February 15, 1951

LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Abbott:

Use nails instead.

The Address-Mr. Gillis

Topic:   CAMP BORDEN
Subtopic:   QUESTION AS TO INVESTIGATION- USE OF FIRE-RESISTING PAINT
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FISHERIES

NEWFOUNDLAND SALT CODFISH


On the orders of the day:


PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. J. Browne (St. John's West):

I should like to address a question to the Minister of National Revenue. I have not given him notice. If he is not prepared to answer the question today, perhaps he could do it at the next sitting. Is he aware that some of the exports of salted codfish from Newfoundland are not cleared through the ports of Newfoundland but through ports in the maritime provinces? Will he consider giving the necessary instructions so that these entries may be made at the point of export?

Topic:   FISHERIES
Subtopic:   NEWFOUNDLAND SALT CODFISH
Sub-subtopic:   PORTS OF CLEARANCE FOR EXPORT
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LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Hon. J. J. McCann (Minister of National Revenue):

I will have the matter looked into and answer the question later.

Topic:   FISHERIES
Subtopic:   NEWFOUNDLAND SALT CODFISH
Sub-subtopic:   PORTS OF CLEARANCE FOR EXPORT
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SPEECH FROM THE THRONE

CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY


The house resumed, from Wednesday, February 14, consideration of the motion of Mr. W. H. McMillan for an address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Drew, and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Low.


CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Clarence Gillis (Cape Breton South):

Mr. Speaker, I have already had a good deal to say in this debate on the subject of manpower and defence. However, the subamendment now before the house is pretty specific on one point, namely, immediate conscription for the reserve forces, which makes it necessary for me to say a little more on that particular subject.

In my opinion the whole intention of the subamendment is to support the brief or recommendations of the Canadian Legion to the government on the matter of conscription for the reserve forces. I am reasonably sure that when the Legion drafted that program and presented it to the government it was not their intention to put pressure on the government to bring in an ill-considered program of conscription. In my opinion that brief was intended to arouse public opinion as to the gravity of the international situation, and the necessity for Canada's recognizing it and instituting an adequate defence program. It is on that basis I am going to discuss the matter, because I think the representations of the Legion have served the purpose they were intended to serve.

When the recommendations were drawn up, much of the information now at the disposal

of the public and given to hon. members was not known. I think the subamendment is impractical at this time and could not be put into operation, even if the government desired to do so.

In my opinion the most important matter with which the government has to contend is that of manpower. The Legion have recommended that three things be done. First, they say there should be a national registration. Unless there is a national registration it will be impossible to have conscription of any kind for the armed services, whether for the reserve forces or on an over-all basis. National registration, therefore, is the first step that would have to be taken. The suggestion has been made in the house that the census to be taken in June could be used for the purposes of a registration. My own view is that it could not be done. Most of the information gathered for statistical purposes when the census is taken is confidential and could not be dovetailed into a national registration. Such registration would have to be taken for a specific purpose, with a view to determining the age groups that might be called up, where they might be placed, and the like. The passing of the subamendment at this time would place the government in the position of being asked to do something that cannot be done until other steps are first taken.

Secondly, the Legion have asked for the mobilization of industry and resources for purposes of defence. When the recommendation was made, there was very little knowledge throughout the country as to what the government's program for mobilization was. Since coming to this session, and since January through the medium of the press, we have been given a pretty good idea of what the government has done. A special department of government has been set up for that purpose. When one takes a look at the labour force in Canada, the manpower available to work out the program while maintaining the internal economy of the country, one realizes that the subamendment is impractical at this time, because there is no manpower available.

If we instituted conscription for the reserve forces we would draw from the eighteen- and nineteen-year groups. Perhaps we would get about 100,000 young men. Where would we get them? They would have to be taken from the farms, from industry and from many other essential projects the government has already mapped out. We have not got that kind of manpower.

The Financial Post of January 20 outlines in detail the program upon which the government has embarked for defence purposes in industry. For the information of hon. members,

The Address-Mr. Gillis and particularly those who may be supporting the subamendment, I should like to place part of this article on the record. It states:

1. In nine months the Department of National Defence has placed $700 million of orders for armament construction and supplies. That is twenty times the comparable orders prior to world war II; six times total orders placed in the first year of that war. And for 1951-52 defence spending is likely to be double the 1950-51 rate, with production, not the dollar sign, as the limiting factor.

The emphasis there is on production.

2. Armament orders for NATO countries are just starting to roll under the $300 million arms aid program. The first order of $40 million went through last week; others pending will reach or exceed $150 million very shortly.

3. Capital expansion plans for 1951, plus hundreds of millions of dollars of unfinished 1950 business, is at an all-time peak, twenty-two per cent of national production. We are already experiencing critical bottlenecks in materials, which portend imminent and far-reaching controls.

4. Employment in manufacturing has been sharply rising since June 1; is currently at its post-war peak. Durable goods industries at November 1 employed seven per cent more than November, 1949.

5. New record employment peaks were reached in November in construction, public utilities, trade and finance. Employment in these groups now totals one and a quarter million, up forty-three per cent from the same month five years ago.

6. Canada's jobless shelf is pretty bare. On November 4, 1950, we had only 117,000 persons without jobs and seeking work according to D.B.S. labour force survey. This is only two per cent of the civilian labour force at work, against a comparable figure of 13-6 per cent, 573,000, in June, 1939. Applications for employment at N.E.S. offices on December 14 were 207,000-42,000 less than at the same time the previous year.

Practically all of that is connected with the defence program. In order to get the manpower to carry on this job, men have to be siphoned off from organizations and1 industries that are now providing the standard of living we enjoy in Canada. We see that twenty-two per cent of Canada's total production is allocated to defence purposes. This implies that the labour force will have to be augmented. Anyone who thinks that at this time we could embark upon a program of compulsory service in the reserve forces is not being realistic, because we have not the manpower.

Then, we must think of this: we are linked up with the North Atlantic pact countries. There is danger of war in western Europe. Those countries have manpower available, and they are faced with the possibility of attack at any time. They have not the weapons with which to fight; they have not the equipment necessary to enable them properly to defend themselves. On this continent we have the productive capacity, and I believe that under present circumstances the best contribution Canada can make will be

in the field of producing the arms necessary to arm the countries with which we are allied.

In the light of those facts I believe that conscription of any kind for the armed services would be impracticable. If we did accept the subamendment, through which we would be instructing the government to embark upon that kind of program, what kind of conscription would we have? I certainly would not vote to give the power to the government to conscript manpower for the services at this time. I pointed out the last time I spoke that we had a lay-off of over 3,000 automobile workers in Oshawa. Those men could be pressed into the services under economic conscription. I do not like it, and I do not want to see the government embark at this time upon that kind of program, or to possess the powers of compulsion that would enable them to pick up people who might not have jobs.

Here is something else we shall have to watch and guard against. A news dispatch from Bonn, Germany, dated February 8, indicates that 600 Germans are to be trained as miners and then brought to this country to work in the mines of northern Ontario under the supervision of the Canadian Metal Mining Association. If the whole picture with regard to conscription is not clarified, it would mean, as is suggested in this clipping, that 600 Germans could be trained as miners and put to work in the mines of Canada, and then other miners could be conscripted to be sent to Germany to fight. I am not prepared to give the government the opportunity to do that kind of thing until the picture is much clearer than it is at the present time. I should like the Minister of Labour to comment on that particular news dispatch and indicate whether that arrangement is being made with the knowledge and consent of the immigration department. I do not want to see that kind of thing happen.

That there is surplus manpower in Europe is indicated by the fact that groups such as I have mentioned can be brought to this country to work in our industries. I am not going to place myself in the position of being accused of having voted to conscript Canadians for service at a time when Europeans were being brought in to work in the industries of this country. Until the picture is much clearer in this regard I do not think this house should consider for one moment the passing of any measure of conscription for service.

I think the government has met the demands of the Legion for the mobilization of our resources and industries for defence purposes. The figures I have put on the record

indicate that it is a huge program. It is going to require a lot of manpower. I think the request for national registration has been met to some degree in the setting up of the 28-member manpower council. The government has appointed to this council representatives of labour, industry and veterans and women's organizations.

Many times in the last ten years, particularly since the end of the war, I have suggested to the government that basic industries, such as steel, coal, textiles, packing houses, and so on, should be brought under the national labour code. There are good national unions represented in these industries, and industrial councils should be set up on which the unions would be represented as such. Such men would be very valuable in arranging either the reorganization of industry or the reorganization of manpower. Each of them would come to the council with full knowledge of what is going on in his particular industry. The representatives of that industry and of the union could meet with the government, and the government would thus be in possession of complete information as to what is actually happening in the industry.

The best feature of this plan would be that these men would go back to the men in the industry, who would have the assurance that their interests were being protected. They would act as liaison officers between the manpower council and the men who do the work. The workers would trust them. I am always sceptical of having my life planned by men who live in ivory towers. The government has appointed as members of this council the heads of national organizations whose offices are in Ottawa. These men are far removed from the conflicts of life. You live in a vacuum in this city; you get away from realities. The 28-member manpower council which it is proposed to set up is not representative of the men who actually do the work. The men who work in the mines, in the steel and textile plants, are going to be a little sceptical if twenty-eight men living in ivory towers in Ottawa are going to plan their lives for the next five or six years and determine what sacrifices they are to make. I repeat that there should be industrial councils set up under the national code.

Do not forget that one of the greatest dangers this country will face in time of war is sabotage. It is going to be much more difficult to prevent sabotage if the workers are directed from Ottawa to do the things they do not want to do, by people that they do not see, than it is if someone from their

The Address-Mr. Gillis own ranks who has been in on the planning can assure them that their interests are being looked after, and can go back to them and say to them, "This is what has to be done". He would be their direct representative, and he would be a good agent of the board in doing this planning.

I suggest to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Gregg), under whose direction this is going to be done, that no decisions affecting any particular industry be made unless the representatives of that industry, both labour and management, are called in, and given an opportunity of saying exactly what should be done, whereupon they can go back to the workers and let them know what has been planned. I suggest to the minister that he do that.

I am against this particular amendment, for the reasons I have indicated. But you still have to do something. In the first place, you still have to build up your reserve forces. That is a must. If we are going to do it on a voluntary basis, certain steps will have to be taken to encourage men to go into the reserve forces. I want to repeat what I said the other day, that there are hundreds of older men on pensions in this country who still have productive capacity. Many would like to work, but because of the means test in connection with veterans allowances and old age pensions they are reluctant to do so; if they did, they would be taken off pension and later would have to go through all the red tape that is necessary to get their pensions back. The manpower of this country could be augmented by these aged people if this suggestion were carried out. I think they would provide a good defence mechanism at this particular time.

In the second place, women's auxiliary corps, such as we had in the last war, should be formed. Hundreds of them would come in if they were appealed to. They could replace personnel in defence headquarters and in many other departments. There are many able-bodied men who might go into the service if they could be released, because they are patriotic enough to recognize the danger that confronts the country today and want to do their duties as citizens.

Third, there are many married women who would come back into industry if they were given some income tax relief. At the present time they do not want to come into industry and earn a few hundred dollars, because by doing so they would put their husbands into the single-person bracket of the income tax. I think a proper incentive by way of tax relief should be given to married women to encourage them to go into industry.

The Address-Mr. Harkness

Moreover, in order to get men to go into the reserve forces I think we must embark upon a program that will provide adequate training facilities. Today they are such as to leave much to be desired. I am not going to elaborate on that point, because last evening the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes) did an excellent job, and I agree with everything he said in that respect. The equipment is very poor. In many of the barracks across the country, where the reserve army forces train, you will not find uniforms for the men. There are no shoes for them. In one particular place I saw there were all kinds of shoes if your size was eleven or six, but there was nothing between sizes six and eleven.. It was not good to see a fellow going along with size seven feet in size eleven shoes. He was not doing a very good job of marching. I think the equipment has to be examined.

My fourth suggestion is that the income of $150, $200 or $300 received by reserve army personnel for attending all the drills, and so forth, is taxable. A lot of men do not join the reserve forces for that reason. A boy may be earning $1,500 or $1,600 a year. If he enters the reserve army, takes training, and augments his income by $300 or $400, it shoves him up into another income tax bracket, and he is taking all that training for the income tax department. They take all the money back from him. If you are going to encourage young fellows to take army training, such income should be exempt for income tax purposes. There must be some proper incentive, and unless these things are done we are not going to be able to build up the reserve army.

If the four steps that I have mentioned are taken, I think the requirements of the brief of the Canadian Legion will be met. They presented their brief for the purpose of arousing public opinion. They have succeeded, and it has created a lot of discussion in the house. We all know something more about the situation. Discussion would not have taken place in this house and throughout the country if the Legion had not seen fit to publish their brief. I think the government has met two of their requirements. They cannot meet one of the others, because there is not the manpower to conscript. The reserve army can be built up if the things we have suggested here are done.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. D. S. Harkness (Calgary East):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to compliment the mover (Mr. McMillan) and the seconder (Mr. Breton) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne on their excellent performances on the occasion of their first speeches in the house. Since coming to Ottawa I have been considerably encouraged by the speeches

of the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) and the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton). Their speeches indicate that the government has finally wakened to the danger of the world situation and the necessity it imposes on us to increase our defences considerably. As one who has urged this course for the past three years, I welcome the announcement of the Minister of National Defence that our armed forces are to be materially increased, with the particular aim of bringing into being fully equipped forces which will be ready to fight, something in which we have been especially deficient.

The rapidly changing events in Korea and the Far East have occupied the minds of our people to a large extent in the past six or seven months, and have in some degree obscured the more important general picture. They have also led to a good deal of confused thinking. During the short session last September I stated that the basic situation then was no different from what it had been for some time prior to the Korean outbreak, and I still think that is true. Of course the intervention of the Chinese in the Korean war has made the threat of the outbreak of a general world war much greater than it was then.

In considering the world situation, there are four or five important facts that I think we should always keep in mind. All of them have been mentioned at some time or other in various speeches already made during the present session, but I do not think they are generally realized throughout the country; therefore I should like to make a few comments on each one.

First, the Russian communists are engaged in a program of world domination. This view was expressed in the speech from the throne, in the following terms:

The increased1 menace in the Far East reinforces the mounting evidence that communist imperialism is determined to dominate the world by force or the fear of force . . .

What this means is that we are in a war now, and in fact in a war of survival. Let us not fool ourselves on that point. It has been called a lukewarm war up to the moment, and because we have been fortunate enough not to come to a red-hot war, a full world conflagration, a great many people still seem to think that we are not in a war at all, and will not be for many years. In other words, there is no sense of urgency among a large number of our people. I think to a considerable extent the government is responsible for this attitude. Members of the cabinet have been making soothing and reassuring speeches on the matter for years, culminating in the

Prime Minister's statement that he did not expect war in his lifetime and that he expected to live for a good number of years- which I trust will be the case.

Of course that is the kind of statement that most people like to hear. It justifies them in sitting back with a sense of complacency and saying that there is no need for them to do anything very much about the defence effort. They say: If the Prime Minister thinks there is not going to be war for several years, why should we worry about it? I do not understand how the government can expect a wholehearted defence effort from our people, in the face of statements that merely encourage them to stick their heads in the sand and to disregard the realities of the situation.

The second fact we should keep in mind is that the only thing that will prevent the Russians from carrying out their designs is superior military power on the part of the western nations. In other words, the only hope of peace is rearmament on our part and on the part of our allies. If the worst happens, and war does come, such a course of rearmament is vital to us if we are to survive. I think this has now been realized by all the democratic nations. Certainly the United States and Great Britain are engaged now in gigantic rearmament programs. However, there seems to be a frightening disinclination on the part of some of the nations of the west to make the sacrifices which full rearmament involves. I am afraid there is an undercurrent of thought to this effect: Let somebody else do it. Not the least guilty of the nations in that regard is Canada. We have not been pulling our full weight in the common defence effort, and apparently the government is still not prepared to do so.

I do not wish to weary the house with a mass of figures to show that this is the case, but I should like to put on the record a few which I think establish it. They are found in the issue of Newsweek of February 5. I wish to refer to an article headed, "Who is giving Ike the most help?", and under that there is a chart with the heading, "Is the burden being shared?" This shows in graphic form the comparative efforts of the nations of the Atlantic pact in regard to manpower and economic effort. As to the manpower effort, the chart shows the number of servicemen per 1,000 of population, and the figures are as follows:

France 17

United States 15

Britain 14

Belgium 12

The Netherlands 11

Portugal 8

Norway 8

Denmark 7

The Address-Mr. Harkness

Italy 7

Luxembourg 5

Canada 1

In other words Canada is last; we are the worst of all the allies. These figures were taken as of the end of the year. I cannot vouch for their accuracy, except so far as Canada is concerned. I worked them out for this country and the number is correct; therefore I am quite sure the figures are correct for the other countries as well. Three years hence, if the plans announced by the Minister of National Defence are carried through, our manpower figure on this basis will go up to almost 8 per thousand. By that time, however, the figure for the United States will be up to 23, and the figures for the other countries will be up also. So there is no indication that we are prepared to pull our weight with our allies in the matter of manpower.

We have had a considerable number of speeches by the Prime Minister and supporters of the government to the effect that Canada could make a better contribution to the common cause by producing essential materials and armaments than by supplying military units; but let us look at the figures concerning the economic effort. These are prepared in the form of the percentage of the gross national product which is being devoted to defence expenditures. The gross national product, as I think most people know, is the value of all goods and services sold or produced in the country; and when we look at that figure this is what we see:

Per cent

United States 16

Britain io-3

France 8-2

Italy 6-3

The Netherlands 5-1

Belgium 4-6

Norway 4-4

Canada 4-4

Denmark 3-4

Luxembourg 33

Portugal 3 0

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

That of course was before the recent announcement of the increased program.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

I said this was as at the end of last year.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

The figures are not accurate, either.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

This shows that in economic effort also, at the end of the year we stood eighth, and that our effort was only 27 per cent of the United States effort. That is not a very creditable record in the economic field, or anything we can boast about.

The minister has indicated that these figures do not take into account the increases he

The Address-Mr. Harkness announced. I have already said that in connection with manpower those increases v\?ould bring the figure for Canada up to 8, which would still be very low in comparison with the figures for many of our allies. Our percentage from the economic point of view will also go up, but so will the percentages for the other countries. They will by no means stand still, or at least we hope not; and they have already announced greatly increased efforts in that direction. I think we cannot escape the conclusion that the government is not meeting the realities of the present situation in the plans it has announced so far.

The third point I should like to make is that the potential strength of the western world is much superior to that of the communists. We have much greater resources of vital military materials, such as metals, oil, rubber and so on; and equally important, we have the industrial plant to convert these materials into armaments. This means that, if we have the will to do so, we can build up a much stronger war machine than our enemy. But potential strength is no good; it must be converted into actual armaments in the hands of men trained and ready to use them. It seems to me that so far the government has not displayed the will to do this, and is still stumbling along with half measures.

The fourth point I wish to make is that in any contest between the communists and the western democracies, the vital strategic area is in Europe. There are really in the world four great concentrations of industrial power: the North American continent, western Europe, Russia, and Japan, in that order of importance. At the present time the west has three of them. Our industrial potential is very much greater than that of Russia, but if Russia should move into western Europe and have undisturbed possession of that industrial plant for a few years, we would be in an extremely dangerous position. The situation then would be that the communist industrial potential probably would be equal to and perhaps even greater than our own. That is a situation we dare not permit to come about.

To defend Europe I think there is no doubt that we need German manpower. I first argued in favour of this in this house some two years ago, and since that time, I am glad to say, it has been adopted as a policy by the Atlantic pact nations. I regret, however, that difficulties have arisen in carrying that policy into effect. Those difficulties include the attitude of the Germans themselves; but I was particularly sorry to hear that policy questioned during this debate by the hon. member for Spadina (Mr. Croll). I hope our government will

continue to press for the adoption of the policy of German rearmament.

To reiterate what I have said on several previous occasions, in this struggle with communism we should accept all the allies we can find. Particularly I think we should come to an agreement with Spain and make use of the strategic position of that country, the best on the continent of Europe. We should include it as part of the defences of the west against the communist conquest of the world. Apparently there is a strong move in that direction at the present time. I am glad to see that the United States and Spain have exchanged ambassadors, and I would hope that the other Atlantic pact countries might do the same thing, and in that way help the Spanish people strengthen their bastion, which, if the worst came to the worst, is probably the only area in Europe which could be held in the immediate future.

My fifth point is that in meeting communist aggression it is essential that we have unity among the western powers. I have been greatly disturbed by the differences which have developed between the Atlantic pact countries and other members of the United Nations over Korea and the treatment of China. Differences of opinion as to the course to be followed are bound to exist between democratic countries; that is one of the essentials of the democratic system. However, only harm can come from attacks on the good faith or wisdom of the leaders of the different countries. The United States is by far the most powerful of the western countries, and has been carrying almost the whole burden of the Korean war. It is only to be expected that she should have a major voice in the conduct of that war, and in the decisions made in regard to it. We would expect the same thing as far as the French are concerned in Indo-China and the same thing as far as the British are concerned in Malaya. However, not for a minute do I think that we or the others of the allies of the United States should refrain from putting forth our ideas or giving our advice as to the course to be followed. But this is a different matter altogether from personal attacks on General MacArthur and other United States leaders. It should always be remembered by all of us that General MacArthur is a national hero in the United States; and bitter attacks on him, such as those made by persons and newspapers in this country and Great Britain, serve only to cause anger and bitterness on the part of the people of the United States. They serve no good purpose whatever, and I greatly deplore the fact that that type of attack has been going on. I would hope that in this country at least we shall have no more of it. The important

The Address-Mr. Harkness

thing for us to remember is not to let our differences divide us and thus prevent our making the united all-out effort which is needed to preserve our independence and our existence as a free people.

I should now like to say something about the defence program announced by the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) on February 5. It proposes to give us, three years hence, a regular force of 115,000 men, with the major emphasis in this defence build-up on the air arm. With that emphasis I agree. For the past two years the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes) and others of us in this party have urged a policy of that kind. The first question that came to my mind after the minister's speech was this: Will his program give us the minimum forces necessary for the defence of Canada and to meet our commitments under the United Nations and the Atlantic pact? I would respectfully suggest, Mr. Speaker, that it will do neither. It is not sufficient from either point of view, so far as I can see. When the Korean war broke out in June we had only one battalion up to strength, trained and equipped. We had only one battalion at that time ready for service overseas or, more important than that, ready to meet any attack which might have developed on this country.

Since that time we have raised the special force which is now in training in the United States, with one battalion of it, the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, now probably at this very moment committed to action in Korea. In Canada, however, for our own immediate defence we still have only one brigade and that is all; that is the regular army or airborne brigade as it is ordinarily called. I sincerely hope that that force is now up to strength, but we do not know whether it is or not. The minister has not yet said so.

The program the minister set forth calls for the dispatch of a brigade group to Europe, presumably the one training at Fort Lewis. It provides for a total force the equivalent, he said, of one division. This would mean that we would have the equivalent of two brigade groups in Canada. However, to get , that number more units must be raised, particularly in artillery regiments which we are definitely short of. What the word "equivalent" means needs elaboration. Are we to have two brigade groups in Canada or are we to be held to one now in being and some scattered units, having all together the number of men or the strength to make up a brigade group? That is a question to which we should have an answer.

As to the regular brigade group, as we have pointed out before on this side of the house it is a misnomer really to call it a

brigade group. The units of that so-called brigade group have never trained together as a brigade; and, unless it has been done recently, they have had no brigade headquarters which has trained as such. That is another thing which should be done immediately. Headquarters should be set up and the brigade should get some training as a brigade.

I think that the very minimum that we need now in Canada is three brigade groups; that is, actually in the country. But the program announced by the minister does not even call for that number in three years, if we are fortunate enough to have that length of time to get them ready. In my own view they will probably be needed less urgently in three years than they will be needed in the next nine months. If we get through the next three years without war, and if the Russians have not struck in that length of time, I think there is an excellent chance that they will not strike at all; because by then the western world will be so strong militarily that the enemy will not dare to move.

Another question which came to my mind following the minister's speech is this. How rapidly is the program to be implemented? How many ships will we have in commission by the end of 1951? How many air force squadrons will we have in being, how many men equipped with planes and trained to use them will we have by that time? What will be the situation of the army by the end of 1951? The same questions apply with regard to all those three services at the end of 1952. What is to be the rate of implementation? That is another matter on which I hope the minister will elaborate in a later speech.

The most important question of all which came to my mind was this. How does the minister propose to get the men required? In his speech he stated that during the six months up to the end of 1950 there had been a net increase of 14,893; but of this total I believe over 11,000 were for the special force, which leaves a gain for the three regular forces of under 4,000 men. This is a rate of gain of about 8,000 men per year, which is not half enough to meet the program outlined. It is just a little bit more than a third of enough to meet that program. It must also be borne in mind that the special force was enlisted on a short-term basis of eighteen months. That means that within less than a year now the term of those men will be up, and there is no doubt that a good number of them will then leave the service, always on the assumption that by that time no general war has developed. That means of course that there will be another big gap to be

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The Address-Mr. Harkness made up there in relation to what you might call the regular rate of enlistment, in order to get sufficient men.

The minister assured us in his speech that the rate of recruitment is satisfactory, although what I have just said would cast some considerable doubt on that statement; but the minister has been assuring us of that for the past three years. Every year we have been told here that recruiting has been satisfactory. In spite of those assurances we know how defenceless we were when the Korean war developed, some seven or eight months ago. In my opinion the rate of recruitment is far from satisfactory, and unless the government impresses on our people much more strongly than they have yet done the urgency of the situation, I am much afraid that the 115,000-man defence force will never be reached. It certainly does not look like it at the present moment. As a matter of fact, how can one expect young men to be impressed with the need for them in our forces when the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) makes the statements he has made with regard to no war in his time, that Lloyd's are betting fifty to one against war by September, and things of that kind? Nothing better could be designed to discourage recruiting than statements of that kind.

The Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) made a much better statement here on February 1 in regard to manpower. It was a reasonable statement, but it should be followed up at once with a scheme of national registration, so that if the government does find that methods other than the ones now being used are necessary to provide us with the manpower required for defence purposes, either in the forces or in war industries, they will know what the manpower of this country is, where it is, and how it can be best used. Such a step would also enable them speedily to put any change of plan into execution.

All these things take time, and now is the time to take the preliminary steps, not when the emergency develops. National registration should be embarked on at once. A manpower advisory council has been set up. Perhaps this body is the government's first step in a national registration scheme. I do not know, because they have not told us that. What its purpose is, otherwise, is a little difficult for me to understand, because certainly for the council to be able to advise the government properly on manpower such a national survey is necessary. I cannot see that the council can do much otherwise.

The minister did not say much in his speech about the reserve forces. However, as far as the army is concerned particularly, it

is these forces which would be largely responsible for the immediate defence of Canada if war broke out, and which would provide the framework for mobilization. The minister has given us optimistic reports on the conditions of the reserve units during the past three years, and has sought to give the impression that they were in a satisfactory state. The contrary view expressed by members of this party, that reserve units for the most part were inefficient and ineffective because of lack of sufficient men, has now been fully borne out by the report and recommendations of the conference of defence associations, which held its annual meeting only a short time ago.

This conference is composed of representatives from all the military associations, the Armoured Corps Association, the Artillery Association, the Infantry and Army Service Corps, and so on. The men who compose the council of defence associations are the brigadiers in command of reserve brigades and the commanding officers of reserve units-regiments, battalions and so on. They are the men in closest touch with the situation so far as the reserve force is concerned, and they are the men whose advice as to the situation, the efficiency and the needs of that force we must take. I do not think there is any use guessing about the thing and saying that this is the case, or that. These men have made a report and recommendations, and I think that much weight should be attached to it. Part of their report has already been put on the records of this house, so I will not repeat it except for this sentence:

To say that the reserve force is 40,000 strong, and to give the Canadian people the idea that it has 40,000 men who could quickly be ready for action, is a travesty of the facts.

This is a very strong condemnation of the speeches and statements the minister has been making about the reserve forces for the past two years.

In another place the report states:

It is our considered and unanimous opinion that proper value is not being received for much of the public moneys now being spent on the reserve force.

That has been one of our contentions here in the house. We have said that a great deal of money spent by the Department of National Defence was being wasted. We have never been loath to vote money for national defence. There has never been any question about the amount of any estimate. We have urged that it be increased, but we have maintained that a great deal of the money was being wasted, and now the reserve forces people themselves have come out and said that the situation in the reserve is indeed unsatisfactory.

The Address-Mr. Harkness

The report then goes on to make recommendations and it makes them in these terms:

If it is not to be Canadian policy to lean on our allies in the initial stages of a war-and we are satisfied that the national pride of our people will tolerate no such situation-then men must be made available for training now. This will involve a national registration system and the introduction of an enforceable and enforced system of selective service for the reserve force. Only in this way will the reserve force obtain the men it needs, the training it must have, and the effectiveness which the Canadian people are entitled to expect in view of the expenditures. Only in this way can we build a reserve force to which Canada can look with confidence.

Included in that policy was a resolution along these very lines which reads:

Resolved that in the opinion of this conference it is vital to the security of Canada that the government introduce immediately a policy of selective training in the reserve force.

Well, there is the evidence of the men most qualified to know what the situation of the reserve force is, and what should be done in order to make it an effective force.

The Canadian Legion has also made recommendations of the same kind in the brief they submitted to the government. I should like to take this opportunity of complimenting them and commending them for their stand and for their campaign called "operation preparedness". It has done more than anything else to bring our defence needs to the attention of the general public. In view of what I have said it is needless to say that I support the Legion brief completely.

This matter of compulsory training in the reserve forces is not a new thing so far as I am concerned. I made a speech in the house two or three years ago in which I advocated that very course. I think that probably I was the first one in Canada to do so publicly. My opinions as to the need for it, and what it will accomplish, have really not changed since that time. As a matter of fact, I think the need has increased. At that time I stated the reasons in some detail as to why I thought this was the only method by which we could provide the minimum defences we need in Canada, without at the same time withdrawing large numbers of men from industry, and also which we could provide at comparatively low cost.

This afternoon the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis) spoke for a considerable time about the fact that compulsory training in the reserve forces was not practicable because it would withdraw too many men from industry. One of the features of it is that it does not withdraw men from industry; it leaves men in the jobs in which they are, and it calls upon them to train one or

two nights a week, and then during the summer to spend two weeks or thereabouts at a summer camp. That is the particular feature of the scheme which makes it of the greatest value to Canada where manpower is one of our great questions. It does not withdraw men from industry; it leaves them at their jobs; it enables them to carry on in their normal life. The entire speech of the hon. member for Cape Breton South in that regard was away off the mark. He apparently does not understand the idea of the scheme, or what the scheme is, or he would not have spoken as he did.

It is very easy to say that such a scheme is not practicable, and to point out difficulties in regard to putting it into execution. But all these difficulties could be met if there was the will to meet them. That is what we lack. There is no doubt that such a scheme would give us reserve forces which would be effective, something which we must have if this country is to have just even the minimum of defence protection which it requires.

To look at the matter from another point of view, if no such scheme is put into operation, what is the alternative? It is, practically, I would suggest, to leave ourselves without forces for the immediate defence of this country, and without the framework upon which to mobilize in the event that war should develop. There is no use fooling ourselves any longer. That is what we have been doing for the last two or three years-fooling ourselves that the present reserve force can fulfil those functions. The men in charge of the reserve force have themselves said that they cannot fulfil those functions. If we are to have a reserve force at all, then we must take steps to increase the numbers in it. Far from a large increase in the reserve force by some compulsory means serving to lull the country into a false sense of security, it would actually give it some real security. At the present time we have no security because we have nothing there to provide it.

The argument has been made that compulsory training in the reserve force would make it impossible to have regular units in being, ready for immediate action, and that that is what we need most. I do not think such an argument will stand up for one moment. The present reserve units have considerable numbers of officers and N.C.O.'s who served throughout the war and have been in the reserve force since. They are quite capable of training their own units. They do not need to take large numbers of instructors from the permanent force. As a matter of fact most units do not need to take any instructors from the permanent force. They can carry

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The Address-Mr. Harkness on their own training by themselves. The mobilizations in 1914 and 1939 show that that is so.

When they mobilized in 1939 in Calgary neither my unit nor any other unit of which I am aware had permanent force instructors. We did not have any; we did all our own training ourselves. The same thing can be done so far as the reserve force is concerned. Any idea that we must put thousands of men from the permanent force in as instructors to train the reserve army was disproved by our whole experience in the last two wars.

Another point is that, undoubtedly, a large number of our young men in our reserve force would help recruiting for the regular force. These young men, after some training in the army, the navy, the air force or whatever branch of the service might be chosen, would become interested in military affairs, and I am convinced that a good many of them would wish to make such service a career.

I am convinced that, rather than endanger our regular force, a scheme of this kind would greatly help it.

The question of cost has been mentioned. According to men who know best, money being spent on the reserves is largely wasted.

I believe there is no doubt it would be much better to spend more and to get something effective and worth while, rather than fool ourselves and waste money as we are doing at the present time. I believe everyone admits that, if we are placed in a position where we have to defend ourselves against an aggressor, we must spend the funds necessary to do so. There is no reluctance on that point in any part of the house or country, so far as I know. People are willing to have the money spent that is needed for our defence requirements.

Furthermore, as I said earlier in my remarks, we are not spending at anything like the rate of our allies. We are still not pulling our weight. I do not think this would cost a greatly increased sum of money each year. True, it would be considerable, but I do not think it would be unreasonably great; and it would certainly be much cheaper to have a reserve force capable of doing something than to adopt any other means. It would bring our effort more into line with that of our allies.

Equipment has been mentioned, and the statement made that even if the men were mobilized there is no equipment for them. According to the minister's own statement in the speech he delivered a few days ago there is equipment in Canada sufficient for four divisions. I think that equipment would go some considerable distance toward equipping [Mr. Harkness. 1

the men who would be raised by this method, if such a scheme were put into operation. I suggest therefore that the argument with respect to equipment falls to the ground.

In closing let me say that I shall support the amendment offered by the leader of this party, and I shall also support the subamendment calling for defence preparedness and compulsory service in the reserve force.

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LIB

John William Gordon Hunter

Liberal

Mr. John Hunter (Parkdale):

Mr. Speaker, I had not intended to enter this debate; but when the amendment to the amendment was moved I felt that perhaps I should, in view of the fact that I had had some slight knowledge of the reserve force.

I can only conclude after reading the subamendment that it couldi have been moved only for one of two reasons, either because of very bad advice, or for political reasons. I would not for one moment suggest that the hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Low) would do anything for political reasons, so I must conclude that he was badly advised.

To begin with, I consider the subamendment is most unhappily worded, and its intent is no more satisfying. It shows a lack of understanding of the reserve force which could only be acquired through years of neglecting to study the subject. In the reserve army, which at no time was ever designed for compulsory training, it would be quite impossible under its present set-up to have compulsory training. It would produce great inequalities throughout the country, and would not result in the desired effect.

The evening training, of about two hours' duration an evening, has very limited value, except to those people who join it voluntarily and have some enthusiasm for the subject. If anyone can tell me how people can learn to become soldiers by devoting two hours one or two evenings each week-when anyone who knows anything about the army knows that it takes at least six months' fulltime training to train troops-then I should like to hear about it. I should think that anyone who would make such a suggestion would not know what he was talking about. The answer is that this training is for voluntary enthusiasts who will come to parades in an effort to learn something in the short time available.

To take large numbers of troops and bring them into a reserve army would result in a waste of money and a loss of efficiency and manpower. The only possible way in which the reserve army could be used for training would be to give a longer period of full-time training which, in turn, would take them away from industry.

It is true that the officers and N.C.O.'s in the reserve army could be used for training troops; but definitely they could not be used to train the number of troops which would be involved. For instance in the city of Toronto, a city which, with its suburbs, has a population of about a million people, we have the Royal Regiment of Canada, the Irish Regiment of Canada, the Toronto Scottish, the Queen's Own Rifles, the 48th Highlanders. Those are the infantry units of that city. If we were to take the number of people who would be eligible for the training suggested it is obvious that those units could not possibly contain the number of troops involved. It might be necessary to form perhaps another dozen units in that city, and go through the same involved scheme of building them up. In turn, many more armouries, more drill halls and more places in which to train would be required.

The scheme is fantastic. In addition to all this, when one goes out to the countryside he finds that in many districts there are no facilities for the training of reserve units. The unit would have to be formed, a drill hall built-the start would have to be made from scratch. In some sections it would be possible to give some slight training while in others it would be impossible. Surely the whole basis of a compulsory training scheme is that there shall be equitable training throughout the country.

I was pleased to listen yesterday to the speech delivered by the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes). He gave us a very able, statesmanlike and detached address to which it was a pleasure to listen. For a time I began to think that the Progressive Conservative party might have altered; but, oh no, I find it was just one member of the Conservative party who perhaps has not altered but has expounded a very able and sound view. After listening to the hon. member for Calgary East (Mr. Harkness) I am convinced that the Progressive Conservative party has not changed in any way.

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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ross (Souris):

Wait and see.

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LIB

John William Gordon Hunter

Liberal

Mr. Hunter:

If the hon. member wishes to make a speech I will sit down and he can carry on. There is one thing about the Conservative party that delights me. The members are delightfully consistent in their supreme faith in their ability as strategists and senior officers. It seems to be something that is ingrained in their protoplasm. I could write their speeches myself and I would be delighted to do so for a nominal fee. I am sure they would contain everything the hon.

The Address-Mr. Hunter gentlemen would like to have. I could write them from memory without even drawing a draft.

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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

The hon. member is not offering a very good advertisement.

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LIB

John William Gordon Hunter

Liberal

Mr. Hunter:

I am pleased to have the hon. gentleman present and I am glad he came into the chamber for my speech. Let me get back again to the hon. member for Calgary East. He went into quite a discourse as to the use of the reserve army for compulsory military training. I had the honour to command a reserve unit for two years and I think I have some knowledge of the problems that must be met. I spent some time studying those problems. I had the rather unusual honour of commanding our unit after returning from overseas in this war and my father commanded the same unit after his return from the first war.

In referring to the hon. member for Calgary East I do not wish to be personal in any way but I am forced to conclude that his lack of knowledge is exceeded only by his lack of knowledge of his lack of knowledge. If you are going to train troops on a permanent basis obviously you will have to have some sort of selective service scheme. Surely anyone who knows anything about the needs and complexities and difficulties of training, the enormous amount of equipment and material required, must realize that if you are going to train and fit troops for the field it must be done on a full-time basis. The reserve army provides a means of giving enthusiasts a knowledge of the basic training so that when they go into active service they can be got ready much more quickly. That is the obvious basis of the whole reserve army.

If you are going to increase the numbers of the reserve army, unquestionably you will have to increase the number of units, the amount of equipment and everything else. In my opinion the suggestion which has been made is a very unhappy one and is not at all sound from the standpoint of efficient training or the efficient use of manpower.

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February 15, 1951