July 18, 1924

CON
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

That is 135 graduates a year. It is a pretty good record, I think, for the college.

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CON

Arthur Edward Ross

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROSS (Kingston):

It is not altogether a military institution; it is not for the purpose of training for military service altogether. The students graduating from the military college now have the privilege of entering Canadian universities and they are doing so. But they have all had a military training so that at any time they are capable of serving as officers either in the Canadian forces or in the forces of the Old Country. Some hon. member said they did not go into

the Canadian force. A large number do. A great many of the artillery officers throughout this country are graduates of the military college.

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LAB

Joseph Tweed Shaw

Labour

Mr. SHAW:

I want to ask this question for information. (My hon. friend suggested that the graduates of this college go into Canadian universities. Do I understand that if a student graduates from the Royal Military College, I will say in engineering, he can go into one of the universities?

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CON
LAB
CON

Arthur Edward Ross

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROSS (Kingston):

The Military College graduate is allowed three years off the university training, that is his standing. Most of them take up scientific and engineering courses in the university and they get a three years' standing as a result of graduating from the military college. Now, I want to draw attention to a certain number of men who have graduated from this institution in order to show that they are not all going into military life and that the training has been of value to Canada. I went over a number of the names myself. First there is Colonel Bishop. He took up training in the flying corps, and to-day he is in charge of our aviation force. That is not altogether doing military work but it is going to do a great deal of work which this country will have to do if it is going to keep up. Flying is a work that is of great service in our forestry development and in many other ways.

There is another family, known as Carr-Harris, every boy of which has entered the military college and has graduated. There are doctors-and I want to draw the attention of the committee to this-there are missionaries and there are military men. There are members of that family in every walk in life.

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LIB
CON

Arthur Edward Ross

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROSS (Kingston):

No, they escaped

that affliction. There is Iieut.-Colonel Cassels -and this will be of some benefit to the hon. member for Hants (Mr. Martell)-who is a man who did get away from the ordinary work of the military college and who is a barrister and solicitor in Toronto. In the Great War there is no profession so marked as the legal profession. Many sons of lawyers and sons of judges took part in the Great War.

I do not think, of the outstanding graduates of the military college any one has brought so much credit to Canada as Sir Percy

Supply-Royal Military College

Girouard, the bridge builder. What is this man doing and what has he done? He is managing director, Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth Co., Ltd., Elswick Works, New-castle-on-Tyne, England; president, Armstrong Whitworth of Canada; director, Armstrong and A. J. Main, Glasgow. He began as a lieutenant in the Royal Engineers. He was traffic manager of the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich. He was director of railways in the Soudan expedition. He was president of the Egyptian State railway. He was director of railways in South Africa. He was Commissioner of Railways in the Transvaal and Orange River Colony. He was High Commissioner and Governor of Northern Nigeria. He was Governor of British East Africa. During the late war he was Director General of Munitions' Supplies.

Another graduate who is not in military life is Captain William Harty, who is to-day connected with the Canadian Locomotive Company at Kingston. He also served in France and he received not one, but two decorations.

Another name is that of Lieutenant-Colonel Kingsmill. Again this may give a little comfort to my hon. friend to know that, as a graduate of the military college, he afterwards was called to the bar.

Other names are Kirkpatrick and Lackie, Still another name that will appeal to many people in Canada is that of Colonel Leonard who had so much to do with maintaining industries in Canada. A name that is well known to the people of Montreal is that of Lieutenant-Colonel Bartlett McLennan, who was killed in action in France. Another name that has made Canada famous is that of General Nanton, a graduate of the military college.

These are only a few names that I have picked out, and I think they will serve to give she committee some idea of the development sf men, great men that Canada has produced and who have become famous through their training in connection with the military college. I did not take part in the discussion on the question of military service and training, but it is easy to get up and read a clipping out of the paper written by some man who has some particular object in view of calling "snobs" and talking about people going around with canes and so on. Every university has a certain amount of hazing; a military college is not the only one. Ladies' colleges have the same thing. The boys go through a certain amount of training, and those who come out of that training, who live to carry out the fMr. A. E. Ross.]

discipline, are men of some qualities, who have some stuff in them, and who Will become famous. I was at the military college a few weeks ago when the minister was there at the unveiling of a monument, and I listened to some of the remarks. One man-I do not

know who he was-came along and said to one of the officers of that institute: "Before I go away, I want to thank you for what you have done for my boy. I have two more boys and both are going through the military college." I am not going to justify anything in connection with the sarcasm that has been heaped upon the military college. I have given names that are worth a great deal to Canada of persons who have put Canada very high on the map as compared with other countries in the world. I am a believer in training. I am a believer even in the old military camps that we have had

11 p.m. and I have, perhaps, had more experience in the training of troops than any one else in this chamber. I have seen the results more than any one else, and I have a very different idea of what fitness means. I have seen in the first division men over sixty years of age who gave excellent service to this country. I have seen men who got through examinations with great disabilities and who performed many months of service in France. Therefore my idea of fitness differs from that of other men. My idea of fitness is the courage, the spirit and the will that is in a man, no matter what his age may be. If I were going to put down what fitness meant again, it would be the spirit, the courage, the willingness to serve. Rather than have members pour criticism upon this institution, I should like them to visit it, and I should be glad if the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail) would visit the military college at some time and go through it. Some day that she, I hope may have a boy, I trust she will be willing to see him in that institute rather than any other institute in Canada.

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PRO

Robert Gardiner

Progressive

Mr. GARDINER:

I do not know very

much about this military college and, therefore, I should like to get a little information from the minister, because we have received very little to-night. Are the expenses of students in this college met by the government? Do they enter the college after competitive examination? Once they have received this training and passed through the college, are they at the disposal of the country and do they enter the forces?

481b

Supply-Royal Military College

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

The government maintain the buildings, the quarters generally and the instructors, the same as any other institution is maintained. The students who enter do so wholly on the strength of competitive examination and there is no such thing as discrimination against any one no matter in what station of life he may be. The boy passes his entrance examination and whether he be t'he son of a poor man in any walk of life or a rich man's son he receives the same education. The poorest boy gets the same treatment as does the son of the wealthiest man in the land. The object of the institution is to teach the boys to be true men and there is no such idea as snobbery about it at all. And I can speak from personal acquaintance with some of the graduates. One, a contemporary of mine and a relative, attended the college thirty years ago and although he was a poor boy he received the excellent education and training which the college affords, and received it because he was able to pass his examination. He attained great distinction as an engineer and was employed in a very important capacity in connection with the construction of railways in the Andes in South America. And he is typical of the men who leave the institution. The boy who comes from any home in the country and can pass his examination receives a splendid education and a training which is calculated to fit him for his lifework.

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PRO
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

Yes; every boy has to pay his fees and pay for his board just the same as in any other institution. And as regards the utilization of the men who graduate from the college, any man who leaves the college is qualified to become and may become an officer in the militia; but no further demand is made upon him. In past years at various times graduates of the college have entered the English army by reason of some special distinction, and reference has been made to such men as Sir Percy Girouard, who was a great engineer and who in public life became governor of Nigeria. The record of the college is one of the most remarkable in the country and, as I say, its graduates include men from the humblest homes as well as from the mansion.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I should feel ashamed if I let this vote, and some of the comment which has been made upon the college, pass without a word on the question. I have given some attention to the character of training given at the military college. The purpose

as I have always conceived it has been to lay a foundation of training such as will primarily equip the lad for military service, should it become essential, but at the same time to use that period of training which necessarily must cover some years, to the best possible advantage to equip the lad generally for the work of the world. Military training is of course paramount, otherwise we should not be justified in entering the field of education at all, for that would be the work of the provinces. But from what I have observed, the training of the boys, and the central purpose is the most efficient and general training to make a man of him, is just about all that the fondest parent could desire. The arts education is naturally not quite so wide nor varied as it is in a university. In the classics there is virtually none; in the English classics the training is very fair; in French it is now better than it was, I think I should say it is very good; in the engineering phases of the education it is of course excellent. Speaking particularly of the mathematical branch I can say that the military college curriculum is well on a level with the honours mathematical work of our best universities. Indeed, it is little below the highest standard achieved by the best universities of Canada. Hon. gentlemen will see then that from the point of view of mental training the curriculum is excellently designed. I myself was surprised at the standard demanded particularly in mathematics.

Now, the main purpose to which all this converges is of course to develop in the lad those principles of conduct and that outlook on life and as well to develop that physical equipment which will form the foundation upon which he can serve his country should the necessity of service in the military field be demanded of him. If there is in a boy, when he goes to the college, anything of innate manliness that quality is going to come to the surface and be developed. And few there are who ever enter it who come out without such qualifications and such elements of manhood pre-eminent and manifest. The sense of discipline is impressed so indelibly that no one ever can lose it; and what is better still, the sense of honour is so implanted that he is bound to carry it through his life. So highly is the boy trained to realize the value of time and to realize what duty means that I can well conceive that the graduate of that college would be more in demand in the business world than perhaps the graduate of any other institution. I may say that the head of one of the

4814 COMMONS

Supply-Royal Military College

largest institutions in this Dominion told me some years ago, before I had any personal acquaintance with the institution, that there was always room in his organization for a graduate of the Royal Military College; they could always find room for him.

I have given an idea of what the college is for; and I do not see how any country can have a military organization at all unless there is some such institution as this. And because we have a military organization it is not to be assumed that we are looking for military trouble. I cannot get the attitude of mind of a man who, because he is convinced that he does not want any war, argues himself into the belief that he does not want any militia nor any fortification against war. And jusft as difficult is it for me to understand those who are continually saying-"Preparation for war has not avoided war, therefore why prepare?" Well, preparation against the burglar has not stopped burglary, but I do not hear anyone suggesting that we should abandon our police. I do not know of any country on earth which has not some preparations for its own defence and at least some preparations for maintaining the law of the land at home. Let me remind hon. gentlemen to my left, in all kindness, of this fact' There was in England many years ago a party which indulged in language very similar to what I hear from some hon. gentlemen to my left to-night, indulgence in very much the same class of argument and the same statement of principle as to what ought to prevail and what would prevail if they attained the reins of power. That party is now in office, and I notice one of their principal characteristics is a very frank acknowledgement that in all these things they were wrong, and I observe as well that when they come to face the realities of this world in posts of responsibility one of their greatest difficulties is to devise a course of conduct in this respect that is in the least degree distinguishable from that of all their predecessors of the ather parties.

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PRO
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Yes; and many a government before has reduced estimates. But you do not alter a principle by reducing estimates, and I venture to say that if they are there much longer, like every other government, they will be able to show they have increased the estimates, too, in just this respect. The best feature I can see in them is the frankness with which they acknowledge [Mr. Meighen.J

that in the irresponsible post of opposition, when they did not see realities face to face, they committed themselves to a course of conduct which later they found was entirely without defence. These things we have to realize, and I agree with the former Minister of Militia, the present Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham), that if every other dollar of all our military vote were cancelled-and I would vote against every cancellation myself- the last two votes to be done away with would be just the votes that have been most bitterly condemned in the debate to-night.

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Much as I wish to congratulate the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail) and to admire her courageous attitude, I am sorry that I have to differ from her in this case. If there is one agency for democratizing our Canadian army it is the Royal Military College. As' the Minister of Militia has said, boys from every walk of life on passing their examinations may enter the college, and when they complete their course they go into the army, and there they do much to destroy that feeling which, if I am to believe the hon. member for Centre Winnipeg (Mr. Woodsworth), exists,-that the officer class is a special class in this Dominion. Another reason is that graduates from the Royal Military College have done perhaps more than any other class of citizens to develop the country; in every great public undertaking there have been engineer graduates of the college. Anybody who is at all familiar with the construction of the Transcontinental railway will remember that in almost every survey party there was a graduate of the Royal Military College. So far the reason that they have helped to develop this country, and for the reason that, in the eloquent words of the right hon. leader of the opposition, the college turns out graduates to be men, strong men, noble men, and in every sense of the word but the snobbish sense gentlemen, I shall support the vote.

Amendment (Miss Macphail) negatived.

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Item agreed to. Transport and freight, $160,000.


PRO

Oliver Robert Gould

Progressive

Mr. GOULD:

Are the automobiles in the

various military districts kept for the use of the men at other times than when they are in training?

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

There is

one automobile at the disposal of the District Officer Commanding in each military district.

Supply-Naval Service

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July 18, 1924