July 22, 1960

LIB

Paul Tardif

Liberal

Mr. Tardif:

This is not done for the purpose of creating confusion. I have been comparing the roads in British Columbia and the roads in Ottawa. I am not comparing two different things; I am comparing two different roads in connection with the same problem.

Then I noted that the hon. member said he felt badly about the radio and press competition that took place in connection with the pothole situation in Ottawa. This competition probably resulted from the fact that during January, February and March the dominion government did not do much, so there was a lack of news. The news media want to create news, and the first thing they noticed was the potholes. Actually if the hon. member for Skeena and my hon. friend had been more active at that time I can assure you, Mr. Chairman, that there would have been a great deal more news and they would not have noticed the potholes in the city of Ottawa.

There has been some criticism about some parts of Ottawa having poor housing. It is no excuse for the city of Ottawa, but I think other cities have the same problem and that the solution to it is urban renewal. Urban renewal is considerably complicated, because people who own houses that should be demolished in any section that should be due for urban renewal put a great deal of value on their houses, thus creating a great deal of cost and making the problem more difficult to solve. As to our present program, with the preparations the capital city is making in favour of urban renewal, I am

Supply-Public Works sure it will not be too long before some real progress is made and is apparent.

It was also suggested that the city of Ottawa, with the help of the dominion government if they would take their full responsibility for the tax roll, could have a crash program. At present, however when the city of Ottawa draws its taxes from real estate only and the contribution from the present government is not sufficient to pay for the services which are extended by the city of Ottawa, crash programs for financial reasons are impossible.

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PC

Richard Albert Bell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bell (Carleton):

So there will be no misunderstanding between the hon. member for Russell and myself may I just say that, in respect of some of the projects of which I spoke earlier, I recognize community responsibility as distinct from municipal responsibility.

(Translation):

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PC

Charles-Édouard Campeau

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Campeau:

Mr. Chairman, I wish to make a suggestion to the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Walker).

First, I should like to commend the government, the Prime Minister (Mr. Diefen-baker) and the Minister of Public Works for always taking great interest in the development of the national capital. I would also ask the Minister of Public Works to consider setting up an advisory town planning committee, composed of town planners from across Canada, with members from every province and perhaps also from the large metropolitan centres. There now exists in Canada an institute of professional town planners, and in almost every province there is a professional town planners' society. The proposed committee could help the national capital commission work out a general policy designed to give the national capital a distinctive Canadian character reflecting the unity of the Canadian nation in its diverse aspects. In that way, the committee might help promote what some of my colleagues have called for, namely that special distinctive character which would be a characteristic and lasting feature of the national capital.

Thus, with the co-operation of town planners across Canada, the development of the national capital could become a common endeavour shared in by the best town planning authorities in Canada. We could thus achieve the purpose we all have in mind, making our national capital one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

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LIB

Rodolphe Leduc

Liberal

Mr. Leduc:

Mr. Chairman, I should like, first of all, to commend the Minister of Public Works very sincerely for his excellent choice

Supply-Public Works in appointing Mr. Hay as chairman of the national capital commission. I know there is no man more interested in the planning of the capital nor more able to take care of that significant task. I hope that the government will have the wisdom to keep him a long time as head of the national capital commission.

I would also ask the minister to see to the continued development of Gatineau park. The house knows surely that Gatineau park is part of the national capital planning, and also that it is the only national park in the province of Quebec. The commission has already done a great deal of work in this park and, quite recently, or rather last fall, a section of road connecting Gatineau park with Gamelin boulevard was opened to the public. People can now travel a distance of some 15 miles from Hull to the centre of Gatineau park. I suggest to hon. members, while they are here in Ottawa, to take a drive on that road and see the work that has been done in that area of my riding.

I would also ask the minister to approach the provincial government for the settlement of two problems, one of which has to do with land that belongs to the province of Quebec and is part of Gatineau park. I know that attempts were made in the past by the commission to settle the matter with the former provincial government but no agreement was reached. But on the other hand, as there has been a change of government, it should now be possible to settle the problem. In addition, I should like to ask the minister to try and solve the problem of a second road between Hull and the town of Aylmer.

At the present time, the commission has title to the right of way which used to belong to the Hull Electric Company, of Hull and Aylmer. Now, because of extremely heavy traffic on Aylmer road, a second road between Hull and Aylmer has become a necessity. I therefore ask the minister to take this up with the Quebec minister of highways, so that some agreement might be reached with regard to those two projects.

I would also ask the minister to follow up the town of Aylmer's request for a public beach at Aylmer, on the Ottawa river.

I am very happy to note the progress made in the national capital development.

The progress made on certain important projects is indeed remarkable. Furthermore, I am very glad that the commission had decided to relocate the railways. That, I believe, is the key to the whole development

project in the national capital and I know that, four or five years from now, when the tracks will have been removed from the city of Ottawa, when the station will occupy a new site, it will transform the downtown area of the national capital.

I am convinced that the commission is doing excellent work and I urge it to keep it up so that, by the time we celebrate the centennial of confederation, we will have a capital worthy of the magnificent country which is Canada.

(Text):

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LIB

George James McIlraith

Liberal

Mr. Mcllraiih:

There are two points I want to raise. While they may trench on other items, since they relate to general policy perhaps they could best be raised on this first item. One has to do with acquisition of land in the green belt, and I think in this good progress is being made by the commission. But the point is this, that the policy has been to acquire land in the green belt by negotiation. I have no quarrel with that; however, the situation is now developing that certain owners in the green belt, because of the amount of time which has elapsed since the announcement that the green belt was being taken over by the government, have had some family circumstance occur, as for instance the death of the one operating the property, the husband in most cases, and have found themselves unable to continue their ordinary activity with their land. For all practical purposes, although there are no legal restrictions against it, they cannot borrow money on mortgage, and if they do borrow money on mortgage the rate of interest is 7 per cent.

These people are left in an awkward position where they cannot effectively deal with their land because of the announcement that it is being taken over by the government for green belt purposes, but they have not the rights acquired by one whose land is being expropriated; and indeed those remedies are not quite satisfactory to meet their problem. There is in a few cases very real hardship created by reason of the awkward position in which these people find themselves. They are neither persons whose property has been expropriated nor persons who are free to deal with their land as they see fit.

I draw this matter to the attention of the minister because in those cases it is not possible under the law, while negotiations are pending, for the commission to make an advance to them by way of compensation. I think he will agree that the commission does not have such a right under the law. I point

this out to the minister so he will be aware of it and will try to see that whatever action can be taken within the law is taken to meet those very few but very difficult situations.

The second point I want to raise has to do with another matter, and perhaps if I ask the minister a simple question it would elucidate the problem. Under item 315, covering interest charges on outstanding loans made for the purpose of acquiring property in the national capital region, could the minister indicate what rate of interest is paid to the finance department for the advances made?

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PC

David James Walker (Minister of Public Works; Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation; Minister responsible for National Capital Commission)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Walker:

Five and three quarters per cent.

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LIB

George James McIlraith

Liberal

Mr. Mcllraith:

When expropriation proceedings are taken or a settlement is arrived at with the commission, there is provision in the option agreement whereby, if there is a delay beyond a reasonable time which is not due to any action on the part of the person whose property is being taken over, interest will be paid by the commission at the rate of 5 per cent per annum.

In the great majority of cases the settlement is completed well within the time indicated, and indeed in recent months the minister has done some very effective work in speeding up completion of the transactions and payment after settlement is made. But in these few cases where for some reason or other there is delay in obtaining approval from the government or where there is unusual delay for some other reason, the crown pays less interest to the person whose property is expropriated than the commission itself is charged by the finance department, and indeed much less than the person whose property is being taken over has to pay.

In a few cases that can work quite severe hardship, as the minister will readily appreciate, and I ask him to give his views to the committee and to seek to have that situation remedied so that the interest rate paid by the national capital commission in those cases where there is unreasonable delay, not due to any fault of the person whose property is being taken, is raised in keeping with the current rate on borrowed money.

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PC

Frederick Johnstone (Jack) Bigg

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bigg:

Mr. Chairman, first of all I would like to add my support to the fine speech by the hon. member for Carleton on our national capital. Ottawa, as everyone knows, belongs to our whole country and people even as far away as Athabasca take a great interest in its future.

I also want to speak about parking because I have an intimate knowledge of this problem, having directed parking on this hill back in 1947 and I have not seen very much 79951-0-426

Supply-Public Works improvement since. We have an excellent spot down on the river bank where we could park thousands of automobiles if we had the proper accommodation. Another reason why I think this is a good place for parking is that it would require very little rock excavation which, as you know, is very expensive on the hill. The cost of some of our government buildings has gone well beyond the original appropriation because of the rock cuts. Down along the river bank we could build these spiral ramps down into a big parking lot, and the original cost would not be excessive because if properly planned it could be built in sections. You could provide facilities for 1,500 cars in the first plan and then expand it to perhaps 3,000 or 4,000 cars.

This need not interfere with the beauty of the site, as several hon. members have mentioned, because it could be blended with the natural beauty of the river bank; and I think in any plans for Ottawa the beauty of our capital is something we should all bear in mind. I should like to see something done about this well before 1967.

I would also like to back the idea of a proper theatre or assembly hall. In Alberta they built two such buildings which have added greatly to the cultural and civic life of that province, and I am sure our nation can afford buildings of the same beauty and magnitude. I think it is appropriate to go on with them at this time when unemployment is still one of our serious problems, and to go ahead with the beautification of Ottawa is something which I am sure hon. members from all over Canada would heartily approve.

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CCF

William Arnold Peters (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Peters:

Mr. Chairman, I think we have done considerable in relation to parkways and improvements on national capital commission land, but I am surprised that consideration has not been given to some relationship between the city of Ottawa and the commission to try to eliminate, when we clear the slums of Ottawa, industrial development in the city proper. It seems to me that the growth of government department building is continuing, because if we go to places like Hog's Back we can find six or seven buildings in various stages of completion. This is a considerable distance from the other buildings which were built years ago, such as the supreme court building and the Confederation building, and as we continue to push outward from the centre of the capital we should take into consideration where the industrial part of Ottawa is going to be, if there is going to be one.

In determining the location of industrial sites we should take into account the experience of Washington, D.C., the capital city of

Supply-Veterans Affairs the United States, where the city itself is free of industry and those people who are working as civil servants do not have to compete with the wages paid in a highly industrialized metropolis. I think the commission should work, in co-operation with the city of Ottawa itself, toward the development of a national capital that will be as free as possible of industrial development. The two lines of development should be kept separate, both for the sake of those who work in the federal civil service and in the interest of the completed capital.

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Item agreed to.


PC

Gordon Campbell Chown

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Chairman (Mr. Chown):

That

concludes the estimates of the Department of Public Works and the other estimates for which the minister is responsible.

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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS


457. Departmental administration, $2,367,981.


PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. A. J. Brooks (Minister of Veterans Affairs):

May I say at the outset that after waiting a long, long time, I am very pleased to get my estimates before the committee. Last year when the estimates of my department were submitted to this committee I gave a rather comprehensive review of the work of the department and of the Canadian pension commission. I do not think I need again re-examine the background of the veterans legislation and show the progress made over the years. I propose to confine my present remarks to a brief review of what has happened during the fiscal year just ended and to provide some general information on a number of items in these estimates.

My department has enjoyed a satisfactory year of accomplishment and looks forward to further progress during the current year in the care of our veteran population. Although 15 years have now passed since the conclusion of hostilities in world war II and over 40 years have elapsed since world war I was brought to a successful termination, the many veterans who participated in these and earlier struggles and in the action in Korea still have many disabilities and problems which are properly referred to my department. We have found, indeed, that many of the difficulties which veterans are now experiencing require continuing, skilled attention.

As hon. members know, the main estimates of the department, the Canadian pension commission and the war veterans allowance board, which are now before you, were referred to the standing committee on veterans affairs. They were thoroughly reviewed by that committee and have been

subject to close scrutiny and questioning by its members, who have shown creditable knowledge of our affairs. I wish to express my thanks to the standing committee for the interest they took during their detailed study. I wish particularly to express my appreciation to the hon. member for Victoria-Carleton who performed unusually well the exacting duties of chairman.

The veterans welfare services have continued to provide much assistance in the welfare field, including counselling, but their major contribution is the assistance they give in the processing and implementation of awards made under the War Veterans Allowance Act, the assistance fund, W.V.A., and the regulations. The facilities of the veterans welfare services branch meet increasing demands due to the progressive impairment of the capacities of veterans because of the ageing process, particularly as it applies to world war I veterans.

The Children of War Dead (Education Assistance) Act continues in its scope to exceed our original expectations. The number of children approved for assistance under the act from its inception in 1953 to March 31, 1959 was 1,406. During the last fiscal year there were 362 new children approved. The number actively pursuing courses of education as of March 31 of this year was 858. Many of the students assisted under this act have told us that this opportunity enabled them to complete a university education which would otherwise have been impossible.

The Returned Soldiers Insurance Act and the Veterans Insurance Act now provide a combined total of $114 million in life insurance protection. These measures have enabled many veterans and widows to provide for themselves an estate which otherwise would not have been possible through life insurance because of disabilities which rendered them uninsurable commercially. Eligibility to contract for veterans insurance was reopened in 1958, and I am pleased to say that in the fiscal year 1959-60 there were 2,320 new policies issued for a total face amount of $8,558,000, making a total of 4,528 policies with a face value of about $16 million which have been issued since the act was amended.

The remaining re-establishment credits available under the provisions of the War Service Grants Act are being made available in increasing amounts as the remaining period during which they will be available becomes shorter. We estimate that this statutory item will, during the present year, amount to some $2,500,000. Active efforts are being pursued in order to ensure that all veterans with outstanding credits are approached in order that they may make the

most satisfactory use of their remaining credits. A study is being made of the trends noticed in the administration of our welfare services with a view to future planning, in order that the intended welfare functions may be adequately maintained and foreseen.

I now come to the treatment services provided by the department. All hon. members are aware that the institutions operated by this branch of the department are held in high regard, and their reputation for providing first class treatment is being well maintained. The doctors and nursing staff continue to provide professional service of a high order. We are particularly appreciative of those doctors on whom the department calls on a part time basis. These consultants deserve our warmest thanks. We continue to have difficulty in finding adequate numbers of trained nursing staff. However, the problem, which is not confined to the department, was relieved somewhat for us by the salary increases granted to nurses some eight months ago.

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CCF

William Arnold Peters (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Peters:

Mr. Chairman, do we have a quorum?

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?

Some hon. Members:

We have.

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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

This is the height of the dinner hour. The administrative cost of running our hospitals will increase somewhat this year over the actual expenditure we made in the year 1959-60, increasing from about $55,900,000 to some $57,367,000. Of that total cost, however, we expect to recover some $12,730,000. These recoveries are increasing, due largely to payments from the provinces for treatment given to patients having entitlement under provincial hospital insurance plans.

I should mention that our hospital construction program is proceeding satisfactorily. The replacement of obsolete accommodation at Shaughnessy hospital, Vancouver, is now nearing completion and the patients have been moved into this new accommodation. A similar replacement project has been started at Westminster hospital, London. Architects' plans are being prepared for the construction of a veterans pavillion in connection with the general hospital in St. John's, Newfoundland, and preliminary planning is now being done in the department for extensive alterations to Queen Mary veterans hospital, Montreal, and Ste. Anne's hospital at Ste. Anne de Bellevue.

As an instance of the lively interest taken by the members of the standing committee on veterans affairs in our hospital facilities I should mention that last year the committee visited Sunnybrook hospital, Toronto, and this year they expressed a wish to inspect 79951-0-426J

Supply-Veterans Affairs older accommodation in order that they might appreciate the problems faced by the department in providing treatment in obsolescent accommodation. Accordingly, on Wednesday May 25 the committee visited Queen Mary veterans hospital at Montreal and our institution at Ste. Anne de Bellevue. I understand they considered their visit most informative, as they got valuable firsthand information on the difficulties of providing first class modern treatment under somewhat difficult conditions.

The amount we expect to spend this year on hospital construction and improvements and equipment has been estimated at $4,937,000. The medical research and education features of our treatment services are expected to continue at the same level as last year, as are the prosthetic services offered by the department.

I should now like to say a few words with respect to the Veterans Land Act. As hon. members know, this act was amended last year. We now have some indication of the effects of the improvements in this legislation which the amendments brought about. These amendments increased the maximum amounts available to full time farmers to $20,000 and to small holders to $10,000, and in part II of the act housing assistance was raised to $10,000.

The greatest impact on the administration has been created by the amendments respecting full-time farmers. These will considerably increase the work load during the current year. It has been found necessary to make the staff fully familiar with the farm appraisal and loan principles which must be followed in order that the increased amounts may be invested wisely for the basic purposes for which they were intended, the acquisition or development of economic family farm units. The estimated cost of administration this year is nevertheless almost exactly the same as the total allotment for last year.

We found that after a slow start there was an increase of more than 25 per cent in the number of farm loans approved in the last nine months of 1959-60 over the previous year, and that financial assistance to small holders and commercial fishermen showed an increase in number of about 20 per cent over that experienced before the amendments. House construction continues at a fairly high level, with 1,436 new houses commenced, a slight reduction compared to the previous year, due in the main to veterans deferring their plans until after the amendments became effective. Our total investment last year for the purchase of land, buildings, livestock and farm machinery was about $2.5 million greater than in 1958-59. Our estimate for this item

6754 HOUSE OF

Supply-Veterans Affairs for the current year, some $28,625,000, is the same as for last year, part of which, however, remained unexpended at the end of the year. We anticipate that this year the total expenditure will increase.

A number of developments in the organization of the veterans land administration have occurred as a result of the establishment of the farm credit corporation, which is authorized to make arrangements with the director of the veterans land administration for the utilization of his staff in the administration of the Farm Credit Act. We are glad to be able to assist the corporation with our trained and experienced staff in handling its increased work load. As the Farm Credit Act and the Veterans Land Act have basically similar purposes and provisions, it has been found desirable that loaning principles and policies of both organizations should be closely related and consistent. Arrangements have accordingly been made for the joint use of the credit advisers on the strength of the veterans land administration and the corporation. The arrangement is working out very satisfactorily. Close and friendly liaison and co-operation of these staffs will continue to provide good service to the farmers of this country.

Hon. members will notice from the estimates that the total amount of money required for pensions under the Pension Act will be slightly less for the current year than the total expended last year. We expect that total pensions will amount to some $148,940,000, whereas we spent last year about $149,650,000. This small reduction does not indicate, of course, any change in the policy of the commission, who continue to maintain their high tradition for thoroughness and consistency in their interpretation of the Pension Act. The number of pensions in payment on March 31 of this year was 188,626, which showed a small reduction of 1,686 from the number in payment a year earlier.

This reduction is largely due to a decline in the number of pensions payable for service in world war I, whose veterans now find the years taking their toll of both pensioners and their widows. The world war II liability continues to increase but as yet at a slower rate than the world war I liability is declining. The estimate for the administration expenses of the commission, $2,496,000, represents a slight decrease compared to the administration expenses met with during the year just ended, although the volume of work even with the decline in the total number of pensions has not shown a corresponding reduction.

I now come to the operations of the war veterans allowance board. It is interesting to note that the total amount of allowances

expected to be paid during this year, $62,079,000, is over $4 million greater than was spent in the year 1959-60. The total number of recipients of allowances has continued to increase rather rapidly. For example, the number in payment on December 31, 1959 was 67,534 as compared with 64,125 one year earlier. Of the 1959 total, 47,393 were in payment to veterans, and the remainder to widows, orphans and dependants.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would point out that with respect to all these estimates combined, the administrative expenses of the department, of the Canadian pension commission and of the war veterans allowance board are tending to decrease, as the estimated total for 1960-61 of about $63,950,000 is less by $1,830,000 than the provision for 1959-60. The group of expenditures which can be classified as payments under legislation or regulation, and which total nearly $222 million, are expected in the present year to show an increase of some $4,200,000 over those we now estimate as having been made during the year just ended.

We should shortly be going over these estimates item by item, Mr. Chairman, and I shall be very pleased at any time to give more detailed information to the committee.

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LIB

Chesley William Carter

Liberal

Mr. Carter:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to begin by thanking the minister for the concise and lucid statement of the activities of his department for the year under review which he has just given us. As the minister has said, these estimates were thoroughly discussed in committee, where an exhaustive inquiry was made into every item and departmental officials were available and supplied detailed answers to all our questions.

The estimates of the Department of Veterans Affairs are always non-controversial; there is no item that we disagree with. We only wish that some of them could be higher, because we all want the best for our veterans, no matter on what side of the house we happen to sit, and in that respect we are reflecting the wishes of the people of Canada as a whole. Therefore I see no reason why the discussion of these estimates in this committtee should be prolonged, and I think the minister can expect that they will get a fairly swift passage.

The evidence produced in the committee revealed that the average age of the world war I veteran is now around 69 and that of the world war II veteran around 46, which means that world war I veterans are now reaching the end of their active working lives, while the veterans of world war II are now beginning to face the problems of middle age. This situation, of course, has very important implications for the minister's department.

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I960


Illnesses, accidents, emergencies together with impairment of physical capacities due to ageing, will all tend to increase the demands upon the facilities and services of this department. Therefore the $1 million reduction in this year's estimates is not likely to be repeated in the estimates of future years. As a member of the committee on veterans affairs I was impressed, as I am sure all hon. members were, with the general efficiency of the department and the high quality and capability of the various departmental officials. In this respect I want to pay tribute not only to the officials of the department here in Ottawa but also to those in the regional office in my province. We were told, I think by the deputy minister, that although there had not been any basic change in departmental administration there had been a measure of reorganization carried out which had resulted in a reduction in the administrative staff of about 33 persons. That, I take it, accounts for the fact that the vote for departmental administration this year is approximately the same as that of last year. We were very pleased to learn that those 33 persons were not turned loose on the world to fend for themselves but had been absorbed in other branches of the department, and are mainly in the treatment services division, which apparently has a shortage of staff. I am sure hon. members were gratified, as I was, to learn of the measure of success which has been achieved in integrating the personnel and duties of the staff of the Veterans' Land Act administration with that of the administration of the farm credit council. I was also pleased to learn in the committee that the new division on methods and inspection had been organized, and that as a result there had been improvement in the methods of handling various cases. I am also very grateful to learn from the minister about the special effort that is being made to get in touch with veterans who still have unused rehabilitation credits. As a result of this effort every veteran should now be informed of the cut-off date for eligibility for this credit, which I think is in 1962, and the possibility of using those rehabilitation credits as payment on life insurance policies. I was very interested in the figure which the minister gave us of $114 million now in force in life insurance protection, and particularly of the 2,320 new policies which had resulted, I think, in an additional $8.5 million of life insurance in the current fiscal year. The vote for rehabilitation credits I understand reflects an increase of $900,000 which it is expected will be needed this year owing to this special effort to provide veterans with this particular information. Supply-Veterans Affairs I was glad also to see the increase of $450,000 in the assistance fund which is used for monthly supplementation to recipients of war veterans allowance who have reached the maximum under the War Veterans Allowance Act. This little extra assistance is based on need, and I have personal knowledge that it has been very helpful in many instances and has meant all the difference between hardship and a measure of enjoyment of the small amenities of life. I was very sorry to see the reduction of $2.5 million in the vote for disability pensions. I am sure all hon. members are disappointed that the Pension Act has not been revised this session to bring about an increase in basic pensions, which is very badly needed in some cases and which has been requested by practically all veterans organizations. As far as I am concerned personally, it was a double disappointment that this amendment to the Pension Act was not carried out, because it means a prolongation of the delay in the recognition and confirmation of the status of Newfoundland veterans. The minister has explained to us that this decrease is due to the fact that deaths of world war I pensioners have more than offset the increased eligibility of world war II veterans in the past year. The evidence brought before the committee showed that the pensioners of world war I had decreased to 185,536 in 1959 as against 195,635 in 1950. This indicates a reduction of approximately 10,000 in nine years, and that is in line with the figures which I believe the minister gave a few minutes ago, indicating a decrease of 1,686 in the last fiscal year. If anything, that last figure the minister supplied indicates that the rate of decrease in world war I pensioners is being accelerated as the years go by. We learned also in the committee that world war II pensioners had increased from 88,235 in 1947 to 123,296 in 1959, and that their dependent children had increased from 54,759 to 176,409. This indicates that while there has been a reduction in expenditure there has been an increase in the paper work of the department and in the number of cases handled. In view of the fact that the staff has decreased from 540 to 404, I feel that this reflects the great measure of efficiency with which this work is being carried out. I should like to express the hope that the war veterans legislation will be amended at the next session of parliament; not only that the Pension Act will be amended to permit increases in the basic pensions and to confirm and regularize the status of Newfoundland veterans, but that other veterans legislation will be amended so that the Newfoundland 6756 HOUSE OF Supply-Veterans Affairs forestry units of world war II, the merchant navy and the members of the rescue tug service can all be brought under the veterans charter. I should like also to see a policy adopted of extending for one year the pensions of deceased pensioners to the widows in cases where the pension is over 50 per cent. I believe this measure had the approval of all members of the committee, and I recommend it to the minister and the government for their consideration. I think it would be a fine thing, also, if the pensions of deceased pensioners who were receiving less than 50 per cent disability could also be continued to their widows. Now, Mr. Chairman, there are many other things I might say on this occasion, but there will be other opportunities to speak on the various items. I should like to close by expressing my support for the representations made by the Canadian Legion and by other veterans organizations in connection with the suggestions I have just made.


July 22, 1960