Mr. Milliken was an agricultural representative. He tried the job for two or three weeks and then gave up in desperation, because he had so many cases that he just could not handle them. I should like to know whether Mr. Milliken at the time of his resignation made any recommendations as to what should be done. His statement to the press was that it was such a terrific job he could not possibly handle it.
He found that in view of his legal practice it was not possible for him to continue in view of representations that farmers would make through legal counsel. In place of Mr. Milliken we appointed Mr. Dawson who, I understand, is giving satisfactory service.
The point I wish to make is this. A good many people, as soon as they heard that Mr. Milliken had been appointed, wrote to him to ask for a postponement. They received no reply, because almost right away Mr. Milliken resigned, and their letters apparently were lost. A good many cases came to my attention which had received no consideration at all. The next thing the applicant knew he was called up. Who preceded Mr. Milliken?
One of the most discouraging aspects of the whole situation was that the Prime Minister had made an announcement in March, 1942, to the effect that from then, on those engaged in agriculture would pretty well be kept in agriculture, and the onus of proof, according to that statement of the Prime Minister and according to the order in council rested with the board. It was the board that had to prove the men were not essential to agriculture, but the difficulty seems to be that they did not have to prove it to anyone. I ask the minister, to whom did the board have to prove that a man was not essential to agriculture?
As my hon. friend understands, the board is like a court, presided over by a judge of the supreme court. The board is the final authority under the regulations and it determines whether or not a man is essential to agriculture. The board takes no direction from the minister. It is a free agent in interpreting the law and regulations.
But according to the order in council the board had to .prove that the man was not essential to agriculture. Apparently it did not have to prove it to any one. There was no other court to which it had to prove it. It had to satisfy only itself.