March 31, 1939

LIB

Thomas Vien

Liberal

Mr. VIEN:

That is not an answer to my question.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   SI, 1939
Permalink
LIB

Liguori Lacombe

Liberal

Mr. LACOMBE:

Does my hon. friend wish a clearer answer?

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   SI, 1939
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Vien

Liberal

Mr. VIEN:

Yes.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   SI, 1939
Permalink
LIB

Liguori Lacombe

Liberal

Mr. LACOMBE:

The Militia Act, as it

stands on our statute book, cannot prevent our participation in foreign wars and that is what I am denouncing, as a true Canadian, while respecting the opinion of my hon. friend.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   SI, 1939
Permalink
LIB

Alphonse Fournier

Liberal

Mr. FOURNIER (Maisonneuve-Rose-mount):

And what if parliament said no?

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   SI, 1939
Permalink
LIB

Liguori Lacombe

Liberal

Mr. LACOMBE:

If parliament said no?

In politics, no more than in other fields it is impossible to base one's actions on ifs. I will never cease to oppose all Canadian participation in foreign wars. I will never cease to fight all attempts to impose conscription. I will never cease to fight against the imperialistic sentiment, because it is the very negation of the notion of a Canadian motherland. I will never cease to insist upon the Militia Act being amended so as to bring it into conformity with the spirit of the statute of Westminster. I will never cease to proclaim, at all times and in all places, that we have only one country, and that is Canada; that our first duty is to be Canadian; before being English or French. I will never cease to denounce the narrow imperialism and the criminal hypocrisy of war profiteers.

I thought the hon. member for Maison-neuve-Rosemount had a remark to make.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   SI, 1939
Permalink
LIB

Alphonse Fournier

Liberal

Mr. FOURNIER (Maisonneuve-Rose-mount):

I have already made it.

Foreign Policy-Mr. Fair

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   SI, 1939
Permalink
LIB

Liguori Lacombe

Liberal

Mr. LACOMBE:

All right, then.

I will never cease to unmask those who prefer colonialism to self-government, slavery to freedom. I will never cease to claim for my country, in the event of war, neutrality and t.he clear, precise, complete and definite sovereignty defined in the statute of Westminster. Others may consider the notion of a motherland from another point of view. I respect their convictions. But our constitution and our laws, my reason and my heart make it imperative for me to be and to remain a Canadian above all else. Loyal and true to my king, I desire, as every true Canadian, to serve him, but nowhere else than in my own country, where the sublime sacrifices of our ancestors have conquered our most cherished liberties. I would say to anyone who might question the loyalty of my compatriots: Read our history again and let us unite. Let us advance together towards autonomy, freedom and sovereignty, towards the immortal destiny of a Canada united in peace and in a truly Canadian patriotism.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   SI, 1939
Permalink
SC

Robert Fair

Social Credit

Mr. ROBERT FAIR (Battle River):

Mr. Speaker, it has been my privilege on other occasions to follow the hon. member who has just taken his seat (Mr. Lacombe), and he will have to pardon me again if I do not agree or disagree with him, because I must confess that I did not understand one word he said.

Yesterday I listened with great interest to the lengthy address delivered by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). It was difficult to follow in many of its phases, but I was interested in his statement that parliament will decide on Canada's stand, when and if the question of war should arise. This is only as it should be. As long as we have different nationalities and different types of people in this country, I believe any decision on that question should be made by parliament. Let us hope that it will be many years before it is necessary to make such a decision, here or elsewhere.

I was interested also in the statement of the leader of the opposition (Mr. Manion) that the first duty of public men is to hold this country together. I wonder if the leader of the opposition when he made that statement, fraught with grave meaning, fully realized his responsibility and the responsibility of other public men. It is true that public men get up and make wonderful speeches, but that is not doing everything that could be done to keep the country together. In order to keep the country united it is necessary to see to the comforts of all the people, not just a few of them, as is being done to-day. It might be better if a definition of public men

were given. I should like to hear a definition given so that we might have a chance to give ours.

Not many days ago I saw somewhere the statement-perhaps it might be applied to some of the leaders of our country-that " a patriotic hero is one who lays down your life for his country." We have had that demonstrated very well in the past., If another war should come, I hope there will not be a repetition of what occurred before. All classes should be treated alike, but that is not being done to-day. We have a vast amount of lip service, but when it comes to definite action we are very wide of the mark. Great and fundamental changes must be made in order to eliminate the causes of war, but so far neither this nor any other government has made even a start in doing its share to bring about these fundamental changes.

On the question of war profits and matters of the kind, I recommend to hon. members the reading of a book entitled Merchants of Death, in which they will find some startling information as to what has happened in the past. I am definitely opposed to war profiteering. During the past three years I have received dozens of resolutions protesting against profiteering in war munitions and materials, but this is the first time I have risen to speak against it. If at any time a vote should be taken on the subject, I shall certainly oppose war profiteering. In fact. I am opposed to war all round. In the last war the best of our youth were sent across the Atlantic. Before they left we told them that when they came back Canada would take care of them. When they were on active service they w'ere paid SI.10 a day, and we all know how they were treated when they returned. Some who perhaps had friends are receiving larger pensions than they are entitled to, but the ordinary man who was paid SI.10 a day while on service is not receiving anything like the attention he should. Yet if a war should break out again, and I hope it never will, we will call on the youth of Canada to go overseas to fight for us, and when they come back w'e will likely treat them the same as we did those who returned from the last war, should they be lucky enough to come back alive. In contrast to all this, a number of men who stayed home during the last war made millions of dollars in profits at the expense of those who were on active service overseas.

I do not believe such profits can be regarded as anything other than blood money. It is not too late for this government to see to it that war profits are kept down to where they rightly belong. Only yesterday we read

Foreign Policy-Mr. Macdonald (Brantford)

in the Ottawa Journal that in 1928 the mines of Ontario paid dividends to a total of $64,800,000. Surely some of those dividends must be classed as blood money. I am opposed also to the shipment of war materials, minerals, scrap-iron, and so on, to Japan or Germany. These materials are leaving Canada when the people are being taxed to build forts to guard us against these same countries, which may use these same materials to attack us in the very near future. I think this government should accept full responsibility and see to it that such exports are stopped right away.

In my opinion the creation of war is just one more type of business. Some people spend their lives trying to promote peace, while others spend their lives trying to promote war or war scares in order to create profits for themselves and their friends. At the head of the list I would place the banks and financial institutions and their accomplices. After what I have read in a number of articles and books. I do not believe that this statement can be disputed. In order to back it up further I should like to read a short statement under the heading, "Did they engineer the Munich pact?" which appeared in the Western Producer of November 10, 1938. It reads:

Whyte Williams, former foreign news correspondent and editor of Greenwich Time, published last week a list of those whom he claimed were twelve leading members of a London group who purportedly arranged the peace of Munich between Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and Fuehrer Adolf Hitler.

The list included:

Montagu Norman, governor of the Bank of England and member of the board of the London Times.

Lord Lothian,, formerly Phillip Kerr, private secretary of Lloyd George at the Versailles peace conference, and first of the group to visit Nazi Germany.

Lady Guiness, in whose salon reich foreign minister von Ribbentrop first contacted London society.

Lord and Lady Astor.

Mr. Tiarks, of the international banking house of Henry Schroeder.

Marquess of Londonderry, unofficial observer of the group at the Munich conference.

Lord Brockett, who was reported to have visited Hitler the day before the latter's Nuremberg speech and later made a private report to Chamberlain.

Sir Josiah Stamp, noted economist who was said to have attended the Nuremberg rally to study.

Baron Harry Duncan McGowan, who followed the late Lord Melchett as chairman of the Imperial Chemical Industries.

Lord Clyde.

Sir Henri Deterding, head of the Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company, and leader in world affairs.

This is a very serious question, and one which I believe cannot be intelligently dis-71492-157

cussed by many of us because we have not access to the actual facts. We have information which perhaps we are not able to interpret correctly, but we do not know accurately the causes underlying the several problems that are arising and creating trouble all over the world. My plea to this government and to the governments of other countries is to get busy and assume their responsibilities and prevent war. _

I have a verse here, Mr. Speaker, which I picked up a few weeks ago, and which in conclusion I should like to read. It is headed, And Still We Suffer, and reads:

So there will be anpther war

And we must fight just as before,

Once more the peace of England must be shattered

Our homes, friends and relations must be scattered.

Each man must kill, and, as a just reward,

His blood will stain the war fields tragic sward. , .

Ten million Englishmen must die in vam,_

Five million more must end their days in

pain, . ,,

As hopeless cripples-ruined men-they will return,

What dreadful lessons these men have to

Is life so cheap? Can we afford to waste it?

Is the blood lust so sweet that every man should taste it?

Should we all fight, and try to lull each other?

We suffered the last war-why must we have another ?

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   SI, 1939
Permalink
LIB

William Ross Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. W. R. MACDONALD (Brantford City):

Mr. Speaker, it is with great hesitancy that I rise to address the house on this very important question. After listening to the all-embracing address of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) yesterday and to that of the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) to-day, one must indeed be bold to express in this house any further opinions on the subject.

But in speaking to-day I am speaking in the cause of peace which, I am convinced, must be the aim of every true Canadian and of every true Britisher. We must prepare for peace. If peace is impossible, then we must be prepared to defend this great country, our native land. Whether that defence must be on the shores of Canada or in a foreign land, we must give all in our power to that defence. Peace, I say, must be our aim. My heart bleeds to-day for the fathers and mothers throughout this land who have sons of or nearing military age, those parents who fear that any day a great catastrophe may come upon this country, and their sons be called upon to defend democracy. Therefore we should put forth the greatest effort in our power for peace so that our sons may never again be forced to go to war to defend the principles which we love.

2480 COMMONS

Foreign Policy-Mr. Macdonald (Brantford)

At one time Canada could have stayed aloof from the rest of the world, but conditions as they have developed in recent years have brought this dominion within a few hours travel from the centre of Europe, which at any moment may become a deadly volcano. At this very hour peace is still in doubt, and it is difficult to be optimistic. Should war break out in Europe, there is no doubt in my mind but that Canada will be drawn into it. Therefore we must be prepared to defend our shores.

During the last few years there has been criticism of our defence department. There should be no criticism of that department. I want to pay tribute to this government and to our Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie) for the great effort which the government, and his department in particular, have made to strengthen our defences. Great strides have been made during the time this government has been in office. Prior to that, the defence estimates were being reduced year by year. I do not blame the former administration. I blame the lethargy of the Canadian people, who were not aware of the dangers. They were not aware that the enemy might be at the gate.

I want at this time to pay tribute also to our militia forces for the splendid way in which they have done their work despite public opinion. These militia units throughout our cities, towns and rural districts, with defence estimates reduced, had very little money with which to build up their organization, to purchase their supplies, and to give their officers and men the necessary training, and yet the militia men stood fast to their task. They did and are doing a service to Canada for which we should be truly grateful.

During the last decade we have been saying that wc do not want to become involved in European affairs. We have stated: Do not bother us about foreign affairs; let us get down to work; let us attend to our own business. Individuals have rights, but individuals have also responsibilities. Individualism built up this country, but to hold it we must have cooperation. That cooperation should pravail not only within Canada but by Canada with the other dominions of the empire. If war comes, one hundred per cent empire unity is imperative, and that involves one hundred per cent cooperation on the part of Canada.

I am convinced that that cooperation must exist if we are to continue to live under the union jack with the security of home and of our long cherished principles. Public opinion must be aroused to the dangers which threaten this hard-earned security. Let no part of Canada think it can be isolated from Europe when war breaks out.

I have said that our defence forces had been allowed to deteriorate on account of the lethargy of our people. I believe that to-day there is a reawakening among our people, and that they are beginning to realize how close we are to that terrible sore-spot in Europe. Public opinion, as I say, must be aroused to the danger which threatens our national security: I am satisfied that if the people

of Canada realized how open they are to attack there would be but one opinion from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and that opinion would be to arm to defend our shores.

In an eloquent address this afternoon the Minister of Justice demonstrated the impossibility of Canada remaining neutral in a world conflict which involves Great Britain. Truly neutrality under such conditions would be a vain hope. As the minister observed, British and foreign ships would come to this country, and if we were neutral the ships of both Britain and her enemies would have to be seized. Such a situation would be impossible.

The question then arises, where is Canada's first line of defence? Is it along our own shores, or is Canada's first line of defence further away? I ask, what would happen if Great Britain were defeated in a foreign land? Would there be any hope for Canada? We are happy to have to the south of us a great, peace-loving neighbour, whose president joined this past summer with our own great, peace-loving Prime Minister in giving assurances for the maintenance of security and peace for both our nations. We derive a certain measure of security from that great power to the south. We have also enjoyed much security from another great nation, Great Britain. We have had the protection of the British navy. Sometimes I wonder whether we have done our part in this regard. It was stated the other day, I believe by the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Euler), that Canada is the fourth trading nation of the world. If that is so, does it not behoove us to defend the ships which ply back and forth, carrying our commerce; have we not some duty to perform; can we rely entirely upon the British navy or upon such help as might be rendered by our friendly neighbour to the south? We owe a great deal to Great Britain; and it has occurred to me that since the President of the United States, which so far as we are concerned is a foreign country, has said that nation would not stand aside if we were attacked by a foreign foe, can we, in view of the great blessings and unfailing help which we have derived from the British empire and the British navy, do less for the mother country if it is attacked than the United States might do for us?

Foreign Policy-Mr. Macdonald (Brantford)

As I said at the outset, all our efforts to-day must be directed toward the maintenance of peace. Everyone knows that is the aim and object of Great Britain. Her Prime Minister has said that he loves peace to the very depths of his soul. The dangers which menace the world to-day do not come from any desire on the part of Great Britain to gain territory or to deprive any foreign nation of its rights and privileges. The only danger of armed conflict to-day results from the desire of a foreign dictator to gain power by means of force. No country has any intention of attacking Germany. We do not wish to attack; we will simply defend what we have. We desire no more territory. We have no ambition to control any other country. We want to live in peace, happiness and harmony with all mankind. I am equally satisfied that Great Britain will never enter into war for any purpose other than to defend herself and other peace-loving democracies.

As the Prime Minister stated yesterday, it is of paramount importance to keep Canada united. The desire of the government for unity should find support from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Canada should and will be united when the people realize that all our efforts are to maintain peace and defend our shores. There is no man more fitted by experience and temperament to achieve this great purpose than is our own Prime Minister, and I am confident that when our dominion realizes that danger is at our very doors, then that purpose will be achieved. May that realization come soon.

I repeat that it is Canada's duty to stand with the other self-governing dominions of the empire and have one great, united force. I feel that the greatest contribution to world peace to-day would be an immediate and definite assurance from the dominions and democracies to Great Britain that in the event of an aggressive war by a nation greedy for power the dominions and democracies would give unlimited support to the motherland in men, arms and supplies. I feel that in the interests of peace Canada must let Great Britain know that we are arming for peace with her. At this time I read the words of the Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier spoken in this house shortly after the outbreak of war in 1914. The great Sir Wilfrid said:

It is our duty, more pressing upon us than all other duties at once, on this first day of this extraordinary session of the Canadian parliament, to let Great Britain know and to let the friends and foes of Great Britain know that there is in Canada but one mind and one heart, and that all Canadians stand behind the mother country.

71492-157^

Continuing. Sir Wilfrid Laurier said:

WTe are British subjects, and to-day we are face to face with the consequences which are involved in that proud fact. Long have we enjoyed the benefits of our British citizenship; to-day it is our duty to accept its responsibilities and sacrifices. ... It is a matter of history in one of the noblest pages in tb history of England, in that she never drew th' sword until every means had been exhauster to secure and occupy an honourable peace There is in this the inspiration and the hope that from this painful war the British empire may emerge with a new bond of union, thc pride of all its citizens, and a life line to all other nations.

Those were the words of Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1914, and I am confident that they are the sentiments of the people of Canada in 1939.

The only clash that is likely to take place in the world to-day is between the democracies and the dictatorships. I am not finding fault with dictatorships. If any nation in the world desires to be governed by a dictator; if any nation prefers the totalitarian system of economy, that is its affair and we have no right to interfere. But when dictators endeavour by force to impose their forms of government upon other people who are unwilling to accept them and do not desire those forms of government, then we must be prepared to resist their efforts.

We cherish our freedom. We love our freedom. We will not give it up lightly. Our freedom has been dearly won and our freedom will be bravely defended. We are not prepared to accept dictatorship, which would take us back to the dark days of feudalism. In making that statement I feel I speak for all democracies. Their freedom like ours was dearly won; their freedom like ours will be bravely defended. The last great war from 1914 to 1918 was, we had hoped, a war to end war. It was, we had hoped, a war to bring about permanent peace. Unfortunately that may not have been accomplished, although we still hope that it has been. Whether it was accomplished or not, every man and woman who took part in that last war did so in the hope that they were giving of their best to establish peace for generations yet unborn.

No one has authority to speak for all the veterans of the last war; but from expressions from their various organizations and from ex-service men who are not in organizations, I feel I can say with confidence that those who fought in the last war to bring about lasting peace are prepared again to do their bit to establish such a peace and to maintain freedom in this land. Those who went through

2482 COMMONS

Foreign Policy-Mr. Macdonald (Brantford)

the blood and fire of the last war do not want their efforts to have been in vain. They fought for freedom, for justice. They are prepared to defend that freedom and that justice for which they fought. They would love to keep Canada united, they would love to keep all parts of the empire united-why? Because they feel that by a united Canada and a united empire they can do more to maintain peace than if the world felt there was a difference of opinion.

The Canadian corps association has expressed it in this way: .

Solidarity within the confines of the British empire at this time should have a retarding effect upon aggressors, whoever they may be, and may prevent bloodshed and even war.

Great Britain is giving of its best to-day to maintain peace. There is not a sacrifice which the brave people of the motherland will not undergo in order to maintain peace. There are some in this land who found fault with the noble and heroic efforts of the great Prime Minister of England, the Right Hon. Neville Chamberlain, when he returned and returned to Germany in an effort to preserve peace. Whether he was right at that time or whether he was wrong I do not know: I have my own opinion, others have theirs. But it does not behoove anyone in Canada, considering the little we have done to preserve peace, to complain or find fault with any of the efforts of that great man of the empire. Forty-five million people in Great Britain are standing against the ruthless machine of an aggressor in an effort to preserve peace. I ask you, Mr. Speaker, how much greater that power for peace would be if it were backed up by 2,000,000 people in South Africa,

1,600.000 people in New Zealand, 6,830,000 in Australia and 11,000.000 in Canada, together with the other millions of people of this great empire? If the 45,000,000 people in Great Britain are stemming the efforts of a dictator to destroy the peace of the world, how much greater would the effect be if all the peoples of the empire and of the democracies were to stand up boldly with Great Britain to defend democracy and freedom and to maintain justice?

We in Canada must speed up our defences always with the thought in mind that we do not desire war; that on the contrary we do desire peace. Every dollar that is spent for armaments should be spent with the thought in mind that we are buying a dollar's worth of peace. Our resources must be given to the limit to maintain that peace. We must be prepared to mobilize, freed from the clutches of the war profiteer, the resources of this dominion, men, money and material, on

the side of justice, freedom and goodwill. Make no mistake; those who would control the world to-day do not want merely to control Europe. There is a prize for which certain powers in the world are seeking, and it may be that that prize is Canada. If the British empire falls in Europe, will the prize be Great Britain, or will it be some other country beyond the sea? I ask those who sit in security in this country to consider whether the prize for which the dictators are striving to-day is not this our own native land? It is indeed a great prize. We have the greatest country in the world, stretching across this continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific, with great resources, great open spaces, a land of unlimited possibilities. As I said before, we have privileges, but we also have responsibilities; and one of those responsibilities is to defend and maintain for democracy, for the empire, for freedom, this Canada of ours.

The British empire has been a great force for good throughout the ages. That empire is to-day a great force for good in the world, and that empire must be maintained, if freedom also is to be maintained. Our place is with the empire because I am convinced, as Mr. Beverley Baxter has said, that the British empire, with its liberty, its justice and its destiny^, is still the greatest force for good in the world.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   SI, 1939
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. M. J. COLDWELL (Rosetown-Biggar):

My first remark would be that perhaps this evening's papers make plain the fact that recent events have brought the world to a realisation that we are tottering on the very brink of war. The destruction of Czechoslovakia, completed just a few weeks ago, the annexation of Memel, are two recent events in a tragic series which, if we are going to understand this situation aright, we must view in their proper perspective. These events have occurred chiefly since the year 1931. To-day nations are speeding up their preparations for war, preparations which in my opinion clearly foreshadow an even greater crisis than that we have known. So the question I ask, and which I shall endeavour to answer from the point of view which I hold is: What is it that has brought the world to this pass?

In 1935 the present government of Great Britain, whose foreign policy we have followed rather closely, and whose leadership we may follow in the near future to an even greater degree, stated in its election manifesto that, collective security and adherence to the League of Nations alone could "save us from a return to the old system which resulted in the last war.' ['hen on July 26 of last year

Foreign Policy-Mr. Coldwell

Mr. Chamberlain declared that the league had gone, and he stated that in the critical situation in which we found ourselves we had to fall back again upon the ,old methods of diplomacy. In those words the British Prime Minister confessed that we had returned to the old system of power politics which, unless a radical change can be made even at this late hour, will lead us and the world inevitably to war.

I have said on more than one occasion in this chamber that we have arrived at this pass because of the foreign policies that have been followed by the great powers since 1931, policies which, I repeat, we in this country have followed very closely. The founders of the League of Nations hoped to make the world safe for democracy by laying the foundation of a world order based upon the democratic ideals of social and economic justice. They underestimated, as many people did, the vested interests and powerful economic and social groups whose interest lay in the maintenance of colonialism and armaments. The league idea was based upon the moral revolution that men believed had occurred, and the revulsion against what seemed to be the results of the great war itself. It is fundamental, however, it seems to me, to an understanding of the present situation that we must realize that the idea which has governed the foreign policies directed by the ruling classes in European countries is the preservation of the status quo within those countries, the preservation of the social and economic structure which has developed in those lands. Mr. Gladstone once said that in order to understand a country's foreign policy it was necessary to examine its domestic affaire and policies; and the chief purpose of most of the European governments since the great war has been the preservation of the interests of what we often call the capitalist economy and the class which controls the wealth of those countries.

Might I remind hon. members that the national government of Great Britain was formed to do this very thing in the domestic field in 1931, and its foreign policy ever since has been based upon exactly the same principle. This explains why in 1931 the Japanese aggression in Manchuria was actually condoned iby the foreign minister of Great Britain; for it was Sir John Simon who was complimented by the Japanese representative upon having placed the Japanese case before the League of Nations assembly better than he could have done it himself. On February 29, 1933, Right Hon. L. S. Amery, in the House of Commons in London, said:

When you look at the fact that Japan needs markets and that it is imperative for her, in the world in which she lives, that there should be some sort of peace and order, then who is there among us to cast the first stone and to say that Japan ought not to have acted with the object of creating peace and order in Manchuria and defending herself against the continual aggression of vigorous Chinese nationalism? Our whole policy in India, our whole policy in Egypt, stands condemned if we condemn Japan.

So the first member of the League of Nations, China, was sacrificed and Japan was allowed a free hand in the vain hope that some bargain could 'be made with the aggressor for the protection of certain economic interests in the far east.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   SI, 1939
Permalink
IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

If the hon. member will allow me a question, did not the League of Nations set up a commission under Lord Lytton, which investigated the matter and brought in a complete condemnation of Japan?

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   SI, 1939
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. COLDWELL:

That is quite correct; as a matter of fact, I have the report under my hand; but I am pointing out that in spite of the fact that the Lytton commission condemned Japanese aggression, the British foreign minister condoned that aggression, and no action was taken to prevent or end it.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   SI, 1939
Permalink
IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

*Mr. NEILL:

That is not fair. It was the League of Nations that fell down.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   SI, 1939
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. COLDWELL:

Collective security fell down, and the minister who was complimented . by Japan for the defence of Japanese aggression in Manchuria was Sir John Simon. The potential aggressor nations then realized that in spite of the league covenant aggression would be tolerated, and that it had paid. When Japan was allowed to seize Manchuria, it was clear that the world had taken its first step away from collective security and towards power politics and war.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock. FOREIGN POLICY

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   SI, 1939
Permalink

Mr. J. T. THORSON (Selkirk) moved the second reading of Bill No 16, respecting the status of Canada in time of war. He said: Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to move the second reading of the bill which 2484 COMMONS Status oj Canada in Time oj War stands in my name. It is entitled, "an act respecting the status of Canada in time of war." The bill reads as follows: Whereas it is expedient that the status of Canada in time of war should be made clear and declared by the parliament of Canada: Therefore his majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows: 1. Canada shall not assume the status of belligerent otherwise than by a declaration of war made by his majesty with specific reference to Canada and only on the advice of his majesty's government in Canada. It is impossible in the short space of time at my disposal to discuss all the questions that arise in this connection. I shall, therefore, confine myself to the fundamental principles upon which it is based. Before I proceed to the discussion of the bill itself, I should like to take this opportunity of expressing my very deep thanks to the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and to the government of Canada for the great honour which was shown to me and to the constituency which I represent by my appointment as one of the members of the Canadian delegation to the assembly of the League of Nations at Geneva. % . I shall not at this time review the controversy which took place last summer ai}d last fall in Czechoslovakia between the Sudeten Germans and the Czechs, for this subject has been fully discussed by the Prime Minister and other hon. members. Nor shall I describe at any length the situation as I saw it at Geneva, except to say that the air was full of controversies. Newspapers were received from every land, radio broadcasts in many languages were of hourly occurrence, and there was much confusion of thought and great uncertainty. However, it was my opinion that great as was the uncertainty, there would not be a world-wide war because of Czechoslovakia. I felt that there could not be a war, that there should not be a war, over that issue. I was in London on the eventful day upon which the Munich agreement was signed, and I shall never forget the great sigh of relief that rose from that city when it was known that war had been averted and that peace was still in the land. When I came back to Canada I was astonished at the state of mind into which the people of Canada had been whipped. I found a state of hysteria. There was thankfulness, it is true, that war had been averted, but it seemed to me that at times there was a sort of indignation that war had not taken place. There seemed to be fierce resentment against Great Britain and France for the attitude they had taken. Perhaps one of the greatest needs in Canada to-day is a clearer knowledge and understanding of foreign affairs and a greater appreciation of the trend of events in Europe. We must have a greater understanding of the fundamental principles which the leaders of Great Britain and France have been trying to follow. We should develop resistance against the forces of hysteria based upon international hatred. We should develop anti-bodies in our body politic against the virulence of such hysteria. It was said that Great Britain and France should have stood up against Hitler, that they should have delivered an ultimatum that there would be war if he marched into Czechoslovakia. I am convinced that if such an ultimatum had been delivered there woulu have been war. What a war that would have been! It would not have been a short war; it would have been a very long one. It would not have been won by bombardment from the air, or by troops on the battlefield or by a preponderance of armaments; it would have been won as the last war was won, by that group of nations which had the greatest access to food and raw materials. It would have been a war of attrition. Is it any wonder that Mr. Chamberlain hesitated about plunging the world into a war of that kind? If he had played international bluff with the civilization of the world as the stakes, he would have committed a gra^e crime against humanity. He did not do that, but stood steadfast for the cause of peace. I do not believe that Great Britain and France hesitated about going into war because they were unprepared. I am convinced that Great Britain and France have an overwhelming superiority over the totalitarian states combined. If my opinion is right, that a world war between the democracies, on the one hand, and the totalitarian states, on the other, will be won by that group that has the greatest access to food and raw materials, then there is an overwhelming advantage on the side of Great Britain and France. That is an advantage which Great Britain and France have not lost in the least degree. They have access to Canada; they have access to the United States; they have access to South America; indeed, they have access to the whole world. I am not so sure that Germany's present eastward thrust is not the first public acknowledgment of her economic necessities. That may well be so. Therefore. I am convinced that it was not because of lack of preparation that Great Status of Canada in Time of War Britain and France did not go into war. There were more important principles involved. I remember the dramatic speech that Mr. Chamberlain made the day after Herr Hitler had made his speech in Berlin. The hon. member for Essex East (Mr. Martin) and I listened together to the remarks of the British Prime Minister. That day was the only time at which I wavered in my opinion that there would not be war; after I heard Mr. Chamberlain's speech I was convinced that there would not be war. In his remarks 'yesterday the Prime Minister quoted a portion of that dramatic speech. I shall refer to it again because I think it enunciates the cardinal principle which Mr. Chamberlain and his associates have in mind in the foreign policy they are now pursuing. This is what Mr. Chamberlain said: However much one may sympathize with a small nation confronted by a big and powerful nation, we cannot in all circumstances undertake to involve the whole British empire in a war simply on that account. That was a specific statement; when Mr. Chamberlain made it I was again confident that there would not be a world war. He went on to say; If we have to fight it must be on larger issues than that. I am myself a man of peace to the depths of my soul. Armed conflict between nations is a nightmare to me. But if I were convinced that any nation had made up its mind to dominate the world by fear of its force, I should feel that it must be resisted. Then he concluded with this statement. I believe that life without liberty would not be worth living, but war is a fearful thing and we must be very clear, before we embark on it, that it is really very great issues that are at stake and that we should risk everything in their defence. I should like to paraphrase that statement in this manner: In my opinion the most sacred responsibility that any leader owes to his people is the maintenance of peace and the safeguarding of his people from the appalling consequences of war. That is a supreme duty, a supreme responsibility, the greatest duty that a leader can owe to his people. Freedom from war and the maintenance of peace should be the course to follow as long as such a course is possible. That principle must not be departed from unless some principle greater than peace itself is involved. In my opinion, that is the fundamental principle which has actuated the government of Great Britain and the government of France. War can bring nothing to these countries but disaster. They have no territorial desires, no dreams of conquest. War can only destroy, particularly the kind of war that there would be if the forces of the world ranged themselves in the manner that I have indicated. We must keep our heads cool in this country, as Mr. Chamberlain must keep his head cool in Great Britain; at the same time we must keep our hearts warm, as I think he is keeping his heart warm, for the cause of peace and preservation of his people from the awful consequences of war. International hatred is not a policy of foieign relationships on which we should rely. It is easy to fan international hatred into a burning flame. Indeed, it is hard to resist that feeling when we see what is happening in Europe. But we must steel our hearts against international hatred. I for one do not intend to condemn or hate a whole people because I disapprove the actions of that people's leaders. I am convinced that the bulk of the German people are as keenly anxious for peace as we in Canada are. Nor is dislike of dictatorships a proper cause for war, much as we may dislike dictatorship and prefer our own system of democratic government. Those who believe in democracy know that democracy will prevail. It cannot fail. We also know that the inevitable end of dictatorship is chaos and revolution. Why, then, not let the march of events run their course to their final conclusion? Nor would we be justified in resorting to war for economic advantage or national prestige. Economic advantage and national prestige are not worth risking the civilization of the world. It is, I think, the fixed policy of Great Britain and France to keep their people out of war. It has been suggested that steps should be taken to stop the totalitarian states before it is too late. It is folly to fight a preventive war to prevent something that may not happen. Earl Baldwin of Bewdley made a striking statement to which the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Manion) referred yesterday. He stated that as long as the chances for peace were only five per cent and the chances for war ninety-five per cent, the chances for peace should be taken, for the alternative course meant war, with all the destruction that it would bring. I approve the principles that I have enunciated. I approve them for Great Britain and I approve them for Canada. As it is the supreme duty of Mr. Chamberlain to preserve his people from the terrible consequences of war, so it is the supreme responsibility and the supreme duty of the Prime Minister of Canada to keep the people of Canada out of war as long as such a course is possible. I



Status of Canada in Time of War am convinced that the Prime Minister of Canada has a keen appreciation and a true realization of the great responsibility that rests upon his shoulders. He has stated again and again and again that the guiding principle in the formulation of Canada's foreign policy should be the maintenance of the unity of Canada as a nation. With that statement of principle I entirely agree. Canada should, therefore, if the principle that I have enunciated is sound, not take part in war unless some principle greater than peace itself, is involved-such as the civilization of the world, or Canada's national existence, or the liberty of her people. If these are involved, they are issues greater than peace; but no issues other than these are greater than peace. These fundamental principles should be clearly stated and rigidly observed. We should keep liberty of choice of action in Canada. It belongs to Canada. In the light of these fundamental principles I now proceed to a consideration of the bill which I have the honour to introduce in this house. It has been argued that if Great Britain declares war, we in Canada are automatically at war. I deny the correctness of that statement as a constitutional fact. Those who take this view do not face the facts of the constitutional development which has taken place. Their view is based upon the contention that Canada is not a sovereign nation. They state that if his majesty on the advice of his majesty's ministers at Westminster declares war, we are automatically at war. Their contention is that since the king is one person, the crown is also indivisible. That may have been a correct statement of the constitutional position many years ago. In 1914 when war was declared, its application to Canada was automatic. Since then, the status of the selfgoverning dominions has changed. The British constitution has grown, as it is always growing. The declaration made by the imperial conference of 1926 is to the effect that the members of the British commonwealth are: ... autonomous communities within the British empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the crown, and freely associated as members of the British commonwealth of nations. It is inconsistent with this status that Great Britain should have the power to determine for Canada whether Canada is at war. The person of the king is one and undivided, but the crown is divisible. That is now a recognized development. It may be a strange development; it may be an illogical one, but the British constitution is a flexible instrument; it adapts itself to changing conditions and to changing needs. It is recognized that His Majesty the King, when he performs executive acts of government, does so only upon the advice of his ministers, and that when he performs an executive act of government for one of his dominions he does so only upon the advice of his ministers in that dominion, in that British nation. None of the associated nations that form the commonwealth of nations has the slightest control or authority over any other of the British nations. They are all equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs. The Balfour declaration made in 1926 is merely a statement of the status that had been already achieved. The position of the British nations has been recognized by outstanding authorities. Long before the statute of Westminster, Sir Frederick Pollock made this statement, drawing a distinction between legal theory and actual fact. He said this: Leave conventions alone and look at the facts and we find that the colonies are in fact separate kingdoms. . . . The sovereignty is a figment, the states of the empire stand on an equal footing. There is a distinction, so it is said, between sovereignty and autonomy, but that distinction is, in my opinion, purefy a legalistic one; for we have gone so far in our autonomy that it is complete and has become sovereignty in fact. This was recognized last fall by an outstanding British statesman. Lord Stanley, Secretary of State for the Dominions, whose untimely death has been regretted by all who knew the great work he was doing, stated in Toronto on August 25, 1938, in reply to a question as to whether the dictum that Canada is at war when Great Britain is at war was sound: ''Certainly not. Canada has entire responsibility of her own. She is a sovereign state and decides for herself." It is an essential feature of the British constitution that all the peoples who live under it should have the full power and the complete right to determine in every respect the policies which they shall follow, whether those policies be internal or external ones. The constitution, is one of great flexibility, great adaptability. It is always changing, always growing, but it is always based upon the essential principle of the right of the people who live under it to full control over their affairs. It is also based upon their responsibility to exercise their rights. Since the statute of Westminster was passed, our legal right, apart from our constitutional Status oj Canada in Time of War one, to determine all matters whether internal or external is beyond dispute. We have complete legislative power to decide all questions affecting Canada. It is true that the British North America Act itself is maintained intact, ibut the question of amendments to that act is a matter for the Canadian people to determine. We have, therefore, complete power to regulate the manner in which his majesty shall perform executive acts of government for us. There is no longer an indivisible royal prerogative. We may determine how that prerogative shall be exercised by his majesty in respect of Canada. I reject the view, therefore, that when Great Britain is at war, we are automatically at war. But it has been argued that it is our duty as loyal Canadians to follow Great Britain automatically into war no matter what the issues may be. The purpose of my bill is to guard the people of Canada against such a course and against such a policy; for the following of such a policy would destroy national unity in Canada. We in this country must decide our foreign policy; we must not follow blindly the foreign policy set by any other nation. The fundamental principle of my bill is that we ourselves must face our national responsibility for foreign policy in the interests of Canadian unity, so that whatever course of action we follow will be the result of the free choice of the people of Canada. I am grateful to the Prime Minister for the support which he gave to this fundamental principle which underlies the bill which I am introducing. Yesterday he said this, as reported at page 2418 of Hansard. I cannot accept the view which is being urged in some quarters to-day, that regardless of what government or party may be in office, regardless of what its policy may be, regardless of what the issue itself may come to be, this country should say here and now that Canada is prepared to support whatever may be proposed by the government at Westminster. That was a sound Canadian statement. The Prime Minister has always shown a zealous regard for Canada and the welfare of its people. I should also like to congratulate the leader of the opposition (Mr. Manion) upon the contribution that he made to the debate yesterday. He made a striking statement. At page 2433 of Hansard he is reported as having said: So far as I am concerned I demand for us in Canada the same right to form and express opinions as is possessed by the citizens of the British isles. I refuse to subscribe to any doctrine of inferiority which would east us in the role of pawns on the international chessboard. If I might be permitted to say so, the leader of the opposition made a fine contribution to the cause of Canadian unity when he refused to be stampeded into a statement that Canada would support whatever policy was put into effect by Great Britain, and I am convinced that thoughtful Canadians will appreciate the contribution that he made. Automatic commitment to war is the negation of self-government; it is a denial of responsible government. The greatest issue that any government can be called upon to face is the issue of peace or war. How can we in this house be responsible to the people who sent us here; how can the government of this country be responsible to parliament, if we follow a policy of automatic commitment to whatever Great Britain lays down as a matter of foreign policy? Where would our responsible government be if we followed such a course? How could we discharge our supreme duty to the people of Canada of maintaining peace and keeping them free from the appalling consequences of war, if we left the decision as to peace or war in the hands of another nation, no matter how great may be our respect or our affection for that nation? How can we as Canadians delegate that supreme responsibility to a government that is not our own? Self-government is the essence of the British constitution. The decision of the issue between peace and war is the supreme exercise of self-government. We would be untrue to the veiy spirit and the essence of the British constitution if we did not decide that issue for ourselves but allowed it instead to be decided by the Prime Minister of Great Britain. We should assert our right to determine for ourselves whether we are or are not at war. The policies of Great Britain may change. Governments come and go, and there may be governments in Great Britain whose policies are repugnant to the Canadian people. If, for example, there should be in Great Britain a fascist government, or a communist government, should we in Canada blindly follow their foreign policy or any other policy? Certainly not. The present policy of peace in Great Britain might change; it might change under the pressure of the frenzy of hatred that is sometimes being manifested. If Great Britain were to declare war upon Germany merely because of attacks upon Poland, or Lithuania, or Hungary, shall we in Canada automatically be committed to such a war and participate in it? Certainly not. Such a course would disrupt the Canadian nation. If the national existence of Great Britain were really at stake, if she were in danger of destruction, that would be a different matter.



Status of Canada in Time of War The speeches made by the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition yesterday strengthen the hand of the responsible people in the government of Great Britain. Speeches of that sort are much more helpful to them than frenzied offers of support under all circumstances. Speeches of the kind made yesterday and to-day will make it easier for the government of Great Britain to withstand the clamours of irresponsible people. If the government of Great Britain knows that it cannot automatically carry the dominions into war with it unless it stands upon solid ground, we are doing a service to Great Britain in telling them that we shall decide for ourselves the issues of peace and war. We in Canada would be greatly concerned if the life or liberty of Great Britain were involved, but I for one would not approve going into a war on an issue that centred on purely national prestige or economic advantage, or one that was engaged in for the purpose of teaching the totalitarian states a lesson. My first loyalty, Mr. Speaker, is to Canada and to the Canadian people. Their lives and their futures are our supreme concern. We might well be acclaimed by many if we demanded strong action to halt the aggression of totalitarian states, but we would not be the ones who would pay the price. Most of us are too old for active military service. The price, the appalling price, would be paid by the masses of the people, and another generation of young men would be totally destroyed. No, Mr. Speaker, let us not prate falsely of patriotism. It has been said that war is futile, that it settles no controversy; but it can be said of the last war that it was not fought in vain; for the memory of that war helps us to keep our heads cool and our hearts warm for the maintenance of peace. Since 1918 there have been countless incidents any one of which would have provoked a world war had it not been for the memory of that terrible war. May the memory of that war, therefore, and of its appalling consequences, never perish. May our minds be kept steadfast against war as long as war can be avoided. We in Canada have gone a long way in asserting our freedom of action in time of war. We have definitely settled the principle that Canada will always decide the extent of her participation, if any, in war. The Prime Minister has made that statement on numerous occasions. He took an isolationist attitude once in 1922; I refer to the Chanak incident. On that occasion Canada did a great service to Great Britain through the action of the present Prime Minister, who said that parliament must decide. I am convinced that Great Britain was to a large extent deterred from embarking upon war on that occasion by the action taken by Canada. But, after all, there is nothing unusual or striking about the statement that parliament will decide the extent of Canada's participation in war. It could not be otherwise, for parliament votes the money; and the extent of our participation in a war depends upon the rooner parliament votes for the purpose of carrying on that war. Indeed, it could not be otherwise. Canada must go further than she has gone. She must settle her right to neutrality, her right to freedom of choice in deciding the issues of peace and war, apart from the participation that Canada will take in that war. There are differences of opinion, even on the part of those who believe that Canada is a nation and no longer a colony, as to Canada's position in the matter of a right to neutrality. May I first clear away certain misconceptions that have been prevalent. The bill which I am advocating is not a declaration of neutrality. I am not advocating a policy of neutrality. The bill says nothing whatever about what Canada should or should not do in any particular circumstances. It is not a statement in advance as to the position that Canada will take. I repeat that I am not advocating neutrality and that my bill is not a declaration of neutrality. Nor is my bill a declaration of independence. It will not prevent unity of action between this country and Great Britain. Indeed, it will not alter in the slightest degree the relationship between this country and Great Britain. This fact was clearly recognized by Great Britain; it was acknowledged b'y Lord Stanley in the quotation I made a moment ago. It was acknowledged by Great Britain itself in considering a similar bill passed by the Irish Free State. The constitution of the new Irish Free State contains a clause to this effect-section 28 (3): War shall not be declared and the state shall not participate in any war save with the consent of Dail Eireann. The British government made an announcement with regard to this clause in the new Irish constitution. They announced on December 29, 1937, that they were prepared to treat the new constitution as not effecting a fundamental alteration in the position of the Irish Free State in future to be described under the new constitution as Eire or Ireland as a member of the British commonwealth of nations. The bill does not touch the question as to the status of Canada in the matter of war- Status oj Canada in Time of War


CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

I should like to ask the hon. member a question: Why does he not urge that Canada get out of the empire altogether?

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   DECLARATION OF THE STATUS OF CANADA IN TIME OF WAR
Permalink
LIB-PRO

Joseph Thorarinn Thorson

Liberal Progressive

Mr. THORSON:

I have just indicated definitely and clearly that I do not wish Canada to get out of the empire, and that this bill is not a declaration of independence.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   DECLARATION OF THE STATUS OF CANADA IN TIME OF WAR
Permalink

March 31, 1939