I wonder whether I could ask your indulgence, Mr. Chairman, and the minister's in order that 1 may raise a matter on this vote. I apologize for not being here during discussion of item one but as a member of the steering committee I had certain responsibilities. However, 1 received a letter dated February 7 and under the circumstances I cannot see any way at all before the minister's estimates are through except under matters which concern soldier settlements and so on. Therefore, if I have your permission, Mr. Chairman, I should like to read this letter because it concerns the settlement not of a veteran but of the wife of a veteran. I hope also that I may be allowed say "Mrs. X" and "Mrs. Y", although if required to do so, I will give a copy of the letter to the minister. This is a letter I received from Vancouver under date of February 7. It states as follows:
I am writing to you directly on behalf of two Sidney friends of mine .. . and indirectly on behalf of perhaps scores of other Canadian women who lost their husbands while on active service with the Canadian army.
When Mrs. X's husband died in Korea, she was left enough money to pay off accrued debts, and to make a $700 down payment on a very modest house. She has been making payments for the past six years, and has two years to go before she is finished. Because of the small amount she had for a down payment, the only place she could get was one directly under the path of planes landing and taking off from Patricia bay airport.
6780 HOUSE OF
It seems unjust that, while perfectly fit men, upon their discharge, can get housing assistance, these women, both of whom have families, are forced to provide their own. Their pensions, while better than those received by many persons, are not large enough to allow them to live properly without outside work or assistance of some kind.
Neither woman asks for the gift of a house, but only for the right to the same borrowing privileges as received by male veterans. They also feel that they should be entitled to the same health services for themselves and for their famines.
He concludes in this way, Mr. Chairman:
If you think these requests have merit, and if you are able to do anything about them, your efforts will be very much appreciated.
Therefore, Mr. Chairman, through you may I ask the minister this question? Can anything be done for the widows of men who died overseas? This letter refers, of course, to two widows whose husbands died in Korea and to the fact that they have the responsibility and that they have not the same privilege on down payments in the purchase of a house as has, in the language of the letter, a fit male person who returned. I promised that I would draw this matter to the minister's attention and ask for his consideration and his comments. Is there anything he can say with regard to this specific problem?