[handwritten at top and sides of front page:] Mr. McQuesten's Speech Hespeler 22nd Apr 1945 W-MCP7-1.242 THOMAS BAKER MCQUESTEN's Victory Bonds Speech.
Apr 22 1945
This is a mighty conflict. Never in the history of the world has the whole generation of men been engaged in war at one time. Look at the extent of it. Africa, India, the Islands of the Sea, China, Japan, Alaska, the whole Pacific, the St. Lawrence, Greenland, the Atlantic Island, the whole of Europe, the whole of Asia--all these areas are the scene of active operations and the air above them. There is another thing--never in the history of the world have the issues been so simple and so great. There are no local causes here. The real issues are not connected with things. The real issue is whether the bodies and the spirits of men shall be enslaved or shall be free. Whether the gains which have been made so laboriously from the beginning of time shall be swept away. Whether man--the individual man, his dignity, his importance, his right to stand upright upon his feet and maintain his place and his right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness--shall be established. Or shall he simply return to the condition of slavery from which he started. The result of this conflict is in your hands, is your responsibility. We have come far along the road to victory, but until it is achieved by the last necessary stroke the whole issue remains undecided.
Ladies and Gentlemen I have been asked to present for your consideration the appeal to support this campaign for the sale of Victory Bonds. I hope, and there are many reasons which support the view, that this will be the last occasion when we shall have to come before you and urge you to exercise your generosity. Undountedly, the war is nearly over, but in some respects these are the most critical days. These are the days when final and complete victory will be reaped from the long patient sowing of the past. All that has gone into this war, the blood, and treasure and toil might be wasted to a serious extent if we did not press on to the complete ending of these terrible forces of oppression and tyranny. We cannot afford to weaken now.
I have no doubt that I am addressing many in this gathering who have given what is more precious than money. Men and women, mother and fathers, sisters and brothers of the boys and girls who have paid the last full measure of devotion who have given their lives.
May I also remind you of what other people and other lands have been called upon to give. We, in this favoured land have been practically free from the devastations of war. We have been free from peril and sword and hunger. We have been free from the destruction which has wasted other lands. We have not had to stand by and see our homes destroyed and our friends and fellow country men murdered, cut down without warning. Think of the terrible destruction and suffering which has been inflicted upon England, our allies, the property loss to say nothing of the lives taken away and the broken bodies of women and children. We have been spared all this. We are not called upon to re-establish and rebuild our homes, our churches and schools and places of business, our manufacturing plants and places from which we receive our support. This is an almost incalculable advantage which we have.
The demand that is made upon us is that we shall lend our money on safe security with an interest payment. Surely it will appeal to us all that we can do nothing less, that we would not want to do anything less than put our hands in our pockets and give all that we can in this final act of deliverance.
To-day we are standing on the threshold of unconditional victory over the enemies of freedom. It behooves us to be grateful and I am sure we are, but the danger is that we may be too complacent, too self assured that nothing more remains to be done.
Let me remind you of another thing. Not only are we facing the successful conclusion of this long and bitter struggle, we are also facing the aftermath of war. Tremendous tasks lie ahead of us. We are facing the rehabilitation of our own fighting forces. Not only we but tens of thousands of our people have been rooted up from their homes and occupations and are concentrated in industrial areas in a temporary way, and their future has to be assured. We have to re-establish them as well. We have to face the great problems of industry, of housing, of social conditions. These things take money, and it is to the interest of all of us that ample provision should be made to successfully face these problems. Tremendous tasks are lying ahead in which Canada must share. We must stand by our guns both on the battle front and on the home front. The dollars which you are asked to subscribe to the victory loan are still needed to carry on until the task is done.
So more than ever in this eighth victory loan drive you are asked to purchase victory bonds. They pay you interest at 3%. They are marketable at any time. Every bond is backed by Canada's tremendous resources.