April 1, 1927


On the Orders of the Day.


PRO

John Evans

Progressive

Mr. JOHN EVANS (Rosetown):

I would like to ask the government if it is the inten-

tion this year to bring down any legislation to correct discrepancies in certain statutes regarding ex-service men and their dependents, or if the matter is to be shelved again so that parliament may prorogue at an early date.

Topic:   PENSION LEGISLATION
Permalink
LIB

James Horace King (Minister of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment; Minister presiding over the Department of Health)

Liberal

Hon. J. H. KING (Minister of Health):

In making an announcement respecting pension legislation I may say that several features have been taken into consideration. In the first place the Pension Act that was originally drawn up in 1919 was amended in 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, and 1925. On several occasions these amendments were the result of long deliberation by special parliamentary committees appointed for the purpose, and on one occasion the result of a protracted investigation of general reestablishment measures by a royal commission appointed in 1922, the final report of that commission being submitted to the government as late as 1924. The important feature of all the above is that the Pension Act has received the very close attention of parliament during past years.

This year there have been presented to me by various soldier organizations, resolutions asking mainly for additional benefits to be provided by change in the regulations of the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment and the Board of Pension Commissioners, and additional benefits to be provided under the Pension Act. The total number of these resolutions is approaching two hundred, of which more than fifty suggest changes in the pension legislation.

I also call the attention of the House to the fact that there was recently inserted in the Pension Act a meritorious clause under which cases of real merit or hardship can be awarded pension at the discretion of the Board of Pension Commissioners and the Federal Appeal Board, even though such cases are not provided for under the ordinary terms of the Pension Act. I may say that already a number of pensions have been awarded under this provision.

I do not think the members and the country generally fully appreciate the nature and extent of the numerous proposals which have been made. Many of these suggestions involve ramifications which can be foreseen only after careful and detailed examination. There are extended commitments involved and there must be a thorough canvass of the effect on other classes not dealt with. It would be apparent I think to anyone who read the accumulation of material which has come to me during this session that there could be no fair opportunity during a session of parliament for the government to give the con-

Privilege-Mr. Beaubien

sideration and thought which matters of this kind deserve. I may say that in the recess, attention will be given to the practicability of a consolidation of the Pension Act, and these proposals involving statutory changes will be considered in that connection.

In the meantime, I think that some of the suggestions may be found to be quite possible of being dealt with by administrative rather than legislative action and I propose to consider that method of procedure.

I can also say, and I feel sure that this will be regarded as of very great importance by those who are interested in these matters, that while the government cannot at this session consider extending the principles upon which pensions are granted, they have under consideration amendments relating more or less to procedure, one of which will deal with the extension for a further term of two years of the period within which applications for pensions may be received. It is my purpose to move this amendment when bill No. 234 is again in committee.

Topic:   PENSION LEGISLATION
Permalink
LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. J. S. WOODSWORTH (Winnipeg North Centre):

The minister spoke of administrative action. Is any interim provision likely to be made for handicapped men?

Topic:   PENSION LEGISLATION
Permalink
?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

That matter is one that is always before the department, and ways and means are being sought from time to time to provide for these handicapped men. '

Mr. R. B. HANSON (York-Sunbury) May I ask the minister if there has been a definite promise made to the representatives of the exservice men that legislation would be brought in this year?

Topic:   PENSION LEGISLATION
Permalink
?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

No.

Topic:   PENSION LEGISLATION
Permalink
UFA

Henry Elvins Spencer

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. H. E. SPENCER (Battle River):

Can the minister assure the House, in view of his statement that amendments to the Pension Act will not be brought down this session, that they will be brought down early next session?

Topic:   PENSION LEGISLATION
Permalink
?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

I would say this,

that if the government after an opportunity of reviewing the material that has been presented to it, is of the opinion that legislation should follow, we will be in a position to bring it before the House early next session.

Topic:   PENSION LEGISLATION
Permalink
CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. R. J. MANION (Fort William):

I

sympathize a good deal with the attitude the minister takes in this matter. There are certainly a lot of demands, and it is a very busy time to deal with them during the session of parliament, but in view of that, and the fact that the appeal board is nearly a year in arrears, what puzzles me is that the minister

should bring in a bill to lessen the number of the appeal board.

Topic:   PENSION LEGISLATION
Permalink
?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

The bill does not limit the number.

Topic:   PENSION LEGISLATION
Permalink
CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

It does not necessarily,

but it gives power to the government to lessen the number of the appeal board.

Topic:   PENSION LEGISLATION
Permalink
?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

Bill No. 234 empowers the government to appoint commissioners for a term of five years, and leaves it within their power to reduce the number or to keep it as it is at present.

Topic:   PENSION LEGISLATION
Permalink

PRIVILEGE-MR. BEAUBIEN


On the Orders of the Day:


LIB-PRO

Arthur-Lucien Beaubien

Liberal Progressive

Mr. A. L. BEAUBIEN (Provencher):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege in connection with an article in this morning's Ottawa Citizen headed " Western M.P. is Planning Move to Kill Canal Bill It goes on to say that "Mr. Bissett, Liberal member for Provencher" is presenting a resolution in favour of a royal commission. I wish to state, first, that Mr. Bissett is not the member for Provencher, although he would certainly be worthy of representing that historic county, and secondly that this article is as inaccurate as an editorial appearing in the same paper yesterday morning criticizing the Liberal-Progressives.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. BEAUBIEN
Permalink

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

RULE GOVERNING THE PRESENTATION OP PETITIONS TO PARLIAMENT


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

Hugh Guthrie (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. HUGH GUTHRIE (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I just want to

mention a matter of order. There was presented to-day by my hon. friend from South Perth (Mr. Sanderson) the resolution of a town council. Your Honour has on several occasions this session ruled such matters out of order when presented from this side of the House. I think the rule should be made known and established that all who wish to petition parliament may do so, but that they must comply with the rule, and that resolutions will not be received.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   RULE GOVERNING THE PRESENTATION OP PETITIONS TO PARLIAMENT
Permalink
LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The rule is well known and must be adhered to. This was simply a resolution, and I would have declared it out of order, but there was so much conversation in the House at the time that I could not hear what the hon. member was saying.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   RULE GOVERNING THE PRESENTATION OP PETITIONS TO PARLIAMENT
Permalink

April 1, 1927