May 1, 1942

RECONSTRUCTION AND REESTABLISHMENT-CONCURRENCE IN SECOND REPORT


Mr. J. G. TURGEON (Cariboo) moved that the second report of the special committee on reconstruction and reestablishment, presented to the house on April 30, be concurred in. Motion agreed to.


SOLDIER LAND SETTLEMENT-CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT


Hon. CYRUS MACMILLAN (Queens) moved that the first report of the special committee on fend settlement of veterans of the present war, presented to the house on April 30, be concurred in. Motion agreed to. War Appropriation


JAPANESE NATIONALS


BRITISH COLUMBIA-HUNGER STRIKES-PROCE-


DURE IN RELOCATION


On the orders of the day:


LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. G. A. CRUICKSHANK (Fraser Valley):

I should like to ask the Minister

of Labour two questions with respect to a matter which I believe is of urgent national importance, owing to the prominence it has received in the Vancouver Daily Province of April 27. What steps are being taken to maintain the prestige of the authorities in connection with the hunger strikes by the Japanese in British Columbia? Are wealthy Japanese allowed to settle wherever they see fit, and in whatever manner they desire, for the duration?

Topic:   DURE IN RELOCATION
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. HUMPHREY MITCHELL (Minister of Labour):

My reply to the first question is that any Japanese guilty of breach of discipline are being promptly dealt with by the British Columbia security commission, and those who do not comply with instructions are immediately interned. With regard to the second question, no Japanese, regardless of their financial standing, are being allowed to relocate in any part of British Columbia or anywhere else without first receiving the permission of the security commission.

Topic:   DURE IN RELOCATION
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WAR APPROPRIATION BILL

PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY


Thev house resumed from Tuesday, April 28, consideration in committee of a resolution to provide sums not exceeding $2,000,000,000 for the year ending March 31, 1943, for granting to his majesty aid for national defence and security-Mr. Ilsley-Mr. Bradette in the chair.


CON

Agar Rodney Adamson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ADAMSON:

As a member of the

house I believe I have the right to speak on matters of vital importance, despite the fact that I happen to be a member of the armed forces. Naturally there are certain limitations with respect to what I can or should say, and I shall follow the procedure in the British House of Commons. Having due regard to those limitations I shall endeavour to bring before the house certain matters which I consider it is my duty to discuss. There are a number of things I may say here, and a number I may say in another place. I shall endeavour to keep the subjects I may discuss here separate .from those of another nature which may be discussed elsewhere.

Discussing Canada's war effort a British general, not now in Canada, said to me the

other day, "One of the greatest difficulties you have in Canada, one of the besetting sins of the Canadian war effort, is the office-bound staff."

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

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

The office-bound staff?

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

Agar Rodney Adamson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ADAMSON:

Yes, and by that he

meant that the officers on the various staffs do not visit the training establishments as they should do. I believe I have had a rather unique experience in that not only have I had the opportunity and the ability on frequent occasions to visit national defence headquarters, but I have been in the districts and with the field formations. What we are up against in the army to-day is the task of correlating our points of view. There is a certain point of view in national defence headquarters, a second point of view in the districts, and still another point of view in the field formations. All the difficulties which have arisen have been largely due to the fact that the points of view of the districts, the field formations and national defence headquarters have been divergent. We have tried to work as a unit by carrying on too much correspondence, and that is the first point I wish to discuss to-day.

In over two years of war I have had only one visit in my own branch from a superior officer attached to national defence headquarters. I suggest that visits between the districts and headquarters should be very frequent, and I also suggest that the district staff officers should have more opportunity to visit the field formations. To show the enormous size of the work may I point out that during the last year I travelled between 25,000 and 30,000 miles for the department. Even so, there were in one district two establishments I was not able to visit in that one year. That is the first problem we are up against.

I would suggest that the training officers should be rotated between the basic and advanced training centres and by headquarters. The officers responsible for the training of the Canadian army would then have the point of view not only of headquarters but of the districts and the training centres themselves. We have tried to do this by correspondence, but the main difficulty is the fact that correspondence ties officers to their desks at headquarters. One visit of a training officer, even a junior officer, to the training centres would do more good than all the correspondence one could write. I believe they should be rotated.

I wonder whether the house realizes the complexity of the Canadian army to-day. First you have the headquarters establish-

War Appropriation

meat, then the districts, then the command headquarters, then the basic training centres, advanced training centres, technical training schools, veterans' guards companies, specialized units, and active army units in the fourth division. Each of these units has a definite and unique part to play. Unless the members of these units are rotated with their own headquarters, we shall not achieve the true efficiency that we should have in our army.

I should like to mention one or two matters as examples. I would refer first to the syllabus for physical training. The training centre officers tell me that with the PT syllabus now in effect they find it difficult to keep the interest of the men. They have no authority to alter this basic training syllabus. Our training is in a constant state of evolution, and they tell me that if this syllabus were modified even slightly it would help the morale of the troops and make them more keen about their training. Hon. members will realize that it would be manifestly impossible to allow the officers at the training centres to alter the training syllabus as they wished. But I do suggest that there should be an opportunity for the officers in the directorate of military training at Ottawa to go to these basic training centres and find out how these syllabuses could be altered. Our training changes after practically every new action or campaign fought in the war.

Another matter has to do with the basic training centres. The first thing you try to do with a new recruit is to make him enthusiastic about the army. The first few days in the army constitute a most vital part of the young man's military life. The first thing you do is to give the young man an old Ross rifle, dated 1905, probably with the bolt missing or the sight gone. He is told that this is to be his personal weapon of protection. This rifle may be all right for drill purposes, but it is good for nothing else and the psychological reaction is bad. I believe the department should consider providing a complete set of the most modern weapons for each basic training centre so that the young soldier, instead of seeing these dreadful old guns, can be shown the modern Lee-Enfield rifle, the two-inch or three-inch mortars and the rest of the excellent weapons we have. I understand that in the United States army the first thing they do with their recruit is to take him out on the range, give him a rifle, and tell him that there is the target, try to hit it. He is thus given confidence in his weapon. I mention these old Ross rifles as a sample of what we are up against.

Then there is the selection of men for the specialized branches. This selection is made

at the basic training centres which I consider a most important part of our army. The raw recruit comes into the basic training centre, in most cases wanting to do a job. After h$ has spent the prescribed time there, he is selected to go into the infantry, the artillery, the ordnance, the signals, the medical corps or some other branch of the army. This is just one more reason why we should do everything in our power to provide adequate equipment. With such equipment we would be able to find out more about the capabilities of our troops.

The next step is from the basic to the advanced training centre. In the advanced training centre considerably more equipment is available. Naturally you cannot teach a man to run before he walks, and a much better job of equipping is done at the advanced training centres. It is here that the soldier really begins to appreciate his responsibilities. It is here that he realizes the job ahead of him. He begins to realize what a lot he has to learn. Here again I earnestly suggest that training officers be rotated so that the advanced training officer in the advanced training centre will know the difficulties which the district headquarters are up against and what national defence headquarters is up against. If the officers were rotated in this way, a tremendous amount of correspondence that is now carried on would be eliminated.

From the point of view again of the advanced training officer, he is trying to do a job; he is up against a difficulty; he is out with the troops. He explains that difficulty in writing as well as he can, and it has to go through the district headquarters and from there to national defence headquarters. If the officer at national defence headquarters would come to the training centre and spend a day in the field; if he would perhaps live for a month at the advanced training centre, the advanced training officer could explain to him in ten minutes what he is up against, rather than have to put it in writing and send it through the usual channels. In this war of movement time is absolutely vital, and time is just as vital in training as it is in actual combat. I do suggest that this method would speed up your training and make it more efficient.

Stonewall Jackson said this about war:

War means fighting. The business of the soldier is to fight. Armies are not called out to dig trenches, to throw up breastworks, to live in camps, but to find the enemy and strike him; to invade his country and do him all possible damage in the shortest possible time. This will involve great destruction of life and property while it lasts; but such a war will be of necessity of brief continuance, and so would be an economy of life and property, in

War Appropriation

the end. To move swiftly, strike vigorously, and secure all the fruits of victory is the secret of successful war.

If anything has shown that he was right when he said that, it has been the successful campaigns of the German army in the present war. Each of them has been violent, rapid, and tremendously destructive, but I think it can also be said of them that they were all economical of life compared with a long campaign of attrition, compared with battles like Passchendaele in the last war, compared with trench warfare. If we are to defeat the powers arrayed against us, the type of warfare described by Stonewall Jackson is the type of warfare we shall have to fight. I believe that is generally realized, but it must be driven home every day to every officer and every soldier in the Canadian army that tremendous speed is essential.

Officers returning from the recent campaign in Libya-we have seen quite a number of them and have talked with them-have said that one of their difficulties was the breakdown of communications, the lack of coordination, shall I say, between the air force and the army. In this war every man, particularly every officer, and more particularly every staff officer, has to think in a three-dimensional plane. If you are in the army you must think also of the air force. If you are in the air force you must think also of the army. You must know the limitations of the weapons of the sister forces, their capabilities and their characteristics. I suggest to the government that that is one of the things we in Canada are not teaching. I suggest that there should be a joint staff of officers who are trained in the air and on the ground. I make that suggestion most sincerely. Suppose an air officer is put in a tank. At once he gets an entirely new conception of its limitations of vision, the hazards of ground, and other features of tank warfare. Or put a tank officer from one of the armoured divisions in the air, and at once he gets an entirely new conception of camouflaging his tank, of its vulnerability, its ability to move with speed and a thousand and one other things. It is an extremely technical matter and one that requires constant study. One requisite in the army to-day is constant education. No one should be in the army who is not prepared to work at his job and to learn all the time. Every new campaign has new lessons to teach. Let me give an example of the sort of thing that happens at the present time.

The other day in England an officer wanted photographs taken of a certain area. He telephoned to the local air force command saying he wanted those photographs taken. The air

force commander asked, "What is your ceiling there?" The army officer could not tell him what his ceiling was. He did not know as elementary a thing as that about the sister force. Every army officer who is in charge of the movement of troops should be able to cooperate with the air force and know and understand the limitations of aircraft. Here, simply because of a lack of knowledge of the air arm, a request was made which it was impossible to carry out.

There are one or two small points I might also mention. There have been a number of accidents to mechanical transport. We have standing accident boards. They have them in England. The air force asked me, "What are you people doing about night blindness?"

I do not know what is being done about night blindness, but we have had quite a number of accidents which have been caused by people whose vision at night was faulty, who were suffering from some degree of night blindness. Here is another example of how the air force and the army can cooperate. I do not know what is being done about night blindness, but the subject is very important. To a man driving extremely valuable equipment, and going into action in the dark, vision is one of the most essential things. We have found that many accidents in England have been caused by night blindness.

A word about discipline. It is no secret that one of the principal troubles is absence without leave. It is not as general as many people think, but it does exist, and is probably responsible for 80 per cent of detention crime in this country. Absence without leave is punishable by stopping a man's pay, perhaps for fourteen, perhaps for twenty-eight days, but the loss of pay goes on much longer than that because his allowance is paid to his wife and family, while he draws no pay on pay day. His psychological reaction is a loss of interest in the army; his attitude is, "what's the use?" This matter has been brought to my notice, as a member of this house, by constituents of mine who are in the army. They say, "We lose heart when we find that we are not to get any pay for a month, or even two months. There is no incentive to do well; why should we not go absent without leave again?" One tries to argue with such a man, but his is really a psychopathic case; a great deal of work has to be done on it, and if the condition goes on for a considerable time, his wife, family and dependents suffer also. I have a suggestion to make in that connection in a minute.

Another point I want to mention is that a great many soldiers have to wait a considerable time for district courts-martial. The judge

War Appropriation

advocate-general's department is required to prepare cases for courts-martial, and nearly all of them are for absence without leave. They are always very busy.

My suggestion is that the training centre commandants be given more power to deal summarily with these cases. There should be some system of immediate punishment, such as punishment drill, so that the man who is on leave and is tempted to outstay it will reflect, "I shall have to walk up that so-and-so hill a dozen times if I don't get back to the camp in time", and will make every effort to avoid the penalty. Let the punishment be immediate. Do not keep men hanging around in detention, not carrying on training, waiting for district courts-martial. Remember that we are terribly short of time for training.

There are a few other matters, concerning dependents' allowances, which I think should be brought before the committee. First let me mention the matter of soldiers' children. The soldier, going overseas, leaves his wife and family here in Canada. The wife gets a job in a munitions factory, and there is, I think, every reason why she should. It is important that everybody should be usefully employed, and many of these women are doing an excellent job. But they leave for work at an early hour in the morning and they do not get back before six o'clock at night. In the interval the children are entirely without parental supervision. Consequently we find in Toronto -and I believe the situation is general-a large increase of delinquency among children. I suggest that the minister's department should consult with other departments to see whether something cannot be done such as they are doing in England. In the schools of England a meal is provided at mid-day for the child whose parents are working. Also they have established certain types of nursery schools to take care of the children of soldiers and others whose work prevents them from remaining at home. Nothing can be more upsetting to the soldier overseas than to read in the newspaper or have somebody report to him that his eight-year-old boy has been haled before the children's court for stealing chocolate bars or throwing stones through a window. This is a matter for interdepartmental cooperation, and it should be attended to right away, for it affects the morale of the army. The soldier concludes that we who are still in Canada are not looking after his dependents, and there is nothing more likely to destroy his confidence in the cause for which he is fighting.

I have had mothers come to me and say, 'T get no allowance although my boy is in the army, because he was on relief before he

fMr. Adamson.]

joined up and was not contributing to my support." For that reason, it appears, the department take the attitude that they should not be held responsible for the support of the mother. That attitude, it seems to me, is definitely wrong and false. It penalizes the soldier. If the man does not go into the army he can get work at $6 or $7 a day and thus support his mother, but if he enlists she is penalized because he was previously unemployed. Some attention should be paid to that, and very quickly.

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

Donald Alexander McNiven

Liberal

Mr. McNIVEN:

Have you brought such

cases to the attention of the dependents' allowance board?

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

Agar Rodney Adamson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ADAMSON:

I have brought one case to their attention and I did get action on it.

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

Donald Alexander McNiven

Liberal

Mr. McNIVEN:

I have had no difficulty

with them.

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

Agar Rodney Adamson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ADAMSON:

In two cases I got

action, but several other cases have been reported to me in which nothing was done.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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May 1, 1942