Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):
Just a word; I want to thank my hon. friend not only for his remarks but for the spirit and tenor of them. With regard to the hospital situation, on the 3rd of March, 1945, there were 2,315 in hospitals from the last war; from national defence this war, undischarged 2,918; discharged this war 3,337; and others, 208, making a total of 8,778. They were disposed as follows: in departmental hospitals, 6,653; in contract hospitals, 2,125; IMr. I. A. Mackenzie.]
making a total of 8,778. Hospital accommodation is as follows: patients in departmental hospitals, 6,653; vacant beds, 1,425, or a total of normal beds, 8,078. Emergency accommodation: departmental hospitals, 1,381, making a total departmental accommodation of 9,459. Under construction, to be completed by July 1, 1945, 2,623 beds; to be completed by December 31, 1945, 2,650; to be completed by July 1, 1946, 2,330; an additional number 1,050; total under construction, 8,653 beds. If you combine these two totals, normal beds 8,122 and the total under construction 8,653, you will get a total 16,775.
May I say to my hon. friend that, as he very well knows, the problem is not a national one, it is a regional one because of the natural sentiment of relatives to have the cases coming back in close vicinity to their own homes. That is very understandable and a very human reason too.
On the point raised by my hon. friend with regard to the war service grants, I think he asked me a question in the house the other day, and I believe I told him on that occasion the matter was now receiving the active attention of the government. My hon. friend is aware that in February of the present year an amendment to the gratuities legislation was passed in England to make the cash part of the gratuities-they have not the credit that we have here-available to the estate of the deceased.