February 5, 1942



On the orders of the day:


Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Hon. R. B. HANSON (Leader of the Opposition):

I desire to direct a question to the Prime Minister based on the report of a speech made by the Hon. Louis St. Laurent, Minister of Justice, at Quebec city on Monday the 2nd instant, in which he is reported to have said in a radio address- that "at the moment and probably for a long time to come conscription for overseas service would harm our war effort."

I now ask the Prime Minister if that statement of the Hon. Mr. St. Laurent represents the government's views, and may it be taken as a statement of government policy? Was Mr. St. Laurent speaking with the authority of the government, and does the Prime Minister support or repudiate this statement of the Minister of Justice?


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


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

I have been trying to avoid political controversy and give my thought and time to the effort of the country in the matter of the war, and I do not intend to be drawn into any controversy by the leader of the opposition.




On the orders of the day: Mr. JEAN-FRANQOIS POULIOT (Ternis-couata): Notwithstanding the profound feeling of admiration that we all have for our glorious dead, and in view of the statement made by the Prime Minister on the very first day of this session that the government would grant a committee of investigation in the matter, and in view of the fact that such committee has not yet been named, also in view of the fact that our volunteers should not be on active duty anywhere unless fully equipped and trained, may I be permitted to call the attention of the government and of the house to a poster which may be seen anywhere and which is the worst possible appeal for recruiting volunteers: Remember Hong Kong. Royal Rifles of Canada will be reconstituted 100 per cent. Follow their glorious example. Enlist now. Apply to the nearest recruiting station in your district. My question is this: Is it the intention of the Department of National Defence to give immediate and definite instructions that such posters shall be removed at once from anywhere and taken away from the sight of the only ones who have the right to forget-I mean our gallant soldiers, airmen and sailors. It should be for them to forget Hong Kong, although we shall remember it all our lives.


James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)


Hon. J. L. RALSTON (Minister of National Defence):

I did not know of the poster. I do not know who designed it or put it out, but I know this, that a group of very fine patriotic citizens, not only of Quebec, but of Montreal as well, made representations to the department asking that we reconstitute this battalion, with its magnificent tradition, and we gave authority so to do; and recruiting is going on for that battalion. At the moment I do not see what my hon. friend's objection is to the poster. The insinuation that ihe makes, the reflection which he makes against the department, I quite understand; but that is a matter which will be investigated and inquired into in due course. As regards this poster, I presume it was got out by the local recruiting committee, whether by the district officer commanding I do not know, but I am sure with the full consent and approval of the officers of this newly reconstituted battalion, a number of whom at least have relatives and friends among those who were in the Canadian Hong Kong expedition. It seems to me that what was considered by them to be appropriate would be considered by the house and the people generally to be equally so.


Jean-François Pouliot



I rise to a question of privilege. I made no insinuation whatever, and besides that, the minister is my colleague in this house; but I protest strongly when he calls me his friend.




On the orders of the day:


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


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

A few days ago the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) asked the following question:

1. What decision has the government reached regarding the recognition of our present ally the U.S.S.R.?

2. If recognition has been decided upon, will the government exchange representatives with the Soviet Union?

I explained the reasons at the time why it was not possible to give an immediate answer to the question. I am now in a position to give the house the following information:

Soviet Union-Consular Services

De facto recognition, of the U.S.S.R. was accorded by the United Kingdom government following the signature of a trade agreement at London on March 16, 1921. Canada adhered to this agreement on July 3, 1922, from which date extends Canada's de facto recognition of the USK.R.

On February 1, 1924, the United Kingdom government granted de jure recognition to the U.S.S.R., while formal recognition by Canada may be dated from March 24, 1924, at which time a communication from the Canadian government was forwarded to the government of the U.S.S.R., stating that Canada was prepared to recognize the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics.

Up to the present time, therefore, the Canadian government has maintained diplomatic and commercial relations with Russia in exactly the same way as is done with many other countries with whom direct diplomatic relations have not yet been established, that is, through the British diplomatic and consular services.

In reply to the second part of this question I would like to inform the house that an agreement was signed1 in London to-day at 3 p.m. London time between the government of Canada and the government of the U.S.S.R., providing for the exchange of consular representatives between the two countries. The Canadian High Commissioner in London, the Right Hon. Vincent Massey, signed on behalf of Canada, and the Russian ambassador, M. Maisky, signed on behalf of the U.S.S.R.

I may say that it is the belief of the government that the establishment of direct relations, pursuant to this agreement, will greatly facilitate the solution of common problems arising out of the war efforts of our two countries.




The house resumed from Wednesday, February 4, consideration of the motion of Mr. Alphonse Fournier for an address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Hanson (York-Sunbury), and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Coldwell.


William Alexander Fraser


Mr. W. A. FRASER (Northumberland, Ont.):

Mr. Speaker, I realize, on rising to offer some contribution, I hope, to this debate, that as a member of this house I am endeavouring to speak at the most serious time in the history of Canada, the empire and the future of civilization as we know it. I want it

clearly understood at the outset that, supported by the stand I have taken in this house since 1936, I am absolutely and irrevocably and determinedly for an all-out war effort on the part of Canada.

Before proceeding with the observations I have to make this afternoon I should like to make reference to the speech made by my good friend the hon. member for Lambton West (Mr. Gray), which I considered a well-developed and well-delivered oration. But I can only say to him, as I can say to the hon. member for Eglinton (Mr. Hoblitzell) who spoke two days ago, that as Voltaire said:

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

The first thing we should do, Mr. Speaker, in considering Canada's position is to consider the position of Great Britain at the present time; to consider the position in which the people of Britain have found themselves from the beginning of this war, but particularly as developments have taken place from day to day; to consider the position of Britain to-day as compared with the position she was in during the war of 1914-18. Then there were many places to which Britain could turn for supplies; there was Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Spain, and it is not necessary for me to mention, except to ask hon. members to visualize, the supplies she drew in raw materials from the countries accessible during that conflict.

At that time also Britain had available for her war effort the raw materials and food supplies of Australia, New Zealand and the other parts of the empire.

To-day Britain's position is such that Canada is not only the most important but practically the only reservoir for the supplies she needs not only to carry on her war effort but for the very existence of her people. Situated as we are on the shortest sea lane across the western ocean, we must be ready, as we have been, not only to supply Britain with her food and raw material requirements, but to supply her to the limit of our ability with the implements and equipment so necessary to carry on this conflict. In that regard Canada, a highly industrialized country, a vast agricultural country, with over one-third of her people engaged on the land, occupies an outstanding and essential position in the matter of enabling Britain to maintain her people and to carry on this war.

It has been necessary for the government and the people of Canada, in consultation with the people and the authorities, military and civil, of Great Britain, to work out some

The Address-Mr. Fraser (Northumberland)

plan whereby Canada could1 extend to Britain the maximum contribution to the achievement of our common objective, that is, the defeat of our enemies, the defeat of that school of thought, the defeat of the totalitarian dictators. That is Canada's duty to-day as it has been in the months that have passed.

Anyone who has not had the opportunity to survey 'Canada's war industries, to go into the shipyards, the gun plants, the aeroplane plants, the plants producing parts, plants producing the things that Britain has not been able to mobilize to produce even to this day, cannot realize the tremendous effort that has been made and the great results that have accrued from Canada's industrial mobilization under the direction of the efficient and tireless and experienced Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe). If hon. members could, as I have done, spend a month going over the industrial development of Canada, taking into full consideration the time required to turn industry from peacetime production to wartime production, the time required to tool up, to produce dies, jigs, machines, to procure from the only available source the requisite precision tools to produce guns, planes, parts and equipment and munitions, they would marvel at the contribution Canada has made in that respect 'to the war effort of our empire and our allies.

In this connection, Mr. Speaker, I want to refer for a moment or two to a recent issue of the Monetary Times, in which appear page after page of names of those who have been brought into the service of the nation in order to mobilize Canada's industry for our war effort. I hope hon. members will not consider it out of place if I read into the record the names of these men, of all political complexions, from all walks of life but leaders of various branches of industry, who have voluntarily entered the service of the state, to give of their time and experience in the organization of Canada's war industry and the alignment of Canada's economic and financial position in this world struggle. These are the names:

Donald Gordon, chairman, wartime prices and trade board.

R. C. Berkinshaw, chairman, wartime industries control board.

Allan H. Williamson, controller of supplies.

G. R. Cottrelle, oil controller.

D. B. Carswell, director general of naval construction.

John H. Berry, motor vehicle controller.

S. W. Fairweather, director general, economics and statistics.

Colonel D. E. Dewar, director general of arsenals and small arms.

Shirley G. Dixon, K.C., artificial silk administrator.

H. G. Smith, administrator of knit goods.

Hon. J. G. Taggart, food administrator.

i456t 22

F. B. Walls, coordinator of textiles and clothing.

Edgar G. Burton, administrator of retail trade.

Robert F. Chisholm, administrator of wholesale trade.

D. J. 0. Meyers, director of purchase branch in United States.

R. B. Whitehead, It.C., deputy administrator of retail trade.

Thomas Arnold, machine tools controller.

W. D. F. Drysdale, director general of industrial planning.

I understand this gentleman has made an unparalleled contribution to Canada's tank production. [DOT]*

F. M. Ross, director general, naval armaments branch.

Colonel D. Stairs, director general of defence projects.

J. P. D. Malkin, joint director general of purchasing.

Desmond A. Clarke, director general of shipbuilding.

F. H. Brown, assistant director general of munitions production.

Wilfred Gagnon, joint director general of purchasing.

J. G. Dodd, administrator of cotton.

Ralph P. Bell, director general of aircraft production.

J. D. C. Forsyth, administrator, men's and boys' furnishings.

Allan S. Nicholson, controller of timber.

E. P. Taylor, president, British supply council in North America.

D. M. Farish, director general of personnel, munitions and supply.

H. J. Symington, K.C., controller of power.

C. Blake Jackson, controller of construction.

H. M. Long, special assistant to the Minister of Finance.

Michael Morris, administrator of furs.

Harry J. Carmichael, director general of gun production.

Frederick B. Kilbourn, controller of steel.

Doctor R. J. Manion.

John A. Marsh, Hamilton.

I had the honour of sitting in this house with Mr. Marsh, who is doing one fine job of work on behalf of this dominion to-day. And then day after day we see in the daily press lists of men who have been asked or who have volunteered to give their services to the country to do necessary work in the prosecution of the biggest business in the world to-day, the business of war. These men are not chosen from any political rank or for any particular colour or stripe; they are chosen by the government, and in particular by the department under the administration of the Minister of Munitions and Supply because they are the best men in Canada to carry on that work.

I should like to refer for a moment to statements made in the British House of Commons by Mr. Churchill on January 28, only last week, in connection with Canada's financial contribution to the empire war effort.


The Address-Mr. Fraser (Northumberland)

This quotation is from the Montreal Star of January 28, 1942:

Mr. Churchill himself praised us when he was here, and yesterday in the British house he referred to "Canada's great and growing contribution to the common cause in men, money and materials," as part of his expression of thanks for our financial offer, which he glowingly termed an offer "unique in its scale in the whole history of the British empire."

I wish to place on record1 also another statement, this time from the Globe and Mail, made at the same time by Mr. Churchill, in these words:

We are conducting this war on the basis of full democracy, and this attempt has'nt been made before in such circumstances.

A variety of attacks are made upon the composition of the government. It is said that it is formed upon a party political basis, but so is the House of Commons. It is silly to extol the parliamentary system and in the next breath say, "Away with party; away with politics."

I have mentioned this statement because I want to make reference to it a little later.

Before proceeding further I feel that as a member representing a constituency in the province of Ontario I would not be taking full advantage of this opportunity if I did1 not make some reference to the "total war committee" of the city of Toronto. If I were not firmly convinced that mine was the right stand; if I were not firmly convinced that I had a duty to perform, as a humble member of this House of Commons, to express my innate convictions, I should not be speaking this afternoon; but, since I am speaking, I believe I would be unmindful of my duty if I did not make particular reference to this so-called committee. My roots are buried deep in the soil of Scotland. When the war of 1914 broke out my dear old Scotch father called his three boys into the living room and said, "The empire is at war. Choose what you are going to do, the navy or the army, but get into it." That is but an expression of the loyalty I hold not only to Canada but also to the British empire. I make reference to this incident because I take second place to no one in this chamber, or out of it, in my loyalty to my country. But I am going to maintain that loyalty without subterfuge, without fear, without appeal to emotion, prejudice or class. I am going to maintain it in fair, manly language; I am going to do my duty as I see it, regardless of party, race or creed. And I must Say, Mr. Speaker, that I consider the methods used by the "total war committee" of Toronto embodied subterfuge, deception and hyprocrisy.

I want to place upon record this afternoon the original telegram-"the" original telegram

sent out by J. Y. Murdoch, Fred K. Morrow

and Charles Burton, inviting two hundred people from Ontario to attend a luncheon for which they paid in the Royal York hotel in Toronto. I shall place the full wire on record.

This wire was sent to Mr. 0. G. Alyea, at Trenton, Ontario. Please take particular note of the phraseology of it:

Would appreciate if you would join us at luncheon at Royal York hotel on Saturday, January 10, 12.30 p.m. to a limited number influential citizens to discuss a matter of urgent national importance which in the meantime must remain confidential. Please telegraph acceptance immediately care of Royal York hotel, Toronto.

Why did they not tell those people what they were there for? Why did they not tell them why they were invited? The great majority of those two hundred people went to the city of Toronto expecting that these outstanding men were inviting them to have luncheon m order to organize on behalf of the Dominion of Canada the new victory loan. They did not expect they were going to be placed under the obligation of accepting a luncheon at somebody else's expense. They did not expect that within the confines of formal etiquette they would be placed at a disadvantage by their hosts. They were invited there to discuss a matter which must be kept confidential. Let me say, Mr. Speaker, that anything which has to do with the welfare of Canada is not confidential with me. I can say it from my place in the House of Commons or say it publicly on any platform or at any luncheon, paid for or otherwise, in the Dominion of Canada.

Now, let us analyse the records of these gentlemen. I make this analysis because I shall have something to say about it before I have finished. I make the analysis because I detest underhand methods. Last night I sent down to the parliamentary library and obtained a copy of "Who's Who", which contains the record of every industrialist and financier in Canada. Every industrialist and financier in Canada who wishes to have his picture or photograph published pays $200 to get it in. Let us read it-


An hon. MEMBER:

And writes it himself.


William Alexander Fraser


Mr. FRASER (Northumberland, Ont.):

Yes, as I was going to say, writes it himself. Listen to this:

Murdock, James Y., K.C., LL.D.; President, Noranda Mines; President, Canadian Copper Refiners Limited; Waite Amulet Mines, Limited; Amulet Dufault Mines; Pamour Porcupine Mines, Limited; Hallnor Mines, Limited;

And then there is a company the name of which is in Spanish. The list continues:

Kerr-Addison Gold Mines, Limited; Goldale Mines Limited; The Office Specialty Manufac-

The Address-Mr. Fraser (Northumberland)

turing Company, Limited; Vice-president, Aunor Gold Mines Limited; Director: The Bank of Nova Scotia; The Mutual Life Assurance Company of Canada; The British American Oil Company Limited; Hollinger Consolidated Gold Mines Limited; Canada Wire and Cable Company Limited; Wright-Hargreaves Mines, Limited; Quebec Gold Mining Corporation; Rolland Paper Company Limited and Maple Leaf Gardens; Director, Allied War Supplies Corporation.

That is the industrial position of one of the men who issued the invitations for that luncheon.


February 5, 1942