June 24, 1942

NAT

Thomas Langton Church

National Government

Mr. CHUECH:

For a return showing-1. Who compose the R.C.A.F. headquarters staff at Toronto and the officers at manning pool, and at the exhibition grounds?

2. The number of chaplains, clerks, stenographers, accountants, pay and bank officials, press liaison officers, amusement, physical training and sports, civilian and other quasi officers, their salaries, pay, emoluments, subsistence and other allowances.

3. Uniforms worn by these persons and the cost of same.

4. Their military training, if any, before appointment as officers.

5. How many will later go overseas.

6. How many are engaged in purely civilian duties at home, who appointed them, and what are their names and pay.

7. How many of those there now had any training in the universities C.O.T.C. when they joined, what is the length of time for training for this classification and what fatigue, guard and kitchen duties do they perform.

Mr. POWER; I would ask the hon. member to clarify his meaning of the words "quasi officers." With that restriction, I have no objection.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY-PURCHASE OF COAL FOR USE IN PICTOU COUNTY, N.8.
Subtopic:   R.C.A.F.-STAFF AT TORONTO HEADQUARTERS, MANNING POOL AND EXHIBITION GROUNDS
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HONOURS AND DECORATIONS


The house resumed from Tuesday, June 23, consideration of the motion of Mr. McLarty, for the appointment of a select committee of the house to consider the application of the principle accepted in 1919 with resrpect to honours and decorations to members of the Canadian armed forces.


CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

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

I do not wish to prolong this debate, but I think the motion might be amended to enable the committee to consider the cancellation of hereditary titles now held by persons domiciled in the dominion. I believe it is in the public interest that citizens of

this country should not pass on to their heirs and successors titles that are meaningless here, and which embarrass the holders of such titles in future years.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY-PURCHASE OF COAL FOR USE IN PICTOU COUNTY, N.8.
Subtopic:   HONOURS AND DECORATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLE ACCEPTED IN 1919 TO MEMBERS OF CANADIAN ARMED FORCES
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NAT

Thomas Langton Church

National Government

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview):

Last night I asked the minister in charge of this resolution certain questions on some parts of it. It is true that according to the ruling given by the Deputy Speaker, reference may not be made to the question of titles, but if one carefully examines the Nickle resolution of 1919 he will find that it deals with honours and decorations and also at least refers directly and indirectly to the subject matter of titles.

This resolution is based on the report of the Nickle committee of May 14 and May 22, 1919. I had the text of that report before me last night and quoted from it that soldiers' honours did not come under it. I find on further examination of the debate on the subject that there was a considerable number of speakers at that time, including members from Ontario as well as from all the other provinces, and it is clear from the text of the resolution and of the report of the committee and of its meetings that what the acting leader of the opposition (Mr. Stirling) said last night is borne out as true, and that he stated the facts. I do not wish to be discourteous to the hon. member for Yale, because he is one of the most courteous men I know, but I would point out that this whole question was raised by him at the last session, when he asked, quite rightly, for a ruling on soldiers' honours and decorations.

I have no intention of detaining the house, but I am bound to point out to the government that over a month ago the Canadian people, by a "yes" vote on the plebiscite that was submitted to them, gave the government power to deal with the whole war question itself, and not by reference to committees, and in that vote the Canadian people showed a decidedly bellicose spirit toward the government and the House of Commons, including all parties, for our failure to get on with the war. In that vote the people urged the government and the members of this house to get an with a total war effort. Here we are, on the ninety-third day of the session talking about honours and decorations and all that kind of tomfoolery after the waste of time on a plebiscite. The enemy is at our front door, our back door, our side door and everywhere else, and still, at this late date of the session, we are engaged in discussing an academic question-because that is all it is-which is not primary, but secondary, and could wait until the end of the war.

If the legal officers of the crown are right in the opinion which they have expressed in

Honours and Decorations

regard to decorations and honours-and it is only an opinion; merely because they say so does not mean that what they say is right or what they take the law to be; it is a matter of policy, not of law-then a good many decorations given by certain bodies such as secret societies and other agencies in this country would be illegal. If these legal officers are correct in their position, then the Knights of Pythias and other secret orders, spiritual and temporal, have no right also under the principle of the Nickle resolution and would, for example, have no right to hand out to the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot), the title of lord high potentate of the Knights of Pythias or anything else. We have numerous other civilian bodies in this country that decorate their members and hand out honours. The Nickle resolution and the action of the parliament of 1919 cannot bind this parliament. Their powers ceased on the dissolution in 1921 of that parliament.

We see people parading on March 17 and on July 12 respectively. We see them on the streets wearing all kinds of civilian honours and decorations, and if the legal opinion we have on this subject now is correct, then these gorgeous decorations are also out. And so are university degrees. There are very few men on the front benches who have not doctors' degrees. I am glad to see them get these degrees. I remember when the Prime Minister was leaving the house in 1923 to get a degree from Yale; I told him, as he went out, that he was "becoming popular by degrees". I say, Mr. Speaker, that the time has gone by for fun or for talking of these matters in time of war.

Yesterday, June 23, was what we might call decoration day with the budget speech and this decoration debate. Well, I can remember many years ago, forty-six years ago, June 23, 1896 when the Tory government of Sir Charles Tupper went out of office because they would not stick to their principles, and Ontario and other provinces upset the government and elected another in their place. They elected the late Sir Wilfrid Laurier. I remember a temperance committee that once waited upon his government. I am not a temperance man myself, and I do not pose as one, so I was not on the deputation, but I did hear of that deputation being received by the government of Sir Wilfrid Laurier. The deputation was led by the Rev. Mr. Huxtable, and it asked for legislation based on a prohibition vote as a result of a referendum that had been held-it was called a referendum then; now it is a plebiscite. The Rev. Mr. Huxtable, in the course of his remarks, referred to Mr. 44561-231 i

Laurier, as he was then, as Sir Wilfrid. Sir Wilfrid Laurier replied, "Do not call me Sir Wilfrid; I am simply Mr. Laurier"; he said, "I am a democrat to the hilt". I am glad that afterwards Sir Wilfrid forgot his pledge against titles and was prevailed upon to accept a title, because he had earned it. He deserved that title as head of this country, and there was no law to stop it, nor did he take a plebiscite on it.

Let me point out to the government that in this resolution we have an example of the committee system of government. Instead of taking the responsibility for this question, the government passes it over to a committee. Who is asking for this anyhow? It is not the soldiers. We have been trying to get a committee appointed to consider soldier questions in regard to pensions, readjustments of pay, dependents' bonuses, soldiers' insurance, cheap fares, and other matters in which there are hundreds of anomalies and inequalities in the pay of the army, the navy and the air force, but nothing is done. All these matters of first importance should go to a committee ahead of the question of medals. We cannot get the Minister of Finance (Mr. Usley) to take appropriate action on dependents bonuses. Perhaps the government do not realize that they have conferred a decoration on 99 per cent of the people-they did so last night, for they are sending 99 per cent of the people to the poorhouse. That is where the proletarian Canadian people are headed for. I repeat, this is not a matter for a committee, but for the government which has the power. A committee is not the proper forum to consider this question. The government must accept the responsibility for any changes that are made. Since the beginning of this war we have had nothing but the committee form of government, government by order in council and the controls system. I have sat on some of these committees, and the system has been weighed in the balance and found wanting. There are five or six of these committees sitting now. I myself have attended meetings of committees, and I am disappointed in the work that is being done. We have had no report in regard to what is being done in the war expenditures committee; we have had no report in connection with the radio, and so on. The government has initiated this decoration question itself without any demand for it, and must abide by its decision; it must take responsibility for the whole thing. I am not going to refer to the word "titles", or discuss that question, because the Deputy Speaker last night properly ruled that only honours and decorations are

iit>56

Honours and Decorations

being considered; but the fact is that the government is simply trying to shift the responsibility from their own shoulders to a committee. In other words, the door will be wide open for the committee to send on titles. I am a supporter of soldiers' medals, honours and decorations, but not hereditary titles.

This committee will not add anything to the powers which the government already has in regard to decorations and honours for soldiers. Why appoint it? Honours and decorations are the only question before the house, and the government can take action in that respect. I am not going to labour the point much further, but it seems to me a pity that we should be discussing this matter now while we are leaving undiscussed the important and urgent questions I mentioned with regard to soldiers and their dependents. What does it matter if someone wants an honour or a decoration at once when the war is on and he may be decorated immediately? I cannot understand the mentality of this house when it will consider, without much effort, an academic resolution like this, while it refuses to do something for our soldiers along the lines I have mentioned. This is a purely academic motion while the war is going on. We do not want a motion of this sort. This is a motion from a government that does not govern, a government that has no policy and is guided only by political expediency. The people are wondering when this House of Commons is going to wake up to a realization of the real war situation, before it is too late and we are invaded. We have been here a long time now, and in my opinion the government has been weighed in the balance and found wanting. The people of Canada showed that through the ballot box a month ago. It showed a hostile, bellicose spirit toward the way in which we have been conducting the business of the country. If representative government is to survive in Canada-I say this with all due respect to your high office, Mr. Speaker-there must be an end of politics in this house in war time, because since the war started, the government has been carrying on the affairs of the country from the party point of view. Every backbencher as well as every front-bencher must take his responsibility in the matter and, if necessary, supporters of the government must make the sacrifice involved in standing up for principle. Everyone must be prepared to spend some time in the wilderness for principle's sake, and every member of the government should be willing to do his duty

and stand by his principles and forget politics until victory comes. This is not the time for this resolution.

No one objects to decorations and honours for our soldiers. As I said before, the government has the necessary power, as will be found by reference to the report submitted in 1919. I am not going to read that report, but hon. members can find it in Hansard of May 22 of that year. Mr. Nickle of Kingston City moved the adoption of the special committee's report, and it was pointed out in the report that decorations and honours, so far as soldiers were concerned, were not being interfered with. The Nickle report also referred to the fact that a report, signed by twenty members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons in Great Britain, had criticized the corruption which prevailed in England at that time in connection with the granting of honours, decorations, titles and all that sort of thing for purely party purposes. No sensible person will object to honours and decorations for our soldiers, but this is certainly not the time to raise or debate such a policy, when the enemy is at our door. I do not know what is wrong, but it seems that we in Canada are lacking entirely in war mentality, and that is largely because the government is introducing academic measures, such as the one now before us, and taking up the time of parliament in that way. The government cannot get away from the principle of the resolution that was passed in 1919. The Canadian people, in the "yes" vote which they gave in the ballot box a month ago, showed what they thought of the government and want a real war spirit. In conclusion, I object to this motion, for these reasons now. The committee will not have power, by the text of this resolution, to add to any of the powers which the government now has and which the Nickle resolution left with the government, so far as decorations for soldiers, and honours of that sort, are concerned. A declaration from a committee will not add to the powers of the government in this regard.

Hon, H. A. BRUCE (Parkdale): I do not intend to delay the house by discussing the question of honours or decorations. I simply wish to protest against the time of the house being taken up by this discussion when such an important measure as Bill No. 80, having to do with man-power, should be under consideration. With the Huns sinking our ships on the Atlantic coast, and the Japs shelling our Pacific coast, surely the question of man-power is the urgent one that should engage the attention of the house at this time. I would suggest that this resolution

Mobilization Act-Mr. Mulock

be referred to a special committee for consideration, and then any hon. member who wishes to speak later on will have an opportunity at a more propitious time.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY-PURCHASE OF COAL FOR USE IN PICTOU COUNTY, N.8.
Subtopic:   HONOURS AND DECORATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLE ACCEPTED IN 1919 TO MEMBERS OF CANADIAN ARMED FORCES
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LIB

Georges Parent (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Shall the motion carry?

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY-PURCHASE OF COAL FOR USE IN PICTOU COUNTY, N.8.
Subtopic:   HONOURS AND DECORATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLE ACCEPTED IN 1919 TO MEMBERS OF CANADIAN ARMED FORCES
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

On division.

Motion agreed to on division.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY-PURCHASE OF COAL FOR USE IN PICTOU COUNTY, N.8.
Subtopic:   HONOURS AND DECORATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLE ACCEPTED IN 1919 TO MEMBERS OF CANADIAN ARMED FORCES
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MOBILIZATION ACT

AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT OF SERVICE OVERSEAS


The house resumed from Tuesday, June 23, consideration of the motion of Mr. Mackenzie King for the second reading of Bill No. 80, to amend the National Resources Mobilization Act, 1940, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Roy.


LIB

William Pate Mulock (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Hon. W. P. MULOCK (Postmaster General):

Mr. Speaker, we the members of the House of Commons are the representatives of the people of Canada at the hour of her gravest danger, at a time when her very existence is threatened and when defeat means death or slavery to our people. Under conditions such as these one thing and one alone should be considered; that is, how can Canada and the Canadian people make the most effective effort to help the freedom-loving nations of the world, and to save themselves from the perils which day by day are coming closer to our shores. This is no time for false optimism. The months before us will be filled with grave danger; they will test the resources of the united nations and the character of their peoples to the utmost limits. Let us not take it for granted that we are sure to win this war. If we and the united nations have the will to win; if we and our people and the peoples of the united nations are prepared to make sacrifices, increasing sacrifices, under more difficult and trying conditions, then we shall win. But if we are not prepared to make those sacrifices, we will not win.

Let us consider the conditions and the outlook facing Canada to-day. On the Atlantic, German submarines are sinking ships along the American coast; not off the coast of the United States alone and in the Caribbean, but off our coasts, off Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Quebec, right in the St. Lawrence. On the island of Newfoundland our troops stand side by side with their brothers in arms from the great republic to the south, defending the approaches to Canada and the north American continent from the forces of the axis powers.

Farther to the east and north the United States has assumed the protection of Greenland and Iceland. In the case of Iceland they relieved troops from Great Britain and from Canada, which fortunately arrived in Iceland before the invasion forces from nazi Germany were able to do so.

Farther to the east and south we have Great Britain with a large army, together with our own Canadian army of volunteers overseas who stand on guard protecting Britain itself and preparing for the day when a second front can be established on the continent of Europe. It is well for us to remember the important part played by our first division overseas when, after Dunkirk, in so far as organized land forces were concerned, they would to a great extent have been called upon to bear the brunt of any attempt of invasion of Britain. We all remember the terrible air attacks of the German luftwaffe, and the destruction, suffering and death they brought to the British people. But even that terrorism could not break the morale of the British; their courage saw them through. Nor did those attacks lessen their grim determination to resist aggression.

I wish to pay tribute to the men of the Royal Air Force whose courage and determination stood between a victorious German army and the world domination which they nearly achieved at that time. We as Canadians are proud to know that many from Canada were in those immortal squadrons that saved the freedom-loving peoples of the world at that time. The names of those airmen of ours will never die. As long as freedom exists in the world their achievements will never be forgotten.

In more recent days the forces of the British empire have been joined overseas by large numbers of troops from the United States of America, who came to play their part in the fight for freedom in the world.

Still farther to the east across the continent of Europe, in a battle line stretching from the Arctic ocean to the Black sea, thousands of miles in length, we have Russia, a nation of 190,000,000 people, locked in a life-and-death struggle in battles that may well become the greatest ever to take place upon the face of the earth. Russia, in spite of straining every nerve to produce the equipment she requires, must have help from the other united nations to aid her in equipping her armed services. We are all indeed glad that Great Britain, the United States and Canada are giving that assistance in increasing measure.

In north Africa we have suffered a disastrous defeat, toward the end of the third year of the war. That defeat has imperilled

Mobilization Act-Mr. Mulock

the whole position of the united nations in the east. Throughout Europe the nations which have been overrun but whose spirits remain unbroken and whose people are still unconquered are seething with unrest. Those freedom-loving peoples have fought and are fighting for us with every means at their disposal. They are fighting for the cause of liberty and for the very existence of this country.

To the west the present situation from the point of view of the united nations is no brighter. On December 7 last Japan entered the war, entered it in such a manner that she sacrificed her national honour for all time to come. She had pledged her word, and without warning she broke it. She aped the treachery of her axis partners. Deeply though that treachery is resented by the people of the world, ive must admit that in a period of less than seven months the Japanese have made substantial conquests. They have taken Guam and Wake islands, Hong Kong and the Philippines, Malaya and Singapore, the Dutch East Indies and part of Borneo, the Andaman islands and Burma. They have made heavy attacks on Hawaii and Australia. They have greatly increased the tempo and ferocity of their attacks on China, I believe with the idea of opening land communications with Burma, thus releasing a large quantity of their merchant shipping for other purposes. It appears to me that the Japanese problem at this time is one of transportation, not man-power. Japan is a nation of 70,000,000 people; she has a tremendous army; millions of men, experienced troops, well equipped; men who have been brought up from childhood to glorify war, who believe that the greatest honour they can receive is to be killed in action on the field of battle for their Mikado and for the Japanese empire, and that such a death gives them a passport to the heaven that they envisage. She has an army of soldiers who believe in conquest, into whose minds hatred and jealousy of the white nations have been inculcated for many years. Even when they were our allies in the last war they had no love for either the Canadian or the United States troops. I believe that Japan has been working according to a plan carefully prepared over a period of many, many years. It was at the end of the last war that they obtained their foothold in Manchuria. They made large investments of capital in the city of Harbin, and it now appears clear that they were only waiting for the most opportune occasion for Japanese troops to follow their investments, for the conquest of Manchuria.

As I have said, their plan of action has been very carefully prepared. Every eventuality has been considered, and alternative or supplementary plans have been prepared in detail, ready to go into effect as the exigencies of the situation demand. Within the last few weeks Japan has commenced the occupation of the Aleutian islands, the stepping stones from Asia to the north American continent. These attacks on the Aleutian islands may be a great deal more dangerous and a much greater menace to the people of the north American continent than many believe at the present time. It has been the opinion of many who are well informed and who have had much experience that attacks on our western coast are most likely to be in the nature of sporadic raids. They may be correct; I hope they are, but I believe they are wrong. The Japanese nation, which has been preparing for many years, whose forces are highly trained and well equipped, including hundreds of thousands of men with actual front-line experience in battle, is now at the peak of its military strength. Is it reasonable to expect that Japan will wait until Canada and the United States have attained their maximum power; that Japan will wait until the forces of this continent can dictate the time and place for the great battles of the future? I do not think it is. Japan realizes that the final reckoning, no matter what temporary conquests she may make in Asia, will be with the nations of the north American continent and the British empire. It is quite probable that she may try to invade this continent by way of the Aleutian islands and Alaska before we have mobilized our utmost strength. If the Japanese meet with success in the Aleutian islands, and if for the time being the balance of sea power in the Pacific should shift in their favour, I believe it quite possible that they may make an actual landing in force on the upper western coast, fortify their positions and try to hold that part of this continent until such time as they can bring up additional troops, munitions and supplies of all kinds, in the meantime fortifying their harbours and constructing airports to use in their drive southward along the Pacific coast, west of the Rocky mountains and protected by them.

Those attacks must be stopped before they reach Canadian territory; yet there are those who would oppose the repeal of section 3 of this act and would seek to prevent our troops, raised under this act, from fighting alongside United States troops for the very protection of this continent of north America.

No one can tell where Japan will strike next; she holds the initiative. With an improvement in her transportation problem the

Mobilization Act-Mr. Mulock

attack might be on India, through Burma. It might be another attack on Australia, or on Midway and Hawaii, to gain control of the mid-Pacific and so lessen the advantages of the Panama canal to the united nations. It might take the form of an attack on the Russian area from Vladivostock to Khabarovsk, not only to force the Russians to move troops from the German front but also to obtain for Japan control over an area in which airports might be located for use against her vulnerable cities.

Until such time as the allied forces are able to go on the offensive, the axis powers will to a great extent have the choice as to the location of battles and the time when those battles will be fought. With the axis powers holding the initiative we must expect a variety of attacks to be made in an attempt to divert us from our main objective, the establishment of a second front and the destruction of the German war machine. It is possible that the present axis strategy is to attack in a number of widely separated areas, with the object of creating confusion and panic among the united nations. Their great purpose, we may be sure, would be to prevent, if possible, the united nations from assembling in Great Britain the forces, munitions and transport necessary successfully to invade the European continent.

It may be that the present occupation of the islands in the Aleutian group is for this purpose. On the other hand we can be very sure that if the Japanese achieve successes, they will follow them up very quickly. It is almost a foregone conclusion that in the development of the strategical scheme Canada, with its vast air training plan, has not been overlooked by the axis powers. The German high command undoubtedly does not view with equanimity the arrival in the skies over Germany of increasing numbers of Canadian airmen. It may be that by these threats they hope to have large numbers of these airmen retained in Canada. Perhaps they expect, by engendering a feeling of panic, to create a demand in Canada that our forces now in Britain be brought back here.

With conditions as they are; with perils and dangers coming closer to our shores, unfortunately already there are some who subscribe to this view, who say that our troops should not fight alongside the armies of Great Britain, [DOT] the United States or Russia, but should be kept in Canada. May I make it quite clear that I am not advocating the sending all of our troops overseas; that we would leave our coastlines undefended, or that we should not build up our coastal defences in every possible manner. But the fact remains

that we in Canada are going to be in a desperate position if the time ever comes when we must defend this country with the forces that can be raised from eleven and a half millions of people, without help from other members of the united nations.

There are still those who say that the United States will protect us, that the United States will not let any other nation take Canada.

I should like people having those ideas to consider this. If Canada relied on the United States to protect her and was not willing to assist the United States in the Aleutian islands, in Alaska or on their western coast, what right would Canada have to expect help from the United States if we should need it? If attacks were made on Prince Rupert, or Vancouver, or Victoria, it might be that our action in refusing to help the United States when our help was most needed would make it impossible for the United States to send us help, no matter how much she might desire to do so.

Others say that they do not want to fight for England. To them I would say this. Britain stands between Germany and world domination. In order to achieve world domination Germany must destroy Great Britain, 'but she does not particularly want the British isles. They have not the great mineral resources, the great ability to produce potential electrical energy, the vast spaces for colonization by surplus German population, the great farming areas that we have in the Dominion of Canada.

Do not for one moment believe that a defeat in this war will not directly and seriously affect us, and: those we represent-because it will. If we do not realize this, then we are indulging in wishful thinking. If Germany should win this war she would probably reward heroes in her army with properties and farms in this country. It is probable that she would take over the farms and allot them to whom she wished. We, and those whom we represent, may be on our farms; but in such event we would not be there as owners, but as virtual slaves until the day we are lucky enough to die. If Germany should win this war and should decide to make large transfers of her population to Canada, can we doubt, with the lessons of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Norway, Holland and France before us, that she would have a few purges to remove those who had been most troublesome?

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT OF SERVICE OVERSEAS
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

There

would- be no Postmaster General.

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT OF SERVICE OVERSEAS
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LIB

William Pate Mulock (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

Or leader of the opposition.

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT OF SERVICE OVERSEAS
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Not badl

Mobilization Act-Mr. Mulock

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT OF SERVICE OVERSEAS
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LIB

William Pate Mulock (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

And she would send those of our people whom she did not want up to the north country, or to some other part of the world.

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT OF SERVICE OVERSEAS
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

New Brunswick.

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT OF SERVICE OVERSEAS
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LIB

William Pate Mulock (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

There are people who say that Hitler is wholly to blame. Of course Hitler has a lot to answer for. But getting rid of Hitler, and the rest of the gangsters associated with him, including those in charge of the nazi party, would not correct the situation. Let us not forget that millions of children growing up in Germany have been trained in nazi principles since they were four years old. They have had inculcated into their minds the rabid nazi propaganda that the nazi way of life is the only one worth living-that is worth fighting for and worth dying for. From the time they have been old enough to understand they have been told that they belong to a super race which should dominate the world, and that if they would follow their nazi leaders they would become the masters of the world, with a greatly improved standard of living. Such ideas have been so firmly planted in the minds of those young people that there have been instances where children have betrayed their own fathers and mothers to the gestapo.

Can we expect any mercy, any fair treatment, from brutes such as these? While it is true that we fight for freedom alongside Britain, and alongside the United States and Russia, it is equally true that we fight for ourselves, and our very existence as a nation.

When I asked the people in my constituency to vote "yes" on the plebiscite, these are the words I used:

At this time any government responsible to the Canadian people for the safety of tile state, for the defence of Canada, for the protection of the men, women and children of this country, must have an absolutely free hand, unfettered by any commitments of any kind, so that they in their judgment may do that which they consider best to defend this country.

By a very large majority the people of Canada voted "yes" on the plebiscite. As a result, we have an amendment before us; and unless the amendment is approved by the house, the government is prevented from sending troops raised under the National Resources Mobilization Act to the Aleutian islands, Alaska and the United States territory on the Pacific coast, because that would be service outside Canada and the territorial waters. If the amendment is defeated, the government could send those troops only after passing an order in council under the War Measures Act,

a procedure which would be in direct disregard of the expressed will of the House of Commons.

Do hon. members who object to the removal of this restriction believe that we should ask our United States brothers to defend us at sea and on the land, ask them to protect us from attacks by the Japanese? Do they believe we should keep our troops raised under the act on our own side of the border until United States troops have been driven back, before coming to their assistance and before beginning to fight? Do they not believe that any request we might make in the future, whether for help along our eastern or western coasts, might be received with this very reasonable thought: "If Canada has to fight by herself for a while, she will be more sympathetic in giving help to us, the next time we need it".

Do hon. members who oppose the amendment believe that in the event of our overseas army being sent to the attack on the continent of Europe and to fight for them and for our country, the government should leave those men to their fate, without proper reinforcements? With such an attitude I could never agree.

My position is this: I believe the amendment is necessary for the protection of this country, and for the protection of our volunteers overseas. I do not believe we can protect Canada or win the war by staying within our own boundaries and waiting to be attacked, any more than any other of the united nations can help to win the war by keeping their troops indefinitely within the borders of their own countries.

I do not believe that conscription should be put into effect unless it is going to assist and strengthen the war effort of this country-and at this time I do not believe that it would do so. I agree with the statement of the Prime Minister: "Not necessarily conscription, but conscription if necessary."

In connection with the repeal of section 3, the result of which repeal would be to give the government a free hand in connection with the raising of troops for overseas service, it has been suggested that other commitments should replace the one now being removed. Some desire an understanding that in the event of the present amendment being approved by the house there should be immediate conscription. Others wish to tie the hands of the government by saying, "If the bill passes, will you promise not to put conscription into effect, under any circumstances?" To both I say this: We are one of the united nations fighting in a world war, a war in which conditions change from day to day. The government has a very real sense of its responsibili-

Mobilization Act-Mr. White

ties, and it wants to be free to deal with problems as they arise, and according to its judgment as to what is best in the light of prevailing circumstances. It must be realized that there are times when the government receives from other governments certain information which it cannot divulge. I make this appeal: Do not hamper the efforts of the government to defend this country. Our ideas may not be the same as to what constitutes defence; but upon this I hope we are unanimously agreed: We all want to serve Canada to the best of our ability. Having that determination, I ask the house to do what the Canadian people have done: give thegovernment a free hand to get on with the

war.

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT OF SERVICE OVERSEAS
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NAT

George Stanley White

National Government

Mr. G. S. WHITE (Hastings-Peterborough):

Mr. Speaker, I should like first to offer my congratulations to the minister who has just spoken (Mr. Mulock). He made a very finespeech-except toward the end of it, when

he clearly indicated that he was not in favour of immediate conscription.

In rising to take part in the debate I fully realize the importance of the bill before the house, and the obligation imposed upon every hon. member when the vote is taken. When the plebiscite bill was before the house I was one of the members who opposed having a plebiscite because I held the view that it was the duty of the government to take whatever action might be necessary from time to time to meet the ever-changing conditions of the war from day to day. But when the members of this house decided that we should hold a plebiscite I supported it in every way and worked in my own riding to obtain a "yes" majority. That "yes" majority was obtained, and I wish to make it perfectly clear, Mr. Speaker, that so far as the electors of my riding were concerned there was never any misapprehension as to what they were voting for. Despite all the red herrings that were dragged across the trail and all the speeches made hour after hour as to what plebiscite meant, people in my section of Ontario were of the opinion that when they voted "yes" on the plebiscite they were voting for conscription for overseas service, and when they voted "no", they were voting against conscription for overseas service. The electors in my part of Ontario have always been 100 per cent for a total war effort, and they are to-day.

Ever since September, 1939, I have felt that that was the time, when Canada declared war, to introduce conscription of our material resources and man-power for service anywhere in the world, But at that time we were

still living in the days of isolation and appeasement, and we were starting the practice of drifting and playing at war. If anyone will read the speeches recorded in Hansard in that short session of 1939 he will see that some of the members advocated a very limited participation in the war by Canada. If the Minister of Justice (Mr. St. Laurent) will read the report of that debate he will not find one single word of coercion or direction by the United Kingdom or any other nation as to what action Canada should take in the war. Everyone realizes and appreciates that Canada entered this war of her own free will and accord, as a free, independent nation. The question was brought up in parliament and decided upon by the duly elected representatives of the people.

The Minister of Justice in his speech of last week is reported at page 3391 of Hansard as follows:

It is not a word they are opposed to; it is the thing which the word "conscription" has come to symbolize in their minds. In their minds, conscription is the theory that they can be forced to enrol, train, fight and die for some other cause than that of their own country.

Not only the Minister of Justice but many other members of the house spoke along similar lines, trying to indicate that the Canadian army is not fighting for Canada but that Canada is in this war because it is an imperialistic war being waged on behalf of Britain. Last week the hon. member for Cariboo (Mr. Turgeon) very capably and eloquently made clear that the only powers which have any imperialistic designs to-day are the axis powers. Does any hon. member of this house attempt to say or argue that Canada is fighting an imperialistic war for Britain? I say that the Canadian forces, no matter where they are fighting, are fighting to defend the shores of Canada. When the British navy sank the Gmj Spee off the coast of south America and the Bismarck in the north Atlantic, does anybody suggest that these two naval actions were not fought just as much in defence of Canada as in defence of Great Britain? Or when Japan struck at Pearl Harbour, was not that just as much an attack on the west coast of Canada as on the western defences of the United States? Does any hon. member of this house think that the soldiers of the great republic to the south of us are fighting an imperialistic war for Great Britain or any other country? Certainly not. They are fighting to defend their own country,'their own lives, their own porperty, and the rights of their citizens. Both Canada and the United States are waging war on behalf of their own

Mobilization Act-Mr. White

peoples. They want to preserve their own religions, their own race, their own freedoms and their privileges. It is quite true that in this war the United States and Canada are allies with Great Britain, but we are also allies with Russia and China and Mexico and Belgium and all the other members of the united nations.

The aims of the united nations are set out in part in the Atlantic charter and in the other agreements signed by the united nations on January 1, 1942. I wish to refer to only one sentence, clause 2, of the Atlantic charter, which reads:

They desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned.

Does that sound as though the United Kingdom or the United States were waging an imperialistic war to gain other lands? The united nations are welded together for a common purpose, to defeat a common foe. The aim of the united nations is the survival of democracy and of freedom and of all those decent things of life which free men cherish. I say again, let no one in this house be misled into thinking that Canada is waging an imperialistic war.

The Minister of Justice in the same speech also stated that there was no duty upon a Canadian citizen to give his life in the defence of any other country. I quite agree with him, but I would also point out that there is nothing in the laws of the United Kingdom or of the United States or of the other members of the united nations which imposes any such obligation upon their citizens. But when Japan struck at Pearl Harbour on December 7 last the attitude of the United States changed overnight. Gone forever were their days of isolation and appeasement. Within a few days the Congress of the United States passed in a matter of minutes, without a dissenting vote, a law which made compulsory service for American soldiers anywhere in the world the law of the United States. Will any member from the province of Quebec attempt to argue that that law was passed to aid Great Britain in an imperialistic war? Certainly not. That law was passed to protect the lives and property of the citizens of the United States, because the United States realized at once that the common enemy must be met and defeated far from American shores.

It has been stated many times in this house that our front line is overseas. Only yesterday the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) stated that our front line was in the English channel. I agree with him, and I say further that our front line also runs through Libya, on the Egyptian border, through Mid-

'Mr. White.]

way island and the Coral sea, through Australia-wherever, in fact, the enemy is operating. Why do hon. members attempt to argue that they only want to fight for Canada on Canadian soil? Does any member of this house or any citizen of Canada want to see the fight take place on Canadian soil? Are there any who want to see the front line run through Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, or Halifax? I wonder if some people realize what war in the front line is like. If hon. members want a picture of war in the front line at Hong Kong, there is running in the Saturday Evening Post a series of articles entitled "I escaped from Hong Kong," in which will be found a vivid eye-witness account of life in the front line, of the savage barbarism of the Japanese, of the unspeakable tortures that they wreaked upon helpless British soldiers and officers, of the indignities inflicted upon civilian prisoners, and of the raping of women. Is that the type of warfare that any Canadian citizen wants to have in Canada? I say frankly to you that if we do not defeat the enemy overseas that is exactly the type of warfare, and the nature of atrocities which will be committed on Canadian prisoners and Canadian women in Canada.

The United States realized that the war had to be won overseas and for that purpose they passed an act making service compulsory anywhere in the world. That is why to-day we find American soldiers stationed over the entire globe. Everyone realizes that in times of emergency, of national crisis, many of the liberties and the rights which individual citizens enjoy in peace time are taken away. This is only natural, because the state must be protected no matter what the cost may be. And in imposing conscription for anywhere in the world the United States did not hesitate: they did not seek to appease any one section of that great nation, neither did they sit on the fence. Will anyone in this house attempt to argue against the principle that in time of war every citizen owes a duty to the state, a duty which may even cost that citizen his life? For the state must be preserved at all costs. In all democratic countries there are people who in times of peace are only too ready and willing to accept all the rights and privileges and advantages of free citizenship, but when war comes they are the first to find, obstacles and excuses for staying at home. They are only too willing to stay at home and "cop off" the good jobs, the high wages, the cream of everything that is going, cashing in on the other man's patriotism while he is away fighting their battle. Mr. Nash summed it all up very clearly in his fine speech

Mobilization Act-Mr. White

before the rehabilitation committee on Friday, May 22, when, speaking of New Zealand, he said:

I emphasize three things, and they are very closely related: one is that no man who goes away from his country to fight ought to be worse off because he goes away to fight. The same applies to women-no woman who goes away to serve ought to be worse off because she goes away to serve; two, that nobody ought to be better off because he stayed at home, and three, no one in the present world situation should at any time expect to profit from the supply of the essential things associated with war.

The very same condition that existed in the last war exists to-day.

The Minister of Justice (Mr. St. Laurent), in his recent speech in the House of Commons,

is reported in Hansard, page 3391, as follows:

The other conception seems to many of us in Quebec to be characterized by a blind, sentimental, proud and even arrogant attachment to England, not only as the mother country, hut as the real homeland toward which all loyal British hearts should ever turn.

I do not agree with what the minister said. Speaking for myself, I am a Canadian born in Canada. My parents also were born in Canada. Like the minister, I can say that the roots of my family go down fairly deep into Canadian soil. Both my parents were of Irish descent, and like all people with Irish ancestors I have a sentimental regard and affection for Ireland. But I do not think it can be regarded as blind or arrogant. I do not regard Ireland as my mother country. Canada is my mother country, and it is to Canada that I owe allegiance. My children regard Canada as their mother country, and it is to Canada that they owe allegiance. But at the same time I am proud to be a British citizen, and proud that Canada is a member of the British commonwealth of nations. Let me ask this one question; were would Canada be to-day if from the second of September, 1939, to the present day, the British navy had not stood between us and the German navy?

The hon. member for Quebec-Montmorency (Mr. LaCroix), as reported at page 3402 of Hansard of June 16, said:

The Canadian army is three times the size of that of the American or English army, in proportion to population and other considerations.

The hon. member is not here, but I would ask that during the course of this debate he give the house the figures on which he has based his calculation. On the same page he is further reported as follows:

British troops are not yet in action on the continent, and Canada's contribution so far is relatively greater than that of England herself.

44561-232J

The hon. member must have forgotten that the British army was in action in May and June, 1940, in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, where they suffered many casualties and lost many prisoners. The British army was also in action in Norway; has he forgotten that? It was in action in Greece, Crete, Libya, India, Singapore, Burma, and many other places throughout the world.

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT OF SERVICE OVERSEAS
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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

And Hong Kong.

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT OF SERVICE OVERSEAS
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NAT

George Stanley White

National Government

Mr. WHITE:

And Hong Kong too. The hon. member objects to sending reinforcements to soldiers overseas, but in the very next line he apparently realizes that our front line

is overseas, because he says, at page 3402:

If the axis powers should succeed in their effort to crush that first line of defence,-

Referring to Britain. If that is our first line of defence, there is an obligation on Canada to provide all necessary reinforcements for our men overseas and everything else that may be needed for modern warfare.

But as Canadians it matters little whether we are of Irish, French, English or Scottish descent; we are Canadians first, and I for one have never looked upon Canada as a conquered colony, as mentioned by the Minister of Justice. I regard Canada as a free, independent, sovereign state, absolute mistress in her own house. But as Canadians we all have a duty to the state in time of war. You may call it patriotism, or duty, or whatever other name you wish. I cannot define patriotism or duty, but there is something inside everyone of us that in time of war tells us what is our duty and what is our obligation to the state. Ask any soldier who served in the last war what were the impulses and the real causes that made him enlist, and you will find it is very difficult for him to explain. I cannot explain in words why I enlisted in the last war. Neither can I explain in words why my son enlisted in this war. Perhaps it is something that is born and bred in every one of us, something handed down of the glories and traditions of the race from which we as individuals spring. I can only say that it is something that is very precious to every one of us, and it raises a question that everyone must answer for himself.

In regard to military district No. 3, in which I reside, the Minister of National War Services (Mr. Thorson) has advised the house that nearly all the men available under the National Resources Mobilization Act have been called up. The reason for this is the very large enlistment of young men in the active forces. They are young men who are

Mobilization Act-Mr. White

willing to give up their future, their education, their careers, their homes, and all they hold dear, in the defence of Canada. I would like the Minister of Justice (Mr. St. Laurent) to say why one section of this country should pour out its best bloodi to defend another section which is unwilling to make an equal contribution. Or let the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres (Mr. Cardin) answer the question-the hon, member who stated in his speech that the minority, in his province, had made one concession after another to the majority. I for one would be much interested if the hon. member would place on Hansard during the course of this debate a record of those concessions.

The Minister of Justice stated further in the course of his speech, as reported in

Hansard, page 3394:

-nor have we any wish for domination over anyone. But we do wish to he recognized as full partners and full citizens anywhere and everywhere in Canada.

I for one would like to have the minister explain what rights the English-speaking Canadian has which are denied to the Frenchspeaking Canadian. I would be much interested in hearing of one single instance wherein it can be shown that the French-speaking citizens of Quebec are discriminated against. The minister stated in the same speech that his province does not wish to dominate anyone. Will the minister deny that members from his province have had their fair share in the government and the direction of the affairs of this country? The minister himself holds the most important portfolio after that of the Prime Minister. The tolerance and understanding for which the Minister of Justice pleads with English-speaking Canadians might well begin with his own race in attempting to make some effort to understand the attitude of English-speaking Canadians. I say to hon, members from Quebec that you as a minority group in this country have always had your rights respected; your religion, your language, your culture, all the things which you hold most dear, have been preserved; but I ask you, how long do you think they would last under the German gestapo? If we go down to defeat you will lose everything that you hold dear. Only a few days ago the press of the civilized world reported that the gestapo had wiped out an entire village in Czechoslovakia. The inhabitants were butchered and the village itself reduced to a heap of ruins. With such atrocities staring you in the face, and knowing that such things might happen in Canada, even in your own province, how can you say that you are not going to join in total war because this is an "imperialistic" war?

From the speeches made by many hon. members from Quebec it is indicated that they are going to oppose this amendment. I say to them, if you persist in that course you are going to leave in the Dominion of Canada such a legacy of hate, distrust and suspicion that no one sitting in this house will ever again during his lifetime see even a semblance of unity in this country. We have heard much in this debate about national unity, but apparently the view of national unity held by hon. members from Quebec is that the other eight provinces must bow to their will.

For years the province of Quebec have held the balance of power in this dominion and they have used that position for their own benefit. I for one say that the end of this has come. No longer are the eight other provinces of Canada going to be dominated by the province of Quebec. If this matter is to come to a showdown, the sooner the better. Does any hon. member believe that when the war is over and the boys overseas return they are going to be dominated by a province which refused during the war to make an equal contribution in the common cause? I say to you hon. members that you are to-day sowing the seeds of bloodshed and revolution in this country.

Topic:   MOBILIZATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO REPEAL SECTION 3 PROVIDING LIMITATION IN RESPECT OF SERVICE OVERSEAS
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June 24, 1942