April 7, 1949

PC
LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

We are cannibalizing a number of planes, which are virtually obsolete, in order to keep them going without having to start factories working on spare parts; but we are not cannibalizing any modern planes.

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PC

Alan Cockeram

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Cockeram:

Yesterday the minister said that he had 1,000 first-line planes. Does that mean that 1,000 planes are complete and none of them have been cannibalized?

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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

Not at all. Yesterday I said nothing about 1,000 planes. Some hon. member quoted what I said in the house on the estimate debate-I think it was the hon. member for Nanaimo-and gave a partial list of what I gave then.

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PC
LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

On Monday I did mention

1.000 planes. We have not got 1,000 first-line planes, and no suggestion has been made that we have.

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PC

Alan Cockeram

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Cockeram:

How many first-line planes have we that are not cannibalized? That is what I should like to know. We are spending practically $150 million on the air force.

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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

I must tell the hon. member that it will require a pretty nice appraisal by people who are experienced in it to say what are first-line and what are not.

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

The number is sixty-two.

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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

It is a matter of opinion in each case as to what is the most modern type for the purpose for which it is designed. At present we have not sixty-two, as the leader of the opposition said-I assume he means Vampires-but seventy-seven.

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

I ask the minister to check his figure. He must realize that there have been a number of crashes which reduced the eighty-five below that number, and he also knows that there are a number not yet actually put into service.

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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

We have a number in reserve, but there are seventy-two Vampires either in service, in reserve or undergoing modification at the present time.

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PC

Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Merrill:

The minister said seventy-seven.

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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxion:

I beg your pardon, seventy-seven.

The hon. member for Vancouver South asked me a question about the visit of the Australian defence minister, Sir Frederick Shedden. Sir Frederick Shedden is the permanent secretary of the defence department of Australia. He corresponds to our deputy minister of defence. He is almost the senior civil servant in Australia. He is visiting here and the United States for the purpose of exchanging views on various subjects; but so far as any indication has yet been received here as to the purpose of his visit, it is to discuss organization, administration and matters of that kind. No doubt in addition we shall go on to discuss with him other matters, but the question of a Pacific regional security pact is not on the agenda. May I say a further word or two in reply to what the hon. member for Vancouver South said. The view of the government, of course, is that there is only one possible aggressor at this time, and should that aggressor commit an act of aggression it will affect practically every part of the western and eastern world including Canada. It will be one war in one world.

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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

Is the minister favourable to a Pacific defence pact?

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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxion:

That would be a matter of government policy which I could not deal with now. But I should think a good deal could be said for having regional defence pacts along the lines of the North Atlantic security pact in the hope that they would gradually form part of one defence system which the United Nations was set up to establish, and which we still hope the United Nations will achieve.

The hon. member for Peterborough West asked me about an envelope which he had. That envelope was sent to hon. members enclosing a speech on industrial organization. That speech gave facts and figures which were new, and I thought hon. members would be interested in it. Apparently in addition, by error, he got a pamphlet-

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?

An hon. Member:

We all got that.

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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxion:

-which he should not have got, certainly, and which I am sure will do him no good whatever.

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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Does the minister mean the pamphlet is no good whatever?

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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxion:

No; I said I was sure it would do the hon. member for Peterborough West no good whatever.

Supply-National Defence

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April 7, 1949