April 18, 1918

UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

There was in the memorandum alluded to a statement as to the expenditure during that particular year.

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L LIB

Thomas Vien

Laurier Liberal

Mr. VIEN:

I understand the Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. A. K. Maclean) told us the other day that he expected the fourth volume of the Auditor General's Report to be available in a few days, or, at least, that he could tell us shortly when it would be available. Can the minister tell us now when we may expect the fourth volume which contains a great deal of information and details as to the expenditure? Tho House will not find our inquiries too ex-

tended or obnoxious, because $500,000,000 was voted last year and have been expended, and as insufficient reports have been laid on the Table of the House, I think our inquiry is justified.

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UNION

Alexander Kenneth Maclean (Minister Without Portfolio)

Unionist

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

I quite agree that the hon. gentleman's demands are proper. I am sorry I cannot give him any further information this evening, but I shall do so to-morrow afternoon.

Mr. JOS. READ: I just want to draw the attention of hon. gentlemen opposite to the very great danger to which they have been exposing the Empire by not sticking to the truth, especially in those publications. Take for instance, that publication that is still under discussion. In that sheet which my hon. friends had circulating amongst our boys, it was stated that if Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the right hon. leader of the Opposition, won the election, it would mean that Canada intended to quit. Did ever any hon. gentleman opposite think of what moral effect such a statement would produce not only upon our boys at the front, but upon the Imperial forces? Supposing Sir Wilfrid Laurier had won the election, what a state those people would have been in. Hon. members opposite must remember that the morale of an army is of as much importance as its ability to fight, and yet at the risk of lowering the morale of our army, my hon. friends, in order to win the election, go to the extreme method of publishing an absolute falsehood. My hon. friends want to be careful what they do.

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L LIB

Thomas Vien

Laurier Liberal

Mr. VIEN:

I would suggest to the Prime Minister that in view of the fact that we have not the fourth volume of the Auditor General's Report, and in view of the fact that the report of the Military Service Council was distributed only to-day, the consideration of the clause under discussion should be postponed until another day, and that the committee should rise and report progress. There is not immediate urgency, and we shall not by any means unfairly delay the discussion of these matters, but it is only fair that, before the title of the Bill is carried, we should he put in possession of the documents and details.

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UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I do not quite see the relevancy of the report of the Military Service Council to the appropriation under discussion. The report of the Militia Council, I am informed, was laid upon the table of the House about a week ago. Perhaps my hon. friend is confusing the one with the other. There are

two distinct reports. One is the report of the Militia Council, which does contain a great deal of information relative to the appropriation that is now being asked for. The other is the report of the Military Service Council, an absolutely different thing, which has to do with the enforcement of the Military Service Act. According to my apprehension, that has very little relation to the appropriation that is now being asked for. I was not aware that the fourth volume of the Auditor General's Report -was not brought down. If the fourth volume contains his report respecting the Department of Militia and Defence, that, of course, is very relevant to the subject under discussion.

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L LIB

Thomas Vien

Laurier Liberal

Mr. VIEN:

It contains all the expenditure overseas, and especially the latest expenditure. The expenditure made by the Military Service Council comes under the War Appropriation Act.

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UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I know it does,

but the report deals with methods, not with expenditures, and therefore, notwithstanding the suggestion of my hon. friend, I venture to impress upon him that it really has very little relation to this appropriation. The other two reports which he has mentioned have very direct relation to the appropriation.

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L LIB

Thomas Vien

Laurier Liberal

Mr. VIEN:

In view of the fact that the fourth volume of the Auditor General's Report, containing important details and information, is not available, I would suggest that the committee rise and report progress.

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UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

We had better pass this section. We have been at it for two days, and as it consists of only one line, if we should take as much time for every other line in the Bill, we would get through with this appropriation by next September. I hope we shall get through a little earlier than that. I should like to say further that when my hon. friend suggests there is not some urgency about this matter, he is not thoroughly well advised. Since the 31st day of March, we have not had any money to carry on this war, and while it is perfectly true, I suppose, that bills and accounts have not yet come in to any great extent, we may expect them to come in very soon, and until this measure is passed, there will be no money with which to meet them. Therefore, while I do not desire in any way to restrict discussion, but rather to invite it, I hope hon. gentlemen will not be under the impression that there is no urgency in connection with this measure.

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L LIB

Georges Parent

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PARENT:

Will the Minister of Militia be good enough to tell the committee what procedure must be taken to enter the Royal Fiying Corps?

Major-General MEWBURN: Applications are made to the Officer Commanding the Royal Flying Corps in the Royal Bank Building, Toronto. General Hoare is the Officer Commanding, and when he is travelling between Texas and the Canadian camps, applications may be made to. the Officer Commanding the Royal Flying Corps at Toronto, where the headquarters is.

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L LIB

Georges Parent

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PARENT:

My reason for mentioning this matter to the minister is that I have had occasion to hear of a couple of cases of young men in the city of Quebec who wanted to apply for a commission in* that particular corps and who were not able to succeed for one reason or another. The men are fully qualified in the way of education, physical capacity and so on.

Major-General MEWBURN: The Royal Flying Corps is not under our jurisdiction; it is under the Imperial War Department. They have their head office at Toronto. They have several camps in this country; they will be opening up at Camp Borden next month or probably the end of this month. If the hon. member finds any difficulty in getting information, I shall be glad to give him all information possible.

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L LIB

Georges Parent

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PARENT:

Has the minister nothing tc do with the corps?

Major-General MEWBURN: Nothing

whatever. The appointments are all made through the officers of the Flying Corps around here.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

To my personal knowledge the -branch of the Aviation Corps in Montreal is- under the charge of Mr. Light-all, and he has done excellent work in Montreal. I have sent many young men to him myself, and after examination at his office, where an Imperial officer is present, these young men are enlisted. I was surprised to see how rapidly it could be done.

Major-General MEWBURN: I presume

my hon. friend is referring to young men who want a commission in the Flying Corps. The Flying Corps have offices all over the country-in Montreal, in the West, and in. the United States-and applications are received through any of these offices. I was speaking of the headquarters of the Flying Corps in Toronto.

59J

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UNION

Samuel Hughes

Unionist

Sir SAM HUGHES:

I would suggest that the minister get some of his officers to ascertain just where these offices are, and have the information published in the newspapers so that these young men would know where to apply.

Major-General MEWBURN: We pass

these applications right along.

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UNION
L LIB

Georges Parent

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PARENT:

I think the minister said the Government had nothing to do with the Royal Flying Corps, but I find on page- 61 of Memorandum No. 3 that the flying officers are paid at the rate of ?6-I do not know whether that is per day or not-and an allowance. Apparently this money is paid by the country, so the Government must have something to do with the Royal Flying Corps.

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UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

The hon. gentleman probably did not hear the explanation which I made. There was some allowance made by this country to officers who went into the Flying Corps and lost pay on that account.

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L LIB

Georges Parent

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PARENT:

My only object in bringing forward this matter is to facilitate the enlisting of men in the Flying Corps. For some reason at the present time there is a great deal of red tape to. be gone through. I think if the minister would look into this matter it would help considerably.

Major-General MEWBURN: I shall do

so with pleasure. I know the Flying Corps are only too glad to get recruits, and I am surprised to hear there is any red tape in the matter. .

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L LIB

Lucien Cannon

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

I asked the Prime Minister some time ago to state the reasons why the Ross rifle factory was closed. I do not know whether he forgot about the subject.

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UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I certainly could not have forgotten about it, because I gave the reasons, but .perhaps my hon. friend did not hear them. I explained that the Ross rifle was not now used, that the men were armed with another rifle, and therefore it would not be in the public interest to continue manufacturing the .Ross rifle.

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April 18, 1918