February 11, 1947

CANADA GRAIN ACT

AMENDMENT TO INCORPORATE PROVISIONS OF ORDERS IN COUNCIL


The house resumed from Monday, February 10, consideration of the motion of Mr. MacKinnon for the second reading of Bill No. 4, to amend the Canada Grain Act.


LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I was speaking on the second reading when we adjourned the debate yesterday afternoon. The understanding is that when the second reading carries the minister will move to have the bill referred to the standing committee on agriculture which was constituted today.

Motion agreed to and bill read the second time.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCORPORATE PROVISIONS OF ORDERS IN COUNCIL
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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Hon. J. A. MacKINNON (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

I move that Bill No.

4, to amend the Canada Grain Act, be referred to the committee on agriculture.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCORPORATE PROVISIONS OF ORDERS IN COUNCIL
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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

I wish to support the motion made by the Minister of Trade and Commerce.

Motion agreed to and bill referred to standing committee on agriculture and colonization.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCORPORATE PROVISIONS OF ORDERS IN COUNCIL
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MILITIA PENSION ACT

EXTENSION OF PROVISIONS OF ACT TO CERTAIN GROUPS


The house resumed from Monday, February 10, consideration in committee of Bill No. 5, to amend the Militia Pension Act-Mr. Claxton-Mr. Macdonald (Brantford City) in the chair. On section 2.


LIB

James Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Vancouver North):

Has any further consideration been given to making service in any one of these branches of the non-permanent force count towards pension?

Topic:   MILITIA PENSION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF PROVISIONS OF ACT TO CERTAIN GROUPS
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

When this matter was before the house last night the hon. member for Vancouver North and other members had suggested that in considering the time of service in the non-permanent active militia and the other reserve forces as counting for service for pension purposes in the permanent forces, it should be possible to count service in one of the arms on account of service for pension in any of the other arms. In this connection I should point out that when the provision was drawn as it was in 1910 and left as it was last year when this part of the act was adopted, it was considered that non-

Militia Pension Act

permanent time, to be considered for pension purposes, should be time spent in experience in a branch of the forces which would be useful in the soldier's permanent career. Consequently when part V was drafted last year, and when it was enacted by the house, this provision took its present form, and in order to count for pension purposes non-permanent service had to be in the arm in which the soldier made his permanent career.

I should also point out that up to the amendment enacted last year this provision enabling a permanent force soldier to count non-permanent service on account of pension was available only to officers, and one of the amendments introduced last year was to make it available to other ranks. That was part of a carefully worked out plan for pensions for officers, warrant officers and other ranks of all three services. It was introduced in the house last year and enacted as part V of the Militia Pension Act. I must say frankly, as I said last night, that we should like to keep this provision as it is and see it in practice for a time before making changes. There are reasons for that. One is that this part applies not only to soldiers who entered t'he permanent force after April 1, 1046, but also to members of the permanent force at April 1, 1046, who may elect to come into this part and become subject to its provisions provided they make that election up to March 31, 1948. As yet we do not know how many members of the permanent force on April 1, 1946, if any, will take advantage of the election. .

It does seem, however, on consideration and after discussing it with the officers of the three services, as if the number who will make that election will not be very great; so that if the proposal of the hon. member for Vancouver North is carried out, it would not have any very substantial retroactive effect. It would benefit, of course, those it covers among the men Who have entered the force since April 1, 1946; but even there the number having nonpermanent service in another arm would probably not be very great. In consequence, while we should have preferred to keep the act as it is, I am prepared to accept this suggestion on behalf of the government and will ask my colleague, the Secretary of State, to move the amendment.

Topic:   MILITIA PENSION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF PROVISIONS OF ACT TO CERTAIN GROUPS
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LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

I move:

That section 2 of Bill No. 5 be amended by deleting subparagraph (iv) as therein set out and substituting the following therefor:

(iv) One-fourth of the period of service counted as service in the non-permanent active militia, the reserve force, the auxiliary active air force, the Royal Canadian Air Force (auxiliary), the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve, the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve or the Royal Canadian Navy (Reserve);

li such service is not service that may be counted under subparagraph (v) of this paragraph; and . . .

Topic:   MILITIA PENSION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF PROVISIONS OF ACT TO CERTAIN GROUPS
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PC

Thomas Ashmore Kidd

Progressive Conservative

Mr. KIDD:

I should like to say a few words on the amendment. The mover and the seconder have not included the service of students and gentleman cadets at the Royal Military College or the students attending Royal Roads. The discussion yesterday was helpful and constructive, but I am a little bit surprised at the Secretary of State. If he reads Hansard of yesterday he will find that he has not gone far enough. It is not for me to press this point home; it is for him. In as kindly way as I can I want to say to the Secretary of State that this bill to amend the Militia Pension Act does not go far enough. If this amendment goes through in its present form I believe the minister will be discriminating against the cadets of the Royal Military College and Royal Roads. The minister has made one concession; I think he should go just a little further.

To explain my point let me say this. Royal Roads was not in existence prior to 1939, of course, but when a cadet of the Royal Military College joined the permanent forces, his services were accepted at once and without question. Take the case of a young man who served in the non-permanent forces, or in a C.O.T.C. He gave four yeans of service, which he would be allowed to count towards pension on the basis of one year for every two years he served. I believe any person who has been associated with the militia, anyone who has been a commanding officer, would prefer to have that cadet from the Royal Military College join his unit, after four years of training at that college, than any young man who had spent the same length of time in the non-permanent militia; and in saying that I do not wish to offend anyone who served in the militia.

I do not want to enlarge upon what has been said already, but as strongly as possible I am going to urge the government to go one step further. I believe they should let this matter stand in abeyance and bring in a further amendment inserting the words "Royal Military College and Royal Roads."

Topic:   MILITIA PENSION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF PROVISIONS OF ACT TO CERTAIN GROUPS
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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

Many of us do not have copies of the amendment, and I should like the minister who moved it to explain exactly what it means. How does it affect the present section?

Topic:   MILITIA PENSION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF PROVISIONS OF ACT TO CERTAIN GROUPS
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LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

It means that a man may count service in any branch of the reserve forces toward his pension in the permanent force. A man who had served in the reserve of the air force, for example, and

Militia Pension Act

who later joined the permanent army, up to the present time would not be permitted to count his service in the air force reserve toward his pension in the army. This amendment makes it possible for service in any of the reserve forces to be counted toward pension when a man joins any of the permanent forces.

Topic:   MILITIA PENSION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF PROVISIONS OF ACT TO CERTAIN GROUPS
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PC

Lawrence Wilton Skey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SKEY:

Why does the minister wish to exclude R.M.C. and Royal Roads? Young men attending these institutions are cadets; the midshipmen go to sea.

Topic:   MILITIA PENSION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF PROVISIONS OF ACT TO CERTAIN GROUPS
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LIB

Hugues Lapointe (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

A midshipman is an officer, not a cadet.

Topic:   MILITIA PENSION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF PROVISIONS OF ACT TO CERTAIN GROUPS
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

I might answer, the two hon. gentlemen who have just spoken by saying this matter was discussed very thoroughly yesterday, when what I thought were cogent reasons were given as to why attendance at R.M.C. and Royal Roads should be considered as different from service in the non-permanent active militia. Briefly, the reason was that on entry into the Royal Military College and the Royal Roads Naval College a cadet does not take an oath of attestation; he does not form part of a corps as it is defined in the Militia Act; he is not liable to service; he is not in fact a soldier or a sailor. As I pointed out, this matter is not new; it has been like this since there has been a military pension act. The question has been considered and discussed frequently, and the position I have just stated has been taken consistently.

I would point out another position which is not at all dissimilar. Take the case of a civil servant who, after a period of service, becomes entitled to a pension because of his service. There never has been any suggestion that such civil servant should count for pension purposes the time he spent at the university or at a law school or a school of mines qualifying himself to become a civil servant.

Topic:   MILITIA PENSION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF PROVISIONS OF ACT TO CERTAIN GROUPS
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LIB

James Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Vancouver North):

And for which he himself paid.

Topic:   MILITIA PENSION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF PROVISIONS OF ACT TO CERTAIN GROUPS
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

Yes, which he himself paid for. I do not think it has ever been suggested that the civil servant should count, as time for pension purposes in the civil service, the time he spent preparing himself to qualify for the position. I submit the positions are substantially analogous. The whole Militia Pension Act is based upon the notion of service in one or other branch of the armed forces of Canada; and the active force and reserve force are two of those branches.

Topic:   MILITIA PENSION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF PROVISIONS OF ACT TO CERTAIN GROUPS
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February 11, 1947