White House news release.
February 15, 1942
I am speaking to my neighbors of Canada this evening-in regard to something that is a Canadian matter-only because of a personal relationship, which goes back fifty-eight long years, when my family began taking me every Summer to spend several months on a delightful Island off the coast of New Brunswick. I hope that my privilege of free and intimate discourse across our border will always continue. I trust that it will always be appreciated as sincerely as I appreciate it tonight.
It is not merely as good neighbors that we speak to each other in these eventful days, but as partners in a great enterprise which concerns us equally and in which we are equally pledged to the uttermost sacrifice and effort.
In an atmosphere of peace, four years ago, I offered you the assurance that the people of this country would not stand idly by if domination of Canadian soil were ever threatened by an aggressor. Your Prime Minister responded with an intimation that Canada, whose vast territories flank our entire northern border, would man that border against any attack upon us. These mutual pledges are now being implemented. Instead of defending merely our shores and our territories we now are joined with the other free peoples of the world against an armed conspiracy to wipe out free institutions wherever they exist.
Freedom-our freedom and yours-is under attack on many fronts. You and we together are engaged to resist the attack on any front where our strength can best be brought to bear.
The part that Canada is playing in this fight for the liberty of man is worthy of your traditions and ours. We, your neighbors, have been profoundly impressed by reports that have come to us setting forth the magnitude and nature of your effort as well as the valiant spirit which supports it. If that effort is to be measured in dollars, then you already have paid out, in two years, more than twice as much as you spent in the whole four years of the last war.
Moreover, these reports show that one Canadian in every twenty-one of your entire population is now in the fighting forces and that one in every twenty-nine is a volunteer for service anywhere in the world. It should give us all new strength and new courage to learn that in the swift mobilization your Army has increased nearly ten-fold, your Navy fifteen-fold, your Air Force twenty-five-fold. We rejoice to know that the Air Training Plan which you commenced to organize two years ago is now the main source of reinforcements for Britain's air force and that its graduates are fighting on almost every front in the world. Other reports disclose in equally impressive terms an all-out effort which Canada is making in the common cause of liberty.
Yours are the achievements of a great nation. They require no praise from me-but they get that praise from me nevertheless. I understate the case when I say that we, in this country, contemplating what you have done, and the spirit in which you have done it, are proud to be your neighbors.
From the outset you have had our friendship and understanding, and our collaboration on an increasing scale. We have gone forward together with increasing understanding and mutual sympathy and good will.
More recent events have brought us into even closer alignment; and at Washington a few weeks ago, with the assistance of Britain's Prime Minister and your own, we arrived at understandings which mean that the United Nations will fight and work and endure together until our common purpose is accomplished and the sun shines down once more upon a world where the weak will be safe ; and the strong will be just.
There is peril ahead for us all, and sorrow for many. But our cause is right, our goal is worthy, our strength is great and growing. Let us then march forward together, facing danger, bearing sacrifice, competing only in the effort to share even more fully in the great task laid upon us all. Let us, remembering the price that some have paid for our survival, make our own contribution worthy to lie beside theirs upon the altar of man's faith.