November 5, 1919

UNION
LIB
UNION
LIB
UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

The hon. gentleman can go ahefd and discuss anything he likes, but I have never interrupted him in my life in this House, and, indeed, I very seldom interrupt any hon. member unless I desire to get a point cleared up. That is a fact, and I wish it clearly understood. Now, Mr. Speaker, I was going to say that the ypung men who went and served in the war did so in the sanguine expectation that their country would stand behind them when the struggle was over.

They did not expect that they were going to come back here and see the very first request they placed before the House of Commons thrown down. All the time they were in France the one thing that sustained them constantly was the idea that their country was grateful for their service and that it appreciated what they were doing. There are fathers here who know, from letters from their sons, that that was the underlying principle of it all. These young men went over and offered themselves up as a sacrifice to their country. No man who has never been under fire for the benefit of his country can fully understand what that means, and God knows Canada did not go into this war to make any money out of it. We are not going to get hardly anything out of the Germans. We did not expect any territory. We went into the war purely for the sake of humanity, and these young men, for the sake of humanity, fought for the cause of liberty and freedom. We who stand here as the representatives of that liberty and freedom which has been handed down through the generations should be the last people to say that all sources of revenue are exhausted when there are many ways in which further money can be raised whereby some gratuity can be given to these soldiers. In deciding to pay a gratuity we are not instituting anything new. We are only carrying out the old established principle in this country that a man who goes to war and returns shall receive a gratuity. Never has any man gone to war from Canada who, on his return, has not received a gratuity. The gratuity has been given in Canada in lieu of what is known in England as half pay. It is only right that that should be. When these men were taken from thewar, on their way over and after they reached here, when they were receiving a gratuity, they were liable to be called upon again, every one of them. They were not released bcause they might be called upon at any time.

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UNION
UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

They were discharged afterwards, but they were liable to be called on at any time.

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UNION
UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

I know the regulations as well as the hon. gentleman does, and his statement is not correct. It was understood that they should ibe under control before they received their discharge.

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UNION
UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

The question of discharge in so far as the country is concerned has been removed from the old idea altogether. In so far as England is concerned, when a man enlists he makes a contract with the King, just the same as if he were making a contract to dig a ditch, and that contract exists until such time as he is discharged. In this country we assume that every man must go to the front if necessary. It is not a question of contract at all. Under the Military Service Act everybody becomes in reality a conscript and he is liable now, at this moment, to be called again. There is no question about that. For these reasons I think the House will be very ill advised unless it gives further consideration to this matter. I am quite willing to support the amendment of the hon. member for Winnipeg (Mr. Andrews) if it is wide enough to include all kinds of gratuities. Do I understand it to be so from the hon. gentleman?

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IND

George William Andrews

Independent

Mr. ANDREWS:

Men who served less than six months are not entitled to the gratuity.

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UNION
IND
UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

That is quite correct. I

am quite willing to support that motion and I desire to say to the House that lam willing to accept any reasonable proposition that may be put before us. I am quite willing to abide by my position in this

House. I shall therefore support the amendment of the hon. member for Centre Winnipeg.

On the motion of Mr. Edwards the debate was adjourned.

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UNION

Alexander Kenneth Maclean (Minister Without Portfolio)

Unionist

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

In order that we may readily resume the discussion of the report which has been under consideration to-day I beg to move:

That the consideration of the fourth and final report of the special committee to which was referred Bill No. 10 an Act to amend the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment Act, and the amendment of Mr. Andrews, shall be the first order of the day at the next sitting of the House.

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Motion agreed to.


CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.


On motion of Hon. A. K. Maclean the House went into committee on the following proposed resolution, Mr. Boivin in the Chair: 1. Notwithstanding any provision in the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, or any amendment thereto, or in the Canada Shipping Act, or any amendment thereto, the Minister of Marine and Fisheries of Canada may grant permission to the following vessels to clear from any port in Canada on any voyage even though the master and mate of any such vessel, or either of them, do not hold valid certificates of competency or service, provided that the said Minister is satisfied that properly certificated men cannot be procured and that the acting master and mate are competent and have sufficient experience: (a) Canadian registered vessels other than vessels carrying passengers ; (b) Canadian registered vessels carrying passengers not exceeding one hundred registered tons, which ply exclusively within what the Minister of Marine and Fisheries may deem to be sheltered waters within the inland waters or on the sea coasts of Canada; 2. These provisions shall continue in operation for one year from the date of the passing of the Act to be based upon this resolution and no longer.


UNION

Alexander Kenneth Maclean (Minister Without Portfolio)

Unionist

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

At the present time there is in operation an Order in Council passed under the War Measures Act which gives to the minister the powers that arfe set forth in this resolution and upon which it is proposed to found a Bill. It is the experience of the department that in Canada at the present time there is a great shortage of certificated masters and mates. That was always the case in recent years but the condition has been much accentuated by reason of the war. During that period it transpired that very few' young men presented themselves for examination for masters' and mates' certificates. The consequence is that to-dhy in maritime ports it is frequently impossible

fMr. Currie.]

for the owners of a ship to obtain certificated officers. The proposal in this resolution gives to the minister authority for one year to enable a ship to depart without a certificated pilot if satisfied that the person proposed to be put in Charge of such a ship by the owner is competent.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
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November 5, 1919