LACROIX, Édouard

Personal Data

Bloc populaire canadien
Beauce (Quebec)
Birth Date
January 6, 1889
Deceased Date
January 19, 1963
industrialist, lumber merchant

Parliamentary Career

October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
  Beauce (Quebec)
September 14, 1926 - May 30, 1930
  Beauce (Quebec)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
  Beauce (Quebec)
October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
  Beauce (Quebec)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
  Beauce (Quebec)
February 18, 1943 - April 16, 1945
  Beauce (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2 of 20)

February 22, 1943

1. What is the monthly, or yearly remuneration to the Veterans Guard of Canada for, (a) salary, (b) board, (c) upkeep, (d) clothing?

2. Are these allowances paid regularly every fortnight or monthly?

3. Are the veterans guard entitled to the twenty cents granted to other soldiers?

4. If so, what is the reason why they have not received same since first of January last?

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February 22, 1943

1. Has the Canadian government received any aid from the United States government undei lease-lend law during the year 1942?

2. If so, to what extent-in dollars value?


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February 18, 1943

Mr. LACROIX (Beauce):

I repeat: in order to be consistent with myself, I shall vote against the address, against the amendment and against the amendment to the amendment.

Mr. HARRY R. JACKMAN (Rosedale): Mr. Speaker, may I first offer my congratulations to the mover (Mr. Harris) and the seconder (Mr. Halle) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. These honourable and gallant members did honour to themselves and to the armed forces which they represent. While it is true that as yet the

Canadian army has seen little of actual conflict, they stand on. guard for us; and to no one has the long period of training and preparation- been more trying than to the soldiers themselves. Seldom do I enter this chamber without observing in the hallway the statue of Lieutenant-Colonel Baker, who made the supreme sacrifice during the last war. It would indeed be a strange commentary on our democratic institutions if members of this house were forbidden to offer themselves in the highest form of all service, namely the armed service of their country in time of war. Indeed, the constituency whose representative wears the king's uniform is doubly honoured.

One statement contained in the speech from the throne is particularly comforting at this time; that is, that as members of this house and citizens of this country we could be heartened by the improved position of the united nations. We can take comfort from the fact that the course of the war is now more favourable to the cause of freedom than it has been in the past. There is satisfaction to be gained from the fact that we are now approaching the hill from which victory may be seen in the distance, though still a long way off. We realize that great sacrifices still must be made, but if we are even a little nearer victory than before it means that many lives which otherwise would have been sacrificed will be saved to us and the other united nations. We have advanced far along the road. In the beginning we were totally unprepared, and for two years we were almost overcome by the enemy attacks and reeled from their blows, wherever they cared to strike. We have won the battle of Britain, and by so doing we have given civilization and our democratic way of life a chance to save itself from barbarism. We have now a victorious Russia, a hard-fighting United States and thirty other united nations on our side. We are definitely on the offensive. We have equality or superiority in arms, and we never doubted the quality of our seamen, our soldiers and our airmen. Their spirit of sacrifice is an inspiration to us all, though sometimes we forget it. The road ahead is still long and hard, but we will put our shoulders to the wheel and see this conflict through to the victorious end.

We are proud of the leaders of the united nations, of Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt; we are proud of the achievements of Stalin and the Russian people. We are proud to be associated with Churchill and Roosevelt in the planning of the grand strategy of this war, even though our connection is only by remote control and absentee representation. It is obvious that all the

The Address-Mr. Jackman

united nations could not be represented at Casablanca, but there is a feeling on the part of many Canadians that closer and better cooperation could be achieved through direct representation on an imperial war council, or British commonwealth council, if you like, in London. Particularly is this so because our army is being held in Great Britain as a spearhead pointed at the heart of Berlin. Perhaps I should use the term "united nations council," on which we should seek representation, because it is almost inevitable that United States troops will form part of the attacking forces. Many people in this country believe that high ministerial representation' should be sought on a supreme war council. Not a week passes without some utterance which affects Canada coming from one or another of the allied leaders, and one wonders exactly how instructions are given or consent is signified by this country. In 1916, in reference to an imperial war cabinet, Sir Robert Borden said:

It can hardly be expected that we shall put

400,000 or 500,000 men in the field and willingly accept the position of having no more voice and receiving no more consideration than if we were toy automata. Any person cherishing such expectation cherishes an unfortunate and even dangerous delusion.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) said recently that the agencies of communication have greatly improved since the last war. At that time, however, we had almost instantaneous communication by cable, and I doubt very much if even to-day secret messages can be sent over the radio. It is true that aeroplane transportation makes documentary dispatch easier, but the mechanical means of transportation were almost as perfect in the last war as they are to-day, and there is no closer communication now than there was at that time. It is not enough for those who have charge of government in this country to know what is in the minds of those who are directing the conduct of this war. Are our ministers and those responsible for our military commitments always to be on the receiving end? Can they only reply to the suggestions of others? Can they never volunteer information or military help? Can they never initiate proposals? Must they always act as a brake on the wheels of progress? One might almost as well suggest that parliament be not convened, that the members remain at home in their constituencies and rely on the endless press releases and official documents which are sent to them. The purpose of parliament, like the purpose of a war council, is to represent our constituencies, exchange our views and find a common ground of national action. Our war contribution promises to be very great. We

should seek the position of an equal, not that of a helpful appendage. Many things are not asked of us because the ideas must originate with us. Can we possibly have a proper understanding of all the facts bearing on the various matters which come up if we are not part and parcel of the planning council?

The Prime Minister has stated that every day the government receives not one; but at least a dozen dispatches, if not more, direct from the government of Britain, in relation to matters immediately affecting the war. What innumerable problems must be the subject-matter of these dispatches? How many of them require definite and striking leadership? Mere consultation between the government of this country and the governments of the other united nations is not sufficient. The whole life of our nation at the present time is directed to the supreme effort of winning this war, and there is no place where direct and continuous representation is more needed than on a war council.

Where the supreme control of war planning lies is not clear. I doubt if any hon. member can tell me exactly where the grand board of strategy is. In his speech the other week the Prime Minister said:

Our chiefs of staff in this city are in constant touch with the combined chiefs of staff having their headquarters at Washington. The war committee of the cabinet is informed of the discussions taking place there from day to day. We have a permanent liaison officer, an official of the government, who is there at the present time, and is there also throughout the year. We are entitled to follow the discussions and to be heard respecting any aspect of the war situation we may wish to present. Canada's interests in all these matters are placed fully before these boards that are continuously sitting and dealing with these matters.

May I again remind the house of what Sir Robert Borden said in 1916:

Let us be done with liaison officers, and have direct participation. Let us put off our swaddling clothes, and put on the raiment of nationhood.

May I ask the Prime Minister if consultation is to be the measure of Canada's participation in the peace conference, to which we are all looking forward, a conference which we trust will bring peace and prosperity not only to our children, but to our children's children. Is Canada to have a liaison officer permitted to attend that momentous conference? What consideration shall this country receive at the council or committee which will implement the provisions of the Atlantic charter, and on all the great economic conferences which are bound to follow this war? Are we merely to have liaison officers attached to these very important conferences?

The Address-Mr. Jackman

Is the Prime Minister, also, the only minister who can be sent to attend these conferences, wherever they may be held? He has said that his place is in the House of Commons and in this country. From a political point of view the Prime Minister is leader of a political party; but, if so little national unity, and so little unity of purpose have been achieved, that his presence is required nere, then surely . some other Canadian statesman can be substituted for him to attend these conferences. Inasmuch as one must cut one's coat according to one's cloth, I offer the name of the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston).

In a volume entitled "Speeches and Documents on the British Dominions, 1918-1931," which has as a subtitle "From self-government to national sovereignty," edited by Arthur Berriedale Keith, we find this:

Common effort and sacrifice in war have inevitably led to the recognition of equality of status between the responsible governments of the empire. This equality has long been acknowledged in principle and found its adequate expression in 1917 in the creation, or rather the natural coming into being, of the imperial war cabinet, as an instrument for evolving a common imperial policy in the conduct of the war.

The deliberations of the imperial war cabinet covered the whole field of empire policy, and also many aspects of foreign policy, and the war aims for which the British commonwealth was then fighting. If Canada does not take part in such a council, then surely it is follow [DOT] ing a retrogressive step. It has failed to assume and discharge its rightful duty, namely, to share in the joint administration of the war.

This war has differed very much from the last in the quietitude of its early stages, then the unexpected successes of the enemy in May, 1940, and then the unparalleled success of Russia in the winter of 1942-43. The relative quiet and building up, and the making of preparations on the European front now induce a feeling that the present method of consultation and partnership is quite adequate. But, sir, I do not believe that it will be adequate for the time when stresses and strains are greatly increased. Then the need will come. Then will be the utmost urgency. Then will be the need for consultation and cooperation which will not be present.

Hon. members who are intimate with the history of the imperial war cabinet will recall that that cabinet solved many problems which might have grown into matters of substantial friction. For instance, Sir Arthur Currie found that he did not receive the cooperation to which he felt he was entitled, and which was necessary, from the British officers. It was a

matter of great importance, and finally the command of the Canadian soldiers was put entirely under General Currie. In this war we have benefited from our experiences in the last, and we have started off on the right foot.

If we are to interpret and carry out the policies necessary for the winning of this war, it may be that the Prime Minister must remain in Canada. These policies undoubtedly are difficult to apply; but we should obtain representation of a high political character on the board which does the planning of the grand strategy in this war.

While the Prime Minister has said that his place is in this country, we find proofs to the contrary in his acts, rather than in his words. Not only has he himself found it necessary to visit Great Britain, but many of his chief ministers, together with their staffs, have gone to Britain-not once, but several times-in order to learn and to contribute at first hand. Despite the means of communication these visits were entailed only by the greatest necessity. Nothing could indicate better than these visits the necessity for representation on an imperial cabinet. In the last war there were benefits, other than the chief one of joint direction and cooperation in the war, to be derived from the imperial war cabinet. At that time there was a difficult problem in connection with India and the empire. Some of the dominions-and I think Canada was one-did not welcome the immigration of East Indians into their respective countries. This was an offending matter to India. But the difficulty was solved around a common roundtable by pointing out to India that if she chose she, too, could exclude the nationals of other British commonwealth countries.

It is possible that if we had a British commonwealth round-table sitting at the present time we might find a solution of the perplexing problem of dominion status for India. We might be able to make a contribution which would help to solve the problem of a recalcitrant Eire. We find a certain difference of opinion on the part of Prime Minister Curtin of Australia as to where the most important theatre of war is at the present time. It is possible that if Mr. Curtin were at a round-table conference he would see, not an immediate danger to Australia, but rather the ultimate and inevitable danger to our sister commonwealth if we pursued a course different from that which we are pursuing. As the volume of dispatches and correspondence received by our Prime Minister indicates, there is great usefulness to be served by a common-discussion

The Address-Mr. Jackman

table. Indeed, its usefulness cannot even be conjectured, much less measured. The opinion of Mr. Churchill given only last Thursday in the British House of Commons concerning the value of face-to-face consultations between allied leaders is well worth quoting in support of my contention. I quote Mr. Churchill:

When you have half-a-dozen important theatres of war open in various parts of the globe there are bound to be divergencies of views when the problem is studied from different angles. There have been many divergencies of views before we came together and it is for that reason I pressed for many months a meeting of as many of our great allies as possible. These divergencies are on emphasis and priority rather than principle. They can only be removed by prolonged association of consenting and instructed minds.

Another matter I should like to mention is that of the incredible bravery of our forces at Dieppe and the winning of the Victoria Cross by Lieutenant-Colonel Merritt. The action of our troops calls forth the highest praise of our people, and similarly those of our men who patrol the seas are entitled to our highest praise. The intrepid exploits of the men of the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Air Force are the pride of Canada and are our greatest fighting contribution to the cause of freedom. It was with interest, then that I learned from the speech from the throne that Canada is to assume increased responsibility for the maintenance of Canada's airmen and Canadian air squadrons serving abroad. I wonder if the Canadian people know that our government pays not one cent for the upkeep of our No. 1 ace, Flying Officer Beurling, D.S.O., D.F.C., D.F.M., and bar, who was rejected by the Royal Canadian Air Force several times and accepted by the Royal Air Force? Do the Canadian people know that our boys in the Royal Canadian Air Force overseas are largely paid and maintained by the British government, which also pays for their equipment? Who pays for what in this war is not important, but when we boast about giving a billion dollar credit to Great Britain, we should look facts in the face and be given as true a picture as is possible. As the Minister of National Defence for Air (Mr. Power) stated last year in this house: It would take a generation of accountants to figure out the tangle of accounts as between Canada and Great Britain. While the balance may be upon our side, the people of Canada should know that the Royal Canadian Air Force personnel is paid by Great Britain once it leaves our shores, and that we are vesponsible only for paying the difference berMr. Jackman.]

tween the Royal Air Force rate of pay and the rate for the Royal Canadian Air Force. In the meantime, may I join with the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) in paying a high tribute to the administration of the Department of National Defence for Air. The British commonwealth air training plan is our greatest contribution to this war.

Another matter which I wish to bring to the attention of the house and which I feel I would be remiss in my duty if I did not mention before this debate closes is in regard to the rightful hopes and expectations of the people of Canada in reference to the application of the Ruml plan to this dominion. It would indeed be hard to find a single Canadian who does not favour the adoption of this plan to the situation as it exists in Canada. Just as it would not be true to say that the Canadian public do not want to pay or are unwilling to pay their rightful taxes, provided that the money is well spent, so it would be unfair to say that the taxpayers this year or any year are unwilling to provide the financial sinews which are necessary to the winning of victory.

In the time which is at my disposal I shall not be able to go into this subject at length, but I wish to sketch it out briefly so that it will at least be on the record before this house is threatened with a bill which will be cut-and-dried reflecting not the will of the people of Canada, but the will only of those who are in the Department of Finance. The Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) should be informed of the desires of the electors of this country. The government is merely the agent, not the master, of the people in the matter of tax collection; and if a more equitable method can be devised which will not result in loss to the treasury, then it is the duty of the treasury to adopt that method. It was not many years ago that income tax did not exist at all upon incomes in the lower brackets, and even the taxes on the higher-bracket incomes were relatively easy to pay. The following figures cover a four-year period, 1938-1942, and indicate the rapidity of taxation growth in this country. In no other country has taxation grown at the rate at which it has in this country. In Great Britain they were accustomed to a high income tax before the war. It was not just a tax to meet the needs of government but was in effect a redistribution of the national income. Not only have we in Canada met the rates of taxation, in many brackets which they have in England, but in some brackets we have exceeded their rates, and on top of that we have corporation

The Address-Mr. Jackman

taxes which even on the amount of pre-war profits amount to a minimum of forty per cent. To show the house how fast the rate of taxation has grown in this country I quote the following figures which are applicable to Ontario, and they would probably be very similar for any other province.

A married man with two children paid in 1938 and in 1942 respectively the following amounts of income tax:

Irtcome Income

Taxation paid Taxation paid

Income in 1938 in 1942$ 2,000

nil $ 214 805,000

$118 00 1,662 0010,000

668 21 4,546 00

It is the pace, not the race, that kills. It was customary and feasible for every citizen to pay a previous year's taxes out of a succeeding year's income. Indeed, the government seldom announced the rate of taxation until the end of the first or second quarter of the year following that in which the income was earned. But taxation has now become such a large proportion of even very low incomes that it is impossible to pay taxes on last year's income and at the same time save sufficient in order to pay the tax on the income currently being earned. The result is that every tax-paying individual in Canada is faced with a burden of debt which in most instances he will be totally unable to discharge. When he will be able to do so it is impossible to say, because he can never catch up with the income tax the way it is at the present time, and because of the history of its progressive increases. If the income decreases or ceases with retirement, accident, sickness, unemployment or death, the taxpayer not having as great an income, or having no income, is faced with a burden of tax debt which cannot be met.

How does the adoption of the Ruml plan for Canada cope with this problem of lessening the tax burden for a man when he no longer has as much income or perhaps any income out of which to pay the tax? The adoption of the plan would free the individual from an overwhelming burden of worry and uncertainty which fear of a never-to-be discharged debt causes in the mind of the ordinary prudent citizen. Under the plan the desired result would be accomplished by the taxpayer paying this year and every year to the maximum of his current earning capacity according to the needs of the treasury and the laws of the land. But at the same time he would at the end of the year be free from an overhanging burden of debt. The method to be adopted would be as follows: the taxes paid in this year would

apply to the 1943 assessment, and not to the 1942 assessment as is the case to a large extent at the present time. The incomes of the year 1942 are now spent and gone, and the moving forward of the base from 1942 to 1943 is precisely the same as the adoption of daylight saving: the hand of the clock is moved forward one hour; nothing is changed, but seven o'clock now becomes eight o'clock.

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February 18, 1943

Mr. LACROIX (Beauce):

The people of the province of Quebec are Canadian first. Have they not shown it at every opportunity? But they do and will always remember how they have been deceived.

From a participation "by free collaboration" to a dictatorial participation by order in council, the Prime Minister has launched us into extreme participation in the war.

What is the use of compelling our small population of eleven million and a half to throw itself between Germany and Russia? We all know that Russia has a population of nearly two hundred million people and we know that her natural increase is five million people a year; we know that she can wage war for a century without decreasing her population.

What is the use of our sparsely populated country throwing 200,000, 300,000 or 500,000 men between China and Japan? China has a population of five hundred million people, with a natural increase of twelve million and a half a year and she can wage war during an indefinite period without decreasing her population.

How sound was the reasoning of our Prime Minister previous to 1939? It is too bad that he has not remained consistent with himself. Those countries must be fed. Why should we not supply them with our wheat and all other foodstuffs?

No doubt our all-out war effort seems ridiculous to the populations of Sweden, Turkey, Ireland, India, Spain, Portugal and South America.

For 1942, our exaggerated war expenditures amount to almost 5 billion dollars, compared to 50 billions in the United States, and for 1943 they will exceed 8 billions. In a comparison with the United States some will say that we are no more than they are. Let us not forget that the United States are spending the gold which they have accumulated, while we are mortgaging the property of our descendants. When this war is over, if the United States have increased their public debt by 200 billions, they will be in a position to issue immediately currency for that amount on the international basis of 25 per cent gold coverage and they still will have the soundest currency in the world. They will be able to write off their debt any day they choose. On the other hand, lacking the same reserves in proportion to the population, such a course will not be possible for us in this country. In my opinion, the United States are spending what they hold in reserve in Fort Knox, while

The Address-Mr. Jackman

we are spending what we do not possess. We are mortgaging the credit of future generations, and as our country borders on the United States those who will follow us will have to live in a state of slavery in order to survive.

The comparison is a very simple one. Here are two neighbours; one has a family of 26 and has a bank account of $200,000 of which he spends $150,000 during the war. At the close of hostilities, he still owns $50,000. The other family is thirteen times smaller, counting only two members; during the war this man spend $12,000 and, in order to do that, he must mortgage his property and pay interest. At the end of the war, he is bankrupt; he loses his property or goes into bankruptcy, while his neighbour is still a wealthy man. This example, to my mind, is a fair illustration of Canada's situation as compared to that of the United States.

Much is said, in Canada, about inflation. In government circles, it is claimed that inflation is being checked. Has any government ever done so much as the present administration to provoke inflation of debts in the country? No limit is set on the increase of the national debt. We are governed through inflation of orders in council. Trusts are resorting to inflation of their control on trade. Inflation is checked among our people by preventing them, through a pyramiding of laws and orders in council, from paying their debts and from realizing profits that would allow them to carry on.

Has there been, since confederation, any government who have inflated taxes to the same extent as the present one. To-day, personal taxes have reached an aggregate average of 37J per cent of the individual incomes.

Mr. Speaker, I could pursue this subject indefinitely, but I believe my time has expired.

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February 18, 1943

Mr. EDOUARD LACROIX (Beauce) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, this 1943 speech from the throne differs very little from that of 1942, save for its veiled terms instead of a clear statement of the government's intention of increasing the war expenditures without regard for the position in which the inhabitants of this country have already been put, of also increasing contributions in the form of gifts for the allied countries, principally for Great Britain. A better understanding of this requires connecting the speech from the throne with the Prime Minister's (Mr. Mackenzie King) own speech.

You must therefore be advised, Mr. Speaker, that we have seen the day-a day now gone by-when an exhausted Canada has become a country where the people are destined to live in slavery for a century to come.

Is there no one in this country in a position to figure and count? As there surely must exist some such men, is it not possible for our government to use their services?

Where are the financial experts who ip. 1939 advised the government to the effect that Canada could participate in the conflict up to 750 million dollars yearly, maybe up to one billion, but not beyond, without jeopardizing her economic structure? Where are the experts who, in 1939, never stopped saying that it would be the height of folly for Canada to go to Europe every twenty years in order to police the world?

In the single year of 1942, we have spent in Canada-including the gift of $1,000,000,000

The Address-Mr. Lacroix (Beauce)

to England-for the administration of the country and the cost of war, a sum of 84,758,000,000,' divided as follows: estimates for 1942, 83,900,000,000; supplementary estimates voted this week, $858,000,000, making a total of $4,758,00,000, or $413 per capita.

What does a sum of $413 mean for each one of us? In my province, where the average number of children is six, so that with the father and mother there are eight persons in each family, it means that the expenditures of 1941-42 for war and for the administration of the country have reached the tidy sum of $3,304 for each Quebec family; in other words, within a single year, Canada has spent the entire property of those whose assessment is only $3,000.

And because we ask the right hon. the Prime Minister what has become of his moderate war, and are then compelled to leave him in protest, he says we are people without honour. I wish to quote what he said on February 1, as reported on page 47 of Hansard:

Yet at this critical time, of all times, hon. gentlemen in the far corner opposite find it necessary to separate themselves from colleagues in their province in order to support an isolationist view with regard to the war effort of Canada. Their action does credit neither to themselves, nor to their province or to our country.

First, I answer with all possible frankness: "How, Mr. Speaker, am I disgracing my family, my province, my country?" I came to this side of the house to remain consistent with myself, faithful to the lessons imparted to me by the Prime Minister, from 1921 to 1939.

Let us consider his own statements. In 1939: I quote the words of the Prime Minister on conscription as printed on page 2426 of Hansard for March 30, 1939 session, vol. 3:

The present government believes that conscription of men for overseas service would not be a necessary or effective step. Let me say that so long as this government may be in power, no such measure will be enacted.

And what had the minister stated in the preceding paragraph?

One strategic fact is clear: the days of great expeditionary forces of infantry crossing the oceans are not likely to recur. Two years ago, I expressed in this house the view that it was extremely doubtful if any of the British dominions would ever send another expeditionary force to Europe.

And then on page 2419, what are the words of the Prime Minister? I quote them verbatim:

We have tremendous tasks to do at home, in housing the people, in caring for the aged and helpless, in relieving drought and unemployment, in building roads, in meeting our heavy burden of debt, in making provision for Canada's defence, and in bringing our standards of living and civilization to the levels our knowledge now makes possible. There is no great margin of realizable wealth for this purpose; we must, to a greater or less extent, choose between keeping our own house in order, and trying to save Europe and Asia. The idea that every twenty years this country should automatically and as a matter of course take part in a war overseas for democracy or self-determination of other small nations, that a country which has all it can do to run itself should feel called upon to save, periodically, a continent that cannot run itself, and to these ends risk the lives of its people, risk bankruptcy and political disunion, seems to many a nightmare and sheer madness.

I am not the one who said these words, Mr. Speaker, I am not the one who professed that doctrine. But in opposition to these teachings, the leader of the Liberal government caused the house in 1939 to vote for participation in the war. Assurance was then given by him that such participation was to be moderate, proportionate to the means of the country. It was to be a voluntary participation-I need not here repeat the statements of the Prime Minister-but everything was to be on a voluntary basis and limited to the financial capacity of the country.

To be consistent with my past attitude, I voted against our participation in 1939. I then said what I repeat to-night, that to my mind it was the path leading to ruin, the road leading to compulsory military service, that is, to conscription.

I believe our present effort is exaggerated for a population of 11,500,000 inhabitants.

Canada has a male population of 5,900,000. Of this number, 1,900,000 are either too young or too old to work or are medically unfit, leaving some 4,000,000 able-bodied men. Of this number, 700,000 are to-day in the armed forces, and, according to the latest figures,

1,100,000 are employed in the war industries or in the shipyards, making a total of 1,800,000 men either in the army or engaged in the construction of weapons of war. This means that on the day of the armistice, one Canadian out of every two will find himself out of work.

In what position will we be as a result of a participation so out of proportion with our population?

This situation will become intolerable immediately after the war and will expose our people to lose the peace as a result of a thoughtless administration, an exaggerated participation which, in 1940, was to be moderate and, to-day, has become an all-out participation, to the last dollar and the last man, directly in opposition to the policy outlined by the present government during the 1940 electoral campaign.


The Address-Mr. Lacroix (Beauce)

In 1941, the government mobilized our young men for the defence of Canada in Canada.

What did the government leader have to say on this subject in his radio address of February 2, 1941? I quote some excerpts from his book "Le Canada et la guerre," page 232, and from "Canada at Britains' Side," page 203. First, why does this book bear different titles in the French and the English editions, since they both contain extracts from the same addresses? Here are the two books. The binding is better on the one than on the other, that is the only difference between them. The contents are exactly the same. Everyone knows that the translation of "Le Canada et la guerre" is "Canada at War"; and that the English title "Canada at Britain's Side" should be translated by "Le Canada aux cotes de l'Angleterre." One type of policy is expounded to the French Canadians and another to the English-speaking Canadians.

It is nothing but a political expedient! "Le Canada et la guerre," in the author's mind, is less objectionable to the French Canadians, and, on the other hand, "Canada at Britain's Side" sounds better to another group of Canadians.

I therefore read an extract from page 204 of the English edition:

Total effort can be achieved in two ways. It can be compelled by dictatorial force-that is the enemy's way. It can be obtained by the free-will offering of a free people-that is our way, and the way we must strive to preserve. We are a free people, and every day since the war began, there has been proof of the growing willingness of our people to spare no effort or sacrifice, that the needs of the war demand.

Yet to-day the right hon. the prime minister says that we are not honourable, we who sit in this corner of the house, quite near the exit. I represent a fairly populous constituency and I am convinced that my electors will keep me in the House of Commons for many years to come.

Mr. Speaker, I wish to quote some excerpts from an article by Morton Smith which appeared on page 6 of the May 12, 1942, issue of the American magazine PIC. The article is entitled "What is an honest politician?" and it begins with these words:

To be honest is to be great.

Here is what I read in the third column of the article:

It is worth stressing again and again about Franklin D. Roosevelt as President that he has never in any major issue tried to fool or doublecross the people. . . .

And further on:

Roosevelt's record of square dealing is remarkable for showing few instances of important compromises on political personalities and almost

none on principles. As far as he could he has kept his administration free of the double dealers and opportunists.

In his book the prime minister also tells us about the voluntary service of a free people.

At first, mobilization entailed one month's training; later, four months' military service was required; still later, a year's training was decreed and, finally, men were drafted for the duration of the war. And to-day, by order in council, these draftees are being sent outside the country. A scarcely honourable method, a roundabout means. But, after all, the entire set up of the war machine is along that line. The book I hold in hand is one example of it.

May I tell you, Mr. Speaker, that in my experience I have been given lessons in honour from two sources. The first one, in my youth, came from my mother-a memory which will ever abide with me. Her words were these: "Never do unto others as you would not have others do unto you and guard scrupulously over property entrusted to your care."

The second contribution to my education up to 1939 came from my political leader, the Right Hon. Mackenzie King. He taught me a political doctrine in which I believed and in which I still believe. If his conception of honour allows him to forget his past, my mother's teachings, as far as I am concerned, do not allow me to do so.

In conscience does he blame me? I think not.

And to-day the leader of the Liberal government is doing exactly what he judged ridiculous in 1939. The lives of our soldiers are threatened, financial bankruptcy in this country is an accomplished fact and all through the fault of a government who were warning the people against such a catastrophe.

That policy goes to such extremes that no limits are set anywhere. Let us consider, for instance, the navy item. Is is not astounding that, according to the publication "Canada at war", No. 21, page 7, whereas in 1939 we had 1,717 men serving in the navy we now have 52,000? In 1939, we had fifteen warships, whereas to-day, according to that publication, we have over 500.

If the predecessor of the right hon. the Prime Minister were here, what blame he could level against the present government! What a contrast between the three small ships of Laurier in 1911 and the 500 ships we have to-day 1

That is not all. Here is what is said on page 8 of that publication:

The Address-Mr. Lacroix (Beauce)

The Canadian navy now has nearly one-half the number of men the Royal Navy had at the outbreak of war.

And on page 9:

The Canadian navy is rapidly increasing, as a result of the production of Canadian and British shipyards.

Canada, which formerly was so peaceful and whose policy was so moderate in 1939 is now building as many ships as possible. Moreover, Canada is having built in England as many ships as she can obtain for the present war.

Why should a government go to such extremes? For, after all, England, twenty times wealthier than Canada, can use all her resources to build ships. Why should England build ships for us? Such a policy is extreme and short-sighted.

I have said enough. Those who in 1940 were supposedly supporting a moderate participation have reached the point where they are building the largest possible number of ships in Canada and are having ships built in British yards for Canada.

Mr. Speaker, what is the reason for this participation, and this exaggerated effort, which is out of proportion with the size of our population and financial means?

It is the act of thoughtless men, they show revealing panic among our leaders. We are on the road to perdition and slipping fast. The Liberal government and the Conservative party are allied in the prosecution of an extremist and imperialistic policy.

Yet, to-day, the Prime Minister is surprised that men such as I find it necessary to forsake his party.

Mr. Speaker, I have been a follower of the Prime Minister from 1921 to 1939. I have thoroughly understood his teachings. I have contributed much of my own money and effort in support of his truly Canadian policy. I put my faith in him, convinced as I was at that time of his sincerity; I supported him loyally until September 9, 1939. Then, I realized that the Liberal leader was turning his back on the political principles which he had upheld until then, and, from 1939 to this day, I have been an astounded witness to the means employed by his government, blind extremists that they are, to ensure our present limitless contribution to the war.

The propaganda resorted to from 1939 to this day is an exact replica of that used from 1914 to 1918, except that it is more hypocritical.

Government experts and astute lawyers tell us that conscription is not in force in Canada, in the Canada Gazette of February 9 was published a proclamation calling up all the

young men born in 1924, that is, 19 years of age. Why are young men of 19 needed in the army at the present time if not to release those already mobilized for service overseas? Why go to such extremes?

We have a shortage of farm labour. Large quantities of wheat were left standing under the snow in western Canada. The mixed1 farmer can hardly supply the Canadian population with the necessary quantity of butter; the live-stock producer will be far from meeting the consumer demand. Beef is about to be rationed. There is a scarcity of wool- hundreds and hundreds of soldiers carry on their military training dressed in civilian clothes. There is a scarcity of fat and potatoes in certain parts of the country. Our pulp mills are short of wood for lack of labour. Lumber is scarce for the same reason. It is a shame to see young girls, young children of fifteen, showing signs of poor health, forced to work at night in industrial establishments of the province of Quebec.

And then our young men of nineteen are mobilized for military training. We are even told that from the 1st of March all single men between nineteen and forty-five and all married men between nineteen and twenty-five will be called up for medical examination. This happens at a time when we have already

700,000 men in the armed forces.

Is it not true, according to the words of the Prime Minister himself, that Canada's war effort is greater in proportion to its population than that of any other country? In my opinion we have in this country a group of leaders whose zeal exceeds in every particular what may be found in other lands.

The most solemn pledges count for little or nothing; we seem to be under the most rigid dictatorship known in any of the allied nations at war; the Canadian gestapo plagues our people.

Has not society been completely disorganized in this country? Not the slightest consideration is being shown for the common people.

Boards have been established whose members are not responsible to the people, men who are paid by their regular employers and who give their services for one dollar a year- and in many instances in the interest of their respective businesses.

The trust in certain lines of business is represented by some of these dollar-a-year men by whom personal liberty is being sabotaged.

The trade of the country general merchant is being sabotaged. Restrictions imposed are often unfair. Butter rationing is fixed at five ounces a week, alcohol at forty ounces.

The Address

Mr. Lacroix (Beauce)

The dressmaker is short of needles, of hair pins, etc., etc., but we pay over to Great Britain $200,000,000 for her war machinery in Canada, machinery which will be worth the price of scrap metal less than one year after the end of war, providing our government at that time does not, to our undoing, dispose of it in favour of unscrupulous dealers who will resell it to our enemies that they may the better lay us low twenty years later.

What a government! What a Battel! And we hear boastings of good administration.

Subsidies equivalent to 65 million dollars are being granted to a company with American subscribed capital, on the basis of a sufficient allowance for depreciation over a period of two years, so that financing is thereby assured for the construction of hydro electric plants with a total capacity of one and one-half million horsepower.

Why so much protection for these groups? And to meet such prodigalities, the people are taxed to a point where they can no longer meet their obligations. Private initiative is being completely ruined.

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal party, the present government, have made their own the extremist programme of the Conservative party. We have heard them singing each other's praise. The other day, the Prime Minister spent fifteen minutes complimenting the former leader of the opposition and congratulating him on his achievements during recent years.

AVas not the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) one of the group who deprived the right hon. the Prime Minister of his seat in 1926? When I then offered my own seat to the Prime Minister, was it perchance my first dishonourable gesture?

Mr. Speaker, what a striking contrast between the praises addressed to his opponents and the blame cast upon his friends of twenty-five years' standing! I may say that 1 am not ashamed of having crossed to this side of the house as a member of "the bloc populaire eanadien".

I have been identified for twenty-five years with the Quebec "bloc". During those years that "bloc" has almost continuously given sixty members to this government. I am remaining a member of that "bloc", that is all. The Quebec "bloc" will remain. This time it is the government that have parted from the Quebec "bloc" which had been of so much help to them. The government's policy is so imperialistic and extreme that Quebec is compelled to dissociate itself from them.

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