February 14, 1933

CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

If I had thought this matter would engage the attention of the committee I would have brought tihe necessary documents with me, although I would have expected that the hon. gentleman would be familiar with the so-called1 Strathcona trust with respect to cadets. The officials have been

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able to furnish me with the constitution of the Strathcona trust for the encouragement of physical training and military drill in public schools. It reads:

The following shall be the officers of the trust:-

Patron-His Excellency the Governor General of Canada.

Vice-Patron-The Right Honourable Sir

Wilfrid Laurier, G.C.M.G., Premier.

President-The Honourable Sir F. W. Borden, K.C.M.G., or the Minister of Militia for the time being.

Vice-Presidents-The minister in charge of education in each province in the dominion which shall have notified its adhesion to the arrangements regarding physical training and military drill in public schools, sanctioned by orders in council of August 13, 1908.

Executive Council'-[DOT]

. (a) The Minister of Militia and Defence for the time being, chairman.

(b) The members of the militia council for the time being.

(c) Two representatives to be named by the minister in charge of education in Ontario. Two representatives to be named by the minister in charge of education in Quebec. One representative to be named by the ministers in charge of education in each of the remaining provinces.

Subject to the condition that the province represented must have notified its adhesion to the arrangements regarding physical training and military drill in public schools sanctioned by orders in council of August 13, 1908.

(d) The military officers commanding commands and independent districts in Canada. With a secretary to be detailed by the chairman from the staff of the Department of Militia and Defence.

The trust is to be administered in the manner set forth in .paragraph 2. Paragraph 3 provides for rules and regulations and the constituting of a local committee for each province. Section 4 reads:

The local committees shall be charged with-

(a) Ensuring that the means of instruction in physical and military training are available for both teachers and pupils, where required.

(b) Division of the province into convenient districts for purposes of supervision and competition.

(c) Arranging details of the training to be given, so as to suit local conditions.

(d) The arrangement of competitions and inspections, and allotment of rewards, in accordance with the general instructions of the executive council.

Paragraph 5 reads:

The following are the general principles in accordance with which the trust shall be administered.

(a) His object being not only to improve the physical and intellectual capabilities of the children, by inculcating habits of alertness, orderliness and prompt obedience, but also to bring up the boys to patriotism, and to a realization that the first duty of a free citizen is to be prepared to defend his country, the intention of the founder is that, while physical training and elementary drill should be encouraged

for all children of both sexes attending public schools, especial importance is to be attached to the teaching of military drill generally to all boys, including rifle shooting for boys capable of using rifles. All boys should so far as possible be made to acquire a fair acquaintance while at school, with military drill and rifle shooting.

Then follows an extract from a letter from the Right Hon. Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal to the Hon. Sir F. W. Borden, K.C.M.G., Minister of Militia and Defence, dated April 17, 1909, reading:

It is not my desire to make any alteration in the trust deed, as formulated by you.

Order in council, P.C. 1766, dated August 13, 1908, reads in part as follows:

The Minister of Militia and Defence submits the following synopsis of proposals entered into between the educational authorities of the province of Nova Scotia and himself respecting physical training and military drill in all public schools of that province.

Then follows substantially a reproduction of what I have read already. That trust, I believe, is still being carried out under the arrangement provided for in the trust deed itself.

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CON
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Half a million dollars.

The note handed to me by the officials of the department reads as follows:

It will be seen that the original amounts placed wtih the Receiver General by Lord Strathcona were $300,009 and $200,000, respectively; and that these amounts may be withdrawn at the wish of the trustees only. These amounts have not been withdrawn to date.

The interest on this $500,000 fund is placed by the Receiver General to the credit of the trustees in an interest-bearing account at the Bank of Montreal, Wellington and O'Connor streets, in half-yearly instalments of $10,000 each, on or about May 15 and November 15 of each year.

The amount of the interest, $20,000, is distributed annually to the provinces on the basis of the number of school attendants as furnished by the department of education of each province.

The interest earned on the deposits of $10,000 half-yearly at the Bank of Montreal is used for expenses of the trustees, such as printing, postage, et cetera.

I merely mention the trust deed as I was dealing with the point raised by the right hon. gentleman. I am not able from memory to say whether the dominion would be in a position to approach the provinces, or whether, 'having regard to the terms of the existing arrangements, the approach would have to be made by the discontinuance of the grants for cadet services by the school district either in the municipalities or through the province

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itself; for the Strathcona trust, as will be observed, is dealt with by the education authorities in all the provinces. But my memory is that the local advisory committee deals with the matter from the standpoint of the school districts or the board of education in the municipalities affected. My memory, for what it may be worth-and I do not pledge it as being accurate in the matter- is that until such time as the school authorities withdraw from it, the dominion would be bound to give effect to the arrangement under which we pay a certain proportion of the money thus expended. That is my recollection of the situation, but I would have to satisfy .myself as to its accuracy, and I regret I am not in a position to give any further information to the right hon. gentleman. I do not, however, think we are in a position to say we shall not do so and so with respect to expenditure, but the option rests with the school authorities and not with us, and if they persist-I shall use that word-in carrying on the services, we are bound by and could not in decency and honour withdraw from the obligation which we deliberately accepted. The option does not rest with us to say to them: We shall not pay. But if they make their arrangement and carry on for a time and then decide to discontinue it, we can also discontinue it. Toronto, the hon. gentleman stated, and certainly Calgary, said that they exercised their option and would no longer maintain the service, the automatic result being that the dominion was not called upon to make grants.

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CON

Albert Joseph Brown

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROWN:

It is quite evident from

the statement read by the Prime Minister that notwithstanding what the Minister of National Defence said, it is military training for which provision is made.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

No; for both sexes.

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CON

Albert Joseph Brown

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROWN:

But special reference was

made to young men, and military training is distinctly mentioned in more than one place. So that the Minister of National Defence is entirely wrong in his statement that this does not provide for military training.

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LIB
PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

Would the Minister

of National Defence mind reconciling before the committee the two positions taken tonight: that taken by the Strathcona trust, which definitely states that it is military training, and that taken by the Minister of National Defence, that cadet training is not military?

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CON

Donald Matheson Sutherland (Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Undoubtedly in the cadet work there are drills used that are in the military book; you cannot get away from that, as I have already tried to make clear. Whatever the idea was that Lord Strathcona had in mind, I know how the movement has been administered during the last number of years, not only during my incumbency in office, but also during the last regime. There was no idea on the part of either government of inculcating militarism in the minds of those boys. I am just as firm in that now as I was before. I may say that the department realized last year the difficulty and since last March no new units have been authorized. This is carrying out the policy of retrenchment and of discouraging any new units at the present time.

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LIB
CON
LIB
CON

Donald Matheson Sutherland (Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Yes, and have been refused.

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LIB
CON

Donald Matheson Sutherland (Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

To refuse new units. It has been asked that new units be formed, but no units have been formed since March of last year.

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LIB

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

Just a word as to the

situation as it appears to me from the discussion 'that has taken place. For a number of years there have been debates in the house as to the advisability of making these so-called grants for cadet training. If there is a doubt about whether the government can refuse to make the grants, of course all the discussion of those years has been useless. The answer would have been very simple: We cannot prevent it. That is, if that is the situation. Apparently neither the Prime Minister nor the Minister of National Defence is in a position to say definitely that the government is or is not bound to go on with these grants. It seems to me it is a very remarkable position into which the government has got itself, and I am not referring particularly to this administration.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I am just now informed

that the option is exercisable by the education authorities and not by the government.

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LIB

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

That means that it is only

by the education authorities that these grants, once they have been started, can be discontinued.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Yes, but the government has to accept the unit in the first instance, and the minister has said that they are not accepting any more.

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LIB

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

What strikes me as rather

remarkable about the explanation is that the government has power to refuse to make a grant in the first place, but once the grant is made, the government is helpless in the hands of the school authorities. I cannot for a moment imagine that is the position of the government.

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February 14, 1933