I must say the deadline for further applications for pension was set at July 1, 1936, for those who served only in Canada. So they are debarred by statute from making application now, although they had approximately twenty years to do so.
In connection with the amendment regarding the deadline, may I say that practically the only complaint I had last year in connection with pensions was that many of these men did not know that the deadline expired on July 1. What effort was made by the department to notify the different returned men's organizations that the deadline for soldiers who had not served overseas had been set?
The legislation was introduced about March 1, and was finally passed about the beginning of June, last year. In that period the question was debated and, as the hon. member knows, was discussed before a parliamentary committee. Returned soldiers' organizations were immediately made aware of the fact that there was to be a
deadline for certain cases in Canada. I was out at the Canadian Legion convention in Vancouver, and announced it there. I know that, generally speaking, the ex-soldiers' associations were quite familiar with the legislation proposed. I do not think there was much objection to it, from their standpoint. I shall have the figures available at a later time, but offhand I would say that about six cases have been turned down as being statute barred since then-not more than that.
I think the deadline was set at July 1, 1936. The legislation was passed in June. I doubt whether it would have been possible, during that short period of time, to advise all ex-soldiers in Canada as to their rights under the legislation. But certainly all ex-solders' associations were fully aware of it.
I notice there is a reduction in the estimate of about $150,000 as compared with last year. I wonder whether this means that we have reached the peak in our pension expenditures, or whether it is just an estimate of the amount that has to be paid. If it is just an estimate, perhaps the minister could give us the amount actually expended last year on pensions.
On a former occasion I discussed the matter at some length and said that it was more or less of an estimate. I did say, however, that I thought that at the time pensions had at least been stabilized, and that they would not rise higher, unless there was some change in the legislation.
Yes. That is another matter altogether, which will rise to $12,000,000 or $13,000,000 in a few years. I have no objection to giving the expenditures. In 1932-33 pensions were about $43,000,000; in 1933-34, $41,800,000; in 1934-35, $41,900,000; in 1935-36 $41,521,000, and in 1936-37, prior to November 30, they stand at $27,653,000.