March 18, 1938

LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

We are talking about the South African war.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   'EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

I am asking that the same provision be made for the South African veterans.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   'EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

We have done so as far as we are able.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   'EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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LIB

Frederick Donald MacKenzie

Liberal

Mr. MacKENZIE (Neepawa):

I wish to congratulate the minister on having brought in this legislation. Sometimes it is difficult to decide who is eligible. I want to state a case that has come to my own notice and ask the minister whether he can give an assurance that it is covered. The man in question is No. 447, No. 4 squadron, Strath-cona Horse. He went to South Africa in 1899 and returned in 1901. He was wounded in the foot and hand and has a shrapnel wound in the forehead. He also suffered from dysentery and other sicknesses. Could 'the minister give any assurance that, if the facts are as I have stated, this man is eligible?

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   'EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Certainly he is eligible, if he served with the Canadians in South Africa.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   'EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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CON

Frederick Cronyn Betts

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BETTS:

As to the point raised by the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green) the minister said that no member of the committee had suggested any way in which what my colleague wants could be done. But I can suggest a very simple way. If in the new paragraph (iii), subsection 2, which now reads " any person domiciled in Canada immediately prior to the eleventh day of October, 1899 " the words " domiciled in Canada at the date of his joining any such force " were substituted, or words conformable, the effect the hon. member seeks would be

achieved. Even if it touches only one case, or does not touch any, it would bring the new provision into conformity with the present section, and in any event would do no harm.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   'EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
Permalink
LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I am afraid it might deprive some who benefit under this amendment of some of their rights.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   'EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
Permalink
CON

Frederick Cronyn Betts

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BETTS:

How could it do that?

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   'EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

If the section passes as it is, I do not think there will be any great hardship.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   'EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
Permalink
CON

Frederick Cronyn Betts

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BETTS:

I am simply trying to get better legislation, as we all are, including the minister.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   'EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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Amendment agreed to. Section as amended agreed to. On section 3-Veterans to whom allowance is payable.


CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I have no suggestions to offer [DOT] to improve the language of subsection (c) as it now stands, except that the term " veteran " in the governing paragraph of the section would perhaps render unnecessary the repetition involved in some of the words in paragraph (c). But they are mere repetition, and cannot detract from the value.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   'EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I did take the opinion of the Department of Justice on my right hon. friend's suggestion, and they pointed out that he had perhaps inadvertently left out reference to " economic handicaps."

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   'EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

That is true. The hon. member for Comox-Albemi (Mr. Neill) directed my attention to that.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   'EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

And that possibly it might still further restrict rather than broaden the paragraph.

The objection was made by the hon. member for London (Mr. Betts) that in the section as it is in the act at present dealing with persons over fifty-five years of age there is not the same reference to the unlikelihood of these people ever being able to maintain themselves in the future. I discussed that also with representatives of the Department of Justice, and they pointed out that in the paragraph to which he refers in the legislation as it exists at present it was not necessary to mention the unlikelihood of their being able to maintain themselves, because we specifically said that the veteran, in order to profit by that legislation, had to be pre-aged, disabled or generally unfit, and if he were all of those three it naturally followed that he was not likely to be able to maintain himself in the future. For that reason they advised that it

War Veterans' Allowance Act

would not have been necessary under the former act to add those particular words in order to get the effect which was desired, either broadening or restricting. The justice department is of the opinion that the amendment as submitted gives to the board ample scope to grant allowance to any veteran who cannot maintain himself and is unlikely in the future to be able to do so, regardless of the nature of his handicaps. That is, I think, the objective which we all want to reach. We all want to cover the case of the man who is incapable of looking after himself and who is partly disabled from obtaining work in highly competitive fields such as we have in Canada. I believe the suggested amendments as brought down in the bill cover that case.

We must leave something to the discretion of the board. Every hon. member who has spoken has told us that the board has in the past carried out its duties to the satisfaction of everyone, has been broad and generous and at the same time just. The greatest compliment we could pay to them would be to allow them to continue to carry on the work which they have been doing in the past without restricting them by any act of this parliament, by any change in phraseology. I think it is giving away no secret to say that the drafting of this legislation, which took considerable time and much thought and consideration, was done in collaboration with the chairman of the war veterans' allowance board.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   'EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

May we be quite certain that it is the intention of the government that all of the 5,100 odd men who were found to be wholly or partially unfit by the veterans' assistance commission are to be covered by this section as drawn?

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   'EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
Permalink
LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Subject to investigation. I will not say that every one of those men will immediately get a war veterans' allowance, but it is the intention of the government to take in all the partially fit and the unfit. Whether an individual, Tom Jones, who was categorized as partially fit will come under this legislation, I cannot say. He should, but if for some particular and special reason known to the board he does not, I am not going to be responsible.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   'EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

But the intention is that that whole group will be covered?

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   'EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
Permalink
LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Absolutely. This bill is

drafted with that intention.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   'EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
Permalink
CCF

Charles Grant MacNeil

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacNEIL:

Because of the point raised by the minister a few minutes ago I suggest the elimination of the last few words of subsection 2. They appear to be a direction to the board which limits the discretionary power

to which he has referred. I am content to see the 'board have ample discretionary power, but this is in the nature of a direction to use a certain test as to the availability of work. It seems to nullify provisions of paragraph (c) of the preceding subsection. Would not the minister be content to use the very language he used in committee yesterday, when he said he did not intend this act to apply to any veteran who in the opinion of the board is .physically and mentally fit?

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   'EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
Permalink

March 18, 1938