was amended in 1942 to bring it into line with the Unemployment Insurance Act with respect to those who might be affected by an industrial dispute. Consideration should be given to amending the act, because hundreds of exservice personnel are involved in industrial disputes which were none of their making;
the conditions which brought them about arose during the war when the men were in the service. They came back and took employment in an industry and soon found themselves out of work. Under the civil reinstatement act they are entitled when out of work to certain benefits. There is a great deal of criticism throughout the country, particularly in areas in which industrial disputes are in progress because of difficulties between management and labour largely brought about while these boys were overseas because they do not receive out-of-work benefits. Has the department given consideration to applying the statutory provision for out-of-work benefits to certain periods when these men are out of work?
who are not entitled to the out-of-work allowance, and if they are out of work because of a labour dispute they cannot get unemployment insurance. If we stepped in and said to the veteran: You are entitled to the out-of-work allowance and we shall pay
it, it would lead to a charge of discrimination. So it was felt that to avoid that charge the same policy should be followed in this matter as is followed under the Unemployment Insurance Act, which apparently met with general approval. The hon. member knows that there are many difficult cases; they have been brought to our attention, and certainly we are most sympathetic. Some of the boys who came back and had been at work a week or so found themselves in the centre of a labour dispute. That was so in the Ford strike, for which they were in no way responsible. The thing was looked into very carefully to see if there was not some way of dealing with such cases. The only way in which we have been able to deal with it was to say to the ex-service man unemployed on account of a strike, if it was likely to be long drawn-out, that he should take training under our act, make use of his time and get the allowance while he was taking training. There has been that attempt to deal with it without introducing discrepancies or giving rise to the feeling that there is discrimination in the administration of the two acts.
I appreciate the government's desire to bring about uniformity as between the two acts, but I do not agree with my hon. friend that the charge of discrimination would be justified. I agree that the Unemployment Insurance Act is fair, and those who went on strike knew that the act would not apply to them. They knew very well what they were up against. But the boy who was overseas and who did not know the Unemployment Insurance Act came back here feeling that if he was out of work he was entitled to certain out-of-work benefits. We arranged that for him. Then he happened to drop into a first class row between the employer and the ordinary civilian employee. He is a victim of circumstances, and the out-of-work provisions of this act should be applicable to him. I do not think any member of the union who was not getting unemployment insurance would raise a cry because the government gave the soldier that benefit. There is a very clear line of demarcation between the two cases. I suggest it be given consideration.
We do endeavour to find work for those unemployed veterans. The only place we stopped short was at the very thing which has'been described by the hon. member. It was stated in our literature which was distributed overseas that if they were then not entitled under the Unemployment Insurance Act they would not get any allowance. It was looked at sympathetically, but it was thought that if anything were paid to the veteran under this provision, veterans whose rights had expired would have an unanswerable case for similar treatment. It was held that you simply could not do this without upsetting your whole Unemployment Insurance Act, and that it was better to try to deal with the situation in other ways.
Yes; many have applied. We have not here the actual number, but it was the definite policy to assist these veterans. They were made aware of it, and I understand that a substantial number did take advantage of the chance to get training when otherwise they would have been unemployed.
Would the minister or the parliamentary assistant explain the situation regarding the veteran with a dishonourable discharge? It will be remembered that when the Minister of National Defence stated that an amnesty had been granted to those who had deserted in Canada, he said they would not be in a similar position to those overseas, because they would not get the rehabilitation benefits. I was under the impression from what he said that those who had deserted overseas would not be denied rehabilitation benefits; those who deserted in Canada would.
As my hon. friend knows very well, for he was on the committee, we set up a board of review last year. Over a thousand veterans who were given dishonourable discharge have been granted gratuities, but not all the benefits under the legislation provided by parliament.
I should like to ask the minister a number of questions about an unfortunate veteran of the second war, but perhaps it would take a good deal of time to deal with them. Will he not be just as well pleased if I ask the questions under item 961, and will he give me all the latitude I would have on this item? Then we can allow these items to pass.