April 13, 1945 (19th Parliament, 6th Session)


Ernest Edward Perley

National Government


I am pleased to hear the statement of the minister, but he might give us a little more information. He said that 2,360 have made prepayments. How are they distributed throughout the dominion? I have associated myself with the hon. member for Battle River in his request since he first made it, but I should like to point out this further fact. In 1937 when the minister's estimates were before the committee I suggested that the debt be written off and that these settlers be given clear title to their land. At that time I gave figures to show that the cost of administering the act and collecting the money and so on was almost as great as the amount the government would eventually receive. I just wish to make clear that that was the position I took as early as 1937. Since that time we have had the hon. member for Battle River take up the case, and I have been pleased to support him. I think the minister's statement was an interesting one, but I should like to point out that in the last couple of years we have had two good crops in western Canada and that they have resulted in a lot of these prepayments being made. I should also like to say that many of these old veterans have been working under difficult circumstances. I know some in my district who have two sons in this war. They have carried on under great difficulties and made the payments. I am pleased, however, to know that the situation is clearing up and I certainly wish to associate myself with the hon. member for Battle River.

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