June 4, 1929

LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I think six or seven of them are completed, but the Vimy memorial

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is not finished and one can hardly guess at the time when it will be completed. I believe it will be at least two or three years. My hon. friend will understand that that is the outstanding Canadian memorial on the other side; the others are comparatively small memorials at some six or seven important points on the battlefields.

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UFA

Henry Elvins Spencer

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPENCER:

What arrangement is being made to keep the grounds around these memorials in condition?

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

The Memorial War Graves Commission which has done such excellent work in connection with the maintenance of the cemeteries are making arrangements with us to do the same sort of work in connection with the memorials.

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CON

Lewis Wilkieson Johnstone

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. JOHNSTONE:

What amount is included for Louisburg?

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

That would not come under this item.

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Item agreed to. To provide for legal expenses, etc., re-action in connection with regulation of aerial navigation, $13,000.


UFA

Henry Elvins Spencer

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPENCER:

Does not the department employ iegal men to look after these things?

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

This is a reference which was mentioned this afternoon to decide regarding the provincial and federal jurisdiction.

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Item agreed to. Nation Defence-salaries, $764,875; contingencies, $70,000.


CON

John Arthur Clark

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARK:

Does this item include any increases other than the increase granted to the deputy minister?

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

There are no increases in salary at all but there are fourteen new positions in connection with the civil air service.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Do they come under the Civil Service Commission?

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LIB
CON

John Arthur Clark

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARK:

There is an increase in the deputy minister's salary?

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LIB
CON
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

A number of increases

were granted in connection with different departments, as the government felt that the time had come when the deputy ministers should be better provided for. The Deputy Minister of National Defence has to handle the militia branch, the naval branch, the 78594-2061

military air branch and the civil air branch. In view of his professional qualifications as an engineer, and his long service, experience and efficiency, speaking as minister and head of the department I felt quite justified in recommending the increase.

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CON

John Arthur Clark

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GLARK:

What is the salary of the

chief of general staff?

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LIB
CON

John Arthur Clark

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARK:

I am opposed to this increase, first, on the general ground of increases to any deputy minister at this time. We have in this country numerous civil servants who are not being paid a living wage, whose requests have been advanced at various times during the present session on this side of the house. I see nothing in the supplementary estimates for any increase to the postal workers, who are being paid salaries under $100 a -month. It is quite clear from the statements issued by the government that these men are not being paid a living wage according to the standards of government departments; consequently I am opposed to an increase in salary to any deputy minister at this time. I am opposed to an increase to this particular one for very different reasons. First, the men who have occupied the position of chief of general staff are considered the most experienced that the country can find for technical purposes and are supposed to be (he most highly trained men we have. For instance, since the war we have had Sir Arthur Currie who, for all practical purposes was chief of staff although perhaps he did not actually occupy the position; and since then we have had General Burstall, General Ma-cBrien, General Thackeray. This country apparently cannot afford to retain in its service men like General MacBrien. If we cannot afford to pay men like that $10,000 a year, we cannot afford to pay a deputy minister $10,000 a year. I am therefore opposed to the payment of any salary such as this to a deputy minister so long as we are unable to pay our civil servants living wages, or to pay men of the experience, for instance, of General MacBrien a salary equal to that now proposed.

I am further opposed to this increase, because in this department we have many soldiers who receive low pay and also we have civilians who are absorbing a very large percentage of the total National Defence estimates. We have not yet received the exact amount that civilians in this department are getting, but this afternoon the minister gave a rough estimate of $2,500,000 which he said later on was, perhaps, too high. In any case, civilians in the Department of National

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Defence are receiving salaries which are approximately equal to the total upkeep of the non-permanent active forces. Under these circumstances I am opposed to any increase in this vote.

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June 4, 1929