January 27, 1944




House of Commons Bebates

Thursday, January 27, 1944


The parliament which had been prorogued on the twenty-sixth day of January, 1944, met this day at Ottawa for the dispatch of business. Mr. Speaker read a communication from the Governor General's secretary, announcing that His Excellency the Governor General would proceed to the Senate chamber at three p.m. on this day, for the purpose of formally opening the session of the dominion parliament. A message was delivered by Major A. R. Thompson, Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, as follows: Mr. Speaker, His Excellency the Governor General desires the immediate attendance of this honourable house in the chamber of the honourable the Senate. Accordingly the house went up to the Senate chamber. And the house having returned to the Commons chamber:


Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 1, respecting the administration of oaths of office. Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.



Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)



I have the honour to inform the house that when the house did attend His Excellency the Governor General this day in the Senate chamber, His Excellency was pleased to make a speech to both houses of parliament. To prevent mistakes, I have obtained a copy, which is as follows: 100-1

Honourable Members of the Senate:

Members of the House of Commons:

The war is now in its fifth year. The coming months will witness decisive battles. They will demand a supreme effort on the part of all nations united in the cause of freedom.

It is true that the military situation is better than it was a year ago, and that cooperation among the united nations is closer than at any time in the past. _ At Washington, at Quebec, at Moscow, at Cairo and at Teheran, military plans _ for the coming campaigns were fully coordinated. Foundations were also laid for a united approach to the problems of transition from war to peace. T.he improved military situation does not, however, necessarily mean an early end of the war. Hostilities may continue for a long time in Europe, as well as in the far east. The German army is still very strong. There are no indications of any general deterioration of German resistance. Germany herself is protected by a vast outwork of conquered territory. She has been fortifying herself against invasion since the beginning of the war. Until the German army has been defeated, the allied nations cannot count upon an assured victory in Europe. Until the allied naval forces have grappled successfully with the main Japanese fleet there can be no assurance of an end to_ the war against Japan. Future operations will involve bitter fighting and heavy losses.

The winning of the war clearly remains the first of all objectives. My ministers believe it is their duty to see that Canada's war effort is firmly maintained until the enemy is defeated in Europe and in Asia. They believe the government's primary task, and the primary duty of the Canadian people, is to concentrate on the prosecution of the war. Our fighting men must be assured that there will be no diversion from this vital task and no relaxation of Canada's war effort. Till the war is won, the policies of my government will continue to be shaped to that end.

Our armed forces at sea, on land and in the air have added lustre to the name of Canada. The armed might of the united nations has been strengthened by Canadian mutual aid. In the combined allied assault upon the nazi fortress, all branches of the armed forces will have still heavier responsibilities.

While giving to the needs of the war precedence over all else, my ministers are resolved that, so far as the future can be foreseen. Canada will be in a position to meet the difficult situations which will have to be faced when victory is won.

As occupied countries are liberated from the enemy, it will be necessary to provide for the relief of destitute populations, and for the rehabilitation of devastated areas in those countries which have borne the brunt of the terror

Governor GeneraVs Speech

and destruction of war. A measure to extend the principle of mutual aid so as to provide tor relief, as well as for materials of war, will be submitted for your approval.

Canada's prosperity and the well-being of her people are bound up with the restoration and expansion of world trade. Export markets are essential to the efficient employment of vast numbers of Canadians. Larger imports are needed to raise the standard of living. In accordance with the principles of the Atlantic charter, the arrangements required to clear the channels of trade and promote the flow of goods among all nations after the war are being explored with other countries. Discussions will be advanced as rapidly as the exigencies of war will permit. ,

The revival of world trade and prosperity after the war will depend upon the speedy recovery of the occupied countries. During the period of transition, the provision of international relief will help to maintain full employment of Canadian man-power and resources.

My ministers believe that the time has come when all the nations now united in the common purpose of winning the war should seek unitedly to ensure an enduring peace. The dangers of future aggression can be removed, and world security attained, only by a general international organization of peace-loving nations. You will accordingly be invited to approve of Canadian participation in the establishment^ of an international organization to further national security through international cooperation.

While the post-war objective of our external policy is world security and general prosperity, the post-war objective of our domestic policy is

social security and human -welfare. _____...

-''''In 'tire-ofpmion'bf my ministers plans for the establishment of a national minimum of social security and human welfare should be advanced as rapidly as possible. Such a national minimum contemplates useful employment for all who are willing to work; standards of nutrition and housing adequate to ensure the health of the whole population; and social insurance against privation resulting from unemployment, from accident, from the death of the bread-winner, from ill-health and from old age. _

Post-war planning falls naturally into three broad fields: preparation for the demobilization, rehabilitation and reestablishment in civil life of the men and women in the armed forces; the reconversion of the economic life of the nation from a war-time to a peace-time basis, ^-and its reconstruction in a manner which wi] 1 provide opportunities for useful employment for all who are willing and able to work; and the provision of insurance against major economic and social hazards.

A broad programme has already been developed for the reestablishment of veterans of the present war, and for the care of disabled veterans and the dependents of our fighting men and merchant seamen. You will be asked to approve a measure to provide war service gratuities for all who have served in the armed forces, and also measures to supplement the existing rehabilitation programme.

The maintenance of full employment will require, in the period of transition from war to peace, a rapid and efficient conversion of war industries, the enlargement of markets at home and abroad, intensified research into new uses of our natural resources, programmes of national and regional development, including housing and community planning.

Suitable peace-time uses for war plants are being sought, and plans are being made for

[Mr. Speaker.!

their speedy conversion. To assist in the conversion of war plants and in the development j of small and medium-scale industrial enterprises, , the provision of additional credit facilities, for | both fixed and working capital, will be required. \ To meet this need, your approval will be sought for the establishment of an industrial develop- i ment bank as a subsidiary of the Bank of j Canada. Expenditures on developmental work, in preparation for the transition of industry from war to peace, will be encouraged by suitable tax modifications.

To assist in developing post-war export markets for primary and secondary industries, a measure will be submitted to provide for the insurance or guarantee of export credits, and steps are being taken to expand the trade commissioner service abroad.

Provision will be made to expand research activities.

A measure to amend and supplement existing housing legislation will be introduced.

A considerable measure of social security is already provided under federal and provincial legislation, but the working out of a comprehensive national scheme, in which federal and provincial activities will be integrated and which will include nation-wide health insurance, will require further consultation and close cooperation with the provinces. My ministers will welcome opportunities for such consultation.

When suitable agreements are reached with the provinces, my ministers will be prepared to recommend measures to provide for federal assistance in a nation-wide system of health insurance, and for a national scheme of contributory old age pensions on a more generous basis than that at present in operation.

The family and the home are the foundation of national life. To aid in ensuring a minimum of well-being to the children of the nation and , to help gain for them a closer approach to equality of opportunity in the battle of life, you will be asked to approve a measure making provision for family allowances.

My ministers believe that the time is rapidly approaching when a/ minister of the crown should be responsible for each of the three broad fields of post-war planning. You will accordingly be asked to approve the establishment of the following departments of government: ./

(1) A Department of Veterans' Affairs to have charge of the rehabilitation and reestablishment of members of the armed forces, and the administration of veterans' pensions and allowances;

(2) A Department of Reconstruction to promote and coordinate planning for national development and post-war employment; and

(3) A Department of Social Welfare to organize and to assist in administering activities of the federal government in the fields of health and social insurance.

Underlying efforts for the winning of the war and the solution of post-war problems is the necessity of preventing the inflationary effects of war. My ministers believe that to prevent inflation and to safeguard a basic standard of living it remains necessary to maintain the price ceiling and stabilization of wages and salaries.

Prisoners oj War

To ensure economic stability for agriculture, you will be asked to make provision for a price floor for staple farm products.

Among other matters to which your attention will be directed will be the revision of the Bank Act, and the provision of adequate facilities for the exercise of the franchise by men and women serving in the armed forces.

Members of the House of Commons:

You will be asked to make financial provision for the effective prosecution of the war and for other necessary services.

Honourable Members of the Senate:

Members of the House of Commons:

I express, I know, the thoughts of all Canada -when I say with what pride and admiration we have followed the exploits of our armed forces. At sea, on land and in the air, the fighting men of Canada, wherever they have served,' have displayed the highest courage, endurance and skill. I give them your assurance that their lives are more precious to their country than all else, and that it is our supreme aim to ensure their early and victorious return to their homeland.

As I invite your consideration of the very difficult problems which will engage your attention in this momentous year, I pray that Divine Providence may guide and bless your deliberations.


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


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

That, until the house otherwise orders, the speech of His Excellency the Governor General to both houses of parliament be taken into consideration on Friday next, and that this order have precedence over all other business, except the introduction of bills, government notices of motions and government orders, until disposed of.


Motion agreed to.



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


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

That a special committee be appointed to prepare and report, with all convenient speed, lists of members to compose standing committees of this house under standing order 63, said committee to be composed of Messrs. Mackenzie (Vancouver Centre), Michaud, Casselman (Gren-ville-Dundas), Maclnnis, Taylor.


Motion agreed to.


Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister) presented the following message from His Excellency the Governor General: The Governor General transmits to the House of Commons a certified copy of an approved minute of council appointing the Honourable T. A. Crerar, Minister of Mines and Resources, the Honourable J. L., Ilsley, Minister of Finance, the Honourable J. E. Michaud, Minister of Transport and the Honourable J. A. MacKinnon, Minister of Trade and Commerce. 100- lj to act with the Speaker of the House of Commons as commissioners for the purposes and under the provisions of chapter 145 of the revised statutes of Canada, 1927, intituled: An Act Respecting the House of Commons.


Report of civil service commission, respecting the appointment of Mr. John Laundy as deputy sergeant-at-arms.-Mr. Speaker. On motion of Mr. Mackenzie King the house adjourned at 4.22 p.m. Friday, January 28, 1944

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January 27, 1944