August 24, 1946

LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

I regret to say for

once that I am waterlogged. I have not the information, but I shall be glad to get it for my hon. friend.

Topic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

The civil reinstatement act

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;

Supply-Veterans Affairs

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?

Topic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

The hon. member, having

been concerned with labour matters much longer than I, knows how difficult the situation

is. He knows that under the Unemployment Insurance Act a man who is out of work through a labour dispute cannot get unemployment insurance.

Topic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
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CCF
LIB

Walter Adam Tucker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

There are many veterans

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.

Topic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

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.

Topic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

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.

Topic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
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CCF

Eric Bowness McKay

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

Mr. McKAY:

Have many veterans taken advantage of this training programme while they are out of work in lieu of the out-ofwork benefits they would otherwise have received?

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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

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.

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CCF

Eric Bowness McKay

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

Mr. McKAY:

The hon. gentleman is certain that a number have actually received that particular training?

Supply-Veterans Affairs

Topic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
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LIB
PC

Wilfrid Garfield Case

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CASE:

Which classes of veterans are not entitled to out-of-work pay?

Topic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
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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:

Those who have been discharged over twelve months.

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SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. QUELCH:

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.

Topic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
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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:

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.

Topic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
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SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. QUELCII:

In view of the statement made by the Minister of Veterans Affairs, is it intended that now those men will be granted full benefits and not merely a gratuity?

Topic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
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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:

I can assure my hon. friend that the matter will be completely reviewed in the light of all the evidence that a sympathetic and humanitarian department can discover.

Topic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

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.

Topic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
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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:

Certainly.

<100,000.

Topic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
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Item agreed to. Payments to or for veterans and dependents- 898. Hospital and other allowances-world war I-further amount required, $


August 24, 1946