Canada has already contributed much to the war effort in both manpower and material. Many men have already joined the ranks of the RNAS and RFC as pilots – the former proving the more popular as the RNAS offer a commission to trainees. Previous attempts to establish a permanent training base in Canada have stalled however.
Neverthess moves are now afoot to establish aircraft manufacturing and training to take account of the availability of resources. Back in April 1916, Members of the Imperial Munitions Board visited the Curtiss stations at Toronto and Buffalo and learned that orders for aircraft worth $12m had been placed with this American company by the British Admiralty
The Board reported that there was no reason why an aviation industry should not be organized in Canada. Protracted negotiations then ensued, involving the Air Board, the War Office, the Admiralty, the Canadian Government, the Ministry of Munitions, and the Treasury. These various bodies, with their diverse interests, found agreement difficult, but finally agreement was reached.
Today, the Canadian Government passed an Order in Council assenting to the scheme ‘for an aeroplane factory and aviation school in Canada’. Canada wI’ll provide funds up to $1m to establish a Dominion Government aircraft factory on condition that the British authorities order aeroplanes to keep the factory going. The school, it is suggested, should be established by, and at the cost of, the British Government.