April 3, 1945 (19th Parliament, 6th Session)


Joseph William Noseworthy

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. J. W. NOSEWORTHY (York South):

I wish to speak for a little while on the subject raised by the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green), but before doing so I should like to make a brief comment on the speech to which we have just listened. As one who took some part in the campaign referred1 to by the hon. member for Grey North (Mr. Case), I can well understand his sense of pride in winning that election. I am quite confident that either of the other two contestants in that election, and the

War Appropriation
parties that they represented, would have felt a similar sense of pride in having won the election.
With what the hon. member has said about his people and' his constituency, I am in agreement. I had the good fortune to enjoy their hospitality for four or five weeks. Concerning the issue on which the people cast their votes in that election, I am inclined to agree with the hon. member for Grey North. I have no doubt that the people who went to the poles in that election had one thought in mind only, namely, whether the government's policy had provided ample and adequate reinforcements for their kin who were serving overseas.
I was interested in the hon. member's reference to his leader, but I noted that not much was said about the part which, that leader contributed to the hon. member's election. I had in mind particularly a statement made by the hon. member's leader just on the eve of the election, too late to be refuted by anyone taking part in that campaign, a statement that was no credit either to the member elected, to the leader himself, or to the party that he represents.
I wish to deal briefly with a number of items raised by the hon. member for Vancouver South, particularly the question of education in relation to the men who are returning from overseas. I have said in this house on. numerous occasions that every possible opportunity should be afforded any man or woman who has served in this war, on his return, of securing or improving his education. I am confident that Canada can make no better investment than to give, without stint and without limitation, every man or woman who has served in the forces an opportunity to pursue his education in so far as he has ability or the desire to do so.
I have had occasion to learn that a considerable number of those whom I have met have refrained from taking vocational education or education in any other form because by accepting it they will deprive themselves of further credit and financial assistance. I would urge the government to. consider seriously the possibility of removing any restriction that may hamper or prevent any man or woman who has served in the forces from taking vocational or any other form of education.
These people, particularly the young men and women, have given up the very best years of their lives. They have given up, many of them, the years during which they would normally have acquired education. There is nothing this government or this country can do that will fully compensate them for the loss of those years. I suggest that the
least we can do for them is to make available to them every opportunity to gain as much education as they desire and are capable of acquiring.
On the question of gratuities I shall comment- briefly. I fail to see why the government. has refrained from paying a soldier's gratuity to his next of kin. after his death. I have in mind a number of cases where the father and mother were not declared dependents by the soldier who served overseas and yet they made great sacrifices for many years in order to educate that youth. Unquestionably they looked forward to the day when they could expect some reward or when such boys and girls might in- turn be able to help them for all they had done for their children in their youth.
Some of these people are in need of the gratuity which, the son would have received had he not died before the gratuity could be paid. I have in mind one case which is now under consideration by the' department, the case of a boy who had spent a year in Christie Street hospital and received word from the government just a few days prior to his death that he was entitled to a $400 gratuity. The mother applied to the officials soon after the boy's death, hoping that she would receive that gratuity. She was informed, of course, that because she had not been declared a dependent the gratuity must be returned to the government.
It seems rather unfair that because that boy died a few days before it would have been possible for him to receive that gratuity his parents, who would otherwise have come into possession of it, were not permitted to receive it I think there is good reason for a revision of the regulations.
While I am on that point I would mention once more the position of dependent mothers. I find there is still discrimination, against, these mothers as compared with wives. I have spoken on this matter a number of times in the house, and I would ask the government once more to consider a revision of the regulations which limit both the amount received and the amount which may be earned by dependent mothers without affecting their dependent's allowance.
Other questions pertaining to the veterans returning from the war have been raised. I should like to ask the minister, who possibly will speak on this subject, to explain to the house quite clearly just what are the factors which qualify a veteran, for assistance under the Veterans' Land Act,
I hadl brought to my attention yesterday the case of a man who has served in the two
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wars. 1 think he was overseas for two years in the first world war and received an honourable discharge after four years in this war. He sought assistance to enable him to buy a small holding of land adjoining the city of Toronto. After he had made application it was some five months before he received any further news from the veterans' land officials. Five months after he had made his application he was asked to appear before a committee. He had been given every reason to believe-

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