April 4, 1952


Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Rosetown-Biggar):


do not want to delay the real business of the house, which is the motion to go into supply and the debate on defence. If the house will not agree to call it nine o'clock now I want to say I thoroughly agree with the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) that we should not deal with this bill. We do not wish to waste the time of the house with a vote on the motion, so I suggest that it is nine o'clock.


Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)


Mr. Speaker:

It being nine o'clock, the house will revert to the business under consideration at six o'clock.



The house resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Claxton for committee of supply.


George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Speaker, at six o'clock I was discussing what the subject before us means in terms of taxes upon our people, and I had sought to emphasize the fact that at this time we are very strongly of the opinion that not only the members of this house but the people of Canada are entitled to detailed information as to how the billions of dollars already spent have actually been employed,

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the result we have obtained from that expenditure, and what is actually to be done in terms of defence with this enormous sum of $2,100 million.

We have had a statement which conveys to the members of this house the suggestion that, in spite of difficulties, all is well. We have had no indication of weaknesses that every hon. member of this house knows perfectly well exist. Only a short time ago we read of the statement of Mr. Churchill in the House of Commons in Great Britain in which he said without any reservation that things were far from satisfactory. He pointed out where the weaknesses lay. He showed where they were short in equipment of various kinds and he pointed out the dangerous deficiencies of their armed forces. He pointed out that Britain had been stripped bare of units ready to go into the field. He placed no veil of secrecy around the information which, in Great Britain, they believe that the house and the people have a right to expect at all times.

Britain's air minister is dissatisfied with the situation. He has not hesitated to say so. May I, in fairness, point out that this is not something that has simply happened with a change of government in Great Britain. There has been in Britain a frankness with regard to the situation which is a challenge to every member of this house. They do not say that they cannot tell where their divisions are, where their brigades are or where their air force is located because it might help the Russians. They tell the house and they tell their people what the situation is. As a result, the people are ready to support what is being done.

Make no mistake about the fact that the people of Canada want effective defence. Make no mistake about the fact that the people of Canada will back this government in the preparation of real defence. But the people of this country want to know what the money is being spent for. They want to know that we are really getting defence, and they want to have some assurance that we are not wasting millions of dollars under the plans which are now being put into effect.

Canada's Minister of National Defence is dissatisfied with nothing. For him everything is for the very best in the very best of all possible worlds. Why should it not be? This is a dream world of his own invention. Thus far, this parliament has no adequate report on NATO from either the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) or the Minister of National Defence. What happened at that conference, which was heralded as the meeting of minds, as a great turning point in history, is still just as

uncertain to us as it was before those two ministers spoke, except for the information which we have received from the newspapers. I should qualify that statement. It is more uncertain, because up until the time they spoke we thought we could rely on the responsible newspapers that had reported on the conference. But now we even have .those statements placed under some shadow of doubt, and we are left with very little that is certain, except that we know that the Secretary of State for External Affairs agrees that there was a statement made to the effect that in 1952 there were to be 50 divisions in an adequate state of battle readiness, something that we know is preposterous. The Secretary of State for External Affairs has also answered his own question. He wanted to know where this figure of 100 divisions in 1954 had come from. He gave that to us. Why should he be so greatly surprised that we have used the figure that he says we all knew? A few days ago in one breath he raised the question about the 100 divisions, and then immediately afterwards he said it was a matter of common knowledge that we were discussing a figure of somewhere between 80 and 110 or 115 divisions. If that statement is correct, then it is a matter of common knowledge that they were discussing figures which would give us the mean figure of approximately 100 divisions. If we are considering the possibility of 110 or 115 divisions in 1954, surely it is -not too much that this house should be told how we would meet a commitment of 100 divisions in 1954. We still have no real information on that matter.

The Minister of National Defence has added nothing to our knowledge. In his review yesterday the Minister of National Defence gave us no information that has not already been available to the people of this country through the press or over the radio. The Minister of National Defence yesterday did not even deal with the fundamentals of defence. For years it has been recognized that the whole basis of defence preparation in this country is the non-permanent force. It has been recognized that the permanent force-yes, and our gallant active force in Korea-are in there as men doing a full-time job, but that the basis of our whole defence organization in this country is the nonpermanent force. Yet yesterday, about that non-permanent force not a word was said that would really tell us what is being planned in order to prepare this great foundation for all the real defence organization that this country has built up over the years.

Yesterday the Minister of National Defence said that the policies as stated on February 5 last year have not changed. If that is so, there

is one particular statement that was made last year which calls for a definite explanation. On February 5 of last year, after outlining the other obligations to which he has now referred, he made this statement, and I quote his words as reported at page 95 of Hansard of February 5, 1951:

In addition to whatever army forces we have in Europe, our army role in NATO is to provide a strategic reserve.

Now we are told about a brigade and the squadrons of the R.C.A.F. But what of the strategic reserve? How big is that strategic reserve? If our policy has not changed, what was the strategic reserve agreed upon last year, and what was the strategic reserve agreed upon at Lisbon a short time ago? What is the strategic reserve for which the defence organization is being built in this country at this time? That is what we want to know. Surely that is part of the $2,100 million that we shall be discussing. Even if we cannot have the details at the moment, let us know what the force is, so that we may discuss this matter with some appearance of reality. Let no one in this house suggest that the strategic reserve referred to on February 5 of last year is in any way to be confused with the term "reserve" which we employ in describing our non-ipermanent military forces in Canada. These reserve forces are not the kind of strategic reserve which was referred to on February 5. A strategic reserve is a strategic force available to be moved into one area or another, depending upon the strategic considerations of the moment. Every student of the history of the last world war knows that, above everything else, it was the absence of a strategic reserve in France that spelled the doom of the French army at the time that Guderian made that tremendous sweep past Sedan through to the coast. I leave that question of what strategic reserve really is and what land forces constitute it, because it is the army that we are talking about, not the air force or the navy.

I submit, Mr. Speaker, that the minister's democratic duty to this House of Commons, where the people of Canada are represented by their chosen representatives, is to come to this house at this time and report frankly to us so that we may be informed, and invite at the same time from the members of this house opinions, criticism and debate, and not to brand criticism and alternative suggestions as something that may interfere with the defence preparations of Canada.

The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Clax-ton) anticipates the statements before they are made and says that any statements that will be made may weaken the defence of

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this country. The minister seemingly comes to this house only to invite the desk-thumping of those who sit behind him, and not to carry out his duties to the people of Canada at this very solemn hour in our history. I say this to the minister with the utmost earnestness. If any man in this country at this time rises in this house to say that our defence preparations are all that they should be, and that there are no weaknesses to be corrected, then that man loves applause more than he loves the truth.

The members of this house know perfectly that there are many things about which we should be told, and they want an opportunity to examine the estimates that will presently be before us with some knowledge of what we are actually to do as a nation. Instead of being told what we may usefully do as members in this house we are told of the great things being planned; never of the things that we have, always of the dreams of tomorrow, which, when they are fulfilled, are going to surpass the dreams that will be known in any other country in the world.

Canada has too proud a record of actual achievement in the field and in defence generally for any Canadian to need to go beyond reality. Canadians have never shown themselves unready to face the responsibility of the hour whenever the test came, and Canadians are ready to face whatever their responsibilities are today. The hard-pressed taxpayers of Canada, however, are now asked for $750 from the head of every family of five-and it is every head of a family of five on the average, no matter how these taxes are levied-and they want to know that we are getting a dollar's worth for every dollar spent, and that we are getting real defence for this enormous sum which is being spent.

My remarks are related to a positive proposal to which I referred yesterday, Mr. Speaker, and which I repeat at this time. I do urge the minister, no matter how satisfied he may be with most aspects of the defence preparation, to recognize that it is his duty, that it is our duty, that it is the duty of everyone who has anything to do with defence in any way, to see if savings cannot be made, and if we cannot produce results with the expenditure of less money than is now being called for under the estimates before us.

We are not suggesting any weakening of our efforts; we are suggesting that they be strengthened with the immense industrial and technical possibilities of Canada. We are saying: Place more hitting power in the hands of each individual soldier. That is the great thing that is possible in a highly developed industrial country such as Canada. Let us

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find ways in which we can give to our young men the very finest type of equipment, the very finest type of organization. Let us save the blood of our youth with things that are made by the skill and the brains that have been trained in the great universities, technical institutes and workshops of Canada.

Only yesterday, on the motion of the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), a committee was set up which will be empowered to consider defence expenditures. I suggested to the Prime Minister yesterday that he should give consideration to the introduction, at the end of the present debate, of a resolution similar to the resolution which was moved at the determination of the debate on external affairs, a resolution which would refer to the committee on defence expenditures all the estimates which have been presented to this house by the Department of National Defence. When I made that suggestion yerterday the Prime Minister indicated that he could not accept it and he made a statement by way of explanation which, it seems to me, wholly misconceives the function of this committee and the purpose for which the estimates would be referred.

May I remind hon. members that the select committee which was approved yesterday by the resolution presented by the Prime Minister stated that a select committee be appointed: ... to examine all expenditure of public moneys for national defence and all commitments for expenditure for national defence . . .

May I emphasize in both cases the word "all"; all expenditures and all commitments. How is a committee going to deal with all expenditures and all commitments better than by having the estimates for defence referred to it in exactly the same way as the estimates of the Department of External Affairs have been referred to the committee on external affairs? The Prime Minister said, and I quote from page 1077 of Hansard:

It may be that the experience acquired in the course of the work of this committee will induce us to come to the conclusion that it would be possible to have a committee that would not proceed as do some committees of congress, and that here it is something that would work satisfactorily; but I am sorry I cannot at the moment make any commitment in that regard.

I hope that the Prime Minister has not closed the door, and since the Minister of National Defence is here, I repeat that request, and I repeat it with all the earnestness I possess, because of the seriousness of the moment and because of the immense sums of money that are involved. But may I point out, in view of the misconception which obviously exists in the mind of Prime Minister, that I am not suggesting that we have any such committee as they have in congress. I am suggesting that we do exactly what they

do at Westminster now and what they have done for years. For years they have had a committee in Great Britain on defence estimates. I hope it will not be suggested to us that a committee on defence estimates in Great Britain is limited in what it can do, because if we were told so it would be incorrect. It is true that the committee each year decides to deal particularly with certain specific items of defence, and get all the information in regard to those particular items. It of course examines the other items, and then the items all come before the house. But I would point out that in May's Parliamentary Practice, fourteenth edition, at page 641, the work of these committees is referred to, and it explains that:

The reference of the estimates to the consideration of a select committee has become a regular feature of Commons procedure since 1912, with the exception of the war years 1914-20 and from 1939 onwards. In these periods-from 1917 to 1920 and from 1939 onwards-the examination of war expenditure was entrusted to select committees on national expenditure.

The estimates committee was empowered to examine any of the estimates presented to the house, to suggest the form in which the estimates might be presented, and to report what economies, consistent with the policy implied in the estimates, might be effected.

Now, that is exactly what I am suggesting should be done here. We should do precisely what they have been doing at Westminster ever since 1912. All the estimates should be referred, and the committee on defence expenditures empowered to choose those items with which they will deal, then get all the information and make its recommendations to this house.

Over and over again we have heard the suggestion that we must not in any way depart from the principle that the government is responsible for policy. I cannot remember a single occasion when any member in the house has suggested at any time that we sought to intervene in the field of policy. What we do say is this, that the government makes policy, and that those policies result in the presentation of estimates. Those estimates come before us; and, just as they do at Westminster, recognizing the policies implied in the estimates, we should examine those estimates and, as representatives of the people of Canada, here in this House of Commons, through that committee, see what money we can save for the hard-pressed taxpayers of Canada.

Let us realize that we are dealing with almost half the total expenditures for the coming year. The total of the estimates now before us is $4,335,000,000. Of that figure, those for national defence are $2,100,000,000. That being the case, then surely if there ever was a time when we had an opportunity to

do a real job on behalf of the taxpayer, it is now. I assure the minister that if he agrees to this proposal-and I feel sure if he did the Prime Minister would concur in his request-then I am satisfied that when the estimates came back to the house we would find that instead of a long, protracted and unsatisfactory discussion on individual items, the basic work would have been done, really useful proposals would have been agreed upon, and in many cases agreed upon unanimously by the committee, and we would have made a great stride forward both in effectiveness of defence and in the economies which all of us wish to insist upon.

I shall close with emphasis upon this thought: We are not dealing with any academic discussion. We are not dealing merely with whether the textbooks are being complied with. We are not dealing merely with whether the camps in this country have adequate numbers of men in training. We are dealing with defence. We are dealing with survival itself. And if there is one single subject to which every member of this House of Commons should devote his thought and to which he should apply all his efforts, energy and ability, it is this subject which is going to take half our tax money, this subject upon which the peace, security and future of our children depend.


Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. E. G. Hansell (Macleod):

Mr. Speaker, I had expected that I would be speaking somewhat earlier in the debate, and that the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) would perhaps speak immediately prior to the minister, who would wind up the debate. However, just before six o'clock, as I looked around, expecting someone else on the list to speak, I found suddenly that the leader of the opposition was already speaking. I did not wish to interrupt him then.

I have no desire to prolong the debate unnecessarily, but I should like to say one or two things before the minister replies. A sentiment was expressed in the minister's speech yesterday which I do not digest easily. He began his speech by exalting the North Atlantic Treaty Organization- and I am not finding any particular fault with that. We have all agreed to support that organization. We all believe it is a good thing. We all believe that, in cooperation one nation with another, we can more ably build our defences. But the minister struck another note, a note which I am afraid is beginning to mould the mentality of our people, and that is the note of exalting these international organizations above the importance of loyalty to our own country.

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That is a line of thinking which I deeply deplore. This is what I call the line of the internationalist, who usually places emphasis upon such matters as a world community of nations, and so on-which is, in reality, a softening up process for us so as to sell Canada to some outside international authority.

I have often heard it said that the word patriotism is a word that should no longer be in our vocabulary, that patriotism is something to be deplored. I take issue with that. I believe the day is still here when we must look upon men as patriots to the country they love. I might remind the house that all we have to do is to look back upon history, and we shall find that every man who has gone down in history, or who has moulded history, has been a patriot.

I would not give a nickel for a man who is not patriotically proud of his own country-and I do not care where he comes from. But the whole tendency of our thinking today is to cast some aspersion upon patriotism to our own country, in favour of letting go what we have in the interests of an international concept. I am not now throwing international co-operation to the winds. I believe in the co-operation of all freedom-loving nations. But I am saying now, and I will always say, because there is a basic principle involved, that I am an opponent of world government. Anything that tends to bring it into existence will hear at least my small voice raised in opposition to it.

I should like to point out further evidence of this mentality. Not only recently, but over the years I have noticed advertisements such as these: Join the forces and see the world; join the forces and make a career; join the forces and learn a trade while being paid. If that is what our young men are joining the forces for, then why call them the armed forces? Why not pass these as estimates for trades schools or for career forces or so that our young men can travel and see the world? Why call it defence if that is what they join for?

The principle seems to be: "We are not asking you to go out and fight for the country you love, we are asking you to join up so you can see the world or have a career or learn a trade. If that is the position into which we are getting then I feel that we are giving to the younger generation of this country the idea that Canada is not worth very much. I am a patriot, I am a Canadian, I believe in Canada as I believe we all do because I think that Canada is one of the greatest countries in the world and its people are one of the greatest of the peoples on the face of the earth. All

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we do in our advertising, in our thinking and in our speaking should be done by reason of our pride in our nation. It should be done to exalt our nation, the importance of our nation, as well as to set out the principles for which we stand which far outweigh the expounding of a philosophy which creates a mentality which would make us subservient to some type of international organization.

I should like to read a little passage from the speech of the minister to be found on page 1079 of Hansard of April 3, 1952. The minister said:

We have to come to regard the NATO peoples, not as a parcel of foreigners but as partners having a common interest in meeting a common danger in order to arrive at a common security.

It must become just as natural for any boy in Canada to take his place on our frontiers in Germany or Europe as it is for him to take a summer job on the frontier in Canada. Both mark the beginning of work in the service; both are adventures; both enlarge the horizons; both earn money to be invested in laying better foundations for a future career.

I take exception to that. There may be an element of truth in it, but that is not the reason for which we raise an army. Let us understand that.

I wish to say a few words along a little different line, that is defence expenditures. I am sure we are all happy that the defence expenditures committee is to be set up this session to examine defence expenditures and to recommend where savings can be made. However, I do not believe the terms of reference are broad enough. The committee is limited to the examination of expenditures for national defence and all commitments for expenditure for national defence since March 31, 1950. But there is another clause in the terms of reference which I think is significant. The committee is to report from time to time their observations and opinions thereon, and in particular what, if any, economies consistent with the execution of the policy decided by the government may be effected therein.

When you read that carefully it simply means that the committee can examine all expenditures, but must not criticize government policy. To my mind that is even more important than examining expenditures. All you have in these terms of reference are what you would have in reference to a public accounts committee. You may find here and there where a few dollars can be saved, and I am quite confident that the government does not expect the committee to find a great deal of fault with the expenditures; but when the committee begins to examine where expenditures can be saved by a reversal or readjustment of policy, where the committee decides that a different policy would save

many millions of dollars, it is going to be shut off in their examination because it will be said that it is discussing matters of government policy. To my mind that is where savings can be made or money more appropriately spent.

I do not think the government needs to be afraid that committees are going to dig up skeletons in respect to expenditures. We have the Auditor General and other supposed watchdogs on spending. What the government would be afraid of is a critical examination of its policies. I doubt very much that the committee will get far in its examination of expenditures because I fancy the government will welcome such an examination.

I was a bit surprised that the official opposition did not take up this point. I am inclined to think that it might reasonably be that there is no difference between the actual policies of our Conservative friends and the government. I am perfectly convinced that broadly speaking there are no differences. The leader of the opposition can get up and flay the government for spending too much money here, and saying they should save money there. All I wish to say is that if he were on the government side of the house, he would have to spend so much money here or save so much money there, and he would have to find the money the same way as the present government is finding it. I can see no difference in policy at all. As I have watched these two parties over the years, they do not argue one policy against another. All the official opposition says is, "Let us get over there and we will do the same job but by a different method".


Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. Hansell:

All right, by a better method. Supposing you do that, it does not alter anything. It is not the same job we want. People do not want more taxation, they want less taxation. What the opposition has to tell us if they want to replace the government is how they can do the job and meet these expenditures, while at the same time reducing taxation. If they have some different policy, of course it is up to them to announce that policy and show how that policy will do the trick.

I have been waiting to hear this for a good many years, and I have not heard it. The crux of the whole matter is to decide this. Does a certain government policy cause certain expenditures that would not otherwise be necessary if some other policy were being pursued?

Now, Mr. Speaker, so much for that. There is one other matter I should like to draw to the attention of the government, and it is

this. I should like to have the government re-examine their policy concerning cost-plus contracts. At the moment I am not arguing for or against that policy, but I do believe that the time has come when this expenditures committee, or the government apart from that committee, should tell this country why they pursue the policy of cost-plus contracts instead of a straight tender basis. The reason I am bringing this matter forward is that it has been drawn to my attention, whether worthily or not I am not prepared to say, that there is a wastage of materials and man hours simply because the contractor says, "Well, the higher we can make the price the more profit we are making". The contractor does not mind if the men stand around a little bit or if there is a little bit of material wasted. If something goes wrong on the job that causes a wastage of materials the contractor says he is sorry it happened, but it adds to the cost so he is not worrying very much about it. It means more profit for him.

It has been drawn to my attention that in certain of these cost-plus contracts the men are standing around doing nothing or tumbling over one another's feet; that there is a wastage of materials and time. I say to the minister and to the government, therefore, and not only to the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) but to the Minister of Defence Production (Mr. Howe), that I believe it is time to re-examine their policy concerning cost-plus contracts.

I do not think I have any further critical examination to make at this particular point. We shall all have an opportunity to speak again on national defence, particularly when the estimates are scrutinized more carefully.


John Angus MacLean

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. A. MacLean (Queens):

I think that every hon. member who has spoken in this debate so far is agreed upon one point, and that is that our defence effort at this time is directed towards preventing the next great war rather than merely winning it. I doubt if there is such a thing as winning a modern war. This reminds me of a statement which was made by Winston Churchill concerning the first great war. He said that victory was purchased at a price so great as to make it almost indistinguishable from defeat. That being the case, I think it behooves us to examine the possibility of finding a way of preventing the next world war.

I believe it is agreed the next world war will be prevented only if we can show all our potential enemies that an attack upon us is foredoomed to failure. How can we achieve that end? I believe history shows us that the use of new equipment, new methods, new concepts of strategy through the years

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have resulted in military advantages in more cases than any other combination of causes. Hannibal gained success by the introduction of the use of war elephants. Genghis Khan gained success by the idea of surprise attack and mobility. Field Marshal Barclay de Tolly gained success through the principle of defence in depth and what later became known as the scorched earth policy which resulted in the destruction of Napoleon's army in Russia.

We have only to look back to the last war to realize that time and again the tide of battle swung one way and then the other as new methods, new equipment and new concepts were introduced by one side or the other. In 1940, with a relatively small, well armoured, hard-striking force, the German army was able, in a matter of three weeks, to lay in helpless defeat the huge allied armies totalling a strength of about five million men. The winning of the battle of Britain was made possible by research and development which had been carefully conducted in the years prior to the war, and which resulted in Great Britain's radar warning screen and the Hurricane fighter. They were the things which made the winning of the battle of Britain possible. Later on we were able to sap the strength of Germany by the use of heavy bombers on a scale which had never been seen before. Still later our invasion of the continent was made possible by new ideas and new developments such as the Mulberry harbours and the pipe line under the ocean for supplying gasoline to the forces, commonly referred to as Pluto. As a result we were able to supply our forces after they landed on the continent, rendering useless the gallant and able defence made by the Germans of the channel ports.

Later our advance across Europe was made easier by such developments as Bailey bridges, amphibious craft, and the extensive use of glider and other airborne troops. But after all that, victory was almost snatched from our grasp when the Germans employed an altogether new type of weapon, the V-l and V-2. If German research at that time could have armed their V-2's with atomic warheads I dare say even at that late date they would have achieved victory. Then, too, late in the war our shipping took a severe mauling from snorkel-equipped U-boats, which were able to remain submerged for long periods and which had great range and great speed. Finally the war was concluded and the Japanese empire was forced to sue for peace after only two atomic bombs were dropped on that country.

I think it is clear, then, that if we are to be superior to any potential enemy we

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can only do so by being more advanced in research and in the development of the type of weapons which will certainly be used the next war. We must prove to the world that any possible attack upon us will fail. We have been told that we have the best troops in the world, that they are the best fed and best led troops that ever went into battle; and I do not question that. As a matter of fact I am very pleased to learn that our commanding officers rank with Hannibal and Napoleon and others of that class, and that ours are the most contented troops in the world. But that is not enough. Self-praise is not enough. I know of no case in history, at least since the fall of Jericho, in which any worth-while military advantage was gained by the blowing of one's own horn. Hitler gambled on winning the last war because he thought the German army had technical and scientific superiority, and he was almost right. It goes without saying that it is too late to prevent the last war. It is an accomplished fact; it is history. It should be almost as obvious that we cannot prevent the next war by being proficient, no matter how proficient, in the methods of the last war. We must be prepared to defend ourselves against the kind of attack the next war will bring, if it ever comes. We cannot hope to match our enemies in manpower. We must find some way of making each of our fighting men superior to ten of our potential enemies. The accent must be on scientific development, on equipment, on production capacity and technical superiority.

I am not quite clear as to the NATO target in regard to manpower that is regarded as sufficient to defend western Europe during the next three or four years, but I believe it is somewhere between 50 and 100 divisions. We lack a clear statement as to what our commitments are and what facilities we have to meet them, either ourselves as a nation or the NATO countries generally. While listening to spokesmen for the government I got the impression-and I hope it is entirely wrong-that they stood in considerable fear of being trapped into making some statement which was not ambiguous. It may be because of my inability to understand their statements that I am a bit confused; but let us suppose the total commitment of NATO for the next number of years is 50 divisions on the one hand or 100 on the other. I understand the Canadian commitment is one brigade. In other words the Canadian commitment in regard to manpower is somewhere between one-third and two-thirds of one per cent of the total manpower commitment. Therefore the accent certainly

is not on manpower, and I think the government is on perfectly safe ground there. I do not think there is any danger of the government being criticized because the commitments they have made to NATO in regard to manpower are excessive.

The point is, is the accent anywhere else? Is the accent on technical and scientific developments which will make each of our fighting men superior to ten of our potential enemies? That is what we are faced with. Even 100 divisions in western Europe would be something less than two million men, and it is obvious that our potential enemies could match that manpower three or four or five or even more to one. That is not good enough if we consider it merely on a manpower basis. We cannot hope to match our enemies on that basis.

If our defence effort is to have any point at all we must be capable of preventing a war in which long-range bombers will be used to attack us over the top of the world and over the North Atlantic on the great circle route from Russian bases; and we have to remember that such bombers will carry a load fifty thousand times as effective as the bomb loads carried at the beginning of world war II. We must be prepared to prevent a war in which U-boats of a very superior type will be used in large numbers to attack our shipping, U-boats which while submerged will be capable of greater speeds than any ordinary commercial surface craft. We must be prepared to prevent a war in which such submarines can surface at night off our coasts and fire guided missiles, probably with atomic warheads, into our coastal cities. We must be prepared to prevent a war in which guided missiles will be extensively used, and in which chemical and biological warfare will become a reality in a way hitherto undreamed of. We must be prepared to prevent a war in which rockets that can cross the Atlantic in less than fifteen minutes will be launched against our cities. We must be prepared to prevent a war in which our cities will be attacked with new and hellish weapons such as radioactive dust and many other things which are at present within the scope of scientific possibility, yet are unknown to the average man in the street.

I am perturbed by the fact that our efforts in this regard are not what I believe they should be in relation to our total defence effort. After all, it is not numbers of troops that guarantee superior strength. I notice that in the last two or three years the amount of money granted the defence research board is only something like four or five per cent of the total defence expenditure. Granted some research and development is being done in

the various branches of the service in addition; nevertheless I feel very strongly that this is one particular in which our effort is not sufficient. This is one department in which this young, virile and ingenuous country should press forward with the greatest energy in all lines of research and technical development, and also in the production of munitions and the technique of producing arms of all sorts. It is true that, owing to the secrecy of these operations, members of this house may not be well informed as to what actually is being done by the defence research board. I doubt, however, if this great secrecy is completely justified. After all, if we could keep our potential enemies as misinformed or as uninformed on our activities along that line as is the average man in the street or as are even the members of the opposition, it would possibly be justified; but it should be remembered that our potential enemies have methods that neither the average man in the street nor the members of the opposition would stoop to in order to gain information, even if they had the facilities for gaining it in that way.

I feel strongly, Mr. Speaker, that the key to our survival lies in our ability to be superior to our potential enemy in a technical and scientific way. Here is one place where we should not underestimate the Russian people. We should realize that they are skilful technicians, that they have almost limitless natural resources, and that they have working for them some of the greatest scientists of Germany and of eastern Europe. As far as Canadians are concerned, the present government is-for the present at least-the guardian, the trustee and the defender of our civilization. The survival of our civilization has never before been threatened as it is now. Those who wish to destroy us know nothing of the principle of "live and let live". They sincerely believe that, if they are to survive, they can do so only by exterminating us. They also believe the converse. They believe that if our civilization is to survive, it will do so only by exterminating them.

I shudder when I see people looking on this cold war as a sort of academic game of chess or something of that sort. It is nothing of that kind. It may be a cold war, but nevertheless it is a life and death struggle for the survival of our civilization. The sooner we realize that fact, the better are our chances of survival. Let the government squarely face up to the problems before them, and let them take the Canadian people into their confidence so that we shall know what our obligations are and what is expected of us, and so that we can unite our energy and our ingenuity in solving the problems

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which face us in order that world war III can be prevented. Let us make it known to the whole world that we are superior to any potential enemy, and that any attack against us is doomed to failure. Let the dark days never come, Mr. Speaker, when Canadians will say, from the forced labour camps of Siberia, that our effort in defence was too little, too late or in the wrong direction.


Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. A. J. Brooks (Royal):

Mr. Speaker, I first want to congratulate the hon. member for Queens (Mr. MacLean), who has just taken his seat, on his excellent speech. It was an exceedingly instructive one. As a matter of fact I think we can truthfully say that this has been a good debate and a necessary one. We call what we are doing preparation for defence, not preparation for war. I think that we in Canada should feel proud that Canada has never prepared for aggressive war but that, in any wars in which we have been engaged, our preparation has always been for peace, for our own protection or for the protection of civilization.

A tremendous burden has been placed upon the people of Canada and on the civilized nations of the world. It is only by a great show of strength, I believe, that we can prevent war. I also believe that it is only by the unity of the democratic peoples of this world that war can be prevented. As I say, this preparation for defence has placed a tremendous burden on the Canadian taxpayers. It is also a tremendous burden on the taxpayers in all other countries who are joined in the same effort in which Canada is participating.

This afternoon our leader spoke about the $2,100 million that we have voted for defence. In analysing that figure, he pointed out that it represents $150 for each man, woman and child in this dominion. That gives us some idea of the extent of the burden which our people are bearing and which, I believe, they are prepared to bear as long as they know that the money that is being spent for defence is being spent in the proper way. I can compare this vote of $2,100 million with the vote of some ten or twelve years ago. I can remember that, in the late thirties, when $35 million was the amount which this parliament was asked to vote for defence, there was a long debate. As a matter of fact, from many quarters in this house there was opposition to voting even that small amount at that time for our defence, or our defence preparations. I think the potential danger then was almost as great as it is now; but the people of Canada and the members of parliament did not see it at that time. I think the situation is different today. I think that all members of parliament realize

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that there is a great danger facing civilization; and I think the people of Canada also realize this fact.

We usually think of defence as being simply military defence. But as we know, in this country and in other parts of the world, defence is not only military defence but includes civil defence. We also hear of psychological defence, and it is as important as any other. But the basis of all defence, as we are told and as we know, is our economic preparedness. These are the principles which are laid down by countries today which are preparing for the defence of civilization. I was pleased indeed to read not long ago an account of preparedness in Sweden. Sweden is a country that we hear very little of, in connection with the defence either of Europe or of freedom; but she is a country which has been quietly preparing her defences, and I think she is one which might well be taken as an example to smaller nations of just what a nation can do. Having regard to her size, I think today she is probably doing as much as or more than any other European country, with the exception of Great Britain.

This article that I read told how Sweden was preparing for defence. It gave an interview with General Helge Jung, I think his name was, and he told just what the army and other branches of the services were doing and how they were being prepared in Sweden. The article says this:

The army is developing into smaller units with additional mobility and increased fire efficiency. Our air force has laid chief stress upon the fighter aircraft. By imports it has partly been equipped with jet fighters of good quality. Aircraft sheds are to some extent built in the rocks and new ones are being built to protect the materials on the ground.

The navy is adopting small and speedy warships with great fire efficiency. It is supported in its operations by a coastal defence in rocky fortifications and by vast natural archipelagos. Even for the navy, sheds are being built in the rocks.

Then Helge Jung went on to say that every Swede capable of bearing arms has to be trained for national total resistance. Another thing he said, which is very important, and which we have been emphasizing here today, is that they are demanding the utmost economy in all their expenditures.

Sweden emphasized the newest scientific weapons. That is, they were not to have the old and obsolete weapons; they must have the very best. That was one of the first and last things emphasized in the defence of that country, and that is what the hon. member who has just taken his seat has emphasized. That is what the hon. members who have spoken for the opposition party here have emphasized. If there are obsolete weapons we must get rid of them, and they must be

replaced by the very finest and best weapons that can be procured. I was very interested to hear what the hon. member for Queens had to say. As a matter of fact, he stole some of my thunder. He spoke about radar in England during the battle of Britain. There is no question that there would have been a different story as far as the world, and as far as Great Britain and freedom are concerned, if it had not been for the great invention of radar. England did not wait until the war was on. Anyone who has read Chester Wilmot's "Struggle for Europe" realizes that they were preparing some years before. While the Germans had an air force which was two or three times greater than that of Great Britain, Great Britain, with the help of radar, was able to keep off that large armada and eventually discouraged them from making an attack on that country.

He spoke of the atom bomb and a long list of other modem scientific weapons which I will not weary the house by repeating; but I agree with what was said by the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes), the hon. member for Queens and others, that use must be made of the very finest and most up-to-date equipment we can find. In that connection I should like to call the minister's attention to an article on the aircraft carrier Magnificent. We know that not only last year but the year before there was criticism in this country and criticism among naval men of this great aircraft carrier, as to whether she was a white elephant, whether its expense was too great, and so on. At that time it was felt that the aircraft carrier Magnificent was more or less obsolete. That was only two years ago. With the advance that has been made in the last two years with aircraft carriers, I wonder whether we are justified today in retaining that craft, which to all intents and purposes must be greatly out of date and obsolete. I am about to read from an article which was published in 1950 headed: "Maggie is not obsolete but her

future debated." The Maggie I may say is the Magnificent, and not one of the Maggies that we heard about a while ago. The article says:

There have been published statements that the Maggie is "already antiquated, her elevator decks too weak to hoist modern carrier planes," that the arm itself has "never really been developed," that it showed signs of poor morale.

And so on. If this was true two years ago, it is much more true today. The people of Canada would be justified in asking whether this vessel is to be returned to England, whether it is to be remodelled or whether it can be remodelled.

In speaking about modern flat tops, may I say I just ran across an article in the Christian Science Monitor, of Tuesday, April 1, which gives a description of Britain's super

flat top. The heading is: "Britain's super flat top catapults jets into new sea role." The article reads:

It is a colourful business to catapult jet fighters off the Royal Navy's latest, largest, and fastest carrier-the first ever designed especially for that purpose. Or to receive them back with the arresting gear that brings them up short on $47,250,000 worth of floating airfield as though they were falcons landing on bird lime.

To compare that with the aircraft carrier, one has only to read this article to realize just how obsolete is the Magnificent. The article goes on to say:

If one were to come in and attack, those radar robots would train guns on it without human assistance and keep them trained on it while the barrels pumped out their steel. This is one of the most significant changes in combat since world war II-the increased ability of anti-aircraft guns to fasten upon a fast-moving target.

I may say it is fifteen months since England began experimenting with this type of aircraft. She now has two. I think hon. members would be interested to know just what the situation is regarding this aircraft carrier, which I believe takes about one-tenth of the cost of naval expenses and also has a thousand or more men employed. If she is obsolete, then we should get rid of her. That is one thing we would be interested to know.

I was very glad to learn that our army was to be equipped with the Centurion tank. I know there has been a controversy between the United States and Great Britain as to which is the better tank. I believe that in the tests they have made in Korea it is now proven that the Centurion is a much better tank; that it can climb over those rocky hills, whereas the United States tank has great difficulty in moving only a very short distance. I think we are to be congratulated on accepting the Centurion tank. For my part, I was very much concerned when a year ago it looked as though Canada was going to adopt United States equipment instead of British or Canadian equipment. I was aware that the commonwealth has always had superior equipment to what they have had in the United States. However, I do not say that we should not adopt the best that we an get anywhere, but to adopt United States equipment simply because it is United States equipment would be a great mistake.

I am trying to cut my remarks as short as I can. The other day the minister spoke about the defence of Canada, and at page 1086 of Hansard of April 3 he said:

The main possibility of attack would be by air, and therefore we have worked out with the United States an arrangement for air defence entailing radar stations with the necessary communications



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to enable the effective operation of fighter squadrons. These radar stations will be successfully brought into operation to replace the mobile stations we now have.

He also spoke about the training in the north. Well, it would be very difficult I think for a large army ever to invade Canada. There is no doubt that if an army did invade Canada it would be by parachute troops, and that Canada would have to be prepared with her air force to convey our own parachute troops from one part of Canada to another. We should also have aircraft which could carry tanks, and also a type of tank which could easily be transported by aircraft, and carried from one part of the country to the other.

No doubt we would be advised by radar of an attack, and the direction from which it was coming. We would have to be prepared not to use great numbers of troops, but be prepared to carry paratroops and tanks, and to rush into the position where the attack might be expected.

I was also disappointed when the minister did not give us some information regarding training areas in Canada. That matter was under considerable discussion a year ago, and even two years ago. We were disappointed when troops for Korea had to be trained in the United States. When one thinks of the great, broad areas in Canada, it does seem strange to us that we have to go to a foreign country to train our men. It would seem to me there must be areas in this country where we could train not only our own men but all the men needed in the allied forces.

I do not know whether the minister has yet selected a training area in Canada. I understand several were examined in the maritime provinces, two of which I believe were in my own province of New Brunswick. But it has always seemed to me that one of the best areas that could be found for combined training purposes would be that in the locality of what is known as- Utopia camp in New Brunswick. The minister has not told us just what is required for these training areas. I know however that there was a large camp at Utopia during the war. There is a military airfield in the immediate vicinity, and it is also near the bay of Fundy. Then, there are great back areas in which very few people live, and it would seem to me that the Utopia area could be developed into a very fine one for purposes of training.

I can hear my hon. friend from Annapolis^ Kings (Mr. Nowlan) clearing his throat. I know that he thinks there is a very fine area in Nova Scotia. I agree that there are some suitable places in that province; but I do not think they have any as good as the Utopia

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location in New Brunswick. In these days a large tract is required. Whether the one to which I have referred is large enough or not, I do not know. I hope when the minister speaks he will deal with this question.

I know there are other members who wish to speak, so I shall not take further time. I should have liked to hear the minister give us some information as to what defence we are to have for our different cities, seaports and the like. I have in mind ports such as Saint John, Halifax and Vancouver.

There is another matter connected with defence about which I have spoken in the house on several occasions. I refer to the necessity for the decentralization of industry in Canada. That is a serious problem so far as the defence of this country is concerned. I do not believe it is wise to have our large industries, including munition plants and the like, in large centres where they would be vulnerable to attack.

In closing I hope the minister will give us much more complete information than we have already received.


George Harris Hees

Progressive Conservative

Mr. George H. Hees (Broadview):

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes) so ably pointed out yesterday in the house, I believe that the most effective contribution we can make to the ground forces of NATO are armoured and tactical forces rather than the infantry brigade which is at present stationed in Germany. I believe that when the time comes to rotate our present force the infantry battalions should be replaced by armoured regiments. In this way we shall supply NATO with a force of far greater fire-power and mobility, without increasing by one single man the number of Canadians serving in Europe. In addition our troops will be far better protected in the event of enemy attack.

During the past few days we have heard a great deal about NATO, and the part our forces will play in that organization. I should like to speak tonight about the man around whom our whole effort revolves, and without whom we could have no military effort whatsoever. I refer of course to the private soldier. I believe it is about time we found out how this very important person has been making out since the start of the Korean war, because if he thinks he has been getting a square deal, then the volunteer system will continue to work satisfactorily. If on the other hand he does not, there is the possibility that it may break down.

At the outbreak of the Korean war, when this country found itself so shockingly unprepared, the government pleaded with the

young men of this country to go out and join the Korean brigade. They answered quickly and without reservation. Today many of those young men have completed their eighteen months tour of duty, are being released from the service, and are returning to civilian life. I have talked with a number of them, and I should like to pass along their experiences upon discharge.

When a man is released from the Korean force he receives one week's rehabilitation leave. That means that a private, first class, who is single and who has served in the Korean force for at least one year receives $28, made up of pay and allowances for one week. Before his discharge he makes out an application for war service gratuity, but he is given no indication as to when he may expect to receive that gratuity, or even if he will ever receive it. He is simply given his $28, and out he goes.

Now, at the end of world war II, every man or woman in the service was given a clothing allowance of $100 upon discharge, to enable him or her to buy civilian clothes needed to re-enter civilian life. This allowance was awarded irrespective of length of service or condition of discharge. In other words, every man or woman received this allowance, even though he or she might have been in the service for only a few days, or had had a dishonourable discharge.

Let us contrast that situation with the one today. A man leaving the Korean force is given one week's rehabilitation leave. He leaves the depot in battledress with $28 in his pocket. He has to find a job, re-equip himself in civilian clothes, and pay board and lodging-all on $28. He knows that many who received the allowance at the end of world war II never left Canada. He knows that some who received it had been in the service for only a few days, and that a few had received dishonourable discharges. He also knows that it will cost $150 today, as a minimum, to buy the same amount of clothing as was bought for $100 in 1945.

What makes the situation a great deal worse is that many of the men who joined the Korean force had to wear their own clothing during the first five or six weeks of their service, because boots and uniforms were not available. Anyone who has ever trained at military camp knows what six weeks' use will do to civilian clothing. These worn-out shoes and clothing are all that many men who have left the Korean force have when they return to civilian life.


Does the government expect the men leaving the Korea force to feel that they are getting a square deal? They are volunteers who have served in the front line in a foreign theatre of war. In world war II men who were in the service for only a few days and discharged as unsatisfactory received far better treatment than these men are getting. The Korea veteran feels that the treatment he is getting is an insult to the service he has given. He is right; it is an insult to men who immediately answered the call to duty in the summer of 1950 when this country found itself so tragically unprepared owing to the policies of this government.

The pleas that this government made to those men at that time bear little relationship to the treatment they are being given now. I believe that if the volunteer system is to be satisfactory this government must learn to treat men as well after they have completed their service as it did when it was pleading with them to undertake that service. I hope that the government will realize the mistake it has made in refusing to pay the men of the Korea force the allowance to which they are entitled and which they very much need. I hope that this government will act generously towards those who have served their country gallantly and well and will provide discharge benefits in keeping with the

services rendered. that these fighting men have


Edmund William George


Mr. E. W. George (Westmorland):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to take part in this debate after having looked over the speeches that have been made already, and after listening to members of the opposition speak this afternoon, and this applies practically to all the opposition, it would seem that they forget that Canada has only 14 million people and the form of defence and the types of troops and formations that we should have bear no relation to our present population and our industrial outlook.

I want first to deal briefly with the reserve. The hon. member for Calgary East (Mr. Hark-ness) deplored in his speech the fact that the minister had not mentioned the reserve. Far be it from me to assume the role of the minister in answering for the reserve, but I do believe that I am the only member in this house who is actively commanding a regiment of that type today. There are some who are members of the reserve, but I feel that I know the reserve army better than anyone in the House of Commons with the exception of the minister.

It is most annoying, not only to a member of parliament but to the members of the

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reserve army, to hear it said that some members of the reserve-I am sure the hon. member did not intend to leave this inference, but nevertheless it is there-join primarily for purposes of athletics or to have the benefits of a social club. That may be true in one or two cases, but by the same token you may say that in the past a member of parliament has forfeited his seat because he was a communist. The same parallel would exist.

I was in the NPAM previous to the war and I am in the reserve army today. I think the reserve is in the best shape it has ever been in. I do not think I need to dwell on this because many hon. members have covered it previously. I remember devoting one whole speech of mine to the reserve army, and I know that several other members have referred to this.

The junior member for Queens (Mr. MacLean) made the statement that he did not know of any battle that had been won by the blowing of horns since the battle of Jericho. That may be correct, but the fact is that unless we blow our own horns occasionally no one else will do it for us. I am going to indulge in that pastime right now. The regiment I command is an armoured regiment and is a member of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps Association. That association has five trophies which can be won by an armoured corps unit. My regiment, the 8th Princess Louise's (NB) Hussars, has won four of the five trophies and was runner up for the fifth. I think that is horn blowing that is justifiable. I do not take credit for that myself because I just happen to be the custodian for the time being of a famous regiment. We have in our regiment a spirit that is unknown in many regiments. In fact, if I were going to criticize certain parts of the reserve army, I would not criticize the units but rather some of the officers. There are no poor units, there are only poor officers.

I think the Department of National Defence could well assess some of these units that are existing on paper only. There are a few of them with a membership in the officers' and sergeants' messes only. I think serious consideration should be given to placing these units on the dormant list until such time as they can be more active. I know that some of my friends in the reserve will criticize me for saying this, but I really believe that that is a fact.

I am going to direct most of my remarks this evening to the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes). Half-colonels often disagree with major generals, but not very successfully. It can be done more successfully in peacetime than in war. The hon. member

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for Nanaimo made several statements during his speech on April 3 which is reported on pages 1091, 1092 and 1093 of Hansard. He stated that he had seen with his own eyes a vast reservoir of manpower in the countries of Europe from which the infantry components of NATO could have been drawn. He said that the manpower was there but that it lacked adequate equipment. He laid stress on the importance of our contribution to NATO being that of a mobile and thoroughly modern organization.

In addition to what he said in the house yesterday the hon. member for Nanaimo made other statements on his return from Europe last year about the 27th infantry brigade in Germany. The first of these statements was made in Paris and was reported by Canadian Press dispatches which appeared in Canadian newspapers on December 24, 1951. He then made a political broadcast on "The Nation's Business" series over the trans-Canada network on January 15. I do not know whether the Canadian Press report is correct, but in any event it does not appear to have been publicly denied or contradicted.

These statements indicate such an amazing position for the military spokesman for the Tory party to take that I think they should be placed on Hansard. In doing so and in criticizing the hon. member for Nanaimo I want to say that I have the utmost respect for him personally and as a soldier. But 1 simply cannot understand the statements he has been making.

Here is a Canadian Press statement which appeared in the London Free Press on December 24, 1951. Mr. Pearkes says:

But I do not believe that the money which is being spent by Canadian taxpayers is getting anything like the return in defence assistance to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that the Canadian people have a right to expect.

I feel that the Canadian government had not fully informed itself or the Canadian people as to actual conditions in Europe before sending the 27th brigade and committing Canada to a long-term policy which to my mind is unwarranted and extremely expensive.

Here we have the spokesman on military matters for the Conservative party advocating Canada should not make her contribution of ground forces to the integrated forces.

Let us look further into this proposal that Canada should leave the fighting on the ground to the men of other nations. To my mind that is like the old rhyme:

Mother, may I go out to swim?

Yes, my darling daughter:

Hang your clothes on a hickory limb And don't go near the water.

In two wars Canada sent substantial ground forces to Europe to assist in restoring peace. This time the North Atlantic treaty nations

are trying to build up forces including, and particularly including, ground forces to preserve peace. Shall Canada not be represented in this effort? Would the member for Nanaimo say that we should discharge the 10,000 men raised for the 27th brigade or should we keep them in Canada? There is no point of our having in Canada larger forces than those needed for the immediate defence of Canada as well as for administration and training and the supplying of a nucleus for the build-up of our own potential.

The statement by the member for Nanaimo did not meet with approval in Canada, nor presumably in the ranks of his own party. Any editorial comment that there was was unfavourable. The Victoria Colonist of December 25, 1951, says this:

It would be easier, of course, to sit back and send only equipment, arms and technicians. For a nation so prosperous as this one, that would scarcely dent the national composure.


James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell (Greenwood):

Will the hon. member speak more loudly?


Edmund William George


Mr. George:


It is always a comparatively single gesture to extend help in the form of a donation rather than to participate in the endeavour itself.

The London Free Press of December 26, 1951, says this:

In the United States there are a great many people who feel, like General Pearkes, that all that is necessary is to send American arms and equipment to Europe, and that the dispatch of American troops is wasteful. From a military standpoint, this may be true, but from a psychological standpoint, it is dangerous. The Germans exploited this feeling in the last war when they sneered that the British were willing to fight to the last Frenchman.

Only by sharing the actual perils of front line resistance with the Europeans can the people of this continent hope to rally the western Europeans to anything like a successful defence effort.

I have several other quotations, Mr. Speaker, but I shall only read one more. It was published on January 9 by the Toronto Globe and Mail, a very famous paper which supports certain parties in this house. It says:

Canada can claim no exemption from the front line service in the cause of western alliance. General Pearkes does not speak for the Canadian public. He does not speak for his party, and speaking for himself he has gone badly astray.

That, I repeat, is from the Toronto Globe and Mail of January 9, 1952.


George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Speaker, I do not wish to interrupt the hon. member, but I wonder if he is aware that when the member for Nanaimo did amplify his statement, subsequently the Globe and Mail wrote a very different editorial.


Edmund William George


Mr. George:

That may be, Mr. Speaker, but unfortunately I have not got it with me. I can assure the leader of the opposition the

omission was not intentional. In the face of all this, it is not surprising that the member for Nanaimo would change his tune. In a speech over the radio he said this:

It is the form of help that I consider so wrong. In spite of the fact that in Europe there are hundreds of thousands of young men available for the infantry regiments of their own armies, the government of Canada failing to take advantage of this country's industrial ability and its unique facilities for the training of armoured formations and air units, have sent the very type of soldier most plentiful in Europe, placing reliance upon numbers rather than hitting power. Surely the reverse should have been our policy. It is not a few extra riflemen that are required, and after all a brigade is soon swallowed up by the larger formations, but highly mobile hard-hitting units able to develop the greatest possible volume of Are with the minimum number of men, and to repeat the number over and over again.

Then, further, he says:

The cost of maintaining one Canadian soldier in Europe is, therefore, out of all proportion to that of maintaining a European soldier in his own country. Such disparagement can only be justified provided the Canadian soldier possesses much greater power than his European counterpart, for after all, one man carrying a rifle is worth exactly one man, one rifle. The British have recognized this fact and their army in Germany is organized on the basis of three armoured formations to every one of infantry. Yet Canada sends an infantry brigade with only a small armoured component all this distance at great expense to the taxpayers.

It is not possible for me here to give in detail the composition of an infantry brigade group or of an armoured brigade. Everyone knows that an infantry brigade group has armour in connection with it sufficient to enable it to fight as a self-contained formation. It is the minimum formation that can fight as a unit. The 27th brigade is established on this basis in Germany. It does not constitute a part of a division or corps. It lives and trains as a unit. An infantry brigade group is the only formation of which I know that can do that. I think you will all agree it is desirable, other things being equal, that it should do that. To do this job it has precisely the armour considered necessary by the British and Canadian staffs. It has the same quantity of armour as Canadians have used so successfully in Korea. There the army is equipped with Sherman Mark IV tanks which have been found useful. Incidentally, we have a number of these tanks in Canada, but subsequent models in the United States are not sufficiently advanced in development and production to justify proceeding to acquire them. Accordingly, we have arranged with the United Kingdom to buy a similar number of Centurion tanks. Our brigade in Germany is to be equipped with them, and they are very good tanks.

An armoured brigade is not a self-contained unit. It does not fight as such. If armour is to be used in a predominant role, you would

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never use anything less than one division of armour. Then, it would be advantageous to have a second armoured division in reserve. An armoured brigade always fights in association with other units. It has no infantry, no artillery or supporting and administrative formations. I repeat that the infantry brigade group is the only formation short of a division which is self-contained.

An armoured brigade would have faced us with one of two choices. On the one hand we would have had to build up a self-contained brigade by adding other formations, and in this way we would have had a pretty fair sized division, resulting not in the saving of manpower as suggested by the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes) but in a greater expenditure of manpower. The other alternative would have been to fit the armoured brigade into a British corps. The brigade then would have lost its identity. I can assure you that is one thing Canadian soldiers do not want. I, as a serviceman, strongly support the servicemen of Canada in that view. There are a great many other reasons of a military nature why it is desirable to have an infantry brigade group. One is that it is very easy to build it up to form a division. Already we have in existence and fully trained virtually all the component units to do this at any time. Other military reasons I am afraid I cannot go into. Yesterday the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre (Mr. Churchill) gave an excellent speech on armour, quoting such famous generals as Martel, Fuller, Hart, and others whom we all know and have studied. However his treatise on armour did not deal with an armoured brigade group but with at least one division, or an armoured corps.

There are two things I would like to discuss further. In the first place, when we joined the North Atlantic treaty nations we retained, as did all other nations, the final say as to what each should do. We have not relinquished any of the authority of this government over the forces of Canada. We agreed to work with the other nations, and this we have done and shall continue to do. As I understand it, the suggestion made to us in the first instance by the standing group and later by other agencies of NATO was not that we should contribute an armoured brigade but that we should contribute what we have contributed, namely an infantry brigade group. I know of no country ever having contributed to any force an armoured brigade alone. I suggest this is a military monstrosity.

Finally, unless we send to Europe the Mark IV tanks we have in Canada, I do not think enough tanks would be available to arm an armoured brigade. They do not exist. We are

National Defence

obtaining all the tanks the United Kingdom can let us have, as fast as they can build them. If it is suggested that we should construct tanks in Canada, then I say this would be an industrial monstrosity. There is no doubt about our capacity to construct anything in this country. That does not mean, however, we should try to build everything. It is only sensible for us to make for ourselves and others the things we need for ourselves. To start a production line to meet the Canadian need for tanks I repeat would be an industrial monstrosity. The British, Americans and French are all making their own tanks. If we made tanks in addition to the numbers they turn out we could only dispose of them by giving them away. We think it more desirable, and so I believe do all the nations associated with us, that we make and give away the things we have decided to make and give away: electronic equipment, wireless sets, medium and light guns and ammunition of various calibres.

One can see how the mind of the hon. member for Nanaimo must have been working. What is the military critic of the Conservative opposition to do if he cannot find anything to criticize? He must lose his job. It is interesting to note, however, that this suggestion was not made in time for us to do anything about it, had we thought it desirable to do so. The intention to raise the brigade was announced on May 4, 1951. Subsequently the estimates of the Department of National Defence were under discussion in this chamber for nine days, during quite a few of which the hon. member for Nanaimo was in his seat. He did not say anything about this, though that was the time to speak. He is a military expert, and we in this house are entitled to the advantage of his advice. During that session no member of the Conservative opposition made the suggestion that we should have an armoured brigade, or that we should strengthen our armour. The next session of parliament opened on October 9, 1951. At that session the debate on the address gave the hon. member for Nanaimo or any other Conservative member the opportunity to bring up this point. Only one did so, the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre, on October 23, 1951, and that was after the brigade had started to move.

The memory of the opposition is short. On the opening day of that session the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) asked for a debate on external affairs and defence matters. Any of these questions could have been brought up during the speech from the throne. However, the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), who is more accommodating to the opposition than any prime minister I have ever heard of, offered to bring on such a debate at once. This did not suit the leader of the opposition, who suggested that it be postponed as the hon. member for Nanaimo would not be available until Monday, October 22. After consultation with the opposition parties the Prime Minister announced that the debate would take place then. Even before that, however, in a statement on October 18, 1951, the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) had announced the pending departure of the 27th brigade. At the conclusion of that statement he told the house the Prime Minister would be putting a motion on the order paper calling for approval of the action of the government in connection with the United Nations and the North Atlantic treaty. The Prime Minister gave notice of that motion next morning and it read:

That this house approves the continuation of Canada's participation in the efforts being made through the United Nations to establish international peace, and in particular to defeat aggression and restore peace in Korea, and by the North Atlantic treaty nations to deter aggression and promote stability and well-being in the north Atlantic area.

The motion was introduced on Monday, October 22, with the Prime Minister making a short speech. He was followed by the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) and spokesmen for each of the parties on external affairs. The Minister of National Defence then made a statement on defence, and was followed by the hon. member for Nanaimo.

On motion of Mr. George the debate was adjourned.




Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)


Mr. Fournier (Hull):

Monday is private members' day.


At eleven o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order.


April 4, 1952