None of the officers and men employed in London, England are permanent except those that have been seconded from the permanent staff and permanent force of the Canadian active militia. All of them, except those that belong to non-combatant units in the military sense, such as Canadian Army Pay Corps and Canadian Ordnance Corps, are combatant.
With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I should like to call the attention of the Minister of Militia to the fact that the answer he has given is an evasion of the question. I should like my hon. friend at a later date to answer my question by stating how many officers and men have been sent over from the permanent staff and permanent force to perform the duties to which I refeT. As to the minister's reference to the fact that those who belong to non-combatant units in the military sense are combatants, I would point out that I was referring to the noncombatant positions, not to the men themselves. My hon. friend's answer, therefore, is not an answer at all, and I should like an assurance that later he will give me the information for which I asked.
There was no intention whatever to evade the question put by the member for Pictou. His question clearly is:
How many officers and men are permanently employed in positions which are non-combatant? i
The word "permanently" is understood to mean permanently as opposed to temporarily; the word has the same effect in the camps in England as it has in Canada. Men who are non-combatant in a military sense are men who belong to the Army Pay Corps, the Ordnance Corps and units of that kind. Does my hon. friend refer to those who are occupying positions of a civilian character? If he will be good
enough to put his question in some way so that the information sought will be clearly defined, we will try to answer it.
The men who are employed in connection with the Overseas Militia Department are certainly non-combatants while they are so employed, no matter what corps they are attached to. In his answer my hon. friend excepted those men with reference to whom information should have been given. I will put the question in another way, and I hope I shall receive the information that I am seeking.
1. There is no Government dry dock at Prince Rupert. The dry dock to which presumably reference is made is one owned by the Grand Trunk Pacific Development Company. The Government are informed that no wooden shipbuilding has yet been commenced at this dry dock.
2 and 3. The Government are informed that a considerable amount of ship repair work has been done at this dock. The Government have been in communication with the Imperial Munitions Board and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company, and earnest efforts have been made to secure the commencement of a shipbuilding programme at Prince Rupert. It is understood that up to the present it has not been possible to arrive at a programme that would ensure such deliveries of material and supply of labour as to justify the letting of contracts.
Subtopic: BUILDING OP WOODEN SHIPS.
2. No, as it has already been decided to set apart this land, for the use of soldiers families for agricultural purposes.
4. No. 709049, Pte. W. A. Weldon, 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles; No. 709511, Pte. Dale Weldon, 20th Battalion; No. 1030313, Pte. Donald G. Grant, 236th Battalion; No. 507296, Pte. A. J. Grant, Signallers; No. 649181, Sapper Frank Cuthbertson, 6th Canadian Kailway Troops; No. 477216, Pte. E. Cuthbertson, Royal Canadian Regiment; No. 355, Pte. B. L. Wadman, Canadian Army Dental Corps. All these soldiers are overseas, with the exception of F. Cuthbertson, whose battalion is yet in Canada; and E. Cuthbertson, who is at the Signal Training Depot, training for service overseas.
5. Yes. Red Cross Society, of Moncton, for patriotic purposes.
For a copy of all letters, telegrams, petitions, communications and documents of all kinds referring to a request for having the mail from Marble Mountain come from Eden Platform instead of West Bay Road.
Subtopic: UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR PAPERS.