§ 36. Mr. DAY
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he will give the House any information as to the manner in which any of the Dominions are increasing or expanding their defence forces?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for DOMINION AFFAIRS (Mr. Malcolm MacDonald)
As regards Canada, I 1518 understand that defence expenditure in the year 1934–35 showed an increase of over 2,500,000 dollars as compared with the expenditure for the previous year, and that this expenditure is being generally maintained in the current year, with some further increased provision for the Air Force. His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia are at present engaged in carrying out a three-year programme of defence expansion which is due to be completed at the end of the financial year 1936–37. The total cost is understood to be in the region of £20,000.000 (Australian). For full particulars of this programme I would refer the hon. Member to the speech by the Commonwealth Minister of Defence on 2nd December, 1935, of which I should be happy to send him a copy, if he so desires. Proposals for strengthening the defences of the Union of South Africa have recently been announced by the Union Minister of Defence in a. speech in the House of Assembly on 27th April, reports of which appeared in the Press here on the following day.
§ Mr. DAY
Can the Secretary of State say whether any of that expenditure is for Naval or Air Force armaments?
§ Mr. MacDONALD
In Australia the main provision is for naval expenditure, and in the case of South Africa I understand that the greater part is for Air Force expansion, but perhaps the hon. Member will wait until I can send him the full particulars I have promised.
§ Mr. GEORGE GRIFFITHS
Are they going to supply butter instead of margarine there?