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Arthur Douglas Crease Letters, Diaries and Scrapbooks

Letters from Arthur Douglas Crease of Victoria to his brother Lindley Crease and his mother Sarah Crease; instructions for the offensive of July 26, 1917; a regimental notebook, diaries and scrapbook. Learn more.

*All transcriptions are provided by volunteers, and the accuracy of the transcriptions is not guaranteed. Please be sure to verify the information by viewing the image record, or visiting the BC Archives in person. 

BC Archives MS-0055BC Archives MS-2879



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Demands Conscription Enforcement, Mobilization of Resources; Tax Wealth

Vancouver, Aug 22. -- With the cheers of an assembly of 3,500, win-the-war speakers last night declared their belief in the necessity for immediate enforcement of conscription and demanded the mobilization of resources, the taxation of wealth, and the prevention of profiteering, urging also the formation of a national non-partizan Government.

There was not a single interruption from the audience, apart from words of agreement or encouragement as the speakers struck a chord which appealed to individual fancy. When the win-the-war resolution was put to the meeting on a yea or nay vote, the yeas rolled into a thunderous chorus of unanimity.

Rev. Principal Vance announced that the decision reached at the meeting would be telegraphed both to Premier Borden and to Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

There was nothing political about the tone of the gathering last night. Although it had been arranged by a committee of prominent Liberals, both Conservatives and Liberals joined in a wholehearted declaration that the time had come when parties and politics should be put aside in one great united effort to win the war.

Speakers Well Received

Half an hour before the hour of opening, the ground floor of the Horse Show Building was well filled, and by the time the chairman took his seat all but the more remote galleries were occupied. The crowd was exceedingly enthusiastic and gave a warm reception to the speakers, particularly to David Laughman, president of the Provincial Branch of the Great War Veterans' Association, and Lieut-Colonel J.A. Macdonnell, D.S.O.

Telling speeches in favour of the resolution were delivered by Messrs. Nigel Thompson, E.P. Davis, K.C.; L.G. McPhillips, K.C.; J.N. Ellis, S.L. Howe, Pte. Laughman, Lieut.-Colonel Macdonnell, Mrs. Ralph Smith, and by Messrs. A.C. Flumerfelt and H.T. Slater. The two latter represented a Victoria contingent which came over for the meeting, and sat with prominent Vancouver men upon the speaker's podium.

E.P. Davis

E.P. Davis, K.C., was announced by Chairman Vance as being a speaker too seldom heard in Vancouver. Mr. Davis gave a rousing speech, which brought a volume of enthusiasm from the crowd. He expressed the fear, in opening his remarks, that an election would be forced upon Canada no matter how much good Canadians worked for Union Government and conscription.

"Why should the country only have 50 per cent of its fighting force at such a time as this?" he asked. "Why not be united?"

Mr. Davis said that the present Government at Ottawa had been lamentably weak in permitting sedition to be talked so rankly and had made many blunders. If there were trouble in Quebec, and he did not think there would be, he added, it would be because the hostile spirit there had not been nipped in the bud.

"None of us look forward with any great degree of confidence to a party in power led by a French-Canadian," he declared amid cheers. "So long as this war continues I will never support a party or candidate whose leader is a French-Canadian."

Enforce Conscription

"Some people have said that the conscription issue is dead now that the bill has been passed, but we are concerned with the enforcement of conscription. Of what use is the statute if it is not properly carried out? Conscription is the only fair principle at such a time as this. The Empire is engaged in a life and death struggle. The will of the majority properly expressed should rule. The law must be carried out, and we must not be frightened by the bugaboo of Quebec."

Unclean Beasts

The speaker urged that all enemy aliens in the Dominion, whether naturalized or not be disenfranchised. Their numbers were legion, he said, in the prairie provinces, and it was the veriest farce to have them voting on the means which Canada proposed to utilize to help win the war. When the war was over Canada should also enact clear and explicit legislation preventing Germans or Austrians coming into this country.

"Let us have no more 'made in Germany' in this country," he urged. "The Germans have shown themselves unspeakably unclean beasts. We should keep them out in future."


"Ding, dong," sing the bells of Rouen. "The English are back Five hundred years after; With helmet and pack The English are back, Ten thousand score strong." "Ding, dong," sing Maclou and Ouerr Each noble grey head Ashake with grim laughter And the old Norman dead From their mouldering bed In the vaults of Rouen "Ding, dong," How they hurry along In ghostly attire - Five hundred years after Their Joan was afire In the shade of the spire To see righted the wrong.

BC Archives, MS-0055 Box 15 File 3 / CREASE FAMILY / Letters from Arthur Douglas Crease to his brother, Lindley Crease, 1917.

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