Martha Louise BLACK

BLACK, Martha Louise

Personal Data

Party
Independent Conservative
Constituency
Yukon (Yukon)
Birth Date
February 24, 1866
Deceased Date
October 31, 1957
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martha_Black
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=6a3cb3cf-befb-4d93-8a69-ce71923d6ff9&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
author, homemaker

Parliamentary Career

October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
IND
  Yukon (Yukon)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 6)


May 23, 1938

Mrs. BLACK:

If he was in good health.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   CONCENTRATION OP SINGLE
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March 25, 1938

Mrs. MARTHA LOUISE BLACK (Yukon):

Mr. Chairman, what we have heard from every side during the past few weeks reminds me of what we heard just over a quarter of a century ago. I remember being in the Yukon at that time of rumours of war and saying to my husband, "Do you believe what Borden is saying, that there is a danger of war?" My husband replied, "Personal!}' I do not believe it, but the Prime Minister says there is danger of war, and if I follow him I must believe what he says." So, when I hear the government say that we must prepare for eventualities, I am led to believe that the government in power must know that we have to prepare for eventualities which may not happen, which we hope will not happen, but at the same time we must be ready.

This is the third session that I have been in the house. I have refrained in the two previous sessions from taking any part in the debate on the militia estimates. I had to. My youngest son was in the regular army; my oldest son was a naval reservist in the United States forces, and I felt that under no circumstances could I say anything which would lead anybody to believe that I was inclined to a military mind, because I was not. I consider that I am an average woman and an average mother. I brought up my children to obey discipline and orders when the discipline and orders were necessary. I did not bring them up to be cannon fodder;

I brought them up with the idea that if a country is good enough to live in, it is not only good enough to live in but good enough to die for if we have to die for it. None of us wants to. We all want to live. We all want to enjoy the sunshine and God's free air; but at the same time I believe every thinking man and woman want to feel, if the call comes, that they are ready. The call might come for one of us to fight; the call might come for another to remain on the farm; the call might come for another to cook, to do all sorts of menial labour; but as men and women, when that call comes, we must be ready. I do not doubt this for one moment.

In preparing for war, for the horrible eventuality as it is nowadays, we are doing as we do when we take out a life insurance policy, or fire or burglary insurance. For years and years I have kept on paying insurance, not that I expected my house to burn, not that I expected to die immediately, not that I expected burglars to enter; but at the same time I was going to be ready, and I think the minister in his speech has made it quite clear that he wants to be ready in case of a horrible eventuality.

We in the north have felt until the last few years that we were free from fear; but now when I go to my door in the summer and look overhead and see perhaps twelve or fourteen aeroplanes in the air at one time; when I hear over the radio five minutes after a crime has happened in China, that it has happened, I think, What may this all mean to me? What may this all mean to those of us on the outposts of the empire if we are not prepared, if we are not careful? Heaven knows I do not want war. I do not want to go through what I went through in London for three and a half years, when I listened to the shrieking sirens and saw the aeroplanes and those horrible zeppelins on fire and falling in flames, with many men jumping from them. I do not want to see that again. I do not want to visit those hospitals again and see men and boys near and dear to me, as I saw so many. But with the dictators to-day doing as they are, can we do anything but prepare and be ready for what may come to us? We have a country to the south of us which in self-defence will help us; but if she helps us she expects us to help her, and we have all been taught that the Lord helps those who help themselves.

I perhaps may not always agree with everything the minister may say, but at the same time I know him to be a cautions, canny Scot. I know he is not going to rush us into an expenditure of life or money unless it is absolutely necessary, and so with all my heart and soul, while praying that there may be no further trouble in this country, I shall support him.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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February 28, 1938

Mrs. BLACK:

He did not know it until then. He thought he was around seventy years of age. When he discovered his real age, his friends were afraid that he would realize how old he was and become so exhausted that he would shortly pass away.

Of course I have always felt quite keenly about the administration of old age pensions in the Yukon. It is not a pension there; it is a dole. The Northwest Territories are administered directly by the federal government and the $20 per month is given as a dole, not as a pension. This is very irritating to self-respecting men or women. When they have paid taxes for perhaps forty or fifty years, they do not like having money handed out to them by the government, and have it called a dole instead of a pension. When

Yukoners who have lived in the country for forty or fifty years feel that they want to retire, if they are able to work they do not get a pension. If they are unable to work they are given this so-called pension in the shape of a dole. If they say, "My family lives in Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia or one of the other provinces and I would like to go there where I could live near them and my former friends on $20 a month," do they get that amount of money? No. If they go to any one of the provinces and live there a year or two they will receive a dollar or two a month, and until they have lived in the province for twenty years they cannot get the pension. That is neither fair nor just. They could live much more comfortably on the outside, and there are former Yukoners in every province of this country who are suffering under that injustice and who have asked time after time that it be removed. They have been a credit to the Yukon territory and to Canada as a whole; so why in the name of justice should they not be allowed a pension when they have moved to some other part of Canada? I asked the government to consider the administration of old age pensions in the Yukon on exactly the same basis as they consider the administration of old age pensions in the Northwest Territories.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION OF PENSIONABLE AGE LIMIT FROM SEVENTY TO SIXTY-FIVE
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February 28, 1938

Mrs. MARTHA LOUISE BLACK (Yukon):

Mr. Speaker, I do not think anyone in the house can fail to be most sympathetic with this resolution. While the resolution does not specify the granting of an old age pension at the age of sixty-five years, the hon. member for Winnipeg North (Mr. Heaps) has specified that as the age at which a pension should be granted. We all know that there are men and women of thirty-five years of age who through physical disability are perhaps older than other men and women of seventy or seventy-five years. We are not all constituted the same and we cannot all stand the same degree of work or anxiety. Eventually I dare say that this will be the age when these old age pensions will be granted.

I quite agree with the hon. minister who has just spoken when he says that any self-respecting man or woman would far rather work, no matter how difficult it may be, than have to rely upon a pension. If I had my health and strength I would not thank anybody for giving me a pension as long as I could earn enough to support myself. I do not agree with hon. members who say that the children should support their parents. We know that the great majority of children are ready to help their parents if it is at all possible, but after all these young people must make their way; they have their own children to educate, to feed and to clothe, and it is difficult for an older person to have to live on the bounty of his children or to have to live with the children or grandchildren. It is not that one does not love these children

Old Age Pensions-Mrs. Black

or grandchildren, but the fact is it is much better that youth and old age should be

separate.

As I advocated in the few remarks I made last year, I believe that the government should assume full responsibility for the payment of old age pensions. At the present time these pensions are administered by the nine different provinces. This government pays seventy-five per cent of the cost and yet does not have as much to say about the administration as the provinces that pay only twenty-five per cent. That is not just or fair. Of course there are chisellers, but in all walks of life you are going to find chisellers.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION OF PENSIONABLE AGE LIMIT FROM SEVENTY TO SIXTY-FIVE
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February 28, 1938

Mrs. BLACK:

Do I hear "even among members of parliament ''? That may be so, but I would not like to accuse the members in the far corner of being chisellers. I believe that one government should administer old age pensions. That would be more economical than the present method and there would be less danger of chiselling.

As I said before, some people of thirty-five years of age are as old as others at seventy or seventy-five years. The former member for the Yukon had a letter written to him not long ago by a man whom he had known in his early days in New Brunswick. This man said: " I think I am old enough to retire and you may be able to find out how old I am; I come from King's county and it may be possible that my birth certificate can be found." King's county was written to and the man's birth certificate was found and sent back. This man who thought he was old enough to retire discovered that he was eighty-three years of age.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION OF PENSIONABLE AGE LIMIT FROM SEVENTY TO SIXTY-FIVE
Full View Permalink