August 12, 1944

LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Thank you. But you will not mind my making this remark. In the statement that you made I thought all the skill that could possibly be brought to bear was used in the way you worded your address. You said: "All anxiety would be removed" if we were able to find in December so and so. That was as skilful a use of words I thought as could possibly be made. In another case you said the infantry reserves "might become low". What "low" means I do not know. I suppose you do not want to go any farther than that? I have done the same thing. But I do not want to have bouquets heaped on me for debating skill because I think the general is proving himself pretty apt.

May I ask another question. You spoke about 5,000 needed to be in the United Kingdom in December.

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
?

Alan Aylesworth Macnaughton

Mr. McNAUGHTON:

No. I was saying we would like to ship during the month of December another 5,000; another 5,000 in January, and another 6,000 distributed over the months which follow. It is quite possible that these figures would have to be adjusted to fit in with shipping available. There is a margin one way or the other. You cannot in these things paint with a fine brush. You have to treat them generally.

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

The 5,000, and the 5,000, and the 6,000 are in addition to all the supplies of general service personnel available?

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

While this meeting of the house is informal to a large extent it should not be so informal that those in the house cannot hear, and this will apply to the galleries as well as to the house. I would ask those behind the curtains for silence because it is not possible otherwise for the house to hear.

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Mr. Speaker, may I also suggest that the press here has quite a responsibility, and I am quite sure that it must be very difficult for them to hear some of the remarks made by the minister and by the hon. member for Prince. I think I need only bring that to their attention to have them speak a little louder.

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I was asking whether or not the 16,000, which is the combined figure for December, January and February, of dispatches which you desire to make is in addition to supplies of general service personnel whom you planned to dispatch in any case?

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
?

Alan Aylesworth Macnaughton

Mr. McNAUGHTON:

Yes, sir.

Reinforcements

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

The 16,000 will be

N.R.M.A. personnel?

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
?

Alan Aylesworth Macnaughton

Mr. McNAUGHTON:

No, I would not say that entirely. The real requirement is 16,000, eventually destined for the infantry. But there must be complete flexibility. Some of the personnel might be gunners converted to infantry; they might be existing G.S. infantry, people shifting from one place to another, but the net total increase which we wish to place in the pools on the other side of the Atlantic is 16,000 infantry.

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Up to what date?

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
?

Alan Aylesworth Macnaughton

Mr. McNAUGHTON:

We plan, subject to adjustments to fit shipping, to send the first

5.000 in the month of December.

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Pardon me. You said

16.000 would be the total. The total up to what date? That will last you up to what time?

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
?

Alan Aylesworth Macnaughton

Mr. McNAUGHTON:

Those figures carry us forward, so far as dispatch is concerned, to the month of May, up into the month of May. The movement will be complete in May.

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

The movement will be complete in May? And that is in addition-

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
?

Alan Aylesworth Macnaughton

Mr. McNAUGHTON:

In addition to what had previously been planned, for which we made the personnel available by withdrawals from home defence establishments and so on in this country, by cutting down the progressive programme which had been instituted in the department before I took over, and which I have carried on as the chiefs-of-staff committee have told us of the possibilities under a lessened scale of attacks. It is a systematic programme of reduction which was in effect and which we have carried forward. We have saved some personnel in so doing.

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

When you first came into the department you .found a certain plan ready of dispatching reinforcements from November until May; that is, so many each month, in varying numbers. Is that right?

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
?

Alan Aylesworth Macnaughton

Mr. McNAUGHTON:

That is right.

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
?

Alan Aylesworth Macnaughton

Mr. McNAUGHTON:

That is correct. That is the programme I found for those dispatches. The point I wish to make is that when I saw the proposal for reduction of physical1 categories of 500 for the infantry, I could not bring myself to accept that.

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

You did not find any

approval of that proposal by me, I can assure you.

Topic:   REINFORCEMENTS-STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink

August 12, 1944