I think the situation might be met if in my further remarks I covered certain points which hon. members have in mind.
As intimated by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) in the house on February 16, these increases will, to a greater or lesser degree, affect about 400,000 beneficiaries under the Pension Act, and with the co-operation of the house it is hoped to get the adjustment cheques in the mail by the end of this month.
The March pension cheque will be on the present scale and will be issued on the regular date. It is planned that the adjustment cheque will be a separate one and will practically be the equivalent of one month's pension. With that done as indicated, regular monthly pension cheques will be able to reflect monthly increases starting April 30 and continue in regular order from then on.
During the course of the debate last Monday the hon. member for Royal (Mr. Brooks) proposed that there should be a standing committee of the house on veterans affairs, and subsequent speakers endorsed the proposal. I know the suggestion is not a new one, but it is one which I as a newcomer would like to consider. In the light of the experience to be gained in the committee which is now set up I hope to be in a much better position to form an opinion later on in the session.
The hon. member for Weybum (Mr. McKay) stated:
Pensions and allowances still remain at the basic rate which was struck in 1926.
Actually the present pension scale was established in 1920 when a bonus of 50 per cent was added to the basic rate and the cost of living index for July of that year was 150-6.
Subtopic: RATES OF PENSION FOR DISABILITY AND DEATH
Sub-subtopic: SALARIES OF PENSION COMMISSIONERS