February 28, 1944

LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

I am doing the best I can. I do not want to urge the committee in any way, shape or form. However, when I think the time is ripe to call an item I call it.

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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

We are doing our best to help you. It struck me that the amount of $4,000,000 was a very small amount if it includes the fighting equipment in Italy and the ships at sea everywhere.

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LIB
NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

Not the ships; but it includes all the theatres in which our men are fighting?

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

It includes the fighting

material.

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NAT
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

It is a capitation method.

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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

I thought it would have been very much more; we have so many troops there.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

The amount of $24,000,000 is all that is chargeable under this head by the British government.

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NAT
LIB
NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

So far as gasoline and oil is concerned with respect to Canada's war effort in the old country and in Europe?

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I have the exact rate and the number of days. It is all charged on a capitation rate.

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Item agreed to. 11. Sundries, including printing, stationery, telephones, telegrams and other costs not included in above items, $24,246,593.


NAT

James Arthur Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

I have a question I should like to ask and I do not see any other item on which to ask it. What has been the actual cost of recruiting for the army? H we have the actual cost for the army we might break it down per capita. I do not know whether it is figured out on that basis or not. I had in mind recruiting officers, their offices and staffs. I think the whole business has been rather costly to this country for the results obtained. I have in mind recruiting parties that go through the country. They have an officer, an N.C.O. and in some cases two or three C.W.A.C.S. They come into a community and operate dances in it. They hire a hall and pay for an orchestra. In some instances they do not get any recruits. These are actual facts. That, coupled with the coloured posters and the printing, I am sure, costs this country quite an item. I believe there should be a different system worked out, a system which would not be nearly so costly in man or woman hours or dollars and cents per recruit obtained. I should like to have those figures.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I have not the figures of the number of men who are involved. But I wish to say to the committee and to my hon. friend that I do not agree with him for a single instant. I say that it costs this country two or three million dollars every time there is a loan to influence and to persuade the peo-

War Appropriation-Army

pie of Canada to subscribe their money to the loan. I suggest that if it costs $1,500,000 to get 48,000 or 50,000 men to volunteer who may be called upon to give their lives for this country it is worth it.

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LIB
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I say to my hon. friend that I do not think it lies in the mouths of any one of us to say it is too much. It seems to me that we underrate the value of recruiting and the value of volunteering. If we had half the effort put into recruiting that is put into those war loans to get people to subscribe their money for a perfectly good bond, we would have a good deal more recruiting than we have. When I see what is done in the way of war loans-and I do not deprecate it in the slightest, for it is a fine thing to have us stir up the enthusiasm of our people-I do not think too much is done for recruiting. In war loans we lend our army equipment; we do everything we possibly can. What for? In order to influence our citizens to subscribe for a perfectly good bond with the promise of the Dominion of Canada to pay it back in twelve or fifteen years. If we do a little of that sort of thing in order to persuade men to enlist in the army, to give their lives for their country, I do not think parliament should be at all niggardly in the way of voting that money.

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NAT
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I thought the figure just included the posters, and that sort of thing, but it includes the personnel as well, and the cost in 1942-43 was $1,290,000 in round figures. The cost for the first nine months of the current fiscal year, as it has been figured out here, including personnel, was $1,138,000. That is about half the cost of one war loan.

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February 28, 1944