April 14, 1967

PC

Richard Russell Southam

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Souiham:

Mr. Chairman, it had not been my original intention to participate in the debate on Bill C-243, an act to amend the National Defence Act and other acts in consequence thereof; and my remarks will be relatively brief.

Unfortunately I was too young to enter the services in the first war and too old to join in the second world war. As a result I felt that consideration of the proposals of the Minister of National Defence and his advisers to amend the National Defence Act should be left to those members of Her Majesty's loyal opposition who have had actual military experience and who have served so faithfully and, I must say, so effectively on the defence committee over the past few months.

I should pause here to say that we backbenchers owe those committee members on our side of the house a deep debt of gratitude and, yes, the people of Canada owe them a deep debt of gratitude for their careful examination of the witnesses and exhaustive study of the testimony which has been evidenced many times in the house in recent days by the calibre of speeches. After listening to these contributions and studying the committee reports, I felt impelled to speak. I had no alternative to adding my voice to the widespread cry of alarm that Canadians across this land are expressing from day to day as they finally realize what the Minister of National Defence and the Liberal party are bent on doing to Canada's defence forces.

Following the more expert technical contributions made by our members who have served in Her Majesty's forces and on the defence committee, the speeches made by the right hon. Leader of the Opposition on

National Defence Act Amendment Tuesday and by the hon. members for Vic-toria-Carleton, Northumberland, and Rosthern yesterday must surely sound a serious warning to the Minister of National Defence, the Prime Minister and others across the way that the present policy espoused in Bill C-243, especially that segment dealing with the principle of unification, is entirely wrong. Many observers and responsible writers outside parliament have come to the same conclusion.

I now wish to quote from an editorial which appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press on Wednesday, April 4, a newspaper not entirely favourable to the policies espoused by our party. The heading is in strong language, "Destroying Defence", and the editorial reads in part as follows:

It is beyond comprehension that Mr. Hellyer, by insisting on total unification, should ask parliament now to endorse a completely new defence structure, entirely foreign to both British and U.S. defence organizations. Unification, and elimination of service identities, despite Mr. Hellyer's statements to the contrary, have been openly rejected by Britain after much study-as declared in the white paper of 1963. A check with Washington would also reveal that the U.S. has no intention of unifying its combat units. To the contrary, the present purpose is to build up the proud reputations and esprit de corps of individual fighting units, whether it be the "Green Berets", the Marines or the First Cavalry Regiment. For Canada to launch into a radical experiment which will make our defence organization incompatible with U.S. and British organization constitutes the most drastic step ever taken with the defences of this country. It could, in large measure, destroy our existing defence structure.

[DOT] (3:40 p.m.)

Here is another excerpt, this time from an article which appeared in the Globe and Mail under the heading "An Unseemly Rush To What?" I will quote the salient points for the sake of this debate. Citing Air Vice Marshal Miller, the article states:

He said that he saw no significant financial or military advantage in unification as compared with integration."

Another expert, Admiral Louis Mount-batten, expressed his views on integration and unification in an article which appeared in the Colonist on April 5. The question was brought up by an hon. member who is well known in the house, the hon. member for Victoria (B.C.), and the admiral's views are stated as follows:

In the British reorganization care has been taken to preserve esprit de corps and morale and those traditions which help to maintain this in the services and fighting units.

It has been accepted that to achieve this the three services must retain their uniforms and ranks with an identifiable professional head of their service. The idea of a single uniform and rank

April 14. 1967

National Defence Act Amendment structure was also rejected as undesirable and unnecessary.

There is one other comment which I believe adds weight to my argument. It is one of the points raised by the Tri-Service Identities Organization.

It seems remarkable that the critics of the reorganization have been variously categorized as emotional, unprogressive, unreasonable, disloyal, obstructionist, destructive, politically motivated, or without responsibility. Do none of the extensive body of Canadians who hold opinions contrary to those of the Minister of Defence do so by reason of knowledge, capability, experience, conviction, concern or sincerity? Surely the calibre of some of the witnesses who have appeared before the defence committee dictates a high degree of credibility for their views and in no way justifies any discounting of their evidence and opinions.

The memorandum goes on to say:

Overwhelming support for the reorganization program does not exist amongst Canadians generally. Thus the latest Gallup poll showed less than 50 per cent of Canadians support it. Observing that this poll was taken before the defence committee started its hearings, and before so much cogent evidence was presented by so many knowledgeable persons against the plans and policies as presently disclosed would certainly permit the conclusion that even fewer Canadians support the programme now than six weeks ago.

One could continue to read weighty evidence for hours on end in support of the contention that the Minister of National Defence would be well advised to go slow on this issue. However, it is on the basis of the many expressions of concern which I heard from the ordinary man in the street while visiting my riding during the Easter recess that I turn to the next part of what I have to say. These conversations made me appreciate that Canadians everywhere are becoming deeply concerned about the direction in which the minister is taking us. They are additional reasons for my asking the minister to turn back before it is too late. I realize it would be tough medicine for him personally but it would help to vindicate him in the eyes of the nation and atone for some of his serious misdemeanours such as tampering with evidence, charging high-ranking officers with disloyalty and using what many have referred to as the big lie technique employed so effectively by one of the world's most hated leaders of a foreign power not so many years ago.

Canadians thought at first that the government's policy on defence was bold and daring and that it would save them millions of dollars. This impression was, of course, created by the minister's own public relations effort and resulted from the emphasis laid on the integration of our services. However, when

the minister began the infiltration process by using the word "unification" from time to time, interchanging it with the word "integration" and even using the term "amalgamation", people in general and even the commanding officers in the forces became completely confused. Many are still confounded and confused, as previous speakers in this debate have so clearly illustrated in the course of their remarks. Now, however, the people of Canada as well as those in other parts of the world are beginning to ask questions. The ordinary man wants to know whether Canada has any bona fide external affairs policy. The hon. member for Qu'Ap-pelle mentioned this point a few moments ago, as did the hon. member for Digby-An-napolis-Kings. External affairs policy as enunciated by the Secretary of State for External Affairs has been so fuzzy and woolly that none of us understand it and Canadians do not appreciate what it is.

Does Canada have an adequate and proper defence policy? Defence and external affairs are, of course, so closely related that we must have a good idea of both before we can be sure about either. This has been said by many previous speakers who are more qualified than I am to debate this problem. Nevertheless it is pertinent. The average man is beginning to ask what our defence policy is and what our foreign policy is to be. This subject alone could lead us into a lengthy debate.

The third question which is often put to me is: Now that the 1967-68 estimates are out and defence spending has risen by $120 million, where is the saving which the minister suggested we would make? Out of our total budget we are spending between 20 and 25 per cent on defence. Since the total is 15 per cent above that of last year, some $1,600 million is involved. The taxpayer is naturally interested in the direction our defence policy is to take.

A fourth question, and one which has been put to me many times, is: In the light of the low morale of our services, will it be necessary to bring in conscription to keep them up to strength? What about the Liberal members and the Creditistes from Quebec? What is their reaction to this question?

The fifth question I have been asked is: What is to become of our commitments to NATO, NOHAD and the United Nations? This again is an important question tied in with Canada's external affairs policy. How can we make a decision on this bill until we decide

April 14. 1987 COMMONS

where we stand as far as our NATO and NORAD commitments are concerned?

Another important question which has been raised over and over again is: Did anybody estimate the cost in millions of dollars to the taxpayer represented by the loss of some 75 or 80 of Canada's most highly qualified military officers in the three services who felt impelled to step into retirement prematurely because they could not stomach the minister's policy of unification? Here is a question serious enough to warrant a wide-ranging debate. It is hard to determine the size of the investment represented by the training of these men, so many of whom have stepped out of the picture. How can they be replaced, and what would be the cost to the taxpayer?

Another question I have heard is: Can the great loss of these military officers with their vast reserve of practical experience be adequately replaced by the appointment of others who have never had the same experience or proper baptism in the line of battle? I would remind the committee of the old axiom that experience is the best teacher. These younger officers are naturally full of vim and vigour, but without this experience how can they properly provide for the defence of Canada and for the fulfillment of our commitments to other countries?

[DOT] (3:50 p.m.)

Next: Will the cutback in the number of ships and navy personnel mean that our neighbours to the south will have to move in along our shores to defend us and that as a consequence Canada will lose yet another segment of her sovereignty? Today we are worrying about our economic sovereignty. Will our military and political sovereignty be our next worry? This is an important question to Canadians. Why should Canada, which established such an honourable reputation with her fighting forces in two world wars, be the first country in the world to toy or experiment with such a questionable policy as unification when all the evidence is stacked against it? If the policy of unification of our armed forces is so good, why have not senior ministers of the crown, including the Prime Minister, supported the Minister of National Defence in this debate and at least made it appear they believe in this policy? Instead we have had silence, smirking grins and catcalls.

Another question that has been asked over and over and over again, and one that must be answered, is, where did the idea of unification come from in the first place? The hon.

National Defence Act Amendment member for Saint John-Albert emphasized this in his speech this morning. Where did this idea come from? Who is behind it, and why? These and many other questions are deeply worrying Canadians everywhere today.

The minister has created a military mirage, an Alice in Wonderland military fantasy, a boomerang. He has loosed a wind and will reap a whirlwind. I implore him to turn back before it is too late. In my honest opinion unification cannot work, will not work, and is only an exercise in futility.

As the hon. member for Victoria-Carleton pointed out yesterday, it is not our responsibility to prove the minister wrong; it is his responsibility to prove he is right. As the hon. member for Wellington-Huron suggested yesterday in his speech, I would also like to suggest that the Prime Minister allow a free vote on this legislation so that members will not have to follow party lines. Such a vote would be a truly democratic expression of opinion and the quickest and most logical way to settle this most controversial issue. If the minister does not need the advice of Her Majesty's loyal opposition and amend this bill to make it a reasonable and rational piece of legislation, I will have no alternative but to vote against it.

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PC

David Vaughan Pugh

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pugh:

Mr. Chairman, I am convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the unification bill must not go through. There is sufficient evidence to show it would create great and long-lasting harm to Canada's armed forces. I am equally convinced that integration as we now have it under our present laws is quite sufficient in the light of the objectives which our armed forces must be prepared to attain, whether in defence, peace keeping or whatever other role may be necessary in accord with our foreign affairs policy.

I am not participating in this debate without having first considered the evidence of the witnesses who appeared before the defence committee. I was not a member of that committee but I had a good record of attendance there and I listened not only to the witnesses in favour of the proposal but to those who were against it. This has helped me make up my own mind. There is a preponderance of evidence on one side to create a doubt in my mind as to the validity of the bill which the minister has presented.

This debate is not new. Those who say it has been going on for nine days must realize it is the culmination of two to three years

April 14, 1967

National Defence Act Amendment hard work by the defence forces to bring about something new in Canada's defence image, force-wise. We had a debate on second reading of the bill. We had committee meetings recently and now we are debating the matter in committee of the whole house. I feel this bill is of such importance to Canada that we should forget the political aspect and re-examine it in the light of the knowledge we have gained.

The suggestion was made this afternoon by the hon. member for Qu'Appelle that the minister might have been put on the spot and told: Go ahead; you have got to do this. He suggested that the minister had quite a cross to bear because of that. I do not believe so. The minister may have used his authority in the cabinet. It may be that it was a decision of the cabinet to go ahead with this bill but in any event, giving the minister the benefit of the doubt, as Minister of National Defence he has been most delinquent in his duty because he should have told the cabinet that this whole unification plan was not feasible.

There is sufficient evidence on very many points to raise serious doubt in the minds of all thinking people right across Canada. I shall enumerate these points on which we have secured evidence in the defence committee and from elsewhere. First, there is the very word unification itself, its definition, and the public relations image of the minister with respect to it. There have been continuous efforts to maintain the minister's shining, bright, forceful image, all those wonderful qualities the minister would like to have and to retain after this debate is concluded. Second, there are the statements by senior officers that unification was not the subject of discussion in depth. Third, there is the minister's lack of understanding of service abilities and traditions. Fourth, there are the voluntary resignations of senior officers and, fifth, the forced resignations of senior officers. Sixth, there was the Landymore incident, that horrible incident and, much more horrible, the minister's subsequent apology. Seventh, there was the denial of evidence in committee prior to second reading. We asked for committee hearings before second reading so that we might hear further evidence but we were forced to vote on the bill in principle without being allowed that. Eighth, there are the uncertainties and the effect on morale, which have been mentioned so forcefully by many hon. members. Ninth, there is the role of Canada's armed forces as against Canada's foreign policy commitments.

[Mr. Pugh.l

I have always wondered about the term "unification". I wondered even more when we heard the minister in the defence committee stand up and say he wished he had never heard of the term "unification". When he said that, there was a sort of gasp from Liberal members of the committee. Whenever they were asked about the meaning of unification all they would say was that it is a glorious thing.

The most telling part of this debate on the tern "unification" came when the hon. member for Victoria (B.C.) was speaking. He, incidentally, was chairman of the defence committee and he said, as recorded at page 14774 of Hansard lor April 11:

My personal definition or view, which incidentally is the same today as when I started considering the matter many months ago, is that when we speak of unification we are talking about taking integration as far as it is practical to go.

[DOT] (4:00 p.m.)

Then he says that instead of using the word unification-the minister's word-he is going to use the expression integration-unification. I have heard a lot of rough words in this chamber and there are some I could use now. It seems to me that that is the most telling argument against unification. I started out by saying that I thought under present circumstances integration is all that is necessary for the good of our armed forces and for any role which they might happen to be called upon to play.

Another thing which attracted my attention in committee was the fact that the little trained seals in the Liberal party, without any ifs, ands or buts got up and spoke of the United States Marine Corps. They wondered why we could not have unification like they have in the United States with their marine corps. This shows a complete lack of knowledge. If anyone thinks that the marine corps is the total of the United States forces, then he is mistaken. They have an army and an air force. The point is that it takes each part all down the line to form the whole.

No one can tell me that in Canada we can do it in any other way. Let us take the word unification. The hon. member for Victoria, (B.C.) used the expression integration-unification. No member of that committee, no member of this house, no senior officer, not even any Liberal, has said that he does not believe in integration and does not believe that it is a good thing for our armed forces. We know it is. It is not new. It started many years ago. Integration is something which we all know must be carried out. But to do what the hon.

April 14, 1967

member for Victoria (B.C.), suggests we should do, carry integration as far as we can and then call it unification, is not good enough, because we have had no definition whatsoever of the term.

The white paper, of course, set out the aims and objects of unification. These were good: a more effective and more efficient defence at less cost. There is, however, not one nickel's worth of evidence in this house or in the committee which would indicate that the minister's proposed force would be any more effective. In fact, as I read and listened to the evidence of Air Chief Marshal Miller I could not help but be struck by the answer he gave to the hon. member for Calgary South when he was queried about the effectiveness. His answer left in my mind, and I am sure in the minds of many members of the committee, the thought that probably by implementing the minister's new idea we might have a less effective force.

Let us take the reference to a more efficient force. There is no evidence of that. Then we have the suggestion that the cost would be less. We have heard all the evidence on that and we know that it is costing more. So I am a little suspicious of the minister in that regard. This has given rise to grave doubts in my mind and in the minds of members of the press throughout this country. Someone said, the press has suggested that we are spending a long time on this. I do not think we are. From my reading of editorials all across Canada it would seem the opinion is that we are not spending too much time. There seems to be a suggestion that we should hammer at this thing and not let it go through, because there is a reasonable doubt as to its value.

Let us consider the senior officers who held high positions in the Canadian Armed Forces. The minister has shown a careless disregard for their advice. He has not paid any attention whatsoever to their advice. I am glad to see the minister leave the chamber now because he looked as though he had had enough. I am not surprised, because when I listened to what he had to say last Tuesday I thought what he said about the senior officers was one of the worst insults I have ever heard flung at the armed forces by anybody. He said that the senior officers were prone to become fixed in their views. He suggested that because they had grown up in one service they would favour that service over any other. Were he in the chamber at this moment I would ask him a direct question, but perhaps be will read this and answer it later. What about Air

23033-945J

National Defence Act Amendment Chief Marshal Miller who was chief of staff? He was one of our great men and was appointed by the present Minister of National Defence.

The information I have been able to obtain is to the effect that Air Chief Marshal Miller, who was trained and brought up in the air force, when acting as chief bent over backwards in favour of the other two armed services. There is no question about that. If the minister has one tittle of evidence to bring forward in that regard, I hope he will do so. He has, however, insulted the senior officers. He says that they are service trained, came up through one service, and that if they do think they think wrong. Those are not his exact words, but the implication is there. If you read his speech I am sure you will not obtain any other inference from it.

As I said, we have a series of doubts. That is one more doubt in my mind and I am sure it would be a doubt in the minds of members opposite if they would read the editorials. Now there is an even graver doubt. We have senior officers who voluntarily retired. I should like to emphasize this. These senior officers have voluntarily retired because they could not put up any longer with the backhanded unification which was going on. The evidence of the senior officers is that unification would not work. I am not basing this statement on what I have read in the press. These officers were subjected to cross examination recently in the committee, and that was their evidence.

What about the senior officers who did not leave voluntarily, but were fired. Any officer who did not give a "yes man" answer when he was asked for his opinion about unification was forcibly thrown out; he was retired prior to his proper retirement time. This is a disgrace; it is something which never should have happened in our Canadian armed forces, but it did happen. Here we have senior officers, who were either kicked out of the forces or retired voluntarily, who were in the armed forces at the time of the moulding of integration. Men like that are not replaced too easily.

I hear Liberal members moaning and groaning. It does my heart good. It is not necessary for me to mention the name of Mountbatten, but I will; and I will mention other countries which have exceedingly good armed forces.

[DOT] (4:10 p.m.)

What is the attitude of those countries of the world that have studied this proposal for unification? They have all emphatically

14952 COMMONS

National Defence Act Amendment turned it down. Mountbatten was very forcibly against this proposal. The minister thought he would be in favour of it but he got a rude jolt the other day as a result of an editorial in this regard.

In the minister's treatment of Admiral Landymore, we have witnessed one of the most terrible and shameful things to have ever taken place in Canadian military history.

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?

An hon. Member:

Hah.

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PC

David Vaughan Pugh

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pugh:

I heard a Liberal say "Hah". I wish you had been there to hear the minister apologize.

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An hon. Member:

I was there.

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PC

David Vaughan Pugh

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pugh:

I am glad you were there because you must have heard all about the charge regarding the 18 months of continuing disloyalty of Admiral Landymore. When the minister was asked to indicate how Admiral Landymore had been disloyal for 18 months he said that we could not pin him down. He could not tell us what the disloyalty was. Even the chairman of the committee, the hon. member for Vancouver Quadra, suggested there was no evidence whatsoever in this regard. Therefore you need not bother to tut-tut on that side of the house. The chairman of the committee said this, as reported at page 1754 of the evidence of the committee:

While I certainly can find no evidence of disloyalty in anything that has been revealed here this morning, I think it is probably fair to say that if I were looking for a man to help me support the idea of unification, the name of Admiral Landymore would probably come slow to mind.

At page 1755 of that same volume the minister made this statement in apology:

Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I accept completely Admiral Landymore's statement that he was at no time disloyal. I believe that it is absolutely correct, that there was never at any time any disloyalty intended to his service or his country. This does not mean that I condone all of his actions, during the period in question, because I could not.

I suggest this represents a shameful chapter in the history of our Canadian Armed Forces. It is no wonder that the minister was annoyed at Admiral Landymore. We all know about the tampering with the evidence. We all wanted more evidence from other witnesses before giving approval to this bill in principle on second reading. The minister was afraid to hear that evidence before second reading because, had we heard the evidence at that time, I am sure this bill would never have been given second reading.

DEBATES April 14, 1967

In view of the lack of evidence to support the charge that Admiral Landymore was disloyal for 18 months, I keep asking myself the $64 question: Why was Admiral Landymore fired? He was fired because he refused to be a "yes man" for the minister. There is no doubt about that. Incidentally, I should like to point out that Admiral Landymore received a pat on the back by General Simonds, who is no mean slouch as a military expert in this country. That gentleman said that Admiral Landymore not only had the right to make inquiries, but the absolute duty to report the results to his senior officers.

In this regard I heard the minister make one of the most laughable statements I have heard made in a committee of this house. He criticized this man, used the word disloyalty, and then admitted before the committee that he had never looked at the reports Admiral Landymore had made to his senior officers. I was flabbergasted when I heard that statement. The minister levelled charges on the basis of fictitious evidence. He then apologized and that was supposed to end the matter. Surely that is a terrible way to treat such a man.

Every serving officer must be satisfied with the state of morale of his command. General Simonds testified on this point, suggesting that good morale was probably more important than equipment. Anyone who knows anything about military action will realize that without morale and the ability to stand fast a force will not be successful, regardless of whether or not it has the best equipment in the world. Surely that has been proven by all the great battles of the world. That will be the situation a thousand years from now.

Let me now refer to the evidence of Lieutenant General F. J. Fleury. He said he found a lack of security in headquarters. Junior officers apparently knew more about what was going on in the minister's mind than he did. Let me repeat what the general said. He said that other lesser lights knew more or said they knew more about what was in the mind of the minister than he did. He said that he found security information, as he knew it, practically non-existent. He said the whole headquarters reminded him of a giant sieve.

This man found he could no longer accept things as they were, and resigned. This situation in respect of the lack of security prompts me to ask where the minister got his information about what was taking place in the services. He apparently did not get his information from the senior officers. Where did the

April 14, 19G7 COMMONS

information come from in respect of the minister's charge that Admiral Landymore was disloyal? Perhaps this whole thing is nothing more than a public relations effort. In any event, this whole story creates grave doubts in my mind about the value of unification. I suggest the minister should have the common sense to either withdraw this bill or amend it.

A committee of this house was denied the right to hear additional evidence before the bill was accepted in principle. When we were discussing this matter I made a speech, as a result of what the Associate Minister of National Defence had said. He indicated that he had had some sleepless nights over the questions surrounding unification. I respect that man, because I think he is reasonable. He had some doubts in his mind and he felt he should find some answers. He went to the senior officers and asked questions.

The thing that bothers me about this whole matter is that we were not allowed to obtain the answers to our doubts and questions regarding the same things which apparently bothered the associate minister, and bothered him to a point where he took it upon himself to find the answers.

[DOT] (4:20 p.m.)

We do not have to accept the hearsay given to us by the Associate Minister of National Defence that everything is rosy. His idea of "rosy" and mine are entirely different. I have no hesitation in saying that having listened to the evidence of all those very, very eminent men who appeared before the committee, there is left in my mind no doubt-and I do not think there is any doubt left in the minds of the people of Canada-that there is a very reasonable suggestion that unification is nothing but an airy-fairy word and is a concept which, if we are to understand the evidence presented to the committee, cannot possibly be put into effect in its final form, as the minister would like, until after about five years of integration. It is said that it will take this long to put unification into effect because of the work involved with staffs, equipment, and so on. We have been told that this program cannot be put into effect quickly, that it cannot be done at headquarters, materiel command, and so on, because these things cannot be changed quickly.

Next, Mr. Chairman, I wish to deal with the role of Canada's armed forces vis-a-vis Canada's foreign policy and commitments. In fact this is one of the most important points in this whole defence debate. The hon. member for Qu'Appelle and others have dealt with

National Defence Act Amendment this question during the last few days. We have heard it discussed from all sides of the house. I wonder whether there might not be some truth in the assertion that the Liberal government has not really made up its mind about what our role is to be in this area. Are we going to be a brush fire outfit, a peace offering to the United Nations? Are we going to prevent little wars starting? Are we going to police areas in which there is likely to be trouble? I do not know the answers to these questions, but I am very much concerned about this aspect of the matter.

If our whole effort is to be directed toward peacekeeping, I believe we will leave ourselves open to becoming very, very quickly embroiled in a larger conflict. The United States went into Viet Nam with not too many troops. They now have 400,000 troops over there and are hopelessly embroiled in the conflict; they cannot withdraw. It is all very well to say that in a peace keeping role we will be able to go into these areas and act as policemen, but these things are not that simple.

There is another point where I think the people of Canada are very interested in the concept of a peace keeping force. It costs a great deal of money to maintain peace keeping forces. Our troops are abroad acting on behalf of the United Nations. Who pays the shot? The United Nations does not pay the shot; it is the Canadian people who pay. Every dollar spent on maintaining and equipping our troops abroad is paid by Canada. Peacekeeping is quite an expensive operation.

As I listened the other day to the Secretary of State for External Affairs, the other Paul, I was wondering-I have never been able to learn this, and I do not suppose anybody has; I do not think the minister himself knows -just where we are headed in our external affairs policy and in respect of the commitments we have been so proud to make to NORAD, NATO and the United Nations.

I conclude, Mr. Chairman, by saying that in this area of defence and unification far too many things are suspect. Most of the evidence heard by the committee indicates that there is a very serious doubt in the minds of men whom throughout the years we have learned to respect. There is doubt in the minds of those in the armed forces. There is doubt in the minds of many officers who have not spoken out. Perhaps they have not spoken out for good reason, because if they spoke out they would jeopardize their careers. The sum

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National Defence Act Amendment total of the evidence presented to the committee has raised a serious doubt in my mind, and I know it has raised a serious doubt in the minds of people for whom I speak, and others all across Canada. It has also raised a serious doubt in the minds of a great many newspaper editors.

The doubt raised is of such a serious nature that if this question were dealt with in a court of law the judge would say, "You cannot possibly do this." I have serious suspicions and doubts about this proposal. The preponderance of the evidence has been such that it has raised a great deal of doubt. We believe that unification is not necessary. Integration, if carried forward properly, will do each and every thing that the minister has stated he requires under unification, with the exception of those little green uniforms and one or two other items. I believe that the minister should impress upon the cabinet, or the cabinet should impress upon him, the advisability of reconsideration of this whole question before the government allows it to come to a vote in the house.

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PC

Harold Warren Danforth

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Danforih:

Mr. Chairman, I enter the debate at this time with absolutely no apologies and with a definite interest in mind. As a matter of fact, after reading the terms and clauses of this bill, being familiar with the debate and reading the evidence presented to the committee, I fail to see how anyone who at heart is interested in the future and the defence of this country, or who is speaking on behalf of the constituency he represents in this house, can refrain from participating in the debate. I hope to approach the problem with which we in the house are faced with all due sincerity and a sense of responsibility, and I hope I can logically and factually place on the record, on behalf of those people I have the honour to represent, the feelings in regard to this unification bill.

When this proposition was first advanced -I think its aims and objects were very well presented-and it was said that an undertaking of this kind by the government would safeguard the defence of Canada, would uphold and magnify the military prestige we have won through the years, would give us the most modern and up-to-date fighting force in the world and at the same time save a tremendous amount of money-I think it was said that the saving would be $100 million per annum-I, and I think the people in my constituency, thought that those aims and objects were very admirable indeed, and that this was perhaps what had been

DEBATES April 14, 1967

needed for a great many years as far as our armed services were concerned.

Therefore, in all fairness, at that time in my area of Ontario I think there was a great deal of support for this undertaking which the government was proposing. It is true that there were individuals with military experience, veterans of two world wars, students of military tactics, men who have been connected in different ways with the armed services, who were a little sceptical and questioned this proposal, because the Minister of National Defence who is actively promoting and guiding this new concept had not in previous months been too consistent in his views.

[DOT] (4:30 p.m.)

I do not propose to dredge up all the activities which led to this view. I will simply state that when the present Minister of National Defence was in opposition he was of two minds as to whether or not Canada should have atomic weapons, when he first opposed it and then favoured it, and then when he became minister showed hesitation in equipping our planes overseas with the very atomic weapons which he said were absolutely necessary for a proper operation, and which were a definite commitment made by the previous government, he delayed the implementation of this proposal. Naturally there was some doubt regarding the validity of the claims which the government had made. Nevertheless I will say in all fairness that the majority of the people in Canada, especially those who are not experts in military matters and who only wish their interests to be safeguarded, went along with the proposal which the government made to the Canadian people. In looking back I believe the Minister of National Defence made a cardinal mistake when he refused to answer completely and frankly the questions put forward by the opposition. There is no doubt that he had his own personal reasons for taking this attitude, but it soon became apparent from the questions asked on this side of the house that a growing doubt arose that the aims and objectives of the new proposed measure would be attained.

In fact, grave doubts began to creep in concerning the very wisdom of the action proposed by the minister. As is always the case with any major legislation facing this country, there is much speculation in the press, and many editorials concerning this legislation appear in the newspapers. It became apparent here and there that second thought was being given to this problem by

April 14, 1967 COMMONS

some newspaper analysts, men who had considerable experience in politics and who had the opportunity to visit the various theatres of war during active engagement. These men began to point out the various weaknesses which were beginning to appear in the administration of our armed services. Most members of the house and people across this nation began to realize that not only was this new legislation going to be brought before parliament but that the minister had already taken the first steps in implementing it before presenting it to the house in its entirety.

Naturally the questions from this side of the house increased in intensity. Once again the minister in his wisdom took an evasive course and refused to give us the detailed information which we sought so earnestly. This lack of response from the minister intensified the growing doubt across the nation as to the absolute wisdom of this course of action. Later the question of the drop in morale in the armed services was discussed on the floor of the house, among the personnel in the armed services, in the press, on radio and television. It was charged that a tremendous drop in the morale of the armed services had taken place, that men were becoming very dissatisfied with their jobs in the armed services, and that they were asking to be relieved of their duties. Yet the Minister of National Defence gave us assurances at that time that morale was never better, that all this was mere speculation and that the rumours had no foundation. As a matter of fact hundreds of our R.C.A.F. personnel left the Royal Canadian Air Force at that time; many officers left the armed services. As we have heard in this debate, officers of the highest rank retired a great deal sooner than was anticipated. Still, the minister maintained that all was well.

I think that at that time the people of Canada were prepared to accept the minister's statement that all was well. Certainly the public relations branch of the Department of National Defence was sending out across the country hundreds of thousands of words in support of the minister's proposal. I have great sympathy for the news analysts and political commentators who were bombarded daily with this deluge from the office of the Minister of National Defence. I do not think it helped his cause, indeed it hindered it because the very men who were receiving this deluge of one-sided opinion became increasingly suspicious that if such action was necessary then indeed all was not as portrayed.

National Defence Act Amendment

It is at this time that the eyes of the ordinary citizens were opened because when leave was granted to servicemen they greeted their relatives and friends, whose interest in this issue was aroused through the various means of communication, with their accounts of and opinions concerning unification. It is my opinion that it was at that time that the ordinary citizens of this country became convinced that the constant protestations by the minister and by his department with regard to the morale in the services were absolutely incorrect and that the assurances given in the house that all ranks, particularly the lower ranks in our armed services, supported unification completely were a hollow mockery, because it soon became apparent that such was not the fact. This is why we scanned eagerly the reports at the end of the year to find out how much the enlistment in the armed services increased.

[DOT] (4:40 p.m.)

We find the story has been put on the record, Mr. Chairman, that in spite of the pay increase, in spite of the re-enlistment bonus and everything else, enlistments did not increase but decreased. So, Mr. Chairman, we have this-

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LIB

Paul Theodore Hellyer (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Hellyer:

I rise on a question of privilege, Mr. Chairman. This statement is not correct because enlistments did increase over the previous year, and they were higher than the two previous years. I am sure the hon. member would not want to leave that mistaken fact on the record.

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PC

Harold Warren Danforth

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Danforth:

I am prepared to accept the allegation of the minister at this time, that this statement is incorrect. However, Mr. Chairman, when the various service personnel come home and assure the people that there are tremendous numbers of units that are undermanned, that we have not enough sailors to serve on our vessels, that we have not enough aircraft to defend this country, it is a hollow thing indeed for the minister to say that all is well. This will not serve to satisfy the people who feel they have first hand knowledge.

Now, Mr. Chairman, as a result of a feeling that all was not well across Canada, when this bill was presented to the house the opposition seriously requested the government to consider sending the bill to committee before the second reading stage, in order that evidence could be heard on the principle of the bill before this country was committed to

14956 COMMONS DEBATES April 14, 1967

National Defence Act Amendment accepting it. When this request was not accepted by the government, it added to our suspicion that something was indeed wrong. Since we are not qualified military experts, and since we began to get this idea, that all was not well in Canada, each of us started a search in his own fashion for pertinent information.

What about all these great savings in money that were to take place? We have had put on the record by speaker after speaker facts to prove that not only was there not a saving of $100 million, as there was alleged to be as a result of this action, but expenditures have increased by $125 million or $160 million. I think, in all fairness to the minister, I can recall his putting forth the proposition that had money been worth today what it was when he brought forward his original proposition there would not have been any increase in expenditures. However, when you get down to the facts, Mr. Chairman, we find that not only have we not saved this $100 million, but expenditures have increased by $160 million. If my arithmetic is correct this gives us $260 million or a quarter of a billion dollars by which expenditures have increased.

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?

Mr, Hellyer:

Your arithmetic is not very good.

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PC

Harold Warren Danforth

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Danforth:

How about all this new equipment? We were going to have the finest equipment in the world. Since I am not a military expert, I was interested in the fact we were told we were going to have some of the new types of equipment; we were going to have an armed service which would be the envy of the world. I think the minister did receive favourable comment as the proponent of the jet age, the man who was going to give us everything modern.

We know the story of the attempt to develop the hydrofoil; the disastrous fire and the delay in assessing the damage. Then there was the indecision about whether or not to proceed. There was delay in the purchase of new air equipment and controversy followed. We are in a predicament because we do not know where we are going. To the ordinary layman it seems we are in a period of absolute confusion. I listened to a chap the other night and I thought he advanced a proposition which covered the position of this government. He said it seems they cannot formulate an opinion at this time where they are going because they not only do not know where they are now, but they do not have the faintest idea where they have been.

CMr. Danforth.]

Speaking on behalf of ordinary Canadians, I should like seriously to ask this government and this minister to consider the people of this country, to consider the future of this country. Instead of trying to give the impression that the bill before this house is complete so far as research is concerned, they should allow the House of Commons to work as an important component of parliament. I suggest the minister should listen to the opposition in all seriousness, so that working together in a new session we can bring about, by combined effort, a bill that will indeed work in the best interests of Canadians. As was pointed out by the hon. member for Qu'Appelle, this was accomplished in connection with the transport legislation, another important item of business.

Certainly, Mr. Chairman, the desire to do what is best for Canada does not lie solely within the government. We in the opposition, all parties in opposition, are sincerely concerned about the defence of this country. We are going to have to share equally the responsibility for any major mistakes that are made in connection with our future defence. So, Mr. Chairman, this is a sincere plea on my part for the minister and the Prime Minister to rise to the occasion and put country ahead of partisan politics for the benefit of Canada.

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PC

Cyril Frost Kennedy

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Kennedy:

I see there are only a few minutes left, Mr. Chairman, and I regret this because I have been waiting for some time to take part in this important debate. I can say frankly that as time goes on the debate becomes more interesting. There has been a lot of information divulged and good thoughts have been brought forth. This makes me feel more convinced that we should not proceed with this measure.

[DOT] (4:50 p.m.)

My conclusions derive partly from about 30 years of military connection in full time and part time service, ending on the fields of Normandy. In that regard one of my friends once made the humourous quip that my military career might have been longer if I had been able to get closer to the grass roots. I thought I was as close as I could get to the grass roots. If at that moment I had been two inches closer I should not have bought the package.

I know the evidence of the defence committee, on which I did not serve, was overwhelmingly against the major change contemplated in the bill. People generally I expect are against change. The older we become the

April 14, 1967

more we tend to resist change. The officers who testified had had expert experience, with a lifetime of loyalty and service to the country. Most of them had gone through many experiences. One cannot conceive that they would base their thinking on something that is out of of date. Rather, they were concerned that the right step be taken.

I recall during the war that a proposal was made for officers to be formed into a corps, out of which they would go to various units needing replacements. It was proposed, for instance, that officers with artillery training, with engineering training and so on would be sent to various units to fill vacancies caused by promotion. Had this idea been implemented it would have been disastrous. The step we are about to take, with this bill, is much more serious than that, and needs to be even more carefully considered. We are not considering this measure as a general staff, but as representatives of our nation. We must first think of defence.

Though we are at peace many problems must be faced. Many of those who served in the forces during the war would have nothing to do with the forces after the war. When war came they gladly enlisted and accepted hardships because of the emergency which existed. They hoped that by playing their part they might in some measure shorten the war, and they served without grumbling too much. That is a contribution one cannot expect in peacetime.

I do not think the Canadian people support this major change in the armed forces. It is hard to change traditions, and anything that changes a tradition should be considered carefully. It is said that young people do not care about tradition; I doubt it. I think they should care, and I think they do. When I undertook military training as a young man I did so voluntarily. Reserve units in our area were looking for young people to train, to give them experience as soldiers. There was no remuneration in those days. You packed your lunch on Sunday, walked six miles, trained all day and walked back. You were not remunerated but you felt you had done something for your country, that you were taking your responsibilities seriously as a young man.

I do not think that this government, a minority government, a government without a particular mandate from the people, had the right to take a step as big as is contemplated in this bill. I do not recall support for this

National Disasters

measure being solicited during the last general election. This country cannot maintain forces on a war footing because our resources will not permit it.

I see you looking sideways at me, Mr. Chairman. May I call it five o'clock.

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LIB

Jean-Thomas Richard

Liberal

The Acting Chairman (Mr. Richard):

I assure the hon. member that I had not lost interest in his speech.

Progress reported.

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LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

The house will now proceed to consideration of private members business listed on today's order paper, namely public and private bills.

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LIB

James Carroll Patrick McNulty

Liberal

Mr. Jim McNulty (Lincoln):

Mr. Speaker, may we, by unanimous consent, stand public Bills Nos. 1 to 14 inclusive on the order paper and proceed with public Bill C-52, in the name of the hon. member for Kootenay West.

[DOT] (5:00 p.m.)

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LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Does the house give unanimous consent to allowing orders 1 to 14 to stand, and taking up for consideration the second reading of order No. 15?

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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

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NATIONAL DISASTERS

PROVISION OF FEDERAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO MEET LOSSES

NDP

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

New Democratic Party

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

the second reading of Bill No. C-52, to provide for the Establishment of the Canada Disaster Fund.

He said: I am sure that as I begin my remarks in connection with this bill every member of this house is thinking of the disaster which recently occurred in Femie. As we discuss this measure and the need for legislation to meet the consequences of such disasters as these from a national point of view, I am sure the sympathy of all hon. members goes out to the miners and their families who have suffered so greatly as a result of this mining disaster.

For years the federal government has made contributions to various disaster funds across Canada because in some cases the losses involved obligations beyond the resources of the municipality concerned, and in others they were beyond the capacity of the provincial government in question. I think it is right that these contributions should be made. Not only is financial assistance provided but an

April 14, 1967

National Disasters

indication is given to those who have suffered that their need is recognized all across Canada.

I wish to give full credit for these contributions to the governments which were in office at the time, as well as to members of the armed forces and civil defence units which have been called in on numerous occasions, for example in connection with works to confine flooding in Manitoba, and in British Columbia on the Columbia and Fraser rivers.

After discussing this question with a number of organizations and groups across Canada I am of the opinion that we should set up what I would term a national disaster fund. The bill before us is entitled "An Act to Provide for the Establishment of a Canada Disaster Fund". I suggest that in view of a later development it might be better at a later point in procedure to amend the measure so that it may be referred to as an act to set up a national disaster fund. I will deal with this point shortly. I found after consulting with organizations in my constituency, elsewhere in British Columbia and in Toronto that it was considered by them to be a good idea for this parliament to establish a national disaster fund, and this is why I have introduced a bill to that end.

The purpose of the measure is to meet the problem of deciding at what point a province becomes incapable of dealing with disaster losses effectively, and to determine when a disaster becomes national in scope. The bill sets up a fund to which contributions can be made in advance by federal and provincial governments and by individuals, companies and institutions. The board of trustees each year determines in advance in respect of each province the provincial financial tolerance point above which losses are considered to be national in scope. Should a disaster occur in that province, the board contributes to the province out of the fund in respect of the losses above the tolerance point.

This, in brief, is the general purpose and objective of the present bill. On discussing this matter I find there is general support in the house for what it seeks to do. I recall that on the last occasion it was before the house the cabinet of the day gave some consideration to its subject matter. Since I introduced Bill No. C-52 I have received the following letter and I intend to place it on record for the information of hon. members, and in fairness to the organization concerned.

[Mr. Herridge.J

This is a letter from Mr. A. Ross Little, Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Disaster Relief Fund Incorporated, and it is addressed to me. It reads as follows:

We wish to call to attention the close similarity of the names and objects of this fund and of the fund which you are proposing by seeking the enactment of Bill C-17. We feel quite strongly that there should not be a second fund called "The Canada Disaster Fund" as people might think they are dealing with one fund when in fact they are dealing with another.

We would be most appreciative if you would consider proposing some other name which would avoid such confusion.

I enclose herewith a copy of our act of incorporation and a copy of the press release which was issued when our last annual statement was filed with the Secretary of State and which will give you some idea of the uses to which the fund has been put.

We trust you will agree that it would be in the interests of both our fund and your proposed fund that confusion in regard to the names should be avoided if at all possible.

It is for this reason, Mr. Speaker, that I suggest my bill could be amended at a later date in order that this fund might be called the national disaster fund.

In dealing with this question I wrote a letter to the former minister of finance, the hon. member for Davenport (Mr. Gordon). I intend to place this letter on the record for the information of hon. members who may wish to follow the developments which have taken place since this bill was introduced.

Dear Mr. Gordon:

No doubt you have noted that I have introduced a private bill to provide for a national disaster fund. I have had it drafted so as to escape the Speaker ruling it out of order because it involves the expenditure of public funds. In view of the present uncertainty of the provincial, federal and municipal Governments as to their responsibility, I do think it would provide an opportunity for some discussion of this immediate question.

I would appreciate any information which you could let me have with respect to the disaster funds to which the federal government has contributed during the past ten years. I would also like to know the names of the trustees, if possible, and the amount of the unexpended balances in each case.

Thanking you for any information which you can render an unsophisticated countryman who has ventured into a field of legislation that would, I presume, come within your responsibility and jurisdiction, and I trust your later beneficence.

Sincerely yours,

Herbert W. Herridge

Hon. members will notice my reference to drafting this bill "so as to escape the Speaker ruling it out of order". I had to be very careful in that respect. I went to great lengths and consulted several members of the legal fraternity as to the best way of doing this in

April 14, 1967

order to avoid the Chair's ruling the bill out of order on the grounds that it involved the expenditure of public funds.

In reply to that letter, the hon. gentleman went to considerable trouble to obtain the information I needed and I will quote his reply in order that members may appreciate the circumstances which exist at the present time, and more fully realize the weight of my argument.

Dear Mr. Herridge:

I must apologise for the delay in answering your letter of April 21st in which you asked for information about disaster funds to which the federal government has contributed during the past ten years.

[DOT] (5:10 p.m.)

The information given below has been taken from departmental records and I hope it will serve your purpose. I should mention however, that with one exception disaster funds have been administered by some government or agency other than the federal government and consequently our records show only information about the federal contributions rather than the disaster funds themselves. The exception is the Mackenzie District flooding in 1963; most of the disaster relief funds in this case were provided and administered by the federal government.

This is the information:

1954- Hurricane Hazel.

An amount of $1 million was appropriated in supplementary estimates 1954-55 payable to the government of the province of Ontario. $330,258 was in fact paid during the fiscal year while the unexpended balance of $669,742 was re-voted in 195556; of this latter amount, $434,379 was paid.

In summary then, $1 million was appropriated, $764,638 was paid to Ontario as a federal contribution towards the disaster relief fund, and there was an unexpended balance of $235,363.

1955- Saskatchewan and Manitoba floods.

In the supplementary estimates of 1956-57, an amount of $120,000 was provided for payment jointly to the governments of the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba for disaster relief. The actual payment amounted to $49,549 leaving an unexpended balance of $70,451 which duly lapsed.

1956- Springhill Mine Disaster.

This was a very similar disaster to the one which happened recently at Fernie.

The federal contribution was $25,000 and was paid from funds appropriated in 1956-57 supplementary estimates directly to the Springhill Mine Disaster Relief Fund. There was no unexpended balance.

There rarely is when you come to deal with a mine disaster.

1958-Springhill mine disaster.

On this occasion an amount of $100,000 was appropriated in 1958-59 supplementary estimates and the full amount was paid directly to the Springhill Mine Disaster Relief Fund.

23033-946 \

National Disasters

1959-New Brunswick fishermen's disaster.

A payment of $50,000 was made directly to the New Brunswick Fishermen's Disaster Relief Fund- this was the amount provided in supplementary estimates 1959-60.

1961-New Brunswick floods.

$50,000 was made available in supplementary estimates of 1961-62 and was paid to the New Brunswick Disaster Relief Fund.

1963- Mackenzie District floods, N.W.T.

Supplementary estimates (A), 1963-64 of the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources provided an amount of $1,500,000 for financial assistance in respect of losses incurred during these floods, in accordance with terms and conditions approved by the Treasury Board. Payments against individual claims amounted to $805,471 during the fiscal year leaving an unexpended balance of $694,529. Further assistance was voted the following year in an amount of $400,000 which included contributions towards the relocation of housing and the development of a new subdivision. Payments to date out of this provision total $237,558 -I am told that the accounts for the fiscal year have not yet been closed.

The Council of the Northwest Territories appropriated $100,000 from territorial funds for flood relief and rehabilitation. This money, together with the federal contribution, was disbursed by the chief treasury officer of Northern Affairs who was also acting in the same capacity for the territorial government. With the approval of the Treasury Board, on the recommendation of the territories council, compensation was based on a graduated scale for various categories of appraised damage-100 per cent of the damage to residential real property, 80 per cent of the damage to all personal effects, 70 per cent of damage to commercial stock in trade, and 80 per cent of damage to business real property and equipment.

Apart from the funds provided by the federal and territorial governments, contributions for flood relief were also made by private citizens. I regret, however, that we have no information on file about these funds which I understand were administered by a local flood relief committee. Possibly the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories could give you some information about the activities of this committee if you wish to pursue the matter further.

1964- Port Alberni floods.

A payment of $250,000 was made to the Alberni Valley and West Coast Disaster Fund as provided by 1964-65 supplementary estimates.

Yours sincerely,

W. L. Gordon.

I place that information on the record because I think it will be of interest later on when this subject receives further consideration. I know this matter was discussed within the cabinet this time, and I know there was considerable support for the principle of this bill. I was interested to read in the May 19, 1966, issue of The Manitoba Co-operator the following item:

Disaster Legislation May be Introduced in Ottawa.

The Federal government is considering introducing legislation to cover all types of disasters rather than deal with each one as it arises, Prime Minister Lester Pearson told the house last week.

April 14, 1967

National Disasters

He said the situation has been under consideration for some time and it is hoped that progress in parliamentary business will enable the government to deal with this matter before long.

In the Manitoba flood situation this year the federal government, following the policy set in the 1950 crisis, provided 75 per cent of the flood fighting costs.

I do not know what the government's intentions are at present. I realize, Mr. Speaker, we have got a lull agenda in front of us before this session is prorogued. However, I do trust that this legislation will receive consideration by the government before it introduces its legislation for the coming year. I know there is a great deal of support for this legislation, and once again I suggest that if the government introduces legislation to meet this situation it should recognize the fact that there is this other fund incorporated, known as the Canada Disaster Relief Fund, and introduce any federal legislation as a national disaster fund.

Since the introduction of the bill I have been discussing this matter with some members of the cabinet and with other persons, and I do hope before too long we will see the government take action to introduce legislation along the lines I have suggested in this bill, so that the parliament of Canada will have a rational and, shall I say, logical basis for meeting the needs that occur in any disaster in any part of Canada, in association with the provincial government concerned and the municipality particularly affected.

[DOT] (5:20 p.m.)

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Subtopic:   PROVISION OF FEDERAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO MEET LOSSES
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April 14, 1967