May 28, 1940

LIB

Thomas Vien (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

I do not think that is a point of order. It might be a question to be asked of the hon. member who has the floor.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

I thank you, sir. We maintain that the natural resources of Canada are the birthright of the Canadian people. We believe that they should be used to the utmost in the winning of this war. This control over our life eats like a cancer into

War Appropriation Bill

the good young life of our country, and our people wilt and rot. Canada is rotting to-day. The most healthy part of this nation, as far as I can see, is in the maritime provinces where cooperative societies are making some progress. Ex-directors, directors and legal advisers of big business are, I fear, too close to the coffers and inner councils of this government.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Olof Hanson

Liberal

Mr. HANSON (Skeena):

Mr. Chairman,

on a point of order-

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Thomas Vien (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Order. The question is raised as to whether the hon. gentleman is reading his speech. The rules of the house do not permit him to do so. If the hon. gentleman is reading his speech-

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

I have some notes.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

On that point of order, my understanding is that the hon. member is following his notes pretty closely but, he being a new member, I suggest that we allow him to proceed; I think we shall make progress better in that way than in any other.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Thomas Vien (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

I draw the attention of the committee to the fact that, from the beginning of this session, no objection was ever raised to an hon. member reading his speech; but when the attention of the Chairman is drawn to the fact that an hon. member is reading his speech, the Chairman has no alternative but to call attention to the rule.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

Thank you, sir. The common peril at this time, and the common good of this and future generations, demand the public ownership of all the natural and industrial resources of this country. These are the wealth that provides the sinews of war. We also believe that if you take the profits out of war, you would do a great deal to abolish war. If that is done, perhaps the world and humanity may yet be saved. Canadians have inherited a great land, and they are willing to sacrifice for it. Our government should be immediately condemned if they fail to take these natural resources, the things that belong to the people of Canada, and use them in this hour of trial. Western Canada has been betrayed by the governments of this country. The people in that land have been exploited; the organization of society in the west is but a shadow of its former self. The other evening this house listened with bated breath to the cry of humanity-the cry of a mother starved for her brood. I watched, with sinking hopes, the looks of disdain on the faces of some hon. members opposite. She

spoke for thousands. Let me warn this administration that out of that great land of suffering humanity will rise a voice which will demand the restoration of the heritage that has been taken from them. They will demand that measure of equality and of social justice and the opportunity to live which have so far been denied them. If this government fails, there will sweep across Canada, when this war is ended, a rising protest which will take this present administration and drive them into the "abysmal depths of oblivion" from which they never should have emerged.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

The western province^ have been the victims of vicious exploitation. Uncontrolled grain exchanges, unchecked machine combines and ruthless mortgage and finance companies have looted and ravaged the great land of the west. The price of everything the farmer buys is controlled, but he is given no assuranoe even of a minimum price for the commodities he sells. Over ninety-five per cent of the farmers of Saskatchewan are in debt; almost ninety per cent have mortgages on their farms and forty-five per cent of them have lost their land and become mere tenants and share croppers. About one-third of the people in the constituency which I have the honour to represent are of Ukrainian birth. They came to Canada, have worked to build a home, and now in the hour of trial they are willing to offer themselves to fight for that measure of freedom which they know should be the heritage of every Canadian, and which was denied them in Poland from which they came. These men are offering themselves willingly. To the eternal shame of Canada we find these dispossessed people more willing to die for Canada than are the money-lenders to surrender their pound of flesh. Give to Canadians the assurance that when this war is over and they come back, opportunity will exist for all. They look to you for that guarantee. Demonstrate to everyone that action and a square deal will be the great achievement of this parliament; that will inspire our people to great sacrifices, and so great will be their morale that they will win against all odds. This administration has been in power for over five years; it has been returned with the greatest majority ever enjoyed by any government in this house-

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Too long and too big.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

They have an opposition which is willing to assist in every way and a willing people ready, yes begging, to serve. Do not betray them.

War Appropriation Bill

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Rogers) was kind enough before six o'clock to answer one or two questions with regard to dependents' allowances, although it did not seem very appropriate to the section. I wonder if he will allow another question in that connection.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Certainly.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

It is perhaps not so much a question as an explanation which I think will be appreciated by many people throughout the country who seem to think-and I share the view-that some discrimination exists in connection with the matter.

When the war began, the government in their wisdom, and I think rightly, decided to realign the payments made to soldiers' wives, and also introduced payments to dependents. They raised the payments made to wives from $20 in the last war to $35, quite properly. They also introduced the question of soldiers' dependents, giving the woman an allowance for the children the soldier had up to two, and also took cognizance of dependent mothers. But for some unknown reason they allowed a dependent mother, who stood in the place of a wife to him as far as housekeeping and so on goes, only the sum of $20, and the argument for this is along these lines. I applied to some of the numerous boards, and I quote the answer I received as to why a widowed mother should not get $35 just the same as a wife:

As a consequence of the additional responsibilities assumed by a. wife in regard to the maintenance of a home for herself and her husband and possibly her children, the total expenses involved are considered to be greater than those of a mother whose responsibility ends with her own maintenance.

I differ very much from that. In the first place there is no need to introduce the question of children because they are paid for separately. Further, a woman does not have any more expense maintaining a home for herself, if she has no children, than if she is the soldier's mother. Furthermore, the wife of a soldier to-day would naturally be a young and presumably healthy woman. She would not require as much to maintain herself; she could even go out to work to a certain extent, if she had the opportunity. Certainly she could do certain chores round the house, such as splitting and bringing in wood, that would be perhaps impossible for an aged mother to do. Again, the old mother would probably require medical care and attendance, which surely would bring her requirements up to those of a wife. So, instead of giving only $20 to a mother, I would suggest that the amount should1 be the same as that given a

wife, which is $35. If $35 is considered to be a fair and reasonable sum for the woman who is left alone, who is relieved of many of her responsibilities in connection with maintaining a home through the absence of her husband, I think that should be considered also a fair and reasonable sum for the mother.

I should like also to refer to a case which probably does not arise very often, but which has arisen and in which I think a favourable decision might be given. I took up the case of a man who was the sole support of his grandmother. When he went overseas she was not allowed anything. When I took up the case I discovered that according to the rules, which were formulated last August or September, the grandmother would be eligible if the soldier were illegitimate, but that if he was of legitimate birth the grandmother would not get anything. I believe that was later altered, but only to the extent that now no grandmother is eligible for the allowance. I imagine there would be very few cases in which the grandmother would be the sole dependent of a soldier, and in those few cases I think the department might well waive the difference between the words " mother " and " grandmother." That is a small matter which could be easily adjusted. I should like an explanation on that point and also as to why an aged widowed mother, requiring assistance in her house and perhaps medical care, should not receive the same allowance as an active wife.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I should like to thank my hon. friend for bringing these cases to my attention. The other day the Minister of Finance announced that the regulations concerning dependents' allowances would be reviewed in order to discover cases of hardship and to seek remedial measures where such cases were found. I quite agree with my hon. friend that it is difficult to distinguish between the soldier's wife without children and the mother he mentioned.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

The children do not matter; they are dealt with separately.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Quite so. Actually I believe the amount payable to a mother in the circumstances mentioned is based upon the amount paid under the Pension Act. I should like, however, to take note of both the cases mentioned by my hon. friend, and I will see that they are made subject to review. I shall give him any further information that may be required on that point.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Not these particular instances only but typical similar cases.

War Appropriation Bill

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Quite so. While I am on my feet I should like to say to the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Church) that the appropriation provided by this bill is intended to cover the expenditures he mentioned, for example the possible expansion of encampments during the summer months and any expansion which may be necessary in our Canadian active service force. Needless to say, if the amount provided is not sufficient for these purposes, more money will be obtained, because we must be guided by the necessities of the situation as they develop.

In the committee there has been some discussion of the position of tanks and their utilization in Canada. I should like to take this opportunity to deal with an exchange of correspondence on the subject of tanks and more particularly on the employment of Colonel Carter, British tank officer, this correspondence having been made public yesterday in a Toronto afternoon paper. I think it is of some importance that this question be dealt with at this stage. Perhaps I might proceed by first placing on record a telegram which I received on November 14 last from Major Everett Bristol, of Toronto, as follows:

In view of newspaper reports yesterday that Canadian government is asking British government for experts may I call your attention to the fact that Colonel E. J. Carter lately chief instructor of the royal tank school, England, one of Great Britain's experts on tank and armoured ear design and tactics is at present at the Mount Royal hotel, Montreal, and proposes to sail for England on Saturday 18th. Colonel Carter who is retired expects to be reemployed in England on his return but in meantime is not under orders and is available if required here. He has already visited the tank training centre at Camp Borden and is well known to General MeNaughton. As a result of meeting him a group of ex-officers and others in Toronto have expressed their willingness to assist in any way that may seem practical in developing tank training equipment and for benefiting Canadian armoured troops generally. May I respectfully suggest that Colonel Carter be asked to postpone his sailing and that he be. interviewed with a view to the possibility of utilizing his services in the training of the tank units of the C.A.S.F. and in the event of production of tanks on this side being determined upon in advising on the technical problems relating thereto.

In reply I sent the following telegram on November 15:

Renly your wire yesterday respecting Colonel Carter, appreciate your interest in this matter. Matter has been carefully considered but our tank organization does not warrant appointment additional senior officers at present.

That is signed by myself. In accordance with the usual procedure my reply to Mr. Bristol was made after his telegram was referred to the appropriate officers of the Department of National Defence for a report.

95826-20i

My reply was based on this report. To put the matter briefly, it was considered that while Colonel Carter was a most competent officer-I should like to have it fully understood that there was no question at all as to his competence1-our tank organization did not warrant the appointment of additional senior officers. Lieutenant-Colonel Worthington, a Canadian officer, was in charge of this work. He had exceptional technical qualifications and was well acquainted with Canadian conditions. He was an officer in whom everyone, including the tank authorities in England, had the greatest confidence. After his return from England, where he had been taking a course in tank tactics and maintenance for over a year, the highest reports on his work were received from the authorities in the United Kingdom. Therefore it was considered that for the present no additional senior officers would be required, since Colonel Worthington was a competent adviser on all matters pertaining to tanks. I might add that during his visit to Canada, Colonel Carter met General MeNaughton as well as other staff officers at the Department of National Defence, where he was received with every courtesy and consideration.

The article in the Toronto Telegram raises the further question of why tank units were not sent forward with the Canadian division. The reasons why we have not sent tank units overseas relate in part to the war establishment of a division and in part to problems of production. So far as the organization of a division is concerned, tank battalions are neither divisional nor corps troops. They are army troops and are supplied on an established scale to each corps forming part of an army. As it was intended at the outset that the first Canadian division would form part of a British army corps in the field, it was decided that tank battalions for this British corps should be supplied by the British army establishment, at least until such time as we were able to work out the problem of tank production in Canada in cooperation with the British purchasing mission. My colleague the minister who is acting as Minister of Munitions and Supply will be in a position to deal with this aspect of the question. I felt it was of some importance that I should place this information before the committee as soon as possible, because I want to make it entirely clear that our attitude towards Colonel Carter was one of respect for his ability. But the officers of the department, with full knowledge of the situation, were convinced that in the person of Colonel Worthington, who had a distinguished record in the last war, and had had specialized training in tactics in England

War Appropriation Bill

recently, we had one who was entirely capable of supplying us with whatever advice might be required in connection with the use of tanks.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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May 28, 1940