January 22, 1942 (19th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Georges Parent (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: Honourable Members of the Senate:
Members of the House of Commons:
There no longer can be any question as to the character and scope of the present war. It is a world-wide conflict between irreconcilable
forces. On every continent, including the confines of our own, and on all oceans, forces that aim at world domination oppose forces that seek the preservation of freedom. In every quarter of the globe, civilization is confronted by savagery.
The conflict can have but one of two outcomes. Either tyranny, based on terror and brutality, must be overthrown; or the free peoples of the world, one and all, slowly but eventually, will be reduced to a state of bondage. Upon the outcome depends, for generations, the future well-being of mankind.
There are strong reasons for belief in the overthrow of tyranny, and the ultimate triumph of freedom. The axis powers: Germany, Italy and Japam now fight as one. So do the peoples of the British commonwealth, of the United States, Russia, China and the many other nations that, on the first day of this new year, united in a pact to fight together until victory is achieved. The marshalling of the free forces of the greatest industrial nations in the world makes clear the scale upon which the conflict will now be waged on many fronts.
During the present session, opportunity will be afforded for the fullest consideration and discussion of Canada's war effort, actual and prospective. My advisers will submit to you the measures deemed essential to our national security, and for the prosecution of the war to the utmost of our strength-in accordance with the government's policy of a total national effort for total war, you will be asked to approve a balanced programme for further increases in the armed forces and in the production of munitions of war and of ^o^8?1^8, The increase in the armed forces will involve an expansion of the establishment of the Canadian army overseas. You will also be asked, as an integral part of Canada's direct war effort, to approve a contribution to Britain of vast quantities of munitions, foodstuffs and supplies.
The government's policy of national selective service will be extended, as generally and rapidly as may be necessary, to effect the orderly and efficient employment of the men and women of Canada for the varied purposes of war. You will be advised of the means the government proposes to adopt, to effect as complete as possible a mobilization of the material resources and man-power of the country in direct furtherance of a total national effort.
My advisers believe that the magnitude and balanced nature of Canada's war effort is being obscured and impaired by controversy concerning commitments with respect to the methods of raising men for military service which were made prior to the spread of the war to all parts of the world.
The government is of the opinion that, at this time of gravest crisis in the world's history, the administration, subject only to. its responsibility

Governor General's Speech

to parliament, should in this connection and irrespective of any previous commitments, possess complete freedom to act in accordance with its judgment of the needs of the situation as they may arise.
My ministers accordingly will seek, from the people, by means of a plebiscite, release from any obligation arising out of any past commitments restricting the methods of raising men for military service.
Members of the House of Commons:
You will be asked to make financial provision bn an unprecedented scale for the expansion and maintenance of Canada's armed forces and for war production.
You will be asked to make financial provision for implementing agreements with the provinces to facilitate the orderly and equitable mobilization of the financial resources of the country to the utmost limit of its capacity.
Honourable Members of the Senate:
Members of the House of Commons:
I am confident that in no particular will the Canadian people fail in the full discharge of any of their great responsibilities. At this time, when vision and wisdom are so greatly needed in the affairs of the world, I pray that Almighty God may guide and bless your deliberations.

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