May 10, 1943 (19th Parliament, 4th Session)


Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. M. J. COLDWELL (Rosetown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, it is right and proper that this resolution should be introduced by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and seconded by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Gray-don). The Prime Minister has placed on the record an outline of the campaign which has ended so successfully in North Africa. We join with all others in the house in congratulations to the men who have fought this magnificent fight and also in an expression of our sympathy to those who have been bereaved by the supreme sacrifice that has been made by so many.
I agree with the leader of the opposition that in our rejoicing at the present stage of the campaign we should not lose our perspective. After all we have been at war now for over three and a half years and this is the first

Allied Victory in North Africa
time that our forces have driven back the enemy to any appreciable extent. We have watched with admiration the splendid fight that has been put up by our gallant allies. Equally we have watched with alarm the situation in the far east, and in our rejoicing we should not forget that while a victorious army is moving forward in North Africa, our troops are retreating in Burma. This I think illustrates the difficulties in which the united nations find themselves and makes it clear that the war will be long. The successful close of the present campaign in Africa is but the end of the beginning of one phase of this great conflict.
In the fight which has taken place our Canadian boys have borne some part. Ships bearing the names of two Canadian cities, the Charlottetown and the Weybum, were lost in the course of this campaign, and we express to the families of those who were casualties our deep sympathy.
I think there is another lesson to be learned from this campaign, a lesson of which I hope the leaders of the united nations will take heed. Mistakes were made at the beginning particularly in the field of political strategy. Many people viewed with misgivings the attempts that were made to appease quislings of the Vichy regime, and we hope that the outcry raised against that procedure will be borne in mind so that when the continent of Europe is invaded there will be no repetition of the mistakes which were then made.
With these thoughts in mind we join with others in rejoicing at the victorious issue of the campaign and express the hope that ere long we may see the enemy driven back from both sides of the European continent, when the opportunity will come to destroy the Japanese aggressor also.

Topic:   THE WAR
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