Daniel Aloysius RILEY

RILEY, The Hon. Daniel Aloysius, Q.C., B.A., B.C.L.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
St. John--Albert (New Brunswick)
Birth Date
May 11, 1916
Deceased Date
September 13, 1984
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Aloysius_Riley
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=c76fff30-ecfa-41e4-ac8a-ad6d3b17f38c&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
barrister

Parliamentary Career

June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
LIB
  St. John--Albert (New Brunswick)
December 21, 1973 - June 13, 1953
LIB
  St. John--Albert (New Brunswick)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 54)


May 9, 1953

Mr. Riley:

The minister says that some of them were up-graded. Well, I accept that, too, but I am talking about one particular type of veteran. He is the man who came out of the second world war suffering from wounds, a pension case, and in many instances he was an amputee case. Those of us who have had close contact with amputees of the second world war, for instance those in my own age group, have found a great deal to admire in those men. They lay in hospital beds for months. They had to come back into society minus one limb, minus two limbs; they had to fit themselves back among their fellow citizens as normal human beings. Those men had been away from their associations for many years. They bore not only physical scars but mental scars; and the mental habits they had formed during the years of the war had to be completely changed when they came back into the associations of civilian life.

Well, those men came out of the hospitals and, with the assistance of the Department of Veterans Affairs, were able to fit themselves back into civilian jobs. Many jobs were open to them, some of them being government jobs.

It is true that they received pensions, but the pensions came to them as a matter of right. They settled down and bought homes or built homes, and they carried on in their particular positions. Some of them, as I say, were in government jobs, and some of them were in the Department of Veterans Affairs. They carried on for a number of years after the war in their new homes, established families and conducted themselves as normal members of the community. All of a sudden they were met with this decision by the department for which they worked; they were told that the department was going to lower their standard of living, in some instances by as much as $500 a year.

Well, I suggest to the minister and to the ministers of other departments where this may happen, that the people of Canada will not begrudge to any veteran-and particularly to a veteran who is an amputee-the salary which he has come to earn by successfully rehabilitating himself into society. They will not begrudge him that salary which he has come to earn by assiduously applying himself to the particular tasks which are assigned to him by the department.

If it is necessary to carry out some measure of economy in any government department I suggest they leave the amputees alone, because there is a lot to be admired in those men. If there is to be any question of economy let it be by perhaps abolishing some position that a veteran has filled successfully for years, and let them put that man in a position in another department where he will be able to exercise his talents in a manner that will enable him to carry on as he did in his former department. Let him carry on as a member of society who is deserving not only of the ordinary credit which is due him but of a great deal more credit because of the tremendous sacrifices he has made and the tremendous amount of courage which he has demonstrated on behalf of the people of the country.

Recently I saw one of these amputees at a dinner. He was a normal sort of fellow who had a great deal of ability. He had successfully rehabilitated himself in a civilian position and he has risen to a position of responsibility whch would be the envy of any young man his age. After the dinner I saw the young man apply himself to a game of table tennis. During the course of that game he fell down about five times but, after falling down, he bounced back to his feet very quickly. Having seen that demonstration, in my mind there will always be associated with that man a particular name. I shall think of him as Mr. Guts. There are a lot

of amputees in the government service who could be described as Mr. Guts.

I think when it comes time for the government to practise economy in respect of particular positions which these men have successfully carried out for a period of ten years, exceptions should be made. Great care should be exercised by heads of departments in order to ensure that the standard of living which these men have achieved through their courage, their perseverance, and their talents should not be disturbed in any way. I do not think any citizens of the country, any good citizens, will criticize any department of government for making sure that these men have the opportunity of not only successfully rehabilitating themselves as they have done but of continuing that rehabilitation throughout their lives.

I ask the minister particularly, since his estimates are before the house, and particularly since there are a number of amputees in his department who have been affected by this review of personnel, to give some assurance to the citizens of the country as well as to the amputee veterans that their rehabilitation is not going to be disturbed.

Topic:   IRRIGATION
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
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May 9, 1953

Mr. Riley:

Mr. Chairman, I have listened with a great deal of interest to various speakers this evening placing before the committee problems which are peculiar to the veterans and which are deserving of serious consideration by the committee. I have run across a problem that has arisen in the past few months with respect to veterans that has burned itself into my mind. I should like to place it before the committee tonight. I am not a veteran, but during the war years I worked very closely with veterans. For two years I was solicitor for the Veterans' Land Act for the maritime provinces. During that time I learned to admire the veterans very much. I worked desk to desk and shoulder to shoulder with men who had suffered pain ever since the first world war, who would come into the office in the morning and carry out their duties throughout the day without complaint; yet those of us who were working with them knew that all during the day these men were suffering pain.

The conclusion developed in my mind that many veterans who were casualties of the first war and many of those who were casualties of the second war had probably done more themselves to rehabilitate themselves successfully into civilian life. After having undergone sacrifices and suffering that their fellow

Supply-Veterans Affairs citizens will never realize, these men had re-entered civilian life successfully and had put themselves in the position where they did not have to lean too heavily on the government or their fellow citizens.

Recently I was advised that a review of the different positions held by the various employees of the department was being made with a view to cutting down the number of personnel. I realize, and I think every veteran and probably every other citizen of the country will agree with me, that the Department of Veterans Affairs has done a remarkable job since the second world war to assist veterans to rehabilitate themselves into society. I also realize that the Department of Veterans Affairs is one whose responsibilities are lessening as the years pass by.

In 1945 the Department of Veterans Affairs had grave responsibilities. A large number of veterans needed assistance; but as succeeding years have gone by the number of such veterans has lessened. Well, this year apparently it was determined that there should be a review of the responsibilities of the staff. As a result of that review, which was carried on by the department and the civil service commission, it was determined that there were certain positions in the department where the responsibilities had lessened to the point that numbers of the staff were downgraded or, if not down-graded, their remuneration was lessened to some degree.

Topic:   IRRIGATION
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
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May 1, 1953

Mr. Riley:

Mr. Chairman, I do not know if the minister will be able to pay much attention to me after having been elevated to the heights of confusion by the previous speaker. The hon. member has spoken tonight with as much authority on health insurance and social welfare as he spoke on housing in Saint John a few days ago. I should like to bring to the attention of the minister a problem in connection with civil defence affecting my own particular area.

Topic:   I, 1953
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May 1, 1953

Mr. Riley:

It may be that I shall have to be elsewhere as these items continue, and I should like to speak for a few minutes this evening. For some time now Saint John has been extremely interested in civil defence, because our city and the surrounding area are considered to be a prime bombing target

in the event of hostilities. A considerable amount of money has been spent to date by the municipality in order to co-operate with the Department of National Health and Welfare in providing proper facilities for the defence of the area and to take care of emergencies should they develop.

The city has already spent something like $10,000 in this regard. I might say here that the city of Saint John and Saint John county are most grateful for the generous co-operation of the minister through his officers in that particular section of his department, for the training of instructors in civil defence as well as aid by way of equipment. To date this has been worth approximately $18,000.

I understand that the department through the director of civil defence has made an offer to the province of New Brunswick whereby that province could obtain more money from the federal department by putting up a like amount. Up to date the province of New Brunswick has not agreed to accept that very generous offer on the part of the department and thus be able to implement a sound system of civil defence in those areas of the province where it is considered vital that we should have such a system.

I understand that two alternative offers were made. One was that the province could put up dollar for dollar with the department, and the other was that a municipality could put up one-third, the province one-third and the federal government the remaining one-third. Up to date the city of Saint John has not been able to enter into this arrangement because the provincial government has not agreed to put up the $46,000, I believe it is- I may be slightly off, but it would be only a matter of a few dollars-either by matching the federal government dollar by dollar or by agreeing to put up one-third, so that the city and county of Saint John can put up the other one-third and thus be able to derive further benefits from the national civil defence program.

Many of the citizens of Saint John are extremely concerned about this. I am going to ask the minister if he cannot deviate from the hard and fast policy. Even though the province of New Brunswick will not agree to put up the money to enable us to get more support from his department for civil defence in our area, perhaps some arrangement could be made whereby the city of Saint John could match an amount to be put up by the department and thus carry on our civil defence program.

There are many hundreds of people who are prepared to go forward with this program on a voluntary basis. There is the Red Cross

Supply-Health and Welfare and the St. John Ambulance; and we have 25 instructors who have been trained in civil defence here in Ottawa at the cost of a good many thousands of dollars. We do not want this program to collapse; therefore I am asking the minister if some other means cannot be devised whereby our municipality can come in under this program without the assistance of the province.

I thank the minister for being so tolerant as to allow me to speak perhaps somewhat irregularly.

Topic:   I, 1953
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April 24, 1953

Mr. Riley:

I am sure you will enjoy it and you may learn something.

Topic:   DOUKHOBORS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO REQUEST FOR PROVINCIAL CONFERENCE RE SONS OF FREEDOM
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