Thomas Clement (Tommy) DOUGLAS

DOUGLAS, Thomas Clement (Tommy), C.C., B.A., M.A., LL.D.(Hon.)

Personal Data

New Democratic Party
Nanaimo--Cowichan--The Islands (British Columbia)
Birth Date
October 20, 1904
Deceased Date
February 24, 1986
minister, printer

Parliamentary Career

October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
  Weyburn (Saskatchewan)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
  Weyburn (Saskatchewan)
October 22, 1962 - February 6, 1963
  Burnaby--Coquitlam (British Columbia)
April 8, 1963 - September 8, 1965
  Burnaby--Coquitlam (British Columbia)
November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
  Burnaby--Coquitlam (British Columbia)
February 10, 1969 - September 1, 1972
  Nanaimo--Cowichan--The Islands (British Columbia)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
  Nanaimo--Cowichan--The Islands (British Columbia)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
  Nanaimo--Cowichan--The Islands (British Columbia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2378 of 2378)

February 11, 1936

Mr. T. C. DOUGLAS (Weybum):

Mr. Speaker, first I wish to take this opportunity of congratulating you upon your accession to the position which you now hold. I wish also to congratulate the mover (Mr. Slaght) and the seconder (Mr. Fournier) of the address.

In rising to speak to this motion I feel that not only do I represent the constituency of Weyburn; that not only do I represent a group in this house which holds a particular social viewpoint, but that as one of the youngest members in this house I represent a class of people in Canada who hitherto have been unrepresented. Might I point out that there are perhaps more young men in this House of Commons than there have been for many years past. I feel we can say, because of the contacts which some of us have with youth organizations across the dominion, that through us to some extent a certain section of young Canada speaks.

I wish to draw the attention of the house to one remarkable phrase in the speech from the throne, a phrase which seems to me to be pregnant with irony. It is this:

-in adhering to the aims and ideals of the League of Nations, and in seeking, in unison with members of the league as well as with other nations, to support by all appropriate and practical means the maintenance of peace, and the establishment of a world order based on justice and equity.

I should like this house to think for a moment of what that means and what steps the government has taken to maintain peace.

[Mr. E. Lapomte.i

I need hardly remind hon. members that in 1919 at the close of the great war the League of Nations was formed, and that in signing the covenant of the league, for the first time in the history of the human race over fifty nations gave up their sovereign right to wage war. But in return for giving up that right these fifty-seven nations required that they in turn would be guaranteed collective security. That after all is the only way that you and I can ever hope to live in a law-abiding and peaceful world. Just as you and I within the state, by giving up certain privileges of attacking the person of another individual, receive certain protection and certain privileges, so the nations of the world began this noble experiment of giving up the sovereign right to wage war and in return were guaranteed collective security.

Following that, Italy is declared by the nations of the league to be an aggressor against Ethiopia. I want here and now to commend the present administration upon two things which they have done. They interpreted correctly the mind of the Canadian people, first when they decided that the people wanted economic sanctions, and, second, when they correctly decided that the Canadian people did not want to indulge in a world war. That is, they understand what I suggest is the basic psychology of the Canadian people to-day, namely, that we will not trade with a murderer while he is engaged in the act of murdering, and that we will not have any trade or traffic with any brigand while he is engaged in international piracy. That I believe to be the attitude of the Canadian people, and the government correctly interpreted it.

What happened? We went through the motions of passing economic sanctions-and I say "through the motions," because it is very evident that sanctions have only one aim and one purpose, namely, to prevent war. Sanctions are valuable only if they are made effective. For instance we know today that it is absolute nonsense to talk about passing sanctions against Italy or any other country if the sanctions which are passed have the effect of boycotting commodities which are not needed by that country for purposes of war. Italy can get along without Christmas trees, Christmas candles and teddy bears, but there are certain basic commodities without which she cannot wage a war.

I believe Doctor Riddell took the logical position that if sanctions are to be valuable they must be effective, and that the most effective sanction in this day and age would be oil. Napoleon said that an army marches on its stomach; the modem army marches

The Address-Mr. Douglas

on oil. Without oil Italy could not continue to fight. What happened? The Canadian government gave the impression throughout the civilized world that Canada was not prepared to stand behind the statement that had been made by her representative. This afternoon the Prime Minister explained that what was meant was something similar to the statement made by Sir Samuel Hoare. That however was not the interpretation placed upon it, and I believe the statement was open to the interpretation that Canada was not in favour of oil sanctions.

There are two sources from which Italy has been drawing her oil, namely, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company of Great Britain and the Standard Oil Company of the United States. When Mr. Lloyd George made the statement during the last general election campaign in Great Britain that aeroplanes flying over Ethiopia had Anglo-Persian oil in their petrol tanks, the reply of the president of that company was significant. He said, "We are keeping the sanction; we are making Italy pay cash." In other words the only crime that, in the minds of certain financial interests could be perpetrated would be that of giving credit to Mussolini. Because of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in Great Britain and the influence that had been brought to bear in this country, we find today that oil sanctions are much further away than when they were first suggested. Why is that so? Is it because the oil interests have too much influence on the powers of government? Is it because those people who make their profits out of oil have a great deal more weight in the councils of the governments of the world than have the dictates of humanity?

The speech from the throne speaks about maintaining peace-peace to-day, when Canadian nickel is indirectly being shipped to Ethiopia. Peace to-day, when Italian aeroplanes are being flown with British oil! Peace! Mr. Speaker, if this be peace it must be like the peace of the Lord-it passeth all understanding. Hon. members in this comer of the chamber voice a logical protest. If the government is going to talk about sanctions, we urge that they be effective sanctions. The people of Canada are asking that we take a definite stand in the matter, a stand with the forces of peace rather than with those of financial interests desiring a greater sale of oil.

I would point out that the speech from the throne is notable not so much for what it says as for what it fails to say.

Topic:   T 2739-6
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