August 26, 1946

PC

Julian Harcourt Ferguson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FERGUSON:

The young men I am referring to are now at the age of twenty-one or twenty-two, and apparently they had sufficient training to fly aircraft during the war. We still should be able to use their capabilities in training. I certainly agree with the hon. member for Vancouver North that the inducement of $100, on retirement, for each year served, is far from adequate to induce any young, red-blooded boy to join the flying force. He should have something to compensate him for his excellent service, and a necessary service to the country in these days. The condition in this country, and the condition throughout the world at the present time is one which should encourage young men of the right calibre to go into our flying corps. We do not know when we shall need them, any more than we did in the latter part of 1939.

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

Denton Massey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MASSEY:

I was discussing the matter of recruiting and, although we got away from the subject for a while, we are back on it again. I certainly subscribe to what was said by the hon. member for Vancouver North in regard to the attraction that should be developed for the recruit. In the first place, the minister will realize that the type of lad he is after is the type of lad who is the cream of the crop; he must be. If he comes into the R.C.A.F. at the age of eighteen, nineteen or twenty, he will be leaving it on short-term commission when he is twenty-four, twenty-five or twenty-six. Those five years are pretty valuable years. We hope he will not be required for combat duty. If he is not, and he is retired, he has given in the service of his country, just as if it were at war, those valuable years. We can therefore afford to compensate him, and compensate him well. But he wants to know what that compensation will be.

I should like to say to the minister, with all the earnestness of which I am capable, that the more definite the information can be that will be given to the public at large, the more rapid his recruiting will be. One of the great difficulties up to the present time-and I am

quite sure the minister will understand what I mean by "present"-has been that there have been a few feeble advertisements. I have seen them. They are small and, if the minister will forgive my saying so, they are not attractive. I say that as a former advertising man. They bring the name of the Royal Canadian Air Force to the attention of those who see it, but they are not particularly original, nor are they particularly good. Furthermore, they say very little.

In other words, the lad may be attracted by the advertising, and it may set him thinking. But it does not send him to a recruiting officer, saying, "I want to enlist." It sends him out to get further information. In other words, the minister relies upon the recruiting officer to sell the young man the idea. He is not sending the young man to the recruiting officer to enlist. In this way the burden is on the recruiting officer, because the lad has to go there first.

I believe there is a story to be told about the Royal Canadian Air Force in peace time, a story which is more attractive than perhaps many of the lads realize to-day, I believe the plans the minister placed before the committee this evening are good plans. But are they definite? Who knows them? If you are to recruit during a'war, that is one thing. If you are to recruit during peace time, that is another thing. The minister is in a position of-and I use the word in quotation marks- "selling" the Royal Canadian Air Force. He has the grandest air service in the world to sell, and it can be sold. But I feel definitely that a clear statement must be made in regard to what the lad's position will be when his training will start and, if he is going to enlist for aircrew, when his air training will start. He wants to know that. I realize the difficulty in the way of coming to that definite decision. But on the other hand, before we get either the quality that we want, let alone the quantity, that story will have to be told. So I urge upon the minister, with all the earnestness of which I am capable, that the story be told quickly. I am quite sure his 400 or 450 a month will increase rapidly.

While I am on my feet, I shall mention another matter. As the minister is probably aware, I can speak only for one release centre, namely No. 4 release centre. At that centre there were attached to the staff some eighteen officers as liaison officers, working in connection with employers. Those eighteen officers circulated through that portion of Ontario into which the releasees from No. 4 release centre went. The results of those contacts were good. If they did not already have it, employers were given a copy of the employers'

United, Nations

guide, which was an excellent publication. It was explained to them in some detail by the visiting officer. Further, the employer was chatted with in regard to his treatment of returned personnel. The net result was that the national employment service were definitely interested in the work we were doing, and finally there were attached to the national employment service two officers on the permanent detachment to work in conjunction with that office.

I know from first-hand information and first-hand contact that the results of having these two officers in the national employment service office in Toronto were most beneficial, since many of the ex-service men seeking employment felt much freer talking to someone in uniform who spoke their language than they did to a civilian who was simply there to see about their possible future jobs. Has the minister given any consideration to extending that particular service to other employment centres in Canada?

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

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

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

That is not a matter which comes within the air force, that is under the Department of Labour, and anything like that would have to be arranged by that department.

Item stands.

Progress reported.

It being ten minutes after eleven o'clock, the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order.

Tuesday August 27, 1946

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

August 26, 1946