August 19, 1946

MEMORIAL TO CANADIAN ARMED FORCES-LAYING OF CORNERSTONE THIS DAY BY THE PRIME MINISTER


Right Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Acting Prime Minister): Mr. Speaker, with the unanimous consent of the house, which I hope I shall have, I should like to mention that at this very moment as we meet in this chamber this morning, another meeting is taking place in the town of Dieppe to lay the cornerstone of a memorial which the citizens of that town are erecting as an enduring tribute to the memory of Canada's armed forces who invaded those shores four years ago to-day. At the invitation of the president of the government of France and the mayor of Dieppe, the Prime Minister of Canada (Mr. Mackenzie King) is being given the' honour of laying that cornerstone. Dieppe-Memorial I think it is fitting that we in this house should join in spirit the company assembled around the base of that memorial to recall one of the most gallant exploits in the annals of war. May I be permitted to read into the records of our proceedings to-day four or five paragraphs of the speech which is being delivered there on behalf of the people of Canada by the Prime Minister. After recalling that the men of Canada's army who landed at Dieppe that day, the men of Canada's navy who escorted them by sea, and the men of Canada's air force who covered the attack, were among the bravest of Canada's sons and that to a man they were prepared for any suffering, any sacrifice their task might demand, the Prime Minister goes on to say: Dieppe four years ago was a momentary flash from liberty's revolving light. For an instant that light shore forth like some long awaited signal of hope. Almost as suddenly it vanished. For a while in the darkness of those fateful years it seemed to be totally extinguished. Then came the Dieppe of 1944. To-day we see the Dieppe of 1942 as only time could reveal its true significance-a beacon light prophetic of victory. That light now shines in the fullness of its glory over the freed and free peoples of Europe. Here in Dieppe on this anniversary we have in .mind the valorous deeds of all arms of the fighting services of all the free nations. But Dieppe has yet another significance for France and Canada and for the world. It marks a relationship between our two countries which is not without its message of hope to future generations. Three centuries and more ago brave and adventurous souls _ from Normandy sailed from this port of Dieppe across the uncharted Atlantic into the waters of the St. Lawrence. On its banks they helped to lay the foundations of settlement and government in the Canada discovered by the hardy mariners of France nearly a hundred years before. In the course of time the Canada of Cartier and Champlain was to witness the clash of rival arms led by Wolfe and Montcalm. But the country to which these Norman pioneers and their descendants contributed so greatly was to give another beacon light to the world. It was to give, as it gives to all nations to-day, the example of a people of different races, of different languages, and of different religious faiths, once at enmity with each other, now united as a single nation, rich in the^ blending of their separate cultures and cherishing above all else a common heritage of freedom. In the first world war the people of France sarw the sons of Canada joined with their own sons and those of other liberty-loving nations fighting for freedom on European soil. In the war of liberation the world witnessed the armed forces of Canada and France again fighting side by side on the battlefields of Europe. In the mind of France to-day the Canada of Wolfe and Montcalm has become the Canada of Currie, McNaughton and Crerar. It was not the men of Old France only who three and more centuries ago crossed the Atlantic to face unknown perils and privations; nor in our day was it the men of Canada only who crossed to Europe to share the vicissitudes of war. The women of both our lauds, no less brave and venturesome, have played their role in the epic tale of early and present day relations between France and Canada. Many were the missions of mercy in which Sisters of the religious orders of France risked their lives in the days of early settlement in Canada. Centuries later nursing sisters in two world wars came from Canada to minister to the sick and the wounded on the battlefields of France and Flanders. What woman's part has been in all the services we know full well. This page of history has not passed unnoticed. In the hall of fame of the parliament buildings at Ottawa may be seen in marble relief a representation of the part women have played in the founding and restoring of nations. There one sees depicted the Sisters of Old France ministering to the needs and education of the children of Indian tribes in the wilds of North America. There also is depicted the service of nursing sisters of Canada in earing for the wounded on the battlefields of Europe. In the foreground, as the central feature of this relief, is a figure symbolical of humanity; in the background, wholly subdued is another figure symbolizing history. Beneath the memorial appear the words: "To perpetuate a noble tradition in the relations of the Old World and the New, led by the spirit of humanity across the seas, woman by her tender ministrations to those in need has given to the world the example of an heroic service embracing three centuries of Canadian history." It is the tradition of mutual service in the many relationships of nations that above all else Canada seeks to perpetuate in Paris to-day. The representatives of many nations are assembled in an effort to silence enmities bred of racial distrust and international strife. They have met to lay the foundations of a new and happier world. To this conference Canada brings as a beacon light of encouragement and hope the story and the example of her own national life. Canada seeks to see the rich rewards of international understanding, friendship and good will shared in ever fuller measure by the peoples of all nations. The people everywhere are praying to-day that those concerned with the making of peace may find it possible to lay well and truly the foundations of a better world. This memorial will stand to future generations as a symbol of enduring friendship between France and Canada. Is it too much to hope that its foundation stone may also be a record of the country and the year in which the warring nations of our time had found a way out of conflict into eo-operation ? Whait could speak more eloquently of the wisdom of our day and generation? What more substantial hope of an enduring peace could be given to a war-weary world?


PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the thanks of the Canadian people from one side of the nation to the other will go out to the citizens of Dieppe for the tribute they are at this moment paying to the Canadian forces, particularly the forces which attempted to

Dieppe-Memorial

find a way to get into the continent of Europe when it was so strongly held by the German forces. It was my privilege eighteen or twenty months ago to visit the site of that invasion. I remember very well walking through the streets of Dieppe, filled as they were with debris, and fenced off at nearly every comer by concrete barriers. I remember standing on the beaches and wondering how any man could come back alive after the fire that must have been showered upon them. I remember standing on the heights and looking down on those beaches where so many were killed. In the midst of that environment I could not help but think that only a miracle made it possible for any of the Canadian forces to come back from the inferno of that raid.

I wondered what it must have felt like to be a member of the Canadian force on that occasion; and it is a matter of regret that at this moment as I look behind me I do not find in his seat one who took part in that invasion and who as a result of his contribution was awarded the Victoria Cross. I am sorry that the hon. member for Vancouver-Burrard (Mr. Merritt) is not in his place.

One memory above all others that I carry with me from that visit to Dieppe was a story given to me by the people of that community. I have forgotten what the official called himself; he was in charge of the affairs of the city after the Germans had been driven out but before the war was over. I was told of the circumstances of that day in 1942 when our boys suffered such heavy casualties- over 3,000, including, if my memory serves me aright, some 700 dead. The story was that the Germans were about to bury our dead in a common grave, when, as I am sure all Canadian people will be glad to remember, the citizens of Dieppe, at that time in a defeated and occupied country, asked for the privilege of giving our boys an honoured burial each in a grave of his own. So they picked out a field for a cemetery on the gentle slope of a hillside two or three miles-perhaps more; I am speaking from memory-from Dieppe; and there, if you go to-day, you will see the graves of the honoured dead of the Canadian forces who fell in that assault. As I moved up and down among the white crosses I saw, as I had seen at other cemeteries in France where the name of the soldier was not known, these words on his cross, "Known unto God."

Mr. Speaker, I think it is peculiarly appropriate that we should be meeting in this house here in Canada when our Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) is laying the cornerstone of a memorial to our forces, a memorial erected

by the citizens of Dieppe. I think I can say with the Acting Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) that Canada stands to-day where she stood before, for the right of each nation to determine the character of its own future. We are glad that, our men had a part in liberating France. We appreciate this expression on the part of the citizens of one section of France for the part our forces paid in liberating their country; and we trust that our relationship with that old land will continue to be what it has been for so many years-one of mutual trust and confidence and good will.

Topic:   MEMORIAL TO CANADIAN ARMED FORCES-LAYING OF CORNERSTONE THIS DAY BY THE PRIME MINISTER
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. M. J. COLDWELL (Rosetown-Biggar):

do nothing to prevent the death of our young men of future generations, and of those who are now of military age. If the hon. member for Vancouver-Burrard, the boys of the Mount Royal regiment and all the others who were there, it was not to make a sacrifiec; it was to beat the Hun. I am sick of hearing of sacrifice or that the soldier thinks of sacrifice at the moment of battle. They are not Isaacs going to the altar of sacrifice; they are men of flesh and blood who go there to defeat the enemy. I am sure that if they were asked what they were doing there they would say that they were doing a job. They were fighting so that there would be no more war. That was said of world war I, and it was repeated of world war II, but no progress has been made.

I sympathize with the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) who lost his son during the Dieppe raid. My heart is with him; he has the sympathy of all of us. But all that sympathy will not bring his son to life. It will not prevent his other son and the other Canadian boys from engaging in these wars which are decided by old men, men above military age who forget that God restrained the hand of Abraham when he was about to sacrifice Isaac. That is the history of the past, the history of the Old Testament, and it should not be forgotten in our time. We see these old men coming here making speeches, telling us of the sacrifices which we should not forget. That is true; I am all for praising these men, but something should be done so that history will not repeat itself a third time and the boys shall not be Sacrificed to the fire-eaters and the warmongers of Europe. This is a time when it is more important than ever to understand that the only way to do something in proper relation to the marvellous task which has been performed by our boys and by the boys of all the united nations, is to act in accordance with what they have done, to be practical and to put a stop to that warmongering spirit which has been the disaster of the world, so that it shall not rise again.

Topic:   MEMORIAL TO CANADIAN ARMED FORCES-LAYING OF CORNERSTONE THIS DAY BY THE PRIME MINISTER
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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

I am wondering whether the house would not welcome a brief word from a private member who lived through the Dieppe raid.

Topic:   MEMORIAL TO CANADIAN ARMED FORCES-LAYING OF CORNERSTONE THIS DAY BY THE PRIME MINISTER
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   MEMORIAL TO CANADIAN ARMED FORCES-LAYING OF CORNERSTONE THIS DAY BY THE PRIME MINISTER
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PC

Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt

Progressive Conservative

Mr. C. C. I. MERRITT (Vancouver-Burrard) :

Mr. Speaker, I thank the house for their ^ more than kind reception of me this morning, which I would like to accept on behalf of all those who took part in the raid.

Had I realized that anything like this would happen I can assure you that I would have been upstairs in my office. Many things have been said about the difficulties and the peculiar circumstances which we faced at Dieppe, but I know that everybody who went there was delighted to go. Despite all that happened we all felt that what was done was worth doing, in that from the operation great lessons were learned. In remembering the large number of Canadians who fell at Dieppe I should say that in the opinion of one who was there, the sacrifice which they, and their relatives who remain, made through their deaths was one that was well worth while.

Topic:   MEMORIAL TO CANADIAN ARMED FORCES-LAYING OF CORNERSTONE THIS DAY BY THE PRIME MINISTER
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RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING

CONCURRENCE IN THIRD REPORT


Mr. S. M. CLARK (Essex South) presented the third report of the sessional committee on railways and shipping, and moved that the report be concurred in. Motion agreed to.


QUESTIONS


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk.)


AIR OBSERVER SCHOOLS

PC

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

Progressive Conservative

1. How many air observer schools were operated during the period of world war II, and what was the location and number of each?

2. What was the total surplus earned by each of said air observer schools or operating companies?

3. What amount did each pay for taxation?

4. What amount did each receive and retain out of the said surplus or by way of bonus or savings or otherwise?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   AIR OBSERVER SCHOOLS
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LIB

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West): (Minister of National Defence for Air)

Liberal

1. There were ten civilian operated air observer schools as follows:

(1) Dominion Skyways (Training) Ltd., Malton Airport Ont.; (2) Canadian Airways (Training) Ltd., Edmonton, Alta.; (3) Prairie Airways, Ltd., Regina, Sask.; (4) Leavens Bros. (Training) Ltd., London, Ontario; (5) Winnipeg Air Observer School, Ltd., Winnipeg, Man.; (6) Prince Albert Air Observer School, Ltd., Prince Albert, Sask.; (7) Portage Air Observer School, Ltd., Portage la Prairie, Man.; (8): Quebec Airways (Observers) Ltd., Ancienne Lorette, P.Q.; (9) Dominion Skyways (Observers) Ltd., St. John, P.Q.; (10) Northumberland Air Observer School, Ltd., Chatham, N.B.

Questions '

2.

No. 1 Air Observer No. 2 Air Observer No. 3 Air Observer No. 4 Air Observer No. 5 Air Observer No. 6 Air Observer No. 7 Air Observer No. 8 Air Observer No. 9 Air Observer No. 10 Air Observer

School... $429,742.58

School... 378,724.23

School... 88,206.52

School... 618,402.36

School... 573,073.05

School... 83,897.39

School... 550,659.00

School... 175,000.00

School... 351,008.31

School... 150,000.00

3. This information is confidential to the companies concerned and could not be disclosed without their consent.

4. Nil; with the exception of No. 6 air observer school which was closed prior to the revision of the contract and the earned surplus retained amounted do $39,761.79.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   AIR OBSERVER SCHOOLS
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CANADIAN ARMY-OFFICERS AND OTHER RANKS ON STRENGTH-TANKS

PC

Mr. PEARICES:

Progressive Conservative

1. How many officers, and how many other ranks were on the strength on August 1, 1946, of (a) the active force; (b) the interim army; (c) the army in Canada, exclusive of (a) and (b) ?

2, How many tanks, and of what type are there in Canada?

3. How are these distributed as among (a) units of the active force; (b) central schools; (c) reserve army?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN ARMY-OFFICERS AND OTHER RANKS ON STRENGTH-TANKS
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LIB

Hugues Lapointe (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Mr. Speaker, I have asked the hon. member to drop parts 2 and 3 of this question, and I shall furnish him with the information he is seeking in part 1.

1. According to returns as at 31st July, 1946;

Other

Officers Ranks Total

(a) Active force (C.A.S.F.) (excluding interim army) 4,947 33,201 38,148

(b) Interim army ... 2,613 10,905 13,518

(c) Nil 3,736 3,736

7,560 47,842 55,402

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN ARMY-OFFICERS AND OTHER RANKS ON STRENGTH-TANKS
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Parts 2 and 3 dropped.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN ARMY-OFFICERS AND OTHER RANKS ON STRENGTH-TANKS
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PRICE CEILINGS-HORSESHOEING

August 19, 1946