February 14, 1933

CON

Donald Matheson Sutherland (Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

The hon. gentleman is an older parliamentarian than I am; possibly he can suggest some way.

Mr. CA8GRAIN: Make a motion.

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CON

Donald Matheson Sutherland (Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

The item is down $60,000. The principal reason for that is that during this year a number of cadet units have ceased to function, consequently we do not need that money.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I do not wish on this occasion to repeat what I have said on a number of previous occasions, because I do not think any good purpose is served by so doing. But I wish to protest on behalf of my own group and the people I represent against a continuance of this grant for cadets. It seems to me that for several reasons it is not necessary. At this particular time when there is very great need for food and clothing on the part of large numbers of people, when there are very great expenditures that should be made to meet the exigencies of the present depression, it is foolish to spend these large amounts on cadet practice. Further than that, we as a nation have declared our re-

nunciation of war as an instrument of national policy, yet we are deliberately maintaining policies of national defence. Our army and navy would not be so bad in themselves- we all recognize that they are not as expensive as are the armaments of some European countries-nevertheless they are a standing evidence of our suspicion of other nations, of the fact that we ourselves have not thoroughly agreed to give up war, that we expect that one of these days we may be forced to use these arms of the military and naval service. But more particularly I object to this grant to the cadets, because we proceed to teach the boys the use of force. Some people have been greatly exercised because there are certain people in our community who believe in the use of force in connection with class struggles. But I would point out to them that so long as the use of force is taught for the settlement of international questions there are many who will adopt the very logical conclusion that if it is necessary for the settlement of international disputes it may very well be adopted for the settlement of class disputes; and we are indoctrinating our boys in this way. I protest against it.

There is another point that I have urged before-I merely mention it again-I think this participation in the work of our schools is an invansion of our provincial rights. We have been told again and again that we ought not to contribute an3'thing to the provinces for the promotion of peace, yet in this case we contribute to and almost force upon the provinces grants for what is, in my opinion, the promotion of war. I know some take objection to that and say it is not for that purpose, but if it is not for that it is a waste of money. It does in effect promote war ideals among our boys. I personally object to it, and I think there is a growing body of public opinion across the country that objects to it. It seems to me we should give notice to the minister that we do not expect that this vote will be continued.

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LAB

Humphrey Mitchell

Labour

Mr. MITCHELL:

Recently the city of

Toronto abolished cadet training. The observation was made, although not officially, that intimation had been given by the government that they were going to cut off the grant for cadet training. Is this to be the policy of the government in connection with future estimates?

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CON

Donald Matheson Sutherland (Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

As the result of a

cut in the estimates several years ago, no grant for clothing is made. No change is contemplated, although, as the hon. gentleman has said, the city of Toronto has discontinued its cadet corps and the vote next year will

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not need to be as large. The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woods-worth) has spoken several times on this subject, but as yet he has not convinced me, and I do not think he has convinced the members of the committee, that the cadets are a military body. All that the cadet teachers seek to do is to instil discipline and cooperation, and it seems to me that at this time more than any other we should continue to do this work. Lack of discipline is largely accountable for some of our present difficulties.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

The city of Winnipeg has a system of physical training for both boys and girls which is, I believe, far superior to that given in the cadet corps.

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LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

As the government is now considering ways and means of saving money; as it is cutting down the wages of men who have families to keep, does not this vote, apart from all other considerations, afford an opportunity to effect a saving?

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CON

Donald Matheson Sutherland (Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

The amount of this vote is committed before the beginning of the school year which closes this coming June, and there is nothing that can be done about it.

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LIB
CON

Donald Matheson Sutherland (Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

The cadets are furnished with a limited number of 22 rifles.

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LIB

Frederick William Gershaw

Liberal

Mr. GERSHAW:

Is the shooting supervised by the ordinary teachers in the schools or by special officers?

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CON

Donald Matheson Sutherland (Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

If this work is carried on by a member of the school staff he is given a course to familiarize himself with the subject; if it is carried on by a member of the permanent force, of course that would be part of his training. No instruction is given by anyone not qualified to do so.

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

How much will be saved next year because Toronto has decided not to continue cadet training in the public schools?

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CON

Donald Matheson Sutherland (Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

I could not give the exact amount, but undoubtedly there will be a considerable saving.

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

Does the minister mean to say that the total amount of this vote has been expended already?

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CON

Donald Matheson Sutherland (Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Substantially it will have been expended by the end of the school year in June.

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

If that is so, how can the thing be stopped? Must it be stopped on the initiative of the schools, as was done in 53719-133J

Toronto? Apparently on cadets we are always voting money which has been spent already. What would the minister recommend in this connection?

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CON

Donald Matheson Sutherland (Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

This has been the procedure for the past few years. As we know, the school year differs from the fiscal year, and this method was adopted some time ago as being the only one suitable to carry on this work.

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IND

Angus MacInnis

Independent Labour

Mr. MacINNIS:

I think the deletion of this vote would meet with the approval of the country. Although the total amount is not very large, it would be a worth-while saving. Those who advocate cadet training do not do so upon the ground of discipline, they advocate it as a sort of physical drill. There is another point which I think should be drawn to the attention of the minister and the committee. This year the matter of the continuance of cadet training in the public and high schools was discussed by the Vancouver school board. The management committee before which the matter was first discussed decided that cadet training should be discontinued, but when the question came before the school board one of the trustees claimed that as this training was not costing the citizens anything, there was no reason why it should not be continued. That feeling is prevalent among school trustees; this is not a direct taxation upon the ratepayers of the particular municipality, consequently they assume that it does not cost anything. They do not realize that even though it comes from the Dominion government, it is a tax which must be paid. I believe that cadet training could be ve>ry well discontinued and a physical drill of some sort substituted; it would be better for all .purposes.

Mr. LaVERGNE : I hope the minister sees fit to continue a vote next year for cadet training, at least in the province of Quebec. We have more cadets in that province than in all the other provinces put together, and this year we carried off the trophy offered by the Governor General. I should like to know just why the members in the far comer object to the cadet movement. Is it because these boys wear a uniform and carry a rifle? Is it because they are taught to recognize their duty to their king and country? Is it because they are being taught discipline? One hon. member said a moment ago that the cadet movement has been dispensed with in Toronto, and I am sure the hon. members from Toronto have listened with sorrow to what has been said about their good city. Probably it is that same spirit of which the Minister of Justice (Mr. Guthrie) spoke some time ago, that has

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caused the discontinuance of the cadet movement in the city of Toronto. We in Quebec have recognized our duty to (Canada for more than three centuries and we claim that our youth must be educated not to live in a false paradise but to be prepared to serve some day in defence of their country. We are not afraid that the military spirit will be inculcated into the youth of our province; on the contrary we hope that the government will continue to vote this item and foster the cadet movement so that it may grow instead of diminish, to the betterment to the youth of Canada and probably for the safety of Canada. Speaking as a Canadian of nine generations, I a

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

I have spoken so often against cadet training I do not think there is any use in repeating my arguments over and over again. If any hon. member wishes to know them, he can read them in Hansard. I am opposed to oadet training for various reasons. I am not, however, opposed to discipline if it is self-discipline. Everyone needs discipline, but if it is going to be of any real use, it must be the discipline of the individual over himself, and that is very different from regimentation. We have in this country altogether too much discipline of the sort that is not self-discipline but is the falling into rank. We have an educational system that is altogether too rigid, it does not encourage thinking-indeed discourages it -and cadet training carries this automatic system just one step further. I do not think it is any good from the point of view of military training; I cannot imagine what use it is from a military standpoint to have small boys or, at any rate, public school children lined up with rifles and wearing uniforms, except that it gives them certain thought forms, militarizes the spirit, but as regards training them to be soldiers, it is nonsensical, has no point. We need the money for the feeding of children of about the size of those on whom we are putting uniforms and to whom we are giving rifles. It would be much more sensible if this year we spent the money for food, clothing and medical and dental care of children rather than for cadet training. The fact that we are passing through the economic difficulties of which we are now in the midst is a strong additional argument against cadet training in both public and high schools, but particularly in the former. When the city of Toronto has come to realize

that cadet training is ridiculous, that is the last thing 'that need be said about it. I believe Quebec is now likely to follow the good example set by Toronto. It is only in the last half dozen years that Quebec has taken an interest in cadet training and the number of cadets there has increased. In my opinion the reason is that the money being spent is federal.

Mr. LaVERGNE: Oh, no.

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February 14, 1933