April 5, 1945 (19th Parliament, 6th Session)


Ernest Edward Perley

National Government


I should like to bring a special case to the attention of the minister. At the outset however may I express my appreciation of the treatment and courtesy I have received from the parliamentary assistant to the minister. On several occasions he has helped me iron out difficult problems, and I take this opportunity of thanking him.
As I believe the .parliamentary assistant will recall, this case concerns a prisoner of war who wanted to be transferred from t'he R.A.F. to the R.C.A.F. This case is special through this man .being the first Canadian to be taken prisoner overseas. He was flying before the war broke out and he went to England when the show started, to join the R.A.F. He was taken prisoner and has been a prisoner for more than five years. The last word his mother had from him was that he expected to be released. I do not know how it got through in a letter, but he said the Russians were very near to the camp. You will realize that if this boy had been able to get his transfer to the R.C.A.F. he would have been drawing a much higher rate of pay.
Then there is the question of gratuities when these prisoners are released and returned to Canada. Upon what basis will gratuities be paid? Will special consideration be given to a case such as the one I have mentioned? There was no possible way of this boy getting a commission or any decoration for valour. He has been a prisoner from the very start, but that fact should not be held against his getting some special consideration.

War Appropriation-Air Services
This is an interesting case in another way. A boy with whom he went to school joined the RjC.A.F. and was also taken prisoner about four and a half years ago. He happened to land in the same camp and they have been together ever since. The boy who was in the R.C.A.F. receives higher pay than the boy who was in the R.A.F., yet they were raised together, went to school together and were taken prisoner within six months of each other. I hope I have made it clear that this is a special case through this man being the first Canadian to be taken prisoner of war.
I should like to say a word with respect to boys who have been discharged. Within t'he last two months five boys from my own town have been discharged, all of them having been overseas for four or more years. I took up their cases with the minister and I am glad to be able to say that three of them are now in the university while the other two are on the way to getting satisfactory employment. The matter of university training came up this afternoon, and I thought I should direct the attention of the committee to what has been done in these cases.

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