April 28, 1944

NAT

James Arthur Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

There is not.

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PC

James J. Donnelly

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DONNELLY:

What is the date?

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

1930, chapter 35, section 4.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

May I say to the minister that he may be able to read to the committee the letter of the law, but the spirit of the act has been criticized very fairly but perhaps not in the language that the minister would use. Nevertheless, it is the spirit in which the act has been administered that has led to the criticism of the hon. member for Greenwood this afternoon. When I spoke a couple of weeks ago I dealt with these matters in the hope that the minister would see that the very thing which the hon. member for Greenwood spoke of to-day would be carried out and that the whole philosophy of the pension commission and department would be changed so that what he suggests would be carried out.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

This is not the appropriate time to carry on p debate on this matter. There will be plenty of opportunities when my estimates are before this committee. I wish to tell my hon. friend that the spirit of the present commission is 100 per cent for the soldier. Six out of nine were privates in the line in the last war. Every one saw service. There is continuously a misrepresentation of this section 62. In every case where it is possible to do so the benefit is given to the applicant for pension, and it will be done as long as I have anything to do with the department,

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Is the minister himself satisfied that the administration of the Pension Act has been working out satisfactorily?

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Of course, in any administration there are cases of hardship and cases of unfairness. There are bound to be. The spirit and the intent of the Canadian pension commission

War Appropriation-Labour

is to give the benefit of the doubt to every applicant. That is certainly my intent, as it is my hon. friend's.

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

overcome to a large degree if labour were represented on such boards. Then again, labour is uneasy about cessation of production in certain lines, uneasy as to what is going to happen to it, or where or when, or whether a place is to be found for it in other activities. If labour had some advance notice, through its own representatives, a much better feeling would prevail and more confidence in government would result. To give labour representation on such boards as local selective service boards and deny it representation on policy-making boards is only to pay lip-service to an important principle.

I am absolutely in accord with that statement.

The minister stated this afternoon that he had, I think some hundred and fifty-

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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

The total is 352.

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

-some 350 representatives of labour on different boards. I am not quarreling with that statement, nor do I dispute it because I do not know.

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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

That is a matter of record.

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

I am taking the minister's word for it. The point I make is that by and large those representatives are acting in an ' administrative capacity. There is no labour representation on the policy-making bodies. Those labour representatives are placed in a position of having to administer legislation which they had no part in making. Be it good, bad or indifferent, they have to try to justify it. I know many of them have a difficult job to do in that connection. Until such time as the government is prepared to give the representatives of labour an opportunity of sitting on the bodies where the legislation is drafted, where there will be an opportunity of getting their opinion-

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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

May I say this to my hon. friend? You must be elected first. I think every' grown up man understands that.

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

No, I do not. The legislation they are administering to-day is largely legislation by order in council. There are no elected representatives of the people drafting those orders in council.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

My hon. friend is suggesting that much of the legislation is initiated by order in council. I would suggest that there is only one representative out of nineteen where that is being done.

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

I presume that is the minister. The minister said that you have to be elected.

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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

That is the hardest thing.

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

I do not see it in that way. As I pointed out to the minister, most of the legislation is by order in council.

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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

You will find that out if you ever get over here.

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

The members of this house are not writing those orders in council. The representatives of industry and business behind the scenes are taking good care of their own interests. The legislation is passed along to the labour representatives to try to justify it, and a lot of them are having a rather difficult job. If you can call in the heads of industry and give them an opportunity of saying what their needs are in drafting orders in council, why cannot you call in the representatives of labour and give them the same opportunity? I think you would have a lot less trouble with the legislation.

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April 28, 1944