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King's Conscription Crisis
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King's Conscription Crisis

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  • 1. King’s Conscription Crisis
  • 2. Conscription Crisis• Kingpromised= no conscription• Germany quickly occupied much of Europe• 1940- National Resources Mobilization Act (NRMA) – Government could mobilize =conscription (home defence)
  • 3. Conscription Crisis• Conservatives wanted overseas conscription• King held referendum- April 27, 1942 1) All provinces except Quebec majority “yes” 2) overseas conscriptionKing- “Not necessarily conscription, but conscription if necessary” • Failed to satisfy either side• Quebec felt betrayed• Minister of Defense-J.L. Ralston resigned, and then changed his mind
  • 4. James Layton Ralston
  • 5. Conscription Crisis• King avoided conscription issue for 2 years• 1944 Invasion of Europe – Canada lost 23,000 soldiers – Infantry shortage• Ralston went to Europe – Concluded more troops were needed – King refused, and announced Ralston’s resignation (from resignation letter Ralston had given 2 years before)
  • 6. Conscription Crisis• King replaced Ralston with General Andrew McNaughton – King hoped McNaughton could convince men conscripted under NRMA to volunteer to go overseas – McNaughton unsuccessful• Finally, King agreed to send conscripts overseas in final months of war12,000 – Not all went peacefully• Riots in Montreal & Quebec legislature condemning King’s actions• 2463 conscripts reached the front
  • 7. General Andrew McNaughton