April 5, 1945

NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

The parliamentary assistant mentioned that at the front wonderful facilities are available for looking after the wounded. The other day I received a letter from a boy who was bom on a farm a few miles from where I live, and in it he says:

I have recovered to some extent from my wounds, but I am not well as yet; I still have bandages on, but I am back in the front line.

Is that the custom, that they should be sent back?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

Most definitely not. I cannot understand it, and if my hon. friend will give me the particulars of the case I shall have it investigated. That is not the practice.

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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

That is not the first case I have of the kind. I know the boy would not write to his wife

War Appropriation-The Army

in that way unless it was so. I will check up on the number-I have it in my office- and let the minister have it.

I do. not think the department have that close cooperation with the selective service department which it should have. I say that for this reason. A boy in Peterborough was engaged in essential work and got one postponement and, since he could not be replaced, being an expert in his line, his employer wrote to the registrar asking that the postponement be continued for another term. He did not receive a reply from the registrar, and so about a week before the first postponement was up, he telephoned to the registrar and told him of the case. He was informed that since no decision had yet been made in regard to the boy the registrar could not say anything, but he suggested to the employer that he keep the boy on at his work. Before the postponement was up, the boy was called into the selective service office. The employer went with him, and the selective service officer told the boy that no decision had been made but he did not think the boy would get another postponement. But he never said that the boy would have to report. The boy went back and continued at his work. His postponement was up on a Saturday, and twenty-one days after that, although the selective service knew that the boy was working at this man's plant -there was no doubt about it-the officers went to the boy's house at three o'clock in the morning, took him out of bed and put him in the clink in the training camp at Peterborough. At eleven o'clock the next morning, owing to the fact that representations had been made to the authorities, the boy was let out on the understanding that he would return to the training camp by two o'clock in the afternoon and sign for active service. When this boy was given postponement the first time he was quite willing, if necessary, to go and sign for active service. He lived seven or eight miles from town, and before he got back, before two o'clock, when he was a few miles from town, he was picked up by the authorities when making his way to the training camp, and was put in the clink again. However, he was taken out and told that all charges against him would be cancelled. When he got to the military camp, however-I am not sure which one, but it is on record in the Minister of Labour's department-he was told, "You did not report for duty and we are docking your first month's pay twenty-one days."

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

That is the first point where my hon. friend's criticism can apply to the army.

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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

But

the military came in when they took the boy out at three o'clock in the morning. That is why I say there is no cooperation between selective service and the military, because selective service should have told them about the case.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

If the hon. member will give me the name I shall have the case investigated, but the responsibility for deciding whether a man would be taken in or not rests with selective service. I presume selective service in this case informed the army authorities that this man had been called for service and had not reported and asked them to go and pick him up.

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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

But selective service knew where he was. They knew where he was working and they knew he was not trying to dodge anything. He was willing to sign up in the first instance.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

On the facts given, the

action appears to be arbitrary. If my hon. friend will give me the name of the case I shall look into it.

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PC

Norman James Macdonald Lockhart

Progressive Conservative

Mr. LOCKHART:

I want one or two

points cleared up in my mind) in case there are more extended remarks I desire to make later on. The Minister of Veterans' Affairs spoke about consideration being given, and I wish to ask a supplementary question having regard to two or three accidents that occurred to fire-fighters overseas. What provision is made to compensate them? Perhaps the results might be serious in such cases. They do not get gratuities. Will the minister amplify that?

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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):

In all these cases I have mentioned, if they suffer injury while on duty overseas they are pensionable, but they are not yet entitled to the various other benefits of rehabilitation.

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PC
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 amend that by adding, except those who are in receipt of pensions. Then they are entitled to rehabilitation.

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PC

Norman James Macdonald Lockhart

Progressive Conservative

Mr. LOCKHART:

One other question.

Has any list been compiled covering army personnel who have returned to Canada, from the point of view of the different theatres of war; I refer to men of four and five years' service? Have lists been compiled in that way?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I cannot say whether lists

have been compiled in that way. I doubt whether they have specific lists made up as to men serving in different theatres.

Duration oj Parliament

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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):

We get complete records in regard to length of service.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

But the hon. member is

asking about different theatres of war. I will make inquiries.

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PC

Norman James Macdonald Lockhart

Progressive Conservative

Mr. LOCKHART:

Have notices been sent to men who have returned on rotation leave- that would mean men with four years' service anyway-specifying the date when they will be called back for service overseas.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

No, I do not think so.

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PC
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

The policy is that men

returning on rotational duty are not sent overseas unless they express a desire to that effect.

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April 5, 1945