I have one other question which interlocks with the Department of Veterans' Affairs. It has to do with soldiers' estates after discharge. I understand that on the death of a soldier the estates branch turns over the gratuity which he might have earned to his estate. What would happen in the case of a man who is discharged and is on one hundred per cent pension, but who had not received his gratuity allowance? Suppose the man died; what would happen to his gratuity? Would the Department of National Defence open up the estate of this man or would it be left to the Department of Veterans' Affairs?
The authority for the payment of the cash gratuity has been delegated from veterans' affairs to the various ministers of national defence; that is the cash part of it. The reestablishment credit part of the gratuity still remains directly under the Minister of Veterans' Affairs. In the case of a man who died or was killed a year or two years ago, that will be handled by the appropriate defence service. The application would have to be made by the person to whom his estate went in accordance with the terms of the legislation passed in, I think, 1940.
Under the legislation of last year those who qualify under the regulations of the dependents' allowances, and those who are partly dependents under the category receiving assigned pay were entitled, but that was considered to be too limited. Now the cash gratuity of a deceased soldier, sailor or airman, goes to the person designated as next of kin in his estate.
This afternoon I was only referring to the application by the soldier himself generally. But my understanding is that, in virtue of the order in council which was passed the other day, payments are to be handled by the Department of Veterans Affairs. '
The records of the terms of the estate as designated by the deceased may be in the possession of the defence services. These must be communicated to the Department of Veterans' Affairs before the appropriate payments can be made.
Do I understand in connection with all these estates that the appropriate branch, whether it be army, navy or air force, will advise the Department of Veterans' Affairs as to who is designated in the will to receive that particular estate, and that will be done automatically?