Quite so. While I am on my feet I should like to say to the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Church) that the appropriation provided by this bill is intended to cover the expenditures he mentioned, for example the possible expansion of encampments during the summer months and any expansion which may be necessary in our Canadian active service force. Needless to say, if the amount provided is not sufficient for these purposes, more money will be obtained, because we must be guided by the necessities of the situation as they develop.
In the committee there has been some discussion of the position of tanks and their utilization in Canada. I should like to take this opportunity to deal with an exchange of correspondence on the subject of tanks and more particularly on the employment of Colonel Carter, British tank officer, this correspondence having been made public yesterday in a Toronto afternoon paper. I think it is of some importance that this question be dealt with at this stage. Perhaps I might proceed by first placing on record a telegram which I received on November 14 last from Major Everett Bristol, of Toronto, as follows:
In view of newspaper reports yesterday that Canadian government is asking British government for experts may I call your attention to the fact that Colonel E. J. Carter lately chief instructor of the royal tank school, England, one of Great Britain's experts on tank and armoured ear design and tactics is at present at the Mount Royal hotel, Montreal, and proposes to sail for England on Saturday 18th. Colonel Carter who is retired expects to be reemployed in England on his return but in meantime is not under orders and is available if required here. He has already visited the tank training centre at Camp Borden and is well known to General MeNaughton. As a result of meeting him a group of ex-officers and others in Toronto have expressed their willingness to assist in any way that may seem practical in developing tank training equipment and for benefiting Canadian armoured troops generally. May I respectfully suggest that Colonel Carter be asked to postpone his sailing and that he be. interviewed with a view to the possibility of utilizing his services in the training of the tank units of the C.A.S.F. and in the event of production of tanks on this side being determined upon in advising on the technical problems relating thereto.
In reply I sent the following telegram on November 15:
Renly your wire yesterday respecting Colonel Carter, appreciate your interest in this matter. Matter has been carefully considered but our tank organization does not warrant appointment additional senior officers at present.
That is signed by myself. In accordance with the usual procedure my reply to Mr. Bristol was made after his telegram was referred to the appropriate officers of the Department of National Defence for a report.
My reply was based on this report. To put the matter briefly, it was considered that while Colonel Carter was a most competent officer-I should like to have it fully understood that there was no question at all as to his competence1-our tank organization did not warrant the appointment of additional senior officers. Lieutenant-Colonel Worthington, a Canadian officer, was in charge of this work. He had exceptional technical qualifications and was well acquainted with Canadian conditions. He was an officer in whom everyone, including the tank authorities in England, had the greatest confidence. After his return from England, where he had been taking a course in tank tactics and maintenance for over a year, the highest reports on his work were received from the authorities in the United Kingdom. Therefore it was considered that for the present no additional senior officers would be required, since Colonel Worthington was a competent adviser on all matters pertaining to tanks. I might add that during his visit to Canada, Colonel Carter met General MeNaughton as well as other staff officers at the Department of National Defence, where he was received with every courtesy and consideration.
The article in the Toronto Telegram raises the further question of why tank units were not sent forward with the Canadian division. The reasons why we have not sent tank units overseas relate in part to the war establishment of a division and in part to problems of production. So far as the organization of a division is concerned, tank battalions are neither divisional nor corps troops. They are army troops and are supplied on an established scale to each corps forming part of an army. As it was intended at the outset that the first Canadian division would form part of a British army corps in the field, it was decided that tank battalions for this British corps should be supplied by the British army establishment, at least until such time as we were able to work out the problem of tank production in Canada in cooperation with the British purchasing mission. My colleague the minister who is acting as Minister of Munitions and Supply will be in a position to deal with this aspect of the question. I felt it was of some importance that I should place this information before the committee as soon as possible, because I want to make it entirely clear that our attitude towards Colonel Carter was one of respect for his ability. But the officers of the department, with full knowledge of the situation, were convinced that in the person of Colonel Worthington, who had a distinguished record in the last war, and had had specialized training in tactics in England
War Appropriation Bill
recently, we had one who was entirely capable of supplying us with whatever advice might be required in connection with the use of tanks.
Topic: WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic: PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY