March 31, 1939

CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

I rise to a point of order.

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
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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member for Selkirk has exhausted his time to speak.

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
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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

I call the attention of the chair to the fact that the hon. member has spoken for fifty minutes. You, Mr. Speaker, called me to order last night for speaking thirty-eight minutes.

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
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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. The hon. member for Broadview should not say that. I have always given him the benefit of the doubt at all times.

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
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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview):

The hon. member has not unanimous consent to continue.

To-morrow morning Hitler will receive the news of this proceeding with great satisfaction, and the dictators will wonder where Canada stands and where Canada is drifting. Let me tell the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Thor-son) that long before his people came to this country, it was settled by' the British born; that this is a British country and under the British flag. He introduced this bill on February 3, eight weeks ago to-day. How does it come about that this particular bill is moved for second reading the day after the right hon. leader of the house made his statement in regard to foreign policy and the defence of this dominion? How does it come about that this separatist, isolationist bill is introduced in the House of Commons to-day? It is an insult to the British born of this country for the hon. member to make some of the statements he has made. I have read some of the hon. member's speeches about victims of British policy to the loyal people of Quebec, who have always been loyal to the British crown. Montcalm and Wolfe lie side by side, and the monument commemorating them bears tribute to the joint part they played for Canada. Last night I paid tribute to the great French nation for having with the assistance of Great Britain, saved civilization in the great war.

The hon. member calls his bill:

An act respecting the status of Canada in time of war.

And he goes on to say it is expedient that the status of Canada in time of war should

be made clear. But the mere fact that he says it is expedient does not make it expedient. The hon. member is evidently opposed to the former leader of the Liberal Party. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who said that when Britain is at war, Canada is at war. Let me say to my hon. friend that Canada is not going to be talked out of the British empire. If Canada could have been talked out of the British empire, it would have been talked out long ago by some of those who came to Canada a few years ago and are enjoying all the privileges and rights and liberties of this country, but who refuse to pay tribute to the mother of nations who gave us these liberties and the freedom and civilization we all enjoy. Everything we enjoy in this dominion to-day we owe to the protection of the British flag and the United Kingdom. Let me say to the hon. member that there will be great rejoicing to-night on the part of Hitler and the other dictators when they read that Canada is divided in the way it is. In 1914 that is what Germany was depending upon, that the dominions would be divided among themselves. * After the statements of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and the leader of the opposition (Mr. Manion) yesterday, he is now throwing cold water on the whole thing. What is becoming of Canada when we hear a debate along these lines? The hon. member says, "it is expedient." If there is one thing that it is not expedient to mention at this time, it is the subject matter of this particular bill. He says:

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 a belligerent. . . .

Canada has nothing to be belligerent with. ' It has no army, no fleet, no air force; it is dependent, as it was in 1812, upon the mother country for all the privileges it enjoys. If Hitler sailed up the St. Lawrence with his modem war equipment, there would be very short shrift for the hon. gentleman who introduced this bill and for others of similar views, pacifists who were responsible for Munich and for the rise of the dictators to-day.

The mother country did not ask Canada to do what she did in the last war; Canada did it voluntarily and, I believe, would do the same to-day in similar circumstances, namely, go to Britain's aid in trouble. This bill provides that Canada shall not assume the status

Status oj Canada in Time of War

of a belligerent. Canada is, by this bill, assuming the status of a country that is out of touch with British institutions. The explanatory note of the bill says:

As Canada is a sovereign nation in personal union with other nations under His Majesty-

Yes, indeed, Canada is a nation; but it is a nation which for all its civil and religious liberties and everything else depends upon the mother country. Yes, Canada is a nation all right, on the front pages of United States monthly journals, and at five o'clock teas and ten o'clock dinners at Washington, but Canada is a pauper in actual performance. Canada is sovereign in talk only; that is as far as our sovereignty goes. Canada may have equality of status, but it certainly has not equality of stature. This bill will lead more to disunion than to union. The other day one of the former French premiers said you never knew when Great Britain could speak, because she was bound by the dominions. If we are to take the word of the hon. gentleman to-day, the dominions are nothing but a drag on the mother country, and if his view is correct, the sooner Canada gets out of the British empire, the better it will be for all concerned. This former premier of France said it was impossible to make any treaty with Great Britain because she could not speak with one voice, and that is the sort of thing which has been fatal to our country; that is the result of separatism all along the line, so fatal in peace and disastrous in war. The hon. gentleman wants to go further and abolish appeals to the privy council, and that is just another step towards putting Canada entirely outside the empire. The bill says, "it is expedient." With the situation that exists in Europe to-day, is it expedient that we should sit here and throw to the four winds of heaven everything that was said yesterday and to-day in regard to helping the mother country in regard to foreign affairs in time of war? I say it is not.

Further, Mr. Speaker, I say this bill cannot be passed by parliament without the consent of the provinces. The four provinces that originally entered confederation came in under a contract, and that contract cannot be changed by a separatist bill such as this without their consent. That was laid down in a text-book on the Statute of Westminster and Dominion Status by K. C. Wheare, Oxford Press, 1938, where at page 177 it is stated:

The fundamental fact in the case of the Dominion of Canada was that it was a federation.

At pages 183 and 184 it is stated that Mr. Ferguson, former premier of Ontario, presented

fMr, Church.]

a memorandum "that no restatement of the procedure for amending the constitution of Canada can be accepted" without Ontario's consent. He objected to the statute of Westminster and contended that legally there was no power to change the original contract in relation to the statute of Westminster. Ontario is a British province, and the other day the legislature of Ontario spoke for the people of this province. I believe it spoke also for many of the people of Quebec. We are part and parcel of the British empire; the four provinces that came into confederation did so as partners of Great Britain, and that situation cannot be changed without the consent of the people of the four original provinces.

Then the bill goes on to say that the status of Canada in time of war should be made clear. Well, if war comes in this country we shall have nothing with which to defend ourselves. The hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) addressed two or three meetings in Toronto during the past year. He is an isolationist also. If he had his way I believe we would be out of the British empire altogether, and if that is the policy of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, the sooner it is known the better. No doubt this bill would please some of the glorious company of professors and some of the goodly fellowship of cabinet ministers, who have a different policy for each province; it may please some of the noble army of royal commissions and some of the favourites of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation among the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation party and other groups, who can speak over the radio along this line with no opposition at all. But let me say this parliament has no mandate from the people to pass a bill of this kind. I believe the people should vote on this measure, and the question is whether or not we are willing to trust the people and give them the right to decide this matter at a general election. The hon. gentleman who introduced this bill, and others who support this separatist policy, have been wrong before. They relied on the League of Nations, now in ruins. We were told that if we belonged to the league, because of the league we would see war no more. They were wrong then as they are now.

I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, very much because I think you have always given both sides a fair show in regard to all these matters. You have had a very difficult and trying task in holding an even balance, but

Foreign Policy-Mr. Coldwell

I think you have done your utmost to see that goodwill and fair play will prevail in these important discussions. Now, however, we have debated this matter for two days and we are no clearer than we were before as to the position of Canada, in regard to foreign affairs. Yesterday also I paid tribute to your race for what they have done for Canada.

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
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE


The house resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Dunning for committee of supply.


CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Mr. Speaker, the next blow at the League of Nations policy came with the failure of the disarmament conference which met in February, 1932. The representatives of the national government did little to ensure the success of that conference. For example, in the House of Lords in May 22, 1935, Lord Londonderry said:

In 1932, the disarmament conference assembled and almost its earliest discussions were centered around the possibility of the total abolition of air forces or at least of the abolition of the artillery of the air, the bombing aeroplane, which is the _ weapon which is the distinctive arm of the air force and to which it owes its separate existence. Through that period, difficult for any air minister and particularly for one -who, like myself, has always been convinced of the prime importance of the maintenance of an effective air arm to the security of all this country, I kept impressing upon my colleagues and upon the country generally the vital nature and place of the Royal Air Force in the scheme of our defences.

I ask hon. members to note these words:

I had the utmost difficulty at that time, amid the public outcry, in preserving the use of the bombing airplane even on the frontiers of the middle east and India.

To-day the fear of the bombing plane makes London, and perhaps Londonderry shudder. The disarmament conference failed in spite of the fact that the United States actually offered to enter into an agreement for consultation with the league assembly on the basis of the Kellogg pact or any other common treaty in case of a threat to peace. They offered not to obstruct the application of economic sanctions against any nation which they agreed also was the aggressor. An agreement of this type would have stopped Japanese aggression and probably prevented the series of events and crises which have followed. Collective security was given another bitter blow.

Then came the rise of Hitler. I am not going to recount to-night the causes of that rise because they are generally known. May I say that they date to some extent from some of the injustices of the treaty of Versailles. But his rise was encouraged by powerful interests both within and without Germany. Indeed, his rise was welcomed in certain quarters by reactionary forces who regarded Hitler as a buttress against leftist movements in Europe. Germany's rearmament was a violation of the treaty, but it was condoned. I should like to quote the words of Sir Arthur Balfour, chairman and managing director of the Capital Steel Works, Sheffield, as reported on October 24, 1933. He said:

One of the greatest menaces to peace in Europe to-day is the totally unarmed condition of Germany.

Mr. Lloyd George said something of a similar nature about the same time. In 1935 there was reached with Hitler a naval agreement, which was a bilateral breach, on the part of Germany and the national government of Britain, of the same treaty. We well remember how France criticized that naval agreement. In 1935 Mussolini seized Ethiopia in violation of the covenant of the league, and Abyssinia's appeal to the league was disregarded. Again aggression paid. In my opinion, the result of Abyssinia was the destruction of the league, the formation of the Rome-Berlin axis, the remilitarization of the Rhineland and the subsequent fascist aggression in Spain. It seems to me that if at any point the great powers had been faithful to the league, economic pressure might have stopped the development of the stituation which has brought us to the pass in which we find ourselves to-day.

The story of Spain is, I submit, a striking confirmation of the viewpoint that the fear by the vested interests in the European countries of a people's movement is greater than the fear of fascism. Under article 10 of the league covenant, which pledged members of the league to preserve against external aggression the territorial integrity and political independence of league members, it was the duty of all members of the league to supply the duly elected and legitimate government of Spain with all that was needed to put an end to foreign aggression. In December, 1936, the council of the league declared that any foreign intervention in Spain was contrary to international law and to article 10 of the covenant of the league. In spite of this a policy of non-intervention was followed by the democratic powers, with the result that the Spanish government has now been forced to capitu-

Foreign Policy-Mr. Coldwell

late to Franco and Spain is now in the hands of puppets who wished to destroy democracy in Spain and throughout Europe. Before the league assembly in September, 1936, Mr. Eden confessed that the British government did not believe in intervening in ideological conflicts such as that which was occurring in Spain. Contrast that with the statement made by Sir Samuel Hoare in the British House of Commons on November 5, 1919, when he said:

I believe that a policy of no intervention is in principle a negation of everything that the League of Nations stands for. I believe that if the League of Nations is to develop and be a force in the world it will have to take sides between what it believes to be good and what it believes to be bad; and I believe that if ... it stood aside and allowed it to be thought that there was no difference between one faction and another faction in Russia, it would be doomed- ... to sterility. ... I do not believe that a policy of no intervention is possible.

That is what Sir Samuel Hoare said in regard to what might be termed an ideoligical conflict. Members of the old school of British imperialism like Churchill realized that a victory for the fascists would turn the Mediterranean into an Italian lake. Hence their opposition to Mr. Chamberlain's policy. Today we are faced with the strange phenomenon of people who are as far apart as the poles uniting more or less in criticism of that policy. To-day the threat that they feared has become a reality and General Franco controls Spain instead of the government which, on February 16, 1937, offered to enter into an agreement with the British and French governments giving them the use of Spain's ports and airdromes and allowing the transit of French troops in case of war. To-day France has a hostile force along her Spanish boundary.

A year ago Austria was allowed to pass into the hands of Hitler, and last September the eastern citadel of democracy in central Europe, Czechoslovakia, was sacrificed. I am going to state that I believe that at any time strict adherence to the league covenant would have stopped aggression and prevented war. Instead, we now have Hitler, Mussolini and Japan attempting to rule the world by force. If I judge the situation aright from some of the speeches that have been made in this house, we are going to forget all about these things and perhaps participate in war in the defence of Poland. Last September the league was in session, but Mr. Chamberlain chose to ignore it and endeavoured to achieve a four-power agreement instead. The Prime Minister of Canada called that "mediation" yesterday. Mediation between whom? The

nation most concerned, Czechoslovakia, was never present at the conference. The only mediation that took place was a discussion between those who were going to destroy her. Mr. Chamberlain was successful in bringing the four powers together and arranging the Munich agreement under which it was agreed that the Sudeten region should pass into the hands of Hitler. In reporting to parliament on October 6-I have the British Hansard on my desk.-Mr. Chamberlain stated that Czechoslovakia had her boundaries guaranteed by Britain and France and thus was in a more satisfactory position than before.

A refusal at Munich to bow to the will of Hitler might have resulted in war, although this would seem to be unlikely since Hitler's chief of general staff and some of the high-ranking general officers were relieved of their commands subsequently because, it is said, they disagreed with the policy then pursued by Hitler. I believe, on the other hand, that had the League of Nations then in session been called upon to adjudicate, to marshal world opinion, that world opinion would have been sufficiently strong to prevent the aggression which was then contemplated. Someone may say "no" to that statement. May I say that the course followed resulted in the handing over to Hitler of one of the most highly fortified regions in Europe in the Sudeten mountains, and subsequently in enabling him to take over one of the greatest munitions factories in the world and large quantities of war equipment, aeroplanes and materials, and as a result to-day the democratic powers, if you call them such, are in a more parlous state than they were in last September.

The sequel to all this occurred as recently as the fifteenth day of this month, when suddenly, in violation of every promise, the remainder of Czechoslovakia was seized. The point I am making is this, that the desertion of the principle of collective security all through these years by the government now in power in Great Britain among others has resulted in placing under Hitler Czechoslovakia with its fortifications, war materials and equipment, and the great Skoda munition factory. Since then, Mussolini has made some demands on France, and we have witnessed the smaller nations of Europe, such as Hungary, Roumania and others, running like frightened chicken to the shelter of the dictators.

My criticism of our own government is this, that to this policy throughout these years Canada has been a silent partner. We have just heard this evening discussion on a bill which is designed, not to declare neutrality

Foreign Policy-Mr. Coldwell

by Canada, but to give Canada freedom of choice; and the series of events which I have recounted this evening makes it abundantly clear that we cannot risk the welfare of this country or of the people who inhabit it to governments over which we have no control, and who may follow policies which are against the best interests not only of Canada, not only of the British empire, but of the entire world.

Then, of course, at the conclusion of the ivents of last September we had the laudatory wire which the Prime Minister of Canada (Mr. Mackenzie King) sent to Mr. Chamberlain congratulating him upon his achievement.

The group with which I have the honour to be associated in this house has endeavoured again and again to warn this country against the danger of following blindly the foreign policy personified by Mr. Chamberlain. We have demanded that before we be called upon to vote money for armaments, we should know the policy which made those armaments necessary. Year after year we have stated that from our places here and asked for a direct statement regarding foreign policy. On April 1 of last year I myself said, as reported at page 1935 of Hansard:

I think it is my duty to urge that we tell them-

That is the people of Great Britain.

-in no uncertain terms, that w'e shall not stand for the type of policy which has been pursued and rvhich I believe will eventually bring about the loss of democracy throughout a large part of the world. For these policies we in Canada must assume no responsibility. However, due to the breakdown of the League of Nations, we are compelled to consider some measures of defensive rearmament. To that, in so far as they are defensive, we in this group offer no objection; for the international scene has changed and for the worse since last year.

I said then it seemed to me that the nations were faced with two alternatives, either for members of the league to go to Geneva and declare that they would use every means in their power to resist aggression against Czechoslovakia or any of the smaller nations so threatened, or else drift steadily to war. Then, as now, I believed that the only way out is the marshaling of world opinion in defence of our democratic institutions. I did not believe then, and I do not believe now, that such action would have led to war. Such action, however, was not taken, and to-day huge sums are being spent in Canada and in every other country to prepare for war-war in Europe, and a war with the southeastern bastions of democracy already fallen into the hands of Hitler.

The recent history of world events has shown that the foreign policy of the British national government which Canada follows is based purely upon the preservation of the economic interests of the powerful group which controls the British government, in the event of such a policy resulting in war, I contend that Canada should have the right to decide what she will do.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

We have that now.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

The hon. member says that we have that right, but the weight of constitutional opinion is, I believe, against him.

It seems to me that the first requisite for our assistance should be the rebuilding of the League of Nations, based upon social and economic justice, and capable of guaranteeing the security of states that were loyal to their obligations as members of the league. This demands an immediate world conference to which, in my ooinion, the United States -yes, and even the fascist powers-should be invited. Other objects should be (1) the establishment of a court of international justice or the reestablishment of the international court of justice to settle the outstanding difficulties that confront the nations of the world; for I recognize that the have-not nations, as we call them, have some legitimate grievances, and that makes our position rather more difficult than it might otherwise have been; and (2) collective disarmament, and the establishment of an international police force to maintain order.

It will be argued, of course, that under present world conditions such proposals are purely idealistic, but what alternative is there? I believe that if the moral and peaceful forces of the world decided jointly to outlaw aggressor states, they could be brought to their senses still, by economic pressure. Some will say that this would involve suffering on the part of masses of the people in the aggressor countries, but such suffering would be negligible in comparison with the terrors of war.

Canada, as a small north American nation connected with the league, could do much to bring this about by indicating our stand clearly to the British people. They must be made to realize that unless and until they choose a government which is loyal to democratic principles and social justice, this country will not allow itself to be embroiled in a war fought to defend great economic interests. In any event they should be told that in the event of any war Canada's maximum contri-

Foreign Policy-Mr. Coldwell

bution would be the supplying of foodstuffs and material, and that, as has already been indicated, under no circumstances would conscription be instituted to provide an expeditionary force overseas.

Events have shown conclusively that the present government of Great Britain will not take a stand for democracy, but will take some stand only when their own particular interests are involved or threatened. They hoped throughout the years to compromise with the fascist powers. They now recognize they have failed, and so to-night war is being considered as a possibility. The irony of it all is this, that to-day, according to the papers, the British government has entered into an agreement with France for the defence or the guaranteeing of the boundaries of Poland-Poland, which six months ago was one of the nations that sought to partition Czechoslovakia, and which, moreover, is not democratic like Czechoslovakia was, but is under one of the worst dictatorships in Europe, and has been so since almost the close of the world war. It is futile, it seems to me, even to hope that a war conducted by the gentlemen who control British and French policy today will serve the cause of the common people. The first requisite, if we are to have any confidence in what they are about to do, is the establishment of governments which place first in their domestic and international policies the ideals of social and economic justice.

The Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) in his able speech this afternoon referred to the League of Nations, and added that we should do our bit to see that no great war takes place. I agree with him. It was that thought which provoked us some ten days ago to do our bit to prevent the developing situation by suggesting a meeting of the League of Nations to which the United States and the fascist states might be invited. We must revive collective security some time; for without it there can be no security for any nation, particularly small nations. We must banish from the earth those powerful economic and social interests and their political representatives that have temporarily destroyed collective security. The danger which confronts us now is that we shall face a war actively led by those who have betrayed and destroyed democracy and collective security because of what they believed to be their economic or their class interests. We should make it abundantly clear that we demand the reestablishment of democracy and of a collective peace system, not a collective war service; The first step must be that the British and French peoples clean their

houses of those who have destroyed their faith in both democracy and collective security. Then, I submit, and then only should we be prepared to lend our assistance in the prosecution of a struggle; for without such an assurance we should find ourselves more securely chained to the wheels of a victorious plutocracy, because I believe that when war comes, democracy goes out.

I agree with the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Thorson) when he said to-night that the most sacred duty of a leader to his people is the safeguarding of his nation against war. I agree, and because I agree I want to say to this house this evening that the desertion of the ideals of collective security and of peace has brought us to-night to the very brink of war. We should not sacrifice our boys as a living and a lively sacrifice to the interests of a group which has placed its interest above those of the security and the peace of mankind.

Before I sit down I should like to ask the Prime Minister a question. In to-day's papers we are told that the Canadian high commissioner in London, Mr. Massey, in common with the other dominion high commissioners, has been consulted regarding the international situation. In view of the reported guarantee to Poland, and the definite statement made by the Prime Minister yesterday, as reported at page 2418 of Hansard:

Speaking as the Prime Minister of Canada, I wish to say that I am not prepared any more than is the prime minister of Great Britain to engage this country by new and unspecified commitments operating under conditions which cannot now be foreseen.

As the Prime Minister of Great Britain has since yesterday, it would appear from the dispatches and from the press report of his owm speech, given certain commitments; as the high commissioners of the dominion have been consulted, and as Mr. Massey's name has been mentioned in connection with these consultations, I would therefore ask the Prime Minister in view of the gravity of the situation if he cares to say anything regarding these reports.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Answering my hon. friend, I would say that the word "consultation" as used in the dispatch is not, I think, correct. The high commissioner for Canada was called in with other high commissioners to meet the Secretary of State for the Dominions, who, I understand, gave information to the high commissioners of a character similar to the information which was given in dispatches to the government here.

Foreign Policy-Mr. Cahan

But it was information, it was not consultation, as we understand those words. I might say to my hon. friend and to the house that at eight o'clock last evening, just before coming into the house, I received word in a dispatch that the British government were then considering issuing a statement to-day and that we would be advised of the statement. as soon as it was ready to be issued. I received this morning word of the statement. It came in the form of the statement as actually made in the British House of Commons by the Prime Minister.

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. C. H. CAHAN (St. Lawrence-St. George):

Mr. Speaker, I did not intend to enter upon any lengthy discussion of the issues which have arisen in connection with this debate, because I thought that my own views had been so repeatedly expressed that it was now unnecessary. But certain issues have arisen which. I think, call for a restatement of those views. I regard this debate as one of the most momentous I have attended in recent years in the House of Commons, because here we are laying down for the guidance of the government-this government and future governments-the fundamental principles on which the commonwealth of nations is founded and in accordance with which there must be cooperative action between Canada, the United Kingdom and the sister dominions.

The British North America Act recites that Canada is a dominion under the crown of the United Kingdom. That, is the fundamental basis upon which the Dominion of Canada is established. The oath of allegiance which had been administered in Canada until May 16, 1934, was as follows:

I, A.B., do sincerely promise and swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King George V (or reigning sovereign for the time being) as lawful sovereign of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, of the British possessions beyond the seas, and of this Dominion of Canada, dependent on and belonging to the said kingdom.

That last phrase did not seem to me to be consistent with the status of Canada as a member of the British commonwealth of nations. I therefore introduced in the session of 1934 a bill which was passed unanimously amending that oath of allegiance to read as follows:

I, A.B., do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to King George V, his heirs and successors according to the law.

The phrase in the former oath of allegiance, that " this Dominion of Canada belongs to the United Kingdom," was left out because

it seemed to me to be inconsistent with our present status. The crown under which Canada exists as a dominion, so far as we are concerned, seems to me undoubtedly to be now one and indivisible as it was when the British North America Act was first enacted in 1867. The crown is as indivisible as the person of the king is indivisible. When a state of war exists between the crown and any country whatever, then Canada is at war and cannot legally be neutral. That is my firm conviction. A declaration by the parliament of Canada of neutrality in any war in which the crown is involved is a declaration of Canada's repudiation of the crown and a declaration of Canada's secession from the British commonwealth and from the empire. A declaration of neutrality is not a declaration of a legal right but a political declaration of vast import to Canada and to the other dominions.

This Canadian parliament may, if it will, make such a declaration, but such a declaration if made will be a repudiation of our oaths of allegiance and a declaration of the severance of Canada's political association with the other British dominions. If and when such a declaration is attempted, its real import will certainly be brought home to the hearts and minds of the Canadian people, and no member of this parliament can have any doubt as to the verdict which the vast majority of the Canadian people will render thereon.

Canada has certain responsibilities to the crown, to the United Kingdom and to all other dominions under the crown, which responsibilities were in part expressed by a resolution of the imperial conference of 1923, which was approved by the government of Canada, which t'he parliament of Canada supported, and to which it subscribed at the time. That resolution contains the following:

1. The conference affirms that it is necessary to provide for the adequate defence of the territories and trade of the several countries comprising the British empire.

And then for the defence of the countries comprising the British empire the imperial conference of 1923 laid down the following as guiding principles:

(a) The primary responsibility of each portion of the empire represented at the conference for its own local defence.

(b) Adequate provision for safeguarding the maritime communications of the several parts of the empire and the routes^ and waterways along and through which their armed forces and trade pass.

(c) The provision of naval bases, and facilities for repair and fuel so as to ensure the mobility of the fleets.

Foreign Policy-Mr. Cahan

(d) The desirability of the maintenance of a minimum standard of naval strength, namely, equality with the naval strength of any foreign power in accordance with the provisions of the Washington treaty on limitation of armaments as approved by Great Britain, all the self-governing dominions and India.

Canada was represented at Washington in the negotiation of the Washington treaty, and that treaty was signed by an official representative of this dominion. Hon. members will note the various responsibilities: Adequate provision for safeguarding the maritime communications of the several parts of the empire; the safeguarding of routes and waterways along and through which armed forces and trade pass; the provision of naval bases and facilities for repair and fuel so as to ensure the mobility of the fleet; and the desirability of the maintenance of a minimum standard of naval strength in accordance with the provisions of the Washington treaty on limitation of armaments.

At the imperial conference of 1926 the resolutions of the conference of 1923, from which I have quoted, were affirmed by the following resolution:

1. The resolutions on defence adopted at the last session of the conference are reaffirmed.

That is a reaffirmation of the resolutions of the conference of 1923. The report of the imperial conference, which this parliament subsequently recognized as a charter of the liberties of the dominions, contained the oft-quoted declaration that the dominions 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.

And that report of 1926 also declares:

Though every dominion is now, and must always remain, the sole judge of the nature and extent of its cooperation, no common cause will, in our opinion, be thereby imperilled.

That statement was made by Canada's representatives in conjunction with the representatives of all the other dominions who w-ere assembled at the conference of 1926. Those resolutions and those declarations, in which Canada participated, imply not only the solidarity of the British empire but also the moral responsibility of each and every dominion to make every reasonable effort within its power and resources in order to maintain not only its own defences but also to cooperate with the other dominions in the defence of their common interests.

The declarations of successive imperial conferences, to which successive governments of Canada have been a party, necessitate our

due appreciation of the fact that many of these intricate questions of inter-imperial relationship have been left, as they have been left ever since the Dominion of Canada was formed, to the consideration of the governments and parliaments of the respective dominions as and when particular events may arise demanding discussion and decision. I am of the opinion, which I have frequently expressed, that we shall best preserve the unity of the empire, shall best carry out the covenants implied in those declarations, by so dealing with events as they arise, and then by consultation, with goodwill, being ever anxious to conciliate and adopt as far as we may the views of the other sister dominions and of the United Kingdom, but ever persistently seeking to preserve the unity of the British empire of which we form a part, and upon which the well-being of this world for many years to come must largely depend.

In the meantime we must ever remember that the very existence of Canada as a political entity depends upon keeping inviolate not only our inter-imperial conventions but also the understandings and conventions embodied in our own constitution with respect to the rights and interests of certain racial and religious minorities, and with respect to the constitutional rights and interests of the several provinces of Canada. These understandings and conventions must be maintained in order that we may preserve the political entity as well as the political unity of our country. If we deliberately repudiate them, Canada will be disrupted and political chaos will undoubtedly ensue.

It is with these contingencies that we are now brought face to face. So far as I am concerned I believe that Canada is morally bound to fulfil her obligations and duties under those conventions, which were undoubtedly the fundamental compact upon ' which certain rights and liberties were vouchsafed to us by the conference of 1926 and by the statute of Westminster in 1931, that carried these conventions and understandings into legal effect.

At the present time, believing as I do that my oath of allegiance to the crown, that my fulfilment of the duties and responsibilities which Canada has definitely undertaken, depend upon Canada cooperating with the other portions of the empire, not only in the defence of our own country but in the effective defence of cur ports and harbours and the effective defence of the common interests which we all have as members of the British commonwealth, I cannot support any departure which implies that Canada is going to

Foreign Policy-Mr. Cahan

assume a neutral position in a war between Great Britain and any other country. Therefore I entirely agree with the statements made this afternoon by the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) so far as I understood them from his oral utterances, as to the impossibility of Canada deliberately adopting a status of neutrality in any war in which the United Kingdom is engaged, without at the same time severing our connection with the United Kingdom and forswearing our allegiance to the crown.

The occurrence of this debate seems to me to be a very solemn occasion. We are going to the very fundamentals not only of Canada's constitution but of the constitution of the empire, of which we form a part. Therefore my own position is clear. I cannot add very much to what I have said. I am an imperialist, the papers say; and, in the sense in which I have stated the case, I am. I am absolutely in favour of carrying out to the extent of our ability the solemn engagements into which our government has entered with the other governments of the commonwealth. And when there is a state of war existing between the crown and any foreign nation, with all the energy and all the faculties I possess I will support the crown. Questions may arise as to the extent to which the governments of the dominions should be consulted. Personally I should like to see a somewhat closer consultation than perhaps has been carried on by this government or even by its predecessor. I believe that our very existence as a dominion depends upon close cooperation, which must be founded upon consultation, frequent consultation, as well as upon the official information received from time to time with respect to the development of international affairs.

Therefore as far as I am concerned I stand by and support the attitude taken this afternoon by the Minister of Justice. I could go on and say many things in support of his suggestion that at the time of the outbreak of the last war the province of Quebec and the people of the Freneh-Canadian race were placed in a very difficult position indeed. But I could write a volume to show, I think, that the great body of sentiment in that province was in favour of cooperation ; but it resisted coercion at a time when coercion was not necessary.

I saw many pathetic instances, of which perhaps I may be permitted to relate one. My own boy had his spine shattered by an explosive shell at Courcellette, and I went to see him. He said, " Father, I wish you would go and see another boy from Canada who is in the next room." They were in a part of

the hospital reserved for young officers. I went into the next room and met a young Freneh-Canadian who spoke English with difficulty; but when I told him I was from Canada and that I was the father of the young man in the next room he was very glad indeed to see me. His father called upon me subsequently in Canada to thank me for having visited the lad. I said to the young man,

" My dear boy, how did you come into this fight?" " Well," he said, " my father is in charge of a lighthouse on the coast of Quebec. Father is a stern man, and when the war broke out and I saw how things were progressing I wanted to enlist voluntarily, but I did not like to bring this up in conversation with father. So I went to the mainland and interviewed the parish priest, and asked him to consult with my father and to recommend that I be allowed to enlist. But the parish priest told me it was not a matter in which he should interfere, that it was something which should be settled between my father and myself." Then he went on, " That night-it was in October-sitting before an open grate fire in the lighthouse building I told him what I thought I ought to do." The young man said the tears came into his father's eyes and ran down his cheeks. He was of the old Norman stock, and he said, " Thank God, my son, that you have decided to do this v oluntarily. I have been anxious that you should make that decision, but I would not place myself in the position of seeming to influence or coerce you to do so." So the boy said, " I went and enlisted in the ranks." At the time he was wounded he had risen to be a lieutenant.

As an English-speaking Canadian, of English descent, few men know certain parts of Quebec better than I do. I know, for instance, that in a certain Laurentian village seven or eight boys got together and decided to enlist, which they did after obtaining the consent of their parents. They came to Montreal and enlisted, and were all put in a regiment in which not a single officer spoke the French language, while none of these boys spoke English except to an extremely limited extent. So they were drilled and kicked and cuffed about until finally they were sent to Valcartier. Again at Valcartier these young men, some of the finest ever produced by the Norman race in Canada, simply because they did not speak English fluently, were kicked and cuffed about in another English regiment, until finally they were all sent back to the village from which they came, with a certificate stating that they were so stupid they could not understand the drill. So we lost six or eight men who would have been among the most splendid volunteers we could

Foreign Policy-Mr. Cahan

have had for service in a country like France. I know one of my own boys, who was brought up to speak French fairly well, told me that he was up at the front arranging for quarters for his regiment, and when some of the women in the homes, just behind the front lines, found a boy from Canada who could speak French, they put their arms round him, kissed him on both cheeks and said, "Thank God you have come. We have suffered so much and waited so long."

That, after all, is the spirit of the French people; but you must treat them with the consideration, respect and esteem which they deserve and which we often fail to give. If that is done, and it comes to another great conflict, if it comes under this government I am sure other methods, more conciliatory, will be followed; and if they are followed, you will find the young men of the French-Canadian race-I know them better in the country districts, perhaps, than in the cities -ready and anxious to play their part and do their share of sendee alongside their Canadian fellow subjects. Coercion will not be necessary in Quebec if you exercise conciliation and respect the mentality and traditions of the great people who founded that race, particularly-and I hope this will not be offensive to any person-those of the Norman race to which so many of us actually belong. I can make that statement with some pride, because my grandmother on one side came from the Huguenots and had strong French sympathies.

This great decision, if it has to be made, may have to be made suddenly. If so, the whole matter of Canada's active participation in war must be decided by the Canadian parliament and, through parliament, by the Canadian people. But if that issue is raised, if my fellow Canadians in the province of Quebec realize that the question of neutrality involves the severance of Canada from the British empire and from the British crown, I have no doubt as to the decision that the thoughtful people will make.

I sometimes talk to the leading clergy of Quebec and to those men who lead public opinion on various sides of politics in Quebec, and I am persuaded that the thoughtful and intelligent men of that province believe that the preservation of those religious and racial rights, which they hold sacred, depends upon Canada remaining a part of the British empire, because in no other state in Europe or in America is there the same freedom of religious opinion and of religious worship as is to be found throughout the British empire under the crown.

[Mr Cahan.]

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LIB

Arthur-Joseph Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. A. J. LAPOINTE (Matapedia-Matane):

Mr. Speaker, I have often had occasion to address this house in French, but because of a wish expressed by some of my Englishspeaking colleagues, I desire at this time to express myself in their language. We are living through a period filled with worry and anguish. It is perhaps more troublous than any the world has ever before seen. The peoples of the world seem to be expecting some terrible catastrophe. Nothing will serve as a clearer indication of the nervousness of the individual than the avidity with which everyone reads the newspapers. Motor car accidents and tragedies of all sorts daily cost the lives of hundreds of people, yet they are passed over as simple news items. The dangerous events taking place in Europe, the international situation and the threat of a conflict which might spread to the four corners of the universe, bringing about the ruin of our civilization, are the subjects which captivate our attention. Indeed, when one considers the almost diabolic ardour with which certain nations, especially during the last few years, have bent their efforts toward perfecting engines of destruction, it is natural to fear that the next conflict may be even more murderous than one can imagine.

The world has not yet ceased to suffer from the wounds inflicted during the conflict which started in 1914. Already certain madmen, swollen with pride, are ready to assume before history the responsibility of a crime as monstrous as war. It is barely twenty years since the signing of the armistice ended the horrible tragedy which accumulated such heaps of ruins during the four years which it lasted. Can we possibly have forgotten the price we paid in bitterness, suffering and human life? To-day we stand once more on the brink of the abyss, the terrible lesson having taught us nothing. What causes brought about such a situation? The first is the fact that at the end of the last war the peace was ill prepared. Those who drafted the treaties, instead of drawing their inspiration from principles of charity and justice allowed themselves to be mastered by a spirit of rancour, selfishness and greed. If the same real Christian sense which once inspired such high ideals among the nations had governed the redrawing of the map of the world, we would not have to face to-day such an alarming state of affairs. But the statesmen who gathered at Versailles thought they alone could settle the arduous problems which they had to solve in order to lay the foundations of a lasting peace. In their pride they refused to

Foreign Policy-Mr. Lapointe (Matapedia)

listen to the voice of that other great apostle of peace, Benedict XV, who then reigned in Rome. Hence our situation to-day.

For years certain countries in Europe have done all in their power to destroy religion, and we see the results to-day. Precepts of hatred have replaced those precepts of love which were brought to this earth twenty centuries ago by the Divine One who said: "Love ye one another." That is why the progress ox science, instead of serving to relieve suffering humanity, prepares rather for its destruction. Yet do we not thirst for peace? The modest artisan, the business man, the ordinary citizen, whatever may be his station in life- all of us want only to pursue the peaceful tenor of our ways. To-day the world is in such a state that a few tyrants, whose people have provided them with infinite power, have succeeded in making the whole universe stand in fear, notwithstanding the general desire for peace.

Now. Mr. Speaker, what will be Canada's attitude in the nearing conflict if Great Britain is drawn in? I say that our strict duty is to remain out of it unless Canada is attacked or directly menaced. We have no right to repeat the sad experiment of 1914. We have no right to sacrifice our young people and lead our country to the brink of ruin in order to defend the cause of certain European countries. We must think of Canada first, as the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) said yesterday and the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) said to-day. If in the past Canada contracted any debts toward certain European countries, we have repaid them largely. If we are asked to show receipts we can point to the 60.000 Canadian soldiers who are sleeping their last sleep overseas. Our own difficulties are quite sufficiently hard to solve. The inheritance of taxation which we have because of our participation in the last conflict is already too great a burden on the shoulders of our Canadian people. After twenty years we have not yet even succeeded in discharging the undertakings of the then leader of the government on behalf of our returned soldiers. Yet I know we still have in this country a certain number of imperialistic extremists who would stop at nothing to launch Canada into the same sort of tragic adventure of which we all have such sad recollections.

May I be permitted to quote the words of Sir Robert Borden, former Prime Minister of Canada, spoken to the members of the Canadian expeditionary forces in 1917, and to be found in the February, 1939, Trafalgar

House News, the official organ of the Ottawa branch, British empire service league. He said:

You are men actually facing the enemy day and night. You are suffering greatly from fatigue, overstrain and lack of rest. The marvel of it is that men could undergo such a strain without breaking; but you have never yet broken, and history will appreciate that in days to come.

You men are about to enter one of the most serious engagements that ever faced the Canadian corps. I cannot, at this moment, give any information as to where this attack will be staged; whether it be successful or not, it is to be borne in mind that it will not be an easy success. ... We feel confident that you will succeed where others failed for you have never yet failed in anything you have set your hand to, as a Canadian corps.

You can go into this action feeling assured of this, and as the head of the government, I give you this assurance, that you need have no fear that the government and the country will fail to show just appreciation of your service to the country and empire in what you are about to do, and what you have already done.

The government and the country will consider it their first duty to see that a proper appreciation of your effort and of your courage is brought to the notice of the people at home, and it will always be our endeavour to so guide the attitude of public opinion that the country will support the government to prove to the returned man its just and due appreciation of the inestimable value of the services rendered to the country and empire; and that no man, whether he goes back or whether he remains in Flanders, will have just cause to reproach the government for having broken with the men who won and the men who died.

Notwithstanding this solemn engagement, a great many veterans, affected by their war service but unable to establish claims to pension or compensation, wander to-day through the streets of our cities and towns, dragging out their broken, handicapped lives, . and the government can find no way of helping them.

I have often been shocked at hearing most unpleasant remarks made about these men, that they are lazy, heartless, that they do not want to earn their own living. No doubt, Mr. Speaker, some of them are less worthy of sympathy than others, but I know that for many of them war broke the mainspring of their will power. They saw their courage and the last ounce of their energy gone under nights of terrifying bombardments, and I pity such men with all my heart because I understand.

Like many of my hon. colleagues in this house, I, too, saw war service, not as a general, [DOT] not as an officer, but as a full private. So I think I know something of what war is. I know the meaning of that tragic word.

I hold in my hand the shoulder-strap of a captured German soldier. This bit of cloth,

2500 COMMONS

Foreign Policy-Mr. Lapointe (Matapedia)

which once belonged to a soldier of the 4th Bavarian regiment-his division I forget- brings back to me tragic recollections which will never be effaced from my memory. It reminds me of the hardships I endured, of all the horrors of war. It reminds me of my poor comrades-in-arms dying in the mud after most horrible agony. It reminds me also of the day when for the first time I aimed my rifle at the enemy.

It was at the battle of Hill 70, on August 15, 1917, and I was in the first assaulting wave. At a certain moment I had a man's life at my mercy at the end of my rifle. I took aim, but did not fire immediately. At the risk of having some of my colleagues consider me lacking in courage, I confess that, before firing, I let such thoughts as these run through my mind: This man has probably not wanted war but has been drawn into it by the force of events. Like me surely he wants to live. He also has dear ones at home awaiting his return, and here am I going to make orphans of them.

I remember, Mr. Speaker, that when I enlisted as a volunteer, Canada was calling on her sons to go to the defence of civilization and fight for the survival of democracy in a war to end war and bring everlasting peace to the world. That was less than a quarter of a century ago, and to-day the world is faced with a state of affairs the like of which we have never before seen. The world has gone mad, blinded Iby hatred, and is rushing to destruction. Is it possible that all the sufferings we endured and all the millions of lives that were sacrificed during the last conflict were in vain? It seems impossible to believe. Others may have forgotten, but I have not. That is why, even at the risk of causing scandal among some people who may be more attached to the empire than to Canada, I must state that I shall use my last ounce of strength and energy left me by war to fight against conscription in this country for outside wars. I am ready to-day to make every possible effort to prevent the participation of Canada in any outside war unless the future of our dominion is at stake. My reason for so doing is that I wish to save my compatriots, be they of French, English, or other descent, from the sad experience I myself underwent. But I must add that, if Canada were attacked, I should want to be the first to answer the . clarion call and shed the last drop of blood for my country.

I should like to recall the speech made by Archdeacon A. P. Gower Rees, general chaplain assistant of the British forces during the great war. At a banquet of the "6087 over-

seas association," given at the Windsor Hotel, Montreal, on November 11, 1938, to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the armistice, the archdeacon declared :

Anyone who states seriously that he would cheerfully go back to war deserves no better than a strait-jacket.

He added that he did not wish do see our young men die just when they were beginning to understand life.

The government is asking us this year to vote larger sums for national defence. But with the rapid and constant improvements that are being made in armaments throughout the world, we do not know what to-morrow will bring. I recognize the necessity for adequate protection of the life and property of our Canadian citizens.

I should like to recall the statement made by Major General Frank M. Andrews, chief of staff of military aviation in the United States, in St. Louis, Missouri, on January 17 last. He said:

In case of attack the main industrial centres and their civilian population could not be protected.

Major General Andrews made that statement before the annual conference of the national air association. He added:

The large American cities would present an easy mark for enemy airplanes from abroad if the government did not increase its national defence.

I have confidence in the Prime Minister and in all the members of his government. I am sure that if a crisis ever comes, they will not let themselves be guided by any imperialistic propaganda, but they will act first and above all in the best interests of Canada.

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LIB

Maurice Lalonde

Liberal

Mr. MAURICE LALONDE (Labelle) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, on November 11, 1918, in a railway carriage at the station of Rethondes, there was signed tha armistice which brought to an end the horrible massacres of the great war. William II's dream-which can be called a germanic megalomania and which sought to impose on a world which wanted to be free, the hegemony of iron and force-collapsed in an abyss of humiliation. Germany had to submit to the will of the victors.

Five treaties were signed which were to bring to the world the peace promised to men of good will-Versailles, St. Germain, Trianon, Neuilly and Lausanne. They were to guarantee peace for all time. Alas! they turned out to be pacts violated with impunity.

From the morrow of the armistice, German bad faith became evident. One of the signatories, General Winterfield, protested that the

Foreign Policy-Mr. Lalonde

allies had placed Germany in the impossibility of executing the terms of the armistice. Dr. Solf cried out against the inhumanity of the pact, and both these German leaders entreated the idealist Wilson to attenuate the rigours of the conditions of peace.

The three most ancient royal families of Europe disappeared

the Hapsburgs of Austria, the Hohenzollerns of Germany, the Wittels-bachs of Bavaria. There is therefore no reason to wonder at imprisoned Germany's tremendous reaction to the straight]'acket of Versailles. It is a historic truth that vanquished nations compressed within artificial walls always keep in their hearts desires of revenge. It is possible to vanquish a nation, but not to enslave it. In the words of Lord Asquith, "it was an unsavoury peace."

It was inevitable that Germany should embark upon a policy of territorial expansion, for history has ever shown that vanquished peoples go to the greatest heights of heroism to reconquer their lost liberties.

Victor Margueritte spoke the truth when he wrote:

Folly it was to expect to keep forever imprisoned a nation of 60 million inhabitants, a prolific and highly industrialized people whose energy in every field of thought and action continues to prove its vitality. Not content with condemning them without possibility of appeal for faults shared by all, with disarming them, depriving them of their navy and their colonies, the successors of Poincare, to whatever party they belonged, all, with the exception of Briand, pursued the same policy based on fear.

The natural result was the successive violation of all the peace treaties by a Germany which had recovered its powers of resistance. Of the whole structure of the treaty of Versailles, there now remain only the colonial clauses.

The Hoover moratorium of 1932 terminated the payment of reparations. In 1933, Germany withdrew from the League of Nations and the disarmament conference.

In March, 1935, Hitler inaugurated conscription despite the limitation of 100,000 men imposed on his army.

In July, 1935, the Anglo-German understanding abrogated the naval restrictions.

In March, 1936, German troops occupied the demilitarized zone of the Rhine.

In November, 1936, Germany regained its complete territorial sovereignty by denouncing the internationalisation of its rivers.

The territorial clauses have been in part annulled by the addition of the Saar Basin following the plebiscite of January, 1935, and by the absorption of Austria in March, 1938, shortly followed by the conquest of Memel.

In September of the same year, Germany reconquered a part of Czechoslovakia, and, a few months later, invaded another part in spite of the protests of stirred up democracies. The treaty of St. Germain, signed November 10, 1919, has also been violated. That treaty had given to Italy southern Tyrol and deprived Austria of three-quarters of its territory. However, in April, 1936, the clauses abolishing military conscription, limiting the strength of the Austrian army to 30,000 men and reducing armaments were repealed by a proclamation of the Austrian government itself.

Under the treaty of Trianon, signed June 4, 1920, the Hungarian population was reduced to 9 million people by the transfer of the greater part of its territory to the Little Entente. But, in August, 1936, the same process occurred again, Czechoslovakia, Jugoslavia and Rumania allowing Hungary to rearm intensively and to increase the strength of its armed forces.

Under the treaty of Neuilly, signed November 27, 1919, Bulgaria was deprived of an immense portion of its territory. But, in July, 1938, the Balkan coalition-Turkey, Greece, Jugo-Slavia and Rumania-agreed to the abolition of the military clauses of the treaty and allowed Bulgaria to rebuild its army and its strength.

On July 24, 1923, the treaty of Lausanne was signed, replacing the old treaty of Sevres, in order to confirm the partition of the territory of Turkey and the neutrality of the Dardanelles coasts.

In June, 1936, the eight powers who had signed the treaty allowed Turkey to remilitarize the Dardanelles, the Bosporus and the Black Sea.

On October 16, 1925, was signed the

Locarno pact, the most important of the three treaties signed by Belgium, France, Germany, England and Italy and which was supposed to give the world an everlasting peace. Alas! the hopes were short-lived, because Germany soon afterwards began to remilitarize the Rhine.

Will German ambition come to a stop? I do no think so. Denmark will soon be obliged to return Schleswig. Will Poland cede Dantzig, West Prussia and Pesnania, as well as the portions of Upper Silesia which were given to her? And, finally, will not the ferocious Hitler want to see the swastika wave over the churches and buildings of Alsace and Lorraine? Such is the distressful question, upon whose unpredictable solution depends the future of Europe, in fact of the world.

In their desire to establish an enduring peace, the countries of the world had founded the League of Nations. It was to be the

Foreign Policy-Mr. Lalonde

supreme umpire, the final tribunal where the nations, renouncing war, were to find oracles of peace and undertakings. Again we are forced to admit the league's total failure and incapacity to check the disastrous ambition of the vanquished of 1918. What have we left of the war? A frightful heritage of hatred and of unsatiated appetites, a disorganized international economy and a world threatened with dictatorial domination. A human peace was sought, based on pagan egoism and materialism. Christian charity was banished, and the governments of the world deliberately relegated to the confines of his retreat the sole depository of true peace- the bishop of Rome!

What is left of all these treaties? A collection of old rags dispersed by the winds of folly to the four corners of the world. In the face of the futile efforts of man to bring to the world a basis of true peace, we have every right to ask ourselves what advantages Canada has obtained from these adventures and what our future policy should be in international matters.

The only tangible results of the last war, so far as we are concerned, are the 60,000 Canadians left in French graves, the more than 100,000 war invalids at home, and a two billion dollar debt weighing heavily on the shoulders of the Canadian people.

It would be difficult to add anything to the statements made in the house by the right hon. leader of the government (Mr. Mackenzie King). I may be permitted, however, to enunciate a personal opinion. Canada's external policy cannot be that of a fully independent nation. The right hon. the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) has stated in the house that our independence was merely relative, and that the Statute of Westminster had not granted us full autonomy. I share that opinion.

Privy council appeals in civil matters, our own inability to amend our constitution, the presence in this country of a governor general delegated by London, our inability to declare war on our own behalf or to proclaim our independence, the unapparent but actual bondage of Canadian economy to foreign capital, the indestructible chain of racial feelings which bind our English-speaking fellow countrymen to their mother country-whose right and duty it is to go to her assistance if they so desire,- all these are as many ties which still unite us to Great Britain, as many obstacles in our path to full independence, and as many reasons which lead us to believe that perhaps circumstances will be more powerful than men and that in the national constitution of Canada there still linger a few vestiges of colonialism.

I have certainly no desire to belittle the magnificent efforts accomplished in the course of the last twenty years for the achievement of our national independence. I confess, however, to harbouring a doubt, and a very grave one, as to the exact scope of our present liberties and the extent of our sovereignty.

Should the matter of our country's participation in foreign wars be submitted to parliament, I am convinced that outside influence would be brought to bear on its decisions. The Canadianism of the members would be subjected to the assaults of imperialistic propaganda, and my only hope of seeing my country stay out of any external wars lies in the strict indefectibility of the people's representatives with regard to our Canadian ideals. And I am not ashamed to state that I shall be among those who will remain deaf to such an appeal.

The right hon. the Prime Minister cannot do otherwise but to proclaim the sovereignty of the parliament of Canada, sole judge in the end. Whether it be agreeable or not, let it be shouted from every house top, notwithstanding the denials of our opponents, and for the simple reason that our Constitution is so fashioned, that only the Canadian parliament shall decide on our participation in any foreign war.

Therefore, do I wish to advise my fellow compatriots that, although I stand opposed to Canada's participation in any foreign war and I am averse, as all Canadians should be, to seeing my country drawn into any conflict, I must admit that we shall inevitably be drawn into such a conflict if the parliament of Canada is controlled by a majority of members with imperialistic leanings. There only remains to our people the ultimate recourse of exercising their democratic rights in electing none but the men who pledge themselves to be Canadians first, and not imperialists. It would be ridiculous to demand clear cut declarations from the leader of the government. Were he to enlarge on his statement, I would not believe him.

However, our constitution provides a most effective means of ascertaining the views of our people, and that is a national referendum.

Mr. Speaker, I certainly do not claim that we should resort to tactics such as those that were used the last time conscription was enforced; what I have in mind is a genuine popular vote held under conditions of fairness. The government would then know the true feeling of -the people and we, as representatives of the several constituencies, would be in a position to know whether the Canadian people are still willing to participate in external wars.

Foreign Policy-Mr. Plaxton

Mr. Speaker, I for one still believe in Canadian unity. But I am wondering how my fellow French-Canadians could be blamed if, heeding the call of their origin and of their blood they fail to embrace fully the imperialistic doctrine, as some of our opponents claim they should do.

Conquests cannot sever racial ties, even through the course of generations. Mr. Speaker, French-Canadians have remained loyal subjects of the crown and they will uphold the membership of Canada in the British commonwealth of nations so long as our English speaking fellow citizens will continue to preserve the integrity of our catholic faith, of our French language and of our racial ideals.

I should like to illustrate my argument by quoting these words from Jules Gerbault:

"Does not history prove that for us the best and most appropriate way of serving the interests of humanity consists, above all, in being Catholics and Frenchmen?"

I fully acknowledge, Mr. Speaker, the present difficulties, but I believe that in the near future our country will attain complete autonomy, and absolute independence and so be able to declare its neutrality and to be master of its own national destinies. I cannot but appreciate the strong efforts made in this country to direct Canadian thought towards these ideals. Our rising generation sometimes breaks away from traditions, visualizing the future with greater independence. Uneasy about the morrow, it endeavours to develop, above all, a Canadian thought and a Canadian life. I was pleased to hear the right honourable Prime Minister when he declared that no decision as to the participation of Canada in external wars shall be taken by the Liberal party without previous consideration being given to the unique and supreme interests of Canada.

His statement to the effect that conscription will not be enforced will serve to appease the minds of my fellow-compatriots in the province of Quebec and to allay their justifiable apprehensions. Were all our public men to follow the same sound principle I would have no fear lest our country should sacrifice its sons and its money to a foreign ideology. Let us hope that our present leaders will heed his word and that it will echo throughout the ages. It shall inspire our leaders of to-morrow and those of to-day shall take pride in the fact that they will have guided their succesors at the head of the state.

In closing my remarks, I wish to say once again, Mr. Speaker, that I hope to see among 71492-158

my compatriots, a strengthening of that well-understood Canadianism, that eminently Christian policy, which is the basis of all progress. We may as well face the fact that the present world crisis is primarily a moral one. If we are struggling to-day through an economic and social crisis, it is because we have repudiated the old principles of prudence, charity and justice; because we denied Chris-tianism and its gospel. There is no need to seek elsewhere the causes of those nameless disorders. Mankind will never enjoy peace and the happiness which it brings, until man is prepared to forsake for truth, the foolish utopias of his paganism, in order to turn from -the support of fallacies, to the defence of faith and indefectible hope.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Hugh John Plaxton

Liberal

Mr. H. J. PLAXTON (Trinity):

I rise to speak in this debate, believing that I can contribute to the discussion a viewpoint to which no one else has as yet given expression. Because of my age and inclination I am one of the few members of this house who would be directly affected by the involvement of this country in war. This government's foreign policy in case of war involving Great Britain, is therefore of vital interest to me as well as to thousands of my fellow citizens who are to-day of military age. I propose to deal with only two phases of the question. First, there is the legal aspect of it, which, while I consider it important, is nevertheless insignificant when considered in relation to the sentiments and feelings of Canadians throughout the dominion.

But what is Canada's position in case Great Britain is involved in war? Whether it be a war of aggression or a war of defence, and regardless of what moral reasons may obtain, I argue that in either event, our king being at war and all Canadians being subjects of our king, Canada is automatically at war. The British North America Act provided for our allegiance to the crown, and this allegiance by all nations comprising the British commonwealth of nations, of which Canada is one, is specifically provided for by that part of the preamble contained in the second paragraph of the statute of Westminster, which reads:

And whereas it is meet and proper to set out by way of preamble to this act that, inasmuch as the crown is the symbol of the free association of the members of the British commonwealth of nations-

And these are the words to which I wish to draw particular attention.

-and as they are united by a common allegiance to the crown, it would be in accord with the established constitutional position of all the

Foreign Policy-Mr. Plaxton

members of the commonwealth in relation to one another that any alteration in the law touching succession to the throne or the royal style and titles shall hereafter require the assent as well of the parliaments of all the dominions as of the parliament of the United Kingdom.

If I am right in this regard, then I submit that any discussion of what Canada might do in a certain set of circumstances wherein Great Britain is engaged in conflict with any one or more foreign powers is irrelevant.

Whether I am right or wrong in respect to the first question does not, however, in my opinion matter to any great extent; but the second and most vital phase of the problem, which in my judgment overshadows all issues connected with this vital subject, is embraced in the question: What will Canadians of

military age do if Great Britain is at war? In recent months I have talked to hundreds of Canadians of my own age or younger, and I believe I am expressing their view when I say that in such an event they will offer their services to the empire with the same eagerness and high degree of patriotism which characterized and motivated the actions of their fathers who fought and died for the empire during the great war. Totalitarian forms of government, and their persecution of minority racial and religious groups, are repugnant not only to myself but to my fellow Canadians of military age. And further acts of aggression which may imperil the British empire and democracy itself cannot in our opinion be tolerated.

It is their judgment as well as mine, subject to the qualification I have provided, that the establishment and maintenance of world peace on a permanent basis demand forthwith the halting of the aggressor nations of the world. To this end it would appear that the frontiers of Canada, as a member of the British commonwealth of nations, can no longer be considered to be the Atlantic on the east, the Pacific on the west, and the United States on the south, but are rather the existing boundaries of those nations which to-day threaten the peace of the world and the lives of those nations and peoples that believe in democratic forms of government. That, to my mind, is a fair expression of the opinion of the young men of Canada, who are of the same flesh and blood that provided the finest fighting shock troops the world saw in the last great war. If we are confronted with a world crisis which demands action, may I say to the house and to all who may be concerned, that we accept not only the challenge but the trust reposed in us by those immortal lines of John McCrae, who wrote:

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die We shall not slefep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.

On motion of Mr. Thorson the debate was adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Mackenzie King the house adjourned at 10.55 p.m.

Monday, April 3, 1939

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY-STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER ON MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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March 31, 1939