«LONDON PRINTED BY AUTHORITY OF THE MINISTRY, OVERSEAS MILITARY FORCES OF CANADA. REPORT of the MINISTRY Overseas Military Forces of Canada LONDON ...»
1. The conditioning of clothing returned from troops to be carried out by the Canadian Ordnance and divided into (a) Unserviceable; (b) Fit for further use after cleaning and repair.
2. The following ration prices to be allowed : Jackets, 74s. ;
Trousers, 84s. ; Greatcoats, 60s. ; Pantaloons, 66s. ; Puttees, 70s. ; Shirts (woollen), 60s. ; Shirts (flannel),.60s. ; Drawers (woollen), 60s. ; Socks (mixed), 100s. ; Socks (G.S.), 120s. ;
Socks (steel), 100s. ; Cardigans, 120s. ; per cwt.
3. 40 per cent. of the full value (Dominion Vocabulary Rates) to be allowed for articles fit for further wear.
4. No deductions to be made for working purposes and no charges for railage.
During the year, 1918, £52,025 3s. 2d. has been realised from sales of part-worn clothing.
Closing of the Ashford Depôt.—It became latterly increasingly apparent that for various economic reasons the Ashford Depot should be closed. In August, 1918, therefore, the Minister communicated with the British Secretary of State for War,
pointing out that it was considered there was duplication of effort and a wastage of space by holding clothing and general stores for the Canadian troops in the British Isles separate from those of the Imperial Forces. It was suggested that as the buildings occupied by the Canadian Ordnance Stores at Ashford were provided at Imperial expense that their occupation should be resumed by the Imperial Authorities, and that the stores contained therein be transferred at a valuation to be agreed on. It was further pointed out that as the articles in question were standardised with similar stores of Imperial issue it was not expected that any difficulty would arise in this connection, and further that this arrangement would relieve the transportation situation as the tonnage employed in importing some of the stores from Canada could be diverted to more essential war requirements, such as the conveyance of food. In addition such an arrangement would enable the Canadian Military Organisation to release 500 or 600 men to the Fighting Forces.
The Imperial Authorities finally agreed to the proposal as outlined by the Minister, and the economic advantage may be appreciated when it is realised that the transaction involved several millions of dollars in relation to stores which were only useful for war purposes and had little commercial value. This advantage was emphasised by the abrupt cessation of hostilities, as the Imperial Authorities are taking over the major portion of the stores, thus saving the Canadian Government the expense which would otherwise have been involved in re-shipping them and finding them accommodation in Canada. Any Stores which could not be taken over by the Imperial Government have been disposed of in the open market by Auction Sale under the direction of the Disposal Board, whose operations are dealt with under a separate section.
Officers' Repayment Store.—Owing to the continuous increase in the price of officers' clothing and equipment, an application was made to the Minister for permission to open an Officers' Repayment Clothing Store for the purpose of supplying officers' requirements. Approval was given for an advance of £5,000 from public funds for the purpose of securing the necessary stock, and it was agreed that officers should be charged 5 per cent. over cost price on all purchases.
The inauguration of this Department is referred to in that part of the Report on the Quartermaster-General's Branch which deals with the Canadian Ordnance Corps, as the Department was formed primarily to look after Ordnance Services.
In view of the satisfactory results achieved its operations were extended in May, 1918, to cover all departments of the QuartermasterGeneral's Branch, and its administration was accordingly transferred from the Canadian Ordnance Corps to the Quartermaster-General.
Previous to this time, Canadian Army Service Corps matters were taken care of by an Investigation Department, and other Branches of the Service conducted their own internal checks.
The authorised establishment of the Quartermaster General's Inspection Department allows for 15 officers, 58 other ranks, and two civilian stenographers, but the work has been carried on, so far, by 12 officers, one stenographer, and the full complement of other ranks. With the consolidation of inspectional work and stores audits under one head, a saving of personnel was effected almost equal to the entire establishment of this Department, a total of 14 officers, 53 other ranks, and two civilians being released.
Apart from this reduction of personnel, the advantages of having a uniform system of accounting for all services controlled 86 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
by one head, soon became apparent ; and the difficulties which had formerly arisen through conflict of orders were overcome.
The principal duties carried out by this Department are as follows:—
1. Periodical stocking and stores audit of all Ordnance and Mechanical Transport Stores, Supplies, Barrack Equipment, etc., held by Units and Depots, Hospitals, and Hospital Ships.
2. Final audits and closing out of stores accounts of Units on absorption or depletion.
3. Checking up of stores on transfers of Commands.
4. Checking of all indents from Units, and investigation into and recommendations regarding any stores demanded over authorised scale.
5. Adjustment of any irregularities in connection with issues, consumption, misappropriation of ordnance and other stores.
6. Boards of Survey on and final recommendations as to disposal of accumulations of unserviceable stores.
7. Inspection of equipment ; all drafts arriving from Canada, completion of their equipment to scale ; and preparation of Clothing Form D.O.S.2 for each man.
The results of the work of this Department have been most gratifying, and have been fully appreciated by Unit Commanders as a great protection to them as well as to the Canadian public.
OCEAN AND RAIL TRANSPORT DEPARTMENT.
The officer in charge of Ocean and Rail Transport is responsible to the Quartermaster-General:—
1. For the procuring of proper and suitable ships for the transportation of Canadian personnel and their dependants from England to Canada.
2. For the shipment of Canadian Government Stores and material from England to Canada.
3. For the clearance of all such stores received from Canada.
4. For Rail Transport in the British Isles of all Canadian personnel and freight.
is essentially a function of the Quartermaster-General, and the consolidation of this work under one head allowed of a considerable reduction in the staff of the Adjutant-General's Branch.
All shipping is under the direct control of the Ministry of Shipping Department of the Imperial Government, and all Military Railways in the British Isles are under the control of the Director-General of Movements at the War Office. It was therefore obvious that there should be the closest co-operation between the Canadian Ocean and Rail Transport Department and the two Imperial Departments above named, and since the creation of the Ocean and Rail Transport Department, relations with the corresponding British Departments have been most satisfactory and beneficial.
Ocean transportation has been most difficult to handle owing to submarine warfare, strikes, shortage of labour, and various other conditions contingent on times of war. During the year 1918, 4,245 officers and 47,927 other ranks were returned to Canada, as well as 13,306 civilians, all of whom arrived safely at their destination, with the exception of those involved in the loss of the hospital ship " Llandovery Castle," which is dealt with under the Section devoted to the Canadian Army Medical Service.
Railway Transportation has been a most difficult problem owing to the shortage of rolling stock and labour, and because in addition to the returning of troops who had to be carried to their various points of embarkation, the Department has also had to provide railway transportation for all troops arriving in this country.
The number of railway warrants issued during the year 1918 was 310,795, for the accommodation of 419,390 persons, and covering a mileage of 102,815,532. The approximate amount of freight handled by this Department on the railway during the year was 15,825 tons.
The Canadian Postal Corps, Overseas Military Forces of Canada, was organised for the purpose of dealing with all postal arrangements for the Canadian Overseas Military Forces, both in England and in France.
88 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
In France the Canadian Postal Units were in accordance with the War Establishment laid down for Postal Services with Units in the Field, while in England the Postal Corps is so organised as to perform the necessary postal duties in an efficient and economical manner, the establishment carrying in accordance with the number of troops to be served.
On December 31, 1918, the strength in England was:Officers, 7 ;
other ranks, 174 ; and in France-officers, 7 ; other ranks, 148.
All mails for the Canadian troops in the Field, whether from Canada or other sources, are first handled by the Canadian Postal Corps in London, and eventually placed in bags addressed to the various Units.
The Canadian Postal Corps in France thus carried on the work of distribution. In England, a Postal Section is located in each area for the handling of both incoming and outgoing mails.
The Postal Service in France and in England has been most efficient throughout the war, and maintained a full general postal business in the handling of registered letters, ordinary letters and parcels, and the sale of stamps, money orders, etc., as well as the considerable undertaking of the re-directing of mails.
This mail is handled by the Canadian Postal Corps from the time of its receipt in England until it is delivered to the Regimental Mail Orderly of the Unit in the Line.
The following is a short summary of the mail handled by the Canadian Postal Corps during 1918: —
Bags average 56 lbs. in weight and represent the following: — Letters
Quartermaster-General's Branch. 89
CANADIAN ARMY VETERINARY CORPS.
The Canadian Army Veterinary Corps Overseas is reponsible for the supply and maintenance of the veterinary personnel required for the Canadian troops, both in England and in France, as laid down by War Establishments.
The War Establishments of the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps in France now call for 72 officers and 756 other ranks.' These officers are responsible for the health and care of the 24,000 horses employed in the various Canadian Units in France, and include the staff of the Veterinary Hospital at the Base, which consists of the nine officers and 467 other ranks needed for the care of upwards of 1,250 sick horses.
In the early days of the Veterinary Services the headquarters of this Corps consisted of a Director General of Veterinary Services and Remounts, with two assistants and a sub-staff of three military clerks and one stenographer.
In England at that time, in addition to the Veterinary personnel required to look after the horses, there were a Veterinary Hospital employing five officers and 154 other ranks, and a. Veterinary and Farriers' School employing two officers and 19 other ranks.
In 1918 it was decided to reorganise the Veterinary Services and an officer with overseas experience was brought back from France and appointed Director of Veterinary Services, with.a sub-staff of two military clerks.
The Canadian Hospital in England was completely done away with, as was also the School of Farriery, arrangements being made with the Imperial Authorities for all sick animals to. be evacuated to Imperial hospitals.
It was further arranged for the British Army Veterinary School to be used for the training of Canadian Veterinary per= sonnel for duty with the Units both in England and in France.
The handling of Remounts by the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps was also done away with, and Remounts drawn direct from the Imperial Authorities as they were required.
These arrangements resulted in greatly reducing the expense of the Canadian Veterinary organisation, while its efficiency was rather enhanced than impaired. The Canadian Army Veterinary Corps has, indeed, successfully carried out all the duties which it has been called upon to perform, and, in proportion to the 90 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
number of horses, the wastage in the Canadian Corps has been of a considerably less percentage than that in the British Army.
PRINTING, STATIONERY AND TYPEWRITER SERVICES.When Canadian Troops first arrived in England, Stationery requirements were purchased from manufacturers direct by Units and Departments out of their Imprest Accounts and, even on the formation of a Stationery Purchasing Office, certain commodities of this description were still so obtained.
In November, 1915, however, larger warehousing premises were obtained in London and all standard stationery supplies obtained through the Imperial Authorities at the controlled price, a step which greatly lessened this expenditure. Sub-Stationery Depots were opened in the Areas as a means of distribution.
The Stationery Supply Depot came under the administration of the Quartermaster-General in August, 1916, when the whole of the methods of the operations of this section were investigated and new systems put into force, with a view to keeping a close check on all purchases and supplies and reducing expenditure on stationery requisites to a minimum.
In October, 1917, the Typewriter Inspection Branch, which had been in existence since October, 1916, under the administration of the Director of Recruiting and Organisation, was amalgamated with the Stationery Services, and the redistribution of work permitted of a reduction in strength of these two Departments of one officer and seven other ranks.