June 12, 1936 (18th Parliament, 1st Session)


Donald MacLennan



I do not know whether my observations should be made at this point, but I wish to say one or two things about an instance which came to my attention, and I am suggesting that some provision should be made against such contingencies. The soldier I have in mind went overseas and performed the duties of a soldier in France. After being gassed or wounded he came back and was not in receipt of a pension. In order to seek a livelihood he went to the United States, in which country he died not long ago. In order to prevent his being buried in a pauper's grave certain friends of his in my constituency borrowed the money to defray expenses of his burial. I have written the minister stating these facts and he replies that there is no provision whereby the friends of a soldier, once he has been buried, may obtain any money from the last post fund. In this instance a friend borrowed the money -and I know this, because I endorsed the note-in order to prevent the soldier's burial in a pauper's grave. Now the minister says, *"Oh, he is buried; we cannot touch it." I am asking the minister if he could reimburse the friend who had no legal obligation to bury the soldier. I am just wondering why a person who spends money in this way should not be reimbursed, and if he is not I wonder why the last post fund was created. It will not do for the minister to say that there may be abuses. In the particular instance I have cited I really do not see why some provision could not be made. I am fully aware of the overreaching of certain people because they were soldiers overseas, but I think the particular instance I have mentioned should not be barred.

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