Hon. Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence):
Mr. Speaker, yesterday the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) referred to articles which appeared in the Montreal Herald of December 10, 11 and 12.
Perhaps it would be a fair summary of the articles to say that they allege that, despite orders for S400 to $500 million worth of radar equipment, it is doubtful if our radar defences will be completed in the three years planned and that this is because of red tape and delay in ordering and producing equipment.
The articles leave the impression that $400 to $500 million have been appropriated to be spent on equipment for the radar screen. I am unaware of the source of this figure but it is fair to say that it is a gross exaggeration. A more correct figure would be in the neighbourhood of 10 per cent of this amount. The equipment on order for the radar screen is of the latest type. Orders were placed as soon as the development work on this equipment had proceeded to a sufficient point to enable production to be undertaken. It will be appreciated that it takes about two years to construct a station of this kind and to make and instal the radar equipment. While delays are inevitable in this, as in every other country, in the production of new and complicated equipment of this kind, reasonably satisfactory progress is being made and some of the equipment has in fact already been installed. In the interim, we have equipment of the type in use at the end of the second world war.
Subtopic: RADAR SCREEN
Sub-subtopic: REFERENCE TO ARTICLES IN MONTREAL "HERALD"