MACMILLAN, The Hon. Cyrus, P.C., M.A., Ph.D.

Personal Data

Queen's (Prince Edward Island)
Birth Date
September 12, 1882
Deceased Date
June 29, 1953
dean, professor

Parliamentary Career

March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
  Queen's (Prince Edward Island)
  • Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence for Air (April 1, 1943 - June 6, 1946)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 17)

April 5, 1945


I understand it does.

Topic:   A'PR'IL 4, 1945
Full View Permalink

April 5, 1945


It is difficult to predict the number who will apply for university training. The universities of Canada at present are not adequately equipped for in-

War Appropriation-Air Services

creased numbers, but they are making provision for the necessary equipment, in; accordance with the demands that may be made, in extending buildings, laboratories and teaching personnel.

Topic:   A'PR'IL 4, 1945
Full View Permalink

April 5, 1945


With reference to the remarks of the hon. member for Yorkton (Mr. Castleden), it will be interesting to the committee to know that the universities of Canada are making every possible provision for these men and women when they come back. We expect thousands of them to apply for university courses. Because of the nature of air force work, the educational standard is, in general, higher than in the other services. It is estimated that over sixty per cent of the men in the air force have had junior matriculation or, better, senior or two or three

years at college. There has been a break of from one to four years and these men and women will have to pick up their education where they left off. In my own university, for example, over 300 have come back this year; 220 came back in January. Instead of having one date for registration at the beginning of the college session, the universities have now changed that to three dates; in other words, if a man is mustered out in December he does not have to wait until next September to begin his college course. Provision is made to have him begin his course in January and again on the first of June. In two calendar years he covers three years of college work. His course is accelerated. I am sure the committee will be glad to know also that the impression these men have made on the university authorities throughout Canada has been excellent. During the war years, as we know, the number of women students has largely increased while the number of men students has decreased, and in the interests of the future of the country it is absolutely essential, as the hon. member has said, that provision be made for the continued education of these young men when they return. Some went overseas at the age of eighteen or nineteen, and they are coming back at the age of twenty-two or twenty-three to resume their interrupted studies. Our experience is that for the first few days they find life a bit strange; but, to use their own language, they get back on the beam quickly and they stay on the beam. It is my opinion, and the opinion also of others who have come in contact with them, that these young men will be the stabilizing force in this country. They must be cared for and1 guided1, and no expense should be spared to carry them forward to their objective; otherwise we are heading for disaster. These young men have given evidence of industry, diligence and seriousness and they are disciplined. They are the greatest asset that this country possesses at the present time.

Topic:   A'PR'IL 4, 1945
Full View Permalink

July 27, 1944

Hon. CYRUS MACMILLAN (Parliamentary Assistant to Minister of National Defence for Air):

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the

Minister of National Defence for Air it is my proud privilege and honour to inform the house that the highest decoration for valour, the Victoria Cross, has been awarded posthumously Edward David1 Hornell, of Mimico, Ontario, formerly residing at Harbord street, Toronto.

With the consent of the house I should like to place on Hansard the citation referring to the gallant and distinguished conduct of Flight Lieutenant Homell, on the night and day of June 24 last.

Flight Lieutenant Hornell was captain and first pilot of a twin-engine amphibian aircraft engaged in anti-submarine patrol over northern waters.

The patrol had lasted some hours when a fully-surfaced U-boat was sighted travelling at high speed on the port beam. Flight Lieutenant Hornell at once turned to the attack. The U-boat altered course. The aircraft had been seen and there could be no surprise. The U-boat opened up with anti-aircraft fire which became increasingly fierce and accurate.

The front guns of the aircraft replied; then its starboard gun jammed, leaving only one gun effective. Hits were obtained on and around


Victoria Cross-Lieutenant Homell

the conning tower of the U-boat, but the aircraft was itself hit, two large holes appearing in the starboard wing.

Ignoring the enemy's fire, Flight Lieutenant Hornell carefully manoeuvred for the attack. Oil was pouring from his starboard wing; and his petrol tanks were endangered. Meanwhile the aircraft was hit again and again by the U-boat's guns. Holed in many places, it was vibrating violently and became very difficult to control.

Nevertheless, the captain decided to press home his attack, knowing that with every moment the chances of escape for him and his gallant crew would grow more slender. He brought his aircraft down very low and released his depth charges in a perfect "straddle". The bows of the U-boat were lifted out of the water; it sank, and members of the crew were seen in the sea.

Flight Lieutenant Hornell contrived, by superhuman efforts at the controls, to gain a little height. Fire in 'the starboard wing had grown more intense and the vibration had increased. Then the burning engine fell off. The plight of aircraft and crew was now desperate. With the utmost coolness, the captain took his aircraft into the wind and, despite manifold dangers, brought it safely down on a heavy swell.

Badly damaged and blazing furiously, the aircraft rapidly settled. After the ordeal by fire came ordeal by water. There was only one serviceable dinghy and this could not hoid all the crew, so they took turns in the water holding onto the sides. On one occasion the dinghy capsized in rough seas and was righted only with great difficulty. Two of the crew succumbed from exposure. An airborne lifeboat was dropped to them but it fell some 500 yards dowm 'wind.

The airmen struggled vainly to reach it and Flight Lieutenant Hornell. who throughout had encouraged them by his cheerfulness and inspiring leadership, proposed to swim to it, though he was nearly exhausted. He was with difficulty restrained. The survivors were finally rescued after they had been in the water twenty-one hours. By this time Flight Lieutenant Hornell was blinded and completely exhausted. He died shortly after being picked up. Flight Lieutenant Hornell had completed sixty operational missions, involving six hundred hours flying. He well knew the danger and the difficulties attending attacks on submarines. By pressing home a skilful and successful attack against fierce opposition, with his aircraft in precarious condition, and by fortifying and encouraging his comrades in the subsequent ordeal, this officer displayed valour and devotion to duty of the highest order.

The members of the crew who died with him were Donald Stewart Scott of Almonte, Ontario, and Fernand St. Laurent, of Father Point, Quebec. The surviving members of the crew are Bernard Charles Denomy, of Chatham, Ontario, who was awarded the Distinguished Service Order; Graham Campbell, of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross; Sidney Edward Matheson, of Nelson British Columbia, who was awarded the Distinguished

*lr. Macmillan.]

Flying Cross; Flight Sergeant Israel Joseph Bodnoff, of Ottawa, who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal, and Sidney Reginald Cole, of Long Branch, Ontario, who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal.

May I add just one word, Mr. Speaker? We rejoice, I am sure, in the rescue of the living; we deeply sympathize with the kindred of the dead. This story of courage which I have just read is typical of the spirit of Canada. May it live forever as a perpetual inspiration in the heart and memory of the land they loved, Canada, the land they died to save!

Full View Permalink

July 27, 1944


1 and 2. No.

3. Not applicable. .

Full View Permalink