Memorandum on Intentional Destruction of CHL/CGI Equipment

National Archives of Canada



S.34-2-21 (D of S)
June 15, 1943.


Intentional Destruction of CHL/GCI Equipment.

1. Arrangements commenced during June, 1942, for the purchase of suitable demolition equipment for CHL/GCI equipment to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy. This particularly applied to outlying detachments, such as Cape Bauld in Newfoundland and several in outlying areas on the West Coast. It was, however, decided to apply this to all of the ground detachments. Since that time, it is known that the enemy are using equipment of this type quite similar to that presently employed by the Allies.

2. Procurement of the necessary demolition equipment has been mostly completed and installation is about to commence. It consists of approximately six hundred pounds of TNT under each operations building and the tower, with a time delay switch for initiating the explosion.

3. This is considered undesirable for the following reasons:

  1. Only two small units in the large transmitter are considered of technical value to the enemy. Similarly, only two small chassis and the Cathode Ray tube are considered of any great value to the enemy in the receiver.

  2. Should the enemy learn we are blowing up our stations when under attack, enemy submarines by shelling could soon cause us to demolish those stations most valuable to our chain.

  3. It is considered that the amount of explosive being used will demolish a large part of the detachment apart from the operations building.

  4. In case of a fire originating on the detachment and particularly in the operations building, we can hardly expect the personnel to remain and make any effort to extinguish same with this same amount of high explosive located there.

4. It is therefore recommended for your approval:

  1. Installation of the high explosive on the radio detachments be stopped immediately.

  2. That a heavy axe be provided adjacent to each transmitter and receiver with instructions that if the station is attacked, the necessary chassis in the transmitter and receiver be rendered unserviceable. Such was the policy adopted in the United Kingdom during the fall of 1940 when an invasion was expected daily.

5. The installation of this demolition equipment is going to prove quite expensive and if authority can be granted to cease at this point, it is considered that a considerable saving can be effected and the necessary security still retained.

(CJ Campbell) W/C,
DDRDF for D of S

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