March 14, 1944

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

Perhaps just a touch of chivalry.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Perhaps through his good offices he might persuade the other two. I believe I can see much more sympathy in the minister's atitude than I have seen thus far in the debate. My suggestion would be that when we have got this far perhaps we might go a little farther. [DOT]

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

That is a matter which would have to be settled by the three services. I would not, and neither would my colleagues, think of adopting a different scale of pay from that in the other services. But the matter has been considered at great length. We began, I believe, at the British rate of two-thirds, and we raised it to four-fifths. With good luck and generous hearts it might be that we would go even a little farther. But I cannot assure my hon. friend, still less members of the women's services, that that would happen. However, some progress has been made in the past, and it may be that more can be made in the future.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

I understand the door is not definitely closed, then.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston. City):

Where I am concerned, the door is never closed. All these matters can be reconsidered.

The hon. member for St. Paul's (Mr. Ross), inquired whether the ship Toronto had been, commissioned. The answer is that that good ship is not yet in commission, but that she will be this year.'

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NAT

Ernest Edward Perley

National Government

Mr. PERLEY:

Since speaking about an hour ago I have been informed by the hon. member for Yale that an announcement was made to-day to the effect that a ship has been named the Qu'Appelle. I refrained from speaking at length when I spoke before, but I wonder if the minister would inform the committee as to the type of ship, and the reason for naming it thus? I believe the announcement was made in the radio news at one o'clock.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

My hon. friend referred to the Fort Qu'Appelle, which was sunk?

War Appropriation-Naval Services

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NAT
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

I

shall give an answer before the committee rises, and shall ascertain that there is no confusion between names.

The hon. member for St. Paul's asked about Canadians serving with the Royal Navy and inquired whether they would receive pensions at Canadian rates. The Pension Act provides in effect that where the British act does not meet the case, full pensions will be paid by Canada. What we do is to make up the difference between the British rate of pension and the Canadian rate.

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NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

Is it proposed to have the service chevrons now used by the army adopted by the navy as well?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

I believe' the regulation applies to all three services. I do not know that the navy was greatly in favour of the business, but they are entitled to wear chevrons.

The junior member for Halifax (Mr. Macdonald) raised the question about the role the Canadian navy would play in peace and what strength the navy would be. I believe I answered his questions when dealing with certain matters raised by the hon. member for Yale.

The hon. member then went on to ask whether destroyers would be built in Halifax and expressed the hope that this would be done after the war. Of course these post-war plans and projects are difficult to assess with accuracy at this time, but I can say that if there is to be a Canadian navy in the postwar period, there should be destroyers. I think the destroyer is the heart of the navy; whatever other type of ship you have or have not, you must have destroyers. I think they should be built in this country. There has been some criticism of the cost of building these destroyers in Halifax. Undoubtedly it has been greater than the cost in Great Britain, but these were the first two to be built in Canada and then Canada's wage rates are somewhat higher than those of Great Britain. However, I do not think we could ever hope to develop a navy in this country unless we Resorted to our own shipbuilding facilities for at least the greater number of the ships in that navy. I should think that destroyers will be built in Canada as long as there is a Canadian navy. Halifax seems to be the logical place for the building of destroyers. They have to put in there for repairs and refits, and in the winter months many other ports are denied to them. It seems to have the proper combination of building and repair facilities.

fMr. A. L. Macdonald.)

The hon. member made some inquiry about the transfer of naval personnel to the former air force barracks at Halifax. I am able to tell him that the transfer is proceeding and it has been found to be very helpful. I understand some 2,000 naval personnel have been transferred and this will help to relieve congestion in the city. My hon. friend wanted to know if we contemplated any additional building in Halifax. In the past, building in Halifax has been difficult on account of the great shortage of labour, and at the moment we have not in contemplation the building of any new barracks. Undoubtedly restaurant and recreation facilities are greatly needed, and I shall be glad to do anything I can to assist or to strengthen the hands of the auxiliary services and those others who are interested in the matter.

The hon. member for Qu'Appelle (Mr. Perley) referred to the freighter which unfortunately was lost, but I am glad to be able to say to him that there is a fine destroyer

called the Qu'Appelle which we have acquired from the British navy.

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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

I asked about the naval disposal committee.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

My hon. friend's question was about the arrangements made for salvage and disposal.

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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

I wanted more details about naval order 3444. I wished to know whether tenders were called for.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

There is at naval headquarters a disposal committee, of which one of the officers of the stores branch is the chairman. At each base there is a subcommittee which deals with the question of salvage and disposal and which reports to the headquarters committee. My hon. friend wanted to know why they had to refer matters to headquarters.

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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

I

wanted to know if tenders were called for in connection with the disposal of these goods, and I should also like to know just what is disposed of. Would this not come under the new disposal committee set up under munitions and supply?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

It does. The fact is that the naval services disposal committee authorized by naval order 3444 is a collecting body to determine what assets are surplus to our requirements. The chairman of that committee is the deputy chief of naval equipment and supply, Mr. L. C. Thompson, who was formerly manager of

Mexico Embassy

stores, Canadian National Railways. This committee is made up of representatives of all the branches which have anything to do with buildings or properties or ships or naval ordnance or stores of any description. At each base there is a small counterpart set up. The naval services disposal committee is not empowered to effect any sale of surplus assets; this must be done by the committee under the jurisdiction of the Department of Munitions and Supply. The committee of which Mr. Thompson is chairman reports any surplus through the deputy minister to the crown assets allocation committee, after having first offered the surplus to the army and air force. It often happens that a thing which is surplus -with us is needed by the other services. Similarly, the local committees of other places have no power to dispose of surplus assets by tender or otherwise.

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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

I

should like to ask a few more questions.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

On the next sitting day.

Progress reported.

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At eleven o'clock the house adjourned until Thursday at 3 o'clock p.m., pursuant to special order made Monday, February 21, 1944. Thursday, March 16, 1944


March 14, 1944