January 29, 1953

ST. MARGARETS, N.B., RADAR STATION

PC

Mr. Robichaud:

Progressive Conservative

1. What is the total amount which has been expended to date on, or in any way concerning, the St. Margarets, New Brunswick, radar station?

2. What have been the annual amounts expended on, or in any way concerning the said radar station, in each and every year, including the year of its inception, to and including the first eleven months of the year 1952?

3. Were any contracts awarded to any individuals and/or firms, in connection or in any way concerning the said radar station, during the year 1952?

4. If so (a) what were these contracts for; (b) to whom were they awarded; (c) what was the amount of each contract?

5. Were tenders called for any or all of these contracts?

6. If so, what individuals or firms submitted tenders, and what was the amount of each tender submitted?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   ST. MARGARETS, N.B., RADAR STATION
Permalink

LAURENTIDES NATIONAL PARK

IND

Mr. Gagnon:

Independent

1. What amounts have been voted by parliament towards the construction of a radar station in the Laurentides national park, Upica district, Lake St. John, province of Quebec?

2. What sums have been spent up to the present?

3. What are the names of the contractors?

4. What amounts were paid to each one, and what was the nature of the work?

5. Did the cost of the undertaking prove to be in accordance with the estimates?

6. Has the said station been tested? If so, with what results?

"operation pine tree"

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   LAURENTIDES NATIONAL PARK
Sub-subtopic:   RADAR STATION
Permalink
PC

Mr. Pearkes:

Progressive Conservative

1. Is the government proceeding with Operation Pine Tree?

2. If so, what funds have been spent on this project to date?

3. What is the estimated cost?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   LAURENTIDES NATIONAL PARK
Sub-subtopic:   RADAR STATION
Permalink
LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxion:

I should like to make a statement with respect to the questions asked by the hon. member for Gloucester (Mr. Robichaud) and the hon. member for Chicoutimi (Mr. Gagnon). These questions ask the cost of radar stations and they purport to give the location of radar stations. One of the questions asked by the hon. member for Chicoutimi is:

Has the said station been tested? If so, with what results?

The hon. member for Nanaimo in question 12 asks the amount that has been expended and the estimated cost of Operation Pine

Tree, by which I assume he refers to the general radar defence system of Canada.

As every Canadian bomber pilot knows, one of the things first in importance for effective bombing is to be able to locate and know everything possible about the enemy's radar defence.

This information is useful for a number of reasons. With it, attacking bombers can take the line of approach where radar coverage is least effective. If the attacker has sufficient knowledge of the location and character of the radar defences, he can try to put them out of action by jamming, by bombing and by sabotage. For these reasons, actual or potential enemy forces go to great lengths to obtain this information.

Giving the cost of various stations would help an enemy to decide whether or not each station was simply an early warning station or whether it was also a station for ground-controlled interception, a very important thing for him to know.

Also, giving the amounts expended and the estimated costs of several stations would enable an enemy to estimate with pretty fair accuracy the degree of readiness and the time when each station and the complete system would be in full operation. It would also enable him to say how long it would take to build additional radar defences, should a new type of aircraft or other new feature increase the threat of bombing attack.

The radar defences of North America are planned and will be operated jointly by the United States and Canada, and the United States air force and the R.C.A.F. agreed that the numbers and names of sites and stations, the equipment, the progress of construction and operational data would not be revealed.

Some time ago I addressed a letter to representatives of the newspapers across Canada asking their co-operation in this and generally speaking that co-operation has been forthcoming.

There is another reason why such information should not be given officially by the government. Giving it would enable a potential enemy to assess the accuracy and efficiency of this system of intelligence.

For these and other reasons which might be mentioned, it is not considered to be in the public interest to give information that would assist a potential enemy in obtaining information of this character about our radar defences. Consequently, it is not in the public interest to answer these questions.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   LAURENTIDES NATIONAL PARK
Sub-subtopic:   RADAR STATION
Permalink
PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pearkes:

In connection with my question, no details are asked for. I simply ask for the over-all amount of the taxpayers' money which is being spent on a certain

Questions

project known as Operation Pine Tree. I security, to ask me, and I could also refer would ask that that total amount and the him, if that was desirable, to the chief of estimated amount be given. staff concerned.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   LAURENTIDES NATIONAL PARK
Sub-subtopic:   RADAR STATION
Permalink
LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxlon:

The same objection applies

there, Mr. Speaker, because if it is possible for a prospective enemy to estimate the cost of a single station-and I suggest that it is a very simple thing indeed for him to do- then he can divide the total amount by that cost per station and arrive at the extent and the density of the coverage for the whole country. Therefore that question is equally objectionable.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   LAURENTIDES NATIONAL PARK
Sub-subtopic:   RADAR STATION
Permalink
PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pearkes:

I have not asked for the

amount of any single station, only the overall amount.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   LAURENTIDES NATIONAL PARK
Sub-subtopic:   RADAR STATION
Permalink
PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

May I be permited to make one comment to the minister in connection with this. It may happen that as time goes on questions of this kind will be placed on the order paper quite unintentionally by hon. members. I wonder whether there is not some way in which that can be circumvented. Could it not be done by some liaison between the minister and those who might decide to ask questions, because it seems to me that the minister has taken the wrong way of dealing with it today, if I may say so. I say that to him in all kindness. What I refer to is his identification of Operation Pine Tree today with our radar set-up. I think that comes pretty close to giving away secrets.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   LAURENTIDES NATIONAL PARK
Sub-subtopic:   RADAR STATION
Permalink
LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

I am afraid the hon. member for Nanaimo has already done that, and I had no course, I think, except to assume from the form in which the question was put that it referred to radar defence. This word has also appeared quite unofficially and without authority in the press, and I am afraid that the restriction on the use of the word is no longer effective. Therefore I have not done anything that would help the enemy. But the answer I gave to the hon. member for Nanaimo with regard to this matter is the correct one; that is, that if anyone knows or can estimate the cost of a single station, then he can divide the total cost of the whole operation and arrive at the number of stations and the extent of coverage in the country, which is an important thing for an enemy to know, and which so far we have avoided giving.

With regard to the question asked by the hon. member for Peel, it would be elementary in the knowledge of every hon. member that information of this kind would be of assistance to the enemy; but I am available and it would be very easy indeed for any hon. member, who has a thought of putting down a question which might involve matters of

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   LAURENTIDES NATIONAL PARK
Sub-subtopic:   RADAR STATION
Permalink
PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pearkes:

On a question of privilege,

I must point out that when I framed that question and submitted it to the proper authority in this house I had no idea that Operation Pine Tree was in any way connected with radar operations in North America, and I did not know what Operation Pine Tree was.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   LAURENTIDES NATIONAL PARK
Sub-subtopic:   RADAR STATION
Permalink
PC

Albany M. Robichaud

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Robichaud:

In connection with my question, would the minister have any objection to giving me confidentially the information which I sought in my question?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   LAURENTIDES NATIONAL PARK
Sub-subtopic:   RADAR STATION
Permalink
LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxlon:

I shall be glad to give consideration to that, and of course I shall be glad to give the hon. member for Nanaimo on a confidential basis the information he seeks as well.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   LAURENTIDES NATIONAL PARK
Sub-subtopic:   RADAR STATION
Permalink
PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

May I ask the minister a question? Does the statement which the minister has now given to the house indicate also that the government will refuse to give to the defence expenditure committee information respecting the over-all cost-I am not speaking now of detailed cost-of matters of this kind?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   LAURENTIDES NATIONAL PARK
Sub-subtopic:   RADAR STATION
Permalink
LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order. I doubt if I should

allow that question. Is that not a question which should be asked in the committee, and not here?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   LAURENTIDES NATIONAL PARK
Sub-subtopic:   RADAR STATION
Permalink
PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

May I mention the fact that

on January 19 the minister did answer a question similar to that asked by the hon. member for Gloucester. I asked:

How much money has been spent, on a cost plus basis, on the construction and development of the radar station at St. Margarets, New Brunswick, from its beginning until the present time?

The answer was:

$3,223,688.73 on a "cost plus fixed fee" basis.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   LAURENTIDES NATIONAL PARK
Sub-subtopic:   RADAR STATION
Permalink
LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxlon:

I am quite familiar with the fact that that question was answered by the Department of Defence Production. It was that answer which caused us to review the whole question. I have had it reviewed not only here, but in Washington, and the result is as I have indicated to the house.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   LAURENTIDES NATIONAL PARK
Sub-subtopic:   RADAR STATION
Permalink
LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Answered.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   LAURENTIDES NATIONAL PARK
Sub-subtopic:   RADAR STATION
Permalink

WORKING FORCE, OTTAWA-HULL

January 29, 1953