Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister of Canada):
Mr. Speaker of the Senate, Mr. Speaker of the House of Commons, honourable members of both Houses of Parliament: Canada is much honoured by the presence in our capital to-day of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the Right Hon. Clement R. Attlee. When in the course of my recent visit to England I learned from Mr. Attlee that he had accepted the invitation of the President of the United States, Mr. Truman, to visit him at Washington, I expressed to Mr. Attlee the hope that he might find it possible, before his return to Britain, to pay a visit also to Ottawa. I was delighted to receive an immediate acceptance of this invitation.
I mentioned to Mr. Attlee our hope that, while in Ottawa, he would be willing to address the members of both houses of parliament. This suggestion he assured me he would also be pleased to meet. Mr. Attlee is with us this afternoon in fulfilment of his promise. His address is to be broadcast to all parts of Canada and overseas.
I have already, on behalf of the Canadian people, extended to Mr. Attlee, as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, a very warm welcome to Canada. I should now like, on behalf of the parliament of Canada, to express to him the great pleasure it affords the members of both houses to have the honour of meeting him and of being addressed by him this afternoon.
Perhaps, before I call on Mr. Attlee to speak, he will permit me to say how pleased I am to be again with my fellow members of parliament, after an absence of seven weeks, and especially after the memorable visits I have just made to England and to the United States. \
I should like immediately to express to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom my warm appreciation of the many courtesies extended to me my him and by other members of the British government during my sojourn in London. The exceptional opportunities afforded of conference with Mr. Attlee and his colleagues, as well as with members of the opposition and with others, enabled me to gain a much wider knowledge.of existing conditions in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe, and of to-day's world problems. For Britain and for her people of Britain my visit has given me a greater admiration than ever. The courage and determination they displayed throughout the long years of war have never been surpassed. Their fortitude and endurance in seeking to-day to overcome the privations caused by the devastation of war and to meet situations resulting from its horrors, are equally heroic, and evoke feelings of the deepest sympathy and respect.
I should like also to say to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom how much it meant to me, as Prime Minister of Canada, to share with him in the conferences with the President of the United States on the question of atomic energy and problems which-this discovery has presented to the world.
It is too soon to say more than a word of the agreement reached at Washington. I believe the initiative taken by the representatives of the three countries which possess the knowledge essential to the use of atomic energy to see that the new discovery shall be used for the benefit of mankind, and not as a means of destruction, should go far towards creating conditions of mutual trust which alone can rid the world of its worst fears, and secure for nations an enduring peace. I am more than ever convinced that in the continued
Address oj Right Hon. Mr. Attlee
close cooperation between nations of the British commonwealth and the United States, which meant so much to the preservation of the world's freedom at a time of war, will be found the surest guarantee of world security in these post-war years.
I need not remind hon. members of the many causes with which, over the years, Mr. Attlee's life has been identified, or how outstanding are the contributions he has made , to the public life of our day. He has always been an earnest student of social and industrial problems, imbued with an abiding determination to work increasingly for human welfare and social progress. As a soldier in the first great war he had a fine record of military service. He has been a member of the Labour party of Britain for nearly forty years, and its leader for more than ten years. Though still with the promise of many years before him, he has already lived to see fulfilment of some of the great purposes of his life.
Few men have had a comparable political career. Mr. Attlee has been a member of the parliament of the United Kingdom for twenty-three years. During that time he has held many high offices of state, which he administered witli rare ability and the utmost fidelity. As leader of the opposition at the greatest crisis of the war he joined in forming the coalition. During the period of the coalition he held after 1942 the office of Deputy Prime Minister. He combined this difficult position with the continued leadership of his party. He is to-day head of the administration and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. This is a record of personal achievement, political success and public service which will ever hold an exceptionally high place in the history of British statesmanship.
It has fallen to the lot of few, if any, statesmen to be faced with as great problems as those by which Mr. Attlee is faced to-day. He carries, I believe, a greater burden of responsibility than the head of any other government in the world to-day. In the discharge of his grave responsibilities, I should like to assure the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of the understanding and cooperation of the government of Canada. I am speaking, I know, for all Canadians when I ask Mr. Attlee to take back to the people of Britain the renewed expression of our admiration and affection. With this expression of admiration and affection, I ask him also to carry back the assurance that the people of Canada are united in their resolve to do all they can to help Britain in meeting the pressing needs of her people. We fully -eaiize not only the magnitude of their sacri-
fice, but also our own country's interest in the welfare and prosperity of Britain, and indeed, in that of all nations.
I have much pleasure in calling upon the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the Right Honourable Clement Attlee.
Right Hon. CLEMENT R. ATTLEE (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom): Mr.' Speaker, members of the Senate; Mr. Speaker, members of the House of Commons:
I should like first of all to say how deeply I was touched by the kind reception which you have given me. I should like to thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, for your kind words.
I take this as a tribute to the people of the United Kingdom whom I am representing to-day.
It is a great pleasure to me to be here in Ottawa again. It has been my privilege >to , visit Canada four times in the last five years, When I was last here I was Deputy Prime Minister in Mr. Churchill's government, a post which I held until a few months ago. Now, by a process well understood by all parliamentarians, there has been a change of administration and I come before you as Prime Minister. I say that this is well understood by all of us, but the methods that are natural to democracies are not always understood in other parts of the world.
You will remember that we had a general election in Britain, and I then accompanied Mr. Churchill to Potsdam while the ballot boxes remained locked-up and the votes from the men overseas were coming in. Some of our friends were surprised that immediately following a vigorous electoral contest Mr. Churchill and I could cooperate; some were even astonished that we showed no agitation while our political destinies remained hidden for three weeks. When we returned to London and the result of the ballot caused me to become Prime Minister, I went back to Potsdam with precisely the same civil servants as had accompanied Mr. Churchill. It was a striking example of how in countries where the rule of law obtains, we can effect change peaceably. It was also an illustration of the fact that political differences do not prevent cooperation between opponents where the interests of the country are at stake.
In London we have been delighted to welcome in recent years representatives of all your parties, including my friend Mr. Bracken the leader of the opposition, and Mr. Cold-well the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation; and only a week or two ago we had the pleasure of receiving your Prime Minister, Mr. Mackenzie King, on his third visit since the war began. As the junior
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prime minister in the commonwealth, it has been a pleasure to me to be with one who has had such a long and distinguished tenure of office.
He and I have come to you from the United States of America, where we have been in consultation with President Truman on a subject of vital consequence, not only to the people of our own countries but to the peoples of the whole world. I shall not venture on Mr. King's prerogatives by talking to you this afternoon about the problems which the discovery of the release of atomic energy has created. I have no doubt you will be debating these high matters in due course, but I know that the problem which has presented itself to all three of us, as only one part of the great question which confronts us all to-day, is: How can we secure peace? How can we prevent another devastating war from arising in a few years' time, a war even worse than those we have already experienced. You will have seen that in considering this question we stressed the paramount importance of making the United Nations Organization an effective instrument of world peace. Y7ou cannot deal with these matters by considering such a question as that of the atom bomb by itself. A very distinguished leader of my party, Mr. Sidney Webb, now Lord Passfield, once described the process of trying to deal with the particular results of general causes as that of hammering on the bulge. It was a simile taken from dealing with pots and pans; for in hammering on the bulge you merely caused the metal to raise itself in another place.
The particular problem of certain armaments must be considered in the. light of the general question of securing world peace. It is just here I believe, with all due humility, that the British commonwealth and Empire offers the world an example which should be noted and followed. The units which compose our British Commonwealth are equal. They are sovereign and independent states owing allegiance to the same king, freely cooperating for their mutual benefit, each one of them living its own life, having its own distinctive characteristics and, while avoiding slavish uniformity, being responsive to a larger unity. The bonds which unite this great company of nations are not material, but spiritual. The strands which compose them are the acceptance of the rule of law, a belief in and the practice of the principles of democracy and liberty, and the acknowledgment of a common standard of moral values. It is in my view precisely these spiritual ties which
must bind together all the nations of the world if we are to make the United Nations Organization a living entity, if we are to establish peace on sure foundations. The work done at San Francisco was valuable, but the designing and perfecting of a machine is of little value unless there is the power to make it move. It is only an intense belief in the great principles of the interdependence of nations and the brotherhood of man that will provide the motive power to this great machine which has been constructed.
I am certain that it was this unity in the British commonwealth, based on the common conception of the right relationship between human beings and between nations, tha't was responsible for the remarkable spontaneity with which at the threat to civilization the members of the British commonwealth of nations sprang to arms.
I urge each individual man and woman of every race, creed and language to understand the moral crisis that confronts the world.
Mr. Speaker, I recollect at this time the words of one of the great minds of France, Rabelais: "Conscienceless science is but the ruin of my soul".
Such is the problem that confronts mankind -to bring science and morality closer together.
In my opinion, it is obvious that if we do not approach those problems with a moral enthusiasm as great as that with which scientists carry out their research work, civilization, as it was developed throughout many centuries, will be destroyed.
Speaking to you here to-day after the close of this long struggle, I should like to pay my tribute to what Canada and the Canadian people have achieved. I recall so well the dark days of 1940, when our forces had to withdraw from Dunkirk and we were left with very scanty equipment to defend ourselves against invasion that then seemed imminent, and how heartened we were by the presence in ever-growing numbers of the Canadian forces. I know too what a strain it was for those gallant men to remain apparently inactive for many weary months although in fact their presence was vital to the whole strategy of the war. In 1942, there took place the Canadian action at Dieppe which played a vital part in the preparations for the later invasions. It enabled us to perfect our amphibious technique; it taught us how to conduct air battles in support of a landing, and it made us realize the need for bringing with us
Address o) Right Hon. Mr. Attlee
our own harbours. Thus the men of Dieppe showed the way to North Africa, to Sicily, to Italy and to Normandy.
When the time came for the Canadian armed forces to cross the seas, in every theatre of war they more than sustained the high reputation which they had won in the first world war on the fields of France and Flanders. I recall how they were the spearhead of the attack on Sicily and how they fought their way north in 1944 and early 1945 along the Adriatic and across the Appenines. It was my privilege then to visit, them in the front line. No less splendid were their feats in the invasion of Europe. Some of the hardest tasks were given to them: the clearing of the Channel ports, of the Dutch coast, and the opening of the port of Antwerp. And since the defeat of Germany, Canadian troops have been playing their part in the vital task of disarming the Germans and occupying their country. This task and similar tasks in Japan will make great demands on the resources of the commonwealth and of the allies, but it is one of the tasks which must be done fully and well if we are not to throw away the rewards of victory.
The whole world knows the achievements of the Royal Canadian Air Force, whose units played a distinguished part in every phase of our warfare, in every command of the United Kingdom, and in every overseas theatre. They were second to none in their gallantry and in their skill. Perhaps their biggest single achievement was the provision of an entire group, the famous No. 6 Group of Bomber Command. Let us remember that behind the whole air effort of the British commonwealth lay that great empire air training scheme under which roughly one-third of the British, dominion and allied air crews were trained in this country. Perhaps it is not so generally known that the Dominion of Canada played a major part in the development of radar, and provided the R.A.F. with its main source of highly skilled mechanics and technicians. Finally, let me say that one of the .most notable achievements of the war was the development from small beginnings of a great Canadian navy. In all the strain of the long-continued battle of the Atlantic, Canadians took their full share with their British and American comrades.
Besides all this, just as in the old country, the workers in the fields, the factories and the shipyards, the scientists, the technicians and research worker, are entitled to a full share of credit for the successful outcome of the war. I should like here to refer particularly to the vast and generous financial contribution of Canada, to the food supply sent across the Atlantic, and to the whole
system of mutual aid. Canada has had not only firm leadership of her fighting forces, by sea, on land and in the air, but also at home by a far-seeing and wise parliament and government, who understood just what was needed for the common effort. Eveiy-one who realizes fully what Canada did throughout the war must acknowledge that there was a major contribution to the common cause.
You now, like ourselves, are facing the problems of peace. I count it a happy event that on the occasion of the first visit which I have made overseas since the end of the Potsdam conference, I should have had the comradeship of your Prime Minister in visiting our great friend and ally, the United States of America. It seems to me to be a good augury for the future in which the problems of peace will need that same cooperation * which brought us to final and complete victory.
I remember very well when I was over here in 1941, discussing with members of your cabinet the problems of mobilizing manpower and woman-power in both our countries for total war. We now are both engaged in the equally difficult task of demobilization and of the turning from war to peace of our whole economic machine. I have no doubt that your difficulties are very present to your minds, but it might not be out of place for me to tell you something of ours. I suppose that in no country engaged in the war was a greater degree of austerity imposed upon the people than in the United Kingdom. I need not tell you that our food situation is still very difficult and that our rations are on a scale only barely sufficient to maintain health. Coal too is in short supply. But this is not all. During the war we have been unable to replenish our ordinary stores of domestic requirements-sheets, blankets, curtains, pots, pans and crockeiy. We have had, as it were, in every phase of our life, to make do and mend, with the inevitable consequence that we find ourselves to-day faced with every kind of shortage. If you go round our shops you will find that many of the ordinary wants of the housewife are simply not there. We are still rationed very tightly for clothing and shoes. The men and women who come out of the fighting services and want to marry and set up a home will find the greatest difficulty in furnishing it; for example; we are endeavouring to provide utility furniture, but it takes a long time to get the industrial machine under way. And let me add that those who want to marry and settle down have an anxiety even more pressing than that of how to furnish a home-that of finding a home to live in. It is perhaps not generally
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realized that three and a half million houses were to a greater or lesser extent damaged in the blitz, and of these a great number were entirely destroyed. My own constituency of Limehouse in East London was formerly a dense mass of working-class houses with hardly any open space at all. But at the recent general election my constituents walked through the fields to vote for me-fields strewn with rubble, beginning to be covered by the weeds that had grown up in the spaces created by German bombs. It will take years to catch up with the housing shortage. It will take a long time to get our industries fully at work, and even then we shall not be able to devote all our energies to our domestic needs. We have the problem of paying for our food and raw materials. For that purpose it is essential that as soon as possible we should build up our export trade. We shall not have in the future those invisible exports on which we used to depend before the war. Those resources built up by past prosperity were used up in the grim time when the British commonwealth and empire stood alone in the field against the barbarians and in the years which followed.
You may think I am painting you a somewhat dark picture. I do not minimize to you or to our own people our difficulties, but I should like you to know also the spirit in which we are tackling them. I was talking the other day to a distinguished American editor who had been visiting Britain, and he said to me that the thing that struck him most was the spirit of energy in our country. It recalls to me what Emerson said a hundred years ago about Britain:
So ... I feel in regard to this aged England . . . pressed upon by transitions of trade and . . . competing populations. I see her not dispirited, not weak, but well remembering that she has seen dark days before; indeed, with a kind of instinct that she sees a little better in a cloudy day, and that, in a storm of battle and calamity, she has a secret vigour and a pulse like a cannon.
I believe that that is true to-day. We have a new parliament, very largely made up of young men and women, a big proportion of whom are drawn from the fighting forces. I believe that this parliament, with its youthful energy, drive and idealism, and its readiness to embark on new experiments, fitly represents the spirit of our old country. At the general election the electors returned to power a party which believes in a planned economy, which believes in developing to the full the resources of our country in the interests of all the people, which believes that every individual in the community should be given a fair share of the good things of this world in return for a fair contribution of
effort. We are therefore embarking on new policies. We are putting forward complete schemes for social security designed to remove from the homes of our people the fear of want; but we know well that our ability to provide this economic security will depend on the degree to which we are able to apply the skill of our our workers, of our scientists and managers, to our natural resources. That is why we are seeking to reorganize our basic industries, such as coal, as services owned and controlled in the interests of the nation. We cannot afford to waste our resources. We cannot afford inefficiency. We are seeking to direct capital into those channels where it will fertilize trade and industry in the interest of the wliole community. We have an agricultural policy designed to see that the workers on the land get a fair return- in price for their efforts, and that the food of the people shall be obtainable at a reasonable cost. We shall of course always have to import a large amount of our food supplies from abroad, but we believe that prosperous agriculture at home is compatible with that exchange of food and raw materials from overseas in return for our manufactured goods which has for so long been the basis of our inter-commonwealth trade. Therefore while we follow no exclusive policy, we believe that in the future, as in the past, the general well-being of the countries of the commonwealth will be enhanced by their economies being complementary. In saying this I do not lose sight of the fact that Canada, perhaps to an even greater extent than other countries in the commonwealth, has become during the war an important manufacturing nation, and that it will expect to see in post war years an increasing export of its own manufactured products. But past experience has shown that the greatest volume of trade has been built up between highly industrialized countries, and I see no reason therefore to think that the development to which I have referred will place any obstacle in the way of a steady and increasing trade between our two countries.
We of the Labour party believe in an expansionist economy; we affirm that if we all act wisely we shall never again, see as we did in 1931, the tragedy of starvation and want in the midst of abundance. We hold that it is of vital importance that there should be a steadily increasing standard of life for the masses of the people throughout the world.
In particular, we believe it to be essential that the producers of primary products all the world over shall be assured of a fair reward for their labours and should not -be at the mercy of the vagaries of uncontrolled prices.
Address oj Right Hon. Mr. Attlee
We have emerged triumphant from the greatest crisis that ever faced the free peoples of the world. It is for us to see that that victory is not nullified by the failure to deal effectively with the problems of the peace. We owe it to the valiant dead that they shall not have died in vain. I know well how in all our countries there is weariness after these six years of war; but we must not let it overcome us. There may be here and there some cynicism; we must meet it by redoubling our faith and hope. I sometimes hear talk of new nations and old nations. It has been suggested that we in Europe are old and effete. Do not believe it. You are the new shoot from the old stem; but the old stem is still alive and full of vigour. You in Canada draw your spiritual resources from two great nations. In the past these nations in turn have derived their sustenance from the great heritage bequeathed by our ancestors, and they will do so again in the future. I can see that you here in Canada are pulsating with life and vigour. You have a great part to play in the world, and I am certain that in peace as in war, you will take your full share in bearing the burdens of the world.
Twice in my lifetime the aggressor has presumed to think that Britain was feeble and effete. Twice has he learned his error. Despite all our difficulties we face the future undismayed. We shall go forward into this new world^-a world, it is true, of danger, but a world of great opportunity-strong in the faith expressed so clearly by Robert Burns:
It's coming yet for a' that
That man to man, the world o'er, Shall brothers be for a' that.
Subtopic: MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS CHAMBER, OTTAWA, ON