When I was speaking earlier this afternoon I asked the minister if he would answer this question: With the world situation as it has been pictured this afternoon and our obligations under the United Nations charter and the Atlantic pact, there seems to be a very good possibility that we shall have to supply troops, other than the Korean brigade, at some future date. The Minister of National Defence has said that in case of hostilities the permanent force will have the role of training other forces. Therefore they will not be available to go out of the country. If we are engaged in Korea the Korean brigade will be occupied there. I ask the minister what plans the government has to provide the forces we would be called on to supply, having in mind the delay of about six to eight months that has been necessary to get the Korean brigade ready. If we have no trained forces we shall require a lapse of about six to eight months to prepare
Defence Appropriation Act them. Have we some plan to get around the delay of six to eight months, or do we plan on always taking that period of time to prepare forces if we are ever asked for them in the future under the Atlantic pact or by the United Nations Organization?
There is another question I asked and which I have not had answered. On June 26 last I asked the Minister of National Defence whether he did not consider that we required a division for the defence of Canada. At that time he said no, that he and his department considered that the brigade group we have at the present time was quite sufficient. Now it has become evident that we have never had a brigade group as such. We have three airborne battalions that have never worked together, have no headquarters and no signal section, and would require several weeks- the hon. member for Nanaimo estimates it would be closer to two months-before the brigade group could fight as a formation. Therefore since June 26 up to the present time we have not had the brigade group which the minister assured me that we had on that day in the house, because it has not been an effective fighting unit. I also want to ask him how long it will be before the brigade group is ready to fight as a unit in the defence of Canada.
Topic: DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic: PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY