November 7, 1941 (19th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. E. G. HANSELL (Macleod):

Since the Minister of Munitions and Supply is in his seat, may I say a few words which do have some bearing upon his department.
During the summer, when the special committee on war expenditures met, I gradually became increasingly aware that perhaps the departments of government in their war effort were not as properly coordinating their efforts as they might do. I did not, however, raise any serious objection, or put forth any definite proposals. I thought that perhaps I might be mistaken. But this suspicion gradually grew upon me until, towards the end of the summer, I had occasion to inquire of one department of government upon a certain matter. In relating this, I should like to ask the Minister of Munitions and Supply a few questions.
This particular incident occurred when I received a request from a certain quarter in my constituency with respect to a proposed air training school to be built in a certain section of the country. We are all aware that when the empire air training scheme was first mooted, the Department of Transport immediately sent out their engineers to survey certain properties and make recommendations so that the best possible places might be secured for those air training schools. At that time I received numerous inquiries, as a consequence of engineers coming into certain sections, whether an air training school would be built here or there. I made inquiries at that time and discovered that for the time being the air training scheme had reached certain proportions and it was not anticipated that any more schools would be built. A very few months after that other schools were built. Now this summer comes another inquiry and naturally I thought, "Well now in my part of the country we have a good many air training schools and perhaps this is another false alarm." I got in touch with an office which comes under the Department of Munitions and Supply and asked whether or not there was to be an air training school in this particular part of the country. I wish to read a part of my letter to the official to whom I wrote. One paragraph will suffice:
Recently I have had numerous inquiries in respect to a proposed air training school being established near the town of Vulcan, Alberta, on what is known as the Galbraith property. The Trans-Canada Air Lines already have a landing field on this property.
There is no mistake about where this training school was expected to be built, but the answer I received was:
This will acknowledge your letter of August 21, relative to the proposed air training school being established near the town of Vulcan, Alberta.

For your information, we have made extensive inquiries but no one seems to know anything about an air training school to be constructed at this point.
I immediately mailed an air mail letter to my inquirer. Four days afterwards, perhaps five, I arrived home-and perhaps the story is a little humorous at this point. When I arrived home my boy came bouncing in. "Hello, dad", he said, "glad to see you home. Say, dad, did you write to So-and-So and tell them that there was not going to be any air training school out here?" I said, "Yes." "Hal ha! They are all laughing at you now," he said. "Well," I said, "that is all right; I am not very much concerned. It won't be the first time that people have laughed at me. What's on your mind?" He said, "The machinery is already out there ploughing up the runways and they are already putting in the school." I must confess that I felt a little bit embarrassed when I walked down town the next day.

Topic:   THE WAR
Full View