September 7, 1950

LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxion:

We, would not have the money in any other vote.

Topic:   DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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Paragraph agreed to. With provision also empowering the governor in council to raise by way of loan under the provisions of the Consolidated Revenue and Audit Act. 1931, such sum or sums of money not exceeding in the whole the sum of $300 million as may be required for the purpose of defraying the aforesaid expenses, the principal and interest of any such loan to be a charge upon and payable out of the consolidated revenue fund.


CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

This paragraph gives the governor in council power to borrow up to

$300 million, and I should like to ask two or three questions on this. From whom is this money being borrowed? Is there any limit on the time within which it can be borrowed? Does the reference to "defraying the aforesaid expenses" refer to the cash items in the resolution only, or to both the cash items and the future commitment items?

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

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

The Minister of Finance explained that borrowing power and pointed out that almost every appropriation bill put through this house carries the right to borrow. That borrowing is temporary, and is intended to bridge the period between the time the money is expended and the time the tax revenue replaces that money. It is authority for temporary borrowing. As the Minister of Finance has explained, Canada is on a pay-as-you-go basis, so any use made of this borrowing power would be merely to tide over a temporary situation.

Topic:   DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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Paragraph agreed to.


LIB

Emmett Andrew McCusker

Liberal

Mr. McCusker:

Before the resolution is reported, I am sure hon. members would not mind if I took a moment or two to extend congratulations to the Minister of National Defence and the Secretary of State for External Affairs on the manner in which they answered the many and oft-repeated questions arising out of the presentation of these supplementary estimates. I am sure many of us feel that our understanding of the United Nations and the North Atlantic pact has been greatly increased. Our obligations and commitments have been made clear by the Secretary of State for External Affairs. Further, I want to congratulate the Minister of National Defence on his great patience, and the clarity with which he answered the questions put to him. I believe he has instilled into the members of the house a feeling that he is fully acquainted with the workings of his large department, and I am sure that feeling is shared by the people of Canada.

Resolution reported, read the second time and concurred in.

Mr. Claxton (for Mr. Abbott) thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 2, for granting to His Majesty aid for national defence and security.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   DEFENCE APPROPRIATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CANADIAN FORCES ACT

PROVISION FOR PLACING FORCES ON ACTIVE SERVICE

LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence) moved

that the house go into committee to consider the following resolution:

That it is expedient to introduce a measure respecting the Canadian forces-

1. Amending the National Defence Act to provide that the governor in council may establish and

Canadian Forces Act

authorize the maintenance of active service forces and may place the Canadian forces on active service in consequence of any action undertaken by Canada under the United Nations charter, the North Atlantic treaty or any other similar instrument for collective defence that may be entered into by Canada:

2. Excepting certain personnel from the application of the Militia Pension Act: and

3. Providing for the extension of benefits of certain legislation applicable to veterans of the second world war to veterans of forces designated as special forces.

Topic:   CANADIAN FORCES ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLACING FORCES ON ACTIVE SERVICE
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PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pearkes:

Is the minister going to

make a statement?

Topic:   CANADIAN FORCES ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLACING FORCES ON ACTIVE SERVICE
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

The bill which will be

introduced in consequence of this resolution is designed to implement the other decisions of the house. At present the National Defence Act, which was adopted at the session of parliament held earlier this year, provides for the placing of the forces on active service only "in an emergency" which is defined in the act as "war, invasion, riot, or insurrection, real or apprehended". One of the purposes of this bill is to make provision for the placing of all or part of the Canadian forces on active service not only in the event of an emergency but also in consequence of action undertaken by Canada under the United Nations charter, the North Atlantic treaty, or any similar instrument for collective defence that may be entered into by Canada. The effect of placing the forces on active service is rather technical. It relates to the application of the insurance principle under the Canadian Pension Act; the application of the disciplinary code, and provisions for release from the armed forces.

A second purpose of the bill is to extend to members of any special force the special provisions for veterans under a number of acts: the Civil Service Act, the Civil Service Superannuation Act, the Pension Act, the Unemployment Insurance Act, the Veterans Land Act, the Veterans Insurance Act, the War Service Grants Act, the Department of Veterans Affairs Act, the Veterans Rehabilitation Act, the Veterans Business and Professional Loans Act, the War Veterans Allowance Act, and the Reinstatement in Civil Employment Act. So, as far as is proper and possible, the position of men who enlist and take part in the work of any force designated as a special force shall be similar to that enjoyed by veterans in similar circumstances in the second world war.

The third object of the legislation is to remove members of a special force from the operation of the Defence Services Pension Act. It is considered that since they are enlisted for a special term of eighteen months, or longer as it may be extended, and for a

Canadian Forces Act

special purpose, and will have special benefits under the veterans' charter as it is extended to them, they should neither be subject to deduction for ordinary pensions, as members of the regular forces are, nor entitled to the benefit pension, as members of the regular forces are, unless they subsequently join the active forces of Canada. So the general object is to put members of the special force and others who may be added to them in very much the same position members of the Canadian army overseas were in at the end of the second world war.

Topic:   CANADIAN FORCES ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLACING FORCES ON ACTIVE SERVICE
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PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. R. Pearkes (Nanaimo):

The terms of this resolution are general and broad, and probably it would expedite the business of the house if we deferred the general discussion until we have the bill before us. There is only one point I should like to bring up, and that is that during the last session of parliament this National Defence Act was passed. At the end of the session when it was introduced into this house something over forty amendments were made to the original act. This act has not yet been distributed to the members, and it would be rather hard for them to discuss amendments to the act when they have not the amended act available to them. I would ask the minister to use his best endeavours to have that National Defence Act placed before the members before we start to discuss the new amendments to it.

Topic:   CANADIAN FORCES ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLACING FORCES ON ACTIVE SERVICE
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

Certainly; if that has not been none I shall be glad to see that it is done. I think I am right in saying that the bill as passed by this house was passed by the other place without an amendment.

Topic:   CANADIAN FORCES ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLACING FORCES ON ACTIVE SERVICE
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PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pearkes:

But we passed forty amendments to it, and I cannot remember them all.

Topic:   CANADIAN FORCES ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLACING FORCES ON ACTIVE SERVICE
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

If the statute is not available in sufficient quantities, if hon. members still have copies of the bill as passed by this house they will find it is identical with the statute. However, I shall do my best to ensure that copies are available for any member wanting them.

Topic:   CANADIAN FORCES ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLACING FORCES ON ACTIVE SERVICE
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Roseiown-Biggar):

I believe the main discussion should come on the bill, but there are one or two features of this resolution that I believe are new in this parliament. I refer particularly to the giving of the governor in council the right to place the Canadian forces on active service in consequence of any action undertaken by Canada under the United Nations charter, the North Atlantic treaty or any similar instrument of collective defence that may be entered into by Canada. This seems to be a wide

authority that goes far beyond anything this house has ever contemplated before. I may be wrong in that, but it struck me when I read the resolution that it did go beyond anything that parliament has contemplated heretofore.

At the moment we are engaged in the United Nations police action, and of course we are pledged to do certain things in connection with the Atlantic pact. But even the North Atlantic pact I believe reserves to each country the right to decide what that country shall do. It seems to me that the resolution goes beyond that, and gives the governor in council a right that parliament alone should exercise. Perhaps my interpretation is wrong, and perhaps this resolution is not as wide in its implications as it seems to suggest. It is a point to which I would draw the attention of the minister, so that when the bill comes before the house on second reading we can go into that phase of it very thoroughly indeed.

I am pleased indeed to see that the extension of the benefits of certain legislation applicable to veterans of the second world war is being given to the veterans of this special force. I should like to say now, as I think I said before, that not very much that is good comes out of war. One good thing that did come out of this war was the manner in which the young veterans who came home were enabled to enhance their educational standards, and to go on with either technical or higher educational training. I believe that was something really worth while which came out of the second world war. I do not think any member of the house, no matter where he sits, will do other than say that he is glad that a similar provision is being carried into this legislation. I do not know about excepting the personnel from various other benefits that the armed services usually, have. It is possible that this force, or the younger men in this force, may be retained in it for a long time. It is possible, but I hope not inevitable, that the international situation may remain rather threatening, and-we shall have to maintain United Nations forces, particularly if the nations who constitute the United Nations devise some plan whereby they do raise a special force for a purpose such as we have raised our force recently. If that is the case, I think the men who join the special force should be entitled to pensions when they leave the service.

Those are points that occur to me at the moment. As I said at the outset, my opinion of some of the provisions suggested in this resolution may not be altogether soundly based. I mention it at this time, however,

in order to bring these points to the attention of the minister and the government, and that is all I propose to do at this stage of the discussion.

Topic:   CANADIAN FORCES ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLACING FORCES ON ACTIVE SERVICE
Permalink
CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I just wish to say a brief word in support of what the leader of this group has said. I should like in particular to follow up with something I have been able to turn up in the pages of Hansard while he has been speaking on the point that most concerns us, namely the control of parliament over the sending of any forces abroad.

Yesterday during the course of another debate the Secretary of State for External Affairs was asked a question in this connection. He made it clear that if there were an attack on any other member of the north Atlantic group it would be, and I quote from Hansard:

-the duty of this government to call parliament at once and tell parliament that an attack had been made on a member of the north Atlantic group and therefore an attack had been made on Canada. Parliament would then decide whether an attack had or had not been made on Canada.

I have been quoting what the Secretary of State for External Affairs said yesterday as found at page 351 of Hansard.

I believe that the minister will recognize that this question does exercise some of us to a considerable extent. We recognize the need for certain powers in the hands of the executive to act quickly if necessary, but I am sure that there are members on the government side of the house who share with us the desire not to let expediency run away with our fundamental democratic and parliamentary principles. If possible, I should like that point cleared up tonight. I feel we should be told whether or not the authority given to the governor in council is just to place the Canadian forces on active service in consequence of these commitments, or whether the authority is also to send these Canadian forces that have been placed on active service outside of Canada in pursuit of any of these obligations. I trust it is only the former. Perhaps we could pursue the matter further in committee of the whole on the resolution. In any case I thought I would stress the point that the Secretary of State for External Affairs made so that, if possible, we might get this very important matter cleared up tonight.

Topic:   CANADIAN FORCES ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLACING FORCES ON ACTIVE SERVICE
Permalink
LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxlon:

Mr. Speaker, if I may again speak with leave of the house in answer to this question, the position is that this introduces not a new principle but a new case

Essential Materials (Defence) Act where an old principle may be applied. Under the act as it has stood since 1867 it was possible for the governor in council to place the forces of Canada on active service at home or abroad, but he had to call parliament within fifteen, now reduced to ten, days. He could only do it in an emergency which was defined as war, riot, invasion, or insurrection real or apprehended. This bill would add another circumstance in which that might be done, and that is to implement action undertaken by Canada under the North Atlantic treaty, or any similar instrument of collective defence that may be entered into by Canada. When we say "entered into by Canada", it is a convention of our constitution, which I think is extremely solid indeed, that no such instrument can be entered into or will be entered into-it can be entered into but it will not be entered into-and ratified without the consent of parliament. The effect of this therefore is to add to the cases of emergency as so defined the case of coming to the aid of our neighbours in accordance with the United Nations charter.

Topic:   CANADIAN FORCES ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLACING FORCES ON ACTIVE SERVICE
Permalink
CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

But the calling of parliament within ten days is still required?

Topic:   CANADIAN FORCES ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLACING FORCES ON ACTIVE SERVICE
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

Just the same.

Motion agreed to and the house went into committee, Mr. Dion in the chair.

Resolution reported, read the second time and concurred in.

Mr. Claxton thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 3, respecting the Canadian forces.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   CANADIAN FORCES ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLACING FORCES ON ACTIVE SERVICE
Permalink

September 7, 1950