Mr. Chairman, I do not feel I would be doing my duty if I did not get up and say a few words on this bill because in the last few years I have had considerable to do with veterans affairs. I want to thank the government for going as far as they have gone with this legislation, but in my opinion the bill still lacks some sections which should have been included. One of the sections which I think should have been included is one dealing with veterans who served in England during the first great war. Today many of those veterans who do not happen to be pensioners are unable to obtain this allowance because England was not considered to be a theatre of war.
Those men may have been kept in England through no fault of their own. I know from experience-this is a matter which we may have to face in future years-that many soldiers were kept in Canada during the second world war through no fault of their own. They were good, reliable soldiers but their commanding officers would not permit IMr. Pearkes.]
them to go over because they required good men here. Many veterans of the first world war may have been kept in England because of their ability to fill certain positions, because of their ability to carry on their jobs. I feel that they should be given some consideration in the legislation now before this committee.
Another point I should like to take up is that which has been dealt with by previous speakers. I contend that the ceiling, if you wish to call it that, is not high enough. In fact I submit there should not be any ceiling at all. We should permit these veterans to earn whatever money they are able to earn at whatever work they can get. They would then feel that they are contributing something toward their own support, that they are part of our economic life, that they are not just cast off and depending entirely on charity. That is the way you make them feel when you tell them that they can earn only so much.
If a married veteran has a family-I happen to know a few who have-$1,200 is not enough to permit them to more than barely exist. I do not know what the process is, but I would hope that this legislation could be reconsidered and amended, at this session if possible, so consideration could be given to veterans who served in England during the first war and to also raise the amount of permissible income a veteran may earn, either married or single.
There are many veterans who would like to do some work. They would like to think that they were at least helping to earn their own living. Under this legislation, if they are going to receive a war veterans allowance, they hardly dare go out and earn anything. It is like the story of the old woman related by the hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra. Some of these men just cannot understand this legislation. They cannot understand why they are not permitted to work and have the allowance when they are willing to work.
Topic: AMENDMENTS RESPECTING ALLOWANCES FOR WAR VETERANS AND THEIR DEPENDENTS