I wish to join briefly with those who have already made favourable comments upon the admirable speech given to us this afternoon by the Minister of National Defence for Naval Services (Mr. Macdonald). To me it was a speech replete witu information and of absorbing interest. I suppose the same remarks might be made to apply to all the succeeding speeches, because we have certainly had several very fine addresses.
When the minister was speaking, my mind ran back a good many years to the time when I was at school. We boys then were thrilled by the traditions of the British navy that had come down to us in story and in song. As the minister dwelt upon the recital of the achievements of our present navy I could
LMr. Douglas G. Ross.]
visualize millions of young Canadians, twenty-five, fifty and a hundred years from now, thrilled as we of an older generation were by that enthralling story, and I could think of the pardonable pride those millions will then take in the achievements of our naval forces of Canada to-day.
Perhaps I was more interested in the minister's speech by reason of the fact that not long ago the son of our next-door neighbour arrived home as one of the victims of a ship that had been torpedoed. He had spent nineteen hours in the chilling waters where his ship went down. He was a young man, one of the most perfect specimens of young manhood I have ever seen, for otherwise he could not have stood it. He came home a nervous wreck. Day after day and night after night he could hear the agonized shrieks of his comrades. He could still see their forms sinking into the surging waters.
But I did not rise to-night to speak so much of that as to pay a few words of commendation to the organization known as the sea cadets. I do this particularly in view of the fact that only about two months ago I received an invitation, which I gladly accepted, to witness the cadet organization in Brandon going through part of their training. I had the privilege at that time of addressing those cadets from the bridge of their training quarters. I had the unique privilege of reading to them a telegram of congratulation that their commander had received from the minister. It was an inspiring telegram, and I wish to tell the minister here and now how greatly those cadets appreciated it. I found at that time Lieutenant-Commander G. P. Woodluck and his staff of assisting officers zealously and with great success training those boys along praiseworthy lines. I felt that here was a group of men who were refraining from the usual recreational evenings of a type enjoyed by many others, who were devoting themselves to the training of boys in the ways of gallantry and gentlemanly citizenship. I can apply the same remarks to the air cadets and the army cadets, whose officers deserve our recognition and our warmest gratitude. They, too, are doing a great work in their own way. They are doing it voluntarily and unobtrusively, but nonetheless effectively. I feel it is due to them to place upon Hansard some reference to the devotion to duty that those officers are exercising in many part of Canada.
Topic: DEPARTMENT OP NATIONAL DEFENCE FOR NAVAL SERVICES