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


Joseph William Noseworthy

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


-a superior limb. I think it should be made abundantly clear to the Canadian public and to the great war veterans concerned that this government is providing them, as it has every right to do, with the very best that can be procured in the way of artificial limbs.

War Appropriation
A number of references have already been made to the question of the merchant marine.
I should like to refer to that branch of the service now. I have before me a letter written by an officer serving on board the SS Coronation Park. The letter is dated "Somewhere in the south Pacific", and is from a member of my own constituency, one with whom I am acquainted and in whose integrity I have every reason to believe. Several points are raised in this letter which I think need some clearing up. The first question raised is whether or not any provision has been made whereby the merchant marine may be able to vote in the forthcoming federal election. This letter was written on March 12. On that date the members of the crew on board this particular ship had not heard any word whatever of any provision being made for their voting. At that time they had heard from the Tokyo radio that there was likely to be an election in Canada about April 17 or soon after, and they were quite concerned because so far as they knew no provision had been made whereby they could register their vote.
The second point raised in this letter that I wish to call to the attention of the government is that this officer claims that the crew on board this ship sailed from Vancouver into the southern Pacific, into areas where white men had scarcely been able to live in pre-war days, into an area where they were exposed to the various epidemics that are prevalent in that climate, such as malaria, yellow fever, cholera and the like. Not one of that crew received before sailing, an inoculation of any kind or was given any protection whatever against such diseases as were prevalent in that area. There appears to have been gross neglect on the part of the medical authorities in that case. The men on this ship I am told, had to provide their own safeguards, and neither before nor after they sailed, up .to the date of this letter, were they given anything by way of inoculation.
The third question, is as to the nature of the contract made by the government, or those responsible for government ships, when those ships are chartered to the war department or the wartime shipping board at Washington. These men are serving on a Park ship, a government ship, which had been operated by a private company in Vancouver. They were chartered by that private company to the wartime shipping board at Washington. They are engaged in carrying materials of war to United States soldiers in the southern Pacific. They are working under exactly the same conditions and doing the same type of work as United States seamen on board liberty and victory ships; yet I am informed that they receive a 32283-25
war risk bonus of 144.50 a month, while Americans, taking the same risks and doing that particular job, receive a war bonus of $5 a day over and above one hundred per cent of their basic wage; and that American seamen have an income five to seven times that of Canadian seamen doing the same work on very much the same type of ship.

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