June 4, 1929

LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

May I ask the minister how many generals there are in his department? I memember some years ago there were twenty-three generals employed in the Department of National Defence for something like 3,000 men. In time of war one general was considered enough for a whole brigade, which was a little over 3,000 men, but in time of peace we had twenty-three generals on our payroll. I have never been able to find out just what they did. With reference to the remarks of the hon. member for Vancouver-Burrard, I do not wish to defend this department or any department which has increased the salaries of the deputies; but may I point out to my hon. friend that after all the chief of Staff is really a subordinate officer to the deputy minister?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP NATIONAL DEFENCE
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CON
LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I may be wrong. If I am,

I am subject to correction, but my impression i3 that the deputy minister is the head of the department and, after all, the chief of staff is employed in that department, no matter what you call him or how much gold braid you put on him. The duties of the chief of staff are confined to one thing; they are duties of a military character.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP NATIONAL DEFENCE
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CON
LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

, The department has to deal with a number of things. Among others it tries to run a navy.

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CON
?

Mr. POWTER@

At any rate, it tries to

train naval cadets. It has a volunteer naval reserve. The deputy minister looks after all that. It is going into the development of aviation. I am not aware that the chief of staff would have anything to do with civil aviation whatever business he might have to superintend in connection with military aviation. Therefore, under the circumstances, not that I am prepared to say that any deputy minister or even that the deputy minister of this department is entitled to a salary of 810,000, I would say that he was entitled to more salary than the chief of staff.

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

Would the hon. member move an amendment to that effect?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Well, he is getting it, is he not? I cannot move an amendment to give him what he is getting. fMr. Clark.]

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

The committee will not

expect me to enter into a discussion of the comparative values of the various officers whom my hon. friend has mentioned. I do not yield to anybody in my admiration of an3f of the officers of whom he has spoken. At the present time General McNaughton is occupying the position of chief of general staff and is receiving a salary of $8,000 a year. I know my hon. friend will not for a single moment criticize General McNaughton's capacity or ability to do that work.

My hon. friend has brought up the question of civilians two or three times, and I do not quite agree with him on the information I get. My information is that if all the civilians in the department were replaced by military personnel, the increase would be very considerable. I have verified that to some extent and I think I am right; I think also that some of the military members of the staff agree with me. I do not know where the hon. member for Quebec South got the number of twenty-three generals. At headquarters in 1922, we had twelve, and in 1929 there are three.

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Item agreed to. Progress reported. At eleven o'clock the house adjourned without question put, pursuant to standing order. Wednesday, June 5, 1929


June 4, 1929