March 16, 1944

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

The question of works and projects to be undertaken in Vancouver harbour is still under consideration. There is ample scope within the estimates to take care of any expenditure which we may find it necessary to make there, but the whole discussion is still proceeding and nothing definite has been settled as to just what will be done in the harbour.

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LIB

James Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

Is this discussion based on the needs of Canada's navy out there at the present time or on the basis of what the British navy and the Canadian navy will need when they fight Japan?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

Perhaps my hon. friend will allow me to give a little thought to that question and bring down the answer later. We did acquire from the Department of Transport the right to use certain sheds on one of the harbour commission piers in Vancouver and that helped us out for the time being. I am not sure, and I do not think anyone in the department is sure, whether that will be sufficient to take care of our needs. It may be that we shall have to put up still more storage space in Vancouver harbour, but that is a matter which is still being considered and which I should like to have an opportunity of thinking over before replying.

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LIB

James Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

I think the war in the Pacific will involve more than a few sheds and a government pier. I suggested the other evening that the great harbour space in North

Vancouver could be used. It is not a matter of building docks when the war actually develops out there.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

It is not a matter of building docks now? I thought my hon. friend was advocating the building of a naval dock.

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LIB

James Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

I am advocating just that, on the north shore of Vancouver harbour.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

I

thought my hon. friend said it was not a matter of building docks. I did not hear him correctly. I shall be glad to give him a considered answer later. I have no doubt he is interested in the harbour of Esquimalt. There is an estimate for Esquimalt of $968,000 in connection with the dockyard joint service magazine and fueling depot at that point. If my hon. friend will be good enough to let me look at the Vancouver matter I shall give him an answer later.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

Will the minister look up for me the aggregate item? I am interested in knowing whether there is provision there for the locality with which I am concerned.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

I told my hon. friend there was an aggregate item of $187,000, and I am sure his locality is one of the places to be taken care of under that item.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

I am afraid the $187,000 represents money spent last year.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

Oh, no. This is for the next year.

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SC

James Alexander Marshall

Social Credit

Mr. MARSHALL:

May I refer to the question of camps for sea cadets. Did I understand the minister to say that such a camp was located at Wabamun, near the city of Edmonton? Would the minister tell the committee the size of the camp, when it was located there, and whether there are any other camps in Alberta?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

The Wabamun camp was under the supervision of Edmonton. There was another camp, the Chestermere lake camp, fourteen miles from Calgary. These are the only two in Alberta. The number of boys attending Wabamun camp was 119, and those attending Chester-mere lake camp, 462.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

If the minister would be considerate enough to lower his voice we might hear what is being said behind the curtains.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

I thank my hon. friend.

War Appropriation-Naval Services

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NAT

Percy Chapman Black

National Government

Mr. BLACK (Cumberland):

May I ask a question with regard to the gymnasium at Wellington barracks? The cost of this gymnasium would appear to the ordinary person to be extravagant, most excessive. I do not want to be interpreted as criticizing expenditures for giving all the equipment, facilities and comfort necessary to the men in the navy. I think it is the view of the people of Canada that there is nothing too good for the navy. They have the good will of everybody, particularly the women all over Canada. On the other hand, when there is an expenditure of 8645,000 or thereabouts for a gymnasium and swimming-pool in connection with Wellington barracks a great many people in my province wonder if this very large expenditure is really necessary. Many people who subscribe according to their means to bonds and pay heavy taxes have serious misgivings about some of those excessive expenditures or what they interpret as excessive expenditures in connection with the minister's department. The department has expanded greatly since the outbreak of the war. At that time it had only 1,774 men in the service, and the whole Canadian navy, big and small, was represented by fifteen vessels. I do not hold the minister to account for that. But I say the figures which were given as the basis of the growth of the navy are a most serious reflection on the government and those who had the responsibility of preparing Canada to defend itself and its shipping when war broke out. The minister was not in his present position at that time, and I do not hold him responsible. On the other hand, I consider it to the discredit of those who had the responsibility in the years leading up to the war. [DOT]

I should like to ask the minister what is the justification for this veiy large expenditure on the gymnasium built at Wellington barracks, Halifax, which I think has the special name of Stadacona?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

I

can only say to my hon. friend that it is a very large physical training building. The estimate is considerably less now than the original estimate. The original estimate was cut down quite drastically. There is a swimming-pool in the building, but I think that is an absolute necessity for men who are taking on duties at sea; and to show that there is no extravagance I received not long since a letter from a citizen of Halifax who urged that the swimming-pool should be, as most swimming-pools are, tiled instead of lined with cement. He pointed out that tile was much more sanitary, that men were likely to contract athlete's foot one from another if cement were used. We

fMr. A. L. Macdonald.]

have not agreed even to spend the extra five or six thousand dollars that it would cost to t.ile that swimming-pool and the adjacent floor.

This is a physical training building. It is very large. It is well fitted out but not extravagantly fitted out. I can get my hon. friend more details by to-morrow; but I think I can assure him that every economy which could be reasonably practised was practised there.

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NAT

Percy Chapman Black

National Government

Mr. BLACK (Cumberland):

This expenditure may be justified, but a great many of the taxpayers do not appreciate that it is. That expenditure would build practically the entire equipment of some of the smaller universities that we have down east. What composes the whole set-up of Wellington barracks? I understand that one part of it is called Stadacona No. 1 and another part Stadacona No. 2, and perhaps there are other sections of the naval establishment at Wellington barracks. Could the minister give the committee this information ?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

Stadacona No. 2 is what used to be called the "Y" depot, the building used by the air force. Stadacona proper, that is, the old Stadacona, is the original site. My hon. friend is familiar with it. I may say with regard to the physical training building that a great many men would rely on this physical training building for physical training and exercise. For instance, at Stadacona there are roughly 12,000 men. That does not take in men who might be visiting the port in ships.

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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

They are all allowed to go into the swimming-pool?

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March 16, 1944