Hon. R. B. HANSON (Leader of the Opposition):
In the absence of the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) who, I am sorry to say, is not in his seat to-day, I should like to call to the attention of the ministry a matter of some importance with respect to recruiting. We all know that there are many people in this country who want to enlist. A complaint has reached me from British Columbia with respect to that matter. It is in the form of a telegram from a gentleman who for many years was a respected member of this chamber, Mr. J. A. Fraser, of Quesnel. The telegram will speak for itself. It says:
A week or ten days ago notice was given that a recruiting officer by the name of Major Gale would be in Quesnel on July 29 to sign on applicants for war service. Result 40 applicants reported here but no recruiting officer has to date arrived. Some of these recruits came from sixty miles west of here, others from forty miles south and still others from forty miles north of here. A number of these men disposed of their possessions prior to assembling here while others gave up positions to volunteer. Last night these men had to be provided with meals and lodging at the expense of the community and a subscription was taken up by citizens to provide food and lodgings for these volunteers. Surely nothing could do more to discourage recruiting than bungling of this kind. Trust you will have an opportunity to inform the government of this deplorable situation.
John A. Fraser
I do not for a moment desire even to suggest that responsibility in the matter rests on national defence headquarters, but somebody in the military district of British Columbia has bungled. I rise merely for the purpose of drawing attention to the matter and asking the minister to see that there is no recurrence of this condition.
Subtopic: RECRUITING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA-COMPLAINT WITH RESPECT TO CONDITIONS AT QUESNEL