March 29, 1945

CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

On the question of the payment of gratuities to the next of kin, before we got off on a little by-path the hon. member for Lake Centre asked the minister to indicate the arguments against such payments. The only argument I heard him give was that certain limitations were contained in the legislation passed by parliament last year, although some of us did not understand it in that way at the time. Apart from that the rest of us cannot understand the objection at all, and neither can the people who are affected. I wonder if the minister would indicate what the arguments are against paying the gratuity to the next of kin without any question. Perhaps if we knew the arguments we could answer them. We would like to know the position of the government, and why it has taken so long to come around to the position which hon. members generally hold on this matter.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I think the committee had better wait for proper consideration to be given the arguments pro and con, before I endeavour to answer the question just addressed to me.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS
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Item agreed to. Direct payment to veterans and dependents- JiSB. Widows' compassionate allowances to be paid under terms and conditions approved by the governor in council-further amount required, $20,000.


CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

Is this item, by any

chance, to take care of any of the additional requests that have been made to the government from time to time by women's organizations representing the people covered by this vote? I will not take the time of the committee to go into the matter, although if we had more time I certainly would do so. The minister knows the various points these women have brought to his attention on several occasions, such as increasing the amount paid to these widows; lowering the age limit; making it available to the widows of veterans who served in the last war even if they only got to England; making it available to widows of imperial veterans who have established a

Ways and Means

certain period of residence in Canada; also free hospitalization and a number of other matters. I know that representations have been made to the government quite frequently by these women, and I should like to know whether this vote is evidence of any consideration having been given to these requests.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

As of December 31, 1944, there were 1,953 in receipt of this allowance. This legislation came into effect on April 1, 1943. The following awards have been made:

April 1, 1943-March 31, 1944 1.298

April 1, 1944-December 31, 1944 732

Reinstatements April 1, 1944-Deeember 31, 1944 4

2,034

Cancellations 81

Total number in receipt on December

31, 1944 1,953

The expenditure to December 31, 1944, was $507,396.04. The amount voted was $700,000. It is estimated that an additional $20,000 will be required to meet expenditures to March 31, 1945.

The sum of $1,000,000 has been provided under vote No. 412 for the fiscal year 1945-46.

Representations have been made to me by the hon. member for Verdun (Mr. Cote), in regard to the same point as that mentioned by my hon. friend on behalf of the Canadian non-pensioned veterans' widows' association- non-pensioned, that is, until we gave them pensions-which has passed resolutions as follows:

1. That widows' allowances be raised to $40 a month, payable to all non pensioned widows of Canadian servicemen whether they served in war theatres or elsewhere.

2. That the dependent's allowance paid the mother of a serviceman in any British force be raised to $35 a month.

3. That dependent mothers of sons who died as a result ot service in any of His Majesty's forces be granted a permanent pension of $60 a month.

4. That veterans' children, irrespective of age, who are so incapacitated mentally or physically as to be incapable of earning a livelihood, be eligible for orphan's allowance.

The present addition is under the statute and the regulations previously passed by this house and does not represent any new benefits.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

No action has been taken on those resolutions?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

No; I think we have done very well.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

Too little and too late.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Perhaps you might consider doing a little better in the future.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS
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Item agreed to. DEPARTMENT OP AGRICULTURE Marketing serviceiSIi. Marketing of agricultural products, including temporary appointments that may be required to be made, notwithstanding anything contained in the Civil Service Act, the amount available for such appointments not to exceed $15,000-further amount required, $3,000.


NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

I think this is the last of the agriculture items, and I just want to point out, in case some question may arise later, why we are not directing questions to the ministry with respect to these agriculture items. There were some matters that we wanted to take up with the Minister of Agriculture had he not been unavoidably absent, and we are reserving those until either the war appropriation estimates or the civil estimates are before the house. I state that so that there will be no misunderstanding of why these items have been passed as they have been to-day.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS
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Item agreed to. Resolutions reported, read the second time and concurred in.


March 29, 1945