July 9, 1947

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I realize that it would require the unanimous consent of the house to proceed with the second reading at this moment, but seeing that there is only one clause in the measure and that it is so readily understood, I thought that at this stage of the session the house would permit the second reading this morning. However, if hon. gentlemen of the C.C.F. group are opposed to the second reading taking place this morning, perhaps they would permit it to take place later on today. I ask that simply because I am anxious to expedite the business of the session and there are some other matters to which I have to give a great deal of attention in these closing days.

Topic:   SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS
Subtopic:   ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCE TO GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION LEADERS IN SENATE
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

It seems to be the practice of the government to hold contentious measures back until the end of the session and then try to force them through because of lack of time. We are not opposed to the. sections of this bill; we are opposed to the principle of it and do not intend to facilitate its passage.

Topic:   SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

As I understand it, the C.C.F. do not give their consent to proceeding with second reading today?

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

That is right.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Then, we shall proceed with second reading tomorrow.

Topic:   SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

The house in committee of supply, Mr.. Macdonald (Brantford City) in the chair.

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DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE


Demobilization and reconversion- 551. To provide-for the orderly establishment and organization of the defence forces of the army, navy and air services on a peacetime basis and to authorize commitments against future years in the amount of $29,833,648- $226,709,331.


LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. BROOKE CLAXTON (Minister of National Defence):

Mr. Chairman, the practice has been for ministers of the defence departments in introducing their estimates to make a general statement covering the work done in the previous year as well as plans for the future.

On June 17, 1947, P.C. 2372 was adopted providing that the members of the armed forces shall cease to be on active service as at September 30, 1947. At that time the formal change from a war to a peace footing for the armed services will be related to the inauguration of a campaign to obtain recruits for the active and reserve forces. In the meantime, however, now that our wartime forces have in fact ended the work to which they had set their hands, it will, I believe, be the wish of hon. members that a brief summary of the facts and figures of their accomplishments should be set down in Hansard as a permanent record of a magnificent achievement.

Canada's war record in reminding us of the nature of modern war will inspire and strengthen us to work with other nations to create the conditions for enduring peace. Canada's part in two wars will lead us, until progress is made in ensuring peace through collective action, to establish our own forces on a post-war basis which will be related to the defence needs of the country as these may change from time to time. Our policy must be informed by war time experience just as it is inspired by war time achievements.

In the statement which follows, after reviewing the achievements in war I propose to set out what I take to be the defence needs of Canada, to indicate some of the matters which must receive the most immediate attention and to describe long-term objectives with regard to the department and the armed forces.

The war of liberation started on September 1, 1939. Germany's brutal attack on Poland was followed by the so-called "phony war", when Germany was growing in strength to

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make the sweep through Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands. Belgium and France. From the fall of France in June, 1940, until Russia was brought into the war a year later, Britain and the countries of the commonwealth stood almost alone. The will to be free was for a time the main armour that stood against the evil thrust to make Germany supreme and everyone else slaves.

Canadian territory was not attacked but from the outset we recognized that this was a fight in which our vital interests were involved, and, by act of our own government on the all but unanimous support of our own parliament, we entered the war on September 10, 1939. Our contribution mounted steadily.

At sea, our main job was to keep the bridge of ships open to Britain. The submarine menace was a major threat. Our young navy carried out a major part of the work of escort across the Atlantic. At the start of the war our navy had 1,769 full-time officers and men. Before its end, 100,000 men had passed through its ranks and we had a total of 780 ships. '

The first division left Canada in December, 1939, and was joined by the second division early in 1940. These tw.o divisions were among the few bodies of trained troops ready to withstand a German assault on Britain and some of them ait Dieppe paved the way for future landings. The first Canadian infantry division landed at Sicily in July, 1943 and was followed soon by the fifth Canadian armoured division and other units. These comprised the first Canadian corps and fought up the whole long length of Italy to the finishing battles on the river Po.

The third Canadian infantry division landed on D-Day, June 6, 1944 followed by the second Canadian infantry division and the fourth Canadian armoured division. The Canadian Army was formed in July, 1944, comprising the second Canadian corps and the first British corps. The Canadian Army took a foremost part in the fighting in Normandy and up the channel ports through Holland, and Germany beyond the Rhine. Forming fpart of the Canadian army at one time or another were all but two of the British divisions, as well as a number of American divisions, a Polish armoured division, a Belgian brigade and a Czech brigade. The Canadian army was an effective international force and its components got on well together under Canadian leadership, of our own General H. D. G. Crerar, Companion of Honour. Early in 1945 more than half a million men of half a dozen countries formed the Canadian army which stretched over 250 miles of front and being at this time probably

the largest single army formation on the western front. From the beaches through Caen, Falaise, by the channel ports, over the Scheldt and Rhine, the Canadians lived up to the reputation they had made in world war I.

Our peacetime permanent force of 4,492 officers and men was multiplied more than a hundred and sixty times. Before the war was over 709,007 men had served in the Canadian army, in addition to 21,618 members of the Canadian Women's Army Corps.

The British commonwealth air training plan from its start in December, 1939, was a spectacular undertaking. Soon we had nearly 200 training schools across Canada. By the time the plan was finished it had trained 42,110 young flyers from the United Kingdom (including 5,293 Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm pilots trained in Canada at R.A.F. schools prior to July, 1942 when these schools became part of B.C.A.T.P.) 9,606 from Australia, and 7,002 from New Zealand. In addition we trained 72,835 Canadian air crew, and altogether a total of 131,553 air crew. It is believed that Canada had the highest per capita number of air crew of any nation fighting in the war.

The first Canadian flyers to reach the other side were members of auxiliary squadrons. These were soon followed by a steady flow of pilots, navigators, air gunners, radar operators and the all-important ground crew. At the outbreak of war there were 2,948 officers and men in the R.C.A.F. During the war a total of 249,624 Canadians served in the Royal Canadian Air Force in addition to another 4,000 serving with the Royal Air Force.

Canadians came to play their part, to offer their lives, from the farms, the woods, the mines, the city streets, the workshops and the schools. Here is a summary of their numbers and of the losses suffered.

Served During the War

Men Women Total

Navy

99,479 7,043 106,522Army

709,007* 21,618 730.625Air Force 232,594 17,030 249,624Totals

1,041,080 45,691 1,086,771

Casualties

Killed Wounded Total

Navy

1,981 319 2,300Army

22,964 51,410 74,374Air Force 17,047 1,416 18,463Totals

41,992 53,145 95,137

*This includes 3,633 women members of the R.C.A.M.C.

Twelve lists of the Canadians who were awarded operational or foreign decorations

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were placed on Hansard by my predecessors taking the fine record up to October, 1945. I believe it would be the wish of the house that the gallant story of those who were decorated should be completed by placing on Hansard those names which have not previously been recorded here. The list is long and, with the consent of the committee, I suggest that it be printed as an appendix to Hansard when the sessional flood of printing has somewhat abated.

A summary of all awards from the commencement of the War in September, 1939 to March 31, 1947 follows:-

Navy Army Air Force Total British Awards. 1,677 11,932 8,735 22,344Foreign Awards. 54 1,475 213 1,742Totals

1,731 13,407 8,948 24,086

Included in this final list are four more Canadians who were awarded the Victoria Cross. The citations for these awards have always previously been placed on Hansard, and with the consent of the committee I will have these citations printed in the appendix to which I have referred. The additional Canadians to whom the Victoria Cross was awarded are: Lieutenant Robert Hampton Gray, RCNVR, (deceased); Honorary Captain John Weir Foote, Canadian chaplain services; Company Sergeant Major John Robert Osborn, Winnipeg Grenadiers, (deceased); Pilot Officer Andrew Charles Mynarski, RCAF, (deceased).

Canada made notable contributions to the war in the supply of munitions, food and financial assistance to the allied cause. Canada produced finished munitions of war to a total of about $10 billion. Despite the fact that 25 per cent of our younger farmers joined the armed forces or worked in munitions, the farmers of Canada produced more than 40 per cent more food than in 1939 and by making our surpluses available to Britain and other countries prevented starvation succeeding where the enemy had failed.

The total cost of the war to Canada and its immediate aftermath to March 31, 1947 is estimated at $20-25 billions. Of this $6-43 billions was spent in mutual aid or other financial assistance to our allies.

At the peak of war production 1,166,000 men and women worked directly in the production of munitions and, with the 1.086,771 in the armed forces, made a total of more than two and a quarter million Canadians who served either in the fighting forces or in the direct production of munitions.

These figures give the measure of the problem of demobilization, rehabilitation, and reconversion. At the peak, which may be taken to be V-E day, May 8, 1945, there were 349,159

Canadians in England ahd Europe, including R.C.N. who moved under their own steam. Before they had all been brought home, there were 37,016 wives and 14,630 children, making a total repatriation job for about 400,000 persons. In addition to this total some 10,000 dependents, wives and children had been brought to Canada prior to V-E day. This was proceeded with more expeditiously, more smoothly and with less discomfort than anyone could have hoped for. There are 127 members of the armed forces still in the United Kingdom and Europe, doing work in connection with graves and records, including our military mission to Berlin and liaison staff in the United Kingdom. That work will have to continue for some time. There are some 1,000 dependents who have long ago been offered transportation which for one reason or another they have so far been unable to take advantage of but who still -want to come to Canada.

The repatriation and demobilization of the armed forces ranked first in priority and the way this was organized and pressed through to completion by both my immediate predecessors earned the gratitude of the hundreds of thousands concerned and of their families, indeed of all Canadians.

From time to time suitable tributes have been paid to the ministers and deputies, to the generals and privates, to the workers and the farmers who did their utmost. Canada's national effort in the war was a great national partnership.

We have tried to ensure for our sailors, soldiers, and airmen that they should not be any worse off because they had served. Consequently parliament authorized the introduction of what is regarded everywhere as the most comprehensive and generous plan of rehabilitation in effect in any country. That work and the work of hospitalization and treatment will go bn.

The liquidation of surplus war stores proceeded alongside the demobilization of men. At the close of the war in September, 1945 in Canada we had more than a billion and a half dollars worth of military equipment and munitions. At one time or another in Canada there were some 6,000 different military establishments, all of which have had to be examined to decide which should be kept and which should be disposed of.

We have kept the munitions necessary to equip the Canadian active and reserve forces on a scale never before known. We have also quantities of stores for replacement and a large quantity of stores for mobilization reserves. But more than a billion dollars worth was declared surplus, and the operation of putting all this material in condition for dis-

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tribution, storage or disposal made the Canadian armed forces and War Assets Corporation the greatest warehousing and merchandising concerns in the history of the country.

As men were demobilized from the armed forces, civilians were taken on to replace them in the work of demobilization and liquidation, with the result that the civilian personnel reached almost to its wartime peak in December, 1946 with a total of 33,000. As the work of warehousing and disposal was being pressed forward with all possible speed, we were able to reduce the numbers of civilian personnel and at 31st March, 1947 the figure was 20,131 or a reduction of 13,131 representing 37 per cent in four months.

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PC
LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

That is right, and the three departments until their unification. As the work of consolidation and disposal is proceeded with, there will be further reductions from time to time. Every possible care will be taken to see that these reductions are effected with the least possible hardship to Individuals. The small amount of disturbance or complaint in consequence of reductions already made reflects on the capacity of our national economy to absorb these people and also on the good sense of the Canadian people to recognize that there is no justification for keeping them on any longer than they are needed.

The civilians now on strength of the department total 19,7S3. Of these 9,249 are civil servants, or do work similar to that done by civil servants, the remainder are prevailing rate employees engaged in the dockyards at Halifax and Esquimalt, in the construction or conversion of married quarters, in the handling of stores, in various duties, like watchmen, caretakers, firefighters and so on. Our plan is to have as much of this type of work done by civilians as possible, so as to have as many as we can of our armed forces engaged on planning, training and operations.

This brings me to a consideration of the defence needs of Canada, the organization of our defence forces and the progress made to date.

Taking up first the question of the defence needs of Canada, Canada's defence forces may be required,-

1. to defend Canada against aggression;

2. to assist the civil power in maintaining law and order within the country;

3. to carry out any undertakings which by our own voluntary act we may assume in co-

| Mr. Claxton.]

operation with friendly nations or under any effective plan of collective action under the united nations.

Obviously our needs must be considered in the light of circumstances as they change from time to time. The factors bearing on this are numerous. Among them, the following are particularly important:

(a) the geographical position of Canada;

(b) the capacity of any possible aggressor to make an attack;

(c) the disposition of friendly nations;

(d) what may be called "the international climate."

Developments in warlike materials, particularly new weapons, have an important bearing on the whole position. As the war neared its end, four new weapons had been introduced and were in process of development. These were the atomic bomb, jet-propelled planes, rockets and higher speed submarines.

Sufficient quantities of any one of these four new weapons probably would have been sufficient to win the war for the side which had them first. These new weapons and the chemical and bacteriological agents now known are so much more devastating than anything previously used that of themselves they may make major changes in the nature of war, should war come again to scourge the earth.

These new powerful weapons reinforce the powerful appeal of those who work to make war impossible. What we have seen of destruction and devastation in world wars I and II would be small in character or extent when compared with the appalling destructiveness of any further large-scale war. For this reason our first line of defence and the object of all our policy must be to work with other nations to prevent war.

This is just as true today in Canada as it is in every other country. Distance and space still combine to give us great natural advantages for which we cannot be too grateful, but distance and space have been drastically reduced and are still shrinking; and the shaping of world events and the changing centres of power have put Canada in a more important strategical position than she has ever been before.

Let us set down here that we believe that it is possible for nations to live in peace- perhaps the fate of humanity depends on this belief becoming an eternal fact. We also believe that in the united nations there is the beginning of an organization which may be developed progressively into a great instrument for peaceful cooperation. But that progress depends on the way in which powers, and particularly the great powers, work with each other. While the proceedings of the assembly

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last December gave some ground for encouragement, it is still too early for this or any nation to rest on its arms with the assurance that there will be no aggression.

As the first aim of our foreign policy is peace, so the first aim of our defence policy is defence against aggression.

Having set out what I take to be the defence needs of Canada, it is quite evident that the need for defence forces at any given time must be considered with regard to the proportion of the national budget which we are prepared to spend for that purpose. The business of government involves the balancing of means and ends. No government department would be worth its salt if it was ever satisfied with the functions it was exercising. No defence force will ever be satisfied.

But quite apart from budgetary considerations, I doubt if more than the sum sought of $240,000,000 could be wisely spent in Canada on defence during the current fiscal year. While much progress has been made no one appreciates more than myself that there is still a lot of work to be done in reorganization before we can provide a proper organizational and administrative basis for any defence forces that we may have in the future.

The sum of $240,000,000 will represent about 12 per cent of our national budget. It compares with $35 millions spent in 1938-39 or the low figure of $13 millions for 1932-33. Last year the appropriations voted for the three departments totalled $486,849,141 millions and the expenditures for the year totalled $383,325,686. The amount underspent is partly accounted for by the very much more rapid rate at which our forces were repatriated and demobilized than anticipated. The estimates for 1946-47 were prepared on the assumption that the strength of the three services would total throughout the year 98,360 whereas halfway through the year by October 1, the actual strength had been reduced by demobilization to 55,132. Another reason contributing to the difference between appropriations and expenditures was the postponement of defence purchasing and construction in favour of civilian purchasing and construction.

The work of repatriation and demobilization is to all intents and purposes complete. The work of overhauling and liquidating stores is rather more than 75 per cent complete. We still have, however, large numbers of civilian and service personnel engaged in this work and some of them will be engaged on this for a year or more longer.

In addition, we have a very large number of civilian and service personnel engaged in making necessary conversions in camps and air

stations so as to fit in with the post-war plan. The biggest job being undertaken is to provide married quarters for married personnel. This is the most urgent single need in all three services. We have personnel at work endeavouring to convert into married quarters every available convertible hutment. Our target is to create more than a thousand new dwelling units in Canada this year, but whether or not we can do it depends on the availability of materials and labour. We have largely removed the limitations on what used to be called the married establishments so that anyone in one of the three services who saw active service, andi officers over 25 years, and soldiers over 23, who hrve completed initial training, who are married are entitled to the relevant marriage allowances. Because a large proportion of the officers and men in the armed forces saw service overseas, many of them from the start of the War to the close, a very much larger percentage, probably 65 per cent are married.

At Shilo Camp in Manitoba which I visited during the Easter recess, the military hospital provided assistance at the birth of eleven children in June. Under the regimental institute committees of officers and men and their wives run on a cooperative basis, modern well-equipped butcher and grocery shops, a hairdresser's, a shoemaker's, wet and dry canteens, a moving picture theatre, all kinds of recreations, concerts and dances, as well as a nursery school. In addition to the usual facilities, the army provides a library and a two-room elementary school where sixty children are taught by army-hired instructors and this and similar arrangements elsewhere for the education of the children of our men in the armed forces who are in isolated communities are being geared into the provincial school system.

Despite all our efforts, we are still short of married quarters in almost every establishment. but efforts are being made to remedy this just as soon as possible. I mention this because it shows the changed nature of Canada's post-war armed forces. We aim to create conditions which will attract the best of our young men and enable them to live useful lives as respected citizens of the community.

As in other countries, this is still a year of reorganization. Without excluding other objects of activity, I might mention particularly five matters which have a very high priority in all our activities today

1. Organization.

2. Training of officers.

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3. Reserve training.

4. Research.

5. Industrial organization.

As all these matters have been touched upon in speeches before this house and elsewhere, it will shorten the proceedings if I do not develop them here, but I will, of course, be only too glad to answer questions on these or any other matters arising in connection with the department.

Since my appointment in December I have taken advantage of every possible opportunity to visit units of the navy, army and air force in many parts of Canada. The total strength of the active forces today is 32,610. They represent a fine body of fit and highly qualified Canadians, well worthy of taking up the record made for them in world war I and which so many of them helped to make in world war II.

_ Mr. IRVINE: Is that the total active force in the three services?

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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

That is right, active

only. I have taken advantage of every possible opportunity to meet representatives of reserve associations, cooperating organizations like the Navy League of Canada and the Air Cadet League, as well as representatives of industry and experts from other countries. All these have extended the most helpful cooperation. In this new world of supersonic talk and saucers flying in formation, it is important that there should be a wide measure of informed and interested support of adequate defence measures by people who have a sense of responsibility and who are willing to accept the responsibility. We can never express too warmly the appreciation this country owes to the officers, N.C.O.'s and men and their civilian friends who, by their voluntary support, maintained our reserve forces through the difficult period of the years between the wars. I must say I am most grateful to them and to their successors who are carrying on now and to all those who have been of such great assistance in this work of national importance.

In closing, I enumerate the long-term objects of the department and services:

1. Progressively closer coordination of armed services and unification of the department so as to form a single defence force, with the three armed services working together as a team.

2. Joint intelligence and planning groups to review defence appreciations and plans.

3. Clothing, food, quarters, pay, pensions and working conditions suitable for young Canadians of high physical and educational standards.

4. Means to provide the active and reserve forces of the three services with adequate numbers of highly qualified officers.

5. Development of reserve forces of an age and with educational and physical standards and training approximating those of the active forces competent to go to sea, take the field or fly in action.

6. Provision for reserve forces of training syllabuses, administration and training officers, and equipment on a larger scale than before the war.

7. Maintaining adequate reserves of equipment and weapons.

8. Close integration of the armed forces, the defence purchasing agency, government arsenals and civilian industry, looking towards standardization and industrial organization to permit of the speedy and complete utilization of our industrial resources.

9. Cooperation between the armed forces the defence research board and private industry regarding defence research so that we keep up to date with regard to the design and planning of weapons.

10. Support for Canadian Arsenals Limited and a limited number of Canadian industries to maintain and increase skills in the design and manufacture of munitions and aircraft.

11. Organization of government departments and civilian agencies capable of putting into immediate effect a plan for civil defence.

12. Government leadership to obtain civilian support of the armed forces.

13. Armed forces to form an integral part of the life of the community.

14. Cooperation with the countries of the commonwealth, the United States and other like-minded countries in working out common standards, planning and training.

These objectives will not be achieved at once but we are working towards them. I hope we shall have the support of all parties and members of this house, of members of the active and reserve armed forces, of industry, indeed of the whole community of Canada. The measures to be taken for the defence of our country are matters of individual interest as well as national responsibility.

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PC

Grote Stirling

Progressive Conservative

Hon. GROTE STIRLING (Yale):

The statement to which we have just listened from the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) was in the nature of a rapid synopsis of past, present and the future. I want to add a few words with regard to one portion of this matter, namely, the Royal Canadian Navy. Before I do so I should like to ascertain from the minister what his ideas are with regard to the discussion which should

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take place. The trend of his remarks this year all led one to suppose that he desires to look upon the defence forces as one service.

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LIB
PC

Grote Stirling

Progressive Conservative

Mr. STIRLING:

That was the idea I got from the minister's remarks.

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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

One team' of service forming one armed force.

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PC

Grote Stirling

Progressive Conservative

Mr. STIRLING:

The figures which he gave on various occasions in his statement were of the three services combined, and I am glad if, as the minister says, he is ready to receive discussion of the three services separately; for in the past, both before the war and during the war, that was the custom of this committee and I think that it tended to better discussion than if it browsed around amongst the three services.

His remarks, of course, of necessity were brief. In consequence he could not deal as fully as I am sure he would have wished with the services rendered to this country and to the allied cause by the Royal Canadian Navy. He referred to a good part of its duties having been the retention of the bridge between Canada and Europe, but he did not refer to any of the fighting services which they rendered in the far north, in the channel, and in the Mediterranean. One of the things which I should like the minister to deal with later on is the extent to which our ships have been winterized. It is only after hearing accounts of those who served, either in convoy work or in actual fighting in the far north, that we realize the hardships which the sailor has to put up with in that climate. Now that more consideration than ever is given to defence problems in the far north it is necessary, if we expect our ships to serve within the Arctic circle, that we do everything we possibly can to render the ships adequate living quarters.

The minister did not, I think, go into details with regard to the present strength of the navy. I want to draw his attention to the figures of a year ago and to the figures which he gave in answer to certain questions which I put on the order paper in June. It is the duty of the government to devise the strength of the three fighting services. I am not disposed to criticize the government in this regard, for they are in possession of information which is not available to us. They have had the benefit of the discussions of the permanent joint board of defence. Canada and the United States sit together to discuss the problems. I do not know at what levels discussions take place between Canada 83166-337

and the United Kingdom. Perhaps the minister will give us a little information with regard to that; but a year ago the minister's predecessor gave the actual strength of the navy on July 31 as 8,216. He said the permanent force was then 6,005, and he tacked on to that the interim force of 1,137; and hostilities only, approximately 1,000. We have to endeavour to compare with that the figures given in June in reply to my questions. He gave the figure 7,386-I do not know whether to relate that to the 8,216 actual strength last year or to the 6,005 given as the permanent force. I do not know whether the interim force is still a considered unit which was supposed to carry until September 30 of this year. The minister made no reference to that portion of the Canadian navy figures in June; consequently I want some explanation of that.

Of the 7,386 which the minister gave, 3,590 served afloat, which leaves 3,796 on shore establishments. This more than bears out my contention last year that for every seaman afloat there was necessarily a seaman ashore, and it enters into the consideration of the strength in ships. Last year the minister's predecessor gave these figures as two fleet aircraft, two cruisers, twelve destroyers, eighteen frigates and twelve escort mine sweepers, referring to the fact that only certain of these were in commission; and he finished that statement with the following: "there would be a certain proportion of the fleet always in reserve". I presume that that covers the ships which we now own but which are tied up. The minister explained that we have one aircraft carrier which Canada does not own but whose services we benefit from; one cruiser, five destroyers, one frigate, and four minesweepers. But that does not quite tally with the statement attributed to the minister when he met the press on board H.M.C.S. Nootka, in which he said he hoped very shortly that there would be an air fleet carrier and four destroyers on one coast and a cruiser and three destroyers on the other. Perhaps the minister would enlarge on that matter of strength. Then he dealt at short length with the civilians now in the employe of the three services, but he did not separate those into their various establishments. I wonder whether he would be good enough to give us the total of the civilians employed for naval purposes, and if possible divide them up into their locations and the work which they are carrying out in the various parts of Canada.

He indicated that up until, I believe, March 31 the numbers were drooping, but I should like to know, whether, in view of the

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enormous amount of work he described as being still necessary outside of the fighting people, that figure has risen again or has continued to droop.

Then with regard to the reserve, Canada's plan for her navy has for many years been the retention of a highly trained, efficient, small force which could be readily expanded when the need arose, and the success of that plan was undoubtedly proved during this recent war as it was in the previous one. Now we are sliding back again into the condition of a highly trained but small navy which can again be expanded if unfortunately it should need expansion, and supporting that highly trained force there would be a reserve. The last information I have seen from the minister with regard to that reserve force is that there would be eighteen, possibly twenty divisions, across Canada, and the figures which I have for June 9, 1947, spoke of a force of 2,693, which is a notable increase from a year ago. But it does not come very close to the figure which I think the minister gave as the number which he expected to be able to raise. *

That leads me to the point of recruiting. Recruiting in that term is not used with regard to the reserve. What efforts is the minister making to induce the gradual expansion of that reserve in the various divisions across Canada, and where do we stand today with regard to actual recruiting for the navy? A little while ago in the press I read that certain classes of trained personnel were required, but there was no reference at that time to anything in the nature of general recruiting, and I should like the minister to ?ive us an explanation in that regard.

There are two other matters I want to touch on shortly One is that which the minister, both today and two or three weeks ago, referred to,-the question of housing for personnel. It is my information, whether it be correct or not, that the navy has not come off as well as the other two services in the question of providing roofs for married personnel. I do not need to emphasize to the minister the fact that you cannot have a happy service if you are not able to provide reasonably adequate quarters for that portion of the personnel who are married.

The other point that I want to take up is the question whether it would not be possible to give recognition in the way of assistance in transportation at time of leave. I did take ' this matter up with the minister some weeks ago and he told me that a great deal of consideration had been given to that point when the new rates of pay and allowances were arrived at. He pointed out that it was the

opinion of the department that further assistance for transportation on leave for the permanent service was scarcely advisable because the new rates of pay had taken care of it.

The illustration which he gave did not impress me very strongly. He said that the new rates of pay and allowances were such that they brought the men into fair relationship with their 'brothers in industry. I do not follow that illustration, for this reason. When a man goes into industry he picks and chooses where he will go and decides whether it would be desirable for him to stay there or to move on somewhere else. That is not the case of a man in the service. He is directed to go to a certain place. He is directed to remain there until he is directed to go somewhere else. It would be but reasonable, in a country of the extent of Canada, that our sailors, drawn from every province, and a great many of them from the central provinces, should have some assistance that they may travel to their homes at the times of their leave-assistance in the payment of a certain portion of the cost of that transportation. In many cases when the distance is great they could not afford to do it out of their pay.

We have had a not very good advertisement in the form of "H.M.C.S. Poverty", where eighteen naval ratings purchased a truck because they could not afford to travel otherwise from coast to coast. They pooled their initiative and energy in what the public called "H.M.C.S. Poverty" and drove to the Pacific coast, dropping off en route their members who belonged to other places, and very ably arranging the return journey so that they could pick them up. It does not seem to me that is a very good advertisement of the way we are treating our permanent force employees, and I should like the minister to give further consideration to something in the nature of what, in my railway days in the old country, used to be called privilege tickets.

I understand that the United Kingdom does give assistance to its personnel at the time of their leave. Because they do it is no warrant in itself that we should do it, but when one remembers that the United Kingdom is a tiny country, involving journeys of a few miles comparatively, it makes one recognize the necessity of assisting service people in this country where journeys run into thousands of miles. Surely there is necessity for helping them here.

I should like to understand from the minister before I sit down how he proposes to proceed with this discussion. Item 551 has been called, which covers all three services. I do not know whether he will consider it wise to let the

Supply-National Defence

discussion range over the three services at this time or whether we can discuss naval matters first and then proceed to the other services.

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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

The hon. member has raised a question which I must say gives me some difficulty, but perhaps during the adjournment which is about to take place I may have a word with him and the chairman of the committee and representatives of other parties to see what would be the best order. We can proceed to have a general discussion on all the services and. the department together, following this with consideration of the details which appear on page 275 under eight items; or we could as the bon. member has just suggested, deal first with general discussion service by service. It is quite immaterial to me and I am completely in the hands of the committee as to which method we should adopt. I certainly feel, with the hon. member for Yale, that we should adopt one course or the other so that we shall know what we are doing.

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PC

Grote Stirling

Progressive Conservative

Mr. STIRLING:

May I point out that the details on page 275 do not help us in this regard-

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LIB

July 9, 1947