HMCS Magnificent, c. 1950
The Mainguy Report (1949)
Ottawa Citizen; 2 Nov 1949
By the Canadian Press
The naval report, tabled in the Commons by Defence Minister Claxton, found "evidence of general inexperience of many officers, chiefs and petty officers" aboard the warships involved and criticized the failure to punish the offenders.
The report by Rear Admiral E.R. Mainguy, chief naval officer on the Atlantic Coast, Leonard W. Brockington, Ottawa lawyer, and L.C. Audette, wartime naval officer and a member of the Canadian Maritime Commission, constitutes a landmark in Canada's naval story. It has already gone out to all ships and 5,000 additional copies are being printed for the men.
It bared a broad demand within the ranks for "canadianization" of the force and underlines unfavorable results that sometimes arise when Canadian officers, given British naval training at a formative stage, come to handle the Canadian sailor who "is not the same kind of man" as the British Tar.
The report said of the incidents themselves that there was no justification for them as "mutinous incidents" but "there was justification for some of the complaints on which the dissatisfaction was founded."
It said they "came to a head because of the gradual and continuous murmurs of discontent against a series of small annoyances and a few basic injustices … there were many conditions which contributed or which could and should be mitigated, modified or eliminated (but) there was no cause sufficiently strong to justify in any degree the insubordination which took place."
The ones under investigation occurred earlier this year aboard the aircraft carrier Magnificent and the destroyers Athabaska and Crescent and consisted largely of brief sit-down strikes by 200-odd men all told. No punishments were handed out and the men returned to work after seeing the captain or a senior officer.
Outstanding Points in Report
Ottawa Citizen; 2 November 1949
By the Canadian Press
However, apart from the barring of mess doors, no force was used and there was no defience of a higher officer's orders.
No evidence of subversive Communist activity was indicated.
Commission found "a notable lack of human understanding between officers and men."
The report recommended more officer training in essentials of leadership.
Steps to "Canadianize" the navy were urged.
The commission made no recommendations regarding serving of liquor on ships but asked naval authorities to study the question and report to the minister.
The report found that "generally speaking" the young Canadian naval officer is not as well educated as his British or American contemporary.
The commission made a number of recommendations respecting recruiting, training, procedure, living conditions, recreation, ship's routine and other matters.
There was a wide opinion that "there is still too great an attempt to make the Canadian navy a pallid imitation and reflection of the British Navy … This is in no sense a criticism of the magnificent Royal Navy …