C.E.F. 1914, First World War, Bicycles & The Burning Of Uniforms At Valcartier Camp Scandle.

Bicycles: 450 purchased from Canada Cycle & Motor Co., at a cost of $62 each. 570 purchased from Canada Cycle & Motor Co.; at a cost of $55 each. 200 purchased from Planet Bicycle Co., Toronto, at $55 each; total number purchased 1220 at a cost of $70,250.


Service Bicycle Mark IV


How were these Bicycles Purchased?


By T. A. Russell, the expert of the Department. From T. A. Russell, the general manager of the Canada Cycle Company. On the recommendation of T.A. Russell, a friend of General Sam Hughes. Competition ignored, and catalogues from other Bicycle firms thrown into the waste paper basket. Before the Public Accounts Committee on March 23, 1915. Mr. G. M. McWilliam of Toronto, General Manager of Hyslop Brothers, Ltd., manufacturers of standard bicycles, gave evidence and swore: That his firm tried three times, by letter addressed to an official of the Militia Department, to get a chance to tender for Bicycles. That they never got any answer of any kind. That they could have supplied any quantity of bicycles equal in every respect to those bought by the Government for $34 each in lots of 50 to 100 and at a less price for an order of 1000 bicycles or more; bicycles absolutely equal to those for which the Government paid $62 and $55. That this very bicycle sold to the Government for $55 and $62 with the military attachments (two carriers, two rifle clips, lamp, bell and small repair outfit, the whole costing $9.50) could be purchased by anyone at retail for $49.50. 24.



Hyslop Auto-Bike Model 1822.

Hyslop Auto-Bike Model 1822.

That the wholesale price for these bicycles to any man in the business of selling bicycles and buying as many as 20, 30 or 50 in a season, would be $24.50, (without military attachments). That his firm, Hyslop Brothers, Limited, would have supplied the Government with the same identical bicycles, 1,220 of them, at a total cost of $41,480.

That the difference between the price paid by the Government and the regular trade price of these 1,220 bicycles therefore amounts to $28,770.





German bicycle with spring tires used by a Canadian despatch runner Jan. 1919 France.

German bicycle with spring tires used by a Canadian despatch runner Jan. 1919 France.




Burning of Clothing at Valcartier Camp: Considerable criticism has been aimed at the Government in regard to the large amount of clothing which was burned at the closing of the Valcartier Camp in the Fall of 1914. Prominent gentlemen from various parts of Canada have stated that they had both seen and heard of this wanton waste. The Public Accunts Committee did not have time to fully investigate this charge, but on one occasion a resident of Valcartier being on the witness stand, was questioned and the following is a synopsis of the evidence.


Mr. Adam Aikens on the Stand.


BY Mr. McKENZIE: Q.-Do you know anything about the burning of clothing, or of property, which appeared to be Government property on the premises? A.-Well,-yes, sir; I saw clothes burning there in piles. Q.-Did you offer to buy some of the clothing? A.-Yes, sir; I offered to buy a coat-me and Mr. Goodfellow and my father. The soldier was there; he was apposed to be the guide. I offered $5 for the coat and he would not take it. Q.-Those were the coats they were burning? A.-Yes, sir.

BY Mr. CARVELL: Q.-Have you any idea as to the number that was being burned you say you saw piles. How large were the piles? A.-I did not pay any attention to the size of the piles. They were fair sized piles. Q.-Would they contain three or four, or-how many? A.-I should. say two or three hundred in large piles. Q.-How, many piles were there? A.-Several piles; eight or nine piles, 80 far as I could judge. Q.-Were there any blankets m. those piles? A. Yes, sir there were some blankets in the piles that I could see. Q.-Were -there any other articles of uniform, or necessities for the soldiers? A.-There were caps I think too; that is all I could see in the pile. Q.-How many caps? A.-I could not see rightly. They were all in a pile.







Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s