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


Clarence Gillis

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


Nova Scotia, at the naval hospital at Sydhey.
I wish to say a few words on the matter of discharges. There are six different types of discharges, and they are all indicated by code numbers. There is a discharge known as 1029 (12)-"services no longer required." There are certain limitations attached to it. I cannot figure out that type of discharge myself. I have written to the Department of National Defence several times about it, but apparently they are stuck on centre-"that is the form"- "that is how the discharge works"-"there is no reason to change it," according to National Defence. I. met a young man about twenty-eight years old who had been overseas for three years and who came back to his military district in Canada and was discharged, and the type of discharge he got was 1029 (12) -"services no longer required." Anyone reading that man's discharge papers who does not understand the set-up immediately concludes that it was a dishonourable discharge because the man is, to all appearances, physically fit, the war is still on, they are scraping the bottom of the man-power barrel for men, and here is a pretty husky-looking fellow with all his limbs who is let out of the army because his services are no longer required. I cannot understand it, andl that type of discharge militates against the man's prospects in many ways. When he goes to an employer seeking work and the employer sees that he was discharged from the army because his services were no longer required, and can 6ee that he is a husky-looking fellow with apparently nothing the matter with him, he concludes, "he would not be a very safe person for me to employ." I have never been able to understand why a man is let out with that type of discharge.
When a man is let out because he is medically unfit, that reason is given on the discharge papers. If he is let out for misconduct, that is written in so plainly that no one can miss it. But what is the explanation of letting a man out who is physically fit? I have never been able to get it straightened out in my mind. I have got in touch with the department and they say that it is not a dishonourable discharge. They say, "We have to let him out," but they do not say why they have to let him out. The man cannot get a pension. He has difficulty getting into hospital. I am not sure whether he gets rehabilitation benefits or not. I think that type of discharge should be discontinued, and the real reason for
discharge definitely stated on his discharge papers. I should like the Minister of National Defence or his representative in the house to check up on this type of discharge, 1029 (12), and tell the house why they let out a man who to all intents and purposes is physically fit, a man who is not discharged for medical reasons, who looks all right, with only the reason given "services no longer required." I should like to know what is wrong with him.
At six o'clock the house took recess.
After Recess
The house resumed at eight o'clock.

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