Privilege to the Permanent Force
Officers and Men Who Were Retained in Canada May Go Overseas
Their position has become invidious the more so as persons who did not appreciate the need in Canada, accustomed to the working of the military machine have reproached them for not going abroad, when as a matter of fact they had sought to do so and had been refused.
Montreal Gazette, 11 October 1918
Ottawa, October 10.—An order has recently been promulgated by the Militia Department for the purpose of doing justice to a number of officers, warrant officers, and non-commissioned officers of the permanent force who have been retained for service in Canada. By its terms the privilege of going overseas for service in France is granted to all in this position. If they are not senior to the rank of lieutenant colonel, they are not required to revert to a lower rank to obtain this privilege, officers of higher grade are required to revert to that grade.
To raise, organize, train and dispatch the Canadian Expeditionary Force overseas, a staff is necessary in Canada, alike at headquarters and in the various districts, camps and schools. Permanent officers and non-commissioned officers were particularly useful for service on these staffs, because they were familiar with military methods; numbers of them accordingly were retained in Canada against their will, to the detriment of their professional careers, because they were necessary, and in some cases indispensable for work at the base. These men were thus victims of their own efficiency. Their position has become invidious the more so as persons who did not appreciate the need in Canada, accustomed to the working of the military machine have reproached them for not going abroad, when as a matter of fact they had sought to do so and had been refused.
Garbled versions of this order have been circulated to the effect that it is to "compel" these officers and other ranks to go abroad. It does nothing of the kind. It confers on them the privilege of going abroad. The authorities only recently have been able to make this arrangement because qualified men who have been overseas are available for the work in Canada.