I do not desire to delay the passing of the estimates, but although I believe the minister has done a good job in making progress in his department, I wish to point out that the general situation as regards treatment of veterans leaves a good deal to be desired. I am sure the minister himself will agree with that statement. I should like to read to the house a brief excerpt from a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel John Wise of the Disabled Veterans Association, Vancouver, written on March 27, 1945:
Hansard records the statement from the Hon. Ian A. Mackenzie, Minister of Veterans' Affairs, as follows:
"Men do not need to apply for pensions: They will be granted automatically when medical examination shows the need."
That statement is utterly discredited, since in innumerable cases no such award, or entitlement, has been granted.
The crux of the situation is revealed by the factual records of this association, which shows that many eases have already been presented to the Canadian pension commission covering a period of so-called adjudication, totalling, for the 1914-1918 veterans, a quarter of a century without obtaining any finality in the proper adjudication of claims.
I will not give any details to support these statements. I merely put the excerpt on record as bearing out my assertion at the opening that there is much yet to be desired.
I am not satisfied with the way we have treated our men of the last war and I am afraid we are beginning to mistreat a good many of the men who are returning from this one.