January 28, 1943 (19th Parliament, 4th Session)


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: Honourable Members of the Senate:
Members of the House of Commons:
As you enter upon your duties at the beginning of this new year, you will be heartened by the improved position of the united nations.
In the first year of war, most of the countries of Europe lost their freedom and became the victims of nazi occupation and oppression. In the second year, Italy, already at war, joined her power with that of Germany in an effort to seize new territories in Africa, as well as in Europe. In the third year, Japan entered the world conflict in the expectation of becoming the master of the orient. These actions disclosed the pre-arranged schedule of world domination planned by the axis powers. Each, at the appointed time, sprang upon its unoffending neighbours.
During these years, the nations which were attacked, and others still enjoying freedom, were necessarily on the defensive. For three years, the free nations continued to gather strength, at the same time affording such mutual aid, one to the other, as opportunity permitted.
In their attempt at world conquest, the forces of aggression still continue their campaigns of terror and violence. The world scene, however, has vastly changed from what it was a year ago. Enemy forces, everywhere, have been halted by stubborn and successful resistance. In many parts of the world, the allied powers have taken the offensive.
At Casablanca, in North Africa, a meeting, unprecedented in history, has just been concluded between the Prime Minister of Great Britain and the President of the United States. During their conference, they were in communication with the Premier of the Soviet Union and the Generalissimo of China. At the conference, the leaders of Great Britain and the United States, both military .and civil, agreed on a war plan for 1943 designed to maintain the initiative in every theatre of war.
In the western hemisphere, the peoples now present a virtually united front against the axis powers.
The government has maintained close relations with the nations with which Canada is united in the common struggle. Direct diplomatic representation has strengthened our relations with China and the Soviet Union, and with the several allied governments now temporarily resident in the United Kingdom. The establishment of diplomatic missions to nations of the Americas is broadening the friendly relations between those countries and Canada.
Our .armed forces are on active service in all parts of the world. Their strength has been steadily increased. They are equipped with the most modern and efficient weapons of war. In actual combat, they have served with distinction and gallantry.
In the present year, the progressive expansion of the navy will be continued. The army program will include the maintenance and reinforcement of the overseas army of two corps, and the maintenance of units and formations required for the territorial 'and coastal

Governor General's Speech

defence of Canada and other areas in the western hemisphere. The air force will continue its three-fold activities of air training, patrolling our coasts and coastal waters, and sharing in aerial combat overseas. Increased responsibilities will be assumed for the maintenance of Canadian airmen and Canadian squadrons serving abroad.
As an integral part of Canada's total war effort, ships, aircraft, weapons, munitions and other supplies will continue to be provided, not only for Canada's forces, but in vast quantities as well for the forces of our fighting allies. In order to provide for the financing and for the allocation to the united nations of Canadian war production, a measure which will make provision for the establishment of a Canadian war supplies allocation board will be submitted for your approval.
A joint committee representative of the Departments of Agriculture of Canada and the United States has been agreed upon to coordinate the efforts of the two countries in the production of food for the united nations.
The immediate object of the united nations is the defeat of the axis powers. Joint planning of operations on a world scale has accompanied preparations for intensive warfare. The united nations also aim at rendering aggression impossible in the future. Their governments, in addition to planning jointly for the prosecution of the war, have already entered into consultation regarding post-war problems. Achievement of their aims requires the establishment of conditions under which all peoples may enjoy equality of opportunity and a sense of security.
Every effort must be made to ensure, after the close of hostilities, the establishment, in useful and remunerative employment, of the men and women in our armed forces and in war industries. My ministers have already begun to explore the international agreements and domestic measures which will help to secure adequate incomes for primary producers and full employment after the war. With your approval, the select committee on reconstruction and reestablishment, appointed at the last session, will be reconstituted.
It is in the general interest that freedom from fear and from want should be the assured possession of all. A nation-wide plan which would provide insurance against the inevitable consequences of major economic and social hazards is essential if this objective is to be attained.
In Canada, a considerable measure of social security has already been provided through federal enactments establishing annuities, unemployment insurance, and pensions for the aged, the blind and for disabled veterans; and through provincial enactments related to accidents, sickness and hospitalization, widows' and mothers' allowances and maternity benefits. There is, however, no approach to a nation-wide plan of social security.
My ministers believe that a comprehensive national scheme of social insurance should be worked out at once which will constitute a charter of social security for the whole of Canada.
The government accordingly proposes to recommend the early appointment of a select committee to examine and report on the most practicable measures of social insurance, and the

steps which will be required to ensure their inclusion in a national plan. Among matters which will be referred to this committee for study and consideration will be the establishment of a national system of health insurance.
In accordance with the provisions of the British North America Act you will be invited to consider a bill for the redistribution of representation in the House of Commons.
You will be asked to make provision for the appointment of parliamentary assistants to those of my ministers whose duties have become particularly onerous because of the demands of war.
Members of the House of Commons;
You will be asked to vote the necessary grants to enable our country to make its utmost contribution to the winning of the war.
Your attention will be invited at the earliest convenient date to the government's financial proposals. These will include the further development of the method of payment of the personal income tax in the year in which income is received, thus carrying to its logical conclusion the approach made last year to the collection of taxes on a current basis.
Honourable Members of the Senate:
Members of the House of Commons:
We have reason to be profoundly grateful for the improved position of the united nations. We must be careful, however, not to be misled by recent successes. The submarine menace has been growing, not diminishing. Decisive battles have still to be fought and won. Eor some time past, the movement of munitions and supplies overseas has been seriously restricted because of submarine activities. Until that grave menace is effectively controlled there is always the danger that reinforcements and supplies in sufficient volume may not reach the battle zones. As areas of conflict close in, fighting will increase in intensity and ferocity. The hardest battles, the heaviest sacrifices, may be in the future. Only the utmost sustained effort on the part of all the united nations will ensure the defeat of the axis powers.
In again inviting your careful consideration to the all important matters which will engage your attention, I pray that Divine Providence may guide and bless your deliberations.

Full View