March 24, 1941

LIB

Norman Alexander McLarty (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. McLARTY:

No; nothing is paid by

the government to any trainee in an industrial plant.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

When a young man is graduated from a technical school after three months training, is there some provision or plan whereby he graduates into a plant? I ask because I have visited quite a number of plants in the last few week-ends. I go to the employment office and sit in with the employment agent-I know many of them, have been associated with many of them up and down the years-and I listen to them interviewing applicants. A man will come to the employment office; he will be asked to sit down; his whole record is carefully investigated, his age, schooling, experience, and all the time the employment agent is carefully looking him over. They are careful about getting the most gentlemanly men they can; if a young fellow sits with his hat on, or if he is not courteous in his replies, usually he is not taken on. What I want to mention, however, is that these men are of all ages, and they go directly to (he employment office of the plant. What chance has a young fellow who has served three months in technical school to compete with the type of man to whom I am referring who goes to the employment office at the plant? Has the government set up any machinery whereby the young man whom they have paid $3 or 87 a week, as the case may be, and thus have invested that in his training, is taken into a plant after serving the three months in the technical school?

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
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LIB

Norman Alexander McLarty (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. McLARTY:

In the large majority of cases the way they would be taken on is that

lMr. McLarty.]

the plants are in direct contact with the schools, and vice versa the schools have contact with the plants- [DOT]

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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

Does the government arrange that?

Mr, McLARTY: The government supervises and directs it through the provincial officers, and one of the functions of the directors is to make or to expand that contact. It would be more in that manner than through the employment offices that placements are made. As was mentioned this afternoon, when we have the employment offices operating under the Unemployment Insurance Act I believe they can serve a useful purpose in performing just the function that the hon. member has mentioned.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

I was coming to that. That is the British system, and it works satisfactorily. I have investigated many of those offices. In Great Britain, all applicants for employment go to the government employment offices. I was going to ask the minister whether that is going to be part of the programme in our set-up later on. In England, the employers are almost, if not actually, compelled to apply to the government employment offices for their help.

Now a final question, which perhaps I should address to the Minister of National Defence, regarding troops overseas, or wherever located, perhaps in Canada too; they probably have a good: deal of off-time. Is there any type of school or educational facilities in the camps in England or Canada whereby the soldiers -should I address this question to the Minister of National Defence?

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Norman Alexander McLarty (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. McLARTY:

The Department of Labour has not instituted any such schools.

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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

Then I will ask the Minister of National Defence. Is there any plan under that department whereby soldiers have an opportunity of being trained in their off hours along the lines of business or any kind of technical or mechanical training?

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

That is done not by the Department of National Defence itself, but by the auxiliary service organizations, of which the Canadian Legion is one. The legion conducts educational courses I think in almost anything within reason that a man would wish, something of the type of correspondence courses, and men are given an opportunity in the camps to go to classes. That is the only educational work which is carried on in off hours.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
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NAT

Grote Stirling

National Government

Mr. STIRLING:

Who is the head of that now?

War Appropriation Bill

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Doctor Chateaugard on the other side, and Colonel Bovey in Canada. The department also has the training school for tradesmen which is being established at Hamilton.

The hon. member for St. Paul's this afternoon read a newspaper report indicating that there were complaints by manufacturers, particularly aircraft manufacturers, with regard to the four months' training interfering with their work. That was mentioned as one of the highlights of the visit which had been paid to the three aircraft industries, Canadian Vickers, Fairchilds and Noorduyn. I said to my hon. friend that if there was any case where a key man in an essential war industry had not had his training postponed, I should like to hear about it, because I want to bring it to the attention of my colleague the Minister of National War Services. I did bring the matter to the attention of General LaFleche, the deputy minister, in the absence of the minister, and I should like to put on record letters from two of these concerns. I have not as yet received word from the third. I asked General LaFleche if there had been complaints from these industries, and he said he would look up the records. I told him of the specific instances that had been given me with regard to the Noorduyn company, and he is following that up.

Let me read first a letter from Mr. Decary, divisional registrar at Montreal where Canadian Vickers are located. Apparently Mr. Franklin of Canadian Vickers had written to H. B. Chase, labour relations officer of the Department of Munitions and Supply, complaining that seven men had been taken from the Vickers aircraft plant and sent to camp. This is the letter from Mr. Decary, with whom General LaFleche communicated after he had heard about the complaint from Mr. Chase:

Montreal, Quebec, March 18, 1941. Major General L. R. LaFleche,

Associate Deputy Minister,

Department of National War Services,

Ottawa, Ontario.

Re:Canadian Vickers Limited, Aircraft Division, National Labour Supply Council

Dear Sir:

1. With reference to your letter of March 17. 1941, enclosing copy of a letter dated the 14th of March, 1941, addressed to you by Mr. H. Mitchell, secretary to Mr. H. B. Chase, director general of labour relations, Department of Munitions and Supply and a letter addressed to Mr. H. B. Chase by Canadian Vickers Limited, I beg to report as follows.

This is the registrar reporting with regard to complaints which were received from Canadian Vickers.

2. Out of the seven (7) men mentioned in Mr. Franklin's letter to Mr. H. B. Chase, the following have received notices military training:

E 60382-Gibbs, Kenneth, training centre No. 41

E 60146-Patenaude, Gerard, training centre No. 41

The five (5) other men have not yet been sent notices military training, because I had sufficient number of men to fill the quotas without calling them.

Of the seven men named, these are the two who the registrar says were called.

3. Out of the two men mentioned in the above quoted letter, employed by the United Shoe Machinery of Canada-

Here I pause to say that the United Shoe Machinery Company was a sub-contractor of Canadian Vickers, and therefore Canadian Vickers were interested in men called up for training who were employed by the United Shoe Machinery Company.

-the following has received notice of military training:

E 61781-Cicchillitti, Nicholas Feliz, training centre No. 44. The other E 60283, Clement, Marcel, being unfit.

So we have three men, not seven, who the registrar says have been called: first, Gibbs; second, Patenaude, and third, Cicchillitti. Then he goes on:

4. I have communicated, by telephone, with the chairman of the board, who is out of town for the week, informing him of your letter also giving him the information above quoted. He told me that the men ordered to report for military training could not be postponed.

5. I then communicated, by telephone, with Mr. D. G. Campbell, superintendent of personnel, Canadian Vickers Company, Limited, and advised him that only Patenaude and Cicchillitti were being ordered to report for military training, and aJso Gibbs.

6. I inquired from Mr. Campbell whether the fact that these three (3) men were going to go to military training during the period opening the 20th of March, 1941, would hamper war production and I was informed that he was quite satisfied it would not.

7. During the conversation with Mr. Campbell I was told that the absence of Mr. Patenaude would cause them inconvenience, but that he would try and let another man go if Patenaude could be released.

That is, he would furnish another man in place of Patenaude.

I told him that could be arranged. A few minutes later Mr. Campbell called me back informing me that Patenaude could be dispensed with now, as another man had been found to replace him.

Very truly yours,

Pierre Decary, Divisional Registrar, Administrative Division "E"

I think that disposes of the Vickers company, which had three men called. The chairman felt that their training could not

War Appropriation Bill

be postponed; a call was put through to Mr. Campbell, superintendent of personnel, who was asked whether their absence would hamper war production and who replied that he was quite satisfied that it would not. Then he said the absence of Patenaude would cause them inconvenience, and he was told that perhaps he could get some other man to train instead of Patenaude, but a few minutes later he called back to say that the services of Patenaude could be dispensed with because another man had been found to take his place.

Another firm mentioned was the Fairchild company. General LaFleche, to whom I spoke this evening, sends me this memorandum :

Following your telephone call at about 8.15 to-night, I proceded to my office and there found the attached copy of a letter dated March 18th, 1941, addressed to me by Mr. Pierre Decary, divisional registrar "E", National War Services, 405 _ Transportation Building, Montreal, on the subject:

Canadian Vickers Limited,

Aircraft Division,

National Labour Supply Council.

I spoke to Mr. H. M. Pasmore, president. Fairchild Aircraft Limited, who told me that Mr. Bell-

That is Mr. Ralph Bell, director of aircraft production.

-had inquired of him this afternoon. The telegraph company has just 'phoned in the following telegram from Mr. Pasmore:

"I understand reports are circulating to effect that calling out of our employees for military training programme has interfered with our production. We wish to report your department has given every satisfaction in regard calling out of these employees for training in the past and for period beginning twentieth instant and that we have no complaints whatsoever."

I tried to reach Mr. Noorduyn but he was out and not expected home until after eleven o'clock to-night. I asked his office to request Mr. Noorduyn to phone me to-morrow morning.

I know the committee will be glad to learn, as I am, that in at least two of the three cases mentioned this afternoon by the hon. member for St. Paul's, the companies seem to be completely satisfied that war production is not being interfered with.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Grote Stirling

National Government

Mr. STIRLING:

I have been awaiting an opportunity to ask the Minister of National Defence a question with regard to the equipment of units training in Canada. When the minister dealt with the formation of the armoured division he said he was not going to give information with regard to their equipment. That is a matter the minister must decide. If he sees fit not to give that information, we certainly will not press for it. I think, however, it would be a good thing if the minister could see fit to give us information with regard to the equipment of units training in Canada.

fMr. Ralston.]

The other day the minister gave the house some advice; he said that hon. members frequently were in a position to give information to the public and help the government along. With that I entirely agree, but hon. members must have that information in order to be able to impart it. I do not think there is any subject on which I am asked questions more often than on this very matter of equipment. The reason for that is, I think, that among one's constituents there are many who have sons, brothers or acquaintances training with units in different parts of Canada, and in their communications these men pass on to our constituents statements with regard to the equipment available.

There is no doubt that one reason for originally deciding on the thirty-day training was a shortage at the time of the necessary equipment. There is little doubt in my mind that to some extent the equipment situation has improved, but here we have infantry units and specialized units of many kinds. For instance, there are four or five motorcycle regiments training in Canada. I do not know whether they have the necessary motor cycles for their training, but certainly a technical unit of that description cannot get very far without motorcycles and the necessary facilities for keeping them in operation. In addition, there are signallers, anti-tank regiments, anti-aircraft companies and so on. These are all technical units, and without equipment they cannot get on with their training.

Would the minister see fit to give us some information in this regard? He will remember quite well that we of the opposition did not feel satisfied last year in respect of the amount of information forthcoming with regard to Bren guns. It did not seem to me then, and certainly it does not seem to me now, that it is reasonable to withhold information with regard to the output of Bren guns. Certainly infantry units cannot get on with this most necessary part of their training if they have not Bren guns in numbers greater than simply those necessary to look at, as unfortunately was the situation some time ago. We should like to be informed that it has improved. As yet the minister has not explained the reason for his extraordinary omission with regard to the entire change in the John Inglis contract when he spoke on November 15. He spoke two weeks after that change had taken place, and my recollection is that the space occupied in Hansard in referring to the Bren gun was only about three-quarters of an inch. He dismissed it very lightly. It was not until the news more or less accidentally tumbled out that the

War Appropriation Bill

public in Canada knew anything about the complete change in the John Inglis company contract.

The minister will no doubt explain to us why in that speech of November 15 when he, as Minister of National Defence was describing the progress his department was making in the war effort, he did not refer to that. If, however, the minister chooses to take the line that information with regard to this equipment in some detail would be of assistance to the enemy, again we must content ourselves, and remembering that the responsibility is on the government we must make what answer we may to the constituents who ask us for information.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

At this hour, and I was going to say after a long day, I have not the information with me. As a matter of fact, I should like to go over with the staff the matter of equipment, just in order to see what information the staff feel I should give the committee. I assure my hon. friend I will give the committee all I can. According to the newspapers I have been erring on the wrong side, in giving rather too much information.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

I had not heard that.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

That is with regard to

certain matters which have been spoken about. It is suggested that there has been an error on the part of the government in giving too much information. But if my hon. friend will agree that it might stand, I shall have an opportunity to-morrow morning to get a statement and to present it to my hon. friend.

Let me say with regard to the Bren gun that I really was surprised at my hon. friend's reference thereto. With respect to the new contract for the Bren gun, I do not think it was signed when I spoke on November 15, and if it had been I would not have mentioned it. The question was as to the rate of supply, as to how fast we were getting the Bren gun. It was not my job-the matter of making the contract with the John Inglis company.

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NAT

Grote Stirling

National Government

Mr. STIRLING:

But the information,

when it did come out, gave the public to understand that on October 31 the change was made. I think October 31 was the date of the order in council. I do not have it before me.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

November 29.

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NAT

Grote Stirling

National Government

Mr. STIRLING:

It was most decidedly in the press which reached me in v ..stern Canada that the change dated from October 31.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

That is right.

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NAT

Grote Stirling

National Government

Mr. STIRLING:

And the minister was

speaking in this house-

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

What change was there

that I would be giving with regard to the rate of delivery of Bren guns? What does my hon. friend mean?

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
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March 24, 1941