April 4, 1952

LIB
PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

If I read this whole memorandum my time would be gone-

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An hon. Member:

So would your argument be gone.

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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

No, it would not; it is borne out 100 per cent. As a matter of fact the amount spent on the reserve forces of the three services, including cadet training, is not inconsiderable. In the estimates for this year

it amounts to $23,820,479, considerably more than the entire defence expenditures in several years between the two wars. In view of the basic importance of the reserves and the amount being spent on them, I think the minister should have given at least a brief review of the position of the reserve forces today; and before we come to any of the specific items I hope we may get from the minister a statement concerning the reserve army, navy and air force. They constitute one of the most important components of our entire defence set-up, but so far in this debate they have been neglected.

Something was said about the CF-100 and the Orenda engine by the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Dinsdale) and I believe by someone else as well. When the CF-100 was first test-flown in January, 1950, over two years ago, and when the first production orders were given in June, 1950, nearly two years ago, on each occasion there was a great deal of fanfare by the government. The impression was given to everyone in the country that the best long-range fighter in the world would start rolling off the assembly lines and going into service with R.C.A.F. squadrons almost immediately. That was nearly two years ago; today the R.C.A.F. has none of these CF-100 fighters. Last October, again with great publicity and great fanfare, one CF-100 was turned over to the R.C.A.F. A few weeks later it was taken back to Malton where it was manufactured, and it is still there. The story is that it is undergoing minor changes and so on. Quite apparently the turning over of this one machine, which was not ready to be turned over, was done for political and publicity purposes. That is not the way our defence efforts should be treated. They should not be considered a means of publicity for the minister or the government generally. It would seem quite apparent that that machine should never have been turned over to the R.C.A.F.; and that if it was turned over, it should have been turned over for test purposes only and without a whole lot of publicity leading people to believe that these great fighters-and I believe they are great fighters-were rolling off the assembly line in large numbers, and that we were perfectly safe behind their cover.

In that connection I should like to quote briefly from an editorial in Canadian Aviation for April of this year; this issue is just out. The article is headed: "Facts versus Rumours -An Appraisal of the Avro Projects", and it goes on to say this:

The rumour factory seems to be In quantity production on the subject of Avro Canada and more particularly the two high-priced projects, the CF-100 patrol interceptor and the Orenda jet engine. If we are to credit the anonymous but "well-informed" sources responsible for current reports,

55704-72J

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the CF-100 is a flying flop and the Orenda is crawling with technical "bugs.'' To sum it up, millions of tax dollars have been poured into Avro but only delays and alibis have come out of the factory.

What are the facts? It is true that since 1946 the government has consigned some $50 millions to the Avro programs. It is also a fact that in terms of aircraft and engines produced to date, the return on this substantial investment has been insignificant. On the other hand, what reason did we have to expect these projects to move from drafting board to quantity production in less than five years? Here are two reasons: 1. As a nation we have had no previous experience in appraising topflight aeronautical assignments of this kind. 2. The fanciful predictions at the political level have supported the naive assumption that such a process should be quick and simple.

In other words what they say is that we were deceived at the political level in connection with this matter. The article goes on to say that as good progress was made as could have been expected as far as design and production of prototypes were concerned. I believe that to be a fact. I think good progress was made in that way. The article goes on to say that the CF- 100's that will be produced would not, as some people have said, be obsolete aircraft but would be quite all right. I believe that to be a fact. The whole thing is that we are not getting these aircraft and engines which we were led to expect, two years ago, that we would be getting in quantity; in fact, we were told that our squadrons would be equipped with them now. I do not think there is any doubt that the government made a bad miscalculation in connection with these aircraft and also in connection with the Orenda engine, as to when it could be produced and when it could be in use; and the result is that we have been left without anything along that line in the meantime.

I do not know why the minister made no mention of this matter at all. In the past he certainly made a great deal of mention of it at various times. It was one of his favourite topics; he often spoke about the CF-100 and the Orenda engine. But this year he comes in and has not a word to say about it. I think that is another matter on which we should get a full statement from the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) and the Minister of Defence Production (Mr. Howe), as to what money we have put into this plant, what the chances are of getting aircraft and1 engines out, and how soon we will be getting them out. The thing should certainly not be left shrouded in the mystery in which the government has left it of late.

I should like to say something about the general picture with regard to the equipment. In that regard the minister said, as reported at page 1087 of Hansard:

With regard to equipment the Minister of Defence Production (Mr. Howe) gave a very full report, reported on page 436 of Hansard of March 14, but

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I have no intention of going over that again. He dealt with the situation regarding ships and armaments for the navy, tanks and weapons for the army, and aircraft for the air force.

Again I did not remember his dealing with any of those things. When I heard the minister say this yesterday I was surprised. This morning I went and obtained Hansard for that day, looked up the pages referred to and read it over again. As a matter of fact, Mr. Howe does not deal with those things at all. What he did was to give a general economic report more than anything else. It was a good one in its way. I have no fault to find with it. It dealt, however, briefly with raw materials, markets, our own figures as to contracts and amounts of materials which will be needed, percentages and things of that sort. It did not deal at all with the ships for the navy, the aircraft for the air force and the guns and so forth for the army, although the minister, in what I have just quoted, says it did. It does not answer in any way any of the questions in our minds in regard to specific items of equipment for any one of the three services.

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LIB

Joseph-Alfred Dion (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. I must inform the hon. member that he has exhausted his time. Has the hon. member unanimous .consent to continue?

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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

I can finish in about three minutes, Mr. Speaker.

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Some hon. Members:

Go ahead.

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LIB
PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

There is one thing in particular about which I should like to say something and to ask some questions. What modern equipment have we for the army especially? As was pointed out by the hon. member for Nanaimo, nothing was said by the minister about standardization, a subject on which, for the two previous years particularly, he had been exceedingly eloquent. In fact, either in the public accounts committee or in the one on defence expenditures last year, we heard that a limited number of American small arms were secured from the United States. I should like to ask what is being done with those. What are they being used for? Our brigade in Korea, our one in Europe, our reserve forces here-our three battalions which are in the regular forces here at home-as far as I know are, as a standard at any rate, all armed with British type weapons.

Our mobilization equipment, in the event of a general war breaking out, is the British type of equipment, so far as we still have that mobilization equipment. We have sent to Europe equipment for three divisions, plus a considerable number of guns and extra equipment this past year. When the

minister was asked about this matter last year, what did he say? I asked him what the situation was with regard to mobilization equipment, and he said that we had sufficient. I said: What do you mean? He said that meant that we had sufficient for whatever might be needed. That does not mean anything, Mr. Speaker. I should like to know what mobilization equipment we have at the present time. These guns, particularly the larger guns of all calibres, have been sent away; and as far as I know, we have nothing to replace them. It seems to me that we are left in the position of not having anything like the equipment that we would need if war broke out any time in the immediate future; and once it broke out, it would be extremely difficult to get these things quickly because all the people who might be supplying us with them-Britain and the United States-would themselves need the stores they had on hand.

One of the essential types of weapons in any modern army is the anti-tank gun. Those that we had have been withdrawn. They were sent over to Europe. I refer to the self-propelled anti-tank gun, the converted 17-pounder. I do not think anything has replaced them. When the minister goes into this matter, I should like him to tell us what has been ordered, if anything, to replace those missing anti-tank guns. We have sent an infantry brigade to Europe and we have sent one to Korea. I understand that the one in Europe, as far as antitank defence is concerned, is being provided with Centurion tanks secured from Great Britain. Perhaps it is the plan to use them throughout the army. If that is the plan, we should be told of it and should be given some indication as to when we may have these tanks.

Last year the minister said a great deal about the radar screen, interceptor planes and ack-ack guns as a general defence against bombing. I should like to ask where these ack-ack guns are. Some of the ack-ack guns we had also went to Europe. We did not get anything to replace them. In effect, as far as I can make out, we have no ack-ack gun defence whatever, really, except for two or three batteries which are posted at the coasts protecting naval installations. Apart from that we have nothing. In a city like Ottawa there is not one ack-ack battery to provide protection; and the same situation prevails all over the country.

Our tank situation I mentioned very briefly. I think we should have a fairly full disclosure as to what the tank situation is. A year ago we were to be equipped with American type tanks, Pattons, particularly. It has now been

recognized, apparently, that the British Centurion is a better tank and our brigade in Europe is being equipped with them. Quite a few, I think it is twenty, have been brought into this country, as the minister said, for training purposes. If that is the tank which we are now going to have we need more than just twenty. They should be on order now, and we should know whether they are on order or not.

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LIB
PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

Well, we have no indication of how many are on order, which perhaps we might get later. When the question was asked it was announced that there was no intention of manufacturing these tanks in Canada. I should like to ask why not. We certainly have plants here which could be adapted to tank manufacture. If these tanks are to be our standard armament, as far as armour is concerned, and I think armour is important, as everyone admits, they could be manufactured here under licence.

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LIB
PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

The importation of them into this country at the present time, or the manufacture by licence later, could help to solve one of our more difficult trade problems. At the moment we have large surpluses of meat products accumulating, for which we are going to have difficulty finding a market. To the great advantage of both countries we might be able to exchange this surplus of meat which we are going to have, as well as many other natural products, for Centurion tanks or for the licence rights to manufacture these Centurion tanks.

I am sorry to have exceeded my time.

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CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. H. W. Herridge (Kootenay West):

Mr. Speaker, I listened quite attentively and with interest to the lengthy statement the minister gave to the house yesterday, but I must state frankly, and admit before I proceed any further, that I do not consider myself competent to criticize the relative strength of the various arms of our services, the types of equipment or the disposition of the forces. That is without my competence; but I do think, Mr. Speaker, that as a member of this house I am competent to make a few observations on some aspects of these important estimates, and possibly to make a few suggestions.

With the total estimates of over $2 billion under the supervision of the minister, I would say that no minister has a greater responsibility to this house than the Minister of of National Defence (Mr. Claxton), not only because of the vast sums which come under his supervision and direction, but because of the peculiar difference between the handling

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of the defence estimates, and the estimates' of all other departments. There is no question about that. Hon. members find it much more difficult-and I am not blaming the-minister for this-to criticize satisfactorily expenditures for defence than say expenditures for public works, or veterans affairs and other departments of which they have a greater knowledge and which are matters that the average person has more knowledge of. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, there is no department of this government where hon.: members have to depend on a minister more than on the Minister for National Defence. It behooves us to consider very seriously the-general policy with regard to the expenditure of this money, because we must remember that this large sum of money is provided by. the working and farming people of Canada. It is the result of the things that they do without that provides the funds from which our defence requirements are met.

In recent weeks I have noticed that the congress of the United States, and various committees of that congress, have been very, much concerned about the waste in defence expenditures. Before proceeding, may I say that while I am not competent to criticize wasteful expenditure from some points of view of defence of the hon. member for Calgary East (Mr. Harkness) I certainly support the remarks he had to make in this connection.

As I say, I have noticed that the congress and various committees of the congress of the United States have been seriously concerned in recent weeks about eliminating waste in defence expenditures. I think wastefulness develops because of the conditions under which we are living. Naturally, there is always waste in defence expenditures. Some waste is;. unavoidable. But under present circumstances, both in the United States and in Canada, we have been building forces at a rapid rate in peacetime and we have not had an opportunity for junior officers to graduate to senior ranks as a result of a long term of service experience and so on. In some cases a great deal of responsibility has been placed in the hands of people with very little experience in command, and little administrative experience. Coupled with that lack of experience, in my opinion, some people I have met-and-I pay my respects to the competent and the responsible, to the good and efficient officers of the defence services that I have met-some people in my opinion were very bumptious and had very little understanding of public' opinion and appreciation of their position and duties. *

As I said before, it is very difficult for an " ordinary member of this house satisfactorily1

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to point his finger at defence estimates and suggest in detail where savings could be made. They are groping in the dark, as it were. I shall just give an illustration of a few cases that have come to my attention in travelling in this country and in meeting various people and servicemen. I noticed that the United States congress committee was concerned about the abuse of batmen. They had quite an investigation into that question. They also considered unnecessary expenses caused by wives of commissioned ranks who wanted certain extra accommodation, and so on, and they were concerned about waste in some construction projects. I find, Mr. Speaker, that we have in some cases a similar situation in Canada. I want to bring a few things to the minister's attention.

I was travelling on a train recently and sitting in a smoking coach. I always like to travel incognito, you know. I got chatting with four or five soldiers in the coach who were going on leave. I always like to find out how the boys like the service, how they are being treated. They all liked it very well. These were five batmen. So I said: "What do you boys do?" These men had been in the army nearly two years. They informed me that with the exception of the first few days of their entering the army they had never attended a parade. They were all the well-fed looking type, quite jolly chaps, you know. I would not say they were intellectuals, or anything of that sort; quite happy with their jobs, and content. I said: "What are your duties?" Well, their duties were to care for their officers' clothing and polish their boots and also to polish the floors in the officers' wives' homes and to run the washing machine. One man told me that he looked after the baby's nappies on occasion. I thought that was a bit off so far as national defence expenditures are concerned.

So far as I could see, the whole time of these five men was devoted to looking after the officers to whom they were attached or to the houses of the officers' wives in question.

These men came from Petawawa. One was batman to a colonel. I can give the minister some information privately if he wants it. Multiply that thousands of times across this country, and what unnecessary expenditure may be going on in this connection, expenditure that could be avoided! Possibly one batman would do for two officers. Why should not these men be taking training? I understood that in the army every man was supposed to be competent in the arm of the service in which he was engaged. I would like to draw that to the minister's attention.

[Mr. Herridge.l

When he speaks I would like him to tell this house what are the terms in the service with regard to employment of batmen and whether they are expected to act as house boys for officers' wives.

I had another chat with another group of men. Not so long ago I was having a drink of Coca-Cola with a group of men who were discussing their service in the reserve army. They were interested in playing basketball in the winter and football in the summer. 1 asked them how often they played, and they told me. And do you know what I discovered? I discovered that those men had joined the reserve army on the understanding that they would not have to wear a uniform, and that the only parade they would be required to attend would be the pay parade. That is what they told me. I understand it is correct.

We see professional sports entering the reserve army. Why is it necessary to ask us to give special facilities to men to join so that they may play professional sports, and with the necessity only to attend pay parade? I would ask the minister to look into that, and I shall give him the information privately. Is that a necessary expenditure in connection with our defence?

Then, I would ask him to look into the lavish gardens being developed, and furniture that is being purchased in Ottawa by his department. One of the staff down there told me that they had very good and expensive blinds removed, and replaced by Venetian blinds because the gentleman in question did not like the way the sun shone in through the windows when curtained with ordinary blinds. May I inquire again why very fine lawns have been disturbed and gardens rearranged, and gardening done around certain buildings connected with national defence when those buildings were already in creditable surroundings?

I suggest these points to the minister. They are only incidental and small things that have come to my attention while talking to people. But it is possible that these smaller things indicate greater waste. I do hope the minister will look into these matters, and make reference to them when he speaks at the conclusion of the debate.

I would ask the minister to tell the house what checks he has on the present improper use of army personnel, the improper use of army vehicles and the improper expense connected with the purchase of articles such as I have suggested. If I were minister of national defence, and I am not likely to be, I would have two slogans posted in every officers' mess. I would have one bearing the words We Are Responsible for the Security of Canada. And, so that those men would be

kept more or less down to earth, and would have some touch with ordinary human beings who are providing the money, I would 'have another slogan with the words My Economic Security is Provided by the Toil and Sweat of the Working People and the Farming People of Canada.

That is all I shall say in this connection. I turn now to education in the army. I know that excellent training is provided to train the men to become efficient soldiers, sailors and airmen. That is all to the good, and I believe the minister's department has produced excellent results in that respect. I understand that two or three leaflets have been published and given to the troops going overseas which, from an educational point of view, were commendable. But I do not think that is sufficient. Here we have in Canada, and particularly in Europe, large numbers of young, healthy and intelligent Canadians who, in my opinion, are not being provided with the educational facilities that should be provided. I understand that in Germany or in Europe the recreational facilities are provided by a unit attached to the British commonwealth group.

It is not right to have these young men, men who are serving in Canada, in Germany, and possibly to a lesser extent in Korea in a relatively permanent army, in a position where they do not take advantage of the hours during which they could obtain education. I find, in talking to some of our young men, that they do not understand even the basic principles of democracy. They do not understand the parliamentary system and how it works, and I suggest this shows a deficiency in our present educational methods. Many of our young men do not understand the objectives for which we are fighting. They do not understand the structure of the United Nations, nor do they know that the Atlantic pact, under a certain section of the charter, is a component part of the United Nations. They do not understand the over-all objectives of Canada and the nations associated with her in the defence of democracy.

Many of these young men would respond readily I am sure to a greater opportunity to improve their general education. We must face the fact that this is not a temporary condition. We will have to have defence forces for some years. I do not think we should let time slip by, and permit these young men to grow older without providing them with better educational facilities and training.

I am not quite sure as to what is the best program, but I do suggest the government should consider approaching the Canadian Legion officials and asking them if, with the

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assistance of the government, they could cooperate in providing educational services for our defence forces.

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LIB
CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

I am glad to hear that; but I have not yet found a soldier who is taking part in those facilities. When the minister speaks I would ask him to explain what is being done. I have met dozens of men, and I have not found one yet who has said that he is taking part in anything of an educational nature.

Before concluding I wish to read a short paragraph from a responsible magazine, from the capitalist point of view and, I believe, from the point of view of the government. I have here the Monetary Times of March, 1952, in which I find this statement:

Dropping Rule Britannia?

Winnie Gives 'em Heck

When Prime Minister Winston Churchill was in Ottawa, he lectured the cabinet tor banning "Rule, Britannia" from the Canadian Navy. In his role as an old sea dog, he told them this was a bad thing. Rather sheepishly the cabinet agreed to co-operate. So when any British navy personnel come aboard a Canadian ship, they will be piped aboard by "Rule, Britannia", or at least the tune will not be missing from the Canadian Navy's musical repertoire.

I would ask the minister to tell us, when he replies, if there is any truth in that statement and whether, as a result of a twigging by the Right Hon. Winston Churchill, the Canadian cabinet, and in particular the Department of National Defence, has changed its regulations so that "Rule, Britannia" will be played on Canadian ships.

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PC

Léon Balcer

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Leon Balcer (Three Rivers):

Mr. Speaker, $2,000 million is an awful lot of money. It is half this country's total budget, and represents great sacrifices by the whole of the Canadian nation. I am sure our population wants to see that an amount such as the one required today by the Department of National Defence will be spent with common sense and to the best possible advantage of our nation.

The taxation the people are called upon to pay for purposes of national defence requires from the minister and his department real planning, real organization and, first of all, the most severe economies. At the present time the Canadian people are taxed to the limit, and have a right to demand good administration by the Department of National Defence. In the last few years that department has given ample proof of poor administration, and it is the duty of the House of Commons to make sure that our population is not called upon to make tremendous sacrifices which are completely lost as a result of a lack of common sense in departmental administration.

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All hon. members know that Canada is part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and, with the other nations of the Atlantic, has joined in the defence of the west. When Canada joined NATO we expected to have to make sacrifices to maintain peace in the world. We have made certain commitments which were to be based on the potentialities of our country, upon its industrial power and its human power. Today the government has placed before us a defence budget of over $2,000 million and we are asked to approve it in order to meet these commitments. I think the people of Canada will go along with the government as they are ready to make the proper sacrifices, but on the other hand we must make sure that what is done is done sensibly and is really for the purpose intended.

For instance, a great part of this $2,000 million is for the 27th brigade, the Canadian troops which our country is maintaining in Europe, more precisely in western Germany. I must say right away that the status of the 7,000 Canadian troops seems to be rather strange and I think this house is entitled to some explanation from the minister. The troops themselves do not know what they are doing there. I do not say that they are complaining, but they are not sure of their status. They and the Canadian public are told that they are in Germany for the defence of the western peoples, but it is strange to think that Canada at the present time is the only . country in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization which is maintaining troops outside of her own territory at her own expense.

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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

What about the United

States?

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PC

Léon Balcer

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Balcer:

Of course the United States, Great Britain and France all have troops in Germany but those troops are maintained at the expense of the West German Republic. Their upkeep is paid by the German people as occupation troops. They have been in Germany since the last war. We fought with them during that war but when the armistice was signed we were told that we were not needed and to get out. I think it is unfair to our country to have to pay to keep troops in Germany when our three larger allies have their troops maintained at German expense. I am anxious to hear what explanation the minister has to give as to why Canada is in this unfavourable position compared with her allies in the last war. There may be some reason for this, but if so I do not think the government has ever told this house what it is.

There is another question which should be cleared up. Not only must Canada pay for her troops in Germany but we have to buy

all our food supplies and ordinary stores from the British army of occupation, which apparently gets these free from the West German Republic-so much so that the Germans are asking themselves if instead of sending a brigade to defend the west, Canada has sent 7,000 more occupation soldiers to be fed out of the already heavily taxed West German economy.

When the Canadian people are asked to pay a defence budget of over $2,000 million I think they are entitled to know why we are not getting the same treatment as the other countries in NATO or whether we are just simply sending troops to a country where their presence will help to disrupt its economy.

Another foolish and not easily understood situation is the fact that our brigade is in Europe, supposedly as part of the NATO army, under General Eisenhower's headquarters known as SHAPE. Apparently no liaison whatsoever exists between the brigade and SHAPE. Our troops are attached to the British occupation forces and are completely out of contact with General Eisenhower and his headquarters. If these are facts they indicate that our troops have been sent to Europe with no plans or pre-arranged organization.

The situation is serious when you realize that these troops are within a few miles of the Russian zone of Germany and that this infantry brigade would be the first to face the Soviet army if they were ever to launch an attack. If the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) wants to send troops to Europe he should not send infantry when there are men by the million in Europe, and more than that he should not place them in the front line or the most exposed site.

Finally, this house and the Canadian people are entitled to a complete and true explanation of an extremely serious state of affairs. Why is the Canadian 27th brigade being maintained in Germany at the present time at high cost to the Canadian taxpayer and to the Canadian fishermen and being fed on food products from the U.S.S.R.? Our soldiers are in Germany to defend the west against Russian invasion.

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LIB

Jean Lesage (Parliamentary Assistant to the Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

That is a pretty strong statement, that they are fed with U.S.S.R. food.

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April 4, 1952