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


Mr SAM. HUGHES (North Victoria).

I regret, Mr. Speaker, that a severe cold will render my remarks not very audible to the House, but perhaps some hon. members will not share my regret and will rather rejoice that I am not able to enter at any length into the very interesting question which has been so ably presented by my hon. friend from Victoria, B.C. (Mr. Prior). I was very much pleased to find in the person of the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat (Mr Boss), a former Minister of Militia, and also that he is true to the principle which, as a Liberal, he advocated away back in 1874. In that respect, I think he occupies a position of splendid isolation among his colleagues. The hon. gentleman took credit for the establishment of the Royal Military College at Kingston, which we in Ontario had always supposed was the work of our good friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright). But to whomever the credit may be due, it is an institution of which Canada has a right to feel proud, and concerning which the remarks made by our hon. friend, who has just spoken, will meet with hearty appreciation on this side.
I agree with the hon. member for Haldi-mand (Mr. Thompson) that a permanent corps is undoubtedly necessary in this country, not as a fighting, but as an educative force. For the last ten or eleven sessions I have endeavoured to show, to the best of my poor ability, that in order to be successful in war, a country must depend on its volunteer force and militia, but none the less we must have a permanent corps, and one, I believe, even larger than the one we have to-day, as an educational institution ; and in order that this corps may be composed of the very best men available, I would urge on the attention of the Minister of Militia one or two requisites. The men must be well qualified and be better paid than they are now. What are the facts . Although comparisons are odious, I cannot refrain from making one which is very apt. A third-class clerk enters^ the civil ser\ ice without any special training, and compare the salary of such an official, who does not require any special training, but has only to pass a trivial examination, with that paid, not to a second lieutenant or a first lieutenant, but a captain in the permanent corps. And what are the conditions of the latter ? Every one knows that the conditions attending our permanent corps are very extravagant. A visitor calls at the barracks, and if not entertained, he goes off and says Mr. ROSS (Victoria).
that the permanent corps fellow is a chump and discredits him up and down the country. These men have to maintain an expensive uniform and do a large amount ot entertaining that really should be charged to the country and not to themselves. I would respectfully direct the attention of the minister to the fact that the pay of these oflicers is absurdly low-nothing like what is paid third-class clerks in these departments. I trust that in the new Bill, which the hon. gentleman promises us, he will not only provide for a pension but also for increased pay. I am very grateful to my hon. friend from Victoria (Mr. Prior) for the kindly reference he made to myself, but I must take exception to one of the statements he made, and one which was briefly touched on by my hon. friend from Haldi-mand That statement was that the officers of the permanent corps were rightly and should be chosen in preference to the officers of the ordinary active militia in times of active service.

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