November 6, 1919

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committee has gone into the question of life insurance and it has recommended that the matter should be further inquired into. I agree with that. I think the Government has a duty to perform and that is to work out some scheme to provide for men who have served and who cannot get insurance in the regular way from the legitimate insurance companies. The fourth question that I would call to the attention of the House is one which the committee has not dealt with, but one which has caused a great deal of dissatisfaction, that is the gratuity as we have it already. The gratuity is paid on a yearly basis. If a man had served a year he got so much; if a man had served a year, eleven months and twenty-five days he got paid for a year; whereas another man who had served ten days more, or 2 years and five days, got a two years' gratuity. That was not fairly worked out. Although it was designed to be fair, it worked out a hardship in a large number of cases. The Government might very well look into this question and try to work out some system whereby these gratuities will be paid on a more equitable basis, perhaps on a daily, monthly, or quarterly basis. I do not think it is fair that a man who has served one year eleven months and twenty-five days should only get a year's gratuity, while a man who has served ten days more should get a two years' gratuity. That is an injustice that has caused a certain amount of dissatisfaction, and it is the duty of the Government to deal with it. There is another question which was not brought before the committee, and that is the question of families and old parents losing an only son and yet having some means of support. Unless the son was the only means of support these old parents could receive no consideration. There are certain rules under which they would get a pension. But there are certain oases where the son was a prospective supporter of the family and he would have been of material assistance to the poor old parents who lost him. This is a case also which should be given some consideration with a view to working out some scheme which would permit of assistance being given to these old parents. Finally, in many cases, the pensions have been inadequate. I believe that the rate of pensions should be increased: in a large number of cases, as was suggested by the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Cockshutt) this afternoon. These are suggestions merely of my own and I would like, when the minister is making his reply to all of us, if he would pledge the Government to give suggestions of this nature kindly consideration. I do not wish any member of the committee to regard anything that I have said as a criticism of the committee because I certainly have no intention of doing anything but praising them. They have had, as I said at first, a thankless and tiresome task and they have done their work very well. The report is good in so far as it goes. My hon. friend from Frontenac (Mr. Edwards) said this morning it had imperfections. I agree that it has imperfections. I believe that it is the duty of the Government to supplement the work of the committee and to correct these imperfections wherever necessary, and especially if there are cases of hardship to returned men or their dependents, even if much more than $50,000,000 is needed.


UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

Mr. Speaker, I think

that at this stage I should say a word on the amendment, reserving my right to close the debate on the main motion later on. It seems to me that the wish of the various organizations that came before our committee is being realized; this problem is being threshed out on the floor of Parliament just as they desired. We have had a fairly lively debate so far and a very interesting one. I presume that the debate will continue for some length of time and that probably further light will be shed on the situation.

I rose to make clear to the House the effect of this amendment. During the recess a number of members spoke to me who apparently did not understand what its object was or what the result would be if the amendment- were adopted. In order to clear up the situation, in order that every member of the House may clearly understand the purpose of the motion, I desire for a short time to have the attention of the House.

Let me go back and refer to the motion itself. The motion is to the effect that the report of the committee, tabled in the House on a certain day, be received and that the expenditures, which would be required for carrying out the recommendations made in this report, be commended to the consideration of the Government. The main motion does not ask the House to approve of the recommendations that are contained in the report. The motion is that the report be received and that if there are further expenditures in connection with these recommendations that are made, these expenditures should be taken into considera-

tion by the Government with a view to adopting them and making whatever provision is necessary in order that they majr be put into effect.

Since then, the Supplementary Estimates have been brought down. The Government has taken these recommendations into consideration and in order to carry them out a sum of $40,000,000 appears in the Estimates. Now, the amendment is to this effect:

That all the words after the word " therein " toe struck out. That the report tabled be received, and that the recommendations therein

Everything else disappearing.

-be struck out, and the following substituted therefor.

The main motion if thus amended will read in this way:

That the recommendations therein are not sufficient for the purpose of adequately reestablishing all former members of the forces in Canada in a comprehensive and equitable manner, and that the said report be returned to the said committee with instructions that they have power to amend the same by striking therefrom the recommendations contained under sections (d)-

and so on. Those recommendations refer to the series of suggestions covering vocational training, the grants to students, the loans for housing, and provisions for young medical practitioners, whose practice had ' been interfered with by enlisting-it is proposed by the amendment that that whole series of recommendations be struck from the report. Also, that the recommendations regarding pensions, and life insurance, and also the recommendations in reference to the taking care of the unemployment situation this winter, be struck from the report and that there be substituted instead this:

Substituting therefor-

That is, in place of all these recommendations made by the committee-

-the principles of the plan of re-establishment as set out in appendix 1.

That refers to the plan submitted to the committee by the Great War Veterans' Association. In other words, the suggestion under the amendment is that this report be sent back to the special committee with instructions that it have power to include in these recommendations the plan submitted to the committee by the Great War Veterans' Association for re-establishment; and for this purpose, it is recommended that instead of the expenditure contained in section (e) thereof-that is the section of our report which sums up what we

thought it would take to carry out our suggestion-instead of that

$50,000,000 which we provide, we should insert whatever estimate we thought would be suitable to carry out the suggestions of the Great War Veterans' Association committee that appeared before us. In other words, what is asked by the member for Centre Winnipeg (Mr. Andrews) is that the committee simply take the report back and embody in it the plans submitted to us by the Great War Veterans' Association. What does it mean?

It means that if the House commits itself to the principle of a further general distribution of cash grants or gratuities to all returned men, and if we carry out the suggestion as it came to us from the Great War Veterans' Association, we are committed to an expenditure in the neighbourhood of $400,000,000, not $200,000,000. As I explained in the statement which I made to the House the other day, the two deductions taken from the estimate made by the Great War Veterans' Association will not stand close scrutiny. Their suggested deduction of 25 per cent, because the money is to be applied on land settlement or because bonds are to be given to the soldiers, will not stand scrutiny at all. You can therefore eliminate that 25 per cent, leaving at least $300,000,000 to be provided. The other 25 per cent deduction they proposed was because certain of the men would not claim the gratuity-certain- men, they said, would not claim the gratuity, or would not be entitled to it, because they could not establish need. Well, as I said the other day, I am afraid there would not be very much opportunity to make a large reduction there, when you give " need " the definition that was given to us in the com-'mittee. So I think the conclusion we came to was the correct one. That is, if the plan as submitted to us by the Great War Veterans' Association is carried out, it would involve the expenditure of approximately $400,000,000. I do not know whether the member for Centre Winnipeg suggests that the committee should take into consideration the advisability of adopting the principles -of that plan, or reduce the amount; that is, instead of paying a man who went to France, for example, $2,000, pay him $1,000, and thereby cut the estimate in two. I do not know whether the hon. gentleman has that in mind or not. The amendment simply proposes that the committee be instructed to include [DOT] in the estimate of the cost a suitable amount to carry out the plan suggested.

Now, the proposition before the House is a comparatively simple one. It is simply a question as to whether or not the majority of the members of this House consider, in view of the circumstances that have been urged to-day and yesterday, that provision should be made whereby a further general distribution of cash-not loans, but cash in the way of grants or gratuities-should be made to all ex-members of the forces for re-establishment purposes. Is it the desire of the majority in this House that the committee should be instructed to bring down a recommendation of that character? That is exactly what the amendment means, and when the division takes place, that is the question upon which the vote will be cast.

I must say a word or two in reference to some remarks that have been made by several hon. gentlemen, namely, the member for Centre Winnipeg (Mr. Andrews), the member for North Simcoe (Mr. Currie), the member for Brantford (Mr. Cockshutt), and the member for Peterborough (Mr. Burnham). These hon. gentlemen said in effect that the Government should not throw out suggestions that it has decided upon a policy or come to a decision on a certain phase of this question. I think the member for Peterborough said we should not be " huffy." Well, it is not a question of (being huffy. I am sure every member of the House realizes tfiat the form of government under which we are working is a well-established one.

When a large problem like this comes up there are naturally questions of policy involved, and the Government as a government collectively must come to a decision on those questions of policy, and I say, Mr. Speaker, that it is only fair, it is only right, and it is only proper that the Government should take the earliest opportunity to acquaint the members of the House with its decisions on those questions of policy. We should state to the House very distinctly where we stand on a matter of that kind. If we were discussing the tariff there would be no. question about it at all, the Government as a government would have to know where it stood on the issue; if we were discussing a general question of railway policy the same would be true; if we were discussing the question as to whether or not we should launch out into a shipbuilding programme, the Government as a government would have to come to a decision as to the policy involved, and it must stand or fall by that decision. That always has been and will be our form of government unless our constitution changes. Now, in reference to 1164

this matter, such a stand by the Government does not bind hon. members. Every hon. member is free to do as he pleases; he is responsible for his own vote, and he can vote as he likes. But at the same time if the Government takes a certain position on any large question of policy of this kind, and the majority in the House do.es not sustain the Government, then but one thing follows-some other government must carry on. But if that should happen, that is your will.

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UNION

John Hampden Burnham

Unionist

Mr. BURNHAM:

Might I ask the hon. gentleman a question? Is this a report of the Government or of the committee?

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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

It is a report of the committee; but, as I said in my opening remarks, in so far as the main finding of the committee is concerned, the Government agrees with that finding. That position of the Government is not new. It is six or eight months ago since the Prime Minister himself announced to the House what was the policy of the Government. Early in this session the President of the Privy Council (Mr. Rowell) stood in his place and clearly intimated the decision the Government had come to on that question of policy. The Government did not require the investigation by this special committee in order to ascertain the financial position of the country; it knew that position. There is just a possibility that during the course of our discussions and the digging out of certain facts that the Government as a result has probably just a little clearer knowledge-at least, some members of the Government have, as to what the financial position is now than we had, say, a few weeks ago. But if you will take the letter of Sir Robert Borden written some months ago, Mr. Speaker, you will see that he stated very clearly and very definitely that the Government had the facts and the knowledge upon which it oame to the conclusion he then announced, and I repeat that it was not necessary to have this special committee in order to ascertain those facts.

At this stage I do not feel like entering into a general discussion of the whole situation, because I may have to do that later on, but I would just like to point out this; that in all the discussion we have had- and I followed it very closely-after all, when we come to boil it down a great deal of it consists of generalities. My good friend from York (Mr. W. F. Maclean) rather blamed the committee because it had not more of the human element, so

to speak, in its report. Well, we considered that phase, and we decided that so far as dealing in heroics was concerned, merely talking about "the great sacrifices" and "the efforts of our gallant men" and all that sort of thing, we would eliminate it from our report. Some one has said that the men themselves are sick and tired ot such statements being made time and again about their gallant deeds, of how they fought for their country and sacrificed themselves, what they did for us that we might be free, and so forth. Nothing would be gained by loading up our report along these lines. Every member of the committee and every member of this House appreciates the situation. They know what our army has done, they know how our men suffered, they know what they accomplished for Canada in the way of preserving our liberties. No, we did not deem it advisable to frame our report . along those lines. We had, shall I say, a business proposition before us, although we did not tackle it from that standpoint, and while we did not overlook the other element of the problem, yet we endeavoured as far as we could to approach it in the very broadest possible way and with every sympathy as well.

As I say, during our discussion this afternoon we have not really got very much farther as to the real issue. One member gets up and suggests: Well, surely we can raise $100,000,000. Another says: Well, surely we can raise $150,000,000, while another member suggests $200,000,000, and still another $300,000,000, vising with one another as to the amount we should or could raise. But hon. members who have spoken along those lines are overfooking two prime facts upon which we have had very little light so far, and if this discussion is to continue I think we should get some light on them.

Now, let me repeat. I showed yesterday, and the figures as yet have not been seriously attacked, that within twelve months or thereabouts we will have to raise from $700,000,000 to $850,000,000 for commitments already made. Now the suggestion is proffered that on top of that we should borrow, say, $300,000,000 more, which means that we must go to the people of this country within twelve months and borrow $1,000,000,000. As the member for North Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt) said this afternoon: For goodness' sake, let us talk common sense; let us look the facts square in the face and see where we are. Can we go and obtain from the people of this country within the next twelve months a loan of $1,000,000,000? That is the question.

So far as I am personally concerned, nothing would please me more than to be able to accomplish that, and I daresay the view I hold is the view of every hon. member. It is not a question of endeavouring to pay the men for their service, it is a question of doing what we can to assist them in their re-establishment, and I know ' scores of cases where returned men do need assistance. But that is not the question. The question is: What can we do at the present time under the circumstances now existing? As I said yesterday, this is both a war year and a re-establishment year; we have both expenditures on us at the same time. Can we go out to our people and get $1,000,000,000, as we shall have to do if we are going to provide $300,000,000 for re-establishment this year? So far as the committee is concerned, Mr. Speaker, it got the very best evidence it could, and it came to the conclusion that that cannot he done. If you go out to-day with your special loan for soldiers' assistance and get $200,000,000, where would you be three or four months hence in so far as other moneys are concerned that must 'be provided for commitments already made and for other expenditure necessary in order to carry on, our national affairs?

If we drop our Victory Loan to-day and go again to the people for say another $300,000,000 for re-establishment-yes, we will get it; it could he got. But you would have to go right afterwards for another $300,000,000, and for another $300,000,000 on top of that. Are the financial resources of the country such at the present time that you are silre you could get that money? That is the question. I say again that the committee has come to the conclusion that it cannot be done; that we cannot raise that amount of money in the country in that short space of time. But that is only one side of the question. I repeat with all the. emphasis that I can that if this money is raised you have to pay the interest on it every year until the principal is paid off. If you raise $300,000,000 for this purpose, you will have to pay interest at five and one-half per cent-that is what we are paying now, and I assume that that will be the rate for a number of years-and that annual interest will amount to $17,500,000. Well now, I ask the House in all seriousness if on top of the annual load that we are carrying now, a load of taxation amounting to $270,000,000 a year; on top of the interest that must be paid on the $700,000,000 to which the country is now committed, amounting to $38,000,000-I ask

if we can add to these a further amount of some $17,500,000? There is the problem.

During all the discussion that has taken place here to-day and last night, what concrete suggestion has been made as to the means of raising that money?

An hon. MEMBEE: None.

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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. CALDEE:

It is * all very well

to say: Yes, we can go out and get $200,000,000 and use it for the purpose of this gratuity. But I ask again, where is the annual amount to come from with which to pay the interest on that sum, to say nothing of all our other commitments? Well, we had a suggestion from the member for Qu'Appelle (Mr..L. Thomson) this afternoon. He said: Out in the West our farmers are prepared to pay; if you will show them the reasonableness of it they will pay. Let me give you one little experience. I was a member of a Provincial Government out West. In 1907 or 1908 we put a tax on land of one cent an acre or $1.60 a quarter section. We had more difficulty in being elected in the election that followed than we had had at any time in our whole history. One whole campaign was taken up in explaining that tax of one cent an acre.

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PRO

John Archibald Maharg

Progressive

Mr. MAHAEG:

Have you since had any trouble in collecting that tax? It is still in force.

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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. CALDEE:

Well, it took a mighty lot of explaining, and it made a very dangerous election. The hon. member (Mr. Maharg) was there; he knows what the campaign was. He went through it and I venture to say that he supported our tax. But he knows the difficulty that we had; he knows what an issue it was in our province. It was a just tax; if I am not mistaken it is there still.

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PRO
UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. CALDEE:

I ask again in all

seriousness: What have we had during all our discussions so far in the way of concrete suggestion as to the means to he adopted for the raising of these moneys? Nothing.

I know that some hon. members are simply tumbling over each other in their desire to see our customs taxation cut down, and there are sections of the country as well which hold that view. We are receiving at the present time somewhere in the neighbourhood of $145,000,000 through customs taxation. That is based upon the present high values of imports; what is going to happen as these values

dwindle? Our customs revenue will not stay at $145,000,000; it will come down to $135,000,000, $130,000,000 or $125,000,000, as the values of the commodities upon which the taxes are levied come down. Then, if there is some tariff reduction, instead of a revenue of $145,000,000 from customs we may get somewhere in the neighbourhood of $120,000,000, $115,000,000 or $110,000,000, and the difference between what we are getting now and what we shall get then must be made up in some way. Where is the money to come from?

Our report deals with the question of the income tax; you can read it for yourself. We have as high an income tax now as they have in the United States. It is possible that by more effective administration, by watching the matter more closely and getting everybody to pay that we can-it is going to take a little time; you cannot impose an ificome tax in a country like-Canada and get your maximum results in the first year or two-we may increase somewhat the revenue from that source. But as: I understand it, we are getting somewhere-in the neighbourhood of $30,000,000 a year from income tax. If we increase the income taxation by fifty per cent, how much more do we get-only

$15,000,000; and if we increase our income tax considerably beyond what the income tax is in the United States-well, members of the House realize what the possible effect may be.

Take our business profits tax; are we going to increase that tax? I ask hon. members: Is that your solution of the problem? Is that the way you will get the revenue to meet this huge expenditure? In Great Britain they have chopped off their business profits tax very considerably; I believe they have brought it down to forty or fifty per cent of what it was before, -and there are possibilities of further reduction. The same is likely true of the United States. Can we put a still heavier tax on all classes of the business of the country? Can we maintain a tax that is out of proportion to the similar tax imposed in Great Britain or the United States? I doubt it very much; we shall not be able to get a revenue in that way.

Well, where are we going to get this revenue? Will somebody tell me? Will somebody tell our committee? If you are going to ask us to reconsider our report and' to amend it so as to provide for the expenditure of an additional two, three, or four hundred millions of dollars, well then, some one has to get up in this House and convince members of that committee that there

is a possibility of that revenue being in sight in order to meet the increased amounts that must be raised annually. Isn't that fair? Isn't it reasonable?

I am merely saying this in order to try to direct this debate into a proper channel. Ii our calculations are wrong; if our figures are wrong, for goodness sake show us in what respect they are wrong. If there is not likely to be an expenditure of $700,000,000 or $800,000,000 within the next twelve months show us where we are wrong. We spent days and days getting those figures, collecting them, examining them. They are there iu the report; they speak lor themselves; no serious attack has been made upon them.

Take, for instance, the expenditure on ordinary current account. The figures are there; they speak for themselves; they are very clear and very definite. Our annual current expenditure has gone up from $127,000,000, in 1914, to $270,000,000 this year, without taking into consideration anything for the future, even the interest on the present Victory Loan.

You cannot reduce that sum materially. There is an additional burden there of $90,000,000 for interest on the national debt. You cannot reduce that; it is there; it is fixed; it must be paid. There is another $25,000,000 in that for pensions which you cannot eliminate, and another $30,000,000 to carry on the work of civil re-establishment which will have to be carried on for the next two years at an annual expenditure of at least $25,000,000. You cannot get rid of those expenditures. Taking those factors into consideration, the balance of the money available for carrying on the ordinary purposes of this country is less than it was in 1914, so where is your opportunity for reduction? If you put on top of that $270,000,000 which apparently must be raised, some $35,000,000 or $38,000,000 for interest charges on the $700,000,000 that we must raise to carry out the commitments of the country at the present tiihe; and another $5,000,000 for additional pensions, the number of which is increasing every day; and then on top of that again the interest on this money about which we are speaking this afternoon as necessary to raise for reestablishment;-I want some hon. member to show me where those taxes are going to come from, how they are going to be levied. It is all very well to talk pleasantly, to be agreeable, to speak as hon. members have spoken this afternoon; but that money must be raised, and this Parliament before it commits itself to policies or principles of this kind, must be satisfied that it has the

rMr. Cal der. ]

means in sight of raising the money. I thought it advisable at this, stage merely to make some remarks to indicate the purport of the amendment itself and to place the proposition once more before the House.

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UNION

Richard Clive Cooper

Unionist

Mr. RICHARD CLIVE COOPER (Vancouver South):

Mr. Speaker, in discussing this report, I shall be very brief. I want to make just one reference to the remarks of the hon. member for Simcoe North (Mr. Currie). In an article in the Toronto Star of November 3, he is reported as having said that members of the committee had been approached by the whips to find out their feelings on the question of gratuities. I was a member of that committee, and I consider that the honour of every member of that committee was impugned. As regards myself, the statement is absolutely false.

The work of the committee was a work full of difficulties. Everywhere we turned we found that we were up against a discrimination or an inequality; and to evolve some scheme of gratuities or re-establishment that would be equitable was beyond the' power of our committee. The committee worked earnestly and, I think, considered every point throughly. In several cases, they reviewed the matter and then reviewed it again. That is all I have to say as to the work of the committee.

I want to deal for a moment or two with three or four of the specific suggestions and recommendations. Suggestion 2 deals with the rate of pay and allowances of officers, warrant officers and . non-commissioned officers receiving treatment in hospitals under the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment, and the committee recommended that pay and allowances be equal for all ranks. It was not in the mind of any one of the members of the committee at that time that a grave injustice would be done to officers, warrant officers and non-commissioned officers who had been transferred to these hospitals under the Department of Soldiers' Civil Reestablishment, as suffering from some war disability, I think that this is a matter that can and should be remedied. The second matter I wish to take up is suggestion 15. The committee makes a recommendation that " sterling funds " which were for pay and allowances to the members of the forces and which were brought back from overseas by them, should be exchanged at the standard rate of I4.86S. The recommendation does not, however, cover the case of men who exchanged their sterling into dollars .and

cents in the past. I wish to recommend very strongly that this matter should be considered .and that the recommendation, therefore, be made retroactive. My next point deals with suggestion 20 which covers vocational training, education, etc. This is a subject that appeals to me more strongly than any other. As regards vocational training, the suggestion was brought before the committee that all lads up to the age of twenty-one, whether or not they had received a war disability, should be eligible for a training in some one of recognized trades It was, however, felt-and I regret this extremely-that to allow this privilege to any class would be too much of a discrimination. That was the one reason given which really mattered. A second reason given was that the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment could not enlarge their facilities sufficiently to take care of the prospective applicants. Like many other things that the Canadian corps was up against, that could be got over. The question, however, of discrimination is one that, to my mind cannot be got over, and I regret that extremely, because I firmly believe that every one of these lads who can be trained in a useful occupation is going to return a value ifor that training a hundredfold in the years to come. He would be of immense value to the country; he would be of the same value to the country as the man who goeS*on the farm and produces the products of the soil. I am, however, afraid that unless a very overwhelming mass of opinion received from all soldiers' organizations throughout the country can be sent to the Government approving the training of these lads, we cannot get over the discrimination that would be shown if the Government approved the scheme now, and even then I do not know if it can be got over. The same argument, I regret to say, applies to university students.

Every man knows that the scientist who is required to-day is not available from among our own people, and we have to turn to other countries to get him. According to the evidence submitted to tne committee there are, I believe, some 7,500 returned university students, and of that number I understand that about 2,000 are unable to put themselves through university. That is a very grave loss to Canada. But the question of discrimination again arises, and unless it can be overcome by the method I, have before suggested I am afraid the recommendation must stand.

No. 21 deals with life insurance. This question was thoroughly discussed by the

committee and was investigated from every angle which any member of the committee could bring out. None of us were experts or actuaries and the recommendation made by the committee is, in my opinion, the only one that could have been made. But I would ask that when the report is brought down by the experts and adopted as a plan by this Government or any other Government that may succeed it, its provisions be made retroactive to the date of the report of the committee to the House.

To turn briefly to the question of gratuities. There was no scheme of gratuities that was absolutely free of inequality; no scheme that was even reasonably free of inequality. There was therefore no scheme that did not discriminate against one or another. In my opinion therefore these gratuity schemes were ruled out from that point alone. Furthermore, as a member who attended every meeting of the committee except one, during the taking of the evidence, I firmly believe that the financial condition of Canada and the number of people in our country who are able to subscribe to a loan makes it impossible to raise at short notice any such sum a.s would be required to meet the proposals made.

Several speakers previous to myself have mentioned the question of equal sacrifice. It is a question that is burning in the hearts of the majority of returned men, and it is one that, do as the Government may, will bum there for years still. It may not show itself in any massed form, but undoubtedly it will be evidenced in individual cases. As many speakers have said, these men have come back and now see all others prosperous around them. No matter whether it was the worker who had worked in the shop alongside him, or the manufacturer of munitions, every one who stayed behind reaped the benefits of war prosperity. Is it unreasonable, therefore, it is asked, that our men should seek to equalize if possible the sacrifices. they made by asking those who enjoyed war benefits to share with them? The suggestion was made this afternoon by the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Cockshutt) that a soldier loan of $250,000,000 should be raised. If a soldier loan, why not a gift to the country from the men who have reaped prosperity due to the war? Well, I think that is out of the question; I do not believe we have so many altruists in the country. But if there is anything in the suggestion at all, why could not a loan be raised, free of interest and for a stated term, to allow the man who did not serve to prove his sincerity? If we have suOh a degree of unsel-

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L LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Laurier Liberal

Mr. C. G. POWER (Quebec South):

a government college. We buy a farm from a farmer and put somebody whom we have trained in an agricultural college in his place. We are trying to increase production. Never in the world will we increase production by any such scheme. The employment agencies work so well that the Government which establishes them does not think of choosing its employees from its own employment agencies. I will give an example of what I mean. At Quebec we have what is called the St. Malo workshops. They were to bring work to the city of Quebec, and we were to be prosperous; they did not do so. But the shops were opened recently and were supposed to employ returned soldiers. We sent returned soldiers down there to get work. What happened? The returned soldier would be told, "The job is filled, somebody else has got it." A man would say. "I am from the Government employment agency. You have got to give me employment." "Well," he would be told, "we cannot employ you, we have got no job for you." Next day somebody else who happened to have a pull with the boss of the shoip got the job. That is a good illustration of the operation and the working of a government employment agency. Throughout the whole of these works no more attention is paid to the government employment agency than an ordinary manufacturer or an ordinary employer pays, in fact much less. I had been under the impression that these employment agencies were instituted for the purpose of obtaining employment for the people.

There are several recommendations in this report, some good, some bad, but mostly of an indifferent character. Suggestion 2, to be found on page 49 recommends that the same rate of pay and allowances be granted to all those undergoing medical treatment. I am presuming that the members of the House are familiar -with what is proposed by this recommendation. Anyway, the object of it is this: that whether you be an officer or a private, a non-commissioned officer, a sergeant-major, a -lieutenant-colonel or a colonel, if you are undergoing treatment under the Department of Soldiers' -Civil Re-establishment, you are going to draw the same rate of pay as any other. That is equality, if you like.

I have received several telegrams 'in regard to this recommendation. One is from Ste. Agathe des Monts, the sanatorium under the oomtrol of the Government for T.B. patients. It reads:

Below copy of telegram: Expect you protect our interests this .matter. Hon. J. A.

Calder, Chairman, Soldiers' Civil Re-estahlish-ment Commission.

Nursing sisters, officers, and N.C.O's undergoing treatment St. Agathe sanatoria strongly protest proposed equalization of pay outlined in recommendation of your commission. If this reduction is made Canada will be only a', lied country not treating invalided officers and N.C.O's in a manner commensurate with responsibility they shouldered during war and will place same in very embarrassing position owing to financial obligations already assumed.

Captain Lee.

I have two or three of these telegrams and some of my friends have also received them. Now what will be the effect of this recommendation? I will give you a concrete case. I know an elderly man, a man 45 or 50 years of age, who practised in Quebec as a physician. I -will not say what he was earning but he derived quite a comfortable income from his practice and supported his wife and children. He was away three years at the war, in command of a hospital, and did his duty. Now he is a hopelessly incapable case. That is to say, he is in a hospital, conducted by the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment and is drawing the rate of pay which he drew overseas-not as much as he was earning in civil life-and his wife is drawing a separation allowance. The effect' of this recommendation will be to reduce the pay of this man, who is utterly incapable of doing anything, to the rate of $1.10 a day and to practically turn his wife and children on the street. I was a private soldier myself, I joined the forces in that capacity, but I do not think this proposal is a fair one. It is rank Bolshevism, that is all it is. You are not doing what i-s in the interest of the private soldier. If you were, you would say, " We will increase the private soldier's pay and give him the same pay as a colonel." If that were done, I would say all right; but I do not see the sense in putting people on the street just to please the rabid element in the Great War Veterans' Association, in the ranks of the soldiers, or in this House. I say it is not reasonable, it is not fair, and it should not be done. I think that the recommendation is a shame and a disgrace to the House. If we are going to act on that idea give to the members of Parliament who served here during .the war $1.10 a day. They did not do as much as the soldier did, let them give back their indemnities. But to do what is suggested is not fair; it is not a square deal. I want to be treated as fairly as anybody else, but I absolutely refuse to vote or to concur in any such suggestion. Take another suggestion in the report, to be found at page

50. It is proposed that the period during which the after-care officers of the department should keep in personal contact with disabled men shall be extended. My objection to this recommendation, and I will state it very briefly, is that we want the returned man to be self-reliant. We believe in self-reliance in the returned man. Still, you are going to send some officer around, well paid by the country, to look after this chap about every two or three months, and he goes and asks the man, " What are you doing, Bill; after a better job?" Well, Bill has a job that does not suit him but he does not want everybody poking into his affairs; he does not want statistics to go to Ottawa with respect to his private affairs. Let him try to earn a little if he wants, but do not bother the man.

There is another recommendation somewhere in the report in regard to the Pensions Board, and I think it is very important; the Pensions Committee should look into this. There is a grave necessity in the country that we care for the widowed mother, for instance. The widowed mother gets $40 a month, and I think everybody will admit the fact that she has a difficulty in making both ends .meet. I am sure it is very difficult for her to do so in our part of the country, and I am quite sure it must be far more so in the West. I think that matter should have been looked into.

Now I come to another suggestion. It has been said several times in this House, and, I think, rightly, that when we are looking into the question of insurance we might at least have recommended the bringing down of some scheme for sub-standard insurance. I mean this: When a man has been so disabled as to be unable to obtain insurance from an ordinary company, at the ordinary risk, the Government should provide some means for helping him to do so, whether by Government insurance or by State help of some kind. The man who is suffering from tuberculosis or gas, should have some means put at his disposal by the Government, so that in case he dies from the disease he might leave something to his widow and children.

Now I come to the last suggestion, to be found on page 58 of the report. That suggestion is that we should vote a certain amount of money for looking after necessitous cases:

As to any unavoidable unemployment that may exist among' returned men during the winter months, your committee are of the opinion that the Federal Government should assume the

responsibility for making such provision as is deemed necessary to meet the emergency.

That may be right, the Government has employment bureaus for the purpose. But the committee goes further and recommends:

With this object in view your committee would recommend that steps be taken to provide assistance for all necessitous cases, that for the purpose of handling the problem' the necessary administrative machinery be organized without delay and that whatever appropriations are required to reasonably provide such financial assistance as may be necessary should be made available.

We are voting practically $40,000,000 or $50,000,000 all told for that. What are we voting it for? We are voting it to be handed over to the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment, or to some department of which we know nothing-that is to say, to a department of this Government we are giving this $40,000,000 or $50,000,000. Now, I have great difficulty myself in trusting this Government with forty or fifty cents; why should we trust them with $40,000,000 or $50,000,000 and give them a blank cheque to hand out to the needy? Why, we are all needy-I have four cents in. my pocket! If the Government wished to bring on an election shortly, any one who obtained a portion of this fund would be presumed to vote for the Government, which is only natural. Who are you going to give it to? .1 would suggest that before we vote this money that we should at least know who is going to handle it, who is going to have the boodle. I would like to know to whom in my constituency any of this money will be paid. I am going to -send the men that I figure are going to vote Tory-

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UNION
L LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Laurier Liberal

Mr. POWER:

The Tories are all necessitous cases in my constituency. If we could really say that some good would result from this expenditure, that men might get a chance of obtaining some real Telief, I would say: Well, perhaps. But we do not like to trust this Government. They have gone so far in the hole already, let them hang themselves. But we shall be doing no good to the real needy soldier. The man who needs the money and who ' wants to do well will in many cases not appeal to charity, whether it be administered by the Government or by any other organization, and I am sure that any hon. gentleman on the other side of the House who have had experience with our soldiers knows that. The result will be that almost every bum-in town who does not want to

work will be calling every day at the Necessitous Bureau, or whatever other name may be applied to it. You will see the same ones coming for help-I do not say a large number, but a certain nuinber will be right there, while the real man, the man who wants to get a job, and is willing to use an employment agency if itris any good, will not go to this Necessitous Bureau. I am absolutely opposed to voting this money until I know where it is going. We have - voted enough money already without knowing its destination. .

We have been asked by the other side of the House to make a suggestion as to how to find the money that is needed. Before going further I must say that I am absolutely opposed to any further gratuity. I have already stated in this House that I am absolutely and positively opposed to any further gratuity, and I wish to 6tate my position as strongly as I can. But to please hon. gentlemen opposite-they are good friends of mine-I am going to make a suggestion. The S. C. R. is an absolutely useless institution, headed by an abso-. lutely useless minister. The S. C. R. should he abolished. Nobody wants it. You have a horde of S. C. R. employees living on the fat of the land; throw them out. The S. C. R. and other schemes have squandered millions of money. I may be wrong by a few odd! millions, hut we have been handling so many millions lately that it is hard to keep track of them-the S. C.

R, has or is about to spend $414,000,000. We have some $300,000,000 that we can save anyway. Suppose you want to give the soldiers a further gratuity, abolish the

S. C. R., except as to the Pensions Committee;-keep the Pensions Committee,- do away with land settlement, let the chap who wants to go on the land do so; do away with the employment agency, it is no good anyway; do away with vocational training, give any badly injured man the information where he can go to educate himself, steer him in the right direction. Then you will have found $300,000,000. Well, let the country take $200,000,000 of that money. I do not see any reason why we should not do that. We might save that money and make the men happy. I have already spoken longer than I intended to>-

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Go on.

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L LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Laurier Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I was not one of the members who signed the minority report of the committee; but I think they are quite right when they say that if we have no

money it is due to the reckless expenditure and the shameful waste indulged in by this Government. The Government has promised to the soldiers everything that it could possibly promise them. In the meantime it is wasting money that (it might save to give to them. First of all we sent our soldiers to the war; that is all right, I was in favour of it. We wasted a lot of lives at the front; that was all right, it was regrettable, but our men went over there to do battle. Then we have given credits all over, we have sacrificed ourselves for Britain and the Allies, in fact for every nation in sight. We wasted our money during the war and after the war. We bought munitions that were useless; we bought boots that were rotten; we bought horses that could not walk-we bought everything in the world on which we could spend money that, but for this waste, we might have had to use for the re-establishment of our soldiers. While our soldiers were fighting overseas we were spending money in Canada. We took $25,000,000 and threw it at Roumania; we will get it back some time-perhaps. We took another six or seven- million dollars and gave it to Joe Flavelle for the benefit of the Dagos; that is -all right, but still the soldiers are not getting it. Then we go to work and seem to have a great love for the British-until they interfere with us. In this case, though, I am afraid it is not the unhappy British investor, who, in any case, we are ostensibly going to help. But we *have given to the British investor many millions of dollars which we might still have had in the exchequer for the use of the returned soldier. In a word, we turn over everything we have got to every nation except our own.

As far as II am concerned, although I cannot vote for further gratuities because the country is in such a deplorable financial state, I think the greatest possible blame should be laid upon those who brought about such a state of affairs that we cannot now do for the returned soldier what we promised to do for him, and what he has, perhaps, every reason to expect we should do for him.

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UNION

James Arthurs

Unionist

Mr. JAMES ARTHURS (Parry Sound):

I * am somewhat surprised at the remarks of the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat (Mr. Power), and who was a member of the committee investigating Bill No. 10.

I am afraid that his attendance could not have been-

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L LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Laurier Liberal

Mr. POWER:

May I interrupt the hon. gentleman a moment? I stated on the floor

of the House that I thought it quite possible I might be appointed a member of this committee, but that I considered, in view of the rules of the House, that since I had pronounced myself so strongly against gratuities I should not be so appointed. But II was appointed to the committee in spite of that pronouncement.

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UNION

James Arthurs

Unionist

Mr. ARTHURS:

This is the second occasion on which the hon. gentleman has stated that he is personally opposed to any further gratuities. In that he bears out the remarks of the hftn. member for North Simcoe (Mr. Currie)-possibly with that intention, I do not know. The hon. member for North Simcoe asserted in this House that the committee was hand picked and that the men selected were known to be opposed to further gratuities. That assertion has already been denied on the part of several members, and I can only say that for myself no man canvassed me, and that I went on that committee with an open mind-not only with an open mind, but for various obvious reasons I was decidedly in favour of doing whatever was possible for the returned soldier, and I believe in that I was of the same mind as the majority of the committee. Many members of that committee had been overseas, others had their sons or other relatives and their friends at the front, some of whom had failed to come back.

The member for Brantford (Mr. Cock-shutt) boasted to-day that although he was opposing the report of the committee in certain particulars he had had three sons overseas whose combined term of service was eleven years. One member of that committee, Mr. Speaker, had three sons overseas who failed to come back. It is decidedly unfair to say of that man at least that his sympathies were not with the returned soldier.

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L LIB

November 6, 1919