February 11, 1947 (20th Parliament, 3rd Session)

PC

Thomas Langton Church

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CHURCH:

There is considerable criticism of this economy measure, as the public and those in the reserves find out the real
objects and functions of this legislation. I come from a city second to none in what it has done in connection with the air force and non-permanent militia, but I can say that at the present time there is great difficulty in getting recruits for the auxiliary air force, and non-permanent militia, and there is a great deal of dissatisfaction among our younger people. They believe that by this amendment the government is injuring recruiting. In the two wars there was great interest shown in the air force. Of course at the time of the first great war it was the Royal Air Force; after that we had our own air force. Many young men who had been in the militia joined the air force during the second war. Some of them had cadet training, which for those under fourteen is now being wiped out in the public schools. When they got to be sixteen or seventeen years of age they began to hang around these amateur air clubs, and later graduated to the air force.
I believe this provision of one-quarter allowance is most unfair; it should be put back to one-half for the non-permanent- active militia. The benefits which were set out last session, according to the statement by the minister, now are being reduced from one-half to one-quarter, and he considers that a fair provision. It is hard enough to get recruits for either the auxiliary air squadrons or the non-permanent militia; it is getting harder all the time. Only the other day a commanding officer told me they are even having a hard time getting recruits for the militia from the schools, on which they used to rely for many of their men. I have seen some parades, and many of those taking part did not seem to be any older than fourteen, fifteen or sixteen. For us to pass an amendment to this pension act so soon after the ending of the war I think is a retrograde step. It is not only going to hurt recruiting for the air force, but also for the militia and the naval reserve as well. - It is inequitable; it is unfair; it is not in the interests of recruiting. Neither is it in the interest of economy, because later on we may have to pay for doing business in such a haphazard way.

Topic:   MILITIA PENSION ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF PROVISIONS OF ACT TO CERTAIN GROUPS
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