I think when we are through with essential industry we are at the end of the road, except for those just coming of age. I do not want to inject the theme of conscription into this debate, but I consider it fair to say that without conscription this country is as well organized as any country on the side of the united nations. Let us be clear about that.
I do not want to discuss the principle to-night; we discussed it long enough two or three sessions ago, but that is what the figures would indicate. Any place we can find a man we will go after him, but you have to keep men in the basic industries. You cannot fight a war without steel or nickel or copper or lead or zinc.
I shall leave my Social Credit friends to talk about gold. I am not a fanatic in regard to gold, but we may be thankful for the gold- we have when this war is over. However, we are watching the situation very closely, to keep within the framework of democracy and to keep the balance equally divided between the requirements of the industrial, agricultural and commercial structures and the fighting forces. In a big way I think I can say we have been reasonably successful.
I would say that this is a day-to-day problem, and the administrative board of selective service meets regularly to survey conditions. In the light of changed conditions we alter our policy on the distribution of men and women between the armed
forces on the one hand, and the industrial, agricultural and commercial structure of the country on the other.
That may be true, too. Last session we heard a great deal about the man-power muddle. Not long ago I was in the United States, and some people over there are talking about a muddle in that country. Under free institutions, such talk is inevitable, because there is a right to criticize the government. Up to now, however, free institutions have proven more successful than dictatorships, because under that type of government every man goes where he is told, or does not live. When one sees the results of free institutions, the number of aeroplanes in the skies to-day, and the number of ships at sea, he has confidence in those institutions.