Topic: Canadian Army
The Defence of Canada 1935
In Defence of Canada; From the Great War to the Great Depression, James Eayrs, 1964
McNaughton's paper was entitled "The Defence of Canada." In it he reviewed the changing background of Canadian defence policy since the Great War, and furnished illustrations of existing deficiencies in equipment and ammunition:
"As regards reserves of equipment and ammunition, the matter is shortly disposed of. Except as regards rifles and rifle ammunition, partial stocks of which were inherited from the Great War…there are none.
As regards equipment, the situation is almost equally serious, and to exemplify it I select a few items from the long lists of deficiencies on file at NDHQ:
(i) There is not a single modern anti-aircraft gun of any sort in Canada.
(ii) The stocks of field gun ammunition on hand represent 90 minutes' fire at normal rates for the field guns inherited from the Great War and which are now obsolescent.
(iii) The coast defence armament is obsolete and, in some cases, defective in that a number of the major guns are not expected to be able to fire more than a dozen rounds. To keep some defence value in these guns, which are situated on the Pacific Coast, we have not dared for some years to indulge in any practice firing.
(iv) vAbout the only article of which stocks are is practically useless….
(v) There are only 25 aircraft of service type in Canada, all of which are obsolescent for training purposes….
(vi) Not one service air bomb is held in Canada.
The situation as generally outlined above with respect to equipment and ammunition is one that can be viewed only with the gravest concern. And with the rapidly deteriorating international situation the position is becoming more and more disquieting …" ["The Defence of Canada," Memorandum by MacNaughton, 5 April 1935 (revised 28 May 1935) Army Records (112.3M2009.D7).]
McNaughton's memorandum was circulated among members of the Cabinet on 28 May. On the following day he appeared before the Cabinet. It was his last act as Chief of the General Staff.