For reference of Appendix C & D see link: Imperial Forces Inspector General 1910 Report On Canada’s Militia, Appendix C & D. http://wp.me/p55eja-wb
REPORT UPON THE BEST METHOD OF GIVING EFFECT TO THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF GENERAL SIR JOHN FRENCH, G.C.B.. G.C.V.O.. REGARDING THE CANADIAN MILITIA.
- By Major General Sir P. H. N. Lake, Inspector General, K.C.M.G., C.B.
The Honourable the Minister of Militia and Defence:
- You have asked me, as your chief military adviser, for a memorandum upon the report, dated July 5, 1910, submitted to you by General Sir John French, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., Inspector General, Imperial Forces, as the result of his tour of inspection of the militia of the Dominion, with a view to considering how far and in what manner it may be most feasible and advantageous to give effect to his recommendations; with which, I may perhaps be permitted to say, I am, speaking generally, in complete accord.
- The Imperial Inspector General, after stating that he deals with western and eastern Canada separately, begins by discussing the question of organization. He attaches the highest importance to the peace organization of the forces being identical with the organization contemplated for war.
- In regard to Canada, west of the great lakes, he does not, in view of the rapid developments now taking place in that part of the country, make any definite recommendations in regard to organization. The following remarks, therefore, under this heading apply only to eastern Canada.
- After stating, in forcible terms, the advantages to be derived from the harmonious working together of the different arms and their mutual support in war, he states, equally forcibly, the drawbacks which lie perceives to exist in our present peace organization from its not being identical with our war organization.
- Our present organization in commands being based rather upon areas than on the distribution of units, he points out that the correct proportion between the various arms in those areas does not usually obtain, and that existing corps have been raised according to local likings and idiosyncrasies. This is, of course, quite true, and indeed will usually be the case in voluntarily raised forces. Witness the great effort necessary in the United Kingdom before the scientifically organized territorial force could be called into being to replace the previously existing auxiliary forces, which were open to precisely these same criticisms.
- He points out the difficulties from which our war divisions, to be formed as such only on mobilization, would suffer. He says that ‘the annual camp trainings are only a large collection of troops without any organization in formations of all arms, ‘and that’ the various arms do not apparently work to a sufficient extent in conjunction with each other.’ In this remark, the case is, of course inadvertently, overstated, but the main contention may be accepted as correct.
- The Inspector General considers that the staff should be organized upon a divisional basis. He concludes by saying that the present state of affairs would render a quick mobilization and prompt action impossible.
- The Inspector General’s recommendations are entirely in line with the policy towards which, as you are aware, the Militia Council has consistently been working.
- Since the Council came into being, when it found a large body of disconnected units which had grown up almost haphazard throughout the country, it has steadily worked towards the higher organization, beginning first with brigades of all arms. It has also endeavoured (though not always successfully) to turn local military aspirations in the direction of raising those limits which were most wanted in that district for service purposes.
- Similarly, the working together of the different arms has not been lost sight of, and forms part of the training syllabus—even if it has not been carried as far as was desirable—while the acquisition of training grounds where the three arms can be trained together has been consistently kept in view.
- Lastly, as regards the staff. The report has not perhaps brought out quite clearly the points wherein our staff system falls short of the system in force in England. England, outside the War Office, is divided into commands. All general administration is carried out at command headquarters, where the heads of services and departments are located, while each command includes one or more complete self contained divisions (or other organized bodies), whose staffs carry out simply their own internal business. In reality, each command staff in Canada approximates closely, both in composition and system, to the English command staff, though on a smaller scale; but with us, at present, each command staff also administers one of the districts of which the command is composed, and we have not been able, up to the present, to organize divisional staffs. This, however, is merely a temporary condition due to the shortage of staff officers. It has always been intended to have, eventually, a separate staff for each district within the command, and where that district finds a division for field service to form a staff which would be in practice the divisional staff.
- It will thus be seen that the Militia Council has been working on correct lines towards the system which is in force in England and which the Inspector General recommends.
- The question, therefore, for consideration is: How far is it possible, at the present moment, to take the further steps which he advocates towards the object which we are agreed in regarding as essential?
- In his Appendix ‘C’ Sir John French shows how he would propose to organize the existing troops of eastern Canada. He does not state clearly whether he propose the retention or abolition of command staffs, but, as the latter would mean a departure from the British system and also the disappearance of heads of services and departments, who are not allowed for divisional staffs, and, in view of the general trend of his propositions and the fact that our declared policy is to assimilate our system to that in force in England, I assume that he does not. He proposes to organize for service a cavalry division, five divisions, two field forces and garrisons. The first named is not to be organized in peace, while the field forces and garrisons are shown separately. To organize these five divisions he forms two from the troops in the present Western Ontario command, leaves Eastern Ontario, practically as it stands, to provide another, makes the province of Quebec furnish a fourth division and the Maritime Provinces a fifth.
- So far there is no great difficulty, though T .should have preferred to form six divisions rather than five; for, to accept the smaller number, will practically involve Military District No. 7, Quebec, losing the identity and becoming merged in the fourth divisional command. For reasons of sentiment, this disappearance of one of the older and larger military districts seems open to objection.
- The most important question to discuss is the provision of the necessary staff. The subjoined table shows the composition of a typical English command headquarters and a Canadian command headquarters side by side:
- It will be observed that, while the Canadian command headquarters are by far the smaller, the two run on parallel lines, and the work of the office is similarly allotted. There would be no difficulty, therefore, in expanding the Canadian command headquarters as desired.
- It will be seen that the same remark generally applies to the Canadian district headquarters as compared with an English division, but that the English organization has, in addition, an O.C. artillery and an O.C. engineers.
- So far, therefore, as system goes, there is no difference in principle; and the Canadian command headquarters could remain as it is, with certain additions to its staff, principally an officer to perform the duties of the ‘general officer in charge of administration.’ Again, inasmuch as, in a division, the O. C. artillery would probably be a selected senior artillery officer of the active militia, and as the same course might be followed for the O. C. engineers, where no senior officer of the permanent force was available, a district headquarters might easily be transformed into a divisional headquarters.
- The serious difficulty is that, while we perhaps have a sufficient total number of permanent staff officers, we have but a very few who are properly trained and fully understand a staff officer’s duties. This is noticeable already where there are only four commands to be provided for, and the efficiency of the force already suffers thereby.
- Had the minister an absolutely free hand, by far the best plan would be to import a number of selected staff officers from England to fill those of the more important command and staff posts for which trained Canadian officers are not available for the next four years, and to train, so to speak, ‘understudies,’ who should be capable of taking their places when they left. But this would involve displacing and superseding, for a time at least, a considerable number of senior officers, few or none of whom have yet earned their full pensions or reached the age limit. To deal with them would present many difficulties.
- Assuming that the importation of a few English officers will be decided on. I suggest the following as the best method of procedure:—
- (a) Decide upon 6 divisions in place of 5 as the number to be eventually formed.
- (b) Leave the command headquarters as at present, deciding, however, to add an ‘ officer (say, lieutenant-colonel) in charge of administration ‘ to each as soon as suitable officers can be made available.
- (c) Form Military District No. 1 into the ‘1st division’ and complete its staff’ by the addition of a general staff officer. It possesses only one brigade of artillery, so the lieutenant-colonel commanding the brigade would naturally be the ‘O. C. artillery.’ There are as yet no engineers. Transfer the 4th Infantry Brigade from Military District No. 2 to complete the infantry. Take steps gradually to organize the administrative services as required. Attach to it the Mobile Column with Headquarters at London.
- (d) Form a ‘2nd Division’ from the troops of M.D. No. 2 (called ‘4th Division’ in the Inspector General’s Report), transferring to it the 10th Bde. C.F.A., Cobourg, and Cobourg Heavy Battery, from M.D. No. 3. Organise the administrative services as required. Complete its staff by appointing an officer to command it (perhaps a senior Militia officer), a General Staff Officer, a D.A.A. & Q.M.G., a senior Field Artillery Officer (also from the active Militia) and an O.C. Engineers. Headquarters would be at Toronto.The 1st Cavalry Brigade already exists and would remain directly under the Command Headquarters.
- (e) Leave the Eastern Ontario Command as it is (after detaching the Artillery at Cobourg), but organize the troops therein into the ‘3rd Division’ (called ‘5th’ in the Inspector General’s Eeport). The ‘2nd Cavalry Brigade’ already exists and would remain under the Command Headquarters. Complete the staff by appointing an ‘ Officer in charge of Administration,’ who would have the heads of Services and Departments under him, and an ‘O.C. Artillery’ and ‘O.C. Engineers ‘ for the Division. In course of time separate the Command and Divisional Staffs. Organize the administrative services as required. Abolish Military District 4 and its Headquarters.
- (f) Treat the Quebec Command similarly to the Western Ontario Command, forming two Divisions. Nos. 4 and 5, with Headquarters at Montreal and Quebec, respectively, and completing the Montreal Division for war by the 3rd Infantry Brigade from M.D. No. 2.
- (g) Leave the Maritime Provinces Command as it is, for the present, but organize the troops as far as may be as:—
- 6th Division.
- Army Troops.
The troops of the 6th Division could seldom train together as a Division, but attempts should be made to bring them together from time to time, and give them the feeling that the formation really existed. The D.O.C., M.D. No. 8 might command the N.B. Mobile Column and the District, training the 12th Brigade with the former in Sussex Camp.
- The Imperial Inspector General next discusses the question of mobilization, and urges early completion of the reserves of horses, stores and equipment required on mobilization, as well as the completion of the necessary mobilization regulations and plans for concentration.
- He urges a closer supervision over the ‘Service Rolls’ kept by Squadron, Battery, Company and Corps Commanders, and recommends partial test mobilizations from time to time.
- He points out the extreme importance of prompt mobilization and concentration of troops when an emergency arises, and recommends the establishment of a ‘Railway War Council’ to be charged with drawing up the necessary ‘Time Tables.’
- He declares that the number of Staff Officers available for working out the necessary mobilization arrangements is quite inadequate, and urges the early employment of a number of trained and selected officers for this purpose.
- Nothing but want of funds and the scarcity of trained Staff Officers has prevented the Council from carrying out this work already. So far as the one Staff Officer available has been able to spare time from his other duties, the preliminary arrangements have, already, been tentatively framed. But there can be no doubt that this is a matter of urgent importance. So soon as ever the general plans take definite shape—but not, I think, before—the Railway War Council should be constituted.
- The scarcity of trained Staff Officers constitutes the real difficulty of dealing with mobilization. The attempt to work out mobilization questions without really competent officers is mere waste of time. I should recommend the following procedure—First, obtain from England the two trained General Staff Officers whom the Inspector General states to be required at Headquarters. Name a selected Canadian officer to work with them as Administrative Staff Officer, and form the three into a Standing Mobilization Committee. Then let them proceed to frame the mobilization plans, under the supervision of the C.G.S., keeping in constant touch through him, with Commands and Districts outside Headquarters. Then, as opportunity offers, attach to them selected Staff Officers of Commands or Districts, whom they should train to carry out and keep up to date the local mobilization work.
- Turning to the subject of training, the Imperial Inspector General considers the standard of training efficiency reached by the Permanent Force to be satisfactory, but points out that the peace establishment of the various units is not large enough to enable them to attain really perfect field efficiency, and, at the same time, properly supervise the training and instruction of the Active Militia.
- He, therefore, recommends additions to the strength of the Royal Canadian Dragoons and Royal Canadian Horse Artillery. As you are aware, I have, in my reports, frequently represented this aspect of the case—and I am persuaded that the other branches of the Permanent Force, the infantry especially, are equally in need of augmentation.
- Turning to the training of the Active Militia, Sir John French appears to have been favourably impressed with the system of training of and degree of efficiency reached by the Artillery, so far as he was able to see it, but he was struck by the absence of uniformity in the standard reached by the other arms.
- He thinks that the proper role of cavalry in a country like eastern Canada has not been correctly appreciated by the force itself, and hence its training has been on wrong lines—inasmuch as ‘shock’ action is practically impossible in such close country, and cavalry would have to act as Mounted Rifles. Their training should, therefore, tend towards securing efficiency in this direction.
- With this I am entirely in accord. The Militia Council has, for the last five years, aimed at training the cavalry upon these lines—the fact that the cavalry are not given a sword but are armed with rifle only should afford sufficient proof of this.
- He also finds that squadron officers generally are not sufficiently acquainted with their work, and that nothing like enough troop and squadron instruction is given. Great care should, he says, be taken in the selection of young officers and N.C.O.’s, and they should receive a much more extensive preliminary training than now, with constant supervision.
- He, therefore, strongly recommends that the annual training should be increased from 12 to 16 days for the cavalry, and that a definite syllabus of training should be laid down and enforced. This extension of the period of training was advocated by me for all arms of the service in my last annual report, while a syllabus of training, such as is recommended, is already laid down and is carried out.
- While he was not favourably impressed with what he saw of the training methods of the Infantry, yet he remarks that the manoeuvring power displayed at the field exercises was better than he had expected.
- He animadverts strongly upon the excessive attention given by the Infantry, especially in City Corps, to ceremonial exercises and evolutions. His criticism is, no doubt, just, and I have, at all my inspections, consistently discouraged merely ceremonial drill. But old habits die hard, and it is natural, as Sir John French himself perceives, that the weaker commanding officers should prefer the easy road to ceremonial smartness to the hard and less showy work involved in attaining service efficiency.
- He recommends a revision of the syllabus of training and the devotion of more time to company drill and manoeuvre. According to the 1910 syllabus of training in camps, only half a day of the whole available time is now allotted to battalion ceremonial drill, and the same amount to the whole of brigade drill, including ceremonial drill. This might, perhaps, be still further reduced, but does not appear excessive It should, perhaps, be added that at only one camp did the Inspector General actually see infantry ceremonial drill in progress, and that merely because it happened to be the afternoon allotted for that drill.
- He lays special stress upon the importance of strict attention to company training as the basis of all real efficiency, and points out that commanding officers have failed to realize this. I have made almost precisely the same criticisms in every one of my annual reports upon training. He considers that the instructors at the Infantry Schools should devote more attention to tactics and less to ceremonial drill than is at present the case. This is perfectly sound, but it requires constant supervision to make sure that the instructions on this subject are strictly adhered to.
- He considers that more telegraph companies of engineers should be raised. I understand that steps in this direction are already in progress.
- In short, we are already working on the lines which Sir John French recommends and can cordially concur in his proposals.
CAMP GROUNDS AND DRILL HALLS.
- The Imperial Inspector General considers the acquisition and establishment of the camp at Petawawa to be the most important stop yet taken towards efficiency for war. It should be fully utilized, especially as all the other camp grounds seen in use are far too restricted in area.
- At no camp which he visited in the east did he find sufficient ground available for training the troops, but. at the same time, more practicable allotment by the camp staff of the training; ground winch did exist was desirable. He lays stress upon the necessity for ample rifle range accommodation.
- He remarks upon the drawback from which nearly all city corps suffer, viz. that they have no open space available on which to drill within easy reach of their drill halls. This has been remarked upon in my annual reports.
- He most strongly urges that the attendance of city corps in camp from time to time is essential, and considers that the fact that these corps do not attend camp leaves them behind the rural corps in service efficiency.
- The acquisition of larger areas for training has always been part of the policy of the Militia Council, and should certainly be continued in the future, as funds are available. The acquisition of areas in Western Canada is now receiving special attention.
COMMAND AND STAFF.
- The remarks of the Imperial Inspector General upon the subject of Command and Staff are of a highly important nature.
- Discussing, first, the position of the Inspector General, Canadian forces, he is clearly of the opinion that the Inspector General ought not to be, as the present holder of the office is, a member of the Militia Council. He considers that the training of the troops has suffered thereby.
- As you are aware, there were special reasons for giving the present holder of the office, myself, a seat upon the Council. There will be no difficulty in following Sir John French’s advice in future appointments.
- He recommends that the officers commanding the permanent cavalry, artillery, engineers and infantry, respectively, should act as inspectors of those arms in the militia, and ‘should be entirely under the orders of the Inspector General.’
- While I agree that technical inspection of the infantry would be an advantage, I should regard it as impossible for .one officer to inspect all infantry corps—two, at least, would be required. I also consider that, as now, inspectors are required for each branch of the artillery, horse and field, heavy and fortress artillery respectively. And I confess that I do not see how the officers commanding the several permanent corps can be ‘entirely under the orders of the Inspector General.’ They must, as Commandants of Schools of Instruction and organized units, be principally under the orders of the Officers Commanding Commands and Districts.
- He found but little opportunity of testing the abilities of the higher officers in the duties of command, and, while saying that efficient commanders are essential, expresses a very guarded opinion as to their fitness for the higher commands which he recommends.
- He comments upon the absence, in two cases, of the brigadier concerned and his staff from his inspection of city corps and considers that brigadiers should be held responsible for the efficiency of the units under their command. Under present conditions, the brigadier, as a rule, attends such inspections voluntarily. To make it obligatory upon him to do so, and to hold him responsible for the efficiency of his brigade, is mainly a matter of finding money for drill pay and travelling allowance. It is no doubt desirable.
- As regards staff officers, the Imperial Inspector General considers the officers employed ‘to be well selected and to perform their various duties in a satisfactory manner,’ to be well informed in administrative matters, but incomplete in their education as regards general staff duties. He recommends their being given special instruction in these duties—this last is already being partially done, and the system should be further extended.
- He comments severely upon the ignorance of those critics in the public press who consider the number of officers employed on the staff to be too great. . In his opinion a large and sufficiently trained body of staff officers is indispensable, and he says that, at present, ‘the militia staff is numerically inadequate for the amount of work required to be done and that the efficient staff officer is underpaid.’
- I concur in the whole of these comments. In another part of his report he remarks that ‘the staff at present maintained at headquarters and in the commands appears to me absurdly inadequate.’ As already seen, he has recommended an addition to the present staff of probably 10 officers for mobilization purposes alone. The divisional organization which he has recommended will involve certain further additions to the staff.
- The Militia Council always has been well aware how largely the modern developments of war and military science have increased the demands for additional staff’ officers and for highly trained ones. But it has been obliged to cut its coat according to the cloth—the supply of qualified staff officers was limited, funds were limited, and it was not thought desirable to draw upon the British Army for all the staff’ officers which were required, but rather to try and develop existing material in the permanent staff and force.
- With the strongly expressed views of Sir John French before the public, it is to be hoped that the additions to the staff which he recommends may be concurred in and provided for by Parliament in the Annual Estimates at an early date.
- But it must be clearly understood that General Staff duties and mobilization preparations demand highly trained and experienced staff officers. Every qualified Staff Officer belonging to the Dominion forces is already employed at staff work. And, until more are trained, the additional Staff Officers can only come from the Imperial Army. I estimate that, to fulfil the Imperial Inspector General’s recommendations 15 additional General Staff Officers (2 at headquarters for mobilization. 1 for each Command, 3 for ‘Western Canada and 1 for each Division), and 7 additional Administrative Staff Officers (1 D.A.6. at Headquarters for mobilization and 1 D.A.A. and Q.M.G. for each Division), will eventually be required. The developments of the staff will of necessity take time, and, meanwhile, additional Canadian officers are being trained at the Staff College. How most effectually to expand the staff and obtain the officers needed will be best left to be dealt with by the new Chief of the General Staff. Personally, I should recommend the importation of two or three officers and a wide extension of the system of Militia Staff Courses, with advanced instructions to those officers who show special ability.
ROYAL MILITARY COLLEGE.
- Sir John French was very favourably impressed with the Royal Military College at Kingston. His main criticisms are—Lack of dormitory accommodation sufficient to give each cadet a room to himself, a much needed improvement—Lack of a good Reading Room—Lack of a covered Riding School and covered Skating Rink.
- His recommendations are:—
- That either the Inspector General or the Chief of the General Staff should always be a member of the Board of Visitors.
- (2) That, in the Military History Course, some special campaign should lie studied each year.
- (3) That the graduates of the College should be called upon to repay the country some portion of the money spent upon their education, by serving for a term of years in some Active Militia unit after graduation.
- (4) That the defects above mentioned should be rectified; and lastly
- (5) That the number of Cadets received at the College should be largely increased. Of these recommendations, the third is already being carried out; the first and second can easily be adopted ; while the remainder are concurred in but must depend upon the money provided in Estimates for building purposes.
- The remarks which the Imperial Inspector General makes on the subject of regimental officers may be summarized as follows:—
(a) As regards Commanding Officers, he considers that, provided the tests prescribed by regulation are strictly enforced, their qualifications ought to be sufficient. But he gathers that these are not always enforced. And he notices that Commanding Officers do not enough realize the supreme importance of thorough squadron and company training and do not appear competent themselves to supervise such training by Squadron and Company Commanders.
(b) As regards Squadron, Battery and Company Commanders, he considers that there is generally much room for improvement. They often do not know how to teach their men, and they do not inculcate or maintain discipline. He thinks that here too the tests must have been relaxed.
- Practically the points here raised are the same, viz., the failure to enforce the tests laid down by regulation. This charge is largely true. I have several times pointed out the danger of allowing the examination standards to be relaxed, especially in Provisional Schools. The reply given to me has been that, if they were enforced, nine out of every ten officers would fail at the examination, because the length of course they were prepared to undergo was too short for them to learn all that the regulation standard required. To which the answer, of course, is ‘Then let them fail; only in that way can they find out how much there is to learn.’
- Undoubtedly our critic is right, and qualification tests ought to be strictly enforced. The remedy appears to be simple.
NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS AND MEN.
- Scarcely less importance is attached by the Imperial Inspector General to the selection and qualification of N.C.O’s, in whom he has observed many deficiencies. He recommends great care in selection and every assistance as regards instruction. The Council have long been fully alive to the importance of the non-commissioned ranks and the necessity for better qualified N.C.O’s. But it is a question fraught with many difficulties, and the solution has not yet been found.
- He was, on the whole, favourably impressed with the men in the ranks. His only recommendation is that the fulfilment of the three years’ term of engagement should be insisted upon. This question is also one of some difficulty. I am inclined to think that, after fair warning being given, judicious enforcement of the law would have a good effect.
- The Inspector General discusses the question of the supply of horses required for war, and finds that satisfactory arrangements for it do not exist. He points out that, within three months of the outbreak of a war, 33,000 remounts would be needed.
- He recommends, to deal with the matter, the appointment of an Assistant Director of Remounts, with a suitable inspection and Veterinary Staff, whose duties he enumerates. He also suggests a small permanent remount depot to supply the needs of the Permanent Force.
- He does not specify the number of officers whom he should recommend to assist the Assistant Director of Remounts, but I should think that four officers, one each for Ontario, Quebec, the Maritime Provinces and the Northwest, would be sufficient in the first instance. But I agree in the advisability of the step. The officers appointed might be Veterinary Officers, but should be very carefully selected, as they would need to be men of general experience as well.
- As regards armament, Sir John French appears to consider the armament now in use, and under order, to be suitable. He doubts, however, whether the nature of the country offers sufficient scope for the number of heavy batteries we possess, and is in favour rather of the provision of a full proportion of howitzers. He notes the need for field telephones with field artillery. He considers the reserves of both gun and small ammunition to be insufficient, and recommends additions to both. TheCouncil are aware of this requirement, and will, no doubt, add to the reserves so soon as finances permit.
- He considers that the final settlement of the armament of the cavalry requires an early decision. I have always failed to understand why it has been so long delayed.
- He was favourably impressed with the Administrative Services, and has no proposals to make in regard to them.
- He was satisfied with the defence works at Halifax, but considered that the arrangements for land defence had not been sufficiently worked out, and that not enough infantry is allotted to the defence. He also doubts whether mobilization arrangements are as complete as they should be, especially as regards engineers.
- Upon both points he is probably right, though it may be remarked that the infantry garrison is now more numerous than during the Imperial regime. The point will, no doubt, engage the attention of the Chief of the General Staff. It is, perhaps, worth while remarking that the Halifax Defence Scheme is submitted yearly to the Colonial Defence Committee in London, and that their comments thereon do not seem to show that they regard the land defence as insufficiently provided for.
SCHOOLS OF INSTRUCTION AND MANUFACTURING ESTABLISHMENTS.
- Under the heading of Schools of Instruction he considers that the instruction is given too much by old fashioned methods, that too much ceremonial is taught, and that more might be done in the way of tactical instruction. This is quite realized at Headquarters, and that more has not been done is due solely to the paucity of supervising officers.
- As regard Manufacturing Establishments, his opinion appears generally favourable. The point which he mentions in regard to the manufacture of bayonets has already been taken up.
- Part II. of the report is devoted to western Canada. Recognizing that its development is recent, has been very rapid, and is still going on, the Inspector General feels himself unable to report on it in detail, but remarks generally that, while the existing forces are very small in proportion, the direction which the organization of the military forces generally is taking appears sound.
- He remarks upon the two camps of instruction which he visited in the west. While criticising many shortcomings in their work, he was struck by the aptitude of both officers and men.
- He repeats his recommendations that cavalry training should be extended to 16 days, and that the horse supply question should be studied, and strongly advises the acquisition of a training ground in the west like that at Petawawa. This has, I understand, already been arranged.
- Part III. of the report is a summary in which he again urges the importance of a sound peace organization and staff system, competent commanders and enforcement of regulations, especially as regards insisting on the fulfilment of the full term of engagement, and he repeats that in these respects that our system fails.
- From the foregoing remarks it will be seen that there are no proposals contained in Sir John French’s report the adoption of which would involve any departure in principle from the policy which, under your direction, the Militia Council has pursued since its inception in 1904.
- As has been shown, the most important of those proposals, the recommendations on the subject of organization, contemplate not a change of system, but a development such as naturally follows from the lines upon which our present organization is framed—indeed, one which was contemplated when that organization was decided upon.
- Similarly, the recommendations regarding mobilization merely urge the early completion of measures and plans already in progress, viz.: the acquisition of the necessary reserves of material and the elaboration of the plans and arrangements for placing the militia force upon a field service footing when the emergency arises. The constitution of a Railway War Council is a step entirely in harmony with this policy.
- As in the case of organization, so, in the matter of command and staff, the Imperial Inspector General’s proposals involve no change of principle. The Canadian system of command and staff is based upon the Imperial one, and merely differs from it in that we have not yet reached the same stage of development, and that our number of staff officers is decidedly smaller. But the staff duties are conducted upon just the same lines. Indeed, at the Imperial conferences of 1907 and 1909 the Dominion government pledged itself to adopt the Imperial system of both organization and staff duties, and has been steadily working to this end; only conditions of finance and lack of trained personnel have delayed more rapid progress.
- It is these considerations of expense and of the supply of trained staff officers which still, as pointed out in the body of my memorandum, govern the question of how far Sir John French’s main recommendations, i.e., those connected with organization, mobilization, command and staff, can at once be carried into effect.
- Of his other recommendations, those regarding the question of horse supply, the acquisition of satisfactory training areas and the expansion of the Royal Military College also involve material expenditure, and of these the first named is almost inseparably connected with the subject of mobilization.
- In all these cases the extent to which progress in carrying out his recommendations can be made and the period which must elapse before they can become effective depends entirely upon how far Parliament is prepared to provide for the expenditure necessary.
- His recommendations under the headings of Training, Supply and Qualifications of Regimental Officers, N. C. Officers and Men, and Schools of Instruction are all matters mainly of administration, upon which his valuable suggestions can at once be adopted and put into effect.
- That the adoption of his recommendations will lead to greatly increased efficiency cannot be doubted.
- PERCY LAKE, Major-General, Inspector General. September 14. 1910.