Canada at War: THE DOMINION: Chaotic Compromise

The jampacked public galleries were sober and attentive. On the floor, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King and his new Defense Minister, General Andrew G. L. McNaughton, faced a tense House of Commons, summoned to hear the facts about the Army's reinforcements crisis (TIME, Nov. 27 et ante). The Prime Minister picked up a piece of paper. Loudly and clearly, head bobbing, he read an order-in-council.* The Government had decided to compel home-defense draftees ("zombies") to serve overseas.

Parliament and the country were stunned: Mr. King had suddenly abandoned his lifelong opposition to conscription. Only three days before, McNaughton had insisted...

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