Hon. J. L. RALSTON (Minister of National Defence):
May I, at this point, reply to a question asked the other day by the hon. member for Yale (Mr. Stirling). He asked with regard to the 120,000 men of the active army who, I stated, were in Canada. I can say that the veterans guard, coast defence and anti-aircraft units and the instructional staffs at training centres are included in the 120,000.
It is not considered advisable in the public interest to break down the 120,000 by giving detailed numbers in each particular unit or formation, but I hope it will be sufficient for the hon. member's purpose if I tell him that the total number in the veterans guard1, coast defence, anti-aircraft and instructional staffs for training centres is about 25,000. It is difficult to say how many are in each category unless one examines each attestation paper. I discussed the matter this morning with the adjutant general's office, and I think I can say that practically one hundred per cent of the coast defence and anti-aircraft units are in category A. That applies particularly to the Pacific coast units, in which replacements have been made recently, and it applies to a large extent to the eastern coast units as well.
As regards the veterans guard, here again one would have to examine the attestation papers, but from information I have received from the adjutant general's office, I should think that fifty per cent of those would be in category A. With regard to the instructional staffs, it is purely an estimate; one cannot
say definitely without looking at the attestation papers, but probably fifty per cent of them are in category A as well.
I hope the hon. member and the house will bear in mind that the whole 120,000 are enlisted, under their form of enlistment, for sendee anywhere at any time, and the only thing that would prevent any of them from discharging such service would be, not their will to serve, or the form of enrolment or attestation, but the fact that they did not come wdthin the category now accepted for service overseas.
Subtopic: STATUS OF VETERANS GUARD, INSTRUCTIONAL STAFFS AND COASTAL DEFENCE UNITS