July 13, 1955

LIB

Ralph Osborne Campney (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Campney:

Yes, I think that is true. I think also that the pattern in aircraft production factories, especially those producing for defence purposes, is that you begin with very active production. I do not know what the total number of people employed at A. V. Roe was, at the peak, but perhaps it might be 12,000 or 13,000.

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LIB

David Arnold Croll

Liberal

Mr. Croll:

I believe it was 18,000.

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LIB

Ralph Osborne Campney (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Campney:

I am told it was 18,000. After one has made his initial production of a substantial number of aircraft, one slows down production in the plant for two reasons. In the first place one wants to keep the production line running until new planes are developed. That is standard practice. You just cannot employ the maximum number of men and have all the planes made quickly and then shut down the plant. I do not think that is in the best interests of the defence of the country or of the local community. I believe what I have said is in accordance with standard practice.

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PC

John Borden Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hamilton (York West):

Am I to understand that the minister is going to be satisfied at the end of this year to back up our radar screen with nine squadrons of CF-lOO's?

The production line is slowed down, and there is no indication that we are going to have any additional squadrons to replace the auxiliary squadrons which were in the former plan.

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LIB

Ralph Osborne Campney (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Campney:

That is still under consideration, and I am not in position to give either a definite answer or an undertaking until the research we are doing is completed to my satisfaction.

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PC

John Borden Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hamilton (York West):

Is the minister satisfied with the backing up of our radar screen with only nine squadrons; because that is all we are going to have?

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LIB

Ralph Osborne Campney (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Campney:

Nine regular squadrons. We are reconsidering the 10 auxiliary squadrons and their functions and the way in which we can usefully employ them. Second, we must decide what steps will need to be taken, in view of the fact that we will have nine regular squadrons by the end of the year, if it is decided that the auxiliary squadrons cannot effectively operate the CF-lOO's.

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?

Milton Neil Campbell

Mr. Campbell:

I have been disturbed about what I consider to be the large number of young men who have been killed during training and within a year after their training was completed. I had an answer recently about this indicating that 31 members of the R.C.A.F. and 22 NATO students had been killed in training during the past five years, and that during the same period 59 members of the R.C.A.F. had been killed within a year of graduation. What steps are being taken to decrease these accidents; and does the minister consider that these pilot trainees are getting the proper training when so many are killed within a year of graduation?

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LIB

Ralph Osborne Campney (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Campney:

Mr. Chairman, I think I hardly need assure the hon. member that there is no group of people who have deeper regret over these training casualties than the R.C.A.F. and myself as head of the department. I can assure my hon. friend that intensive studies are continually going on to find out the causes of these accidents and what steps can be taken to remove those causes. Pilot error is an element in any system of training which you cannot eliminate entirely. We discussed this matter the last time my estimates were up, and all I can say is that we have made a thorough study of our casualties in training and subsequent to training, and we find that they are a little lower than in Great Britain and a little higher than in the United States.

It must be remembered that as our training facilities grow and the number of pupils and hours flown increase, the casualties will rise. I am satisfied from such investigation as we 50433-385

Supply-National Defence have been able to make that in relation to the number of people being trained our casualties are not out of line. That does not mean we are not endeavouring by every possible means to eliminate anything that might contribute to these accidents.

I am informed that in the last few months the rate of casualties per thousand flying hours has been steadily decreasing, showing that our studies and remedial steps have been effective. You can never get to the end of this thing; you can never say that you have a perfect system, that you cannot do any better. No country can do that. Nevertheless we must go on striving to improve the training in every way we can to reduce accidents. That is what we are trying to do, and we are meeting with a good deal of success.

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?

Milton Neil Campbell

Mr. Campbell:

How many hours of training does a pilot get before he is put in charge of one of these high speed jets?

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LIB

Ralph Osborne Campney (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Campney:

The average pilot must fly at least approximately 180 hours on conventional planes before he goes on jets.

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?

Milton Neil Campbell

Mr. Campbell:

How many casualties occurred during formation flying, and how many during solo flights?

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LIB

Ralph Osborne Campney (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Campney:

I have not the figures here, but I am told that a study indicates that there is no particular pattern. That is, the casualties are no higher in formation flying than in solo flying. There is no indication that any particular type of flying results in more casualties than any other.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. Castleden:

On June 28 the Minister of Defence Production stated that we had started on a program of development of the supersonic plane and supersonic engine, and that we were just moving into the field of guided missiles. Have orders actually been placed by the Department of National Defence in either of these fields, or is this merely preliminary and experimental work?

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LIB

Ralph Osborne Campney (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Campney:

I do not think I can say too much on this particular question. As far as guided missiles are concerned, we have placed a pre-production order in respect to one type. As far as the new plane is concerned, the CF-105, we are also placing a pre-production order. We are trying to keep abreast of the latest developments in the United States, Great Britain and other countries. My experience thus far has led me to realize that this is a most difficult field, and that for every successful project that is launched there are many failures.

Once you are committed to one particular phase it is difficult to detach yourself even if you find that you have made a mistake. I think it is better to be careful and try to

Supply-National Defence get the answer as far as you can before launching upon production, because these are extremely costly projects to develop.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. Castleden:

I was asking whether orders had actually been placed for these planes or missiles, or are you just instructing them to proceed in the experimental field.

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LIB

Ralph Osborne Campney (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Campney:

There is a pre-production order in respect to one type of missile, and one is being placed in regard to the CF-105.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. Castleden:

What would be the earliest date for delivery in either of these fields, from the date of order? Would it be five years?

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LIB

Ralph Osborne Campney (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Campney:

All I can say is that they are proceeding diligently and actively. I am very much averse to fixing dates in respect of matters which are in some ways unpredictable.

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CCF

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. Noseworthy:

Mr. Chairman, one criticism I have heard from personnel in the areas is that the air force does not make use of the professional training which many of those men in the regular force possess. I am thinking of graduate engineers and other qualified technicians and specialists in various fields. The criticism I have heard is that too often these qualified specialists are used on very routine work in the force, while the kind of work for which they are educated and trained is given to outside commercial firms or to civilian specialists.

I note in the estimates, for instance, that there are about 15,000 civilian employees costing about $36 million in the air force. Among those there are about 500 engineers of various types listed here at close to $2 million. In addition there is at page 340 an item under "professional fees" and I assume the major part of that item is for engineering fees. That is an item of $3,600,000.

In other words there is itemized here well over $5 million to be spent on civilian engineering talent. What use is being made of graduate engineers who are members of the force? Is it true that the services of many of these men are used in very routine work, and that they just do not get any opportunity of tackling the really important engineering jobs, for instance, that have to be done in the air force?

The minister will note that I have discussed this question with him personally in relation to a few particular individuals. There is today, for instance, a firm employed by the department. Some of the specialists that firm sends out are former members of the force, while in the force there are professional members who are given very routine jobs.

Today the department is paying them, through that firm that employs them, many times what they were commanding in the air force.

My question is this. Is the force attempting to use to the largest possible extent the talent of university graduates, the specialists who are regular members of the force, instead of turning over most of the really important technical jobs to commercial firms?

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July 13, 1955