May 31, 1943

CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

Would the minister also indicate what pay is given? I understand the prisoners of war cannot be made to work but, if they volunteer to work, they are paid twenty cents a day extra. Is that correct?

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB
CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

What pay do they get if they are not doing any work, and what pay is given the officers?

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Under the Geneva convention officers receive from the power in whose custody they are, certain pay and allowances, while other ranks are paid small sums by their own government through the protecting power. Other ranks who work are paid twenty cents a day. I cannot give my hon. friend the rates at the moment.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ADAMSON:

One of the causes of friction in the past has been the fact that the responsibility of the district officer commanding started at the wire, while the responsibility of the director of internment operations ended at the wire and began in the compound. I know this is a matter of international arrangement, but there seemed to me to be a certain amount of divided authority, that internment operations looked after the prisoners until they escaped, and that immediately they escaped it became the job of the Canadian military authorities and the veterans' guard, under the district officer commanding. I know that matter has been brought to the attention of the minister on previous occasions, but this has been one of the difficulties in connection with internment operations, and there have been cases where the military authorities have not operated inside the compound as they might have, had there not been this dual authority. Has the minister any information as to what is done in other countries? For instance, what do the Americans do in this regard?

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I think my hon. friend is mistaken with regard to the dual responsibility. The Department of National Defence, under the new arrangement, has absolute responsibility except in one aspect; namely with regard to external relations, which are handled through the Department of External Affairs. In all other respects the Department of National Defence is responsible. As I pointed out, the director of internment operations is a headquarters staff officer at national defence headquarters. He does not have executive power in the sense of allocating troops here, there and the other place. Those troops are allocated by the adjutant-general to the officer commanding the district in which the particular camp is located. There is no such thing as divided responsibility. The hon. member suggested that the military authorities 'go to the wire and the commissioner of internment operations has jurisdiction inside. That is not correct. The military authorities have complete jurisdiction. The guards are under the Department of National Defence and under the district officer commanding, and are responsible for both interior and exterior

ITar Appropriation-Army

security. The order in council is that the entire responsibility for prisoners of war, enemy aliens and other internees is transferred to the Department of National Defence.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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PC
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

One was passed on November 19, 1942, and another on January 20, 1943. The latter order in council provided for the transferring of refugees as well as prisoners of war. The Department of National Defence became responsible for guarding, discipline, the censorship of mail, the welfare of prisoners, internees and refugees, and the maintenance and operation of all camps. There was what I regarded as some divided responsibility, tout that has been cured.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ADAMSON:

That answers my question. The camp commandant is responsible to the district officer commanding.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

Has the director of internment operations any authority over the various camp commandants?

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB
NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

He has no right to move them about or discharge them or do anything of that kind?

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

No. The director of internment operations as an officer of the adjutant-general's branch has the right to go to the camps and reports direct to the adjutant-general. The usual practice is for him to consult with the district officer commanding, since he is in the district. He acts almost in the capacity of an inspector-general in regard to matters of security and the carrying out of the Geneva convention.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ADAMSON:

Are representatives of

the International Red Cross and the international Y.M.C.A. allowed inside the camps as well as representatives of the protecting power, the Swiss government?

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

The protecting power has the right, and the others are allowed in by mutual agreement with the detaining power.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

What pay is received by officer prisoners? Is it correct that they are paid a percentage of what they would receive if they were serving in their own army? Should they receive a promotion while a prisoner, does that automatically increase the pay which they receive from the Canadian government?

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

They are paid the amount agreed upon as between the German government, if they are German prisoners, the United Kingdom government and the Canadian government. They may receive a promotion if intimation comes through their government or the protecting power.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

Does that apply in the same way to Canadian prisoners of war in Germany? Do they receive an increase in pay in the event of promotion?

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB
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 cannot get definite information on that point. I have been trying to get it for the last eight months.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
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May 31, 1943