June 14, 1929

BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT


Mr. C. E. FERLAND (Juliette) moved the first reading of Bill, No. 39S, (from the Senate) to amend the Bankruptcy Act as respects locality of a debtor. Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.


COMMUNICATION WITH SENATE


On the orders of the day:


LAB

Herbert Bealey Adshead

Labour

Mr. H. B. ADSHEAD (East Calgary):

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the government in the Senate apparently has complained that certain news was lost in transit between the

House of Commons and the Senate. Can the Prime Minister give us any information as to how it was lost?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

I aim afraid I have no

information. My hon. friend will have to judge for himself, as I will have to do.

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VISIT TO WASHINGTON OF PRIME MINISTER


On the orders of the day:


CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY (Argenteuil):

We are all very much interested in the persistent reports to the effect that the Prime Minister of Great Britain is likely bo visit Washington in the near future, and the suggestion has been made that the Prime Minister of Canada may be asked to be there at the same time. Since this is probably the last opportunity we will have to make such an inquiry, I would like the Prime Minister to say whether he has any information on the subject?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

This is another case in

which my hon. friend has just as much information as I have.

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DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE


The house in committee of supply, Mr. Johnston in the chair. Air services-Royal Canadian Air Force-further amount required, $250,000.


LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. J. L. RALSTON (Minister of National Defence):

This amount is required to make

preparation and do preliminary work in connection with a permanent combined land and seaplane training station. As the committee knows, Camp Borden was used as a concentration camp in 1916; later it was used by the imperial munitions board for a time and then was repurchased by the department and has been in use more or less temporarily as an air force training camp since about 1920. Frome time to time representations have been made that Camp Borden was not satisfactory even for the purpose of land plane training, and it has been found very necessary to increase seaplane training, particularly in view of the very large amount of work we do in this country which requires seaplanes. It is felt that a double overhead should be done away with as soon as possible and that the department should have a combined station. A large number of sites have been examined and, as I said the other day, it would seem as though Trenton is the most- desirable site to be found so far. I could go into much greater detail if the committee desired, but

Supply-National Defence

this vote is for the purpose of commencing the construction and development of a combined station.

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CON

William Ernest Tummon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TUMMON:

The minister madie this

announcement the other day on another item and I think he intimated that the matter might be discussed when this vote came up. Needless to say, I am very much pleased that the department has decided on the bay of Quinte as the place where this camp will be located. This question of the establishment of a camp for the Royal Canadian Air Force for both land planes and seaplanes, along the bay of Quinte, has been discussed for many years in that distract. For some time it was expected that Camp Mohawk, a few miles west of Deseronto, would 'be selected. This camp was operated quite extensively by the Imperial government during the war and was looked upon as a very excellent camp. The people of that district expected the camp to be established there, particularly in view of the fact that in the report of the Department of National Defence for 1926, under the heading, "No. 1 Flying Station, Camp Rord'en" the following appeared:

The air station at Camp Borden, at present in use. is that which was built during the war by the Imperial Munitions Board as a training station for the R.A.F. units recruited in Canada. The station, though admirably suitable for flying operations on a large scale, is too large for the present establishment of the R.C.A.F. Maintenance charges in general are altogether disproportionate to the present strength of the R.C.A.F. The camp is, as well, isolated and difficult of access. For these reasons it is hoped that accommodation, on a more suitable scale, involving smaller maintenance charges, may be made available at an early date for thp training of the R.C.A.F.

With this in view, an excellent site has been surveyed at Deseronto for a joint seaplane and aeroplane base, and it is hoped that funds may be made available for the construction of the necessary buildings in the near future.

Naturally there was considerable disappointment at Deseronto when it was learned that another location had been decided upon. I would like to ask the minister if he would make a statement as to the considerations which contributed to the making of this choice.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

If the committee will permit me to say so, I think it would be undesirable at this time to put on record the factors which were considered in respect to something like thirty different places which have been examined. The reports are confidential and perhaps it would not be in the best interests of the service to have these matters spread on the record; the towns themselves might prefer that they should not be. A deputation from Deseronto

I Mr. Ralston.]

recently interviewed me and asked that the proposal in regard to Trenton be reconsidered. Deseronto had been under consideration and in 1926 it was thought to be the best site, but after that time Trenton came into the picture and a thorough examination was made of that site. I wanted Deseronto to feel that their claim had been thoroughly considered and I told them that our one object was -to obtain a location which was most suitable to the service, having regard to the many factors which had to be considered. I told them that Trenton had been selected after a full investigation by responsible technical officers, and I could not hold out any hope that any change would be made. In order that the citizens of Deseronto might be assured that every angle of the matter had been studied, I offered to have the relative facilities, the advantages and disadvantages of the two localities checked up again in order that no paramount feature in favour of Deseronto might be overlooked.

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CON

Alfred Burke Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON:

Would the minister

advise the committee as to the amount which has been expended upon Camp Borden, and the amount which it is calculated will be necessary to expend upon the new camp at Trenton?

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Camp Borden was a

concentration camp in 1916, and 40,000 men were quartered there, while the proposed camp will have a capacity of 500 men. The committee will see that a comparison between costs of a camp for 40,000 and one for 500 would not be a fair one. We have made a careful estimate of the existing facilities at Camp Borden, outside of the land itself, and have arrived at the conclusion that notwithstanding the cost the buildings and plant would represent only a valuation of $234,000 for the purpose of being usefully utilized in connection with the development of a permanent station at that camp. Outside of that, the total expenditure at Camp Borden could be regarded as an expenditure for a military concentration camp for war purposes, and not for aviation in time of peace. The amount which was paid for Camp Borden in connection with aviation was $375,000, which was paid to the imperial munitions board at the time the buildings were taken over on a 25 per cent basis.

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CON

Alfred Burke Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON:

What has been the

total cost of the camp to date?

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I will give my hon.

friend the construction items. Since that $375,000 was spent, the air board has spent $37,000 on construction.-I will give my hon.

Supply-National Dejence

friend the round figures-then the air force spent $60,000 and the Canadian corr3 of signallers spent $14,000. The air ooard has spent on maintenance $110,000, the air force $175,000 and the corps of signallers, $20,000. The actual capital expenditure since that time has therefore been $111,000, bemuse my hon. friend will understand that the items for maintenance do not enter into the calculation because they are annual expenditures which would be required in any event.

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CON

Alfred Burke Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON:

What did it cost the government before that?

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June 14, 1929