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


William Chisholm Macdonald


Mr. MACDONALD (Halifax):

There is
one matter I should like to bring to the attention of the minister, a matter which my colleague from Halifax and I have already brought to the attention of the former minister of national defence for air and the parliamentary assistant. I refer to the case of Harold M. Cassidy of Halifax. Mr. Cassidy is a veteran of the first great war. He enlisted for overseas and served with one of the infantry battalions from Nova Scotia. When the present war broke out he felt that he should play some part in. it; he offered his services and finally secured employment with the R.C.AJF. as a barracks officer. He 32283-334
was taken on the strength of the eastern air command1 in November, 1941. I am informed that he was assured 'by the officials of the eastern air command that he would be given free quarters and rations. I may say the salary of a barracks officer is a very modest one.
Mr. Cassidy was transferred to Gander airport in Newfoundland. Upon arrival there he found that the promises of accommodation were not going to be met. He protested, strongly, and finally authorization was obtained to have him paid an allowance of $1.70 per day effective from April 1, 1942, several months after his arrival in Newfounde land. He received that allowance up until the time he left Newfoundland, and no question arises as to that. However, he never did receive an allowance for the period of his stay in Newfoundland up to April 1, 1942. He continued to protest, but he did not get any satisfaction. Not only did he get no satisfaction but on the contrary one of his pay cheques was withheld and some deductions made to cover mess charges alleged to have been incurred by him at Gander. He claimed they had all been paid, and I must say that his position was supported by what were apparently clear receipts which he had obtained when he left Gander. It must be remembered that the justness of Mr. Cassidy's claim was recognized when authorization was given by the treasury board, or whatever authority it was, to pay him an allowance from April 1, 1942. It would seem to me that when that principle was recognized the authorities also recognized that there was some injustice being done him which demanded a remedy and that therefore payment of his allowance should be made effective as of November, 1941.
I would urge upon the minister that he constitute himself, or have his deputy constitute himself a jury of one to look into the facts of this case. I have a lengthy file on it, but the -material facts could be summed up and made available in a very few minutes. My colleague and myself have devoted1 a good deal of time to this case, and I am sure that if the minister or his deputy would deal with it as a jury would, there will be no hesitation in meeting, Mr. Cassidy's demands. I have mentioned the matter to the parliamentary assistant, and I have no doubt that he has looked into the file. I told him yesterday that I was going to mention it to-day.

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