March 6, 1914

LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON:

I would like to ask

the minister if it would not be possible to restrict the advantage of the renewals to the original holders of the certificates. There may be some equities in their case but I think there are no equities in the case of the speculators who held these certificates previously to the 31st October. To my mind there is a very great distinction between the equities of the one and the claims of the other. One has equities, the other has claims. The position taken by the minister is a reasonable one if we apply his argument in favour of the original holders, the one who earned the grant, the one to whom the certifi 'ate was granted and to whom ad the advantages of it should apply.

Right Hon. Sir WILFRID LAHRIER [DOT] My hon. friend the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Roche) is very technical when he says that this is the first instance of a renewal for a grant of money. There have been renewals once or twice under this Act but these renewals were not to get a money grant, but to allow the holders of the certificates fur-

ther time to file their claims. They were allow one renewal and then another. This is a renewal to allow them to make an application for a grant of money which they had earned by their failure to apply for the land. But this distinction is a very technical one after all. We have amended the Act once, twice and three times over. I do not say that the legislation this year may not be justified by the circumstances, a knowledge of which may be in the possession of the minister. Last year,- at the time of the last renewal, I think a sufficient reason was given why the Act should be renewed but it was understood that it would be the last time. There must be some finality to this matter. My hon. friend asks for this legislation; it is exceptional legislation and legislation which is exceptional in its character ought to be supported by good and sufficient reasons. The only reproach I have to make to my hon. friend's that he has not fortified himself with sufficient reasons if we are to judge by those which he has given to the House. I do not intend to oppose the resolution at this stage but before the matter comes up again for discussion on the second reading of the Bill my hon. friend must lay on the Table of the House all the reasons which he has and which, in his opinion, are sufficient to justify such legislation so that every member of the House may be in a position to judge whether or not there ought to be another extension of time.

Topic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES:

I would like to ask the minister what he does in connection with persons who have entered upon the land, who, of course, have covenanted to perform the homestead duties and against whom there is an application for cancellation. What does the minister do with these people? Does he cancel them off the face of the earth or give them credit for what they have done?

Topic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB
LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES:

We will suppose that A paid a thousand dollars to buy a South African warrant, he has entered on the land and through unforeseen circumstances he has.not been able to perform the homestead duties and the entry is cancelled; what does the minister do with that man? Does that man get any compensation or is he out his thousand dollars?

Topic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB
LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES:

When a volunteer or his substitute has entered for a specific piece

of land, does the minister ever permit the entrant to change his land?

Topic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. EOCHE:

I have no knowledge of any instance of the kind having taken place. I do not think there has been any application of that kind before me. I have no recollection of such a case.

Topic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES:

Will the minister be

kind enough to get information on that point because I remember it was a very important, and quite a difficult, point When the former Government were in power? Men sometimes made a mistake, or were misinformed, about the land, it was not worth what they paid for the scrip and consequently they did not perform any of the duties. I would like to know what the practice of the department is in that and other cases.

Topic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

David Bradley Neely

Liberal

Mr. NEELY:

I would like very much to have heard the reasons that the minister has in mind for proposing his legislation. I would like to have known at whose instance the minister has introduced it. Is it for the sake of the original holders of the scrip or for the sake of the substitutes who purchased this scrip for speculative purposes? That is the information that I think the committee is fairly entitled to before the minister should ask us to agree to this resolution. It seems to me that we are never going to get to the end of this South African veteran's scrip proposition. Year after year we have granted extensions and now we are confronted with the question of an extension of time for the payment of this $500 to the holders of the scrip. What reasons have the substitutes who hold the scrip given to the minister Why they did not take advantage of the provision by which they might surrender the scrip last year for $500? Why did they not do it? If the holders of the scrip failed to take advan-take of that provision why is Parliament asked this year to extend the time for the presentation of the scrip?

Topic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. EOCHE:

I have already given all the information, but I have no objection to giving the reasons over again. In the first place, it was brought to my attention by the officers of my department that they were in receipt of a number of letters from the holders of these warrants, some of whom had sent down their certificates since the 31st of October, 1913, and had asked for the $500. The officers of the department had to write to these persons telling them that their' warrants were of no use now because they had not sur-894

rendered them to the department within the time specified by the Act of last year. This was owing to the fact that the holders were not aware that the extension covered the surrendering of their certificates; they thought it applied only to filing on the lands. They did not know that it was necessary to send their certificates in and register them in the department within that date. It is because of their request for the payment of the $500 grant since the 31st October, that my officials think there should be an amendment covering that part of the Act.

Topic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

George Ewan McCraney

Liberal

Mr. McCEANEY:

I understand that the minister has stated that forty-eight scrips will be affected. How many of these scrips are in the hands of the original holders and how many in the hands of assignees ?

Topic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. EOCHE:

That question has been asked me on two occasions, and I said that I would be able to give the House all the information on the second reading of the Bill. I do not remember how many of the forty-eight certificates are in the hands of the original owners, but I presume there are not very many.

Topic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

I would like to ask the minister if this extension only applies to the holders of certificates who hold them at the expiration-of the former Act?

Topic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB
LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

In case of the transfer of one of these warrants after the 31st of October, 1913, this legislation would not apply ?

Topic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB
LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

This legislation is very closely akin to another volunteer bounty matter, and I beg your indulgence, Mr. Chairman, for bringing to the notice of the minister the situation in respect to the Act which was passed in 1912 with reference to the Fenian Eaid bounty. The Act of the 1st of April, 1912, expired on the last day of 1913, and about 16,000 applications were then in. Some of these were passed upon by the department and some are being held for consideration, and I understand there is no authority to deal with them one way or the other. We aTe receiving a great many inquiries as to when the Government will be able to deal with these applications, which have not yet been passed upon. I understand that 14,000 applicants have been paid, and those who have not been paid and who stood in the same ranks with the others, are sensitive

about the matter and feel that they have been discriminated against. I wish to know when the Government purposes taking power to finally deal with this subject and wind it up.

Topic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN:

I understand that the

Minister of Militia has already stated to the House that legislation will be introduced this session. I shall draw the attention of the minister to the observations of my hon. friend.

Topic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

My recollection is that

these warrants were issued to the volunteers, and there was a provision in the law that they were not assignable more than once. In order to get around that, the volunteer assigned in blank, and the holder simply fills in his name when the warrant is brought to the department. Has the minister information as to who are the actual present holders of these forty-eight warrants?

Topic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. ROCHE:

The department would have information as to how many are in the hands of the original owners, tout the department has no information as to those others who hold the warrants at the present time.

Topic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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March 6, 1914