CLAXTON, The Hon. Brooke, P.C., Q.C., B.C.L., LL.D., D.C.M.

Personal Data

St. Lawrence--St. George (Quebec)
Birth Date
August 23, 1898
Deceased Date
June 13, 1960
lawyer, professor (associate) - commercial law

Parliamentary Career

March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
  St. Lawrence--St. George (Quebec)
  • Parliamentary Assistant to the President of the Privy Council (May 6, 1943 - October 12, 1944)
  • Minister of National Health and Welfare (October 18, 1944 - December 11, 1946)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
  St. Lawrence--St. George (Quebec)
  • Minister of National Health and Welfare (October 18, 1944 - December 11, 1946)
  • Minister of National Defence (December 12, 1946 - November 14, 1948)
  • Minister of National Defence (November 15, 1948 - June 30, 1954)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
  St. Lawrence--St. George (Quebec)
  • Minister of National Defence (November 15, 1948 - June 30, 1954)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
  St. Lawrence--St. George (Quebec)
  • Minister of National Defence (November 15, 1948 - June 30, 1954)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1052 of 1052)

November 8, 1940


Yes. But there is unfortunately the dark side. We learned with sadness of the loss of the Margaree with its gallant commanding officer and so many of its brave officers and men. To their mothers and wives no words can express our sympathy. We can share their pride; we cannot share their sorrow. These men are a noble example to us all. They gave their lives in the service of our country.

We hear of the immense progress being made in the air training plan, which the new Secretary of State for the Dominions, Lord Cranborne, said a few days ago "is months ahead of schedule." The country is beginning to appreciate its magnitude, its complexity and its importance. It may be a vital factor in victory. At Winnipeg, Toronto, London, Ottawa, Montreal, to my knowledge, and I dare say at every other Canadian city, the roaring hornets of the Minister of National Defence for Air (Mr. Power) insistently remind us that his boys are at work from early dawn to starry eve, nights, Sundays and holidays as well. We need have no fear about the quality of our fliers. The record of the Royal Canadian Air Force abroad has already shown that they can equal the record of Canadian airmen in the last war. Nothing better can be said than that.

We know, too, of the progress in the production of war materials and of the new establishments under construction. It is estimated that these will produce munitions having in annual value the colossal sum of $800,000,000. Our workers, counted now by the hundreds of thousands, form a great working party whose contributions are as vital to the fighting forces of Canada as those of the men in uniform. These workers have

The Address-Mr. Claxton

responded with splendid resource and willing industry to the heavy demands made on them. They are playing their full part.

To gear the resources of a country like Canada to make the utmost effort takes time. Each new undertaking creates new problems. Inevitably there have been delays and difficulties. Inevitably there will be shortcomings, mistakes, disappointments. Our supplies of men and resources are by no means unlimited. Even if we had unlimited money we could not buy things which do not exist. We must avoid the danger of dissipating our efforts, spreading ourselves too thin. This war is not like the last war. The Germans have probably less than one-third the men under arms they and their allies then had.

What we do and what we are going to do require long-term planning. The conflicting demands of the armed forces and of industry upon our limited man-power have to be resolved. Priorities must be established. We are already training many workers; we shall have to train more. We might start in now with an additional 100,000 men and an additional 100,000 women and find, a year from now, that we had not trained half enough.

The immense job of getting our war machine under way has been done with little or no dislocation of our day to day economy. This is not due simply to accident. National finance, the control of prices and the supply of raw materials are among the many services that have been superbly handled. I know that bankers like to remain as anonymous as they are inscrutable, but it is only fair to say that the Canadian economy could not have been transformed smoothly from a peacetime to a war basis without the technical skill of the Bank of Canada.

The financial burden is great and it is becoming even greater. People have not yet begun to realize what it means. If the estimated economies on ordinary account of $50,000,000 are realized this year, the government's ordinary expenditure will be about $450,000,000. The Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) has estimated that the war cost for this first year may amount to $940,000,000. That is about twice the cost of the final year of the last war and more than twice the peace-time budget. We hope to meet two-thirds of all our expenditures this year out of taxes and one-third out of internal loans that have already been made.

Last week I was in the United States describing what we were doing, and I found that its magnitude impressed people, even those who were accustomed to the astronomical figures that they deal with in that country.

We have gone through the period of initial expansion, of new taxes, new loans and greatly increased production. It all seems to have worked out as planned in the war budgets which won the admiration of every one. It is now becoming evident that we are not going to be able to produce all the war materials that we shall need unless we restrict the consumption of articles which divert work or materials from war purposes. The diversion from private consumption to public use is a puzzling question to the individual, but the time is coming when the government will have to show the ordinary citizen where his duty lies in this respect. No more will be needed than that.

The experience of the second war loan campaign showed that when the people realized what was expected of them there was no lack of response. The fact is that while we have supported national participation we are only beginning to translate national sentiment into personal action. Few of us have yet begun to give up things we like, still less things we think we need. Unless we also tighten our belts, our effort will fall short of what is necessary to stop the nazis. We must consume less, save more and steadily invest in war savings certificates and war loans.

In Canada many of the essentials of war production do not exist in sufficient quantities. Machine tools are one example. We must get them from the United States and we must pay for them in United States dollars. I understand that in the first year of war we spent in the United States $220,000,000 more than we spent the previous year. Disregarding anything from Britain, the balance of payments against us may well run to a figure of $160,000,000. We may in part offset even larger balances to come by further increasing our exports, or by decreasing our imports of United States goods for civilian purposes. But the best way, as far as it goes, is to increase our tourist trade. With the increased friendly interest in Canada being shown in the United States I believe this can be done. It can be done if the Canadian people are made to realize its importance, and if all the agencies which can help to promote it are fully mobilized. I hope that the government will see its way clear to spend not less than a million dollars on the encouragement of this business. It would not only bring dividends of badly needed United States dollars but also mean the continuance and strengthening of normal friendly relations with our good neighbour; for the tourist trade is not only a sinew of war, it is a tie of friendship. It is a great human industry, a moving belt of common understanding

The Address-Mr. Claxton

running north and south, all the way along the line between the Pacific and the Atlantic seaboards.

And our relations with the United States are to-day more important than ever before. While we are helping Britain and defending ourselves on the front line we are also playing our part by joining with the United States in the defence of our heritage and our way of life on this continent.

The setting up of a permanent joint board on defence was the most momentous, the most heartening step ever taken in the relations between Canada and the United States. Now that the step has been taken we realize that since we have a common interest it is only common sense that we should cooperate in making the best use of our resources of men and materials, and should have a joint plan of defence. Some governments might have sat back and drifted along, letting the opportunity go by of achieving this great stroke for our country's welfare. By their actions the governments of the United States and Canada showed that democracies can act together decisively; they gave a great demonstration of leadership and proved that we have not outgrown the tradition of treating new situations as soluble problems.

The announcement came as a surprise to Canada no less than to the United States or England, but it was received on all sides with acclaim because it was such plain common sense. That is what a policy requiring initiative and daring always appears to be when it has been successfully carried out.

In Canada there were a few people-just a handful-who, not wishing or not daring to oppose the agreement, took refuge in complaining of the way in which it was made, or of the people who had made it. In England it was acclaimed at once, without these local qualifications. It was realized there that it helped Britain when she most needed aid. It was realized that it was not just a coincidence that joint defence, bases and destroyers were dealt with in a couple of weeks. It was realized too that our Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) had played a leading part in bringing about this, the greatest act of cooperation among English speaking peoples since the war of independence. Here is what a writer in the London Spectator said, in the issue of September 6:

A Canadian soldier to whom I gave a lift on Sunday reminded me of something I ought to have commented on before, the extent of the debt that the whole commonwealth owes to Mr. Mackenzie King, the Prime Minister of Canada, for the part he has played in cementing relations between the commonwealth and the United States. At earlier stages in his parliamentary career Mr. King has been

IMr. Claxton.]

bitterly criticized by his opponents for what was regarded as his too "pro-American" attitude. The harvest that attitude, so far as it existed, is bearing now is such as to close all cavillers' mouths. Canada seems always destined to be the link and the interpreter between Great Britain and the United States, and it has never filled that role more effectively or more valuably than to-day. That is due in no small measure to the personal friendship between the Canadian Prime Minister and the American president which rids contacts between them, whether by telephone or in the flesh, of every vestige of formality.

As far as I have read it, the English press was unanimous to tJhe same effect. Some of it went much further.

The concluding sentence of the passage I read explains the feeling that some Americans had that some Canadians might prefer the reelection of President Roosevelt. We certainly congratulate him most heartily on his reelection. But we would equally have congratulated Mr. Willkie and ourselves had he been favoured by the electors; for, despite the temptations of a political campaign., there seemed to us to be no fundamental difference in the declared policies of the two candidates so far as they affected us. They wanted to give all aid to Britain short of war, and that seems to be the view of the great majority of the people of the United States.

We are grateful from the bottom of our hearts for what the United States is doing.

A few days after the announcement of the exchange of destroyers for bases, the following telegram was sent by Mr. Churchill to the Prime Minister, on September 13:

I am touched by the personal kindness of your telegram and all our people are cheered and fortified to feel that Canada is with the mother country heart and soul. The fine Canadian divisions which are standing on guard with us will play a notable part should the enemy succeed in setting foot on our shores. I am very glad to have this opportunity of thanking you personally for all you have done for the common cause and especially in promoting the harmony of sentiment throughout the new world. This deep understanding will be a dominant factor in the rescue of Europe from a relapse into the dark ages.

On behalf of the government and people of the United Kingdom I send you heartfelt thanks for your memorable message.

Canada has not only helped Britain by promoting harmony of sentiment on this continent, but that very harmony, by strengthening Canada, has increased her own capacity to help Britain.

Think now of what has happened at home. Canada entered the war united, and the way in which we entered the war, by a separate declaration, was of the utmost importance in securing the unity which resulted. It was important in Canada among those people who put Canada first; it was important in the

The Address-Mr. Claxton

United States, as showing that Canada, a north American nation, had seen fit to enter the war of its own accord. Since we entered the war, that unity of the Canadian people has steadily strengthened, by reason of the increasing realization by all Canadians of their essential unity and of their essential interest in defeating Hitler in Europe.

In a message issued on St. Jean Baptiste day the Prime Minister said:

The tragic fate of France leaves to French Canada the duty of upholding the tradition of French culture and civilization and the French passion for liberty in the world. This new responsibility will, I believe, be accepted proudly.

It has been accepted proudly, Mr. Speaker. French Canada yields place to no one in its loyalty to this country. To-day we are glad to think that there are twenty-one members of this house in military service of one kind or another. We congratulate them, we envy them, and we wish them good fortune. We are proud to say that of the twenty-one, seven are French Canadians from the province of Quebec. No Canadian will ever forget the part played in achieving this unity on October 25 by the right hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe). Is there a member here who doubts that this was a victory for the true spirit of Quebec? Since then Mr. Godbout, the premier of Quebec, has stood loyally for its best traditions. His Eminence the Cardinal and His Excellency the Archbishop of Montreal also have raised their voices in support of Canada's cause.

I am glad to be the first to congratulate the government on the appointment of a new senator, Hon. Mercier Gouin. Incidentally this makes five senators who live in the constituency of St. Lawrence-St. George. Senator Gouin is the son of a man who rendered great service to Quebec and to Canada, but he has earned this honour in his own right. Without lessening his proud attachment to his own people he has worked night and day to promote harmony between both races and for the welfare of Canada. His appointment will give the utmost satisfaction throughout Quebec and the whole country.

The English-speaking citizens of Canada should appreciate how difficult some of us make it for French-Canadians to have a loyalty to alll of Canada. I should like to try to explain what I mean. Some people in Canada voice a kind of loyalty which, by definition, no Canadian of non-British descent can share. In being more British than the English, they astonish the English, but tend to drive Canadians of other origins, sometimes back to their ancient affiliations and sometimes to a local loyalty. If some of us

have a feeling about Canada which French-Canadians cannot share, is it surprising that some French-Canadians should also have a loyalty which is exclusive, a loyalty to their own province and their own race? After all, too, they have been here for some two hundred and fifty years before confederation.

The one common ground on which all Canadians can meet is a common loyalty to Canada. If this country is to be as strong as it can be, it must be strong on the basis of understanding, tolerance and respect by all for differing views honestly held; and it can only be on the basis of an attachment to Canada, all of it.

Do you remember what Lord Tweedsmuir said to the Canadian Institute of International Affairs on October 10, 1937:

This is a sovereign nation and cannot take her attitude to the world docilely from Britain, or from the United States, or from anybody else. A Canadian's first loyalty is not the British commonwealth of nations, but to Canada, and to Canada's king, and those who deny this are doing, to my mind, a great disservice to the commonwealth.

The profound truth of his final observation has been borne out by everything that has happened since the beginning of the war.

To-day Canada is united as never before, grimly engaged in utilizing her resources of power, agriculture and minerals, her industry and her men, in the best possible way to defend our front line in Britain. We are encouraged to do our utmost by the pride we feel in the courage shown by the people of that beleaguered country. Visitors coming from England speak of the people being happy there. They are happy because they have looked danger and death in the face and kept on smiling. They are happy because of the changes that have come about in English life: the sharing of risks and work, the levelling out of privilege, the new spirit arising out of the equal sacrifice, the new efficiency coming out of working together. The country is being literally reborn in the ordeal of fire. The sword of democracy is being reforged in England with a keener edge. You remember near the end of Pilgrim's Progress, when Hopeful starts to cross the dark river. It is an awesome experience, but towards midstream Hopeful calls back in ringing tones:

Be of good cheer, my brother. I have felt the bottom and it is sound.

That is what the spirit of England says to us to-day. It speaks to us through the words and deeds of the men and women, and the children too, who are in its front line. It finds its echo in the imperishable words of its inspired and inspiring leader, Mr. Winston

The Address-Mr. Claxton

Churchill. Hon. members will be familiar with the magnificent passage with which he concluded his speech on October 8. I shall not repeat it, because already it is known to all of you. It has become part of the literature of England.

Our government can make plans, let contracts, set up new producing companies, levy taxes and ask for loans. All these things it has been doing and will continue to do at an increasing rate. But what Canada accomplishes will depend on her people, and what they do will depend on their own will, their own spirit. That is why it is essential that the government keep the people informed, in the greatest possible measure, of what it is doing; that it gain understanding for its actions, and do everything it can to develop in the nation a spirit that can do for Canada what it has done for the people of Britain. There they have a popular war-time catchword to the effect that civilians are suffering more from the bombing than are the men in the front lines, in the armed forces. The figures given this week by Mr. Churchill show this to be true. There is little likelihood just now that civilians in Canada will have to stand up to bombing, but they are going to have to make other sacrifices. They are going to have to give up for the war cause many of the things they otherwise would have. They are going to have to deprive themselves until it hurts. Soldiers, sailors and airmen, munitions workers and producers of all kinds, are going to have to play their vital part; but ordinary people, too, will be called upon for sacrifices. That is why we need and are glad to have a united national spirit. In the hard world we live in it is not enough for a nation to defend its old way of living, to try to maintain the easy ways to which it wras accustomed. The past year has showm that nations which try to hold a shield in front of a body lacking in vigour are lost. We have only to compare the Britain of to-day with the France of June to bring home this lesson. To survive against the powerful desperate marauders ranging the world, a nation must have a driving power within itself.

In all history those who have prevailed have always been those who were driven by a common desire for something better. Democracy is far from dead in the world, far from being a spent force. But if we are to beat back the evil powers-and they are strong-we must have a dynamic democracy, one that has hitting power because it is moving forward, one that hag not lost its force through standing still. This idea was emphasized by Lord Baldwin at Toronto in 1939, when he said:

[Mr Claxton.]

Democracies must attain to new levels of technical efficiency for self-defence and learn to cooperate.

And he added that democracies must strive with more insistence and passion than ever before to make real the twin ideals of social justice and individual freedom.

Well, in Canada we have plenty of opportunity. We can begin with the Sirois report. The government is to be congratulated on the step in this direction announced yesterday. The report is not only a great state document, resulting from years of study and work, but, without altering the fundamentals of confederation, it represents a new charter for the people of all Canada. People from end to end of Canada would like to see it implemented, because they know that we cannot get along in a very difficult twentieth century world with a constitution which was designed to meet the financial and social needs and conditions of the nineteenth century.

I had the honour of being associated with my friend Senator Gouin in a study for the Sirois commission. Our study is printed at appendix 8 and this is what we say at page 33:

There is to-day an uncertainty and a sense of frustration comparable to the conditions which confederation was intended to improve. It is no part of our duty to recommend what course should be followed, but we believe that the picture of legislative confusion outlined in the pages which follow shows that constructive steps must now' be taken if the needs of the Canadian people are to be properly met and if the integrity of Canada is to be preserved.

That was written in 1939, when neither of us imagined that we could be here to join with you in doing what we can to clear the air of this continual "miasma which w'e meet at every turn as to the respective jurisdiction of the dominion and of the provinces" as one highly respected private member put it some years ago. We are ready to-day to show the same self-reliance, the confidence, the faith that the fathers of confederation had seventy-three years ago.

Some critics may object that the recommendations of the Sirois report should be left until after the war, that it is our business to get on with the war. We can get on with the w'ar effectively only if we are strong at home. In war the strength of the home front is as essential to success as strength on the battle front. In reality to-day there are not two fronts but only one. For this reason we should be planning, working, directing every effort to make Canada a better place, to make Canadians better citizens, so that our contribution to the cause we have at heart will be more effective and more successful.

In all the fields of government and education, in the training of skilled labour, in

The Address-Mr. Jutras

public health and charitable and social services, yes, even in art and music, and certainly in religion, we should be doing what we can to make our bodies tough and our minds strong and our hearts warm with affection for our country. All the modern instruments of press, radio, film, should spread words, music, pictures, all used to intensify among Canadians their knowledge and love of Canada. And we cannot fight a long, grim war without opportunities "to enliven our sentiments in common."

Lord Baldwin expressed two ideas. I have said a word about democracy's attaining new levels of efficiency. May I conclude by repeating his reference to the other subject of social justice and freedom. He said:

We must strive with more insistence and passion than ever before to make real the twin ideals of social justice and individual freedom.

It seems appropriate to relate what I have to say on this score to the resignation of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) from the leadership of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation. However much some hon. members disagreed with the policies he advocated, they could not help respecting the sincerity of his views or the fearless way in which he put them forward. What is important is that he had the right to express his views. If we are sincere in our desire to defend democracy, we must practise democracy as well as preach it. In war time there must be limitations, but we must be sure that those limitations are really necessary to preserve the security of the democratic state for which we are fighting.

We say, Mr. Speaker, that Canada is going to put forth her utmost effort. We can put forth our utmost effort because we have a burning faith in our cause, because we believe that our democracy is worth living for, working for, dying for. In this we shall be inspired by the spirit of the British people and by the sacred recollection of everything that has been accomplished before us in Canada. Our people are prepared to do any service, to make every sacrifice for their country, Canada.

It does us good now and then to restate our faith in our own country. When this war is over Canada will still be here with the same land and forests and lakes it had before. Our fields, our mines, our water powers are not surpassed anywhere. Long after Hitler has gone to his dismal end, they will be here and there will be Canadians to use them. We are all working for one end. This government, this parliament, this people, are united in the confidence that we can overcome all obstacles. Out of this ordeal of fire we can forge a new and better Canada, and make our proper contribution to the good life of our people, and all others.

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July 25, 1940

Mr. BROOKE CLAXTON (St. Lawrence-St. George):

Mr. Speaker, as a new member I regard it as a very great privilege to have been a member of the committee on the defence of Canada regulations which has been meeting since the middle of June and which brought in the report upon which is founded the bill now under consideration by this house.

I do not want to traverse the ground covered so far to-day by members of the committee who have already spoken. I should like, however, to say a word or two to some of the people in Canada who are greatly concerned lest our civil liberties be unduly endangered by this special legislation or by the creation of special courts.

It is not just an academic expression of opinion to say that freedom is the lifeblood of our institutions. Every member of the committee believed that. Every member of this house believes that. In this war we are faced with the difficulty of reconciling the difference between security in the state and personal liberty. In this bill there is no invasion of personal liberty except for slight ones which I will mention in a minute or two. This bill contains the rule of law, which, with respect for liberty, forms the two principles on which our whole civilization is based; for they represent the essential difference between ourselves and the nazi enemy we are fighting. The differences in respect to which the strict rule of law is not main-

Treachery Act

tained in this bill are contained in section 5, dealing with trials by court martial; section 6, dealing with the expedition of trials; section 7, providing for change of venue; and section 8, prohibiting bail after conviction. It is the view of the committee that in these respects departure from the ordinary rule of law is justified, and in fact the rule of law is proclaimed by putting into this act express provisions to which recourse will have to be had.

This measure has been explained in the speeches already given, but I should like to call the attention of the house to one paragraph in the report to be found at 166 of the Votes and Proceedings for this year. In paragraph 13 of the interim report of the committee which presented the bill, there appears the following:

Attention is drawn to the fact that the draft bill deals only with offences of a major character where intent to assist the enemy is proven and that the defence of Canada regulations still apply to less serious offences.

Earlier in the debate the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Church) suggested that this bill had been introduced too late and that now it was introduced it should be put into force right across Canada. Well, it has not been introduced too late because so far no offence has been reported which might conceivably come under the provisions of the bill. So far no offence has come to the attention of the police or of the committee which might conceivably be prosecuted under its provisions, and it is declared in the report of the committee, and it is quite clear, from sections 3 and 4 of the bill, that it is aimed only at serious offences involving aid to the enemy of a military or other like.

I do not think reference has been made to the fact that the Treachery Act, from which section 3 and several other provisions of this bill have been drawn, was discussed in the British house on May 22 of this year, a discussion that covered the ground which will be traversed this afternoon. Several members of the British house expressed the fear that the provisions of that act might be used for the purpose of prosecuting people who voiced views which were contrary to what was considered in the interests of the state-in other words against propaganda. The Attorney General of Britain met these criticisms by saying:

I can give a complete and categorical assurance that this bill is not directed against propaganda.

A similar view is expressed in paragraph 13

of the report.

It may never be necessary to use the provisions of this bill; we hope it will never be. If the need arises, however, we shall

have the law ready to be used, and within the four corners of the law we shall have machinery that we can put into operation so as to preserve the security of the state. But loyal citizens of Canada, whether of enemy origin or not, have nothing to fear from the provisions of the bill. It does not strike at civil liberties. It maintains the rule of law. It is in accord with British institutions, with the institutions which have been preached and practised in this parliament. For these reasons, with other members of the committee, I will support the bill.

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July 22, 1940


I share the views of

hon. members who have spoken this evening, but I understand the minister has reached a decision. Before the section carries, I should like to ask if the department has considered wording the section somewhat as follows?

Four hundred dollars for each child maintained by the taxpayer in Canada, where the child has been brought out to Canada because of the war and is maintained by the taxpayer in Canada, provided the taxpayer is not in receipt of any income in respect of such child.

That would make it quite clear that such a child would be considered in the same light as one brought out under a government scheme. I represent a constituency in which is located McGill university, one of the great universities of Canada. The members of the staff of that university are not in receipt of large incomes, but they have come forward in a most generous way and have offered to maintain the children of professors and others in like circumstances in England. Children are being brought out to be attached to the households of these professors and lecturers, all of whom are in receipt of small

fMr. Green.]

salaries and many of whom already have large families. These and other similar people coming forward in this way to assist in the war are helping just as much as though they had offered to take children brought out under a government scheme. They made the arrangements themselves without waiting for the government, and to me there is no difference in the principle. In each case the people are performing a useful service, and if a concession is granted in the one case it should be granted in the other.

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July 9, 1940


I want to say just a word in support of what the last speakers have been saying. Over the week-end I had something to do with making arrangements for bringing out four families. In three cases there is no possibility of their Canadian hosts receiving a cent of remuneration or recompense of any kind; and they do not fall within the class, mentioned a moment ago, of people who pay supertax; they are people who are hard put to pay the taxes which they now pay. Consideration of the kind now suggested would be a great relief to them in this good work in which they are prepared to do everything in their power to assist.

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June 11, 1940

Mr. BROOKE CLAXTON (St. Lawrence-St. George):

Mr. Chairman, the last few days have made everything not directly connected with our immediate task fade into insignificance, and yet I feel that hon. members would wish me to use this first opportunity of addressing this committee to make one acknowledgment. I want to say how deeply I appreciate the honour of representing the


Unemployment Relief-Mr. Claxton

Montreal constituency of St. Lawrence-St. George. The responsibility is a heavy one. It will be recalled that this division has been represented by such men as Sir George Etienne Cartier, D'Arcy McGee, Senator Ballantyne, the late Sir Herbert Marler and the Hon. Mr. Cahan. I feel that hon. members on this side of the house will unite with me when I endeavour to pay tribute on behalf of my constituency, of this house and of the country to the services rendered to his country by Mr. Cahan. Those services extended over the almost unparalleled number of fifty years. Now he is enjoying a rest from immediate public service, one which has been as well earned as it was unsought.

At this time I do not feel that I should take up the time of the committee in discussing many of the matters which might be discussed under this resolution. I am sure we all feel that we should devote our time and strength to the one cause we have at heart, the getting on with the war. In the few minutes which I propose to take, I intend to deal with one aspect of the unemployment question. Yesterday I had an opportunity of discussing with some men in Montreal a situation which might arise if it became necessary for our industrial plants to work at full capacity. They told me that in a short space of time there might well be a shortage of skilled and semi-skilled labour. At the same time there is in Montreal any number of unemployed single young men between the ages of sixteen and thirty. I join with hon. members who have spoken already, particularly the hon. member for Davenport (Mr. MacNicol), in drawing to the attention of the minister a matter which no doubt he has under consideration.

Everything possible should be done at this time to train young unemployed men in the use of machines, the reading of blue-prints and other work which would be necessary to fit themselves to take their places in our factories. I am told that a three months' course is all that is necessary. Our factories want young men from the technical schools. The industrialists of Montreal are well satisfied with the work which the technical school in that city is doing, and I am sure the same thing applies to other schools throughout the country. Upon inquiry it was found that the technical school in Montreal is filled to capacity. This year it will be able to qualify only some hundred men to take their places in industiy, whereas the needs of Montreal might well run into the thousands.

There must be some new means of training the unemployed youth of the country. We

are all familiar with the splendid work that has been done under the youth training plan, but the results in Montreal were not substantial. Some 9,000 young people between the ages of sixteen and thirty were eligible in 1938, but only 853 seemed to show any interest in the plan. In 1939 there was a registration of 6,654 young people, but because of lack of cooperation on the part of the provincial government nothing was done that year. To-day there are undoubtedly some five or six thousand young people in Montreal who would be eligible for training under this plan.

There are four ways in which this training could be given. The first is through the technical schools. While the Montreal technical school is filled to capacity at the present time, it might be that ways and means could be provided for keeping this school open during the summer months in order to prepare young men more speedily. The second method is industry itself. The hon. member for Davenport and others have referred to the possibilities of cooperation between industry and the government. The third means has not been referred to as yet. Why could not the universities of Canada be made available for this purpose? They have fully equipped shops and draughting rooms. I believe without exception they have placed their resources at the services of the country, and it seems to me that the minister and the universities could easily work out a plan whereby these young people could be given the training required to fit them for active work in the factories. The fourth means of providing this training, one which will no doubt receive the consideration of the government, is the development of special training schools in which people could be brought to the required degree of skill and knowledge necessary to take their places in industry. At this time, Mr. Chairman, everyone in this country is prepared to play his full part. So far there has been no slacking. There is no shortage of recruits, no shortage of labour. But from now on we may have to use every possible means to utilize the great fund of good-will, the earnest desire to be of service, in every possible direction, and I suggest that there is available in these young people, through training, a great source of help for our industries and ultimately for our war effort.

We hear a good deal about victory being the whole thing, that nothing else matters but victory, but I suggest to this committee that everything matters to-day in order to bring about victory. The work that each one of us does in every possible direction added together will make the great effort of the nation and

Unemployment Relief-Mr. White

bring about the result we all desire. We cannot all fight again on the front line, but there are front lines in Canada to be fought on, lines in the mines, the factories, the workshops and every branch of our activities throughout the country, and I suggest that the men and women of Canada are as willing to fight at home as our soldiers are to fight abroad.

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