November 6, 1919

L LIB

Thomas Vien

Laurier Liberal

Mr. VIEN:

Mr. Speaker, may I suggest that it will be dmposeible to obtain an answer as to the expenditure of that money if-

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   VICTORY LOAN ARCH ON CONNAUGHT SQUARE.
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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member has Jiis remedy by putting the question on the Order Paper.

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Subtopic:   VICTORY LOAN ARCH ON CONNAUGHT SQUARE.
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THE NEW PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS.


On the Orders of the Day:


L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. D. D. McKENZIE (Cape Breton North and Victoria):

I see in the public

press this morning an announcement of an assuring character that Parliament will meet next session in the new buildings. May we have a confirmation of that report from the Minister of Public Works?

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE NEW PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS.
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UNION

Arthur Lewis W. Sifton (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist

Hon. A. L. SIFTON (Minister of Public Works):

I regret to say that it is absolutely impossible to confirm that, or most of the statements that appear in the public press.

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE NEW PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS.
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COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.


Consideration of the motion of Hon. James Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization) for concurrence in the report of the special committee to which was referred Bill No. 10, to amend the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment Act, and the amendment thereto of Mr. George William Andrews, resumed from Wednesday, November 5.


UNION

John Wesley Edwards

Unionist

Mr. J. W. EDWARDS (Frontenac):

Mr. Speaker, the re-establishment of the soldier in civil life presents to this House and to the country a problem the gravity of which, I believe, is fully appreciated by every hon. member of this Parliament. The report of the special committee has been laid on the table of the House for the consideration and the possible approval of the members. I venture to say, Sir, that every member of that special committee felt that a double obligation was placed upon his shoulders when he was asked to take part in the consideration of this matter,-a double obligation because we recognize that we owe a duty not only to the State but also to those men who served with distinction to themselves and honour to Canada in the struggle overseas. I am sure I speak only the truth when I say that every member on that committee approached his task free from any political bias and with the utmost sincerity, and devoted the weeks which were spent in considering the subject in an earnest endeavour to deal with it in the public interest and in the interest of the ..soldier himself. In making this statement in regard to the members of the committee, I believe, Sir, that I can go further and assert that every member of the House, whether he sits on your right or on your left, has been actuated by the same motive ever since this question first arose in Canada. I believe that the members of this House are really and sincerely anxious to fulfil that double obligation which they owe to the country and to the soldier, and to do their duty as representatives of the people

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON CONCURRENCE IN THE REPORT OP THE SPECIAL, COMMITTEE.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
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UNION

John Wesley Edwards

Unionist

Mr. EDWARDS:

There never has been a time since we have had to consider the returned soldier problem that any hon. gentleman in this House has treated the request of a soldier with anything hut the greatest respect and the greatest sympathy. The hon. member for North Simcoe did not see fit to allow me the opportunity of putting that question to him. It was his right under the rules of the House to deny me that privilege.

But, he did not stop there. The hon. gentleman knowing that I could not make a reply at that time, took it upon himself to take a nasty fling-an unwarranted fling- at me. Mr. Speaker, I have had some tilts

1S01

with bon. members in this House on former occasions. I have enjoyed them; sometimes I have got the worse of it and sometimes the other fellow has. But there is no hon. gentleman in this House who will say of me that after I have made a speech in the House, which perhaps hit some person a little hard, I have got out of the House and stayed out when he was trying to give me my medicine.

I may not have had the opportunity to distinguish myself on the fields of battle in Europe. I may not have felt disposed to cry, as did the hon. member for North Sim-coe because he was not awarded a decoration for his wonderful, chivalrous conduct, Ibut I will never run away from the scrap, anyway. I do not want to refer here to what those connected with me have done in the war. I have no right to make any boast along that line at all. I had only one son; he served in the war and stayed there until the war was over. I have one very near relative who is sleeping his last sleep in France and another very near relative who is so seriously disabled that he will carry his disability with him as long as he lives. But whatever I and those connected with me have done, let me say there was none of my name, none of my relations of military age but who went overseas and! did their bit, be it big or little. II realize that what I or those connected with me have done in the war is nothing as compared with the sacrifice that many hon. gentlemen who sit in this House have made. I have never, since the war started, cast any reflection on any man who went overseas. I have never felt disposed to do so, but I may say this to the hon. member for North Sirncoe, that his conduct has more than once been brought up on the floor of this House and discussed- not by myself. He who resented some reflections on his own conduct-and if he felt they were unjust he had a perfect right to resent them-should be the last man to rise in his place in this House and cast aspersions on any person else. The hon. member for North Simcoe is wanting in those principles which constitute a real man.

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order; I will have to ask the hon. gentleman to withdraw that statement.

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Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
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UNION

John Wesley Edwards

Unionist

Mr. EDWARDS:

I will withdraw it at your request, Mr. Speaker. The hon. member for North Simcoe is lacking in due appreciation and regard for those principles which constitute a real man. The hon. member for North Simcoe never hesitated at any time from his place to asperse the character and

reputation of hon. gentlemen in this House. He has, somehow or other, felt that he had a free license to do what he liked or what he willed with any other hon. gentleman, but no person must say anything reflecting at all upon the hon. member for North Simcoe, and no person must differ from the hon. member for North Simcoe on any matter that comes up. That is about the attitude of that hon. gentleman.

The hon. member for North Simcoe stated that half the members on this side of the House owed their seats to the soldier vote. He modified .that a moment later by saying that one-quarter of the members on this side of the House owed their seats to the soldier vote. I went into that fully some .time ago. Any person can take the records of the last election for himself and if he does so he will find, as I found, that there are only half a dozen members all told in this House who can be said to owe. their seats to the soldier vote. The election of 1917 was a very peculiar one. It was an election differing from any other that ever took place in Canada by reason of the enormous majorities rolled up for or against the Government candidates. The civil vote decided the elections for all excepting two or three members of the House. The hon. gentleman's statement in that regard is wrong, just as his statement in regard to .the members of this House jeering and sneering at the soldiers was in my estimation, a slander on the members of the House. The hon. member for North Simcoe is not apparently disposed to be fair.

The hon. gentleman (Mr. Currie) attempted to make capital out of a very innocent remark made by the chairman of the committee, the Minister of Immigration and Colonization, to the effect that if this House saw fit in its wisdom to vote the sums asked by the soldiers, running into the hundreds of millions, the Administration would feel that some other government would have to raise that money. That was in no sense a threat-it was merely a com-monsense statement. The explanation given so very concisely and fully by the minister was accepted by the mover and seconder of the amendment but was not accepted by the hon. member (Mr. CuTrie) why? Because that hon. gentleman did not want to accept the truth, did not want to accept an explanation that was reasonable and fair; he was anxious to exert an influence on the mind of the returned soldier. He was .anxious, if possible, to create the impression that the members of the House, particularly the Government,

were not -disposed to deal fairly with the soldiers, or to do all that could be done in their interest,-that was the object, and the only object, of the hon. member. In that instance as in others, he has -shown himself to be -in a class by himself.

Now, for a few -moments, allow -me to refer to one or -two of the things which the hon. member (Mr. Currie) demands. Speaking in this House in the month of September he came out very flatly and very emphatically in favour of the demand of certain of the returned soldiers for a $2,000 money grant to the men who had been to France, $1,500 for those who had been to- England, and $1,000 to those who had been in -service in Canada. At that time I questioned the hon-. gentleman in regard to his support of that propo-sal, and he was further questioned by the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power) who asked him if he would make no distinction between the -man who had been away back of the lines -at a clearing station, for instance, -and 'the man who had been right up in- the front line trenches. The hon. gentleman answered emphatically that he would make no distinction whatever, that no distinction should be made, and that any person who would make a distinction should be frowned down. Against that proposal to make grants of $2,000, $1,500 and $1,000 respectively, there is a strong body of opinion, and yesterday we had it from the hon. member for North Simco-e (Mr. Currie) himself, that the returned soldiers are now willing to modify that demand and that they are willing to accept-even Mr. Flynn for instance-$1,000 for those who went to France, $500, I think, for those who went to England, and $300 for those who stayed in Canada. The hon. gentleman would even accept a smaller sum than that according to his statement yesterday. Yet when Mr. Flynn gave evidence before the committee he characterized the members of that committee in the very strongest and most discourteous language because they could not see eye to eye with him with respect to the granting of his demands; and the language used by Mr. Flynn before the committee, and used by him on platform after platform, was endorsed in its entirety by the hon. member for North Simcoe, who was scarcely less rabid in his language and denunciation of the Government and of the committee in refusing these requests than Mr. Flynn himself. Now the hon. gentleman has come down off that perch and he would be willing to accept a very much smaller sum-in fact he

would be willing to modify the original demand to the extent of not giving anything at all to those members of the forces who had seen service in Canada for a less period than six months. What has brought about this change? We were told in the committee, and on the floor of this House, that it was mere camouflage to say we were not able to raise the money to meet these demands. Why have these men modified their demands if it is not that they realize, as they did not realize before, the impossibility of acceding to the demands that were originally made and which would have entailed an enormous expenditure upon this country running up to approximately $1,-000,000^000.

Might I call attention to a difference in the attitude of the hon. member for North Simcoe in regard to gratuities and pensions. He was very emphatic in- saying that no distinction in regard to an extra gratuity should be made, but that all who served in France for instance, should receive the same amount regardless of rank or length of service; but when it comes to pensions, " I insist," he says, "on a distinction being made-the pensions should be granted according to rank." The member for North Simcoe holds a rank higher than that of a private. He is perfectly satisfied to accept $2,000 along with a private; but when it comes to the matter of pensions, the hon. gentleman would make a very emphatic distinction between pensions for the private and pensions for the officer. He argues that you should not make any distinction in regard to an extra gratuity because the private requires as much to live on as does the officer; but when it comes to granting pensions then, of course, a private can live on a great deal less than a brigadier-general; he says: You Can, and you should, make a distinction there.

I desire now to state the position which I take in regard to one or two of the main points in this report. I wish to say most emphatically that with me the granting of the request made by certain of the soldiers is not entirely a question of our ability to raise the money. Let me put that in another way-and I may say that I speak only for myself in this matter, I am not voicing, or thinking of voicing, the sentiments of the other members of the committee-if we had not a dollar of debt in this Dominion, if we could raise unlimited millions, I would not favour acceding to the request for an extra gratuity regardless of disability to all the -soldiers w'ho have re-

turned from the front. It has been argued that' we should give an extra grant in order to tide men over the present winter. Let us examine that argument for a moment. A man who returned from France got a discharge on the 1st January, 1919 He was entitled to draw and did draw six months' pay; he had from the first of January until the beginning of the winter to supplement or add to that pay and thus to provide for the coming winter. I do not see any particular reason for giving an extra gratuity to that man.

Then, take the case of the man who was discharged a month ago. On the first of October he started to draw six months' pay, covering October, November, December, January, February and March. Well, what justification can there be for adding to that gratuity in order to put that man through this winter? I am in entire accord with the granting of the six, five or four months' gratuity to men who have been discharged from the army. The reason for that has been stated: it is to enable the returned soldier to look around and to give him an opportunity to place himself in some work that will be congenial to him rather than force him to take any kind of work that offers In making that provision this Parliament has dealt more 'generously with the Canadian soldiers than any other country which was engaged in the war has dealt with its soldiers.

Now, I will divide the soldiers into two classes. First, there are those iwho are fortunate enough to return to Canada one hundred per cent fit physically and mentally. I do not think that this country should add to thf gratuity which these men have already received. Secondly, we have those soldiers who are disabled, and no matter to what extent we place a mortgage on this country it is the duty of this House [DOT]and the duty of the country to look after those men who have returned to Canada and who are not one hundred per cent fit to look after themselves. I believe that that is a position which will appeal to many of the returned soldiers themselves. I believe that when the returned soldiers have had an opportunity to study and to understand this report, that position will appeal to the vast majority of them, as I believe it will appeal to the people generally, because it is a fair, a just, and a reasonable position to take.

Requests have been made that we should give special consideration to university students whose courses were broken in upon through their service overseas. Some

hold very strong views on that point; some are very strongly in favour of giving special assistance to these young men.. I must say, Sir, that I do not hold that view; I hold just as strongly to the view that they should not receive special recognition. What is the definition of "student"? I take it that the request of the veterans is based upon a definition of student as a man who is privileged td attend college or university, and that that definition includes all who should be characterized as students. I say that any man is a student who is serving an apprenticeship or acquiring knowledge from some person who possesses knowledge which he does not possess. The word "student" should apply as well to the man who is learning to be a plumber or a blacksmith or a carpenter as to the man who is attending university. I repeat that I see no reason why special consideration should be given to these young men who were attending university and whose courses were broken into by reason of the war. On the contrary, students attending a, college or university, as distinguished from those who, in my opinion, should also be classed as students, those who are learning a trade, are in a more fortunate position than the young men who were starting to learn to become plumbers, blacksmiths, or followers of some other trade and had their time broken into on account of going overseas. As a rule, the young man attending college or university who enlisted and went overseas is in a position to obtain by loan the money that he requires to put himself through his college course; he can obtain it more easily and more readily than the man who, in other walks of life, is a student just as much as he who attends university. I take, therefore, very strong exception to making any special preferential grant to young men who return physically fit and who have their courses in college or university broken into by their service overseas.

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON CONCURRENCE IN THE REPORT OP THE SPECIAL, COMMITTEE.
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UNION

Richard Clive Cooper

Unionist

Mr. COOPER:

In the suggestions made to this committee, vocational training was [DOT]asked for on behalf of the returned men in all the walks of life that the hon. member speaks of, up to the age of twenty-one. The reference was not specifically to university students only.

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UNION

John Wesley Edwards

Unionist

Mr. EDWARDS:

I think the suggestion was made by some of those who appeared before the committee that special consideration should be given to university [DOT]students whose courses had been broken

into; that special consideration should be given to the medical practitioner -whose practice had been disturbed bn account of his going overseas. I take exception to lany special recognition of university students; if you are going to assist them we should similarly assist any other young returned man who is learning a trade.

The report recommends that consideration be given to the student whose course was broken in upon and who has come back physically disabled or unable to carry on, not one hundred per cent fit. That is right. Let me .make myself perfectly clear. What I take exception to is the application of special grants to those men who have come back to Canada one hundred per cent fit, whether they are students or not. In regard to the others, I repeat that we must make provision for them, whether they are students or not. If they are not one hundred per cent fit to take care of themselves; if they are fifteen or twenty-five per cent disabled, it is the duty of the State to assist them, at least to the extent of their disability, in getting along in life and making a place for themselves. That is the general position which I take; that is the general position taken by this report. The report does divide the returned men into two classes; it states that men who have returned one hundred per cent fit should receive no gratuity other than that which has already been granted, but that those who are more or less disabled should receive extra consideration from this Parliament and the country.

Another proposition was that in regard to housing. That is dealt with by the report, and reasons are given why we cannot agree to the suggestions made in that regard.

The report does not turn down the question of insurance; the report recognizes that that is a matter requiring expert and technical study, and the members of the committee felt that they did not possess the necessary expert and technical knowledge to place before the House any concrete scheme of insurance for the returned soldier. The report does not throw the question to one side, but recommends that this House give its consideration to that matter through the appointment of men who will probably be able to bring down some scheme which will be workable. Those, I think, are the main propositions which were brought before the committee.

What are some of the proposals for raising the money to meet these demands, for after all we have to consider that phase of the question. Whether or not we can raise

the money to meet the demands is one thing we must consider as well as whether the demands should be met as being reasonable and fair. The report sets out very fully the financial position of our country, and I think it shows very clearly that we cannot meet these demands even if we were disposed to do so. Even if we conceded that the demands were just and right and should be met if we had the money, we have not the money, and no way -which has been suggested of obtaining the money is at all feasible. Certain suggestions were made for raising the money. I believe Mr. Flynn suggested lotteries, a scheme which was practically endorsed by the hon. member for Simcoe North (Mr. 'Currie) yesterday,, as a means of raising the money required. Mr. Flynn also suggested that the Government pass a law allowing theatres- to run on Sundays, and that they iput a special tax on those Sunday theatres and raise the money in that way. I venture to say that only a very small proportion of the people of Canada would endorse either one of those suggestions as a means of raising the necessary money, and -also that a very large proportion of the returned soldiers themselves would resent such money-raising schemes. The suggestion was- made by the hon. member for Edmonton East (Mr. H. A. Mackie) that w-e -place a tax upon all non-combatants. He referred to the number of foreigners in this country and, I think, but I am not certain that I understood him correctly, that he placed the number -at 360,000.

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
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UNION

Henry Arthur Mackie

Unionist

Mr. H. A. MACKIE:

I stated that there was a population of 360,000 foreigners in Western Canada, but that II did not know what would be the male population amongst those, and that I put a question to the House last year in that connection and had received no information.

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
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UNION

John Wesley Edwards

Unionist

Mr. EDWARDS:

I do not know at this moment how many foreigners there are in this country. I am not, however, saying that the matter of placing a special tax upon those who were able to go to the war, but who for some reason or another (their foreign birth or otherwise) took no part in it, has not some merit, although the question is a complex one. This- is a young country, and we must look to the effect that any tax will have upon our future prospects and prosperity generally. The hon. member did not suggest the amount of that head tax, and I doubt if it would go very far in solving the problem if you did impose any tax upon those who took no part in the war. A further suggestion was made by the hon.

member for Simcoe North (Mr. Currie) as to a means of raising the money., and I was very much struck by this: That the hon. member was not at all enthusiastic about the buiness profits tax or the

12 noon, income tax-his means of deriving a revenue was by an increase in the customs tax. I think I might venture to say that .there would be a great and distinct difference of opinion in regard to that suggestion. The proposition of an increased customs tax coming from a well known free trader like the hon. member for Simcoe North is, of course, very suggestive. I thought at the time that perhaps he was thinking of the manufacturing industry in which he was directly interested, and that when he made his suggestion of a four per cent increase in the customs tax he had the returned soldier less in mind than the particular industry with which he is connected.

Mr. 'McMASTER: He saw also the profits.

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Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
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UNION

John Wesley Edwards

Unionist

Mr. EDWARDS:

I do not think I am unfair in attributing that business prudence to the hon. member for Simcoe North. Let me make just one further allusion to that hon. member. Ever since this matter has been discussed in the House he has endeavoured to place himself before the public as the champion of the returned soldier. May II say, 'Sir, that in my estimation the returned soldiers are worthy of a better champion? The hon. member did not hesitate from his place in the House yesterday to slander every other hon. member by saying that when the soldiers made requests to this Parliament, they were met with jeers and sneers. There is only one man who on the floor of this House has ever wholesale cast an aspersion upon the returned soldier, and that man is the hon. member for Simcoe North, and he did it when from his place in this House he said in so many words that the soldiers coming back from overseas were arrested, not by the hundreds but by the thousands, for being drunk, and that there *were 4,000 of them incarcerated in Burwash because of their drunken habits. I can read to the House his remarks in that regard which are contained in Hansard. No other member of this House has gone anything like that far; in fact, no other member has cast any aspersion upon the returned soldier. It remains for their champion, the hon. member for Simcoe North, to characterize them as he did and as is reported on the pages of Hansard. No matter whether he was overseas one year or two years or for the whole period of the war,

it does not lie in his mouth to get up in his place in this House and slander the members of this House as he did yesterday. Once more let me say that as the soldier has come back from overseas, there has been no disposition in this House or outside of this House, in the press or. anywhere else, to treat the soldier otherwise than fairly, sympathetically and, indeed, generously. Every member of this House is, I believe, disposed to go just as far in recognizing the soldiers' as the resources of this country will permit. This is not a question to cavil over; it is not a question to cheese-pare over.

The hon. member for North Simcoe may think he is the only man who took part in the war; he may think that he licked the Germans himself, that the war would have been lost but for his efforts, that he is the only person who has a right to express an opinion with regard to the returned soldier, but I want to tell him there are others in this House whose interest in the returned soldier is just as great, and far more sensible than the interest he has displayed. He has taken an attitude in this House and outside of it which is detrimental to the interest of the returned soldier, and which has done the returned soldier harm-not among the members of this House who know the hon. member for North Simcoe, 'but his utterances have left a wrong impression on the minds of many people throughout the country who do not know the hon. member as we know him and who are not in a position to appreciate his worth as we appreciate it. They attach *more importance to his words than his words are entitled to, and some of them no doubt feel when they read what he says that this Parliament is disposed to treat the returned soldier niggardly. I have never seen that disposition on the part of any member of this House or the press of this country.

We must however look at this question from the standpoint not only of the soldier -we owe a duty to him-but of our duty to the people of this country whom we represent in this House. We must consider both sides of the question, and I believe that when the matter is considered by this House thoroughly, as I believe it will be, and considered on its merits without any political bias-and so far we have kept pretty clear of that-we shall arrive at a solution which will be appreciated by the people of the country as a whole and which will be accepted by the great body

of soldiers as the right thing for us to have done.

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
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UNION

John Hampden Burnham

Unionist

Mr. J. H. BURNHAM (West Peterborough):

The question which we are now discussing is one of very considerable difficulty. As with all questions of ways and means, it is a serious thing to indulge in the expenditure of a vast sum of money unless we are satisfied that it is necessary. With regard to the committee, I do not think there are two opinions. It was a fine committee; the personal was unexceptionable. They devoted their very best energies to the work and have done the best they could. I do not think 'there is the slightest disposition to feel that these gentlemen are not worthy of every consideration and praise.

This is not a party question. The committee was made up of members from both sides of the House. The whole House is interested in the soldier, and represents an undivided country in that respect. It must be remembered that our army was not a professional army. It was not an army in the old sense that when a soldier accepted the King's shilling he had signed a contract which specified all the terms. The Canadian army was a voluntary army. The men of the Canadian army were actuated by patriotic motives. They were called upon by a most anxious country to rush to the colours and save democracy, to rescue the world from the clutches of the Hun,"and when they were asked bo do that they were told: It is true that many of you have lucrative positions, that you are well established, that your way in life is more or less assured, but go. As Wellington said at Brussels, "Go, not in order, but as if to a fire." Go, he said, because Quatre Bras was in danger. Our country was in danger and we said to our soldiers: "We will look after you and your dependents. We will see that when you come home you are in as good a position, not perhaps as when you left, but in as good a one as we can place you in."

What confronted the returned soldier when he came back? He saw that the people of this country had made vast sums of money while he had lost nearly all he had. I have seen people connected with manufactories who are rolling in wealth notwithstanding the war tax, who have every comfort, and are in a position they never dreamed of before the war. I would suggest that notwithstanding the war tax the Government should take account with them of this increase in wealth. Their business before and after the war should be taken

into account, and the whole increase in their receipts should be .appropriated for the benefit of the soldier. Those of us who remained at home must expect to divide our assets and the increases which have accrued to us with tlhe men who went to war. It is our duty. It is only fair and right. If therefore it can be established, and it can be easily, that notwithstanding all the war taxation there remains an immense sum that by all moral right should be appropriated for the benefit of the soldier, we should proceed to appropriate it. We only need to look at the simple fact that the luxury in this country is unprecedented. It is not due to what has happened since the war, but to what happened during the war. That I say is one cause of the great discontent among the soldiers, and it is a very reasonable discontent. Vast sums of money were given for patriotic purposes and vast efforts were made in every way by those who remained at home, but there still remain such means as I have referred to that we should use for the benefit of the returned soldier and his dependents. He gave all he had. Did we give all we had? We certainly did not. You will find that it is this that has caused *the discontent. Let there be fair play. When the soldier comes forward and says: "You have not done all you could for the soldier, and we only ask that you take as a basis for aid the need of the returned soldier," I say the soldier is more humane than we are if we refuse. Surely there is not a man in this House who if he saw a soldier in need would not take him into his house and look after him and see that he was cared for, on the basis of honour, not charity. Surely there is not one of us who would not do that, and feel a just pride in being able to do it.

In the same way the country should feel that if there is a single member of that dauntless army that fought in France for the rescue of the world and for our own safety, if there is one soldier or his dependent in actual need, his position should be made right if it meant the expenditure of our last dollar, the -last dollar which we thundered about during the war and the giving of which we now refuse even to think of. If people feel that so much money has been spent that it is difficult to raise a loan, let them try it. Let them proceed to raise a soldiers' loan, and they will find no difficulty in raising it in this country. I venture that opinion unhesitatingly. It is not as though we were borrowing money from outside and were likely to

be refused by creditors who might tell us: "You have borrowed as much as we will lend and your credit is exhausted." No Sir, we are borrowing from our own people; we are turning the money over and over and it is simply a question of bookkeeping. The money all remains in the country. The credit of the country is being assured to those people who are loaning the money, and it is the only limit to their loaning. There is no limit to the money. Now the credit of the country is mortgaged only to the extent of $1,740,000,000, as found by the Minister of Finance, up to September, 1919. It does not compare with the indebtedness per capita of any other country except the United States, who, coming late into the war, did not |inicur the same liabilities as other nations, and who, notwithstanding the magnificent effort they made, nevertheless secured more out of the war than all the world beside. The world on account of the war lies mortgaged at the feet of the United States, and they do not deny it. They are patriotic; they are fair; they are brave; and they are frank. Let us be frank also and let us be fair. When we find in this amendment the simple statement that this matter should be referred, practically at the earnest request of those men to whom we owe so much, for further consideration, what harm is there in the suggestion? What harm is there in the soldiers saying: "You have considered the housing problem, the reestablishment problem and others, but we don't think that you have given us as much as you should have given on the basis of need?" I say again, Mr. Speaker, that on the basis of need we cannot give too much until we have given our last dollar, and I say again that the request embodied in this amendment is reasonable, and the committee should not get huffed about it, notwithstanding the expression of the chairman yesterday. I know no member of the committee who is not absolutely well disposed in this particular and who is likely to get up on his high horse and say that he has considered the whole question and will not deal with it further, or that if you "Throw the matter back in our teeth, we will resign" ! In God's name, have things come to such a pass in this country that when our army returns, the men who were driven to desperation on the field of battle and had to fight as men never fought before, are to find that we can not have a little patience with them and show them some consideration? Even if they were wrong, what about it? Let us be patient with them. Let us consider and re-consider and show them that if we have not the money we have at least the disposition to do all we can for them. Before this committee was formed the dis*-position on the part of many people was to say, "We have done nobly; we have done all we can". In response to the very agitation which is now under consideration a committee was formed and it was found that all that could have been done had not been done. The committee has brought forward further recommendations that are extensive, but it may be that on further inquiry they might find that there were still other things that could be done. It might be possible that the people of the country would he willing to pledge their credit further for a soldiers' loan, if not for $400,000,000, at any rate for $200,000,000. We can have a referendum for whisky, hut we cannot have a referendum for the soldier. I say, let us have a referendum. Do not let the Government resign; do not let them get huffed. Let them say to the people: "This is a great question; it is a

question that touches our hearts; it touches us on the raw. It excites our tenderest sentiments. We owe a debt of gratitude which we must pay, and iwe want to know if you are ready to go further. If you are, we are prepared also to go on". Let the people of the country speak. Let them speak by means of a referendum, and let them say whether or not they want more to be done for the soldiers. Then we shall have done all that we could do for the soldiers and we can rest in peace But not until then. If there is one soldier or soldier's dependent who remains in need through our neglect, we ought not to lie in bed at night and sleep. Have we, then, like Pharaoh of old, succeeded in hardening our hearts to the reasonable request of splendid men. I do not doubt that the people of the country have done all they knew how to do. But I do not think they have done all that they can do. I do not think that I have done all I can, and I do not think that the people of the country, when they find that there is such a thing as need on the part of the soldier, will refuse to do more. I acquit the committee of any shortcomings. They have done their best and have endeavoured to conserve the country's resources and protect the public. But I say that the public does not wish to be protected to the detriment of the soldier. I say that we have an opportunity of finding out from the people whether or not they are prepared to go to the limit. On the platform I heard orators during the war, time

and again say: "The last man and the last dollar.'' Well, the last man went, but where is the last dollar? Sir, we have now to unbutton our pockets. Many a man feels sore at having to 'spend money. Nevertheless, if he is a true man, he has to gird himself and do his duty. I am a poor man, but 1 am willing to increase the tax even if I have to go and work with a pick by the day to pay it; for I hope that I have enough head and enough heart to realize that if I do not do my duty then I have ceased to be a .man. We owe a great debt to the soldiers. Some soldiers may be obstreperous, some may be riotous, and some exacting. But that is nothing to us. We know that the measure of the requirement is the measure of the soldiers' need, and if the need exists we must respond to it.

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON CONCURRENCE IN THE REPORT OP THE SPECIAL, COMMITTEE.
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UNION

Thomas Foster

Unionist

Mr. THOMAS FOSTER (York, East):

I realize the seriousness of this report of the committee that has been presented to the House. We know that the members of the committee with all earnestness studied every phase of the situation, received evidence, and exercised their best judgment in coming to a conclusion. However, after their efforts and their summing up of the matter, it still remains for the members of the House to express their views as they see fit. They may not agree with the report; they may see it from other standpoints than those which guided the committee. They might show it by other expenditures; they might feel that, notwithstanding the evidence that was presented, the committee, if it had had further time, might have reached out and receive other evidence that would have thrown greater light on the question as to how much farther it would be possible to go than what has been recommended.

This report that has been presented to the House' involves a serious question. It places all the members of the House on record and it does not matter what view they take or how they present their case, they will not satisfy everybody. It would be utterly impossible to attempt to satisfy all the desires that have been put forward with respect to a large gratuity. It was good judgment to appoint this special committee to consider all phases of the application of the Great War Veterans for a larger gratuity. The committee has given its careful consideration and it has reported against a further gratuity. We realize, as was pointed out by the chairman of the committee yesterday, the enormous expenditures that we have to meet this coming fiscal

year amounting to some $314,000,000. We also know the liberality of the amount that was given by the public throughout the Dominion and which reached the sum of $48,000,000, of which $7,000,000 or $8,000,000 yet remains unexpended and to be further applied.

The fact that we have to spend this enormous amount this year does not to my mind mean that there are no other sources, that there is no other method that can be resorted to and that it is impossible to meet some of the demands that have been made. I would think that with the vast resources of this country, and by giving further consideration to the question, something might still be done. I do not agree with the report in its entirety, and I do not know that I can vote for it; It is recommended by the committee that some $50,000,000 shall be further expended for the purpose of returned soldiers and their dependents. As I understand it, a part of that is to reimburse soldiers and their dependents for the expense of their own passages to this country. Then the committee proposes to give some $9,000,000 to the Imperialists, leaving possibly $40,000,000 to be disbursed in extreme and necessitous cases. The greater part of this amount, as I understand it, is for the purpose of assisting those who may be out of work during this coming winter. The evidence given before the committee showed that at the time it was given there were some thirty thousand returned men out of work. We are now meeting with a long and severe winter, and we may almost assume that that number will be doubled or trebled before we see better weather and an opportunity to earn sufficient money to meet housekeeping requirements. If it is doubled or trebledl it means great hardship this winter. To apply this $40,000,000 as suggested will not, I believe, produce the most beneficial results. It is a nice thing to help out and assist those who may almost be starving but is it the proper thing to hand out to the returned soldiers, or their dependents, or those who require assistance, some $30,000,000 or $40,000,000 in .the way of charity, because, after all, if you give dt in that way it is applying charity? I do not think that is the proper method in dealing with that large amount. Had we not better add to that-and I think *this country can stand it-and make it almost equal to the expenditure for gratuities extending the gratuity somewhat on the same principle we have already applied it? That would mean a possible expenditure of $150,000,000 or $153,000,000.

in offering it as a gratuity and not as a charity you encourage the .man who is going to receive his gratuity to conserve that which he has and to make an effort to get work and to be earning. When you set aside $30,000,000 or $40,000,000 to be given to men who are unemployed, you are encouraging a man not to be over-anxious to get work because he will say: "If I make any application as being out of work, I will ibe taken care of and possibly allowed $15 or $20 a week during my unemployment." It has a tendency to encourage men not to be over-anxious about getting work. It would surely be better to hand out a further gratuity. That might be applied in many ways. It would be applied by a man to maintain his family if 'he were out of work; it would be applied to secure tools, or to start in a small business or in ia great, many ways especially when the returned man was expecting to receive it in the form of a gratuity. I would not administer it exactly as it has been administered in the past. If it were given in a lump sum these men could use the money perhaps to better advantage.

Topic:   THE SUGAR SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON CONCURRENCE IN THE REPORT OP THE SPECIAL, COMMITTEE.
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November 6, 1919