August 26, 1946

LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Minister of National Defence for Air)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

At the present time the number of those who have applied is somewhere in the neighbourhood of nine thousand, and 1,681 have been accepted for aircrew.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ADAMSON:

A ratio of six to one?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Minister of National Defence for Air)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

Our officer establishment is 3,461, and up to the present time we have accepted 1,681.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ADAMSON:

Let us get these figures straight. Nine thousand have applied and 1,681 have been accepted. The total strength is 2,400?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Minister of National Defence for Air)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

It will eventually reach 3,400.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ADAMSON:

You have another 1,800 to go.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Minister of National Defence for Air)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

Yes.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

James Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Vancouver North):

The minister has said that he intends to start air training again next spring. Perhaps he can tell the committee of the way in which he intends to recruit aircrew, whether as permanent force or special reserve or short term commissions, auxiliary air force, or as long-term commissions, or how.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Minister of National Defence for Air)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

Sixty per cent of the junior officers coming in are on short-service commission, a five-year basis. Of that sixty per cent, I think ten. per cent will be granted regular long-service commission. [DOT]

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

James Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Vancouver North):

What sort of gratuity does the minister intend to pay the short-service commission men who give four or five years of the best years of their early life to the service?

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West): On retirement they get as a bonus a month's pay for each year of service.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

James Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Vancouver North):

How does that compare with the R.A.F. system?

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West): I think

they have a cash bonus which is higher than we propose paying to-day.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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PC

John Ritchie MacNicol

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacNICOL:

What is the maximum age at which airmen are taken into the air service?

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West): Is that

for aircrew?

Mr. MacNICOL: Yes.

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West): I shall

have to get that information.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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PC

Julian Harcourt Ferguson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FERGUSON:

I understood the minister to say that the required strength of the air force is approximately 3,500 and that, so far, approximately 1,600 applicants had been accepted?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Minister of National Defence for Air)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

Yes.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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PC

Julian Harcourt Ferguson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FERGUSON:

I happen to know young men who had matriculated and who rose from the ranks during the war. Many of them cannot get into the air force now to satisfy their own desires. They did good service on bombing expeditions over Europe. They have applied to the government to go back as flying officers, and they have been told that their applications could not be accepted. I can hardly believe that some of these young men who have made their application to be taken into the air force are not of the standing necessary for the Canadian air force to-day. So far as they know, they were discharged A-l physically. They have a splendid active war record. No

Supply-Defence

explanation is given to them as to why they were turned down. They are simply told that their applications had been declined. I should certainly like to know the standard of qualifications necessary for an ex-officer of the Canadian air force in order that he may re-enlist in the air force which now requires approximately 2,000 additional men to fill the ranks. I think it is an awful slap in the face to young men who served their country during the war to tell them that they cannot come up to the standards which are required to re-enlist, when they are young men who were in a force of which Canada was so proud during the war. I know these men. They were not discharged physically unfit. I have seen their names mentioned in dispatches. I have seen the number of active flights, and active bombing expeditions that they took over Germany. They have matriculated. They have served in the ranks as officers and they have been mentioned in dispatches. They have made many flights over Germany. There are still 2,000 vacancies to fill, and these young men are the kind of men who are capable of filling them. What requirements must they have?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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CCF

Harry Grenfell Archibald

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

Mr. ARCHIBALD:

I should like to ask a question with regard to the permanent force men who contribute to a pension scheme. I have had some of them approach me and tell me that if they want to take their discharge they would lose all that they have put into the pension fund. Has it been arranged that they can get their money out on discharge?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Minister of National Defence for Air)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

Under the new act which has been passed, those who retire get a bonus for the number of years that they have served. Previously they did not get anything if they retired before they had completed their twenty years; that is, if they retired of their own volition, but now they get a bonus for each year's service repaid to them on retirement.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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CCF

Harry Grenfell Archibald

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

Mr. ARCHIBALD:

Would that bonus

amount to the amount that they had paid into the pension scheme?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Minister of National Defence for Air)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

It is considerably in excess of what they paid in.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

James Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Vancouver North):

that, if they are to attract the best boys at the ages of nineteen, twenty or twenty-one into the air force, as short-term officers for aircrew they must give them some assurance that, when they leave at the ages of twenty-five or twenty-six, they will have sufficient cash in hand to establish themselves in civilian occupations. If that is not done the department will not get the type of young men they want. This is one case where it would certainly be very cheap economy to be niggardly, not so much in what is being paid to them, but in connection with the gratuities which they will have at the end of their service.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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August 26, 1946