James Layton RALSTON

RALSTON, The Hon. James Layton, P.C., K.C.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Prince (Prince Edward Island)
Birth Date
September 27, 1881
Deceased Date
May 22, 1949
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ralston
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=1e31f4aa-36bd-40a6-a784-7d94f0e97979&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
barrister

Parliamentary Career

November 2, 1926 - May 30, 1930
LIB
  Shelburne--Yarmouth (Nova Scotia)
  • Minister of National Defence (October 8, 1926 - August 6, 1930)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
LIB
  Shelburne--Yarmouth (Nova Scotia)
  • Minister of National Defence (October 8, 1926 - August 6, 1930)
  • Minister of Pensions and National Health (June 19, 1930 - August 6, 1930)
January 2, 1940 - January 25, 1940
LIB
  Prince (Prince Edward Island)
  • Minister of Finance and Receiver General (September 6, 1939 - July 4, 1940)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
LIB
  Prince (Prince Edward Island)
  • Minister of Finance and Receiver General (September 6, 1939 - July 4, 1940)
  • Minister of National Defence (July 5, 1940 - November 1, 1944)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 1993)


November 14, 1957

Mr. Ralston:

But my hon. friend Is adopting Trenton instead of Borden.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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April 9, 1945

Mr. RALSTON:

I am glad to hear that, but if my hon. friend will take the figures which were forecast as being the numbers on hand at the end of each month, add the percentage he has given to-night and thereby arrive at the figure which is actually on hand now, and compare that with the saving in battle casualties he might find that not only does the increased percentage which he has given result from the lower battle casualties, but also that it takes these savings in battle casualties to make up a considerable part at least of the original number which it was forecast would be on hand.

I am emphasizing that if what my hon. friend says is correct, then there ought to be a substantial number of trained reinforcements on hand who could be utilized for the purpose of relieving men who have been in line four and five years, and very greatly increasing the number on rotation leave.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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April 9, 1945

Mr. RALSTON:

It will be remembered that at that time 4,500 additional general service men were to be found out of the general service resources in Canada, and it was proposed that another 500 might be found, provided that the pulhems tests were regraded to some extent. I at that time expressed my dissatisfaction with that, because I thought that we should not lower the grading, and my successor came to the same conclusion. I was wondering if the change that is now made is any reversal of that policy or in what respect the lowering is being made whereby "S.l' is now not as good a grading from the point of view of stability as "S.l" was prior to this change in February.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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April 9, 1945

Mr. RALSTON:

In reference to the figures which have been given by my hon. friend with respect to reinforcements on hand and the lowering of casualties, with what I assume to be a consequent improvement in the reinforcement situation, I was pressing upon my hon. friend the other night this proposition. Assuming that the forecast we were given last November represented a satisfactory situation

War Appropriation-The Army

if it was attained; assuming what my hon. friend has just said, that the situation has been bettered by. the saving of some 12,000 casualties in all arms and about 9,000 or seventy-five per cent of that total in the infantry, then I am asking whether it is not possible to utilize the additional 9,000 for the purpose of granting very much more extensive rotation leave than has been granted so far. I-t would seem to me that this would follow, provided that the situation without taking account of the savings in casualties was as forecast last November.

In that connection I wish to mention to my hon. friend that I think he ought to check the figures and see whether the position would have been as forecast last November if it had not been for that saving in casualties. Speaking in the house the other night my hon. friend said, at page 577 of Hansard:

The principal reason why the infantry situation is better than forecast is, of course, that battle casualties have been lower than estimated, although this has been in part offset by a higher incidence of sickness and other non-battle casualties brought about by the extraordinarily difficult conditions under which our troops have been operating.

I feel that on the figures given by my hon. friend to-night, if I know anything about it, the statement that the principal reason why the infantry situation is better than forecast is the lowering of battle casualties is really an understatement; and I feel that my hon. friend ought to look into the question as to what the position would have been if the battle casualties had been as forecast, to see what the reinforcement situation would have been in that event. I must say that on a quick calculation it would almost appear, but I wanted my hon. friend to cheek, that the situation would be worsened than forecast if it had not been for the decreased battle casualties.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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April 9, 1945

Mr. RALSTON:

My hon. friend says that is being done. The other day my hon. friend stated that altogether some four thousand men had been sent home on rotation leave. I know what the figures were; there was nothing secret about them, and I think I gave them to the house. The fact was that in Italy in November there were probably between ten and eleven thousand men who were entitled to rotation leave, and four thousand is only four-tenths of that number. That was for Italy alone. I am saying that if there are on hand the number forecast in November plus the number which my hon. friend has given as a saving in casualties, then it seems to me, if the programme forecast has been carried out, there should be available sufficient to give rotation leave to. the other six thousand at least. I say this in all seriousness, because this matter was impressed upon me when I was in Italy; it was one of the problems that I brought home with me; and one of the things to which I gave first attention was preparing the plans for rotation leave, which were on the desk of my successor when he took over. As I said to the house in November, just the second day before I retired, we had received assent of an arrangement whereby we could provide transportation. This matter of rotation leave is all important, and I cannot impress too strongly upon my hon. friend and the department the fact that these men ought to be taken care of if there is any actual surplus of trained reinforcements on hand. I am pointing out to my hon. friend that I think he ought to check and see if the surplus really is on hand, having regard to the figures as given to-night.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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