March 28, 1945

PRISONERS OF WAR

STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO SENDING OF PARCEI-S BY NEXT OF KIN


On the orders of the day: Hon. L. R. LaFLECHE (Minister of National War Services): In a statement on Monday, relating to conditions among Canadian prisoners of war in Germany, the Prime Minister referred to information recently received by the Department of External Affairs which indicated that as a result of conditions in Germany brought about by the Allied offensive, there was a definite prospect that it would be impossible to deliver parcels individually addressed to prisoners of war and that a further statement would be made by myself. On February 15 I issued a press release explaining that, owing to the evacuation of Canadian prisoners of war in certain camps to other parts of Germany following the advance of the allied armies, it had been decided that personal parcels should not be sent by their next of kin in Canada until definite information had been received as to the camps to which they had been transferred. All information received from the protecting power, the international Red Cross, the British and other governments has been studied by officers of my department and of other departments, including the Department of External Affairs and the Departments of National Defence, who are concerned with the welfare of Canadian prisoners of war. The present situation resulting from the recent allied drive has been carefully reviewed, and it is the unanimous opinion of these departments that having in mind the present situation in Germany, we should concentrate our efforts in getting Red Cross parcels and medical parcels to our prisoners. It is very doubtful whether individual parcels will even reach Germany, but if they do there is a danger that they may displace food and medical parcels, and also that they may fall into enemy hands. Further there is a most important fact which either is not generally known or at least seems to be overlooked, that the distribution of personally addressed parcels is made through the German postal service, which, according to reports, has been disorganized, and therefore parcel post service in Germany is virtually non-existent. It seems highly improbable that any personal or permit parcels would be delivered to the addressees. Consequently it is the recommendation of these departments that for the present no further parcels addressed to indi- 2S8 Prisoners of War



vidua! prisoners of war in Germany should be accepted for dispatch. Notification to this effect will be sent individually by my department to next of kin in Canada, who I have every confidence will fully understand the reason for this decision. We shall continue to watch the situation closely and should there by any developments favourable to the sending of personally addressed parcels, the suspension will be lifted and next of kin promptly informed. My hope is that the successes of the allied forces which we are following so eagerly will result in speedy liberation of all prisoners of war and thereby solve a problem that has given us such grave concern.


NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

May I ask whether Red Cross parcels are getting through to prisoners?

Mr. LaFLECHE: They are, through special efforts that are being made in that direction. I would recall to my hon. friend an article that appeared in the press this morning explaining how that is being done by truck from Switzerland. The trucks are painted white so that our aviators and, we hope, the enemy, will allow them to go through.

Topic:   PRISONERS OF WAR
Subtopic:   STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO SENDING OF PARCEI-S BY NEXT OF KIN
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LIB

Gerald Grattan McGeer

Liberal

Mr. McGEER:

Is it not a fact that parcels are going through from Sweden and that the Germans are cooperating in effecting delivery of those parcels to the prisoners in prisoners of war camps? I understand that the cooperation has reached the point where prisoners of war are manning the trucks and handling the parcels. If that is so, it seems to me that those interested in prisoners of war should know it.

Mr. LaFLECHE: We do know it. What the hon. member has said is the fact, but the statement I gave a moment ago deals not with Red Cross parcels but with personally addressed parcels for our prisoners of war in Germany. I explained in that statement that the delivery of these parcels is made by the German postal service, which is disorganized.

Topic:   PRISONERS OF WAR
Subtopic:   STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO SENDING OF PARCEI-S BY NEXT OF KIN
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LIB

Gerald Grattan McGeer

Liberal

Mr. McGEER:

But is there any reason for believing that the cooperation that the Germans are now extending with respect to Red Cross parcels would not be extended if there were parcels from next of kin available for distribution on the same basis?

Mr. LaFLECHE: I am glad to say that the possibility is being explored, but these conditions are changing very rapidly.

Topic:   PRISONERS OF WAR
Subtopic:   STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO SENDING OF PARCEI-S BY NEXT OF KIN
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QUESTIONS


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk.)


HOSPITAL SHIP "lETITIA"

NAT

Mr. AYLESWORTH:

National Government

1. Were tenders asked for by the Department of Munitions and Supply for hospital equipment for the new hospital ship, formerly the Letitia?

2. If so, who were the tenderers and what were the tenders quoted?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   HOSPITAL SHIP "lETITIA"
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LIB

Mr. CHEVRIER: (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

1. No. Early in 1944 Wartime Shipbuilding Limited was instructed to supervise the conversion of an armed merchantman (the Letitia) to a hospital ship, the work of conversion to be done with the utmost urgency and completed at the earliest possible date.

Sources of supply for the necessary equipment were immediately investigated and, in such cases as would not cause delay, competitive prices were sought and received, but formal tenders were not called. A large part of the equipment, such as hospital beds, metal furniture and. galley stores could not be procured in Canada but was available if immediately ordered in the United States. Through the cooperation of the United States navy and the United States maritime commission valuable assistance was given in the procurement of these and other technical stores, which greatly speeded the work of conversion.

Considerable of the equipment used on the Letitia is the same type as that bought by the Department of Munitions and Supply as the result of tender for the first hospital ship, Lady Nelson, and at no increase in price.

2. Answered by No. 1.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   HOSPITAL SHIP "lETITIA"
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MEAT PACKING PLANTS AND ABATTOIRS-RELEASE OP EMPLOYEES

NAT

James Arthur Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

How many men have been released by meat packing plants or abattoir s throughout Canada since December 1, 1944, by provinces and by months ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MEAT PACKING PLANTS AND ABATTOIRS-RELEASE OP EMPLOYEES
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

Non-Military Separations from the Meat Products Industry

Source: UIC 751-B-"Statistical Report on Employment Operations by Industry"

During four-week period ended Dec. 28/44:

Male Female Total

Canada

1,097 441 1,538Maritimes

37 5 42Quebec

386 50 436Ontario

178 98 276Prairies

457 275 732Pacific

39 13 52

Questions

During five-week period ended Feb. 1/45:

Male Female Total

Canada

1,482 769 2,251Maritimes

66 17 83Quebec

210 94 304Ontario

303 137 440Prairies

838 494 1,332Pacific

65 27 92

During four-week period ended March 1/45:

Male Female Total

Canada

2,131 775 2,906Maritimes

22 13 35Quebec

236 73 309Ontario

314 160 474Prairies

1,484 513 1,997Pacific

75 16 91

Hudson's bay company-taxes

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MEAT PACKING PLANTS AND ABATTOIRS-RELEASE OP EMPLOYEES
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NAT

Mr. HATFIELD:

National Government

1. How many stores and trading posts does the Hudson's Bay Company have in the western provinces and British Columbia?

2. Is the Hudson's Bay Company exempt from paying income tax and all other special war taxes?

3. Is the company exempt from paying import duties and sales tax?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MEAT PACKING PLANTS AND ABATTOIRS-RELEASE OP EMPLOYEES
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LIB

Mr. MacKINNON (Edmonton West): (Minister of National Revenue; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

1. No information.

2. No.

3. No.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MEAT PACKING PLANTS AND ABATTOIRS-RELEASE OP EMPLOYEES
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SUGAB CONTROL

SC

Mr. BLACKMORE:

Social Credit

1. Who is the sugar administrator for Canad_a?

2. Who is the deputy sugar administrator for Canada?

3. Was either of the above directly or indirectly connected with the cane sugar industry?

4. Is either of the above still connected with the cane sugar industry?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   SUGAB CONTROL
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LIB

Mr. ILSLEY: (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

1. Mr. S. R. Noble, O.B.E.

2. Mr. H. J. Hobbins.

3 and 4. Mr. Noble was not and is mot directly or indirectly connected with the cane sugar industry. Mr. Hobbins is on loan to the wartime prices and trade board, on a fulltime basis, from the Czarnikow (Canada) Limited, sugar and produce brokers.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   SUGAB CONTROL
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March 28, 1945