Mr. PAUL MARTIN (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour):
The hon. member gave me notice of the question yesterday. The point under discussion is a ruling of the national selective service advisory board having to do with compulsory transfer orders.
For the information of hon. members I might say that under the compulsory transfer order plan civilians who are in certain classes of industry are asked to report to the employment office for interview to ascertain if they are suitable for transfer to work which is more important in the war effort. This plan has proven very successful; I am glad to say that it has actually been necessary to use compulsion in but very few cases. In fact, out of the thousands of cases where transfers have been effected there have been less than fifty who have raised serious objection. Usually it was found that the man is transferred to a position which pays a higher rate owing to the fact that men working in war industries are as a rule on a higher wage level.
Coming to the point of circular No. 227-58, up to July 14, 1944, the instructions issued on authority of the national selective service advisory board were that the compulsory transfer orders were not to be applicable in the case of returned men regardless of the nature of their service in the armed forces.
With the increasingly acute shortage of labour which has developed during this summer the advisory' board came to the conclusion that returned men should be interviewed and transferred where feasible but that this rule should not apply to men who had seen service overseas.
I am informed that no objection has been taken by any individual returned men, but I do point out that all individuals ordered to transfer under this compulsory transfer system have a right to appeal to a board of referees.
The hon. member asks if the department will give further consideration to the matter and he can be assured that the matter is being discussed currently with the officials concerned.
Subtopic: SELECTIVE SERVICE