Of course you have been there for a long time, but you have outworn your usefulness. So I say the time now has come when we must ask ourselves these questions. Are we properly prepared to defend ourselves? It is all very well for us to gloss over these things; nevertheless the over-all picture becomes very important. The Minister of National Defence has hesitated to make available certain information to the committee. I believe we are adults capable of thinking for ourselves. There is nothing that would arouse a greater national consciousness of our ability to defend ourselves than complete frankness with this House of Commons. If our position were explained it would help to stimulate a regard for our obligations as citizens. I do not think the minister is overburdened with the number of people who are offering to enlist. Advertisements appear in the various journals and appeals are made over the radio. I do not think a frank revelation will bring any comfort to the enemy.
Do not let us fool ourselves. We have only one potential enemy and the Kremlin is already aware of our defence position. I am reminded of the dark days of the war when we were all cautioned against saying anything about the departure of troop ships. It is interesting to note that the shortwave radio in Germany always broadcast the date when a troop ship was leaving. That is only a smoke screen. Let us have the facts. We want to know that the money is being properly spent because it is being advanced by the taxpayers of Canada, not by this government. We want to know the money is fulfilling the purposes for which it was intended.
Some very proper questions have been directed to the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton). I presume that in due time he will answer all of them. I was much impressed yesterday afternoon with the remarks of the member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes), a man whose background and training fits him not only to ask these questions but to advise any committee the minister may set up to deal with this matter. Mr. Chairman, this is a very grave moment in our 29087-153J
Supply-National Defence history. We have certainly projected ourselves into the future as a power capable of holding our own should the necessity arise. These are the questions that were asked by the member for Nanaimo and I intend to read them into the record. They will be found at page 2397 of Hansard. I am reading these questions to make sure I receive the answers I am seeking.
Topic: DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE