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Showing 215 total results (11 pages) for National Defence Act other place:

November 24, 1949

PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

...place, and there are other parts of the maritimes in addition to Halifax. Supply-National Defence

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING INSTITUTION AND CONDUCT OF PROSECUTIONS, ETC.
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May 16, 1950

LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence) moved

...national defence. National Defence He said: Mr. Speaker, when the resolution preceding this bill was before the house on April 18 and when the bill was given first reading I stated the objectives of the bill, as reported on page 1681 of Hansard. I stated at that time that the bill had been dealt with in the other place where it was introduced at the last session of parliament and where it received third reading on December 8 of last year. However, the prorogation of parliament prevented our proceeding with the measure in this place and consequently it was necessary to introduce it here. That was done by a resolution which was pult on the order paper on February 21, and, as I have said, first reading of the bill was given on April 18. When the measure was before the Senate and during the debate on the defence estimates last session I indicated that it was the intention of the government, 'if the bill received second reading, to refer the bill to a special committee of -the house to be set up, if that was the wish of the house. Accordingly notice has been given in Votes and Proceedings of May 12 of the intention to set up such a special committee. If this bill receives second reading it will be the intention of the government to send it to that committee. It is also our hope that Bill No. 134, to amend the Militia Pension Act and change the title thereof, will receive second reading when it will be referred to the same committee. Finally there is a third measure in the form of a resolution which deals with prize money. If that resolution is adopted and the bill to be based on it given second reading it will be our intention likewise to refer that bill to the proposed committee for consideration. Therefore the committee, if the motion is adopted, will have to deal with all three bills relative to defence. . 1 do not wish to delay the house further in its consideration of this measure beyond making a few remarks to outline the history of this type of legislation. The first Militia Act of Canada was passed in 1868, the year after confederation, as chapter 40 of the statutes of that year. The act has been revised on a number of occasions but there has been very little substantial change. The present Militia Act is chapter 132 of the revised statutes of 1927. The antiquity of the measure may be appreciated when I recall that, until the passage of an amendment that I introduced in 1947, the Militia Act referred to pack animals but made no mention of aircraft. The Militia Act in its present form does not contain a code of discipline for the Canadian army but by reference incorporates into Canadian law the Army Act of the United Kingdom. Turning to the legislation relative to the navy, the first Naval Service Act was passed in 1910 as chapter 43 of the statutes of that year. It remained in substantially the same form in which it was passed until 1944 when, by chapter 23 of the statutes of that year, a completely new act was passed. That statute introduced a Canadian naval disciplinary code. This was the first Canadian code to apply to one of the three armed services, and it has been used as the basis for drafting many of the provisions of the present bill. The first legislation dealing specifically with the air force was the Air Board Act of 1919, later known as the Aeronautics Act. This act dealt with both civil and military aviation. The expanded activities of the Royal Canadian Air Force in the late war resulted in the enactment of the Royal Canadian Air Force Act in 1940. Unlike the Naval Service Act, but following the precedent of the Militia Act, this act contained no disciplinary code. As in the case of the Canadian army, discipline in the air force is governed by the Air Force Act of the United Kingdom which was made a part of air force law by incorporation. Under the Militia Act, the Naval Service Act and the Air Board Act each of the Canadian forces was administered separately. The department of militia and defence dealt with the army, the department of naval service with the navy, and the air board with the air force. In 1922 the Department of National Defence Act was passed creating a new department to deal with the three services. This act was chapter 34 of the statutes of 1922, and came into force by proclamation on January 1, 1923. The Department of National Defence Act has been amended on four different occasions. The principal amendment, made in 1940, provided for the appointment of additional ministers of national defence. Experience gained during the last war showed clearly the need for more unified control and greater uniformity in the three services. Further, the present position and status of Canada make it undesirable to depend for the discipline of our army and air force upon legislation enacted by a legislative body not responsible to the people of Canada. Accordingly, soon after becoming minister I directed that work be commenced on the preparation of a single all-embracing Canadian statute to include a common disciplinary code applicable to all three services. I have previously partially explained to hon. members the course we followed in drafting the measure. It has been in the course of preparation now for some three

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CONSOLIDATION AND REVISION OF EXISTING
Sub-subtopic:   CODE OF SERVICE, DISCIPLINE, ETC.
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March 14, 1950

PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

...other side of the house notes saying "Please do not ask any more questions." That is the situation when only one member tries to ask a few questions requesting details in connection with defence matters; he is howled down by the large number of government members in this house and every means really is taken to try to get him to desist. Under these circumstances it is quite obvious that we must have some other means whereby the large expenditures for this department can be properly examined. The only means by which that can be done, as far as I can see, and the only means that anyone has suggested so far as I am aware, is a standing committee on defence. About a week or so ago I received from a reserve force officer a letter in which he mentions several matters in connection with defence. He is a man whom I had known overseas; as a matter of fact, he is an old friend. The letter contains this sentence: Is there no meansi of discussing defence questions and putting up contrary views to those of army headquarters without publicity? In writing back to him I was obliged to say, of course, that there was no means. That letter would indicate that members of the reserve forces who are thinking on this matter and who have ideas which are contrary to those of the constituted authorities would like to see some means whereby those ideas could be brought to the attention of the minister and the defence chiefs and their merits discussed with those people. There just is not any means of anything like that being done at the present time. It is another indication of the necessity of there being some way in which members of this house can put forward their ideas and the ideas they pick up from other people who are interested in defence matters, and at least have an opinion on these contrary ideas expressed by the heads of the defence services and reasons given why, in their opinion, they would not be practical. (Mr. Harkness.] One other matter I should like to say something about is that of civil defence, and I have spoken about it in this house on numerous other occasions. We have never obtained from the minister or from the government any satisfactory information in connection with what was being done, nor have we been told whether anything at all was being done. All we have ever heard was that General Worthington had been appointed to look into the matter and to report upon it. Last year when the defence estimates were up for consideration the minister said that this matter of preparing any plan for the defence of the civilian population in the event of ordinary bombing, atomic bombing or any other sort of attack, or preparing a plan for the evacuation of our large cities and so on was a matter of timing. I am prepared to agree with that statement; it probably is a matter of timing. The impression was left, however, that the time had not arrived for us to do anything along that line. Nevertheless, a large number of people think that the time has not only arrived when we should be doing something fairly definite, but is long past. A mere perusal of the newspapers during the last few months will indicate that there is a constantly growing awareness on the part of the general public of the necessity for plans for civilian defence being put into operation or at least for getting further along than this investigation-and-report stage at which the matter rests now, as far as we know. A committee such as the one we are advocating would be the appropriate place where a question of that sort could be discussed, where the suggestions and ideas which members receive from their constituents right across Canada could be put forward and brought to the attention of the heads of the defence services, and where they might be, we will say, prodded into action on something definite. The hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes) mentioned the act with respect to national defence which was introduced in the other place last year and which will come to us in this chamber for consideration this year. As to that act of last year, the minister indicated that, in his opinion, it would have to be dealt with by a committee. There is no committee of this house which is adapted to deal with that act. It seems to me that if, in the minister's own opinion, this long and important act is to be dealt with by a committee, the only choice the government has is to appoint a committee on defence to take the matter up; and as a result of that act coming in at this session, it seems a singularly appropriate time to institute or inaugurate a standing committee of the house on defence. I hope that the government will pay to the arguments we put up now on this matter, and which we have put up in past years, the attention which they deserve, and will proceed to some action with regard to setting up this committee.

Topic:   PROPOSED SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL DEFENCE
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November 24, 1949

LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Deputy Chairman:

...National Defence. The discussion we are having now is a repetition of the general discussion we had the other day, and at times it has even a greater scope than the discussion that took place on the first item. Therefore I ask the co-operation of all members of the committee in confining their remarks to the item under discussion, item 250.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING INSTITUTION AND CONDUCT OF PROSECUTIONS, ETC.
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March 14, 1950

CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. P. E. Wright (Melfort):

...defence. It seems to me that there are a great many other members who, like myself, have little information on what our defence situation is in this country. It is true that the estimates on defence have been brought into the house and discussed each session; but quite often it was in the latter days of the session, when discussion was limited, and we did not obtain all the information we should like to have had with regard to this matter. Today we are spending a large proportion of our budget on defence; it is a much larger proportion than we have spent in the last two years. This year, as a matter of fact, we are spending $425 million plus whatever supplementary estimates there may be, plus whatever we may be spending on research work, and whatever we may be spending in the matter of atomic energy: in all, the amount will probably reach some $500 million. It seems to me that in the world as it is today, with the forces of evil there are in existence, we in this house should pay more attention to our defence estimates and should try to ascertain whether we are getting the most for the money we are spending in this respect. I have no doubt that the government are trying to do the best they can, and that they are trying to see that the dollars they spend are being spent for the best purpose. Nevertheless, we get a little bit alarmed when we read in the papers, as we did the other day in the Montreal Gazette, I think it was, that when certain officials were brought before study groups of government members in this house, the matter which the government members seemed to be most interested in was the patronage they might get out of defence estimates rather than the best service they could get. This report has not been denied; and it seems to me that, under the circumstances, we should have a committee of this house before which we could call in officials of the defence department and see that we are getting the best for the money that we are spending on defence. Prior to the war-I believe it was in 1939 -we had a defence purchasing board set up under a special act of parliament. When the war broke out the duties of this board were turned over to the Department of Munitions 14. 1950 733 Proposed National Defence Committee and Supply, and that department did the purchasing for the armed forces. After the war the duties of purchasing for the armed forces were turned over to the Canadian Commercial Corporation instead of being turned back to the defence purchasing board under the old act passed in 1939. By the way, this was a fairly comprehensive act and it gave a great deal of protection to the government and to the people of this country in the purchases that were being made My reading of the act under which the Canadian Commercial Corporation was set up leads me to believe that we have not the protection that we had under the defence purchasing board in seeing that there is no patronage in the matter of defence and that we get value for every cent that we spend in purchasing for the defence department. There is also the matter of civilian defence. I believe General Worthington was appointed to make an investigation and report to the government as to what should be done with respect to civilian defence in Canada. Up to date, so far as I know, and I think as far as every hon. member knows, we have very little information as to whether anything definite has been done. In a war such as we might have, should there be a third war, and we all hope that we may not, with the use of bombs, atomic bombs and H-bombs, the matter of civilian defence becomes very important, of much greater importance than it ever was in former times. We should be organized. We should know what is taking place with respect to civilian defence, not only to relieve the minds of our people, not only to see that this matter is being taken care of, but to see that the civilian population is not left defenceless. These are just a few things which I think should be discussed in a committee of this house. The idea is a good one. We would be in a much better position if we had our defence estimates referred to a committee, and if we, as members of parliament, through a committee such as this, took a greater interest in our defence, and through our interest transmitted it to the people of the Dominion of Canada.

Topic:   PROPOSED SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL DEFENCE
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May 16, 1950

?

...acts to which I have referred, the Militia Pension Act, the bringing about of a state of war in Canada, the mobilization of the Canadian armed forces, the demobilization of the forces, and many other measures of great importance and complexity. In all these duties he has rendered the most loyal service, and in a very real sense the bill now before us is a lasting monument to his own achievement and work. It will be found that the bill has 251 sections. It incorporates in its terms legislation which comprised over 600 different sections. Therefore it is not only a consolidation, of existing legislation but also a considerable simplification thereof. It is intended in the bill to give effect to the experience of the Canadian armed forces during the two world wars. We have also taken into account the experience of the United Kingdom where a committee was set up under Mr. Justice Lewis which has made a most important report to the government. We have also taken into account the experience of the United States where a committee appointed by my friend, the late Hon. James Forrestal, reported to the secretary of defence and as a result led to legislation which in many ways is parallel to that now before this house. The importance of the legislation can hardly be overemphasized. Not only will it provide for the administration of the Department of National Defence, the discipline of the armed forces, the work of the defence research board and many other matters but in view of the increased and increasing importance of defence, as I believe hon. members will recognize, there is a real urgency that we should have streamlined legislation to regulate these important matters. Of course at the present time the legislation affects the 48,000 odd officers and men in the active forces, the 49,000 in the reserves, and to a considerable degree the 24,000 civilians working in the Department of National Defence, a total population of something like 120,000. In the event of war its importance can be appreciated when hon. members recall that we had in the armed forces of Canada in the last war no less than 1,200,000 men and women who, National Defence during their periods of service, were all governed by the provisions of legislation which the bill will now replace. As I said to hon. members, the legislation received the most serious and painstaking consideration by a committee in the other place. In consequence a considerable number of amendments, largely of a technical character or affecting the wording, were made. The bill now before the house includes all these amendments without any alterations, but in addition it contains certain sections which were not considered in the other place because we were advised they dealt with money matters. They are sections 10; 11; 12(4); 36; 53(3), (4) and (5); 54(a) and (d); 55; 190(9); 208 and 227. We were advised that those clauses dealt with money matters, with which the other place did not deal, so they are coming before this house for the first time. The bill also has a number of minor technical changes made on the advice of the law officers of the Department of National Defence and of the Department of Justice since the measure passed the other place. The result of all this work is now before the house. As I believe I indicated previously, this is the eleventh complete draft. I have been through the drafts five times myself, and it has received the consideration of senior officers of the armed forces, of the chiefs of staff committee, of a special committee of the cabinet, the cabinet defence committee, and of the cabinet itself on a number of occasions. It has also been subjected to critical examination by officers who had previous experience in the armed forces of Canada. Despite all the work that has gone into it, however, we do not suggest for a moment that the bill is perfect. It is an exceedingly difficult, complex and comprehensive piece of legislation. We have made it as simple and plain as we can, but certainly it can be improved. We hope the house will adopt the suggestion I have made and refer it to a committee consisting largely of men having service experience in one or other or both wars, who will then receive the views of the legal advisers and any relevant service personnel; and I have no doubt they will be able to make a number of improvements. We want the best possible act, and we invite the co-operation of every hon. member of this house, as well as those in the other place, in the interests of greater justice for the services, greater efficiency for the department, and more security for Canada.

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October 13, 1949

LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. Gibson (Hamilton West):

...other members who were desirous of speaking on the motion. The last speaker has asked what was the purpose of the act. In the first place we are, under the act, repealing an old act that has been on our statute books for a good many years and which dealt not only with national forests but with national parks; and we are bringing the legislation into line with the present program of the government. We also have five experimental stations on which forestry research is being conducted, and experiments are being carried on in the matter of forest conservation. This bill will not override the National Parks Act or the Indian Act, but if it is at any time later deemed advisable to declare some of the dominion lands to be national forests, it gives us power to do so. There is no immediate intention to do so. For example, we have an experimental station on the military area at Petawawa. While that land belongs to the Department of National Defence, through negotiations with that department we maintain an experimental station there. The hon. member for Peel asked if we had had any previous consultation with the provinces. While I was not in this department at the time, I understand that the appropriate ministers of all the provinces except Prince Edward Island submitted a brief to the government as far back as 1943, asking practically for what is now provided for in this bill. Subsequently the matter was informally discussed with each of the provincial governments, so that they would know what it was proposed to include in the bill; and I am informed that the majority, if not all, have expressed strong approval of this measure.

Topic:   FOREST PROTECTION AND EXPERIMENT, CONTROL AND MANAGEMENT
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November 24, 1949

PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. George A. Drew (Leader of the Opposition):

...place and the obvious impatience of some of the members to dispose of these estimates in itself indicates how desirable it would have been if an orderly procedure before a committee could have been followed. This is only the third time these estimates have been before the house. They were up on November 11, November 18, and now today. Members of this house do not know today what the state of our defence forces is; they do not know their readiness or otherwise to fulfil the part which the Minister of National Defence says Canada has decided it should play in the joint responsibilities that we have assumed. Hon. members of this house have been given the details as to the cost of certain items. They have been given percentages of training which, in themselves, mean very little unless we examine the details of the units that are involved; the standard and quantity of equipment now in the possession of those units; and the extent of the training in the various weapons they possess. The procedure before a committee makes the process of question and answer much more effective than it can be in this chamber, although I want to say that the minister has indicated his readiness to answer the questions which have been asked. By the procedure which we are now following, we could not obtain the real facts about the national defence forces of this country in three weeks, let alone three sittings of this house. Three months would probably be the amount of time needed under the procedure which we must follow according to the rules of the house. For that reason, I propose to ask certain questions which indicate the nature of the information which it seems to me we must have if we are to have any idea whatever of the real state of the defence forces of this country. [Air. Smith (Calgary West).] It does not help greatly to know that an anti-aircraft gun with its equipment costs $600,000, unless you know how many antiaircraft guns we have; unless you know what their radar equipment is; their range finding equipment; their directional equipment; their sound range devices; and all the control equipment that goes with a modern aircraft battery, and the training of the men on each one of those instruments that is associated with an anti-aircraft gun. Unless I am mistaken, I heard a remark in regard to Russia; and I assume that it meant that Russia would like to have this information. The time has come, Mr. Chairman, when we should recognize that the only people we are fooling are the people of Canada if we do not get all the facts with regard to our national defence. Our capacity to assume whatever role we undertake to assume within that great international partnership created by the North Atlantic security pact depends upon the equipment, the training and the suitability of the various units that we have established, having regard to the conditions which we face today. The Minister of National Defence within a day or so leaves for Paris to take part in discussions there which will, we hope, divide the field of responsibility in a way that will make it possible to economize-and I underline the word economize-in expenditures on national defence so that every dollar spent may produce the maximum results. It is no more possible for the members of this committee to pass real judgment on the extremely large figure which is now before us, without knowing certain of these details, than it would be for the Calgary Stampeders to know whether their season had been well spent until they knew that they had certain players who were going to take their place in the line on Saturday, whether some of the members see the game or not. After all, it is only an expansion of the same idea. A military organization is a team. In fact, in the United States during the war there came into use a term which seems remarkably appropriate for the whole defence picture. The forces had what they called "combat teams". These are defence teams. Our job is to know whether we have players for every position on that team, whether he has had the training he should have and whether he has the equipment which will carry him through the game. First of all, let us take the land forces. Statements have been made as to the proportion of our population that is taking its share in the defence forces of Canada. When certain questions were asked, the answer given was that our reserve units had a total enlistment which, in relation to our population, constitutes a higher percentage of the population as a whole in the non-active units than any other nation of the commonwealth. That statement, Mr. Chairman, is absolutely meaningless and it is misleading unless one examines what the situation is in other nations of the commonwealth. Let us take, for instance, the situation in the United Kingdom. Apart from what the views of any hon. member may be in regard to one method of dealing with defence requirements or otherwise, the fact is that the United Kingdom has compulsory military service. Consequently you must examine, in the light of that fact, any figures of proportion of the population taking part in defence; and also you must examine the figures in the light of the responsibilities that are being assumed by the active units in the United Kingdom. Today the United Kingdom has six and a half divisions fully equipped, ready for service outside the United Kingdom in different parts of the world right from Burma to Hong Kong. She has other units in being, fully equipped. There is a provision that every man or woman having served with the active forces must, on retirement from the active forces, serve for four years with the territorials. These are things that it is essential to know in making any comparison or when we are deciding on what the allocation of our forces should be, and whether we should emphasize one branch of the service or the other. One of the most important statements that have been made since these estimates were called on November 11, if not the most important one, was the statement by the hon. member for Nanaimo that there should be a drastic reorganization of our defence forces in Canada. He stated then that, while he was not presuming to adopt a precise figure, his estimate of the appropriate relationship between the air force and the land army was three to one. The Minister of National Defence obviously misunderstood what he had said, because he took that statement up and said that if you took the figure that is being expended on the land forces today, and multiplied that by three, you would reach a figure that would be out of the question. The speech of the hon. member for Nanaimo was perfectly clear on that point. What he said was that there must be a drastic operation, a reorganization, a change in the composition of the units, and that there must be an emphasis on the air force in relation to the infantry, having regard to our possible position in the combined defence organization upon which the peace of the world rests In the years ahead. Supply-National Defence Without reducing any of this discussion to personalities, may I emphasize the fact that we are particularly fortunate in having in the membership of this committee some men who are in a position to speak to us with regard to national defence matters. When the agriculture estimates were before us, there were in every part of the committee highly .. qualified farmers who were able to ask the Minister of Agriculture various questions based upon their own highly skilled experience in that field. When matters relating to public health are before the house, we have in different parts of the house men whose own medical experience gives them special qualifications. Now that we are dealing with national defence estimates, we are in the position of having men here who are able to speak with a high degree of qualification. There is no other man in this committee with the background of experience of the hon. member for Nanaimo. There is no other member of this committee whose personal service has covered so wide a range of military experience. I do not want to make any comparisons but, after all, let us examine the background of this infantry officer, this permanent force soldier, who tells us that there should be a drastic reorganization and a reduction in the emphasis on infantry and an increase in the emphasis on the air force. Here in this chamber are two men entitled to wear the highest decoration for valour in the world, the Victoria Cross. These are the hon. member for Nanaimo and the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING INSTITUTION AND CONDUCT OF PROSECUTIONS, ETC.
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November 24, 1949

?

...National Defence 251. Defence research and development, subject to allocation by the treasury board, and to authorize total commitments for this purpose of $24,439,660, including authority notwithstanding section 29 of the Consolidated Revenue and Audit Act, to make commitments for the current year of $21,679,660 and commitments for future years of $2,760,000 against which commitments it is estimated that actual expenditure in 1949-50 will not exceed $21,179,660. Pensions and other benefits- 827. To authorize the governor in council to increase the pension granted to Captain Joseph McNaught MacCallum under the Militia Pension Act effective August 2, 1947, by including for purposes of calculation of his pension the amount of dependents allowance that would have been paid to his wife had she not been a member of the Canadian Women's Army Corps during the period June 30. 1944, to December 6, 1945, $1. 828. To authorize in respect of members of the Royal Canadian Air Force on leave without pay and serving as instructors with civilian training organizations operating under the British Commonwealth air training plan who were killed, payment to their dependents of amounts equal to the amounts such dependents would have received under the Pension Act as amended had such service as instructors been military service in the armed forces of Canada, less than the value of any benefits received by such dependents under insurance contracts which were effected on the lives of such members of the Royal Canadian Air Force by or at the expense of the civilian organizations, $6,690. Demobilization and reconversion- 829. To provide for the defence forces of the navy, army and air services, and to authorize total additional commitments for this purpose of $14,991,500, including authority notwithstanding section 29 of the Consolidated Revenue and Audit Act to make commitments for the current year of $6,661,500 and commitments for future years of $8,330,000 against which additional commitments it is estimated that actual additional expenditures in 1949-50 will not exceed a further amount of $4,778,000. 830. Defence research and development, subject to allocation by the treasury board-further amount required, $3,133,900. 831. To authorize, notwithstanding the provisions of the Army Benevolent Fund Act, and the Consolidated Revenue and Audit Act, release of $16,415.13 held by the president of the regimental funds board, on behalf of certain non-permanent active militia and reserve units which were not placed on active service during world war II, to the governor in council for such distribution as he may determine, $1.

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November 24, 1949

CCF

Clarence Gillis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Gillis:

...actory. While the hon. member for Calgary East asks a great many questions and makes a great many accusations, neither he nor the minister says anything about what is going to be done to cure the situation. It is for that purpose that I get to my feet. Supply-National Defence I think there are several things wrong. In the first place, I do not think the Department of National Defence can be effectively and efficiently run by one minister. There is no one man in this country, I do not care how well qualified he is, who can undertake the responsibility of administering the affairs of the army, the navy and the air force on the scale that we are organizing them today. As long as we have just one minister and one parliamentary assistant, we are going to continue to get the kind of thing that we are getting, as exemplified by what has happened on these estimates. It is rather unfortunate that the minister, the Prime Minister and the members of this committee are obliged to get their information from the Financial Post, or some other newspaper, with regard to a matter that directly affects the security of this country. I am not blaming the minister for not knowing about this matter because he did not know when this matter was raised. Neither did the Prime Minister. While the minister says that there is no suggestion at all of a leak anywhere in the film board or in any other government department, the fact that Kenneth Wilson had that story before the minister, and that it was published in that newspaper two days ahead of the dateline of that newspaper, proves to me conclusively that there is somebody talking in the film board, the minister's department or somewhere else. Otherwise, where did Kenneth Wilson get this story that he had in the Financial Post? As members of the House of Commons, I think our first concern is to ascertain whether the minister, with one parliamentary assistant, has an impossible job on his hands in trying to keep track of all of the ramifications of this department. In the second place, the national film board does not come under him directly. It comes under the Minister of Reconstruction and Supply. I am suggesting that we should determine whether we need more ministers, whether we need that department broken up, or whether we should have sufficient personnel put there to assure us that the responsible minister, coming into this house to answer our questions, has at least time enough to handle the affairs of the department and to know some of the answers, or whether we need maybe another parliamentary assistant for naval affairs and one for the air force who will take some responsibility with regard to answering in the house questions pertaining to the administration of the navy or the air force. I think the minister is in an impossible position in trying to keep track of all these matters. It was not yesterday that this film board became suspect. We remember the espionage trials. We remember Freda Linton, and the position she occupied on that board. We remember the chairman of the board who is no longer in this country. But the thing I am concerned about with regard to the board is the way the personnel are employed. They do not go through the civil service. I believe the chairman of the board has the right to hire and select all personnel. According to the answer given in the house this morning by the Minister of Reconstruction and Supply, he is now chairman of the board as well as being the minister responsible for the operations of the board. Because the Minister of Reconstruction and Supply is plenty tangled up in housing, I cannot see how he can keep his finger on the technical work that some 500 people are doing, and expect to be informed in the matter. In my view the board should be brought under the civil service commission. The time to screen government employees is not after they are hired; they should be screened when they are taken in. If the civil service commission were employing members of the film board they would be screened when they were employed. Employees have the right to take part in competitive examinations, at which times they are supposed to give their background; and they are screened on the way in. I think it is an improper procedure to employ 500 people over whose employment the government had no jurisdiction, and then to ask the R.C.M.P. to screen them. These people handled educational films for the Department of National Defence and for other organizations in Canada during the process of fighting a war. In my view the board should be brought within the control of the civil service commission, and they should be screened on the way in. The R.C.M.P. screened them. Who screened the R.C.M.P.? One could go on and on and on with that sort of thing. My suggestion is that the board should be placed under the civil service commission. It is an imposition to ask the Minister of Reconstruction and Supply to accept the responsibility for the operation of the board, and to be responsible to the house for what it does. With all due respect to his capacity, I do not think he can do that kind of job; it would be an impossibility. It would be unfair to expect the Minister of National Defence to keep his finger on everything pertaining to defence. I have said that no suggestions were made. I shall make two, the first of which is that there should be a check on defence to see if it is not necessary to have someone to assist the minister in keeping his finger on all the machinery of defence. My second suggestion is that instead of screening employees of the film board after they are employed, they should be screened on the way in. Perhaps the reason we do so much screening lies in the fact that in the whole set-up there are too many patronage appointments. Sometimes the commission appears to me as just a smoke screen behind which people hide in order to make patronage appointments. Then, with regard to defence matters, and the organization set-up, may I say I believe the minister-or someone for him-has done a good job in the preparation of "Canada's Defence Program", which has been set before us. I am pleased to see that in the report he stresses the fact that it is a defence program. Not only that, but as best he can he tries in this document to dispel references to the inevitability of war. I liked that feature of it. There can be no defence of this country by ourselves. We would not be able to defend our long coast lines, and our defence program will have to be linked up with those of other countries in the event of this continent or country being invaded. Our link-up with the United States in the North Atlantic pact gives us that assurance. The point upon which I am critical, and which has not been stressed, is that of research. The hon. member for Nanaimo and others have discussed the development of airfields and matters of technical research. I shall not repeat what they have said; but in the breaking down of the defence dollar, instead of giving more of that dollar for research purposes the amount has been cut down by one per cent. This is done in the light of the fact that technical personnel will be expected to fight the next war, and the greatest development will be in the air. The amount allocated last year was six per cent, while this year it is only five per cent. In my view it should be at least ten per cent. Then at page 25 of the defence program set out by the minister we find something upon which no stress has been placed during this debate: In the second world war the Canadian forces had one motor vehicle for every four men and one wireless set for every twelve. All three services use equipment like radar, predictors and other complicated electrical and mechanical devices to a degree that is not commonly recognized. Of the officers and other ranks, no less than 74 per cent require special technical qualifications recognized as such in their service. Greatest bottleneck in meeting a future emergency would not be in raw materials or tools or industrial know-how, still less would it be in trained sailors, soldiers or airmen; it would be in trained tradesmen. Steps are being taken to increase their numbers. Supply-National Defence I do not know what steps are being taken in central and western Canada, but I do know none has been taken in the maritime provinces. I leave this thought with the minister-because I think he is absolutely right-that there are approximately 260,000 unemployed in this country, of whom most are young and many are service personnel from the last war. While great stress has been placed upon university education, and while the wonderful job done in that direction has been mentioned frequently in the house- and properly so-let us remember that the minister is correct in his analysis when he states that in another war trained tradesmen will be perhaps more essential than service personnel, as we understand them today. What this country lacks from coast to coast, and has lacked for a long time, not only in the field of defence but in the whole economy of the country, is a well-developed vocational training program through which people would be trained in the trades. While we may try to be a university country, with everyone a doctor, a musician or a journalist, we will still need the hewers of wood and the drawers of water, the people who create the wealth. We are doing very little to develop those people. If the Department of National Defence could augment what is being done in the field of vocational training by the Department of Labour, and the little the provinces are attempting to do, it would be a good defence investment. While the minister has stated that steps are being taken to provide permanent service personnel with married quarters, the present situation leaves much to be desired. There are still many service personnel right here in Ottawa and in other centres in Canada where there are concentrations of the permanent force, men with wives and children, who are paying $60 a month rent. They are not living in barracks, and they are placed at a terrific handicap. The program in this respect should be stepped up, because we cannot have happy soldiers or other service personnel unless they are in homes where they may have some comforts and are able to meet the rent. My chief purpose in speaking was to bring to the attention of the committee the fact that I do not think one man can handle the many tasks which have to be handled by the Minister of National Defence. Secondly, I should like to draw attention to the fact that there has been a lot of talk about the film board. I know that this particular group defended that board and advocated increases in their appropriations, but during the past few years there would appear to have been laxity on the part of the government in progress made I am sure 'he will see that we Supply-National Defence properly supervising the personnel employed. We owe it to them and to ourselves to clean up the matter as quickly as possible. We should either give the film board a clean bill of health and assure the people of the country that they are working for us and can be trusted, or the whole thing should be folded up until such time as we can do that.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING INSTITUTION AND CONDUCT OF PROSECUTIONS, ETC.
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November 18, 1949

PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. George A. Drew (Leader of the Opposition):

...defence. In the debate which has taken place on external affairs, the unanimity of the members of this house with regard to the necessity of Canada being associated with the other free nations in every way necessary for the purpose of combining their strength to assure peace in the years ahead was recognized. The very fact that we are called upon to consider estimates for an expenditure of $383 million for defence is conclusive evidence that there is no thought in the mind of the government or of anyone else thal a mere expression of the desire of people for peace, or mere association in a common purpose, will in itself, bring that peace which is the highest desire of every human being. For this reason we must examine these estimates in the light of the position which Canada has taken as a member of the north Atlantic community of nations, and the commitment which that implies. These estimates must be considered not merely in terms of the amounts appropriated, and their being spent in the best way, but also as part of the important problem of our playing our part in saving civilization itself. When the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) was introducing these estimates he said: "Members will have it in mind that today is Remembrance day." These estimates first came up for consideration on November 11. It seems to me particularly fitting that the estimates of the Department of National Defence should come up on Remembrance day. Each year on November 11 we are called upon to remember the many men who died in the free lands of the world because they had not been prepared for the defence of their country when war broke out, and also because they had not understood what the exact situation was. If there is one message above all others which should come to us from those whose memory we commemorate on November 11, it is that there is no substitute for a precise examination of the facts, and that no pleasant statements as to what we have achieved can be a substitute for the reality of that measure of combined strength which is the one hope for peace in the years ahead. This does not mean the figures before us may be inadequate. It may well be that they are too high, having regard to the agreements we have made with other nations, and to the fact that our commitment, which has been clearly stated by the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson), is to contribute our share in the best way we can, having regard to our strength and our facilities. The Minister of National Defence went on to say, "We learned again that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom." I think no one will question that statement. Eternal vigilance, however, is not merely keeping one's eye open to see what the other man is doing. Eternal vigilance implies also a constant supervision and a constant examination of our own ability to assume whatever role may be imposed upon us by the commitments that we as a democratic nation have freely undertaken. Our objective is peace. I am certain that no member of the politburo in Russia, which constitutes the small, compact dictatorship over the communist masses of the world, has any doubt that the supreme and only objective of the nations of the Atlantic community is peace. Any suggestion on their part that the North Atlantic security pact is an aggressive association of the western nations is of course hypocrisy, pretence, and an attempt to convince their own people that there is some reason for the tremendous military preparations going on within their own borders. Our objective is peace, and we have been told that the large sums we are called upon to approve in this committee are the price that we must pay for preserving peace. But dollars will not preserve peace; it is what the dollars buy. We shall only play our part in the common cause, as the United States, the United Kingdom, France and the other nations will only play theirs, if the money that is spent-whether it be dollars, pounds, francs, lire, or any other currency-is effectively used for the purpose of preparing within each country that organization which can most effectively take its part in this great international team which has its mind only on the continuing peace of the world. Those ceremonies which took place last week should indeed strengthen our conviction as to the importance of an association of this kind, backed by a well-trained organization for that purpose within each country. That also was the great lesson that came to us from the other wars. I use the word "wars", because both the first world war and the second world war could have been avoided if those nations which believed in peace and believed in the right of every nation to determine its own course had combined their 45781-123 Supply-National Defence strength, had stood together and had said to Germany or to any other possible aggressor: Let there be no doubt that we mean to preserve our freedom. Undoubtedly the leaders of Germany moved in 1914, as they moved in 1939, because they had come to the conclusion that the free nations were neither ready nor willing to defend themselves with all they had. Germany paid the penalty for that mistake, as did the rest of the world at the same time. If there is one thought that should be uppermost in our minds as we examine these estimates and what these estimates imply, and what lies behind the dollars and the words therein set out, it is that war could have been prevented in 1914 and in 1939. The job of all of us is to do what we can within our sphere of responsibility to keep that lesson in our minds and before our people, and to make sure that never in our lifetime shall it be forgotten. It is with this thought in mind that I should like to consider not only the estimates that are before us but the statement that was prepared and presented to the house on November 11. This document, which can in fact be called a white paper, covering "Canada's defence program" for 1949 and 1950, purports to give "Information on defence". That is the opening heading, under part I on page 5, and it is the stated purpose of the whole document. I should like to examine some of the things that are said in this white paper because I intend to repeat my appeal to the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) and to the members of this committee for the setting up of a standing committee on national defence which can obtain the information that is not now available to us and will not be available to us even if we sit in committee of the whole to consider these estimates from now until next May. The reason I say that is this. Under the rules of procedure, no machinery is provided by which we can obtain the information that would give these estimates and this explanation any real meaning to most members of the committee and to the thirteen and a half million people of Canada whose future so largely depends upon what they really mean. On the first page of the report, but the fifth page of the document, I find these words: Defence is no longer the concern of the soldier alone. It is the concern of each individual. May I repeat that these are the words given to us by the Department of National Defence. Defence is above all the concern of each member of this committee. We shall not be doing our duty unless we make sure that Supply-National Defence a procedure has been adopted which makes it possible to discuss the subject of defence with real knowledge of our objectives, of the plans that are being made, of the adequacy of what we are doing, and of what can be done to avoid any waste of money and to make the most effective use of the huge sums which are being allotted for this purpose. I would refer to these words which appear on page 6: Canada has a great stake in international security and stability. Every Canadian has a great stake in international security and stability. There is not a mother or a father in Canada with young children today who does not look at these children and wonder whether in the years ahead they are to be called upon to take part in world tragedies which have been shared by two generations of Canadians. Within this house are many veterans of two world wars. These men, who have seen the ghastly destruction of war, have seen their friends, their brothers, those they knew best of all, blown to oblivion by the ghastly instruments of war, are the ones above all others in this country who are conscious of the need of doing everything within the realm of human possibility to prevent the recurrence of a supreme tragedy of that kind. May I repeat that Canada as a nation not only has a stake in security and stability, but mothers and fathers-indeed everyone- no matter what their age may be today, look at the papers and at the disturbing headlines, and can only interpret the news they read in terms of the possibility not only of war but of the conceivable end of our civilization as we know it, if the combined sanity and the combined strength of the free nations are not fully associated in the most effective way for the preservation of the peace that was bought by the blood and the agony of the youth of Canada and of other nations who won such a decisive victory in 1945. It is in this frame of mind and from this point of view that I urge hon. members to examine these estimates, and not to take any statement for granted, not to be prepared to pass from this subject until they know, and really know, what is being done with this enormous sum of money. As has been pointed out, it is no longer the job of the soldier alone, and it is not enough to be told that the military experts tell us this or that. This is the job of every Canadian, and we are the representatives here of the people of Canada. Let us pass to the stated defence objectives which appear on page 11. In paragraph 17 we find this statement: In 1948 Canada's defence alms and objectives were set out as being: (1) to provide the force estimated to be necessary to defend Canada against any sudden direct attack that could be or is likely to be directed against it in the near future. This is our first objective. Before we pass on these estimates it is our duty to know how close we are to that objective. How far have we gone in providing the force estimated to be necessary to defend Canada against any sudden direct attack that could be or is likely to be directed against us in the near future? How many infantry battalions are there in the active forces with their complete complement of weapons and equipment? Unless you know that, you have no idea at all of how ready the infantry are to take their part. How many artillery units have their complete complement of machines, of range-finding instruments, of controlled devices, of all the technical instruments that go with that service under the present establishment, which will be suited for the employment of that unit in active combat? How many hon. members know that? If they do not know, they cannot pass on these estimates with any appearance of reality in relation to the stated objective for which the money is being allotted. How many of our armoured units have the machines of war and the equipment and all the control and communication devices that are required by an establishment for 1950- not 1945? If you do not know, you cannot pass on these estimates with any real knowledge of what they imply. How many of our engineering units have the establishment required for 1950 and the years beyond? How many of our signal units, how many of our army service corps units, how many of the other units of the infantry have their establishment and could move into positions to meet the first test set down? I think many hon. members guess the answer, and if they do, it is all the more reason why right now, today, the government should say that a standing committee will be set up where the military experts may be examined and where industrial experts and those who are associated with the nonpermanent units as well, the reserve units, could be brought here to express their opinions; because I would remind hon. members that many of the greatest developments in effective mechanism for defence came not from the military experts but from those who could not be included within that rather limited group. We need only to recall that in the first world war the decisive weapon was the tank, and that it was not the result of the advice of the experts. The experts all said it could not be used, and blocked it. There was a young minister named Churchill who used a device which perhaps may not conform strictly to parliamentary practices. Hon. members will recall that he succeeded in having the tanks developed by including an estimate for land units of the naval force. It was under that appropriation the tanks were developed and were ready for the first attack in 1916. In the second world war the great test as to whether there could be an invasion of Europe was the possibility of establishing beachheads at places where there were no natural ports. There again a civilian named Churchill had put forward the_ idea of what came to be known as Operation Mulberry. Of course he had had a fairly extended experience in military affairs; but he certainly was not one of those who would be included within the group known as technical military experts. Hon. members can think of many suggestions which have ultimately taken form and which came originally from the drafting boards of industry, suggestions which came from the ideas of amateur soldiers thinking in unconventional terms. Now, for years after the end of the war-or what we are pleased to call the end of the war-the time has come to bring some of those unconventional brains before a committee to see what ideas have emerged from the thinking of the people of this country as to the way in which, with the greatest economy and effectiveness, they can play their part in the task lying before us in this field. I suggest that unless we have such a committee we are simply giving a blank cheque, without accepting, and insisting upon accepting, the responsibility which is ours in connection with one of the most important duties of this parliament acting as a collective body. We are told in this same document that the only kind of war which could involve Canada would be a war with communism. At the present time that is the only foreseeable war. At page 11 the white paper goes on to say that the best way to achieve victory in any war is to defeat the enemy in his own land, and that the right place to defend Canada and what Canadians believe in is as far away from Canada as possible. This is the statement of the Department of National Defence as to their concept of our national military role. I ask hon. members to consider just how ready our present defence forces are to fit in with that role. Whether it is the right role or whether it is not, it is the Supply-National Defence role placed before us as the stated role of our forces. And only to the extent that our forces fit into that picture is this money being properly spent. I cannot see any shading of the meaning in these words at all. If our objective is to play our part within the terms now put before us, then the test as to the appropriate expenditure of every cent of money must be this: How close does this expenditure come to producing the results which are put before us in the statement of the Department of National Defence? At page 12 there is a statement with which I am sure every hon. member will agree: Our defence policy assumes that our armed forces will be used in association with those of friendly powers. That of course was what the Secretary of State for External Affairs was emphasizing yesterday. It goes on to say: The defence of Canada and the defence of western Europe are ultimately one operation. It is necessary, if we consider how well the money is being spent, that we have at least an estimate of what types of units, what types of equipment, and what particular emphasis on a particular service, will best fit our defence forces to that requirement. The report goes on to say: The development of these three phases must proceed at a pace which will neither be so slow as to leave us unprepared at any point, nor so hasty as to overburden the economy with the production of war materials much of which would become obsolete. I believe everyone will agree with this- certainly with the latter part of it. But let us examine the first part of it, where it states that we must not be so slow as to be unprepared at any point. On this 18th day of November, 1949, are we prepared at any single point to meet the requirements stated by the Department of National Defence? Any hon. member who, through his association with military units in this country, knows something of what the situation really is, can give the answer, and he knows it is one which is not satisfactory in relation to the enormous figure before us. The report refers to our being unprepared "at any point". All right; let us take this point in the history of Canada. On November 18, 1949, how ready are we, not only with any branch of the service but with any unit of any branch of the service, to take the stated part that has been placed before us? Every member who is passing on these estimates should know the answer, or should have the assurance that he will know the answer when we consider the estimates in detail. I make that qualification 1938 Supply-National Defence for this reason, as I pointed out in an earlier debate: that the expenditure of money is effective only to the extent that it is made with a knowledge of the facts and the real purposes for which the money is being spent. We must know exactly what the position really is-and not just accept the statement that we are spending so much money, and that our men and women in the services are well trained, and have a high morale. We know all that. It is because we have young men and women of demonstrated ability, it is because we have young men and women of whom we are proud, young men and women capable of undertaking any task placed before them, that we should insist upon knowing what is really being done to prepare them-and this is the only reason they are in uniform-for the defence of this country and the maintenance of the collective freedom of our civilization. On page 12 we find this subheading, "Immediate defence of Canada". It is stated that while there is little likelihood of any direct attack, our services should be planned -and I quote: -to meet an attack upon the scale that would be likely to be made at any given time as part of a war involving the north Atlantic treaty powers. To meet an attack at any given time-that is the test we must apply today. We know that we are not ready in all respects, and we can expect that. But we must know to what extent. We must know where the emphasis should be placed. We must know where the job needs to be pressed most vigorously. We must know what real readiness there is at any given time to deal with this matter. Then it goes on to say that for this particular type of attack we should have jet interceptors and anti-aircraft guns backed by a relatively small but highly trained, efficient and mobile force of ground troops. I think that Canada must devote its attention so far as ground troops are concerned to developing a small but highly trained, efficient and mobile force of ground troops. It is this type of force that will meet the possibility of the kind of attack on our own soil which is contemplated by the survey of the Department of National Defence. It is this kind of force that would be suited to joint operations on land with the other powers which, because of geographical position and larger populations, would be called upon to provide the main body of the land forces. No matter what the position is today, what will it be next year; what will it be in 1951 and 1952, if we say that we have a small and compact land force capable of doing the job for which it is intended and for which we are allocating the money? That is the question. It was to this that I referred a few minutes ago. At this particular time we cannot greatly change the allocation of money, whether we should wish to do so or not. Because of the interruption of the last session for certain important public purposes, the business of the house was not completed, and we are now dealing with estimates which ordinarily would have been dealt with many months ago. We know that in practice most of this money has been spent or already committed. For this reason we cannot change greatly the amounts that will be spent in this current year. But this is the time for us to make sure that the mechanism is provided which will permit us not only to review what is being done now and the picture behind it, but also to consider the estimates next spring with the kind of knowledge that we should have before passing upon future expenditures on this scale. It is for this reason that my remarks are directed again to the importance of having a standing committee in which details could be examined which simply cannot be effectively dealt with in committee of the whole. On page 13 reference is made to the nucleus theory which has been adopted in regard to the reserve or nonpermanent units. On that page I find these words: Canada's peacetime forces, besides being prepared for home defence, must contain the organization and administrative nucleus of the larger forces which an emergency would eventually require. I think everyone will agree with that. But how much do we know of the extent to which the organization of those peacetime forces are suitable for the projected needs of 1950, of 1955, of 1960? How far have those forces departed from the organization of 1949? One of the greatest difficulties after every war- and history shows this-is to shape the thinking of the Department of National Defence-this applies to every country-away from the experiences of the last war. It has never been different. Men are inclined to interpret the needs of the future in terms of their war experience. Usually it is only by bringing fresh and unconventional minds to an examination of the task that there is a break from the conditions applicable to the war that was fought some time previously. In the military exercises between the two world wars the units were fighting over and over again in peacetime exercises the battles that had taken place between 1914 and 1918. Many of the exercises being carried on today are carried on as though they were incidents in the war of 1939-1945. The needs of these forces, the organization of the forces, the (Mr. Drew.] expenditure of money on the forces, are things that should be examined by this committee and recommendations made. It is not going to be a small task. It is going to be an important and continuing task, and that is why there should be a standing committee which will study continuously this extremely important subject. On going through this report I find that constantly emphasis is placed upon the readiness of the forces to meet the various tasks that are placed before them. On page 16 I find a statement which seems to me to be symptomatic. It is in these words: Canada was able to put her defences on a postwar basis more rapidly than most other countries. Do we know whether or not that is correct? I am not suggesting that we are being deliberately misled by anyone, but do we know exactly what our position is today? If any hon. member does know exactly, then I am sure he is in a more favourable position than most hon. members of this house and most of those now serving in uniform in different parts of Canada. I find these words on page 18: The adequacy or inadequacy of defence expenditures depends on the appreciation of the international situation. That is the guiding factor in everything we do; everything must fit into the pattern of what is best suited in relation to an appreciation of the international situation. We are told about the high cost of war equipment, and a few examples are given. (Everyone knows that war equipment is extremely expensive, and undoubtedly the few figures given do indicate how costly this program is. On page 20 I find this statement: In unification and co-ordination Canada has been making continued progress and our place in the forefront of this field has been shown by the way in which steps taken first in Canada have subsequently been taken in other countries. Let us be extremely proud of what we are doing as Canadians, but unification in itself is not an end; it is only a means to an end. Unification is effective only to the extent that the forces unified constitute an effective force to meet the stated requirements of our defence program. I submit that this statement is meaningless unless we know what is being unified, in terms of our real military requirements at this moment. It is not difficult to unify simply from the point of view of structural organization. The unification which presents the problem is the unification of forces in an effective form for a defined purpose; and I am convinced that we have not before us information that would Supply-National Defence give that statement any meaning to us at this time. It is repeated in another way on page 21: The test of Canada's system of organizing defence lies in the fact that unification has proceeded farther and duplication of function has been more thoroughly eliminated than in any other western country. That is a fairly broad statement, and when we read it I think we must examine the situation as it has been exposed in at least one service, by the Mainguy report, which dealt under very limited powers with the situation in the navy. When we speak of organization, one statement in the Mainguy report should be remembered, not merely for the purpose of criticism but in order to realize how necessary it is that we go behind general statements of that kind. On page 50 of the Mainguy report we find these words: . . . several important administrative departments were treated as though they were temporarily refuges for temporary misfits, rather than as fields of endeavour for the best available experts. This statement hardly suggests the high degree of skill in administrative organization implied in the statement to which I have referred. After all, these are not my words; they are the words of a commission appointed by the Minister of National Defence. They come under the heading "Headquarters staff", that portion of the organization which becomes an integral part of any co-ordinated direction of our defence forces. It is a serious indictment of those responsible for administration, if the statement is correct; and after all, it was put forward in a report which has been generally commended/ as a fair and accurate interpretation of what was found. I repeat it: "Several important administrative departments were treated as though they were temporarily refuges for temporary misfits, rather than as fields of endeavour for the best available experts." All these departments are under one minister. If there is anything in the Mainguy report which imposes upon us a responsibility for securing wider knowledge in regard to the land and air forces, it is this statement, if it is to be accepted as accurately representing what was found. A headquarters staff that is a temporary refuge for temporary misfits, no matter how small may be the percentage of temporary misfits, is not the kind of staff which will produce effective co-ordination and unification, regardless of what the documents may appear to produce. I suggest that this in itself is good reason for a thorough investigation of this subject. But, Mr. Chairman, if there were one thing above all others that would suggest the need for study by this committee now, not several Supply-National Defence months from now, it is the fact we have been told that a comprehensive and long national defence bill, which will bring about sweeping changes, is to be placed before this house. At page 22 of this report I read: Its enactment would mean that Canadian defence matters would be dealt with for the first time entirely by the Canadian parliament . . . I emphasize those words, "would be dealt with entirely by the Canadian parliament." It would be the first time. Defence matters have not been dealt with by the Canadian parliament, with knowledge of the defence problems, for many years, because the information has not been available. There is nothing in the act itself which assures that result. The only thing that will assure it is the setting up of a standing committee of this house which can examine these matters and this bill. I hope there will be no suggestion of this bill being dealt with in the remaining time available this session, because its implications are far too important and the effect of the changes much too far-reaching to be dealt with before we have an opportunity to examine experts as we cannot examine them in this house. Words are often used to conceal information rather than to give it. I do not think any Canadian reading this document has any more information about the real state of our defence forces than he had before it was presented on November 11. What does any statement of the cost of national defence equipment mean unless it is related to a knowledge of how many of these items we are buying, and their effectiveness, and the opinion of industrial as well as military experts as to their availability and the productive power of this country in particular lines? We need this information in order to form an opinion as to where the emphasis should be laid in providing equipment of the kind. We have come a very long way, Mr. Chairman, since the days just before the last war broke upon the world. If hon. members do not believe I have used words of the utmost moderation in referring to the enormous expenditures upon which we are asked to pass, may I remind them of what was said in this country only a short time ago. On a number of occasions we have been told that there was not an appreciation of the needs for defence preparation until this government took office. May I use this illustration, not for the purpose of dealing with that statement, but just to indicate how great the change has been, and why it is so necessary that we examine this subject with great care. August 18, 1935, was almost exactly four years before the outbreak of the last war, and yet, on that date, we find the man who was to be prime minister of this country during the war years criticizing in most vigorous terms the increases which had been provided for the Department of National Defence. In fact in that speech he said that these expenditures were being made with the idea of setting up a dictatorship, and that nothing else could justify the expenditure of such enormous sums. Let us see what was provided in that year. The total main estimates for the Department of National Defence in 1935 were $11,252,001.17. There were supplementary estimates of $1,796,000, making a total of $13,048,001.17. The estimates for aviation were separate, because they included civilian aviation as well. In 1935 the main estimates for aviation were $3 million and the supplementary estimates were $1,302,900, making a total for aviation of $4,302,900. The total for defence purposes, including civil aviation and the flying clubs, was $17,350,901.17. The fact that that expenditure could be regarded so recently as a huge expenditure intended only for the purpose of setting up a dictatorship-those were the words-makes it apparent that we should examine with great care the extent to which every cent of the present estimates is being spent. It should not be done with any such suggestion as was made in 1935-and quite improperly made, I think-but simply in recognition of the tremendous change that has taken place in everyone's thinking between 1935 and today, when we are confronted with estimates of $383 million and realize there are other expenditures as well for certain associated civilian departments which do work for the Department of National Defence. This huge sum must be examined carefully. I repeat there is only one way in which it can be done effectively, and that is by a standing committee. We have been told by the Minister of National Defence that the setting up of a standing committee on national defence has never been the practice under our parliamentary system. Many things are being done that were never done before. Certainly until a few weeks ago there was never a standing committee on atomic energy. Since atomic energy is part of the problem we are discussing today, I cannot imagine a single reason why there should be a standing committee on that subject and not a standing committee on national defence. The military authorities would be the only ones concerned with doing anything with atomic energy from the military point of view. If we need a standing committee for that limited feature of our development in this country, surely we need a standing committee to deal with the broader organization which would employ whatever military use might be made of that particular source of power. We have been told also by the Minister of National Defence that the fact that there are committees in the United States to deal with these subjects has no bearing on this matter. We have been told that it is not the right way to deal with a subject of this kind. For this reason, Mr. Chairman, I hope the members of the house will permit me to read into the record a statement, which I believe is well thought out, concerning the importance of committees. It was contained in an article which appeared in Maclean's magazine on March 1, 1943. It was under the heading, "What's wrong with parliament?" I should like to read only that portion which deals with the use of committees, because I believe the statement is a clear one; it refers to the matters which are now before us and to the suggestions we are making. It reads as follows: One reason why parliament has not functioned better is that 245 members cannot get down to close grips with a subject. Also there is not enough time for the whole house to deal with everything. Hence the practice of referring specific matters to committees for study and report should be extended. On a good committee the party lines disappear. One member's experience is that on ten committees in three years there was never a vote on party lines. In committees the atmosphere of the arena is changed for that of the workshop. To be effective a committee must be small, not more than fifteen. Its members should be selected because of their interest in the subject rather than solely because of other considerations such as province, race or religion. Committees should be set up early in the session and bring in their reports early, before the last-minute rush. The committee on war expenditures has done exceedingly useful work, but it has been suggested that it has been handicapped by lack of technical assistance. A committee of this character should have attached to it one or two full-time people who are competent to prepare the material as is done at both Westminster and Washington. Without such assistance the committee is largely in the hands of the interested department. Committees should sit regularly on such matters as manpower and labour, financial and economic questions, reconstruction, external affairs and information, munitions and supplies, agriculture, the navy, the army and the air force. May I repeat that? -the navy, the army and the air force. The United States Senate has forty-seven committees exercising great power. We do not need anything like that number. The close connection of our executive with our legislative branches makes it unnecessary. Fifteen working committees of our house, most of them only meeting through half the session, would do the job. My fifth point, therefore, is: 5. Whenever possible a matter of major importance should be referred to a committee of parliament, and where necessary the committee should be provided with adequate research assistance. Supply-National Defence Now, Mr. Chairman, I believe that is an excellent-

Topic:   TRADE WITH BRITAIN
Subtopic:   EGGS AND BACON
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASES FROM CANADA IN 1950
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June 23, 1948

PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. PEARKES:

...placed in the hands of trustees so that they may be used for their original purposes. Before and during the war it had been the custom for officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the officers training corps to assign pay received from the Department of National Defence for various purposes, such as the building of drill halls and armouries, and so forth. That practice was wholly commendable, and the moneys had been set aside for that specific purpose. Apparently these moneys have recently been placed in the consolidated revenue fund, and the intention of this amendment is to provide that they shall be made available for the original purpose. With that I heartily agree. But yesterday I asked the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of National Defence whether moneys derived from canteen sources were placed in these funds which it is -now proposed to release from the consolidated revenue fund. The parliamentary assistant informed me then that there were no such moneys derived from canteens, but he advised me during the day that this statement was not correct; that a small percentage, some three per cent, of the total moneys was derived from canteens which were run by these officers training corps. I am' afraid that presents this bill in rather a different light. The committee will no doubt recall that only last year we had a committee on army canteen funds. Those funds were placed1 in an army benevolent fund which was to be administered under the chairmanship of the late Major-General Browne for the benefit of the men of the army who returned from the war and who were eligible to receive portions of this fund for the purpose for which it was created. I wonder whether the portion of these moneys which was derived from the canteen funds should not be placed in the army benevolent fund as were the funds which were derived from other canteens of units of the non-permanent militia, as they were called in the pre-war days. There was a great deal of feeling at one time that the non-permanent units would like to administer and use for the benefit of the men who passed through them, or for promotion of the efficiency of their particular units, the funds accumulated in the canteens which they had operated. For instance, the highland1 units were anxious to obtain kilts; other units perhaps thought it would be a good thing to obtain instruments for regimental bands, or to promote the efficiency of their reserve army unit at the conclusion of the war. I am not sure that we are right in assigning to these purposes the money which came from canteens w'hen we have denied to the units of the nonpermanent militia or reserve army the right to utilize their canteen funds for their own particular purposes.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF ACT TO RELEASE FUNDS CONTRIBUTED AT EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
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May 10, 1950

PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

...Act hon. member, and the question of the advisability of the Department of National Defence getting some other location for these rifle ranges has been raised in the House of Commons. I think the Department of National Defence has pretty well decided that when it can get a proper alternative location, it will move from the presently congested area. , I only hope that that move will not be too long delayed. This piece of property has a considerable lakeshore frontage, and also fronts on the highway, but up to the present it has been a sort of blind spot in the development of the lakeshore area. The rifle ranges are no longer satisfactory to the military authorities because of the constantly increasing population of the area. I think the military authorities will agree that eventually some change will have to be made. All of us who come from that area are of the opinion that that change should not be held up any longer. Subject to the caution and the warnings which the hon. member for York West has sounded with respect to the method of disposal and the manner in which these lands shall find themselves under new ownership, the move should be made by the government as quickly as possible. As the minister no doubt knows, in the metropolitan area of Toronto it is no longer a question of materials and labour; it is more a question of finding the right kind of land for building. I think this property is the right kind of land, and it will be sought after by builders generally as a preferred location. I hope there will be some expedition to this matter, because there is a great demand in that part of the country for the type of land which the Long Branch rifle range would provide. I should like to add my word to that of the hon. member for York West, who has so well placed the matter before the minister.

Topic:   PUBLIC LANDS GRANTS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS WITH RESPECT TO CONVEYANCE, LEASES, DEFENCE LANDS, ETC.
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April 18, 1950

LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence):

...other two resolutions standing in my name, namely with regard to a measure dealing with prize money and with regard to amendment of the Militia Pension Act. Our hope would be that it would be possible to set up that committee at the earliest possible moment so that it could start its work of studying these measures in the detailed way that that procedure would permit. In emphasizing the desirability of this procedure I should like to call the attention .of the committee to the fact that the defence bill alone is the largest single measure to be put before parliament since the session National Defence of 1934. I do not believe that many of its provisions are controversial. Certainly when it was discussed-and it was thoroughly discussed in the other place last session- it was not evident that there was much in it that was the subject of controversy. What we would want to do would be to see that the measure received detailed consideration and we would hope that, in consequence of that consideration, the measure might be substantially improved. While it has had, as I have indicated, extensive consideration in the department, also by officers of the crown and by a committee and the chamber itself in the other place, there is still room for improvement in this bill. Our hope would be that we would work together to make it the best possible piece of legislation of its kind to be found anywhere. In its preparation we have had the advantage of similar work being carried on in the United States and in the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom a committee called the Lewis committee was set up to report on proposed changes in court martial procedure. In the United States there was also a committee set up which resulted in legislation being proposed which is still before the courts. We have had the advantage of considering both the report of the Lewis committee in the United Kingdom and the steps that have been taken in the United States. This bill, in its preparation, I think has gone through no less than some eleven complete redrafts and has been subjected to examination not only by the legal advisers of the department but also by senior officers in the services; and on a number-of occasions it has received the consideration of the chiefs of staff committee. It was considered by a special subcommittee of the cabinet, and I think I myself have been through five or six of the drafts completely. While the bill has had that study, I again emphasize the fact that we do not think it is perfect; and we would hope that hon. members would sit down with us and endeavour to make every possible necessary change in it. The purpose of the legislation is far more than simply to consolidate existing defence measures. The purposes are: (1) to include in one statute all legislation relating to the Department of National Defence and the Canadian forces; (2) to have a single code of service discipline so that sailors, soldiers and airmen will be subject to the same law; (3) to make all legislation applicable to service personnel Canadian legislation; (4) to obtain uniformity in the administration of service justice; National Defence (5) to provide a right of appeal from the findings and sentences of courts martial; (6) to abolish field general courts martial; (7) to provide for a new trial on the discovery of new evidence; (8) to provide in the administration of the department more efficient and expeditious means for the transaction of routine business: (9) to establish the position and functions of the chiefs of staff; (10) to abolish, as obsolete, provisions for levee en masse and enrolment by ballot; and (11) to authorize the employment of regular forces to meet a national disaster, such as a major flood, and to permit the use of reserve forces for these purposes. This measure, which will be introduced once the resolution is carried and the bill receives first reading, contains all the amendments made in the other place, and a number of minor technical changes proposed by the legal advisers of the government and of the department in consequence of subsequent study. However, these are not matters of substance, and can be explained in detail when the bill is before the committee. I do ask the committee now if they would not agree to receive first reading of the bill so that it can be distributed. Our hope would be that for the reasons I have given there would not be too extensive a debate and we might proceed to the setting up of the committee before the session gets too well advanced, so ' that this very important bit of legislation can receive consideration at this session of parliament. If that course were accepted, following the second reading of the bill at some future date, we would propose to refer the prize money bill and the Militia Pension Act amendments to the same committee.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CONSOLIDATION AND REVISION OF EXISTING
Sub-subtopic:   CODE OF SERVICE, DISCIPLINE, ETC.
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May 16, 1950

PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. R. Pearkes (Nanaimo):

...act, which obviously is desirable, it is also necessary that service personnel pensions should be revised. Changing conditions of the service have made such a review necessary and therefore we shall agree to the amendments which are being recommended in this bill. Changing conditions of service have placed the emphasis upon youth. The services today are young. As these young men are serving in peacetime they must be given the opportunity to gain experience in command so that they would be able to meet the requirements of service should war break out in the future. In order to enable them to gain that experience in command, there must be retirement at the top so that there can be a general movement up through the various ranks of the forces. The retirement of a great many of the permanent force personnel will be necessary before they have completed the full term in order to draw their maximum pension. That presents complications because you cannot have a lot of young men retiring and being able to draw substantial pensions for many years to come without placing a heavy drain on the treasury, nor can you turn these young men loose without giving them adequate means to maintain themselves. One has to have in mind the increased cost of living. Therefore it is not easy to find the medium by which pensions should be paid. I note that in the bill emphasis is placed upon the fact that henceforth men who retire will receive their pensions as a matter of right instead of as an act of grace on decision of the minister. I am not sure that the policy of accepting the pension as a matter of right is carried all through the bill because there are obstacles placed in the way of the ex-serviceman, be he officer or other rank, in accepting a position in other branches of the government service than the armed forces. I cannot help feeling that it might be advisable to make some further modifications in the bill in order to permit greater facilities for ex-servicemen to take appointments in other branches of the government service. There are a number of small details such as the cut-off date, to which the minister referred, which may need some discussion and adjustment in the committee. I am not quite certain that in all cases we have taken the correct cut-off date but those matters will be better discussed in the committee than at this stage. I do not intend to take up any more time of the house. I merely wish to say that when the bill is sent to the National Defence-Committee committee I trust every opportunity will be given for a thorough examination of all branches in connection with service pensions. Motion agreed to and bill read the second time.

Topic:   DEFENCE SERVICES PENSIONS
Subtopic:   METHOD OF COMPUTATION
Sub-subtopic:   CREATION OF SERVICE PENSION BOARD
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November 24, 1949

LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Jean Frangois Pouliot (Temiscouala):

...defence matters has been said by some experts whom I see in front of me. I give credit to the minister and his immediate predecessor for having done so well with the Department of National Defence, after all that had happened before. I wish them success. I cannot do otherwise, however, than make a few observations which came to my mind some years ago, and particularly in November 1944 when the question of conscription was debated. At that time the late minister of national defence, the one who had resigned on the conscription issue, said that there were some weaknesses in the Canadian army in France. This was broadcast throughout the country and the world. Not long afterwards the German offensive thrust to the south causing the death of many soldiers in the American and Canadian armies. I have often wondered if it would not be better to discuss questions of defence in camera. Expenditures might be mentioned in the house, because they are of interest to the public; but what does the average citizen know about defence? There are some military experts and some civilian experts who have studied the matter; but many people may be under the wrong impression. If defence matters were discussed in camera every one would have a full opportunity to say all he has to say without endangering the security of the country. Some hon. members may say that would not be democratic. During the war some secret sittings of the house were held to discuss matters of defence, and they brought good results. Not long ago I saw two articles which appeared in Maclean's magazine referring to the U-boats which came up the St. Lawrence river. At the time it happened there was difficulty in calling a secret sitting, because the then prime minister and the then minister of national defence objected. After some discussion however they agreed to have a few secret sittings, which served a useful purpose. I submit this not only to the Minister of National Defence but to all my colleagues, so that if in future they think the interests of the country would be better served by a discussion in camera it would be up to them to make their representations to whom it may concern. What appeared in Maclean's establishes clearly that those who at that time saidCanada was in danger of being attackedwere right. It has taken some years toprove those statements, but the facts are set out in this widely circulated periodical, which quotes the official report. Even at the time of conscription no one opposed the defence of Canada. The subject matter of the argument was whether it was necessary to defend Canada in Canada, or not. The U-boats coming so far up the St. Lawrence river showed clearly that there was reason for concern. There was considerable discussion about conscription at the time and Colonel Ralston, who was then minister of defence, resigned because he felt conscription had not been imposed early enough. I should like to know how many men were conscripted for overseas service after the legislation was passed. I had some correspondence with the parliamentary assistant to the minister and he gave me some information, but it is far from complete. I should like the brass hats to work on it and give the committee complete data as to the number of N.R.M.A. men who were conscripted for overseas service after the mobilization act was amended. I received some information, and I translate from a letter in French: It has been brought to my attention that a publication entitled, "Canada at War" No. 45 of 1945, published by the wartime information services, contains the information you asked for. According to that article 13,000 men were called up by virtue of the mobilization act and were sent overseas to Europe on D-day. Moreover, 3,000 men sailed for overseas after having signed for voluntary service. I have a clipping to the same effect. I asked three questions, as follows: 1. On what date did the 3,000 men sail for overseas and from what provinces did they come? i 2. From what provinces did the 13,000 men come who had not signed for overseas but who were sent overseas to Europe on D-day? 3. Were they sent to Europe or to Japan, and on what boats did they sail? I received some supplementary information about the N.R.M.A. personnel who had proceeded to the United Kingdom, as follows: Military district 1 London, Ontario 1,1092 Toronto, Ontario 2,3013 Kingston, Ontario 2864 Montreal, Quebec 2,0605 Quebec, Quebec 5516 Halifax, Nova Scotia 3997 Saint John, New Brunswick 51910 Winnipeg, Manitoba 1,34411 Victoria, British Columbia 1,25312 Regina, Saskatchewan 1,78513 Calgary, Alberta 1,229Total 12,836The following ships transported these personnel to the United Kingdom: Pasteur, Mauretania, Aquitania, New Amsterdam and Volendam. That is not all the information I wanted, but I thank the parliamentary assistant for what he has sent me. It is now possible to talk sensibly about this matter, but it was not possible during the war. Those who were talking against conscription for overseas were described as isolationists and there was hardly anything that was not said about them. They were told they were not good citizens, they were not patriotic and were not doing their duty. The issue at that time was whether conscription for overseas service was actually helpful to the allied cause at the time the amendment was made. My contention was that it was not. I crossed the floor of the house with other Liberal members because I was not satisfied with the policy adopted by my party at that time. We were called into a caucus to discuss conscription. The caucus was adjourned, Sir John Dill was here in the east block, the day after Mr. King did not return to the caucus and we were told of the quick turnabout, and conscription for overseas was announced as the policy of the government. I still wonder if it was not just political expediency. I endeavoured to do my duty in the house by protesting against it in order to protect the farmers and those men who were engaged in essential industry. I was greatly surprised to notice in the Windsor station, the Canadian National station in Montreal, and in other places, that posters were put up stating that the men who were prepared to leave their essential positions to go into the army were doing a better job than if they continued in Supply-National Defence their present positions. Of course, that was a matter of opinion. If we are believers in fundamental freedoms and human rights contrary opinions must be respected. I view the future with some alarm because of certain things that are being done. We are likely to be at war with any country and we should look at the facts. Lord Carnarvon, who sponsored the British North America Act and who was unquestionably a great man, stated that the only danger to Canada would come from the United States. That was said at the time of the Fenian raids. That great English statesman felt that Canada was in danger from the United States and in his speech he referred to the number of men between the ages of 16 and 30 who could carry arms for the defence of this country. I think that all hon. members who were opposed to conscription were opposed because they felt that the defence of Canada was not sufficient at the time. Nobody thought of the defence of Canada, although some of our statesmen and leaders of parties were telling us that Hitler had his eyes on Canada, that Canada would be a prize for him, and that he wanted to get hold of this country. I hope the fears of war expressed by the hon. member who spoke just before me, and by others, are exaggerated. I hope so, but I want to make it clear that nobody is opposed to the defence of Canada, and nobody is opposed to conscription for the defence of Canada, provided that the military authorities do not interfere with essential war services in times of war. Perhaps what has been said by the leader of the opposition and by my good friend from Nanaimo is right. Perhaps there is some exaggeration in it. I am not in a position to say. If they go anywhere in the province of Quebec and ask the people what their views are about the defence of Canada, they will realize that the concern expressed in the house exists in the province of Quebec just as it does in every other province of Canada from Newfoundland to British Columbia. The people want this country to be defended just as well as it can be, and we rely on the Minister of National Defence to do all he can to further that purpose in the national interest. God forbid that we should have another war, but if we do we hope that Canada will be better defended than it was during the last war. The answer will be made that the steps taken by Canada during the last war served to protect this country against aggression. There are great changes. When Lord Carnarvon spoke of the danger that might come to Canada from the United States, communications were not the same as they were- Supply-National Defence during the last war. Since the last war various means of communication have made such progress that every part of the world can be easily exposed to danger, and requires protection. That being said, I should like to congratulate the minister upon the steps he has taken, and I hope that all the criticism that will be made of his department will be constructive. Those who will criticize may be right or wrong, but as long as constructive criticism is offered in good faith I am sure that all those who do so will render a public service.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING INSTITUTION AND CONDUCT OF PROSECUTIONS, ETC.
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May 19, 1950

CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Roseiown-Biggar):

...Acting Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Claxton) a line or two of Tennyson came to my mind, namely: The old order changeth, yielding place to new. As I listened today and last evening to the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) I [Mr. Drew.l thought of the extent to which the old order was giving way to the new; that a few years ago we thought it impossible that the nations of the Atlantic community, for example, could co-operate economically, socially and in our common defence. The statement made today and last night has impressed upon this house, as it must have impressed the countries of the Atlantic community, the fact that in all our domestic policies, whether they be economic or social, we have to consider their impact upon the rest of the members of that community. I said last night that I thought that perhaps more important than the military arrangements made among the ministers in London during the past few days were the arrangements for economic and social co-operation. The leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) mentioned southeast Asia. I firmly believe that there can be no defence against communism, or any other form of totalitarianism, in southeast Asia unless the nations of the world co-operate to improve the standards of living of the people of that part of the world. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, we welcome this statement, and I can assure the government, the leader of the opposition and the members of the house that anything we can do to advance this great idea of co-operation first among the members of the Atlantic community, and then among the members, we hope, of the great world community, we shall be pleased to support and indeed to undertake.

Topic:   NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY
Subtopic:   SUMMARY OF DECISIONS TAKEN BY THE COUNCIL IN LONDON
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March 14, 1950

PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

...national defence said: I think I assured my hon. friend last year that his suggestion would receive sympathetic consideration, but I pointed out that the time was too short to do something about it last session. But I did promise consideration. Thereupon the former prime minister, Mr. Mackenzie King, said: I think the suggestion of my hon. friend is a very good one and, as the Minister of National Defence has just said, it is one that he is prepared to consider sympathetically. But once again the house will have to ask itself how many committees it can stand. We are enlarging the number and it will have a bearing on the attendance in the house. I think my hon. friend's suggestion of that particular committee is a very good one. Referring to the question of whether or not the house can stand this additional committee, you will recall, Mr. Speaker, that in the discussions which have taken place since that time on the question of a general revision of the committee structure of the house it has been truly pointed out that many of our committees never meet at all, others only occasionally, and that in fact we could and should have an additional committee which would perform a regular and useful function in enabling the house to have a better grasp of defence matters than we can now have. Later on in 1946 the matter was raised again. At page 5268 of Hansard for August 23, 1946, I asked the minister: What is the intention with regard to the defence committee? The minister replied: I was sympathetic to it, as I indicated before. This session, as it has developed, many other committees got ahead of it. It seemed for one reason or another that a tremendous number of important special committees were set up this session, including the veterans affairs committee. I would hope that at another session it will not be necessary for the veterans affairs committee to undertake the stupendous amount of work it did this session, so that at the beginning of another session, which we could perhaps regard as our first normal session of the new parliament, it should be possible to give Proposed National Defence Committee early consideration, to that question. The real reason why it was not actively considered this time was that there were so many other matters which had to be dealt with that it would not have been possible tor members to serve on- another committee. By direct inference the minister there said that the reason a defence committee was not established was that we had a very large and active veterans affairs committee. At this session, in another parliament, the Minister of Veterans Affairs and the government have made it very clear that they do not intend to set up a veterans affairs committee. Therefore on that basis there is no reason why we should not, particularly at the beginning of a session, in accordance with the suggestion of the minister of national defence of that day, have a defence committee established at this time. Later on in 1948 when the present Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) was dealing with this matter, he made it clear at that time that he was not definitely opposed to the idea of a defence committee. He was asked about it again by the hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra, and in reply is reported at page 5807 of Hansard for June 24, 1948, as follows: The hon. member for Vancouver South again raised the question as to whether the government would entertain the possibility of having a committee on defence matters. As I pointed out when that question was raised last year, my own personal inclination would be in favour of that course. I can see quite a few advantages from my own point a view as minister in having an opportunity of talking things over and having them explained in such a committee. I must say, however, that the suggestion raises considerations far greater than any such personal inclinations, and those considerations I have put before the house and this committee on a previous occasion. The minister was referring there to his statements made at other times that he was not altogether easy in his mind about the enlargement of the committee system because, as he said, he felt it would lead to the same committee structure as they have in the United States. He went on to say: I do not do so in any final sense. . . That is to say, he did not put forward these reasons or any opposition to the committee in any final sense. Therefore we have reason to hope that the minister still has an open mind, and I think we should have reason to hope that we can, upon the arguments presented this afternoon, perhaps bring the minister around to the point where he would favourably consider the setting up of such a committee. I should remind you, Mr. Speaker, that at one time the minister held definite views in favour of the setting up of such a committee. I am not going to suggest that no one is entitled to change his mind, and indeed the minister has been very frank (Mr. Fulton.] in the past to say that on reflection he had changed these views. I hope he will allow us to suggest that on reflection we feel that his previous views, so firmly held, so clearly expressed and cogently argued in an article which appeared in 1943, I believe it was, were correct, and that his present views are not as sound as his former ones. It seems to me that in defence at the present time, more than in any other aspect of our national life, there is need for as near an approach as we can get to a bipartisan policy. I think the need is even greater than in the case of external affairs, but surely it is not reasonable to expect that we can accept and support wholeheartedly without criticism a policy the reasons for which and the implications of which we do not know, and the background of which we have no means of understanding. Admittedly we criticize the minister and the government. It is our duty as the opposition, but I think I can assure the minister that in so far as we can properly do so we desire to facilitate his work in the building up of our defence forces, and we desire to co-operate to the fullest possible extent in the work of perfecting Canada's defence machinery. It is impossible to expect that we can do that unless we are taken into the confidence of the minister and the government, and have an opportunity of examining all the facts and factors entering into the decisions as to defence policy so that we can know the reasons behind the policy and accept and support it fully. If that is not done I suggest that we will find inevitably an increasing divergence of opinion with regard to national defence, and in fact an inevitable tendency towards criticism and pure opposition in this house. In a matter so vital as national defence, a matter which concerns us all so personally, then as the member for Calgary East (Mr. Harkness) pointed out if we are continually to be held at arm's length in spite of efforts to co-operate, we can only come to the conclusion there is a desire to prevent us from co-operating, if indeed there is not an actual attempt to hide something. I appeal therefore, to the minister, and I assure him of an absolute desire on our part to co-operate to the fullest possible extent in this matter. I can assure him that, if he were to extend that opportunity which can only be extended through a defence committee, he would find that the gesture would not be abused but would be used to the benefit of himself and of Canada in formulating and supporting defence policies for this country. The other reasons why I think we must have a defence committee are suggested by a study of a book to which reference has already been made earlier in this session. It is one of the most complete studies of this question of defence under modern conditions, and is entitled "Modern Arms and Free Men", by Dr. Vannevar Bush. As Dr. Bush gives the outline of what he considers to be a workable defence plan for a free democracy under present-day circumstances, it seems to me he suggests that most weapons of offence, most weapons for delivering attack on a massive scale, have now produced their own defence. He says that the process was going on during the last' war, but that defence had not yet caught up with offence, or the means of delivering offence by way of mass bombing and so on. Now, with guided missiles, the defence against these mass attacks has, to a large extent, been at least brought into existence, even if it is not yet effective in an absolute sense. He emphasizes the necessity, therefore, for a highly competent defence network, a defence network which will eventually be manned at' a high degree of readiness. The author does warn against the perils- I do not think the word is too strong-of going too fast in setting up this defensive network. He also emphasizes the need for a highly compact striking defence force. This striking force would act not' so much in the offensive role in the over-all sense, but would in fact be available to strike back at an enemy immediately after he had struck us. In that sense, it is regarded as a defence force. The necessity for a warning screen against surprise attack is also emphasized. All these considerations, Mr. Speaker, seem to raise new factors for discussion. They raise new elements which must be considered in the framing of our defence forces, and the assigning to its various components of the major or lesser roles. This study paints a picture of defence which is quite different from and much more complicated than anything which we have previously faced. That, it seems to me, points immediately to the corresponding necessity for a committee to give these problems the closest and most realistic study, and to consider the means and methods by which they can be met. Incidentally, again without a desire to criticize unnecessarily, it does occur to me that, bearing in mind what Dr. Bush has said about the necessity for a highly organized and constantly ready striking force, Exercise Sweetbriar has proven-perhaps it was designed to prove it, as I know it was designed to test it-that today Canada does not possess a force capable of completely fulfilling the role of a striking defence force. As we have seen from the reports, while our personnel are trained, ready and willing, the transports are not available to build an offensive, or to make it possible for these forces to carry out that role under northern conditions. I believe 55946-47J Proposed National Defence Committee that is a matter which should be studied by such a defence committee. The committee should know what steps are being taken to remedy that defect. Indeed some of the members of that committee might be able to suggest a means by which the- defect could be remedied more quickly than otherwise would be the case. Certain passages of Dr. Bush's study should, I think, be considered by the house as indicating the need for a committee. At page 53 of this paper-bound volume which I have, Dr. Bush states as follows: The major effort- That is in building up a defence force. -should go into bombs and their delivery, until logic shows that a substantial defence effort should be added. Logic at some time will give the warning. The point will be reached at which investments in defence installations will so reduce the ability of the enemy to reach the target that this indirect effort will pay higher dividends than a direct one. It will make it more certain that if war came we should win quickly, and at a minimum net damage to ourselves from every cause. To estimate the arrival time of that point early enough to launch programs needing several years for consummation will call for pre-eminent organization for intelligence and analysis. We do not have- Speaking of the United States. -such organization now, and if we value our safety, we had better get it. It will not do to bungle through, in the type of contest we are now engaged in or in the kind the future may produce. The author goes on to point out that we should concentrate on this intelligence system, and should not rush into attempting to build up a great over-all defensive network now. If it is a fact, and Dr. Bush states ft is a fact, that the United States does not have such an organization now, I think it is a fact, and at least until the minister tells us differently I take it to be a fact, that Canada has not. Admittedly, that is the opinion of one man, but one pre-eminent in his field, who states that should be the first step in our defence thinking. I believe that matter is one which should be reviewed by a defence committee, with respect not only to the actual building up and arming of our forces, but to the over-all defence planning as well. It is an approach which could be made in a nonpartisan co-operative spirit. Then Dr. Bush deals with the necessity, while we are undertaking this over-all planning and the building of our purely defence system, of guarding against surprise attack. At page 54 he says: Here we need to treat the surprise attack as a part of war in, the open, for one thing is certain: If another great war is started by a dictator, it will be opened by a smashing, great, surprise offensive calculated to paralyse us before we are aroused. A little later, at page 55, he says: In a dictatorship it is different. A surprise blow on a small scale would not be staged even by a Proposed National Defence Committee dictatorship. It would be large, or it would not occur, for arousing a people fully by a small treacherous assault backfires. Those who study war have realized this fact since Pearl Harbor, if they did not know it before. But a dictator, if his control were tight enough and his iron curtain utterly impenetrable, might stage a large surprise opening when' he decided to go to war. So Dr. Bush says we must guard against this surprise attack. He makes certain suggestions as to how that could be done. He refers again to the necessity of staying on the alert and building up this efficient, highly organized intelligence system to warn us of any move which the enemy may make. He then goes on again to say: We can do no more than this. We can decrease the value of surprise by staying alert, to some extent even in peacetime. We cannot reduce the surprise factor to zero, but we can cut it heavily. This does not mean that we sit with every post manned and every gun cocked throughout the years; to do so would be overly expensive and our efforts would be better placed elsewhere, for we should slacken in time if we tried to be thus continuously vigilant. Short of this extreme of having every man poised and at his post, we can do much. One element of our strength should indeed be ready and straining at the leash. That is the retaliation force. A force to which I referred earlier. It is the force that would strike back within twenty-four hours of the time the first bomb fell, remorselessly, through every obstacle, pressing its attacks home, before enemy defences were working smoothly, for they will be less effective then than later, even if alerted. The planes of the retaliation force must always be fully equipped and ready to fly, its bombs must be ready to go off, its every element must be so protected that the most severe surprise bombing cannot impede its launching. Its crews must be highly trained, fully briefed, and tested by frequent exercises. There should be an insp*ection system independent of the line of command up to the very highest echelons, to ensure that there is never any slackening in this picked group or any false assurance. The members of the force should be young, and rotated in duty, for men cannot stand the strain of being thus poised for long periods. But, in comparison with our full military power, the force may be relatively small. If we just pause and consider that quotation, I think we can see inherent in the very idea he advances there the necessity for a constant review of our defence planning and system, as he himself puts it, not only by the government which naturally would be, shall I say, predisposed to view with satisfaction the plans which they themselves have prepared and put into effect, but a review, constantly and impartially, by a body such as a defence committee of the house, whose members would bring an impartial view to bear on these plans. Again I say that that review would be undertaken not necessarily in a critical attitude but in the desire to bring to bear on the problem the collective views of those who all have a joint interest in it and have something to contribute even though- and I grant the minister this point-they do not have, under our system, the immediate responsibility for carrying out the plans. To a considerable extent they might, because of that very factor, be able to contribute more usefully to the formulating of the plans and to an impartial criticism of them. Another suggestion made by Dr. Bush, which I think can best be implemented by this defence committee, is found at page 56: This is not the only thing we can do to decrease the potentiality of the surprise attack. Later on we can build defence systems and contrive to have them alert and ready. In the meantime our entire military system can be ready, even if it is not at all times acutely alerted, and as affairs become tense there can be means for placing it in this latter condition before a blow falls. We can build a civilian defence system and see that it is ready to cope with disaster. The principal element of our preparation for possible surprise attack is an intelligence system of high effectiveness, capable of warning us clearly if an attack is being prepared. No iron curtain is utterly impenetrable. The operations necessary to set in motion a major surprise attack are ponderous and far-reaching. Dictatorship and oppression produce individuals who dare to flee and then dare to talk. . . . We need a modern intelligence agency in every sense of the word, using modern methods as they were partially developed during the last war, not a musical-comedy affair or a stodgy refuge, not even the half-successful affair we now have, but an organization qualified to meet our needs in this kind of world. It can cut down the threat of surprise attack. It does not cost much; by all means let us have it. Then continuing he says: We ought to know how to build it. . . But the really able men who functioned then- That is, during the last war. -have largely scattered into civilian life, the type of ability needed is rare, and the work is not attractive. The task can be done, by an individual of great mental and organizational capacity, having ample authority and the full backing of the President of the United States. As we value our peace of mind we had better be about it. There, it seems to me, is a line of thought which suggests a new departure, a new element, in our over-all planning for defence. There is on the one hand the necessity for a radar screen to give warning against surprise; but there is the further suggestion of Dr. Bush that it is impossible and unrealistic to build up a complete defensive barrier around all the borders of your country but that your defence must be concentrated at key points. As all these points raise at least fresh thoughts, if not entirely new matters, it follows that in dealing with those thoughts and in working out the practical application of the solutions of the problems, a defence committee could contribute enormously to the work. But most important of all, as I have suggested before, a defence committee could bring to the supervision of that work the constant and co-operative effort of the best minds of those in all sections of the country who are vitally interested in, and anxious to serve in working out, Canada's defence policy.

Topic:   PROPOSED SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL DEFENCE
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November 18, 1949

PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

...actly what the author of this article was pointing out back in 1943 under the title: "What's wrong with parliament?" That is definitely what is wrong with parliament. We are asked to deal with a subject of this kind without any mechanism by which we can get the information upon which we can assume our responsibilities; and this article sets out that fact as clearly as I have ever seen it set out. I hope that all hon. members will look it up, because it deals with other subjects that might also well be reviewed at a time when we are trying to make parliament more effective in dealing with these subjects. We cannot greatly change the total required for this present year. We can, however, find out some of the things that are being done now, so that when we meet next year as a continuing House of Commons we may be equipped with information that will make it possible for us to deal with this matter. With this thought in mind, may I again refer-and this will be my last reference to the article now-to this statement: Committees should be set up early in the session and bring in their reports early, before the last-minute rush. I should like to see that statement underlined in red in Hansard, but I am afraid that Hansard arrangements do not make that possible. But of all the excellent statements in the article I have quoted, none is more important than the one that these committees should be set up, and set up early, and that the committees should bring in their reports before the last-minute rush so that the reports may be examined carefully and the decision of the house made with actual knowledge of the facts. Let us not pretend that we have any real information upon which to base our decision at this time. Let us not pretend that we know how far our present organization and the present equipment of our defence forces, with regard to weapons and all the other facilities that they require, meet the stated needs of these defence forces as put forward by the Department of National Defence. Let us not pretend that. But recognizing what the situation is, with a full recognition of the importance of this subject, let us insist that there be an assurance now of a standing committee which can examine these facts for our information-if not for change at the present time, then so that we may be ready to deal with the matter next session, to the end that there may be an effective saving of money as well as the most efficient organization of our defence forces that is possible. I am prepared to make this statement, and I am satisfied that it will be supported in his own mind, no matter what may be done vocally, by every hon. member who has had occasion to be associated with our defence forces spread across this country: an enormous sum is being wasted at the present time. We are told of the number of recruits in our reserve force. Mr. Chairman, that statement is meaningless unless we know how many of these recruits are training. The enlistment roll of the reserve units does not tell the story. What does tell the story is the attendance at parades, the number of men who go to the camps provided for the land forces, and the number of men who take part in the various training exercises provided for the reserve or nonpermanent naval and air forces as well. These are things we should know. How much good does it do to know that there are so many thousand volunteers on the enlistment roll of the artillery units unless you know how many men are attending the parades and how many are going to the camps which finish off that training? How much good does it do to know how many thousands there are on the enlistment rolls of all the infantry units across Canada unless you know the percentage of attendance at parades? How many privates are attending, officers and noncommissioned officers? How many attend camp when it is set up? The same applies to every other branch of the service. These are things we should know, because money is being spent on the assumption that according to the enlistment rolls these men are taking their part. The organization should contemplate the possibility of checking each one of these things, and a committee such as I have suggested is the only device by which it can be carried out. We simply do not know whether the observation of the Mainguy commission that headquarters had become in some cases a refuge for temporary misfits applies to the other services, but we do know that the naval service is part of the same military organization, and part of the broad plan of unification in the preparation to meet the commitments placed before us yesterday by the Secretary of State for External Affairs. I submit, Mr. Chairman, that while we cannot greatly change the figures that will be Supply-National Defence required for the current year, we have a duty to examine them beyond what is possible here. In the light of our commitments and our desire to play our part in preserving peace, we have a duty to ask that the views expressed in 1943 by the present Minister of National Defence be acted upon and a standing committee on national defence set up so that hon. members will be in a position to accept their great responsibility in relation to the activities of this department.

Topic:   TRADE WITH BRITAIN
Subtopic:   EGGS AND BACON
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASES FROM CANADA IN 1950
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April 18, 1950

LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

...action. I believe that no hon. member in this house will question the statement which I now make, that in the three general elections, 1940, 1945 and 1949, the way in which the service vote was taken showed a remarkable record of fairness. At the conclusion of the war it was felt that the 1945 regulations required some additions to take care of the fact that service personnel would now be resident for considerable periods of time at stations which were at isolated centres. Accordingly when the election committee of this house was set up in 1947, the chief electoral officer put before that committee his recommendations as to the defence services voting regulations. The committee attached to its reports the text of the regulations as he had recommended them. Those are the regulations that are now in effect, letter by letter in accordance with the recommendations of the committee. The only change from the regulations previously in effect made in the regulations adopted in 1948, in consequence of the committee's report in 1947, was that the regulations of 1945 were amended by adding paragraph (b) to section 23 (1), to provide for service personnel having an option as to where they would vote. It is that option, made in consequence of the parliamentary committee's recommendation, which gave rise to the difficulty. Those service electors who voted in the Annapolis-Kings election who were stationed at Greenwood voted in the place where they Dominion Elections Act were ordinarily resident, as that term is used in reference to civilian electors in the election act. Had they been civilians, they would have been entitled to vote at Greenwood for whichever candidate they chose, but because of the special provision in the service regulations in order to vote at Greenwood they were required to make a declaration prior to January 1, 1949, almost six months before the election. It was something that few of them could be expected to do. This matter was called to their attention in orders, but still, in the nature of things, very few citizens will take some step six months before an election, before indeed the election is even announced, to put themselves in a position to vote. It was that requirement and that complication which gave rise to the difficulty. I think hon. members will appreciate the fact that while the difficulty exists and has resulted in much misunderstanding, to use the words of the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes), and it is that misunderstanding which has given rise to this situation, it is by no means an easy matter to correct. It is by no means an easy matter to provide for a method of election which will enable service personnel situated at isolated centres, such as Shilo, Rivers, Goose Bay and a dozen other places across Canada, to exercise their franchise in the same way as an ordinary citizen would. Yet I believe it is desirable that, as far as possible, service personnel should exercise their franchise in the same way as the civilian. The question was asked whether the committee would have the power to deal with this matter. Of course the committee has power to deal with everything having regard to the elections act. I may tell the members of the house that this is a matter that has been giving the officers of the Department of National Defence and the chief electoral officer a good deal of concern. They have been looking into the situation, examining how it is dealt with in other countries and trying to work out some suggestions that may be put before the committee for its consideration. But that is, I suggest, by no means easy. In any event, the committee and the house can be assured that in its work, with regard to both civilian voting and service voting, it will have the full co-operation of the officers concerned and of the officers of the Department of National Defence.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER AND SUGGEST AMENDMENTS
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