January 18, 1939

PENSION ACT

ABOLITION OF PENSION APPEAL COURT AND EXTENSION OF TIME FOR PENSION APPLICATIONS


Hon. C. G. POWER (Minister of Pensions and National Health) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 6, to amend the Pension Act.


?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Explain.

Topic:   PENSION ACT
Subtopic:   ABOLITION OF PENSION APPEAL COURT AND EXTENSION OF TIME FOR PENSION APPLICATIONS
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Under this bill it is proposed to amend the Pension Act to provide for the abolition of the pension appeal court and to set up, in lieu of both the court and the quorums, appeal boards of the commission, each consisting of three members wherein the applicant's right of appeal and personal appearance will be preserved.

The volume of business coming before the appeal court has been steadily decreasing and will continue to decrease. It is considered that the abolition of the court as at present constituted will accelerate the final settlement of applications. It is not proposed to provide for the reopening of any applications heretofore disposed * by the court, other than to the extent now existing in the legislation, whereby in special circumstances leave to renew an application may be granted.

With reference to those who saw service in France, there is at present a dead-line on the date of their application for pension, which is set at January 1, 1940. This amendment proposes to extend the dead-line to January 1, 1942. The remaining sections of the bill provide for amendments to methods of procedure consequential upon the disappearance of the court.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Dominion Elections-Returning Officers

Topic:   PENSION ACT
Subtopic:   ABOLITION OF PENSION APPEAL COURT AND EXTENSION OF TIME FOR PENSION APPLICATIONS
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INTERNATIONAL FORWARDING COMPANY

CARRYING OP UNITED STATES GOODS IN BOND BY TRUCK OVER ONTARIO HIGHWAYS


On the orders of the day: Mr. NORMAN J. M. LOCKHART (Lincoln) : Pursuant to a brief intimation I gave to the Minister of National Revenue I desire to ask him a question. It has come to my attention within the last two or three days that alarm is prevalent in the Niagara peninsula with reference to a supposed application, which was referred to in this house last year, of the International Forwarding Company in regard to the carrying of bonded freight. Has there been an application or any indication of an application to the minister with respect to the carrying of United States goods in bond by the International Forwarding Company over Ontario highways? If such an application has been received, would the minister indicate the attitude of the government in this connection?


LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Hon. J. L. ILSLEY (Minister of National Revenue):

No application has been made to the Minister of National Revenue, and I have had no notice of any such application. I may say however that the Minister of National Revenue has no discretion in the matter as the law now stands, and possibly those desiring to secure the legalization of the trucking of goods in bond would not come in the first instance to myself; perhaps they would proceed in some other way, as by private bill. However I have no knowledge of it.

Topic:   INTERNATIONAL FORWARDING COMPANY
Subtopic:   CARRYING OP UNITED STATES GOODS IN BOND BY TRUCK OVER ONTARIO HIGHWAYS
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CON

Norman James Macdonald Lockhart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LOCKHART:

May I then ask the minister to whom in his opinion that authority

would go?

Topic:   INTERNATIONAL FORWARDING COMPANY
Subtopic:   CARRYING OP UNITED STATES GOODS IN BOND BY TRUCK OVER ONTARIO HIGHWAYS
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HON. C. G. POWER BIRTHDAY GREETINGS TO THE MINISTER OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH


On the orders of the day:


CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. R. J. M ANION (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I desire to ask

the government a question, but before doing so may I say that I noticed the hearty applause which greeted the Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. Power) when he entered the chamber, and someone whispered that to-day is my hon. friend's birthday. Since the minister is an old friend of mine, and since I may not have a chance to do so later in the day, I should like to offer to him my congratulations and the congratulations of those on this side of the house.

The minister is still young enough to feel that congratulations rather than commiserations are in order on his birthday. May I add that I hope he may decorate either this or the other chamber for many long years to come. I am not sure that I would not prefer to have him go to the other chamber, though I cannot speak with certainty on that, because he might do us more damage there than he can do here.

Topic:   HON. C. G. POWER BIRTHDAY GREETINGS TO THE MINISTER OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Hon. C. G. POWER (Minister of Pensions and National Health):

May I thank my

hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Manion) for his kindness and courtesy in extending his best wishes and those of his party on this occasion. I do not suppose I have reached an age when I can afford or would like to enter into any philosophical dissertation as to the experiences, good and bad, which I have had in the twenty-five years during which I have been a member of this house, but there is one thing I should like to point out, and it has been well exemplified to-day. It is this: Whatever else the house may be, it is tolerant, as has been indicated by the remarks of my hon. friend and the applause, coming from all sides of the house, which greeted them.

Topic:   HON. C. G. POWER BIRTHDAY GREETINGS TO THE MINISTER OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH
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DOMINION ELECTIONS

RETURNING OFFICERS AND ENUMERATORS- METHOD OF APPOINTMENT


On the orders of the day:


CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. R. J. MANION (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, perhaps I should

have given notice of this question, but I assure the government that my failure to do so was not due to any bad faith. I remember that until 1930 it was the custom for the government of the day to appoint returning officers. In 1934 our government passed legislation dividing the duties of the returning officer and providing for the appointment of a returning officer and a registrar of electors. The appointment of the returning officer was made in the same way as before; that is, if I remember correctly, the government appointed him. The registrar of electors, who had the duty of drawing up the electoral lists, was appointed by Colonel Thompson. These men were appointed on the basis of forty-five per cent from our side of the house, though we were very much in the majority, forty-five per cent from the Liberal side, and I think the remaining ten per cent from the third, fourth, fifth and sixth parties.

I desire to ask if it is true that now the returning officers have been given once more the work of not only providing the machinery

116 COMMONS

Dominion Elections-Returning Officers

for carrying out the election but also the work of drawing up the electoral lists. That has been represented to me in many letters I have received. The government need not answer until to-morrow, if they so desire, but I should like to know if it is true that the returning officers are now being appointed on a direct patronage basis, in all constituencies. That is the charge which is being made to me, and I should be glad to have any comment from the minister who is in charge of that department.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   RETURNING OFFICERS AND ENUMERATORS- METHOD OF APPOINTMENT
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Hon. C. G. POWER (Minister of Pensions and National Health):

With respect to this question, which is perhaps somewhat more controversial than the matter of a birthday, I believe, speaking from memory that prior to 1930 there never was any question at all as to who should appoint the returning officers. The government of the day, through the Secretary of State, appointed the returning officers as they pleased, and invariably those officers were supporters of the party in power. In 1928 and again in 1930 I was chairman of a committee of this house which brought in legislation which had not been heard of prior to that time. First, it was provided that in the appointment of enumerators for the making of electoral lists there should be a representative from each of two parties for each polling division. Second, it provided that the returning officer should be chosen not by a political officer, such as the Secretary of State, but by the chief electoral officer.

In 1930 the chief electoral officer, in the pursuance of his duty, went from one end of the country to the other. It is true that he did not, in all instances, please the members sitting on the opposite side of the house at that time; but to a very large extent either the returning officers were chosen outside of politics, at the suggestion of the opposition organization or the opposition member, or in other instances the returning officer was a public official, a prothonotary, a clerk of the court or someone who had actually withdrawn from active political controversy. That was what occurred in 1930.

In 1934 the government of which my hon. friend was a member introduced into the house two pieces of legislation, one the Franchise Act and the other the Dominion Elections Act.

' Under the Franchise Act it was provided that there should be registrars whose duty it was to see to the making up of the electoral lists. By a resolution of this house, which was consented to by all parties, Colonel John Thompson was appointed dominion franchise officer; that is to say, he became the person whose duty it was to choose the registrars for making up the lists. He took his duties seriously

and performed them in a non-partisan manner; and, as my hon. friend has pointed out, he appointed a very fair proportion of the registrars from the different political groups. At the moment I cannot say whether it was forty-five per cent or fifty per cent or ten per cent from any group; but in any case I think the appointments were made, so far as the opposition groups were concerned, in a way that gave satisfaction to them.

In 1934, however, when the Dominion Elections Act was brought in, over the protests of the then opposition the government took away from the chief electoral officer the power of appointing the returning officers, and placed it back in the hands of the Secretary of State.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   RETURNING OFFICERS AND ENUMERATORS- METHOD OF APPOINTMENT
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

In the hands of the governor in council, if you please.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   RETURNING OFFICERS AND ENUMERATORS- METHOD OF APPOINTMENT
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January 18, 1939