August 19, 1946

PC

Thomas Ashmore Kidd

Progressive Conservative

Mr. KIDD:

I do not wish to delay the committee, but I have beep reading Hansard and I wish to make a correction. When the committee resumed its duties at eight o'clock I drew the attention of the minister to his policy respecting permanent force bands. I understood him to say that certain units would continue to have permanent force bands. Hansard so far-and I do not think the minister has had an opportunity to read it-does not reveal that. I thought the minister said that Canadian Ordnance Corps headquarters would continue to have a band.

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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 say headquarters. I said there would be bands for such corps units as the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps and the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps.

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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HARKNESS:

Having heard the names of the members of this selection board, I should like to say, first of all, that I could hardly disagree more strongly with them or with what they have done, than I do. I would strongly recommend to the minister that he call the members of this board together and have a talk with them over the matter of the selection of officers, to see if they cannot devise some type of selection system which will put into our army more officers who have had some experience and fewer who spent the war in passing red tape over desks-which is apparently what is happening.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

Probably we should appoint the hon. member as sole member of the board.

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PC
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

You are too modest.

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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HARKNESS:

I will say that I was extremely glad to see Brigadier Graham's name on the list. I presume his presence there is what has caused as many as 1,140 men who did see fighting to be appointed. It is too bad that all the members of the board have not had the same experience as he had.

Supply-National Defence

I should like to learn from the minister how recruiting from the permanent force is coming along. He told us that we have 2,027 officers. How many O.R.'s are there?-

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

About 700 this last month.

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PC
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

The total to date, as of July 31, is 13,518 all ranks.

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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HARKNESS:

In this 2,027 the total you will have, or are there still more to be appointed?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

As I say, the total to date is 13,518 all ranks, of which officers are 2,613, and the total establishment of officers when we are up to strength will be something over

3,000.

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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HARKNESS:

I wonder if the minister could be a little more- accurate. When we were talking about this matter before I asked the number of officers who had now been accepted for the permanent army, and he gave me the figure of 2,027. Now he says it is more than 2,600.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

The figure is for the interim force as of July. 31. We have not taken anyone into the permanent force as yet.

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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HARKNESS:

Is this figure of 2,027 the right one, or is it 2,600?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I say that 2,027 is the number accepted for the permanent force. The figure of 2,613 is the number who are in the interim force. Probably the difference is accounted for by some of the remainder being still under consideration.

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PC
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

It is eleven o'clock; eight hours is long enough.

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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HARKNESS:

Apparently there are something like 11,000 O.R.'s in the permanent army. I should like to know something about their distribution, because I have it on very good authority that, as short a time as two months ago, the only permanent force field regiment we have did not have enough O.R.'s to clean their guns. They had to hire civilian labour. Perhaps that is still the case. I do not know, but I should like to. I am wondering whether all these 11,000 men are distributed around the country in offices of one kind or another, and permanent force units have not enough men to do even the essential duties.

Item stands.

Progress reported.

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At eleven o'clock the house adjourned, with-3ut question put, pursuant to standing order. Tuesday, August 20, 1946


August 19, 1946