November 6, 1941

LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

The 150 have been selected. The board was composed of the commanding officer, a medical officer, Doctor Davey of Hamilton, one officer who was lent to us by the United Kingdom from the W.A.A.F., and one male officer of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The board received applications in the different sections of the country and from among those applications selected those who were to go to this school for training.

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NAT
LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Largely clerical and dietetic, perhaps more in connection with motor transport and more active work at the aerodromes. For instance, at the flying training schools such as Uplands, we shall require 126 to take the place of men. They will serve as cooks and so on, and do the work of service men who are employed operating telephones, and they will engage in parachute packing and work of that kind. In the Royal Air Force an infinite variety of work is being done by these women, and we expect that as time goes on, more gradually than would have been the case on the other side, it will be possible to introduce women into a great deal of the work now done by general-duties men or by men in orderly rooms on the station.

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

We do not get the applications. I was surprised to hear the Minister of National War Services say that he had only 16,000 applications altogether from women. I surmise the reason is that women who are in existing unofficial organizations probably prefer to remain in those organizations in the hope that they will be taken over as a whole. I am only surmising that; I do not know. If so, that may account for it. I had anticipated such a flood of applications as would render it difficult to deal with the matter.

In addition to the organization of the women's auxiliary corps, the air cadet league of Canada has been instituted. It was inaugurated in June and began its work some time ago. I have here a list of the directorate. The president is Mr. George B. Foster, K.C., of Montreal, and there is a list of excellent men chosen from all over Canada. I will put the list on Hansard.

Hon. F. P. Brais, K.C.

H. R. Carson

A. W. Carter, M.B.E., D.S.C.

Pierre deVarennes, K.C.

H. E. Drope

Gilbert M. Eaton

John D. Eaton

Sir Ellsworth Flavelle

G. B. Foster, K.C., D.F.C.

Chas. A. Gray

Geo. R. Hodgson

Major R. H. B. Ker

D. R. MacLaren, D.S.O., M.C., D.F.C.

Arthur L. Melling

W. W. Rogers

Hon. Ivan Schultz, K.C.

Earle Spafford Terrence M. Sheard

The honorary secretary is Mr. Arthur L. Melling, and Squadron Leader R. W. Frost, R.C.A.F., is acting national director.

At the present time there are in existence in Canada something like 14,000 air cadets in units divided somewhat as follows-I will give the number of air cadets: British Columbia, 2,500, nineteen units; Alberta, 1,200, eleven units; Saskatchewan, 2,400, eighteen units; Manitoba, 700, three units; Ontario, 1,000, eight units; Quebec, 5,000, thirteen units; Nova Scotia, 200, three units; Prince Edward Island, 100, two units.

This is the potential which they have at the moment, because most of these units are in process of organization and have not yet applied for affiliation to the league. Actually enlisting under their auspices or belonging to the league are 3,400 cadets in thirty-three units. These 3,400 are actually affiliated to the league but the others are outside the league,

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though it is expected that they will come in. The league is rapidly organizing cadet units across Canada.

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CON
LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

The age limit is eighteen- well, they must not have reached eighteen because by that time we take them for the R.C.A.F. They can start at twelve, but those from twelve to fourteen are not encouraged.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Fourteen to eighteen?

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

They have the right to go

down to twelve, but we are not encouraging that; the ages that are encouraged are from thirteen to seventeen. I am glad to say that in many instances former Royal Canadian Air Force or fleet air arm officers have turned out gladly to help these boys by giving them their drill and training. The air cadet training programme is a basic training programme and is similar to the elementary ground training received in our own schools. In addition to that we have inaugurated a system of university training for future air crew recruits. It is not a C.O.T.C. in that we do not give or promise them commissions, but it is a university air training course. A number of Canadian universities have made arrangements with us to provide what is called pre-flight training on the Royal Canadian Air Force syllabus as an alternative to army training. Only university students who can meet the medical requirements for air crew training and who sign a statement of honourable intention to join the Royal Canadian Air Force at the completion of their university course are being accepted. Medical examination and uniforms will be provided by the Royal Canadian Air Force, which will also make available the necessary training equipment and instructional assistance.

Students who have completed compulsory military training may complete the air force course this year, and other students who have not yet undergone compulsory military training may spread the air force course over two academic years. Students completing this course will be recognized as having fulfilled the requirements under the National Resources Mobilization Act.

The course will be equivalent to the course of training at initial training schools of the Royal Canadian Air Force in connection with the British commonwealth air training plan. Such schools provide preliminary ground training for future pilots and air observers. The university course will provide 200 hours of similar instruction in mathematics, armaments, air force law, airmanship, theory of flight,

et cetera and will be followed by two weeks of summer camp at one of the service flying training schools, where this ground instruction in air force life will be continued under service conditions.

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

By the very fact of being

students at the university they have matriculation.

Besides this, in an endeavour to salvage those who have failed on their first attempt, we have opened a "cease training" school at Trenton, Ontario, for pilots particularly who fail through no fault of their own, perhaps on account of physical defects or because they just naturally cannot fly a machine. We have formed a reorientation school, or rehabilitation school if you like, at Trenton, wherein these young men are assisted in finding some other trade. It may be a man would not make a good pilot but has the educational qualifications to be an observer, or it may be a regional control officer, or if he has a good educational background he may make a ground navigator instructor, if he has a good knowledge of mathematics. I am glad to say, and I know it will be of great interest to the committee to know that that school has been placed under the care and command of one of our colleagues, who is doing a mighty good job, Wing-Commander Denton Massey, at Trenton.

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NAT

George James Tustin

National Government

Mr. TUSTIN:

After these boys are "washed out" as pilots, as I believe it is called, do they all go to this school to be re-selected for some other branch of the service?

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Yes, I think so. There is

quite a number there at the present time, and at one time until they got properly organized, they stayed there some considerable time, but I am told that that situation has improved enormously and we are getting them out to other branches and other trades. My information is that this school has been a great success.

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Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Will the

minister ascertain whether it is compulsory for these boys to go to that school, or have they the right of election?

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

We have had two or three kinds of enlistment; the original enlistment for aircrews I think gave us the right to say, "Even if you do not succeed as a pilot you will have to go on and try as an observer or a wireless air gunner or gunner if we want you

The War-Air Services-Mr. Power

to." As a matter of fact we did that. I shall have to check back to see what the status is of a man who enlisted for aircrew and failed on one or more points, whether we can put him down to standard duty. I think that lately we have brought that into effect, but I am not sure.

I come now to the joint air training plan. The growing importance of this plan I think I need not stress, but as an example of the interest with which it is being regarded on the other side I call attention to the fact that it was thought of sufficient importance for a member of the royal family, His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, to visit the air training

schools of the joint empire training plan in Canada, as well as those belonging to the Royal Air Force. He came as an air commodore in the Royal Air Force and, as befits such an officer, he flew from one end of this country to the other and visited as many schools as, if not more than, any inspector excepting the inspector-general of our own Canadian force. He was well received by our people; they were extremely glad to see him, and when he left he told me he had enjoyed his visit very much.

In connection with the joint air training scheme some flying statistics may be of interest:

I. Hours flown by J.A.T.P. schools to September 30, 1941 1,795,893

At 125 miles per hour this represents 224,486,625 miles

Number of fatal accidents 157

Number of hours flown per fatal accident 11,438 hours

Number of miles flown per fatal accident 1,429,851 miles

2. United States civilian flying in 1940 show 1,269,231 miles flown per each

fatal accident.

3. The fatal accident rate of J.A.T.P. schools has come down from November,

1940, when it was -17 to September, 1941, when the rate was -067 or 1 fatal accident to 1,818,279 miles flown, but we must expect an upward trend during the winter months.

4. Total flying time for September, including home war establishment and

Royal Air Force in Canada

253,490 hoursTotal flying time since April, 1940

1,887,130 hoursTotal flying time since Sept. 30/40 to Sept. 30/41

1,760,640 hours

Total flying time since Jan. 1, 1941-that is for nine months of the present

year 1,596,680 hours

This latter figure indicates that the total flying time for the present

calendar year will be about 2,250,000 hours

5. If the average flying speed is taken at 125 miles an hour, then we are exceeding 31,686,250 miles a month, or over 1,000,000 miles a day.

Now this I am sure will be of interest to hon. members; all the flying stations in Canada are now selected. I am not asking for any more aerodromes. As far as the joint air training plan is concerned they are not all open, but they are all selected, and I am handing to Hansard a list of the British commonwealth air training plan establishments. The plan is now in full operation. As a matter of fact there remain two schools to open before the end of the year, but all sites are selected and construction well under way, and we do not propose to develop any more aerodromes. That does not mean that we are going to remain static; what we shall do will be that when we "upgrade" or increase the pupil population we shall add more buildings to the existing establishments. For instance, in the elementary training flying schools we propose to make into double schools, I think five this month which are at present single schools, and next spring probably two or three more. The British commonwealth air training plan establishments are as follows:

British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Establishments

Elementary Flying Training Schools Malton, Ont.

Fort William, Ont.

London, Ont.

Windsor Mills, P.Q.

High River, Alta.

Relief-Frank Lake. Alta.

Prince Albert, Sask.

Windsor, Ont.

Vancouver, B.C.

St. Catharines, Ont.

Hamilton, Ont.

Cap de la Madeleine, P.Q.

Goderich, Ont.

St. Eugene, Ont.

Portage la Prairie, Man.

Regina, Sask.

Edmonton, Alta.

Stanley, N.S.

Boundary Bay, B.C.

Relief-Langley, B.C.

Virden, Man.

Relief-Hargrave, Man.

Oshawa, Ont.

Relief-Whitby, Ont.

Chatham, N.B.

Quebec City, P.Q.

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Air Navigation Schools Rivers, Man.

Pennfield Ridge, N.B.

Air Observer Schools MaJton, Ont.

Edmonton, Alta.

Regina, Sask.

London, Ont.

Winnipeg, Man.

Prince Albert, Sask.

Portage la Prairie, Man.

Quebec City, P.Q.

St. Johns, P.Q.

Chatham, N.B.

Bombing and Gunnery Schools Jarvis, Ont.

Mossbank, Sask.

Macdonald, Man.

Fingal, Ont.

Dafoe, Sask.

Mountain View, Ont.

Paulson, Man.

Lethbridge, Alta.

Mont Joli, P.Q.

Service Flying Training Schools Camp Borden, Ont.

Relief No. 1

Edenvale, Ont.

Relief No. 2-Alliston, Ont.

Ottawa, Ont.

Relief No. 1-Pendleton, Ont.

Relief No. 2-Edwards, Ont.

Calgary, Alta. (Currie barracks)

Relief No. 1-Shepard, Alta. Saskatoon, Sask.

Relief No. 1-Vanseoy, Sask.

Relief No. 2

Osier, Sask.

Brantford, Ont.

Relief No. 1-Burtch, Ont.

Dunnville, Ont.

Relief No. 1-Welland, Ont.

Maoleod, Alta.

Relief No. 1-Granum, Alta.

Moncton, N.B.

Relief No. 1-Seoudouc, N.B.

Relief No. 2-Salisbury, N.B. Summerside, P.E.I.

Relief No. 1-Mount Pleasant, P.E.I. Relief No. 2-Wellington, P.E.I. Dauphin, Man.

Relief No. 1-North Junction, Man. Relief No. 2-Valley River, Man. Yorkton, Sask.

Relief No. 1-Sturdee, Sask.

Relief No. 2-Rhein, Sask.

Brandon, Man.

Relief No. 1-Chater, Man.

Relief No. 2-Douglas, Man.

St. Hubert, P.Q.

Relief No. 1-St. Johns, P.Q.

Relief No. 2-Farnham, P.Q.

Aylmer, Ont.

Relief No. 1-St. Thomas, Ont. Claresholm, Alta.

Relief No. 1-Woodhouse, Alta. Hagersville, Ont.

Relief No. 1-Kohler, Ont.

Central Flying School Trenton, Ont.

Relief No. 1

Mohawk, Ont.

Wireless Schools Montreal, P.Q.

Calgary, Alta.

Winnipeg, Man.

Guelph, Ont.

TMr. Power.]

Initial Training Schools Toronto, Ont.

Regina, Sask.

Victoriaville, P.Q.

Edmonton, Alta.

Belleville, Ont.

Saskatoon, Sask.

Technical Training School St. Thomas, Ont.

Technical Detachments Toronto, Ont.

Montreal, P.Q.

Composite Training School Trenton, Ont.

School of Aeronautical Engineering Montreal, P.Q.

Holding Unit Moncton, N.B.

Air Armament School Mountain View, Ont.

Depots

Trenton, Ont.

Winnipeg, Man.

St. Johns, P.Q.

Calgary, Alta.

Toronto, Ont.

Montreal, P.Q.

Ottawa, Ont.

Brandon, Man.

Edmonton, Alta.

Quebec, P.Q.

Lachine, P.Q.

Camp Borden, Ont.

Regina, Sask.

Halifax, N.S.

Roekcliffe, Ont.

By that system we shall avoid the necessity of further expenditures in the building of aerodromes. We upgraded our output by what is known as overbearing-that is, taking on more pupils. In some instances we have done this because the courses have been lengthened. Where we had a ten-week course we have made it a fourteen-week course. But in order that there be no interference with output we have taken on more pupils. Therefore in the long run the final result is the same.

As time has gone on we have been changing the syllabus. We must keep up to date with the progress of the war and with science. At one time the call was all for fighters. At the present time there is a very special call for observers and bombers. Accordingly we must meet the difficulties as they come. We must keep our schools up to date, so that we may be able to develop the men who are most required at a given time. It has been necessary to increase the number of manning depots and initial training schools to a considerable degree over that which was anticipated at the beginning.

With the construction of schools, new construction at schools already in existence, new projects in the way of reserve fields, and new buildings for auxiliary services, such as

The War-Air Services-Mr. Power

manning depots, embarkation depots and so on, our works and buildings branch has been as busy this summer as it was in 1940. Probably the expenditure is just as great.

Apart from the joint air training plan schools themselves, there are now operating in Canada other schools and establishments manned by the Royal Air Force personnel, and utilized primarily for the training of Royal Air Force pupils.

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Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Before the minister leaves the joint plan, would he be good enough to indicate to what extent the sister dominions are utilizing the plan, having regard to what the previous arrangement was? Are they using our facilities to an increased extent, or is that use decreasing? Will it eventually fade away?

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I am unable to say whether or not the utilization by our partners will fade away. I was coming to that later on. I might say now, however, that there is a proposal for the continuance after 1943 of the joint air training plan. As a matter of fact that was one of the matters I took up when I was on the other side. As to whether Australia and New Zealand will continue on the same basis, or whether we will carry on on a different financial basis, or whether they would prefer to do their own training, in view of the fact that perhaps to a considerable extent they have now developed their own schools, I am not in a position to say.

To all intents and purposes, they have kept up their contribution of air crew personnel. It has not been diminished. When in certain instances we increased the number I believe some of our sister dominions said that they would not send them all the way to Canada, but would send some direct, instead. But they have lived up to their commitments fully, and in an entirely satisfactory way. May I point out further that the personnel they have sent us has been most excellent and outstanding in our schools. Australian and New Zealand pupils have really made names for themselves in the way of discipline and energy, and the enthusiasm they show in their work.

Apart from these joint training plan schools there are a number of schools manned by Royal Air Force personnel and utilized for the purpose of training Royal Air Force pupils. I have no authority from the United Kingdom officials to give information respecting the location of these schools, the number of personnel or pupils. I can say, however, that these courses are under the control and administration of the Royal Canadian Air Force, and they constitute a most important addition both in schools and in the responsibilities of the department.

Then, the Canadian government facilities have been used in connection with the selection of sites for those schools, the development of aerodromes, and the construction of buildings and runways. All projects at present contemplated-and I say this advisedly-are being proceeded with expeditiously. The additional burdens placed upon the various departments, as well as the Royal Canadian Air Force, have been met without difficulty. The estimated cost of the transfer school policy to March 31, 1942, is $105,000,000. That is only an estimate, and it is on a repayment basis.

I return now to the matter of equipment in our own school. We have at least twice as many aircraft as we had last year, and they are coming in fast. But our needs are much greater than they were. The ministry of supply are honouring their commitments, but we are asking for more, and will continue to ask for more. It is a question of balance. There is no good in extending in one direction without extending in others at the same time, so that a man's training can be carried right through. Some types of aircraft are harder to get than others. They must have special qualities and performance. This applies particularly to the training aircraft in the bombing and gunnery schools.

The equipment in kind is being received from the United Kingdom. We are experimenting, substituting and modifying, and I hope-in fact I am sure-that it will be possible to modify certain types of aircraft built in Canada under the Department of Munitions and Supply so as to substitute them for those most difficult to get from the other side. I believe we shall get what we need, and if we do we shall be able to increase considerably our output of a certain type of pupils to which we are not at all committed. I refer to pupils such as the straight air gunners-tail-end-Charleys, they call them. They are the men who sit at the tail-end of the bombing planes, with all heaven above and all hell below. We could train many of these men. They require clear grit; they must have nerves of steel, and a clear eye. We have in Canada men of that kind we could train, when we get the necessary extra aircraft to do it.

I turn now to overhaul. Last year it was a headache; this year it is arthritis, phlebitis, St. Vitus dance and everything else put together. The cause of the disease is a shortage of spares. There is a world shortage of spares, and particularly of engines. Naturally it arises from the urgent demand for engines for operational aircraft. The planes we use in our bombing and gunnery schools are Fairey Battle planes powered with Merlin engines. Nothing less powerful than the Merlin engine will do.

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We are carrying on thousands of hours of bombing, and our demands for spares are enormous and probably unprecedented.

In the matter of supplies of these Battle and Merlin engines we are almost entirely in the hands of the authorities overseas. They know our needs, and they must be the final judges of where supplies can best be used. It must be remembered that they have responsibilities in south Africa, Rhodesia, Australia and other parts of the world. What spares can be made here we will make, but there are limits in that regard. It is a difficult art, calling for special tools which may be needed elsewhere. The answer is to extemporize, substitute and multiply. We are doing all this. So far there has been no hold-up, and we hope there will not be. But I do not wish to disguise from the committee that the going is pretty tough, and that we shall have a hard time to keep those planes in the air.

I turn now to output of trained pilots, observers, wireless air gunners and gunners. The steady stream of pilots is more than we had hoped. It is running smoothly, and they are turning out in greater numbers than we expected when the plan was conceived. We have a right to be proud that we have gone far beyond our original plan. Anyone who has been overseas knows that our boys are there. They are not there in speeches; they are not there in the papers, but they are there in bombers, there at their stations, and there over Germany every night. They are there in Tripoli and Libya and Russia-and everywhere. Wherever the Royal Air Force is, there they are.

Last year someone asked in the house what the position was, and I said we would be judged by the results of our plans. I can say now that that hon. member need not ask me; he could ask Hitler. Hitler knows, and he is going to know more and more, as this war goes on. The other answer is to read the daily press. Only this week in flaming headlines in all the press of Canada there was an account of the daring and successful attack of Royal Canadian Air Force squadrons on German shipping. That took place under the nose of the German navy, under the guns of the garrisons of occupied France and in the teeth of the German air force itself. There is no doubt that we can say that the Royal Canadian Air Force pupil graduates are coming into their own. There were those who jeered when we began eighteen months ago with the first class of 168 men and said that we could not win wars on schedule. That class of 168 men has been multiplied one-hundredfold, and to-day I think we can safely say that the empire training scheme has won its wings.

Overseas we have sixteen squadrons in active operation while one was recently dispatched to the middle east. They are of all types and categories, fighter, night fighter, army cooperation, bomber and so on. Besides that, thousands of our men are in the Royal Air Force wherever the Royal Air Force is fighting. We have also supplied radio mechanics and ground crews. As yet we have not sufficient ground crews, but we are sending them over all the time and before long we expect to equip the twenty-five Royal Canadian Air Force squadrons there now and whatever squadrons we may be able to send over later with our own ground crews.

In view of this active participation of the Royal Canadian Air Force it has been thought advisable to issue a kind of communique at intervals, perhaps irregular, indicating to the Canadian people just what their own boys in the air force are doing. I have the first of these official communiques which will be released to the press to-morrow, and perhaps it might be interesting to hon. members if I were to read it. It reads:

Daylight sweeps by fighter aircraft, escort duties during bombing raids on northern France, heavy night attacks on German territory and large-scale activities against enemy shipping have been included in recent activities of squadrons of the Royal Canadian Air Force overseas.

During offensive sweeps over nazi held territory, one Royal Canadian Air Force fighter squadron accounted for three Messerschmitt 109's and damaged a fourth. Another squadron, acting as escort for formations of Blenheim bombers in a successful raid on Mazingarbe, northern France, destroyed two enemy aircraft which tried to interfere. Credit for these two victories went to Pilot Officer G. McClusky of Sudbury and Sergeant G. D. Robertson of 3 Lamport avenue, Toronto.

In night fighting operations over Britain, a Royal Canadian Air Force night fighter squadron, commanded by Wing Commander D. G. Morris, Oakville, Ontario, destroyed three enemy raiders and damaged a fourth.

The three aircraft destroyed, a Junkers 88, Dornier 17 and Heinkel 111, were all shot down by Wing Commander Morris himself, two of them within half an hour on one night. The Dornier blew- up in the air when hit by cannon fire from the wing commander's guns, and pieces of it struck his own aircraft, putting one engine out of action. But he managed to return safely to his base on the remaining motor.

Wing Commander Morris has been awarded the distinguished flying cross and his observer, Sergeant Rix, has received the distinguished flying medal. Credit for damaging the fourth raider is given Flight Lieutenant F. W. Hillock, 14 Walmsley boulevard, Toronto, and his observer, Sergeant L. G. Bell of Montreal.

A bomber squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force took part in heavy raids on Stettine, Hamburg, Essen and Ostend, successfully bombing the targets allotted to it. Three veteran crews of this squadron were assigned to participate in a severe raid on Bavaria and reported that the target had been badly damaged.

The War-Air Services-Mr. Power

In recent operations against enemy convoys oil the coasts of northern France, Holland and Denmark, a Royal Canadian Air Force squadron of the coastal command scored direct hits on supply ships and tankers.

Wing Commander H. M. Tyles, commander of the squadron, scored direct hits on at least three occasions and holds the high score in his squadron. Pilot Officer Robert Wudds, of Toronto, is credited with direct hits, along with Flight Lieutenant W. A. Anderson, 12 Whitehall apartments, Osborne street, Winnipeg, and Sergeant Pilot J. K. Abbott of Toronto.

Two Royal Canadian Air Force squadrons cooperated with the imperial and Canadian armies in the recent manoeuvres, recognized as the most extensive in the history of the British army.

As time goes on and as they are prepared, it is our intention to issue similar communiques to the Canadian press.

I come now to a discussion of my trip overseas last summer. The purpose of my trip was to see and hear from our partners in the joint air training plan just how our boys were shaping up, to see the boys themselves, and as the plan was in full operation to ascertain what modifications and improvements could be made, particularly what improvements could be made in Canada. I stressed particularly the lot of our graduates, those men who are not formed into Royal Canadian Air Force squadrons. A vast majority of them are attached to the Royal Air Force.

We have taken the very cream of the youth of Canada. We have taken these youths from our schools, our colleges and our universities. I think these men are the most truly Canadian body that exists anywhere in the world. I would say that as a body they are more Canadian than even this House of Commons. There has been no great tide of immigration from the other side, from Great Britain or anywhere else, during the past twenty-five years. These boys are mainly third, fourth and fifth generation Canadians, bred in Canada, schooled in Canadian schools and with an intensely Canadian viewpoint. Their viewpoint is far removed from that of those of us who are perhaps more closely connected with the old land. They are more Canadian by far than was the Canadian army in the last war, in which was a large proportion of men bom on the other side of the water. As I say, these men have the Canadian viewpoint, if it exists anywhere. They are the future leaders of this country and the destiny of Canada will some day be in their hands. Therefore, it behooves us, or any government that takes its duties seriously, to see to it that these men do not return from overseas with the same sense of disappointment, disillusionment and discontent as did the men who returned from the last war.

Perhaps it would have been better if we had been able to keep them together as Canadians, but the circumstances were such that we had to sacrifice national pride to eificiency and expedition. In order to produce more of them more quickly and get them into the fighting line, we placed them in a joint pool with the other young men of the empire.

I do not think that will do them any harm. There has been no difficulty in getting them to fight alongside other men of the empire. The cause is such and the enemy is such that all sons of freedom can very well combine to fight against this common enemy. But the boys themselves, and their parents as well, like to think that they are with pals, and it was in order to keep them together as much as possible, whether in Canadian or British formations, that I made representations to the British government. May I say at once that there was not the slightest hesitation or reluctance on their part. To ask was to receive and every suggestion met with immediate and enthusiastic acquiscence.

I have been asked on many occasions since my return what we had to say about the quality of our output, and that was the first question I placed before the air ministry. And here is the answer-textually, no flattery, no encomiums-this was a business meeting:

The air member for training paid a warm tribute to the high personal quality of Canadian trainees. He mentioned that there had been many factors which might have had an adverse effect on the quality of the output from the training scheme as it arrived in the United Kingdom.

The scheme was one of great magnitude, involving much initial preparation. Some of the staffs available were necessarily inexperienced, essential equipment oould not be supplied and after completion of basic training there were inevitably gaps during voyage and waiting periods. Furthermore, on account of the need for increased output the amount of training had been reduced to the bare minimum. He expressed his gratitude for the valuable assistance rendered by Canada in increasing the output during the difficult period through which we had been passing. There were factors such as acclimatization in the United Kingdom, map reading difficulties, different conditions of visibility and the "blackout" which might have been expected to make it necessary to give the

J.A.T.P. pupils a lengthened course of training at operational training units. In spite of these factors, the quality of the training given in Canada and the keenness of the pupils had been such as to enable them to complete their operational training within the normal length of course.

Another matter discussed was the status of Canadians in the Royal Air Force, particularly those below commissioned rank. The Canadian government has a moral responsibility with regard to the general conditions and welfare of these men, to see that they should not

4144 COMMONS

The War-Air Services-Mr. Power

be too widely dispersed and that they should have ready access to Canadian authority. These points were understood and agreed to, and to implement that policy the Royal Air Force very gladly invited the Royal Canadian Air Force to send over its own officers to work in the Royal Air Force in the posting branch, in records, in the pay office and in any other departments in which there might be contact with Canadian air crews or Canadian groups. They will also take our officers into their higher commands as soon as we can spare them. We have pointed out to the Royal Air Force headquarters in London that it is our desire to keep in closer touch with our people wherever they may be, and only this week we have sent overseas as air officer in chief, Air Vice-Marshal Edwards who has been in the closest touch with our graduates here. He knows our men and their needs and will look after their interests.

There were other matters dealt with, legal questions arising out of the discussion initiated by my hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) with regard to the Visiting Forces Act, questions with respect to courts martial, and others. Perhaps the committee is not aware of the fact that during the last war Australia-perhaps New Zealand, but certainly Australia-provided by legislation that courts martial involving sentence of death should not be passed by any but their own people. I have arranged, and I think the army is doing the same thing, that no sentence of a court martial involving dismissal, cashiering, penal servitude or sentence of death may be passed without its being sent to Canada for confirmation. That is with regard to the Royal Canadian Air Force and it applies to Canadian graduates who are now serving in the Royal Air Force in that the officers commanding will have no warrant to execute these sentences without reference to the Canadian government.

We also arranged for a better system of commissioning our graduates overseas in that there will be Canadian representation, a Canadian officer on all 'boards making selection of Canadian officers, and the chief air officer commanding overseas has been delegated authority, so that there will be no delay, to approve these appointments on probation and to cable the names over here.

We also took up the question of granting more commissions to graduates of wireless schools and air gunners. Whereas at one time commissions were not granted at all to wireless operators' or gunners, and then subsequently a quota of 2 per cent was established, it has now been agreed that 10 per cent of the output upon completing training will receive commissioned rank, and a further 10 per cent after a

certain amount of operational experience, and with regard to air gunners it has been agreed that 5 per cent shall be given commissioned rank on completion of training, and a further 15 per cent after a period of operational experience.

A number of other questions were taken up affecting the welfare of the men, as well as questions of training, syllabus and administration, and these were all dealt with in so far as we are concerned in a most satisfactory manner.

As time goes on, more and more Canadians will be grouped together in squadrons, at stations, in groups and in commands, and our men will assume higher and higher responsibilities.

There was also taken up the question of the continuation of the air training plan after April, 1943. As I have just said in answer to a question by my hon. friend the leader of the opposition, the matter was initiated then and it is now being taken up actively and will be discussed, I believe, within the next two or three weeks. Meanwhile I may say for the information of the committee that we are taking appropriate action for the purchase of aircraft and such equipment as may be required because we are convinced that so long as this war lasts, the air training scheme in some form or other, whether by training under our present system or otherwise, will go on, and therefore we are making arrangements for the provision of aircraft which will come in after 1943.

There is little else I have to say with respect to my visit. I saw the boys. I was impressed by their morale, their gayety, their brave comradeship, their sportsmanship and their keenness to get at their job. I do not know that there is anything of particular interest for me to tell the committee with respect to my visits to the different stations. I saw a very large proportion of the stations where our Canadians were congregated in any degree, and all I can say is that I hope we were in some manner successful, not in raising their morale, because that is not needed, but in impressing on our boys that the people of Canada were back of them right through to the end. There are many of them, and there will be many times more-how many I am not permitted to say. I can give the committee no figures, no statistics. I do not need to, because their deeds are written large across the blazing skies of Africa, Europe and Asia; they are being seared into the minds of the people of Germany and are being written gloriously into the pages of the history of Canada and the empire, Unfortunately they are being written, too, on the hearts of the afflicted parents of these boys

The War-Finance-Mr. Ilsley

who become casualties. There is little I can say to alleviate their grief, and I can promise no relief except this, that those who say the Canadian people cannot take it do not know whereof they speak. May I say that in the communications received from the afflicted parents there is a note of pride, of nobility, of patience and of strength. For the moment it is these individuals who feel the blow. It will be only after this accursed conflict has been liquidated and we have attempted to take stock of our national assets, when we shall require in our post-war struggle for existence in a newer world all the strength of will and brain inherent in our national character, that the Canadian people will be aware of the grievous blow and of the sacrifice which it has suffered through being deprived of the most noble, the most brilliant and the most able young men of this generation.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. J. L. ILSLEY (Minister of Finance):

The principal part of my speech will be an explanation of the government's price ceiling policy, but before I come to that there are a few matters which may be of interest to members of the committee.

It will be recalled that in the budget it was indicated that total war expenditures would amount to something between $1,300,000,000 already appropriated for this fiscal year and the $1,450,000,000 which was the total of the departmental estimates of their requirements. This war expenditure which we refer to as the direct war expenditure of the dominion was to be in addition to the sums which it would be necessary to provide in order to enable Great Britain to purchase foodstuffs, raw materials and munitions of war in Canada. The net amount estimated to be required for this purpose for the present fiscal year was from $800,000,000 to $900,000,000. In addition to these two purposes, that is the direct war expenditure of Canada and the assistance to Great Britain, there was another purpose for which it was necessary to provide money, namely, the non-war expenditure of the government. Altogether the three amounts- direct war expenditures of the government, assistance to Great Britain, and non-war expenditures-were estimated to amount to $2,700,000,000 or $2,800,000,000, and that is the figure which I have consistently placed before parliament and before the public in any speeches which I have made upon the financial requirements of the government for the present fiscal year.

Naturally, the task of raising $2,700,000,000 or $2,800,000,000 from the people of Canada by taxes and loans is a very considerable one.

With regard to the way in which our estimates have worked out, I may say that

the actual war expenditures for the first half of the fiscal year amounted to about $496,000,000. This half of the fiscal year, however, included April, which is really only about half a month from the point of view of expenditures, because much of the disbursement in that month is chargeable to the preceding fiscal year. The rate of war expenditure has been rising and is expected to rise rapidly in the second half of the year. At present I can only express the view that we shall exceed the appropriation of $1,300,000,000, but it is still too far from the end of the fiscal year to make a precise estimate of how much that excess will be. In the new session of parliament I shall have occasion to make a revised estimate.

I have been speaking about the expenditure. With regard to the revenue, I estimated in the budget that the revenue which would be obtained during the present fiscal year would be $1,400,000,000; and in some public speeches which I have made I have said it would appear that this would be exceeded, that the figure would be nearer $1,500,000,000. Always, when I have used this figure, surprise, amounting almost to incredulity, has been apparent in the faces of those to whom I was speaking, on account of the magnitude of the sum that we are raising in taxation and otherwise by way of revenue-such as post office revenue -from the Canadian people, but I am not in a position to state here with any definiteness whether the amount will be $1,400,000,000 or $1,500,000,000. No useful purpose would be served by making an estimate now; it will be only a few months before we shall know, and know exactly, but at any rate the amount received by way of revenue will be of that order.

Perhaps a striking fact about our revenues this year is this, that the tax revenues up to yesterday, with almost five months of the fiscal year yet to come, have exceeded the total tax revenue for all of last fiscal year by over $17,000,000. For the first half of the fiscal year, that is up to September 30, total revenues amounted to $696,000,000, which was $313,000,000 higher than the revenues for the same period of last year, and some $18,000,000 higher than our total expenditures for that period, excluding of course our assistance to Britain.

I think, Mr. Chairman, that suffices for a rapid and concise presentation of the revenue and expenditure position of the dominion. If there are any questions which occur to any hon. members, I shall try at a later stage to answer them.

There is another matter about which I should say something, and that is the victory

The War-Finance-Mr. Ilsley

loan. That was a major financial operation, and one the results of which have not been presented to the house. The victory loan campaign was in progress when the house adjourned in June. Hon members will recall the extent and nature of the campaign. A nationwide organization was set up to promote the sale of victory bonds. The objective was at least $600,000,000. The campaign met with a very gratifying response from the Canadian people, a response which was a credit to the selling organization and a credit to Mr. Spinney, general manager of the bank of Montreal, who headed the organization. It was also a credit to the people of Canada who subscribed for bonds to an amount substantially greater than the amount of the objective which was set.

I shall now present to the committee and place on Hansard the final figures of the results of the victory loan campaign.

Total number of subscribers 968,259

I should like to call the attention of hon. members to that figure. It means that there was a very wide distribution of those bonds. In some provinces one person out of every eight or thereabouts of the population bought a victory bond of some kind. The average is

very satisfactory indeed.

Total amount of subscriptions $836,820,250

Total cash subscriptions 730,376,250

Total conversion subscriptions 106,444,000

Number of $ 50 subscriptions = 416,511 Number of $100 subscriptions = 244,771 Number of subscriptions of more than $100 but not more than $500 = 199,764

While, of course, the victory loan was the most spectacular financial event of recent months, and the main source of our borrowed funds, I should like to emphasize the importance of our continued, systematic borrowing by means of the sale of war savings certificates. The war savings organization has been operating continuously since it was established in May, 1940, and is now bringing in a steady stream of funds. It will be recalled that in February of this year an intensive campaign was conducted to increase the amount being subscribed in war savings. This campaign succeeded in bringing the monthly rate subscriptions up to the objective, but the high figures were not maintained in later months owing to the falling off in the size and number of single subscriptions. The more valuable, regular subscriptions under the payroll plan and other systematic pledge plans have continued to expand. In recent weeks another intensive campaign is being carried out, with the assistance of about forty thousand voluntary workers, for the purpose of increasing very substantially the amount of savings by

these systematic methods. The activity this fall has been decentralized into the hands of provincial and local organizations, and objectives have been set for communities in terms of specific items of war supplies or weapons. It is hoped that this intensive campaign will increase the rate of subscriptions from its average level so far this year of $83,000,000 a year to a rate of at least $120,000,000 a year.

I should like to take this opportunity to express the appreciation of the government to the thousands of Canadians who are helping us with such patience and enthusiasm in this unexciting but very important work.

I come now to a brief statement of our aid to Britain. During recent months this country has continued to provide financial assistance on a large scale to the British government in order to enable Britain to obtain essential supplies she requires from Canada. Members may recall that in the budget speech I stated that Britain's total deficit of Canadian dollars from the beginning of the war up to March 31 last had been about $795,000,000, of which $250,000,000 had been met by transfer of gold, later transferred by us to the United States; $337,000,000 had been met by the repatriation of Canadian securities and other assets, through government agencies and otherwise, while the balance of $208,000,000 had been met by the accumulation by Canada of sterling balances.

In the seven months from that date to October 31 last, the amount of the British deficit has been $613,000,000. By the repatriation of its own securities held in Britain, the dominion government provided about $135,000,000 of this, while sales of other British-owned Canadian securities and other capital items accounted for about $40,000,000. The remainder, $438,000,000, much the largest part of the deficit, was provided by the dominion government in return for sterling balances placed to its credit in London and simply left there to accumulate. The total of these sterling balances on October 31 was the equivalent of about $655,000,000.

In order to enable the foreign exchange control board to accumulate sterling in this way, it was necessary to increase the fund at its disposal. This was done in July by making advances totalling $400,000,000 to the exchange fund. These advances have been charged to the consolidated revenue fund in accordance with section 3 of the War Appropriation Act passed earlier this session.

I should like to say a word about the negotiations with the provinces. The committee will recall the offer made to the provinces in the budget of last April. The leader of the opposition has indicated that he would like me to inform the committee as

The War-Finance-Mr. Ilsley

to the stage which negotiations with the provinces have reached. All the provinces have indicated their interest in the offer and their willingness to discuss it with the dominion. Before this discussion could take place it was necessary that our auditors examine the books of the provinces and prepare reports on a uniform and comparable basis. This was done during the summer and early fall. Then the representatives of each of the provinces came to Ottawa and I had conferences with them, and discussed with them terms and provisions which might appropriately be included in agreements to be entered into between the provinces and the dominion.

While it cannot be considered with strictness that any province is committed to enter into an agreement with the dominion, the indications are that agreements will probably be reached with all the provinces within the next few weeks. The problem of the New Brunswick municipalities, in which the leader of the opposition is particularly interested, has been given much consideration and, it is hoped, can be satisfactorily solved. Problems somewhat similar have appeared in other parts of the dominion, and it is expected that a satisfactory solution of these too will be found. I do not think I should say anything more about that. They are not solved yet, and we have not decided and cannot decide, until certain other conferences are held and certain other discussions take place, exactly what we shall do about these matters.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Is the minister proposing to meet a committee of the union of municipalities from New Brunswick?

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I am meeting the premier and he is having representatives of the municipalities with him.

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November 6, 1941