Courtesy Reuters

Canada at War

ONE North American nation is already at war. On Saturday, September 9, the Canadian Parliament voted to declare war against Germany. On the following day, precisely one week after Britain's entry into the conflict, King George VI, on the advice of his Canadian ministers, announced that Canada was formally at war. This royal proclamation of September 10, 1939, is a milestone in the history of Canada and of the Empire: it is the first time that the King in a declaration of war has spoken on the advice of his Canadian ministers. This is a fact of great constitutional significance. Responsibility for the form of the declaration was Canada's and hers alone, for London learned of it only after receiving the cabled draft. Thus, in 1939 Canada attained the same autonomy in matters of foreign policy which she has enjoyed in domestic affairs since 1867.

Special war legislation and cabinet decrees promptly followed with a rapidity and a coherence which clearly indicate that the Government had wisely utilized the months of peace. Two of these acts are particularly noteworthy. The war appropriations act earmarks 100 million dollars for immediate use. Its significance lies, not in the amount, which everyone realizes is only a fraction of what the war will cost, but in the fact that it shows how Canada intends to pay for the war. From 1914 through 1919 Canada's war bill was 1.3 billion dollars, of which only 101 millions were raised by taxation. This time, long-term borrowing is ruled out, at least in the early phases, and the initial sum of 100 millions is to be raised by increased taxes on consumers' goods, a surtax of 20 percent on individual incomes, and a profits tax rising to 60 percent. The bill was voted by Parliament and accepted by the people without opposition. But the publication a few days afterwards of a government decree establishing foreign exchange control met with quite a different reception. Surprised, perplexed and angry, businessmen swarmed to Ottawa for an explanation. Apparently, however, the Government has no intention of

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