August 24, 1946 (20th Parliament, 2nd Session)

SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

It would be to the
great credit of the minister if the veterans all over the country could have been looking in on him and could have seen his face and his eyes as he gave that little speech, because the minister is full of sympathy and consideration. I wish to put that on record because the expression of his countenance cannot go on Hansard, but it is a part of the whole proceedings.
If the minister will agree I shall give him some more questions so that he may have them all before him at the same time. We now enter another aspect of this case which, if reports reaching me are correct, is literally fraught with regrettable difficulties.
13. Did veteran Campbell on March 19, 1942, enlist as a member of the ground crew of the R.C.A.F.?
14. Was veteran Campbell at the time of his enlistment sound in physical health?

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15. Was veteran Campbell sound economically on enlistment? That is, was he able to work at various jobs and support his family, and was he doing so-raising a family of young Canadians for future time?
16. Was veteran Campbell upon enlistment sound mentally and emotionally? I may say to the minister and to the committee that veteran Campbell has been lacerated because of certain remarks put on his file which would seem to reflect upon his intelligence and emotional stability. This has greatly aggravated the mental anguish under which this veteran now suffers, and that is the reason for the question.
17. Was veteran Campbell injured while on military duty?
18. Of the successive incidents which resulted in further development toward veteran Campbell's present state of partial physical incapacity, were several the result of official decisions and actions taken by various men for whose official decisions and actions the government of Canada is directly responsible?
19. For example, was it a Canadian officer before whom veteran Campbell came on sick parade on the April morning following his injury?
20. Was it a Canadian officer who on May 5, 1942, told veteran Campbell that his back was normal, and that the injury was just a sprain, and that aircraftman Campbell could carry on with full duty?
21. Was it a Canadian officer who assigned aircraftman Campbell to work in hospital at No. 2 S.F.T.S., Uplands, Ottawa, where one of this aircraftman's duties was to wax floors?
22. Were they Canadian officers who, when aircraftman Campbell reported his condition to them, treated his reports lightly, asked him such questions as: "Where is the pain this morning?" in a partly flippant and ridiculing manner, and who treated him with physiotherapy by means of heat pads, while the aircraftman assured them that the pain was only intensified by the treatment?
23. Was it a Canadian officer who, after
June 24, 1942, ordered that aircraftman
Campbell be sent to Ottawa civic hospital where under the care of Doctor Young a body cast was applied to the aircraftman for four weeks, and later a body cast extending down the left leg to the ankle for eight weeks, and later more heat treatments were given?
24. Was it a Canadian officer upon whose orders aircraftman Campbell was then taken to the Daly building to Doctor J. P. S. Cathcart, psychiatrist, where he was questioned
about his past life, his family and his father's family? 1
25. Was it through the remarks or hints of a Canadian officer that it was intimated to aircraftman Campbell by October 1, 1942 that the aircraftman would do well to seek his discharge?
26. Was it through orders of a Canadian officer that discharge papers were brought to aircraftman Campbell to sign, which papers the aircraftman refused to sign?
27. Was it through a Canadian officer's orders or hints that the padre, approximately the last of October, 1942, told aircraftman Campbell that he had been struck off strength, thereby causing aircraftman Campbell to ask for immediate discharge and to receive it on October 31, 1942?
28. Was it on order of a Canadian officer that aircraftman Campbell was transferred to Christie street hospital, from which aircraftman Campbell was discharged on December 21, 1942, and sent home to Alberta?
29. Was it on orders of a Canadian officer that Campbell was discharged from Belcher hospital, Calgary, on May 5, 1943? May I at this point observe, for the sake of hon. members who, I notice, are following my remarks closely, that it was clearly to be seen that the aircraftman was unable to do heavy physical work. And1 yet when he was discharged from Christie street hospital and sent home to Alberta he had no alternative but that of engaging in hard physical work such as ranching and other kinds of work he has been doing. The result was that, naturally, on account of his weakness, he became afflicted again and had to seek admission to Belcher Hospital. He was discharged from Belcher Hospital after a very few days. Of course by that hon. members can clearly see that someone representing the government needed to have his actions reviewed.
30. Was it on orders of a Canadian officer that Campbell, in his weakened condition, was denied allowances adequate to support himself and his family without going to work at heavy labour?
31. Was it through Canadian officers that Campbell was refused attention by Shaughnessy hospital when he applied for attention, (1) alone; (2) in company with the provincial president of the army and navy veterans in British Columbia, although later, after Campbell had consulted Doctor Frank Emmons, he was finally admitted to Shaughnessy hospital on January 16. 1945?
The minister has suggested that the parliamentary assistant will deal with these matters at a later time, when he has had time to
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examine them. Therefore I believe I have given sufficient for the present. I shall have more questions after the parliamentary assistant has had a chance to review the case.
These questions, I may tell the parliamentary assistant have to do with the responsibility of men in Shaughnessy hospital who operated on Campbell, even although there was present Doctor Frank Emmons, a specialist, whose skill at diagnosis revealed for the first time the ailment from which Lowell T. Campbell suffered. According to the information I have -andl I shall put the questions to the minister so that he can answer them categorically-this soldier had tried in various ways to get officials in Shaughnessy hospital to permit Doctor Frank Emmons to consult with them and to be present when the operations were performed. Doctor Frank Emmons had conducted careful diagnoses with X-ray plates which, to a skilful man like Doctor Emmons, indicated exactly what was the matter with this man. He had been injured in exercise and a dislocation of certain vertebrae in his back had taken place. The only possible cure would be an operation which could remove that deficiency. But men who apparently did not possess the skill to diagnose the case nevertheless ventured to operate on the man, and to treat the case without knowing even how to diagnose it. Notwithstanding the fact that Doctor Frank Emmons, who was the private doctor of this soldier, was willing to come and either operate or consult while the operation was being performed, his offer was not accepted. I have asked a number of questions which will probe into all that. Hon. members will realize that all this has an important bearing upon the responsibility which the dominion government must assume with respect to the weakened condition of this airman.
May I thank the minister and his parliamentary assistant for the most attentive and sympathetic hearing they have given, and I should like also to thank the members of the committee for their earnest attention. In order to bring out the seriousness of this matter I should like to suggest something which perhaps need not be suggested. I was thinking how easily this might have been the case of the splendid young member for Vancouver-Burrard whom the minister honoured the other day in appropriate terms by commending him upon winning the Victoria Cross. How easily it could have been any one of the excellent young soldiers who have been sent into this house, every one of whom constitutes an asset to the house. How easily it could have been one of my sons; how easily it could have been my brother or the son or

brother of any hon. member. When we realize that I think we will appreciate more readily how serious this matter is and agree that even at this late date in the session, we can afford time to probe into it. After all, this is the high court of parliament, and if there is any court that needs to have a reputation for justice, it is this one.
I believe we should delay long enough to see that justice is given. May I ask the minister when this matter can come up again? I suggest that the item be held over until some time this afternoon, when the parliamentary assistant can answer. If it is not held over, what can be done about giving me an opportunity to ask these questions.

Topic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
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