October 23, 1945

LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I think I can give that information. Incidentally, any information which may have been asked for by any member of the committee and which I have not to-day, I give an assurance that I will put it on the record- under some other item. That has been the usual practice. My hon. friend, I think, asked how many medical officers are on the strength as compared with navy personnel. The number is 287, and the personnel not yet processed for demobilization is 48,000, which would give a ratio of something around six per thousand. But my hon. friend will appreciate that, although the number on' the strength is constantly decreasing by reason of demobilization, we cannot decrease the number of medical men quite as rapidly, because if anything we need more medical men during the process of demobilization than we do during normal operations, since we have to conduct a medical examination of each man as he goes out.

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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. NICHOLSON:

Can the minister give the figures relative to the army and the air force?

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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I will give them, if I may, when we are considering the estimates of those services. .

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PC
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

Yes; I can give that explanation. One explanation, a very short one, is that the navy operates two industrial establishments in the shape of dockyards on the east and west coast. We have a very large number of civilian employees in those dockyards. Neither the army nor the air force operates any comparable establishment. We still have on the east and west coast large dockyards which employ a very considerable number of civilian employees. As I say, these in effect are industrial establishments. For that reason the ratio of the navy's civilian employees to its service employees is probably higher than in either of the -other services. In addition, we contemplate during the course of this year replacing as many service employees as we can with civilian employees, particularly in clerical work such as is now being carried out by W.-R.C.N.S. and other service personnel.

Mr. COCKERA-M: How do the- figures compare this year with last year? How many civil employees have you now, and how many did you have when the estimates for last year came out?

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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I can give the figures now for those employed at the present time. I have not the figures here for last year, but I have them for the beginning of September this year and they are as follows: For headquarters, Ottawa, 1,677; Atlantic coast-

Mr. COCIvERAM: Civilians?

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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

Yes. Atlantic coast, 1,318; Pacific coast, 729; Newfoundland, 211

that will go down rapidly-Toronto, Montreal, Quebec, St. Hyacinthe, et cetera, 305, total, 4,240. I would point out that there will be, of course, a substantial reduction in some of those figures before the end of the current fiscal year, but in the meantime the estimates include provision sufficient to cover temporary civilian help which will be needed in order to carry out the closing up process.

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PC

Alan Cockeram

Progressive Conservative

Mr. COCKERAM:

The minister should be

more explicit on this, in that there is a large increase, I think, over $700,000, as between this year and last year.

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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

It is $526,000.

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PC

Alan Cockeram

Progressive Conservative

Mr. COCKERAM:

Over half a million

dollars?

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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

That is right.

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PC
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

Some only. I'think I explained this on another item. We were under the necessity during the war of putting into

uniform a number of men who would ordinarily be engaged as civilians. The reasons for that are obvious, namely, in order that they could be subject to discipline and in order that we could keep them under control. It should not be necessary to put-I do not want to cast any reflection upon plumbers-a plumber into uniform. We have had to do that on some occasions during the war.

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PC

Alan Cockeram

Progressive Conservative

Mr. COCKERAM:

I am told you are doing it now.

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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

We may still have to have some, because we have the work to do. As soon as we can. replace what is in effect a civilian worker now in uniform with a civilian we propose to do so.

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PC

Alan Cockeram

Progressive Conservative

Mr. COCKERAM:

The estimates should take that into account.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Eleven o'clock.

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PC

Alan Cockeram

Progressive Conservative

Mr. COCKERAM:

I suggest that we do not pass this item now.

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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I did not ask that the item be passed now; I am in the hands of the committee.

Progress reported.

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ADJOURNMENT

October 23, 1945