I want to bring to the attention of the minister the fact that many cases have been rejected by the board on account of technicalities which I think the minister should take some cognizance of and do his best to remedy. I have in my riding a man who served overseas. Before enlisting, he was an athlete in the pink of condition. At the front he was gassed and shell-shocked. He spent considerable time in hospital, and when he came back to the city of Hamilton he was examined only for his heart, and possibly his dental condition. Within a couple of months of his discharge he became troubled with bronchial and asthmatic conditions. Before his discharge he had been passed as fit by one of the doctors who thought he was doing this chap a good turn. Various doctors stated that his bronchial and asthmatic conditions were the result of his war service, but like a good many other soldiers he fought his battles alone and did not wish to become a burden to the country. Three or four years later, when he was no longer in a position to support himself, his savings and earning capacity having gone, he applied for a pension, and he was told, "Your board states that you were discharged physically fit." But, Mr. Speaker, we can produce doctors who will state that undoubtedly this man's condition was caused by his war service.
Another soldier was awarded a partial disability pension for bronchial trouble. He is now becoming absolutely deaf. Physicians for the board say that his deafness has nothing to do with his bronchial trouble. On the other hand, we have specialists who will state that the deafness was undoubtedly caused by the bronchial and asthmatic conditions for which he was receiving a partial disability pension.
Another case is that of the widow of a soldier who was receiving a pension. Some of the doctors stated that the soldier's death was probably caused by his war service. Other doctors attributed it to something else. I
Pension Act Amendment
think that in such circumstances, where a soldier served overseas for three or four years, was wounded and subjected to gas attacks, he should be given the benefit of any doubt.
Then there is the wife of a returned man, with six children. He was turned down for a pension, and his wife says, "I am going to vote communist in the next election because the government is not looking after the returned men who fought overseas."
Topic: PENSION ACT
Subtopic: ABOLITION OP PENSION APPEAL BOARD AND EXTENSION OP TIME FOR PENSION APPLICATIONS