Courtesy Reuters

Canada's New Defense Program

WITH her first war program reduced to a shambles by the Blitzkrieg against the Low Countries and France, Canada lost no time in adjusting herself to the new situation. Indeed, her new war effort, though scarcely three months old, is already producing results. It is basically a Canadian, rather than a British, program -- which is another way of saying that a good part of it relates to North American defense. The siege of Britain now going on has brought home to Canadians the fact that, if British sea power is shattered, the possibility of a German invasion will stare them squarely in the face. Nor is awareness of this danger confined to Canada, as was clearly demonstrated at Ogdensburg on August 17 and 18, when President Roosevelt arranged with Prime Minister Mackenzie King to create a Permanent Joint Board on Defense representing the General Staffs of the Canadian and United States armed forces.

The old program of the first nine months of the war, essentially a British program, crumbled during the weekend of May 24-27. First came a series of cables from England saying that the British could give Canada no further equipment. These were followed forty-eight hours later by appeals for assistance from London. On May 28 the Canadian Navy of seven destroyers sailed from Halifax to help guard the Channel, leaving the defense of Canada's east coast to one or two French submarines. The Dominion also sent 50 million rounds of small arms ammunition, stripping itself to such an extent that for a while training camps were obliged to suspend target practice. The first group of pilots, observers and gunners to graduate under the Air Training Plan sailed for England instead of remaining to act as instructors. Worse than this, London sent word that an invasion of Canada was by no means impossible, and that Ottawa should proceed accordingly. And from within Canada came a legion of questions from a public shocked by Germany's easy victories. Why didn't Canada have more soldiers

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