April 3, 1945

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):

That is quite correct.

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

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. NOSEWORTHY:

Or attempting to

persuade them that they have-

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

May I assure my hon. friend that this is no new story?

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

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. NOSEWORTHY:

-a superior limb. I think it should be made abundantly clear to the Canadian public and to the great war veterans concerned that this government is providing them, as it has every right to do, with the very best that can be procured in the way of artificial limbs.

War Appropriation

A number of references have already been made to the question of the merchant marine.

I should like to refer to that branch of the service now. I have before me a letter written by an officer serving on board the SS Coronation Park. The letter is dated "Somewhere in the south Pacific", and is from a member of my own constituency, one with whom I am acquainted and in whose integrity I have every reason to believe. Several points are raised in this letter which I think need some clearing up. The first question raised is whether or not any provision has been made whereby the merchant marine may be able to vote in the forthcoming federal election. This letter was written on March 12. On that date the members of the crew on board this particular ship had not heard any word whatever of any provision being made for their voting. At that time they had heard from the Tokyo radio that there was likely to be an election in Canada about April 17 or soon after, and they were quite concerned because so far as they knew no provision had been made whereby they could register their vote.

The second point raised in this letter that I wish to call to the attention of the government is that this officer claims that the crew on board this ship sailed from Vancouver into the southern Pacific, into areas where white men had scarcely been able to live in pre-war days, into an area where they were exposed to the various epidemics that are prevalent in that climate, such as malaria, yellow fever, cholera and the like. Not one of that crew received before sailing, an inoculation of any kind or was given any protection whatever against such diseases as were prevalent in that area. There appears to have been gross neglect on the part of the medical authorities in that case. The men on this ship I am told, had to provide their own safeguards, and neither before nor after they sailed, up .to the date of this letter, were they given anything by way of inoculation.

The third question, is as to the nature of the contract made by the government, or those responsible for government ships, when those ships are chartered to the war department or the wartime shipping board at Washington. These men are serving on a Park ship, a government ship, which had been operated by a private company in Vancouver. They were chartered by that private company to the wartime shipping board at Washington. They are engaged in carrying materials of war to United States soldiers in the southern Pacific. They are working under exactly the same conditions and doing the same type of work as United States seamen on board liberty and victory ships; yet I am informed that they receive a 32283-25

war risk bonus of 144.50 a month, while Americans, taking the same risks and doing that particular job, receive a war bonus of $5 a day over and above one hundred per cent of their basic wage; and that American seamen have an income five to seven times that of Canadian seamen doing the same work on very much the same type of ship.

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

Did my hon. friend say five to seven times the amount?

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

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. NOSEWORTHY:

From five to seven times.

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

Surely that cannot be right.

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

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. NOSEWORTHY:

That they receive in wages and bonus from five to seven times the amount received by Canadian seamen.

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

Has my hon. friend concrete figures to substantiate that statement?

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

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. NOSEWORTHY:

The figures quoted by this officer for some of the Americans indicate that they receive as much as $350 a month, inciuding their bonus, while serving in that particular war zone.

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

May I ask where that is published?

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

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. NOSEWORTHY:

Those are figures

given me in this letter from an officer serving on a Canadian ship in that zone. Someone in the department responsible might indicate just what, is the nature of the wage contract with Canadian seamen working for the war shipping board at Washington, carrying war materials to United States soldiers and running the same risks as United States sailors, and how their wage scale compares with that of the United States sailors.

Those are the points to which I wanted to call the attention of the government at the present time. I have others which will come up when the estimates of the various departments are under review.

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

James Arthur Ross

National Government

Mr. J. A. ROSS (Souris):

I am one of those who believe this house should have been called together two months ago in order to examine these huge expenditures now before us. We realize that the interim budget presented to-day is on the same scale as that of a year ago, which was the largest in the history of this country. Although we sat for some seven months last year it was impossible to get all the details we would have liked in connection with that budget. Therefore I believe the public will realize that with less than ten sitting days before us it will be impossible to obtain all the information we

War Appropriation

But when the war is won, we shall be faced with the all-important problem, of reconstruction, I do not think this government has a proper reconstruction policy for the country. In this respect I am sorry the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) refused to hold a dominion-provincial conference, because I am one who believes, rightly or wrongly, that you cannot have a proper reconstruction policy in Canada without consulting the provincial governments. In my view it would be impossible to do so. I have discussed the matter with provincial and municipal officials, and they all feel that we cannot have a sound reconstruction policy for the future until such time as a dominion-provincial conference has been held, and some discussion has been had on the matter.

Coming back to the matter of the present man-power policy, I was amazed to-day to hear the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar <(Mr. Coldwell) talk about the lesser issue of winning the war. I believe that was what he *said this afternoon, when discussing this subject. To my mind that is the all-important issue before this country and the world to-day. I am sure there is no one in the house who would feel very happy about the solution of our post-war problems if we did not first win the war, and do everything we can for those gallant men and women who have played their parts, and many of whom have given their all, in this greatest issue of all time for our nation.

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

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

The hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar did not use the word "lesser" at all. He used the word "narrower" which, in the circumstances, was the proper word.

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

James Arthur Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (Souris) :

I stand corrected. He referred to a narrower issue; that was his exact wording. I do not think it is a narrower issue, at all. I say the winning of the war is the greatest issue. However, I simply refer to that in the thought that our post-war period plans would not mean much to the country, if the winning of the war were not the first and greatest issue. To my mind we owe a great debt of gratitude to those men and women who have won the war for us, and who make our post-war plans possible.

Then, speaking again of man-power, in my view the Department of National Defence should tell us about the man-power situation in the armed services, and bring that information up to date. I have referred to two questions which have been before-

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

Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

The reason why the question to which' the hon. member refers has not been answered is that it requires obtaining a good

deal of information from England. We hope to have it almost any day. There is a great deal of information asked for in that question, as my hon. friend will notice upon looking at it. It has not been possible up to the present time to get all that information. However as soon as it is here I can assure my hon. friend that his question will be answered.

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

James Arthur Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

But it was asked sixteen days ago, and I remember a period only last winter when it was possible to gather information on very short notice-hours or da.ys- to tell the people of this country that the shortage of munitions and equipment was more important at that time than the manpower question. On instructions of the Department of National Defence a censorship was placed upon any reference in newspapers to the man-power situation at that time.

I should like to have from the department the number of men who have been A.W.O.L. or who have deserted up to date. I am satisfied1 that the figure will be greater than the figure of 16,000 given in the order in council with reference to N.R.M.A. men.

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

Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

You may be surprised.

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

James Arthur Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

I may be, but I say that I fully believe the figures for the Canadian army to date will be greater than those we have had. The parliamentary secretary has given the answer right now when he says that I may be surprised.

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

Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I have not the figures with me, but the hon. member may be surprised when he gets them.

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

April 3, 1945