March 10, 1921

CHIEF ELECTORAL OFFICER'S REPORTS

UNION

Hugh Guthrie (Solicitor General of Canada; Minister of Militia and Defence)

Unionist

Hon. HUGH GUTHRIE (Acting Solicitor General) moved:

That the reports made by the Chief Electoral Officer to the Honourable the Speaker, under section 74 of the Dominion Elections Act be printed and that Rule 74 be suspended in relation thereto and that the same be referred to the Select Standing- Committee on Privileges and Elections to consider and report thereon to this House.

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Motion agreed to.


RETURNED SOLDIERS-SPECIAL COMMITTEE

UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Right Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Prime Minister) :

Mr. Speaker, I desire, with

the consent of the House if necessary, to move the following resolution:

That a Special Committee he appointed to consider questions relating to the pensions.

insurance and re-establishment of returned soldiers, and any amendments to the existing laws in relation thereto which may be proposed or considered necessary by the committee ; with power to send for persons, papers and records, to print from day to day its proceedings and the evidence taken, for the use of the committee, and to report from time to time; and that Rule 11 be suspended in relation thereto.

The House will remember that for at least two sessions a Special Committee has been appointed to deal with these matters, and, indeed, the administrative policy followed by this country, in relation to soldiers' re-establishment has been largely developed by these special committees. The returned men have on more than one occasion requested that a similar course be pursued this session. It may be the opinion of some hon. members that this subject has been already very thoroughly considered by Parliament, and that little, if anything, could be expected from another committee this session. Still, I believe it is the disposition of every hon. member, as I know it is the disposition of the Government, that the utmost pains be taken to see that nothing is left undone within the power of the country to take care of the just demands of those who did so much for us and for the world in the late war, and that to that end we should review all the administrative activities now under way looking to re-establishment, in order to ascertain the defects, if any exist-and there must be some-and to make recommendations as to what can be undertaken to improve upon our present methods; and generally to again go over the work done in previous sessions, so that we may all be sure that to the utmost of our power we are doing everything that can be done in the way of re-establishment.

I therefore have pleasure in moving this resolution which is virtually in the terms of similar motions adopted in previous sessions.

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Motion agreed to.


UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Bight Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN:

Mr. Speaker, I beg to move that the Special Committee appointed in conformity with the resolution agreed to by the House this day to consider questions relating to the pensions, insurance and re-establishment of returned soldiers, and any amendments to the existing laws in relation thereto which may be proposed or considered necessary by the committee, consist of the following members: Messrs. Arthurs, Be-land, Brien, Caldwell, Chisholm, Cooper,

Copp, Cronyn, Douglas (Strathcona), Edwards, Green, McGregor, McNutt, Morphy, Nesbitt, Peck, Power, Redman, Ross, Savard, Spinney, Turgeon, White (Victoria), Wilson (Saskatoon).

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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

In the absence of notice this motion requires consent. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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L LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Laurier Liberal

Hon. H. S. BELAND (Beauce) :

Mr. Speaker, as my name is mentioned as a member of this committee, I should like to make an inquiry with reference to it. The Prime Minister (Mr. Meighen) has stated that requests have come to the Government from returned soldiers for the appointment of this committee. Have any particular requests been made by returned soldiers' organizations for the granting of bonuses or other privileges or rewards of a special character? As the Prime Minister has intimated, this subject was very thoroughly gone into in the three previous sessions, particularly in the last session, and a good deal of time-very properly so -has been given to the matter. Is it the intention of the Government that the work done last session shall be gone over during this session? Of course, it will depend in some degree on the committee itself. I should like to ask further whether the request for the appointment of the committee has been made by organizations of returned men, or only by private individuals.

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I am glad that the

hon. member (Mr. Beland) had brought up the several subjects dealt with in his remarks. I am not certain at the moment just what written requests the Government has for the appointment of this committee. In my travels through the country, though, it was the exception rather than otherwise that I should not be met at different cities, and met always by organized bodies of returned men, and the request proffered that this committee be re-appointed. I could name cities in which I recall being met by organized returned men representing not only the Great War Veterans' Association, but other organizations as well. I am quite free to state to the House that the Great War Veterans' Association, Federal Command, are very anxious for the re-appointment of this committee. They are, of course, one of the most numerous of all the soldier organizations.

I understand the hon. member also to ask what form of assistance Was generally

requested, and in that connection, what is expected to be done in relation to the bonus request. Well, many suggestions have been made, many requests have been urged, for all manner of things-improvements on present machinery, new schemes of assistance, such as loans for housing, and the like; I really would not be able to recite the number and variety of requests made. Certainly we have been asked to reconsider the Government's attitude in relation to a general bonus to returned men. I have invariably stated in answer to those requests that as respects that form of assistance, a general cash bonus to returned men, the Government had stated its policy adverse to the suggestion, and that that policy had not been changed.

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Motion agreed to.


QUESTIONS


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk).


GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTAL FUNDS

L LIB

*Mr. PROULX:

Laurier Liberal

1. Have any of the Government departments, hoards or commissions, had overdrafts at the hanks or eslewhere, since the end of the last fiscal year?

2. If so, what are the names of such departments, hoards or commissions, and to what amount were their accounts overdrawn in each

Ca!e How do matters stand now with respect to such overdrafts?

4. Has any such department, board or commission, used funds belonging to the British or other Government since the end of the last fiscal year?

5. If so, how do the accounts now stand with respect to the funds so used?

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Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTAL FUNDS
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?

Hon. S@

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Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTAL FUNDS
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EXCHANGE IN CUSTOMS TRANSACTIONS

LIB

Mr. RINFRET:

Liberal

1. Is the Government aware that the Customs collectors are still estimating the American dollar at par, in reference to goods imported from the United States?

2>. Is it the intention of the Government to instruct Customs collectors so that they appraise such goods at the current rate of exchange as has been done in the case of European currency?

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Subtopic:   EXCHANGE IN CUSTOMS TRANSACTIONS
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CON

Hon. Mr. WIGMORE: (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. Yes.

2. Section 59 of the Customs Act provides that in computing the value for duty of the currency of country of export, the rate thereof shall be such as has been ordered and proclaimed from time to'time by the Governor in Council, and the rate so ordered shall be based upon the actual value of the standard coins or currency of such country as compared with the standard dollar of Canada, in so far as such comparative values are known. There is no difference in value between the standard dollar of Canada and the standard dollar of the United States.

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Subtopic:   EXCHANGE IN CUSTOMS TRANSACTIONS
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STEEL CONTRACT

March 10, 1921