Hon. BROOKE CLAXTON (Minister of National Defence):
Mr. Speaker, I thought hon. members might be interested to learn something of the exact situation in the Fraser valley as reported to me by the area commander.
The report would indicate that along the Fraser river delta the general situation has deteriorated slightly in one or two sectors, but on the whole the situation is reasonably favourable.
To the north along the Fraser river, Lillooet was reported to be isolated, and in the interior the threat along the Columbia river continued with flooding in the low-lying sections in the Trail area.
All personnel are extremely tired, as they have been working hard for very long hours; but morale and discipline are excellent. The control organization is functioning well, with excellent liaison at all levels.
Ten officers and two hundred other ranks of the Princess Patricia Canadian light infantry are being flown in from Calgary as reinforcements, one hundred today, with the remainder tomorrow. This personnel will be deployed in the Chilliwack area on the south bank, on arrival.
There was little change in the over-all army manpower figures, with a total of 1,482 actively participating, as follows: Active force 590; reserve force 892. Large numbers of civilian personnel continue to assist, with approximately 1,000 being employed under army sector commanders. Fifty-eight set battery situation now appears to be satisfactory. Additional quantities of D8 twisted cable are being dispatched today via air.
Inquiries oj the Ministry
The disaster wireless net is working well. A small amount of commercial traffic is now being carried by army circuits between Calgary and Victoria. A line system is being laid along the dikes to improve communications. Four radio cars are now operating, working into the B.C. Telephone Company net.
The area commander in a signal has this to say:
Sector commanders are working very hard and their organization and planning is first-class. Most civilians are co-operating very well and appear to be glad that there is a unified control. We have our troubles, of course, but that is to be understood. Brigadier Murphy is in charge of the manpower and material section and Brigadier Rockingham is in charge of the liaison section. Both these sections I set up yesterday and both are functioning well.
"The navy is here," as Mr. Churchill would say, and is doing a magnificent job. I am filled with admiration for the way in which the air force is meeting every demand. My relations with the respective commanders are most amicable.
Subtopic: FLOOD CONDITIONS