Supply-National Defence other military equipment we pay sales tax and customs duty to the Department of National Revenue. Personal effects of service personnel generally enter duty free under reciprocal arrangements.
Then the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar said that it was stated in the public accounts committee that on March 31, 1950, we did not possess a single modern tank.
I was not present at the public accounts committee, and I have not yet seen the report of the proceedings for that day, so I am speaking without exact information. But I would doubt very much whether the statement was made in that form. At the end of the second world war we had a large number of worn-out tanks. We scrapped these and we arranged to buy from the United States a very considerable number of the very latest tanks that were available at that time. Since then these have been maintained for training and are available today, except for those that we have shipped already to Europe, for two divisions, namely, the self-propelled guns, Which are on tank chassis.
It would have been utterly ridiculous for us either to have contemplated the manufacture of tanks of an intermediate type or to have bought tanks from the United States when these tanks were still in the process of development, and were not yet in large-scale production in the United States. We have now the opportunity of buying from the United States the latest tanks, and they will be coming with the equipment for the two divisions we transferred to Europe. But our tanks are by no means obsolete. If a war were to come tomorrow this would be the kind of weapon that would be in most current use on our side, the Sherman Mark IV, with modifications, but there are more modern tanks. I hope hon. members do not think for a second that it is possible for any country, United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, Canada, France or any other country in peacetime to keep up to date on every development. Why, the number of developments and the modifications of radar sets would keep us poverty stricken on that account alone. What we have to do is to plan and make our replacements when we think a type has been developed that is going to be in good use for five years, or ten years or fifteen years, and then to keep up to date as far as we can with modifications. But these modifications cost a fantastic sum. Take the 3 * 7 heavy anti-aircraft gun that we have, the United Kingdom type. To modernize it to standards that we would regard as up to date
would cost upwards of $200,000 per gun-the gun originally cost about $100,000-and the result would be a cost per gun of more than that type of weapon completely new at some future indefinite date when we get into another sphere. We cannot follow each weapon through every development. We must get from period to period.
The hon. member asked whether the manufacture of jeeps was held up because of difficulties with patents. The answer is no. He referred to standardization. I have gone into that. He said: If we are working
with the United Kingdom in Korea will not there be complications through the use of United States equipment? No; our forces in Korea are supplied almost entirely with United Kingdom equipment so that they can work with the British, as was planned from the outset; but we use a number of United States-type motor vehicles and mortars and some other weapons just as the British do. There will be no difficulty or very little difficulty there. Since we will always be working with the British or with the Americans usually in a theatre where both are represented, we will not have quite as great difficulties, through having either equipment of one type or mixed equipment, as would otherwise be the case. During the second world war we had in the Canadian army at one time a division of United States troops using American equipment, a division of British troops using British type of equipment and others, and provided that you have a unit as big as a division it can be worked out. Of course it is much better to have it all uniform, and Canada has a greater interest in seeing to that than any other country, and we have worked harder to bring it about than any other country. I only regret that we did not succeed to a greater extent in bringing about standardization.