June 15, 1943

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

We have all the cost accountants we can get, but if we put them all on that operation it would take the rest of the war perhaps'' to follow through.

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SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON (Bow River):

Could not our own cost accountants check over the figures?

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I am quite prepared to take the cost accounting of Price, Waterhouse and Company. I think most business concerns in the world have done that at one time or another, and I am prepared to do it. I think their cost accounting is to be relied on. The reason we have not renegotiated the Aluminum company contracts is that we have seen no necessity for doing so from the figures

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that have passed through our hands. I am very happy about the operations of the Aluminum Company of Canada in this war, and I wish to say so at this time.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

Mr. Chairman, the

whole discussion up to the present time has been very interesting to me and highly instructive. I have enjoyed every moment of it. I enjoyed the speech of the leader of the Progressive Conservative party. I enjoyed too the reference he made to the fine spirit of optimism which prevailed in the convention out in Winnipeg, as a result of which his party proposes to find jobs for everyone. But I do wish that somewhere, somehow the party had taken pains to indicate the technique by which they are going to find those jobs.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Hear, hear-as in

1930!

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

That technique was altogether missing. If I have failed to see it I hope that one of my Progressive Conservative friends will call around and give me the authorities on the matter. I should like to know where they propose to find markets, and how they propose to guarantee markets, and how they propose to guarantee prices. I am going to tell the Progressive Conservatives here and now that unless they can find adequate markets for the production of Canadian industry they cannot put men to work, because work depends primarily and naturally upon work in industry, and industry depends upon the amount of goods that industry can sell. If industries cannot sell goods they cannot run, and if they cannot run they cannot employ men. Once the Progressive Conservatives get that thoroughly embedded in their thinking they will really begin to be progressive.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

And the Liberals too.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

And the Liberals too will have something to look forward to. But where are they going to get the money to increase the purchasing power of the people to enable the people to purchase the goods which industry stands ready to produce? Are they going to raise it by taxation and by borrowing? If they are, then I might as well tell them they can give up now and save themselves a whole lot of trouble in a fruitless search. If they cannot find enough money to put into the hands of the people to give the people purchasing power with which to purchase the production of industry, which production industry is finding a market for now in this war, they will have fewer markets, less production and less work. The laws governing these facts are as irrevocable as the laws

of the Medes and Persians, only more so. I just thought that I should like to say that in respect to the Progressive Conservatives. I have no quarrel with them. I am just earnestly trying to find a solution, because I have sons and daughters and grandsons and granddaughters growing up in this country and I should like to see matters so arranged before I die that there is a chance for them all to find work if they want to work and make a living and build homes. But I have not found anything coming from the Progressive Conservatives or from the Liberals which has indicated how this is to be achieved.

With respect to the monopolies referred to by the leader of the opposition and by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar, I had not intended to refer to them, but inasmuch as they have been brought up I shall do so. How do monopolies develop in this country? How can they be controlled? Why is it that we do not now control monopolies? Is it that we do not possess the power to make laws, or is it that we do not possess the power of money over these monopolies? The answer to the second question is yes. We can make the laws all right in this country, and we can have the courts enforce them, but up to the present time we have not established unchallengeable control over money. We do not find ourselves able to control private industry-and money is the secret. I should like to know what the leader of the Progressive Conservatives would do in order to control these great monopolies after his international commission had discovered them.

I wish to turn for a minute or two to the remarks of the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar and to give him just an idea of how I reacted to his excellent speech. I think that last night he did the finest job he ever did in parliament. It was splendid, ably delivered. I enjoyed listening to him. He told us all about the evil which exists, but he did not indicate how he himself would solve the problem which was presented by that evil.

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?

Leslie Gordon Bell

Mr. COLD WELL:

Give me time. I had

not enough time last night.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

I am going to be

listening when he gives his solution. I am greatly looking forward to it. I would say this in a general way. If the state took over that great aluminum company; if the state owned it, the state would build up a much greater bureaucracy than now exists and would find much greater difficulty in picking out and placing in the key positions the efficient men that private industries are able to get. Then the government, burdened down with the

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possession not only of the aluminum companies but of all the other companies which now form a most imposing and formidable array, would find themselves at a loss to know where to get the money to run them all.

There is another thought which came to me while the hon. member was speaking. He seemed to dislike the idea of international control. I agree with him one hundred per cent; I do too, but it seems to me, unless I am quite wrong, that I have heard the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar speak with great fervour this session of having supranational governments in this world.

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CCF
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

I am glad I was mistaken, but I had the impression when I was reasoning with the hon. member for Essex East and the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George about their proposals to have a supranational government, and again later in the discussion over the SandWell case, that the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar indicated a considerable amount of sympathy for this supranational idea.

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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

He is learning.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

If there was a supranational government established, it would control not only our aluminum but every other industry; it would control all the business of this country and everything else in this country. We should be unable to establish any kind of control over it-which is a very serious matter and which has much importance in connection with the fine remarks of the leader of the Progressive Conservatives. I want to point out to him that I am not opposing but agreeing entirely with his remarks about democracy. If Canada cannot be mistress in her own home and) her own house, she cannot have democracy.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

I must have been right on that occasion.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

Oh, the hon. member is right; everything he said was right. I am only finding fault with the things he left unsaid, and they are very important.

I wish to turn now for a few moments to the minister's remarks. I thought he gave a statement which impressed the whole country. I do not know when there has been a more striking and more valuable speech delivered in this chamber. I fancy that Canadians generally could hardly believe that their youthful Canada, which not long ago was called playfully "Jack Canuck", was capable of such

tremendous and varied production. The minister went so far as to use the following words, as reported in Hansard, page 3556:

Never again will there be any doubt that Canada can manufacture anything that can be manufactured elsewhere.

Every drop of Canadian blood in my body just leaped, every drop of British blood in me just raced with joy, when I read that. If Canada can produce anything that can be produced anywhere, is there any reason why Canada oannot stand completely independent and have absolute democracy and be completely mistress in her own home? None whatever; only the failure of Canadians to know how to manage the whole situation. I thought, when the minister gave his imposing array of accomplishments, what a triumph for individual enterprise! That much of the production has been a result of government cooperation we will grant, but in the main, by and large, it has been the result of private enterprise. There was no need of taking away private control, of socialization and all that kind of thing, in order to get production-and production is primarily what we need in any country in order that we may have a high standard of living.

Now, if Canada can produce the things she needs-and I am sure she can; scientific progress is proving ever more conclusively that she can-is there any reason why she should not do it? I have contended in this house ever since I came here that Canada should be producing her own sugar, and should have done so; and one of the gravest errors this government made was the failure to provide for the manufacture of Canada's complete sugar supply. I say that that will stand as a reflection on the government and as evidence, to the end of time, wherever it is known, of their lack of wisdom and judgment. We should produce our requirements of everything else that we can produce. If we produce what we can consume we can be more and more self-sufficient. And why not?

In the course of the debate on this three billion dollar war appropriation we have had a long talking time. If I remember correctly, we commenced the discussion of this appropriation on May 13. I have listened with great interest and thoughtfulness to most of the speeches which 'have been delivered, and I have asked myself this question, "Is this speech a 'wasting of time?" And I must confess that it is next to impossible to say of any speech which I have heard in the house that it has been wasting time. It has been good; and yet we have used much time, time that we needed for other things. Now we hear talk and read

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in the newspaper rumours about closing up in the middle of July. I do not know of anything that could strike consternation into the people of Canada more surely than if they understood all that this house has to take care of this year and it is then reported that the house would rush and scramble and tear in order to get through in the middle of July, or would leave undone the things it ought to do because it has not time to deal with them. The middle of July is just one month away. I say that to deal adequately with the various problems which this house is in duty bound to take care of between now and the middle of July is utterly impossible. .

In a general way I would say that parliament must somehow reform itself. I do not know just how it should be done; I am not prepared to make a suggestion now; but certainly parliament must bring itself up to date. Ox-cart ideas and horse and buggy methods are not good enough for this streamlined high-powered age, and our achievement this year has clearly shown it. Parliament has clung too long to out of date ideas and antiquated methods. Parliament has shown thereby a dangerous lack of vision, and "where there is no vision the people perish." Both democracy and the people are in grave danger at the present moment of perishing-not in Canada alone, but on the American continent. Dangers are lurking on every hand, both within the nation and without. We members of parliament must be exceedingly vigilant and resourceful if we are to be equal to the demands made upon us in this day and generation.

This is the eighty-ninth day of the fourth session of the nineteenth parliament. In the main, hon. members have spoken freely; that is, we have free speech. But on the whole they have failed to achieve their desired objectives [DOT]-and I would include in that expression every member in the house. All I need to do is to refer to the old age pension question as an example. I think there is not an hon. member who does not want the aged people to receive $30 a month and receive it right away-not only the ones who are now receiving pensions, but everyone who has arrived at sixty years of age. Why are the members not able to attain their desire? There is something radically wrong; that simple little illustration proves it beyond the shadow of a doubt. When not only the whole of the people of Canada want a thing but all members of parliament want it, and we call this country a democracy, and still we cannot get it, then surely something is wrong. Where could I find more complete jutsification for the remarks I have just made? In other words, ideas and

methods which we have had in this house up to the.present time as a whole have just not got us anywhere; they have not got us where we know we ought to be.

It is not so much that hon. members do not have freedom of speech, but that somehow they lack wisdom to use that freedom of speech effectively by translating it into action. True, we have prosecuted world war number two with a gratifying measure of success. But with the great underlying causes which brought on that war, this parliament has not once come to grips-not once-in all the seven years I have been here. I maintain that that, again, is a condemnation of this house, somehow, somewhere. This parliament ought to ascertain without further delay the causes which brought on this war. Surely they are to be found, and surely hon. members will agree about them when they are found. This parliament should face the facts fairly and fearlessly. It ought to find means of removing these causes once and for all, and it should seek to do so diligently and systematically, without passion or prejudice. The members now sitting here ought to see to it that every possible effort is made to remove the causes of war. Failure to ascertain the causes of this war, failure to find the remedy, and neglect to apply that remedy, will mean that this parliament will become guilty of criminal negligence in the highest degree and will stand condemned before generations yet to come. And the members now sitting here, in this year of Our Lord 1943, will betray their trust, will betray the people who elected them, will betray the boys and girls who fight, will betray the millions of workers who toil, will betray the babes in the people's homes, and the generations yet unborn. This parliament cannot escape responsibility. Its duty is to act now in the coming months of 1943.

There are several important matters that this House of Commons should deal with itself. Members will ask, how are we to do it? If the members of all parties, in an honest, straightforward endeavour, tried to do it they could do it; perhaps not in this house, but in this city, in this building. The great question is, Do we want to do it? The greater question is, Are we going to be honourable enough to do it? For example, we could determine as a group of members outside the house entirely, and independently of party lines, that we will find the truth and the whole truth and act upon it at once. We do not agree on it among ourselves in parliament, but outside, in the main, we do. What is the matter? We could appoint non-partisan committees to find the truth; and we could hear the truth in secret

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sessions if needs be; and then, if we unitedly insisted, suitable action could be taken and we could get results in this house, this year.

Among the problems that could and should be considered and dealt with, with satisfying thoroughness, the following might be listed: First, the treaty of peace. In the last war we fought right through, and no one seemed to have any idea what kind of peace we were to have. All we heard was that we were fighting to make the world safe for democracy and fighting a war to end wars; but just as we find to-day, not a person seemed to trouble himself about the question, how are we to do it? No one seems ever to trouble now about that question,-how is it to be done?

We should know what Canada's war aims are. I challenge any hon. member to rise in his place or to tell me outside that he knows what Canada's war aims are. Is that not a sad state of affairs? Then we should know what the various proposals are that are made in secret dispatches. Unquestionably it has been mentioned that certain proposals have been made. Why should we not know what they are? We are the members of parliament elected by the sovereign people of Canada in a democratic election. What an insult to our intelligence that we are forbidden to know these things! We should know them and should know exactly the difficulties in the way.

The hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar did the country a service yesterday when he exposed) this aluminum company and gave the details. No matter whether there is anything wrong that cannot be righted; he gave us the truth and we ought to know the truth. We ought to know what the truth is in regard to all these, things-such truths as the following one, for instance, which has astonished me! Somebody from Canada went around in 1937 and committed Canada to the undertaking that she would not increase her sugar beet acreage, that she would not do anything to increase it. No one in this parliament knew about that. That man made an agreement which has injured the people of this country incalculably during this war. Who was he and who told* him he could go and do it, and why was it that this country, which never heard about it, was bound by the agreement? And there must be many other agreements similar to that. This house should know them, every one of them.

We ought to know what is involved in the united nations' idea. Listen to the words as they are pronounced over the radio-united

nations. Well, now, what is involved in these united nations? We ought to know in detail so that everyone might understand. What are the proposals of these men who are working behind the scenes? How was it that at the Hot Springs conference Roosevelt tethered the press a safe distance from the conference? How was it that Morgenthau was so much annoyed when it leaked out in London that he had an international currency stabilization programme? Why was that? Am I to be told that the members of this house, in this responsible position, in this great country of ours with all its future before it, are not entitled to know these things? Have we lost the independence and courage of our fathers, that independence and courage which made magna charta a possibility? Are we afraid to be worthy to hold the positions we now occupy? We ought to know what is involved in this food conference. Every once in a while, through some speech made in some room in the Chateau Laurier or some assembly room of the House of Commons, some little thing leaks out that indicates that a good many things are contemplated with which members of this house do not agree, and yet it is all done in the dark somewhere, with the press tethered away -the press and parliament tethered. It is not in the public interest that we should know! We are immature, a species of glorified moron, I presume!

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PC
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

Not even glorified. We ought to know what is involved in the Atlantic charter. There has been talk, profuse talk about the Atlantic charter-how we are to guarantee freedom from want and freedom from fear-with never a word about how it is to be done, who is to pay the cost of it, where the money is to come from. Never a word. I submit, Mr. Chairman, that is a most singular state of affairs. I want to know whether the members of this house, particularly in the Liberal party, intend to submit to that kind of thing. I wonder if they are sufficiently docile lambs to take that all the time lying down, all of them.

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SC
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

We ought to know what share Canada is to contribute to this guarantee of freedom from want. Are we to have a mutual aid bill perpetuated through the years? If we are, how big will it be; will it be a billion dollars or two billion dollars, or will it be more; what do we intend to supply through that mutual aid bill, and how is it to be financed? I am surprised that I have never

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seen that question asked and answered in the press of our land; that is something which astonishes me. Canada certainly ought to know what her share in this glorious enterprise is to be; if she is to participate. Are we to have a lease-lend for Canada? Is the United States to be able to perpetuate the lease-lend arrangement for twenty, thirty or forty years; is her lease-lend arrangement to depend upon the particular administration that happens to be in power, so that if by chance everything should be operating nicely under President Roosevelt and he should be eliminated from the scene in time, the lease-lend arrangement will be cancelled, and the people who thought they were guaranteed against want will find themselves at loose ends, as they were before the present war? Is that to be the arrangement; and, if so, are we, as members of this house, to submit to anything as insecure as that? Yet I do not see any evidence that we are to learn the truth about it; I say we ought to learn the truth before we leave this house.

The other day I read a statement by President Roosevelt, and I have read1 two or three similar statements, to the effect that the first thing to be done is for each nation to set its own house in order. With that I completely agree. Surely we ought to set our own house in order, but we cannot do that unless we have certain powers. We must have unchallengeable control of our currency and credit, of our production and of our price structure; we must have complete control of our own markets within our own country. If we cannot have these powers we cannot set our house in order. Yet practically all the supranational government schemes propose to take away from us each and every one of those powers, in greater or less degree, so far as I have read accounts of them. Every single hon. member should understand that fully. We could use the empire parliamentary association. Far be it from me to cast any reflection upon the empire parliamentary association, but I must say that I have been deeply disappointed in the amount of real learning we have obtained from that association. I do not see why we should not bring it really to life. I do not see why we should not arrange study clubs in which we might hear the truth from all sides, instead of having a lecture by some-I was going to say "emaciated"-relic of the League of Nations, who comes and tells us his idea and goes his way, making place for someone else to come along and tell us the same thing at another time. I am becoming entirely fed up when I think that all the speeches over the radio, all the speeches in these clubs and that sort of thing are along the same line, and all strangely resemble the propaganda which Sir

William Beveridge apparently was sent or brought to this country to carry on. I am suspicious in the highest degree. I would say that not only should we learn through the empire parliamentary association or through some other dependable means, but we should -be able to take our knowledge to the remotest parts of Canada, to every constituency, so that the people may share it.

I think it is time this house faced up squarely to the problem of what we intend to do about our national debt after this war is over. I have gathered the impression that hon. members just look upon this as a very touchy question and steer clear of it as something they would rather not face. Are we not aware that the boys and girls who are now fighting our war and who will sit in this chamber twenty years from now will have to face this problem, that they will not be able to leave it alone? What sort of people are we, who are supposed to be taking care of their interests, when we are so neglectful of this vital matter?

It is also time we know what we intend to do about the unemployment situation after this war. I read the other day that it was estimated by rather responsible men in the United States that shortly after the conclusion of the war there would be twenty million unemployed in that country. If the number of unemployed in Canada is in relation to that figure, is it not high time every member of this house was exercising himself with the deepest concern in regard to this matter? How are we to handle our tax structure? I am positively alarmed when I talk with people who are in the grip of the tyrannical tax structure which has been imposed upon the people of this country; it is merciless, implacable, immovable, inescapable, crushing, devastating, disheartening; it is a horrible thing, but there is no evidence whatever that it will be relaxed in any degree at all after this war is over. Yet we members sit here supinely doing nothing about it, only piling up the debt so that the structure may bear upon the people with even greater severity.

Another important matter that must be considered in connection with this debate, and one which I thought of raising several times, is the question of what we shall do with our armed forces after the war is over. As the minister for naval services was talking about his superb navy, the thought ran through my mind: Are we to have that superb navy after the war, and is everyone in Canada to be taught that it is necessary? Will parliament cheerfully vote the supply, year after year, to support that navy, or shall we have people here like those bewildered creatures who sat

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here in 1937 and moved that every estimate be reduced to $1, who kept up their propaganda until they fooled the people of Canada into believing that we did not need any defences? That is important to know, whether we are to have a strong navy, a strong army and a strong air force after the war, because if we are to have a strong navy and army we will build for permanence. Not only will we construct the buildings; we will build the concept in the minds of the people, so that they will know, and they will be careful not to send to this parliament people who do not know that we must have a good strong army, navy and air force to be able to defend ourselves. Are we to have strong defence forces, or are they to fall into decay?

Then let us go on and ask ourselves this question not only with respect to Canada but with respect to the British commonwealth. During the period following the Napoleonic wars until the outbreak of the first great war the world witnessed one of the most peaceful eras in its history. There may have been many small wars, but there was nothing like the conflagration that burnt out at the beginning and at the end of that century. Why was that? Those who are fairly well informed tell me that there was established what is know as the pax Britannica, the British peace, because -the British people were strong enough to maintain peace. Are we now prepared to build up a British commonwealth organization, a cooperative arrangement, as a result of which we can have once more something similar to a pax Britannica? That is something that has worked successfully already. We ought to know about -this possibility, but as a whole we do not know a thing about it. We have not done any constructive thinking or talking on it in this house.

Then the matter of social security ought to be taken care of by -this house. We have heard the Beveridge scheme. By the confession of Sir William Beveridge himself, if I gathered it aright, his scheme is impossible and useless unless two things are guaranteed: first, full employment; second, a stable and equitable price structure. If we could guarantee employment and a stable and equitable price structure in Canada we would need no Beveridge plan. The big problem facing this house and this country is how to establish complete employment and a stable and equitable price structure throughout the country. That was the problem facing the Progressive Conservatives when they met. Strange that so many people overlook these things! Strange that so many of these newspapers which watch with almost malignant

scrutiny the words of members -of this house, in order to pounce upon them and write offensive editorials about them, have not noticed the discrepancy in the Beveridge report, and commented upon it! Never a word! Is there a mutual agreement to leave these things alone?

Another matter which ought to be taken up before the house continues its deliberations for another week is that of the sufferers who are at present enduring hardships that are a disgrace to the country.. I have already referred to the old age pensioners. Let me now refer to the war veterans of the last war, and the widows of war veterans. They are now growing old and are rapidly diminishing in number, but they still suffer cruelly, while the representatives they have sent to Ottawa somehow or another seem to forget them-seem to forget everything, except to talk.

Perhaps the most imminent danger which confronts us at the present time is the idea of supranational government, to which I have already referred. Its advocates and their disciples always urge that supra-national government will prevent war, but they never show how it will be done. I say supranational government may try to prevent war, but it will render universal rebellion inevitable-rebellion with civil strife and bloodshed and famine over the fair stretches of Canada and the United States.

Every scheme of supranational government I have read about-and I have read all I could get my hands on-embodies international control of credit and currency. There is much talk about the control of production, the lowering of tariff barriers and other restrictions to trade. Somehow or another the men who talk about world problems do not take the trouble to point out why tariff restrictions are erected by weak nations, and why they impose exchange control. These men rarely explain that nations imposing trade restrictions do so in an- endeavour to improve their economy, because they fall behind in the -contest for trade, and therefore have an adverse trade balance. And of course the advocates of supranational government never talk about the existence of such a cause. They never mention the remedy except in most general terms-beautiful, high-sounding words, which, somehow or another seem to mesmerize many people.

Supranational government can be avoided with -all its dangers. May I read -a statement which hon. members will find in the Ottawa Citizen of January 11, 1943, on the back page under the heading "Plan For Permanent Peace." This is a criticism of a book by

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Doctor Hans Heymann. Strange how so many of these German names get into the books having to do with this supranational plan. It is an astonishing thing; I cannot quite understand it. It reminds me very much of those international financiers. The article quoted from the London Chamber oj Commerce Journal explains that the idea conveyed by the whole book is of a world bank. "But Doctor Heymann is a financial expert and all his ideas on post-war reconstruction find their inevitable culmination in a 'huge new international banking mechanism'-a world bank to create money and credit." . . . "While nations may agree to some limitation of their sovereignty in respect of their external affairs, any proposal which involves interference with-much less control of-their internal affairs, as Doctor Heymann's scheme does, would mean the abandonment of the most important of President Roosevelt's four freedoms, freedom from fear. Currency and credit are the master keys to the economic and social life of any community, and for a nation to be asked to hand those keys to a clique of international bankers is calculated to strike terror into the hearts of millions who are facing death to preserve their right to manage their own affairs."

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June 15, 1943