Mr. Chairman, I wish to reiterate my opposition to any increase in the national defence estimates, and I believe, moreover, that the hon. member for Nicolet (Mr. Dubois) has stated the reasons why just as well as I could do it myself. However, my attitude is based mainly upon the answers given to me yesterday by the hon. Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie), when he stated that he may, each year, ask for increases, depending on conditions then prevailing. That is why I am supporting the amendment presented by the hon. member for Nicolet.
Item agreed to.
Royal Canadian Air Force
Expenses in connection with the general maintenance and training of the permanent and non-permanent active air force, and provision of facilities therefor, $11,391,650.
Landing fields would not ordinarily come under the Department of National Defence but, as the hon. member will realize, under the civil aviation branch of the Department of Transport. I presume the hon. member has reference to the matter we discussed last year.
That was well under way some time ago. I do not know whether the Minister of Transport can answer it, but there was definite progress made with reference to it before the transfer from the Department of National Defence to the Department of Transport took place.
I just wish to remind the minister that a discussion took place last year with respect to a landing field at Chilliwack, and at that time he promised it would be proceeded with. The latest information I have is that nothing has been done, not even to the extent of securing the land.
At the present time the total in Canada is 182 aeroplanes. There are 8 fighter Siskins now obsolete; 18 army cooperation of which 15 Atlas, now practically obsolete, and 3 Avro No. 626 ; 4 Vancouver flying boats, which are obsolescent; 7 new torpedo bombing Blackburn "Sharks," only 4 of which have been delivered so far, but which are modern service planes; 105 various types of training planes, many obsolete, and 40 transportation planes of different types used on various government services, particularly civil government air operations, making a total of 182.
The present estimate provides for an increase of 102 planes, as follows: 12 fighter planes, 3 army cooperation planes, 7 flying boats, 24 bomber planes, of which 18 are used Wapiti planes, and 6 new Avro No. 626, 11 torpedo bombing planes, 18 coastal reconnaissance planes, and 27 training planes.
April 1, 1934, the following were ordered: October 3, 1934, 10 Atlas airframes from the air ministry; on May 27, 1935, 10 Civet Fleet airframes; on November 18, 1935, 6 Wapiti airframes, from the air ministry; on November 28, 1936, 5 Stranraer aeroplanes, from Canadian Vickers; on September 22, 1936, 10 Fleet trainer airframes; on May 11, 1936,
1 Avro tudor aeroplane, from Armstrong Siddeley; on May 4, 1936, 7 Torpedo "Shark" aeroplanes, from the air ministry; on August 29, 1935, 3 Avro type "626" aeroplanes, from Armstrong Siddeley; on August 23, 1935, 3 Northrop Delta aeroplanes, from Canadian Vickers, for civil government air operations; on August 9, 1935. 2 super-71 Fairchild aeroplanes, from the Canadian Wright Company, and on January 11, 1937, 4 Northrop Delta aeroplanes for civil government operations.