June 22, 1920

COMMITTEE ON PENSIONS AND REESTABLISHMENT.


MOTION COMMEND INK} PINAL REPORT TO CONSIDERATION OP GOVERNMENT- BY MR. HUME CRONYN, CHAIRMAN OP THE COMMITTEE.


UNION

Hume Cronyn

Unionist

Mr. HUME CRONYN (London) moved:

That the third and final report of the Special Committee on Pensions and Re-establishment be considered and that the recommendations contained therein be commended to the consideration of the Government.

He said: In rising to move the consideration of the report of the Committee on Pensions and Re-establishment, I find it difficult to determine to what length my remarks should run. After being for the past nine weeks daily-nay almost hourly-immersed in the business of the committee, it is well nigh impossible to decide how much of what was accomplished is a matter of common knowledge, or to what extent explanations may be necessary or acceptable. The report, in a sense, speaks for itself, and to members of the committee who have been called upon to earnestly consider and very carefully discuss the. various matters dealt with in the report, there may seem little that can be usefully added. Owing to the approaching end of the session it would as well be most inexpedient to weary the House with lengthy remarks, and I therefore propose to deal as briefly as possible with the main items of the report, in the belief that by means of questions which may he asked any matters of doubt will be made clear.

As the report states, the reference to the committee dealt with two distinct-although allied-questions: the first-that of pensions, and the second, Te-establishment.

Dealing with the subject of pensions: In June of last year the Parliamentary Committee appointed to draft the Pension Act brought in its report, which contained recommendations increasing the annual liability of the country in this connection, by $8,000,000. The report now under consideration recommends certain increases in pensions which will involve the addition of a like liability, that is to say-the Pension Bill of the country, if these recommendations be adopted, will be increased by nearly 8,000,000.

The number of disability pensioners at the end of the fiscal year was 69,583; if we add to these the dependent pensioners, the wives and children of disability pensioners, and the children of widows, we find the total number of beneficiaries to be 177,035. The amount which will be paid to these pensioners for a period of 12 months on the present scale is estimated at over twenty-five millions. If we add to this sum the increases suggested, we find our annual pension bill totals about thirty-three millions.

The history of pension legislation since the beginning of the Great War shows a steadily ascending curve in the scale of pensions adopted. I am not now saying that increases made in the past were sufficiently ample: unfortunately, during the same period, the cost of living has also increased, or to put it in another way, the value of the dollar has diminished. Let me in a word mention the increases already made. The first provision was arrived at just five years ago, when $264 a year was fixed as a pension for the totally disabled of the rank and file, a. similar amount being awarded to widows or dependent widowed mothers of those who were killed. It m.ay .appear astonishing, but this rate was an appreciable increase over those which had been in force prior to the Great War. -

About a year later, that is to say-in June of 1916-the total disability pension was raised to $480, and that to widows and mothers to $382. In October of 1917 the pension, for a totally disabled private soldier was raised from $480 to $600 per annum, and that of the widow and mother from $382 to $480 .a year. In June of last year a bonus of 20 per cent on the above-mentioned pensions was recommended and, under the Pension Act passed at the time, went into force as at the 1st September, 1919. The result of this bonus is that a totally disabled member of the forces below the rank of lieutenant receives $720 a year, while his widow or dependent parent is entitled to $576 per annum. We have had,

therefore, since the outbreak of the war, three distinct increases in the amounts paid to the above-named classes of pensioners, two of them being permanent increases, and the last being reached by way of a bonus.

As the report states, a fourth increase is now being recommended, to be given effect to in the same manner as the increase of last year, that is-by way of bonus. The permanent figures which were arrived at in 1917 are taken as the standard or basic rate, and the bonus recommended is to be calculated upon the pensions then fixed.. The bonus being one of 50 per cent, the result is that a totally disabled member of the rank and file-whose pension in 1917 was $600-will receive $300 additional, or $900 in all. This does not mean an increase of $300 over the payments he is receiving during the present year, because, as was stated before, he was awarded-from 1st September last-a bonus of 20 per cent, which yielded him an increase of $120 a year, and thus gave him a total of $720. His net gain by means of the present increase will, therefore, be the difference between $720 and $900, or $180 per annum. Following the same Tule, the pension of the widow or of the widowed mother, fixed in 1917 at $480 a year, will be increased by a bonus of 50 per cent or $240. As, however, at present she is in receipt of a bonus of 20 per cent on the basic pension, the net increase resulting from the recommendations in the report will be the difference between $576 and $720, or $144 a year.

This increase of pensions from 20 per cent to 50 per cent, has been 'recommended by the committee to apply only to the cases of those pensioners who are resident in Canada; so far as pensioners resident outside of Canada are concerned, the recommendation is that the present bonus of 20 per cent should be continued for another year.

As set out in the report, the increased pension has been recommended because of the steadily advancing cost of living. The evidence before the committee was clear that in many parts of Canada-even were it possible to make ends meet on the pension and bonus being paid to-day-there was certainly no margin left for any unforeseen emergencies such as illness, etc. In the hope that in some happier future the cost of living may' once more sink to a more reasonable level, it was deemed wise to provide for the existing emergency by means of a bonus-. It has been argued, and with some reason, that a bonus is not so certain, and therefore a less satisfactory method to the pensioner of providing what- he is to re-

ceive, but he should feel assured that it will be continued so long as present prices prevail. The figures published by the Department of Labour, purporting to show the cost per week of a family budget, including staple foods, fuel, lighting and rent, as determined by the average prices in 60 cities, prove that this cost rose from April of lf>15 to the same month this year- 80 per cent. While these figures omit the important item of clothing, yet they can be fairly treated as an index of the cost of living, and so long as no sensible decline is shown thereby pensions should not be decreased.

'^Before leaving the items already discussed, it might be well to point out that a proportionate amount of the $900 which under the new scale will be awarded to the totally disabled members of the rank and file, will be paid to those suffering from disabilities which are less than total. For instance, the man who has a 50 per cent disability, and whose pension on the basic rate is at present $300, will receive a 50 per cent bonus, or $150, makifig his total allowance $450 per annum.

The result of these various increases is to bring to a parity the pensions paid to or in respect of all ranks below that of Captain; and the added cost thereof to the country, it is estimated will amount to $3,650,000 per annum.

Pensions to the dependent parents are increased in like manner as those to widows: that is to say:-the dependent father or mother of a soldier who died leaving neither widow or children, Will receive by way of pension a bonus precisely the same amount as would have been paid to his widow.

Those who were in the House a year ago will recall the discussion which took place over the pensions allowed to dependent widowed mothers. While these mothers are, under the Pension Act, awarded the same rates as those to widows, their pensions are subject to a deduction if they are in receipt of an independent income from outside sources: it is true under the Act that no deduction could be made because of the personal earnings of any widowed mother, but the Act was so construed that if she owned her own home, or had the advantage of free lodgings, she was held to be in receipt of an independent income of from $10 to $15 a month. Much complaint has arisen on this score, particularly from those widowed mothers who, until the passing of the Act had been in receipt of their full pension of $40 a month. Your committee felt a change in the law was called for, and

accordingly recommends that the advantage of free lodgings should not be counted against the pensioner, nor, so long as she resides in Canada, should her pension be reduced because of her income from outside sources, unless that income exceeded the sum of $20 a month. If, therefore, a widowed mother residing in any part of the Globe, owns her own home or is able to earn something by her own exertions, her pension will not be reduced; and if she resides in Canada, she can as well enjoy an independent income up to the sum of $240 a year.

It will be readily understood that these concessions to widowed mothers will seriously add to the liability under this head. Not only will many mothers whose pensions have heretofore been reduced receive their pension in full, but there will be brought on to pension numbers whose incomes f-rom outside sources have hitherto barred them. The estimate of the increased liability in this respect is $2,400,000. It appears to me to be a large one, but it was prepared by the officials of the Pension Board who, although admitting the difficulty of accurately forecasting the result, believe it would not be safe to place the amount at a lower figure.

Thus far we have been dealing solely with increases in pensions brought about by means of the bonus suggested; In addition to these increases, the committee suggest that larger pensions in certain other cases should be awarded. These increases are not made by means of a bonus, and they apply equally to all ranks.

At the present time, if a total disability pensioner be married he is entitled to an increase in his pension of $180 a year. It is proposed that this pension shall be made $300 per annum. This will mean that the totally disabled married man without a family will receive $900 for himself and $300 for his wife, viz:-$1,200 a year, or $100 per month. This is an increase of just $300 more than he receives to-day. If he has one boy of 16 or under, or a girl of 17 or under, his pension has been increased by $12 per month, or $144 a year: it is suggested that this allowance be increased to $15 per month, or $180 a year. For a second child he receives $10 a month; it is now suggested that this be increased to $12 a month: and for each subsequent child below the above ages, instead of receiving an additional $8 a month he will be allowed $10 a month. As in the case of pensions to soldiers, these increases will be allowed in proportion to those whose disabilities are

less than 100 per cent. The estimated increased liability on this head is $1,000,000 per annum.

The widow of a deceased soldier, no matter of what rank, had last year her pension increased for her first child, if under the ages above mentioned, by $15 a month, or $180 a year. No change is suggested in this allowance: but the allowances on behalf of a second, third or subsequent child or children is increased to those proposed for similar children of a totally disabled pensioner. In other words, the children of the totally disabled man and of the soldier who has died are put upon the same basis. These increases, it is estimated will cost $220,000 a year.

It has taken some time to set forth the recommendations of the committee covering the increases thus far mentioned. The report contains a series of tables illustrative of the figures just quoted, which convey in a brief and clearer fashion what the results of these increases will be. With the permission of the House I should like to have .these tables extended on the record without taking up the further time required to read the same. While they now appear in the Votes and Proceedings, there is an advantage in having them embalmed (to use the expression of my friend from Springfield) in Hansard. When the question of pensions in future comes before the House, these tables will permit the member to grasp at a glance what was recommended at this time.

Included in these tables are figures showing to what extent the suggestions made by the committee will increase the pension to a totally disabled married man with a family of three chidren of

pensionable age. In 1018 such a man received a total of $ly140

upon which to support himself and his family; this year, with the added bonus of 20 per cent he is being paid $1,260; while under the proposed new bonus and the increases suggested on account of his wife and children, he will be paid a yearly pension of $1,644. This class of pensioners, comprising as it does the average family of five, thus has its income increased by $504 over that of 1918, or $384 beyond the amount being paid to-day.

(a) Pension for total disability (per annum).

Rank or Rating of Member of Forces. Basic Rate. Present Bonus. Total. Basic Rate. Proposed Bonus in Canada. Total.Privates and Corporals (Military), Ra- $ $ $ $ $ $tings below Petty Officer (Naval)

Sergeants,' etc. (Military), Chief Petty 600 00 120 00 720 00 600 00 300 00 900 00Officer, etc. (Naval)

* Regimental Sergeant-Major, etc. (Military). Naval Cadet and Midshipman 637 50 82 50 720 00 637 50 262 50 900 00775 00 Nil. 775 00 775 00 125 00 900 00Warrant Officers (Military and Naval).. 850 00 Nil 850 00 850 00 50 00 900 00

(b) Pension for widows of

Privates and Corporals (Military), Ratings below Petty Officer (Naval) 480 00 96 00 576 00 480 00 240 00 720 00Sergeants, etc. (Military), Chief Petty Officer, etc. (Naval) 510 00 66 00 576 00 510 00 210 00 720 00Regimental Sergeant-Major, etc. (Military), Naval Cadet and Midshipman 620 00 Nil. 620 00 620 00 100 00 720 00Warrant Officers (Military and Naval).. 680 00 Nil. 680 00 680 00 40 00 720 00

(c) Pension for dependent parents of

Privates and Corporals (Military), Ratings below Petty Officer (Naval), (not exceeding) 480 00 96 00 576 00 480 00 240 00 720 00Sergeants, etc. (Military), Chief Petty Officer, ete. (Naval), (not exceeding).. 510 00 66 00 576 00 510 00 210 00 720 00Regimental Sergeant-Major, etc. (Military), Naval Cadet and Midshipman (Naval), (not exceeding) 680 00 Nil. 620 00 620 00 100 00 720 00Warrant Officers (Military and Naval), (not exceeding) 680 00 Nil. 680 00 680 00 40 00 720 00

(d) Pensions in respect of wives and children of total disability pensioners (all ranks):

Present Proposed

rate. rate.

(Yearly) (Yearly)

Wife .. $180 00 $300 00First child .. 144 00 180 00Second child .. 120 00 144 00Subsequent children .. 96 00 120 00(e) Pensions in respect of chidren ofwidows (all ranks): Present Proposedrate. rate.(Yearly) (Yearly)First child . $180 -00 $180 00Second child ,. 120 00 144 00Subsequent children. . 96 00 120 00(f) Pensions in respect of orphan children (all ranks): Present Proposedrate. rate.(Yearly) (Yearly)First orphan child . . $360 00 $360 00Second orphan child. 240 00 i 288 00Subsequent orpha n children . 192 00 240 00

Estimated increased liability $17,000 per annum.

(g) The totally disabled man having a wife and three children (of pensionable age) as a result of the changes suggested above would have his yearly income increased from $1,260 to $1,644, made up as follows:-

Proposed rate Present rate, within Canada.

Monthly. Yearly. Monthly. Yearly. Totally disabled

man .. .. .. $60 $720 $75 $900Wife

15 ISO 25 300First child.. .. 12 144 15 , ISOSecond child . . 10 120 12 144Third child. . . 8 96 10 120Total $105 $1,260 137 $1,644

(h) Amounts payable annually to those of the rank and file permanently totally disabled under the new scale suggested for Canada and under the existing rates so far as known in the countries of the allied belligerents.

Single. man. Man and Wife. Man, W7ife and child. Man, WTife and 2 children. Man, Wrife and 3 children. Each additional child.$ $ $ 8 $ $Canada 900 00 1,200 00 1.380 00 1,524 00 1,644 00 120 00Great Britain 506 13 632 66 727 56 803 46 879 42 75 92Australia 379 60 569 40 695 93 790 74 854 01 63 26New Zealand 506 13 759 20 885 73 1,012 25 1,138 80 126 53South Africa 379 60 506 13 601 12 685 36 759 20 63 26United States

. 1,200 00 1,200 00 1,200 00 1,200 00 1,200 00 Nil.France 480 00 480 00 540 00 600 00 'v 660 00 60 00Italy 243 33 291 99 318 75 345 51 372 27 26 76

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON PENSIONS AND REESTABLISHMENT.
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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

May I suggest to the hon. member, if it is agreeable to him, that he move down nearer the centre of the Chamber. I am not sure that from where he is now speaking all hon. members can hear him distinctly.

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON PENSIONS AND REESTABLISHMENT.
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UNION

Hume Cronyn

Unionist

Mr. CRONYN:

I thank you, Mr. Speaker, and will with pleasure act upon your suggestion. (The hon. member moved to a position in the front row' of benches in the centre of the Chamber, and continued his remarks).

How shall we determine whether the pension arrived at under the proposed new scale will enable a family to be maintained in decent comfort? What is to be the test? Our country is widespread; living conditions and prices vary considerably as one passes from one province to another; even within each province there is a marked difference between cost of living in the larger centres and that in the smaller towns,

or throughout the rural sections. It would be a practical impossibility to fix a different scale for different localities. To mention only one difficulty: human nature being such as it is, that locality having the highest scale of pension would become the Mecca for pensioners; urban centres would be still more crowded; rents, and perchance even other prices, would rise still higher, and the result would intensify the discomfort and want. The scale fixed must, therefore, be a general one applicable throughout the whole countryside, and perforce must be sufficiently generous to cover the cases of those residing in the more expensive centres. Not only before the committee, but on previous occasions, evidence was submitted on the cost of maintaining the average family. Consideration was given to the figures published in our own Labour Gazette and to the results obtained from similar researches in the United States.

Personally, I was impressed by the evidence of Miss Helen Reid, of Montreal, who since August of 1914, has done continuous and splendid work for the Patriotic Fund. It was apparent to me from her evidence, and the material submitted, she had made an exhaustive study of this question. Her statement showed that both Canadian and American investigators thought a single man should be allowed $900 a year upon which to live; and her recommendation was that the average family of five should receive $1,575 per annum. The suggestion of this committee fixes the allowance of the single man at the figure mentioned, but surpasses those for the family by $65.

There is much talk of the high wage today to the working man: too often is it forgotten that an hourly or daily rate is not a fair test upon which to base an annual income, as, so frequently is his occupation seasonal, or if not it is broken into and thus .lessened by holidays and other interruptions. During the course of the committee's session a questionaire was directed to 56 of the larger cities in the Dominion to ascertain the annual remuneration allowed to the rank and file of the police and fire 'brigades of these municipalities. Replies have been received up to date from 43, covering every province in the Dominion. These returns show the average allowance to the civic employees named is $1,347 a year. Police and firemen begin with an average salary of $1,237 and attain a maximum average of $1,456. As is to be expected, the amounts paid vary with the province: they are larger in the most populous cities and reach their low point in the smaller places. If we take the figures of the 12 largest cities, from Halifax in the East to Vancouver in the West, we find the mean average to be $1,430, the maximum average or starting point being $1,309, rising to a maximum average allowance of $1,551.50.

These figures, I submit, reflect perhaps as accurately as any others could, the standard fixed in urban centres throughout the whole of Canada. Each municipality must have a -direct interest in its police force and firemen; the Board of Aldermen come in close contact with these employees are, indeed, in many cases friends or neighbours of the men employed. So far, therefore, as average figures can ever be taken as a guide, I submit to the House that the report of the committee, if 'it errs at all in these matters (a proposition I am not prepared to admit), errs on the generous side.

There is a tendency sometimes to treat the expression "totally disabled" as equivalent to the word "helpless," but under the Pension Act the latter term is used to denote the condition of a pensioner who must of necessity require, to a greater or lesser extent, the services of an attendant. The term "total disability" has acquired, under pension laws, a certain technical meaning, partly to- indicate that those classed under that head are unable to earn a living in the ordinary labour market, and partly, perhaps, to mark the fact that their wounds or disease are of so severe a nature that they are entitled to the maximum pension which can be awarded. The word "helpless," however, connotes a condition in which the sufferer is unable to make use of some one or moTe of the functions daily exercised by the normal man. To most of us, the condition of one who has lost his eyesight is almost typical of helplessness, yet there can be no doubt that he who is paralysed and thus condemned to lie an inert body, is in a worse plight. As Dante pictured descending circles of damnation in his Inferno-so in the hell of suffering into which these soldiers have been cast- through no fault of their own but by reason of their valorous efforts on our behalf- there are varying degrees of helplessness. It may seem almost inhuman to make distinctions on such a subject, but to render justice it must be done, and under the medical regulations of the Pension Board the lines to be drawn are fully and fairly set forth.

The present maximum for helpless allowance is $450 per annum. The report recommends that the minimum allowance shall hereafter be $250 a year, to be increased when the conditions warrant to a maximum of $750.

Thus far I have dealt only with what may be termed the most important changes in the pension scale. Certain other increases are recommended, which are fully set out in the report. These will come up for consideration when the Bill amending the Pension Act comes before the House in Committee of the Whole. Among the Orders of the Day there already appears a resolution introducing this Bill, so that I refrain from prolonging the attention of the House on these points.

Let me add, however, that these remaining increases will add to the yearly liability about $500,000 per annum, thus bringing the total additional yearly liability practically up to the amount first mentioned, viz., $8,000,000, reached as follows:

Disability pensions $2,500,000

Widows' pensions 1,150,000

Dependent parents' pensions.. 2,400,000 Wives' and children's pensions 1,250,000 Helpless allowance and other

increases 500,000

Outside of the increases recommended there are -other changes proposed in the pension law and set forth in the report, but for the reasons mentioned a moment ago, I do not propose to discuss these on the present occasion. Before, however, leaving the pension side of the report may I be permitted to mention the recommendation dealing with the commutation of pensions.

In Canada, a man who is only disabled to an extent of less than 5 per cent is not paid a pension but is awarded a gratuity up to- $100 to compensate him for the disability from which he suffers. Other countries refuse to give pensions to those whose disability is less than 10 per cent or in some cases 20 per cent. The Canadian Act, however, provides for small pensions in- these cases. For instance: A private unmarried soldier whose disability is rated from five to nine per cent is awarded $30 a year, or $2.50 a month. The man in the same class suffering a disability of from ten to fourteen per cent receives double the last named amount, that is, $60 a year or $5 a month. In many of these cases the disability consists in the loss, let us say, of a finger; the man's working capacity, if at all, is not seriously affected; and the payment to him of such small monthly amounts cannot contribute materially to his comfort. There has been for some time past a strong body of opinion, -both among the disabled men and elsewhere, in favour of allowing these smaller pensions to be commuted. By this means the pensioner would receive a lump sum, which might well prove of more advantage to him than the monthly payment above noted.

As over 40 per cent of the disabled men now in receipt of pensions suffer from a disability of less than 15 per cent, it will be understood the question is of interest to nearly 30,000 pensioners. In addition to their views in the matter, it is evident that if the labour connected with the payment of such a vast multitude of claims could be settled once and for all, the administrative cost of the Pension Board would be materially reduced. The committee, therefore, recommends that the option be given to all pensioners whose disabilities are rated bell Mr. Crony n. ]

low 15 per cent to either continue to receive the pensions now awarded, or to commute the same and accept in lieu thereof a cash payment.

It is obvious the man whose disability is not permanent cannot receive so large a payment as he whose body has been so injured'as to suffer a disability throughout his life; in these latter cases, where it is clear the disability is permanent, the man rated between five and nine per cent will be entitled to $300, and the man between ten and fourteen per cent to double that amount.

In the event of the disability of a pensioner who commutes his pension increasing in after years, he is protected by a provision in the Act which will allow him to again submit his case to the Pension Board and receive a pension for such increase in disability. In other words, such men will be rated according to their disability as it exists on re-examination, but there will be deducted from the new pension to be paid the proportion which they have already received under the commutation proposed.

It is difficult to estimate just what the cost of commuting these pensions may amount to; everything depends upon the number of men who desire to take advantage of the option given. If a majority do so, the country will be called upon to disburse in the immediate future over $7,000,000, but would in later years be relieved from the steady drain of maintaining the payment of these small pensions throughout the lifetime of the recipients.

Passing to the Re-establishment Branch of the -committee's inquiry, it -might -be well to make a -short statement regarding the recommendation of the -co-mmittee on the -subjects of life insurance for returned soldiers.

One of the effects of the iwar has been to render insurance in the established life insurance companies either prohibitive or much more expensive than that -available to th-e healthy civilian. As can be understood, a man iw-ho -has been seriously disabled by wounds or disease, could not be accepted as t a safe ris-k by -a life company. A striking instance of this was the case given in evidence, that a blind -man is not insurable. Even if only partially disabled, the ex-soldier is n-ot infrequently called upon to pay a higher premium than the -accepted rate struck -for -a man of his years. Now, these -men, while they may be in receipt of pensions for the disabilities under which they suffer, are solicitous of obtaining insurance -for the purpose of pro-

tecting tiheir families in the -event o-f their death. It is quite true, should they die from causes arising from war service, certain of their dependents would become pensioners, hut, save in a special class

and then only for a limited period-iwill these dependents be pensioned if the death of the soldier is due to some other cause than the -war. Let me illustrate this point by referring to an example given on more than one occasion to the committee:-A soldier loses his leg in the war; he is pensionable for that disability -anywhere from 40 per cent to 80 per cent. Later on sarcoma (or cancer) develops in the stump, and he dies from its effects. It can safely he predicated that in this event his death would be held to be due to his war service, and his family would receive a pension. If, on the other hand, this same disabled man was killed in a railway accident, or died as the result -say of typhoid fever-the strong probabilities are his family could not hope for relief by way of pension. Why should not this man be allowed to protect bis family from the risks inseparable from ordinary life? This is just what 'the Bill in question proposes to do; and it is well to 'bear in mind that its main object is- to provide insurance in the ease of death from some cause- other than war service. I desire to emphasize this point because the Bill provides that, in the event of the dependents of the insured 'being awarded a pension on his death, these dependents cannot -as well receive the benefits provided under his policy; they would he repaid, it is true, the premium which the soldier may have contributed, with interest, but they are not permitted to draw both upon the Pension -and Insurance Funds.

Another point worthy of note is that beneficiaries on whose behalf insurance may be effected, -are limited to the close relatives of the insured. In this respect the Bill follows the -provisions usually found in schemes of fraternal insurance.

For the same reason, that is to say because this type of insurance is altogether intended for the protection of dependents, one-fifth only of the face of the policy is payable on the death of the assured, -and the balance

with interest-is to- be disbursed by -annual 'instalments during a term of five years, or over -a greater period of time, a-s the insured may determine.

The insurance policy cannot be assigned or pledged -as collateral security to a loan, and the moneys payable thereunder will be protected from the claims -of creditors- either of the assured or the beneficiaries. These provisions are -also aimed to secure, 249*

so far as is possible, the benefits of -the insurance -for the dependents of the sol-dier.

The insurance will be granted without medical examination and will, therefore-, be open 'to every one, irrespective of bis or her state of health. The rates off premium, though based on -a recognized table of mortality, are slightly lower than those -quoted by any regular line insurance company. This is made possible iby -the -fact that the premiums do not include any loading for commisions or cost of administration. No -commissions will foe payable, and the cost of *administration -will -be borne by the country -at large.

If the insured should become disabled and incapable oif earning a living, -and i.f he is not in receipt of a -pension he will be entitled to be -paid the face value, with interest thereon, in twenty annual instalments.

There are other features of the Bill which

I shall not now take time to 'mention-; these and other points will be -considered in the ordinary course when this Bill -and the Bill amending the Pension Act -come before the House.

It is common knowledge to the members o-f this House, -and, generally s-peaking, to the citizens of Canada, that the disabled man in need of medical treatment is taken charge of Iby the Department o-f Soldiers' Civil -Re-e-stablishment, who- care for him in the various hospitals or institutions now under the control o-f (hat department. In like manner, large numbers of disabled -men, and those minors who enlisted under the age of eighteen, have been- trained-or are now undergoing training-in the vocational schools established -and operated by the same department.

During treatment and training these -men and their dependents are in receipt of certain pay and allowances which, to a large extent, are based upon the pensions paid t-o the -totally disabled. In view of 'the increases in pensions now pro-posed, it becomes necessary to increase the pay -and allowances referred to, and the committee therefore recommends, by -sections 10 and

II of 'Part II of its -report, that these allowances foe increased, from 1st of September next, to -an amount equal -to- the pensions granted to the totally disabled private soldier.

The recommendation contained in section 11 will, it is to be hoped, remove a cause of complaint which existed because of the difference -between the pay an-d allowances awarded to the man who- was transferred for treatment directly -from the military strength to the Department of Soldiers'

Civil Re-eetahlis'hment and the [pension received by the totally disabled man who [DOT]was forced to return for treatment to the same department.

The annual liability upon the country for these suggested increases has been estimated at $2,400,000.

'Section 3, Part III of the Report, deals with the payment of War Service Gratuities to the dependents of those who died on service. A strong plea has been entered before the 'Coanmittee on behalf of these sufferers, that they should be entitled to the same gratuity as would have been paid to the dead soldier had he been fortunate enough to survive. While in many cases it is true these dependents immediately were added to the pension list, and have since remained thereon, it was pointed out that a disabled man received both gratuity and pension. This problem was most carefully * considered from every angle by the Committee, whose final decision was in favour of awarding to those dependents who were -in receipt of separation allowances that share of the Wiar Service Gratuity which would have been paid to such dependents had the soldier survived.

The gratuity to the men who returned, and their dependents, was based upon the former's length of service: it would be impossible in the case of the dead to use such a test, because the man who died at any stage in the war sacrificed his all. It is therefore suggested that the payment of this gratuity shall be based upon the assumption that every dead man have seen sufficient service to entitle his dependents to the maximum amount of their part of the gratuity.

Widows o'f deceased soldiers were in all cases paid a bonus of two months pension in lieu of or on account of this gratuity: it was therefore concluded that there should be deducted from any further payment due to these "widows the two months' bonus already received by them.

I have now mentioned, Mr. Speaker, all the recommendations off the Committee which involve an added liability on the country: with the exception of the last named this liability will, so long as the increases remain in force, be an annual one. As already mentioned, in the case of petitions it amounts to nearly $8,000,000, and when we add to that the additional sum required for vocational training and treatment, the total additional yearly cost will exceed $10,000,000. The cost of the gratuity just discussed is estimated at an additional $1,800,000, and while that will go to swell

the burden of this year's commitments, it does not-like the. other items-call for a continuing or annual payment.

The Re-establishment Branch of the Committee's Report contains 21 separate sections. Thus far I have essayed to deal- and that in the briefest fashion-with but three of these: it would be quite impossible to make remarks more or less extended on each one of the remaining sections. I feel to do so would be toi unduly prolong my remarks. I must, therefore, be content to direct the attention of the members to the report itself, where they will find the conclusion of the Committee- set forth. But I feel it necessary to say a word or two on the subject of those suffering from tuberculosis. Their oase was 'fully .and ably set before the Committee, and as it, in coini-mon with the condition of all those suffering from this wide-spread plague, is of vital interest to the community, the Committee gave the subject fullest consideration.

On cause of complaint peculiar to the exsoldier was the position of the man who had contracted the disease prior to enlistment, and whose pension was accordingly based upon the degrees by which his disability had been aggravated by service. As a result of conferences between those in charge, it is believed this difficulty will be largely removed.

Upon the larger question it is clear that an .advance in the treatment of the tuberculous must be made. Hithereto efforts have been directed at the segregation of the afflicted so that they might receive the proper medical attention, food and training. Wonderful results have been attained, amply proved by the lowering in the death rate. But it is now apparent these efforts must be further supplemented by a widespread system which will follow the patient after his discharge from a Sanatorium, and make provision against the recurrence or reactivity of his disease. This precaution is perhaps more necessary in the case of the returned man, who is too apt, after his condition improves under treatment, to enter into too strenuous an occcupation and thus forego the care and rest which are so essential to his well-being. The question of after-care of the tuberculous is at the moment being investigated by .a body of the leading experts who, at the request of the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment are visiting all the Canadian Sanatoria with the view of determining what should be done on this and other matters pertaining to this grave problem. It is to be

hoped that the Federal authorities charged with the care of tuberculous soldiers will be able to enlist the active co-operation of all other agencies in Canada engaged in the same task. The benefit to the nation by combined .action along modern lines cannot be over-emphasized.

Negative Findings.

Besides the many recommendations of the committee involving action by way of legislation or otherwise, there will be found in both branches of the reports certain findings which negative requests, resolutions or suggestions made to the committee. As these findings are set forth in the report, and in a majority of cases the reasons upon which they are based are as well set out, it appears to me unnecessary to further elaborate upon them. May I, however, say that the mere fact of the committee's decision being adverse is not an indication the subject at issue was in any sense passed over. On the contrary, certain of these were the subject of the lengthiest inquiry, and engaged the attention of the committee for longer periods than did other points upon which favourable action was recommended.

Before taking my seat, may I-as chairman of the committe-be permitted to say a word about the work which it has accomplished. It is fashionable to-day-and perhaps the fashion is not entirely new-to decry the efforts of those who are charged with public duties. My experience in committee work is not so extensive as many others in this House, but for the greater part of my life I have co-operated with my fellow-citizens upon boards or committees of various kinds. It is my deliberate conviction that in no former instance have I seen greater interest shown, or a more regular attendance obtained. The committee held sixty-six business sessions, spread over a period of nine weeks; each session lasted on an average for over two hours. When we remember that nearly half of these meetings were held while this House was in session, that our morning meetings frequently conflicted with others called for the same hour and always rendered more difficult the transaction of that burden of parliamentary departmental work which falls to the lot of every member, the wonder is we were able on almost every occasion to secure a representative attendance. Indeed, the records show that the average number who attended were more than twice the quorum necessary.

Apart from the work of the main committee, six subcommittees were formed who held additional, and sometimes lengthy sessions. That one under the chairmanship of Mr. Nesbitt, charged with the investigation of individual cases, sat time and again late into the night so as to be able to examine for themselves the files and records dealing with the matters before them.

The decisions of the committee in favour of the increases set out, were not given " grudgingly or of necessity," but with a unanimous feeling that while the country could never repay the debt she owed to those who suffer, a real effort to provide for their future must be made. Even where it was found impossible to grant all that was asked, it is unfair to draw the conclusion that the committee were unsympathetic to the claims put forward; just as, i.n t|he many matters which come before this House consideration has to be given to the position of the country at large, and how it will be affected by proposed changes in the law.

Speaking for myself, I have always endeavoured to view any question connected with the returned soldier in the following light: What attitude do we, as fathers of

sons who crossed the seas tp fight on our behalf, take towards those sons upon their return? Surely, remembering the pride with which we saw them go, the anxieties we'suffered while they were in danger, and the joy we felt upon their return-there is nothing we can do for them which we are., not glad to offer.

Two restrictions, however, present themselves to a father in this position: the first one is his own financial ability to supply the son's needs, and the second (and perhaps the more important one)-the effect upon that son if he is not encouraged to rely upon his own efforts and initiative in his future career! Surely such a father, had he two sons-one of whom returned maimed and broken-and the other fit and sound-must say to the latter: " I shall

look after your brother and see that what is left for him in life is made as easy as my circumstances warrant, but I ask that you, if you care for happiness in your future life, at once take on your duties as a man, bear the same burdens as are cast upon the rest of humanity, and in the struggle of life win out to a higher sphere.

That attitude of the father is, I believe, the one that Canada takes to-day, and so long as it is maintained, both justice and

generosity will be rendered to her returned soldier sons.

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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member for

London (Mr. Cronyn) desires to incorporate in the report of his speech in Hansard certain tabulated figures which have not been read. Permission to do this has always been granted most charily by this House, but in view of the undoubted importance of the speech and the advanced stage of the session I feel that the House will give the necessary permission.

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UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

Carried.

The House gave unanimous consent.

Mr. C. W. PECK, V.C., (Skeena): Mr. Speaker, I speak with a little difficulty in speaking on a matter of this kind. Possibly I take an extreme view of what should be done for our returned

soldiers. Nevertheless, I am not going to oppose the adoption of the report because, after all, we must realize-no matter what is said-that a great deal has been done for our returned soldiers in this recommendation and I put that to the returned soldiers in this country. It is all right for returned soldiers to expect a wonderful lot of things, but they must know that a lot of extreme demands have been made, and that there is a certain amount of public opinion against them. I am not prepared to oppose the adoption of the committee's report. It has raised pensions by a great many millions of dollars, and proposes the expenditure of millions in other directions. Although the committee's proposals may not' be adequate, according to my ideas, yet at the same time they come up to my expectations, in some other matters. Especially will the proposals benefit the widows and orphans, and the maimed and the afflicted.

I want to speak for a few moments on the re-establishment of our soldiers and the matter of loans. This was discussed by the committee and there was a considerable difference of opinion. Some (and I may say they were very good friends of the soldiers) took this view. They said: "We will not make any more loans or extend the field of re-establishment unless we can go into every field of enterprise and into every profession." I think myself that that is a dog-in-the-manger attitude, because, although it is impossible in view of the finances of this country to re-establish every man in the field he desires, there are fields to which we could extend the principles

of re-establishment to the advantage of the returned soldier and the country as a whole. I shall not speak of all the different fields that might be entered. The question arose in the committee as to returned-soldier students. Personally, I think a great deal might be done to assist them. A great deal might also be done in the matter of housing and in other directions. I think these ^are quite within the possibilities of the .country, although I wish to put myself on record right here as one who is not in favour of the extreme demands that have been made upon this country by some of the returned soldier associations.

The question I wish to speak about particularly is the re-establishment of our returned men in the fishing industry, which to my mind is the next widest field of food production in this country. We have already established many of the returned soldiers in agriculture, and I think we have done a great deal of good in that line. There are a great many people going about decrying the efforts that have been made to reestablish our soldiers in agriculture and the efforts of the Soldier Settlement Board. I do not agree with those people at all. We must not expect to re-establish every man and make him a millionaire, but if we reestablish seventy-five or even sixty-five per cent of our returned soldiers and make them successful farmers, we shall be doing a great deal not only for the soldiers but for the country as well. I think that Parliament and this country should feel nothing but the deepest gratitude to the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Meighen) who had the courage and the industry to attack this problem, and for the wonderful achievements he has to his credit in this direetiop. The stock argument against re-establishing our returned soldiers in the fishing industry is this: We must not go into that field of re-establishment unless we go into every other field of enterprise. I say that having already reestablished our returned soldiers in the great basic industry of this country, namely, agriculture, and having expended millions upon millions on the returned soldiers in this field, so far with very few failures, and I believe there will not be many failures in the future, let us re-establish the returned soldiers in the next largest food producing industry in this country, which is the fishing industry. Some people say: Oh, but agriculture means colonization. That is all right, but what do you produce by agriculture? Food. That is why it is the great basic industry of this country,

and the next greatest field that opens up is that of fishing. There are a

3 p.m. a great many members on both sides of this House who are in favour of the Government assisting our returned soldiers in getting a start in the fishing industry. I think I am free to say that a large number of the officials of the Fisheries Department think it is perfectly feasible, and I think I may say that the hon. Minister of Marine and Fisheries is also very sympathetic. The decision not to go into this field was reached by only a small majority in the committee, as was the case with several other questions, and I think I may properly appeal to the House to consider this question. I do not think it is any reflection on the committee at all;

I certainly would not consider it so myself.

To re-establish our returned soldiers in the fishing industry would not involve the expenditure of many millions. A few million dollars, I think, would be sufficient, but I would like to go that far to improve our system of vocational training. I repeat, it would not involve such an expenditure as the country could not face at this time. Speaking for British Columbia, we have a peculiar situation there, of which I have spoken at different times, and I need not elaborate on that now. Briefly, there are salmon fisheries that have gotten into the hands of a foreign nation, which I do not think is a good thing for this country. We have also the very important question of the unemployed. When our soldiers were returning and were asked to name the province to which they desired to go, a great many of them chose British 'Columbia. I am assured that about 20,000 more returned soldiers have come to our province than left it in the first place, and in a very short time we are going to be confronted with an unemployment question, which will be of the most serious nature. The situation would be relieved to some extent if we assisted our soldiers to establish themselves in the fishing industry.

In British Columbia especially some of the several modes of fishing may be learned in a short time. Therefore, I want to appeal to the Government to allow the House to have a free division upon this question. I know several hon. members on both sides who are anxious to see the Government extend aid in this w,ay. I know that there is an opinion that-.the country has done enough for the soldiers. I admit it has done a great deal .and I am glad to know as a patriotic Canadian that il has done so much. No greater glory can come to this country than that which comes from the recognition of the achievements of her great armies on the historic battlefields of Flanders, from what she has done to help to re-establish those men and the dependents of those men who sacrificed life and limb year after year on the ghastly battlefields of Flanders. I repeat that no greater glory can come to Canada than that which she derives from the efforts she has made to re-establish those brave men in civil life after they came back arid took their places in the industry of the country and from those things she has done to maintain those who are left widows and orphans and those whom we see every day in mournful procession, the mained and afflicted who offered themselves up as sacrifices to the god of war. Therefore, I beg to move an amendment, seconded by Mr. Tur-geon;

That the said report he not now concurred in but that it be recommitted to the Special Committee appointed to consider the continuance of the war bonus with instructions that they have power to amend the same so as to recommend that subsidies be granted to fishermen as well as farmers.

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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

In connection with this proposed amendment I have only to say that the question as to its being in order is not altogether free from doubt having in mind section 54 of the British North America Act. I find that provision of the Act imposes very rigorous conditions on the House but that while it has not in terms it' has perhaps in effect been avoided. Upon that point in connection with a similar procedure in the British House of Commons I would refer to May, eleventh edition, page 572 in which he says:

Motions advocating public expenditure, or the imposition of a charge, if the motion be framed in sufficiently abstract and general terms, can be entertained, and greed to by the House. Resolutions of this nature re permissible because, having no operative effect no grant is made or burthen imposed by their adoption.

That is in effect what is proposed to be done under the language of the amendment as submitted by the hon. member for Skeena (Mr. Peck), but the consideration which moves me is this: The principle involved

in the amendment of the hon. member for Skeena is precisely the same as the principle involved in the report of the Committee on Pensions, and if the amendment of the hon. member were not 'in order neither would it be in order to entertain the report of the Committee on Pensions. Bearing this in mind in my judgment the amend-1 ment as submitted is in order.

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L LIB

Onésiphore Turgeon

Laurier Liberal

Mr. O. TURGEON (Gloucester):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to second the amendment of my hon. friend the esteemed member for Skeena (Mr. Peck) I wish at the outset to give expression to my sincere appreciation of the incalculable service rendered the Committee on Pensions by the Chairman who has moved the adoption of the report and whose services the House has been able to appreciate as well as I. For the past two months the Chairman has given his unremitting attention and devotion to the cause which he had in hand and any agreement at which the committee has arrived has been well weighed and'deserves the attention of Parliament and the country. I have not had from the committee all I could have wished for. I have already expressed in this House many sentiments and feelings on behalf of the returned soldiers. I would have been pleased if some additional recognition had been given to the returned soldiers because sometimes the one who is most deserving is the most backward in presenting his claim. I would have been gratified if out of their generosity the people of Canada had given a certain small sum of money to the returned soldier so that with the intelligence, activity and fortitude which he had brought back from the field of battle, he would have been given a fair chance to re-establish himself. I had also hoped that the people in each community would get more closely in touch with the returned soldier and would maintain an attitude of sympathy and interest towards his future work and life. However, that hope has not in all respects been realized.

Now, I shall come down to the amendment which is moved by the hon. member for Skeena, one of the greatest heroes of the war, who has come back with the recognition and decorations given to him by the Government of Great Britain. His only fault when he comes back to this country of ours is his modesty. His goodwill has always been apparent in every one of his works. He never forgets the brave soldiers who shared with him the trials and dangers of the battlefield and he is never wanting in reference for those departed souls who made the great sacrifice in defence of the eternal principles of liberty. But there is one class of returned soldier that appeals to me more particularly and that is the class with which I am most familiar. Many hundreds of young men in my own constituency left the fishing boats of their fathers and hurried to give their services in the war. May I recall to this Parliament that

from my constituency thirteen hundred and fifty volunteers crossed the ocean before the Military Service Act was put in force, in addition to which there were 450 who volunteered but who, to their great sorrow, were turned away by the medical authorities and many of whom, after trying in vain to be accepted in their own districts, took the examination elsewhere in the hope that other medical examiners might not see any obstacle to their going and joining the forces with their brothers, cousins and friends. Out of that 1,350, let me repeat what I have already said in this House over 1,150 were Aeadians and 820 were from the sea as well as from the farm, young men who had left, not industry but the farms or the fishing boats of their fathers in order that- the country might benefit from their devotion to and appreciation of, the principles of liberty and Christian civilzation as we have it now and hope -we will have it, although things are not so encouraging at the present moment as we could wish they were. I rise, therefore, to second the motion of the hon. member for Skeena on behalf of an advance to fisherman as well as to farmers. The great cry to-day, Mr. Speaker, is for -the production of food. We are told there must be production, and still more production. Well, in my opinion, fish is a very necessary article of food; and the production of this delectable article of diet is just as imperative as -the production of food on our farms. The shortage of food which the great world war brought about has not yet been made good. From the continent of North America which, needless to say, includes both the United States and Canada, we -shall -hardly -be able to meet the necessities at home and supply a sufficient quantity of food during the winter for the salvation and maintenance of many of the stricken countries in Europe. The cry is, "Produce, produce;" and the Government' with my sincere approval, have advanced considerable sums of money to returned soldiers, to enable them -to settle on the prairies Of the West -and in the fertile valleys of British Columbia, and to engage in the much needed work of production. But let me tell you, Mr. Speaker, -that we have a hardy fishing population on the coast of the Atlantic as well -as on the coast-of the Pacific. My hon. friend from Skeena (Mr. Peck) has at heart the welfare of -the fishing population on the British Columbia coast, and that fact impels him to take the action which he has taken this afternoon. I have equally at heart the welfare of the fishermen of our portion of the At-

lantic coast and of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and for that reason I heartily second and support the stand which my hon. friend has taken. The soldier fishermen of the Maritime Provinces are no less entitled to consideration and generous treatment than are their brothers who dwell inland. They left their homes and their families without any hesitancy and fought overseas for their native land. To-day many of those young men have not been re-established; and the only way to put them into a position commensurate with the one they held before the war is to place at their disposal facilities that will enable them to engage in the occupation which they have followed almost from their very earliest years up to manhood. I speak not merely for the county of Gloucester, N.B., which I have the honour to represent, but for the whole of the Maritime Provinces, and indeed for some counties in the province of Quebec, such as the counties of Gaspe and Bonaventure. For years past bur population in the Maritime Provinces has been increasing, and to what is that fact due? To the efforts that have been made by this Parliament for the last twenty-five years-but more particularly from 1896 to 1911-to contribute to the welfare of the fishermen by giving -them that necessary protection and encouragement which enables them to find profitable occupation at home instead of crossing to the country to the south where formerly they were accustomed to find a field for their ambition. In the county of Gloucester, for which I speak more particularly, we have a class of fishermen that are certainly most deserving, and when I refer to fishermen let me say that they combine farming with fishing. They are members of large families to whose support fishing and farming both contribute. When the father attains an advanced age he forsakes the sea and stays home to attend the farm. Those fitted for it resort to fishing in the summer months; the younger folks helped the head of the family to cultivate the farm. In that way all of them are participating in the great movement for increased production. We know that we shall not, for many years to come, get the maximum amount of food production in this country that we ought to have. It is therefore all-important that we should promote the production of every possible variety of food. Hence, it is in line with the national aim to make possible the reestablishment of the young soldier fisherman, to enable him to get back into the pursuits for which he is so well adapted,

and to permit him to do his part towards furthering the expansion of our food supply. You cannot make a fisherman of the young man who comes from towns or villages far inland. He must be born of parents who have been closely identified with seafaring and fishing, and from whom he inherits that zeal, that devotion, that hardiness, that fondness for the sea, which characterize those who live in close proximity to the ocean. The granting of this very necessary aid to our soldier fishermen will not involve a very large expenditure. Taking into consideration the counties of Gloucester, Westmoreland, Kent, Gaspe, Bonaventure and others, the amount involved in a grant of this kind will be very small compared with the expenditure needed in aiding returned soldiers who want to settle on the farms. A suitable boat for fishing-more particularly for fishing on the banks or in the gulf of St. Lawrence-^would probably cost in the neighbourhood of $1,500. Well, a loan of fifteen or sixteen hundred dollars would go a long way towards re-establishing a soldier fisherman in his former occupation. Those men would not need 25 years for the repayment of the loan. In my opinion ten years would be ample time in which to make repayment; and if at the end of that period there were some who were not able to do so t-heir own friends, or merchants in the neighbourhood, would gladly come to their assistance. It would not be necessary to create a special department to carry on this work. The Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment, which is helping to place soldiers on the farm, would be able to lend its efforts towards Te-establishing the toilers of the sea. They have their agents throughout the Maritime Provinces, as well as throughout the province of British Columbia, looking after the re-establishment of the soldiers on the farm. They could give whatever aid is necessary to take care of the soldier fishermen as well, and consequently no extra expense would be incurred in connection with the operation of that department. The granting of the aid which is now sought for would not only greatly stimulate the production of fish on the Atlantic coast, but would have a like result on the Pacific coast. At the present time large quantities of fish are being brought from British Columbia to the large consuming centres of the East. The re-establishing of the returned soldiers in the fishing occupation would give a tremendous impetus to that industry, and would not only help to insure a sufficient production for the main-

tenance of our own people, but would enable us to ship food to the starving residents of Europe. Therefore I am greatly pleased to support the proposition of my hon.. friend from Skeena. I support it with the same sincerity and with the same devotion that he has displayed and in the hope that this Parliament will place fishermen in the class with those who are already receiving assistance from the country to enable them to be re-established in an industry likely to result in so much good to this country. If the proposition is accepted I am sure that Parliament and the country will in time to come feel only too pleased that they have acceded to our request.

Mr. JAMES ARTHURS (Parry Sound} : I am glad to be able to bear tribute to the great service of the hon. member for London (Mr. Cron-yn) as chairman of the committee whose report we ate now considering. I am sure that without his unremitting efforts and his unfailing devotion the committee would have been far from achieving the results that have been achieved. The committee went into this subject with, I think, two primary objects. The first was for the purpose of doing everything possible for the maimed, wounded or disabled soldier, and for the widows and orphans of those who had fallen in battle.

Their second object was that there should be equality in everything,-and I think the report will bear me out in that. It will be noticed that nothing has been done to increase the pensions of officers, and that the pension o'f a private soldier has now oeen brought up to exactly the same level as a lieutenant's in the land forces oi His Majesty. This system was followed throughout. In this connection I want to refer to the amendment of my hon. friend from Skeena (Mr. Peck). I am one of the " renegades," he speaks of. I was in favour of loans under certain restrictions to any returned soldier who could show necessity for a loan. But I was then, and I am now, opposed to loans to any particular class wherein other classes cannot benefit. I quite appreciate the situation so far as fishermen are concerned, but the same argument can be advanced regarding any other particular class. We have in Ontario thousands of young returned men who have been forced to go into new occupations by the nature of their injuries or as the result o'f having their education interrupted by the war, and they are to-day with their small salaries finding the housing problem a very serious one. These

young men are asking for a loan of a thousand dollars for the purpose of building or buying a house, or for the purpose of clearing the mortgage on some little house they already have. Tnese men have a good case. Then take the artisan. The blacksmith is just as useful a member of the community as the fishermen, he is just as essential to agriculture as an additional farmer or two, yet we find men of his class coming back not eligible for vocational training and unable to find the money to set up a little tool or machine shop. You can take any other industry and you will find that the men engaged in it are able to put up just as sound an argument as has been advanced by my hon. friend from Gloucester (Mr. Turgeon) and my hon. friend from Skeena (Mr. Peck) regarding the fishermen. I am in favour of granting loans to fishermen, but not unless all men in equal case are dealt with in the same manner. That is the position I took in the committee, that is the position I take in this House, and its fairness, I think, will appeal to all returned soldiers.

Before I sit down I would like t

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L LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Laurier Liberal

Hon. H. S. BELAND (Beauce):

Mr. Speaker, I do not rise with the intention of offering any oposition to the amendment moved Iby the hon. member for Skeena (Mr. Peck). I was under the impression, however, that after the extensive work which the committee had 'carried on during the last two months it had arrived at a definite conclusion, and that perhaps the members of the committee, and the House itself, would concur in the findings and the recommendations of the committee. I have no objection to recognizing that if [DOT]any other class should be helped especially by way of loans, that fishermen should he the first to be helped, and for that reason I shall support the amendment of my hon. friend.

All the members of this committee were animated 'from first to last with the intense desire of discharging their duty to the returned soldiers, healthy or disabled, and

to the dependents of those who had heroically sacrificed themselves for their country. The debt that !we owe to our .soldiers and to the women who accompanied them to the other side is twofold: one share of it can be met in. dollars and cents; as to the other share, we at once admit that it is impossible for the country to express in any appropriate manner its sense of gratitude.

The work of this committee has 'been long and tedious. As pointed out so ably by the chairman in his precise and enlightening report, its work has extended over the last two months during almost every day of the session. I wish it could have been my privilege to have attended the sittings of the committee more regularly than I have done, and if I rise now, Mr. Speaker, it i.s not to criticise the report, but to give expression not only on the part of the members of the committee but in the name of the House itself to a sentiment of admiration for and gratitude to the hon. gentleman who represents the constituency of London and who acted as chairman of the committee (Mr. Cronyn). He was its inspiration in the long and difficult work of gathering information from the soldiers -from the healthy soldiers and their representatives, from the disabled soldiers who are back in civil life, from the .soldiers who lie ill in hospitals, from the dependents and the representatives of the dependents of our glorious dead, from the able officials of all the departments connected with the problem of re-establishment and of pensions, from experts in insurance and in various .schemes of re-establishment. He distinguished himself by his assiduity, his punctuality., his intelligent .and impartial direction of the proceedings of the committee, his powers of assimilation, and in a word by giving bis entire personality to the work. He has been to every one of us who sat on that committee a walking encyclopaedia on matters investigated in yeajs past and in the preceding sittings of the committee. So I say, Mr. .Speaker, that praise is due to the hon. gentleman and to his worthy assistant, the vice-ichairman.

I have only to add that I think it will be my duty to support the amendment that has been submitted by the hon. member for Skeena (Mr. Peck).

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UNION

Peter McGibbon

Unionist

Mr. PETER McGIBBON (Muskoka):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to say a word with regard to this resolution. To begin with, I endorse what has been so well said by the last speaker (Mr. Beland) in connection with the work of the Pensions Committee. The report, I think, largely speaks for itself. Most hon. members will agree with me when I say that at all times and upon all occasions I have been ready to support any reasonable, legitimate effort on behalf . of returned soldiers. 1 cannot, however, agree with this amendment, for reasons which I will state a little later. I may say that I am in accord with the position taken by the member for Parry Sound (Mr. Arthurs). I was in favour of fust granting loans to disabled men for the purposes of re-establishment. I was also in favour of granting loans to any returned men who proved that they were in need of such assistance, provided that similar assistance was given to all classes of returned men. The soldiers have suffered enough injustices already in the war without our now inflicting upon some classes a further injustice along these lines. 'This amendment bears no relation to the sacrifices made by the man at the front; it simply says that all men in a certain class shall be entitled to some assistance in re-establishment. That in itself might he advisable if you could extend to every other returned man a similar degree of assistance. But I am absolutely opposed to our saying: We will help the fisherman with one, two or three thousand dollars in order that he may re-establish himself in a lucrative position, but we will do nothing for the poor man's son who is working in a much less profitable sphere of activity. I think the proposal is an unfair one; so far as I am concerned it wil not get my support. My first idea is that we should look after the widow and the orphans of the soldier. In that regard we have made substantial advances in this report. We have remedied many things that worked a hardship in the past. We have proposed an increase of nearly fifty per cent % in the pensions. I do not say that it is too much; I do not say that it is enough, but I do say that this report is the most advanced report on pensions that any committee of this House has yet brought down. We have done something towards re-establishing that class of returned soldiers who are suffering from tuberculosis. The cases that have been drawn to the attention of committee and of the House will be of great assistance to them in the future. As I said, I was willing to go further and to support the granting of loans to those men who had been disabled. I believe that this country could do that. But my opinions in the committee did not prevail. I believe that the committee might properly have done something in some other line. But I wish to associate myself with the member for Skeena

(Mr. Peek) in what he said about extreme demands -made upon this country. I am not and never was, as this House knows, in favour of acceding to these extreme demands. Our attention should first be concentrated on assistance to the widows, the orphans, the crippled and the diseased. But I cannot support any resolution which has -the effect of picking out one class of returned men who happen to reside in one particular part of the country and giving them assistance, having no regard to their service in the war-some of them might not have got out of Canada or England, probably never saw the front-while saying to other people, who, perhaps, suffered for three, four or five years in the front line trenches: we can do nothing for you simply because prior to the war you were engaged in a different occupation from that of fishing. I do not think it is sound; I do not think it is wise. I think that the adoption of any such proposal would have the effect of arousing discontent among the returned men.

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UNION

Cyrus Wesley Peck

Unionist

Mr. PECK:

How, then, does my hon. friend justify the assistance which is given to returned men who wish to* engage in agriculture?

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UNION

Peter McGibbon

Unionist

Mr. McGIBBON (Muskoka):

I never justified it as assistance to returned -men; I do not think it can be justified on that ground. It can be justified on the ground of increasing production, but I would be just as much opposed to helping the soldier simply because he is a farmer as I would be to helping him simply because he is a fisherman or of any other particular class. As a means of adding to the production of this country, assistance to -soldiers who engage in agriculture can possibly be justified.

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UNI L

Frederick Forsyth Pardee

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. F. F. PARDEE (Lambton West):

Mr. Speaker, I desire to say a few words with regard to the -amendment which has been introduced by the hon. member for Skeena (Mr. Peck). In the first place let me join with the member for Beauce (Mr. Boland) in extending my congratulations to the chairman of the committee. I assure you that I most heartily endorse all that has been said with regard to his work; he has done his duty and done it well.

So far -as I can learn there is no one in this country; there certainly is no one in this House, who does not want to do the most full and ample justice and give the most full and ample reward, if -such can be given to the returned men. But, Sir, there is this to be said: although our [Mr. McGibbon. 1

sympathy goes out in the very highest degree to those who have suffered, individuals and countries alike must cut their coat according to their cloth. The argument may be advanced that -Canada has not done enough for her returned soldiers. Well, 1 shall not go into figures at all, but when we have regard to the fact that Canada has done, perhaps, more for the returned, -soldier than any other country in the world, we have a right as legislating here for the people of Canada, no matter to what extent our sympathies may be aroused, to refrain from assuming obligations which the people of this -country cannot fulfil. It is only ordinary justice to the people as a whole and to ourselves as representatives of the people that we should do as we think proper and that we should -stop when we think we have done as much as we can possibly do, having regard to our financial position.

I am wholly in accord with the member for Muskoka (Mr. McGibbon) when he says that the first to be looked after are the crippled, the maimed, the diseased and the dependents, the widows and the orphans. In extending assistance to these we cannot possibly go too far. The man who comes back with a five per cent irijury or the man who comes back one hundred per cent whole is the subject of our -admiration; he has done his duty to the full; he rose to the occasion -as a true citizen should do in a time of crisis. Yet he is here; he is practically whole. While we recognize that he took his place and took his chances as a citizen for the good of the country yet we should recognize also that with the ordinary aid that can be given him he should re-establish himself.

I have only this to say with regard to the amendment: many members of the committee would have been -glad to see their way clear to go farther th-an we did in the way of aid. For my part I was intensely anxious that students who had been interrupted in their university or school courses when they went to war, whose educational courses were subject to a hiatus of three or four years -at the very time when those students were most able to absorb what they should have -absorbed for use in life- these young men in -my opinion, were most worthy of consideration -and of assistance. Evidence on that point was given by some of the -best experts that Canada could produce, and they all testified that students should be helped. Again I say that I was entirely in sympathy with their view, but the question immediately arises-if you help one class, -why not help the other? Has

not the man who was in business, who gave it up, put up the shutters and went to the war, leaving his business to shift for itself, not as much entitled to be helped as any other class who went overseas? But if you go into that category and endeavour to help and re-establish every man to the extent of what he gave up for the purpose of going to the war, thousands and hundreds of thousands of dependents will be placed upon the country and the country can never afford to keep them.

The question of helping the fishermen was another subject that was discussed in the committee, and I have considerable sympathy with the idea of helping the fishermen because fishing is a producing industry; it is something that gives food to the people of this country. On the other hand, the student is a man who gives of his brain for the development of the country, not along one particular line, but along all lines, and, therefore, the argument in favour of helping the student would, perhaps, be just as strong as the'argument in favour of helping the fisherman. Therefore, when you come to consider all these classes of cases, the only thing the committee could possibly do, and the only thing the House is justified in doing, is in going as far as the report goes, the first reason being that financially we are not able to do more, and the second reason being that it would not be equitable, in fact, it would be inequitable to help one class without helping all classes. Consequently while I have much sympathy with the amendment of the hon. member for Skeena (Mr. Peck), and while I am in favour of doing as much as possible for those men who require help, yet I, as a member of the committee, was convinced that one class had no more equitable Tight to be helped than another and that, therefore, if you helped one, you must help them all. The land settlement scheme has been brought forward as an argument in favour of helping the fishermen, but the land settlement scheme was and has turned out to be primarily a question of colonization, and colonization and production on the land are what this country needs.

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UNION

Cyrus Wesley Peck

Unionist

Mr. PECK:

Is the fishing enterprise not equally a matter of colonization?

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UNI L

Frederick Forsyth Pardee

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. PARDEE:

It may be a matter of

production, but in no sense is it a matter of colonization. The land settlement scheme is primarily a colonization scheme, and I was glad to hear the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Meighen) state in the House the other day that so far the land settlement scheme has been successful. I sincerely hope his prognostications as regards the land settlement scheme are absolutely true and that it will turn out to be as successful as we hope it will and as he said, the other night, it would. I cannot, however, see my way clear to support the amendment, for these two reasons. First, I believe the country is not financially able, because if it takes one class, it must take all, and, second, because it would be inequitable to take one class and leave the other out. The committee has done well by the maimed, and by the widows, orphans, and other dependents of those who went overseas and served their country, and, therefore, I think the committee and this House have gone just as far as we can go along these lines.

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UNION

Hugh Clark (Parliamentary Secretary of Militia and Defence)

Unionist

Mr. HUGH CLARK (North Bruce):

Mr. Speaker, the chairman of the committee (Mr. Cronyn) has been so much extolled that I need not add anything to the observations that have been made by the hon. member for Beauce (Mr. Belaud) and other members who have spoken in that regard. I should like to refer to the concluding paragraph of his speech in which he made reference to the attendance of the members of that committee and their attention to the work of the committee. A deliberate and apparently organized attempt had been made to make it appear to the public mind that the members of the committee were indifferent, if not hostile, to the needs and wants of the returned soldiers. There is an element that has never quite forgiven this Parliament for not granting gratuities to all soldiers. I for one opposed the granting of further gratuities to soldiers, and I am more opposed to that to-day than I was then. I can take the the view to-day that the hon. member for Frontenac (Mr. Edwards) expressed last year, namely, that if we had in the treasury a million dollars that we did not. know what to do with, I would not hand it out by way of indiscriminate gratuities, for the reason that to do so would work a positive disadvantage, not only to the returned soldier, but to the country as well.

I cannot, however, understand the reason why an attempt should be made to prejudice the public mind against the parliamentary committee that was discussing the question of pensions and the question of re-establishment. I have never seen any disposition on either side of the House to do anything except that which was to the advantage of the returned soldiers, and I have never seen any prejudice on either

side of the House against returned soldiers. I have seen nothing but a desire to do the very best we could, and the very best the country could afford to do for the returned soldiers. Why any organizations of returned soldiers should endeavour to make the public believe that the committee was indifferent, if not hostile, is more than I can understand. As the chairman has pointed out, the fact of the matter is, that no other committee had as little difficulty as this committee had in obtaining a quorum on every occasion except one, and that was when we sat in this House until 7 o'clock in the morning of the day the committee was convened. In order that the members might attend that committee regularly, we all had to neglect our primary parliamentary duties, and as a result of that we lost track of what was going on in the House, because the committee met in the afternoon and at night while the work of the House was in progress. It seems to me, Sir, that if the idea be still in the public mind, that the parliamentary committee was not disposed to do the proper thing for the returned soldiers, that idea ought to be dispelled by the report which was laid on the Table yesterday. When this legislation goes into operation, our pension list will be the largest in the world. For instance, under this report when given effect to a single man, if totally disabled will get in Canada, $900; in Great Britain* $506.13; in Australia, $379.60; in New Zealand, $506.13; in South Africa, $379.60; :n the United States, $1,200; in France, $4880; in Italy, $243.33. Let me point out that while the scale paid to a single man by the United States' Government is larger than ours, yet it remains the same all the way through the list. In the United States a single disabled man gets exactly the same amount as a disabled man with a wife and three children, or, for that matter, with, ten children. I do not suppose that any person in the Dominion of Canada would approve any such law as that. I understand the United States have discovered their mistake, and it is just possible they may revise their pension list so as to get it more in line with outs.. In Canada a man with a wife gets $1,200, exactly the same as in the United States. A man with a wife and child in Canada gets' $1,380, in the United States $1,200. A man with a wife and two children, in Canada gets $1,524, in the United States $1,200. A man with a wife and three children, in Canada gets $1,644, in the United States $1,200. In Canada there is an allowance of $120 for

each additional child, while in the United States there is no such provision; it is simply a flat pension of $1,200.

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UNION

James Arthurs

Unionist

Mr. ARTHURS:

Is the hon. gentleman aware that there are certain restrictions in the United States whereby all the disabled men do not get $1,200?

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UNION

Hugh Clark (Parliamentary Secretary of Militia and Defence)

Unionist

Mr. CLARK (.North Bruce):

Yes. While I should like to be able to support the amendment of my hon. friend from Slceena (Mr. Peck), I must say that this matter has been discussed on other occasions than during this session by the special committee. The Committee on Re-establishment last year discussed the question of loans at some length, and my hon. friend from West Lambton (M(r. Pardee) and the hon. member for Calgary (Mr. Redman) were anxious to have loans made toi students whose university course had been interrupted by the war. I think I am violating no secret when I say that that proposal tentatively carried the committee, but afterwards, the demands for loans for other classes-for fishermen, blacksmiths, dentists, doctors, engineers and others whose business had been seriously interrupted by the war-became soi numerous and insistent that we made up our minds that our course should be dominated by the policy of looking after the disabled and the dependent. If we had opened the door to one of these other classes we would have had to open all doors. I must admit that we have got away somewhat from the idea of assisting only the disabled and the dependent. We got away from it when we granted loans to returned soldiers to settle on the land, but primarily, as had been stated before, that was a colonization scheme. We also got away from it when we extended vocational training courses to minors-boys who enlisted under the age of eighteen. But outside of those two cases we have kept within the disability and dependent class. Iff we break away from that and grant loans to re-establish soldiers in the fisheries, as suggested by my hon. friend from Skeena and my hon. friend from Gloucester, still more doors will have to be opened, because inevitably there will be a demand that we should do for other classes what we had done for the fishermen. Therefore I shall oppose the amendment.

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UNION

Cyrus Wesley Peck

Unionist

Mr. PECK:

Were there not several members of the committee who endorsed aid to returned soldier students as well as assistance in other fields, and who also supported

the proposition to aid returned soldier fishermen?

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June 22, 1920