April 6, 1945

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I do not know the statement to which my hon. friend refers. I am not familiar with all the details of the rehabilitation grants. But my information is that by converting to general service overseas there is some financial advantage if the man returns to Canada. That is my information.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
PC
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I cannot answer my hon.

friend at the moment. I shall be able to give it to him in a few minutes. I am not sufficiently familiar with the details of these rehabilitation grants.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

How many men

converted overseas, then, after arrival?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I have not that information either. I can tell the hon. member in general terms that there were comparatively few.

I wonder, Mr. Chairman, whether the committee would permit me to clean up a number of inquiries that were made last night. I did not have the information at the time.

The last question which the hon. member for Lake Centre asked me was to give a statement as to the selection of the 11,000 odd N.R.M.A. personnel by provinces, or districts, I think. I have that information and I wall summarize it.

The total of 11,836 N.R.M.A. dispatched overseas represents 19-7 per cent of the total of 60,000 available at the'time, and represents 28-2 of the 42,000 who, my hon. friend will recall, were all of a type suitable for training as infantry. That is split up between the various districts as follows: military districts 1, 2 and 3, Ontario 33-8 per cent of the number fit for infantry; military districts 4 and 5, Quebec, 14-7 per cent; military districts 6 and 7, the maritimes, 34-2 per cent; military districts 10, 12 and 13, the prairies, 39 per cent; Pacific command, 41-S per cent. I would add to that this statement, that the numbers dispatched, 11,836, did not include approximately

2.400 who had converted to general service status prior to embarkation, and if those are included, and if the absentees and deserters are included, these percentages by districts are approximately equal.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

Could the parliamentary assistant give the percentages including not only those who actually went over but the absentees as well?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I have not got them here, but my officials tell me that by including the

2.400 and others it varies the percentages, although obviously this would not be completely accurate. That covers the questions asked by the hon. member for Lake Centre.

The hon. member for Lincoln asked me a question about rotation leave and the distribution as between the Italian theatre and northwest Europe. The total quota for December, January, February and March numbered 2,278, of whom 1,066 were from the Italian theatre and 1,212 from the United Kingdom and northwest Europe. Adding to those the numbers arrived or en route at the present time, we have totals of 1,431 from Italy and 2,370 from northwest Europe and the United Kingdom; or a total of 3,801 for the months to which I have referred.

The leader of the opposition asked about Canadian cigarettes. I am told that all rations to the Canadian army overseas, including cigarettes, are supplied by the British supply organization. Seven cigarettes a day are contained in each pack ration, and the field ser-

War Appropriation-The Army

vice ration provides six a day. It is not practical for the British to issue to the Canadian army overseas any type of ration, whether cigarettes or anything else, which is different from the general, issue. It is understood that cigarettes issued are sometimes of British manufacture and sometimes of Canadian. As my hon. friend knows, in addition to the cigarettes issued with the rations, Canadian cigarettes are available to our troops overseas from two sources, first the auxiliary services, which come from the pool, averaging about twenty-five per man per month-

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Are they always Canadian?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

Those are invariably Canadian; and secondly, the Canadian tobacco depots overseas, from which gifts of 900 a month can be sent, or, if no gifts are available, each man can purchase 900 cigarettes a month for $3.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Does the minister know what percentage of those rations of cigarettes which are given by the British organization to the troops represents Canadian manufacture? He said that some were Canadian and some were British. From information which I have from the boys, there are very few Canadian cigarettes among them. They seem to be all British, and that is what they complain of.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

That may be. I have no information as to the proportions. These field rations are put up in tins containing cigarettes and what-have-you, and they are the standard for our forces and the British forces.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Will the parliamentary assistant do this for me, in view of the fact that there have been so many complaints. Will he call the matter to the attention of the proper authorities there? It is worth a trial at any rate, to see if the situation cannot be remedied. These boys should not have to write back with these complaints.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I shall be glad to do that. The hon. member for Souris asked a question about the much discussed subject of clothing allowances and deductions, and I said I hoped to be able to give information to-day. I may say frankly that the condition is not considered a satisfactory one. The complaints are justified], but the regulations as drawn create a very difficult administrative problem which our officers are working on now, and I think it can be safely said that it will be adjusted. When a plan can be worked out a rebate will be arranged, a rateable refund

in full. I may add that the problem is not a continuing one, since there are no new cases. As to the men who are now called who have been in the R.C.AF., the R.C.A.F. notifies the army, I understand, or selective service before a man is called and no clothing allowance is given, so that there can be no question of reduction. The matter is receiving the active and constant consideration of the officers, and I feel that a very satisfactory solution will be found.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
NAT

James Arthur Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

All those men will

be reimbursed the deductions?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

That is a pretty fair assumption, yes.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
CCF

Clarence Gillis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. GILLIS:

While we are on clothing

allowance, has anything been done towards removing the legitimate grievance that exists of paying one soldier $35 and another $65- and the allowance is up to $100 now. I am receiving letters that are pretty critical. Men who have been four and a half years, first over, have received the lowest clothing allowance, though clothing costs the same, while another fellow after two months gets $100.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

The standard rate is now

$100, and so far as I know, no consideration has been given to reopening cases where at the time the member was discharged the scale was $35. I will make inquiries and see whether that is being considered.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

That should be retroactive.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

Finally, there has been

some comment on the question of delay in the payment of war service gratuities. Payment of war service gratuities is a responsibility of the Department of National Defence, although it is really a part of the rehabilitation grant. I have been informed this morning that up to last night ninety per cent of applications have been sent to treasury for payment, and in the ordinary course the cheque issues within forty-eight hours on recommendation from the Department of National Defence. The total number on hand at the present time,, under consideration last night, was approximately 7,000, and that is being reduced every day. The matter is well in hand. I may say that the complaints arise largely from two sources: first, where no application has been filed, the soldier being under the belief that he does not need to file an application to get gratuity, and secondly, where the application has been turned down and the soldier feels that this is unjustified.

War Appropriation-The Army

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink
PC

Norman James Macdonald Lockhart

Progressive Conservative

Mr. LOCKHART:

What is the nature of

the reasons?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Permalink

April 6, 1945