Hon. Brooke Claxlon (Minister of National Defence):
Mr. Speaker, yesterday the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes) asked me a question about Mingan, and I should like to answer it now.
Mingan is an emergency landing field on the north shore of the St. Lawrence. It was built in 1941 by United States forces with the consent of the Canadian authorities for Use in case of need by aircraft on flights from the United States, primarily on ferry operations. This field was included in the facilities built by the United States for which the United States was reimbursed in 1946. The field is used infrequently and almost exclusively as an emergency or alternative landing field by United States transport aircraft, supplying United States personnel. For this reason, by arrangement with the Canadian authorities the field has been under the care of a small detachment of United States personnel. It is understood that similar arrangements exist in other countries, including the United Kingdom.
The establishment at Mingan falls within the central air command, at the head of which is Air Vice Marshal Middleton.
Similar arrangements are still in effect at Chimo on Ungava bay, and Frobisher on Baffin island.
There are also, by arrangement, small detachments of Canadian personnel in the United States under the immediate command of Canadian officers.
These arrangements are in full accordance with the joint defence arrangements announced on February 12, 1947.
If and when the circumstances requiring the use of these United States planes should change, and if it should be decided to continue the operation of Mingan, that operation would be taken over by us. Arrangements looking to this have been under consideration.
Subtopic: OFFICER IN COMMAND AT MINGAN, QUE., AIRPORT