After deducting the increased contributions, the additional annual cost to the government is estimated at $1,533,500. It is estimated that the applications for arrears would cost nearly $15,900,000. These are the estimates which have been placed in my hands. The government has no objection to the house adopting this report, but it is most far-reaching. According to the information I have, it will mean placing from 15,000 to 20,000 temporaries under the superannuation fund. This will mean a considerable drain on the fund, which of course is not self-supporting.
I am not now referring to the solvency of the superannuation fund, but it should be remembered that the government is assumed
to contribute as much as the contributor. Therefore, an additional 15,000 to 20,000 contributors would mean a considerable expense.
I am aware that no government should look at this matter purely from the standpoint of cost to the taxpayers, but the government must have some regard for that and must consider these recommendations with that in view.
There are a number of factors which I might mention. One recommendation is that the option of transferring to the superannuation fund be given to those who have elected to remain contributors to the retirement fund. There are 4,900 persons who will possibly take advantage of this. Periods of election were given some years ago, first from 1924 to 1925, next from 1925 to 1926, and then from 1926 to 1927. These contributors did not avail themselves of the right to elect during that period. If the house adopts this report, and I have no particular objection to the principle if hon. members wish to approve it, they will be giving these persons the right again to come under the superannuation fund. If they pay up their arrears and take advantage of the benefits, a very heavy obligation will have to be assumed in this connection by the government.
Of the twenty-eight recommendations in this report, many have numerous ramifications. I do not think that this is the time or the place for me to go into them. The government can give no undertaking at the moment to implement the report at this session. It will have to give consideration, perhaps extensive consideration, to just where all these recommendations lead. It might be that if parts of the report were _ adopted by legisl* tion at this session important changes would be made. Apart from that I do not know that I can say anything at this time. If the house adopts the report the government will have to reserve the right to take a little time for consideration and not bring in a bill at this session.