May 12, 1942

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Thomas Miller Bell

Mr. COLD WELL:

Twenty hours each.

Topic:   R.C.A.F.
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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 find in the bulletin, for example, under date of April 12, convoys carried out. April 13, aircraft were scrambled to such and such a place. April 14, aircraft part-time formation flight over France, in such and such an area. April 15, 20,000 in the air, five miles inside the French coast, so-and-so's engine failed and he landed safely at such and such a place across the channel. April 16, squadron with wing acted as escort cover to eight Hurricane bombers whose target was Dunkirk. April 17, squadron acted with wing as close escort to six Boston bombers whose target was a parachute factory at Calais. April 18, a wing sweep to such and such a place, recrossing the coast at such and such a place. April 19, convoy patrols carried out. April 24, a sweep of such and such an area was performed. April 25, a squadron acted as escort cover to eight Hurricane bombers. April 26, squadron acted as escort cover to nine Bostons whose target was such and such a place; and so forth. There are two pages of it;

War Appropriation-Air Services

they are out every day. We do not hear a word about it, and this particular squadron is composed of an air crew 95 per cent Canadian and ground crew of 92 per cent Canadian. It is unfortunate, I submit, that it is not possible for us to give a more detailed story of the deeds of these young men who are carrying on in our behalf.

Topic:   R.C.A.F.
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NAT

Harry Rutherford Jackman

National Government

Mr. JACKMAN:

When I visited the old country last November I gathered that the R.A.F. does not wish to publicize the deeds of individual aviators or individual members of the air crew because, if they do, it will tend to weaken the esprit de corps in the rest of the personnel of the force. Does the minister agree with the official R.AE. point of view, or does he agree with the point of view that I would put forward, namely, that the publicizing of individual exploits would do a great deal to build up the morale not only of the R.A.F. or the R.C.A.F., but of the people generally. Will the minister fight for a change-over generally as far as R.C.A.F. pilots and aircrew are concerned?

Topic:   R.C.A.F.
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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 definitely and most emphatically disagree with the air ministry, perhaps by reason of our education and our proximity to the United States. The fact is that we are a people who read headlines, though perhaps we do not read enough of what appears under the headlines. At any rate, we make our heroes readily. We can learn to love or hate a person when we are not particularly interested in institutions. The RA.F. as R.A.F. or the R.C.A.F. as R.C-A.F. does not mean much to us, but O'Hara, or O'Shea, or Corbett-

Topic:   R.C.A.F.
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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:

Yes, or any name like that, means a lot to us, and, as I say, perhaps because of our Hollywood upbringing, we are prone to read headlines. It may not be our fault; it may not be logical. However, we must take the people of Canada as we find them; and I sincerely believe that, to the utmost of our ability, we should make heroes of those of our boys who are heroes, for the sake of the morale of the air force and particularly for the sake of the morale of the Canadian people, who probably need it more than the air force does.

Progress reported.

Topic:   R.C.A.F.
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At eleven o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. Wednesday, May 13, 1942


May 12, 1942