That is quite true; but there was a very general review which led to the so-called veterans charter of, I think, 1947 or 1948, and a complete review would not have been justified until at least recently because there has to be some uniformity about it, and time has to go by before you need a revision of all the statutes concerned. That time only arrives when you may find, by reason of various changes here and there, that the whole pattern is thrown out of balance and you have to go over it and revise it generally. As I said, I do not think there is any doubt that that time has about arrived, and this may very well occur in the near future.
On the subject of veterans benefits themselves, I was interested in the month of December to read in the press a report about a Conservative convention which was being held in the city of Ottawa. On Wednesday, December 12, the Ottawa Journal made this reference to resolutions which were then before the convention of that party. By a hurried reading of this the only reference I saw was mentioned as No. 2, which reads:
Jumping war veteran disability pensions by 10 per cent.
This was a preliminary resolution of the resolutions committee. I am informed that in the main body of the convention this resolution was changed, if it was in that form, when it was properly reported. I have been told that what I am about to read was the resolution on veterans:
The Progressive Conservative party has consistently championed the cause of Canada's veterans. A Progressive Conservative government will:
1. Set up a standing committee of the House of Commons on veterans affairs.
2. Raise veterans' disability pensions in order to bring them more in line with the increased cost of living in Canada today.
3. Increase the married rate of war veterans' allowances and increase the ceilings on total permissible incomes.
4. Extend the provisions of the War Veterans Allowance Act to veterans who served in the United Kingdom during the first world war.
I do not know whether this was the final version, but I have been told that it was. May I just compare this with what has been done since and with what has been said by hon. gentlemen opposite. First of all, let us dispose of Nos. 1 and 4. We have not so far found it possible to set up a standing committee. It is a matter which does not weigh in the balance if a committee in fact considers legislation from time to time. Nor have we found it possible to extend the provisions of the War Veterans Allowance Act to veterans who served in the United Kingdom during the first world war.
Nos. 2 and 3, however, refer to raising veterans disability pensions in order to bring them more in line with the increased cost of living in Canada today. Very wisely they did not try to determine what that increase would amount to. Had they done so-and I think they were aware of it-they would not have found it possible, if they were consistent in their program, to support the present amendments, because they are above the increases in the cost of living during the time since they were last changed. Now, if my hon. friends opposite-
Topic: INTERIM SUPPLY