March 6, 1923

LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

The statement by districts is rather lengthy, but I will give the committee particulars for military district No. 1. They are as follows:

Unit Period at Local Head- quarters

1st Hussars, London Ont 9

9th Grey's Horse, Wingham, Ont

11th Brigade, C.F.A.- Hdqrs., Guelph, Ont X 6 6 9

29th Battery, Guelph, Ont

16th Battery, Guelph, Ont

No. 1 Signal Company, London, Ont. Corps of Guides-

1st Infantry Brigade- Hqrs., London, Ont

The Middlesex Lt. Infantry- 1st Bn. (185th Bn. C.E.F.), Strath-roy, Ont

The Perth Regiment- 1st Bn. (110th Bn. C.E.F.), Stratford, Ont 9

The Huron Regiment- 1st Bn. (161st Bn. C.E.F.), Clinton, Ont

The Western Ontario Regt.- 1st Bn. (1st Bn. C.E.F.), London, 9

The Bruce Regiment- 1st Bn. (160th Bn. C.E.F.), Walker-ton, Ont

The Oxford Rifles- 1st Bn. (71st Bn. C.E.F.), Woodstock, Ont 9 9 9 9

The Highland Light Infantry of Canada- 1st Bn. (34th Bn. C.E.F.), Galt, Ont

The Wellington Rifles- 1st Bn. (153rd Bn. C.E.F.), Guelph, Ont

The Elgin Regiment- 1st Bn. (91st Bn. C.E.F.), St. Thomas, Ont

The Lambton Regiment- 1st Bn. (149th Bn. C.E.F.), Sarnia, Ont

The Essex Fusiliers- 1st Bn. (18th Bn. C.*E.F.), Windsor, Ont 9 9 9

The Kent Regiment- 1st Bn. (186th Bn. C.E.F.), Chat-

2nd Canadian Machine Gun Brigade, London, Ont

1st Divisional Train- No. 1 Co., London

Period at Local Camp

Period

at

Practice Camp Det. only

Camp

Port Elgin. Petawawa.

Carling Hgts...

Carling Hgts..

Carling Hgts..

Carling Hgts..

Numbers Amount Trained Paid

$ cts.

217 2,736 65

260 8,921 88

30

16

1,518 36 372 27 450 60 305 70

4,002 24

168 2,618 17

152 2,852 48

3,885 48

3,726 40

Not yet paid

170 2,341 84

164 2,16387

.... Not yet

paid

1,779 27

Not yet paid

({

2,112 11

Not yet paid

No. 2 Co., Guelph

Supply-Defence-Drill

Unit Period at Local Head- quarters Period at Local Camp Period at Practice Camp Det. only Camp Numbers T rained Amount PaidNo. 15 Field Ambulance, London, 9 $ cts. Not yet jaid 38 25 652 29 78 50No. 1 Mobile Veterinary Section, No. 1 Section, C.A.V.C., London, 2 44 9

Western University Contingent, C.O. 12

2,327 40,556 36 15,272 76

Total expenditure for District to

55,829 12

x As specially authorized.

Those are the particulars for only one district. There are thirteen districts.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

How many men were at the annual camp at Carling Heights-a thousand? -two hundred and fifty? Jt was a very small camp.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

I will have to get those figures for my hon.. friend.

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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

I would like similar figures for Aldershot and Camp Sussex, I understand there were very few men at either place.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

The comment that one hears in regard to the annual drill as performed in Canada last year is that the million dollars which parliament appropriated for that purpose was very largely wasted. Very little drill has been performed. The camps are hardly recognizable compared with the camps that were held in years gone by. A system has been established, and perhaps a good one too, of drilling volunteer units at their local headquarters. Instead of turning them out to annual camp they are permitted to do their annual drill periodically throughout the whole year. That no doubt is a good system. But wherever I have been, and particularly in Ontario, the comment I hear on every hand is that the old time enthusiasm for militia service is, not gradually but rapidly, disappearing, and that little or no encouragement has been given to it by the government. There is no doubt, from the comment we hear in this House, that if the service were to be blotted out altogether a number of hon. members would applaud the proposal.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

Now, that is not my view of the situation, and I am satisfied that it is not the view of the vast majority of the people of the Dominion.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

You are mistaken.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

But in regard to militia training we have started to go down hill, and during the past twelve months we have gone down so rapidly that it now becomes a question whether the expenditure of a million dollars of the people's money on such training as was given last year is not an absolute waste. There come times, even in the history of this peaceable land, when we call on the militia; in fact, only a few months ago this government had to call upon the militia in various parts of Canada and send them down to the Maritime provinces to preserve law and order. They were not able to get a sufficient military force in Nova Scotia; they came up to Montreal, to Kingston, to Toronto, to London, before they could get enough men to send to the Maritime provinces.

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Does the hon. gentleman think that if training had been going on in the immediate vicinity of Sydney at the time of the strike, it would have been judicious for the government to send men from that training camp to the scene of the strike?

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

I do not see any reasoD why they should not do so.

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

WTould the hon. gentleman himself have done it?

Supply-Defence-Drill

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

The militia of Canada is essentially a loyal body of men who are in favour of the preservation of law and order. It has been for that purpose very largely that the militia of Canada has been maintained since Canada became a country. The minister to-day comes forward and asks for $50,000 more to continue his annual training. Last year his first proposal was to have $1,400,000 appropriated for this purpose, but a disturbance arose among his followers on the question and he moved a reduction of $400,000. The hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power) was himself active last session in endeavouring to bring about a reduction of the vote far below the million-dollar point, but-probably after a caucus or a conference of some kind with the minister-he yielded and the amount was allowed to stand at $1,000,000. For anything that is before the House to-day, and for all the training that took place in Canada last year, $1,000,000 should be ample. The minister has not, in my hearing at all events, justified his proposal to increase the amount this year by $50,000. It is apparent to anybody who goes about Ontario-I do not speak for other provinces-that there is a lack of enthusiasm among militiamen themselves in regard to military training and military organization; they feel that instead of being encouraged they have been discouraged by this government. That may be the will of this House of Commons, but in my judgment it is a great mistake. We should keep up an establishment at least equal to that which we maintained in pre-war days. In those days there was no charge in this country of militarism; I never heard it, if there was any. If we keep up the same establishment and give the same class of training as we did three, four or five years before the war, the military spirit will be maintained and the enthusiasm of the militia organization stimulated. But you have not that condition to-day; the manner in which the subject has been handled by the government and by this House has brought about a reduction of enthusiasm and a depreciation in the value of our military organization. We find ourselves, as we did last fall, in this pass: that where trouble of any kind is threatened, even on a minor scale, it becomes necessary to scour the country as far as London to get a handful of men to send to the East to quell a disturbance, or at least to keep the peace. If the old spirit existed; if the old militia units were organized and received proper training and encouragement, men would have been available in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick for all necessary purposes. Let us get back to the old basis of

training. The minister says he trains 33,000 men. That is a fair number, if the training amounted to anything. But the men come in in small driblets, a few at a time; they turn out at local headquarters and indulge, I suppose, in a good time for an hour or two and report it as drill. It is the best they can do. The men cannot be got; they cannot be induced to enlist in the various units; consequently the units are far below strength and both officers and men are discouraged. Unless the minister takes some steps to bring about changed conditions, the whole military spirit in the country is going to die out.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

There is something in

what my hon. friend says; the amount now asked is smaller than the appropriation in prewar days. But ,1 would point out that we are asking for an amount which is within $109,000 oi the amount spent in the last year my hon. friend was in office. The reports from my officers indicate that the training last year was just as perfect as it was the year before. The cost of living may be going down a bit, and that may account for the decrease. I must take exception to my hon. friend's statement that the militia men are not enthusiastic; unless the officers all over Canada are deceiving me, the condition is very much the reverse. I visited a good many of the headquarters this year and I found great enthusiasm prevailing. The majority of the officers understand that we have to get back to pre-war conditions, that we have to cut down the expenditure in this connection as in connection with all other services; and I feel that in doing that I am serving the country and not neglecting any interest. My hon. friend referred to the fact that the department had to go to London and elsewhere to get troops for a certain occasion. The law provides that in a case of that kind you must take the permanent force. If we train a million men in the volunteer force they are not, under the act, to be called on, except for the time necessary to replace them by members of the permanent force. On that occasion we called on none of the volunteers; we strictly followed the act and called on members of the permanent force. If he were dealing with the numbers in the permanent force, my hon. friend's criticism might be applicable, but the act does not provide that the volunteer force shall be called out, except in an emergency, and even then it is to be replaced as rapidly as possible by the permanent force. Section 81 of the Militia Act, dealing with aid to the civil power, says:

The district officer commanding in any locality, if he is present in the locality and able to act, or if he is not so present, or from sickness or other cause is unable to act, the senior officer of the active militia

Supply-Defence-Drill

in any locality, not from sickness or other cause unable to act, shall call out the active militia, or such portion thereof as he considers necessary for the purpose of preventing or suppressing any such actual or anticipated riot or disturbance, when thereunto required in writing by the civil authority hereinafter designated in that behalf: Provided that so far as the permanent force is available, a sufficient number of the force is to be employed upon the duty of preventing or suppressing such actual or anticipated riot or disturbance before recourse is had to other militia corps, and shall replace such other militia corps if so called out upon duty so soon as and to the extent the permanent force shall thereafter become available.

So, as a matter of fact, the permanent force is the force that the department, under the act, is supposed to call on in such cases.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

My hon. friend surely has not understood that from the section. It says, in substance, "Shall call out the active militia, to be replaced so far as available by the permanent force." Only to the extent that the permanent force exists is it to be called on. If there is not sufficient permanent force in the district, then the active militia is allowed to remain. The active militia is available there above and beyond the permanent force for the purpose of quelling a disturbance. It has been so used time and again.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

I am not so informed by the officers of the department.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The law is there.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

The law is quite plain.

If you have a permanent force available, you are to use it, but if it be not available, in other words if it be not in the district or close at hand, you can use the active militia until such time as you can replace it with the permanent force. That is as I read the act.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

And to the extent the

permanent force is there. If it is not there to sufficient extent, you may use the active militia. This goes only to confirm the point made by my hon friend for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) that the active militia is available for these purposes. The permanent force referred to is the permanent force of the district; if not, why is the district officer commanding mentioned?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

The district officer commanding is in that locality. The officers of the department, and the act bears them out, I submit, are my authority that we are to call out the permanent force if they are available. If they are available, it does not make any difference where they are available so long as we can get them, but if they are not immediately available, we can call out the active militia until such time as we can replace them with the permanent force.

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March 6, 1923