Ross Wilfred GRAY

GRAY, Ross Wilfred

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Lambton West (Ontario)
Birth Date
January 5, 1897
Deceased Date
December 11, 1968
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Gray_(politician)
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=f4ceca5f-a3b8-45ec-9f93-1bdbf0a83ec1&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
barrister

Parliamentary Career

January 14, 1929 - May 30, 1930
LIB
  Lambton West (Ontario)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
LIB
  Lambton West (Ontario)
October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
LIB
  Lambton West (Ontario)
  • Whip of the Liberal Party (January 1, 1937 - January 1, 1940)
  • Chief Government Whip (January 1, 1937 - January 1, 1940)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
LIB
  Lambton West (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 145 of 147)


March 31, 1931

Mr. GRAY:

Mr. Chairman-

Topic:   SUPPLY-UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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March 31, 1931

Mr. GRAY:

I rise not to object to item

51 but rather to ask the Minister of Pensions and National Health-if he may be allowed to answer, because he has borne the brunt of the attack in connection with this matter- for an explanation as to why this relief to pensioned soldiers, from an emergency relief fund granted by this parliament, was cut off without a word of warning, and restored only when such a strong protest of public opinion swept the country, the pressure of which not even this government could withstand. Why were the soldier organizations throughout the country not consulted before this step was taken? It has been stated-and I should like an explanation as to this-that the cut was made in order to effect economy in the administration.

We have heard a good deal to-day with respect to the unemployment question. We know that for the ordinary unemployed the emergency relief measure did not expire until to-day, and it does seem to be due to the returned men of the country, and to the people of Canada as a whole, that some explanation should be given as to why, without a word of warning, the pensions of these men, whose very existence was dependent upon this relief, were cut by the Minister of Pensions and National Health.

I would also ask the returned veterans in the cabinet to give an explanation, because there are some veterans here in the cabinet before me. The hon. the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Sutherland), the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Weir), the Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Manion), and the Minister of Pensions and National Health

Supply-Pensions

(Mr. MacLaren) are all returned veterans. 1 have here a statement given out to the press by the Mail and Empire as follows:

In justice to the other war veterans in the cabinet it can be said they were not aware of Dr. MacLaren's proposal and it is doubtful if any of the other ministers were consulted.

I am going to ask the Minister of Agriculture whether he was consulted in this matter. Did he consent to the pensions of these returned men being cut? If he, was consulted what did he do in the matter? I pause now for an answer. His silence apparently would imply that he was consulted and is not going to say what he said. I will ask the Minister of National Defence: was he consulted by the Minister of Pensions and National Health, and if so, what did he say with respect to the cutting off of these pensions to returned men? Is he not going to be allowed to answer either? I would ask the Minister of Railways, who apparently is the only one in the cabinet who has been allowed so far to speak: was he consulted by the Minister of Pensions in the matter of having these pensions cut at the time they were? Was he consulted? If so, what opinion did he give in that regard? AH I can say, then, is that it does seem strange to me that parliament should be witnessing the spectacle of members of this government, three or four of them returned veterans, remaining in their places and not offering any explanation to the house with respect to this matter. I have nothing but the kindliest feelings towards the Minister of Pensions and National Health. I believe he has the interest of the returned veterans at heart, and I believe it was his desire, to do justice to them. I should like also to have an explanation as to why; although that minister-bore the brunt of the attack, when it came to restoring the order, the right hon. the Prime Minister attempted to take all the glory, boldly announcing the pension would be restored. In fact there was no glory about it; he was merely performing a duty which should have rested upon the Minister of Pensions. I say, Mr. Chairman, that the country awaits some explanation-*

Topic:   SUPPLY-UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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March 31, 1931

Mr. GRAY:

Mr. Chairman, I take serious

objection-

Topic:   SUPPLY-UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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March 31, 1931

Mr. GRAY:

I would like to follow up the statements made by the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power) by reading the statement issued to the press by the minister and asking him whether or not it correctly interprets what he intended to say. The following appeared in the Mail and Empire of February 18, 1931, under the name of a very reputable member of the press gallery, Mr. Blacklock:

To-day Dr. MacLaren said the reduction "is regarded as a somewhat temporary measure and it is hoped an improvement in the rates will be effected before long." The text of his statement reads:

"The issue of relief by the department of Pensions and National Health was always regarded as an emergency measure. It was never intended that it should constitute a permanent addition to pensions. The relief issue through this department is restricted entirely to pensioners."

"This year the demands have greatly exceeded the appropriation passed by parliament and much more. The number of applications for relief have more than doubled as compared with previous years. At January 31 last, the amount expended was something more than double the amount expended during a similar period last year."

"Complaints have been made as regards the distribution of this relief, and the relief has been placed on the minimum scale pending investigation. Consequently, the administrative officers of the department were informed that, pending further instructions, a reduction would be made in the amounts issued. This reduction is regarded as a somewhat temporary measure, and it is hoped that an improvement in these rates will be effecter before long."

"In no case will hardship result, for there will be such readjustment as will meet the circumstances."

I now ask the minister whether or not that correctly interprets the statement given to the press, and I plead with the Prime Minister to permit the minister to answer for himself.

Topic:   SUPPLY-UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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March 30, 1931

Mr. GRAY:

I have seen the original letter.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
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