have a trained force in Canada big enough to form an army, and I do not think it is necessary, but I do think it is important to have men trained in the technique of training other men. I favour the training of men who desire to become soldiers, but I object to cadet training because I think it is wrong to instil military ideas in the youth of this country.
I beg to quote a short paragraph from the Quebec Chronicle of April 29, 1924.
The military authorities seem to forget that the war is over anid that cadres that were absolutely necessary in war time are now perfectly useless. The objects of a war force and a peace organisation are entirely different, for one is a fighting and the other an educational institution. It must be apparent that the ways anid means of achieving the desired end should be different if they are to be effective.
By cutting down the staffs, both at headquarters and in the districts, an economy of over $200,000 of pay and allowances could be made without hampering in any way the administration of the force. At the present time we are paying and keeping a staff sufficient to administer an army of 300,000 men in any continental military force.
The Quebec Chronicle does not know what it is talking about, for the percentage of officers to men has not changed for years. I quite agree with the criticism as regards pay, and that is one of the reasons why the vote is being reduced- we are reducing the pay of all men in the permanent force, from the higher ranks down to the private. I shall be very glad to give to Hansard a statement showing the change of pay which my hon. friend would desire to have.
I place myself on record against the action of the department in reducing the pay of the men in the permanent service. These men were enlisted at certain rates of pay for a certain period of time. Instead of living up to the contract the government is breaking faith with the men. It will be absolutely impossible to keep up a permanent force if this practice is continued. It would be altogether different if the reduction was applied to new enlistments, but, it is poor policy to cut the pay of men already engaged.
friend will see it in the list which I will give to Hansard. With regard to the suggestion of my hon. friend from Kingston (Mr. Ross) there are men in the service who came in at a low rate of pay, which later on was increased. We are merely reducing their pay which was increased.
I am anxious that the permanent force in Canada shall be in proper shape and I am desirous of encouraging military training. But the people of Canada to-day are being taxed as never before in their history and I felt it my duty to come to parliament with a reduced estimate. Accordingly I am asking parliament for $1,078,000 less than was asked last year. In order to make economies and save that million dollars we had to make some of these reductions.
I have no quarrel with the minister or the government in reducing the total amount, but what is the reason for increasing the pay of the higher ranks while decreasing that of the lower ranks, who are the real soldiers, who do the fighting and who, when war comes on, have the unpleasant task of going out and getting killed? The pay of the private soldier and of the lieutenant has been reduced by about 25 per cent by an order which will come into effect on the first of August, and the pay of the higher ranks has been increased up to about 25 per cent- in the case of the general up to about $1,300 a year.
My hon. friend is not correct in that. I have not been able, on account of parliamentary duties, to give close attention to all the details of this schedule. My direction to the officers of the department was that there should be a reduction of pay in order to meet this reduction of the estimates. I do not think there is any such inequality, but if there is I shall look into it.
Does the minister say that it is not correct that the pay and allowances of lieutenants and private soldiers has been reduced by order 89 now running in the Canada Gazette, and that the pay of officers above the rank of lieutenant has been increased?