May 13, 1953

LIB

Thomas Andrew Murray Kirk

Liberal

Mr. Kirk (Digby-Yarmouth):

Mr. Chairman, the minister and his officials must be very happy to have so many hon. members getting up and congratulating them. A year or so ago I brought up two problems, one longterm and one short-term. A few moments ago the minister made an announcement regarding loans which takes care of the shortterm problem. This insurance plan takes care of the long-term problem.

I am particularly interested in this insurance plan because last year the 3,000 fishermen in the three counties of Digby, Yarmouth and Shelburne put out approximately one-third of a million lobster pots, and caught approximately 10 million pounds of lobster, which had a market value of approximately $4 million. So it will be seen that it is a big industry in our area. I know the people there are going to be exceptionally pleased with this, and I again extend their thanks in advance.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   SELECTED STATISTICS ON CANADIAN COAL MINING BASED ON REPORTS BY DOMINION BUREAU OF STATISTICS, DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR AND DOMINION COAL BOARD
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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

Mr. Chairman, the fact that Social Credit members have said nothing during these estimates of the Department of Fisheries is no indication that they are not deeply interested in the matter or that they are not deeply appreciative of the minister.

I think the minister has shown great promise and is doing a good job for the fishing industry, a job that has long needed to be

done. We congratulate him, especially upon this insurance scheme which he has just announced.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   SELECTED STATISTICS ON CANADIAN COAL MINING BASED ON REPORTS BY DOMINION BUREAU OF STATISTICS, DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR AND DOMINION COAL BOARD
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Item agreed to.


DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE


733. Departmental administration-further amount required, $5,000.


CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. Bryce:

Mr. Chairman, I want to ask the minister about a case which I brought up first in 1950, then again in 1951, and again in 1952. It has to do with a lady who lost her daughter in the sinking of the Athenia 14 years ago, in 1939. This claim has never been paid, and this woman needs the money. She was injured herself. I think the minister is quite familiar with the case, because I have talked personally with him about it and we have had correspondence about it as well. I have quite a sheaf of letters here dealing with this case and I think some settlement should be made.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
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LIB

Frederick Gordon Bradley (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. F. G. Bradley (Secretary of State):

Is

the hon. member speaking about a war claim?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
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CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. Bryce:

Yes.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
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LIB

Frederick Gordon Bradley (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Bradley:

Hearings have been held already on some 127 claims; 8 claims have been paid in a total amount of approximtely $6,000, and hearings are proceeding. I cannot give the hon. member any information about the particular claim he is referring to, because I have not the name.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
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CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. Bryce:

This lady's name is Mrs. Holmes. She lost her girl in the sinking of this ship in 1939. I do not think the Canadian government will have to pay it; it would be paid by reparations from Germany.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
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LIB

Frederick Gordon Bradley (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Bradley:

These claims are being

handled by the chief war claims commissioner and several deputies. I have no information at the moment as to the details.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

What is the position now in regard to prisoners of war? The Ilsley commission made certain recommendations to the government, one of which was that $1 per day be paid to prisoners of war held by the Japanese, and by the gestapo or the SS. in Germany. However, there is quite a large group of prisoners of war who do not come within that category. I understand that representations have been made to the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister to have this $1 per day paid across the board to all prisoners of war. Has the government changed its position in regard to that matter?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
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LIB

Frederick Gordon Bradley (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Bradley:

Under the Ilsley report that amount would be payable without proof of maltreatment to prisoners of war held by the Japanese. A conference was held recently 68108-335*

Supply-Secretary of State with representatives of men who had been prisoners of war in Germany, and the matter is now under consideration.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

No decision has been reached?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
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LIB

Frederick Gordon Bradley (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Bradley:

No.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
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CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. Bryce:

My constituent will think I am foolish or something, because I have never been able to give her any information as to what is taking place in connection with her claim. Will the minister take this case into consideration and tell me when this woman is likely to have her claim paid?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
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LIB

Frederick Gordon Bradley (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Bradley:

I shall be very happy to take it up with the commissioner and find out its present status.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
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Item agreed to. 420. Companies branch, $84,655.


PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to say a word about the companies branch. I shall not pretend that what I have to say is new, as the situation has been mentioned in the house on previous occasions.

This is a revenue-producing branch. The last annual report of the department does not indicate the exact revenue, but it is substantial. It is a branch that deals with the public and I think should be required to give service.

There have been certain changes in the branch. I think this companies branch has some very excellent senior officials in it. I cannot understand why it is that, when we look at the details as they are set out at page 478, we find provision for a salary of just $7,200 for the director of this branch. It seems to me that when you have a man of the competence of the present director, Mr. Cattanach, if you expect to hold such a man in this important position the salary range ought to be increased. It is very important, Mr. Chairman, that in a branch like this you have at the head a man whose competence is respected by those members of the legal profession who are dealing with the branch. I know that Mr. Cattanach does command the respect of the legal profession. And, looking at the salary range of $6,900 to $7,500 as indicated at page 478, it strikes me that that is not the kind of salary that is going to retain a man of his ability.

There is another point in relation to this matter which I think should be discussed. I have emphasized that this is a branch that is dealing with the public, and that the public is entitled to service. When a competent man is put in charge of a branch I suggest that some reasonable latitude should be allowed to him through the organization of his department, to give the kind of service the public

Supply-Secretary of State expects. There have been complaints for a long time from the legal profession about delays. This criticism is not directed against the senior officials of the branch, but the delays are laid at the door of the branch. It may be that there is not enough staff. It may be that the civil service commission, when they made their study of the branch, did not correctly apprehend the demands made upon it.

Nevertheless it seems to me that, to carry on the work assigned to it and to give the service the public expects of it, when the public is paying fees to the branch for the service it is to receive, a staff adequate to the demands should be provided; and the competent man placed at the head of the branch should have some reasonable measure of latitude in organizing it. The public looks to him to carry the responsibilities of that branch.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
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LIB

Frederick Gordon Bradley (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Bradley:

The salary of the official in question is not, of course, set by this department. However, I would be quite willing to bring the matter to the attention of the civil service commission and treasury board. Meanwhile I may say that recently we added another solicitor to the staff in an endeavour to speed things up.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
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May 13, 1953