Mr. Chairman, I do not intend to take up much time or repeat the things that have been said by other hon. members who have spoken. However, I should like to join with them in the compliments they have paid to the officials of the Veterans' Land Act and of the veterans department generally. I think that the amendments contained in this bill are very important. As the hon. member for Burin-Burgeo said, the farther we went into the amendments, into the clauses, and as explanations were given, the greater the benefits we discovered in them.
It was not possible, as we were told, for all veterans to be re-established at the same time, that is shortly after the war. There were various reasons for this, one of which was that the costs at that time seemed high. However, as time has gone by costs have risen. This is the reason, as I understand it, the recommendation has come forward and been accepted, to permit all veterans to be re-established if they wish to be.
I suppose that we should not pay too much attention to current rumours, but as chairman of the veterans committee I should like to take this opportunity of thanking all the members of the committee. I do this now in case there is nothing else referred to the committee. I wish to thank the members for their co-operation during this session and in the discussion of this bill. Every member of the committee was exceptionally co-operative. We worked under difficulties at times, but I should like all members to know that I greatly appreciated the co-operation they gave.
I should like also to add to the compliments paid to the area superintendent of the maritimes, who happens to be a friend of mine. A lot of good things have been said about Brigadier Rutherford, the head of the board. I do not want to take anything away from Brigadier Rutherford but I believe he was fortunate in having a lot of good officials associated with him, men who had experience in connection with soldier settlement and the purchase of lands. One of the most outstanding of these is Mr. Scott and I could not let this occasion pass without paying a compliment to my old friend, Charles Scott, for the good work he has done and the guidance he has given in the maritimes.
Veterans' Land Act
I am sure that were one to travel across the country from province to province and district to district he would discover that a lot of good men had something to do with the administration of this act. As a matter of fact it is interesting, and I do not think it would be out of place for me to mention, that we have an hon. member of the House of Commons, Mr. Rogers, the hon. member for Red Deer, who formerly had a lot to do with the administration of this act. Members of the house who have not been members of the veterans affairs committee may not realize what a great help he has been to that committee during the last four years in explaining lots of little things that we sometimes did not inquire about when the officials appeared before that committee.
The director and officials who appeared before the committee on this occasion certainly gave us explanations that seemed to satisfy everybody. I do not want to hold up passage of the bill, but there was one statement made by the hon. member for Niagara Falls which I did not get clearly. I rose to ask her a question but she did not notice me. I wonder has she read the evidence given before the veterans affairs committee some three years ago concerning the firefighters? As I understand it, she said that these gentlemen volunteered to fight anywhere in Europe.
Subtopic: AMENDMENTS TO EXTEND QUALIFICATION PERIOD, ETC.