April 6, 1945

NAT
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Canadians, yes.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

Those who are Canadian citizens now? Then it should apply to these men?

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Not yet, but there was an alteration made last year by this parliament.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

I am anxious that it should apply to these men in the future.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I see the point.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

It seems to me a reasonable request.

Another item is that there are many units to which the prefix of "royal" has been given; for instance, the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. But there is one unit, the Canadian Armoured Corps, which does not bear this distinction. I suggest to the minister that he might take the necessary steps to have this corps designated as the "Royal" Canadian Armoured Corps.

I wish to ask the parliamentary assistant with regard to a question to which I referred earlier to-day, which was asked on March 19 and which he said he could not answer in toto without getting reports from overseas. I quite understand and appreciate that. But there are two or three questions here which he did not answer in his report yesterday or to-day and to which I think I should have replies eitheT

now or on the next occasion. I do not think question No. 4 was answered, which is, how many of those A.W.O.L. are classed as deserters?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I can give my hon. friend that information now. I have some of it here. There are 3,323 N.R.M.A. soldiers belonging to units which have proceeded overseas who have been struck off the strength as deserters pursuant to findings of courts of inquiry, and who have not surrendered or been apprehended. That covers the answer to question No. 4.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

Then No. 5, I think I can work out the answer from what the parliamentary assistant said to-day.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I think I have given most of that information.

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NAT
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I have given that information, namely than seventy have been tried by courts-martial.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

And you have given the answer to No. 7. There remains the question of how many of these draftees got away with their rifles and their ammunition.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I can answer that, as it happens: about one hundred and forty men who have been reported absent without leave were in possession of rifles. None had ammunition.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

And the next question follows naturally: have such rifles been recovered?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I am able to answer that: 126 rifles have not been recovered. I am sorry to say that the other questions require information from the other side which we have not yet received.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

I shall hope to receive the answer during the next week.

In the statement of the parliamentary assistant he made a comparison with what happened in the last war. May I remind him that we then had between four hundred thousand and five hundred thousand men overseas, included in five divisions, of which four served in France and the fifth remained in England and was broken up as reinforcements.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

That is right.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

These four divisions were

used in France as the Canadian Corps under Sir Arthur Currie. In this war we have five divisions overseas, as I understand, with 285,000 men serving.

War Appropriation-The Army

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

As I explained in my statement, we have five divisions, two of them armoured divisions; we have two armoured brigades, and two heavy artillery groups, I think they are called, and several groups of specialists, engineers, signals and the like.

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April 6, 1945