May 1, 1944

LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

No. We have reached

the point where we have to call six men in order to get one; five of the six are either postponed or rejected.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

Then I should

like to refer to table No. 11 which the minister placed on Hansard during the course of his remarks. I have before me sonie of the percentages in class A. We find that in London it is 49 per cent, Toronto 49-6 per cent, Kingston 49-2, Port Arthur 52-8, Montreal 30, Quebec 29-3 per cent-and there are others at 45, 48-8, 51-9, 48-6, 49-7, 55-5 and 56-1 per cent. Is the health of the province of Quebec as bad as that figure would indicate?

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

I cannot express an

opinion upon that.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

I did not hear

the answer.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

I do not think it is

fair to express an opinion on that. However, he who runs may read. There are the figures which have come to my department.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

Have those figures ever been investigated?

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

There are the figures.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

I do not see how there could be that much discrepancy.

I should like to ask the minister a question in connection with the reinstatement of returned men, those getting their positions back upon discharge. I imagine that would come under this item. They return to their jobs, and to positions not worse than they would have had, if they had not enlisted. What is done about that? Is there anything done so that these men are put back in jobs not worse than they would have had, had they not enlisted?

I have several cases here about which I wish to make some inquiry. I do not intend to mention names, but I would point out one or two cases in point. Here is one case-and there is a series of them. I think in some cases there is a lot of buck-passing in connection with taking these men back, and that is very bad for morale in the factories. If anyone should have consideration, certainly it should be those men who have been overseas and are returned again to civil life.

Here is one example. Before enlistment this man was a lead hand in a sheet metal department, and was receiving seventy-five cents an hour. He was wounded at Dieppe, and was discharged on April 3, 1944. Upon application for reinstatement he was told that there

were no vacancies. He was later reinstated in the sheet metal department at the rate of seventy-five cents an hour. A good deal of kicking went on. That amount included cost of living bonus. This man has the right at the present time to a wage of eighty-five cents.

Here is another case. This man was employed in September, 1941; enlisted in August, 1942; was discharged in February, 1944, and was reinstated at fifty-five cents an hour as a junior store clerk. The rate is still fifty-five cents, plus cost of living bonus. Employees who started after him are now receiving ninety cents an hour. They are all lead hands.

Those are just a couple of cases, but there are a great many others I could place on record. Could the minister explain just what is being done to see that men who are returned are getting their rights upon reinstatement, according to the laws of the land?

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

Obviously I do not know the details of the cases to which the hon. member has referred. One cannot get down to individual cases in committee, because we are dealing with tens of thousands of men. But we have veteran welfare officers in all the larger centres of the dominion, and it seems to me that if these men have proper cases- and I think they are informed of that fact when they leave the army-

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

I might say that these cases have been given to me by the man who represents the legion.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

We do not know anything about them. We have welfare officers, and the law is clear in the matter. I understand that when these men leave the forces or are discharged they are informed as to their rights, and the machinery that exists for the assistance of men who have served in the fighting forces. Obviously on the floor of the house I cannot say what the facts are in connection with the cases my hon. friend has mentioned. However, of course I appreciate his having brought these to my attention.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

I do not think the minister has understood me correctly. I brought up these cases only as examples.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

I appreciate that.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

I want to know what the department is doing in matters of this kind-because these are only two; there are lots of others, and in various places. There is the greatest difficulty in some cases in connection with having these men reinstated in their position, or in a position which would not

Bank Act

be worse than they would have had, had they not enlisted. It is all very well to put them back into their jobs, but they must be not worse than they would have been, had they not enlisted. That is my point, and I think it is a serious matter.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

My hon. friend will understand that the mere fact that something is written on a piece of paper does not mean that such alleged facts are as set out. It does not mean that an investigation might not show the facts otherwise. However, if the hon. member will be good enough to turn the correspondence over to myself or to the Minister of Pensions and National Health, I shall be glad to look into the facts.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

I have a few more cases, but perhaps the Chairman might call it eleven o'clock.

Item stands.

Progress reported.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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At eleven o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. Tuesday, May 2, 1944


May 1, 1944