CREATING THE CANADIAN ARMY
THE War did not find Canada absolutely unprepared to take the immediate and preliminary steps necessary to place her in a state of defence. In 1913, the Secretary of State for the Colonies transmitted to the governments of the great Dominions certain memoranda drawn up by direction of the Oversea Defence Committee, outlining the steps to be taken by the naval and military authorities in case of the outbreak )f war, or of the apparent imminence of such outbreak, owing to strained relations with some foreign power. These memoranda were accompanied by a suggestion that the Dominion Governments might advantageously draw up similar schemes adapted to their own individual requirements.
The Canadian Government submitted these recommendations to the Interdepartmental Committee, composed of the expert officers of the Naval and Militia Departments sitting together. This Committee in turn reported that a conference should be held of deputy ministers and representatives of the different Departments which would be primarily affected by a declaration of war, and on January 6th, 1914, the Prime Minister accordingly gave orders for the holding of such a conference, the first meeting being held on January lath, with Sir Joseph Pope, Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs, as Chairman.
The possible contingencies calling for careful and systematic preparation were many and various. First and foremost, of course, were preparations for the mobilization of our military forces to defend our own country. Provision had to be made for the detention of all enemy ships and of British ships carrying contraband of war;