Survival At Stake, Our Individual Responsibilities
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 8 Apr 1948, p. 336-353
Stokes-Rees, Commander Rowland H. (Retired), Speaker
Media Type
Item Type
Reference to the speaker's previous address four and a half years ago. Some recollections of events in the First and Second World Wars. The situation today. The consequences of another war in the atomic age. The speaker's conviction that Russia does not want another war, and reasons for that conviction. Some remarks on the nature of Russians, with illustrative examples. The need to stand firm against Russia. What would attract someone to Communism. Paying attention to the consideration of the "haves" for the "have nots" in big cities like Toronto. A look at the defeated Germany. The need to build a self-supporting German economy if Europe is to survive. Watching out to see if Russia can sabotage the Marshall Plan. Some words on Greece and the defeat of the present Communist uprising being essential to peace in the world. Responsibility of the press. The situation in Bogota in Colombia. A caution for Canada to beware of the implanted immigrant. A quick look at Argentine which claims to favour neither Democracy or Communism. What one can do to combat the spread of Communism.
Date of Original
8 Apr 1948
Language of Item
Copyright Statement
The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
Empire Club of Canada
WWW address
Agency street/mail address

Fairmont Royal York Hotel

100 Front Street West, Floor H

Toronto, ON, M5J 1E3

Full Text
Chairman: The President, Tracy E. Lloyd
April 8, 1948


Quite frequently when thanking Guests of The Club we invite them to return at some future date. Fortunately Our Guest of Honour of today has accepted this return invitation and we are very pleased to have COMMANDER ROWLAND H. STOKES-REES with us today.

Our Guest of Honour spoke to The Club nearly five years ago and his subject at that time was extremely interesting--"INSIDE A SUBMARINE". He was in Canada at that time with a British Admiralty Technical Mission.

Our Guest of Honour is a Submarine Specialist and is also an authority on Ordinance and Weapon Design and from 1941-1943 was Superintendent of Weapon Design for all the Allied Forces working for the Americans, the Free French and even the Russians and was on the staff of the Allied Commander in Chief for the North West Europe Campaign, his duties taking him to all parts of the world. After V.E. Day he was on pecial Duty in Europe advising as to the disposal of Noxious Enemy Weapons.

COMMANDER STOKES-REES has recently returned from an eighteen months' survey in Mexico, Central and South America and witnessed the Peron elections and was present during various small revolutions in the South American countries.

COMMANDER STOKES-REES has had a most colorful and world-wide experience. He, for instance, is a close, life-long friend of King Paul of Greece who is Godfather to the Commander's eldest son.

I know The Empire Club will listen with great interest to COMMANDER ROWLAND STOKES-REES, R.N. (RETIRED) as he addresses us on the subject


COMMANDER STOKES-REES: Mr. President, distinguished guests and Fellow Citizens of the British Empire and Commonwealth

It is, as you know, for me a great honour to be asked here again, especially as the last time I spoke to you in this place--as your President said, four and a half years ago--I was virtually in disgrace. No one knew that I had in my pocket on that occasion their Lordships' displeasure or disfavour--I forget which and under the circumstances it doesn't matter either way--for telling a previous audience that the Russians were fighting not for us but for Russia, because they had to fight or (lie; that they had no cause to love The British Empire and were far from doing so and that a worse enemy than the German Submarine (I was talking on submarines at the time) was The Press with such headlines as "Good Old Russia--Another Hundred Yards for England, or France or the Allies." "Good Old Russia-another hundred yards" if you like, for we were bedfellows in adversity, but never for England or The Empire nor for our Allies-just for Russia and Russia alone.

Incidentally, your President has just said that I worked for the Russians. Some one once pointed out that the preposition is a dangerous thing. I worked with the Russians-under direction.

Well, a lot of water has gone under the bridge in the last four and a half years-or should we who listened here to Mr. Robert "Hydro" Saunders last month say, "Over Chat Falls." Using his formula, my small son of six, estimates it would have lit a 100 kilowatt lamp to 8.204% efficiency for 2 billion years, 4 months, 3 days and 50 seconds. Joking apart, I know we all enjoyed his talk very much and are only sorry that absence on Hydro duties has kept him away today.

At that time, in 1943, when talking of submarines, I was able to tell you quite truthfully that the tide had turned and even the waves for the time being were no longer against us. But we knew even then that the Germans had two new and superb types of submarines striving to get to sea--ones that would have been a very different kettle of fish--and I would like to digress here to say that it was only due to the bravery and determination of our Air Forces, who went at them hammer and tongs every time the next batch was nearly ready for sea, that they never appeared in the Atlantic probably to put us in a worse plight than we were in in 1917 and again in 1942. Unfortunately those submarines, which are particularly hard to detect and extremely difficult to kill, are of course public property to our friends on the other side of the Iron Curtain and they make very dangerous weapons as, for example, unseen transporters and mobile platforms for projection of the horrible weapons of the future.

Gentlemen, today, after nearly three years of so-called Peace, things are far more serious than the last time we were together after four years of ghastly War. We can hope that Statemanship may save the day, but no great leader in any nation can save us without the active backing of even the lowliest among us. May I go back to a little story that I told you in 1943. One of our submarines in the Mediterranean, having got in a successful attack and thus exposed her position, was being heavily counter attacked. She was so seriously damaged that all lights were out, except for hand torches; the propeller shafts were so badly distorted in the A brackets that every attempt to go ahead produced a screaming noise that pinpointed her even more definitely for the attackers on the surface; and worst of all the battery tanks were cracked, sea water was seeping in and the dreaded chlorine gas was rising. In other words they were finished.

At that moment, the Coxswain came up to the C. O.--a very fine old man of at least twenty-four summers--and held out a signal pad with the remark "very important request, Sir." The Captain said, "Really, Cox, what are you talking about?" However he took it, played his torch on it, smiled and passed it around the boat. While the crew laughed despite the situation, he took the final risk that is only made possible by a surge in morale, went full ahead together and miraculously escaped to tell the tale. That request read as follows:--"Able Seaman Blank, such and such a number,"-Request to revert to General Service IMMEDIATELY!" Now without the individual effort of that boy, a lowly member of her crew, barely out of his teens, who did what he did when he knew he was going to die in the next few minutes, that whole crew was lost. Such a deed is, I think, a good example of our individual responsibility in the world today.

I am, not an alarmist, but I do' say a weapon designer who gives considerable thought to these things, that another global war is fatal. I would like to take you further than atomic warfare-ignoring even the inevitable primitive power of the first two atom bombs that produced such havoc at Hiroshima and Nagasaki-to such horrors as bacteriological warfare and beyond that to the laying waste once again of enormous erstwhile fertile areas of this earth. Figures now show that with the normal increase in the world population, which would not of necessity be appreciably depleted by another major war, we can now only just keep pace with food output sufficient to feed humanity on this globe. Another war will lead to the inevitable destruction of large areas-say, for example, the elimination of the Prairies of Canada and the U.S.A. by bacterial rocket projectiles fired from submarines in the Pacific--and that in brief must lead to starvation of the world, quite apart from and even more serious than considerations of destruction of life and property themselves. This is a terrible thought.

I think possibly the best example of what may happen was given the other day by an American Admiral-not Rear Admiral Saunders, whom I am honoured to see here today-when answering naval students at the conclusion of a lecture. He was asked to give his conception of the main weapon of the next war. He replied, "Gentlemen that is too long a subject, but I can tell you the Nveapons of the war after that . . . "Stone Clubs." I agree with him.

In short, science appears to have brought us today to a position where we can have either Utopia, or Extermination. We can take our choice and it just depends whether we can save Democracy by peaceful methods or not. If we set our united minds to it, actively, I feel we can.

My first point is that I am absolutely convinced, knowing the Russians and from speaking with other thinking men who know them even better, and again, from keeping my ear to the ground in the many countries I have visited of late, that Russia does not want a fighting war. Make no mistake, however, Russia definitely wants World Domination and she intends to get it, by what one can call crudely "Asiatic cunning." Russians have that terrific art of falsity of statement-almost as strongly developed as some of the North American Press added to which they extol the basest treachery, exploit with Machievellian cunning every situation as it occurs and pour out promises that defy description--nevertheless the right promise at the right time in their programme. A powerful combination for evil.

Their character is really extraordinary and can be summed up in one word-SINISTER. In the first place, they are 100°o suspicious-not without justification because every time the bell strikes, to use a naval expression, some foe overruns their most cultivated areas which must get awfully boring-so suspicious that no parent trusts his own children and vice versa. This is most which, when coupled with the oriental craving to save unhealthy. Then they are very childish-amazingly so, face, is equally disturbing. One incident in London during the late War might illustrate this point. It was my duty to give their mission within reason all possible help on weapons. The first thing that struck me was that my opposite number in that mission-a Russian Naval Captain-was never able to see me alone. Secondly, that both he and his "witness" comrade, another Captain, never vouchsafed any return information, but told most unconvincing lies. One said lie wasn't in Russia at the relevant time and the other said he spoke no English. Both untrue and childish enough to be pathetic. Added to this, they always placed a bottle of sherry on the middle of the table--a drink which in my opinion would give one cirrhosis of the liver easier than looseness of the tongue--and poured continuous and copious draughts for their victim.

What worried them was our 4" Mk XIX gun, fitted in all Merchant Vessels--a feeble weapon of misguided conception known from its simplicity as the "Woolworth" gun, which was mistakenly expected to make a bang loud enough to sustain the morale of the merchant Seaman whilst at a ridiculously short range, producing a splash big enough to make the submarine dive. Neither was the case. This was obvious and yet, for lack of any available alternative, so many of these guns were fitted that our suspicious comrades were certain that this was Churchill's secret weapon. For two days they kept coming around to this weapon and its dark secrets. Their Sherry bill must have been enormous. I had nothing to tell them. Finally, however, the brain box worked. I looked furtively over each shoulder, took one more draught to the detriment of the liver and beckoned them closer. "The cartridge case ejects faster to the rear than the shell leaves the muzzle." I confided and blushed shamefacedly. Their sigh of relief bespoke their feelings-their work was accomplished. What we do know is that they did report this stupendous nonsense back to Kremlin, but what I have never been able to discover is whether later they were executed for impertinence or incompetence. However, that put me in great favour with the Russians and very shortly afterwards my wife and I received a truly magnificent invitation from the Russian Ambassador. Mr. Maisky, to a reception at the Embassy. We went and, believe me, they out-czared the Czars--even at this stringent time in London, the Russians all wore ceremonial uniforms while at the tables, which groaned with gold plate and the very finest wines and viands. All most impressive, that is all except one little fact. Every tenth Russian wore hobnail boots, a filthy suit or shawl, according to sex and the men wore no collars and had not shaved in days. If anyone knows of more childish play acting I would like to hear of it. Quite ridiculous, in fact.

Incidentally, between the palatial hall and the salon where the Maisky's received, we went through a large room that was completely blacked out. The only guiding light came from the door ahead that opened and quickly shut behind our predecessors-no photographs appeared to be taken, so perhaps they had the X-ray eye frisking us. Anyway, some one with a limp took hold of the flap at the back of my uniform jacket and held on tight in the dark for some thirty paces. Imagine my horror as we were announced, when the butler bellowed "Commander and Mrs. Stokes-Rees and Admiral Sir Dudley Pound" -the First Sea Lord. This is the closest I have ever been, or am ever likely to be, to being announced in the same breath as the mighty.

Coming to their characteristic we meet animal ruthlessness. In Murmansk, when the Convoys were running and these required a Fleet Action to get them through from the Old Country, one of our retired Admirals as Commodore of the Convoy was too ill after the strain to take the Convoy back. So the British Captain in Murmansk signalled for a relief commodore to be sent out by fast destroyer. He arrived and the Russian Admiral refused to see him. He said, "I have the name of Commodore X. I will not see Commodore Y." Our Senior Officer gave him half-an-hour or the Convoy would not sail according to programme. In less than no time Commodore Y was duly interviewed and that we thought was that.

The next time the Russian Admiral saw the British Captain he merely remarked, "It was a pity you spoke as you did when you did"--just that and no more. The strange thing was that the Flag Commander was missing for the first time. It transpired later that he was the people's Commissar, that he had attempted to report his Admiral's lack of liaison propensities and had quietly gone down the elevator shaft to his death for his trouble.

The interlocks on that elevator were perfect, so this was ruthless murder of a fellow-countryman. That is the sinister aspect.

It is the same at lower levels. Shortly after we were in Germany we started as many British games as possible to keep ourselves fit and occupied. The only place where we could at first find a suitable cricket ground was on the edge of the British Russian Zones N. E. of Hanover. Here we had an enjoyable game against the Army. When I was batting-that is usually one ball, but this was an exception-two Russian troops came out of the woods in their zone and presumably for a ten kopek bet deliberately shot dead a very old German farmer working peacefully in the next field in our zone. That is your Russia.

Lastly, the queer aspect of judging all others by themselves. In view of my connections with the Russians in London, the Allied Naval Commander in Chief selected me to be one of the party to be carried over to Marshal Zhukov to accompany the Russians in to Berlin. We put out feelers for reaction and found they were most unfriendly. "He knows his job, he must be a spy". As Kipling said "East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet."

That brings me to the Spring of 1946. Some of you I know heard me speak at the York Club in January of that year, when it was quite obvious that Russia was going in to Turkey. Her plans were finalized, her agents were waiting at the Wall and infiltrating through Egypt across the desert to claim fictitious graves of ancestors--so important to the Moslem faith--as far west as Tunisia and a grand encirclement of the Mediterranean was afoot. At that time I had an evening with Sheffki, Pasha, one of Great Britain's oldest friends and Turkish Ambassador in Ottawa. He was expecting the blow at any minute. But to their eternal credit the English speaking peoples brandished the big stick, whilst leaving a door open for retreat, and nothing happened.

Let us pray that as things develop in Eastern Europe, which they are doing, we shall continue to stand firm. Nothing else is understood by Russia, nor ever will be. Life in Russia, as everybody must know, is for the masses nothing but slavery under fear. No man may even think for himself and live to think again. When one says the mighty word "Politburo" it speaks for itself. A group of crooked politicians, entirely self-seeking, served by masses of petty bureaucrats trying to feather their own nests. The whole thing is rounded off by the most terrible secret police in history, who are ubiquitous and omnipotent. As I said, everybody knows all this, yet communistic seed spread here in Canada falls on fertile ground and flourishes. Just look at the recent communist poll in Toronto alone--there must therefore be many who think it a good prospect to be communist. The question is WHY? The first reason that would lead any man to communismoutside definitely planted fifth columnists and believe me they abound-the first reason is a raw deal from life at the moment and the feeling that if he joins a minority group early enough he may be a big shot in the near future. This is not a fact with the Russians, as each of their coups has shown, but it is an attractive thought. In my humble opinion one of the best ways to rid ourselves of this danger is by better education. It is difficult to lay one's hands definitely on the shortcoming here, but it exists.

No one has done more, (I think I am right in saying this), for education in the history of Ontario, than Premier Drew. He has put through a vast programme, but it still remains a fact that Ontario alone is nearly 1000 teachers below minimum strength out of a provincial total of 24,000. In the Dominion as a whole it is worse. And what is the reason for that? It is, of course, the miserable low salary compared with the present cost of living. We all of us ought to think hard on this point, especially those who have just elected their new education trustees and encourage them to spend more rather than less, because if one finds a disgruntled teacher who can not make ends meet, what sort of children is he or she going to put out in to the World? Yet all of us insist on the very best doctors, the very best dentists, but as for the poor child's brain, that can fend for itself, whilst the thing that really matters in this world is how the child thinks as lie emerges to manhood. And again putting Democracy as one sees it here under a microscope, one sees too many unwelcome germs. There are cartels, planned shortages, unions versus employers and vice versa without proper labour management understanding, low wages, high prices and one even sees cases where incentive bonus, which is such a valuable arrangement, has a loophole in the agreement so that the employer can, when he fancies his people are earning enough, cut back on them. That may be a clever move, the wage earner may have a full pocket, but the canker enters in to the soul. Communism always ready to play the tempter, steps up and promises better.

Then we get perpetual encouragement to save, coupled with prevalent low interest rates. How can the little man save, and incidentally what does he get if he does, when the big man is speculating on capital appreciation regardless of dividend and thereby forcing the inflatory spiral. The only one to feel this is the little than, whose vote counts just as much as any other, and he is not going to support a regime in which he can not make ends meet.

Then we see price probes, with much publicity, fizzling out into an unsatisfactory demise. You and I may shrug our shoulders but have you ever listened to that great barometer the average taxi driver' His wife can't bring him home any butter, if there is any, because it is too expensive. He grips the statement in the press that enormous profits were made at a certain time and declares that were he in power butter would be sold at not a cent more than it costs the cow to turn it out. You can't blame him. We might take an example from Norway, which is possibly the least communistic country in the World. Yet Norway has full control and absolute labour management legislation-and Norway is at this tune a happy land.

Again I think that the consideration of the "haves" for the "have nots" in big Cities like Toronto wants careful attention. Charity is not consideration--it is an easy sop to the conscience and the income tax collector and in its own way it is a fine thing, but it doesn't make for warmth of feeling. Everyone here has had a good time-no bombs have dropped, industry has boomed and profitable expansion has been the outcome so that we have seen the rise of those besetting evils that accompany such easy days. They are apathy, smugness, graft and greed. They are so evident and so dangerous that I will repeat them-apathy, smugness, graft and greed. They are the cause of the gap between the "haves" and the "Have nots." I have studied first hand cases, my own included, where unnecessary hardship and sorrow have been caused by sheer thoughtlessness or should one say selfishness, that leads to ugly thoughts. It reminds me of the 2nd Lieutenant getting tongue tied as he saw his troops marching over a cliff. The Sgt. Major said to him, "For Gawd's sake, say something to them, Sir, even if it is only "Goodbye". This is my advice to some of the self-styled big shots who see no wrong in inconsiderate behavior, when one word to a Secretary could deal with the matter, yea or nay, and remove this evil. Of course it is possible to go too far the other way, like the man who shot down the line out grouse shooting. It appears that he hit a neighbouring butt--in any case, at the end of the drive an infuriated fellow guest came charging up the line bellowing, "I'd have you know, Sir, you peppered my Wife" to which the guilty party replied with a wave of the hand "I'm frightfully sorry, Sir, have a shot at mine!" That goes possibly too far in consideration, but there is a happy mean.

In this short time, it is difficult to cover the World in the analysis of possible survival, so I will touch briefly on only a few countries recently visited. First, let us look at defeated Germany. Conditions are bad, very bad, even this side of the Iron Curtain. I saw people who must live in and near the ruins of the big Cities to obtain possible employment and meagre rations, digging underground hovels with their hands and expelling the dirt with their feet just as do rabbits. It seems impossible, but it is a fact. Yet we must build a self supporting German economy if Europe is to survive. We have vet to see if Russia will be able to sabotage the Marshall Plan E.R.P. set-up. Rest assured she will do her utmost to do so to turn starving millions to her in desperation. The Germans want to get on their feet. I interrogated many higher technicians in the course of duty and had other opportunity to get the views of many more ordinary mortals. They dread the Russians. This was a fact that so hampered our final advance--hordes of Germans fleeing before Russian brutality, hordes over whom no English speaking tank drivers would trample. There is one good idea recently expressed by Mr. William Batt, the well-known American Industrialist in a speech to Toronto Exporters. He was against loans as such, he wanted Americans and Canadians to do what the British used to do abroad--go out and set up, in this case in Germany and give employment and get their industry restarted. This industry being under English speaking control, would be purely utilitarian--that is not for war and would help Germany back onto her feet. It is a policy worth considering while at the same time we must include possibly a French set-up although the hatred of centuries militates against this.

My next thoughts are of Greece--the melting pot of the present Russian attempts at expansion. The defeat of the present Communist uprising is essential to peace in the World, yet few realize the seriousness of the situation and the press is inclined only to print agency reports of further shootings of communist agitators, as if they were martyrs. My Wife and I dined alone with the late King George and his Sister, the present King Paul and his Wife immediately before they returned to the Throne in 1946. They were brave people doing their duty. They knew the dangers, international and personal. They knew that Russia had Greece first on the menu and they knew that support to keep them out of Russian grasp would be as shilly-shallying as it has been. To take a typical unfortunate example-When King George died, King Paul took up the reins. Surely the press has a duty to be impartially prepared, but the only biographies ready for the new King were fully prepared communist dossiers, and for lack of anything better they were printed. Headlines read "Playboy King takes over." "Tango Expert comes to Throne of Balkan Melting Pot" and that sort of nonsense. King Paul and I were at school together and he was quite the nicest boy there; very talented, charming manners, extremely popular and, as you know, little boys of that age are no respecters of lineage. Since then he has a fine personal record in the Greek Navy as well as being a good pilot in the Air. Added to that his Queen, Frederika, who is equally charming has from the same propaganda sources, a German smear thrust at her, totally ignoring the fact that she is a heroine to the Greeks. She virtually lives in the front line, where the King joins her on every possible free moment from state leadership, and where her photograph is to be found even in the most communistic outposts, firmly standing between those of Stalin and the local guerilla leader! These are personal things, but they point a moral. We must stand four square behind our American friends who have so nobly taken tip the responsibility of the Balkans and give hell) in Greece both moral and physical.

At this moment, it is impossible not to mention Bogota in Colombia, where the terrible uprising of recent weeks has shocked the World. All this was planned by the Russians as carefully as the wonderful boulevards I watched being laid out in Bogota for this fateful PanAmerican Conference. Free cinema shows were being given at the Russian Embassy to instil subversive propaganda, but the chosen day for the revolution Gaitan, who was ironically the leader of the Left, was willfully murdered in a public square at lunch time by communist dupes, whilst parties of inebriated thugs were let loose armed with machetes-wicked agricultural knives-and with pamphlets explaining how to make and use primitive Molotoff Cocktail incendiaries. Despite all this, much of the world was surprised when Colombia immediately broke diplomatic relations with Russia. The whole story may take time to come out, but enough is known to be a solemn warning. It can happen here--or anywhere--and in seeking a greater population Canada must above all beware of the implanted immigrant.

Lastly, it is worthwhile to take a quick look at the Argentine which claims to favour neither Democracy or Communism. I was in the Argentine for the Peron elections and was fortunate to be on a mission important enough to ensure invitations to many high level happenings, whilst not being so senior as never to have a spare moment to myself. It enabled me with sufficient Spanish at my command to take soundings at various levels, to understand what was going on. In short, Peron was determined to get in--the usual lust for power--and to do so he had to enfranchise and corral the ne'erdo-well masses. His opponent was not a strong man--to be frank it has not been exactly a sinecure of recent years to put up for election as a democratic President in the Argentine yet any opponent was bound to get a very big vote from the intelligentsia and the vast agricultural districts.

Peron did get in through the most fantastic promises to the masses-"my shirtless ones" lie called them. Also it was alarming the number of well to do people coming in from the Country to vote in Buenos Aires, who were hauled off the train and never did vote. Some did not live either after a little police interrogation. Throughout the election period the ne'erdo-well crowds--known locally as the Piscoites from the potent raw brandy called Pisco on which they got drunk--these mobs roamed the streets doing serious damage to life and property. It was significant that they were shepherded but not broken up by the mounted police. For instance, the mob howled down the distinguished American addressing us at the. American Club on the occasion of the Pilgrims Dinnerit appears that the floodlit flags of our two Countries had infuriated them. They were unable to break in to the solid building or things might have been worse as was the case with one of the newspaper offices. "El Dia" is owned by Hugo Stanz, a yachting friend of my Father's of whom I saw a lot. His paper has always been staunchly democratic and moderate. For this his offices and Plant were pulverised by these hooligans, while the police quietly cordoned the areapresumably against interruption.

The first act of the new President was to seize the Central Bank and put it in the hands of his military clique. Where have we seen this pattern before? Let me add that the Argentine already had a National Bank and that the Central Bank was famous for its stabilizing influence in the Country. As its Board of Directors it had in rotation the heads of all the big Foreign Banks in the Argentine--the Royal Bank of Canada, the Bank of London and South America, the various U.S. Banks and the like. I had luncheon with these gentlemen, as it happened, on the day of the take-over. It was a very sombre party and none of us with the best intentions could lift the ball. And so today, what do we see? All through greed and lust for power, one of the richest Countries in 1946 almost friendless and dollarless in 1948. Let that be a solemn warning to this rising young power. It could happen here too. Well, what can we do about it, you and I? First, I think we ought to face this fact. One hundred years ago Karl Marx, who was a German, stated quite plainly that Humanity must be on its guard against Russian offers of protection. That is as true today as ever it was. Secondly, we must realize that Communism is NOT a political party--it is a TREASONABLE INSTITUTION. Therefore we must not be fooled into saying that, as this is a democratic Country, the Communists must be allowed to hold meetings where they like and say what they like. Openly and admittedly they advocate and plan the overthrow of our established form of government in this and every other democracy. They owe no allegiance to our throne or to Canada, but solely to the Kremlin. That is TREASON and I repeat deserves only the fate reserved for traitors. Thirdly, we must encourage our Press to realize its enormous responsibilities. Irresponsible headlines, especially in voluminous journals where few have time to read all the letterpress, are very dangerous. Let me take three recent examples and in so doing may I hasten to say that we all know that every Editor must sell his paper or go to the wall, but in these days he has a wider duty. At the time of the recent Toronto elections the responsible dailies set out to suppress Communism--the result was electric, every communist voted red and only about fifteen per cent of the remaining population voted against. By stupid psychology the Press engendered enthusiastic hatred in the minority and smugness and apathy in the very ones they hoped to inspire to action. Again, only the other day, the Toronto Press published the following headline, "British grossly maltreat East African Native Population." Being startled, I read the whole article, about four inches long. At the bottom in small print there appeared "This was put forward yesterday by one of the Russian deputies to the United Nations." How many people would have read this? I'll tell you. Of all the people I questioned most had seen the headline and none the obvious lie to it at the bottom. They all presumed we were bad people in E. Africa-just what the Russians hoped. Yet had the Press headed the article "Soviet accuses . . . . . ." they would have understood.

And then you get the Russians' own report on their war effort without a single mention that it was pure propaganda. One leading daily gave it a whole column including their claim that the Allies hardly helped them 4 percent at best. Yet we all know that without the Convoys and the perpetual allied bombing of German supplies to the Russian front, Russia would not have survived. The Press, as I said, must tackle its responsibilities with more judgment and discretion.

Fourthly, we must be "prepared" and by that I mean prepared to wield the big stick. We have to probe our elected representatives for action-to push on to people like Mr. Claxton. I know he goes down and sees the President of the United States and comes back and says that everything is lovely in the garden, but we still do not see the proper directed co-ordination of the Navy, Army Airforce and Defence Research services that there should be and as for the all important overall co-ordination with industry, which is the most vital preparation of all, the lack of direction here is a virtual scandal.

My job in Canada is 1943-44 was on these very lines and it gives me great pleasure to see some of my old friends here today, so you will understand my feelings in the matter. We shall not have the breathing space in any future conflict that we had, and so badly needed, in 1939. Most of you will admit that even when we first got together as late as 1943, we were not doing too well. No, gentlemen, after nearly 4 years we were still hanging fire.

Mr. Claxton has made two public speeches, one just before Christmas and one in the New Year, talking of a Government Committee to be set up. The industrialists themselves have also announced a list of names of a voluntary committee of their own, but nothing concrete is being done. And if it is, one wonders how much of it will be so much eyewash through the press for the public? Keen as I am on getting on with two way Canadian Trade and treating Canada as if there is not going to be war--and I do not think there is--I would willingly drop everything and go to, Ottawa and coordinate the whole lot, even if I had to bang all their heads together to get action. One main reason is that we must not and can not lean on the United States. And that is my final point.

"A son is a son till he marries a wife--a Daughter's a daughter the whole of her life." We are the Empire Club of Canada. We are a daughter of the Empire. We must remain that daughter the whole of our life. Marriages are not made in Heaven--that is nonsense--marriages are made by propinquity. We are good neighbours of the United States and as such have made a natural marriage. We are the daughter that has married the big, lusty lad from one block south and a fine lad he is, but we are still the daughter of a fine old Mother who yet has a wonderful store of "savoir faire" in her make up, be she not so young as she was. Let us never forget this--a wealth of experience is worth a mess of brawn and to throw away at this stage the wise counsels available to Canada from Mother England would be a sorry step indeed.

If we remain the loyal daughter, married to the United States, and keep the whole Empire together, I think then that we can build up such a power for good in this world that we can always wave the big stick at Russia and Russia will retreat-provided we leave that little loophole for her to save face. The Asiatic must save face. Let them retreat gracefully or you will have trouble.

So, in conclusion, I would like to say let us be honest individual members of the British Empire. Be Canadians, working with our American relations, striving all we can to keep the United Nations alive. Canada is superbly represented at Lake Success in Mr. Pearson and General McNaughton. They are outstanding-they know their jobs-the General camp rings around anyone in the realm of modern weapons-to let them have our ungrudging support. That will be our contribution to success and every little helps.

Every one who has it should re-read his invitation card for today and note that really excellent little extract from jean Jacques Rousseau selected by your Secretary, Colonel John Hyde Bennett--this puts my whole thought in a nutshell and to illustrate our individual responsibilities I could choose no finer words

"As soon as any man says of the affairs of the State, "What does it matter to me?" the State may be given up for lost."

Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.


Survival At Stake, Our Individual Responsibilities

Reference to the speaker's previous address four and a half years ago. Some recollections of events in the First and Second World Wars. The situation today. The consequences of another war in the atomic age. The speaker's conviction that Russia does not want another war, and reasons for that conviction. Some remarks on the nature of Russians, with illustrative examples. The need to stand firm against Russia. What would attract someone to Communism. Paying attention to the consideration of the "haves" for the "have nots" in big cities like Toronto. A look at the defeated Germany. The need to build a self-supporting German economy if Europe is to survive. Watching out to see if Russia can sabotage the Marshall Plan. Some words on Greece and the defeat of the present Communist uprising being essential to peace in the world. Responsibility of the press. The situation in Bogota in Colombia. A caution for Canada to beware of the implanted immigrant. A quick look at Argentine which claims to favour neither Democracy or Communism. What one can do to combat the spread of Communism.