July 3, 1917

LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

Why? Because the Canadian soldier is a volunteer, while the German is a conscript. A few days ago a friend of mine was good enough to send me a thrilling story of the bravery of a Highland piper from Nova Scotia, who, amid the hail of shot and shell, climbed Vimy Ridge at the head of his company, playing the march of the Cameron men, with the Nova Scotia boys shouting and yelling behind him. Could an incident like this occur in an

army of conscripts? I submit that it could not.

It is not force that we want In Canada. Hon. gentlemen opposite know that force will never succeed in this country. What we want is enthusiasm; what we want more than anything else at the present time is a Peter the Hermit who will travel this country from end to end and fire the blood and arouse the martial spirit of the people. The voluntary system has not had a fair trial. ' Recruiting could not be handled worse than it was handled in the province from which I come. The young men of Nova Scotia did splendidly, but whatever success we had in recruiting in that province was due to private enterprise and not to anything done by this Government. In many cases recruiting officers were selected through political influence, not on account of their merits. They were sent out to hold meetings in places where they had never been before, and to speak to people who had never heard of them, while local men who could have had some influence were totally ignored. Such a campaign as that could not succeed; the wonder is that the results were as good as they were.

But this mismanagement was not confined to Nova Scotia; it seems to have been widespread. The province of Quebec, we are told, fared even worse than Nova Scotia. For two years I have listened to the member for Rouville (Mr. Lemieux) urging the Government to send Major-General Les-sard, or some shell man, to the province of Quebec to take charge of recruiting. Why was Major-General Lessard not sent? Because he was not acceptable to the Government. It was not until the 29th of March of this year that the Government yielded, and then they 'sent Major-General LessaTd under the wing of the Post-

4 p.m. master-General (Hon. P. E.

Blondin). This was enough to damn the efforts of any man who attempted to perform the duties of a recruiting officer in the province of Quebec. In an interview given to the Montreal Gazette on May 21, the Postmaster-General himself said that if the province of Quebec had been properly organized under the direction of an officer like Major-General Lessard and the recruiting properly handled, the French-Canadians would have enlisted en masse. Why was the province of Quebec not properly organized? Who is to blame? The Postmaster-General himself was a member of the Government that failed to

do its duty; my courageous friend the Minister of Inland Revenue (Hon. Albert Sevigny) was also a member of the Government.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.
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CON

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CURRIE:

The hon. gentleman knows that Major-General Lessard was Inspector-General in Quebec during all that time, and that he had the whole thing in his hands, just as the Inspector-Generals in the West had in their own districts.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

I do not know anything of the kind. He had no authority before March 29. I never heard that excuse given by the Government until this moment.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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CON

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CURRIE:

I do not know whether it is an excuse or not. It is a fact, however, that Major-General Lessard was placed in charge of the eastern districts and Major-Genertl (Steele of those in the west. That was immediately after the war broke out. Major-General Lessard is still Inspector-General in the Quebec district.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

Inspector-General without instructions to act. I have no doubt that when my hon. friend speaks he will attempt to justify the placing of a Methodist clergyman at the head of recruiting in the province of Quebec. That is how the Government dealt with this matter. I have no objection to a Methjodist clergyman being put in any responsible position, but my hon. friend will agree that it was an indiscreet appointment, to say the least, to place recruiting in the province of Quebec under the control of a Methodist clergyman. The member for Rouville put the case very well when he asked what would have happened if the Superior of the Jesuit Order had been placed in charge of recruiting in Ontario.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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CON

Albert Edward Kemp (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir EDWARD KEMP:

I made a very full explanation regarding Rev. Mr. Williams' appointment. He did not direct his efforts amongst the French-Canadian people. His efforts were directed entirely amongst the English-speaking people of the province, among whom there was a tremendous enlistment.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

Still he was the chief recruiting officer for the province. I am not very familiar with these matters. I am quite willing to accept the statement of the minister.

May I suggest that there is no good reason why we should not follow the example of Australia? Australia plans to keep five divisions up to full strength by

raising 7,000 recruits a month under the voluntary system. No later than yesterday I read the following despatch from Sydney, New South Wales. It is dated July 2, and is as follows:

Contrary to general expectations. Premier Hughes has not announced another conscription referendum. He said the Government put forward its proposals last year for compulsory service on the basis that 16,500 troops per month were required to keep five Australian divisions at full fighting strength. Later experience happily proved the British War Office estimate too high. The Government now appealed to Australia to raise at least 7,000 recruits monthly voluntarily. It also desired to secure such an additional number of recruits as would enable leave to be given to the remaining members of the first division so that they may return to Australia for a rest.

Premier Hughes was sure that if all sections worked harmoniously and the voices of the conscriptionists and anti-conscriptionists alike were silent, men would rally to the colours and honor Australia. The Government would apply forthwith to the policy of preference of employment for returned soldiers.

We raised 6,520 recruits in May under the voluntary system, without, so far as I can learn, making any effort at all. It would seem that if Australia can supply the wastage of five divisions with 7,000 recruits a month, we in Canada ought to be able to supply the wastage of four divisions.

Mo\ CURRIE: I suppose the hon. member knows that the Australian militia is in training all the time, and that those recruits are volunteers from that body. The militia are called oiut by the Premier, according to categories, foT training.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

I do not think that affects my argument in any case. Mr. Speaker why do we find ourselves in the confusion in which we are to-day? Why was National Service a failure? Why was home defence a failure? Why was voluntary recruiting a failure, if indeed it has been a failure? I submit that all these failures can be traced to the same cause. These attempts to accomplish something were abortive very largely on account of the patronage system that is being adhered to by the present Administration. Let us look, for example, a,t the case of Sir Thomas Tait. When he was appointed head of the National Service Commission, his appointment was hailed with pleasure by every man in Canada, irrespective of party. What happened? Within three weeks we heard that Sir Thomas Tait had resigned his appointment. Why? Because he was interfered with, because he would not submit to party dictation, why, Sir, be was not permitted even to appoint his own secretary. His

resignation was accepted and an extreme partisan put in 'Ms place.

There is another phase of tihi/s matter that I want to refer to shortly. I wish to lay down the principle that a measure so vital as this, involving the lives and hopes and fortunes of 100,000 young Canadians, should not be administered by a partisan Government. But hon. members opposite will say: We offered you a coalition. I

do not wish to doiubt the sincerity of the Prime Minister in -regard to that offer, but if he really wanted a coalition, he took an. extraordinary method of bringing it abont. The courtship, to say the least, was a very clumsy affair. The Prime Minister told the publio all about it before he spoke to the leader of the Opposition. Mr. Speaker I understand that you, Sir, have had some experience in these matters, and 1 will put it to you. Would any respectable young lady have anything to do with a fellow who first hired a hall and announced hla intentions at a public meeting and then came to her with his proposal?

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.
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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

Does the leader of the Opposition sustain the argument being indulged in by the hon. member?

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

I cannot say. My right hon. friend the Prime Minister must have done better than that in his domestic affairs. Had he not, he would not have succeeded as well as he has done. A coalition can be brought about only by " give and take." In this case it was " all take If the Prime Minister really wanted a coalition, on his return from England, he should have sent for the leader of the Opposition and should have asked him to sit down -at the table and talk the matter over and see if they could arrive at any common ground on which they could come together. But he did not do that. He throws the proposal down on the table of the House with a flourish and his supporters begin to cheer, and the Conservative press begin to wave the flag and to denounce the Grits and the French. The labour conventions protest against the proposal and an indignation meeting is called in the city of Montreal. After all this has happened, my right hon. friend comes to the leader of the Opposition with a cast-iron proposal-take it or leave it. Let us look for a moment at the proposal of the Prime Minister. The first thing is to form a coalition Government, then to pass the Conscription Bill and then to appeal to the country on the Conscription Bill. Under that proposal what opportunity would the country have to express any opinion? It would be the duty of the Prime Minister, if that agreement was carried out, -to notify my opponent, provided I supported the coalition Government, to withdraw, and so with all the others. It would be the duty of the leader of the Opposition to ask all the Liberals throughout the country that are opposing Conservative candidates to withdraw. The result would be that this moribund Parliament would be elected by acclamation, and instead of one year's extension, we would have five years' extension.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

Do you exclude the

people from nominating somebody?

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

No, but they would

have to break away and form a new party. Is not that true?

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

No.

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

It is certainly true because I assume that if the leaders went into a proposal of this kind, they would do so in good faith and would stand by one another. Would it not be better to be frank and above board and to extend Parliament at once for five years than to pretend to consult the people by a pre-arranged scheme that would absolutely prevent the people from expressing any opinion whatever? Is it any wonder that the leader of the Opposition, who believes in responsible government and not in junkerdom, should reject such a proposal as that? Notwithstanding all that my hon. friend from Red Deer (Mr. Michael Clark) said, with a flourish of -his arm, that such a proposal was magnificent.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

He said it was magnanimous.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

According to Hansard he said magnificent. All I have to say about that is ''every man to his taste, as the old woman said when she kissed her cow." Besides the leader of the Government knew that no coalition was possible with the Minister of Public Works as a member of the Government. I think I have a right to assume, that fact from the attitude of hon. gentlemen on this side of the House, and that my leader would not become a member of a government of which the Minister of Public Works was a member. What happened? We find by the correspondence that has been placed upon Hansard that during the very time that the coalition proposal was before the two leaders, the Prime Minister was conducting other correspondence ostensibly for the

purpose of whitewashing the Minister of Public Works and retaining him in the Cabinet. Do you ask me how I know that? I know it by the dates in Hansard. It was announced in the press that the two leaders held their meetings after the 24th of May. The final meeting berween the leaders, according to a letter published in Hansard, took place on the 6th day of June. We also know from the correspondence that has been placed on Hansard that on the 28th of May the Minister of Public Works wrote to the Prime Minister asking for a new trial on the Galt charges, and on the 30th of May, two days later, the Prime Minister gave a favourable reply. Therefore, at the very date that the Prime Minister was pretending to carry on negotiations with the leader of the Opposition for a coalition, he was, behind the back of the leader of the Opposition, carrying on a secret correspondence, ostensibly for the purpose of whitewashing the Minister of Public Works, and retaining him in the Cabinet, knowing all the time that there could be no coalition with the Minister of Public Works a member of the new Government. I am not opposed to coalition. I regret very much the failure of the attempt of the two parties to get together. I am firmly convinced that a national government organized on broad lines representing all parties in this country, including labour, is the best solution of our present difficulties. Let me express the hope that if my leader is returned to power, as I believe he will be in the case of an election coming on, he will adopt this view and give this country a government in which, providing the war is going on, all parties will have confidence.

Hon. gentlemen have been emphasizing the necessity for more recruits. I have no doubt that recruits can be used to advantage. I am of the opinion that if every able-bodied man in Canada was enlisted and sent over to France, there would be plenty of work for them to do and they would be welcome there.

But there is something more important to this country, and that is honest, vigorous and efficient administration of our military affairs. If we are to succeed, if we are to do our part properly to win this war, three things are essential. The first is administration, the second money, and the third men. In my judgment, administration is the vital thing. You may have abundance of money, you may have a large army of courageous and devoted fighting men, but if the money is stolen or squandered, and

rilr. Sinclair.]

the army mismanaged, you will end in failure, and the chances are you will end in disaster.

I trust, Mr. Speaker, you will not think that I am over-critical in my speech, for I do not desire to be. I recognize that this Government have had a gigantic task to perform, and I am quite willing to give them credit where credit is due. But I am not here to indulge in flattery or palaver. I think that in a serious time like this, plainness of speech is a duty, and I regard it as my duty, as a member of this House, to criticise and offer suggestions. That is the custom followed in the British House of Commons. In that House they call a spade a spade, and have done so ever since the war began. They discuss Cabinet changes, and even military mistakes, in the open. The British policy is to let the people know the truth and the whole truth. Only last week the details of the blunders in Mesopotamia were exposed to the public gaze. And I submit the British practice is the right practice. They have not much use over there for rubber-heeled statesmen, who either keep silent altogether or administer praise when they ought to criticise. In my opinion such men are not performing their proper functions as members of Parliament, I do not care on which side of the House they may sit. Therefore, before I sit down, I desire very respectfully to point out to the Prime Minister that there are certain other things besides the conscription of men that this Government can do, and ought to do, in order to help win this war. Two years ago the Prime Minister made an able, eloquent and stirring speech, in which he declared that " We should consecrate the whole wealth and resources of the nation towards the winning of thfs war." The announcement was well received by the people; it was head-lined in the press throughout the country. But the consecration never took place, or, if it did, it was but an empty ceremony. What is the use of " consecrating " our wealth if we still keep our money in our pockets? I propose that even at -this late date we should decide to make a real consecration of our wealth to this purpose, even if in doing so we have to invade this House and extract some shekels from the pockets of the millionaires, who sit on the first and second rows of the Government benches-and, of course, if we have any millionaires on this side they must pay too; but I do not think we have; we are all poof but honest on this side of the House. And I propose that

we should devote a part of the money so obtained to an increase in the soldier's pay. Is it reasonable that the man who cuts the grass in your garden, or digs in the street, should get $2.50 or $3 a day. and that the worker in a munition factory should get from $5 to $8 a day; and that the soldier, who works long hours, endures hardship, and exposes himself and risks his life, should be paid $1.10 a day and found? I know very well the soldiers are not fignting for money. But that is no reason why we should not do them justice.

Then, we should prohibit the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors. There was small reason for the existence of this traffic at the time the war broke out, and there is none at all now.

Again, we should either dispense with or force into some useful or' productive occupation, the thousands of Government favourites who are now strutting about in the King's uniform and drawing the King's pay, but who neither fight nor work. My hon. friend from Parry Sound (Mr. Arthurs), I understand, is a military critic. He is also a supporter of the Administration. He made a statement in the House which, I think, was intended as a reflection on the French Canadians, but which turns out to be an indictment of the Government he is supporting. He said that when he was in England he found a whole battalion composed chiefly of officers and non-commissioned officers, with very few private soldiers. What does that mean? It means that the .Minister of Militia, the department, and the Government, have been so lavish in appointing their friends to positions, that to get rid of them they had to send them out of the country and across the water in whole battalions. I do not know as much about war as does my hon. friend from Parry Sound, but I know this much-you cannot carry on a war without some fighting men; and if you have a battalion that is composed almost altogether of officers and with few fighting men, about the only thing that that battalion can do is to mark time and draw their pay. If the Government wish to continue such a battalion, instead of "win the war" their slogan should be "win the jobs."

We should also open the gates of promo-[DOT] tion equally to men of both political parties. Another suggestion: Let the Government stop indulging in Highway Bills and other election dodges in the most critical period of the great war. Let them punish, and completely suppress, any newspaper, French or English, that devotes its pages

to preventing recruiting, or to kindling the flames of hatred between the two great races oi this country. Let us impartially and honestly enforce the principle of equal service all around. If we do that the young men in Canada will see that we are in earnest and will respond to the call.

And one thing more. We should adopt a more liberal pension scale than we nsw have, and we should do it at once. I am informed that there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of widows and orphans who are depending on the cold charity of this country, who are not as well off to-day as they were when they had their husbands and fathers with them before the war. It is not sentimental speeches about the brave manner in which their husbands and fathers died that is wanted, but something to fill the cupboard.

And now as a last word: Let me appsal to the Prime Minister to throw himself upon the judgment of the people of this country by accepting the proposition of the leader of the Opposition. To my mind it is the only escape; it is the only way open to us to reconcile the province of Quebec. The leader of the Opposition has given his word that if we can secure a popular majority for this proposal the province of Quebec will submit. I have read, and reread, and pondered over his words, and I believe he is absolutely sincere and that he has taken this course because there is no other course open, and because he believes in his heart that it is in the best interests of Canada that he should take this course. Let me quote the pledge which he has made. Referring to the proposed referendum, he says:

What I propose is that we should have a referendum and a consultation of the people upon this question. I have taken the referendum, not that I have been very favourable towards it, but I find that the idea of the referendum has made enormous progress in Canada, and that it has been adopted by the political associations in the western provinces as a method of political action. If we are to have peace, if there is to be unity, we must meet the wishes of the labouring classes, who have asked for this privilege. When the consultation with the people has been had, when the verdict has been pronounced, I pledge my word, my reputation, that to the verdict, such as it is, every man will hftve to submit, and I claim to speak at least so far as is concerned for the province from which I come.

Is that an unfair situation, is that an unfair appeal? Can any one say that it is not in accordance with true democratic principles? This I leave to the consideration of those whom I see before me.

That, Mr. Speaker, is the offer. The issue in this debate is clear. We must choose

between force and conciliation. The Prime Minister in effect says: There are certain people in this country, notably in the province of Quebec, who are not doing their duty; we will compel them to do their duty even if we have to do so at the point of the bayonet. The leader of the Opposition says: No, you have no authority to do that; first get authority; submit this matter to the electors of the country by a referendum; if the electors decide that this should be done, I will submit, and, in so far as I can speak for my province, they will submit, and both races will work together to carry out the will of the people. I wish to say, Mr. Speaker, that the responsibility of the Prime Minister is heavy if he rejects that offer. If he accepts that offer there opens before us a vision of a united Canada, of the people of both great races standing shoulder to shoulder and striking their sturdiest blows in the cause of freedom. If, on the other hand, the proposal is rejected, we see a different picture. We have a vision of a country split in two, torn by internal strife and laying up a legacy of discord and hate for our children's children. Mr. Speaker, we are at the forks of the road, each of us must 'choose his path, and with these two pictures before my mind, I deem it my duty to vote for the amendment.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.
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CON

Fleming Blanchard McCurdy (Parliamentary Secretary of Militia and Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. F. B. McCURDY (Parliamentary Secretary of the Department of Militia and Defence):

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to say that the hon. member for Guysborough (Mr. Sinclair) does not correctly reflect public opinion in the province of Nova Scotia on this occasion. His views are not the views of the people of that province. In fact he does not even speak for the Liberal party in Nova Scotia. The hon. member spoke with pride of the source of his political inspiration; he said that he had sat at-the feet of that great tribune of the people, Joseph Howe. I wish to remind the House that in the years when that distinguished statesman wielded his greatest influence in his native province, he occupied the editor's chair of the Nova Scotian, now the Halifax Morning Chronicle. His precepts and teachings have been consistently followed by that steadfast and doughty Liberal newspaper. No one has ever accused it of being other than true to that party's traditions, and competent to speak with authority for the Liberal party in that province. Well, I notice that in the Chronicle of June 28, in a leading editorial entitled " Steady, Boys, Steady," it says:

The Morning- Chronicle shares Mr. Maclean's beliefs.

And Mr. A. K. Maclean is opposed to a referendum, opposed to the policy supported by my hon. friend from Guysborough. So that my hon. friend (Mr. Sinclair) is quite out of step, even with the recognized exponent of Liberal thought in my native province.

Very rarely since the war broke out has the progress of this Parliament been delayed by remarks from me, and if at this time, when the call of the nation is for action rather than debate, I am impelled to speak, it is only because the information acquired in the prosecution of official duties has so impressed me that I feel it *would be wrong to be silent.

I wish to say in the most positive manner that it is my conviction that the need for reinforcements is so pressing and urgent that the man who stands in the way of such being provided at the earliest possible moment is assuming a responsibility of the gravest possible character.

The importance of the outcome of the present struggle does not need to be emphasized. No one more eloquently than the leader of the Opposition himself has pointed out the extreme gravity of the crisis. Speaking on February 8, 1916, in this House, Hansard page 632, the right hon. gentleman used these words:

''Sir, who talks of Empire to-day? There are other things greater even than the Empire, great as it is. Civilization is greater than the Empire, and civilization is the issue. . . .

Who can doubt but that if Germany were to win it would be the end of all we hold sacred. For my own part I re-echo the words lately spoken by that workman of the docks of Liverpool, who discussing compulsion in England put an end to all doubts by exclaiming, "If Germany should win, nothing on God's earth would matter." I speak my whole soul and heart when I say that if Germany were to win I would be thankful that Providence should close my eyes before I saw the sun rising on such a day.

The unanimous applause which greeted these statements when uttered measured the approval of all members of this House in the sentiments expressed.

But within the past few days the hon. member for St. John (Mr. Pugsley) questioned the expediency of Canada continuing to exert her strongest efforts. I think the hon. gentleman contended that Canada's effort should be modified because of the entrance of the United States into the war. If the words which I have quoted from the speech of the leader of the

Opposition still represent the feeling of this House, as they reflected it when these words were uttered, it would have been more logical, and it would certainly have been more in line with the best opinion of this country if the hon. member for St. John had drawn the analogy between Canada's effort and that of Great Britain, rather than United States.

With every indication of sincerity, the hon. gentleman compared our population with that of United States, and argued that "because this war is as much their struggle as ours'' the contribution of that country to the war should exceed 6,000,000 men. Could not the hon. gentleman quite as aptly have argued that, inasmuch as this struggle is as much ours as it is that of the Mother Country, our contribution of men should be as great relatively as that of Great Britain. Is he aware that more than 17 per cent of the total population of Great Britain, or almost 7,000,000 men, have enlisted for military service, and if Canada were to participate to the same relative extent, the Canadian Expeditionary Force would number not 421,767 as it stood on June 15, but 1,224,820. In suggesting that Canada so limit its efforts the hon. member may be speaking for a section of the population of this country, but if such a section exists in the part of Canada from which he and I come, then all I have to say is that it is a section of the population who keep their views very much to themselves, unless perchance they have communicated them tp the hon. member for St. John. If the fine old loyalist city of St. John is correctly represented in this House by these expressions, then I am sure that my surprise that it be so will be shared by many members of the House.

The great question and the ominous one that faces us is " What is to be the decision in the present struggle of opposing forces on the field of battle.

We can win if all the Allies bring the whole of their strength to bear. There is the possibility that the Allies could win, and lives and property in Canada be kept safe, even without Canada exerting its full strength. But because there is such a possibility does such a prospect appeal to any full-blooded Canadian?

I am sure that the hon. gentleman who advises us to sit down and calculate to a nicety just h.ow many of our liabilities we can shuffle over to our southern neighbours and just how little effort we can get off with does not correctly interpret the real temper of this country. The correct sentiment of the Canadian people was surely understood by the right hon. the Pirime Minister when at the beginning of the war he decided to place Canada with all her resources on the side of right. He appreciated, with the best thought .of Canada, what principles and issues were involved in the struggle. While other and larger nations hesitated and waited to inevitably drift in, Canada under his guidance found her place without a moment's hesitancy or delay.

It is, I am sure, a matter of gratification to every Canadian that the first offer of co-operation to reach the Mother Country from overseas came, as was fitting, from the oldest and, strongest Dominion in the Empire. Before war had been declared and even before it was known to be inevitable, England had received by cable from Premier Borden the assurance of Canadian support. Hostilities had not been in progress -sixty days before the largest fleet of transports and the biggest body of troops ever previously despatched at one time for overseas service in the history of the world had been mobilized, equipped and sent forward for service. Further reinforcements have continued to go forward, and in the words of the Prime Minister, so long as he is entrusted with the control of the destinies of Canada " What remains to be done will be measured only by Britain's need."

With the knowledge that -has -been gained of our great adversary and his methods,; his cruelty, his barbarism, his duplicity, his total disregard of all the rights of any one, friend, or foe, that stands in his way, his slaughter of innocent women and children, his murders on the high seas,-does any true Canadian regret the decision of August, 1914?

And having put our hand to the plough, shall we now turn back? Shall we with an increasing realization of the magnitude of our task now weaken or falter? Shall we fail to give our gallant boys at the front the support and reinforcements they imperiously ask for, and have the right to receive? To all such question the best spirit of Canada gives only one answer.

Canadian troops have been given a position of honour in the field. When I had the opportunity of visiting the armies in France in January last, they were undertaking to hold eleven miles of front along the Vimy Ridge. That name, then little known in this country, has since become a glorious tradition owing to the exploits of our men. They have defended the position at Vimy Ridge successfully and gloriously.

To .hold this front required four divisions containing, among other arms of the service, approximately 52,000 infantry. A chain is as strong only as its weakest link; our attention must be riveted on our supply of infantry; that is the link we must watch. Furthermore, all other branches of our arms are subsidiary or complementary to it. The wastage in this arm of the service is figured at 15 per cent monthly. The actual wastage, of course, varies, but in operations such as are now progressing in France 15 per cent is under rather than over the real losses. We, therefore, at the present time require reinforcements of infantry to the number of 7,800 monthly. On May 14 according to the statement given to the House by the Minister of Militia, we had in England of class "Al" men immediately ready for the trenches, that is physically fit and with their training sufficiently advanced, and including those embodied in the 5th Division, 14,720 men of " A1 " class, or something less than two months reinforcements. There were also at the same time in England, other infantry whose training was not sufficiently far advanced or who were recovering from wounds or sickness, and men over 18 and not yet 19 years of .age to the number of 22,460. There is only one other class of infantry reserves in England and those are part of the men mentioned in category " D " which contains infantry to the number of 9,476, which category is described as " men temporarily unfit for " A" " B " and " C " categories, but likely to be fit within 6 months." So that if all the men in classes 2 and 3 of category "A" and those over 18 but under 19 as well as " those who are temporarily unfit, but who are likely to be fit for service in 6 months" are included, we have as total reserves actual and prospective for the infantry in England 46,656. But these men will not all be fit within that time. Many who have been wounded, and become temporarily unfit for "A" "B" -and "C" categories, will not be ready within that time.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.
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LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES:

Could the hon. member give us any definite information as to when the 22,460 men will be available?

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.
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CON

Fleming Blanchard McCurdy (Parliamentary Secretary of Militia and Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McCURDY:

Supposing, for the sake of argument, that they could all be relied on to be fit within that period, then we have, on June 1, less than six months reinforcements in England for our infantry, and it m-ust be -remembered that in this calculation are linclude-d those who are not at the present moment sufficiently trained, or not in suffi-

ciently -fit physical condition for the trenches.

I have taken no -account of the normal wastage among troops overseas but not actually in the trenches; such wastage, of course, -exists, but, to the extent that it does exist, i-t further emphasizes the necessity for more men. And, as I have pointed out, we had at May 14 in England less than two months reinforcements of infantay ready for the trenches. So that, with less than 6 months -infantry reinforcements of all classes in England on May 14, we turn to Canada to see what reserves are -available here. At the end of May the infantry strength in Canada was, including troops embarked for overseas during May, less tba-n 10,500. Even if all these were category "Al" men, they would represent less than six weeks reinforcements of wast-tage at the fro-nt, -and they are not fit, and will not be for many months to come, owing to their training noit being sufficiently advanced.

Furthermore, voluntary enlistments for infantry since January 1 have been on a meagre scale, so much so that when we deduct wastage in Canada, the number of such recruits enlisted since January 1 gives us no net result at all. For five months past this has been the condition prevailing. Under such circumstances, what course shall we follow? Shall we refuse to support the men who have gone to fight our battles? Shall we abandon them to thei-r fate? Shall we refuse reinforcements to our forces?

Canada's forces must be considered as a unit. It is idle to talk of them being reinforced from or protected -by, as the hon. member for St. John suggests, the armies of Britain, the United States, or any other allied country. To (refill their thinning lines, to replace their fallen comrades, our gallant men turn not to the United States but to us who sent them forth. The proposition is put fairly to us: Shall we keep

faith with them or desert them? There is no side-stepping the issue and time is swiftly passing. If the Act were to go into forc-e at once, we could barely secure, before the end of the year, the necessary infantry reinforcements. It takes time to mobilize, train, equip and send the troops forward, and it seems to me that this Bill affords the only solution whereby these reinforcements can he provided.

That Can-ada has done admirably under the voluntary system is patent. We hear that expression constantly both at home and abroad. Perhaps its -reiteration in Canada

may have engendered too much complacency, and adversely affected further recruiting. That Canada has under the voluntary system done better than was expected is quite true. I remember distinctly a conversation that, just after the outbreak of war, I had with some of our most active and experienced militia officers. Their unanimous opinion was that Canada's total contribution of men could not exceed 75,000. Yet, already, over five and one-half times that number have joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and almost five times that number have already proceeded overseas.

The hon. member for St. John paid a well-deserved tribute to the work done by the Canadian artillery. This branch of the service has established a reputation which is second to none in the armies in the field. Artillery work naturally attracts young men of ambition, ingenuity and force, but our position overseas with regard to artillery is much better than it is for infantry. The overseas authorities advise that they have sufficient artillery reserves for the next twelve months. The conditions in England were such that it became necessary to make transfers from that branch to the infantry. While, of course, recruits signed up are attested for any branch of the service, yet on enlistment they have expected to choose the branch of their own preference, and if they are transferred to another later on, necessarily disappointment is occasioned. For these reasons, recruiting for artillery has temporarily stopped. Not that artillery reinforcements are needed less, but that infantry reinforcements are needed more, explains the temporary discontinuance of artillery recruiting.

In any event what should be the measure of Canada's effort? It seems to me the answer is simple. If we agree with the right hon. leader of the Opposition that we are fighting for all that makes life worth living, our national spirit will be content with nothing less than the utmost we can do. It may suit some nations and peoples to shelter themselves behind the defence and sacrifice of others, but that is not the Canadian spirit.

I am the last to fail to appreciate the greatness of Canada's magnificent effort up to date, but a study of statistics of the combatting armies in this titanic .struggle proves that all ideas of war effort previous to Armageddon are obsolete and have to be discarded.

The liability to military service is as fundamental as the liability to obey any laws of the land. Our system of democracy implies an obligation on the part of the state to protect the citizen, but also implies the obligation on the part of the citizen to protect the state.

It has been stated emphatically by speakers taking part in this debate, both by those in favour of the Bill and those against it, that compulsory service should have been inaugurated at the beginning of the war. Even the hon. member

for St. John, whose sympathetic nature is so stirred by the prospect of the anguish and bitter tears and broken hearts to be caused by the enforcement of compulsory service at this stage, is nevertheless emphatic in his assertion that a course should have been adopted at the beginning of the war which would have had the effect of inaugurating these miseries three years ago. His feelings are harrowed by the thought that under this measure "men will be taken from their mothers, their fathers, their sisters, their sweethe irts and their wives and sent across the ssa."

Does not my hon. friend appreciate that these same hardships and partings are and have been endured under our voluntary system? Do men who have voluntarily enlisted from a high sense of duty have no regrets over leaving loved ones at home? Would my hon. friend contend that the feelings of the man who is compelled by legislation to enlist are any more susceptible, sensitive, or worthy of consideration than those of the man whose compulsion comes only from his conscience and a sense of honour and duty? And does he contend that those gallant men who have voluntarily gone out are less dear to those they leave behind them than are those who will come under the operation of this Act?

This Act will, of course, entail suffering and heartaches. Since this war began the whole earth has been drenched with tears and rent with anguish, but we believe that the tears that have been shed and the anguish that has been suffered are destined to save from those very horrors the generations who will come after us and for whom we are trustees.

I fully agree with those who say, in the light of the knowledge we have to-day, that it would be better to have had compulsory service from the beginning. But who, I ask, expected at the beginning of tire war that the conflict would be of such long duration,

and that such sacrifices as have been called for would be demanded? In Great Britain, which is much nearer the scene of conflict, and where the contest can be better visualized, it was long after the beginning of the war before any suggestion of compulsory service was considered. The British authorities reckoned, as did many people in this country, that a few months would bring the defeat of the enemy, and, Anglo-Saxon-like, they took what now proves to have been only fehble steps to meet the danger. Finding their plans totally insufficient to insure victory, 'in the more threatening conditions which ensued, they revised them-as we must revise ours. Better, you say, compulsory service -at the beginning; to which my reply is, better late than never.

If *11 the members of the House were to see the need as I see it, and as I believe the large majority do see it, they would not hesitate to take -any action towards increasing the strength of Canadian arms, no matter ho* distasteful such action might be to portions of our population.

If our Allies held back-conforming with the advice of the hon. member for St. John, who suggests that we hold back-the result would certainly be disastrous. We, in common with our Allies, are fighting an enemy organized down to the minute. In this contest we cannot -set the pace; we must give blow for blow. As he fights, as he is organized, so must we fight and organize. There is no other way to win. With the same effort, with the same organization as is used by the enemy, but with our greater numbers, our superior resources, and the justice of our cause, our ultimate triumph is certain.

Nothing, unfortunately, can take the place of man power in the firing line. Our other resources must and will be mobilized in the most effective manner, but the need of the moment is the provision of requisite manpower.

It has been said that volunteers give far better results on the field than an army which goes under some form of compulsion. The hon. member for Guysborough (Mr. Sinclair) this afternoon quoted the century-old opinion of Napoleon Bonaparte that one volunteer was worth three conscripts. Much to the satisfaction of the House, I am sure, he reinforced that opinion with his own. But any one who has followed the operations of the French army in the field and observed their record of achievement in the present war will experience difficulty in subscribing unqualifiedly to that view.

The outcome of this - conflict is, in a material 'sense, the business of the State. .If, with the consent of all parties, the future of the country has been pledged in the sum of upwards of a billion dollars, can it be said with any reason that the issue is a matter of local and individual concern, to be supported on the field only

5 p.m. by those who choose to go out? Rather, it is the concern of the State to decide who can with the least economic loss be spared for military service.

While the voluntary system has been wasteful, and while it has resulted in many going out whose places at the front could have been filled with less economic loss by other-s who have stayed behind, yet no doubt on sentimental grounds many will regret that its abandonment has been rendered necessary. I am convinced, however, that the continuance of this system under the present circumstances is not good business. All belligerent countries have realized this, and nearly all have long since come under a compulsory plan. The whole future of this country is clearly involved, and the time has come, in my opinion, for action in the interest of the State, regardless of personal considerations.

The present is a time of emergency, because of the necessity for obtaining infantry reinforcements. The amendment of the right hon. the leader of the Opposition is calculated, even under the most favourable circumstances, to consume much valuable time. How much time, even under the most favourable circumstances, would be lost?

Let us see what would happen if a majority of the members of this House were to vote for the amendment. Supposing it carried; what would happen? A new government would be formed. The organization of the new Administration would take time. That Government would then be bound to put the referendum to the people. In all decency, arrangements would have to be made to take such votes of soldiers in England and at the front as could be polled. Overseas transport to-day is, at best, slow and uncertain. I venture to say that this operation alone would consume at least three months. Then, supposing that the country, by referendum, approved of compulsory military service. The leader of the new Administration would proceed to enforce conscription. Before reinforcements could be secured to any extent, and while these political moves were being -made, an overburdening load would be placed on our decimated forces at the front. Before effective reinforcements could reach France, the

Canadian force would have disgracefully dwindled and Canada would, after four years of war, find herself where the United States was at the end of the first four weeks of the war.

And what would happen if the referendum showed a majority against compulsory military service? Such a result could only come from lack of information on the part of the people. Under such circumstances, is the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster) wrong when he considers it the duty of this Parliament to give the country a lead? With the experience which I have necessarily acquired in the prosecution of official duties, [DOT] I naturally know more about the operations of the military forces of Canada than I did a year ago. For the same reason I should know more about the need than do the majority of the voters in this country, and I will take the responsibility of voting for the measure, and I earnestly pray that it will be put into effect with the least possible delay.

What the occasion demands is not debate, not discussion, but action, decisive, unanimous action on the part of this Parliament. To use a quotation not unfamiliar in this House, " We cannot wait because time will not wait."

In introducing a proposal of a purely domestic and business nature, the right hon. leader of the Opposition, as reported in Hansard, 1903, page 7659, was moved to use these impassioned words:

To those who urge upon us the policy of to-morrow and to-morrow, and to-morrow; to those who tell us, wait, wait, wait; to those who advise us to pause, to consider, to reflect, to calculate and to inquire, our answer is: No, this is not a time for deliberation, this is a time for action. The flood of tide is upon' us that leads on to fortune; if we let it pass it may never recur again. If we let it pass the voyage of our national life, bright as it is to-day, will be bound in shallows. We cannot wait, because time does not wait; we cannot wait because, in these days of wonderful development time lost is doubly lost; we cannot wait because at this moment there is a transformation going on in the conditions of our national life which it would he folly to ignore and a crime to overlook; we cannot wait, because the prairies of the Northwest, which for countless ages have been roamedi over by the wild herds of the bison or by the scarcely less wild tribes of red men, are now invaded from all sides by the white race.

. . . Such is our duty; it is immediate and

imperative. It is not of to-morrow, but of this day, of this hour, and of this minute. Heaven grant that it is not already too late!

Mr. Speaker, may I ask in this momentous crisis, whan the destiny not only of Canada but of human liberty itself hangs

trembling in the balance, is haste less imperative, is delay less dangerous?

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.
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LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. W. E. KNOWLES (Moose-jaw):

Mr. Speaker, a large number of hon. members have already spoken on the subject now before the House, and those of us who are speaking before the close of the debate, are able to congratulate our predecessors, generally speaking, because their words have been moderate and their speeches on the whole have been free from taunt and from objectionable remarks. There is a time for bitter controversy in a party sense, and there is a time when bitter controversy is not the happiest thing, and my view is that in this debate those who have excluded from their remarks taunting observations .and factional, partisan statements, have been the happier fox doing so. While I am not very strong in that regard, I will endeavour to leave out of my remarks wibait is factional and partisan, and when a weaker brother attempts to achieve some of the accomplishments of the stronger brother, I trust he will receive some encouragement. I say this in all seriousness, because I believe that the present juncture is one which every man, in casting his vote, must ask himself whether he is doing so in the best interest of the military operations which are now being carried on. I do not believe any hon. gentleman, seriously .considering the questions now being discussed in this Chamber, would, in the last resort, cast his vote from any other wish than that of the best interest of his country. No man would think seriously of casting a vote that, while it might help his party, might do so at the expen.se of his country.

It is wonderful how all the countries whom we call Allies, and ourselves, are in this war voluntarily because we believe it is right for us to -be in this war. I like to go hack to the day when Serbia refused the arrogant, impudent ultimatum of Austria. Serbia had before her .the opportunity of following a path in which there would he no suffering, no sacrifice, no bloodshed, no death, no devastation. All that Serbia had to do was to accede to that insolent ultimatum, .and .she -might have gone on her way in quietness and peace. Serbia knew what war meant; Serbia had only l-ately been through the Balkan wars; but even Serbia, composed of a people from whom we might not think we could learn much, taught us a lesson that before she would renounce her nationhood, she would pay all the price she might be called upon to

pay and she would stand firm to her ideals ;as. a nation. Serbia chose voluntarily, the way of self-sacrifice.

What shall I say of Belgium? Hon. members will recall the way in which "Belgium voluntarily entered this war. They will remember the request which the Kaiser sent to Belgium, that the people of Belgium might peaceably allow the forces [DOT]of Germany to pass through their country, and his statement that he would pay the Belgians for all the damage done by his soldiers, and that no wanton damage would be done. But what would that have meant to Belgium? It would have meant the giving up of her nationhood, the sacrificing of her ideals. On the other hand, if she refused that offer, it meant the standing by her nationhood and the paying of the terrible price that we have seen Belgium pay. The people of Belgium, through their cabinet, never wavered. They said: Cost what it may, let the devastation be never so great; let the fire and the bloodshed and the sword come, yet we will be true to our national honour, and we will in no way violate our neutrality. Belgium has shown us the way of sacrifice and of honour.

May we not say the same thing of England above all others? We speak, almost ad nauseam, of how well Canada has done in this war. Canada has done nothing compared with what old England has done, neither financially, nor so far as female work is concerned, nor in the sacrifice of men. The Parliamentary Secretary for Military Affairs (Mr. McCurdy) told us a moment ago that in Great Britain they had given 17 per cent of their manhood, whereas we have given only about 3 per cent. What reason have we to pat ourselves on the back as though we had done wonderful things? In this country we have not learned to sacrifice ourselves in the voluntary way that the people of Great Britain have done. This whole war is filled with the lesson of voluntary service. We have voluntary conscription, if you will, each man conscripting himself. This war is to me like a crusade, with all these nations voluntarily marching out to fight for an ideal, for a sentiment, if you like to call it so. Great Britain did not have to go into this war. She might easily have remained outside of that bloody conflict had she wished, and not have paid the terrible price she has had to pay. She might have made millions of dollars out of this war had she so desired. But Great Britain had her traditions, and she knew that if she did not

[Mr. Knowles. 1

enter this war on the side of right, of principle; if she did not voluntarily throw herself into the grea,t conflict, her shame would ring down through the centuries to come. We, in Canada, went into the war in the same way. The Prime Minister very properly at the commencement of this war, as expressing the view of the people of Canada irrespective of party, sent across the water the message that in this conflict that seemed then to be settling down upon Europe, this young nation wished it to be understood that we too were in this conflict for the preservation of civilization, and that we too were behind Great Britain to the last of our resources. Undoubtedly, this war has been full of lessons to us as to the strength of voluntary sacrifice and devotion to duty.

There is no question that the need for men is very great. We know that from what we read in the papers, from what we hear from returned soldiers and from what we gather from the memoranda that has been brought down in this House. We know it from a message which we had from Sir Arthur Currie. There is also no doubt that if the issue of this war should be unfavourable to our side, we would then bid farewell to all that we hold precious. On that subject there can be no debate.

At this juncture it is of the utmost importance that we should not leave undone anything that will increase our military power. Therefore, we come to the question: in handling of the situation now before us, by which means are we going to attain the maximum military power of which we are capable? The Prime Minister said that we should send half a million men. Without meaning the slightest offence, I take little .stock in that statement. It is not a matter of sending half a million men, but of sending as many men as we can. If we can supply 700,000 men, there is no reason why we should send only 500,000; but if we can send only 400,000, then let it be that number-we shall have done our duty. The only rule to be observed is to obtain from the people of Canada the utmost possible military energy and power for the carrying on of the war, and how much that may be we cannot say in advance. Much will depend upon the prolongation of the war. If the hon. member from St. John (Mr. Pugs-ley) did say that we should withhold our contributions and stay our hands because the United States had come into the war,- l am not aware that he did say that-I can only say that I entertain the same view with regard to that utterance as was ex-

pressed by the hon. member for Shelburne and Queens (Mr. McCurdy). In my opinion, the fact that the United States has come mto the contest should stimulate us more than ever to do our utmost for the carrying on of the war. So, the question to be considered, as I have said, is: How are you going to get the maximum fighting force?

The Government's answer to that question is to bring down this Bill. I am not now going into the record of the Government in this war-this is not the time for it; a time will come for us to express our views on that subject. The Prime Minister comes from the Old Country, and tells us that after visiting Great Britain he has decided that he wants conscription. And the only reason that I can gather from his statement on the subject-and I have carefully studied his speech-is that the boys at the front have sent a message that they want reinforcements. That is the argument, and the conclusion arrived at is that conscription is the best way. The boys at the front may have said that they want reinforcements; and they may needreinforcements; but it does not necessarily follow from this that ifremust have conscription. I should

like to have heard some closer reasoning on this subject; I have not noticed that any of those who have spoken on this subject have addressed themselves to this hiatus in the reasoning. There is no argument about the need of reinforcements. It is mere waste of time for us to say that we want to win the war. After we have declared that we want to win the war it does not necessarily follow that we can win it better by means of conscription than by means of toleration and mediation. It is easy to say: " the boys at the front want reinforcements, therefore vote for conscription." That is easy, because it seems most popular; it wins the greatest applause; the man who says that can flatter himself that his name will go thundering down the centuries as that of a great patriot. But, as I have said, there seems to me something absent in the reasoning. I want to be shown why conscription will give us the 'best military results as opposed to every other possible way. If it could be shown that the boys in the trenches will have other Canadians by their side and fighting with them, and will have those men there sooner and in greater numbers by means of conscription than by any other means there would be no hesitation on my part in supporting conscription.

I am going to give the reasons why the policy of the Government does not commend itself to me, w"hy the speeches made in support of that policy have not convinced me that conscription is going to result in giving us the greatest military power that is possible for us. If I am wrong in that let it be shown that I am wrong, and I shall be very glad to -support conscription. Conscription is a beautiful thing when linked up with the idea of helping the boys in the trenches. Nobody questions our duty to those who are fighting for us. I agree that our nation will be judged by the way we have used the boys who have gone to fight our battles; there will be the real test of our manhood. I agree that it is not possible to do too much for our soldiers. It is for that very reason that I do not approve all that has been done with regard to that. I find, for instance, that in Moosejaw, when I got a man to trim my hedge, I pay him $3.50 a day-35 cents an hour. But the man in the trenches who risks his life in our defence is given $1.10 a day. That is not fair. We are told that other nations are not paying their men even as well as we do. I do not care about that; I believe there should be more of the fifty-fifty basis in the compensation for the sacrifices these men 'have made. So, I agree that we can do nothing that is too good for the boys in the trenches. But still I lequire to be shown that conscription is the way by which they can be most benefited. r

Logically, and in principle, conscription is a method with which I can find no fault. It seems to me the same as with woman suffrage-there is no argument against it. I heard Mrs Pankhurst speak once, and, having heard her, I said, and have said ever since, that the -argument was unanswerable. So, I say that conscription is right. It is equitable, it is just. It seems to me nothing can be truer than this-that, as the state gives the citizen its protection, the citizen in return must give his services in protecting the existence of the state. That being true, the citizen should offer his- services in the hour of emergency for the protection of the state which has protected him. Selective conscription, I have no quarrel with, because I think it is right. Still we come back to the question: Why pass this Bill; why send our soldiers throughout the Dominion armed with warrants to bring in men, living men? For that is what will be the result of this legislation. Will this- proceeding result in increasing our military strength; will it give us our maximum fighting power in men to

send, overseas? I am afraid it will not. And, speaking quite frankly, the trouble is, as we all know, in the province of Quebec. I am not going to eay a word in defence of Quebec, nor a word against Quebec. This is a British country, a country of free men, and each man must use his own judgment in this free country. But that is not the question. The question is, what result will follow the physical enforcement of this law? That is what catches me. You 6end cut your recruiting officers-is that what you are to call them-with warrants to go to Quebec and to bring in men to be trained as soldiers. I have not heard any person in this debate tell us how you are going to compel ihe men to come from the province of Quebec without sending more scl-diers there to fetch them than they will bring with them. It is all very well to talk about getting even with Quebec; about putting Quebec in her place, and letting her know where she stands and all that kind of thing. I have heard both Liberals and Conservatives talk that way. In my opinion, the man who says that to-day is the best day to settle our troubles with Quebec has made up his mind without thinking the matter out; or, if he has thought it out, he wants to press our fighting power not against Germany, but against Quebec.

It will be a very hollow victory if you do'overcome the people of the province of Quebec. It will do you no good if you do put Quebec where she belongs. It will not do one bit of good, even if all the Orangemen in Ontario should have their hearts set on seeing Quebec brought to her knees. We are not after Quebec; we are after Germany. One war is enough at a time, and one enemy is sufficient for ths proper manipulation of the war. Can any person show us-no person has up to the present-how we can force the people of Quebec to accept this measure? What I say not only applies to Quebec but to the labouring organizations throughout the country, because they are against this Bill also. If anybody can show me how you are going to enforce this measure against public opinion in Quebec, and against the will of the labour organizations, I will be very pleased to be so convinced.

The matter will just resolve itself into this: We will take the French-speaking parishes of Quebec, the people having their own view and as individuals not being afraid of anybody. Nobody has ever questioned the honour or bravery of the French

Canadian people. I do not know that I would ever think of suggesting it. The French Canadian will hold his own with the Ontario Orangeman any day as far as bravery goes. It is not that. But, you have men down there-two-legged men-and you want to get at those who are not willing to obey the law.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.
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July 3, 1917