Mr. Chairman, I admit this case involves considerable hardship to the carpenter concerned, but for the department to deal with it as my hon. friend wishes would
open up a pretty wide field. For the information of the house I might read the statement from the soldiers' settlement board:
This settler was established about 1920, receiving the full amount as allowed by statute to be advanced to soldier settlers: viz: $7,500. The following year he engaged to build a barn, obtaining the lumber on his own credit and hiring a man to build the barn. The soldier settlement board had nothing to do with the arrangement in building the barn. A year or two afterwards he loft the farm and it reverted to the board. No purchaser was found for it until it was set aside for settlement under the 3,000 British Family Settlement Scheme in 1926.
The carpenter who built the barn made a claim on the board for his work, about $480. The board, not being in any way responsible for this debt, have refused to pay same. When the farm was sold to the British family settler it showed a loss to the board of something like $1,700, not including any interest. If interest was included it would be over $4,000. The board has neither power nor authority to pay out any moneys on the private debts of delinquent settlers.
Now, to deal with this case as requested would establish a precedent for ten thousand soldier settlers to incur debits on their own responsibility, and their creditors would look to the board for payment. I admit the hardship in this individual case, but really I cannot see any other course open to the board than to repudiate the debts of soldier settlers incurred on their own responsibility after they have obtained full loans under the act. Unfortunately a principle is involved that we cannot ignore, otherwise we might stretch a point in this particular case.
Topic: IMMIGRATION AND COLONIZATION