April 5, 1945


two men across an open field to a position from which the piat could best be employed. Leaving one man on the weapon, Private Smith crossed the road with a companion and obtained another piat. Almost immediately an enemy tank came down the road firing its machine guns along the line of the ditches. Private Smith's comrade was wounded. At a range of thirty feet and having to expose himself to the full view of the enemy, Private Smith fired the piat and hit the tank putting it out of action. Ten German infantry immediately jumped off the back of the tank and charged him with schmeissers and grenades. Without hesitation Private Smith moved out onto the road and at a point blank range with his tommy gun killed four Germans and drove the remainder back. Almost immediately another tank opened fire and more enemy infantry closed in on Smith's position. Obtaining some abandoned tommy gun magazines from a ditch, he steadfastly held his position protecting his comrade and fighting the enemy with his tommy gun until they finally gave up and withdrew in disorder. One tank and both self-propelled guns had been destroyed by this time but another tank swept the area with fire from a longer range. Private Smith still showing utter contempt for enemy fire helped his wounded friend to cover and obtained medical aid for him behind a nearby building. He then returned to his position beside the road to await the possibility of a further enemy attack. No further immediate attack developed and as a result the battalion was able to consolidate the bridgehead position so vital to the success of the whole operation which led to the eventual capture of San Giorgio Di Cesena and a further advance to the ltonco river. Thus by the dogged determination, outstanding devotion to duty and superb gallantry of this private soldier, his comrades were so inspired that the bridgehead was held against all enemy attacks pending the arrival of tanks and anti-tank guns some hours later. Private Smith was from British Columbia, but I take some pleasure in saying that his mother was a French Canadian from Bona-venture county in the province of Quebec.


LIB
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

These operations which I have reviewed so sketchily and so inadequately have, of course, had their price. As the committee will recall from figures published the other day, casualties which have been sustained by the army since June 6, 1944-D-day -amount in all to 46,866, of whom 11,638 are killed or dead, 537 missing, 2,131 prisoners of war or interned, and 32,560 wounded.

I know the sympathy of the committee will go out to the families of those who have made this sacrifice.

I now propose to give to the committee a brief outline of the organization of the Canadian Army overseas, and the method of reinforcing that army, and the organization of our army in Canada, followed by some figures as to the present strength of the army and

the changes in strength which have taken place over the fiscal year which ended last Saturday.

In view of the wide interest in the subject,

I make no apology for describing the organization of the Canadian Army overseas. I realize of course that a good many bon. members will be familiar with what I am about to say. But it will, I believe, be useful to have the description on the record.

Basically, the Canadian Army overseas is . composed of three infantry divisions, two armoured divisions, two independent armoured brigades, two heavy artillery groups and several specialist groups of engineers and signals, with of course, certain ancillary troops necessary to maintain and service these establishments.

The plan of the Canadian Army adopted in 1942 provided for an army of two corps. Initially, the three infantry divisions and the two armoured brigades were to be grouped in the first corps, and the two armoured divisions in the second corps.

Of course, you cannot merely put two or three divisions together and call the result an army corps. The various divisions have to be held together by a corps headquarters with a corps commander and staff and a variety of service and supply units and formations known as corps troops.

Equally, when two or more corps are combined in an army, there must be an army headquarters with an army commander and similar service and supply units and formations which are known as headquarters and army troops.

In general terms, it may be said that a division is a formation which is normally of a certain definite composition and strength. There,are two kinds of divisions in the Canadian army-the infantry division with three infantry brigades, and the armoured division with one armoured brigade and one infantry brigade; each having the required components of artillery, engineers and the like. The same is not true of an army corps or an army. These of necessity are much more flexible in their composition.

Hon, members will recall that- when we hear that Germany has so many men on the western front it is always measured in terms of divisions, not in terms of corps or armies.

A corps may be composed of two or more divisions, either infantry or armoured as circumstances may require; an army of two or more corps. In a war of movement, it is sometimes essential, for tactical reasons, to transfer divisions from one corps to another. In the present war, it has frequently been

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necessary for the commander in the theatre to transfer whole army corps from one army to another, in accordance with strategic needs and developments. Since D-day every Canadian division without exception has, on occasion, fought under British command, and in northwest Europe every British division but one has at some time fought under Canadian command.

Consequently, when our first division and one of the independent armoured brigades and their ancillary troops were sent to Sicily in July, 1943, they were attached to a British corps in the British Eighth Army. Later on when the decision was taken to send the fifth (armoured) division to Italy, the first Canadian corps headquarters was also sent to Italy. This corps came under command of the British Eighth Army and from time to time was responsible for the handling of the Canadian and of British and other divisions as required by the tactical situation.

The second, third and fourth divisions and the other armoured brigade were regrouped in England as the second Canadian corps. In addition, we had in England, the army headquarters and army establishment which had been created before there was any thought of sending Canadian troops to Italy. What was more natural than to assign a British army corps to serve with the Canadian Army in England? It was simply the counterpart of having a Canadian corps serving with a British army in Italy.

In other words, when we hear about British or Polish troops serving with the First Canadian Army, that does not mean that there are not enough Canadian divisions overseas to make up an army which would be exclusively Canadian. All it means is that, because one Canadian corps has been serving in Italy, an army corps of non-Canadian troops must substitute for it as a part of the Canadian army in northwest Europe.

For a small part of the time since the clearing of the Schelte the First Canadian Army has been made up of more than two army corps. As a consequence, the majority of the troops under General Crerar's command have at times been other than Canadians. But the First Canadian Army is truly Canadian because its commander, its headquarters staff and most of its army troops- that is the whole structure of command and control-are Canadian. The Canadian people have every right to be proud of the tribute to the efficiency of our army headquarters implied in the heavy responsibilities which have repeatedly been assigned to General Crerar and his staff.

From time to time, there is criticism of the decision taken in 1942 to create the First Canadian Army. It is argued that the largest formation Canada should have undertaken was an army corps, such as we had in the last war. I can see no object, at this stage, in taking sides in that argument. The Canadian army exists and it cannot now be changed. But it should, perhaps, be pointed out that five divisions and two armoured brigades, two heavy artillery groups and several groups of signals and engineers would have made a large and cumbersome corps.

Another point has some relevance. The dispersal of the same number of Canadian divisions under non-Canadian command would not have reduced1 and in all probability would have increased the reinforcement requirements. Such a course would also have made almost impossible the organization of adequate Canadian medical, postal and similar services.

One point I wish to make very clear since there has been some misunderstanding in this connection. All Canadian divisions and) other smaller formations overseas have been reinforced exclusively by Canadians. When we hear of British or Polish or American troops in the First Canadian Army what is meant is that a corps or a division of such troops is fighting under Canadian command.

In the recent offensive in the lower Rhineland, only about a third of the troops in the First Canadian Army were Canadian. But this was a very high honour and tribute to Canada. I have been told that at one stage of its glorious history in this war, there were no British divisions serving in the famous British Eighth Army. Yet no one questioned its right to be called a British army.

It would be quite easy to give the committee plenty of examples of regroupings of army corps taken from experience in the present war. The practice of course is not a new one. Many hon. members will recall that during the last war the Canadian formations at the second battle of Ypres formed part of the British Second Army. Sixteen months later, on the Somme, the Canadian corps formed part of the British Fourth Army. At Vimy Ridge, the Canadian corps was part of the British First Army. At Passchendaele, Canadian troops fought in the British second army. Simultaneously, other Canadian troops were fighting as part of the British Third Army.

In my own case the battery with which I was serving was not even attached to the Canadian corps it was attached to the first British corps. I have reason to remember that

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because after we came out on rest after Pass-chendaele I was able to get leave to go to Italy, which was not permitted at that time if you were attached to the Canadian corps.

During the spring of 1918, some Canadian troops were divided between the British First and Third Armies in the neighbourhood of Vimy Ridge, while other Canadian forces were fighting near Amiens with the British Fifth Army. It is also interesting to recall that at Vimy Ridge in 1917, troops of the British fifth division fought with the Canadian divisions as a part of the Canadian corps. I recall these examples both because they are part of the history of Canadian arms and because they illustrate so well the principle applied in the shifting of formations from one army to another in accordance with battle needs.

I am now going to take further liberties with the patience of the committee in order to give a brief description of the organization for handling reinforcements for the Canadian Army in the United Kingdom and in the actual theatres of operations.

The organization in the United Kingdom concerned with the reinforcements for the Canadian Army in the field is called the Canadian reinforcement units. Under one headquarters, there is a group of units each on a definite establishment, designed to hold and to continue the training of reinforcements for each of the arms and services in the army. Naturally, the number of reinforcement units for each arm or service depends upon the umber of reinforcements to be held. There is, for example, more than one unit for the armoured corps and the artillery. There is one unit each for engineers, signals and army service corps. There is a general reinforcement unit for those services which are so small that they do not require a separate unit for their reinforcements.

The organization for holding and training infantry reinforcements is somewhat different in character. It consists of two infantry training brigades made up of infantry training regiments, each of which has a depot battalion to administer the reinforcements and two training battalions to train them as nearly as possible to field conditions. Each regiment holds, administers and trains reinforcements for particular infantry battalions in the field.

Reinforcements are dispatched from Canada to the Canadian reinforcement units in the United Kingdom month by month, according to projected requirements overseas and, of course, to the shipping available. Reinforce-

ments are dispatched to the particular reinforcement unit or infantry training regiment for which they are intended. Upon disembarkation, they proceed direct to these units.

Upon arrival at the reinforcement unit, the state of training of the reinforcements from Canada is assessed. If further training is required, the reinforcements receive such further training before being dispatched to the theatre of operations. If no further training is required, their training and fitness is maintained until they are called forward into the theatre.

Reinforcements are called forward from the United Kingdom by the general officer in charge of the Canadian elements of the lines of communication in the theatre. Perhaps I should explain that for ease of movement and the like, the headquarters which among other tasks has to handle the reinforcements and which is directed by this Canadian general officer to whom I have just referred, is divided into two groups designated 1st and 2nd echelons.

The demands for reinforcements from the United Kingdom are met weekly or more frequently if necessary. These demands are based on estimates of reinforcements which will be required to replenish the pool for each arm or service held in the theatre, and on the casualties which it is estimated will be suffered up to the time the reinforcements will arrive.

In the theatre, there is a Canadian base reinforcement group made up of a number of reinforcement battalions. These battalions are designed to hold reinforcements and1 to maintain the state of training of these reinforcements until they are called forward for action.

In addition to the reinforcement battalions in the group at the base, there is a forward reinforcement battalion normally located in the corps area. This battalion is divided into companies to hold an appropriate number of reinforcements for each unit in each division and in corps troops.

At each divisional headquarters and at corps headquarters, there is an officer who is a representative of the officer in charge of 2nd echelon at the base. This officer receives a copy of the daily casualty reports from the units. On the basis of these reports, , he demands reinforcements from the forward reinforcement battalion and informs 2nd echelon.

By having officers representing the reinforcement agencies attached to the fighting formations, who can make their demands for reinforcements direct to the forward reinforce-

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ment battalion, the movement of reinforcements is expedited and the reinforcements can join the units as quickly as transportation facilities permit. Naturally, their movement forward is dependent upon conditions of battle at the time.

The organization of reinforcements for armoured units is somewhat different. Here it is necessary for reinforcements and replacement tanks to move forward together. While bringing their tanks forward, reinforcement crews have an opportunity to get to know the particular tank they will take into battle. Although the organization differs somewhat, the basic principle is the same. Reinforcements are held well forward and are demanded direct by the fighting formations.

The organization of reinforcements is truly a stream. As reinforcements are called forward into battle, other reinforcements take their place in the forward units, others move from the United' Kingdom to the units at the base, still others from Canada to the United Kingdom.

Because it is flexible, the organization permits of the ready reinforcement of the units in a division. No matter with what corps a division may be serving from time to time, it is able to get its own reinforcements. In this connection, I should perhaps point out that the reinforcing of units in the field is done territorially as far as possible. Except in cases of extreme urgency, reinforcements recruited from a particular part of Canada join a unit from that region in the field. Moreover, except for emergencies, which do arise from time to time in battle, a soldier who has served with a unit and leaves it for one reason or another, and later joins the reinforcement stream, becomes a reinforcement for his own old unit.

Finally, I should perhaps say a word about the difficulties which often arise in moving men forward while a battle is going on, particularly a battle of movement. It is, of course, not possible to replace every casualty the moment the casualty occurs. There is also the problem of absorbing reinforcements into the fighting units, and the effect upon the morale of the unit of such absorption. Every old soldier knows that no unit and no commander is ever satisfied with the reinforcements sent to them when they first arrive. Old soldiers know, too, that if the men are properly selected and properly trained, they can be quickly absorbed into the unit, and before many days have gone by, become veterans all ready to criticize the next batch of reinforcements.

The Army in Canada. Now about the Army in Canada. Canada is the base of operations of the Canadian Army overseas. This country is the source of supply of reinforcements, weapons, munitions, equipment and supplies for the fighting units. Hon. members may be surprised when I remind them that the total effective strength of the army in Canada is some 175,000 men and, in addition, some 13,000 women. Apart from those in hospital or those awaiting discharge, all are engaged in military activities which the government's expert military advisers regard as essential to the prosecution of the war. Most of these activities are in direct support of the army overseas.

In cooperation with the other services the army in Canada has had to provide for the security of our own country and nearby areas, like Newfoundland, against direct assault or raids. As the tide of war has receded, this task has fortunately made smaller and smaller demands on the army's man-power, but there are still coastal garrisons and garrisons for strategic or vulnerable areas which have to be provided, if undue risks are not to be taken.

The main task of the army in Canada is to support the Canadian Army overseas. Men and machinery have to be provided for the enlistment, enrolment, administration and discipline, medical and dental care, and the training and dispatch of reinforcements. Then too the army has the task of providing personnel and machinery to receive, sort out, counsel and discharge those who have completed their military, service. The army in Canada does not itself manufacture weapons, equipment and ammunition, but it has a considerable staff engaged in testing, designing and improving munitions, in receiving them from the manufacturers and arranging for their warehousing, issue and shipment for our own forces overseas, and also to the armies of our allies who are supplied with Canadian munitions.

The army in Canada administers and guards many thousands of prisoners of war. In addition, it provides certain services to the navy and the air force, which represent an overall national saving in m'an-power.

The man-power of the army in Canada is distributed roughly as follows:

1. Fifty per cent of the total number of men in the army in Canada are directly related to the reinforcement of the army overseas.

(a) Thirty-five per cent of the troops in Canada are themselves in training as reinforcements, destined for overseas service. As this

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number represents men at all stages of training, the number is much greater than the number fully trained and ready for dispatch at any one time.

(b) Fifteen per cent of the troops in Canada form the staffs of the training centres in which overseas reinforcements receive their training. They comprise instructors, administrative, housekeeping and welfare personnel.

2. About ten per cent of the troops in Canada are employed as operational troops ensuring the security of our national military base. They include soldiers manning coastal defences, anti-aircraft guns, and the like.

3. Another fifteen per cent of the troops in Canada are employed in recruiting and discharge depots, in working on behalf of the navy and air force, in guarding prisoners of war and internees, and in miscellaneous duties.

4. The balance, some. twenty-five per cent, of all the troops in Canada, provide the housekeeping staffs for the rest of the army in Canada, including medical and dental care, provost, supply, engineering and mechanical maintenance, pay and chaplain services, and so on.

These figures show that the greater part of the army in Canada is not engaged in what is loosely described as "home defence". The proportion of the total engaged in these operational activities is no%v less than ten per cent and reductions continue to be made. Most of the activities of the army in Canada are essential services being performed for the direct benefit and support of the army overseas.

By far the largest proportion of the soldiers employed in Canada (apart from those being trained as reinforcements for overseas) are in the older age brackets, lower medical categories, or are members of the C.W.A.C. It has long been the policy of the government and the military authorities to withdraw from units in Canada those who are suitable and able to serve overseas as their services are required, and as rapidly as they can be replaced by personnel in lower categories.

It may be as well at this point to mention one fact that seems little realized in the country. That is, that at no time during the present war have more than a third of the soldiers in Canada been N.R.M.A. or so-called "home defence" personnel. Of the numbers at present in the army in Canada, approximately 35,000 are N.R.M.A. and

140,000 general service personnel.

The Strength of the Army. Turning now to the present strength of the army and the changes in the strength which have taken place over the last fiscal year, in the case of the army overseas, security considerations make it impossible for me to do more than give an overall picture, but for the army in Canada and territories adjacent to Canada, I can give a little more detail.

The army overseas, that is, in the United Kingdom and in Europe, has increased during the fiscal year from about 240,000 to about 285,000.

Of the increase of approximately 45,000, nearly one-half has been in personnel employed or held as reinforcements. The remainder is in hospitalized and other noneffective personnel. Increases in these items are to be expected in view of the action in which the army has been engaged over the year.

The increase has been effected by the dispatch overseas of some 80,000 troops. As was stated in the house in February last year, it had been planned to dispatch overseas only 48,000 during the fiscal year. The committee will, I feel sure, appreciate the magnitude of the effort which has been made to bring about, during the fiscal year, the dispatch overseas of two-thirds as many again as the number which had been originally planned.

The army overseas includes some 2,000 nursing sisters and other members of the nursing services and some 1,500 members of the C.W.A.C. Most of the members of the C.W.A.C. are employed in the United Kingdom but some have gone even further afield. The nursing sisters are employed in hospitals both in the United Kingdom and in the theatres of war.

I shall not for the moment give details as to the present reinforcement situation but I shall return to this a little later on in the course of my remarks.

As regards the army in Canada and adjacent territories, the then Minister of National Defence in presenting the estimates to the house in February, 1944, stated that the strength amounted to over 215,000. At the present time the strength of the army in Canada and adjacent territories numbers only about 175,000, plus about 9,000 who, although carried on strength, are on extended leave to engage in agriculture, mining or various essential industries. The decrease of 40.000, that is, from 215,000 to 175,000, is accounted for as follows: 80.000 have been dispatched overseas and about 55,000 have been struck off strength

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for various reasons; a gross decrease of 135,000. On the other hand, there have been nearly 65,000 enlistments and enrolments, and approximately 30,000 returned from overseas, a total increase of about 95,000; leaving a net decrease of about 40,000.

Of the 175.000 now in home army establishments, some 15,000 are in operational units, and some 80,000 are employed in training or other non-operational units. These compare respectively with 55,000 and 75,000 a year ago.

The total of the two is the true basis of comparison since there has been some reclassification of units, formerly considered as operational, to non-operational status. For example, servicing units in the coastal commands were last year almost all classified as operational since their duties were mostly concerned with the maintenance of the operational troops in the infantry and artillery units of the commands. With the reduction of the scale of defences consequent upon the changed strategical considerations, the role of these servicing units is now largely nonoperational and they are now so classified.

The total now employed in operational and non-operational units amounts to 95,000 and is some 35,000 less than the number so employed a year ago.

Attention is constantly being devoted to releasing from service in Canada as many fit men as possible in order that they may proceed overseas as reinforcements. Apart from commissioned officers, the number of men who are of age and physical standard suitable for duty as infantry overseas who are still employed in operational or nonoperational units is now only about 21,000, many of whom have already served overseas. This includes men in certain infantry units which it has not yet been possible to relieve from operational duties either in Canada or in various islands in the Atlantic and in certain units engaged in cold weather tests. As soon as these units can be released the fit personnel will be sent overseas as reinforcements.

The committee will, of course, understand that a certain number of men of the highest physical standards must be retained in Canada for training duties, provost and other special work. Moreover certain warrant officers and specialist tradesmen must be retained even if they happen to be of suitable medical category for service overseas. However, to the extent that such men can be released by replacing them with men returned from overseas they will be dispatched overseas.

The number in the training stream, that is, undergoing training in the numerous training centres and schools across the country

and including men recently enlisted or enrolled in district depots, amounts to about 65,000. As these men complete their training they will go forward as reinforcements to the army overseas. Those who for one reason or another become ineligible for overseas service will be employed in units in Canada according to their qualifications and wherever possible, will be used to release fit men for service overseas.

In the district depots, apart from men newly inducted into the army who are accounted for in the training stream, there are about

15,000 men. These men are in what are known as the appraisal, placement and rehabilitation wings. They include men who have returned from overseas who are posted to district depots while they are on disembarkation leave. When their leave is completed they report back to their depot and are either found suitable employment or may be discharged. Men from units in Canada which are disbanded or men who are found unsuitable for the training or employment in which they are engaged may be posted to depots until further employment is found for them or until they are returned to civil life.

Over and above the 175,000 men to whom I have referred, there are some 1,000 nursing sisters and other members of the nursing service, and some 12,000 members of the C.W.A.C.

The department also employs some 10,000 full time civilians in military establishments These civilians fill many posts which might otherwise have to be filled by high category men.

As I have said, there are among the 175,000 men in the army in Canada and adjacent territories about 35,000 N.R.M.A. soldiers. In addition, 6,000 of the 9,000 men on extended leave are N.R.M.A. men.

The 35,000 N.R.M.A. troops are distributed throughout the various units which go to make up the army in Canada. They are to be found in every training centre in Canada, in every depot and in practically every unit in Canada whether operational or nonoperational and in the numerous units serving in the islands off the Atlantic coast and in the territory of Labrador.

I hope the committee will forgive me for dwelling on this point, but in spite of repeated statements, the misapprehension still seems to exist in some quarters that the N.R.

M. A. are a separate and distinct body apart from other troops. This is not the case-the

N. R.M.A. troops are not segregated and con-

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centrated in one camp or in a number of camps, but as I have said, are to be found throughout the army in Canada.

Last November figures of the N.R.M.A. strength were published in considerable detail. In view of the interest in these figures, which I am sure is shared by members of the committee, I have had comparisons made in tabular form of the strength as it then existed with the current strength. With the permission of the committee I will place these tables on Hansard. Thesfe tables, in which the figures have been shown in round numbers, are as follows:

Table I

Strength of N.R.M.A. Soldiers- those -Canada and Adjacent on extended leave) Territories- -(excludingType of unit Operational

Non-operational

Training stream

Depots 30 Sep 44 Total strength 31,100 15,500 11,200 2,200 Numbers suitable for inf.inch 2,600 8,000 8,000 Total strength 7.500 12.500 12.500 2.500 31 Mar 45 Numbers suitable for inf. inch 5.000 5.000 10,000Total 60,000 42,000 35,000 20,000Table II Strength of NR.M.A. Soldiers- those Canada and Adjacent on extended leave) Territories- (excludingMilitary district of enrolment 1, 2 and 3-Ontario

4 and 5-Quebec

6 and 7-Maritimes

10, 12 and 13-Prairies

Pacific command-B.C 30 Sep 44 Total strength 15,000 22,800 4,300 13,800 4,100 Numbers suitable for inf. inch 10,250 16,300 2,600 10,000 2,850 Total strength 8,200 14,200 2,500 8,100 2,000 31 Mar 45 Numbers suitable for inf. inch 4.600 8,000 1,200 5,000 1,200Total 60,000 42,000 35,000 20,000

Table III

Strength of N.R.M.A. Soldiers-Canada and Adjacent Territories-(excluding those on extended leave)

Year of 30 Sep 44 31 Mar 45

enrolment Total strength Total strength

1941

6,200 3,2001942

25,400 13,6001943

17,900 9,2001944 and 1945

10,500 9,000Total

60,000 35,000

Table I shows that the 35,000 are divided roughly as follows: 7,500 in operational units,

12,500 in non-operational units, another 12,500 in the training stream and 2,500 in. depots. Of the 20,000 suitable for infantry there are 5,000 in the operational units, 5,000 in the non-operational units and 10,000 in the training stream. In accordance with policy, the number suitable

for infantry employed in operational and nonoperational units will be reduced still further and the men will go forward as reinforcements.

Table II shows that the present strength is divided as follows: 8,200 from Ontario; 14,200 from Quebec; 2,500 from the maritimes; 8,100 from the prairie provinces and 2,000 from the Pacific command.

War Appropriation-The Army

I should mention that these statistics are compiled on a basis of military districts. Thus, the provincial break-down is only approximate because of the part of Ontario included in military district No. 10 and the part of Quebec in military district No. 3.

Table III shows that of the 35,000 at present on strength, 3,200 were enrolled in 1941; 13,600 in 1942, 9,200 in 1943 and 9,000 in 1944 and 1945.

As was stated in the house last year, it was planned to take into the army, both by voluntary enlistment and through the N.R. M.A., 5000 men per month, or 60,000 for the fiscal year ending March 31. This number was obtained, in fact, slightly exceeded.

Although the army has taken in during the fiscal year over 5,000 men per month, the net drain upon our man-power is much less than this, for discharges from the army to civil life have on the average run close to 4,000 per month; thus the net drain upon the civilian economy is only a little over 1,000 per month, or about 15,000 for the year.

Many of those discharged have been lowered in category and some will not be able to resume work as strenuous as that in which they were employed before enlisting. Nevertheless, these 45,000 discharged men constitute an important return to the Canadian working force.

At the beginning of the last fiscal year, we had in Canada over 55,000 operational troops, many of whom could be drawn on if necessity arose as reinforcements for the army overseas.

As the committee knows, that necessity did arise and many of the units were dispatched overseas as reinforcements both before and after the passing of order in council P.C. 8891.

I cannot conclude my remarks with respect to our army here in Canada without making some reference to the role which has been played by the reserve army. That role is familiar to all of us and it is unnecessary for me at this time to say more than that the government fully realizes that it has not been easy for busy men-many of whom are in the older age brackets with family obligations or employed in important and exacting wartime civilian duties-to devote their evenings and holidays to the work of the reserve army. Nevertheless, it is important that they should continue their efforts in support of this force. They are giving valuable assistance in maintaining throughout the country a continued interest in the Canadian Army and its activities, and in military affairs generally, and are setting a very necessary example of preparedness to all citizens, especially to our youths many of whom enlist in the active army after a brief period of service with a 32283-37

reserve unit. Great credit is due to those who have taken part and are continuing to take part in the activities of the reserve army for their splendid contribution to Canada's war effort.

The Reinforcement situation. I now come to the present reinforcement situation and what has taken place in regard to provision of reinforcements since the house met in special session in November and December last.

In open session I cannot state exactly how many reinforcements we have, but I can say that at the present time the reinforcmeent situation generally, and in the infantry in particular, is much better than was forecast in the estimates put before the house in the secret session.

We had at the end of March over 75 per cent more fully trained, fit and available infantry reinforcements in the theatres or in the United Kingdom than was forecast in the projections put before the house in the secret session. Moreover, we also have in training in the United Kingdom more infantry reinforcements than we estimated that we would have.

The principal reason why the infantry situation is better than forecast is, of course, that battle casualties have been lower than estimated, although this has been in part offset by a higher incidence of sickness and other non-battle casualties brought about by the extraordinarily difficult conditions under which our troops have been operating. Notwithstanding the fact that casualties have been fewer, our planned dispatches of reinforcements overseas have been not only fully maintained but substantially exceeded.

I shall now try to tell the committee in some detail what has taken place since P.C. 8891 was passed.

The first step was to select the battalions which would proceed overseas as reinforcements. Certain battalions had to be ruled out, at least as regards early sailings, because they were employed in garrison duty in Jamaica and Newfoundland and others had already been selected for cold weather exercises which have taken place in northern Saskatchewan and northern British Columbia.

Of the units which remained some had, of course, to be retained for operational duty in accordance with the scale of defences which it is necessary to maintain. Thus the decision which had to be made was as to which units should go and which units should remain.

Although some units had to be retained in Canada, the physical standards for these units are not so high as are the standards for operational duty overseas, and to the extent that

57S

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they could be spared, high category personnel from these units were posted to the units proceeding as reinforcements.

The selection of the units was made by the general staff in consultation with the G.O.C.-in-C., Pacific command, in which area most of the units were situated.

To meet the additional 10,000 to be dispatched before the end of January, it was decided that ten units should proceed at a strength of 1,000 each. This is about 25 per cent greater than the normal establishment of an infantry battalion.

The first sailing which left Canada consisted of 14th brigade headquarters, the Oxford Rifles, the Winnipeg Light Infantry, the Royal Rifles of Canada, the St. John Fusiliers and the Prince of Wales Rangers.

On the second sailing, which left a week after the first, there were the 15th brigade headquarters, the Fusiliers de Sherbrooke, the Regiment de Joliette, the Regiment de Cha-teauguay, the Fusiliers du St. Laurent and the Prince Edward Island Highlanders. In addition, there were the Irish Fusiliers and the Midland Regiment.

I should mention that although the names of these various units are of territorial significance, the personnel of the units were actually drawn in every case from several military districts. Since that time, the 31st (Alberta) Reconnaissance Regiment and the Dufferin and Haldimand Regiment have also proceeded overseas.

A unit which had been serving in Newfoundland at the time of the passing of P.C. 8891 has now been relieved by another unit consisting largely of low category men. The unit which had been relieved is now in Canada and will in due course proceed overseas.

Personnel in units engaged in the cold weather tests are also scheduled to proceed overseas in due course. One of these tests has already been concluded, but the other, in which it is planned to study the effects of spring conditions, will continue a little longer.

In all, the numbers in units warned for overseas were nearly 18,000 other ranks, of whom a little over 14,500 were of N.R.M.A. status.

Of those warned to report for the third sailings, 6,311 were reported as not accounted for on January 16. Of these 1,993 surrendered or have been apprehended up to the end of March. A further 639 were found on investigation to have been in hospital or otherwise properly accounted for, leaving a total of 3,679 still unaccounted for.

Of those warned to report for the third sailing, 736 were absentees and not accounted

for at the time of sailing. Of these, 339 have since surrendered or been apprehended, leaving 397 still unaccounted for.

Of those warned to report for the fourth sailing, thirteen were absent and unaccounted for at the time of sailing, and of these, seven since surrendered or been apprehended, leaving a balance of six unaccounted for.

Summarizing what I have just said, this left 4,082 still unaccounted for at the end of March.

The approximate distribution of these by military districts of enlistment or enrolment is as follows:

District of enrolment Number

1, 2 and 3-(Ontario) 450

4 and 5-(Quebec) 2,400

6 and 7-(Maritimes)

10010, 12 and 13-(Prairies)

1,000Pacific command

150Total

4,100

The details which I have given above refer to the units which are sometimes loosely called N.R.M.A. units. As has been mentioned, about 20 per cent of the strength of these units consists of general service men.

In addition to the N.R.MA. men who have been dispatched overseas in units, reinforcements have also been dispatched from the training stream.

The total number of men of N.R.M.A. status dispatched overseas up to the end of March is 11,836. By military districts these are as follows:

M.D. 1, 2 and 3-(Ontario) 3,466

M.D. 4 and 5-(Quebec) 2,391

M.D. 6 and 7-(Maritimes) 888

M.D. 10, 12 and 13-(Prairies).... 3,899 M.D. Pacific command 1,192

Total 11,836

In addition, over 2,400 men who were N.R.M.A. soldiers last October have since proceeded overseas as general service soldiers. Thus, the total exceeds the 14,000 additional reinforcements from the N.R.M.A. which it had been expected to dispatch before the end of March.

The total conversion of N.R.M.A. since November 1st has been 10,279 and new enrolments in the N.R.MA. 4,626.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, to round out the statistical data which I have been giving to the committee, I think I should say that total enlistments and enrolments in the Canadian Army since September, 1939, have been over

700,000 all ranks, which includes over 20,000 women. This compares with total enlistments and enrolments in the last war of approximately 619,000.

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In the course of these remarks, I have endeavoured to give the committee as fully as possible the data I believe it may wish to have. But if there are any other figures it is desired should be given which can be given without transgressing security rules, those figures well be forthcoming. I am sorry I have taken so much time. I am conscious of my own limitations in attempting to describe what the army has done and what is the present position. Nevertheless as an old soldier, although a very humble one, I am very proud to have been given the opportunity of speaking for our Canadian Army. It is a magnificant army, of which I think all of us can be proud. It has fully maintained the traditions of the Canadian corps of the last war. It is the army of every part of Canada. Every province, every town, every village and every hamlet are represented in it. A good many people have been responsible for its creation, but perhaps there are two who, more than any others, have made the greatest contribution to the building up of that magnificent fighting force. Those two men are the present Minister of National Defence, Mr. McNaughton, and his immediate predecessor the hon. member for Prince (Mr. Ralston). It certainly is not for me to attempt (to appraise the relative contributions which have been made by these two great Canadians, but I can and do say that they have been magnificent contributions, which have earned for each of them the gratitude of every man, woman and child in this country.

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John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEEENBAKER:

It is always very

difficult to follow a minister or a parliamentary assistant who has delivered a detailed recital such as we have heard this evening, but I think I speak for all hon. members of this house in complimenting the parliamentary assistant upon the graphic and complete way in which he has placed before us the problems of our army and the reinforcement situation in general.

This evening I am in the position of having no prepared speech, but I wish to ask a certain number of questions that have arisen out of the remarks made by the gentleman, with a view to ascertaining certain matters that have exercised the public mind in recent months and which even now, after the recital of the hon. gentleman, remain unanswered by him.

When he speaks with such pride of the Canadian Army and its exploits he voices the ideas of all of us in all parts of the house. The Canadian Army is performing exploits to-day which have earned the commendation of men in every land of the united nations.

As I listened to him telling the story of the original set-up that was intended for the Canadian Army I express the hope that I did almost a year and a half ago, that in the near future Canada's overseas forces will be in truth a Canadian Army, and that the men of Canada will be united together in one corps, adding to the exploits of Canadians overseas not only in this war but in the last.

I mentioned a moment ago that there are certain matters which have been unexplained, and that there are some things which have disturbed the public mind. The matter of manpower is still of pre-eminent importance, and recent events have intensified the interest with which the people of Canada will study the report given by the hon. member. The Prime Minister's speech of yesterday and the series of events which began in November last all require elucidation to a greater extent than has been done this evening by the hon. member.

I speak in no sense of disrespect, but the continuing in office of the Minister of National Defence after his rejection in the constituency of Grey North; the removal or forced resignation of Major General Pearkes, V.C., one of Canada's heroes; the incidents that have taken place in various parts of Canada, culminating in the recent incident at Drummondville; the serious disregard of discipline as revealed by the fact that even to-day 4,082 of the 18,000 directed overseas remain unaccounted for; the continuance in this country of a policy of inequality of service and of sacrifice-all these and more, cumulatively and individually have aroused serious doubts in the minds of the people of Canada, which only a fuller explanation, if given by the hon. member, will resolve.

One thing of which he did not make mention this evening is the fact that during recent months numbers of men who have been overseas for a period of five years have been returned to Canada on furlough. That is something worthy of commendation. The suggestion originally came from hon. members on this side of the house, when we stated our belief that those who had been overseas the longest should have an opportunity of being restored to their loved ones.

Now I come to. the matter of absenteeism. During recent days questions have been asked respecting absenteeism, and as to what is being done to apprehend these men who have deliberately defied the laws of this countay. There has been no serious attempt at enforcement of the law in this regard,

War Appropriation-The Army

and to illustrate what I have in mind I shall refer to a matter which has taken place recently.

My information is that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, while they have received instructions to locate these absentees, and to assure equality under the law in this regard, have at the same time, since an unfortunate incident and trial respecting the apprehending of a man who had broken the law, found themselves faced with a memorandum preventing their carrying out their responsibilities in this regard. I refer to a direction which has been issued, as I am informed, to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, preventing them in effect from carrying out the law in this connection.

This memorandum, as I understand it, was delivered to the mounted police several months ago, and reads as follows:

All members of the force should familiarize themselves with the criminal code and C.I.D. Instruction Book with respect to the use of fire arms in police work. If as the result of the use of arms members of the force are charged in court, the responsibility for their acts and the providing of counsel is entirely that of the member or members concerned. . . .

Now, Mr. Chairman, that is a rather serious matter. These men are asked to line up the absentees in this country and to bring them in; and yet at the same time they are advised that if it becomes necessary for them to use force, through firearms, the responsibility for their doing so falls upon themselves in the matter of the securing of counsel, and meeting the charge.

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Ralph Maybank

Liberal

Mr. MAYBANK:

Is there any difference

between those instructions and the instructions usually given to police officers?

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?

Mr DIEFENBAKER:

These are the instructions that were given, as I say, some months ago, in a memorandum which was sent out.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

I am endeavouring to make an argument, and if my hon, friends do not agree they will have their opportunity to answer later on.

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LIB
PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

I never interrupt

hon. members, I sit here and listen to their arguments, and I ask the same courtesy I invariably give to other hon. members when speaking in the house. Whether or not these

directions are different from or the same as those previously given, this I believe, is the first time directions such as these have been given, and just at a time when the police forces of the country require the undivided support and approval of the people of Canada, and the widest possible power for the carrying into effect of the responsibilities that are theirs.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: Would the hon.

member tell me from whom he understands these directions were issued? By whom were they given? -

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John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

They were given

to the mounted police in this country.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: Would the hon.

member mind telling me what his information is as to the source of these directions?

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John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

The minister asks me the source; I ask the minister were these the instructions?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: I cannot say. There were no instructions given by any one but the commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and any he gave were given on his own responsibility and as a result of his own experience in the administration of the force. The minister responsible to the house did not know until this moment about the instructions my hon. friend has read.

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John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

Regardless of that fact, I have referred to the instructions which I am informed were in fact given. Speaking about the punishment of wrongdoers, does the minister tell me that there has been any serious endeavour to enforce the mobilization regulations of this country having regard to the record of absenteeism which has been revealed this evening by the parliamentary assistant? Can it be said that there has been any serious endeavour to enforce the law when during 1944 only 4,503 men were punished for failure to comply with the regulations, and of those one-half were charged with the comparatively unimportant offence of failing to notify the mobilization authorities of a change in address? In 980 cases the charge was withdrawn when readiness was shown to comply with the law.

I think all of us are in agreement, the minister as well, that if a law on the statute books merits the support of the people of Canada, it merits the support of the law enforcement officials of this country. No information was given by the parliamentary assistant as to what was done with those who were apprehended. In one statement made by General McNaughton he stated that those

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who were wrongdoers were going to be punished, that those who were absent for more than twenty-one days would be punished as deserters. I ask the parliamentary assistant in that connection to place before the house and the country full information regarding the punishments that have been imposed on those men who have deliberately flouted the law of the country.

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Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

* We will do that.

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Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

I might be able to tell the hon. member why we let some of them off.

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John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

The number that got off is certainly unusually high. If the government intends to uphold the law; if the government intends to make sure that delinquency shall be punished, is there any reason why those men who have deliberately flouted the law, who have deliberately defied the law, should not have their names made public to the end that the people of this country may be fully aware of those who are breaking the law? The men who to-day are defying the law should be made to realize that they will be punished when the war is over, regardless of when they are actually located or return home. In other words, the time has come when we should have the assurance that the law will be carried out.

When you look at the degree and extent of absenteeism it speaks volumes for the lack of enforcement; it speaks volumes for the lack of public opinion. In the midst of a war and under circumstances such as they are to-day, of 18,000 men who have been trained for two or three years, 4,082 still remain unaccounted for and 6,300 of the first numbers ordered overseas did not turn up. These things are serious. This matter strikes at the very heart of this country. This is delinquency the like of which few of us could imagine would exist during a time of war.

I have dealt with enforcement and the necessity of having full assurance that everything will be done to the end that the law will be upheld. I come now to one other matter which has been dealt with before in this house. This has to be repeated because, in spite of the protests that have been made in the past, the same course is being followed by the government at the present time and has been followed in recent months. We on this side believe that there is only one way in which this Canada of ours can be united, namely on a basis of equality of sacrifice everywhere in this dominion. I am going to refer to some recent statistics which indicate

that even now there is no serious endeavour to enforce the National Resources Mobilization Act equally and fairly.

This confederation can be cemented in unity only when men all over this country realize that under our citizenship there is equality under the law. I say without hesitation, after listening to the statistics which the hon. gentleman placed before us this evening, that there is not to-day nor has there been since this government came into power, any serious endeavour to assure equality. I pointed out the inequalities of the call-up in 1941, but it could be explained then on the ground that it had arisen innocently. It might have been a coincidence in 1942 that there was then no equality. But when the same state of affairs was repeated in 1943 and in 1944, and in 1945 according to the latest record, namely, "Canada at War", issue 44, February and March, 1945, I say that a course is being deliberately followed by this government with its eyes wide open of not enforcing the law of this country equally, fearlessly and fairly everywhere in this dominion.

When we met in November last and it was announced that under the provisions of an order in council 16,000 men from the N.R.M.A. would be sent overseas, we on this side of the house endeavoured to secure an assurance from the government that there would be equality in the allocation of those men, that the distribution would be fairly applied everywhere. The hon. member for Souris asked General McNaughton, when he appeared on the floor of this house, this question as reported on page 6556 of Hansard:

Mr. Ross (Souris): There has been considerable discussion to-day about the 16,000 men who will be called up under the new conscription policy which has been announced. In choosing those men or any proportion of _ them, will it be done on a per capita basis in the military districts across Canada from which they originally enlisted?

The answer of General McNaughton was this:

Mr. McNaughton: No; they will just be taken from any part of Canada.

Now I ask the parliamentary assistant this question, will he place on the records of the house not only the composition, as he has done, of the numbers that have come from the various provinces, but the percentage that they bear to all who were in the N.R.M.A. forces available for overseas service?

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Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

Is my hon. friend suggesting that untrained men should have been sent over?

War Appropriation-The Army

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John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

No, but I presume that men who were trained would be trained without regard to province or territory. I would presume that the military authorities would not train some men from one province and not train men from another. I would presume that the training would be done equally, without regard to the locality from which the men came.

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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

That information has already been given in round figures.

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April 5, 1945