M965.199.4455 | A Bachelor's Dilemma

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Drawing, cartoon
A Bachelor's Dilemma
John Collins
About 1944, 20th century
Ink, crayon and graphite on card
37.2 x 28 cm
Gift of Mr. John Collins - The Gazette
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Cartoon (19139) , Drawing (18637) , drawing (18379) , politics (10928)
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Keys to History

After a plebiscite in April 1942, the demand for conscription died down. However, in order to contribute to the war effort and get some experience in battle, Canadians took part in the invasion of Italy in 1943. By May 1944, the army had suffered much higher casualties than had been expected. As the planned date for the invasion of France approached, Prime Minister King once again felt pressure from supporters of Britain and the Commonwealth to institute conscription. At the same time, he felt pressure from nationalist forces in Quebec to continue with the voluntary system of enlistment in the armed forces.

  • What

    This John Collins cartoon shows Prime Minister Mackenzie King as a bachelor forced to choose between two women: Britannica, representing the British Empire, and a femme fatale, representing the Quebec nationalist vote, who offers him a "no-commitments" elixir against conscription.

  • Where

    Canadian casualties in Italy were high and more soldiers were needed. The Canadians experienced their biggest Italian engagement, and suffered their greatest casualties, at Ortona.

  • When

    The Canadians landed in Sicily on July 10, 1943, and on the Italian peninsula on September 3.

  • Who

    The Canadian army was chosen to join the British Eighth Army in the invasion of Italy.