Hon. IAN MACKENZIE (Minister of National Defence):
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member was kind enough to notify me of his intention to ask this question. I have observed the contents of the dispatch to which he refers, and may I say immediately that the dispatch in question is absolutely crowded with the most glaring inaccuracies. Not only have the defences at Halifax not been weakened in recent days, but they have been actually strengthened. More guns of heavy calibre have been moved to the vicinity of Halifax than have been taken away from there. Certain guns which were "unallotted," or "in reserve" for some years, have been moved from the district, but I can assure the hon. member, with reference both to guns and to munitions, that nothing whatsoever has been done to impair the effective defences of Halifax city. The reference in the dispatch to ninety naval families being transferred is equally untrue. A few key naval ratings may be transferred, but no more. I only express
my personal regret that the Canadian Press saw fit to carry this dispatch, which several journals refused to print, without investigation at headquarters here in Ottawa.
Subtopic: REPORTED DISMANTLING OF GUNS AND REDUCTION OF DEFENCE EQUIPMENT AT HALIFAX