July 15, 1943

LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I am not critical of that; I thought it was a constructive suggestion, but I am pointing out the change in conditions in the dominion and the change in the thinking of our people. At the same time, the responsibility is mine and we cannot afford to relax our efforts. I do not think we should expand any more. As I pointed out last night, as regards equipment, this year's estimates provide for practically all that we shall require, and the estimates will go down from now on for A.R.P. work. There is no intention of expanding, but, I repeat, it is my responsibility to support the volunteers, especially on the two coasts, in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia and parts of Ontario, in the splendid voluntary efforts they are making on behalf of the nation. We cannot afford to be extravagant, but on the other hand we cannot afford to be complacent.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

I am fairly close in my own part of Canada to A.R.P. work. In parts of my own constituency there is an excellent organization. There has been, from the early part of the war until now, a sort of esprit de corps among the civilians flowing from A.R.P. precautionary measures, and I am inclined to think that whatever else they may have contributed, and I am not by any means limiting their contribution to this, they did provide an outlet for patriotic and serious-minded Canadians to make some physical move such as is manifested in the work they are doing in this field, which was particularly within their scope. Many of these men were of course veterans of the last war. A good many of the leaders in A.R.P. work throughout Canada are returned soldiers. It was a normal and a natural thing therefore for these men,

when this war broke out, to wish to get into work of some kind, into the army if possible but having been denied that on physical grounds they sought some other means of helping their country, as they had done in previous years.

The A.R.P. work has developed to the point where, in my opinion, Canadians may properly take a good deal of pride in the organization. I realize that one of the great troubles with the minister, and the late head of air raid precautions, was the fact that when the reserve army had been brought to the point where public recognition was given it in any major degree, and where the public, by various public relations measures and by appeals, had contributed to the enhanced importance of the reserve army in the estimation of the Canadian people, especially when the men were given uniforms and were thus more closely approximating actual war activities, the A.R.P. organization felt the drain very heavily upon their ranks, when men began to move into the reserve army. That naturally made it more difficult to keep the A.R.P. organization alive. But there was another factor which entered into the picture, as the hon. member for York-Sunbury has pointed out, namely, the growing conviction in the public mind of the danger of air raids to Canada. That was another factor which must have made it still more difficult for the head of the A.R.P. organization to keep it functioning.

We may properly pay tribute to Doctor Manion and his organization in connection with A.R.P. work. I mentioned before, and I refer to it again, the indomitable enthusiasm of Doctor Manion. Whatever may be said about the late lamented Doctor Manion, one fact that does stand out, in addition to the many other qualifications he had, was that when he undertook a job he threw every bit of energy and effort into it, and, what is more important, he devoted to it all the enthusiasm he possessed. I remember when he was first appointed how satisfied the minister was because he had been able to induce Doctor Manion to take on the work. I can remember too the time, two or three sessions ago, when I must confess I shared the view that was held by a good many people, and I am not so sure that it was not also the minister's view. At any rate, he kept his head cool while the debate was going on, but I must admit that I felt at that time that Canada was in a very dangerous position in regard to air raids. There was plenty of evidence from time to time to show that from various parts of the western coast of Europe German bombers could come over with their loads of destruction and return. That caused a great deal of fear in

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the minds and hearts of Canadians generally, and I for one felt-as I say, I am not so sure that the minister did not also feel-that some real move should be made to safeguard our people in the event of some untoward action, so that they might be adequately protected as far as humanly possible. Having in mind the steps that were then taken, and the renewed1 effort that was made in connection with A.R.P. work and its development to the point where Doctor Manion left it, I do not think that we should relax our efforts at this time. When we are nearing the end of hostilities we may be able to form a different judgment, but particularly in my own part of the country, which is the only part I can speak of with any degree of accuracy or of actual knowledge, I do not think it would be regarded as a wise move on the part of the government to relax the efforts that are now being made. I say this not only for security reasons but because A.R.P. work has proved an outlet for the activities of those of our citizens who wish to contribute to the war effort.

May I point out that we are not by any means out of the woods. It is quite true that we have reached the end of the beginning and are now at the beginning of the end, but we may find this period through which we are now passing a grave one for our people, however optimistic we may feel. We may have to go through several periods of great difficulty so far as the war in general is concerned. It may be that we shall have set-backs which to-day we cannot envisage. In the days that lie ahead we may find that this continent must suffer air attack, because before. Germany is beaten to her knees she will take many long chances and many retaliatory measures, one of which may be the bombing of defenceless people on this continent. If that is the case, and I am only throwing that out as a possibility, then I suggest to the government that we should not relax until we have seen the war move closer to a successful conclusion. Until that time I believe we should continue all these precautions which are necessary for the security of the average individual in this country who is doing his best on the home front.

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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

It is not my desire to hold up the estimates of the minister, but I should like to add my word of praise of that great band of workers who have done so nobly in connection with A.R.P. work. It is not generally recognized, nor do I think it has been mentioned during this debate, that if a raid should take place the A.R.P. workers will be the first line of defence. Some people seem to thi*k that our home defence army will be 72537-3061

called into action first, but in the event of a raid the A.R.P. will be in the front line of battle, for they will be called into action immediately the raid takes place.

The hon. member for York-Sunbury pointed out that the government might relax its efforts in some districts. If that should be done I suggest to the minister that he should strengthen the organization in other districts, because to my mind the danger on the Pacific coast is not yet gone. I speak as a layman, but sometimes a layman may have a better understanding of the situation than some of our generals. I remember very well that when General Stuart went to the Pacific coast about two years ago and was told about the Japanese on Kiska, he laughed and said, "Oh, that little thing; that does not mean anything." Yet the other evening in his address to the House of Commons the Prime Minister stated that Kiska was a very important strategic point for the Japanese, and to-day no one can tell what may happen in the Pacific area. According to my information the strength of the Japanese remains intact; therefore I would suggest to the minister that if there are districts in which A.R.P. precautions may not be necessary, he take the money from those districts and spend it where we believe this organization should be strengthened. Those who are doing A.R.P. work have never received official recognition. Rifles and uniforms have been given to all other voluntary bodies, but the A.R.P. workers have had to put up a long fight in order to obtain the assistance they are being given to-day.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to expresss my thanks to that body of willing workers who are not officially recognized and who I think deserve such recognition.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

You will have plenty

of support in that.

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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

I wonder if the minister could enlighten the committee in regard to what A.R.P. work is being done in the smaller communities. The hon. member for New Westminster has mentioned the Pacific coast, where there are some large cities. When we think of bombings we usually associate them with cities such as Vancouver, Halifax and so on, but I believe there are many very important small communities that might become the objectives of the Japanese air force, let us say. I need make no secret about it; I do not suppose it is any secret that in Alberta, for instance, there is a chain of air training schools running from the United States boundary all the way up to Edmonton and perhaps beyond that point. These schools are closer to Kiska island than either Vancouver or Victoria. These air training schools are not

4834 COMMONS

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built out in the wilderness; they have very fine locations, and some are adjacent to small communities. Of course I do not know whether these schools would be regarded as military objectives; I do not know what value they would have as such. I know they do not constitute forts; they do not constitute munitions works, but they are highly specialized schools for the training of airmen, and there are many of them; make no mistake about that. Not very long ago I told one Liberal member here that I had six air training schools in my constituency. He was very much surprised, and wondered what I had done to get so many of these establishments located in my territory. I did not do a thing about it, but I believe the authorities used good judgment in putting them there. That is just my constituency; there are many other schools right along the mountains, where facilities for air training are good. If those air training schools should become the objectives of the Japanese air force, certainly the small communities near by would get it also. So far as I know the only thing that has been done is to train the people of those communities to put out their lights during blackouts. I do not know whether it is a very difficult undertaking to train people to turn out their lights, but in any case I should like to know whether anything more has been done.

While I am on my feet I should like to ask the minister for further information on another matter. This may not come under his department, but I am sure his knowledge extends beyond his own department. Are facilities available for giving plenty of warning in case a raid is made? I have in mind that a fleet of bombers, starting from somewhere off the Pacific coast, could follow a route clean across southeastern Alberta. Those bombers can fly several hundred miles an hour, as we know; they could cover a thousand miles in a very short time. How are these small communities to be warned in time to give adequate protection? I should like the minister to tell us what facilities have been established in that regard. I have no doubt there is some organization looking after that matter, but there is a great danger of focusing our attention upon some large metropolis and forgetting these small but strategic places.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Referring to the first question, there are certain areas in Canada which have been designated by the chief of staffs committee as either subject to definite risk or lesser risk. Of course the two coasts would be subject to definite risk, and practically all the coastal

areas are under the A.R.P. system. In regard to the other areas, in British Columbia alone there are 139 local centres where they have air raid precaution organizations. In Canada altogether there are 633 areas.

In regard to the second point raised by the hon. member, having to do with training camps, may I say that the air force authorities have organizations of their own which are trained along similar lines to the air raid precautions organization, and they look after situations such as have been described by the hon. member. That area as such, however, does not come within the definition of a designated area, under the jurisdiction of this department, or the air raid precautions system.

As to the further point raised by the hon. member, may I point out that the air raid detection corps in Canada works in absolute liaison with the air raid precautions authorities. I know that in British Columbia, after some experiments, we found we were able to have the whole area blacked out inside of three minutes, through the use of most excellent telephonic communications. I believe, roughly speaking, I have replied to the points raised by the hon. member.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

I should like to make one or two references to this item. Before doing so however may I say that in my opinion the work being done by air raid precautions wardens is of so commendable a nature that it has earned the gratitude and approval of all hon. members. Recently I had the opportunity of seeing what is being done in Ottawa. I visited an exhibition given one Sunday in connection with fire-fighting, and at that [DOT] time I saw some of the work these men are doing. There is no glamour in the work they do. But they give hours of patriotic service, with no incentive other than the desire to contribute something at this time so that they may prepare themselves to protect us, should conditions make necessary the use of their knowledge. Nothing destroys discipline in any organization so much as the work of that organization becoming merely routine. In those circumstances enthusiasm may be lost, and all they have left to impel them to continue their efforts is their own appreciation of what they are doing. I do feel that there should not be any '[DOT]elaxation in the efforts of these men, many of whom were soldiers in the last war, and who in this way find an opportunity of doing something which otherwise would be denied them, namely the opportunity of serving in the only capacity for which they are fitted.

While at the present time we are in a period of what might almost be described

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as apathy in Canada so far as the danger of air raids is concerned, I cannot help recalling that only three months before Pearl Harbor a former member of Japan's intelligence service informed the members of the united nations that there would be a Pearl Harbor. He warned, too, that the Aleutians would be occupied. The hon. member for New Westminster has pointed out the strategic importance of the occupation of those islands. In addition to that he warned it was part of Japan's plan to bomb Pacific coast cities, down into the United States.

As the leader of the opposition has said, when the war approaches a crisis and the axis nations begin to appreciate that the sound of doom is about them, they may commence air raids merely because of their nuisance value. They may distribute gas in this way, and at such time, if it ever comes, the efforts of these men will be appreciated by the people of Canada. If we were to relax in this work or give it up we would invite the very thing the air raid precautions organization was intended to prevent.

May I ask the minister whether or not the various munitions plants in Canada, or any of them, have been warned about the dangers of air raids, and the necessity of making an appeal for volunteer blood donors?

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Both things have been done. They have been warned in regard to both points mentioned by the hon. member.

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PC
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

As to the hon. member's first question, I understand there is a security division in all munitions plants operated under the Department of Munitions and Supply. The main function of such divisions is exactly that mentioned by the hon. member. May I inform the hon. member that we have produced, to date, approximately 100,000 bottles of blood serum, part of which has been distributed to strategic centres in Canada, and all of which is available for any eventuality.

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PC
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Part of it has gone overseas. There have been received from the Connaught laboratories 79,174 bottles or cans of dried serum, 1,561 bottles or 223 boxes each containing seven bottles of serum, an equal number of distilled water and four giving sets have been dispatched overseas to date. Supplies are now in hand to dispatch similar boxes at the rate of 1,000 units of dried serum per week. There have been distributed in Canada and Newfoundland at strategic points for the armed services and civilian use when necessary through national catastrophes or enemy action, 39,131 bottles. The exact distribution is not disclosed because of the need of security. Competent authorities in every district and command, including A.R.P. and Red Cross, have knowledge as to their availability. There have been transported overseas 40,043 bottles.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Having in mind what

has been said in the committee this morning and which represents, I believe, the general view throughout the country, as to the necessity of keeping our air raid precautions intact in view of a possible dangerous situation arising a little later, I suggest that it would be advisable for the government not to postpone any longer the appointment of a successor to the late Doctor Manion, who was acting as director of air raid precautions. I aim afraid that if this appointment is delayed for any considerable length of time, those

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who are connected with this work may take it as evidence that the government has in mind the disbanding of the whole organization. That is not the proper attitude to take. If the government is desirous of keeping up the esprit de corps of this organization it should appoint as quickly as possible some outstanding Canadian citizen, as it did in making the previous appointment.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I made a recommendation to council a week ago, but because of other duties I was not able to be in council for the last two days. I may say that council has approved the appointment of General Alexander Ross, of Saskatchewan, formerly president of the Canadian Legion.

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LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. McIVOR:

I rise at this time on behalf of the people in my constituency to pay a tribute to the former director of A.R.P. We were heartsick when we heard of the sudden call of Doctor Manion to his "well done, good and faithful servant." That was his last task, and with all his brilliance he carried it out most efficiently. I do not think any public man from the head of the lakes has received a greater tribute from the public generally and from the press than did Doctor Manion. I was sorry I was not in the chamber before, but I take this opportunity of paying my tribute to him because he was one who was worthy to be trusted, and he was one who merited commendation.

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NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

I agree with the

minister that this A.R.P. work should not be disbanded. We should not have any feeling of complacency about it. Things change quickly these days; new methods come along, and we do not know from day to day what is going to happen. As the minister remembers, during the early stages of the war I was most insistent upon something being done in connection with A.R.P. The people of Toronto were upset because of the number of factories in their immediate vicinity and their proximity to Niagara Falls. We cannot say that all danger of bombing has disappeared so far as our city is concerned; it is still within the bounds of possibility that something of the kind may happen.

I should like to pay a tribute to the men and women of Toronto who have given of their time to this work, and also to the members of the police force. The inspectors of the different divisions have given lectures which were most helpful, and generally an esprit de corps has been built up which is a credit to the citizens of that city. These people have attended lectures after doing *

their day's work to learn about gases, first aid, fire fighting and so on. We should consider this expenditure as an insurance premium and hope that we will never have to make a claim. In order that this esprit de corps may not be lost, in order that these A.R.P. wardens may retain their enthusiasm, something should be done toward directing their efforts in some other direction. They could be used in some other form of useful war effort, especially in those places which are not in such great danger. I do not want it to be thought that the policemen and the firemen of Toronto are tired of this work; they have been most enthusiastic about it, and I think they welcomed an opportunity to participate in A.R.P. work.

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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

The turn the discussion on this item of $6,589,650 for air raid precautions has taken is disquieting to me. Some hon. members have contended that we should cut down on our expenditures and relax our A.R.P. work. That is a most dangerous outlook, one which I wish to repudiate at once. Many hon. members have adopted an apologetic attitude toward this work; they do not seem to understand why it is still necessary. My home is on the Pacific coast, and in that regard the minister and I are in the same position. When I wake up in the morning frequently one of the first things I think of is whether my home city has been bombed. That is no idle fancy. The hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Reid) referred to the statement made by the Prime Minister on July 9, and I quote his words as reported on page 4558 of Hansard:

Kiska remains a potential centre of attack upon our shores, and upon other parts of this continent.

Larger planes are being built, and planes that can fly greater distances, and it has been admitted that it would be comparatively easy for an aeroplane carrier to slip up to within bombing range of the Pacific coast. It might not get away again, but the planes from such a ship could do great damage. I urge upon the minister that he pay no attention to these doubting Thomases. I urge him not only to carry on the air raid precautions work that has been initiated, but to go much farther. For example, I believe it is only within the last few days that the air raid wardens on our coast have received uniforms, and I understand that only a small number of them have been fitted out with these.

Some complaint has been made about blackouts being too long. For goodness' sake let us put up with a little inconvenience in order to make dead sure that we can have an efficient

War Appropriation-National Health

blackout when the need arises. The organization of air raid precautions is not yet perfect; it is far from perfect, and I think the minister would be the first to admit it. From the start, it has been difficult to organize because there has been divided authority between the dominion, the provinces and the municipalities. It has been a great stuggle to get this work going at all, and I do urge upon the minister that further efforts be made to improve the general organization.

The government is to be congratulated on appointing General Alex. Ross as director of air raid precautions for Canada. I had what I consider one of the greatest privileges of my life in being able to serve under General Ross in France during the year 1918. He is an outstanding leader of men, probably one of the finest leaders of men that Canada has produced in our generation. That at least is my personal opinion. I believe in General Ross- Turkey Ross, as he was known to the troops-

I believe in him right through the picture. He is no yes-man-the minister knows that, the men of the Canadian Legion know that. He will make demands on the government and he will be pretty tough about those demands. He will want to get proper backing, and I urge upon the minister that he stand behind General Ross in this work. The minister has already had an excellent director in the late Doctor Manion; he could have had no better man. May I urge upon him that he stand behind Doctor Manion's successor, and if he does we may take it for granted that the air raid precautions work in Canada will be carried on in an efficient manner.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

I wish to associate myself with the tribute which has been paid by the leader of the Progressive Conservative party to the work done by Doctor Manion and by the wardens and others who have assisted in carrying out the air raid precautions work throughout Canada. Amongst them were members of the St. John Ambulance Brigade, who have been very active in even- part of Canada and have done excellent work.

May I say a few words in support of the statements made by the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Church) yesterday, when he called attention to some dangers and difficulties in connection with the blackouts. While I would not for a moment wish to disagree with the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green) in regard to the necessity for blackouts on the Pacific coast, and also the Atlantic coast and in Quebec province, yet I think that the blackouts in the interior of Canada might very well be shortened in duration; for instance, in the big cities like Toronto,

Kingston, not forgetting Ottawa, and perhaps Montreal. But that is a matter for the department, and having said a word in regard to it I am quite willing to leave it to the judgment of those in authority.

I have asked a few questions about A.R.P. work which have not yet been answered, but I presume I may expect an answer shortly from the minister.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I have a memorandum here, but I have not yet analysed it.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

Then I will not ask for it at

this time; it can be supplied later.

I am satisfied with the statement made earlier this morning by the minister when he said that this work would be continued in the maritimes, in Quebec and on the Pacific coast just as actively as it had been done heretofore, but less so in the central provinces where less expenditure may be made. It was this question of the reduction in cost to which I wished to call attention in one of the questions which I asked in regard to this work.

I want to commend the minister himself for the work he and his department have done in initiating and carrying through the work of A.R.P.

I would like while on my feet to refer-if it is necessary I will do it on a question of privilege-to what was said by the hon. member for Brantford City last night in my absence from the house. He apparently got the view that I was making a personal attack on the minister. I want to disavow any such intention, and if my words created any such impression I am very sorry. I only wished to bring to the minister's attention as forcefully as I could the reasons why I, in common with a large body of opinion in Toronto and elsewhere, was opposed to his going ahead with additions to Christie Street hospital. Perhaps he had reference to the words I used in regard to a monument in Toronto. If so, I would say to the minister that he can very well change the character of that monument if he will do as we suggest, put up a new building, and I am quite willing then to propose that it be called the Mackenzie Military hospital.

Only one word further in regard to the argument of the hon. member for Brantford City in support of his opinion that noises would not interfere with the use of a stethoscope. I think possibly the word of a consulting physician who complained to me would be taken as of more value than that of the hon. member for Brantford City.

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July 15, 1943