May 28, 1940

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply; Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

We have control, of course. But we have passed no such order.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

The other day, when the hon. gentleman acting as Minister of Munitions and Supply made a statement, he mentioned that certain articles of equipment could not be manufactured in Canada. Apparently the intention was that some would be procured in the United States and some would be obtained in Great Britain. It seems fairly obvious now that it will not be possible for us to get equipment in Great Britain. Certainly we shall not be able to get very much from there. Under those conditions would it not be possible for the government to initiate a programme under which all equipment shall be made in Canada or purchased, say, from the United States or from Australia?

There is one other matter upon which I should like to have information. Apparently there are across the country many plants which have been anxious to do war work and have not yet been given an order, perhaps because they could not carry it out as cheaply as some other firm. In view of the seriousness of the situation in which we are placed at the present time, would it not be well to allot work of one kind or another to all these plants and get them into the war effort without any further delay?

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply; Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I may say that since the position of Britain as a supplier of Canada has changed, the Department of Munitions and Supply is making strenuous efforts to review production of such war materials as it had been dependent upon Great Britain for. We are exploring the possibilities of production in Canada; we are replacing certain supplies by obtaining them from the United States instead of from Great Britain, and we are reviewing our whole purchasing orogramme. fMr. MacNicol.]

Our position previously, of course, was quite obvious. We were collaborating with Great Britain; where they had obvious advantages in respect of production we were not attempting to manufacture the same class of supplies. We thought our best contribution would be to concentrate on certain articles which we could produce more advantageously than Britain. At the moment we are revising that policy in the light of -the existing situation, and we anticipate that there will be a speeding up of production and an opening up in Canada of new lines of production just as rapidly as they can be organized.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

What about making use of these smaller plants across the country?

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply; Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

As I interpret my job, it is to supply the requirements of the armed forces in the most efficient manner possible. As far as I am concerned I am not interested in whether a plant is large or small provided it can do the job. We have certain work to do; we have a complete record of every plant in Canada and its equipment, and we are doing our best to use the resources of Canada most efficiently.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

I understood the other day that the question was one of cost. I am not suggesting that any particular small firm should get work, but I am asking whether it would not speed up the production of equipment if all the plants in Canada were used on the manufacture of one or another type of equipment.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply; Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Well, it would indeed, provided we required types of production that could use all the plants. As it is, we have certain requirements to fill; and as I say, we have a record of every plant in Canada. We try to fill those requirements as efficiently as we can and at a reasonable cost, although we have never let cost be the entirely determining factor; the factors of deliveries and quality are very important, in fact they are often the determining factors. But naturally we pay no more for this equipment than it is necessary to pay.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Thomas Langton Church

National Government

Mr. CHURCH:

Will there be sufficient

funds available in case the government finds that, owing to the progress of the war, it may be necessary to call out the militia all over Canada? Also at some militia camps last June there were complaints of a lack of mechanized equipment.

Might I refer to another matter under this bill for granting to his majesty aid for national defence and security? Section 91, subsection 7 of the British North America Act says it is this parliament's responsibility under

War Appropriation Bill

militia and defence for the protection of all municipal and provincial property in time of war, which includes in the Niagara district, for example, rights of way and towers for direct current of the power lines. The importance of those power lines during the last war is shown by the fact that at one time Ontario was supplying 56 per cent of all the munitions because Ontario's industries had cheap power ready. If the power went off through lack of guards, the production of munitions would be stopped or slowed up. I should like to know what the government is going to do about this question of soldier guards on all municipal and provincial utilities. This matter has been before the house; it was one of the scuttled motions away back in January. The onus of protecting the lines during the last war was on the dominion government under the words, "militia and defence." For example, there is a camp at Camp Borden, another at Barriefield, and another at Trenton. Soldiers in these camps were, in the days of the first war, used in part of their time, while in training, for this guard duty, and were utilized in guarding the rights of way of public utilities all over Ontario.

What is the government going to do also about cadet services? In the great war, in fact, in all the ware that we have been engaged in, had it not been for our cadet services the militia units, who are largely recruited from former school cadets, would not have made the showing that they did. They were the back-bone of the militia during the days before the South African war, in the Northwest rebellion and in the last great war. I submit that we should have a declaration from the government on a forward cadet policy in conjunction with boards of education.

There have been many requests for transportation on the railways for our soldiers. The soldiers are moved from Windsor to Camp Borden and from the maritimes to Toronto. In the last war the government issued what were known as soldier commutation tickets, and were carried on the local street cars free in many cities. I have seen instances, in the city I come from, of women and children travelling on trains and having to pay full fare, coming long distances. Some of these camps are only five or ten miles from a city. The men are getting $1.30 a day. When 30 cents a day for carfare is deducted, there is not much left them; and if they are late they are fined and may lose two or three days' pay. The result is that the women and children suffer. The minister ought to look into this matter and make an announcement. He should get in touch with the boards of education in connection with the cadet movement.

May I say one word in conclusion with reference to soldier insurance. Surely out of this $700,000,000 there can be found something for looking after the insurance of our men who are going overseas, both for those who get killed and for those who come back after the war. In my opinion it would be cheaper if we had a system of soldier insurance to take care of dependants of those who are killed and to aid in the civil reestablishment of those who come back. A system of this kind would effect a large economy in pensions, and widows' and other allowances.

I hope that as the session proceeds the government will see the advisability of having one or more private sessions. If we had one or two such sessions, we could clean up a large number of non-contentious matters which, if freely and fully explained, would no doubt pass easily, such as improvements and inequalities in dependants' allowances, guards, recruiting, and other soldier grievances.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

May I refer briefly to a matter of vital importance which so far has been almost completely overlooked in the debate? The Minister of Finance spoke the other day of the morale of our Canadian troops. Without that proper morale, all the money, all the men and all the sacrifice will be of no avail. What creates this spirit in our men and in our people? It is created by faith and confidence, by that assurance which comes from the knowledge that their leaders have the ability and the power to render proper leadership. How can we best create that assurance in the minds of those who go to sacrifice all that living means? How can we maintain in the hearts and minds of those who remain at home that proper spirit? We can do it only by assuring them that their sacrifices are not again a waste of life and material, and the creation of a great debt which will cast its shadow over the lives of generations yet unborn. There must be proof of effective action at home. They must know that there is not corruption or profiteering. We must rid Canada of the spirit of a profiteering world. These boys must be assured that justice will be preserved and democracy maintained at home. Let the traitors of the great cause of democracy-those who would use the freedom given to them under the British flag to betray us in the dark hour of trial-be treated as befits their acts; but let us be equally sure that the civil liberties, the justice and the fair play, which are also a part of our traditions, will not be destroyed in the process. That is vital.

Canadians must always remember that the civil liberties won for us by our forefathers are our only guarantee for progress. It 7

War Appropriation Bill

those liberties for which we are at war. They are sacred to all true Canadians-they must never be abused. The maintenance of those liberties is a sacred trust of this parliament. To-day Canada's manhood goes to fight to maintain freedom and democracy abroad so that these rights still may be the heritage of future generations.

It is incumbent upon every parliament of Canada to respect and constantly protect every clause of our constitution. Orders in council may be necessary at a time of stress, but Canadians must be eternally vigilant to see that these privileges are properly used. No cabinet should be permitted to set aside legislation passed by parliament as was done on August 26, 1939. Not until seven or eight days later was the War Measures Act passed which permitted such action. Why? When our constitution is not respected, Canadians must make their instant protest; for ,the path of such action leads directly to anarchy.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I am sure my hon. friend is not aware that the War Measures Act was in force at the time, forming a part of the statutes of Canada published in the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1927.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

Was it not made

retroactive?

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

No.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

While men offered

their life-blood in the hour of danger, profiteering industry refused to provide the sinews of war. To-day Canada hangs her head in shame as we find our earliest efforts thwarted for want of supplies. Canada and the empire were sold out.

Quoting from Hansard of September 12, 1939, page 179, I find these words of the Minister of Transport (Mr. Howe):

I can say to my hon. friend that from that day to this the defence purchasing board has done its very best to place contracts on that basis and has used every pressure that could be brought to bear in the form of patriotism and so on, but to date it has not succeeded in placing a single contract on that basis.

This is one of the most revealing cases of the attitude of industrialists toward the war. From this statement it is quite evident that there was agreement among the contractors. It is abundantly evident, too, that patriotism and sacrifice mean nothing to them-profits mean everything. Profits to them mean more than Canada or the British empire. They are largely responsible for our present plight with regard to the shortage which is paralyzing our war effort. Instead of yielding to the demand for a greater increase in profits, why

[Mr. Castleden.l

did not this government or the administration nationalize the industries which are so vital to our very existence?

Is money again to be considered of more importance than life? Many boys from the western plains leave debt-ridden homes as they go to fight for Canada. After enlisting, they hear that relief quotas are to be drastically reduced, farm machinery prices are raised within ten days after the election, and the soldier goes into battle wondering how his aged parents and his sisters can live on the meagre returns from the home he has left. There are no profits for him. To-day he looks to this house for leadership. He asks why, if he is willing to give his life, the money-lenders should not be willing to give a part of their money. In the last war Canada socialized her greatest natural resource, the blood of her manhood; and while this was being poured out, profiteering industry and money-lenders enriched themselves with tax-free bonds, and laid upon coming generations a debt so staggering that we can but borrow to pay the interest. Too soon wives and parents will be sent telegrams to tell them that their husbands and sons will not come back. No telegrams will come to tell the money-lenders that some of their contribution will not come back.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

It will not either.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

Why do we not have some equality of sacrifice? The boys in 1914-18 died in what they were told was a war to end war.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Olof Hanson

Liberal

Mr. HANSON (Skeena):

What is the hon. member reading?

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

He is a new member, let him go on.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Olof Hanson

Liberal

Mr. HANSON (Skeena):

My point of order is that I should like to know whether he is reading his own speech or if someone else wrote it for him.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

William Earl Rowe

National Government

Mr. ROWE:

There is no point of order in that.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Olof Hanson

Liberal

Mr. HANSON (Skeena):

Is he reading his own speech or what someone else said?

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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May 28, 1940