The hon. minister has emphasized that this is a national undertaking and not especially for returned soldiers. Would he define what soldiers are entitled to the benefits of this Bill? There are a large number of men who proceeded as far as Bermuda. Are they to be considered overseas men? A large number proceeded to Siberia, which cannot be defined as the theatre of war. There seems to me to be a great discrimination against many good men who have served in Canada-men who have been retained in Canada for no other reason than their own efficiency. The greater benefits of this Bill, as of other legislation pertaining to soldiers, will go to the class of soldiers that deserve least of
their country. I refer in particular to those men who were forced to do their duty by the Military Service Act. Some 4,000 of these men have served in Siberia; some
20,000 or 30,000 of them have not gone any farther than England. Many thousands of men volunteered in Canada and gave excellent service, but, through no fault of their own, they were prevented from going overseas. If this is to be a national undertaking, I say that these men are entitled to consideration. Furthermore, I notice that section 2, paragraph 3, provides that the widow of any person who died on active service, and who but for his death might be a settler as now defined, etc-. Now, does that not preclude the widow of a soldier who died on duty in Canada from benefiting?
Topic: QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic: SOLDIERS SETTLEMENT ON THE LAND.