November 5, 1919 (13th Parliament, 3rd Session)

UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

The fact that these inequalities existed and that this discrimination appeared is only an incident. I will come to the question which the hon. gentleman raises just in a moment. Now the estimated cost of the plan submitted to us by the committee representing the Great War Veterans' Association will be found on page 74:
Summary of Costs-(Estimate)
I will not read it all. Hon. gentlemen will notice that the actual gross amount of cost is placed at $397,800,000, and then there are three foot-notes:
1. From the above, it is reasonable to as sume that a percentage will be unclaimed, or the need of re-estaiblishment be not proven, amounting to 25 per cent.
That is, they assume to take off $100,000,000 from their estimates of cost. They say it is reasonable to assume that a certain percentage will not be claimed, and that in other cases the need of re-establishment will not be proven. Well, our commitee was very careful to endeavour to trace that down, to endeavour to follow' it out right to its ultimate end, and I am sure that the members of the committee, at any rate, will agree with me when I say that those who were on the committee representing the Great War Veterans' Association did not convince us that there would be any material saving on this account because of not being able to establish need. Then a further amount is deducted in the second note:
2. Also, that Government Departments, such as Land Settlement, Insurance, and Victory Bonds, will absorb the financial aid amounting to a further 25 per cent.
Apparently an endeavour is made to lead us to believe that the amount required would be the balance, namely, $200,000,000. Well, any money that is to be raised and given by way of financial assistance for the purpose ot enabling the men to make payments under the Soldiers' Settlement Board, does not relieve the situation in the slightest degree.
On the other hand, if bonds instead of cash were handed over to the men, with the right on their part to dispose .of them, even with the Government's approval, that also would not relieve the situation in the slightest degree. Consequently, after the whole ground had been gone over very fully and very carefully it was generally conceded that the amount that would be required to carry out the proposals submitted to us by the

committee representing the Great War Veterans' Association would be approximately $400,000,000, to say nothing of a discrepancy in the evidence with reference to the number of men who saw service in France, in connection with which a further expenditure of some forty or fifty millions might be entailed.
In one respect the proposal submitted to us by the G.W.V.A. goes further than Mr. Flynn's plan. For example, Mr. Flynn proposed that a man who saw service in France at any time should not receive more than $2,000, whereas under the plan submitted to us by the G.W.V.A. the proposal is that a man who saw service in France in 1914 should receive $2,500 over and above the gratuity which he has already received. In other words, if he had received $600 by way of gratuity'under the plan now in force, the total amount that he would be entitled to would be $2,500 plus the $600 already received. If a man enlisted in 1914 and went to England in 1915 he would be entitled to $500 for his service in Canada and $800 for having reached England in that year, and if he saw service in France the same year he would be entitled to a further $800, a total of $2,100 as against the $2,000 proposed by Mr. Flynn.
I do not think it is necessary for me to go further into the proposals made by the committee representing the G.W.V.A. Those proposals are contained in full in the appendix, just as they were presented to us, and if all members of the House have not read them I suggest that they should do so, because it is important that we should clearly understand the proposals as they actually reached the committee from the men themselves.
Then, a third general scheme was submitted to us by Mr. Margeson, not as representing any body, but simply as his own suggestion. He is one of the Pension Commissioners, and he has given a good deal of time, thought and consideration- to this subject. In brief, the suggestion which he made to the committee was that every man who saw .service should be given a per diem allowance for his service. If he reached France the allowance for his total services should be seventy cents a day. If he reached only England, he should get forty cents for every day that he was in the army, and if he did not leave Canada, twenty cents a day. There was this proviso, however: no man should be entitled to more than $1,500, including the gratuities already granted. Mr. Margeson's plan
would entail an expenditure of some

Now, I have run over Part VII of the report, which contains these three plans, and have indicated generally to the House what the schemes were.

Topic:   COMMITTEE ON SOLDIERS' CIVIL RE-ESTABLISHMENT.
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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