result of the performance of duty. But a number of cases arose in which men were the victims of accident while away from their military duties and under circumstances in no way associated with their service. It was not considered that any claim for war pension should arise from the consequences of accidents and incidents which come to all of us in the course of our ordinary lives.
A special regulation was necessary to meet this set of conditions because the original pension act was based on the conditions of the last war, when the assumption was that every man enlisted would proceed as rapidly as possible to a theatre of war.
A further amendment to the pension legislation was adopted on September 25, 1940, by P.C. 63/5079.
This order in council provides that Canadians who have joined the imperial forces since the outbreak of war shall receive pension at the Canadian rates.
Specifically the order in council provides that the Canadian Pension Act shall apply to persons who were resident and domiciled in Canada at the outbreak of the war and who, subsequent to September 1, 1939, have become members of the naval, military or air forces of the United Kingdom.
The benefits of the Canadian Pension Act shall apply to such persons if they suffer disability or death in respect of which a gratuity or pension is awarded under the laws or regulations of the United Kingdom, provided that the benefits shall be paid to persons who are residents of Canada, and only during the continuance of their residence therein.
The object of this was to provide for pension at the Canadian scale to bona fide Canadians who since the outbreak of war, have joined the imperial forces or been transferred thereto, and who return to live in Canada, or whose dependents, in the case of death, reside in Canada.
The large number of Canadians who have entered the service of the Royal Air Force and of the Royal Navy are, of course, the chief persons affected.
These men have offered their services in the manner in which they can best be applied to the common cause of the empire. I am sure it is the desire of all Canadians that, because circumstances have caused their services to be rendered in the forces of the United Kingdom, they shall not be deprived of the benefits of our legislation in any particular where the Canadian law provides greater or better assistance than would be received under the laws of another part of the empire.
During the present month, a further order in council (P.C. 204-6613, dated November 18,
[Mr. I. A. Mackenzie.J
1940) has been adopted, to meet a problem which many members have had drawn to their attention. It is necessarily and rightly the function of the armed- forces to have on their strength only men who are fit for service, or who are expected to recover from any accident or illness which they experience, and return to service.
As soon as it is determined that a man is no longer fit for service, he has no place in the armed forces, and he is very properly discharged.
It was found, however, that the Department of Pensions and National Health had no authority to admit men to hospital after their discharge, unless and until it was ascertained that the disability was pensionable. The new order in council overcomes a very serious difficulty.
It is now provided that, if a man is in hospital under the department at the time of his discharge, treatment Shall be continued, and a special allowance equal to assigned pay and dependents' allowance .to the man's dependents shall be continued until treatment is concluded, or it has been determined whether the man is eligible for pension.
If a ruling is given that the man is not eligible for pension, the allowance shall continue for a period of seven days thereafter. Treatment, however, may be continued by the Department of Pensions and National Health until completed.
This order in council will, it is felt, avoid much hardship which would otherwise accrue to the families of men who are found unfit for further military service during the time required to adjudicate on the question of pension entitlement.
There have been approximately 20,000 discharges from the armed services, but many of these represent persons who did some temporary guard duty in their own localities.
Some served for a few days or few weeks and the majority were never far away from their own provinces. It cannot be said that their contact with civilian life was completely disrupted for a long period, and in fact the majority have been reemployed.
About 1,000 men have returned from service overseas, about two-thirds of whom have been discharged to civil life.
Although the tremendous amount of war industry and general commercial prosperity resulting from the large war expenditures have created a most favourable employment market in Canada, special problems have already developed in connection with the placement and welfare of these discharged men.
At my personal request, one of my principal advisory officers made a tour of the chief Canadian cities investigating present condi-
tions, and his observations were placed before a general advisory committee, whose functions I intend later to describe in detail.
Following a most careful study of the problem, in the course of which the views and experience of many private organizations and agencies interested in the welfare of the soldier were obtained, the government has decided to create, in the Department of Pensions and National Health, a new division, to be known as the veterans' welfare division.
There will be representatives of the division in all principal centres where such representation is needed and there will be a chief administrative officer at Ottawa.
The duties of this division and its representatives will be as follows:
(a) To interview, advise and assist former members of the forces.
(b) To become conversant with all regulations relating to pensions, allowances, medical treatment, employment, training, social welfare and other policies that may be of assistance to the ex-service men.
(c) To make a study of all occupational opportunities in the areas at which sub-divisions are established.
(d) To encourage employers to reemploy discharged men who were formerly in their
(e) To endeavour to secure preference for ex-service men in employment by industry generally.
(f) To keep in constant touch with the employment service of Canada, with regard to available employment.
(g) To obtain information from the Department of National Defence with respect to members of the forces arriving in the several areas for discharge, to arrange for notification to be sent to their families and to encourage volunteer local committees to welcome them.
(h) To maintain contact with veterans' organizations, with a view to fostering interest in the rehabilitation of former members of the forces, and to keep in touch with all other agencies likely to be of assistance.
(i) To develop favourable public opinion regarding the reestablishment of former members of the forces.
(j) To report to Ottawa on the activities and requirements in each district, and upon the results of the various types of reestablishment activity.
At the same time, I am able to inform the house that the auxiliary services of the Department of National Defence have instructed their local representatives to establish contact with all men at the time of discharge, and refer them to facilities that have been organized to assist in their reestablishment.
With the creation of the veterans' welfare division to coordinate civilian activities, a complete liaison will now be established, so that the man will be informed of all measures available to assist him in his return to normal civil life.
Prior to the establishment of the veterans' welfare division, measures had been taken in all chief centres to bring together the voluntary agencies desirous of assisting the ex-service men. The representative of the department, whose tour of Canada I have just described, held meetings in the following centres: Montreal, Quebec, Saint John, Halifax, Kingston, Toronto, London, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon. Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
In many of these centres he found citizens' committees already in existence, awaiting only some guidance and official machinery which would bring them into direct contact with the problem. In other centres representative groups were called together and arranged to create such committees. The form which the committees take will vary, according to the desires of the community itself.
Thus, in New Brunswick it was decided to ask the Red Cross society, which has branches in every community, to undertake the formation of committees throughout the province to interest themselves in the placement of men returned from overseas.
In several cities, particularly in the west, it was felt that the already established machinery of the veterans' assistance committees should be utilized and it was decided to add to the personnel of the voluntary committees to make them more broadly representative of the community at large and of those in a position to assist.
In Toronto, a citizens' committee, consisting very largely of outstanding industrial leaders, was in existence and had already placed some 250 men. Other organizations, such as the greater Toronto war services advisory council, agreed to cooperate.
One large industrial company has agreed to offer the facilities of its personnel division as a centre in which any official selected by the government might be trained in vocational guidance and placement work in the Toronto area, without cost to the public. I wish to express my personal appreciation of this splendid offer, because it is very evident that trained placement and vocational guidance personnel will be required by the department in increasing numbers as the problem develops.
As an illustration of the type of voluntary committees now being formed, it is interesting to note that in Saskatoon there were