I think it is a very good idea, because after all the whole question of looking after the people who come back can be adequately handled only if there is cooperation on the part of the people throughout Canada.
And now to come down to suggestions as to changes that should be made, my first suggestion is that there be a change in our approach to the whole problem of the young men and women who are 'returning. Our approach at the present time is to talk about rehabilitation, to talk about putting them back into jobs. It is of course very good to put these young folks back into jobs, but there is the danger of our looking back to the year 1939. Perhaps it can best be described as trying to set up a 1939-model Canada. I do not believe that is what these young men and women want at all. I do not think they want a 1939 Canada, but something far better They want a 1946-model Canada. You see' Mr. Speaker, they have developed. They have had a great deal of training in the forces. There has been far more training given in all three forces in this war than there was in the last one. These young people have travelled widely. Sometimes people have complained bitterly about the troops and sailors and airmen travelling back and forth from one side of Canada to the other. At least it has had the advantage that hundreds of thousands of our young people know far more about different parts of Canada than many members of parliament.
Many of these young people have travelled abroad and all have developed a fitness, a keenness that they would not have acquired' in the ordinary course. Take the case of a young lad of eighteen or nineteen who went from school into the air force. He had a wonderful course under the air training scheme and has risen to be perhaps a Wing Commander. That young man is now in a position to accept great responsibility. He is not coming back to his old position. He is coming back a trained, responsible citizen of Canada, able to undertake great responsibilities. And that is true
in practically every case. I do not suppose there are many young men or women in any of the three forces who have not developed a great deal during their service. I suggest therefore that the better approach to the problem is not to talk so much about rehabilitation or putting these people back in jobs, but to regard these young men and women as a great asset and to realize that we must seize the opportunity to get their services in agriculture, labour, industry, business, in the professions, in public life and in every other field of endeavour in Canada.
We should grasp this chance to get in new blood, to bring in these young men and women. For a short time, a year or two, they may be inexperienced in the line they undertake. No doubt they will be restless at first; they may be impatient, and it may be a little hard to cooperate with them. But they will bring to any business or profession new ideas and a broader vision as well as a finer spirit. They have therefore a valuable contribution to make, and eventually they will be of great assistance to any firm that gets their services.
I suggest to the Minister of Veterans' Affairs that he try to direct his publicity in this way. Let him have some of his advertisements take that approach. Point out to the Canadian business men, to the Canadian people generally, the great value of these young men. Point out that the people at home should be on the alert to get the services of young men and women coming back into civilian life.
The same thing might be done by members of the house. Most of us will be fighting an election in a few weeks' time. We shall be campaigning for several weeks, speaking, I hope, to many thousands of people, if we can get so many to listen to us. Well, here is one thing on which there need be no division. Every one of the members of the house during the election campaign could very well point out to his listeners the great value there is in these young people. If that is done it will be rendering a great service not only to the young men and women themselves but also to the nation.
To sum up, I suggest, first, that here is an opportunity to strengthen and improve the nation by getting these young people into our national firm, Canada Unlimited, not as beginners but as full-fledged partners.
Other suggestions come to mind, but I propose to mention just two or three to-day. One is that these new partners in our Canadian national life should1 be given the maximum in training. I believe there is some disappointment that such a small number of the men and women who are being discharged are
taking vocational, technical and school training. Might it not be worth while for us to provide that vocational training can be taken without interfering with the reestablishment credit or the land settlement plan? At present the AVar Service Grants Act reads differently. I refer to section 8. Reestablishment credit is only given to those who do not elect to take benefits under the Veterans' Land Act or any vocational, educational or technical training benefits. I think it would be a good investment for us to allow every young man or woman who wants to take this type of training to get it, and in addition to give them the full reestablishment credit.
I can see that many of them would not want to take the vocational training, because they would prefer to get the reestablishment credit. These credits are for such purposes as helping to buy a house, helping to buy furniture, working capital for one's profession or business, purchase of tools or payment of premiums on a returned soldiers' insurance policy and1 for other similar purposes. Men who take university or vocational training want to be able to establish homes too, and they want to be able to take out this insurance, buy furniture and so on. Therefore I suggest that the restriction contained in section 8 be removed. Of course that would mean an amendment to the AVar Service Grants Act.
Subtopic: PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY