In the first place I want to endorse, without discussing the proposal of the hon. gentleman (Mr. P. McGibbon) as to insurance. In my opinion it is absolutely necessary and should be very gravely considered by the Government. In connection with the pensions to widows, the hon. member for Skeena (Mr. Peck) has rightly said that $40 a month, with $8 bonus for the present, is entirely inadequate. I do not know how anybody can reooncile the money that the wife of a soldier received during the war with the pension that the widow is now offered. At all times during the war the wife of a private received $30 separation allowance, $15 from her husband, and $10, or possibly slightly higher
from the Patriotic Fund. Compare that amount with the payment of $48 to a widow at the present time. I suggest to the Government that the provision for the widow for the future is manifestly unfair. There is another point that has not been given any consideration by the Government, and that is the unfair treatment of two men of equal class, one of whom does his work in Ottawa, in Victoria, B.C., in Halifax, or elsewhere in Canada whilst the other man does exactly the same work, hut goes to England or Siberia. Under this pension scheme the man who went to Siberia, which is a pretty safe theatre of actual war, and the man who went to England and enjoyed life there, are entitled to the full disability pension, if they fall and break their leg in the street, or if they receive some other disabilty not directly due to the war.
But if the man that did exactly the same work in Canada receives disability he is not entitled to any disability pension whatsoever. I think the treatment under this section is, therefore, unfair, and I commend such men to the notice of the minister.
Topic: PENSION ACT AMENDMENT.