May 18, 1916

LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

I quite understand.

My right hon. friend is only inquiring whether these considerations were before the committee and were considered. As a matter of fact, they were. The attention of the committee was exhaustively directed to matters such as have been referred to by my right hon. friend. No doubt my hon. friend from Kingston may have a word or two to say in regard to them, and I will leave to him the task of dealing with the points suggested by my right hon. friend.

A very important question upon which the committee capre to no final conclusion was the question of whether we should include in our pension list those men who enlisted in Canada for service in any of the Allied countries or who went as reservists to the British Isles. It was felt by the committee that the inclusion of this class in our pension list at this juncture would not be prudent. Some members of the committee were very strongly of the opinion that provision should he made at once for the inclusion of this class, but it was deemed wise and prudent to take at least a year for deliberation and consideration of the question. I may point out that the estimate which has been given of the extra annual charge which would be involved by the inclusion of that class is $1,000,000, and, in view of this fact, together with the other consideration that it was thought desirable before final action was taken to obtain full information from the other countries interested as to how they deal with pensions in Canada, it was felt that the recommendation made was the best way of solving this question. In conclusion, I may say that every hon. gentleman on the committee worked with the greatest unity, interest and enthusiasm upon this very important question with the view of arriving, if possible, at some scheme

which would enable this country to feel that it was doing its duty towards those who go out and suffer and die on behalf of the issues involved in this great war. We were guided by these feelings and by the desire that Canada should do what is right and proper and generous towards our soldiers.

Topic:   SOLDIERS' PENSIONS.
Subtopic:   REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

I have just one word

to say. I subscribe unreservedly to what has been said by my colleague from Pictou and by my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries. I was a member of the committee, and I am proud to say that there was never a ripple of disagreement between the members composing it. We reached those conclusions after long and friendly deliberations. I am glad that we have provided generously, as I believe, for thp disabled soldiers and their families. 1 hope that the commission to be appointed will be on the lines suggested by all the members of the committee, that it will he a non-partisan commission. I make a special appeal to my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries and to the patriotism of the right hon. the 'Prime Minister to see that it is of a non-partisan character. I also beg to recommend the Government to take a broad view as regards the reservists, both British and French, and possibly the Belgian reservists too, who answered, so nobly to the call of duty when war was declared. I refer to the reservists who had taken up their hdmes in Canada, and who were Canadian citizens, practically speaking. It seems to me that if the Governments of their respective countries are not as generous, for obvious reasons, as the Canadian Government is towards our own kith and kin, we should not begrudge the little difference that would have to be made up in order to put them on a footing of equality with our own boys. I agree unreservedly with the remarks which have been made by the mover and seconder of the report.

Topic:   SOLDIERS' PENSIONS.
Subtopic:   REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

William Folger Nickle

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NICKLE:

As a member of the committee which had under consideration the question of pensions, it may not be amiss if I say a word or two. In the first place, I can unreservedly bear testimony to the fact that the whole conduct of the committee was characterized by the fullest sympathy and accord, and that from beginning to end there was not one jarring word or difference. We were confronted at the inception by a difficulty which was found to be insurmountable. The scale of pensions, which came into effect in 1914, made a most radical, distinction between- pensions granted to men of the lower ranks, and those who held more exalted positions. For some time the committee considered and canvassed the wisdom of bringing in a report deaiipg de novo with the entire situation. Mature consideration made it clear that it would be eminently unfair, after 300,000 men had enlisted, with a certain scale of pensions in view, to reduce the pensions that were held out to the men of higher rank. The result was that the committee determined to increase the pensions where they were thought to Ibe inadequate and to leave to the higher ranks the pensions that were promised under the scheme of 1914. I understand that there is very little time available this afternoon to consider this subject in detail, and this, I am sure, is a matter of regret. However, if I may be permitted I should like to put on Hansard section 641 and 648 of the Pension Act of 1914 and the report of the committee. They outline what the pension allowance was under the scheme of September 1, 1914."

Scale of Pensions-Pay and Allowance Regulations effective Sept. 1, 1914.

641. The following rates of pension will be granted militiamen wounded or disabled on active service, during drill or training, or on other military duty, provided the disability wa* not due to his own fault or negligence.

Rank held at time of injury or illness. First Degree. Second Degree. Third Degree. Fourth Degree.$ $ $ $ 1Rank and file 264 336 132 168 75 100Sergeant

Squad, Battery or Co. Sgt.-Major 252 Squad, Battery or Q.Sl. Sergt

Colour Sergeant

Staff Sergeant 372 282 186 108Regimental Sgt.-Major, not W.O.... Master Gunner, not W.O 432 216 132Regimental Q. M. Sergeant Warrant Officer 240 240 144 144Lieutenant

Captain 480 360 Major 540 360 216Lieut.-Colonel 480 600 288Colonel 360Brig.-General 1.080 1,620 720 1,050 456636(a) The first degree shall be applicable to those only who are rendered totally incapable of earning a livelihood as the result of wounds or injuries received or illness contracted in action, or in the presence of the enemy.(b) The second degree shall be applicable to those who are rendered totally incapable of earning a livelihood as a result of injuries received or illness contracted on active service, during drill or training or on other duty; or are rendered materially incapable as a result oi wounds or injuries received or illness contracted, in action or in the presence of the enemy.(c) The third degree shall be applicable to those who are rendered materially incapable of earning a livelihood, as a result of injuries received or illness contracted on active service, during drill or training, or on other duty; or rendered in a small degree incapable as a result of wounds or injuries received, or illness contracted in action or in the presence of the enemy.(d) The fourth degree shall be applicable to those who are rendered in a small degree incapable of earning a livelihood as a result of inju ies received or illness contracted on active service, during drill or training, or on other duty.(e) Where the injury is great enough to require the constant services of an attendant, such as the loss of both legs or both arms or the loss of sight of both eyes ; or where the use of both legs or both arms has been permanently lost, the rates shown in columns " 1st degree " and " 2nd degree " may be increased one-third.(f) In addition to the above rates, a married officer, warrant officer, non-commissioned officer, or man, totally incapacitated may draw for his wife half the rate, provided in Article 642 for the widow and the full rate for the children of an officer, etc., of his rank, subject to the limitations respecting the age of children. After the death of the officer, warrant officer, noncommissioned officer or man, the widow may then draw the full rates provided in Article 642 for widows ^nd children.(g) The widowed mother of a totally disabled soldier may be granted a pension at half the rates fixed in Article 642 for a widow, provided the soldier is her sole support and unmarried. In the event of the soldier's decease, she may draw the full rate referred to.642. Pensions may be paid to the widows and children of those who have been killed in

action, or who have died from injuries received, or illness contracted on Active Service, during drill or training, or on other military duty, at the following rates ; provided the soldier's death was not due to his own fault or negligence, and was clearly due to the carrying out of his military duties:

Rank held by Husband, Son or Father at time of death.

Rank and file, $22 a month for widow and $5 a month for each child.

Sergeant, $28 a month for widow and $5 a month for each child.

Squad., Battery, or Company Sergeant-Major ; Squad. Battery, or Q.M. Sergeant, $30 a month for widow and $5 a month for each child.

Colour Sergeant or Staff Sergeant, $30 a month for widow $5 a month for each child.

Regimental Sergeant-Major, not W.O.; Master Gunner, not W.O.; or Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant, $30 a month for widow and $5 a month for each child.

Warrant Officer, $32 a month for widow and $5 a month for each child.

Lieutenant, $37 a month for widow and $6 a month for each child.

Captain, $45 a month for widow and $7 a month for each child.

Major, $50 a month for widow and $8 a month for each child.

Lieut.-Colonel, $60 a month for widow and $10 a month for each child.

Colonel, $75 a month for widow and $10 a month for each child.

Brig.-General, $100 a month for widow and $10 a month for each child.

(a) A widowed mother whose son was her sole support, and unmarried, shall be eligible for a pension as a widow without children, and subject to the same conditions as hereinafter set forth.

(b) In the case of orphans, the rates shown above for children may be doubled, and the pension paid to legally appointed guardians.

643. Pensions to widows and children shall take effect from the day following that on which the death of the husband, etc., occurred, and a gratuity equivalent to two months' pension shall be paid the first month, in addition to the pension.

644. The pension of a widow, a widowed mother, or child may be withheld or discontinued should such widow, etc., be or subse-

quently prove, unworthy of it, or should she be or become wealthy.

The decision of the minister as to whether a pension should be so withheld or discontinued shall be final.

645. The pension to a widow or widowed mother shall cease upon her re-marriage, but she will be eligible for a gratuity of two years' pension payable to her immediately after her marriage.

646. Neither gratuity nor pension shall be paid on account of a child (or orphan) over fifteen years of age, if a boy, or over seventeen years of age, if a girl, unless owing to mental or physical infirmity, the child (or orphan) is incapable of earning a livelihood, in which case the pension may be continued till the child (or orphan) is twenty-one years of age, but no pension will be paid to a child or orphan after marriage.

647. Individual cases for which the Regulations do not provide or sufficiently provide, may be specially considered by the Governor in Council.

648. Pensions may be paid monthly in advance.

The report of the committee reads as follows:

The special committee, appointed to consider and report upon the rates of pensions to be paid disabled soldiers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and the establishment of a Permanent Pension Board and any other matters relating- thereto or connected therewith, have carefully considered the questions submitted to them, and beg to submit the following as their third report:

(1) Your committee, appreciating the probable short duration of the present session of Parliament, and the difficulties that might be encountered and not adequately met if the entire pension system of Canada were reviewed, Slave limited their inquiries and recommendations to pensions and assistance for the members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the great war which began in August, 1914, and to the system of pension administration likely to secure the most equitable and satisfactory results.

(2) That all pensions, expenses for appliances-such as artificial l-imbs-and for vocational training, or other advantages awarded to members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, or their dependents, be paid by the Government of the Dominion from the national funds.

(3) That three persons, to be known as the Board of Pension Commissioners hereinafter called the Commission, be appointed to hold office, during good behaviour, for ten years unless removed for cause, and to this commission be entrusted the consideration, determination and administration of all military and naval pensions.

(4) That the Commission have full authority and responsibility to deal with and determine all matters pertaining to pensions, and from their decision there be no appeal ; provision, however, should be made for any complainant so desiring to present his case, either personally or by counsel before the full commission sitting for the purpose of hearing the complaints of those who may have been dissatisfied with awards given in the ordinary course of

'*administration. .

(5) That the Commission have authority to

tMr. Nickle.]

engage such clerical and other assistance as may be considered by them requisite for the transaction of their duties, at such salaries as may be approved by the Governor in Council, and to make such rules and regulations as may be necessary to facilitate administration ; such rules and regulations to be submitted for approval to the Governor in Council.

(6) That the pension, awarded any member of such force, or any dependent of such member, should not be capable of being assigned, charged, attached, anticipated or commuted.

(7) That all pensions awarded to members of such force be determined by the disability of the applicant without reference to his occupation prior to enlistment.

(8) That each case be subject to review at the end of the year from the time the pension is first granted, except in those cases where the disability is obviously permanent, and then there be no further review.

(9) That, to encourage industry and adaptability, no deduction be made from the amount awarded to such pensioner owing to his having undertaken work or perfected himself in some form of industry. The welfare of the State demands that so far as possible those who are at all able should endeavour to augment their pension allowance. If the pension granted were subject to reduction owing to the recipient having remunerative work, your committee are of the opinion that a premium would be put on shiftlessness and indifference. That provision be made by the Commission for vocational training for those who are desirous of taking advantage of it, and for the supplying of artificial limbs and appliances, from time to time, to those who would thereby be benefited^ This subject is within the province of the Military Hospital Commission, and is now receiving attention. _

(10) That provision be made by the Commission for entrusting to a reputable person for administration, the allowance to any pensioner or to any dependent when the Commission is satisfied that it is being improvidently expended by the ordinary recipient, the expense of such administration, if any, to be borne by the Commission.

(11) That a member of such force, on ao-count of disability incurred on active service or aggravated thereby, be pensionable at the following rates for total disability:

Yearly.

Rank and file

Squad Battery or Company Sgt.-Major Squad, Battery or Company Q.M. Sergeant

Colour Sergeant

Staff Sergeant ,

Regimental Sgt.-Major not W.O. . .-I

Master Gunner not W.O j-

Regimental Q.M. Sergeant J

Warrant Officer

Lieutenant

Captain

Major

Lieutenant-Colonel

Colonel [DOT]

Brigadier-General

(12) That those who are entitled to be

awarded pensions be divided into six classes, and to each member of each class be awarded a pension in the direct proportion of his disability to total disability, as follows:

620

720

1,000

1,260

1,560

1,890

2,700

Class 1.-Total disability, 100 per cent.

For example-

Loss of both eyes.

Loss of both hands, or all fingers and thumbs.

Incurable tuberculosis.

Loss of both legs, at or above knee joint.

Insanity.'

Permanent extreme leakage of valves of heart.

Class 2.-Disability 80 per cent and less than 100 per cent-pension 80 per cent of Class 1.

For example-

Loss of one hand and one foot.

Loss of both feet.

Disarticulation of leg at hip.

Class 3.-Disability 60 per cent and less than 80 per cent-pension 60 per cent of Class 1.

For example-

Loss of one hand.

Loss) of leg, at or above knee.

Loss of tongue.

Loss of nose.

Class 4.-Disability 40 per cent and less than 60 per cent-pension 40 per cent of Class 1.

For example-

Loss of one eye.

Loss of one foot.

Total deafness.

Loss of two thumbs.

Class 5.-Disability 20 per cent and less than 40 per cent-pension 20 per cent of Class 1.

For example-

Loss of one thumb.

Anchylosis of elbow, knee, shoulder, wrist or ankle.

Class 6.-Disability under 20 per cent, a gratuity not exceeding $100.

For example-

Total deafness in one ear.

Partial deafness in both.

Loss of index or other finger.

(13) That, to those, up to and including the rank of Lieutenant, who are totally disabled and in addition are totally helpless so far as attendance to their physical wants is concerned, the Commission may make a further grant subject to annual review of not exceeding $250 a year.

(14) That a disabled member of such force, up to and including the rank of Lieutenant, entitled to a pension in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd class, in addition to his personal pension, be entitled to draw $6 a month for each child; of the rank of Captain, $7 a month for each child; of the rank of Major, $8 a month for each child; of the rank of Lieut.-Colonel, Colonel or Brigadier-General, $10 a month for each child, a child to include a step-child and a child in respect of which such member was in loco parentis.

(15) That, if a member of such force has been killed, or has died as the result of injuries received, or disease contracted or aggravated while on active service, the widow, until re-marriage, be entitled to the equivalent of the pension mentioned in Class 2, and also be entitled to draw the allowance recommended for children; on the re-marriage of the widow her personal pension cease, but that she be entitled then to draw a gratuity of an amount equivalent to one year's pension.

(16) That, if a member of such force who has been killed, or has died, as the result of injuries received, or disease contracted or aggravated while on active service, was a

261*

widower, but leaves a child or children, as defined by this report, said child or children receive $12 per month each.

(17) That, in the event of an application being made for a pension on behalf of a woman who has, without being married to a member of such force, lived with him as his wife, or on behalf of the child or children of any such man or woman, the commission be authorized to grant the customary pension for a wife or for a child or children, on being satisfied that the circumstances were such as to warrant the conclusion that the woman had at the time of enlistment and for a reasonable time, previously thereto, publicly been represented as the wife of said member of such force, of if the commission is satisfied that justice would be done by the recognition of such woman, for the purpose of pension, as the wife of such member; on the marriage of the woman her personal pension cease, but that she be entitled to draw a gratuity of an amount equivalent to one year's pension.

(18) That no payment be made on account of any child, if a bqy over the age of sixteen, or if a girl over the age of seventeen, unless owing to mental or physical infirmity the child is incapable of earning a livelihood, in which case the pension may, if in the discretion of the commission it seems best, be continued until the child is twenty-one. That no pension be paid in respect of a child after the marriage of such child.

(19) That no pension be paid, when disability or death was occasioned by the negligence of the member of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, to any person claiming, or on whose behalf a pension is claimed, unless the commission otherwise consent.

(20) That in all cases the claims for personal pensions must be made within two years of the date of the appearance of the disability in respect of which the claim is made.

(21) That a widowed mother, step-mother, or grandmother, wholly or mainly dependent upon a member of such force who is killed or dies as the result of injuries received, or disease contracted or aggravated while on active service, if such member was without dependent children and unmarried, or a widower, be entitled to a pension of Class 3, provided, however, that no such woman be entitled to more than one pension; on the marriage of the woman such pension cease, but that she be entitled then to draw a gratuity of an amount equivalent to one year's pension.

(22) That a father, wholly or mainly dependent upon a son who is a member of such force and who is killed or dies as a result of injuries received or disease contracted or aggravated while on active service, if such member was without dependent children and unmarried, or a widower, be entitled to a pension of Class 3.

(23) That if a member of such force to whom a pension has been granted in either Class 1 or in Class 2 dies, leaving a wife to whom he was married at the time of his incurring the disability in respect of which his pension was granted, or a woman occupying at said time the position of a wife within the purview of Clause 17 of this report, or leaving children by such wife or woman, the pension for the class next below that granted the said member be given said wife or woman, and the allowance on behalf of any child or children be continued subject to the restrictions as to age

as provided by Clause 18 of tbis report; on the marriage of the wife or woman her personal pension cease, but that she be entitled to draw a gratuity equivalent to one year's pension.

(24) That pensions to widows and children take effect from the day following that on which the death of the member of such Force, in respect of which said pension is granted, occurred and that a gratuity equivalent to two months' pension be paid the first month in addition to the pension.

(25) That strong recommendations were made to your committee that the reservists of the Allies who were bona fide residents of Canada at the time they were called to the colours of their respective countries, and who left their dependents with the intention of returning to Canada after the war to make it their home, should be treated on the same basis as those enlisting from Canada in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and that this country should supplement the pension granted respectively by the Allies.

As your committee were unable to get definite information as to the policy of the other Governments, and sufficient information to warrant a sound conclusion being reached, your committee recommended that the Commission give the matter of pensions to reservists and their dependents careful consideration and investigation, so as to permit a full report being made to the House at its next Session.

The attention of the Canadian Patriotic Fund should be directed to the advisability of its aiding in the meantime the dependents in Canada of such reservists as have become disabled, and whose dependents as a result require assistance.

Your committee are, however, of the opinion that if provision be subsequently made for supplementing pensions given to reservists by their respective Governments, it should apply to men who, at the time of their being called to the colours, had dependents bona fide residing in Canada and who continued in Canada during the war. And that such supplementary pensions be not continued beyond the time that the dependents of such reservists actually continue to reside in Canada.

(26) That, in the administration by the Commission, in order to obviate the annoyance and distress incidental to delay, great care be taken to insure all applications being considered and determined with the utmost despatch.

(27) That in due course legislation be introduced confirming this report, but that in the meantime, proceedings be taken to forthwith bring it into effect.

(28) That the provisions of this report relating to the granting of pensions be made effective as and from the date of the declaration of war, August 4, 1914.

Your committee also recommend that this report and the evidence and the statements submitted herewith, together with a suitable index to be .prepared by the secretary of the committee, Be. printed forthwith for distribution, and also printed in the appendix to the Journals of 1916, and that Rule 74 be suspended in relation thereto.

The Minister of Marine and Fisheries, in his remarks, directed attention to the fact

that the scheme as outlined in the report made no distinctions as between the pensions that were suggested for married men and unmarried men. All the members of the committee, with one exception, agreed that no distinction should be made and I think I might outline the reasons that brought them to this conclusion. The Canadian Expeditionary Force- is a purely voluntary army; it is an army of men who came from all over the country, without premeditation and in response to the national call. Some were married at the time of enlistment, some married subsequent to enlistment, and later on a regulation was made that to the wife of a man who married subsequent to enlistment, no separation allowance would be granted, unless he obtained the consent of his commanding officer. Some men obtained the consent of their commanding officers and were married. Others abandoned the hope of securing the separation allowance and married without the consent of the commanding officer. Another group of men who had contemplated matrimony and were engaged to Canadian girls, went overseas without marrying, no doubt with the understanding that on their return they would be married. The committee felt that it would be unfair to make any distinction between these various groups and classes and they therefore laid down the Tule that they would make no distinction between married and unmarried men, that they would not take from the unmarried man and give to the married man, but that they would give the same pension to the unmarried man as to the married man, so that when the war was over and the men returned, all men, no matter whether they had married before the war broke out or subsequently, or before going to the front or thereafter, would be put on exactly the same plane.

An object of the committee was to increase the pensions in these groups in which the committee were of opinion that inadequate pensions had been granted. Perhaps a comparative statement showing the rate of pensions granted a totally disabled soldier or his widow under the present scheme and under the suggested scheme may not be amiss.

A.-Comparative rates of pensions for totally disabled soldiers, pursuant to report.

Rank. - Unmarried Soldier. Married Soldier and Wife. Soldier and 3 Children. Remarks.$ cts. $ cts. S cts. Rank and file (i. e. corpo- 480 00 480 00 696 00 Australia 253 00 380 00 569 00 if helpless.New Zealand. 442 86 601 02 790 80 British 316 00 316 00 412 00 510 00 510 00 726 00 Australia 340 00 496 00 701 00 New Zealand. 442 86 613 67 803 45 British 366 00 366 00 462 00 680 00 680 ( 0 896 00 Australia 377 00 566 00 756 00 New Zealand. 442 86 632 66 822 44 British 506 00 506 00 602 00 Lieutenant 720 00 720 00 936 00 Australia 443 00 664 00 854 00 New Zealand. 474 49 695 92 ' 885 70 British 700 00 700 00 700 00 In addition receives a gratuity of1,000 00 1,000 00 1,252 00 one year's pension the first yearAustralia 492 00 737 00 927 00 New Zealand. 506 12 759 18 948 96 British 1,000 00 1,000 00 1,000 00 In addition receives a gratuity of1 260 00 1 260 00 1,548 00 one year's pension the first year.Australia 565 00 847 00 1,037 00 New Zealand 594 69 892 03 1,081 81 British 2,000 00 2,000 00 2,000 00 In addition receives a gratuity of1,560 00 1,560 00 1,920 00 one year's pension the first year.Australia '638 00 956 00 li146 00 New Zealand 708 58 1,062 87 1,252 65 British 3,000 00 3,000 00 3,000 00 In addition receives a gratuity ofone year's pension the first year.

B.-Comparative rates of pensions for Widows of officers and men killed pursuant to report.

Rank of Husband. Country. Widow without Children. With three children. Remarks.

$ cts. 384 00 $ cts. 600 00

Australia

New Zealand

British 253 00 316 33 126 00 442 00 506 11 258 00 Increased by $30 on reaching 35Sergeant Canada

Australia 408 00 340 00 624 00 529 00 years of age and a further increase of $30 on reaching 45 years of age.New Zealand

British 341 63 138 00 531 41 270 00 Increased on attaining 35 years544 00 760 00 and again at 45.Australia 377 00 566 00 New Zealand

British 379 60 175 00 569 38 307 00 Increased on attaining 35 years576 00 792 00 and again at 45.Australia 443 00 632 00 New Zealand

British 506 12 400 00 800 00 492 00 569 38 500 00 1,008 00 565 00 657 96 700 00 1,248 00 638 00 768 92 900 00 695 90 625 00 1,052 00 681 00 759 16 770 00 1,296 00 754 00 847 74 1,015 00 1,608 00 827 00 958 70 1,260 00 Australia

New Zealand

Britsh Australia

New Zealand

British Australia

New Zealand

British

I direct attention to the unfortunate position that the widows of reservists in this country are going to be in after this war is over and I shall allude more fully to that matter later on. When a comparison is made between the pensions suggested by Canada and those paid in other parts of the Empire, I think the House will agree that the committee was not ungenerous in the amounts suggested as being fair and reasonable pensions to be paid.

My hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries in his address alluded to certain changes and alterations with regard to pensions to be made in differentiating between the suggestions of the committee and the old pensions scheme. The pension scheme now in force makes provision for a pension being paid to a ihan who has received injury or contracted a disease subsequent to enlistment. It totally overlooks the fact that many men, without being aware of any physical failing, have been received into the ranks by medical officers throughout the country as being sound and fit; theh, as a result of exposure, exhaustion or exertion, diseases have developed that have resulted in the men's health being permanently impaired, and, in some cases, in their death. The committee felt that this was radically unfair. If a man who had within him the germs of a disease, of which he had no knowledge, offered his services to the state in the belief that he was sound and fit, and was received by the medical officer in that condition, it was thought unfair that his wife and children should suffer because he came to a premature death owing to the development of a disease that was aggravated by his military service. As a result, the suggested scheme of pensions widens the range of those to whom a pension may be granted and it says that a pension may be granted1 to a member of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on account of disability incurred on active service or aggravated thereby. It will permit of a pension being granted to a man who may have been suffering from some complaint of which he was not aware or which escaped the watchful eye of the medical examiner.

The committee made another change, a change that, in my judgment, is only right and fair. The original pension scheme made a distinction between the pension granted to a man when his injury or disability resulted from something that occurred when he was in action or in the presence of the enemy, or from something

that occurred during ordinary drill subsequent to his enlistment. The committee were at a loss to understand why a distinction should be made between an injury suffered by a man who may have been thrown by his horse, or injured by his horse stumbling on a Charge across the drill ground, and the same injuries resulting to a man in action. They took the ground that the injury that a man received subsequent to his enlistment should be the determining factor and in their report they lay it down as a principle that all men shall be treated on an equality provided their injury was received in their military work subsequent to their enlistment, or as a result of 6ome disease contracted or aggravated by their military training or experience.

The committee made one other variation, a variation that in my judgment will meet with the enthusiastic support of the people of Canada. Under the old scheme men of the rank and file, were awarded a pension in respect of their children of $5 a month provided boys did not exceed the age of 15 and girls the age of 17. The committee thought that was radically unfair. If there is one thing more than another that a child is entitled to whose bread-winner is taken away by having voluntarily assumed military risks, it is a fair chance in life. The committee felt that to stop the pension when the boy was 15 was unfair. Accordingly they raised the age to sixteen. As you know, Mr. Speaker, the majority of boys and girls throughout this country enter our secondary schools at about fourteen. And when the pension is discontinued when a boy reaches the age of fifteen it practically means this: when he leaves the public schools the expense of education increases, and if the pension that is paid his mother is to be cut off when he enters the secondary school, and the expense of education is at the same time increased, it practically means' that the boy or girl is to be deprived of the opportunity of an education. The Committee felt that the children have the right to a fair chance to secure an education, and that it was not unreasonable that a pension should be continued until the boy was not past sixteen and the girl not past seventeen, and that the pension paid on account of the child of a private should be increased from five to six dollars a month.

The committee took perhaps a radical step in another matter, but a step that

Topic:   SOLDIERS' PENSIONS.
Subtopic:   REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

Angus Claude Macdonell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. C. MACDONELL (South Toronto):

Mr. Speaker, just a word in addition to what has been said so ably upon both sides of the House. As a member of the Pension Committee, I beg to approve so far as I can, the language of the hon. member for Rouville and the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) in regard to the harmony that prevailed in the committee and the diligence with which they devoted themselves to their work. I do not know anything that was omitted; in fact, I think that every possible effort was made to get from all classes and sections of the public their different opinions upon this question. Every opportunity was given to all and sundry who were interested, to come to the committee, and the hon. member for Kingston (Mr. Nickle) has very ably summarized what has been done. The best efforts that the committee could put forth has produced this report. We cannot hope that it is perfect, but we believe that if it is given a proper trial, it will be found to work out very well. In a word, the bones of the question are put together by the committee, but the filling of it out and the growth of it will have to depend upon the manner in which the commission works it out as the needs require.

One point mentioned by the hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) was very fully considered. I would like to point out the effort that we have made to bring up to a living scale the pension to be given to the private soldier. Under the old pension scale, the married private soldier received $396 a year; under the scale we have recommended he will get $480 a year. There is a very considerable advance in the case of the single man amongst the rank and file; under the old scale he received $264 a year; under the new scale he will get $480 a year. The reasons for giving both the unmarried

man and the married man the same rate of pension were the reasons given by the hon. member for Kingston a few minutes ago, and there was the further reason that in the majority of case's where a single man returned to Canada he might wish to establish a home, and it was felt that he should be given an opportunity of doing so. It was felt that if he were left without any other means of support than the pension under the old scale, he could not marry and settle down and make his home in this country.

The committee thought that every inducement should be held out to him to lead the same life as his married neighbour, and that the pension recommended was not any more than fairly adequate to meet his requirements in that condition. The pension for the married man was increased by about $100 iso that we have' added considerably to his pension; we have added still more to the pension of the single man in order that he may marry if he so desires, and, as the hon. member for Kingston has pointed out, many men have married since enlistment.

I conclude by saying that the labours of this committee have been faithful. We have done our best, and, if inequalities are found in the working out of this scheme, they can be remedied either by the Pension Board or by subsequent legislation.

Topic:   SOLDIERS' PENSIONS.
Subtopic:   REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, the 'committee is to be congratulated that its deliberations have been so earnest, so indefatigable, and so harmonious, and that, with the exception of the point which has been alluded to by the hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) there was really no difference of opinion amongst them as to what should be done. The proposals, when carried into effect, will, of course, entail a very considerable increase in the public charges, but I do not believe there is anyone in the Dominion who would not be willing cheerfully to bear his share of the increased burden.

My hon. friend the member for Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) expressed his regret that legislation was not being enacted this session for the purpose of carrying these proposals into effect. I am not inclined to agree with my ihon. friend in that regard. It will be the duty of the Government in the immediate future to create a Pension Board, and I am inclined to the opinion that, after the proposals of the committee have been tested in actual practice by that

board, there will be a better opportunity for this House to come to a conclusion as to legislation than there would be if we hurried it through at this stage of the session.

If I had been a member of the committee it is possible I might have entertained a different view on some points from that which has been put forward, hut nevertheless the report of the committee embodying their recommendations must be considered with all respect, and I see' no reason at the moment why they should not be carried into effect in their entirety.

With regard to the point raised by my hon. friend from Edmonton, I am not sure that I would have adopted either the view which he has put forward, or the view which commended itself to the majority of the committee.

There is certainly some force in the view which the hon. member for Edmonton has presented to the House. There is force also in the view with which the majority of the committee were impressed. It does seem to me that the reasons advanced by the majority of the committee would rather have pointed to this conclusion: that there should be a difference between the pension allowed to the single man and the pension allowed to the married man, but that the pension to the single man should be increased upon his marriage. In my judgment this would have been a more logical conclusion from the reasons put forward by the majority of the committee than that which in the end did commend itself to their judgment. I say that not by way of criticism, but merely by way of expressing a view which has impressed itself upon my own mind, without having had the opportunity of considering the whole matter which the menibers of the committee enjoyed for many weeks.

The hon. member for Kingston (Mr. Nickle) has alluded to the possibility of political influence or political pressure under present conditions-at least, I so understood ''him. I know something about the operation otf the pension law as it is at present. I have known something about it during the past year or 18 months,, and I desire to affirm to this House, lest there should be any impression of that kind throughout the country, that on no single occasion have I ever heard even the suggestion of political influence or political pressure from any man within this House or from any man without this House with regard to pensions. On no single occasion

have I ever heard even the breath of a suspicion that any such thing had taken place or was possible. I may tell the House, in case any hon. member or any man outside the House may be under the impression that political influence or political pressure is exerted in such cases, just how the matter is dealt with. During the past four or five weeks I myself have been dealing with this matter, and I know precisely how it is done. These matters go before the Pension Board. The Pension Board have reports prepared, make their inquiries and put everything into documentary form. They append their recommendation with these documents attached, and the recommendation comes for signature before the min-.ister or the acting Minister of Militia and Defence. I sign as many as 40 or 50 of them in one day, and the demands upon my time are such that I do not even know the name of the man who is recommended in any one of these. I am not able in the time at my disposal even, to read the papers; I pass them on as a matter of course, after they have been considered by the permanent officers of the Pension Board, to the permanent officers of the Treasury Board. How any one can reasonably suppose that political influence or political pressure comes into the matter under these conditions is entirely beyond my comprehension. I desire to affirm that during the year or eighteen months that I have had to do with these pensions, particularly during the past four or five weeks in which I have been responsible for signing these documents and sending them forward to the proper officers of the Treasury Board, there has never come to my knowledge even the breath of a suspicion that any man inside or outside of the House has exerted political pressure or political influence. If there is anything of that kind to the knowledge of hon. gentlemen in this House, I should be glad to know of it.

Topic:   SOLDIERS' PENSIONS.
Subtopic:   REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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CON

William Folger Nickle

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NICKLE:

What I intended to say

was that a non-partisan board would obviate the possibility of political intrigue or unpopularity.

Topic:   SOLDIERS' PENSIONS.
Subtopic:   REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

It has been

suggested, I think, on previous occasions in this House that something of this kind had taken place. I understood my hon. friend to suggest that; if he did not, I desire to withdr'aw any comments I made upon it. I say this merely for the purpose of indicating so far as my knowledge

goes and so far as my experience is of any value, that nothing of the kind has ever taken place. We will give to the recommendations of the committee the most careful and respectful consideration and attention. As I have said already, I see no reason why they should not be carried* out in their entirety. There were some matters as to which I asked for information this afternoon which may demand a little consideration when the recommendations of the committee are to be put in the form of regulations. I hope that in the immediate future everything will be put in train. I realize also that the Pension Board as constituted must be one which will command the respect and confidence of the people of Canada as a thoroughly representative and independent commission.

Topic:   SOLDIERS' PENSIONS.
Subtopic:   REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIETJX:

When this question of a commission was discussed in the committee, it was suggested that the appointment should be of a non-partisan character and that the right hon. gentleman should, perhaps, consult the leader of the Opposition as regards the appointees.

Topic:   SOLDIERS' PENSIONS.
Subtopic:   REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I shall, of course, be pleased to take that into consideration. We may be assured that the board as constituted will be one which, according to the view of the Government, will command the approval and confidence of the Canadian people. In conclusion, I think that the thanks of all the members of the House and of the country as a whole are due tc the committee for the splendid work which they have done, and especially to the hon. member for Kingston, who, as I understand, has assumed a very large burden in connection with the work and whose presence and assistance on that committee have been invaluable throughout their deliberations.

Topic:   SOLDIERS' PENSIONS.
Subtopic:   REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

I would not wish the Prime Minister to think that any such suggestion in regard to political influence was in the mind of the committee at any stage of the proceedings. It is true that we did discuss from time to time the possibility of political influence being exercised in the future with regard to pensions, having re*-gard to the conditions in the United States. I beg to assure him that, so far as my knowledge goes, there was no suggestion that political influence had played any part in the matter of dealing with pensions at the present time.

Topic:   SOLDIERS' PENSIONS.
Subtopic:   REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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CON

William Folger Nickle

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NICKLE:

What I intended to say- I am not sure whether I succeeded or not

:-was that the committee recommended the appointment of a non-partisan board to avoid the possibility of political intrigue and political unpopularity. I had no reference to the present or past administration of pensions.

Topic:   SOLDIERS' PENSIONS.
Subtopic:   REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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Motion agreed to. appointment of accountant. Mr. SPEAKER informed the House that a message had been received from the Senate to acquaint this House that the Senate doth concur in the nomination of Mr. A. M. W. Carter as accountant in the library of Parliament. THE 163rd BATTALION.


LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

With the consent of the House, I beg to say that I took some interest in the formation of the 163rd Battalion in Montreal, known as the Asselin Battalion, and I would like to have a statement from my right hon. friend the hon. Acting Minister of Militia and Defence

Topic:   SOLDIERS' PENSIONS.
Subtopic:   REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

If my hon. friend ihad given me notice that he was going to ask for this information I might have procured it for him if it were available. As a matter of fact, I cannot answer the question, because I did not know that the regiment had been ordered to Bermuda.

Topic:   SOLDIERS' PENSIONS.
Subtopic:   REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Yes, I received a telegram from Major Asselin saying how proud he was to inform me that he had been ordered to go to Bermuda. I suppose it is for training purposes, as other battalions have been sent to Bermuda, and that ultimately it will go to France. It is very anxious to go to the front.

Topic:   SOLDIERS' PENSIONS.
Subtopic:   REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

It is very probable that my hon. friend's conjecture is correct. He will see how impossible it is for me to answer him; I did not even know that the regiment had been ordered to Bermuda.

Topic:   SOLDIERS' PENSIONS.
Subtopic:   REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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PUBLIC PRINTING.

PROPOSED REDUCTION IN COST.

CON

Hugh Clark

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HUGH CLARK (North Bruce) moved:

That the third report cf the Joint Comm't-tee of both Houses on Printing ba commended to the attentive consideration of the Government with the recommendation that the attention of each department of Government be directed thereto with a view of having the recommendations contained in the said report carried into effect so far as may be practicable and with the view to effecting all possible economy in the matter of public printing, and that a report be prepared by each department of the Government for presentation to this House at the next session in which shall be set forth the extent to which such recommendations have been carried into effect and the reasons, if any, which render it impossible or undesirable to carry into effect such recommendations in any particular department.

He said: There were three committees to report this afternoon, but the Pensions Committee has very generously and unselfishly left twenty-five minutes for the other two committees. However, I may make a few remarks, because my hon. friend from Digby (Mr. Jameson) has told me that 'he will not go on with the third inasmuch as the first report has left so- little time for the rest. The Committee on Printing have had in view all along that the Government's recommendation of production and thrift should be the slogan, particularly during war time, and they have been endeavouring to produce thrift by reducing production-reduction in the amount of printing that is done for the Government. We have had in mind the increasing cost and the increasing scarcity of paper, and we have been advised as well by my hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster) that, in view of the shortage in the supply of white paper, the public should be asked to conserve paper as much as possible, I do not know of any place where that conservation could be carried into effect rncfre than in these Parliament and Government buildings. We have entirely too many Government publications. They are altogether too large, and the cost has gone up so tremendously that something has to be done in order to reduce it. The cost has more than quadrupled within the last fifteen or sixteen years. Something _has already been done by the present King's Printer, Mr. Tache, and by his assistant, Mr. Cook. They have started out in a proper manner, and if you will look over some- of the reports you will see how well the work has

been done. Take, for instance, the blue-book of " Unclaimed Balances," and the blue-book containing a list of the shareholders'1 of banks, and you will see that by an arrangement of the forms and of the type they have put the same material in half the space, the size of the volumes has been greatly decreased and a considerable saving has been effected in that way alone. A great many publications are sent out all over the country that are not in demand at all, that are not being used, and that are simply burned up as soon as the supply becomes too large. The Department of Agriculture was sending out 110,000 copies of a certain periodical when they sent out return post cards to ascertain how many people really wanted this publication. The result was that only 25,000 people wanted it. The balance is still there and is waste paper. The committee have recommended that the post card system be used in connection with every department and that post cards be sent out annually. We found that a great many blue-books and sessional papers were being sent out, for instance, to Mechanics' Institutes that had been out of existence for a great many years, to public libraries, to members of Parliament and to others who did not require them. The lists of the Canada Gazette, until recently, had not been revised since 1892. Other lists have not been revised for twenty or twenty-five years. In this report we have recommended that copy sent to the King's Printer be typewritten. We recommend the creation of a board of editorial management, consisting of men already in the service, who will revise the copy that is sent, and blue-pencil it to some extent, so that the volume will not be so large. If ministers would tell their officers that in the preparation of copy of this sort, brevity would be considered a virtue, it might have a good effect in the meantime.

We have recommended that this editorial board should revise all ,the copy and say-whether or not certain copy should be published. There is a great deal of waste material in many of the publications, I was looking over one of them in which there are four pages of dedications. The chief engineer dedicates the report to the superintendent, the superintendent has a page dedicating it to the deputy, the deputy has a page dedicating it to the minister, and the minister has a page dedicating it to His Royal Highness. That may not seem to be a great deal, but when you are

printing ten or twenty thousand copies it involves a considerable additional expense.

Then, there is the matter of the Agricultural Gazette. The reason this is commended to the attention of the minister i6 that, since the report was published, representations have been made to us on behalf o.f the publishers of agricultural magazines and newspapers to the effect that if this Agricultural Gazette were sent free as recommended to farmers, it would practically put them out of (business. It would certainly seriously interfere with such publications as the Farmers -Advocate, a farm newspaper published in London, Ontario. When this publication was started by the department, I understood, and I still understand, that it was merely for the purpose of disseminating information among the different branches of the Agricultural Department, those engaged in connection with the experimental farms and the various 'provincial agricultural services. It was not the intention to interfere with or to compete in any way with farm publications. It is not supposed to be distributed generally. In fact, I read in it ju6t now that it is not to be distributed generally, but that any person desiring it may procure a copy for a dollar a year. The recommendation of the Printing Committee was that it should be distributed free to all who might apply for it. The reason for the amendment is that, in view of these representations' and of several other things, we prefer to have the Government consider whether or not it is advisable to adopt this suggestion. As to having the copy typewritten and having a board of I editors to look over it, the cost last year on account of typographical corrections of copy was something like $48,000, and at that it was $5,000 les3 than the year before. A tremendous saving can be made in that way alone.

Topic:   PUBLIC PRINTING.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN COST.
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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER:

I regret that we have not more time at our disposal for the discussion of this report. I wish to protest, on behalf of the Debates Com4 p.m. mittee, against that part of the report which refers to the Debates of the House. I am in sympathy with the economy that is suggested in connection with the printing of this House and of the departments generally. The statement of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. Currie), who introduced this motion the other day, that the mailing lists of these different reports were not properly revised, does not apply to the Debates of

this House. The list of recipients of the Debates is revised every year. My hon. friend who introduced the motion said that sometimes these publications were being mailed to the homes of men who had been dead for 15 years. The Debates Committee look after their mailing lists very carefully. The lists are revised absolutely every year with the very closest attention.

Topic:   PUBLIC PRINTING.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN COST.
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May 18, 1916