Canada’s Militia & Defence Memorandum Respecting Estimates For 1909-10.

MILITIA AND DEFENCE.

MEMORANDUM RESPECTING ESTIMATES FOR 1909-10 (INCLUDING SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES FOR 1908-09 TO BE BROGUHT DOWN—SEE PARAGRAPH 6).

  1. Like all other branches of the public service, the Department of Militia and Defence has found itself forced by circumstances to frame its estimates for 1909-10 under the limitations imposed by falling national revenue.
  2. While the present financial stringency will, it is hoped, prove to be only temporary, it is, nevertheless, wise to face the possibility of its continuance. It has, therefore, appeared to the Minister of Militia to be desirable to deal somewhat more fully with the Militia estimates in this explanatory memorandum than has hitherto been usual.
  3. A point which has, perhaps, escaped the notice of a not inconsiderable number of members of parliament, and which has certainly been ignored by the critics of the Militia Department in the press, is the fact that, since the expenditure entailed by the assumption of responsibility for the defence of Halifax and Esquimalt has been to fully provided for in estimates—that is, since and including the estimates for the financial year 1907-8—there has been no increase, but, on the other hand, a decrease in Militia expenditure.
  1. That this is the case will be clear from the subjoined table, which shows the estimates in detail, under the various heads voted by parliament, beginning with the year 1904-5, and ending with the estimate for the present financial year 1909-10. It will be remembered that the year 1904-05 saw the beginning of the present system of militia organization. The Militia Council was constituted in November, 1904, and the re-organization entailed by the modelling of our staff and administrative system, upon that of the Imperial Army was not fully inaugurated until June 30, 1905.
  2. In the financial year 1905-06, the Dominion assumed the responsibility for the defence of Halifax and Esquimalt, and the taking over of those fortified places from the Imperial Government was commenced. The” transfer was practically completed in the financial year (a year of nine months only) 1906-7, and the full financial effect of that measure upon revenue, including the discharge of all liabilities to the Imperial Government under the agreement for that transfer, was first shown and provided for in the estimates for 1907-08.

 

Militia and Defence Memorandum Respecting Estimates For 1909-10.

Militia and Defence Memorandum Respecting Estimates For 1909-10.

  • Including $200,000 for pay of Imperial troops including $250,000 stores transferred from Imperial troops.
  • Note.—The amounts shown in the last column but one as ‘Voted in 1908-9/ give the totals of the several votes after amendment in accordance with the Supplementary Estimates for 1908-9 to be brought down. These Supplementary Estimates will not increase the total estimate, but will reduce the votes for Customs dues by $85,000, Dominion Arsenal by $60,000, Engineer Services by $90,000, and Warlike Stores by $65,000, while they will increase the votes for Annual Drill by $105,000, Pay and Allowances by $170,000, Royal Military College by $12,500, and Transport by $12,500, the totals of reduction and increase balancing each other.

 

  1. While the foregoing table gives, in detail, the estimates as voted year by year, and therefore shows the financial effect of the additional burden imposed by the transfer of Halifax and Esquimalt from Imperial to Canadian garrisons, the fact remains to be noted that the full effect of the change of administrative system commenced in 1904-05 is only now making itself felt. The system previously in force made it a matter of great difficulty to compute exactly, in the estimates, for any financial year, the sum which would be required to meet the different militia expenditures for that period. The change of system has made a much closer measure of supervision and audit of expenditure possible. The effect of the change is seen in the fact that, whereas the supplementary estimates for 1906-07 amounted to $505,733.35 (9 months only) and those for 1907-08 to $1,614,404.11, the estimate for 1908-09 will only need readjustment to the extent of $300,000, which will be met, not by asking for additional sums, but by readjustment of sums already voted. In the estimate for the year 1909-10, the only item in which it is thought possible that any supplementary estimates might prove unavoidable, is the item for annual drill. It is obvious that the sum required to pay for the annual drill of the active militia depends upon the precise number of men who turn out for drill. It is equally obvious that it must be the policy of the department to induce the full establishment, if possible, to train each year. It is, therefore, impracticable to calculate exactly the amount that will be required, until it is exactly seen how many men have attended drill and earned their drill pay. Hence, it is unavoidable that, on the vote for annual drill for any year, notwithstanding the adoption of every precaution against exceeding the estimate, and, although for 1909-10 certain measures are contemplated which ought to result in substantial economies as compared with the system hitherto in force, yet some supplementary estimate may, after all, prove to be necessary.
  2. Dealing with the Estimates as shown in the table ‘A’ above, it will be seen that the main increase since 1904-5 have been in the following items:—Annual Drill; Clothing and Necessaries; Customs Dues; Dominion Arsenal; Engineer Services; Military Properties; Headquarters and District Staff; Pay of the Permanent Force; Active Militia Allowances; Provisions and Supplies; Transport and Freight, and Warlike Stores.
  3. Taking these items in succession, the increase in the amount necessary for Annual Drill has been simply due, first, to the large increase in the numbers of the Militia attending Annual Drill; secondly, to the grant of efficiency pay; thirdly, to the addition of four days’ extra drill for the Artillery. It should, however, be noted that, in the amount required to pay for Annual Drill for the current year (1908-09) viz.:—$1,305,000—is included a charge of about $230,000 which was directly due to the bringing to Quebec, for the Tercentenary in 1908, of between 10,000 and 11,000 troops who performed their ordinary annual drill elsewhere, and were additional to the 2000 troops belonging to the Quebec Command which performed their Annual Drill at Quebec at the same time. If this $230,000 be deducted from the vote, as not really an Annual Drill charge, the amount chargeable for Annual Drill for 1908-9 will be seen to be $1,075,000. The steady increase in the number of men trained each year is most gratifying. In 1895-6 only 19,000 men and 1.125 horses trained; in 1900, 25.290 men and 2,478 horses; in 1903-04, 32,500 men and 7,892 horses; while in 1908-09, no less than 47,500 officers and men with 8,500 horses, were trained.
  4. From the foregoing it will be seen that, supposing the same number of Active Militia should train in 1909-10 as trained in the present financial year, and at the same camps, there would, apparently, be a shortage on this vote of $215,000. With a view to economy, however, it is intended, in the coming drill season, to try the experiment of training certain corps of Active Militia, not at central camps, but at their local headquarters; more particularly those corps which have their headquarters furthest from the camp which they usually attend, and whose transport is, consequently, the most expensive. There can be no question as to the general advantage to the training of the troops which results from the assembly of the different corps in large camps. The men get the advantage of seeing other troops, of good rifle ranges and of better instruction as regards training and drill; a spirit of emulation is called forth, and more general improvement results. On the other hand, the display, from time to time, of the local regiment in its own neighbourhood tends to encourage recruiting and to develop local pride. The experiment will be tried this year of seeing how far local training may have this effect. Certain corps, also, which are at present, in a somewhat disorganized condition, will not be allowed to train, until they have shown that they are in a condition to profit by it. And steps will be also be taken in all corps to ensure that only reliable men are taken to camp. These various measures, with other savings which are in contemplation, ought to bring the expenditure within the estimate.
  5. As regards Clothing- and Necessaries, it is obvious that, while the amount taken in this vote fluctuates to some extent from year to year, its total must be affected by the increase in the strength of the militia generally and the number of men trained.
  6. The increase under the head of Customs Dues may be set aside, as if is merely a transfer of money from one pocket of the government to another.
  7. The increase to the vote for the Dominion Arsenal is due to the increased’ requirements for rifle ammunition, and to the fact that the arsenal now manufactures 12-pr. gun ammunition, which formerly had to be purchased in England.
  1. The increase in Engineer Service and the Maintenance of Military Properties is simply due to the steady increase in the number of those properties, especially rifle ranges and camp grounds, and the extra care and attention which is now bestowed upon military buildings, in carrying out repairs as soon as they become necessary, instead of the somewhat wasteful system which previously obtained, of deferring repairs until they could no longer be avoided—a system which was forced upon the department by the smallness of the number of Engineer corps.
  2. One of the increases in the Militia Estimates most criticised in certain quarters, is that for the headquarters and district staff—from about $92,000 in 1904-05 to $144,000 in the present financial year. The explanation of this fact is to be found by a reference to the conditions which obtained previous to 1905. The staff, founded on a system long since obsolete, had never been remodelled to conform to modern conditions, and was quite inadequate in numbers and training to deal with them. Successive General Officers had pointed out the absolute necessity for a numerous trained staff, and over and over again had reported that, for militia troops which could only train for short periods, it was essential that the staff duties should be performed by trained “officers. As a result of the weakness in numbers of the staff, regulations of all kinds had fallen into arrears, while wasteful expenditure was known to exist, but could not be controlled. It was practically impossible to deal promptly with correspondence at headquarters and in district offices, and there were numberless questions connected with training, with the equipment and the organization of the troops, which demanded settlement, but which could not even be considered.
  3. The increase referred to in the headquarter- and district staff has been consequent upon the need felt for reform in these respects. It was obvious that no force with such paucity of staff officers as existed before 1905 could ever take, or, which is far more difficult and important, be maintained in the field in the presence of an enemy, and when the removal of the Imperial troops from Halifax and Esquimalt deprived us of thai source of supply for staff officers on emergency, the case became urgent. The staff officers were too few to work staff duties upon any definite system, still less to work upon any system in accord with that which obtained in the Imperial Army though it was evidently imperative that, if Canadian troops were ever to serve side by side with Imperial troops in a great national danger, such as one which might threaten the integrity of Canadian territory, they must he organized upon the same lines and with the same staff system. Hence, immediately upon the organization of the Militia Council and the staff at headquarters, the task was taken up of changing the system of staff work in commands and districts. The staff work is now performed upon a system almost identical with that pursued in the Imperial Army, the differences between the two systems being merely such as are due to the smallness of the Canadian force in comparison. There can be no possible question but that this extra expenditure in regard to the staff—which is maintained, be it remembered, almost entirely in the interests of the active militia as distinct from the permanent force—has been fully justified by the resulting capacity of that militia force to maintain itself in the field if required. It is perhaps desirable to note that in the existing pay vote are included many charges which, in previous estimates, appeared under other votes. For example, many staff duties in camps were formerly allotted to active militia officers temporarily employed, whose pay was drawn under, the head of Annual Drill, who did their best, but who knew little more than the troops they were supposed to instruct. Again, all pay duties and all clerical work in military district offices were performed by civilian clerks, who were paid for out of civil votes, and who have since been replaced by military men liable—as the others were not—to go into the field in case of Avar.
  4. A point invariably forgotten by critics of the increase in the number of staff officers is that, on the occasion of any great emergency which might require the Dominion troops to take the field, the ranks of the various corps of the active militia would be at once filled up by fresh men and the units raised from the skeleton peace establishments to that required for active service.

 

(Quebec Tercentenary) 5th Regt. Royal Highlanders of Canada, Pipes' & Drums'.

(Quebec Tercentenary) 5th Regt. Royal Highlanders of Canada, Pipes’ & Drums’.

 

  1. Thus a battalion of infantry would be raised from about 400 to 1,000 of all ranks, a regiment of cavalry from about 320 to 600 of all ranks, and so on with the other arms. The result of this is, that the existing Militia cadres, instead of numbering some 57,000 only, as they do in ordinary times, would reach a total of about 100,000 men.
  2. It is evident that a fairly numerous and well trained staff would be absolutely necessary if such a body of men was to be handled efficiently, and that, to confine its numbers in peace time to the bare minimum, just able to deal with the peace strengths, would be the best way to insure that everything should go wrong when the occasion arose for taking the field in full force. This is the reason that all General Officers Commanding in Canada for the last seventeen years have, without exception, urged the necessity of an increase to the Staff.
  3. The Staff in 1904, exclusive of four Staff Lieutenants employed on survey work, numbered 39. The Staff on January 1st, 1909, exclusive again of 3 Staff Lieutenants employed on survey work, numbered 51, which included all Headquarters, Command and District Staff Officers. As the establishment of the Militia, including the Permanent Force, rose in the interval from 47,423 to 57,718, and the assumption of the duty of maintaining Halifax and Esquimalt rendered at least three additional Staff Officers necessary, it will be seen that the increase of Staff is very closely proportional to the increase in the Militia as a whole, for whose administration it is maintained.
  4. The next item of importance, in which an increase has taken place since 1904-5, is the Pay of the Permanent Force,’ which, from $477,571 in 1904-5, rose to $1,401,271 in 1907-8, is $1,378,000 in the current year (1908-9) and will be $1,350,- 000 for 1909-10.
  5. This increase is entirely due to three causes:—
  • (a) The increased rates of pay granted to all Warrant and Non-Commissioned Officers and men of these corps in 1904-5, but only partly provided for in the estimates for that year. This increase had been proved by experience to be absolutely necessary if the ranks were to be kept filled.
  • (b) The increased establishment of the Permanent Force, made necessary by the transfer of Halifax and Esquimalt to the Dominion and the need of providing garrisons for them. The additional number of officers and men required for this purpose may be placed at about 1,500, with certain consequential additions to the numbers maintained at other places in order to provide drafts, &c, which brings the total up about 1,600 of all ranks. It may be noted that we maintain considerably smaller garrisons than did the Imperial Government, who expended about $1,750,000 a year on the two fortresses.
  • (c) Increased establishments of Engineers and the subsidiary corps, such as Army Service Corps, Medical Corps, Canadian Ordnance Corps and Pay Corps, which are needed to meet the requirements of the increased strength of the Active Militia, both for industrial purposes and to promote its efficiency for war.
  1. To carry out the duties imposed upon the Permanent Corps required a total establishment of 3,311 all ranks for 1908-9, but it was not found possible to provide enough money in the estimates and the strength was, consequently, confined to about 3.000 of all ranks. For 1909-10, the provisional establishment is still further reduced to 2,905, showing a reduction in pay, &c, of $51,000 on 1907-8, and $28,000 on 1908-9.
  1. The position of the permanent force is relation to the active militia has been much misunderstood in and outside parliament, and it is perhaps desirable, therefore, to refer somewhat more at length to its duties.
  2. The permanent force exists for four purposes:—
  • (1) For the support of the civil power in case of internal disturbance.
  • (2) For the instruction of the active militia.
  • (3) For the garrisoning of the defended places in Canada—Halifax, Quebec, Esquimalt.
  • (4) For the equipment, supply, transport, &c, of the active militia when it takes the field.
  1. As regards (1), this is a duty which it shares with the rest of the militia force to which it belongs, though of late nearly the whole of this work has been thrown upon it.
  2. As regard- (2), the instruction of the active militia, it is evident that this duty is of the highest importance, and it is recognized to be so by the force itself. The real difficulty is that, owing to the large area of the Dominion, the force has to be split up and sent to many separate stations, and, with the small total establishment hitherto possible, the several units have necessarily been so weak in numbers that it has been difficult for them to carry on their duties in the manner and to the extent expected of them.
  3. For example, a company of infantry or a squadron of cavalry, of a total strength of less than 100 men is called upon not only to provide for the various details which make up the interior economy of, so to speak, a military household, for the accommodation of officers and men of the active militia, but it is further expected so to train its members as to be able to afford to the attached militia efficient instruction in all the military duties of an infantry or cavalry regiment, respectively, including the command of ‘ such a corps—duties which that company or squadron itself has never been in a position to practise. It is perhaps hardly realized by the militia force generally, how difficult it is for an officer, who has never had command of as many as 100 men himself, to instruct another officer as to how he should command and handle, say, a regiment, which, in war, would in the infantry, consist of 1,000 men, and, in the cavalry, of 600 men and which, in peace, numbers from 300 to 400; but this is what the officer of the permanent corps is obliged to attempt.
  4. The active militia has constantly been eager for additional military instruction and especially for more accessible instruction. This has been manifest from the frequent requests for provisional schools at local centres; and it is evident that it must often be difficult for a busy man. who would otherwise make an efficient officer, to spare time from his business to go to a distant centre for his military instruction. Every effort has been made by the permanent units to meet this requirement.
  5. It is clear, therefore, that that portion of the permanent force which is maintained for purposes of instruction cannot be reduced if it is to fulfil its duty satisfactorily. It ought rather to be increased.
  1. As regards (3). the garrisoning of the places named, it is to he remembered that, in 1905. Canada gave a pledge to the Empire that she would he responsible for the defence of Halifax and Esquimalt in case of need. More than half of her whole permanent force, i.e., 1.600 out of about 3,000, is maintained for this purpose alone. The troops in these garrisons are, of course, also utilized for the instruction of the neighbouring corps of active militia. There is no suggestion that the Dominion desires to recede from the position she then took up.
  2. As regards (4), it is evident that, if the militia as a whole had to take the field, it would require a very large accession of strength to those services which equip supply, transport and pay the troops and nurse them when sick and wounded. Of these services the Ordnance Corps, which deals with equipment, and the Army Pay Corps, which deals with pay, are not represented in the ranks of the active militia; and the active militia units of the remaining services, while they have shown themselves very efficient at their work, would be the first to admit that they are totally inadequate in numbers. To provide for this need alone, the Permanent Army Service Corps, Permanent Army Medical Corps, Canadian Ordnance Corps and Canadian Army Corps ought to be maintained at full strength.
  3. Besides all this, there are duties to be performed when an army takes the field, which are not required in peace, and which can only be performed by trained soldiers. Such are the Military Police, both mounted and foot, organization of depots and training of recruits, remounts depots, batmen, and so on.
  4. Sufficient reasons have been adduced to show why it would be wrong too reduce the numbers of the permanent force. Outside of the additions to that force required to provide for the garrisoning of Halifax and Esquimalt, and to meet the service requirements of the active militia, no additions to it have, in point of fact, been made for some years past.
  5. Quite as much misapprehension exists upon the question of the actual costof the Permanent Force as upon the subject of its duties. It is the habit of hostile critics, especially when writing in the public press, to quote the whole vote for Pay1 and Allowances as applicable solely to the Permanent Force, or to the Permanent Staff and Permanent Force, and not to the Active Militia at all.
  6. If the vote as detailed in the table be referred to, it will be seen at once that, of the total amount of $1,646,000, no less than $152,000 is payable solely to the Active Militia, while an additional $144,000 represents the cost of the Permanent Staff, of which by far the greater part is, of course, maintained to meet the requirements of the Active Militia. Military Districts 4, 5, 12 and 13 contain no permanent unit at all. Even where permanent units are also stationed in the same area, experienced staff officers report that at least four-fifths of the work which passes through their offices is the result of questions concerning the Active Militia as distinct from the Permanent Corps.
  7. If the two sums above named be deducted from the total, it will be seen that $1,350,000 represents the total pay and allowances of the Permanent Corps.
  8. But critics consistently ignore the fact that the permanent so-called ‘departmental’ services, i.e., the Permanent Army Service Corps, Permanent Army MedicalCorps, Canadian Ordnance Corps, Army Pay Corps, Military Staff Clerks, are maintained principally to meet the requirements of the Active Militia, and these corps ‘together cost at least $350,000 per annum.

 

B Battery R.C.H.A.  1909, Renfrew, Ont..

B Battery R.C.H.A. 1909, Renfrew, Ont..

 

  1. The next items of the Estimate, are pay of officers and men of the Active Militia attached for instruction, and Active Militia allowances. These both show increases, in the latter case considerable ones, due to increases made two years ago in the allowances for the care of arms, drill instruction, &c.
  2. The increase in the vote for Provisions and Supplies has been almost entirely due to, and in proportion to, the increase in the strength of the Permanent Force.
  3. Salaries and wages show an increase due directly to the increased number of military properties, buildings and rifle ranges on charge.
  4. The vote for Transport and Freight is one which, for many years past, has been frequently, and perhaps unavoidable, underestimated, with the result that many charges incurred during one financial year have had to be defrayed out of the vote for the next, though this has been partly due, no doubt, to the fact that the great carrier companies often delay sending in their bills for services rendered until after the votes for the financial year concerned have lapsed.
  5. It is now hoped that arrears have been cleared off and that the same difficulties will not seriously recur. At the same time, the increase in the vote has been due to increased transport, both for equipment, stores, &c, issued to Active Militia Corps, and for the permanent garrisons.
  6. The last increase in the votes chargeable to Revenue is that for “Warlike Stores, and this is practically entirely due to the transfer of Halifax and Esquimalt and the increase in the numbers of the Active Militia. It would obviously be absurd to maintain troops without providing for their equipment with proper arms and munitions of war.
  7. Nor should it be forgotten, in considering the increases to which reference has been made, that nearly every case has been affected, in a greater or less degree, by the general rise in the wages paid to labour and in the cost of commodities throughout the Dominion.
  8. A word may here profitably be said in regard to the vote on Capital Account. This vote is rendered necessary by the re-armament of the force with new and up-todate guns and rifles—a re-armament which could not longer be deferred—by the purchase of rifle ranges and grounds for camps, and by the necessity for providing a reserve of clothing, saddlery, equipment, &c, for the outfit of the additional troops which on an emergency would have to be mobilized.
  9. Re-armament is costly, but absolutely necessary. It is now in progress and it should be completed and the transition stage passed as rapidly as possible, but it is not likely that this portion of the vote can be dispensed with for several years to come.
  10. It is believed that it will be agreeable to the House if this memorandum concludes with a short summing up of our military position as it presents itself to the government.
  11. It will be within the recollection of the House that it has been, on several occasions, stated that, in the opinion of the government, the standard of defence at which we would aim should be the power of placing in the field a force of 100,000 men, properly organized and equipped, in first line, while behind it we had the necessary equipment and machinery for raising an additional force of 100,000 men in second line. That standard has apparently met with the approval of the House, and has, at any rate, never been openly questioned.
  12. It will probably be of interest to the House if a short explanation, be given as to how this force of 100,000 men in first line is to be composed, how it is to be organized and how far it satisfies the conditions which an armed force should fulfil.
  13. Deducting from the total those troops who would be required to garrison places like Quebec, Halifax and Esquirnalt, to hold certain important points, and to perform other special duties, there remains for the active defence of the country in the field a total force of about 90,000 men, of whom at present some 80,000 belong to Canada, east of the Great Lakes, and 10,000 belong to the west.
  14. In accordance with the agreement accepted by the representatives of all the self-governing dominions at the Imperial conference of 1907—that all forces of the Empire should be organized as far as possible upon the same system—these 90,000 troops have been organized into divisions and brigades, which, subject to the modifications imposed by Canadian conditions, resemble closely similar organizations –in the Imperial Army.
  15. It will be well perhaps to recall to mind the fact that the organization of an army has two main objects, first to enable the whole armed body, equipped with the proper proportion of each arm, cavalry, artillery and infantry, to work in unison carrying our the orders of the commander, and secondly, to enable it to be fed, moved where required, supplied with munitions of war, medically treated, and paid, in such manner as to maintain its efficiency as a lighting force at the highest point—this second object being, of the two, the more difficult to attain.
  16. In the west, the development of the force has been so rapid that its organization has not yet been fully worked out.
  17. But in the east, the 80,000 troops which compose the field force have been organized in six divisions and three cavalry brigades.
  18. A force of about that strength thus organized ought to consist of some 60,000 Infantry, 7,000 Cavalry, 15,000 Artillery, and 3,000 Engineers, or in other words, it, ought to have 64 Battalions of Infantry, 12 Regiments of Cavalry, 69 Batteries of Artillery, with 276 guns and 18 companies of Engineers—in addition to the requisite number of Army Service Corps and Army Medical Corps units. Unfortunately though we have the proper number of Infantry and Cavalry units, we are only at present in possession of 31 batteries of Artillery, with 124 guns, and we have only four companies of Engineers, while we are somewhat deficient in the Army Service Corps and Army Medical Corps services.

 

Drum Corps of the Royal Canadian Regiment, ca 1911, Halifax NS..'

Drum Corps of the Royal Canadian Regiment, ca 1911, Halifax NS..’

 

  1. Artillery is an arm so expensive to equip that its increase, though considerable in the last few years, has necessarily been slow and can only be carried further by degrees; yet a sufficient proportion of guns is specially needed for a force composed of citizen soldiers.
  2. As regards Engineers, Canada possesses, in her large telegraph, telephone and railway organizations, and her great lumber interests, an especially good supply of men admirably fitted for Engineer duties. As she possesses, so to speak, a reserve in this arm, with her Royal Military College graduates also in reserve for Engineer officers, more attention has been so far given to the raising and equipment of other units than of Engineer Corps.
  3. It is, however, no doubt the case that the organization of additional units should proceed as opportunity offers.
  4. As regards the supply of the forces with arms and munitions of war, it may be said that we possess sufficient guns for the existing number of batteries and that as the re-armament with the new 18-pr. gums progresses, more guns will be made available wherewith to arm additional batteries.
  5. And it must, be added that, at present, we have not a sufficient number of small arms available, nor an adequate reserve of ammunition. But the situation in these respects is improving from day to day.
  6. Another important point is the supply of munitions of war which comprise, besides ammunition, military equipment of every kind. A great deal of this is required, and it would be a mistake to suppose that it can easily be obtained or improvised on mobilization. Further, to avoid the confusion and delay which would otherwise occur, this equipment must be decentralized so that every unit, on being called out for services, should find its equipment.
  7. But mobilization equipment, even for the first line, is still far from complete what there is cannot be properly decentralized owing to lack of storage accommodation: while, for the second line, the deficiencies are, of course, greater.
  8. All that can be said is. that steady efforts are being made in the direction of its provision, and equipment for a considerable proportion of the force is already in store, though it must be some time yet before the Minister of Militia will be able to say that complete or nearly complete equipment for the first line of 100.000 men is on hand.
  9. Mobilization, it is to be feared, would also be delayed by difficulties in connection with the supply of vehicles and horses, especially riding horse.
  10. As regards transport vehicles, some good work has been done, and a certain amount of transport has been registered—especially in certain districts of Ontario where owners have patriotically come forward—but so far it has not been found possible to introduce any general or sufficient system of registration, either of transport or of remounts Owners in many parts are suspicious as to what registration may entail; registration costs money; and money is required, even more urgently, for other services.
  11. As regard to riding horses, the situation is particularly difficult, for there can be no doubt that the riding horse, as such, exists in Eastern Canada only in decreasing number-. This matter will receive attention, but meantime, the mounted troops would have, as hitherto, to make the best of the stamp of horse available.
  12. Such is, in general terms, the position in regard to our military forces. In view of the necessity for finding money for the development of the Dominion, it has not been possible to spare sufficient money for military purposes to enable progress in the development of our forces to be as rapid as might otherwise have been desired—and indeed, it might be said that, until a body of officers had been trained, capable of efficiently organizing and training the military forces, it was not desirable to create those forces too rapidly.
  13. Much remains still to be done towards the perfecting of our first line more than at present is financially possible—and nothing has yet been attempted towards the organization of the reserve in second line. But the points of weakness are known; the direction in which effort should be applied is recognized; and, though perhaps it is not so rapid as would appear desirable from a purely military point of view, general progress is nevertheless, being made, and there can be no doubt at all but that the size of the force which the Dominion could, in case of necessity, place in the field, and, what is even more to the point, feed and maintain when there in an efficient state, has largely increased of late years.

 

B Battery R.C.H.A.  1909, Renfrew.

B Battery R.C.H.A. 1909, Renfrew.

 

70. To sum up the points to which it has been desired in this Memorandum draw attention may be recapitulated as follows:—

  • (a) That expenditure on Militia Services for 1908-9 shows a decrease of $48,813, as compared with that of 1907-8, in which year the financial effect of the transfer of Halifax and Esquimalt was first fully felt, while the Estimates for 1909-10 show a still further decrease of $636,275.
  • (b) That, while the expenditure for Annual Drill of the Active Militia rose from $699,724 in 1901-5 to $1,075,000 (exclusive of the cost of the Quebec celebration) in 1908-9, and is, for the year 1909-10 estimated at $860,000, the increase in cost has been accompanied by a large increase in the number of both men and horses trained, viz., from 32,000 men and 7,892 horses in 1903-4, to 47,500 men and 8,500 horses in 1908-9.
  • (c) That the increases in the Votes for Clothing and Necessaries, Provisions and Supplies, Transport and Freight, and Warlike Stores are directly consequent upon the increase in the numbers of the Active Militia and of the Permanent Force, due in the latter case to the garrisoning of Halifax and Esquimalt, and to additional requirements of the Active Militia.
  • (d) That the increases in the Votes for Engineer Services and Maintenance of Military Properties, are directly due to the increased number of military rifle ranges, buildings and properties on charge of the Militia Department.
  • (e) That the increase in the numbers of the Permanent Staff of the Militia Force, at Headquarters and in the Military Districts and Commands, has been in accord with the views of all the General Officers who have served in Canada during the past seventeen years, has been largely forced upon us by the withdrawal of the Imperial troops from Halifax and Esquimalt, is absolutely necessary if the Militia Force is to be able to take and maintain itself in the field, and, lastly, is closely proportionate to the increase which has taken place in the Militia Force.
  • (f) That the increase in cost of the permanent force is (outside the higher rates of pay granted in 1904) due to the additions to its establishment rendered necessary by its having to provide garrisons for Halifax and Esquimalt, when transferred to Dominion control; by having to provide instruction for largely increased establishments of the Active Militia, and by having to provide for the organization of the subsidiary services required to enable the Militia force as a whole to take the field. That, further, no reduction is possible in the Permanent Force without either seriously weakening the garrisons’ of Halifax and Esquimalt (which would be contrary to Canada’s undertaking to the Empire) or rendering the force incapable of fulfilling its duty of instructing the Active Militia and organizing it so as to enable it to take the field in case of need. That, further, the expenditure on the Permanent Force is $51,000 less for Pay and Allowances than it was in 1907-8.
  • (g) That the vote on Capital Account is indispensable if the Militia is to be properly armed for war, and if rifle ranges are to continue to be provided, and that this vote is likely to be required for several years to come.
  1. Lastly, a short resume of the present military situation has been given, from which it will be seen that the policy of the Militia Department has been directed steadily towards the attainment of a standard accepted by parliament, and with the single end in view of fitting the militia force as a whole to take the field in such a condition of efficiency that the people of Canada may feel safe in entrusting to its keeping the honour and security of the nation.

 

 

Spañard

 

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