The Politics of BCATP Base Selection in the Canadian Prairies (RCAF Journal - SPRING 2016 - Volume 5, Issue 2)

Table of contents

 

by Rachel Lea Heide

Reprint from Proceedings, 6th Annual Air Force Historical Conference: Canada’s Air Force from Peace to War, 21–23 June 2000, Cornwall, Ontario.[1]

Editor’s note: The original spelling and punctuation conventions have been maintained.

Because patronage has been an integral part of Canada’s political system since before Confederation, suggesting that politicians might not have used a large expenditure of public funds to reward the politically faithful and punish the politically wayward is usually met with disbelief. Nevertheless, citing precedents of patronage from the past or present is not justification for assuming all government endeavours were patronage-driven. To avoid anachronistic errors, one must look at the circumstances surrounding each expenditure in question and weigh the evidence as to whether or not patronage or meritocracy determined the outcome. Such prudence must be exercised when considering the driving force behind aerodrome selection for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) during the Second World War.

In 1981, B. Greenhous and N. Hillmer put forward the pioneer school of thought on this issue; they suggested that the tenacity of a community’s lobbying effort mostly likely influenced the final outcome of base selection.[2] Subsequently, in 1989, Peter Conrad—based on research conducted for his master’s thesis on the BCATP in Saskatchewan[3]—explicitly asserted that the Liberal government of WLM King granted schools according to political affiliation:

Most Liberal constituencies received a school early in the war, followed by constituencies that had a CCF [Co-operative Commonwealth Federation] member of Parliament, especially those CCF constituencies that had previously been Liberal … . Few Conservative constituencies received facilities.[4]

A different story is put forth by the records of WLM King. CG Power, CD Howe, the Department of Transport (DoT), the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), and the Aerodrome Development Committee (ADC). According to the documents in these files, the base selection process was intentionally designed to delegate authority away from those potentially possessing political agendas. Despite the expectations of Canadian constituents and politicians that patronage would govern the selection process, the responsibility was given to the RCAF and the DoT because jointly they had the expertise to select sites that would meet the necessary technical criteria. Examination of the lobbying efforts of four Liberal communities in Saskatchewan—Big River, Shaunavon, Melville, and Estevan—will show how failure to meet technical criteria determined the decisions of the Department of National Defence for Air.

In September 1939, the Canadian government accepted in principle the British government proposal to train 30,000 pilots and 20,000 other air crew annually in Canada.[5] Immediately afterward, constituents began lobbying members of parliament, DoT officials, RCAF officers, and the prime minister, intending to bring their communities to the government’s attention, thus improving their chances of hosting a training school. Some arguments justifying communities’ requests were echoed throughout the lobbying period. Attempting to influence government officials to decide in their favour, lobbyists claimed that aerodromes would alleviate financial hardships left by the Depression, would provide defence against enemy aerial attack, could be situated on important post-war air routes, or could benefit from climatic conditions conducive to flying.[6]

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Other lobbying themes changed as the war progressed. How building in a certain community could benefit the war effort was an early theme used. According to the mayor of Mossbank, Saskatchewan, this meant stimulating interest in the war effort: “the work and presence amongst us of many members of the Air Force would give our people a new spirit, make them conscious they are directly interested in the successful issue of the war, stimulate recruiting, [and] arouse their national feelings.”[7] Other communities saw themselves as large resources of recruits waiting to be taken advantage of. For example, lobbyists of Grande Prairie, Alberta, highlighted that in their district of 75,000 people, there were large numbers of young men available who would likely be interested in attending a training school locally built.[8]

The claims that the nationality of an area should play a decisive role in aerodrome selection were unique to Saskatchewan. Two communities—Weyburn and Kelvington—argued that having a population [that] was mostly Canadian, British, and American was “more desirable than if such a population was foreign born.”[9] On the other hand, Melville and Mossbank were of the opinion that unifying diverse cultures with a common goal—hosting an aerodrome—would ensure the efficiency of the airport for the good of the war effort. According to Mossbank’s mayor, the presence of air force personnel would “weld together the various races in our midst into one United Canada and strong Commonwealth of Nations.”[10]

After the initial selection of aerodromes, arguments about the benefits an area could offer gave way to a new emphasis on the communities’ strong war effort and how a training school was a fitting reward for their patriotism. The Board of Trade in Boissevain, Manitoba, wrote how over $3000 had been collected for the Red Cross, how the town had doubled its allotment for Victory Loan and War Savings Campaigns, and how the residents had collected so much scrap iron that the railroad halted collection of more iron until the backlog in shipping was cleared away.[11] Lobbyists in Moosomin, Saskatchewan, claimed the town deserved a training school because it had “the record for the whole of Canada for percentage of enlistments in the military, air, and naval forces of the Dominion.”[12]

As the BCATP infrastructure neared completion around the end of 1942, time was clearly running out for communities still not selected. Apart from complaints of being overlooked in comparison to less deserving regions,[13] there was particular stress on the social amenities a community could offer young airmen. Shaunavon, for example, argued that recreational facilities such as theatres, dance halls, swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts, base ball diamonds, skating and curling rinks—all of which Shaunavon had—should be considered as important as finding level land for airfields.[14]

Nevertheless, the most notable tactic of this late lobbying period was the discussion of political consequences if an area was not selected—a tactic that was unique to Saskatchewan. Kelvington highlighted the positive effect granting an aerodrome would have: “the establishment of an airport in the constituency would strengthen the [Liberal] party’s claim for support at the next election, and it would also assist considerably in getting a government supporter elected at the next provincial election.”[15] On a more ominous note, while lobbying on behalf of Moosomin, the provincial Minister of Highways warned that “if [the visiting delegation is] refused an opportunity to put their claims before the responsible people, …  not only will the Dominion candidates suffer, but it will be a very serious matter provincially.[16]

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Because of the exigencies of war and the commitments the Canadian government made to the British in the December 1939 BCATP Agreement,[17] the Minister of National Defence for Air (CG Power) could not use alleviating financial hardships, rewarding communities for large contributions to the war effort, nor securing Liberal votes as reasons for selecting aerodrome sites. In order for Britain to be able to plan its war effort, the Canadian government had committed itself to an aerodrome construction schedule as well as a training schedule. After opening the first schools by May 1940, the RCAF was committed to graduating each month 520 pilots with elementary training, 544 pilots with advanced training, 340 observers, and 580 wireless operator-air gunners.[18]

Insisting that patronage dictate aerodrome selection could have been a greater detriment to the Liberal government’s political future than failing to rewarding or attract Liberal votes. Missing deadlines would have tarnished Canada’s reputation with its Allies and slowed the Allied war effort. If the government had insisted that only areas of Liberal affiliation be selected, many suitable sites would have been disqualified,[19] and this could have delayed the opening of some aerodromes.

Besides potentially delaying trainee output (thus affecting Britain’s fight for air supremacy over Germany), pilot quality could have been diminished if training schools were built in certain areas for political reasons, despite poor aerodrome conditions or weather conditions that would continually ground flying and shorten trainees’ practical experience. Any government that inefficiently handled its commitments—or lost a war—would soon be removed from political office in the next election.[20] Ensuring timely and high-quality aerodromes was of the utmost importance.

Because the Canadian government had agreed in December 1939 to open the first training school by May 1940, construction had to commence immediately in the spring. While the fall weather still permitted, surveys of potential sites had to be conducted so the preparation of plans, blueprints, and financial estimates could be completed before the end of winter. To expedite the selection and construction of aerodromes, the Liberal government looked to its technical experts: the RCAF and the DoT. The RCAF had been training small numbers of pilots during the interwar period;[21] hence, these officers knew what training aerodromes needed to function. The DoT had built the Trans Canada Airway during the interwar period; consequently, these officials were bringing first hand aerodrome selection experience to the BCATP. Besides being aware of what geographical areas of Canada were most conducive to air training, these officials also knew what topographical conditions would result in exorbitant costs.[22]

The official delegation of power away from elected politicians and into the hands of technical experts occurred by Privy Council Order 3710 17 November 1939. While giving the DoT the responsibility of investigating and surveying potential sites, preparing aerodrome layouts, purchasing land, and building the airports, the government delegated final selection authority to the RCAF.[23] The Liberal government had the confidence to delegate this power away from itself because the technical experts came to the BCATP project with predetermined technical criteria formulated by experience to ensure an aerodrome was safe from hazards, usable in adverse weather, and could be built quickly and economically.

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Certain parts of Canada were immediately disqualified from aerodrome selection. Flying accidents in densely populated areas endangered civilians, and the Rocky mountains of British Columbia and Alberta were dangerous flying hazards for pilots. The government did not want military training schools within five miles [8 kilometres (km)] of the American border to avoid violating American neutrality if trainees became lost and landed across the border. The Atlantic and Pacific coasts were vulnerable to enemy attack and crowded by defence aerodromes protecting Canadian shores.[24]

When adjudicating potential aerodrome sites, technical officers inspected such things as the amount of levelling and grading a site needed, the number of obstacles that would have to be moved (buildings, fences, telephone poles), and the types of flying hazards that could not be removed (chimneys, water towers, radio transmitters, bridges). The surrounding area would have to be suitable for safe forced landings, and railroad services and highway connections were necessary. Also considered by selection officials were land values, climatic patterns, the slope of land for drainage, and the availability of utilities, gravel, and other construction supplies.[25]

Once potential sites were fully investigated, the DoT would report to the Aerodrome Development Committee (ADC) with surveys, blueprints, and estimates. This body of RCAF officers would reject unreasonable set-ups, recommend reductions in cost for promising sites, and approve suitable plans. Although the RCAF had to get each site approved by the Minister of National Defence for Air (CG Power), neither this elected politician nor his politically appointed deputy minister—both of whom had vested interests in the success of the Liberal party in power—inserted political influence by changing the final recommendations of the ADC. Furthermore, CG Power never refused to forward an ADC recommendation for the standard royal assent of the Privy Council. The chain of command evident in the investigation files shows that the RCAF selected the aerodrome sites, while the elected politicians merely “rubber-stamped” these experts’ recommendations.

Despite constituents’ expectations of patronage, and despite powerful arguments used by lobbyists, selection officials compared sites with consideration to aerodrome safety, as well as speed, economy, and efficiency of construction. The unsuccessful attempts of three Saskatchewan towns to secure aerodromes—Big River, Shaunavon, and Melville—and the eventual success of Estevan, Saskatchewan, clearly show how meeting the minimum technical criteria for satisfactory aerodromes determined base selection.

Located in the federal constituency represented by the Prime Minister, WLM King, lobbyists of Big River assumed that the government would be interested in using their already built (yet abandoned) airport instead of building a new aerodrome.[26] The DoT informed the Prime Minister’s Office that this airport would not be used because Big River was too remote for a training school, and because the town did not have enough housing and businesses to handle an institution as large as a training school.[27]

Nine months later, letters dated 3 September 1940 inundated the Prime Minister from the Board of Trade, the Canadian Legion, the local Liberal Association, and the Elks Lodge. All of these letters highlighted the perceived ideal nature of Big River’s airport and the fact that the province was willing to turn the property over to the federal government.[28]

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In response, the private secretary of the Prime Minister reiterated that the technical officers would not reverse their decision: Big River was too remote, and the town’s facilities were too limited. The secretary also informed the lobbyists of the policy concerning lobbying for BCATP bases, as set out by the Minister of National Defence for Air on 13 June 1940:

I beg that the public generally—boards of trade, municipal councils, all interested persons—will refrain from making further representations. Those representations should not have and will not have the effect of changing the decisions arrived at by the technical officers. In this respect, I appeal as well to my colleagues … . Over-energetic representations made in the interest of particular localities can serve only to retard progress and to divert from their duties officers already completely engrossed in work of primary importance.[29]

Consequently, King felt “it would be quite impossible for him to make direct representations on behalf of any particular site after a decision in that matter had once been made by the technical officers concerned.”[30] The historical record contains no more attempts by King nor Big River lobbyists to win favourable consideration for this particular abandoned airport.

While it could be seen immediately that the town of Big River was too remote and did not have the infrastructure to handle an aerodrome and its large population, Shaunavon initially appeared to show more promise, although investigation later showed that this area also failed to meet the necessary technical criteria. The Board of Trade argued that their district had weather suitable to air training, as evidenced by the existence of other training schools in southern Saskatchewan and Alberta.[31] These lobbyists also stressed the town’s large financial support of the war effort, despite the numerous crop failures.[32]

Upon preliminary investigation in mid-July 1941, the technical officers concluded that the large amounts of grading necessary, even for the most promising sites, rendered these fields not worth developing.[33] Approximately a year later, while looking for replacements for four existing schools, the RCAF noted Shaunavon as a possibility. Nevertheless, inspection again revealed that much grading was required, gravel costs were high, and the top soil was poor. When the ADC considered the DoT’s findings, the Committee ruled that the winds were unfavourable for an Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS), and that bringing gravel 26 miles [42 km] by train and an additional 2.5 miles [4 km] by truck was too expensive.[34] Shaunavon’s bid for an aerodrome came to an end in August 1942 when the Deputy Minister of National Defence for Air informed lobbyists that the RCAF was expanding existing aerodromes, to accommodate increased output, rather than building new aerodromes.”[35]

The lack of success of Melville lobbyists to obtain a BCATP base shows how exceptions were not made to selection criteria in order to ensure that loyal Liberal votes were rewarded. The fact that the many sites suggested by the residents were rejected continually by technical officials also shows that persistent lobbying did not change decisions that were based on technical criteria. In mid-December 1939, the RCAF expressed interest in the Melville area since building an aerodrome in that part of Saskatchewan would provide a more even provincial distribution of schools, as well as easier administration and personnel movement.[36] Nevertheless, subsequent investigation by technical experts found that no sites were “suitable for cheap and quick development.”[37]

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Over the summer months of 1940, lobbyists argued otherwise. Town officials had surveyed the district and found numerous sites that could take advantage of affordable water and gravel supplies, as well as the local rail lines.[38] The Board of Trade also noted that a local BCATP school would stimulate increased enlistments and financial donations, and the school would also unite a diverse population in a common endeavour, as well as provide an airport for post-war aviation.[39]

In response to the persistence of Melville lobbyists, the DoT looked over the area again, only to report after “two aerial inspections and exhaustive ground surveys” that there were no suitable sites.[40] Besides the area being very rolling, all fields contained numerous potholes, which meant “tremendous amounts of dirt movement.” In some cases, hills ten feet [3 metres] high would have to be levelled, which again added to the expense and construction time. According to one inspector, the most suitable site in the area would take a year to develop, which was too long to satisfy the training schedule.[41]

As lobbyists suggested potential sites, technical officers reported that these sites failed to meet necessary criteria.[42] In July 1942, the ADC considered the DoT’s latest findings: the Melville set-up only met the criteria of an EFTS, not a Service Flying Training School (SFTS) because no emergency landing fields could be located within the 5 to 25 mile [8 to 40 km] radius of the main aerodrome. Nevertheless, because the cost of levelling off the site was extremely high for an EFTS, the proposal was not approved.[43] In September, the ADC determined that the Melville site was not suitable for any other possibility. An SFTS could not be built because the necessary two emergency landing fields could not be located, and the set-up did not meet Operational Training Unit requirements because it lacked emergency landing fields as well as an air firing and bombing range.[44]

When the RCAF needed an SFTS for the beginning of 1944, Melville was considered again, but these new inspections revealed that forced landings were dangerous because of the rolling nature of the district. The amount of grading necessary to construct level emergency landing fields would be expensive and precluded construction from meeting the early 1944 deadline. The ADC selected a superior set-up found at Morden, Manitoba.[45]

Because Estevan eventually hosted a BCATP base after much lobbying, this effort appears to be an example of vigourous representations resulting in a decision’s reversal. Nonetheless, careful examination of Estevan’s investigation history shows that it was not Estevan’s Liberal affiliation, financial blackmail, nor persistent lobbying that won the town a base. Rather, one technical consideration delayed the town’s selection, and once this obstacle was removed, technical experts were free to select Estevan as an aerodrome.

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In December 1939, constituents brought their area to the government’s attention, arguing that building a training school in Estevan would not only relieve the hardships of unemployment, but that its close proximity to the American border would be an asset to post-war aviation.[46] When the preliminary investigation was conducted in September 1940, inspectors found suitable fields, as well as abundant water, power, gravel, and road connections.[47] Nevertheless, being within four miles [6.4 km] of the international boundary meant the RCAF could not develop the site.[48] In November 1939, the Chief of the Air Staff (A/V/M [Air Vice Marshal] GM Croil) issued a memorandum explaining that

the objection to establishing flying training schools so close to the international boundary in time of war is that in the event of a forced landing in a neutral country, the aircraft and occupants would be interned for the duration of the war. As belligerents, we are not allowed to fly over the territory of a neutral state.[49]

Attempting to solve the problem of pilots getting lost and flying into American skies, the mayor suggested that two local river valleys could serve as excellent lines of demarkation for navigating. Because the climate was clear in the Estevan area, lost pilots could easily see these valleys, reorient themselves, and return to Canadian air spaces without incident.[50]

After the American President’s speech declaring “all aid to Britain short of an expeditionary force,” proponents of an aerodrome believed that the obstacle to being selected had been removed.[51] While highlighting how other fields were just as close to the border as Estevan was, and while suggesting that railway lines in the vicinity could serve as navigational aids, the Board of Trade informed the Minister of Transport that both the mayors of towns in North Dakota and the American federal government supported an aerodrome at Estevan. Hence, no one would cause problems if trainees landed in their American territory.[52]

Unsure if the RCAF would reverse its decision based on changes in American attitudes, the Board of Trade offered an additional incentive—veiled blackmail based on the town’s past financial problems and present war campaign donations:

Unless some effective effort is made by the Federal Government to re-establish the financial balance of this community, further contributions to Red Cross, War Loan Bonds, and War Savings Certificates will greatly suffer. This town and vicinity has a most enviable record for assistance to all Government enterprises when called upon … . There will be a great falling off in contributions if there is not something done very quickly in order to restore confidence and offset our losses … . All of us are anxious that no such slump be allowed to develop as once the incentive to give is discouraged, it is a long and difficult uphill struggle to again establish the attitude which gives generously.[53]

This threat was unnecessary, for the change in the United States government’s attitude was the removal of the only impediment to building an aerodrome at Estevan. In February 1941, the ADC noted that “present international relations” would allow a training school so close to the American border, and consequently, DoT officials were directed to make a detailed survey of the Estevan sites. By July, the ADC gave its approval to selecting Estevan as the location of an SFTS for the Royal Air Force.[54]

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The fact that most BCATP bases were located in Liberal ridings is not proof that base selection was governed by patronage. The majority of the ridings in Canada before and after the March 1940 election were Liberal. After the 1940 election, 12 of the 21 ridings in Saskatchewan had voted for Liberal representatives. In Manitoba, 14 of the 17 ridings were Liberal. Of the prairie provinces, only in Alberta did non-Liberal ridings outnumber Liberal ridings: 10 New Democracy ridings (formerly Social Credit) compared to 7 Liberal ridings.

Although there was not an abundance of non-Liberal ridings from which to choose, these ridings not only received consideration, but the majority of them hosted bases. In Saskatchewan, 2 of 3 Conservative ridings and 2 of the 5 CCF ridings hosted schools. Contrary to Peter Conrad’s assertion, only one of the CCF ridings selected had previously voted Liberal, while two of the CCF ridings rejected had been Liberal. In Manitoba, only one of the three non-Liberal ridings did not receive a school, while six Liberal ridings failed to win a training base.

Politicians’ papers, [as well as] DoT, RCAF, and ADC files document a selection process that was based on choosing sites according to technical merit. Communities lobbied, using a variety of tactics, but it was not these arguments to elected representatives that determined what areas were selected to host aerodromes. Instead, politicians delegated selection authority to technical experts with the aim of building safe and economical set-ups on time. The civilian government never usurped the authority given to its subordinated military by reversing or dictating decisions to suit political agendas. Consequently, the selection of BCATP bases can be seen as an example of the civil-military relations in the 1940s, where the civilian government assigned tasks to the military, but where the military was given the freedom and power to complete its tasks, without interference, according to its expertise.

Although some historians have assumed that the Liberal government used BCATP expenditures to secure votes for future elections, the primary source evidence does not support this assertion: non-Liberal ridings won bases, and many persistent and faithful Liberal ridings did not. Instead of using BCATP base selection for patronage rewards, the Liberal government removed itself from the selection process and left the task to be completed by technical experts, thus ensuring that war needs were met. The greater good of the Liberal party’s future in power was the motivating factor in avoiding patronage and letting technocracy dominate, for it was more politically expedient to ensure that Canada’s war commitments were met and that an Allied victory in the war was achieved.

Dr. Rachel Lea Heide is a defence scientist / strategic analyst with Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Operational Research and Analysis. At present, she is working with the Chief of Force Development’s Directorate of Future Security Analysis. She has recently finished the manuscript for her doctoral dissertation with the Department of History at Carleton University entitled “Professionalization of a National Air Force: Case Studies in the Professionalization of the Royal Canadian Air Force, 1916–1947.”

In addition to speaking and publishing on the subjects of air force organization, training, leadership, morale, accident investigation, and government policy between the First World War and the early cold war period, Rachel has written on topics of present-day defence policy, peacekeeping intelligence, expeditionary air forces, counter-insurgency, and the war on terrorism. 


 Dr. Rachel Lea Heide is a defence scientist / strategic analyst with Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Operational Research and Analysis. At present, she is working with the Chief of Force Development’s Directorate of Future Security Analysis. She has recently finished the manuscript for her doctoral dissertation with the Department of History at Carleton University entitled "Professionalization of a National Air Force: Case Studies in the Professionalization of the Royal Canadian Air Force, 1916–1947."

In addition to speaking and publishing on the subjects of air force organization, training, leadership, morale, accident investigation, and government policy between the First World War and the early cold war period, Rachel has written on topics of present-day defence policy, peacekeeping intelligence, expeditionary air forces, counter-insurgency, and the war on terrorism.

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Abbreviations

A/V/M―Air Vice Marshal
Ab―Alberta
ADC―Aerodrome Development Committee
BCATP―British Commonwealth Air Training Plan
CCF―Co-operative Commonwealth Federation
DoT―Department of Transport
EFTS―Elementary Flying Training School
km―kilometre
MG―manuscript group
MP―member of parliament
RCAF―Royal Canadian Air Force
RG―record group
SFTS―Service Flying Training School
Sk―Saskatchewan

Notes

[1]. Based on research for The Politics of British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Base Selection in Western Canada (Ottawa: Carleton University MA Thesis, 2000). This research was made possible by a $1000.00 Research Grant from the Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society, Regina, Saskatchewan.  (return)

[2]. B. Greenhous and N. Hillmer, “The Impact of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan on Western Canada: Some Saskatchewan Case Studies,” Journal of Canadian Studies 16 (Fall–Winter 1981): 134.  (return)

[3]. Peter Conrad, Saskatchewan in War: The Social Impact of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan on Saskatchewan (Saskatoon: University of Saskatchewan MA Thesis, 1987).  (return)

[4]. Peter Conrad, Training For Victory: The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in the West (Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books, 1989), pp. 14, 16.  (return)

[5]. 1939 09 28 telegram from Secretary of State for External Affairs to Dominions Secretary, in Documents on Canadian External Relations (Department of External Affairs, 1974), Document 690, pp. 556–7.  (return)

[6]. Rachel Lea Heide, “The Politics of BCATP Base Selection in Canada,” paper presented at the Canadian Aviation Historical Society (Ottawa Chapter) 2000 02 24, p. 5.  (return)

[7]. 1940 01 11 letter from PJ Rawlinson (Secretary-Treasurer Village of Mossbank) to Minister of National Defence, RG [Record Group] 12 Volume 2332 File 5168-803 part 1.  (return)

[8]. 1940 06 24 letter from PJ Tooley (Chairman, Aviation Committee, Grand Prairie Board of Trade and Chamber of Commerce) to CD Howe (Minister of Transport and Supply). MG [Manuscript Group] 27 III B20 Volume 93 CD Howe Papers File 61-5-2 (Airports – Alberta Folder 2).  (return)

[9]. Undated “Brief of City of Weyburn for Presentation to Honourable CD Howe, Minister of Munitions and Transport,” RG 12 Volume 2326 File 5168-699 (part 1); 1941 10 17 letter from AM Millar (President Kelvington Liberal Association) to CD Howe (Minister of Munitions and Transport), MG 27 III B20 Volume 93 File 61-5-3 (Airports – Saskatchewan).  (return)

[10]. 1940 01 11 letter from PJ Rawlinson (Secretary-Treasurer Village of Mossbank) to Minister of National Defence, RG 12 Volume 2332 File 5168-803 part 1; undated “Brief on Melville Air Port Submitted by the Town of Melville and Melville and District Board of Trade,” RG 12 Accession 1993–94/110 Box 21 File 5168-C150 (Part 1).  (return)

[11]. 1942 06 21 Letter from Geo McDonald (citizen of Boissevain) to CD Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supplies), MG 27 III B20 Volume 94 File 61-5-4 (Airports – Manitoba).  (return)

[12]. 1941 08 l8 letter from AT Procter (Minister of Highways Saskatchewan) to CG Power (Minister of National Defence for Air), MG 27 III B20 Volume 93 File 61-5-3 (Airports – Saskatchewan).  (return)

[13]. 1941 07 12 letter from Frank Hopkins (Town Clerk Town of Biggar) to Department of Transport, MG 27 III B20 Volume 93 File 61-5-3 (Airport – Saskatchewan).  (return)

[14]. 1942 03 21 petition from Town of Shaunavon to JA Wilson (Director of Air Services Department of Transport), RG 12 Accession 1993–94/110 Box 28 File 5168-C476.  (return)

[15]. 1941 10 17 letter from AM Millar (President Kelvington Liberal Association) to CD Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply), MG 27 III B20 Volume 93 File 61-5-3 (Airports – Saskatchewan).  (return)

[16]. 1941 08 26 letter from AT Procter (Minister of Highways Saskatchewan) to CD Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply), MG 27 III B20 Volume 93 File 61-5-3 (Airports – Saskatchewan).  (return)

[17]. 1939 12 17, British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Agreement in RG 25 Volume 1858A File 72-T-38.  (return)

[18]. 1939 12 17, British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Agreement in RG 25 Volume 1858A File 72-T-38.  (return)

[19]. Prairie training schools built in non-Liberal ridings included #15 EFTS Regina, Sk [Saskatchewan], #23 EFTS Davidson, Sk, #4 SFTS Saskatoon, Sk, #8 SFTS Weyburn, Sk, #17 SFTS Souris, Mb [Manitoba], #5 EFTS Lethbridge, Ab [Alberta], #7 SFTS Macleod, Ab.  (return)

[20]. Rachel Lea Heide, “The Politics Behind BCATP Base Selection in Saskatchewan,” paper presented at the Underhill Graduate Students’ Colloquium, held at Carleton University 2000 03 04, p. 11.  (return)

[21]. 1939 09 28 Minutes of Emergency Council of Cabinet in Documents on Canadian External Relations (Department of External Affairs, 1974), Document 689, pp. 552–5.  (return)

[22]. 1939 10 13 Memorandum in RG 24 Volume 4775 File HQ 103-74/68 Part I (Cooperation Between the Department of National Defence and Transport on Aerodromes).  (return)

[23]. 1940 11 17, Privy Council Order 3710 in RG 12 Volume 624 File 11-6-9 (Regulations for BCATP sites).  (return)

[24]. W.A.B. Douglas and S.F. Wise, The Official History of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Volume II: The Creation of a National Air Force (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1986), p. 220; Peter Conrad, Training For Victory: The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in the West (Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books, 1989), pp.14; Leslie Roberts, There Shall Be Wings: A History of the Royal Canadian Air Force (Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, and Company Limited, 1959), p. 125.  (return)

[25]. 1939 11 03 memorandum and blank “Preliminary Investigation Report” from AD McLean (Superintendent Airways) to Airways Inspectors and Airways Engineers, RG 24 Volume 4775 File HQ 103-74/68 (part 1).  (return)

[26]. 1940 01 31 telegram from Big River Liberal Association to WLM King (MP [Member of Parliament] Prince Albert), MG 26 J1 Volume 283 Reel C4566 p. 239588–9.  (return)

[27]. 1940 02 15 letter from WJ Bennett (Private Secretary Minister of Transport) to HRL Henry (Private Secretary Prime Minister), MG 26 J1 Volume 289 Reel 4570 p. 244388.  (return)

[28]. 1940 09 03 telegrams from Board of Trade, RM Bell (Secretary of Canadian Legion), Geo A Anderson (Exalted Ruler Elks Lodge), Liberal Association to WLM King, MG 26 J1 Volume 283 Reel C4566 pp. 239579, 239582, 239585, 239591.  (return)

[29]. 1940 09 04 letter from HRL Henry (Private Secretary Prime Minister) to Board of Trade, Canadian Legion, Elks Lodge, and Liberal Association, MG 26 J1 Volume 283 Reel C4566 pp. 239580–1, 239583–4, 239586–7, 239592–3.  (return)

[30]. 1940 09 04 letter from HRL Henry (Private Secretary Prime Minister) to Board of Trade, Canadian Legion, Elks Lodge, and Liberal Association, MG 26 J1 Volume 283 Reel C4566 pp. 239580–1, 239583–4, 239586–7, 239592–3.  (return)

[31]. 1941 06 26 letter from Acting Secretary (Shaunavon Board of Trade) to Deputy Minister of Transport; 1941 06 26 telegram from Shaunavon Board of Trade to CP Edwards (Deputy Minister Transport), RG 12 Accession 1993–94/110 Box 28 File 5168-C476.  (return)

[32]. 1941 06 26 telegram from Shaunavon Board of Trade to CP Edwards (Deputy Minister Transport); 1941 07 08 letter from President Shaunavon Board of Trade to CP Edwards (Deputy Minister Transport), RG 12 Accession 1993–94/110 Box 28 File 5168-C476.  (return)

[33]. 1941 07 17 Preliminary Investigation for RCAF Airport Sites (Shaunavon), RG 12 Accession 1993–94/110 Box 28 File 5168-C476.  (return)

[34]. 1941 07 17 letter from WH Irvine (District Inspector Central Airways) to Controller Civil Aviation Ottawa; 1942 07 31 letter from HA McIntyre (Water Supply Engineer) to Controller Civil Aviation Ottawa, RG 12 Accession 1993–94/110 Box 28 File 5168-C476.  (return)

[35]. 1942 08 05 letter from SL de Carteret (Deputy Minister National Defence for Air) to CR Evans (MP Maple Creek), RG 24 Reel C-5036 File 925-2-212.  (return)

[36]. 1939 12 15 letter from AC McLean (Superintendent of Airways) to District Inspector Central Airways and District Inspector Western Airways, RG 12 Accession 1993–94/110 Box 21 File 5168-C150 (part 1).  (return)

[37]. 1940 01 04 telegram District Inspector to Controller Civil Aviation Ottawa, RG 12 Accession 1993–94/110 Box 21 File 5l68-C150 (part 1).  (return)

[38]. 1940 08 31 letter from H Mackay (Secretary Board of Trade) to CD Howe (Minister of Transport), RG 12 Accession 1993–94/110 Box 21 File 5168-C150 (part 1).  (return)

[39]. Undated “Brief on Melville Air Port Submitted by the Town of Melville and Melville and District Board of Trade,” RG 12 Accession 1993–94/110 Box 21 File 5168-C150 (Part 1).  (return)

[40]. 1940 09 08 telegram from WH Irvine (District Inspector Central Airways) to Controller Civil Aviation Ottawa, RG 12 Accession 1993–94/110 Box 21 File 5168-C150 (Part 1).  (return)

[41]. 1940 09 09 letter from WH Irvine (District Inspector Central Airways) to Controller Civil Aviation Ottawa, RG 12 Accession 1993–94/110 Box 21 File 5168-C 150 (Part 1).  (return)

[42]. 1941 09 26 letter from JG Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture) to CP Edwards (Deputy Minister Transport); 1941 11 08 letter from WH Irvine (District Inspector of Central Airways) to Controller Civil Aviation Ottawa; 1942 04 22 letter from JG Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture) to CD Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply), RG 12 Accession 1993–94/110 Box 21 File 5168-C150 (Part 1); 1942 05 06 memorandum from AC McLean (Controller Civil Aviation) to District Inspector Airways, District Airway Engineer, RG 12 Volume 370 File 1223-6 (part 6).  (return)

[43]. 1942 07 21 ADC Minutes of Meeting, RG 12 Volume 371 File 1223-6 (part 7).  (return)

[44]. 1942 09 15 ADC Minutes of Meeting, RG 12 Volume 371 File 1223-6 (part 7).  (return)

[45]. 1943 02 20 letter from SL de Carteret (Deputy Minister National Defence for Air); 1943 05 19 letter from A/C [Air Commodore] TA Lawrence (#2 Training Command) to Secretary DNDA [Department of National Defence for Air], RG 24 Reel C-5036 File 925-2-251-1; 1943 07 06 letter from CP Edwards (Deputy Minister Transport) to KS Maclachlan (Deputy Minister National Defence for Air). RG 24 Reel C-5036 File 925-2-251-2; 1943 07 06 ADC Minutes of Meeting, RG 12 Volume 373 File 1223-6 (part 11).  (return)

[46]. 1939 12 06 letter from JG Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture) to CD Howe (Minister of Transport), RG 12 Volume 2340 File 5168-867 (part I).  (return)

[47]. 1940 09 01 Preliminary Investigation for RCAF Airport Sites (Estevan), RG 12 Volume 2340 File 5168-867 (part 1).  (return)

[48]. 1940 09 06 letter from AD McLean (Superintendent of Airways) to District Inspector Central Airways, RG 12 Volume 2340 File 5168-867 (part 1).  (return)

[49]. 1939 11 15 memorandum from A/V/M GM Croil (Chief of the Air Staff) to Military Secretary, RG 24 Volume 4775 File HQ 103-74/68 (part 1).  (return)

[50]. 1940 10 18 letter from Mayor to CG Power (Minister of National Defence for Air), RG 12 Volume 2340 File 5168-867 (part 1).  (return)

[51]. 1941 01 09 “Roosevelt and Estevan,” The Estevan Mercury, p. 3a (Saskatchewan Archives Board – Regina, microfilm reel 1.160, Accession #R49-179).  (return)

[52]. 1941 01 14 letter from AE McKay (Secretary Board of Trade) to Jesse P Tripp (MP Oxbow), MG III B20 Volume 93 File 61-5-3 (Airports – Saskatchewan) and RG 12 Volume 2340 File 5168-867 (part 1).  (return)

[53]. 1941 01 14 letter from AE McKay (Secretary Board of Trade) to Jesse P Tripp (MP Oxbow), MG III B20 Volume 93 File 61-5-3 (Airports – Saskatchewan) and RG 12 Volume 2340 File 5168-867 (part 1).  (return)

[54]. 1941 02 17 Extract of ADC Minutes of Meeting, RG 12 Volume 2340 File 5168-867 (part 1); 1941 07 18 ADC Submission #219, RG 12 Volume 369 File 1223-6 (part 3).   (return)

 

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