feudalism ruled. Who, I ask, would question the word of the Kaiser as the highest law if the German armies should overrun France and break the power of Britain? No other power in the world could stand against it: free civilization would cease as surely as civilization itself ceased when the Turks overran a part of Europe. We are not fighting for Britain; we are not fighting for Canada; we are fighting for liberty in the world. It is the fight of every individual who realizes that he Is sacrificing himself for the liberty of the world and not for any smaller or lesser cause.

I have said that we have responded to a wonderful extent to this call for half a million men; but that call has not yet been met. The honour of our country is committed to its being met, and it is for us to consider ways and means as to how it may be met and to consider causes as to why it has not yet been met. First of all, may I suggest to the House that the figures read yesterday by the Premier are to some extent misleading. I regret to have to say that, but the statement that the enlistments amount to 390 odd thousand men does not mean that the number of effectives is 390 odd thousand men. We are not doing ourselves credit when we include enlistments of ineffectives in the number of men which has been our contribution towards winning the war. During last session the Prime Minister gave to the House and the country figures showing the number of enlistments at that date, the number of casualties and the number that was covered by the term " wastage." At that time the wastage, that is to say, the men who had joined and had been discharged as being inefficient for one reason and another, amounted, if my memory serves me correctly, to something like 20,-

000.

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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

That would include men

who were wounded, would it not?

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

No; if I remember correctly, the casualties mentioned by the Prime Minister were in the neighbourhood of 20,000 and the wastage was something like another 20,000. I questioned him as to

the meaning of the word wastage, and he explained that it included discharges, rejections or desertions-losses that occurred otherwise than through casualties. If that was the fact last year, I am afraid that it is still the fact; and when we pride ourselves on having enlisted such a large number of men we are not honest with ourselves if we do not deduct the wastage and count only those enlisted who were. effective. We are breaking faith; we are discrediting ourselves with the Empire and with the Allies when we claim to have given to the cause eo many men when a very considerable proportion of that number were not of the class that were able to render the service that they were called upon to render. So that I am compelled to believe that we are very considerably short of the number of 390,000 effective men.

It is now more than a year since that call was issued. The events that have taken place since that time, that are taking place now and that are impending, indicate that there is need for men now as there never was before.

Not to dwell upon that point, I think at is agreed on all hands that this coming season must see the Allies on the aggressive, if ever we expect to win. We must be on the aggressive. That is a simple word, but its meaning is tremendous, because the aggressive mean losses, .and losses, and more losses, and we must have the men to meet those losses or we cannot prosecute the aggressive and we do not win the war -and let us not forget that the w.ar is not yet won. So I say that while we have surprised ourselves with what we have done, we are nolt yet in a position to claim that we have made good our pledges, our promises, or that we are going to take our place in the battle in the coming spring as we promised more than a year ago that we would take lit-'and it is possible that our failure to take it in that strength and with that vigour may possibly be enough to turn the scale against the Allies.

At six o'clock the House took recess.

After Becess.

The House resumed at eight o'clock.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Hon. Mr. OLIVER:

Mr. Speaker, shortly before six o'clock, speaking of the relations of our country to the present war, I mentioned the obligation felt by the individual to support the cause of the world's liberty. In case the suggestion may be made that if this is a battle for the world's liberty then

all the countries of the world which love liberty should be engaged in that battle, I would only say that as world conditions are at present the lot happens to fall upon us. It is the Empire with which we are associated that stands as the exponent and the leader of human liberty in the world, and it is only right and reasonable that when conditions so fall that right and liberty are endangered, the Empire and .all who have part in it should feel that their turn has come to vindicate and support liberty and right in the world and for the world.

The suggestion has been made that our neighbours to 'the south, the people of the great republic, lovers of liberty as we are, should have a part in this war, .as we have, if they love liberty, as we do. I think it is only fair to say that as the lot fell 50 years ago their's was the task of maintaining human liberty, and it was not then ours. At that time that great people made many and tremendous sacrifices for the cause of human liberty while we stood by, as we had a right to stand by, and they fought .their battle alone. 'To-day the lot has fallen on us. Let us be as good men as our neighbours and stand when it comes to us in our turn as they stood when it came to them in their turn.

I was speaking at six o'clock of the call for 500,000 men issued by the Premier a little over a year ago, and of the fact that must be faced that, however great the credit our country is entitled to for what it has done, it has still fallen short of the pledge given, of the promise made and the recognized need of the occasion. How far we are short is a question which may be in dispute. I was considering the account given by the Prime Minister yesterday of the number of enlistments. He credits Canada with enlisting 392,000 men. If we have enlisted

392,000 effectives we are entitled to credit for doing so, but if we have not, if wastage by rejections for unfitness from that number has been counted into it, and if we claim something that we have not made good, we are not doing justice to ourselves, or to our Allies, or to the cause in which we are all engaged. I do not know how much this wastage may be; I do not know how many rejections may have been made, but I am credibly informed that a short time ago Mr. Godfrey, President of the National Service League of Toronto, made the statement that the wastage up to the date at which he spoke had amounted to 60,000. If that figure is correct our effective enlistments are reduced from 392,000 to 332,000, or, say, in round numbers, to 330,000, leav-

ing still to be made up 170,000 effective enlistments before our promise.^ to ourselves and to our Allies have been made good.

This is a matter for very serious consideration, and in dealing with the question, while I must necessarily speak of those in authority, that is, of the Government of our country, and of their action or their inaction, I do not wish to be understood as speaking of the Government as separate from the people; but as speaking of the country, rather than of the action of the Government of the day. Because, while the Government is directly responsible for whatever is done or is not done, inasmuch as the Government is endorsed by the country, the country at large must share the responsibility, and I wish to be understood as speaking in that sense. The fact that the promise made on January 1, 1916, was not being made good became apparent about the middle of the year, and I take it that what are now called the National Service proposals was the answer of the Government to the question, what are you going to do about the failure of the country to implement the promise of 500,000 men? The Premier and the Director of National Service made a tour throughout the country some months ago, for the purpose of placing this scheme of National Service before the people, presumably with a view to working it out, with the result already suggested by me. I was somewhat surprised yesterday, when the right lion. Premier was discussing the Address in reply to the speech from the Throne, that he did not see fit even distantly to allude to the subject of National Service. It struck me that if it was desirable-and it surely was desirable-that the Premier and the Director of National Service should tour Canada for the purpose of placing the National Service proposals clearly before the people, surely here on the floor of Parliament was the place, and the debate on the Address the time, for a statement in regard to this question, explaining what it meant and what was being done under it.

May I make a personal reference in this connection? When the Premier and the Director of National Service were going through the West, I received a telegram from the hon. member for Calgary (Mr. R. B. Bennett), asking me to take part in a meeting at Edmonton to be addressed by him and by the Premier. I replied that as a member of the Parliamentary Opposition, whose duty was the criticism of Government measures, I would wait to hear the

proposals explained before I undertook to endorse them or explain them to other people. For that reply, which was made public, I was subjected to criticism in the columns of many newspapers supporting my friends on the other side of the House. I will say that it was by no means non-partisan criticism, but of a very directly personal character, and in most instances the criticism took the form of questioning my loyalty to King and Empire. I have only this to say in that connection. At this time, and under the circumstances in which this country finds itself, loyalty is not expressed by words: it i's only expressed by service.

There is a great difference between the service rendered by the individual citizen, and the service rendered by those charged with the direction of affairs of state. There is a responsibility resting upon those who are charged with the direction of affairs of state that does not rest upon the private citizen. He is responsible for his actions, but they are responsible not only for their own private actions, but for the direction of the affairs of the country. I want to say this, Mir. Speaker, that at this present time, and under these conditions, when the future of the world depends upon the success of the Allied armies, inefficiency is treason, the talk that leads to inefficiency is treason, and the Government that is in power in this or in any other of the countries that are at war to-day must stand and be judged of its loyalty by the character of the service that it gives.

The proposals for National Service have been explained on numerous occasions and at numerous times. I regret, I say, that the Premier did not take the opportunity of making an explanation here yesterday because failing such explanation, I am compelled in addressing the House to-night to give suchinterpretationto the terms and conditions surrounding and contained in these National Service proposals as appeals to my mind. I shall be very sorry if I am wrong, but if I am wrong, the fault is rather with those who have the direction of our affairs, and who, as yet, have failed to place before the country these proposals in a light in which they could be thoroughly understood. They have had National Service proposals and a National Service policy in Great Britain. But National Service in Great Britain means, first, military service and, secondly, industrial service. Unless National Service means first, military service

and afterwards industrial service, it is not, in time of war, National Service at all. A so-called National Service which ignores the military necessities of this country at the present time is not National Service; it is not loyal service, if I may be permitted to say so; it is not service that is going to win this war.

So far as I have been able to gather from a perusal of the National Service cards that have been issued, and from statements that have been miade both by the Prime Minister and by the Director of National Service, this National Service proposal is one for the conscription of labour for industrial purposes. There is no proposal contained within it, either nearly or remotely, of conscription for military purposes; no suggestion either present or future. I will admit that there is no very clear suggestion of any kind; but whatever suggestion there is relates solely to industrial purposes. This at a time when military necessity is so pressing, when the future of the world depends on military success. The .Government of Canada comes forward, at a time when its promise of half a million of fighting men has failed to be fulfilled, with a proposal that it calls National Service, which does not propose, either directly or indirectly, either nearly or remotely, to add one man to the number of those fighting men. I will admit that other suggestions have been made. I think my toon, friend the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Rogers) gave voice to the idea that in some way, which he did not explain, the National Service proposal meant compulsory military service. I find that that idea has been circulated through the press; it has been preached to some degree from the platform, but it has never at any time bean backed up by definite authority or. by definite statement. Following the tour of the Prime Minister and the Director of National Service through the country, I gather that the idea ran something like this: In the West where the response to

military demands toad been, we shall say, if noit ample, -at any rate, more full and free than anywhere else in the Do-minion, where the people were rather more inspired with the idea of military service, there -the idea was conveyed that National Service meant military service in some indirect way or at some future time; but when the party were in other parts of the Dominion the idea was very definitely expressed that it did not mean military service; that it meant on'y industrial service, and diid not even mean .industrial conscription but meant only voluntary industrial service.

fWr Oliver 1

At the present time a member of the Government is standing for election in a county in the province of Quebec, and the question of National Service is under discussion in the campaign. The Government is surely bound by the declarations of its minister made on such an occasion. According to constitutional practice time-honoured through many years, he .appeals to the electors for re-election on certain grounds of policy, and in the discussions that have-taken place he must be considered to have expressed the policy of the Government in regard to National Service; he must be-considered to have pledged the Government of which he has recently become a member to their policy in regard to National Service-The Hon. Mr. Sevigny, speaking at St. Zacharie, Dorchester County, Quebec, on-Friday, January 19, is reported in the Montreal Gazette as follows. He is speaking of the war:-

It is necessary to bring victory because of civilization, justice and liberty. Put aside-matters of politics, for it is a question of life and death for you and for me. You live here at St. Zacharie in peace; you enjoy much. It is your duty to produce harvests, to do all possible to have munitions and bread for our soldiers.

You will observe that the minister does not suggest to the people of St. Zacharie that it is any part of their duty to become soldiers themselves. This fight for civilization, justice and liberty, this battle of life and death for you and for me is to be fought, apparently, by somebody other than the prospective constituents of the new Minister of Inland Revenue. Their duties-are the duties of peace. It is not suggested to them that they have any duties of war. But the Minister of Inland Revenue goes-further:-

In this war no one says we must go.

He makes it thoroughly binding between himself and his prospective constituents:-

No one was forced and no one will he forced' to go.

That is the statement of the Government of Canada, though the mouth of their latest-appointed minister to his electors, as to the Government's policy on national service. That policy cannot be construed to mean any accession to the military strength of ourselves or our Allies. At this time the promise made on the first of January, 1916, stands unfulfilled, it stands short of fuifilm-ent by 170,000 men; and we have-the -authority of the Minister of Inland Revenue that the Government has no proposition to place before the people of this

country for the fulfilment of that promise. It is not my loyalty that is in question, but the loyalty of the gentlemen who are charged with the responsibility of directing this country's affairs.

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

I trust and hope that the hon. gentleman (Mr. Oliver) wants to be fair. He heard the Prime Minister give a detailed statement of enlistments in one form or another in Canada showing a total enlistment of 434,000. I am sure he accepts the statement of the Prime Minister as being accurate, it having been prepared with the greatest possible care to present to this House and to the country. I am sorry, therefore that he should make the statement that we are -still 170,000 -short of the 500,000 pledged a year ago. I do not think he desiree to give out information which is not in accordance with the facts, especially the facts as presented to this House by the Prime Minister.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

I think my hon. friend

(Mr. Rogers) can hardly have followed my argument. Perhaps he was not in hie place when I was making my statement. I did not dispute the number of enlistments, but I stated that there i-s a consideration in connection with these figures known as wastage, which was- not taken into account in the number of enlistments given by the Prime Minister. We are not fair to ourselves or to the country when we do not take that wastage into account in estimating the number of our men. We have only the right to count our effectives. Good intentions do not count in war unless they are backed up. However good the intentions of a man may be, if they are not backed by military service they are of no use to stop the Germ-ans. My point is that the Prime Minister should not take credit to us for having enlisted -so many men but only for having enlisted so many effectives. A-s to that number I gave the authority of the gentleman at the head of the National Service League of Toronto for the -statement that the wastage-that is, rejects-from that number of enlistments was 60,000. I have every reason to believe that that is measurably correct. I hope the hon. gentleman will not think that there is any question of veracity as between the Prime Minister and me.

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

But that would not account for anything like the difference that the hon. gentleman has given.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

The Prime Minister has not suggested that the British reservists,

the French reservists, and the reservists of other allied nations, the munition workers, and some others that he counted in his gross total, were to be included as helping to implement his promise of 500,000 men. These had nothing to do with the promise made by the Prime Minister a year ago last January.

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

The promise made had to do with the total number that should represent Canada in the conflict, and the figures given last night show that enlistments, including all classes, numbered, up to last night, 434,000.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

If the statement made by the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Rogers) is warranted by the Prime Minister, I am perfectly satisfied to accept it. If the Prime Minister, in promising to the Allies

500,000 men from Canada, included or intended to include all these classes to which I have referred, I am perfectly willing to accept the statement in that sense. But-that was not the understanding we had at that time; that was not the boast we made when we said we were going to recruit 500,000 men for the fighting line of the Allies. But, even if we are to count those rejected as not qualified for the service, and those who went forward because they were called by their several countries and without jurisdiction of ours, we are still short something over 50,000 men. So, there still is required some measure to implement the promise made, even if we accept the figures as referred to by my hon. friend.

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January 23, 1917