Mackenzie King on conscription, April 1942

When Canada went to war in 1939, Prime Minister Mackenzie King promised there would be no military conscription for overseas service. But the war dragged on with no apparent victory in sight. In this speech on April 7, 1942, King asked Canadians to vote in a referendum, not on conscription, but rather to relieve the government from its earlier promise. Eventually, the government imposed conscription near the war’s end.

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