December 9, 1952

ISSUE OF CHEQUES PRIOR TO CHRISTMAS


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Emmett Andrew McCusker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. E. A. McCusker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Health and Welfare):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for

458 HOUSE OF

Inquiries of the Ministry Hamilton West (Mrs. Fairclough) inquired yesterday as to the issue of old age security cheques prior to Christmas.

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I shall give the answer now.

It is planned to issue these cheques a day or two before the end of the month, just as is the custom in all other months of the year. There are a number of reasons why the decision was made to stick with the usual practice to issue old age security cheques at the end of the month, even in December.

(1) To issue them at an earlier date would leave a longer than usual gap between pension payments in December and at the end of January. This would undoubtedly prove confusing to numerous pensioners and would cause considerable correspondence.

(2) Experience has shown that any marked alteration in the date of issue of cheques is followed by a wave of correspondence the next month and by great pressure of telephone calls where our offices are in principal cities, as in Toronto for example. If cheques were issued on the 20th of December, for instance, thousands of pensioners for some reason or other would expect them to be issued on the 20th of January, and so on.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   ISSUE OF CHEQUES PRIOR TO CHRISTMAS
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Why not?

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   ISSUE OF CHEQUES PRIOR TO CHRISTMAS
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LIB

Emmett Andrew McCusker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. McCusker:

(3) The mechanical side of the issue of cheques has also to be considered. In all our offices the issue of old age security cheques is closely tied in with the issue of family allowances cheques. It would be most awkward to have to try to get both family allowances cheques and old age security cheques issued by the 20th or 22nd of the month. Our custom is to prepare all family allowances cheques in the first half of the month and the old age security cheques in the latter part of the month. In an office such as Toronto, where more than 600,000 family allowances cheques are prepared, and where about 250,000 old age security cheques are also issued, it is most important to spread the load evenly throughout the month.

(4) Finally, we have been under considerable pressure from the Post Office Department to keep down the volume of mail going out just before Christmas. The issue of nearly 700,000 old age security cheques just before Christmas would add appreciably to the volume of first-class mail and might well mean the loss, misplacement or delay of pension cheques with resulting hardship to pensioners.

On the whole it is felt that the interests of all, pensioners not the least, would be best served by maintaining the usual date of issue at the end of the month. It is the

intention to get the cheques out so that, if at all possible, they will be received just before New Year's day.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   ISSUE OF CHEQUES PRIOR TO CHRISTMAS
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PC

Ellen Louks Fairclough

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Fairclough:

May I ask this supplementary question: Has the department taken into consideration the fact that the pensioners have been in the habit of getting these cheques before Christmas?

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   ISSUE OF CHEQUES PRIOR TO CHRISTMAS
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LIB

Emmett Andrew McCusker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. McCusker:

Pensioners have not been in the habit of getting them from the federal government. When the provinces issued cheques, under the means test regulation, three of the provincial governments sent them out prior to Christmas. The other provinces adhered to the procedure we are following.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   ISSUE OF CHEQUES PRIOR TO CHRISTMAS
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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

Are you keeping government circulars out of the mail at Christmas time?

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   ISSUE OF CHEQUES PRIOR TO CHRISTMAS
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FISHERIES

LOBSTER CANNING REGULATIONS


On the orders of the day:


?

Mr. W. Chester S. McLure@Queens

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask a question of the Minister of Fisheries. What changes, if any, were made or discussed in the lobster canning regulations at the maritime meeting held on Monday, December 8?

Topic:   FISHERIES
Subtopic:   LOBSTER CANNING REGULATIONS
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LIB

James Sinclair (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. James Sinclair (Minister of Fisheries):

Mr. Speaker, my predecessor in office, Mr. Mayhew, followed the procedure of having very full discussions with the fishing industry and fishermen in the matter of any proposed change in regulations. In line with that policy a meeting was held in the Department of Fisheries on Monday, December 8, 1952, with delegates representing the lobster processing industry for the purpose of discussing proposed amendments to the regulations under the Meat and Canned Foods Act, governing the inspection of canned fish and shellfish, and the operation of canneries.

A brief was submitted to the department, recommending certain changes regarding the compulsory inspection of fresh and frozen lobster meat. These recommendations are at present being considered by the department.

Proposed amendments to the regulations regarding weight designations for canned lobster and fresh and frozen lobster meat were also discussed. The discussion was most harmonious. Any change in regulations will be announced in the usual way.

Topic:   FISHERIES
Subtopic:   LOBSTER CANNING REGULATIONS
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IMMIGRATION

REQUEST FOR REPORT CONCERNING IRREGULARITIES


On the orders of the day:


PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. George A. Drew (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask

a question of the minister of immigration. Is the minister in a position to report to the house what steps have been taken in connection with the disclosure of fraudulent conduct which was discussed in the house last session, and in respect of which we were informed inquiries were being conducted, and that action would be taken.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR REPORT CONCERNING IRREGULARITIES
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LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Hon. W. E. Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration):

Yes. The charges against five or six people are now being prepared, in consultation with the Department of Justice. I think-although this is my own opinion-that they will likely be laid in the course of the next month, at the outside.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR REPORT CONCERNING IRREGULARITIES
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CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS

ASSESSMENT OF INCOME TAX ON PENSION FUND REFUNDS

December 9, 1952