September 8, 1939




Maxime Raymond


Mr. MAXIME RAYMOND (Beauharnois-Laprairie):

I desire to lay on the table a petition signed by thousands of citizens against participation by Canada in any extra-territorial war.




The house proceeded to the consideration of the speech delivered by His Excellency the Governor General at the opening of the session.


Henry Sidney Hamilton


Mr. H. S. HAMILTON (Algoma West) moved:

That the following address be presented to His Excellency the Governor General, to offer the humble thanks of this house to His Excellency for the gracious speech which he has been pleased to make to both houses of parliament, namely,-

To His Excellency the Right Honourable Baroii Tweedsmuir of Elsfield, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George. Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour, Governor General and Commander in Chief of the Dominion of Canada.

May it Please Your Excellency:

We, His Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the House of Commons of Canada, in parliament assembled, beg leave to offer our humble thanks to Your Excellency for the gracious speech which Your Excellency has addressed to both houses of parliament.

He said: The tragic conditions in Europe at this time, under the shadow of which this house meets, and which are of such grave significance to Canada, suggest that talk should be as brief as possible, and action as prompt and vigorous as possible. I suggest that we refute by our action the criticisms often levelled at democracies, that they are good as debating societies but incapable of vigorous action. I could not help thinking yesterday, as I saw the members assembling from all parts of Canada, fresh from contact

with the people throughout this dominion, knowing their thoughts, knowing their wishes and their hopes, that had such a parliament been assembled in Germany before any war action was taken a war would not be raging in Europe to-day.

I believe that all the people in the world detest war and crave for peace. The voice of the people in Germany has been silenced. It is for us to see that never in Canada shall the voice of our people be silenced. At this time, as a free member of a free parliament of which I am to-day particularly conscious and particularly proud, I conceive it to be my duty not to make an eloquent or platitudinous speech but rather, as a Canadian, to say plainly and freely what I think.

Canada is not concerned to-day how we speak, but Canada is interested in what we say. His Excellency's address reads in part as follows:

You have been summoned at the earliest moment in order that the government may seek authority for the measures necessary for the defence of Canada, and for cooperation in the determined effort which is being made to resist further aggression. . . .

I think, sir, that the keynote of the speech is contained in the words, "that the government may seek authority for measures necessary for the defence of Canada and for cooperation in the determined effort which is being made to resist further aggression."

May I at once express my thanks to the government for implementing a pledge long since given to the people of Canada that parliament would be consulted before Canada 'was committed to war. In doing that, as was to be expected, they have kept faith with the Canadian people, and for the moment I would express several tributes of appreciation with respect to two or three matters. Under the pressure which we know was exerted upon the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) to declare this and that as to Canada's attitude under certain hypothetical conditions, he declined to do so. In my opinion, and I merely record it, it was sound judgment on his part so to do. I express appreciation of the fact also that he did not prematurely convene parliament and thus precipitate possibly a debate that would result in misunderstandings and misrepresentations arising again out of a discussion of hypothetical conditions that might exist, which misunderstandings and misrepresentations might easily be used throughout the world for purposes of propaganda. To have allowed that to happen would have been a disservice to the greatest national asset we have, namely, the unity of the Dominion of Canada. In passing, may I pay my respects to the wisdom of the Prime Minister in declin-

The Address-Mr. Hamilton

ing to dissolve parliament this summer. That wisdom is now, I think, obvious to all. I express my appreciation further of the many measures that have been quietly and effectively taken in connection with the present emergency. In my own town the military have assumed their duties quietly and efficiently. I appreciate also the various measures taken in the attempt to control prices from skyrocketing, and all that sort of thing.

May I express to the leader of the opposition (Mr. Manion) my appreciation of the understanding and restraint which he has shown in the past difficult months, and particularly in recent weeks, in allowing the government a free hand and giving his cooperation in their endeavours. These same remarks I extend to the leaders of the other two groups in this house.

It would be idle for me to take up the time of the house in any effort to review the events that have been taking place in Europe or their significance to Canada. He who has eyes has seen or read, he who has ears has heard, and he who has understanding must realize their deep significance to this dominion. I suggest that never in all history have the democratic or liberty-loving countries engaged in a greater and more necessary effort to see to it that government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.

We are confronted with a philosophy that knows nothing of the individual man but his obligation to obey, that knows nothing of the value of human individuality and human liberty, whose instruments are ruthless and unscrupulous force and violence, an utter negation of all the things we have been taught to value, of the philosophy, to which we hold, that has regard for human personality and human liberty, within and by which philosophy we shall yet achieve the splendid destiny that lies ahead of the Canadian people.

Believing this, Mr Speaker, to me this war is Canada's war. To me the defeat of Britain is the defeat of Canada; the defeat of France is the defeat of Canada. To me the death of every British, French or Polish soldier, sailor or aviator in resisting German force and violence at this time is a life given in the service of Canada.

To my mind the effective defence of Canada consists in the utilization of the organized and united power and strength of this dominion however, wherever, and whenever it can best be used to defeat Germany's armed forces and to destroy the philosophy on which they are based. If the method of doing it involves primarily the utilization of our industrial and productive resources, then I am for that. If it involves partly the use of such forces and

also the use of armed forces, expeditionary or otherwise, I am for that. If a certain type of assistance would be most advantageous now, changing to a different type of assistance later, then I am for that. And if the assistance which can effect that which I believe to be so vital can best be given on the Atlantic, on the North Sea, on the fields of Europe, I am also for that.

It seems to me that Canada as a nation at this time might well pattern herself on the Canadian corps at the end of the last war. At that time the Canadian corps was one of the finest fighting units on the western front- well balanced, well organized, highly efficient, and splendidly led. This is what we require of Canada to-day: a nation in action,

mobilized, well organized, highly efficient and splendidly led. We must make every effort to bring our whole capacity to bear in the struggle that is before us. How may this be done? I mention briefly some of the things which occur to me as being important.

First we must have the complete confidence and faith of the Canadian people. This confidence and faith can best be secured by outstanding service, outstanding sacrifice, outstanding willingness to participate when and how one may, among the leaders in Canadian life. The first essential thing for securing that confidence is equality of sacrifice, and I break that into three headings. First, equality of sacrifice in a physical sense. The ultimate terror of war is death or mutilation on the battlefield. It is easy to send the young men of this land to the battlefield; our only justification for ever doing such a thing is that all able Canadian citizens shall be ready to share equally in that type of sacrifice. Next, equality in the form of financial contribution. For the present I do not intend to stress that, but I shall come back to it in a moment. If a man cannot give his physical service, his normal income should in an equal degree be available for the service of Canada. If the bodies of Canadian boys can be used for the defence of Canada for a pittance, it is only fair that where that form of service cannot be given the wealth of the individual non-combatant shall be used for an eqiuvalent pittance.

Then apart from normal income I mention now a point that has been so often emphasized, namely, profiteering in war. I am not going to say more than this: the house knows, the government knows, that the mood of the Canadian people is such that they are determined that nobody shall be better off as a result of this war than he would be if no war had taken place. This result can bs attained by different methods, and qualified

The Address-Mr. Hamilton

experts can bring forth appropriate measures. But I know something of how they deal with things at the front in France, and I say they should be dealt with as summarily back here in Canada. If the penalties meted out to youth can be so severe, I suggest that the penalties for the cruder and coarser types of profiteering during war should be equally severe and equally decisive. In passing I suggest to the authorities one way, for what it is worth, in relation to gains acquired during the war: that anything acquired during wartime over the average normal income of a man over the past five years should be the property of the Dominion of Canada before 3'ou start taxation at all. I close my remarks on this branch of the subject with the statement that my conduct in this house will depend largely on the measures that are taken in this matter. The people are determined that there shall be a greater measure of equality of sacrifice, and I am confident that the government will give effect to this paramount demand of the Canadian people.

I have said that confidence and faith are essential. I know of nothing more important than the unity of our country. We want a united Canada; we want all parts, all sections, all races, all creeds, all people in Canada to march step by step in the spirit of a great national endeavour.

Permit me, Mr. Speaker, to refer to the fact that I served in the ranks during the last war, as did other members of my family; and I voted against conscription. I do not know what my thoughts on conscription are at the moment. I have thought that possibly a fairer, more effective and more practical realization of efficiency and a better balancing of our power and strength could be attained by some such measure, but I say now that if it is in the interests of the unity and the cooperative effort of Canada from coast to coast to do so I am prepared to make a concession in that regard, no matter what I think.

In passing I ask permission to refer to a news item and a radio broadcast of about a week ago, in which it was stated that young Italians rushed the canal guard at Sault Ste. Marie and were repelled. That, Mr. Speaker, was a wholly inaccurate and unfortunate dispatch, which did a gross injustice to a fine body of loyal Canadian citizens. Such reports, unfounded and carelessly disseminated, will not make for unity in this country. Let us have faith that our Canadian citizenry will do their duty according to their best realization of what that duty may be.

Another thing we must have is the organization of our industrial life for war purposes. This applies also to other phases of our productive capacity, but for a moment I want to emphasize this: lack of war material is paid for in human lives. To-day war is largely a matter of material and equipment. Without it man power is incapable of doing very much; with it man power is capable of doing tremendous things. Those of the

Canadian forces who recall the inadequacy of equipment and material at the beginning of the war, which gradually became equality and then superiority, have some knowledge of what that means. I conceive, therefore, that one of our first duties in this great struggle is to establish a body of able men, under vital and aggressive industrial leadership, to bring about our maximum efforts in this regard. In passing I should like to recall-and I trust I shall not be considered as saying anything with particular reference to my own community-that during the last war many opportunities for swinging our industrial capacity into action were neglected. For a long time the great industry in my home town had no opportunity to participate in the production of war material, though eventually it contributed over seven hundred thousand tons of shell steel for the purpose of making munitions. So I say we should have a body of men that can organize our industrial life and bring it into effective action.

I should like to express one other thought as to the mobilization of our man power. The mobilization of man power surely means more than the recruiting offices in our towns and cities. I know, as I am sure other members and the various departments of the government know, that thousands are offering their services individually, as groups and as organizations. Unless the services thus offered by anxious people throughout the dominion are analysed and considered as a national contribution they may be put aside and advantage may not be taken of them. It occurs to me, sir, that there should be some method by which such people, who may not be capable of joining the armed forces, should be able to have their abilities and qualifications analysed and then used to the best advantage in the effort we are making. Perhaps I might give this simple example in passing. I have close to a hundred letters addressed to the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie), which I am to deliver to the minister, offering the services of individuals, groups and organizations. Some of these organizations-knowing as I do something of war-offer services which are vital to this dominion. Such offers should be

The Address-Mr. Hamilton

carefully considered by some body having the time, the capacity and the knowledge to see how such services could be usefully employed. If we fail to do this we will neglect a great reservoir of ability, capacity and energy that might be made available to this country.

I want to make one or two observations with reference to our military effort. As I have said, in the early part of the last war I had some experience with the Canadian forces, and I should like to point out one or two matters of which I have personal recollection and which I think should be noted now. If you have-and I think you have-capable military men who know their profession and who are experts in it, put your military affairs in their hands and leave them there. Keep them clear of outside influences; keep them clear of any attempted political influence. It is a terrible thing to send young men to war, if we should do so, and it is only fair that we should conscientiously try to build for them the finest type of military organization with the most capable officers it is possible to find. I know military men quite often think politicians are stupid; I suppose sometimes politicians think military men are stupid, and there may be a degree of truth in both thoughts. But if I may go beyond the government to my military friends I would like to emphasize this: Keep open the military mind. Do not let it become sealed with army acts, regulations and orders. Keep it open. Canada has genius; she has initiative. That genius and initiative can be utilized in military organizations and activity. This war will open wide opportunities for new and effective ideas, and I suggest that we be careful to see that where such exist, full advantage be taken of them.

To the military I also recall the well known saying: there are no bad battalions; there are only bad commanding officers, and our youth in any military effort they may make, regardless of precedent, regardless of regulations and orders, are entitled to the most efficient and able officers the Dominion of Canada can find. In the last war, Mr. Speaker, they did not start with promotion from within the forces, and many a man served for a long time while, time after time, men junior to him with no service came over and took the place to which he was entitled. Later that was changed. Out of the change developed that wonderful fighting machine, the Canadian corps.

I say to the military: let it be known that the way to go places in the Canadian army and the Canadian forces is by entering at the front door and working your way up through 87134-2

merit. Build on that basis and you will start to build a fine and efficient fighting machine, similar to that which was built in the last war.

One other thought and I shall have finished with reference to this phase of the matter. In the last war it was six months from the time we enlisted until we went to France. During a considerable portion of that time we were trained in England. I suggest that the training can be done in Canada. I say it should be done in Canada, and that we can build here a well rounded out and efficient fighting force, to use as, when and where we think it should be used.

I had hoped it would not fall to my lot as a member of the house to have to cast my vote for measures which might involve the death or wounding of any Canadian boy. That hour has possibly come. To justify any action I may take or any vote I may cast, I am conscious of the necessity of being prepared to do what I might thereby ask others to do. It is a far cry back to 1914. At that time my age and my health permitted me to enter by the front door of a recruiting office; I am not so sure, but I think they will still permit me to do so. However I do submit to the government, and particularly to the Minister of National Defence, that if I am to justify the vote I may have to cast, it should, as it has the power to do, accord me and others an opportunity to justify that serious responsibility by sharing in the dangers and risks to which we may submit others. Then, sir, it is up to us. Subject to that, I never had a clearer sense of direction in the matters before us, a more resolute determination or a more peaceful conscience. In recent days, having in mind the magnitude of the forces involved and the meaning of all that is going on, I have asked myself many times-and I am not sure whether or not I quote correctly: Who lives, if England dies? Who dies, if England lives? Yes, and who lives if France dies; who dies if France lives?

On another occasion in this chamber I had occasion to make a statement with which I shall close my observations to-day. I ask the house to remember, I ask the people of Canada to remember-yes, I ask the world, and especially Hitler to remember-that because of the things England stands for, because of the forms of life she has been largely responsible for bringing into the world, and maintaining within the world; for those things and her part to-day in this world struggle, untold millions of people without the British common-

The Address-Mr. Blanchette

wealth of nations and without the nations allied with Great Britain are hoping and praying in their hearts that-

The meteor flag of England Shall yet terrific burn,

Until danger's troubled night depart,

And the star of peace return.

Is there a Canadian heart to-day, in the depth of its secret places, that does not hope and pray the same?


Joseph-Adéodat Blanchette


Mr. J. A. BLANCHETTE (Compton) (Translation):

M,r. Speaker, I highly appreciate the honour of being asked by the government to second the address in reply to the speech from the throne. I thank the government on my own behalf and on behalf of the citizens of Compton county, which I have the honour to represent in this house.

I am particularly happy to note that the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and the government have fulfilled the promise which they made to the country to consult parliament before engaging Canada in any military conflict. I find therein an additional reason to give my confidence to the government, all the more so that I am certain that my feelings in that regard are shared by the Canadians of every origin living in the county of Compton and, generally speaking, by all the enlightened citizens of my province as well as of the entire country.

It is quite noticeable that the members of this house do not assemble to-day in the spirit that usually marks the opening of a session of parliament. Instead of the gaiety and enthusiasm which usually prevail when, we return to our parliamentary duties, we cannot help feeling anxious and we realize more than ever the extent of our responsibilities. This year, the prayer which opens our deliberations was listened to w'ith deeper emotion and greater fervor than ever before.

The war clouds which have been darkening the skies of the civilized world have now clashed, starting a conflict the consequences of which cannot be foreseen.

For months and even years the two great European democracies, England and France, have, in a spirit of conciliation verging at times on the acceptance of humiliation, tried every pacific means to maintain peace in the world and avoid a repetition of the war of 1914. Their efforts have failed. To-day, the two doctrines, that of justice and conciliation and that of might making right, have come together in the war which has just burst upon the old world as a frightful calamity.

This country, a member of the British commonwealth of nations, cannot remain indifferent in the conflict which has just started. No one can seriously maintain that our mem-

bership in the British commonwealth, to -which we are all proud to belong, is motivated solely by the advantages it may afford us. Can it be seriously contested that a declaration of neutrality by this country would be tantamount to a declaration of independence?

Is it not a fact that Canada, having grown up in the national sense as well as in the economic and social fields, must assume obligations which belong to peoples who have attained the age of majority? No longer are we minors to whom others can dictate decisions, to whom others can impose obligations, or who can be neglected or ignored on account of their state of infancy or weakness.

Proudly, even brilliantly, we have attained the period of majority, of responsibility. No one can impose obligations upon us. We are free to act according to our own will, but it would be unworthy of us to reject the responsibilities that belong to us as a mature nation. In considering our situation, we must not fail to weigh the possible consequences of our present attitude.

The government of our country, of which I am proud, has adopted the appropriate attitude in the circumstances. They have taken and enforced the measures which were essential in a country like ours, a country conscious of its obligations as well as of its duty. But, before going further, they wished to consult the people of the country through their representatives, thus applying the democratic principles consistent with the British parliamentary system which we have lauded so much in the past and which still deserves our approval.

To my mind, that approval takes greater strength if we compare our system to the totalitarian system, which has no consideration for the individual, for the people itself, and which is the cause of the conflict that threatens once more to plunge the civilized world in a sea of blood. Some will perhaps find reasonable arguments to justify differences of opinions on the measures already taken or contemplated by the government; but I submit that those questions must be,-and I hope they will be,-considered seriously, with calmness, moderation, good faith and sincerity. I fervently hope that violence, excitement and prejudice will be banished from our deliberations, as such meannesses should be, and also from the discussion of those questions outside of parliament.

Appeals to violence and prejudice have never settled any problem. Only a serious, calm and unprejudiced study of the issues can lead to an acceptable solution.

The Address-Mr. Blanchette

The present government deserves well of the country for having protected our savings, for having organized our national life and for having given ceaseless and generous consideration to the problem of our finances, trade and industry. They have made every effort to ensure the welfare of our citizens and they have succeeded, in a great measure, in destroying the last causes of conflict or struggle between the nationalities of which our nation is composed. Canada occupies a most enviable position in the economic world of today. She has become a great country, and her people a great people, justly proud of themselves.

The record of our government during the years of relative peace which the world has enjoyed and throughout the depression should, I repeat, give us the greatest confidence in the wisdom, the moderation, the good faith and the sincerity of our respectable and deservedly respected leaders. Those who have so worthily administered the affairs of the country during the depression are undoubtedly capable of giving Canada wise leadership in these times of war. May I be permitted to state, without offending anyone, that I prefer their administration and that under their leadership I feel much safer than I would under that of a government composed of persons perhaps as sincere as they are, yet who have not and cannot have their experience, their spirit of moderation and their prudence. In this respect, I feel sure that I am expressing the opinion of the great majority of our citizens and, more particularly, of those of my province. I have no desire to-day, at this solemn moment, in this grave hour, to doubt their intentions nor to urge them to be moderate and prudent, for I know that they are and shall remain such. If the past is any guarantee of the future, the govemmenit's record in the past sufficiently guarantees, to my mind, both the present and the future. To the citizens of my country and my province who are slightly alarmed at the moment, I say most sincerely: " Be calm and confident."

I heartily endorse the government's decision to take all measures required to restrict profits and prevent speculation on the necessaries of life. Our population needs to be protected against the activities of profiteers, big and small, who see in war an opportunity to rob the consumer and unjustly increase the cost of living. It is abundantly clear that the government shall adopt the necessary measures in this respect and that severe penalties may be inflicted on all offenders.

The present government does not intend, I am sure, to lead us into any venture exceeding the bounds of our economic and social position.


The statements made by the Prime Minister and his colleagues when, thinking of the future, we were somewhat uneasy, have reassured us. It is consoling to note that these statements have never been withdrawn; on the contrary, they have been reiterated on several occasions. I am convinced that they will be repeated once more during this session.

As a matter of fact, while recognizing our duty to interest ourselves in the conflict of ideas which has brought about this war, while recognizing the importance and the propriety of some form of cooperation with the countries which are defending the ideas and opinions which are ours and the attitudes from which we in Canada have benefited, it would be neither proper nor wise for us to go to extremes. Our cooperation, our participation must necessarily be limited by our interests and by our economic and national situation.

I feel that I express not only my own views but also those of the government when I say that I am strongly in favour of all useful and necessary measures tending to ensure the defence of Canada, the maintenance and protection of her institutions and the safeguarding of her trade and of her agricultural and manufacturing industry.

It would not be wise nor worthy of us to place our reliance in some foreign protection which, obviously, could not be disinterested. Canada, an independent nation, of full age and master of its destinies, should be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to ensure her existence.

I am entirely in favour of establishing the organization necessary to ensure the defence of my country. Coming from Quebec and belonging to the French-Canadian nationality, I deem it my duty to work for the defence of my country in the fullest harmony and the most complete cooperation with the other citizens of Canada whose origin is different from mine. I wish to view the question not from the narrow standpoint of a single province, but from the standpoint of Canada as a whole. Like my fellow-citizens of Compton and of the province of Quebec, I am attached to the whole of Canada and I want to safeguard the Canadian confederation.

To my mind, it cannot reasonably be contended, after due reflection, that it would not be wise to cooperate to a reasonable extent with France and England in the present conflict, taking into account, however, our resources and our capacity and without sacrificing our vital interests. Who is there in this house who will state that the form of government at present existing in Germany would be welcome in Canada? Who would dare to say that he prefers it to the system of government we have now?

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Therefore, I have reason to believe that I am expressing the opinion of the majority of the electors in my province, in fact in all provinces, when I say that I am in favour of a reasonable and moderate cooperation, consistent with our interests and resources. I am prepared to let the government and the Prime Minister, whose genuine Canadianism is beyond question, the task of proposing to parliament the most appropriate measures of ensuring that cooperation, parliament remaining of course the supreme arbiter of our national destinies.

Viewing the matter from the standpoint of my province and of my compatriots of Quebec,

I feel entirely reassured in this regard, as in all other indeed, knowing as I do the character, the experience, the hability and the sound patriotism of the ministers who represent the province of Quebec in the government of the country. I cannot see where it would be possible to find, in our midst, men more enlightened, better balanced and more respectable than our present ministers. If it is thought possible to find men equal to them, no one could seriously suggest that there are better men.

The other members from that province are also equal to the task. Considering all these points, I may confidently state to the country that it would be wise and indeed essential to view with distrust those who appeal to prejudice, who try to sow panic, to stir passions and to create disunion. It would be better to rely upon the good judgment, the calm and moderation of our representatives, who are directly interested, as any other citizen, in the welfare and the happiness of the nation. My determination to endorse any measure aimed at cooperating with the defenders of justice, order and conciliation who are presently the object of a brutal attack by the advocates of violence and force, remains limited to voluntary assistance. I am convinced that, in the final analysis, this method of voluntary contribution is the most effective and lasting.

I wish to state, without the slightest hesitation and without any mental reservation, that I am fully opposed to conscription. I am completely against a system so inconsistent with our Canadian turn of mind. Experience has shown moreover that it is not effective, for, without having given the desired results, it has, in the past, fostered trouble and unsettled our national life.

In order, therefore, that none may falsely construe my attitude in the matter, I repeat that I am completely opposed to conscription.

(Text) Mr. Speaker, coming from a county which has a number of English-speaking citizens I would not wish to allow this occasion

flfr. Blanchette.]

to pass without saying a few words in the language of that citizenry, and to state that, if ever there was a time when national unity should be advocated in order to safeguard our democratic institutions, surely it is in the present crisis. Although we may have a vast territory, let us not forget that territory is but the body of a nation; the people who inhabit its hills and its valleys are its soul, its spirit, its life. Individuals may form communities but it is democratic institutions, and their attributes, that can create and maintain a nation; and upon those democratic attributes is predicated our progress, our advancement, and all that is dear to our hearts and very existence. It has truly been said that:

The multitude which does not reduce itself to unity is confusion and, as a corollary, the unity which does not depend upon the multitude is tyranny.

Whatever the views of each and every one of us may be, I am certain that if we remain calm and moderate in our deliberations, both in and out of this house, and if furthermore, should the necessity arise, we are disposed towards conciliation on this side of the Atlantic, lack of which has brought the conflict on the continent, then there can be no doubt that Canada will attain its aim and purpose in the present conflict, which is sincerely desired in all parts of the dominion, namely, that "effective cooperation" enunciated by our right hon. leader.

I wish to thank him for having called parliament as quickly as he did in order to submit to it matters of the greatest import for its consideration and attention.

I also wish to congratulate most heartily the mover of the address, the hon. member for Algoma West (Mr. Hamilton). The able manner in which he has acquitted himself on this occasion is not only a credit to himself but also an attendant honour to the county which he has so ably represented since his coming into this house.

(Translation) In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I wish to express the profound hope that this house shall consider, as the country naturally expects it to do, the proposals advanced by the government, with the moderation, the calmness, the disinterestedness, the prudence and the real patriotism solely capable of maintaining and safeguarding a true feeling of Canadian unity, and, with this in mind, I have the honour to second the motion of the hon. member for Algoma West (Mr. Hamilton).


Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. R. J. MANION (Leader of the Opposition) :

Mr. Speaker, I had intended merely in a sentence to ask the forgiveness of the mover (Mr. Hamilton) and the seconder (Mr. Blan-

The Address-Mr. Manion

chette) of the address, if I congratulated them with brevity upon their performance this afternoon, but they have both done so well, exceptionally well indeed, that I feel constrained to add a sentence or two more to my remarks with respect to these hon. gentlemen. I listened particularly to the hon. member for Algoma West (Mr. Hamilton), coming as he does from a section of the country whence I come myself, northern Ontario, and I may say at once that with most if not all of the sentiments which he expressed I can agree. He offered to the government many constructive suggestions, some of which I had intended to discuss and which I shall deal with in my own way. Many of those constructive suggestions are worthy of the government's attention. I compliment the hon. gentleman and his constituency upon the excellent manner in which he moved the address. I believe I am safe in saying that not only the hon. member for Algoma West but the hon. member for Compton (Mr. Blanchette) had the honour of serving in the great war, the former in the Canadian and the latter in the United States forces. With that honour behind them they can speak with some authority in a session such as this.

The hon. member for Compton gave a moderate and reasonable address. I do not intend to discuss it in detail but I can say that as regards his final expression of a desire for moderation and tolerance I can stand by him absolutely. If ever there was a time when we required moderation in this country we require it in a crisis such as this, and if I may dare to supplement what the hon. member for Compton has said, I should like to add that I also hope that not only in this parliament but out of it we shall be tolerant of the points of view of other Canadians.

I do not intend to make any protracted remarks on this occasion. I agree with the hon. member for Algoma West when he says that this is a time for action rather than for words, and I would add that so far as this party is concerned I can speak with authority when I say that there will not be, either now or later, anything in the way of political manoeuvring or captious criticism. We are going through a very grave crisis, perhaps the gravest that the world has ever known. After all, we cannot forget that it was just twenty-five years ago that this parliament met in a special war session-twenty-one years ago that we ceased to participate in the last war. In other words, there will have been two great wars within the life-time of a generation. Certainly that is a heavy load for all of us to bear. But at the same time all the allies in the last war and in this one can feel the certainty that they did

not desire the war; that this war, as the last one, was thrust upon them. In fact Mr. Chamberlain and M. Daladier were so strongly opposed to entering the war at all that we all know there was a certain amount of grumbling in certain countries, in some cases where they were not taking any part in the war, because it was thought that these leaders hesitated to stand by Poland. But that very delay and hesitation is to-day a source of pride to all of us, proving as it does so fully and completely that neither England nor France would have entered into a war at all had they not been driven into it by Hitler.

It is no exaggeration to say that this is a war for the preservation of human liberty. We' have had abundance of evidence that Hitlerism means autocracy, barbarism, international gangsterism-I used that term about it at the last session of this parliament and I think it is a proper term to describe the actions of Hitler. Should Hitler win this war it may well be the end of civilization' as we know it. The civilization which we enjoy to-day may go as other civilizations have gone before it.

This session of parliament was called particularly for the purpose of getting parliamentary sanction and authority for the actions of the government in support of the part that Canada will play in this war. The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) the other day, in a statement which I have before me, said that he would seek parliament's authority for "effective cooperation by Canada at the side of Britain." In that expression of desire for the effective assistance and authority of parliament I may say at once that the Prime Minister has the assent and support of the party which I have the honour to lead. It is our duty to let the world, friends and foes alike, know that we are to-day unitedly behind the mother country in this war for human liberty. England and France went into this war with no selfish motives, with no hope of financial gain, with no desire for aggrandizement, with no imperialistic ambitions; they went in to save civilization from Hitler, a man whose' plighted word we have all learned gives no security, a man who has on numerous occasions in his own country and Austria at any rate instigated murder for the attainment of his ends, a man who rode roughshod over Austria and Czechoslovakia, a man who apparently holds nothing sacred. Individual liberties, national rights, treaty obligations, international boundaries, may all be violated for the purpose of attaining his wild ambitions, He is not the first man who has attempted to dominate the world A much greater man

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than he attempted it about one hundred and thirty years ago in the person of Napoleon Bonaparte. After that attempt Napoleon ended his life in early middle age as a prisoner on the island of St. Helena, and I hope, and probably I am expressing the hope of this whole house when I say this, that Hitler will meet some such fate as that.

Sir, we are bound to participate in this war. We are British subjects, we are part of the British empire, and as I have expressed it on other occasions, I do not see how we can possibly be in and out of the British empire at the same time. At the special session of parliament held twenty-five years ago the leader of the opposition of those days-leading the Liberal opposition as I am leading the Conservative opposition to-day-that brilliant French-Canadian, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, expressed himself more eloquently than I am capable of doing; therefore I shall quote two or three of his sentences. He said:

We have long said that when Great Britain is at war we are at war; to-day we realize that Great Britain is at war and that Canada is at war also.

A little further on he said:

Upon this occasion I owe it to the house and to myself to speak with absolute frankness and candour. This is a subject which has often been an occasion of debate in this house. I have always said, and I repeat it on this occasion, that there is but one mind and one heart in Canada. At other times we may have had different views as to the methods by which we are to serve our country and our empire. More than once I have declared that if England were ever in danger-nay, not only in danger, but if she were ever engaged in such a contest as would put her strength to the test-then it would be the duty of Canada to assist the motherland to the utmost of Canada's ability.

And still further on he said:

It will be seen by the world that Canada, a daughter of old England, intends to stand by her in this great conflict.

And Sir Robert Borden in the same debate, answering Sir Wilfrid Laurier, as the Prime Minister will speak after myself to-day, said:

As to our duty, all are agreed: we stand shoulder to shoulder with Britain and the other British dominions in this quarrel. And that duty we shall not fail to fulfil as the honour of Canada demands.

With those sentiments I wholly agree. I have said on other occasions, and I repeat to-day, that I do not believe there can be any neutrality for any part of the empire when some other part of the empire is at war. But in addition to that, we are fighting to-day for our conception of civilization. We are fighting for Christianity, in all its branches, because Christianity, Protestant and Catholic .alike, has been persecuted in Germany by

Hitler. We are fighting for religion, because Judaism and the Jews have been persecuted even more cruelly by Hitler. We are fighting for democracy, for liberty of person, liberty of speech and assembly, liberties which we in Canada enjoy. Hitler's philosophy is a tyrannical autocracy. He places the state above everything and treats the individual as nothing, as a soulless animal to be used and sacrificed. His attitude goes back thousands of years to the law of the jungle, the law of tooth and fang. There are those who say that we owe nothing to Poland and therefore we should take no part in this war. In the same way we might say, if walking down the street we saw a mad dog attacking a child, that we owe nothing to the child. Nevertheless most of us would go to the help of the child.

One point I wish to make very clear is that to my mind we have no quarrel with the German people as a people. For generations they have given generously to the world in science and art and literature. We have well over half a million citizens of German descent in this country, and they are amongst our very best citizens. But, sir, Germany is controlled at the present time by an unscrupulous egoist. It is true he served Germany (veil, and had he stopped at a certain point he might well have gone down into history as a great German hero. He raised the German people from discouragement, gave them back their pride after a just but humiliating defeat. Had he stopped there he would have been accepted perhaps by all the world as a German hero. But he did not stop there. He realized that the nations

which had been fighting Germany from 1914 to 1918 were sick of war and anxious for peace and disarmament, so anxious that they would do almost anything to secure peace. He saw his chance in that desire on the part of the allies and took advantage of it. It is one of his outstanding characteristics that he sees his chance and immediately takes advantage of it. I think we all know to-day that when he refortified the Rhine he was bluffing the French and the British. He had a very small army which might well have been driven back; but again probably their desire for peace kept them from interfering. Immediately after the refortification of the Rhine he rearmed Germany, and during that process he found it necessary to begin his murders. Many of the military leaders of Germany who differed from him with regard to some of his methods were wiped out of existence in what were called blood purges. Then he conquered Austria, again without a doubt instigating the murder of the little

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chancellor, Dollfuss, and imprisoning Sehusch-nigg, who as far as we know is still in prison if he is not dead. These two men were crucified by Hitler and his nazi followers for the crime of loving their country and desiring its freedom. Then he destroyed Czecho-Slo-vakia, putting the Prussian heel on the neck of that democratic little country, and now it is his desire to make Poland the next victim.

As we know, Poland has had a tragic history. One can go back to the last quarter of the eighteenth century and find that Poland was partitioned three times. Incidentally the leader in those partitions was Germany, supported by Russia and Austria. Those of us who have studied the life of Napoleon will remember that on his first trip to Warsaw he was petitioned by the Polish people to declare Poland a nation. We recall the sacrifice of beauty and purity on that altar of national desire; and during all the decades since Napoleon first visited Warsaw hopes for national re-creation have sprung eternal in the breasts of the Poles. Then after a century of national aspiration the treaty of Versailles, following the last war, re-created Poland, much in the likeness of the great country it had been prior to the partitions of the eighteenth century, and since Poland has been re-created it has become a great and proud state. Now this international gangster demands that Poland submit to him or be destroyed. He refuses anything in the way of conciliation or negotiation with the Poles themselves, who naturally are most vitally interested. He demands total submission, and his alternative is destruction. That is the choice he has placed before the Poles. They must give up their nation, even their nationality; they must give up their liberty; they must submit to Prussian dictation, and all this is demanded with the example of the Czechs and the Slovaks before their very eyes. They have refused. I believe it was the only choice that could be made by free men. Most people who have enjoyed freedom would prefer death to slavery. The Poles deserve success, and if they do not get it justice indeed must be blindfolded.

, Then France and Britain proffered aid, in accordance with their pledges. They could not do otherwise, nor can we do otherwise if we wish to possess our own souls. In this war, sir, we line up with Britain and France, and with mercy, justice and righteousness. Surely we may be confident of the outcome; for, sir, we must win. If we do not I believe there will be little else that matters. If Hitler and his philosophy conquer the world, civilization itself is likely to disappear, and the liberties

for which our ancestors fought for a thousand years will go with it. Patrick Henry, a great American patriot, on one occasion said:

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!

Poland might well say that to-day, and we in unison with Poland; for if the war is lost the lights of civilization are indeed going out. But I believe we may with confidence repeat the prayer so eloquently expressed on Sunday last by His Majesty the King, when he said:

We may reverently commit our cause to God.

Let us remember, sir, that if the democracies fall, Canada is the richest prize among the nations of the world. We should remember as well that this Canada of ours is very vulnerable to attack in these ultra-scientific days. Last session from my place in the house I pointed out the dangers that I saw enveloping Canada if some great nation should defeat England and France, or even if some great nation, without defeating England and France, should succeed in getting one of its liners or its fairly heavy ships through the barricade of the British and French navies and come across the Atlantic or the Pacific to our shores. I pointed out the dangers on the Pacific, the dangers on the Atlantic, the dangers up the St. Lawrence river, and particularly the dangers down into James bay, from which point this city is less than six hundred miles distant. All the cities and towns of Canada between the city of Quebec on the east and the city of Winnipeg on the west are within that distance of Charlton island in James bay, and to-day six hundred miles is a very short trip for bombarding aeroplanes.

Therefore I say that this is the danger to Canada if we are not properly protected. If the democracies should be defeated the battle ground might well be at our own gates instead of being three thousand miles away across the Atlantic, as it is to-day. I submit that our best defence is an offensive in those far-off lands. Our home defences, as I said last session, should be strengthened; for we need a real defence force in this day's world.

Now, sir, following these brief general statements in regard to the causes for which Canada is going to war, together with Britain and France, before resuming my seat I should like to offer, as the hon. member for Algoma West in particular offered, what I conceive to be a few practical suggestions concerning matters of which I have some knowledge, and I am offering them in a constructive and advisory way. The hon. member for Algoma West and the hon. member for Compton mentioned the very

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unpopular question of profiteering. I say, sir, that to-day I know of no more important question and no more important policy for this government to adopt than to insist that there is no profiteering during this war. By profiteering I mean unfair or excessive profits made by taking advantage of the critical condition in which our country and our empire find themselves. So far as I am concerned this is not a new thought. I have been expressing it for many years, particularly in London and Toronto just a year ago this month. I expressed it again the other day in a statement I gave to the press the day Poland and Germany went to war. That was two days before Britain and France declared war, one week ago to-day, and for the sake of the record I am going to take this opportunity of placing this brief statement upon Hansard. It was as follows:

In this crisis, as in those of September and March last, I refrained from making statements regarding the international situation, because I felt that, at this terribly critical hour in world affairs, it is the duty not only of our public men, but of all others, to endeavour to unify and solidify Canadian public opinion. To hold our country together is the first duty of all of us.

But, unhappily, war betwen Germany and Poland is now in progress, and undoubtedly England and France, in accordance with their pledges, will be forced to declare war on the side of Poland and against international gangsterism, as displayed by Hitler throughout the past year. In this conflict Christianity, democracy, and personal liberty are fighting for their existence.

Now that the die is cast, I feel that I should reiterate my position as leader of the National Conservative party. I adhere completely to the position which was set out clearly by me on March the 30th last in the House of Commons, when I declared my complete agreement with Sir Wilfrid Laurier's declaration that "when Britain is at war Canada is at war."

There can be no neutrality for Canada while Britain is engaged in a war of life and death. Therefore, in my opinion the united voice of Canada will call for full cooperation with Britain and France in this terrible conflict.

I wish to leave the next paragraph until I have read the two remaining paragraphs, because I should like to deal with it separately. The press release continues:

The government during this crisis has not followed the course taken by Mr. Chamberlain by calling into consultation myself or the leaders of the other parties. Nevertheless, as in the other crises, so in this, I informed Mr. King that I hold myself available for consultation and cooperation at any time, and any assistance I can give to Mr. King and his government will be freely given.

I learn by the press that a special session of parliament is being called for next Thursday. In view of this, I am communicating to my followers the request that they be in Ottawa a day or two in advance of the session.

And now I shall read the paragraph I passed over. It is as follows:

At the same time, in giving this cooperation, it must be the steadfast determination of all of us that there be no profiteering of any kind -no unfair advantage taken by anyone-no enrichment for some while others are offering their lives.

I repeat that I consider that principle perhaps the most important that the government can adopt in carrying out this cooperation. I believe that all Canadians desire that that be carried out, and they desire it ardently. They feel that anything made in the way of excess profits by anyone at a time like this is, in a sense, blood money. The idea of some growing rich on the suffering of their fellow-Canadians is repugnant to everyone. It must not be permitted; there should be an absolute and rigid control to prevent it. Anyone taking unfair advantage of the Canadian people in this critical time deserves the severest condemnation and punishment. If allowed it will, to my mind, wreck our system, as surely as would a successful Hitler.

Our system is on trial. While the volunteer is offering his life the profiteer and the racketeer must be eliminated. The hon. member for Algoma West expressed it as equality of sacrifice, and I agree that that is the desire of all good Canadians.

Now, one further suggestion. I think the government should take immediate steps to mobilize our industry, to coordinate industrial production and to ensure full and effective aid from our industrial life to Canada and our allies at this trying time. In the last war the industrialists of Canada did a magnificent piece of work. They were complimented on their work by the British war cabinet, when they were thanked for the splendid assistance they gave to Great Britain.

Another suggestion, and it is this: Let

not the abuses of political patronage and favouritism interfere with our national efforts. Canada as a whole is fighting-not one party -and Canada demands that we do our duty fearlessly and fairly. Let service and quality and honesty rule in all our vast expenditures. We must not let any scandal destroy our efforts.

Then, another suggestion. Based upon personal knowledge and experience I should like to point out that one of the grave errors in the conduct of the last war was the permitting of huge numbers of unfit men to get into the forces. I say, with knowledge, that in 1916, two years after the war began there were in some battalions in England as high as one-third of the personnel unfit for service, one-third of the personnel who should never have been accepted at all. This condition was brought about by two chief reasons. Gentlemen who

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desired to raise battalions loyally and patriotically hurried men into the ranks so that they would make a record in getting numbers sufficient to form a battalion. Individual Canadians who joined the army, but were unfit, joined from patriotic reasons, perhaps realizing that they were unfit, but anxious to serve. As I have said, many of them- tens of thousands-got as far as England, at great cost to Canada, because they had to be returned to Canada at a cost to this country which had to be added to our huge debt. I submit that this must not be repeated, and I submit further that it can be very easily prevented.

Here is another suggestion. From the very beginning we should give generous treatment to the dependents of those who enlist for overseas service. But, sir, there is one further thought: unless it is necessary for the preservation of our national life, so far as possible those who have dependents should be kept out of the danger zone. It will not only save losses to families, but it will save by way of lessening the huge debt of our country and the huge pensions which would have to be paid.

Some time ago a suggestion came out from England, which I believe was met with a good deal of favour here in Canada, that Canada be a haven for British children. One month and a day ago at my home city of Fort William I supported that idea. The press report of August 7 respecting my speech quoted me as follows:

I say here to-day that not only would every man and woman in Canada gladly agree to such a plan, if it is feasible, but I go farther and say that under similar circumstances, if some of the allies of the empire made the same request, again Canada would rise to the occasion and do her humane and Christian duty, just as any Canadian citizen would gladly give shelter in the midst of winter to the children of a neighbour whose house was being destroyed by fire.

I repeat that sentiment. For, after all, one of the greatest of Christian precepts is this: "Suffer little children to come unto Me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." I repeat: If the proposal made is feasible I believe the government should forthwith accept it and do everything it can to carry it out.

Then, sir, yesterday in my mail I received what I consider to be a very wise suggestion from a dear friend of mine, a brilliant Canadian, an outstanding man of letters, loyal, able and anxious to serve, but a man who has almost attained old age, and who has one rather serious disability which would prevent him from doing ordinary active service. In his letter he says this:

Could not some genius organize a Canadian legion of honour at this time, not for foreign service but to serve Canada, to restore its pride in its destiny, and to heal its divisions?

To my mind that is a most worthy idea, even in peace time, because in Canada we have thousands of well-to-do citizens who would offer to serve-as this gentleman offered to serve, as indicated in the letter-without payment by the country. These people are anxious to do something for their country-and that is more true to-day, in war time. I submit this suggestion to the government because I think it is certainly more worthy of deep consideration to-day even than it would be in ordinary times.

There are one or two further points I would offer before I resume my seat. One is that I believe local Canadian problems must not be neglected or forgotten because Canada is at war. After all, in this time of trial it would be a poor service to the empire if Canada, our Canada, were forgotten. I expect we are to be called upon in this session-perhaps tomorrow or the next day-to pass a bill providing for an expenditure of some such figure as $100,000,000, with which to finance our part in this war. That is right and proper-though I should like to interject that with the huge amount of money on deposit in the banks the money we need should be obtained at very low rates of interest, not at such rates and on such terms as it was obtained in 1914 and in subsequent years. But in the absence of our men themselves let us strive to make Canada a land really worthy of their love, a land really worth living in.

I should like to touch briefly upon the speech from the throne itself and read one paragraph which is really the gist of the speech. If there is any objection I shall read it all, because it is not lengthy; but I think this one paragraph covers the speech pretty thoroughly. It reads:

You have been summoned at the earliest moment in order that the government may seek authority for the measures necessary for the defence of Canada, and for cooperation in the determined effort which is being made to resist further aggression, and to prevent the appeal to force instead of to pacific means in the settlement of international disputes. Already the militia, the naval service and the air force have been placed on active service, and certain other provisions have been made for the defence of our coasts and our internal security under the War Measures Act and other existing authority. Proposals for further effective action by Canada will be laid before you without delay.

I have no desire to be critical when I say that to my mind that statement of Canada's position at the present time is not sufficiently definite and clear. Considering the telegraph and telephone messages and letters that I have received, considering the press statements that have been made, I think the people of Canada expect a full statement of

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the government's position from the Prime Minister at this time. I hope that the Prime Minister will make a statement as full and complete, as clear and definite as it is possible to do. After all, the people have a right to such a statement. It is true that parliament has been called to give its sanction and authority to what the government will do, but the government must submit, clearly and definitely, its policy to parliament. After all, a lead must be given even to parliament.

As part of the British empire we are at war to-day. I do not think there is any doubt about that. There may be some argument on technical and legal grounds, but I believe that is our position. I have listened to speeches made by the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), the Prime Minister and various other members of the government; I have read the speeches of Laurier; I have studied the subject thoroughly and I have myself expressed the opinion that when Britain is at war, Canada is at war. I believe that is the realistic and the practical attitude that we must accept. I believe that is the opinion of the Prime Minister, of the Minister of Justice and of others who have studied the question. It was the opinion of Laurier, of Bennett, and various other people.

I hope the Prime Minister will heed me when I say that I think we might well declare our position openly and clearly. I repeat that we are at war. I do not think it can possibly be questioned that we are at war. In the interests of national understanding and clear thinking in our country, our position should be made quite clear. The Prime Minister in a statement to the press, made on the same day that I made the statement from which I quoted a few moments ago, used terms which were more definite than those contained in the speech from the throne. He said:

In the event of the United Kingdom becoming engaged in war in the effort to resist aggression, the government of Canada have unanimously decided, as parliament meets-

This is how it is quoted in the press.

-to seek its authority for effective cooperation by Canada at the side of Britain.

And again:

In the light of all the information at its disposal, the government will recommend to parliament the measures which it believes to be the most effective for cooperation and defence.

I sincerely hope and trust that when he speaks the Prime Minister will make clear the position and policy of the government. Upon that clear and definite statement depends everything. Upon that statement depends the effective and enthusiastic effort which will be

made by Canadians. Upon it depends our cooperation. Upon it depends the real success of any efforts which Canada will make.

In closing I want to say that we are fighting in a war for justice, for honour and for liberty. We in Canada, like the people in England and in France, have no selfish motives and no desire for profit. We have no enmity toward any people. We are fighting, or we will be fighting, against policies and principles which are anti-christian and anti-democratic, policies and principles which are barbarous and brutal. Confident in the right of our cause, certain that justice will finally prevail, we should pledge ourselves here today to do our duty by Canada and the empire.


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


Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KINO (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, my first word must be one of thanks to my hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Manion) for the speech which he has just delivered, and particularly for what it conveys of his appreciation of the great responsibility which rests upon the shoulders of my colleagues and myself at this time. Even more I should like to thank him for his words of hearty cooperation with the government, not only for himself but on behalf of his party in this house and throughout the country, in having the most effective effort put forth by this nation in its endeavour to preserve its own liberties and institutions, and also to preserve the liberties and institutions of all free countries in the world.

My hon. friend the leader of the opposition has chivalrously alluded to the fact that the mover (Mr. Hamilton) and the seconder (Mr. Blanchette) of the address were each enlisted for active service in the last great war, and that the mover of the address had served abroad in Canada's expeditionary force. I should like to remind the house and the country that my hon. friend the leader of the opposition also performed a similar service during the great war. He enlisted and served overseas in the expeditionary force. It is significant I think that the first three speeches to be made in this house at this time of great peril to the world should be made by three hon. members each of whom was prepared to sacrifice his life on the battlefield some twenty or twenty-five years ago for the cause of freedom. It shows how deep in the breasts of men lies* the determination to preserve, to maintain and to defend freedom and all that freedom makes possible in the enjoyment of life itself. This deep-lying instinct for freedom is, I believe, characteristic of the citizens of Canada from one end of this great country to the other.

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May I say to my hon. friend that with practically all of what he said I am in most hearty accord. He and I, as leaders of political parties, have opposing political doctrines. At times there has been sharp and considerable difference of opinion between us on debatable points. But I have never doubted for one moment that, if the time ever came when the world should again be threatened, as it was in 1914, by a war the end of which no one at the time could see. my hon. friend and myself would be found instantly side by side in an endeavour to unite this country as completely as it can be united, so as to enable it to put forth a supreme effort to preserve and defend its own liberties and institutions and to preserve and defend the liberties of mankind.

I feel it to be significant, not only that the mover and the seconder of the address, and my hon. friend opposite should all be war veterans, but that the two who have had the great responsibility of being the first to speak in the house and thereby to direct in some measure the thought of the people as they consider the mighty issue which is now before them, should be representative of the two great races of which this country is so largely composed. Although the hon. members differ in racial origin, differ also in some particulars in their religious views, they too have stood side by side, representing French and English, representing Protestant and Catholic, in declaring as far as they are concerned that the preservation of the liberty and security of this land alone makes possible the practice of any faith, the accomplishment of any worthy end, the enjoyment of life itself.

I think, sir, it is very significant indeed, that these two hon. gentlemen in their origin should also be representative of those two countries, Britain and France, which to-day have laid their all upon the altar of service and sacrifice in the cause of freedom. For my part, I cannot find words to express the admiration I feel for England and the stand that she in this hour is making for freedom, and for France and the stand which she is again taking to preserve her liberties and the liberties of the world.

Where did our liberties and freedom come from? I ask hon. members of this house to reflect upon that before they utter a word against full participation by this country in the great conflict which is now raging in Europe. Where did we get our constitutional rights and liberties? Where did we get our freedom of religion? We got our many freedoms as an inheritance from those men of Britain and France who never hesitated to lay down their lives for freedom and those of their

descent who followed their example on the soil of Canada itself.

May I say that I was greatly pleased to hear my hon. friend, at an early moment in the course of his speech, make a plea for toleration and moderation. Never is such a plea more necessary than at a time like the present. It is necessary in this House of Commons; it is necessary in this parliament; it is even more necessary in different parts of the country where there are mem whose minds may not be trained to restraint as are those of many members here, many who are driven almost to desperation in anguish of mind with respect to those they love and what may become of them, may utter many bitter things and express words the like of which they would never express save under the provocation of the hour. I hope that throughout this country our citizens will be as tolerant as they can of differences of view and belief that are honestly held. There may of course be some things said which none of us would tolerate, and none of us will; but I ask above all else for a broad toleration. I was glad to hear my hon. friend make that plea, not only on behalf of citizens here in our own country who belong to the two great races, but as well on behalf of those of German descent who also are citizens of our country. May I go a step further-although I think my hon. friend also went that far-and make a plea for toleration on behalf of the German people themselves?

No more fatal error could be made with respect to the issue at stake in this great conflict than to believe that it is the German people who have plunged Europe into war. Europe has been plunged into war because of a hateful and tyrannical regime which cherishes and is seeking to perpetuate policies which would rob mankind of everything that is dear to the human heart and the human soul. That regime has brought its own people under its iron heel. For the most part the people of Germany to-day are slaves, enslaved by a government, so-called, a dictatorship which holds a rifle at the head of every one of its citizens unless he is prepared to do its bidding. I pity with all my heart the German people in this country and in the old world. I know something of the German people. I was born in Berlin, Ontario, as it was called at that time; Kitchener it is called now. I lived there until I was sixteen years of age. The county of Waterloo in which the town which was then called Berlin is located, has many other communities made up very largely of German settlers, some of whom came to this country to get away from forms of oppression for long all too prevalent in the old world. No better class of citizens is to be found in any country.

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I have had the honour of representing those very people in this parliament. I imagine that if the votes could have been separately identified it might have been found that there were more votes cast from those of German descent than from those of the English or any other race, to send me to this parliament, with the opportunity soon after to become a minister of the crown. In anything concerning it that I may have to say, I am not going to be false to the views that I hold with respect to peoples so greatly affected by this conflict.

May I say further that when I was privileged to receive from Harvard university some forty years ago a travelling fellowship to study abroad in Europe, I spent a part of a year in the city of Berlin in Germany. I lived with a German family, the family of a noted artist in the city of Berlin, and at that time I came to see a good deal of the German people. Since then I have visited Germany on other occasions and I believe I know something of its people. But I know something also of what tyranny means in the world; I know something of the price at which freedom has been bought, and I am not going to be false to my whole inheritance by refraining to take any step that may be necessary to preserve freedom.

I never dreamed that the day would come when, after spending a lifetime in a continuous effort to promote and to preserve peace and goodwill in international as well as in industrial relations, it should fall to my lot to be the one to lead this Dominion of Canada into a great war; but that responsibility I assume with a sense of being true to the very blood that is in my veins. I assume it in the defence of freedom-the freedom of my fellow countrymen here, the freedom of those whose lives are unprotected in other communities and countries, the freedom of mankind itself.

The leader of the opposition has said that on his part there will be no political manoeuvring at this time, no captious criticism. I am quite sure that no one in this house has in his thoughts to-day anything of that kind; surely no one is thinking about any manoeuvring in the face of a situation such as that which now confronts us. My hon. friend need not have told me that he had no thought of that kind in his mind. I know him too well not to appreciate the fact that he would be the first to wish to drop political strife. May I thank him at once for being one of the first, without waiting for parliament to assemble, to come forward and assure me that he was at the side of the government in helping to meet this grave crisis.

There is one small thing I should like to say to my hon. friend, because it may help to remove any misunderstanding that may exist between us. He seems to have felt that at one time I had not consulted him as much as I should have done, that I had not consulted him as the Prime Minister of Great Britain had consulted the leaders of other parties. If my hon. friend will parallel the circumstances he will see, I believe, that my action has followed very closely that of the Prime Minister of Great Britain. The Prime Minister of Great Britain called a conference of leaders when he was deciding the question whether parliament should be summoned or not, no doubt to give them information in his possession. Until we knew here that the British parliament was about to be summoned the necessity for a conference had not arisen. The British Prime Minister just the day before the British parliament was summoned to pass an act for the defence of the realm did call into conference the leader of the Labour party and one or two others. The day before the British parliament met, the very night that word came over the cables to me from England that the Prime Minister of Great Britain had decided to call parliament, I immediately asked one of my secretaries to see that the leader of the opposition was asked to come and meet me on the following morning. It was after ten o'clock at night that I received that word and I was then leaving for Toronto to attend the funeral of my late friend Senator O'Connor, at which I was to have been a pall bearer. I hesitated to cancel that engagement until I was certain that there was grave danger threatening and that it would not do for me to be away. That word came in a subsequent dispatch. I cancelled the trip and on the following morning when my hon. friend did not appear, and I received word that he was not in the city but in Toronto. I telephoned to him at Toronto and informed him of the serious conditions which had arisen. I told him what the news was so far as I had received it and said that I should be glad to show him the dispatches I had received. I said that they were there for him to see if he would come down. He spoke of engagements he had and asked whether I thought it was imperative for him to come. If I had doubted my hon. friend's loyalty, if I had thought that there would be delay on his part in sanctioning what the government was proposing to do, I would have told him it was important that he should come. I told him as best I could over the telephone what the situation was, and without doing more I felt every security in going ahead in a belief in his complete acquiescence as respects the measures that we have taken.

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On the same day I telephoned to the leaders of the other parties. My hon. friend the

leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (Mr. Woodsworth) was away in Vancouver at the time. He will recall the conversation we had. I wish to thank him at once for the manner in which he immediately expressed his sympathy with myself and my colleagues in the great responsibility we were facing. I did not attempt to convey to him at Vancouver all the details, but since his return here we have had conversations, just as I have had several conferences with my hon. friend in the last little while.

I also telephoned my hon. friend, the leader of the Social Credit group (Mr. Blackmore), and no one could have been more cordial than he was in the assurances he gave me at that time that whatever the government might do he would be with us, having due regard of course to his right to criticism of those policies with which he might not agree. He wanted me to feel that so far as he and his party were concerned there would not, as regards cooperation, be much question as to where they would stand. My hon. friend the member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) was kind enough to come to my office, where he informed me that unfortunately his leader was far away but that he himself wished at once to express his appreciation of the situation. He asked me to realize that when cooperation was necessary in so great a cause I would find the members of his party ready to do their part. There was no commitment so far as any of these gentlemen were concerned with respect to any particular policies. All I wish to convey at the moment is that there was on their part a very sincere expression of appreciation of the government's position, and of their desire and the desire of their parties to see that, when parliament assembled, what in their minds would be most effective as a national effort should be undertaken.

My hon. friend opposite has expressed in no uncertain way his views as to the immediate causes of this war. He has expressed them in very strong terms. I think perhaps I am inclined to be less emphatic than my hon. friend, not quite as strong in some of the words I use. May I say I agree with every word he has said of the fundamental, basic facts concerning this issue. He has described the issue as one which raises the whole question of the future of civilization itself. I do not think that is too strong a phrase to use. Before I conclude this speech, I shall give, if I have the opportunity, words from the lips of the man who himself has brought the world into this state of turmoil, sufficient to prove the truth of this assertion. Hitler himself has

said: "Whoever lights the torch of war in Europe can wish for nothing but chaos." "Nothing but chaos"; that is what the leader of the nazi party in Germany is seeking to bring upon the world to-day. And it is to prevent chaos becoming the fate of this as it may be of other lands that it becomes our duty as citizens of Canada to stand to a man in the defence of this country and at the side of Great Britain in the defence of freedom her citizens are making with their lives.

I was surprised when I heard my hon. friend say that the speech from the throne lacked an assertion of government policy. I certainly did not intend to water down anything I had said on a previous occasion. The responsibility for the words that were expressed by his excellency rests of course upon me; these words seem to me to be fairly emphatic:

You have been summoned at the earliest moment in order that the government may seek authority for the measures necessary for the defence of Canada, and for cooperation m the determined effort which is being made to resist further aggression, and to prevent the appeal to force instead of to pacific means m the settlement of international disputes.

If the leaving out of the words " with Great Britain," used in an earlier statement by myself, has any significance, it is to widen the duty of this country, and have it cooperate not only with Great Britain but with France and with every country that is prepared to stand and defend its liberties in this great world conflict. That at least was the intention. However I intend this afternoon, as hon. members will see when I come to refer to some notes I have prepared, to give as a statement of the government's policy what I said over the radio in a broadcast on Sunday last, and what I have given in other statements to the country already, so that there can be no mistake. I have felt right along that the most effective way in which to present the government's position was to make it known as early as possible to the country and then to make it known to hon. members in more detail when parliament assembled. My hon. friend knows that the speech from the throne does not necessarily set forth the different measures that are to be introduced; it contains a general statement of policy. Parliament has been summoned to hear the government's policy, and I am here to-day to expound it. Following the rules of parliament this is the first moment I have had in which to speak in the course of this debate. I shall seek to leave no doubt in the mind of anyone, if there is any doubt existing even now, as to what this government's policy is. We stand for the defence of Canada; we stand for the cooperation of this country at the side of

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Great Britain; and if this house will not support us in that policy, it will have to find some other government to assume the responsibilities of the present. We are committed to that policy, and I believe when it comes to the expression of views of hon. members from every side of this House of Commons we shall find that we have the house very solidly behind us.

My hon. friend gave his impression of the prize the Germans would seek in the event of victory. He said the prize would be Canada. I noticed in the press last evening that one of the German papers which is supposed to be an organ of the administration had quoted Hitler as saying that if England wished to fight she must remember that if she entered this fight the prize of victory would be the British Empire. Well, that includes Canada. As my hon. friend has said, there is no portion of the globe which any nation would be likely to covet more than this Dominion of Canada. There is no other portion of the earth's surface that contains such wealth as lies buried here. Nowhere are there such stretches of territory capable of feeding for generations to come-not hundreds of thousands, but millions of people. No, Mr. Speaker, the ambition of this dictator is not Poland. At one time he said it was only the areas in which there were German speaking people. But we have seen that ambition grow. That^may have been the thought in his mind some years ago, but we all know how ambition feeds upon itself; we all know how the lust for power blinds men's senses to all else. We know where and how he started, first with the militarization of the Rhineland. He then said-I quote Hitler's own words-he had no thought of annexing Austria. After giving his word that there would be no further attempt at conquest, he took Czechoslovakia. Then he took Moravia and Bohemia, then Memel, now Danzig and Poland. Where is he creeping to? Into those communities of the north, some of which to-day say they are going to remain neutral. I tell them if they remain neutral in this struggle, and Britain and France go down, there is not one of them that will bear for long the name that it bears at the present time; not one of them. And if this conqueror by his methods of force, violence and terror, and other ruthless iniquities is able to crush the peoples of Europe, what is going to become of the doctrine of isolation of this North American continent? If Britain goes down, if France goes down, the whole business of isolation will prove to have been a mere myth. There will in time be no freedom on this continent; there will in time be no liberty. _

Life will not be worth living. It is for all of us on this continent to do our part to save its privileged position by helping others.

My hon. friend was kind enough to offer to the government certain practical suggestions; the same course was adopted by the mover and the seconder of the address. May I say to my hon. friend and to all the members of this house that there is nothing the government will welcome more than suggestions of a practical and constructive nature. No greater service can be rendered the government than that every hon. member out of his individual knowledge and wide experience of affairs in this land, should give the government the benefit of any and every helpful suggestion. We welcome constructive suggestions; and, may I say in all sincerity, we shall also welcome constructive criticism. I have not the least doubt that before this war has gone on for any length of time, every man and woman in the country will be so deeply conscious of its nature and significance, that instead of crticizing its efforts, they will be praying to the government to keep on with what it is doing. What we need now is all the practical help and assistance we can get, so that the measures we bring forward may be the most effective that can possibly be initiated.

The hon. member for Algoma West (Mr. Hamilton) suggested that there should be a bureau to sort out the different offers of cooperation and assistance to see that due advantage was taken of them. That is something, may I say, which the government already has had in mind, and which we have been taking steps to arrange. In fact there is the nucleus of such a board already formed. I hope the men and women of this country who have had large experience in important matters will not hesitate to make their presence known to the government, so that no one may be overlooked who is anxious to serve. I would, however, have men and women who may wish to cooperate in the great effort which this country will be making realize that there will have to be careful consideration as to how they may best help.

I come to profiteering. I believe I have already stated in this house that I know of nothing in the world more contemptible than that any man should seek to profit from the sacrifices which others are making. And if the laws and other measures which this government may introduce and seek to enforce are not sufficiently strong to destroy anything in the nature of profiteering, I hope hon members of this house will bring to our attention, in a way that will also bring it to the attention of this country, what we ought to do to achieve that all important end. There are some things

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that are very difficult of accomplishment. Unfortunately human nature has its weak and its bad sides as well as its strong and good sides. Sometimes it is very difficult to cope effectively with the underworld and its methods. But let me say this: I care not who the individual may be, how respectable in his own eyes or in the eyes of others he may appear, or what position he may hold; if in this crisis he seeks to profiteer he belongs to the underworld and should be treated as one of those who menace all that is sacred in human relations.

My hon. friend spoke also of mobilizing industry. I agree with him that perhaps as great a service as can be rendered will be the kind of service that highly mobilized industry can render. Already important steps have been, taken to mobilize industry and later, when there is an opportunity to discuss the matter in detail, I think hon. members will appreciate what the government has already done in that direction.

Then there is the matter of patronage, of favouritism. May I say this to my own following in this House of Commons: If any of you desire to have persons given positions, in connection with this war, simply because they are favourites of yours; if primarily for such a reason you want to have any one given some special post, keep away from me, for I will never listen to you. I say the same to every hon. member of this house, and I say it not only on my own behalf, but on behalf of the government. We want no favouritism in this war. We want the name of this government and this country to be honourably sustained, and the man who seeks to profit indirectly by having his relatives or friends gain this contract or get that commission simply because they are among his favourites is no true friend of this administration.

My hon. friend, the leader of the opposition, has spoken about bringing little children here from the old country. He has made a plea which naturally would touch the heart of the nation. As he is aware, for some time one of our leading journals made that proposal a special cause. I said very little about it personally, but before I had said anything other than that there w'as need for the government to consider carefully what might be best in the way of cooperative effort should war come. I observed that Sir Thomas Inskip, then Secretary of State for the Dominions and now Lord Chancellor, said that the suggestion was an impossible one, that there would be conditions arising which would make it impossible in case of war for Britain to think of sending children overseas. I am not giving my words; I am giving those of a minister of the crown in Britain. We were attacked

for not coming out immediately and accepting the suggestion, as we probably will be attacked time and time again because we do not accept many other suggestions. I would ask hon. members to believe that whatever action we take or do not take with respect to matters overseas will be in the light of information received as the result of consultation with Great Britain and the other countries that may be associated in this war, and in the light of the knowledge and experience we ourselves possess.

My hon. friend said that local problems should not be forgotten. With that I also agree. I intended a little later on to say something in this connection which I have all along believed and believe now more strongly than ever. Our local problems in Canada, the most serious of them-the great question of unemployment-have not been due primarily to conditions in this country. They have been due to the extent to which the minds of men and women throughout this world have been filled with fear and terror-not for one year only, but for the past three or four years-a terror that has caused many men to hide away what little capital they have, instead of investing it; a terror that has caused one nation after another to spend its millions in increasing armaments instead of engaging in useful production.

We could have put unemployed labour in this country into the manufacture of munitions, into the manufacture of implements of war as has been done so largely in Europe, and even in Great Britain. Would this parliament have endorsed that step before to-day? Only to a very limited extent. I question very much if parliament would have voted the moneys necessary for such a purpose ; indeed already I have seen a published statement to the effect that we should not take advantage of men who are unemployed by bringing them as the first into this great struggle. Far be it from this government to attempt anything of that kind. These men have suffered, and we are not going to increase their suffering, if we can possibly avoid it. We are going to do what we can for them. What we can do depends a good deal upon the demands that this house and the country make upon the government with respect to its effective action in the war.

I believe I have touched upon most of the points raised by my hon. friend. Again_ I hasten to repeat my thanks not only to him but also to the leaders of the other parties for such expressions of understanding and support as they have been kind enough to give to the government. May I say to them that I realize how difficult their task is

The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King

Y There are few men in this parliament for whom, in some particulars, I have greater respect than the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation. I admire him, in my heart, because time and again he has had the courage to say what lay on his conscience, regardless of what the world might think of him. A man of that calibre is an ornament to any parliament. I do not know what my hon. friend's views will be. He and I have talked over these matters at different times. I know he feels deeply that anything in the nature of war should not be countenanced at all. 'f But I said to him the other day- and I wish to repeat it here: When it

comes to a fight between good and evil, when the evil forces of the world are let loose upon mankind, are those of us who believe in the tenets of Christianity, and all that Christianity means and has meant to the homes and lives of men, in the present and through generations in the past-are those of us who have reflected with reverence upon the supreme sacrifice that was made for the well-being of mankind going to allow evil forces to triumph without, if necessary, opposing them by our very lives?

I believe the present conflict, in essence, to be just that very thing. I think this world year in and year out, age after age, has had forces contending for supremacy. They have been the forces of good and the forces of evil. To-day those forces are locked in mortal combat, and if we do not destroy what is evil, it is going to destroy all that there is of gopd. And what then is going to become of this world as a place in which to live?

I am inclined to agree with bon. members when they say that force qua force has never accomplished anything-and yet I am not so sure of that. I believe that force does not fundamentally change a situation, and that the only thing that in the end will change a situation is persuasion. You can persuade men; you can convert them, but there have been times-and history is there to record them-when, if force had not been opposed by force, there would have been no Christianity left to defend.

I believe I have already' expressed my thanks to the mover and the seconder of the address to his excellency in reply to the speech from the throne. I should like again to say how deeply I, and I am sure all hon. members in the house, appreciate the constructive nature of the eloquent and memorable speeches each made at the beginning of this historic debate.

Mr. Speaker, perhaps I may now be permitted to give to the house an outline of the developments which have taken place

since parliament prorogued, and in particular a statement in greater detail than it has been possible to make it up to the present time of the government's position.

When I came into this house to-day I felt so fatigued that I was not confident of my ability to speak extemporaneously. Hon. members will realize at a time like the present, how great is the responsibility for every word that a member of a government uses. There is a special responsibility, perhaps, in every word uttered by one who holds the office of Prime Minister. If at times I have been silent and seemed to be shirking responsibility in not discussing every point that has been raised, it has been because for the last three years I have been living with this awful dread of war. I have wished that no word of mine might add fuel to the flame which I feared some day might blaze throughout this world.

By way of introduction to what, as leader of the government, I feel it my duty to say with respect to the momentous events which have occasioned the summoning of this special session of parliament, I cannot perhaps do better than to recall, as concisely as I can, the European situation as it existed at the time the present administration came into office, and refer more particularly to the grave developments which have occurred since parliament prorogued and also to the steps taken by my colleagues and myself to meet the appalling responsibility which was thereby placed upon our shoulders.

I need not tell hon. members that the sense of impending calamity was not something which was realized all of a sudden. Three years ago the government indicated its belief in the necessity for preparedness by asking parliament substantially to increase the amounts required for the defence services of our country. I frankly confess that from that day to this the possibility of a war in which Germany or other nations would be engaged, and which might spread to all parts of the world, has absorbed more of my time and thought than all else combined. Particularly have I been concerned with the position of our own country in the event of Great Britain becoming again engaged in war. I have not concealed my conviction as to what I feared might occur. Time and again when my own followers have been discussing with me many matters of major and minor importance, I have urged upon them the wisdom of keeping constantly in mind the terrible possibility of international conflict, before which all else would soon pale and be forgotten.

I have been taunted by friends and opponents alike in giving far too much of my time and thought to foreign affairs, and

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thereby neglecting, as they seemed to feel, some of our own more immediate domestic problems. If I have given to developments abroad a degree of attention greater than some may have felt should be given, it has not been owing to any neglect of a more immediate situation at home but rather because I believed that the problems which were becoming increasingly baffling in this as well as in other countries were not due to causes originating in our own land, but were the direct result of the international situation as it was disclosing itself in Europe and Asia.

I have never doubted that when the fatal moment came, the free spirit of the Canadian people would assert itself in the preservation and defence of freedom, as it did a quarter of a century ago. I have, however, been anxious that when the inevitable hour came, our people should be as one from coast to coast in recognizing the magnitude of the issue which was presenting itself, and as one in their determination to meet it with all the strength and power at their command. I have made it, therefore, the supreme endeavour of my leadership of my party, and my leadership of the government of this country, to let no hasty or premature threat or pronouncement create mistrust and divisions between the different elements that compose the population of our vast dominion, so that when the moment of decision came all should so see the issue itself that our national effort might be marked by unity of purpose, of heart and of endeavour.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.


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



When the

house rose at six o'clock, I had been speaking of the conditions which this government faced when it came into office, and has been facing ever since, in reference to the European situation.

As hon. members will recall, when this parliament first assembled it was faced with a critical situation in Abyssinia. Ethiopia had been invaded; and the first question which confronted the present government was that of the sanctions to be imposed against Italy because of an act of aggression on her part at that time. That was 1935. In 1936, in the spring of the year, the world was confronted with the sudden remilitarization of the Rhineland by Hitler; before we had reached the

middle of that year there was an outbreak of war in Spain, a civil war which came ominously soon after the invasion of Ethiopia, and, I think equally ominously, at a time which coincided with sudden developments in the way of aggression elsewhere on Germany's part. In 1937 the world witnessed the revival of the Japanese intervention in China. At that time the Spanish war threatened to embroil all Europe. With that condition on two continents, the world was faced in 1938 with the seizure of Austria by Hitler. Then came the Sudeten crisis and the campaign for the annexation of the Sudetenland, which was followed by the Munich pact in September, 1938.

It must be apparent to everyone now that, if Mr. Chamberlain had not gone to Munich when he did, on each of the three occasions that he sought to preserve the peace, war would have broken out at that time at the instance of Hitler and his regime. What position the world would be in to-day, with the lack of preparation in different parts of Europe and elsewhere on the part of the peaceful nations, none of us I should think would care to contemplate.

That was in 1938. In 1939, which is the present year, there came in March the seizure of Bohemia and Moravia by Germany; a little later in the same month, the seizure of Memel also by Germany; then the next month, in April, the seizure of Albania by Italy; and on September 1, the invasion of Poland by Hitler and his forces.

In other words, there has been a steady progression cf acts of aggression through the last five years. They point, I think, pretty clearly to some kind of understanding and agreement, at that time at any rate, between the powers involved. We have had war on all sides, a record of combined and continuous aggression. I think we may well ask ourselves from what source these acts of aggression drew their inspiration. We may well ask upon what secret understanding they may have been based, and what the world may yet witness if, in some way, this aggression is not checked.

I mention these facts for the reason that some there may be who have the impression that this war has been caused by a mere invasion of Poland and that it has to do only with a desire on the part of Germany to regain the city of Danzig. The record speaks for itself. It discloses clearly that in the last five years some country or group of countries has been acting on the supposition that the great free countries of the world, "the democracies," as they are sometimes called-I confess I am


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getting a little tired of the use being made of the word " democracy "-were an effete lot, that they were not prepared to stand up and fight for their liberties, and that aggression was a safe method of procedure. Well, unless a pretty definite stand is taken now by those who prize their freedom, they may expect that aggression will not cease, but will continue to the limit.

I mention these facts also because I wish to place before the house evidence that the government, from the time that it came into office in the autumn of 1935, has been watching the situation closely and seeking to prepare, as best it could for the present moment. I need not recall how for a number of j-ears prior to that time not this country only but many countries were not increasing but reducing armaments. The previous administration, as we all know, acting in some particulars at least as I assume almost any administration would have acted at the time, did considerably reduce the armaments of this country. In particular, the numbers of the air force were materially reduced from what they had been when we left office in 1930. That was due to the fact that most countries were placing a certain reliance upon the League of Nations and a certain reliance upon policies of disarmament in which they hoped all other nations would be prepared to join. Advantage was taken of that fact by the country which to-day is invading other lands. Let me pause here to say that while at the moment we cannot afford to discuss policies of the past more than is essential to an understanding of how these situations have arisen, I think that when this war is over we should examine very carefully into the policies which have been in force in the different countries and which have played their part in creating the present situation. I believe there was a time when Germany was quite prepared to sit in with other nations and do her part in seeing that the Versailles treaty, in so far as it related to the reduction of armaments, was carried out all round; and if Germany started to arm, as she did, there may be something to her contention that she had something to fear because other nations were arming when she was being denied that right. I mention that only because I am sure all of us are anxious, if it can be avoided, once this war is ended, not to see any situation ever again develop comparable with that which has developed in the last five years.

As I have said, when this government came into office we found the defences of the country in anything but the strength that

the circumstances demanded. I am not attributing this by way of blame upon another administration. I am saying now that had we been in office in the previous years we, doubtless, would have done our utmost to cut down armaments and military expenditures. What I wish to make clear, however, is that the government which perceived the danger and was anxious to get defence estimates increased was obliged to take a great risk when it came into this house and asked for more money for purposes of defence. Hon. members will well recall that when in 1937 we greatly increased the estimates we had considerable difficulty in getting the support of many of our own party and, while in some quarters we were not opposed, we did not obtain from any quarter aught in the way of thanks or encouragement for the increased expenditures which we were proposing. It is easy to be wise after the fact, but as a government at that time we were presenting to parliament what we considered essential to Canada's defence in view of the possible development of affairs in other lands and having regard to the serious situation that existed throughout the world.

In 1938 we not only maintained the defence levels which had been raised in the previous year, but we asked for increased appropriations for defence purposes at that time. In 1939 we greatly increased the Canadian defence estimates. I will give a statement of the figures. The actual expenditure for defence in each of the following years was, in round figures:-

1935- 36 $17,000,0001936- 37

22,923,0001937- 38

32,760,0001938- 39


The estimate for 1939-40 amounted altogether to $64,528,815. Of that, capital expenditures represented $30,000,000 and ordinary expenditures $34,000,000. Since then governor general's warrants have been issued, in addition to that sum, amounting to $16,454,000.

These figures I give as indicating to hon. members that the government were going ahead with preparation for defence purposes just as far as they felt they could carry the house with them. Had we gone further we would not have received the necessary support to get through our appropriations. We were conscious of the growing threat of war, and basing our policies upon it. Nations have been living under this threat of war year in and year out. The war of nerves, as it has been graphically and appropriately called, has been going on for jrears. We have been seeking to do our part to put this country's defences in proper shape to meet the fatal moment should it come.

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I will not take up the time of the house to go into the question of the relations between Great Britain and Germany with respect to the invasion of Poland. All that is to be said on that point is contained in the documents relating to the outbreak of war which were tabled yesterday and copies of which hon. members have. Those documents reveal clearly the tactics of Germany with reference to her invasion of Poland; they reveal equally clearly the patient and persistent efforts made both by Great Britain and by France to avoid war if at all possible; they make very clear what was done with a view to having the dispute settled by pacific means, by conference and discussion; and they show how completely of no avail that effort was in the end. They give a full explanation of the reasons why England felt it essential to give the pledges which she did to Poland at a time when this persistent aggression was so evident, at a time when England and France saw so clearly where that aggression was likely to lead if it were not summarily stopped.

However, the house will be interested in following the steps that were taken by the government of Canada in facing the situation that might arise out of the invasion of Poland and the pledges given to her by Britain and France, and I will give in rapid sequence, mainly for the purpose of helping hon. members who may wish to go into the matter in detail themselves, the chief events that have taken place between March 15 of this year and the present time.

As I have indicated, in March there came the seizure of Bohemia and Moravia and the establishment of a protectorate over Slovakia by Germany. It will be recalled that at that time all hon. members in this house were fearing the consequences of that invasion. We did not know whether it might not quickly lead to Britain and France becoming involved in war, and we had to consider then what our attitude rvould be should Britain become involved in war against Germany. I believe I made it quite clear in a statement I gave the house at that time, that if for example London were bombed from the air by an air force of an enemy such as Germany, we would regard such an act as threatening not merely the freedom of Britain but the freedom of the entire British commonwealth of nations. Will anyone at this moment say that the torpedoing a day or two ago of a vessel carrying Canadian and United States citizens to this continent to one of our own ports was not an act of unwarranted warfare of a character very similar to the bombing of London?

When the seizure of Memel came I again stressed in this parliament the gravity of the situation.

On April 28 Germany denounced the nonaggression pact with Poland, and at that time we greatly increased our defence estimates. On May 10 there came much in the way of a propaganda attack on Poland and a strong appeal for the return of Danzig to Germany. On May 11 Mr. Chamberlain warned Germany that the United Kingdom would go to war for the independence of Poland. On June 29 Lord Halifax issued warnings against aggression. On July 10 Mr. Chamberlain reiterated the agreement which had been given by Britain and France to Poland. On August 16 Herr Hitler began campaigning for the immediate return of Danzig and the solution of all Corridor problems. On August 18 Germany took over Slovakia. On August 20 the German-Russian trade agreement was announced. On August 21 the first announcement of the Ger-man-Russian non-aggression pact was made. On August 22 the British parliament was summoned.

The moment the British parliament was summoned the Minister of National Defence in this country announced additional recruits had been added to the naval service of Canada, and on the following day-that is, August 23-as prime minister, I announced, that the provisions of the War Measures Act would be used because of a state of apprehended war and that parliament would be summoned if efforts for peace were likely to fail. On August 23, the same day, the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie) stated that all preparations were being made to deal with any possible emergency.

On August 24 Herr Foerster, the German leader in Danzig, became the head of the Danzig government, and Mr. Chamberlain and Lord Halifax again repeated their pledge to Poland. At that time I made the further statement that our own government was prepared for any emergency that might arise in so far as that emergency might immediately affect us. On August 25 the Anglo-Polish pact was signed. On that date I appealed to the German, the Polish and the Italian governments in the name of the government of this country to do all that could possibly be done in the way of the settlement of the existing dispute by pacific means instead of by resort to force. Appeals of this character were being made by countries all over the world, as the house well knows; strong appeals, appeals from the United States, the Vatican and from other sources of high authority. At that time we cancelled the leave of the permanent force and called for volunteers. I published on August 26 the various messages I had issued to the governments of Germany, Poland and Italy.


The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King

On August 28 Germany began rationing. On August 29 Mr. Chamberlain again reaffirmed the pledge given by Great Britain. On August 31 there came the ratification of the German-Russian pact, and the announcement of the sixteen points put forward by Herr Hitler. On September 1 the Germans took over Danzig and invaded Poland, Poland invoked British aid, and the British and French governments sent ultimatums to Germany. The king signed an order for the mobilization of the forces of the United Kingdom. On that same day as Prime Minister I announced that our parliament would be called for September 7. At the same lime I announced that the government would seek authority to cooperate with the United Kingdom. On September 3 the United Kingdom and France were at war. On the afternoon of that day, Sunday last. I made a broadcast to the country in which I stated what the policy of the government would be, namely, that we were summoning parliament in order to make further provision for the defence of Canada and to be at the side of Great Britain cooperating in the great effort she was putting forth to resist further aggression.

I would ask the house to allow me to place on Hansard as read some of the communications to which I have referred. First is the one of August 23, 1939, at which time we received word that the United Kingdom was summoning parliament to pass a Defence of the Realm emergency act, and in which I announced that the government was availing itself immediately of the provisions of our War Measures Act to meet the situation with respect to apprehended war and that parliament would be immediately summoned. I imagine there will be no objection to that document appearing as part of the spoken record:

In the statement issued by the government of the United Kingdom last night and which appears in this morning's press, announcement was made that the United Kingdom parliament has been summoned to meet to-morrow at which time the government propose to invite both houses to pass through all its stages the Emergency Powers (Defence) bill. The effect of this will be to place the government in a position to take any necessary measures without delay should the situation require it.

An act of a similar character known as the War Measures Act was passed by the parliament of Canada in 1914. This act has never been repealed. It finds its place to-day as chapter 206 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, and is intitled "An act to confer certain powers upon the governor in council in the event of war, invasion or insurrection." The provisions of this act are exceedingly comprehensive. They apply to war "real or apprehended." Were the War Measures Act not already upon our statutes I would, in the existing circumstances, have considered it advisable and neces-

sary to summon parliament immediately for the purpose of the enactment of a similar statute. However, with the provisions of the act what they are, the government is already in a position, should the situation require, to take any necessary precautionary measures without delay. For some time past careful consideration has been given by the several government departments as to action that may be necessary in the event of an emergency.

While taking these measures of precaution, the Canadian government, like the government of the United Kingdom, remain of the opinion that "there is nothing in the difficulties that have arisen between Germany and Poland which would justify the use of force involving a European war with all its tragic consequences," and that there are "no questions in Europe which should not be capable of peaceful solution if only conditions of confidence could be restored."

Should it become apparent that the efforts being made to preserve the peace of Europe are likely to be of no avail, parliament will be immediately summoned. With agencies of communication and transportation what they are to-day it should be possible to have parliament meet within a week from the date of summons.

The important sections of the War Measures Act are as follows:

Extract from chapter 206, Revised Statutes of Canada, 1927-1914 (second session).

An act to confer certain powers upon the governor in council in the event of war, invasion or insurrection.

Powers of the governor in council.

3. (1) The governor in council may do and authorize such acts and things, and make from time to time such orders and regulations, as he may by reason of the existence of real or apprehended w7ar, invasion or insurrection deem necessary or available for the security, defence, peace, order and welfare of Canada; and for greater certainty, but not so as to restrict the generality of the foregoing terms, it is hereby declared that the powers of the governor in council shall extend to all matters coming within the classes of subjects hereinafter enumerated, that is to say:

_ (a) Censorship and the control and suppression of publications, writings, maps, plans, photographs, communications and means of communication;

(b) Arrest, detention, exclusion and deportation;

(c) Control of the harbours, ports and territorial waters of Canada and the movements of vessels;

(d) Transportation by land, air, or water and the control of the transport of persons and things;

(e) Trading, exportation, importation, production and manufacture;

(f) Appropriation, control, forfeiture and disposition of property and of the use thereof.

(2) All orders and regulations made under this section shall have the force of law, and shall be enforced in such manner and by such courts, officers and authorities as the governor in council may prescribe, and may be varied, extended or revoked by any subsequent order or regulation; but if any order or regulation is varied, extended or revoked, neither the previous operation thereof nor anything duly done thereunder, shall be affected thereby, nor shall any right, privilege, obligation or liability acquired,

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accrued, accruing or incurred thereunder be affected by such variation, extension or revocation.

On August 25, two days later, I sought to indicate as clearly as I could, not only to this country but to all parts of the world, what might be expected in the way of united action on the part of our country if a situation developed such as was threatening at the time. This was done in the following statement to the press:

The government are continuing to give the closest attention to the grave developments in the European situation in the light of information being received.

As stated yesterday, should it become apparent that the efforts to preserve the peace of Europe are likely to be of no avail, parliament will immediately be summoned.

The government have been proceeding with complete unanimity in outlining the policy which they will announce the moment parliament is summoned, should that step become necessary. Meanwhile, all possible precautionary measures are being taken to meet whatever eventuality may arise.

Was there any member of the House of Commons, when he read that this government was outlining a policy which it had reached with complete unanimity, who thought the government was doing other than informing the world that when parliament met we would bring down the policy which we have brought down to-day? We were giving full notice to the world at that time as to just where we believed this parliament would stand.

May I here pause to say this? I have said all along that as regards Canada's entry into war, and obligations ensuing therefrom, no commitments would be made until parliament met, that parliament would decide the momentous question of peace and war; whether or not this country is to go into war. Now I wish to make perfectly clear at this moment, that parliament has been summoned and is here to-day to decide that question. That question is not decided as yet. The government have reached their decision upon policy; they have announced their policy, and it is for the hon. members of this house to say whether or not they stand by the government's policy as it has been announced and as it is being announced to-day.

I ask hon. members, as they are considering the matter, to ask themselves this question: Had the government proceeded more rapidly than it did with respect to any of the measures pertaining to apprehended war, or had the government failed to take any of the steps which we have taken since war threatened, would we not have been held seriously responsible by the members of this parliament as it is assembled today? I ask hon. members, could we have proceeded with more in the way of expedition

or at the same time with more circumspection in seeking, until parliament met, to safeguard this country against apprehended war, or could we by any means have given to parliament an earlier opportunity at which to decide whether we were to go a step further and cooperate with Great Britain and the countries that may become involved in the present war? It was only on Sunday last, September 3, that Great Britain announced that a state of war existed between her and Germany. This is Friday, and parliament assembled yesterday the seventh instant.

Now I should like to place on the record if I may the cablegram which I sent on August 25 to the Reichsfuehrer, Herr Hitler, the cablegram sent to the president of the Polish republic and the communication which was sent to Premier Mussolini; also the replies which were received. These documents appear in the White Paper, but I think it would be to the advantage of the house to have them also on Hansard for purposes of possible future reference.

Telegram of August 25, 1939, from the Prime Minister of Canada to Herr Hitler, Reichsfuehrer.

The people of Canada are of one mind in believing that there is no international problem which cannot be settled by conference and negotiation. They equally believe that force is not a substitute for reason, and that the appeal to force as a means of adjusting international differences defeats rather than furthers the ends of justice. They are prepared to join what authority and power they may possess to that of the other nations of the British commonwealth in seeking a just and equitable settlement of the great problems with which nations are faced.

On behalf of the Canadian people, but equally in the interests of humanity itself, I join with those of other countries and powers who have appealed to you, in the firm hope that your great power and authority will be used to prevent impending catastrophe by having recourse to every possible peaceful means to effect a solution of the momentous issues of this period of transition and change in world affairs.

Telegram of August 25, 1939, from the Prime Minister of Canada to the president of the Polish republic.

The people of Canada are of one mind in believing that there is no international problem which cannot be settled by conference and negotiation. They equally believe that force is not a substitute for reason, and that the appeal to force as a means of adjusting international differences defeats rather than furthers the ends of justice. They are prepared to join what authority and power they may possess to that of the other nations of the British commonwealth in seeking a just and equitable settlement of the great problems with which nations are faced.

On behalf of the Canadian people, but equally in the interests of humanity itself, I join with those of other countries and powers who have appealed to you, in the firm hope that your great power and authority will be used to prevent


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impending catastrophe by having recourse to every possible peaceful means to effect a solution of the momentous issues of this period of transition and change in world affairs.

Telegram of August 25, 1939, from the Prime Minister of Canada to the chief of the government of Italy.

At this critical moment in the history of the world I wish, on behalf of the people of Canada, to join in the appeals which have been made to you to use your great power and influence to ensure a peaceful settlement of the issues that threaten the peace of mankind.

The people of Canada are firmly convinced that it should be possible, by conference and negotiation, to find a just settlement of all existing problems without resort to force. They are prepared to join with the peoples of other countries in doing all in their power to achieve this end.

The following telegram was received on August 27, 1939, from the chief of the government of Italy, Signor Mussolini, by the Prime Minister of Canada:

In reply to your message, I wish to assure you that I shall leave untried no effort to safeguard the peace of the world-a lasting peace, that is to say, a just peace.

The reply from the President of the Polish Republic, delivered to the Prime Minister of Canada by the Consul General for Poland on August 29, 1939, was as follows:

The government of Poland appreciate the efforts of the Prime Minister of Canada for maintaining of the peace and is sure that the Canadian government has no doubts as to the fact that it is not the Government of Poland who makes the aggressive demands and provokes the international crisis.

On August 28, 1939, the Consul General of Germany in Ottawa informed the Prime Minister of Canada that the latter's message of the 25th of August, 1939, had been delivered, and on the day following called again to say that the German Chancellor wished the Prime Minister to know that his communication had been received personally by him.

Now I .come to two further statements which were issued and which have an important bearing on the position in which we are placed at the moment. On Friday the first of this month I gave out the following statement:

It is now apparent that the efforts which have been made to preserve the peace of Europe are likely to prove of no avail. In spite of these efforts hostilities have begun between Germany and Poland which threaten the peace of the world. The cabinet met at nine o'clock this morning, and in accordance with the intimation given some days ago decided to have parliament summoned forthwith. A proclamation has been issued summoning parliament to meet on Thursday next, the seventh instant. In the event of the United Kingdom becoming engaged in war in the effort to resist aggression-

Here may I pause to point out that this statement was made before Britain was actu-

ally at war; and may I add the further statement, that such action as this government is taking to-day it is taking in the name of Canada as a nation possessing in its own right all the powers and authority of a nation in the fullest sense. The action we are taking to-day, and such further action as this parliament may authorize, are being and will be taken by this country voluntarily, not because of any colonial or inferior status vis-a-vis Great Britain, but because of an equality of status. We are a nation in the fullest sense, a member of the British commonwealth of nations, sharing like freedom with Britain herself, a freedom which we believe we must all combine to save.

Let me repeat:

In the event of the United Kingdom becom ing engaged in war in the effort to resist aggres sion, the government of Canada have unani mously decided, as soon as parliament meets, to seek its authority for effective cooperation by Canada at the side of Britain.

We did not decide we would have to go into war willy-nilly; we decided that the policy as therein set forth was what we believed the Canadian people wished to have given effect; and we have summoned parliament to express here, as representing the Canadian people, its will and its wish in the matter of this country entering this war voluntarily and of its own decision and right.

Meanwhile necessary measures will continue to be taken for the defence of Canada. Consultations with the United Kingdom will be continued. In the light of all the information at its disposal, the government will recommend to parliament the measures which it believes to be most effective for cooperation and defence.

The government has provided for the immediate issue of a proclamation under the War Measures Act in view of the existence of a state of apprehended war. The militia of Canada which a few days was called for voluntary service under section 63 of the Militia Act has, under section 64 of the same act, been placed on active service. The naval services and the air force have also been placed on active service.

I also added:

The people of Canada will, I am sure, face this grave situation with calm and confidence and, above all else, in a spirit which will serve to preserve the unity of our country and the maintenance of its freedom.

Now I come to the statement which I made on the afternoon of Sunday, September 3, and which I am told was broadcast not only throughout this dominion but to various countries throughout the world. That is the statement which was referred to by my hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Manion) this afternoon, in which he thought I had gone a little further than his excellency had gone in the words which I asked him to

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deliver in the speech from the throne. As I said this afternoon, if certain words which appear here did not appear in the speech from the throne it was not for the purpose of narrowing any effort which this country would make but rather for the purpose of not appearing to ignore a great nation such as France, at whose side we stand, as well as at the side of Britain in the defence of freedom. Neither France nor Britain were engaged in war with Germany when the statement I have just read was issued. Both were at war when the speech from the throne was delivered.


Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)


Will the right hon. gentleman permit a question? I do not wish to interrupt him, but I think this question should be asked in order to clarify the picture. If the address in reply to the speech from the throne, which was moved and seconded this afternoon, is approved, may we take it that we are thereby approving the statement of the right hon. gentleman, if it goes further than the speech from the throne itself?


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



I would say

that is absolutely so.

Now I wish to read what I, as Prime Minister of this country, and the government are setting forth as the grounds on which parliament should base its decision and what we are asking parliament to decide when it registers its views on the address which is being presented to his excellency in reply to the speech from the throne:

For months, indeed for years, the shadow of impending conflict in Europe has been ever present. Through these troubled years, no stone has been left unturned, no road unexplored in the patient search for peace.

Unhappily for the world, Herr Hitler and the Nazi regime in Germany have persisted in their attempt to extend their control over other peoples and countries, and to pursue their aggressive designs in wanton disregard of all treaty obligations, and peaceful methods of adjusting international disputes. They have had resort increasingly to agencies of deception, terrorism, and violence. It is this reliance upon force, this lust for conquest, this determination to dominate throughout the world, which is the real cause of the war that to-day threatens the freedom of mankind.

The fate of a single city, the preservation of the independence of a particular nation, are the occasion, not the real cause of the present conflict. The forces of evil have been loosed in the world in a struggle between the pagan conception of a social order which ignores the individual and is based upon the doctrine of might,_ and a civilization based upon the Christian conception of the brotherhood of man with its regard for the sanctity of contractual relations and the sacredness of human personality.

As President Roosevelt said on opening congress on January 4:

"There comes a time in the affairs of men when they must prepare to defend not their

homes alone, but the tenets of faiths and humanity on which their churches, their governments, and their very civilization are founded. The defence of religion, of democracy, and of good faith among nations is all the same fight. To save one, we must make up our minds to save all."

This, I believe, is the position in which all nations that cherish free institutions, individual liberty and social justice, find themselves to-day.

I need not review the events of the last few days. They must be present in the minds of all. Despite her unceasing efforts to preserve the peace of Europe, the United Kingdom has to-day, in the determination to honour her pledges and meet her treaty obligations, become involved in war.

This morning, the king, speaking to his peoples at home and across the seas, appealed to all, to make their own, the cause of freedom, which Britain again has taken up. Canada has already answered that call. On Friday last, the government, speaking on behalf of the Canadian people, announced that in the event of the United Kingdom becoming engaged in war in the effort to resist aggression, they would, as soon as parliament meets, seek its authority for effective cooperation by Canada at the side of Britain.

As you are aware, I have all along felt that the danger of war was such that parliament should not be dissolved, but be available to consider any emergency that might arise.

Parliament will meet Thursday next. Between now and then, all necessary measures will be taken for the defence of Canada. Consultations with the United Kingdom will be continued. In the light of all the information at its disposal, the government will then recommend to parliament the measures which it believes to be the most effective for cooperation and defence.

That parliament will sanction all necessary measures, I have not the least doubt. Already, I have received from the leader of the opposition and from representatives of the other parties in the House of Commons, assurances of their full appreciation of the gravity of the situation, and of their desire to see that such measures are adopted as, in the present crisis, will best serve the national interest.

Our first concern is with the defence of Canada. To be helpful to others, we must ourselves be strong, secure, and united. In anticipation of a state of war, the government has already availed itself of the provisions of the War Measures Act, to take essential measures for the defence of our coasts, our land and our people. As has already been announced, the militia of Canada, the naval service and the air force are already on active service.

This morning these measures were supplemented by others including the putting into effect of the ' Defence of Canada Regulations." Measures have also been taken to prevent profiteering in the necessaries of life. Of the latter measures my colleague, the Minister of .Labour, will speak to you in a moment.

In what manner and to what extent Canada may most effectively be able to co-operate in the common cause is as I have already stated, something which parliament itself will decide. All I need to add at the moment is that Canada, as a free nation of the British Commonwealth, is bringing her cooperation voluntarily. Our effort will be voluntary.

The people of Canada will, I know, face the days of stress and strain which lie ahead with


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calm and resolute courage. There is no home in Canada, no family, and no individual whose fortunes and freedom are not bound up in the present struggle. I appeal to my fellow Canadians to unite in a national effort to save from destruction all that makes life itself worth living, and to preserve for future generations those liberties and institutions which others have bequeathed to us.

Let me repeat: The views there expressed

are those of the government with respect to the issue that is involved in this present struggle. The issue being what it is, Britain and France having taken their stand beside Poland to redeem pledges which they made for the purpose of avoiding hostilities and as a means of avoiding further aggression, if parliament supports the administration this country will go into this war to be at the side of Britain, cooperating with her and with France towards those great and imperative ends, and equally to defend its own institutions and liberties.

What are the measures and methods that we propose to adopt in prosecuting our effort in the defence of Canada and in cooperation with Britain? So far as cooperation is concerned our efforts will be carried out in the light of the fullest information we can obtain in regard to the whole situation, as the result of consultation with the British authorities, and of the knowledge we ourselves may possess, or obtain from other sources. We have had before us all along the common consensus of view of the imperial conference of 1937, the year of the coronation, as to how cooperation if agreed to could be made most effective for the purpose of preserving peace and of avoiding aggression. It is I think important that I read to the house what those view's are, because they express the views which were agreed to by this government at that time, and which have evidently been accepted as in every way appropriate and authoritative, seeing that the report has been before parliament for two years and that no exception has been taken to them by any members.

Reading from the summary of proceedings of the imperial conference of 1937, I turn to the part which deals with foreign affairs. It is as follows. I shall, in reading, only quote the more relevant excerpts:

At the plenary meeting of the imperial conference on May 14, the chairman made the following statement in the course of his opening speech:

"Though we shall discuss other important subjects, we are agreed that questions 'of foreign affairs and defence shall be our main subjects. It is fitting that they should be. For we are met at a time when the international situation is difficult and even threatening, and the responsibility rests upon us to see that our deliberations not only are of service to ourtMr. Mackenzie King.]

selves but also may help in some measure towards the solution of those international problems which are now perplexing the world."

The conference recorded the results of its deliberations on the subject of foreign affairs in the following statement:

The representatives of the governments of the British commonwealth of nations gathered in the conference, have in the course of their proceedings had an opportunity of exchanging views upon foreign affairs and the international situation as it affects their respective interests and responsibilities.

While no attempt was made to formulate commitments, which in any event could not be made effective until approved and confirmed by the respective parliaments, the representatives of the governments concerned found themselves in close agreement upon a number of general propositions which they thought it desirable to set out in the present statement.

I ask the house to note those words:

... no attempt was made to formulate commitments, which in any event could not be made effective until approved and confirmed by the respective parliaments.

That is the position we are in to-day. Until this parliament now assembled is prepared to approve and confirm what has been done under the War Measures Act and what remains to be done under the measures which will be introduced into this house there will be no commitments that will be binding upon this country. The summary continues:

Thus they agreed that for each member of the commonwealth the first objective is the preservation of peace. In their view the settlement of differences that may arise between nations and the adjustment of national needs should be sought by methods of cooperation, joint enquiry and conciliation. It is in such methods, and not in recourse to the use of force between nation and nation, that the surest guarantee will be found for the improvement of international relations and respect for mutual engagements. _

Holding these views and desiring to base their policies upon the aims and ideals of the League of Nations, they found themselves unanimous in declaring that their respective armaments will never be used for purposes of aggression or for any purpose inconsistent with the covenant of the League of Nations or the Pact of Paris.

Let me remind the house that this country is one of the signatories to the pact of Paris. That was an agreement to renounce war as an instrument of national policy. Germany was also a signatory to that agreement. She has violated that treaty. We propose to hold to all of the treaties we have entered into which have been fashioned for the purpose of preserving peace. One of the reasons we are asking this parliament to support our policy at the present time is that we believe that it is only by the triumph of those nations which are seeking to-day to keep treaties intact, and only as treaties are

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regarded as sacred, will it ever be possible for a civilization based upon contractual relations to exist hereafter. The summary continues:

They all desired earnestly to see as wide a measure of disarmament as could be obtained. At the same time they were agreed that the several governments of which they are the representatives are bound to adopt such measures of defence as they may deem essential for their security, as well as for the fulfilment of such international obligations as they may respectively have assumed.

Being convinced that the influence of each of them in the cause of peace was likely to be greatly enhanced by their common agreement to use that influence in the same direction, they declared their intention of continuing to consult and cooperate with one another in this vital interest and all other matters of common concern.

And then, with respect to defence we find the following in the summary:

The conference gave close attention to the subject of defence, and considered ways in which it would be possible for the governments concerned to cooperate in measures for their own security. The occasion was taken for a detailed review of the state of defence in each of the countries represented at the conference and this opportunity was generally welcomed.

The discussions began with a review of the events which led up to the adoption by His Majesty's government in the United Kingdom of their rearmament program, and of defence problems generally. The members of the conference noted with deep concern that since the session of 1930 international tension had increased in a marked degree, and that there had been a large and rapid increase in the armaments of all the principal powers. They were impressed by tbe world-wide effect of these increased armaments on the international situation and on the financial and economic position of the nations concerned.

Then, at another point:

Reference was made to the increasing importance of the industrial side of defence owing to the progress of technical development in armaments, and emphasis was placed on the advantages attending cooperation in the production and supply of munitions and raw materials as well as of food and feeding stuffs to meet the several requirements of the United Kingdom, the dominions and India, and the colonial empire.... The conference took note of the measures, recently adopted by the various countries represented at the conference, often at a heavy cost, and recognized that the increased programs of armaments were no more than sufficient for the defence of their territories and trade and the fulfilment of such obligations as each might have assumed.

The conference recognized the vital importance of measures to safeguard maritime communications, including routes and waterways essential to defence and trade, and to provide naval bases and facilities for repairs and fuelling of ships....

The conference heard with satisfaction of the important steps taken by His Majesty's government in the United Kingdom for the maintenance of a home defence air force of sufficient strength to afford adequate protection against attack by the strongest air force which may be at any time within striking distance of 87134-3

the shores of the United Kingdom. In this connection the conference took note of the extensive preparations that are being made by His Majesty's government in_ the United Kingdom in the spheres of both active and passive defence against air invasion.

The conference also recorded the progress made by the several governments in creating and maintaining an adequate ehain of air bases and refuelling stations along the lines of communications between the different parts of the Empire.

The conference noted with satisfaction that in accordance with recommendations of previous conferences a common system of organization and training and the use of uniform manuals, patterns of arms, equipment, and stores had been adopted, as far as practicable, for the naval, military and air forces of their several countries. Each of them would thus be enabled to ensure more effectively its own security and-

Please note these words:

*-if it so desired, to cooperate with other countries of the commonwealth with the least possible delay....

The conference gave careful attention to the question of munitions and supplies required for defence both by tbe United Kingdom and other parts of the commonwealth, and also to the question of the supply of food and feeding stuffs in time of emergency. The conference was impressed with the value of the free interchange of detailed technical information and recommended that it should be continued between the technical officers of the governments concerned, it being understood that any questions of policy arising in connection with any such technical exchange and discussion would be submitted to the respective governments for decision and that each government reserve to itself complete freedom of decision and action.

In the course of the discussions, the conference found general agreement among its members that the security of each of their countries can be increased by cooperation in such matters as the free interchange of information concerning the state of their naval, military and air forces, the continuance of the arrangements already initiated by some of them for concerting the scale of the defences of ports, and measures for cooperation in the defence of communications and other common interests. At the same time the conference recognized that it is the sole responsibility of the several parliaments of the British commonwealth to decide the nature and scope of their own defence policy.

I have read these extracts to make perfectly plain that when in 1937 the different members of the British commonwealth were gathered together it was expressed in the clearest terms possible that each parliament of the British commonwealth was to decide for itself the nature and scope of its own defence policies, and that any action that might be taken in the case of a grave situation such as has developed to-day would be taken only after independent action by the parliaments affected. I have read these extracts for another purpose. They help to make perfectly clear what in 1937 was thought by the representatives of


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the different parts of the commonwealth then assembled in London would be the most effective means of cooperating if the time should come when that might become necessary and cooperation be agreed upon.

I have read these extracts also because I wish to give now to the house a statement more in detail of Canada's war action. If will be seen that in working out the plan we have, we have had much in mind the statements that were made as to what would likely in the future prove to be most helpful should Canada wish to cooperate with the United Kingdom and other members of the commonwealth in time of war.

The government, I need scarcely say, has been giving continuous consideration to the question of the most feasible and effective measures which Canada could take in the furtherance of the great task that now lies before us, I may be allowed to quote from a statement which I made to this house on March 30 of this year, when I said:

While another world war will, I trust, never recur, it is desirable nevertheless to consider some questions which would arise in the event of our participation in such a conflict. That participation could not be passive or formal, nor could it be unplanned or irresponsible. It would be necessary to consider in consultation with others involved and with regard to the objectives and operations of the enemy, what would be the most effective form our action and our cooperation could take.

It is clear that the conditions determining the nature of participation in such a conflict have undergone a great change since the last war. The balance of world power has shifted, and Canada has to keep its Pacific as well as its Atlantic coast in mind. Prom both the military and the economic aspect, the attitude of the United States would be immensely more important for the world and for us, than twenty years ago. The weapons and tactics of war have materially changed; naval conditions have perhaps not greatly altered, so far as the sea reaches, but armies have become mechanized, great Maginot or Siegfried lines bar the possibility of rapid infantry advance. Aeroplanes have brought new resources and scope to other arms in joint operations, and have in themselves given war new range, new flexibility and new terrors. Mechanization on land and in the air, and the colossal demands for supplies and renewed equipment, demands which would begin far beyond where the demands of the last war left off, greatly increase the importance of the economic factor, the indispensability of adequate supplies and staying power-factors in which the democratic countries are overwhelmingly strong.

It is not possible at this stage to forecast the character and requirement of the titanic conflict which has already commenced and which threatens the peace not of Europe only but of the entire world. We know the present alignment of nations and can in some measure conceive the economic and strategic factors inherent in the present situation. We

cannot, however, be certain as to what other countries may enter the conflict on one side of the struggle or the other, and the consequent readjustment both of tasks to be met and of contributions to that end. We have vivid in our memories the experience of the last war, from which we have much to learn both as to heroic endeavour to be emulated and mistakes to be avoided. It is clear, however, that in many vital respects the conditions of the present struggle differ very greatly from those of the last, and that we cannot simply assume that the methods and objectives of 1914 are applicable to 1939. We must frame our policy in the light of our knowledge of the present situation and the best information we can obtain as to the probable course of future developments. To this end, as I have already indicated, we have been and shall of course remain in close consultation with the government of the United Kingdom, so that the assistance Canada is to render, if it is to have the greatest effectiveness, shall not be unplanned and irresponsible.

The primary task and responsibility of the people of Canada is the defence and security of Canada. The Minister of National Defence defined these needs in this house on February 15, 1937, as reported on page 892 of Hansard, when he stated:

National security, national defence, the direct defence of Canada, of our coastal areas, our ports, our shipping terminals, our territorial waters, the focal areas of our trade routes adjacent to our harbour mouths-these are the matters dealt with in these estimates.

This involves, in the first instance, military measures of defence. I have already outlined the steps which have been taken to safeguard the situation by calling out the active militia and the naval and air forces. Further measures will be taken in the directions where the need proves most imperative.

Again, we must provide for internal security and guard against sabotage, disturbance of vital military and economic establishments, and against hostile propaganda. A wide range of economic defence measures must be considered. The outbreak of war involves a tremendous upheaval both in international and in internal trade. It involves the redirection of many energies, the intensification of some forms of effort, the reduction of those less vitally necessary. It involves vigilant action to furnish the necessary financial support for the military measures to be taken, and to maintain the credit and the financial relations of Canada. As I said this afternoon, profiteering must and will be rigidly controlled. Close cooperation with the provinces and with representatives of industry and agri-

The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King

culture, of labour and of commerce will be established. Some of the immediate measures necessary to this end have already been taken; others will be adopted shortly.

Next, we must consider measures of cooperation with the United Kingdom. The safety of Canada depends upon the adequate safeguarding of our coastal regions and the great avenues of approach to the heart of this country. Foremost among these is the St. Lawrence river and gulf. At the entrance to the St. Lawrence stands the neighbouring British territory of Newfoundland and Labrador. The integrity of Newfoundland and Labrador is essential to the security of Canada. By contributing as far as we are able to the defence of Newfoundland and the other British and French territories in this hemisphere, we will not only be defending Canada but we will also be assisting Great Britain and France by enabling them to concentrate their own energies more in that part of the world in which their own immediate security is at stake. The British government, in reply to the inquiry we have made, have indicated their agreement that this would be an effective and desirable means of cooperation.

We propose to cooperate in economic pressure, which is an essential factor in the situation that faces us. Measures looking to the prevention of trading with the enemy, control of essential exports and appropriate measures with regard to alien enemies, merchant ships and property will be taken. Of special and vital importance is the furnishing of supplies of all kinds to the British and allied powers, munitions, manufactures and raw materials and foodstuffs.

The urgent necessity of a constant supply of munitions, and the ability of Canada, because of its industrial equipment and its relative accessibility to the main theatres of the war, to meet these needs in great measure, are apparent. It is-a subject on which there has been consultation with the government of the United Kingdom. The British aircraft mission which was sent to this country in 1938 placed initial orders with a representative cooperative group of Canadian aircraft manufacturers. With the concurrence of the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom, a delegation organized by the Canadian Manufacturers' Association and widely representative of Canadian industry recently visited the United Kingdom to study on the spot all forms of armament and munitions production with a view to the expeditious adaptation of Canadian industry to these forms of production. Representatives of the delegation recently presented to the government a report of their inquiries and conclusions. I may say that the inquiry 87134-3i

was carried out in the most thorough-going way, and will prove of decided help to the governments both of Canada and the United Kingdom, and that it is a fine example of the ' capacity and readiness to cooperate of leaders in Canadian business.

A special British mission has just arrived from the United Kingdom to survey the munitions situation further. It has been authorized by the government of the United Kingdom to place certain orders in Canada on the lines explored in consultation with the Canadian mission and to make a further survey of the situation.

Canada is, of all non-European countries, the nearest and surest source of these indispensable materials and supplies. It may be said with assurance that a determined national effort to bring our industry and agriculture to the point of highest efficiency and to keep them at that high level will be of the utmost importance to the common cause. Specific measures of economic and financial cooperation which we propose to recommend in order to make an effective contribution in this and other fields will shortly be announced.

As regards action in. other theatres of war and the means and measures that might be taken, certain essential information touching the character of British and allied action and contemplated plans must be available before any intelligent and definitive decision could be made as to Canadian action even in the immediate future. On this all-important aspect of cooperation in defence, the Canadian government, like the governments of other of the dominions, is in consultation with the British government. We will continue to consult with the purpose of determining the course of action which may be regarded as most effective.

The question of an expeditionary force or units of service overseas is particularly one of wide reaching significance which will require the fullest examination. I note that Sir Henry Gullett, Australian minister for external affairs, told the Australian house of representatives on Wednesday that his government had not yet seriously considered dispatching an expeditionary force overseas. He declared that when the commonwealth had discharged its first duty to the empire, which was to ensure its own safety, and when it was better able to assess the strength of its enemies and the nature of the conflict, it would evolve proposals for further participation in the war for submission to the people. That statement indicates the Australian government are making the same general approach to the consideration of this problem as the government of Canada. There are certain

The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King

measures of economic, naval and air cooperation which are obviously necessary and desirable and which it is possible to undertake without delay. I have already referred to economic measures. The information we have obtained indicates that the most immediate and effective further means of cooperation would be a rapid expansion of air training, and of air and naval facilities, and the dispatch of trained air personnel. These measures we propose to institute immediately.

I wish now to repeat the undertaking I gave in parliament on behalf of the government on March 30 last. The present government believe that conscription of men for overseas service will not be a necessary or an effective step. No such measure will be introduced by the present administration. We have full faith in the readiness of Canadian men and women to put forth every effort in their power to preserve and defend free institutions, and in particular to resist aggression on the part of a tyrannical regime which aims at the domination of the world by force. The government, as representing the people of Canada, will use their authority and power to the utmost in promoting the most effective organized effort toward these imperative ends.

We cannot shut our eyes to the fact that the task before us may be long and terribly difficult. It is a task that will require all the strength and fortitude, all the effective organization of our resources, that we can achieve. There can 'be no doubt of the final outcome of the war. Whatever may be the initial trends in local actions, the resources, military and economic, on which the countries fighting for freedom can draw are fortunately greatly preponderant.

We cannot yet look forward to the conclusion or to the peace that must some day be made; but we must from the start remember that force alone can settle nothing; that force is helpful only in so far as it ensures the establishment and maintenance of enduring peace.

The efforts made after the last war to build up a new world order have tragically failed for the moment, but they have not been in vain. The people have still in their hearts the ideal of a world where change can come by peaceful means, where disputes can be settled by discussion and conciliation, and where the nations will increasingly find the interests they have in common stronger than the interests which divided them, and agree to the measure of world organization and subordination of excessive nationalism that are necessary to give expression to this conviction. We have through the operation of the League of Nations, experience of what can

and cannot be done. We have a new realization of the urgency of the need, a new determination to avert the ghastly possibility of a world war every generation. The peoples of continental Europe must find in some way, through federal relationships or economic partnerships or rebirth of democratic institutions and the spirit of liberty, the art of learning to live together. The rest of the world that cares for freeedom must strive in complementary ways alike for the repelling of to-day's aggression, and for the upholding of to-morrow's saner way of life.

I have, Mr. Speaker, indicated this evening, as far as it seems wise and prudent to go at the present time, the nature of the war efforts which this House of Commons during this present special session will be asked to support. I am pleased to be able to say that I hold in my hand communications from practically all the governments of the several provinces of Canada offering to support this administration in policies which it might put forward for the purpose of making the greatest possible concerted and united effort in the great cause in which we are engaged. I shall read these communications in the order in which they have been received. All are addressed to myself as prime minister.

The first to be received was a communication from the premier of the province of Saskatchewan:

Regina, Sask., Sept. 2, 1939

May I assure you of the sincere and wholehearted cooperation of the government of this province in any plan the federal government may evolve to give effective cooperation to Great Britain in the present crisis and can assure you of the undivided support of the people of the province of Saskatchewan in any action that may be authorized by the parliament of Canada.

W. J. Patterson.

The next communication came from the premier of the province of Manitoba.

Winnipeg, Man., Sept. 3, 1939

Manitoba government has followed with deep anxiety the disturbing events of the past few days, the culmination of which has profoundly shocked the peace-loving peoples of the whole world. In the difficult and responsible task that now faces you and your colleagues in this time of national concern, I wish, at this early date to assure you of the fullest cooperation of the government of Manitoba. We have noted with interest and approval that your government is making plans to insure that Canada's contribution will be as worth while and effective as possible. In any such plans that you may make for the defence of freedom and the settlement of international disputes without _ resort to force you may count upon the assistance of any service of this province which can in any way be useful to those in authority in discharging such obligations as it may be found necessary for the nation to assume. Please feel

The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King

free to call upon the provincial government or any of its members for such cooperation as lies within our power to give.

John Bracken.

The next communication received came from the premier of the province of British Columbia :

Victoria, B.C., Sept. 4, 1939

On my return this morning from aerial trip covering Mackenzie Basin, Yukon and Alaska, I hasten to assure you that our provincial government will cooperate with you to fullest possible extent in war which is being thrust upon us. I know that you will not hesitate to call upon us for anything which we can possibly do to be of assistance. With kindest personal regards.

(Signed) T. D. Pattullo.

The next is from the premier of the province of Ontario:

Toronto, Ont., Sept. 5, 1939

Following a meeting of entire cabinet, am pleased to advise that each minister places at disposal of federal government his services in any capacity. This administration further offers every cooperation in releasing for use of the militia, provincial buildings, lands or any other asset that you might require, including our entire provincial air service. In regard to personnel, am also offering now the use of our six tubercular clinics made up of skilled trained and efficient doctors and technicians, who can serve a very useful purpose in assisting with proper medical inspection of volunters to Canadian army. The services of all departments of government are available to you.

M. F. Hepburn.

Next is a communication from the premier of Prince Edward Island:

Charlottetown, P.E.I., Sept. 6, 1939.

The government and people of Prince Edward Island wish to assure the dominion government and parliament of the fullest cooperation in all measures taken to secure the defence of Canada, or to support the cause of Great Britain and her allies.

Thane A. Campbell.

On the same day there came from the premier of the province of Nova Scotia the following communication:

Halifax, N.S., Sept. 6, 1939.

At a meeting of the Nova Scotia government to-day. I was authorized to send you the following message. Meeting to-day in a city and province whose association with the martial achievements of the empire is rich and historic, the government of Nova Scotia wishes to affirm its loyalty to the crown, and to pledge its unswerving support to the government of Canada in whatever measures that government may take to support the motherland^ in the present crisis. Anything and everything that we can do as a government, or as individuals, will be cheerfully done. I have been greatly heartened by offers of service from people in every walk of life throughout the province, and I am confident that the response of Nova Scotians to any demands made upon them will be spontaneous and generous.

A. L. Macdonald.

On the same day, from the premier of the province of New Brunswick, there came this communication:

Fredericton, N.B., Sept. 6.

At their first meeting since the existence of a state of war involving the empire, the government of New Brunswick, to-day, affirmed their desire to lend all assistance possible to your government in their determination to cooperate wi-th Great Britain in the struggle in which she is now engaged. I desire to assure you of the willingness of the members of my cabinet to assist in any capacity that may be thought desirable or expedient by those directing the efforts of our dominion in these times.

A. A. Dysart.

The last communication, which was received to-day, came from the premier of the province of Alberta. It is as follows:

Office of the Premier Alberta

Edmonton, September 6, 1939. My Dear Prime Minister:

In view of the present crisis confronting Canada and the empire, and realizing the grave responsibility that is resting upon you as Prime Minister of Canada, may I present my personal greetings to you and assure you that we as a government stand ready to cooperate with you in all measures necessary and requisite for the proper control of conditions arising in the present day.

We all realize that there are many irregularities which unfortunately follow the declaration of war. These of necessity require prompt action on the part of governments to prevent an accumulation of disorder and chaos, particularly in the merchandising of foodstuff and other commodities, and to protect our people from a system of vicious profiteering that will add to the suffering which war produces.

From press statements we understand that your government has appointed or is about to set up a price control board, for the purpose of preventing such profiteering. We are wondering how soon this hoard will begin to function.

We do not know what is happening in eastern Canada in this connection, but we find that in the west prices of certain staple commodities are increasing much more rapidly than the prices of the raw products from which they are produced.

For example. The price of flour has increased from $4.90 per barrel to $6.75 in the last week, while the price of wheat has increased from 55 cents per bushel to 70 cents. At the present price of wheat, flour should have increased very little, if at all.

A similar condition seems likely to develop with respect to sugar, another staple commodity. We feel that some definite action should be taken at once. Under the provincial Department of Trade and Industry Act, we have the authority to establish a price spreads board, which we feel should be set up at once to prevent these conditions from becoming even more serious. We are therefore very anxious to know at the earliest possible date, what action your price control board contemplates.

I trust that you will understand our concern in this matter, and our whole-hearted willing-


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ness to cooperate with you in every possible way in the dreadful calamity that has overtaken our nation.

Very sincerely yours,

William Aberhart, Premier, Province of Alberta.

These communications, I think, indicate quite clearly what the mind of the people of Canada is with respect to the situation with which this country and the world is faced today. They indicate cooperation of a powerful and effective nature. I have also received a large number of communications from various organizations offering their cooperation. I cannot attempt to quote from them, but I should like to express my thanks to the organizations concerned and to give a list of those that have offered their services to the administration in ways which they believe and hope will be helpful:

1. National Organizations-

Ex-service organizations of both men and women;

All Canadian Congress of Labour;

Canadian Chamber of Commerce;

Canadian Medical Association.

Canadian Red Cross Society;

Canadian Pacific Railway Company;

Christian Social Council of Canada;

Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire, National Chapter;

Junior Leagues of Canada;

McGill University;

National Council of Women of Canada;

Native Sons of Canada, National Council;

The Salvation Army.

Y.M.C.A. National Council;

Y.W.C.A. National Executive;

2. Local Bodies-

Numerous resolutions expressing loyalty and pledging support have been received fromboards of trade;

civic and municipal corporations;

commercial and mercantile groups; fraternal associations; welfare councils.

3. Organizations of foreign born-

Canadian Slovak League; Canadian-Hungarian Democratic Association;

Canadian-Japanese Citizens League (Vancouver)

Croatian Educational Association; Federation of Canadian Hungarian Clubs (National Executive);

German-Canadian branches); Independent Order B.C.:

Association (various Fiorde Italia, Fernie,

National Alliance of Slovaks, Czechs, and Carpatho Russians;

National Council Canadian Ukrainian Youth Federation;

Polish People's Association (Central Executive Committee) ;

Ukrainian Sporting Organization of Canada;

Ukrainian Self-Reliance Bureau of Canada.

Hundreds of communications have been received from individuals throughout Canada, and many from residents of the United States. These communications relate only to offers that have come to my own office. They are but a fraction of those that have been received. There is not a minister of the government who has not received a large number of communications. The Minister of National Defence in particular has received any number of offers of services during the last few days. Steps are being taken to set up under the cabinet subcommittee on public information, a civilian cooperation bureau, which will undertake the collection of all information regarding offers of assistance, with a view to making of it the best possible use.

I should like in the name of the government again to express my thanks to these various organizations and individuals.

I am afraid I have taken much more of the time of the house than I should have taken. But I should not like to conclude without giving the house an expression of my own conviction as to where the responsibility lies for the present conflict. To help other's to understand the situation which the world is facing such judgment as I should like to make on Hitler and the nazi regime of Germany, I should like to pronounce from the lips of Hitler himself.

I have in my hand a copy of a speech delivered in the Reichstag on May 21, 1935, by Adolf Hitler, Fuehrer and Chancellor. This copy was given to me by one of Hitler's official circle when I was in Germany two years ago, as continuing to express the views of Herr Hitler at that time and those of the members of the nazi regime. I ask hon. members to judge for themselves from the Chancellor's own lips what lies at the back of his mind and of the mind of the nazi regime in the series of acts of aggression, the latest the invasion of Poland, and the effort now being made both by terrorism and violence, to continue conquests they have been seeking to make ini the last two years. At the time the following statements were made Herr Hitler was speaking to his own parliament. I quote only a few of the more significant passages.

The introduction was as follows:

At the wish of the government, General Goering. my party colleague and chairman of the reicbstag, has called you together for the purpose of hearing from me, as representative of the German nation, some explanatory statements which I consider necessary for the understanding of the attitude taken up by the government of the Reich and the decisions it has made in regard to certain great issues which affect us all at the present time.

The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King

For this purpose I am speaking to you and through you to the German nation. But I wish that my words may also have a wider echo and reach all those in the outside world who, from duty or interest, have endeavoured to obtain an insight into our thoughts on those same problems which also concern themselves.

... it gives me not only the right, but indeed the sacred duty, to be absolutely open and to speak with all frankness about the various problems. The German nation has the right to demand this from me and I am determined to comply with the demand.

Here is the first significant statement:

It is therefore neither our wish nor our intention to deprive alien sections of our population of their nationalism, language or culture, in order to replace these by something German and foreign to them. We issue no directions for the Germanisation of nonGerman names; on the contrary, we do not wish that. Our racial theory therefore regarde every war for the subjection and domination of an alien people as a proceeding which sooner or later changes and weakens the victor internally and eventually brings about his defeat. But we do not believe for a moment that in Europe the nations whose nationalism has been completely consolidated could in the era of the principle of nationalities be deprived of their national birthright at all. The last one hundred and fifty years provide more than enough instructive warnings of this.

The blood shed on the European continent in the course of the last three hundred years bears no proportion to the national result of the events. In the end France has remained France, Germany Germany, Poland Poland, and Italy Italy. What dynastic egoism, political passion and patriotic blindness have attained in the way of apparently far-reaching political changes by shedding rivers of blood has, as regards national feeling, done no more than touched the skin of the nations. It has not substantially altered their fundamental characters. If these states had applied merely a fraction of their sacrifices to wiser purposes the success would certainly have been greater and more permanent. . . '

No! National socialist Germany wants peace because of its fundamental convictions. And it wants peace also owing to the realization of the simple primitive fact that no war will be likely essentially to alter the distress of Europe. It would probably increase it. . . .

What then could I wish more than peace and tranquillity? But if it is said that this is merely the desire of the leaders, I can reply that if only the leaders and rulers desire peace, the nations themselves will never wish for war.

I ask the house to listen to that statement anew and to note where Hitler himself places the responsibility for war, whether he places responsibility on the German people or on its leaders. He said:

I reply that if only the leaders and rulers desire peace the nations themselves will never wish for war.

It is clear from this statement that it is the leaders, not the German people, who do not desire peace at this time. And that is why we have war.

.. .the world war should serve as a terrible warning. I do not believe that Europe can survive such a catastrophe for a second time without the most frightful upheaval.

Hitler has deliberately brought on this war notwithstanding his conviction that Europe cannot survive such a catastrophe as the last war without a most frightful upheaval. To serve his ambitions he is prepared to sacrifice the whole of Europe. Let me read another extract or two;

Germany has solemnly recognized and guaranteed France her frontiers as determined after the Saar plebiscite. Without taking the past into account Germany has concluded a nonaggression pact with Poland. There is more than a valuable contribution to European peace, and we shall adhere to it unconditionally. We dearly wish that it may continue without interruption and that it may tend to still more profound and friendly sincerity in the mutual relationships between our two countries. The German Reich-and in particular the present German government-have no other wish than to live on friendly and peaceful terms with all neighbouring states. We entertain these feelings not only towards the larger states, but also towards the neighbouring smaller states. As soon as the dogs of war are loosed on the nations the end begins to justify every means. And then people soon begin to lose all clear sense of right and wrong. Germany to-day is a national socialist state. The ideas by which we are governed are diametrically opposed to those of Soviet Russia. National socialism is a doctrine which applies exclusively to the German people. Bolshevism lays emphasis on its international mission. Bolshevism preaches the constitution of the world empire and only recognizes sections of a central international. Bolshevism preaches an international class conflict and the carrying out of a world revolution by means of terror and force.

That is the country with which an agreement has just been secured by the German Chancellor.

So far as bolshevism draws Germany within its range, however, we are its deadliest and most fanatical enemies.

Germany has nothing to gain by a European war of any kind. What we want is freedom and independence. For this reason we were ready to conclude pacts of non-aggression with all our neighbours, Lithuania excepted. _ The sole reason for this exception, however, is not that we wish for a war against that country, but because we cannot make political treaties with a state which ignores the most primitive laws of human society.... With this exception, however-an exception which can be removed at any time by the great powers who are responsible'-we are ready, through pacts and non-aggression undertakings, to give any nation whose frontiers borders on ours that assurance which will also be beneficial to ourselves...

Germany neither intends nor wishes to inte~-fere in the internal affairs of Austria, to annex Austria or conclude an anschluss. The German people and the German government _ have, however, the very comprehensible desire, arising out of a simple feeling of solidarity due to a common national descent-namely, that the right to self-determination should be guaranteed not only for foreign nations but to the German

The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King

people everywhere. I myself believe that no regime which does not rest on public consent and is not supported by the people can continue permanently.

Here is the conclusion:

Members of the German Reichstag.

I have been at pains to give you a picture of the problems which confront us to-day. However great the difficulties and worries may be in individual questions, I consider that I owe it to my .position as Fuehrer and Chancellor of the Reich not to admit a single doubt as to the possibility of maintaining peace. The peoples wish for peace. It must be possible for the governments to maintain it...

We believe that if the peoples of the world can agree to destroy all their gas. inflammatory, and explosive bombs this would be a more useful undertaking than using them to destroy one another.

This is the sentence with which the address concludes:

I cannot better conclude my speech of to-day to you, my fellow fighters and trustees of the nation, than by repeating our confession of faith in peace. The nature of our new constitution makes it possible for us in Germany to put a stop to the machinations of the war agitators. May the other nations too be able to give bold expressions to their real inner longing for peace. Whoever lights the torch of war in Europe can wish for nothing but chaos.

Those are the words of the leader of the German people of to-day, who has just invaded Poland after a series of acts of aggression against a number of the states with whom he said his only desire was to be at peace. Having regard to these statements, which until a year or two ago and even until the very recent past have been put forward as the profession of faith of the naai regime, I ask hon. members if it is possible to believe anything at all that may be said by that regime and its leader. No, Mr. Speaker. What this world is facing to-day is deception, terror, violence and force, by a ruthless and tyrannical power which seeks world domination. I say there has not been a time, the period of the last war not excepted, when the countries of the world have faced such a crisis as they face to-day.

I want to ask hon. members and the people of Canada: In w'hat spirit are you going

to face this crisis? Are you going to face it believing in the rights of individuals, believing in the sacredness of human personality, believing in the freedom of nations, believing in all the sanctities of human life? I believe you are. I believe that through their representatives in this parliament the Canadian people will so indicate in no uncertain way. .

Some years ago, in the forties of last century, there was a bitter anti-slavery agitation in the United States. At that time one of the greatest of the American poets contributed to his nation a poem which he thought might have

its effect in causing the people to see in its true light the significance of the existing situation. The poem was entitled "The Present Crisis." The poet was James Russell Lowell, who some thirty years later became ambassador from the United States to Great Britain. The agitation, as to whether human beings were to be slaves or were to be free, continued over the years, and finally in the sixties the United States found itself engaged in civil war to determine whether the nation was to be half slave and half free. That was a crisis which affected only one country on one continent. The present crisis, the crisis of 1939, affects every country on every continent of the world.

I find in the words of this poem the opposite of all I find in those I have read from the speech of Hitler. I ask hon. members of this house, I ask the people of Canada, and I ask the people of this continent and of all continents: What is to be your choice? I make no apologies for the length of the poem. Its every verse is a call to service. In the present crisis I pray that one and all may play their part in the spirit set forth in the following prophetic and soul stirring words:

When a deed is done fo-r Freedom, through the broad earth's aching breast Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west,

And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels the soul within him climb

To the awful verge of manhood, as the energy sublime

Of a century bursts full-blossomed on the thorny stem of Time.

Through the walls of hut and palace shoots the

instantaneous throe,

WTien the travail of the Ages 'wrings earth's systems to and fro;

At the birth of each new Era, with a recognising start,

Nation wildly looks at nation, standing with mute lips apart,

And glad Truth's yet mightier man-child leaps beneath the Future's heart.

So the Evil's triumph sendeth, with a terror and a chill,

Under continent to continent, the sense of coming ill,

And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels his sympathies with God

In hot tear-drops ebbing earthward, to be drunk up by the sod,

Till a corpse crawls round unburied, delving in the nobler clod.

For mankind are one in spirit, and an instinct bears along,

Round the earth's electric circle, the swift flash of right or wrong;

Whether conscious or unconscious, yet Humanity's vast frame

Through its ocean-sundered fibres feels the gush of joy or shame;-

In the gain or loss of one race all the rest have equal claim.

The Address-Mr. Woodsworth

Once to every man and nation comes the moment

to decide,

In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side;

Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight, [DOT]

Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right,

And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and that light.

Has thou chosen, O my people, on whose party thou shalt stand,

Ere the Doom from its worn sandals shakes the dust against our land?

Though the cause of Evil prosper, yet 'tis Truth *alone is strong.

And, albeit she wander outcast now, I see around her throng-

Troops of beautiful, tall angels, to enshield her from all wrong.

Backward look across the ages and the beacon-moments see,

That, like peaks of some sunk continent, jut through Oblivion's sea;

Not an ear in court or market for the low foreboding cry

Of those Crises, God's stern winnowers, from whose feet earth's chaff must fly;

Never shows the choice momentous till the judgment hath passed by.

Careless seems the great Avenger; history's pages but record

One death-grapple in the darkness 'twixt old systems and the Word;

Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,-*

Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,

Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.

We see dimly in the Present what is small and what is great,

Slow of faith, how weak an arm may turn the iron helm of fate,

But the soul is still oracular; amid the market's din,

List the ominous stern whisper from the Delphic cave within,-

'They enslave their children's children who make compromise with sin'.

Slavery, the earth-born Cyclops, fellest of the giant brood,

Sons of brutish Force and Darkness, who have drenched the earth with blood,

Famished in his self-made desert, blinded by our purer day,

Gropes in yet unblasted regions for his miserable prey;-

Shall we guide his gory fingers where our helpless children play?

Then to side with Truth is noble when we share her wretched crust,

Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and 't is

prosperous to be just,

Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands aside,

Doubting in his abject spirit, till his Lord is crucified,

And the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.

Count me o'er earth's chosen heroes,-they were souls that stood alone,

While the men they agonized for hurled the contumelious stone,

Stood serene, and down the future saw the golden beam incline

To the side of perfect justice, mastered by their faith divine,

By one man's plain truth to manhood and to God's supreme design.

By ,the light of burning heretics Christ's bleeding feet I track, _

Toiling up new Calvaries ever with the cross that turns not back.

And these mounts of anguish number how each generation learned

One new word of that grand Credo which in prophet-hearts hath burned Since the first man stood God-conquered with his face to heaven upturned.

For Humanity sweeps onward; where to-day the martyr stands,

On the morrow crouches Judas with the silver in his hands;

Far in front the cross stands ready and the crackling fagots burn,

While the hooting mob of yesterday in silent awe return

To glean up the scattered ashes into History's golden urn.


James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. J. S. WOODSWORTH (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, my first words must be those of appreciation of the very kind words to which the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) gave utterance this afternoon with regard to myself. I could almost wish that he had not said what he did, because I am afraid that to-night I must rather disappoint him and disappoint some of my other friends in the house.

I should also like to express appreciation of the Prime Minister's attitude with respect to profiteering, his contempt for anyone who would make profits out of a war, and also his condemnation of the abuses of favouritism. I think we must urge that the Prime Minister make good those words, even during this session, by legislation that makes this kind of thing a crime, and whereby all such profits would be forfeited to the state. Empty words will not get us very far, and in the house we have a right to demand that the experiences of the last war shall not be repeated in this one.

I am afraid I cannot appreciate quite so much the Prime Minister's divergence from the immediate topic into the suggestion that the unemployment we have in Canada can not be held to be primarily due to conditions in this country. I quite recognize that there are international factors, but at the same time I do not think it lies in the mouth of this government to try to load unemployment during the past few years upon the present situation in Europe. Again I do think that more is required than a rhetorical flourish that Canada

The Address-Mr. Woodsworth

will stand with Great Britain to the last man. I really think we ought to know what that means. I listened for two or three hours, as did other hon. members, to try to gain some idea of what "cooperation" means, and I confess I am absolutely at a loss. I do not know -and I think I have the average intelligence of the average Canadian citizen. I do not know. .

There is only one point on which we have been enlightened, apparently, and that is that we are not going to have conscription-at least, not at present. We will not have conscription. Are we to send an expeditionary force to Europe? We do not know. I do not know whether the government does, or not-but we do not know that. It is important that we should know it.

We do not know whether or not wealth is to be conscripted. If we are to stand to the very last man, wealth should be conscripted in this country, and in my opinion wealth should be conscripted before men are conscripted. We should know all these things.

It is all very well for the Prime Minister to talk about cooperating in carrying on the affairs of a war. It is all very well for him to talk about the policy of the government. But we in this house have a right to know-and I had hoped that we would hear from the Prime Minister what we did not learn in the governor general's speech-what the policy of the government is.

In the old days I used to hear a great many condemnations of the blank cheque, but in the speech to-day we are asked to give a blank cheque to the government. So far the Prime Minister has not enlightened us in any detail as to what the policy of the government is to be. In fact I was almost tempted, during certain portions of his speech, to think that after all war would be to Canadians a blessing in disguise, because through it we would be able to sell more goods to Great Britain and make more money, and that we would all be happy ever after.

I do not say that this is the idea the Prime Minister has in mind, but I want to put it in that way to emphasize to him that the people of this country have been looking forward eagerly to this session of parliament to find out what the policy of the government is going to be, and I think they will be sadly disappointed when they have learned nothing more than we have heard to-day.

To-night I find myself in rather an anomalous position. My own attitude towards war is fairly well known to the members of the house and, I think, throughout the country. Mjr views on war became crystallized during the last war, long before the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation came into exist-

(Mr. Woodsworth.]

ence, but our Cooperative Commonwealth Federation is a democratic organization that decides matters of policy. My colleagues in the house and in the national council of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, which has been in session with us almost continuously for the last two days, have very generously urged that I take this opportunity of expressing my own opinions with regard to this matter.

The position of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation will be stated at the earliest possible opportunity by one of my colleagues. I say frankly that with part of that policy I heartily agree, but with some portions of it I cannot agree. Yet I was never so proud to belong to the group with which I am associated. In the time at my disposal to-night I shall try to give expression to my own personal views with regard to the war, to give my interpretation of the situation that exists to-day and perhaps suggest some things that should be done. From the scores of telegrams, letters and communications of various kinds that have come to me in the last few days, and from my own knowledge of the Canadian people, I feel confident that there are thousands upon thousands who hold very much the views which I do.

In my judgment an individual citizen in a democracy, and much more a representative of the citizens, can make his greatest contribution by expressing his own convictions as clearly as possible. I am trying to do that to-night. I consider that a great many of my colleagues in this house belonging to all parties are quite sincere in the policies which they advocate. I do not question their patriotism. Perhaps I am going too far when I ask them to believe that I and others who feel like I do are sincere in our convictions and are no less interested in the welfare of this country.

Before I pass on, the first question I should like to ask is this: Is it possible for us to know whether or not Canada is at war tonight? I have consulted with legal friends, many of whom are constitutional lawyers, and some tell me one thing while others tell me another. I had thought that when we came to this house we were at war and that nothing could alter that state of affairs, but as I listened to the Prime Minister to-night I began to feel that we were not at war and were not likely to be at war in the technical sense. I had rather thought that when we came to Ottawa we would have had placed before us in the form of a resolution a definite declaration of war. If we are not at war, is it proposed that we should go into war with-

The Address-Mr. Woodsworth

out a declaration of war? If Canada is a nation, as the Prime Minister said a few moments ago, able to declare war or not to declare war, then I should like to know what steps are to be taken. Are we to have a declaration of war? Are other nations to regard us as neutral? It is not fair that we should have the privileges and immunities of neutrality if we are in reality assisting Great Britain in a war. That is not fair. That is not honest. As the minister was suggesting a few minutes ago when he quoted that beautiful poem of James Russell Lowell-I confess I think it is rather prostituting it to use it in this connection-truth should be the predominating thing. I know that truth is one of the first victims of war.

Are we at war? How do we get into war if we are going in? Some of us would rather ask: How can we keep out? If the Prime Minister is correct in some of his statements to-day, we are not yet in a state of war and it is for this parliament to decide whether we are at war. If so, we ought to know it. For a good many years the Prime Minister has told us that parliament would decide. That is a beautiful but rather ambiguous expression. What are we to decide? According to some of the statements issued a few days ago, we are in the war and all that parliament can do is to decide the extent and nature of our contribution. I think that was stated. If in addition to deciding the extent of our commitments and the nature of our help in the war we are still able to decide to keep out of war, then I would hold up both my hands to keep out of war. Whether you agree that we are to go into the war or are to stay out of the war, I think you will agree that we ought to have some definiteness with regard to a matter as important as this.


Olof Hanson



Are we at war or not at war according to the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation interpretation?


James Shaver Woodsworth

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


The Prime Minister is probably within his legal rights in having brought into effect the War Measures Act. However, I would remind him that that act was first brought into force when a war was actually in progress. The phrasing of that act may permit the government to take certain preventive actions, but I submit that if we are not at war there has been no need so far to resort to the elaborate measures and the enormous expense to which this country has been committed. I want to thank the Prime Minister for his great courtesy to some of us who belong to the minority groups by telling us of the serious situation that existed. I say in all sincerity that I appreciate this very much. I want to say also that I think the government is to be commended for 87134-41

having called parliament promptly. I do not know that it can be said, as I had almost hoped it could be said, that it should be commended for laying down a government policy.

There are several matters which I should like to consider, some of which have been touched upon already by the Prime Minister. First of all, I should like to know Canada's responsibility for the result of British policies. On other occasions in this house I have tried to take my stand with those who have said that we were no longer colonials. I have felt that we should have an independent policy, and yet until the recent statement by the Prime Minister apparently this government has been slavishly following the lead of the British government. The League of Nations has not been functioning during recent times. Theoretically Canada is an independent nation. However, in practice, in our foreign policy we have been very closely associated with the United Kingdom. If I understood the Prime Minister aright, the policy in the past has been for Canada to refuse to have anything to do with any imperial council. Yet he would have us support Great Britain in the results of policies in the formulation of which we have had no part. I do not think that can go on. I think I speak as anyone living in Great Britain would speak. Living under British institutions we claim the right to decide our own policies and not have them decided in any degree outside. I hope the Prime Minister agrees with that. But if he does, I am afraid the leader of the opposition (Mr. Manion) will not.

Let us be clear on these matters. In my judgment the immediate situation has been due almost entirely to the bungling of Mr. Chamberlain.


Some hon. MEMBERS:

No, no.


James Shaver Woodsworth

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


Yes. At least that is my opinion. I have read a good deal in the British journals as to what has been going on. I have read a good deal in some of the working class journals of England as to what has been going on.


An hon. MEMBER:

What about Ramsay MacDonald?


James Shaver Woodsworth

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


I know something of the way in which Mr. Hitler has been built up by some big interests in Great Britain. I think that anyone who has studied the policies of the British government for the last year or two-their policy, for example, in Spain-knows that by this means Hitler has been actually built up, as it were, and now that matters have gone too far a great appeal is sent out, not only through Great Britain but all over the world, to rescue Great Britain from the situation in which she

The Address-Mr. Woodsworth

finds herself through the bungling of her own government. I submit that we in Canada should not accept responsibilities for the results of such bungling, since we have had no voice in it.

Further than that, I should like to say this, that Canada is situated on the North American continent. Geographically and economically we are North American. To no small extent the attitude of our great neighbour must be a determining factor in our international relations. I cannot be accused of being over inclined to the Americans. I come from old United Empire Loyalist stock.


September 8, 1939