June 13, 1944

THE WAR

INVASION OP WESTERN EUROPE-PARTICIPATION OP CANADIAN NAVAL SERVICE-NORTH ATLANTIC TRADE CONVOYS


Hon. ANGUS L. MACDONALD (Minister of National Defence for Naval Services): With, the permission of the house I should like to make a short statement. I have much pleasure in advising the house that men and ships of the-Royal Canadian Navy continue to fare well in the invasion of northern France. Losses in personnel thus far have been almost negligible. Public Works



Losses in. ships have been confined to a few landing craft. Canada is represented in these operations by more than one hundred Ships and almost ten thousand naval officers and men. Almost every type of fighting ship in our navy is included-destroyers, frigates, corvettes, minesweepers, landing ships, landing craft and motor torpedo boats. At the same time we have assumed considerably increased responsibilities in respect of trade convoys in the north Atlantic. There, too, we and our allies have not been without success. Loss in allied merchant shipping is now at the lowest point in the whole war. This morning it was announced that one of our frigates, H.M.C.S. Prince Rupert, had shared with British and United States planes and two United States warships in the destruction of a German submarine. This is the fourth enemy submarine the destruction of which I have had the pleasure of announcing within the last ten weeks.


PUBLIC WORKS

FIREMEN-SALARIES AND WAR SUPPLEMENTS


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Leader of the 'Opposition):

On May 16, during the debate on the war appropriation resolution, I called to the attention of the Minister of Public Works certain inequalities with respect to salaries and war supplements paid to firemen working under the jurisdiction of the minister's department. At the time he was good enough to indicate that he would inquire into the matter to see if any injustice was being done, and undertook to remedy it if he found that to be the case. The war appropriation bill having been passed, and no answer having so far been made, I should be very glad if the minister would acquaint the house with the result of his inquiry and tell us what he proposes by way of remedy for the situation.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS
Subtopic:   FIREMEN-SALARIES AND WAR SUPPLEMENTS
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LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Hon. ALPHONSE FOURNIER (Minister of Public Works):

Mr. Speaker, the leader

of the opposition was good enough to give me notice of this question. He is right in saying that during the discussion of my war estimates he inquired about the salaries paid to the seasonal firemen employed by the Department of Public Works. I intended giving the information when my civil estimates were before the committee. However I have now before me a report concerning the 118 firemen employed at Ottawa.

The salary range of these employees is from SI,140 to 11,260 a year, plus the cost-of-living bonus and in certain instances a war duties supplement. In the case of firemen it was found that some fourteen employees, due

IMr. A. L. Macdonald.]

to the increased work caused by the war, were now filling positions which under the rating schedule I have mentioned would qualify them for stationary engineer grade 1, and these employees were recommended to receive the minimum of that'class.

In addition, statutory increases not ordinarily accorded to firemen were granted. These were authorized on recommendation of the department by order in council P.C. 144/2200 of March 28, 1944, effective April 1, 1940; and these increases are now in effect and also apply to firemen outside Ottawa.

Of 118 firemen at Ottawa, fourteen received war duties supplements, three received $120 statutory increases and twenty-four received $60 statutory increases. Thirty-two will receive stautory increases in 1944, when they will have served two seasons, and thirty-eight in 1945. Thus there are only seven firemen who have not been benefited, and they were already at the maximum of their class.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS
Subtopic:   FIREMEN-SALARIES AND WAR SUPPLEMENTS
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CANADIAN FORCES

POSTAL SERVICES-ISSUE OF LETTER FORMS TO PERSONNEL OVERSEAS


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I am not certain whether the question I desire to direct to the government comes within the purview of the Department of National Defence or that of the Postmaster General. I fancy it should be brought to the attention of the Department of National Defence. ,

A member of the auxiliary services, recently returned from overseas where he worked among the men of the armed forces, is reported to have stated yesterday before a service club in London, Ontario, that men overseas, including those in hospital, were limited to one officially issued letter form per week. He is reported to have pointed out that there is no limitation on the numbers of letters allowed to go from Canada to the armed forces, and he made a plea that steps should be taken to remove limitations on the letters coming from overseas to Canada. I should be glad to have the minister's comments in the matter, and at the same time, if the situation is as described, I would ask the government to take steps to rectify it.

Topic:   CANADIAN FORCES
Subtopic:   POSTAL SERVICES-ISSUE OF LETTER FORMS TO PERSONNEL OVERSEAS
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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. J. L. RALSTON (Minister of National Defence):

I received notice of the question only after coming to the house, and I have not any first-hand information about it.

Dominion Elections Act

I believe what is referred to would be the blue air mail letter form. I know when I was in Italy there was a limitation of one per week issued. That was changed about that time, however, to two, if I remember correctly. I had not heard anything about any limitation in the United Kingdom-at least no limitation causing any complaint. I have asked the director of auxiliary services to get me a report in the matter, and I shall endeavour to inform the house as to the situation. Of course I accept the suggestion offered by the leader of the opposition, that if there is any limitation of the kind he has mentioned which can possibly be lessened having regard to existing conditions, I am sure all the services will put forth every possible effort to have it removed or at least to have it reduced.

Topic:   CANADIAN FORCES
Subtopic:   POSTAL SERVICES-ISSUE OF LETTER FORMS TO PERSONNEL OVERSEAS
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DOMINION ELECTIONS

MEASURE TO ENABLE WAR SERVICE PERSONNEL TO VOTE IN GENERAL ELECTION


Hon. N. A. McLARTY (Secretary of State) moved the third reading of Bill No) 135, to provide regulations enabling Canadian war service electors to exercise their franchise, and Canadian prisoners of war to vote by proxy, at any general election held during the present war, also to provide amendments to the Dominion Elections Act, 1938, consequential to such regulations, or made necessary by the advent of the said war.


BPC

Maxime Raymond

Bloc populaire canadien

Mr. MAXIME RAYMOND (Beauharnois-Laprairie) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, before this bill is read the third time, I wish . . .

(Text):

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENABLE WAR SERVICE PERSONNEL TO VOTE IN GENERAL ELECTION
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Lpuder.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENABLE WAR SERVICE PERSONNEL TO VOTE IN GENERAL ELECTION
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BPC

Maxime Raymond

Bloc populaire canadien

Mr. RAYMOND:

The whips of the various parties have decided to place me in the farthest corner, so that I am sometimes forced to speak louder than others have to speak.

(Translation): I wish to point out certain injustices contained in this bill. Unfortunately, it was moved at the last minute last Friday, and by referring to the record it is found that it was passed almost without discussion and without, I believe, reading each section of the bill. It might be claimed that the bill had been discussed in committee, but I have noticed that this time, as in several other instances, a group which, notwithstanding the small number of its members, represents a large section of the population, has been completely ignored and no member of my group was invited to sit on the committee appointed to examine this bill.

I do not propose to take up the time of the house, but I wish to protest against the discrimination shown to certain classes of soldiers.

Thus I find that the members of the reserve army will not have the right to vote unless they have reached the age of twenty-one, whereas the members of the active army will be entitled to vote if they are British subjects even though they are only eighteen or nineteen years old. I am glad that the right to vote has been granted to all those who are serving in the army, regardless of their age.

Besides, in connection with the debate on the plebiscite, I had moved an amendment to grant the right to vote to persons eighteen years of age, but the amendment was rejected by the house. Why bar the members of the reserve army, who are only eighteen and nineteen years of age, from voting, when they are being called up for military service? Why prevent them from voting when they are being mobilized at eighteen, under a hypocritical legislation, which has been called mobilization act while it is a conscription act, and when they are liable, as the minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston), stated, to be called up for service overseas; indeed, they have been sent to Kiska, Jamaica and Newfoundland. This group of enlisted men are discriminated against and I wish to register my protest before this bill is passed.

Another unfair stipulation is that referring to the appointment of scrutineers. It states that "two of such scrutineers shall be nominated by the Leader of the Government, two by the Leader of the Opposition and two on the joint recommendation of the Leaders of political groups having a recognized membership in the House of Commons of eight or more." I lead a group which, as I stated a moment ago, has not a large membership in this house, but represents a large proportion of the people of this country. A proof of this statement is the fact that, last August, when two by-elections were held in the province of Quebec, the government candidates were badly defeated by representatives of the group of which I am a member.

One of our candidates was elected, and if the other was not successful it was because of the manipulation of lists. In spite of the representations we made to the Secretary of State (Mr. McLarty)-and I must say, by the way, that he is usually most courteous- he did not heed our protests under the circumstances. The lists were prepared in such a way that the names of quite a number of voters from the constituency of Montreal-Cartier were left out. We asked for representatives of our own, but our request was denied under the ' pretext that it had come too late. However, the candidate of the labour-progressive party, which had no member in this house, was allowed to have some

Dominion Elections Act

one watch the preparation of lists on his behalf. I am quite glad that such a privilege was granted to him, but why should not-I would not say the same privilege-but the same right, have been granted to a much more considerable group which has members in this house, a group that expresses the views of a large proportion of the Canadian people? It was claimed that our request was belated; well, I have here some documents and telegrams, showing that some kind of revision was ordered but that a sufficient number of officials could not be found, and they were denied to us so that the revision was a eomedy; thus hundreds of thousands of names were left out of the lists for the special purpose of preventing the election of the candidate representing the group which I have the honour to lead in this house. The same thing will happen again.

Something similar did happen in connection with the proposed revision of the standing orders of the House of Commons. A change was recommended whereby no division could be recorded unless requested by twenty members, instead of five as at present. The purpose of that change was to prevent a minority which represents a very large body of opinion to demand a vote on certain occasions. In the next general election, we shall have a very large number of candidates in the field, and we are not even going to have the right to have some one look after our interests. What happened in Montreal-Cartier in the 1917 election during the Great War, shows the extreme importance, if we are to have a political party, of having such a representative.

It is said in the bill that a person may "act as representative of a political party at the taking of such votes". But what is meant by a political party? Obviously, an endeavour will be made to interpret the expression "political party" in the light of another section which says that a party must, in order to enjoy that right, have at least eight members in the House of Commons. But a political party which has less than eight members in the house may have in the field, in the next election, more than one hundred candidates and that party will not have a single representative to look after its interests. Such is the discrimination made under this bill. Consequently before its third reading, I wish to voice my protest once more. Since it is claimed that we are fighting for freedom and the protection of the rights of minorities, I say that those minorities should be given the rights for which they are called upon to fight elsewhere.

Motion agreed to and bill read the third time.

Mr. ILSLEY moved that the bill do now pass and that the title be as on the order paper.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENABLE WAR SERVICE PERSONNEL TO VOTE IN GENERAL ELECTION
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June 13, 1944