April 10, 1902

CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

My understanding is that if a buyer consigned a number of horses to Silver and Grand of Toronto, he would only be responsible for the number selected out of that consignment and he would get something like $5 or $10 for each horse taken by the purchaser, but the culls would be left on his hands.

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The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND DEFENCE.

I happen to know of one case in which fully 1-2$ per cent of the horses consigned to the Grand firm were thrown on their hands, and they actually lost that number of horses, or had to dispose of them at very low figures.

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

I may say that the officer who is here purchasing on behalf of the War Office has considerably modified the original system, and for more than a year back has been purchasing in a large number of centres. When he first began purchasing he only went to two

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

or tln-ee centres-perhaps Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal ; but lately he has been going to a large number of centres, and has been having the horses brought there. What my hon. friend the Minister of Militia says is quite true in many instances. I do not think the officer himself knows altogether what the arrangements are between the man who brings in the horses and the original owners of them ; but I know of my own personal knowledge that in many cases the contractors found on their hands a large number of rejected horses which they had to dispose of as best they could. In addition to that, they were under considerable expense. They had to keep the horses from one to two weeks before the officers came round, trim them, and in some cases bridle and bit them and manage them. So that the business is not quite as profitable as at first sight it appears. 1 have no doubt these contractors have been making some money ; it is not likely they would engage in the business if they did not ; but I think I may say that the prices of horses in Canada has been materially raised in consequence of the purchases of the War Office within the last two years, and it has helped to relieve our own market of a large number of horses which otherwise would not have been easily sold.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I know that prices have been materially raised, because many of these horses were bought from the farmers at as low as $65 or $70 and sold to the War Office at $140.

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An hon. MEMBER.

No, no.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

X know what I am talking about, because I saw some of the animals purchased. I moved for a return on the subject in this House, and I found that these horses had been sold to the War Office at an average price of $140. But that has been changed, and the farmers are at present getting comparatively good prices for their horses. If, as the minister suggests. fairs are held at different localities, where the farmers can bring in their horses or the contractors could have them selected direct by the party sent around to make the selection, that would be in my judgment the very best plan that could be adopted.

Grants to associations, $38,000.

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The MINISTER OE MILITIA AND DEFENCE.

This is the usual vote. Ontario gets $1,800, Quebec $1,700, Nova Scotia $1,500, New Brunswick $1,300, Manitoba $750, British Columbia $620. and Prince Edward Island $630, making $8,300. The grant to battalion rifle associations and to bands range from $25 to $200 each, according to strength and efficiency, about 90 of each. The artillery grant is all paid to the Artillery Association. There is the grant to the dominion Rifle Association and the grant to local rifle associations $6,500. The bands of the 81

active miliiia receive $7,500, and military institutes $300.

Contingencies, $22,000.

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The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND DEFENCE.

This includes printing and stationery, $12,000; military survey, $4,000. This is a topographical survey, done by cadets at the Royal Military College, under the direction of their professors.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

What was done with it afterwards ?

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The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND DEFENCE.

It is in the Intelligence branch of the Quartermaster General's office. It is a most careful survey of the country along the frontier, giving every road, the height of hills and the buildings. It is a magnificent piece of work, well worth examining.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

How much of the country has been done ?

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The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND DEFENCE.

We have been doing the work for the last five years. I could not say the number of miles. Then there is advertising $1,500; injuries at annual drill. $3,000; telegraph and legal expenses, &c., $3,500. When we came to office we had a smaller vote, but two years ago we adopted the plan of making the vote large enough to cover expenses, so that we will not have to ask any supplementary vote.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

What are those injuries ?

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The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND DEFENCE.

Injuries to men, but more particularly to horses. Every year there is a certain number of horses killed or rendered useless, and we pay for them at a rate not exceeding $100 per horse.

Royal Military College, $75,000.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I would call the attention of the minister to some comments by the commandant on this institution :

It is a matter for great regret that this admirable institution', established for the express purpose of securing for the Canadian militia a supply of well trained and capable officers, entirely fails to attain this object. What brought about this state of things it is impossible to say, but one thing seems clear, that in the period spent at the college, the students do not imbibe any soldierly ambition or acquire a taste for military employment, and it is sad to see, year after year, young gentlemen who have received such an excellent military education at great cost to the state, holding aloof from the service of their country.

Has the minister given any consideration to those comments ?

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The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND DEFENCE.

I have read very carefully the General's report, and while I agree with him to some extent, I do not think that he should have made so strong a case. He

is quite mistaken when lie says that no military spirit is imparted to the cadets. As a matter of fact, tliere are now in the British army nearly a hundred cadets of the Royal Military College Had he said that the young men were not entering our militia or permanent corps, he would have spoken more correctly. But I do not see how we can remedy this. We might require each young man, on entering the school, to undertake to join a corps of Canadian militia after he came out, but I think that would be rather difficult. What I hope is that in the future more graduates of the college will come into our permanent corps. We have scarcely any there now, because they do not consider it good enough for them. They prefer going to the British army, where they have a career, which our permanent force does not offer. Besides we have no pensions, so that there is very little but hard work to offer them, and nothing at the end. But now we have a pension and hope to greatly raise the character of the permanent corps. So far as the active militia is concerned, every cadet who graduates is a member of the Canadian active militia and available for service when required. Many of these young men are now in the active militia throughout the country, and when the South African trouble came, we found dozens of them who were working throughout Canada as engineers, offering their services. There was a large number on the second contingent and in the Strathcona Horse, and a considerable number are now in the squadrons in the last contingent, so that I do not think the condition is as hopeless as the Major General thinks.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROTJLE.

Wliat percentage of the graduates is in the Canadian militia and also in Canada ?

The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND

DEFENCE. I had these figures a year or two ago and gave them to the House. I asked for the statement this morning, but have not yet received it, but will give the information on the supplementaries.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Was it in the ' Hansard ' last year ?

The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND

DEFENCE. Either that or the year before.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

This school

seems to be regarded more as a school for educating an engineer than to fit young men for the military career. I do not know exactly how the difficulty is to be got over, but it seems rather discouraging. Are there any graduates of that school in the permanent force ?

The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND

DEFENCE. Yes, two or three.

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April 10, 1902