April 15, 1901 (9th Parliament, 1st Session)


Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

here. Now, I would like to say, while I am on this subject, that the call for men in the British Empire, including Canada, is insignificantly small with what it is in other civilized countries. In France, with a population of 38,000,000, there are 112 soldiers per thousand of the population ; in Germany, with a population of 52,000,000, there are 61 soldiers per thousand of the population ; in Russia, with a population of
129,000,000, they have 27 soldiers per thousand of the population, and in the British Empire, including India, Canada, Australia, and all the British possessions, with a population of 386,000,000, there are only 21 soldiers per thousand of the population. If we were to pay according to our total exports we should pay instead of $2,000,000 odd, $21,000,000, if, according to our total expenditure, $16,000,000, instead of $2,000,000 odd, for the defence of this country. Take It in any way you like, either by population, or exports, or expenditure, or per capita, we are only paying about one-tenth of what other civilized nations expend on defence. As I have said, I do not wish to be an alarmist, but we may be called upon at any moment, suddenly, to take part in what may prove to be a life and death struggle for the British Empire. Things are not going along too smoothly either in the east or in the west, and It behooves us as Canadians to take time by the forelock, and, as Lord Salisbury said in his speech before the Primrose League, ' let every man arm himself for the defence of the country.' There is another thing I would like to call the attention of the hon. Minister of Militia to, and it is that we should be in a position to manufacture our own rifles and our own ammunition. I am fully aware that at the present time we have a cartridge factory at Quebec, a factory which is, I believe, carried on in a very satisfactory manner, so far as it goes, but, I do not think that there is in the possession of Canada anything like sufficient ammunition or the amount of rifles that we should have. I am sorry to say that we cannot take the British Isles as an example to follow, for I find, in a most excellent article that I read in the Fortnightly Review some time ago under the heading of ' An Unarmed People,' that the reserve stock of rifles on hand in Great Britain last January was under 1,000. As fast as they are made they are shipped off, and in January last at the Cape in South Africa, for an army of
250,000 men they only had 230 rifles in reserve. That was a scandalous state of affairs. There was another case in which S00 volunteers were sent to the front to take their part against the enemy and rifles were put into their hands the day before they were sent to the front that not one man amongst them had ever handled before, so that it was simply impossible to expect the best results to be achieved by these men under these circumstances. Taking their own word for it, all that the factories in Mr. PRIOR.
Great Britain can turn out, if they are working over-time, are 20,000 rifles a month, whereas, in France, Austria, Germany and the United States, there are several factories that can turn out at least 65,000 rifles a month. We find that Great Britain is very much behind in the position of being able to supply a sufficient number of rifles for a large army.
Now, I feel certain that the government have only to ask for sufficient money to put us in a proper state of defence and readiness and they will find that the people of Canada are in the humour to give them all they ask. I never remember a time since I have been in this House, which has been for a great number of years, that there has been any murmuring against militia expenditure. Whenever the Minister of Militia has asked for certain sums for the militia I have never heard an hon. member get up in this House and say that he thought the amount required was extravagant. I believe that the members of the House are alive to the fact that Canada must take her part amongst the other colonies of Great Britain, and she can only do that by placing herself in a proper state of defence. Lt.-Col. Denison also showed that the sum of from $2 to $5 per head was the amount that was expended by the different civilized nations of the world for the defence of their countries, whereas, Canada, as 1 have already shown, expends only 40 cents per head. Surely the government would not take it amiss if I were to advise them that they should at least spend $1 per head, which would give $5,000,000, and which should be given to the hon. Minister of Militia to expend in the manner in which he thought best to produce desirable results, which would be only half of what other countries expend. In regard to this pension I would ask hon. gentlemen not to be afraid of the amount that it will come to. Before I sit down I intend to read what the English pension list comes to, but even that would amount to very little indeed if granted to the men who would call for it. If a Pension Bill were brought in now, I believe it would be some three or four years before a single man could claim the pension under this list that I shall read. I hope it is intended by the government that no man shall be allowed a pension whatever until he has served twenty years. Any man who leaves the service under that time will be young, and it should not be considered that he is entitled to any pension, at least, not in a country like this, but, when a man has served twenty years, I think he is entitled to a pension and a good one. I would draw the attention of the House to the fact that no man ought to get a pension unless the Minister of Militia is satisfied that his conduct has been good for the whole time during his service.
With regard to the number of men which Canada has sent to South Africa, we are liable to boast in this country that we have

done very well, but I can tell the House that If we sent the same number of men in proportion to our population that the British Isles sent, we would have sent thirty thousand men to South Africa instead of the three thousand that we did send. Great Britain sent 200,000 men, and in proportion to our population we would have sent
30,000. We could have got 30,000 meu in Canada, and we could get 30,000 to-morrow, if their services were needed in defence of the empire. I presume that the mind of the minister (Hon. Mr. Borden) is made up pretty well as to what measure he shall submit to parliament, but if he should think of asking for anything which might be considered too small, there may be time yet for him to do full justice in the pensions. I have here the scale of pensions in the British army, taken from the Royal Warrant, and with the permission of the House I will read this document, in order to give an idea of what pensions are paid in the British army. I may say that I have turned the pounds, shillings and pence into dollars and cents, so that we may understand them more readily :
N. C. O.'s and Men-Seale of Pensions. 1160. Permanent pensions shall be granted, under the conditions laid down in Articles 1151 to 1159, according to the following daily scale, less (subject to Article 1209) a deduction of 1 cent a day, for every complete year of service rendered before the age of 18 (' service ' reckoning), as laid down in Article 1145, and ' qualifying service,' as laid down in Articles 1146 and 1147 : Non-Commissioned Officers-With not more than 21 years total service, and with the following continuous qualifying service immediately preceding discharge, or the completion of 21 years total service :-______
Class. 12 years As Sergeant. 50 rt h - S Sf >>
s CjCZJ X 6 years As Sergeant. 3 years As Sergeant.cts. cts. cts. cts.1st 66 60 54 482nd 60 54 48 423rd 54 48 42 36
Privates-With not more than 21 years' service, and with the following qualifying service :-
Class. 21 years. 20 years. 19 years. 18 years. 14 to 18 years.5th cts. 26 cts. 24 cts. 22 cts. 20 cts. *16-20
*1 cent being added for each year of qualifying service more than fourteen years.
These would be ridiculously small pensions for men in this country, where wages are very much higher than they are in Great Britain, and when the minister takes this matter into consideration, I would ask him to at least double these pensions, which are paid to non-commissioned officers and men who have served in the British army.
Combatant Officers.
515. Scale of Retired Pay-Voluntary Retirement
(subject to Article 511).
Second Lieutenant, Lieutenant or Captain,
after 15 years' service $ 600
Major (having substantive rank as such), with three years' service in his substantive rank-
After 15 years' service $ 600
After 25 years' service 1,000
Lieutenant-Colonel or Colonel (having substantive rank, not below that of Lieutenant-Colonel, with three years' service in his substantive rank-
After 15 years' service
1,250After 27 years' service
1,500After 30 years' service
1,825After completing the term of employment as substantive Lieutenant-Colonel or Colonel, in our cavalry or infantry on retiring as a Colonel at the age of 55, if he held that rank on the 31st December, 1890, or was liable to retirement under Article 518-1
526. Retirement of Combatant Officers generally on account of Medical Unfitness, and Scale of Retired Pay.
Second Lieutenant, Lieutenant, Captain or Major (with substantive rank as such).
If not Caused by Military Service (after 12 and not exceeding 15 years' service). -Retired pay equal to half-pay for such period only, not exceeding five years from the date of retirement from our , army ; after five years on half-pay (under Article 306), as our Secretary of State shall determine, according to the
merits of the case Yearly
After 15 years' service $ 600 "
In the case of a Major, after 25
years' service 1,000 "
If Caused by Military Service.-$1,000 a year, less $50 a year for each complete year of service less than 20, the minimum retired pay being, however, a rate equal to the half-pay of his rank. (In the case of an officer, at least 40 years of age, who was promoted from the ranks after having served not less than 10 years therein, the minimum retired pay shall, it the officer is retired as above, be $750 a year.)
All ranks above that of Major.-Same rates as for voluntary retirement, except that the condition of three years' service in the rank shall be omitted.
524. Retirement on Account of Age.
Second Lieutenant, Lieutenant or captain
(45 years) $1,000
Major, having substantive rank as such
(48 years) 1,500
Lieutenant-Colonel, having substantive rank as such or regimental rank (55
years) 1,825
(Or any higher rate to which the officer -would be entitled under Article 515-Voluntary retirement.)

Colonel, *with substantive rank (57 years), if not employed in a colonel's appointment (see Article 40)-
Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers and
Army Service Corps 2,250
Cavalry and Infantry 2,100
If employed in a Colonel's appointment (see Article 40) after the 31st December,
1890, and retired at or after the age of 57. 2,500
Pensions for Widows, &c.-Officers.
642. Pensions may he granted to the widows, and compassionate allowances to the children, of commissioned officers of our army dying either on the active or retired list, after the 30th June, 1881, at the following yearly rates, subject to the rules and limitations laid down in Articles 627 to 641-II ; and at twice the rate of compassionate allowance to each child, in the event of the children being motherless and in great pecuniary distress, provided the total amount granted to the family does not exceed the limit laid down in Article 640 :-
A. Ordinary Pension.
Colonel, provided he has been employed in a Colonel's appointment if a combatant officer, or in the rank of Colonel if a medical or departmental officer, after the 31st December, 1890 ; or, if a regimental Colonel, not being a General
$500 $80Colonel, not employed as above after the 31st December, 1890 ; or Lieutenant-Colonel
450 80Major
350 70Captain
250 60Lieutenant or Second Lieutenant_____ 200 50
There are other pensions given to the intermediate ranks, which I will not take up time to refer to, and there are also certain gratuities granted, hut this list which I have read gives a very good idea of the pensions and allowances in the British service. The Minister of Militia no doubt has studied the British pensions perhaps more fully than I have, and with greater ability, and he must have come to the conclusion that there is nothing in these pensions which is at all exorbitant. Indeed, any one who gives the matter study must believe that these pensions are not too much for the men who have so well upheld the honour aud credit of Canada, and who are ready to do so in the future. If the minister (Hon. Mr. Borden) brings in a proper pension Bill he will make for himself a name in Canada that he will be proud of in days to come. Those who have studied the question will, I am satisfied, come to the conclusion that it is only a matter of justice to these men that they should have pensions. They are poorly paid ; they are men of intelligence ; they are men of probity ; they are the best class of men you can get in Canada, and surely it Mr. PRIOR.
is the duty of this country to see that they should be paid equally as well as men holding similar positions in any other branch of His Majesty's service.

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