March 29, 1945 (19th Parliament, 6th Session)


John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative


I join with the minister in what he has stated. One of the shining things in parliament is the fact that, in so far as veterans' affairs are concerned without regard to party, all of us have endeavoured to contribute our part to the end that ' the rehabilitation plan evolved by parliament shall be parliament's plan, belonging to no party in the house.
In regard to rehabilitation, there is one particular matter I wish to bring to the minister's attention, for the reason that if anything causes ill feeling or concern it is very difficult to gain the support of people for any claims of rehabilitation when they believe that there is unfairness in any one phase of what has been done. What I have in mind is the War Service Grants Act. Under that act at the present time those who return from service are entitled to a service grant. It is payable, however, only to those who return, excepting in certain specified cases. One of the causes of major complaint in regard to the whole situation of veterans rehabilitation, and also the consideration of dependents' rights, has been the
fact that there is no provision for the payment of this grant to the mothers and fathers or to the estates of soldiers who, had they returned, would have been entitled to the grant, but who having given their all in the service of their country are unable to leave their rights to their estates.
This is a matter one hears on every hand and veterans organizations throughout the country are asking that something be done. But there is no fairness in the fact that while their loved ones would have earned this gratuity for the service they had given had they survived, because they have made the supreme sacrifice their estates are being denied the payment that these men had justly earned. I know the minister has given consideration to this, but I ask him not only to give consideration but at the earliest possible day to bring in an amendment and not to wait until the next parliament. An amendment in this one case could not be brought before parliament but it could be brought in by order in council-[DOT]

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