If the deceased pensioner's estate is insufficient to pay last illness and burial expenses the commission may make a grant not exceeding $150, provided the payment in respect of burial shall not exceed $100. If the soldier dies of a pensionable disability, or where his death is ruled attributable to war service, the widow and children are eligible provided (1) that the marriage was contracted before January 1, 1930, or before the soldier was granted a pension; (2) that the children were born prior to May 1, 1933, and are within the age limit and (3) that they were supported or entitled to be supported by the soldier.
In cases where disability pension was payable at the rate of eighty per cent or more at the time of death, irrespective of the cause of death the widows and children are eligible, provided (1) that the marriage was contracted before January 1, 1930; (2) that the children were bom prior to May 1, 1933, and are within the age limit and (3) that they were supported or entitled to be supported by the soldier.
If the soldier dies under conditions which do not entitle his dependents to pension, any surviving eligible children are paid a bonus of one year's additional pension at the rate being paid on their account at the time of death.
With respect to the agitation which has spread throughout the country, and which has been organized by an association which, I believe, is known as the Non-Pensioned War Widows' Association, new legislation would have to be enacted by the house to cover nearly all the cases which have been submitted this afternoon. We would have to adopt an entirely new principle. It must not be forgotten that for many years in the house there was a great deal of agitation to enable any widows who married soldiers after the appearance of disabilities to get pensions. The fear then was that if we opened the door too wide to pensions for widows we would get this country into the position in which the United States finds itself with respect to war widows' pensions.