February 11, 1947

PC

Thomas Langton Church

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CHURCH:

There is considerable criticism of this economy measure, as the public and those in the reserves find out the real

objects and functions of this legislation. I come from a city second to none in what it has done in connection with the air force and non-permanent militia, but I can say that at the present time there is great difficulty in getting recruits for the auxiliary air force, and non-permanent militia, and there is a great deal of dissatisfaction among our younger people. They believe that by this amendment the government is injuring recruiting. In the two wars there was great interest shown in the air force. Of course at the time of the first great war it was the Royal Air Force; after that we had our own air force. Many young men who had been in the militia joined the air force during the second war. Some of them had cadet training, which for those under fourteen is now being wiped out in the public schools. When they got to be sixteen or seventeen years of age they began to hang around these amateur air clubs, and later graduated to the air force.

I believe this provision of one-quarter allowance is most unfair; it should be put back to one-half for the non-permanent- active militia. The benefits which were set out last session, according to the statement by the minister, now are being reduced from one-half to one-quarter, and he considers that a fair provision. It is hard enough to get recruits for either the auxiliary air squadrons or the non-permanent militia; it is getting harder all the time. Only the other day a commanding officer told me they are even having a hard time getting recruits for the militia from the schools, on which they used to rely for many of their men. I have seen some parades, and many of those taking part did not seem to be any older than fourteen, fifteen or sixteen. For us to pass an amendment to this pension act so soon after the ending of the war I think is a retrograde step. It is not only going to hurt recruiting for the air force, but also for the militia and the naval reserve as well. - It is inequitable; it is unfair; it is not in the interests of recruiting. Neither is it in the interest of economy, because later on we may have to pay for doing business in such a haphazard way.

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

Frank Exton Lennard

Progressive Conservative

Mr. LENNARD:

Last evening I asked the minister the names of those who composed the interdepartmental committee, or rather those who set up these regulations. Could he give us the names of those who belonged to the interdepartmental committee, who drew up these regulations on which we are passing now?

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:

There are no regulations. IVhat I said was that this matter had been looked into by an interdepartmental commit-

Militia Pension Act

tee which made its report to the government. That was advice to the government, on which it put forward this measure last year. I think at that time the name of the chairman of the committee was announced. He was Mr. Finlayson, the superintendent of insurance. It was an interservice committee with civilian and military personnel.

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

Frank Exton Lennard

Progressive Conservative

Mr. LENNARD:

Could the minister at some later time give the names of that committee?

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:

No, certainly not.

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

Frank Exton Lennard

Progressive Conservative

Mr. LENNARD:

Why not?

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

Douglas Gooderham Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

I understand that the Canadian officers' training corps at the universities receive the benefit of this provision. I do not think they are any more in the army than are the cadets of the Royal Military College. Those cadets have been the backbone of the reserve army, and have been responsible to a great extent for keeping our regiments together. It is true that many of those men went to the Royal Military College with the intention of entering the permanent force, but I see no reason why they should be discriminated against in this instance. Certainly when they attend that military college they have a better idea that they are going to go into the army than they do if they are attending university. I see no reason why the Canadian officers' training corps should have an advantage over the men who attend the Royal Military College.

The minister said there would be a great deal of difficulty in adding the Royal Military College in this instance.

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

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

I did not say anything at all about a difficulty.

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

Douglas Gooderham Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

Excuse me, the minister did; he said there would be a good deal of legal difficulty.

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

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

No, I said nothing about legal difficulty.

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

Douglas Gooderham Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

That the whole act would have to be amended, and that sort of thing.

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

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

I never mentioned that.

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

Douglas Gooderham Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

All the minister has to do is to give a little consideration to the college which did so much for this country during two wars. He could add a provision to include the Royal Military College and Royal Roads; that is all there is to it.

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

Thomas Ashmore Kidd

Progressive Conservative

Mr. KIDD:

I should like to answer the argument offered by the minister with respect to certain professions. I believe he is not

familiar with the fact that when a cadet leaves the Royal Military College he has already studied twenty-five subjects, half of which have been military subjects. When the cadet leaves the college to enter a permanent force unit he is much better qualified than a man leaving a university without a cadet's training. I believe the minister laboured that part of his argument to too great an extent.

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

James Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Vancouver North):

I thank the minister for adopting the suggestion I made last night, one which I believe will help toward consolidation of the services.

Before the section carries I should like to ask one further question. An item in the auditor general's report of this year indicates that a senior officer of the navy, after being placed on retirement leave, had himself put on command rates of pay and thereby increased his pension to the extent of $509 a year. Will these amendments stop that sort of thing in future?

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

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

I had not heard of the instance to which the hon. member refers, but I should like to look into it. The amendment before us does not touch that point.

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:

I am pleased to support the amendment, and am glad the minister has seen fit to recognize the common basis of national service of our army, navy and air force.

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

Frank Exton Lennard

Progressive Conservative

Mr. LENNARD:

If the minister feels he cannot disclose the names of those who served on the interdepartmental committee, would he give me the assurance that the three defence services were well represented?

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

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

Yes.

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

Amendment agreed to. Section as amended agreed to. On the title.


February 11, 1947