May 4, 1951


AFTER RECESS The house resumed at eight o'clock.


OLD AGE PENSIONS

AMENDMENT TO BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT

LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Solicitor General of Canada; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Stuart S. Garson (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I might, with the permission of the house, revert to motions for the purpose of tabling the correspondence, from March 6 up until this afternoon, in both English and French, in connection with the old age pensions constitutional amendment.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Sub-subtopic:   TABLING OF CORRESPONDENCE
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Mr. Speaker, this correspondence will be printed as an appendix to Hansard, will it not?

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Sub-subtopic:   TABLING OF CORRESPONDENCE
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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Solicitor General of Canada; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

Yes.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Sub-subtopic:   TABLING OF CORRESPONDENCE
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Thank you.

(For text of correspondence see appendix, pages 2726-43.)

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Sub-subtopic:   TABLING OF CORRESPONDENCE
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NATIONAL DEFENCE

STATEMENT RESPECTING ADDITIONS TO ARMED FORCES

LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. Brooke Claxton (Minisier of National Defence):

Mr. Speaker, if I might revert to motions for the purpose of making a statement-

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT RESPECTING ADDITIONS TO ARMED FORCES
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LIB

William Alfred Robinson

Liberal

Mr. W. A. Robinson (Simcoe East):

Mr. Speaker, before this motion is proceeded with, I wonder if I might be permitted to say a word. As the sponsor of one of the private bills which would ordinarily be taken at this time, I do not in any way wish to refuse unanimous consent for the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) to go ahead with his statement. But if hon. members of the house give unanimous consent to revert to motions at this time, I would hope that later in the session some consideration might be given to the time which we have already lost in private bills hours. You will remember, Mr. Speaker, that we gladly gave up an hour a week or so ago in order that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) might present his excellent budget. This evening, if this statement is gone ahead with, we shall lose some more time. I would merely ask at this time that, if hon. members give unanimous consent, later in the session private bills be given some consideration.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT RESPECTING ADDITIONS TO ARMED FORCES
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

Mr. Speaker, last December the twelve nations who were partners under the North Atlantic treaty decided to set up an integrated force in western Europe to deter communist aggression. General Eisenhower was appointed supreme commander.

As a party to the North Atlantic treaty and in the interest of the defence of Canada,

National Defence

our government indicated in the speech from the throne, that parliament would be asked to authorize Canadian participation in the European integrated force.

In furtherance of this objective, I stated in the house on February 5 that it was proposed, if parliament approved, to place in the integrated force in Europe elements of the Canadian army. The statement went on as reported at page 95 of Hansard:

The force we propose to semi' will initially be a brigade group or regimental combat team, and we hope that it may arrive at about the same time as the additional U.S. forces, but this may depend on events in Korea.

Since then developments in Korea resulted in the decision to send the 25th Canadian infantry brigade group to Korea. The situation in Korea does not warrant any assumption that that formation could be released to form part of the integrated force within a reasonable period.

Keeping our force in Korea up to strength will obviously continue to be the No. 1 army priority so long as any of our troops are engaged in actual combat.

We are further expanding the Canadian army to meet that priority and other army tasks, including, subject to the approval of parliament and the completion of firm arrangements in that regard with our north Atlantic associates, the provision of a force for western Europe.

This expansion will include the formation of an additional Canadian army brigade group with supporting units.

The new formation, to be known as 27th Canadian infantry brigade group, will be recruited around the framework of some of our famous reserve army units. It will be part of Canada's regular forces and its officers and men will serve under active force terms of service and conditions and thus will be eligible for service anywhere.

Fifteen reserve force infantry battalions have been selected on a broad geographical basis, each to sponsor the raising of one and later a second company for the new force. Five highland, five rifle and five line battalions will thus be represented in forming a Canadian highland battalion, a Canadian rifle battalion and a Canadian infantry battalion. Companies will be grouped to form battalions of the active force but will retain their own identity and officers and men will continue to wear the insignia of parent reserve force regiments.

The same principle will be applied to the Royal Canadian Artillery, reserve force regiments combining to raise the units forming the field artillery required in the force. Each

National Defence

battery will represent one of the selected reserve force regiments. Other supporting arms and services for the force will be represented in a similar manner.

The armoured squadron with the new force will be equipped with the latest types of tanks and equipment. The Royal Canadian Dragoons will provide initial armoured support for the brigade. However, certain reserve force armoured corps regiments will participate by providing active force elements which will commence training immediately and can look forward to service abroad. In the meantime, they will retain their unit identity and be attached to the armoured corps regiments of the active force.

The reserve force units participating will be named later in a list which I hope I may have the permission of the house to table.

Every effort will continue to be made to ensure that men will serve in the units or corps of their choice. However, the demands of the service may not always make this possible.

The present plan is that the new brigade group would be available to become a Canadian army component of the European integrated force commanded by General Eisenhower. Since, as I have said, the top priority of the Canadian army overseas is the support of our brigade in Korea, no date can be fixed at present for the dispatch of a brigade group to Europe. That decision will depend on circumstances as they develop, including the course of events in the Korean campaign, the speed with which the required troops are raised and trained, as well as developments in North Atlantic treaty organization.

It is also planned that the force to be raised will, in due course, include units to provide for the periodic rotation of officers and men for duty overseas and in Canada. Our intention is that, as far as possible, individual service abroad will be on the basis of one year for married and two years for single personnel. Though the period of enlistment is for three years, if the military situation permits, officers and men who have completed their period of overseas service and who wish to return to civil life may claim their discharge.

These new regular units will be encouraged to maintain the closest association with the reserve force regiments from which they have been formed. The parent units in the reserve force will continue to form part of our defence organization.

In addition to the rotation of individuals, it is intended, as a long-term plan, that complete companies or other formations will be

exchanged from time to time, not only from the units named but other units, thus giving every major reserve unit a considerable number of additional fully trained officers and men with the experience of service in the integrated forces of the North Atlantic treaty organization.

In appealing for the special force for Korea I said, "We must meet aggression with trained united strength." Expanding the Canadian army in this way is part of the effort of our country and of our allies to prevent war and preserve peace. Trained united strength is needed to prevent aggression.

The appeal for the special force last August and September received a very good response. Since then the rate of recruiting for all three services has met requirements. To meet our needs we now want additional men. Recruiting will begin Monday. Application should be made to any of the units named or to any of the regular recruiting depots.

Reserve force units participating by raising a company, battery, troop or other sub-unit entirely by voluntary means:

From British Columbia

The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own), Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, Vancouver, B.C.

The British Columbia Dragoons, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, Kelowna, B.C.

The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, Vancouver, B.C.

The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's), Victoria, B.C.

From the Prairie Provinces

The King's Own Calgary Regiment, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, Calgary, Alta.

The Fort Garry Horse, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, Winnipeg, Man.

39th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, Winnipeg, Man.

6th Field Engineer Regiment, Royal Canadian Engineers, Winnipeg, Man.

33rd Field Park Squadron, Royal Canadian Engineers, Lethbridge, Alta.

The Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Winnipeg, Man.

The Regina Rifle Regiment, Regina, Sask.

The Loyal Edmonton Regiment, Edmonton, Alta.

From Ontario

The Governor General's Horse Guards, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, Toronto, Ont.

11th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, Guelph, Ont.

29th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, Toronto, Ont.

48th Highlanders of Canada, Toronto, Ont.

The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, Toronto, Ont.

The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (Wentworth Regiment), Hamilton, Ont.

The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, Belleville, Ont.

The Algonquin Regiment, Kirkland Lake, Ont.

7th Canadian Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, Toronto, Ont.

1st Canadian Provost Company, Canadian Provost Corps, London, Ont.

From Quebec

Le Regiment de Trois-Rivieres, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, Three Rivers, P.Q.

Le Regiment de Hull, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, Hull, P.Q.

6th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, Levis, P.Q.

34th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, Montreal, P.Q.

The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, Montreal, P.Q.

Victoria Rifles of Canada, Montreal, P.Q.

Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal, Montreal, P.Q.

9th Canadian Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, Montreal, P.Q.

1 Intelligence Training Company, Canadian Intelligence Corps, Montreal, P.Q.

From the Maritimes

The Halifax Rifles, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, Halifax, N.S.

8th Princess Louise's (New Brunswick) Hussars, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, Sussex, N.B.

The Prince Edward Island Regiment, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, Charlottetown, P.E.I.

14th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, Yarmouth, N.S.

The North Nova Scotia Highlanders, Amherst, N.S.

The Carleton and York Regiment, Fredericton, N.B.

7th Infantry Division Field Park, Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps, Halifax, N.S.

From Newfoundland

56th Independent Field Squadron, Royal Canadian Engineers, St. John's, Nfld.

National Defence

In addition there will be:

Training regiments and squadrons of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals from all military commands to be assembled for training at Barriefield, Ont.

Technical regiments and squadrons of the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers from all military commands to be assembled for training at Barriefield, Ont.

Units of the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps from all military commands to be assembled for training at Camp Borden, Ont.

In this way the reserve army will again be taking a great part in strengthening the defence of Canada. They deserve every possible support from every Canadian.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT RESPECTING ADDITIONS TO ARMED FORCES
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PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. R. Pearkes (Nanaimo):

Mr. Speaker, I realize there should be no extended discussion at this stage, but so important has been the statement made by the minister that I would crave the privilege of the house to make a few remarks, and to ask a question. I feel quite certain that the servicemen in the army of Canada will feel relieved to know that this force will be centred around the old historic reserve army units, and that units from all parts of this country will be assigned the task of recruiting component parts of this 27th infantry brigade group.

There has been anxiety during the recent months as to how far the Americanization of the Canadian forces would go. I realize that certain equipment and arms must be based upon American standards. There has been a fear that that Americanization might be extended to the actual organizations; but the statement, made by the minister this evening will go a long way to relieve that anxiety in the country.

The minister was not able to indicate the date target, shall we say, when this force would be ready, but I presume from what he has said that recruiting is to start immediately-

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT RESPECTING ADDITIONS TO ARMED FORCES
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxlon:

Monday.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT RESPECTING ADDITIONS TO ARMED FORCES
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PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pearkes:

On Monday. I am not quite clear, when he said that recruiting would be through the various companies of the designated units, whether men would enlist for this force as a special force, although he did say that they would go into the active army. If a man enlisted into one of the units of the 27th brigade and the situation deteriorated in Korea and reinforcements were required for Korea, could a man be transferred from a unit of the 27th brigade to a unit of the 25th brigade as a reinforcement for Korea? I should like to have an indication as to the extent to which these transfers might be made.

270G

National Defence

I do not know whether the minister is in a position to say at this stage whether the 27th brigade would also form part of a commonwealth division in Europe, or whether it would be absorbed into the organization of some other formation. That would be a point which we would be interested to hear if the minister is in a position to give that information at the present time.

No doubt there will be opportunities for further discussion when the minister brings down his estimates, which I understand is to be in the very near future. Until that time comes I feel that it is unwise to make any further remarks.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT RESPECTING ADDITIONS TO ARMED FORCES
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxion:

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate thoroughly the co-operative attitude of the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes), who I must say is one of the most gallant soldiers Canada has ever seen. I am not going to say more than a word. In order to do this rather tremendous job of providing the forces required to meet our country's need at this time we are all going to have to get together, and the co-operative support of the members of the opposition will be needed. This is a Canadian job, not a government job.

With regard to the question of the position of the people joining this force, they are joining the Canadian army, just as the people who joined the special force joined the Canadian army. There is only one Canadian army today. Some of them joined for different periods, but they all joined the Canadian army and are available for service anywhere. Our hope is that they will be available to make the best possible defence not only of Canada's cause but of the cause of freedom wherever it may be served.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT RESPECTING ADDITIONS TO ARMED FORCES
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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

The minister said this force would consist of a brigade group with supposing units. I wonder what he meant by "supporting units",, because the general meaning of a brigade group includes artillery, engineers, army service corps, RCEME, and other personnel ordinarily associated with a brigade group. Would the minister elucidate that point?

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT RESPECTING ADDITIONS TO ARMED FORCES
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxion:

The list placed on Hansard

makes it clear. It goes on to indicate intelligence, provost corps, RCEME, and so on.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT RESPECTING ADDITIONS TO ARMED FORCES
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

The minister did not mention

the number of men who would be required for the new force, or for the Canadian army generally. Would he give us those figures and also tell us what form the approval of parliament for the dispatch of troops to Europe will take. Will there be a resolution, or in what form will it be?

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT RESPECTING ADDITIONS TO ARMED FORCES
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?

Mr, Claxion:

In answer to the first question, it is not usual to give the establishment

or the strength of units overseas. I think everyone knows however that a brigade group of the kind described means from 5,500 to 6,500 men. It is a self-contained unit, about one-lhird of a division.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT RESPECTING ADDITIONS TO ARMED FORCES
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May 4, 1951