I wish to say a word or two about a body of men in the Royal Canadian Air Force of whom no one has yet spoken. I refer to the thousands of administrative officers, who have been part of the scheme-those
penguins, as the minister once called them, sitting in the Jackson building, in the Lisgar building, in command headquarters and in all units.
Perhaps I can speak with some authority on the subject, having been an administrative officer for over three years, and having had experience in units, at command headquarters and at air force headquarters. No one realizes better than I the vast contribution made by aircrew, the boys who fly the aircraft. I understand, too, that contribution made by the groundcrew, the boys who keep them flying. I say, too, that if the Dominion of Canada had done nothing more in this war than make the contribution it has made in the air force, we would have done a wonderful job, as far as our war effort is concerned.
I wish, however, to say a word or two about the forgotten men of the air force, the men whom I heard a flying boy once term the pen-pushers. These men in the different offices are making a contribution to the war effort. They rank from Air Vice-Marshal down to AC2's, and without their contribution this whole scheme would not be possible. Many of these men left lucrative positions in civil life and have made great financial sacrifices in order to do their bit in the great Royal Canadian Air Force. I should like to make one appeal to the minister on their behalf. The aircrew receive twenty-eight days annual leave, to which they are justly entitled; but I submit that men who sit at desks, men who are fighting the so-called paper war day in and day out, week in and week out, are entitled to the same consideration and should be given twenty-eight days leave. Their work is perhaps more tedious and more tiresome than any other; it exacts more in the way of physical strength than that of the boys who fly the planes. . I say that without intending in any way to disparage the hazardous occupation of the boys who fly. But I do ask the minister to give some consideration to these men who are sitting in the offices day in and day out filling out these numerous forms. I would include the women, too, in this plea. They are doing a great job in administrative work.' The occupy the positions of adjutant, assistant adjutant and many other administrative offices.
There are many men in the air force who are reaching the age of retirement, and there are also many men in administrative positions who are anxious to get overseas. We hear the criticism that the men in the Jackson building, in the Lisgar building or at command headquarters have soft jobs, but I would say to those critics that there is not one officer
War Appropriation-Air Services
in an administrative position in the R.C.A.F. who is not anxious to get overseas. Unfortunately, it is impossible to send them all overseas. In conclusion, I want again to pay my tribute to the men and women of the R.C.A.F. who are doing such a real job.
Topic: DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE FOR AIR