May I remind my hon. friend that he was mistaken when he made a statement the other night on this subject, having overlooked the change which had been made in the hospital allowances given to a man hospitalized after he is discharged. I read those rates into the record at that time. I think most of the committee feels that the subject has been pretty well discussed under this item, even though it does not fall under my department. I would ask my hon. friend for the sake of regularizing the proceedings to bring this matter up under the appropriate item in the Department of Pensions and National Health estimates.
I should like to say this as a final word. I feel that it is the function of the Department of National Defence to see to it that until the man is completely discharged to civilian life he should not be penalized after he has passed out of their hands into the Department of Pensions and National Health.
Apropos of the well deserved compliment which the minister paid a few minutes ago to the men in the Kiska forces, I should like to take just a few minutes to ask a question. If the minister will recall my remarks of some time ago he will remember that on February 17 I discussed with him the matter of income tax deductions from these men. I was grateful for the studied hearing he gave to our representation at that time. Since I discussed the matter in the committee I have made additional representations to the minister by letter. I have also been in touch with the Minister of Finance and the Minister of National Revenue. My question is: have developments in this matter reached such a stage that the minister can tell us whether the men to whom I refer will have their full exemption in regard to income tax while they were in Kiska?
I repeat to my hon. friend what I said the other night, when the matter was under discussion, that full attention and full consideration was being given to the matter. When it has been decided upon, an announcement will be made. I do not think it will be very long before the announcement is made.
Early in the discussion I asked a question about the cost of clothing for soldiers. I thought the minister was going to bring down the answer. I think the cost of clothing a soldier when he joins the army should be figured out.
After the lengthy discussion on this department I am still very much confused about our man-power problem. I read in the press
"-Prime Minister as a war leader. I cannot credit that statement.
I am happy to think that before very long another message came over the air which was -as a result of a statement from Washington that President Roosevelt had said that this was certainly no time for celebration-to the effect that the celebration was off. I am happy to think that occurred before we, as Canadians, had been humiliated.
I think it is the duty of every public official in this country, and especially those in the
rMr. J. A. Ross.]
government, to avail themselves of every opportunity to impress upon our citizens that this war is far from won, as the minister has himself said. I feel rather frustrated about the whole situation, as I must confess. I cannot see the end of this war in sight in the near future. I think it is bad that our people are led to believe that it is nearly over. As I stated, we must keep before our people that we have a long, dark, hard pull ahead of us.
I hate to think of the heartaches that I fear will take place in this country as a result of great casualties if we win this war as we should. I think that should be impressed upon the public. _
As I say, the man-power situation, the recruitment for the various armed services and the draft system do not portray the seriousness of the situation. I am not able to get to the bottom of it. I am more befuddled, after listening to the remarks of the Minister of National Defence, than I was before I started, and I certainly was in a deep mystery then.
That may be. I do not profess to be an armchair strategist or anything of that kind. But I have had a little experience in war, and I am prepared to take up arms again if the opportunity should arise. But I say I am quitfe confused. I say we are not impressing the seriousness of this whole business on the people of Canada as we should.
I trust that we shall not need any further recruitment, either by the draft system or voluntarily. But, as I say, it does not add up, as far as I am concerned. Along with what has been said by the minister, the leader of the opposition, and others on various occasions, I want to impress upon the people that we have a very serious task ahead of us. I am afraid it will cost this country a lot in lives. We should be impressing that seriously upon the people. I repeat, what we have learned here in the last few weeks has not borne that out.