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84   DAYS OF PREPARATION

Bennett resigned in his turn, and on September f2Oth, 1917, he referred in the House of Commons to his work as Director-General of National Service, in the following terms:

"At the initial meeting . . . a resolution was passed that a man-power inventory should be taken and that the signing of cards which were sent out should be compulsory, and that a penalty should be provided for their not being signed. The resolution, which was passed before Sir Thomas Tait resigned, was very explicit upon that point. Those in authority, however, thought that could not be done, and we were compelled to endeavour as best we could to create an atmosphere sufficient to induce the people voluntarily to sign the cards. In order to create that atmosphere, letters were sent to members of Parliament, senators, members of the local legislatures, labour unions, clergymen, boards of trade, fraternal organizations and practically 150,000 representative men throughout the country. Public meetings were held, advertisements were inserted in the newspapers and the first week of the year was proclaimed National Service Week. It is only fair to say that the response was much better than might have been reasonably expected, and no one would hesitate to describe, except in the warmest terms, the spirit of co-operation and sympathy displayed by all those who were appealed to at this time. The result was that, by this voluntary effort, a very large number of cards were signed and returned. I ventured to point out at that time in public addresses, that this was the last great voluntary effort on the part of the Government, and that the response as I have said was everything that could be expected. The time for filling in cards was extended, but no penalty was provided, and the Government did not think it advisable to make it obligatory to complete the cards. It is highly important, nay, absolutely necessary that there should be at all times created and maintained in this country a proper atmosphere in relation to this great


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