Topic: Canadian Militia
"At No Expense to the Public"
In Defence of Canada; From the Great War to the Great Depression, James Eayrs, 1964
… powerful arguments … played their part in causing the government to provide the N.P.A.M. with an additional million dollars, bringing the available funds for 1931-32 to $2,600,000. Even so, the reserve militia had no more than about $15 to spend on each man of its authorized strength.
Militia life under such conditions was hard and it was earnest. The Canadian Scottish Regiment's experience was typical. "Am having a bit of difficulty with the Department at Ottawa," one of its officers wrote privately in September 1932. "They refuse to take over our Courtenay [B.C.] drill hall, and as a matter of fact refuse to consider any other obligation even though it is only $20 a month. The Agricultural Society there refuse to come down in their price, so I am between the devil and the sea. We cannot afford to eliminate 'C' Company and cannot afford to carry on with the rent." In the event the officers paid the rent themselves. [Quoted in R.H. Roy, Ready for the Fray: The History of the Canadian Scottish Regiment, 1920-1958, 1958] What they got for it was another matter. "I find that it is nearly impossible for us to carry on with our Parades owing to the condition of the … building," another officer wrote to its owners in January 1933. "Windows broken from the outside, doors broken off hinges and the front doors being opened allowing children to play there, leaving it in a filthy condition which necessitates our cleaning it up before using it on drill nights." [Ibid.]
There being no heat, one of the officers gave his lectures on "Tactics and Section-leading" in the dining room of his own home. Trainees were introduced to short-wave radio, but "at no expense to the public"—a phrase, the Regiment's historian records, "so common in the 1930's that it was frequently referred to as the motto of N.D.H.Q." [Ibid.]