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Why Were The Québécois Opposed To Sending Conscripted Troops Overseas?

Discussion in 'Military Training, Doctrine, and Planning' started by Slipdigit, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I was reading a thread over at WW2Talk and a poster (Canuck) mentioned this about a plebiscite to reverse the Canadian government's early war commitment not to send conscripts overseas:

    Why were the people of Quebec so opposed to using conscripts overseas?
     
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    An interesting question, Jeff. From my brief reading, it seems that the French-Canadians of Quebec were more anti-British than pro-French. There was, and is, a great deal of this type of feeling in Canada. I'll have to look further, but this seems to be the answer. Maybe our Canadian Rogues have a better insight.
     
  3. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    In my opinion the position was also influenced by the American neighbour isolationist movement that was still very strong until December 7th 1941. There was no Pearl Harbour type attack against Canada , so the threat of an invasion was not as strong, or at least not as obvious.

    Many volunteers counterbalanced this decision anyway.
    the decision was also influenced by the small population and the huge economical needs in an underpopulated province
     
  4. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    I don't think it was because Québequois were anti-this or anti-that, What I think is that somebody along the chain of command neglected to say "Please".
     
  5. Ken The Kanuck

    Ken The Kanuck Member

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    I believe it is because they were further along the evolutionary scale as colonies go. Remember their ties to France were broken many years ago on the plains of Abraham. Where the English Canadians were very much still a part of the British Empire with the pride that came with it.

    KTK
     
  6. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Didn't they have a conscription crisis in WW1 as well? I seem to remember reading something about that situation in the past, but I'd have to go and read up on it again before making any credible comments on the matter. I don't think that anyone in the chain of command said please back then either, so maybe that had something to do with it as well.
     
  7. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    By Jove! I think you've got it!
     
  8. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Maybe we ought to ask the Quebecois. Note it's mostly Anglo-Saxons who comment on this.
     
  9. Ken The Kanuck

    Ken The Kanuck Member

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    I'm pretty sure that the question was open to all and no special group had to be invited to partake. But with the language laws in Quebec maybe they are afraid too?

    KTK
     
  10. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    It's open to all, but Quebecois opinions are missing and it would be nice to have some.
     
  11. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    But wouldn't we have to ask them in French and English?
     
  12. Ken The Kanuck

    Ken The Kanuck Member

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    As long as the French letters are bigger than the English.

    KTK
     
  13. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    So, in addition to having problems with conscription, they obviously have a problem with their eye sight as well. That may very well be the source of the original problem then.
     
  14. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Gentlemen keep this on topic , this has nothing to do with semantics and National pride it was just a regional specificity stemming back to WWI and if some of you are debating the bravery of the Quebecois during both wars, they should start reading and fast. I'm sure none of you have doubts about their contribution, or have you ?
     
  15. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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  16. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    It would be interesting to see compare their positions on this to that of the Cajuns.

    That said I wonder Za Rodinu isn't pretty close to the mark. I'm not sure the Québécois ever felt a huge amount of loyalty to Britain. Asking though often illicits a much better response than ordering especially when matters of pride are involved.

    Are there any Québécois on the board?
     
  17. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    I did not mean to link making light of the subject matter to questioning of anyone's loyalty. If it was taken as such or felt that it was alluded to in the same manner I do apologize for the perceived slight. Those Rogues who have been on the Forum for any length of time should know my style by now, and I do admit that I have hijacked and wrecked more than my fair share of threads, but questioning one's loyalty and bravery is not something I do.

    Anyway, back to the thread and subject matter at hand as Skipper eloquently pointed out.

    lwd mentioned the comparison of the Quebecois and the Cajuns, I feel that I can offer some input there. I am not a Quebecois, but I am 50% Cajun on my Mother's side. For those who don't know why the Cajun's ended up in Louisiana, they were forcibly relocated here from their homes in Acadia (present day Nova Scotia) by the British, so there is no love lost between them and the Crown. The Brits are about as welcome as yankees to describe it in laymen's terms. I don't have the exact numbers, but the numbers of Cajuns serving in WW1 and 2 mirrored the rest of the country when the National Guard was nationalized and the draft got into high gear. There was nothing similar in Louisiana in relation to the opposition to conscription as it was in Quebec. However, many were rejected because they could neither speak nor read nor write not one word of the English language, but that's about all I've heard and read about. Those who were bilingual (especially the 156th Inf) were readily accepted, and those skills helped out a great deal in the ETO. Now, the Army in their infinite wisdom felt that other Louisiana National Guard units who were bilingual, figured that it was somehow necessary to deploy those units to the PTO.
     
  18. Ken The Kanuck

    Ken The Kanuck Member

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    I do not understand the reference to semantics????

    But it has a lot to do with National pride or rather the lack of it. Many Quebecois do not think that they should be Canadian and wish to create a new country 'Quebec'. Why would those who do not even want to be in a country wish to fight and die for it? Now on the other hand there is majority of Quebecois who do want to remain Canadians and take a great deal of pride in being Canadians and are willing to fight and die for our country.

    So I must respectfully disagree with you and suggest that national pride has indeed much to with it.

    KTK
     
    George Patton likes this.
  19. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    The conclusion that I deduce from my vantage point several thousand miles away is that over the years (of my lifespan, at least) there seems to be an annoyingly vocal minority in Quebec that marches up and down the street holding signs and demanding a separate nation and exclaiming that this is the majority view. Low and behold, when there finally is a referendum, we discover that this vocal group definitely lacks the support of Mr. Joe Average Québécois (or is Mon. Jacques Moyenne Québécois?)

    I wonder if the same issue clouded the war effort?
     
  20. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    They are referred to " Mssrs Boudreaux and or Thibadoux" here in Louisiana if that helps out any.
     

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