August 15, 1946

INDIAN AFFAIRS


Third report of special joint committee of Senate and House of Commons appointed to examine and consider the Indian Act.-Mr. Brown.


MOTOR VEHICLES

RESCINDING OF REGULATIONS RESPECTING DISTRIBUTION

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Right Hon. C. D. HOWE (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply):

Mr. Speaker, I desire to table a copy of order in council P.C. 3456, passed on the 14th day of August, rescinding the regulations respecting the distribution of motor vehicles.

As the house will recall, during the period from May 7 to June 30 applications for priority certificates were accepted and processed but, due to the number of certificates outstanding and not honoured, the issue of the certificates was suspended until July 1, when all which had been approved during this period were issued. After the 1st July no applications were accepted, except in very special circumstances. On August 1 the controller's orders were amended to prohibit the sale or delivery by a dealer of a new passenger car or truck to anyone who was not the holder of a priority certificate. Since then new passenger cars and trucks have been delivered only to holders of a priority certificate. It is now felt that the distribution of motor vehicles can best be handled by normal trade channels, and the regulations have accordingly been rescinded.

I should remind the house that price ceilings on motor vehicles are fixed by the wartime prices and trade board, and that the rescinding of these regulations does not remove or affect the price ceilings on motor vehicles.

Topic:   MOTOR VEHICLES
Subtopic:   RESCINDING OF REGULATIONS RESPECTING DISTRIBUTION
Permalink

CANADIAN ARMED FORCES

ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW METHOD OF DEALING WITH ABSENTEES AND DESERTERS

LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Hon. DOUGLAS ABBOTT (Minister of National Defence):

I desire to announce that a new method has been adopted of dealing

Armed Forces-Absentees

with absentees and deserters from the armed

forces. The new method will apply to all service personnel who went absent on or before 1st January, 1946, and who had not been apprehended or had not surrendered themselves before 15th August, 1946. It will not apply to those who deserted or went absent while serving overseas. The order in council authorizing the new method, provides that such persons shall be deemed never to have served in the armed forces of Canada and consequently shall not be entitled to any of the rights, privileges or benefits normally accorded to members of the armed forces.

The new method to be now adopted was approved by the Prime Minister prior to his departure for the Paris peace conference. The order in council authorizing the new method of dealing with absentees and deserters was passed yesterday and the effective date fixed as to-day, August 15.

At the present time there are approximately 14,000 army absentees and deserters still unapprehended of whom approximately 8,200 are N.R.M.A. personnel and 5,800 general service personnel; 155 in the navy and 140 in the R.C.A.F. During the war, and from the end of the war up to the present time, active efforts were made by the services to apprehend absentees and deserters. When apprehended or after surrendering they were tried by service authorities. A period of detention normally followed. This has required the maintenance at a substantial cost of special service establishments such as provost corps, staffs at headquarters and depots, and military detention barracks, to apprehend, discipline and retain in custody the absentees and deserters. Further expenditures are incurred upon the issuance of rations and quarters, medical and dental treatment, clothing and equipment, as well as dependents' allowance for the dependents of those in detention.

When such absentees and deserters have served their sentences they are discharged from the armed forces and at that time they normally receive a clothing allowance of $100, plus other rehabilitation benefits, including in many cases a war service gratuity and rehabilitation grant based on the period of satisfactory service but not including the time spent while absent without leave or in detention. In addition there are other benefits of real value for which they may be eligible, including disability pensions, assistance under the Veterans' Land Act and the like. Such personnel are entitled to dental treatment at the time of discharge as well as free medical treatment for the first year after discharge. This new method will have, therefore, the result of

imposing a penalty by the removal of benefits to which such personnel would otherwise be entitled and, at the same time, effecting substantial economies in both manpower and financial outlay.

Numerous requests and representations

have been made from time to time during the past year for a general amnesty as was granted on December 20, 1919 after the last war. The method which has been adopted imposes an automatic penalty which deprives absentees and deserters of the benefits which they might otherwise derive as members or former members of the armed forces.

The method which I have outlined applies only to those absent before January 1, 1946 and is not intended to include the casual shortterm absentee who continues as a normal problem of the three services. While length of absence is not an infallible guide as to the intention not to return to service, it is a general indication that the absentee does not voluntarily intend to return. It was thought that all absentees who merited any real consideration have had more than a fair opportunity for the past several months to come forward voluntarily.

Absentees and deserters who had been apprehended or who surrendered themselves prior to 15th August 1946 and who are at present serving sentences will have, subject to the usual provisions, the compensating advantages and benefits which I have mentioned. Under existing regulations all sentences of absentees and deserters at present in detention are reviewed regularly and remissions granted where desirable. This policy will continue with more frequent reviews being made.

Absentees and deserters who under the new procedure are, deemed never to have served will, of course, not receive any form of discharge certificate from the Canadian services.

I wish to table copy of order in council P.C. 3264 to which I have referred.

Topic:   CANADIAN ARMED FORCES
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW METHOD OF DEALING WITH ABSENTEES AND DESERTERS
Permalink
PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. PEARKES:

May I direct a question to the Minister of National Defence arising out of the statement he made? Is the board of review to which he referred the board which was set up under Mr. Justice Keiller Mackay to examine all court martial cases, or is it a board made up of regular officers? Also, is the board under Mr. Justice Keiller Mackay still operating?

Topic:   CANADIAN ARMED FORCES
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW METHOD OF DEALING WITH ABSENTEES AND DESERTERS
Permalink
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I did not refer to any board of review. The board under Mr. Justice Keiller Mackay is not operating. I referred to the review which is made periodically, as my hon. friend knows, by the district officers com-

National Registration

manding or by the general officers commanding all commands, and which no doubt my hon. friend made when he was occupying that position.

Topic:   CANADIAN ARMED FORCES
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW METHOD OF DEALING WITH ABSENTEES AND DESERTERS
Permalink
PC

William Alexander McMaster

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McMASTER:

I should like to ask

the Minister of National Defence if there is any authority except that which would be given by the National Emergency Transitional Powers Act to make the order that was made this morning?

Topic:   CANADIAN ARMED FORCES
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW METHOD OF DEALING WITH ABSENTEES AND DESERTERS
Permalink
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

To answer that would

require a legal opinion which I do not think I can give offhand. I was advised by the Department of Justice that the order in council was within the power of the governor in council.

Topic:   CANADIAN ARMED FORCES
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW METHOD OF DEALING WITH ABSENTEES AND DESERTERS
Permalink

NATIONAL REGISTRATION

DISCONTINUANCE AS OP AUGUST 15-REVOCATION OF MOBILIZATION REGULATIONS

LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. HUMPHREY MITCHELL (Minister of Labour):

Mr. Speaker, I have to inform the house that under order in council P.C. 3449 of August 14, 1946, national registration has been discontinued as from to-day August 15. It is provided by the same order in council that further prosecutions shall not be entered against anyone accused of an infraction under the national registration regulations, 1940, nor shall pending cases be proceeded with.

I should like to briefly review the salient features of the registration when now announcing its termination.

At a time when France had fallen and Great Britain was already being subjected to the most violent action the enemy could put against her, when indeed the shadow of actual invasion over this country appeared to offer some grim prospect of reality, it was agreed that existing data on Canada's human resources was inadequate for total war purposes.

Within two months of the collapse of France all plans had been laid for the national registration of civilian residents of Canada over sixteen years of age, and registration was made during August, 1940.

With the assistance of an army of volunteer registrars, forms were completed by 7,862,920 persons, of whom, 3,979.680 were males and 3,883,240 females.

Made under the National Resources Mobilization Act, the registration was taken for, and kept up to date by the Department of National War Services, until March, 1942, when it was transferred to the Department of Labour to assist toward wartime control of manpower.

Since 1940 keeping the fundamental data of the registration up to date has involved a total of about eight million changes, including new addresses, marriages, deaths, corrections, new registrations, and so forth-about the same number as there were persons registered originally.

The data yielded by the registration was used for a variety of purposes, but chiefly for the following:-

(a) The military call-up for the army.

(b) Procurement of skilled workers for essential industries.

(c) Indexing of technical personnel.

(d) Listing of doctors and nurses.

(e) Identification of individuals for a variety of purposes.

(f) Listing of certain foreign nationals of allied nations, available for military service under those countries.

I should like to express my sincere appreciation to the staff engaged on the registration while in the Department of Labour, and to the postmasters across the country who acted as agents, and without whose assistance the keeping up to date of the registration would have been extremely difficult.

The same order in council, P.C. 3449, revokes the national selective service mobilization regulations, 1944, as from August 15. Earlier this year the thirteen mobilization boards had been dissolved, and the thirteen registrars' offices across Canada had been closed out. The order in council provides that further action will not be instituted in the courts against any offenders under the mobilization regulations, nor will court proceedings now pending be proceeded with.

At this point I should like to explain that the action taken now follows after veiy strenuous efforts to locate all men of military call-up age who could not be found again after first registering. In addition to using the services of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other police forces throughout Canada and checking through government contacts with the population, we have used several established tracing agencies for some years. The various methods used did, of course, succeed in locating many outstanding delinquents, but it is our opinion that the 1,563 who failed to respond to our orders, and who have not yet been traced, could hardly be located, even through further efforts.

The total of men not yet located has been reduced to 6,553-this out of a grand total of 1,859,811 men dealt with under mobilization regulations. But this number of 6,553 contains mostly men who have left the country, or who apparently are dead, or who registered more

Questions

than once under assumed names, or are in other unusual categories. The possible delinquents are represented by the figure of 1,563, to which I have referred already. Thus, at most, men not yet located, and thought to be delinquent under the regulations, represent only one-twelfth of one per cent of the grand total, 1,859,811.

Figures on the military call-up were frequently given to the house in the past, so at this time I think that in addition to the figures I have, mentioned already, it is only necessary to mention that somewhat more than 800,000 of the men dealt with under mobilization regulations are recorded as in the armed services at one time or another.

Originally, of course, the military call-up came under the Department of National War Services, but its administration had been transferred to the Department of Labour at December 1, 1942.

To the members of the judiciary and the other gentlemen who served on the mobilization boards, I wish to express my sincere appreciation once again. Their responsibilities were grave, and their duties were onerous. They had to decide between important wartime industries and the urgent need of men for the armed services. I suggest that without exception they discharged their duties in a conscientious and fair manner, and that they deserve our gratitude. Also the registrars and their staffs deserve credit for the manner in which they carried through their responsibilities.

I am happy that we have reached the day when we are able to dispense finally with these registration and mobilization regulations, and I am sure that the hon. member.? will agree with that sentiment. These measures were vitally necessary for war purposes. They helped Canada over many of our manpower difficulties, but they represented one of the features of wartime administration which a democratic public tolerate and even expect, but which the same public very properly feel is not in accord with the peacetime machinery necessary in the government of a free people.

I now lay on the table a copy of order in council P.C. 3449 of August 14, 1946, as referred to.

Topic:   NATIONAL REGISTRATION
Subtopic:   DISCONTINUANCE AS OP AUGUST 15-REVOCATION OF MOBILIZATION REGULATIONS
Permalink

QUESTIONS


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk.)


IMMIGRATION REGULATIONS

PC

Arthur Leroy Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SMITH (Calgary West):

With reference to order in council P.C. 695 of 21.iii.31, as amended by P.C. 805 of 23.iv.37, P.C. 5024 of 30.vi.44 and P.C. 2071 of 28.V.46-

1. What sum of money is considered to fulfil the condition "sufficient means" mentioned in paragraphs 1 and 2 of said P.C. 695?

2. What position of affairs is considered to fulfil the condition "in the position to secure and care for" mentioned in paragraphs 3 and 3a of said P.C. 695, and who is the judge in such cases?

3. What sum of money is considered to fulfil the condition "sufficient means to farm in Canada" mentioned in paragraph 4 of P.C. 695?

4. What position or sum of money is considered to meet the condition "in a position to receive, marry and care for" mentioned in paragraph 5 of P.C. 695?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION REGULATIONS
Permalink
LIB

Mr. GLEN: (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

1. As the minimum requirementa must necessarily vary with the conditions of settlement in each case, there is no specific sum of money called for. The immigrant must satisfy the immigration inspector-in-charge that he is in a position to maintain himself until employment is secured.

2. An investigation is conducted by an immigration officer to establish that the applicant for admission to Canada of a dependent or other relative described in the regulations is in a position to receive, house and support his dependent, or in the case of an admissible relative house and maintain such relative until the latter becomes established. The decision is made by the district superintendent of immigration on the facts determined at the investigation.

3. No specific sum of money is called for by the regulations. The amount will necessarily vaiy in accordance with the type of farming, class of farm required, district to which the immigrant is proceeding, and similar matters.

4. See answer to No. 2 above.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION REGULATIONS
Permalink

August 15, 1946