May 9, 1951

SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

I am greatly interested in his remarks. Suppose it were decided to standardize arms for the North Atlantic pact countries. That would include Great Britain. Would my hon. friend go so far as to suggest that it would be better to have Great Britain accept the United States standard of arms? I am particularly interested in the discussion.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink
CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

I am not saying whether Great Britain should accept United States standards or whether the United States should accept British standards. I think there is some equipment that perhaps can be turned out more economically and better in Great Britain, and there is perhaps other equipment that the United States can turn out better. These details are thii gs that would have to be worked out. I am merely talking about the principle. If these countries are going to hang together then I think there should be one standard. No matter where they are their equipment should be interchangeable.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

Would my hon. friend permit another interpolation?

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink
CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

Yes.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

The reason I asked the question was that I gathered from what the hon. member said that he felt there was a controversy between the ideas of those who believe that the British standard should be the one adopted and those who believe that the United States standard should be the one adopted. I saw there was a difficulty there that my hon. friend probably would like to explain away.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink
CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

There is a controversy right now. For example, the proposal was made that a uniform rifle should be adopted. There is an argument now between Great Britain and the United States on that point. Great Britain thinks that a Belgian rifle offered at the present time is a better rifle. They think it is lighter and easier to handle and, so far as I know at the present time, Great Britain is going to adopt the Belgian rifle and equip her forces with it. On the other hand the Americans say that they are going to stick to their own rifle. It is heavier, and it is an automatic rifle. They claim it is better and therefore they are going to stick to it. There is a controversy at the present time. I am raising this matter now because of that controversy.

As the hon. member for Melfort suggested, there should be one standard for the North Atlantic pact countries; that is the ideal thing. But on the other hand if war develops and there is going to be any standardization so far as Canada is concerned it should be

Supply-National Defence on the United' States pattern. If those we expect to fight succeeded in their objective of invading this continent, and we were standardized on the British pattern of equipment, one of the first places to be isolated and cut off from us in the event of invasion of this continent would be Great Britain. Americans and Canadians would be fighting all over the continent and we would be stuck with the British pattern, a pattern that was not interchangeable with that of the United States. If we are going to accept any pattern I think it should be the United States standard, I mention this matter because it requires some thought by the Department of National Defence.

I have noticed that at the present time the department is sending out of the country considerable equipment-and rightly so-to Belgium and other countries. That presupposes that we are going to develop new patterns and equipment for ourselves. The matter of standardization has been brought up twice but no one made very emphatic recommendations on the subject. My own opinion is that if any standardization for defence purposes is going to be considered by the Canadian government, our best bet is to stick with our neighbours in the United States. I think that I am pretty well to the end of my time, Mr. Chairman.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

I have interrupted you.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink
CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

I should like to say one other thing to the minister before I sit down. In his speech he made reference to the fact that recruiting would be carried on right across the country. He said that he was basing his recruiting centres on the reserve army, and that the new brigade was to be raised through the reserve forces. I agree with that. However, he also told us the centres where training is going to take place, and in looking over them I find that the minister has very carefully excluded any training centres in the maritime provinces. So far as eastern Canada is concerned the training is to be done-

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink
LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

There is all the training for the navy and two big training centres for the air force.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink
CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

Well, I listened to the minister's speech, and I have a clipping here dated May 4 with the heading "No brigade training for camps in maritimes." From this I gather that all the men from eastern Canada will be trained at Valcartier. I would ask the minister not to let his department get into the same frame of mind the government appears to be in, with respect to the centralization of his forces in this part of Canada. That is the economic development.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink
LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

Proportionately we have

more forces in Nova Scotia and spend more money there than in any other part of Canada, I think.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink
CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

Since when?

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink
LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

In the defence department

in 1950-51.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink
CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

Well, you built a number of

good camps down there during the last war, but you destroyed them when the war was over; they were obliterated.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink
LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

More than half the total

operations of the navy are centred in Halifax.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink
CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

I am talking about the army

now; I do not know what you are doing in the navy. I have been up and down that province quite a bit in the last three years, and I have not seen any naval men there at all. There may be a few hidden away in Halifax, but they are'pretty carefully kept out of the way. You know, navy boys get around when they are ashore. I am talking about your training camps. Valcartier is quite a good camp. I spent a considerable time there, camping in the sand, some years ago, and it is not a bad spot. At the same time I suggest to the minister that he should still consider Debert, which was one of the best camps in Canada for the training of troops that were to go overseas. I believe he should give that matter further consideration.

Now I am going to offer a few recommendations which I think would stimulate recruiting. Today I do not think very much is offered the average man to make him leave his employment, uproot himself, and leave the country for an indefinite period with the armed services. A moment ago I said what I thought of the minister's policy of using the reserve force as the basis for the organization of this new brigade. I also want to tell him that one of the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of building up the reserve force is the fact that the money these men are paid is taxed. You do not have to leave this city to find that out; you can get that information from any of the boys in the reserve army here. I understand the amount paid members of the reserve army is to be stepped up a little. A recruit comes in and says, "We get paid so much per drill. Is that money taxed?" He is told that it is taxed, so he says, "O.K., I am not coming in." That man has a job; he is in a certain income tax bracket. If he joins the reserve army he will be paid $20 or $25 a month, which must be added to his income. That puts him in another income tax bracket. At the end of the year, instead of the reserve army paying him something,

he pays Mr. Abbott something. He really loses in the transaction; he has drilled tor nothing, because the money is taken back in income tax. I think the Minister of National Defence, who has the responsibility of raising this force-and a very serious responsibility it is-should say to the Minister of Finance that the little bit of money he is getting out of this by way of tax should be forgotten; that in order to stimulate recruiting he should announce that the money paid the men who drill in the evenings, and who will form the basis of the next army, will be tax free. Then I think you will get a lot of them to go in who will not go in otherwise. It seems to me that a government so mercenary and parsimonious that it will not relinquish the little bit of money it gets by taxing the pay of the reserve army deserves very little consideration when it appeals to men to take the training necessary to form the basis of the next army, the very men who would be necessary to defend this continent if and when the over-all thing develops that we all expect.

I suggest to the minister very seriously that if he hopes to get recruits his department should not just sit back and say, "Well, we have done it before; we can do it again." Unless some serious thinking is done, unless there are more practical advances in the next two years than we have seen in the last two years, I suggest to the Canadian people that they had better join the moral rearmament group and start to pray for guidance. Very little has been done except talk and put schemes on paper. What I have recommended would be one practical step. It would recognize the fact that it is unfair to expect a man to join the reserve army and drill, and for that privilege and pleasure pay the income tax department at the end of the year.

Then there is this matter of the attestation form, which was mentioned yesterday by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar. There is not a uniform attestation form today. That form is a pretty important thing to a man going into the service, because it lays the basis for a lot of things that can happen to him after he comes out, such as pension rights, whether he has any disabilities that are considered hereditary, and all that kind of thing. Most of the boys joining up today either were in before or know something about the importance of that form. Surely that would not be a difficult thing to remedy. I imagine it would not be hard to get a uniform form ready and ship it out to the centres where recruiting is carried on. This may not sound very important, but anyone who has been in the service, or anyone who

Supply-National Defence has fought pension cases, knows the importance of an attestation form. It pretty well forms the basis for everything that happens when you go before a board, unless your disability consists of a big hole that has been shot into you, or something like that. Generally they pull a statement from the form that the boy's grandfather had mumps or his grandmother had housemaid's knee, and when considering any kind of disability they say it resulted from the mumps or the housemaid's knee. I believe we should have an attestation form that would eliminate that sort of thing. A man is either fit when he goes into the service or he is not fit; and we still have a great deal of trouble at the present time from that sort of thing in connection with the last two wars.

I want to bring another point to the minister's attention, and I feel perhaps stronger on this one than on any of the others. Many of the young men in the service today, including many in Korea, are boys who left a home with a father, a mother and a dependent family. That boy was the only source of income, but there is no dependents' allowance in his case. If he has a wife he gets an allowance for her, though it is not too big. He gets an allowance for his children, if any. Most of the boys who went in the special force, however, were single. Let us not forget that many young men in this country today are maintaining families. They do not marry for that reason; they have families on their hands already. I know several who left mothers and fathers and younger children at home and joined that special force, and are now in Korea. In the first war and the second war there was a dependents' allowance available if there was an assignment of pay; today there is nothing but the assigned pay. There is no dependents' allowance board, as such. Those matters are handled through the national defence department, though handling dependents' allowance is a job by itself. You do not want it done by a brigadier or a colonel or a general, who may know all about the military angles of everything. You want someone who has some humanity about him, who understands the social problems that can be created by taking the breadwinner away from the family.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

Will the hon. member

permit a question?

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink
CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

Yes.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

Would the member care

to state whether or not the same thing applies to the boys who would be enlisting in the army today, whether or not they would be going to Korea?

Supply-National Defence

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink
CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

Yes, the same thing applies

to the brigade that would be going to Europe.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   CHICOUTIMI AND LAPOINTE COUNTIES, QUE., MAIL CONTRACTS
Permalink

May 9, 1951