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:

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
Full View Permalink

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
Full View Permalink

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
Full View Permalink

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
Full View Permalink

April 24, 1953

Mr. Riley:

I should like to point out to the minister, however, one or two small problems which have caused some concern in my mind. I came across an incident recently with respect to one of these new probationary Canadians who had come into the country as a domestic and was in the home of a friend of mine where there were a number of children. These new Canadians, particularly the younger ones, have in many instances been indoctrinated in a way of life which is different from and at variance with our own, and although they are anxious to come to this country and fit themselves into our way of life nevertheless there remain in them certain

vestiges of thinking which are not strictly in accordance with the Canadian way of thinking.

In this particular case the young lady employed as a domestic in the home from time to time made comparisons between the head of the state from which she came and our own sovereign. That may be understandable because of the respect that had been built up in her mind for the head of the state from which she came. But what made this appear serious to me was that, having been here only a few months, she was anticipating becoming a teacher in one of our schools as soon as she had a better grasp of our language. This may not be a problem for the minister or his department, but I do think, where there is a possibility of some of these new or probationary Canadians going into the school teaching profession in our country before they have attained a firm grasp of our concept of democracy, that the need for great caution should be emphasized to the school boards, municipalities and provinces which might be acting as hiring agencies.

Another problem is indicated by the table put on the record last evening by the minister showing the destination of new Canadians coming into the country. I note that out of 164,498 immigrants to the country last year only 790 were destined to the province of New Brunswick. I suggest to the minister that through the officials of his department he should try to encourage a more even distribution of new Canadians. We in the province of New Brunswick are not so concerned with the bringing in of labourers as we are with the bringing in of people who will work our land and fit into the different sections of the population where their services can be used without disrupting the general economy of the province. I think this is something on which some effort should be concentrated because we need population of the proper type in the province of New Brunswick. I think that the officials of the minister's department could, without too much effort, encourage some of these immigrants to settle in our part of the country.

When they come to Canada they have the preconceived idea that the only place in which they can make a living for themselves is west of the southeastern boundary of the province of Quebec. That is not correct. I think it could be pointed out to immigrants that those who have settled in the maritime provinces have fitted very well into our general social and economic structure and that with very few exceptions they are making for themselves a very good life in this new land.

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration

I should also like to point out to the minister that we have in the port city of Saint John a new immigration station which has been described and accepted generally not only in this country but all over the continent-and perhaps we can extend that comparison to many of the commonwealth countries which are encouraging immigration at the present time-as second to none on the continent. It is not the largest of course but it is geared to accommodate a large number of immigrants. These immigration facilities are not being put to the best use. All summer they are left virtually unstaffed with probably no more than a dozen or so new Canadians filtering through from other countries. I think that is a shame.

I do not hold the Department of Citizenship and Immigration entirely responsible, but I would point out to the minister that perhaps he or the officials of his department could encourage the shipping companies to bring immigrants into the port of Saint John. I realize that it is generally considered as a winter port. That belief exists but Saint John, like Halifax, is an all year round port and one which should be used as much as possible in bringing new Canadians into the country because it would not only provide extra commerce for the community but would also give immigrants the best of impressions of the new land in which they were arriving.

In connection with the immigration station we have a very competent and courteous customs service. I have often heard most sincere words of praise directed to the customs service in the city of Saint John. The customs facilities that have been established in the new immigration station are such as to provide the most courteous and competent system of handling the baggage not only of immigrants but of all travellers. The same applies to the immigration authorities there. The Red Cross people in the community have become so interested in the new facilities that they have provided a very fine nursery for the little children who are brought in by their parents to become future citizens of the country.

A great deal of voluntary effort on the part of the citizens of Saint John and Lancaster is directed toward making this first impression of new Canadians a warm and a lasting one. In addition there are a number of other organizations such as the Catholic Women's League and different church organizations which are directing a great deal of voluntary effort along these lines and they want to do more. They are very intent upon providing all the comforts which can be made available as well as the warmest welcome which can possibly be conceived for these new citizens.

4344 HOUSE OF

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration

We have such fine facilities at Saint John that I would even recommend them to stowaways-because the detention quarters are very comfortable and well though firmly supervised. I point out to the house, as I have in the past to the officials of the department, that in Saint John we have the best immigration facilities in the country but they are not being used to good advantage. The Canadian Pacific Railway directs a great number of immigrants through our port during the wintertime but I think that other shipping lines should also take an interest in bringing immigrants to that port. I do not say that we should get all of the immigrants there but as large a number as possible should be directed to that port which has the most modern and best equipped facilities.

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