July 31, 1942


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Thomas Langton Church

National Government

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview):

I would ask the Minister of Pensions and National

Health if before the house adjourns he would be prepared to make the statement he said he would make with regard to the blackout situation. I have seen him about it several times. No doubt the air raid wardens have done excellent work, but I suggest it should be extended to work of a more practical nature. These blackouts have been largely discontinued in England because most of the raids occur during the day time. I believe these blackouts have no military value. I appreciate the splendid work that has been done by the air raid wardens, as everyone does, but would it not be better to give them some practical instruction, such as teaching the public to handle a rifle at the miniature ranges, as was done in Finland?

Hon. IAN A. MACKENZIE (Minister of Pensions and National Health): Before the Easter recess we spent the great part of a day in a thorough discussion of the air raid precaution situation throughout the Dominion of Canada. In regard to the blackout system, while authority is vested in the Minister of Pensions and National Health, as a matter of fact in actual practice this authority has been delegated in the various provinces to the provincial premiers or in some cases to the attorneys general, who consult with the three defence services before a blackout is arranged or staged. Actually, therefore, a blackout is not ordered by the Minister of Pensions and National Health, but is authorized by him at the request of the provincial authorities.

In regard to the services of those engaged in air raid precautions work, there are to-day

150,000 of these people in Canada who have volunteered and who have been most zealous in their work. Perhaps in some cases they are a little over-zealous, as my colleague the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe) might testify, but they are doing most excellent work. The question of the relative value of their service, as between this air raid precaution work and the reserve army, has been considered most carefully by the Minister of National Defence and myself, and a very thorough working arrangement has been arrived at between the two departments.

Topic:   AIR RAID PRECAUTIONS
Subtopic:   ARRANGEMENTS FOR BLACKOUTS
Sub-subtopic:   EXTENSION OF DUTIES OF WARDENS
Permalink
NAT

Thomas Langton Church

National Government

Mr. CHURCH:

A blackout lasts only

twenty minutes in Halifax. Why should it last for an hour in Ontario? Why should the large municipalities not have jurisdiction over this matter themselves instead of the provinces?

Topic:   AIR RAID PRECAUTIONS
Subtopic:   ARRANGEMENTS FOR BLACKOUTS
Sub-subtopic:   EXTENSION OF DUTIES OF WARDENS
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I should be glad if my hon. friend would make his complaint to the authorities of his own city of Toronto, because we do not direct the length of a blackout in that city; we only

Supply-National Defence

authorize it at the request of the provincial air raid precautions committee in conjunction with the defence authorities of that district.

Topic:   AIR RAID PRECAUTIONS
Subtopic:   ARRANGEMENTS FOR BLACKOUTS
Sub-subtopic:   EXTENSION OF DUTIES OF WARDENS
Permalink
NAT

Thomas Langton Church

National Government

Mr. CHURCH:

Most of the prosecutions seem to be in the city of Toronto. Here is the case of a woman eighty-three years of age whose husband was prosecuted because she had a small candle burning. She had heart disease, and to let in a little air she opened a window screen.

Topic:   AIR RAID PRECAUTIONS
Subtopic:   ARRANGEMENTS FOR BLACKOUTS
Sub-subtopic:   EXTENSION OF DUTIES OF WARDENS
Permalink

DEBT LEGISLATION

EFFECT OF DISALLOWANCE OF PROVINCIAL STATUTES


On the orders of the day:


CCF

George Hugh Castleden

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. G. H. CASTLEDEN (Yorkton):

The recent disallowance of debt legislation passed by some of the western provinces has led to considerable apprehension on the part of many people in regard to the security of their homes. Apparently it is too late for any legislation to be brought down this session, but would the Minister of Justice give us some definite assurance that some effective action will be taken to safeguard people in their homes during these days of stress?

Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Minister of Justice): I do not think the Minister of Justice can give the hon. member any definite assurance as to what the government will do. The matter is being considered, and when a decision has been arrived at it will be announced. Pending that, I can give no assurance whatever, other than that the matter is receiving careful consideration.

The house in committee of supply, Mr. Yien in the chair.

Topic:   DEBT LEGISLATION
Subtopic:   EFFECT OF DISALLOWANCE OF PROVINCIAL STATUTES
Permalink

DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE


Normal services. 180. Cadet services, $659,000.


?

Thomas Miller Bell

Mr. COLD WELL:

Mr. Chairman, I understood that this morning we were to go on with the estimates of the Minister of Mines and Resources, and we are ready for him, but now we seem to be going into another department.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. J. L. RALSTON (Minister of National Defence):

I asked that my department be brought in. I have an appointment a little later which I want to keep.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink

Item agreed to. 18S. Battlefields memorials, $13,680.


?

Thomas Miller Bell

Mr. COLD WELL:

Some little time ago I wrote the minister with regard to the possi-

bility of equipping certain men, particularly those on the Pacific coast. The minister acknowledged the letter and said the matter was being looked into. On Vancouver island I believe a number of civilian corps have been organized, and if they are to be of any use they should be both regularized and equipped. I do not think it w'ell that any civilian groups should be apart from the control of the military authority. I am not going to elaborate the matter; I think the minister knows to what I refer. Could the minister tell me something about it?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I did not expect that

this would come up, because as my hon. friend knows it is really a war appropriation item rather than one coming under these items. I can say to my hon. friend in the first place, however, with regard to regularizing the corps of which he is speaking, the Pacific coast militia rangers, the hon. member for Vancouver South has been at least as much interested as anyone else in that connection. The corps is regularized; it is a part of the Canadian militia. With regard to equipment, I did get a complete list of what had been issued, and I must say that I was very much gratified at the amount of equipment being issued. The hon. member for Vancouver South sent or gave me a letter from a gentleman out there complaining that equipment had not been issued. I telephoned the Pacific coast and obtained this list of the equipment now being issued, and as a matter of fact I intended to ask my hon. friend to come to my office and I would show it to him. I have not the list with me this morning, but I can assure my hon. friend and the committee generally that equipment is being procured faster than I really expected in connection with this militia corps. They are different from the reserve army. They are a reserve militia organized under a special order, but they are still part of the Canadian army. We are endeavouring to do our very best to equip them as quickly and as completely as possible, having regard to the special work they are doing.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

There is one matter I should like to bring to the attention of the minister, and that is the question of the intelligence organization at National Defence headquarters. I realize that much publicity cannot be given to that branch of the department, but I suggest to the minister that there is a great need of increasing and strengthening the personnel in that branch. We are now in the position where Canada may become a battle ground, particularly on the Pacific coast, and I suggest it is very important that we should have

Supply-National Defence

in Canada an intelligence section functioning much as the similar sections function in Great Britain, the United States and other large nations. I would ask that during the time the house is adjourned, in fact at as early a day as possible, the minister give the matter careful consideration, because I am quite sure something should be done along that line.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

The matter has had more than consideration. As a matter of fact a definite change in organization, an increase in organization and, to use my hon, friend's word, a strengthening in organization, has already been authorized and is now taking place. My hon. friend knows, of course, that operations and intelligence are 'together. We are strengthening both branches, having particular reference to the intelligence side of it.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

I did not hear exactly what the minister said. Did he say he was fully satisfied that the equipment was going out, or that it had gone out?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

What I said was that I cannot recall from memory just the list of equipment. But I said that when my hon. friend sent to me a letter from a gentleman out there complaining that no equipment had been issued I immediately-

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink

July 31, 1942