March 9, 1944

CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

That is right. Now this man has been called into the army. The point I am making is that he is being pulled into a branch of the service against his will. To all intents and purposes he has been forced into the service; he is a conscript, whereas months ago he volunteered his service where he could have made his maximum contribution. In the branch of the service where he is now it will take a good deal more training to qualify him than would have been the case in the navy. I do not know why that policy should prevail; if a man is acceptable in one branch of the service as far as character goes he should be acceptable in the others. If he is not suitable for one particular branch, for certain reasons, then he should not be suitable for any branch 100-84i . '

of the service, because I put them all on the same basis when it comes to a matter of that kind. In this case I think a good deal of the country's money has been wasted. Here is a man who volunteers for the navy and who could have made his maximum contribution months ago, whereas now he is pulled in against his will and put in a branch where he will not be very well satisfied.

There is another matter I should like to call to the minister's attention, again because I think it has to do with a matter of policy.

I am not going to use any names; the minister can check these matters, because they have all been before his department in the past. There was a young man serving in the navy as a petty officer. His ship was lost and he was lost with it. His mother is seventy-three years of age. She cannot obtain an old age pension in Nova Scotia because in the days of depression, when the going was tough, she went to Detroit and lived there for a few years. Because she had spent a few years out of the province she is not now entitled to an old age pension even though she is seventy-three years of age. She has made application to the Department of Pensions and National Health for a dependents' pension because her boy who would have contributed to her support was lost at sea. The matter has not been settled; it is still in the slings. They are chasing it around.

In circumstances like this I do not think there should be any question about what should be done. In his address the minister referred to the necessity of keeping up the morale of those in the service and the obligation that we in this country have to guarantee to these boys that we are looking after their [DOT] dependents. I do not think this is a matter of policy; it is a matter of faulty administration. The boy was lost at sea and the mother has no other source of income. Things of this kind get around and relatives of boys in the service and others hear of it. Such things do not build up the morale which is so necessary.

There is another matter of policy which I should like the minister to check. I refer to the medical men who are serving at different ports under the present merchant marine-set-up. These qualified doctors have been requisitioned for service and designated to ports like Halifax, Sydney and Vancouver as port doctors. They look after all the ships coming in, including naval ships, but they are not entitled to wear a uniform. Their income is much lower than that paid to medical men in the services. Many of them have tried to transfer to the army, navy or air force-I speak from personal knowledge-but they have

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not been permitted to do so. What hurts these men most of all is the fact that they have no right to wear a service button or ribbon. Their families receive no dependents' allowance. Many of them are young men and they are making a considerable contribution, but when the war is over they are faced with the possibility of being branded as slackers. The fact is that they are carrying on one [DOT]of the toughest jobs medical men can do. They are working for fourteen hours a day and are on call at any hour of the night should a ship arrive and require examination for quarantine purposes. Most of these men are qualified for the rank of major in the army, which rank I believe is given to most medical men. This is one thing the minister should check up, because it is nothing less than an oversight to place men of this calibre in this position.

There are a number of other matters that can be discussed with the minister by way of questions, but I thought these few rambling thoughts dovetailed into the matter of policy and were in accordance with the minister's statement that matter's of this kind should be checked up in order not to leave the impression with those in the service that we were not interested in the small everyday things of life. If we take care of the small things, the large ones will take care of themselves.

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LIB

Donald Alexander McNiven

Liberal

Mr. McNIVEN:

Mr. Chairman, most hon. members who have taken part in this debate have been residents of the Atlantic or Pacific coasts, or of regions adjacent to large inland waters and the committee may wonder why I, a landlubber from the centre of Canada, from a point almost equidistant from the . Atlantic and the Pacific, am venturing into this debate. I do so for several reasons. Coming as I do from central Canada, I do not propose to follow the example of some of those who have spoken already and demanded special consideration for their particular harbours, nor will I attempt to vie with the hon, member for Comox-Alberni (Mr. Neill). While the debate between the hon, member for Skeena (Mr. Hanson) and the hon. member for Vancouver North (Mr. Sinclair) was going on, the hon. member for Comox-Alberni turned to. me and whispered that he had a harbour at Alberni which was as expansive as the western prairies and capable of holding all the fleets in the world.

I should like to refer for a moment to the address delivered this afternoon by the Minister of National Defence for Naval Services (Mr. Macdonald) and to congratulate him most sincerely upon the picture he painted of the development of the Canadian navy. I

want to commend him for the modesty he displayed in outlining those accomplishments.

I listened to the remarks of the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis). The other evening he and the hon. member for Weyburn (Mr. Douglas) commended the Minister of National Defence for Air (Mr. Power) for the achievement of the Canadian air force, and this evening the hon. member for Cape Breton South has commended the minister for the achievements of the Canadian navy. I hope these hon. members realize.that in the development of our air force and navy there has been some intensive planning, that there was somebody who directed in order to bring about this achievement, that there was somebody who planned, somebody who charted, somebody who made the blueprints. Both these hon. gentlemen belong to a group that would have the Canadian people believe they have a monopoly upon planning, blueprinting and charting courses which result in worth-while achievement.

After making a general eulogy of the minister the hon. member for Cape Breton South stated a number of specific cases. He said that in making this reference he was making no apology to the committee. However, I think the hon. member will agree that he should have apologized to the committee, because the four cases he referred to were all outside the Department of National Defence for Naval Services. He referred to the medical men on the Atlantic coast who belong to the merchant marine and serve as port doctors, and he complained of the role they were having to play in these stirring times. He said . that at some subsequent date they might be regarded as slackers. I do not think these men need have any fear. If they are performing the duties outlined by the hon. member I think they will come within the terms of that old saying "he also serves who only stands and waits".

In September, 1939, the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) placed the assets, and resources of Canada at the side of. Great Britain. Since then the assets and resources of this country have been steadily, mobilized for an all-out war effort. May I remind the committee that, as an initial step in that direction, a few days after the declaration of war, when the British admiralty sent a message to the Canadian government asking it how soon the Canadian navy would be ready for convoy work, the reply was sent back "Immediately", and within six days of the declaration of war eighteen ships loaded with food and supplies left a Canadian port under convoy by the Canadian navy.

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Since that day the personnel of the Canadian navy has grown forty-one times, and it is interesting to note that the greater proportion of that growth is included in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve, drawn from the four comers of Canada, from every walk and occupation in life. These young men, some 67,000 in number, have joined the Canadian navy and are serving wherever required.

I wish to thank the minister in particular for his reference to young men from the Canadian west who have joined the Canadian navy, for of the total to which I have just referred, 26,394 ratings and 1,694 officers have come from western Canada. Many of these young men, as the minister remarked this afternoon, prior to enlistment never saw a bit of water larger than a prairie slough, or a ship larger than a sailing boat on some of our smaller sheets of water. It was gratifying to us to hear the minister pay a tribute to these young men, a tribute to their courage, their alertness, their intelligence, and to the way in which they have performed their duties which were new and novel. That same tribute has been paid on a number of occasions in different parts of Canada by the minister and likewise by the Prime Minister and by many senior officers of the navy. I suggest to you, sir, that that achievement, the number of recruits who have come from western Canada, has been made possible by the enthusiasm and the steadfastness of. groups of men, who, following the last war, maintained an interest in naval matters through the operation of naval recruiting stations in different parts of Canada. In my own city of Regina we have had a naval company since the close of the last war; up to a few months ago that naval company had trained over 2,200 recruits for the Royal Canadian Navy, and these lads had later completed their special training on either the Atlantic or the Pacific. That achievement is so notable that I cannot refrain from again mentioning the names of the men who have contributed to that success. There comes to my mind Lieutenant-Commander Hall, Lieutenant-Commander Ellison, Lieutenant-Commander Grant, Lieutenant-Commander Pickersgill, all of whom are on active service in the present war; likewise Petty Officers Jeffery and Smith, who are also on active service.

I should like to commend the minister for the policy to which he referred this afternoon of naming corvettes and destroyers after important points in the Dominion of Canada. It is interesting to note that a number of corvettes have been named after Saskatchewan

cities and towns. It is a matter of regret that the corvette Weybum was lost in action. The corvette Rosthern has done excellent service, and it is a matter that should be noted, I think, that of the four submarines sunk by Canadian naval vessels unassisted, in 1943, the corvettes Moose Jaw and Regina were responsible for two of them, this being one occasion when Moose Jaw and Regina can unite in a common acclaim.

I should like to give some particulars with regard to the corvette II.M.C.S. Regina. When on duty in the Mediterranean she encountered an Italian submarine and blew her clean out of the water. At that time the ship was commanded by Lieutenant-Commander Harry Freeland, who, may I say to my friends the hon. member for Queens-Lunenburg (Mr. Kinley) and the hon. member for Shelbume-Yarmouth-Clare (Mr. Pottier), comes from Nova Scotia. This officer has had a splendid record, having served on H.M.C.S. Assiniboine and Lord Strathcona. At the present time he is commanding officer of the frigate Outremont. The present commanding officer of II.M.C.S. Regina is Lieutenant J. W. Radford, who has had wide experience, having served on H.M.C.S. Collingwood and Orillia.

At the outbreak of- the war Canada had1 no shipbuilding industry. There were, as the minister mentioned' this afternoon, only a few ship repair yards and some 5,000 men engaged in that industry. Since that time Canada has equipped some twenty-three major shipyards and some sixty-five minor shipyards, and1 in that industry now has an investment of well over $500,000,000, employing well over 100,000 men and women, turning out ships of war and ships for the merchant navy with a total commitment approximating $1,000,000,000.

The minister mentioned this afternoon the number of corvettes that had come down the slips and the prominent part that the corvettes are playing in convoy work and in action. It may be of interest to note that the first corvette built in Canada was launched in 1739 and was contracted for by N. Lavesseur and launched at the city of Quebec. It was a corvette, then called a sloop of war, a little less in size than our frigates and having many of the features of the present-day corvette. The results that have been obtained in the shipbuilding industry, both naval and marine, is a magnificent tribute to the way in which capital and labour have worked together. It is a magnificent tribute to the way in which the management and the worker have come together in Canada's emergency to produce

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ships of war and merchant ships which were needed in greater production than any other commodity at the time.

It is apparent that the Canadian navy, from its accomplishments and achievements which have been enumerated this afternon, is living up to the best traditions of the British navy, which has long been the acme of national service anywhere in the world. It will be remembered that in May, 1940, at the time of Dunkirk, when Mr. Churchill made that historic speech, he said "to build the ships and strangle the U-boat." Because of the assistance given by the Canadian navy, he was able to announce in the British House of Commons on November 9, 1943, that they had broken [DOT]the back of the U-boat campaign.

Canadians everywhere are proud of the achievements of the Canadian navy, and occasionally it may sound as though we were patting ourselves on the back when we eulogize the accomplishments of our own service. It is for that reason that I should like to refer to a tribute which was paid to the Canadian navy by a great publication in an allied country. I refer to the Saturday Evening Post, published in the United States, which on August 21, 1943, on its editorial page, said this under the heading, "Canada Saved the Day":

As this is written we seem to be well on the way toward victory in the battle of the Atlantic. The menace of the U-boat recedes as allied naval power grows and new techniques are developed for anti-submarine warfare. Land-based patrol planes and the rapidly growing use of converted carriers on Atlantic convoy have helped enormously. Britain, Canada and the United States are all sharing in this triumph over Hitler's strongest weapon.

What mo'st Americans don't realize, however, is that there were many desperate months when Canada stood between us and disaster.

Sea traffic, like that on the rails, divides neatly into two categories-passengers and freight. Our passengers in the battle of the Atlantic are troops bound for England, the Mediterranean theatre and other war fronts. They travel, heavily escorted, in fast ships, and they are comparatively little trouble. They get through with but little loss.

But the freight traffic is another matter. It is composed of trade convoys, the rusty and battered merchantmen that deliver the goods. They carry fuel oil, gasoline, iron ore, grain, frozen meats, tanks, planes, guns, explosives and hundreds of other products vital to the conduct of war. The size of these convoys and the frequency of their sailings are, of course, information the Germans would like to have, but it can be said here that both are much greater than you probably imagine. If the trade convoys had not been kept running, the allies doubtless would have lost the European war by this time.

There was a time before Pearl Harbor when the United States contributed substantial help in the way of escort ships for the freight convoys. But after Japan struck, much of our

(Mr. McNiven.l

naval strength was needed in the Pacific, and we also had to use our fighting ships to guard the troop convoys crossing the Atlantic. The burden of protecting the freighters fell chiefly upon England and Canada. Britain, with a very limited amount of help from the Norwegian, Polish and Fighting French navies, supplied fifty-one per cent of the escort vessels for the trade convoys; the United States contributed two per cent, and little Canada, amazingly, provided forty-seven per cent.

This does not mean, of course, that the United States w'as drowsing during those long and critical months. We supplied aircraft for freight convoy patrol and extensive ship and plane repair bases on both sides of the Atlantic. We guarded the growing stream of troops on their way to a global war. And after the fall of Singapore and Java we held the line almost alone in the Pacific. Also, it should not be forgotten that long before Pearl Harbor we had handed over to the British fifty of our over-age destroyers.

Yet the fact remains that we probably would have lost the war if the Canadian navy hadn't come through in a spectacular and heroic way. It is not surprising that Britain, with her great sea power and resources, should have been able to shoulder fifty-one per cent of the job. But it is one of the marvels of this war that Canada, an agricultural nation of less than 12,000,000 people, could have contributed forty-seven per cent of the vast fleet of fighting ships necessary to get the freighters across.

How Canada accomplished such a feat is an epic that should be written in large letters. When the war began in September. 1939. the Canadian navy was composed of a handful of destroyers manned by a personnel of less than

2,000 men. To-day that personnel has expanded twenty-five fold. As for ships of war. Hitler would like to know the exact figures; Canada's performance in the north Atlantic tells the story.

Of the fifty American destroyers which were traded to the British, Canada got seven, but while these were a real help they were only a beginning-a stop-gap. During the early months of the war, the need became apparent for a new type of war vessel: a ship designed to combat the U-boat, to be launched in large numbers, in a hurry. There was no time to be lost. The answer was an improvisation-a happy improvisation called the corvette.

The corvette is a small ship-under 1,000 tons, less than 200 feet long, but broad of beam-yet she is definitely an ocean-going craft. Her steaming radius enables her to make the transatlantic run with a reserve of fuel which destrovers may envy. Her ability to survive the most frightful weather the north Atlantic can dish up is an eternal joy to those who sail her. The corvette is slow, but the old-fashioned reciprocating steam engine-which were available when the need came-are highly reliable, and reliability means much on the Atlantic convoy route. Moreover, she is amazingly manoeuverable. Her armament is adequate for the job she has to do.

Once the Canadians had the design for the corvette and knew it was the answer, they set about building it in numbers that would shock the nazi high command if it knew. Large shipyards and small ones, even tiny boatyards whose experience had been limited to fishing boats and pleasure craft, responded in a way

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that made history. And husky young lads from the prairie provinces went down to the sea to man them. Canada made do.

Now the vast resources of the United States are being brought to bear on the U-boat problem in a larger way, and the ratio of escort craft provided by Britain, Canada and. America may be changing. But Canada is still doing her part and will continue to do so, we may be sure, until the day of peace. Is it any wonder, then, that the Canadian sailor may be just a trifle offended when his cousin from south of the border inquires with polite condescension: "Tell me, does Canada have a

navy?"

Such was the unsolicited tribute paid to Canada, to Canada's Navy, by the Saturday Evening Post, a magazine which has a weekly circulation of over four millions.

In the last war and as a result of the last war, Canada became a nation. As a result of this war Canada has become a world power.

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LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. McIVOR (Fort William):

I wish to ask the minister two questions, but before I do so I should like to pay a tribute to him for the masterly way in which he presented the record of his department. I do like to hear a minister who can stand up and speak up, showing that he knows what he is talking about, and then by deeds of valour proves what he has been talking about. We at the head of the lakes live on the shore of the greatest body of fresh water in the world. Before the last war we had a shipyard, and when war broke out that yard began to live, when the workers came back. The tribute paid the other evening by the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe) was well worthy of the workers who have been producing from the Port Arthur shipyards. Not only that, but we have had a sea cadet training centre there for years, and just as soon as war was declared there was no busier spot anywhere in Canada than that Port Arthur training centre. They all wanted to be given a chance, and I have gone there to see what I could do for boys who were burning up to get into the navy. I found a list of over five hundred who were waiting to be' taken in, and they were all number one. When I think of these young men who have gone to sea, some of them when they return not looking as young as they did when they went away, it proves to me the words of the minister, that these young men are going all-out to serve their God and their country in a way that will do credit to Canada, their home, and to their city centres.

I would ask the minister if he has any good reason for the statement he made that it was a good thing to call mine-sweepers or corvettes after cities. Is there any reason apart from the kindness of the people in the local centres in helping to equip these corvettes? I would ask the minister also whether the men who are working so faithfully in the shipyards get holidays with pay, because the Minister of Munitions and Supply assured us that workers all over Canada would get holidays with pay, and I find in the records of the labour department that workers in Canada during the past year have been receiving such treatment.

Another question I would ask the minister is whether we shall have in the near future a fully equipped ship so that these boys will get the best training before they leave the head of the lakes. I know now that privately owned boats and, I suppose, boats belonging to the board of transport are used as training vessels, but we feel that we are as good as Halifax or Vancouver or any other centre in Canada, and we think that even though we are a big fresh water lake we have a right to have a training ship second to none in Canada.

I must pay my tribute to the minister. I am very proud of him, although he has more Scotch blood in his veins than Irish. He is doing a good job and I say to him, "Stick to your job and God bless you, boy."

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LIB

Angus Lewis Macdonald (Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston):

My hon. friend's question was whether there was reason for calling corvettes after towns beyond the desire to capitalize, if I may put it that way, on the kindness of people. I can say to him, without going into all the reasons for the adoption of this policy, that it has proved very successful. As he knows quite well, there is a ship of war, a mine-sweeper, that is called after his town, the good ship Fort William, and there is another called after the neighbouring town of Port Arthur. He will recall particularly that about a year ago that ship distinguished itself in the Mediterranean by destroying an enemy submarine.

His second question is with regard to men working in the shipyards getting holidays with pay. He will have to take that up with the minister of munitions, because the construction of naval vessels is carried on in private yards in this country and they come under the jurisdiction of that minister.

The third question was whether they would have a fully equipped training ship at the head of the lakes where navy personnel might get training. I shall look into that matter at once, and while I doubt whether the head of the lakes is exactly on a par with Halifax, as an all year round port at any rate, it is nevertheless an important section of the country,

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has given a large number of excellent recruits to the navy, and has a very fine naval division at Port Arthur and Fort William. My hon. friend knows that we are building a permanent home for that division, and I hope that we shall find it possible to give the area there the training ship for which he has asked.

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IND

Liguori Lacombe

Independent Liberal

Mr. LACOMBE:

Mr. Chairman, the resolution reads:

1. That sums not exceeding $3,650,000,000 be granted to His Majesty towards defraying any expenses or making advances or loans that may be incurred or granted by or under the authority of the governor in council during the year ending March 31, 1945, for-

(a) the security, defence, peace, order and welfare of Canada;

(b) the conduct of naval, military and air operations in or beyond Canada;

(e) promoting the continuance of trade, industry ar.d business communications, whether by means of insurance or indemnity against war risk or in any other manner whatsoever.

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IND

Liguori Lacombe

Independent Liberal

Mr. LACOMBE (Translation):

Mr. Chairman, while we are discussing the estimates of the hon. Minister for Naval Services (Mr. Macdonald), I recall the loss of our ships and sailors torpedoed right in the St. Lawrence river. It- was with amazement that our people heard of these naval calamities. They wondered anxiously if our country were adequately protected, and rightly so. Why is it that our air force, which according to the hon. Minister of National Defence for Air (Mr. Power) is so mighty, could not defend our navy and our crews against such onslaughts? Yet, we had warned the government that it was necessary to defend our own soil first. After all the money that was spent in this unrestrained participation in war, after all the sacrifices made by the Canadian people, they were entitled to the protection of their,navy, of their sailors.and of the sea coasts as well. In spite of all this, the government asks us once again to vote S3,650,000,000 for the defence of Canada, the conduct of naval, military and air operations both inside and out of Canada.

During 1943, the Royal Canadian Navy assumed unprecedented responsibilities. It increased to a great extent its responsibilities and its strength both in men and ships. Not only in the north Atlantic did it convoy merchantmen and transports laden with war material, troops and supplies, for its scale of operations has now become world-wide. It has faced the enemy everywhere, in the Mediterranean, in the Aleutians. Our navy and our sailors were sighted on the African and on the Sicilian coasts, just as they were seen in the Pacific. The fact that we were present in so many operational theatres resulted in the heavy disasters we sustained in men, equipment and shipping.

Mr. A. L. Macdonald.]

The destroyer, St. Croix was a total loss, engulfing in the Atlantic 147 of the crew. Two of our corvettes were sunk in the Mediterranean, the Weybum and the Louisburg after the destroyers Fraser, Margaree and St. Croix had gone to the bottom of the sea. The Levis, Windflower, Spikenard, Charlottetown, Wey-burn and Louisburg, all of them corvettes, are gone forever, just as the patrol ships Bras-d'Or, Otter and Raccoon. With these ships, 954 sailors were lost, 177 wounded, not to mention the prisoners of war.

Mr. Chairman, these figures are significant, if we consider that the responsibilities assumed by our navy will increase until the end of the war. And what shall we have to offer our gallant sailors after this war? Are the government prepared to demobilize 70,000 sailors in this country? Will they have suitable jobs for those young men who are every day facing the worst dangers? Because our navy, along with our army and our air force will have to be demobilized without any delay after the end of the war. We shall then no longer be in a position to keep afloat a navy that now includes over 600 ships but which may comprise over 1,000 at the time of the armistice. That will be the time for reconstruction and return to normal life. Our sailors should be returned to civilian life without any delay since neither they nor the people, overburdened with taxes, shall brook the slightest delay. Let the government take at this time whatever action may be necessary to effect a demobilization which will have to keep up with the rapid changes occurring in the industrial, agricultural, scientific, social and economic fields. Governments will then no longer have control over events whose irresistible force will compel them to act without delay and without question.

One last remark and I shall be through. Since we are discussing war estimates I think I may appropriately remind parliament of the appeal made by His Eminence the cardinal as well as by the archbishops and bishops of Canada urging the governments and belligerents to preserve Rome from destruction. No Christian and civilized nation should disregard such an appeal. Civilian and military authorities can find ways of avoiding a catastrophe which history would stigmatize. The noble names of Christianity and civilization hold a prominent place in the war aims of the united nations. Let the allies spare the eternal city and they will thus achieve the greatest stride toward victory.

(Text) Mr. GRAYDON: Mr. Chairman, I desire to avail myself of this opportunity, not to make an extended address with respect to

War Appropriation-Naval Services

naval affairs but rather to ask the minister one or two questions which I think are germane to the matter now under discussion. Before doing so, however, I should like as leader of the opposition to pay my tribute to the gallantry, the heroism, the unfailing and self-sacrificing service of the officers and ratings of the Canadian navy. I think every Canadian must swell with pride when he contemplates the growth of the navy during this period of war and its unexcelled exploits in the fields in which it is operating. It is no exaggeration to say that the officers and ratings of the Canadian navy have lived up to the very best of Canadian traditions. It must be a matter of great pride to every person in Canada to follow the account given by the minister of what our navy has meant to us in a time of extreme danger and great peril to our nation and those who are fighting with us.

I wish, however, to direct the attention of the committee to one omission on the part of the minister in his statement, an omission I think he ought to make good now that it is drawn to his attention. No reference was made by the minister to very significant and far-reaching changes in the top-ranking officials of the navy. Since the war appropriations relating to his department were up for discussion a year ago, in fact fairly recently, the vice-admiral of the Canadian navy has been transferred to other work in London and his place here has been taken by Rear Admiral Jones. I think the circumstances surrounding those changes, a general description of what they mean, and the reasons underlying them, are matters which the minister will want to communicate to the committee at the very earliest opportunity, and I ask and invite him to do so.

There is another matter I should like to bring to his attention, though perhaps more properly it might come under the first item of his estimates, covering civil salaries and wages. I would ask the minister, as I asked the ministers representing the other two branches of the armed forces while their estimates were before the committee, to indicate why in the naval service the Wrens, who have such a high reputation in Canada, should not receive equal pay for equal work. I believe this question has engaged the interest and concern of many people, and in due course I hope the minister will be able to give us some answer and some explanation in that regard. I have never been quite able to understand why that situation should exist, though the minister may be able to explain it. The answers I received from the other two ministers were far from convincing, when I 100-85

asked why a member of the C.WA.C. should receive less than a man in the army, and why a member of the women's division of the Royal Canadian Air Force should receive less than an airman. Having exhausted all other avenues in that respect, I now come to the Minister of National Defence for Naval Services (Mr. Macdonald), and I am hopeful that I may finally get a satisfactory explanation.

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LIB

Angus Lewis Macdonald (Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

I am your last hope.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Yes, it is nothing more than a hope, because I have had previous experience with the minister. I hope he will not repeat the answer that was given by his colleague the genial Minister of National Defence for Air (Mr. Power), who said that if anybody in the house could find him the money he would try to equalize the pay. It does seem to me like an excuse rather than a reason, and I hope the minister will find a better answer which will meet the public wishes more satisfactorily.

I was also wondering why the minister's statement was so general with respect to demobilization and rehabilitation. The Minister of National Defence for Air spent a considerable time during his presentation in dealing with those two matters. Some of my own close family connections are in the navy; many others correspond with me or come in contact with me from time to time, and they are concerned with the same thing that concerns members of the air force and the army. While the immediate problem of winning the war is naturally paramount in their minds, somehow they are asking themselves the questions, "What shall we do when we leave the forces? Will there be a job? Will there be security? What provision is the government making with respect to the impiortant problems that will face us?" I hope that at an appropriate time the minister will go a little deeper into these matters than he went during the course of his rather general statement. I hope he may be able to give in some detail what he, in collaboration with the other two branches of the service, is prepared to do with respect to these important and far-reaching problems which will face the members of our armed forces when the war draws to a close.

I bring these matters to the attention of the minister not for the purpose of delaying his estimates but rather for the sake of information in regard to the points I have raised.

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LIB

Angus Lewis Macdonald (Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

I would ask my hon. friend to be good enough

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to give me some time to think over the second and third questions he raised, namely, the reason for not giving members of the women's service equal pay for equal work, and the request for a more definite statement on demobilization. The first reference of my hon. friend was to the fact that in my statement I did not mention certain changes in the high command of the navy. I do not think my hon. friend raised that question with the minister for air, who also made a change in his high command a few weeks before I did, but that does not matter.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

I have no objection to raising it with the minister for air if he wants to come back.

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LIB

Angus Lewis Macdonald (Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

The point is that there is nothing remarkable in that being done. It is not only the Canadian navy that makes changes in its high command. As my hon. friend knows very well, changes are frequent in England even in the highest command. In this case, as I said in a statement at the time, I came to the conclusion that the number of Canadians serving in waters near the United Kingdom and the importance of impending events in that area made it desirable that an officer of senior rank, senior to any officer we had ever sent there before, should go to London to represent us. The choice fell upon Vice-Admiral Nelles, Chief of the Naval Staff, who was succeeded by Rear Admiral Jones. That is the story in a nutshell. I do not think anything will be gained by prolonging the discussion of the matter. Changes in command are taking place all the time. As a matter of fact, the usual time for a naval officer to spend at one place is two years; he usually moves at the end of that time. Changes are not unusual, and they are not necessarily a reflection upon anyone.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

I never heard there was any reflection being cast upon any of the parties concerned with the changes mentioned, but I did think that we had not received the full story with respect to what were significant changes in the top-ranking officers of our navy. It was for that reason that I raised the question.

May I ask the minister another question which arises particularly in connection with civil salaries and wages. Some of the ministers whose work is not quite as comprehensive and laborious, perhaps not quite as important as the work entailed in the portfolio the minister now holds, have been given parliamentary assistants by the Prime Minister. At times

there have been rumours about the appointment of a parliamentary assistant to the Minister of National Defence for Naval Services. The names of some rather prominent gentlemen in the house have been mentioned from time to time, but for some reason or another the appointment has not been made. Is the minister in a position to give us any information with respect to the possibilities in that field? I am not suggesting that he should have a parliamentary assistant, but there was one candidate sitting beside him, or at least fairly close to him, during part of the debate. However, I attach no great significance to that. Can the minister tell us if the government intends to make an appointment of this kind in the future?

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LIB

Angus Lewis Macdonald (Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

I suppose the Prime Minister should answer for the government. The Department of National Defence for Naval Services was slated to have a parliamentary assistant.

Air. AlacNICOL: Yrou are doing a better job without one.

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LIB

Angus Lewis Macdonald (Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

There was a great embarrassment of riches and an assistant for my department was not selected. I have not given the matter any serious attention for some months past.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

When you get one, do not get one who gets in the road.

Mr. A1ACDONALD (Kingston City): He will not get in my road for very long or I shall not have him long.

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LIB

Manley Justin Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

Mr. Chairman, I have no word of criticism or advice to give to the minister whose report we have listened to with so much attention and enthusiasm this afternoon. As one hon. member described himself, I am a mere landlubber who comes from a foothills city, from the highest city in Canada, from a city with the mountains behind her and the great prairies at her feet. I think I can look at these matters a little more dispassionately and broad-mindedly than those who live in the lower lands of this broad nation of ours.

My heart was thrilled with the exploits and accomplishments of the Royal Canadian Navy which were described by the minister (Mr. Macdonald) this afternoon, just as it has been in the past when I hear from the lips of a man like Stoker Fisher, the sole survivor of His Majesty's Canadian Ship St. Croix, the intimate details of his experience. He comes from the province which I have the honour to represent. When I hear from men like him

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of the exploits of our gallant seamen aboard our Canadian ships my heart goes out to the navy. The sentiments which I entertain are abroad in the land, particularly in the city of Calgary which has an active branch of the Navy League and an even more active branch of the women's auxiliary of the Navy League.

I am particularly pleased this evening-I do not know whether the announcement has been made already, but it will be made to-morrow at the latest-that plans are completed and a contract awarded for the building of the new training ship Tecumseh at Calgary.

For some time the navy cadets have been carrying on in makeshift rented premises. They lacked the proper facilities or accommodation to discharge their duties. The result was that in the years prior to the war the navy did not hold the spot in the hearts of our people that it should. It was a pleasure to me to hear from the minister words of appreciation and commendation for the magnificent contribution made to the Canadian navy by men from the prairies of western Canada. In checking over the figures I find that my native province of Alberta has done its full share in proportion to population in providing men who have done such a splendid job in convoying our soldiers across the sea and in fighting this war.

As the minister was outlining the exploits of our navy I could not help thinking of; some ancient history. The minister is to be congratulated upon having given permanent form and shape to a vision of that great Canadian statesman, Sir Wilfrid Laurier. It is regrettable to my way of thinking that he did not have his way in 1910. If he had, we would have been a "navy-conscious" nation and we would have been able to make an even greater contribution to the winning of this war.

Our navy has changed the thinking of the Canadian people. It. has broadened our vision and given us a world-wide horizon. In Calgary the people of the prairies now think of the Indian ocean, the Pacific ocean and other far corners of the earth where their men are fighting on Canadian ships. They are beginning to realize that the products of our prairies, be they grain or cattle, would pile up to surfeit us unless there were ships to carry them to distant lands and unless the sea lanes were kept open. The fact that Canada has a navy of her own, a navy built in Canada and manned by Canadians, is giving to our people a world consciousness that no other activity could possibly give.

I am also prompted to commend the minister for adopting the very fine idea which, as he said, arose in the mind of a Canadian 100-85i

naval officer, of naming Canadian ships alter Canadian cities and towns. I am proud, as are the people of Calgary, that one of our most distinguished Canadian corvettes bears the name of my own city, Calgary. The corvette Calgary, which was commissioned in 1941, has made over sixty trips across the Atlantic, has seen service in the Mediterranean, and has already been credited with helping at least in the destruction of two nazi submarines. Her latest exploit hon. members will all remember having read of in January of this year, when with two ships of the Royal Navy and a sister Canadian ship she took part in running down and destroying a submarine in mid-ocean.

The navy has done something else for us as a people, in destroying sectionalism, as evidenced by the story of this corvette Calgary. She was built in Quebec, was commanded in the first instance by Lieutenant-Commander Gerald Lancaster of the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve, of Vancouver, whn commanded her until June, 1942, when she was turned over to the command of Lieutenant-Commander H. It. Hall of the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve, a distinguished Canadian yachtsman of Kingston, who still commands her. My information is that of the crew and officers on that ship at the present time there is not one from the province of Alberta or from the city of Calgary. Yet the people of Calgary follow with the keenest interest the exploits and accomplishments of that ship and will continue to do so simply because it bears the name of Calgary. There is an intimacy of interest akin to personal relationship which is bound to give heart and confidence to the men and officers who sail her, and at the same time it gives the people of Calgary an absorbing concern in the weal and welfare of her sailors, ho matter who they are or from where they came.

It is not to be wondered at that, since H.M.C.S. Calgary was christened by Calgary's mayor, the Navy League of Calgary, composed of patriotic citizens, has done what? The members of that branch of the Navy League have gone out and from money raised by private subscriptions have bought an excellent building, and fully equiped and manned it for the training of naval cadets. We have in Calgary, not one, but two cadet corps, the membership of which at the present time runs to nearly 500. I say that is worth w:hile in itself, and is a happy augury of the future of the navy in Canada.

In conclusion, I again wish to congratulate the minister and the department over which

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he presides upon having decided to put the navy on a permanent basis, not only on our seacoasts but across Canada. I am proud, and justly so, that the site which the city of Calgary donated to the navy is an excellent one, situated high above the city, with a grand view of the mountains and of the city and river below; and just as it is altitudinally high, so I believe that in the years to come, as at the present time, the good ship H.M.C.S. Tecumsch will maintain a position second to none in the high traditions and annals of the Canadian navy.

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BPC

Pierre Gauthier

Bloc populaire canadien

Mr. GAUTHIER:

Mr. Chairman, I just wish to add a few words to what the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis) said a few moments ago and to offer him my congratulations upon his fervent appeal on behalf of the men of the merchant marine. These men undergo all the risks of the sea, and with the limited means at their disposal, truly they are wonder men. Their record is not sufficiently known to the people of this country. They disappear one day; their ship is reported lost at sea, and that is about all one hears. There are very few declarations about them, if any. But they are real sailors, sailors from father to son. They do not look upon the navy or the merchant marine as an opportunity in war. They have a love of the sea in their blood, and at the age of twelve or fifteen they leave for the sea simply because they must answer its mysterious call. Their fathers did the same thing before them, and they must do it too. Some of them never come back, and except for a brief report in the newspapers their memory continues to live only among their families. The young boys, however, still look to the sea, and some day in their turn they will sail away, with their life just begun. As a matter of fact, these men do not expect reward. They love the life on their boat, and sometimes they dislike Being detained too long in any port. Their knowledge comes mostly from experience. Their endurance is extraordinary, because it is made up of fighting against the elements with limited protection and limited comforts. But they take it with a smile. They love the [DOT] sea. I believe in what I have just said, being of a lineage in which every family had one or many members who sailed the seven seas and the St. Lawrence as captains or pilots in the merchant marine. One might say that I speak for my own family. Yes and no, because since the war broke out I have lost none of my relations but many of my friends.

In November, 1942, two ships disappeared within a month's time, the Nereus and the Proteus. Three young sailors of my own town

and four of the parish next to mine disappeared with the ships. There is no news whether they were drowned or are prisoners. Their ages range from seventeen to twenty-nine. Investigations are going on, but no one really knows whether they are lost at sea or prisoners. The parents still hope; and since that loss, two members of these same families are already at sea. They answered the call.

I wanted to make these remarks in order to pay a tribute to people I know, to these humble heroes of the merchant marine, to these pillars of trade and pioneers of civilization; and I hope the minister will have a good thought for this merchant marine.

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NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

I listened with great interest to the minister and his excellent record' of the operations of the navy and the navy department during the last year. I think he did pretty good justice to the work of the navy; no one, in my opinion, could do full justice to the achievements of the men who are manning our navy and those who are guiding its destinies. I am glad that the minister intends to put on record a list of decorations which acknowledge the services of these gallant men. In passing, may I mention the honour bestowed on Surgeon-Captain Best, who with his associates is responsible for the work which has been done to improve the diet of the naval personnel. A great many people may suppose that Captain Best carries on his job entirely in an office or a laboratory, but the fact is that he has been out on these ships-

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LIB

Angus Lewis Macdonald (Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

Many times.

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NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

He has been on all types of naval vessels and knows the needs of the men. I know him well, and the work he has done in other lines, and I think the fact that he has gone out with these ships and made these investigations should be made known to the public. His associates, also, deserve a good deal of praise for their achievements.

The hon. member for Regina (Mr. McNiven) in making his address, talked as though the naval expansion which has been going on was planned by this government. But, as was pointed out by the hon. member for Yale, the planning started away back in 1922 or 1923. To the naval board, the permanent officers of the Royal Canadian Navy, and no doubt some of the volunteer officers, should go the credit for the actual planning and preparation. The navy did it. It is not a question of governments planning for it. Probably the reason why it was not carried sooner into effect was that we did not have the

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money, but the plan was in such complete form *that as soon as the money was available we could do the job. The accomplishments of the Department of National Defence for Naval Services have been outstanding; one cannot praise too highly what has been done. I wish to give full recognition to the naval board, to the permanent force, and to the people of Canada as well, for what has been accomplished.

Since parliament last met there have been, as my leader mentioned, some changes in the high command. I understand that two additions have been made to the naval board, something which we on this side of the house have long advocated and which should have been put into effect years ago. Two members of the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve are now on the board. Had the appointments been made earlier, a good deal of discontent would have been avoided. When one recalls that ninety-five per cent of the navy are composed of R.C.N.V.R. and R.C.N.R. personnel, and only five per cent are R.C.N. personnel, it is clear that this representation is fully justified.

I should- like to know from the minister whether the ship Toronto has yet been commissioned. Several of us were notified that it was to be launched and that we would receive an invitation to attend, but I do not think an invitation has been received by any of us, and certainly I would like to have been there. I wonder if the ship has been commissioned.

I was interested to hear that, of the 32,000 persons in the navy-does that include both men and women?

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March 9, 1944