Under this item, Mr. Chairman, I might say to the minister and I am sure he will agree that in this particular year due to the great scientific advances made by countries probably not too friendly toward us, and I refer specifically to sputnik, the other earth satellites and advances in research, I wonder if the minister would like to make a statement today about what Canada is doing in respect of defence research and development in order to cope with the eventuality of nuclear weapons, ICBM's and others.
Yes. Canada is concentrating on certain aspects of research and development, one of the main efforts being that connected with the location and detection of submarines, research in various branches of the detection of submarine craft and an extensive laboratory is maintained at Halifax for that purpose. There is another laboratory maintained at Esquimalt for the study of the detection of underwater noises and so forth. That is one of the main fields of endeavour. Another field of endeavour is that of the study of the effect of the auroral zone on missiles or other objects entering into that area.
Recently an agreement was made with the United States that we would establish a research station to be manned mainly by scientists from the University of Saskatchewan to operate certain equipment which is being given to Canada by the United States. There are, of course, a number of other research stations throughout the country. There is an important research station at Suffield in Alberta where bacteriological research is carried out as well as research on chemical warfare. There is another important station located at Shirley's Bay where radio propagation experiments are conducted. We have close association with the scientists of the United States and the United Kingdom. Within the last month there was a large gathering held here in the city of Ottawa. A symposium of scientists from all over the world who are interested in defence research was held and some 800 scientists attended those discussions.
A leading scientist from the United Kingdom, who is the director of missile research in connection with the British government, gave the main speech and introduced the subject.
I think I can say that our efforts are concentrated on perhaps a rather limited number of fields in which we are particularly well equipped to carry out research work. Of course, I must mention the research station at Churchill where there is an intensive study being carried on, and which is watched by the United States and the United Kingdom, into the effect of cold weather on personnel, on transport vehicles and on armament, including missiles, which the United States has there to test in order to see the effect of subzero temperatures.
The expenditures budgeted for last year amounted to $79,032,389, of which $69,322,982 was actually spent; that is to say, $9,709,407 was underspent. This year we
Supply-National Defence appreciate the importance of concentrating on research work and while the original estimate was $64,796,000 it is anticipated that $77,325,000 will be spent, which will be an overexpenditure of $12,549,000. I think that reflects the degree of importance which we are now placing on this research work in view of the developments which have taken place in the world during the last six months.
I am very glad to hear the statement by the minister. Before the election very extravagant claims were made as to the savings that could be effected, but when it comes down to the day-to-day decisions that must be made, instead of reducing anticipated expenditures planned by the previous government the minister has spent a good deal more. I wonder whether he can add to the statement made by the Prime Minister on his return from Paris, as reported at page 2723 of Hansard of December 21. This is what the Prime Minister said:
In connection with scientific and technical matters within the alliance there was a general recognition of the need to increase the number of trained scientists and technicians in most of the countries. In Canada, as elsewhere, progress in this field will depend not only on the state contribution but also on the devoted contribution of teachers and scientists in our schools and universities. It will also depend on the support which governments will give to institutions which provide courses in scientific subjects, and this government intends shortly to give full reconsideration to its policy in this regard and have it placed before parliament.
Hon. members who heard Mr. James Duncan, president of the Massey-Harris Company, following his return from Russia, were impressed I am sure by his statement that in the U.S.S.R. they are turning out more scientists and engineers than the United States, Great Britain, Canada and many of the other western countries put together. Mr. Duncan said that those who think that our scientists are better trained had better review their thinking. He claimed that Russian engineers spent more years in the laboratory than Canadian engineers did. I think that when the minister is spending $5 million a day on defence it does not make sense to expect the municipalities, because of their very critical financial position, or the provinces, who have not the resources available, to be able to meet the challenge. Because of the paragraph in the Prime Minister's speech that I have read can the minister indicate that his department is prepared to give more concrete assistance in the training of scientists so that the Department of National Defence will have coming up in the high schools and universities more young Canadians who will be prepared to take their places in the scheme of things, in the light of the very critical international situation?
In these estimates there is the amount of $1,100,000 for grants to universities. Those grants to universities are for university professors and others who are carrying out special research work. I feel sure that as far as this department is concerned, which of course is not a department primarily responsible for education, every encouragement will be given both now and in the future to further development work along those lines. Then, of course, at the service colleges emphasis is placed on the scientific and engineering aspects of the education of those cadets.
Last November Dr. Patterson, of the Downsview Aerophysics Institute in Toronto, expressed great apprehension during an interview with a reporter from the Toronto Star that further financial aid to his institute would not be forthcoming. Can the minister tell us whether the Downsview Aerophysics Institute will continue to operate and, if so, will it get more money than it got last year?
I am not forecasting next year's estimates. As I have said several times, there is no intention to cut grants to the universities. There seems to be a misapprehension somehow that there is going to be a reduction in grants to universities for this type of research work. That is not the fact.
The aid has been given to a number of NATO countries. The last instance took place about a month ago when five small naval vessels were given to Turkey. There are five more to go and four frigates. They were the minesweeper class of vessel. Turkish crews came on. Belgium has received aid; Greece has received aid. The policy is, as far as the department is concerned, to declare such equipment as is surplus to NATO and then NATO assigns the particular materials, arms, ships or vehicles, to the different countries. Canada does not allocate direct to any particular NATO country any particular arms. It is done through the NATO organization which says where the surplus equipment will be sent.