November 7, 1919

UNION

Henry Arthur Mackie

Unionist

Mr. H. A. MACKIE:

Do you believe that Flynn has the ability to carry out the threat that he has made, and that he is pursuing it?

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UNION

Hugh Clark (Parliamentary Secretary of Militia and Defence)

Unionist

Mr. HUGH CLARK:

He apparently is

receiving considerable support in some quarters.

Mr. H. A. MACKIE; Why does not the hon. gentleman apply the criminal law to him as a conspirator against the Government ?

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UNION

Hugh Clark (Parliamentary Secretary of Militia and Defence)

Unionist

Mr. HUGH CLARK:

I was rather

astonished to hear the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Coekshutt) say that the committee appeared to be more concerned about finding out why we could not do a thing than about our duty to the soldiers. We took it for granted that the House, and all who read the report, would assume that we recognized our duty to the soldiers. We might have padded that report with platitudes, but if we had it would simply have been nauseating to the members of the House and to the ex-members of the forces who read it. The soldiers want concrete action and they are getting it in so far as this country can give it to them at the present time, having in view the fact that we are not discharging our obligation in

full now because we will have to look after these disabled soldiers for fifty years to come. Isay: Millions of dollars for the disabled man, for his dependents and the dependents of those who were killed in the war, millions of dollars to prevent distress and unemployment among the soldiers during the coming winter but not one cent in the way of a general gratuity.

As to how the money is going to be raised for these extended cash grants, I did not hear any person except one suggest any scheme that would produce any considerable sum of money and that exception has reference to a land tax-a tax on unimproved land values which, at a ten mill rate, was estimated to raise something like $80,000,000. I understand that some council of agriculture approved of that but if they succeed in the next general election, come down with a large enough number of supporters to be able to form a government for themselves, and they enact that into legislation, I would suggest to them, as a more or less experienced politican, that they go to the country before the tax collector gets there. All the other suggestions that were made would provide only a few million dollars and would not begin to meet the demands that we would have to meet on account of these gratuities.

My hon. friend from Quebec South (Mr. Power) spoke last night rather disparagingly of the report of the committee, of which he himself was a member. He referred to the part of the report which recommends that a uniform scale of pay be given to disabled men who are in our Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment hospitals undergoing treatment instead of the pay and allowances which to-day they receive and which are according to rank. We recommended a uniform scale of pay so that a lieutenant-colonel should not receive any more than a private soldier. The representations that have since been made were not made to us at the time, and, as a matter of fact, the recommendation was made on the suggestion of the Great War Veterans' Association themselves. If you will turn to page 451 of the evidence, you will find that Mr. MacNeil, secretary of the Great War Veterans' Association asks Mr. Robinson, Deputy Minister of the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment, this question:

Q. With regard to those men on the strength of your Department for treatment, do you giv9 them pay and allowances according to the rank held in the C.E.F.?-A. Yes. .

Q. Why is that?-A. The reason is this: When the Military Hospitals Commission was in commission, all men were military patients;

that is they were in uniform when they were !n the hospital and under military discipline. It did not matter whether they were men who suffered from a recurrence of a war disability after being discharged here, or whether they were men who had come right back from England directly invalided home and were undergoing further treatment. The Government considered that as all these men were being treated in the same hospital, it would be far better that they all receive the same rate of allowance, and that is carried on at the present time.

At page 454 Mr. MacNeil asks this question :

Q. Is there any possibility of removing the complaint of the men receiving medical treatment that they feel there should be no discrimination based on rank in the Canadian Expeditionary Force? The colonel gets a higher rate of pay than the man in the same institution who is a private?-A. If this Committee recommends that the rate of pay and allowances in that respect set by the Government should be changed and the Government decides to act on that recommendation, we will be only too pleased to carry out the instructions we receive.

I know this is going to work a hardship in some cases and I know that in some cases it will be looked upon as a breach of faith. It is a breach of faith to a certain extent. These men who were removed from the military hospitals where they were getting the pay of their rank, and removed perhaps for the convenience of the department or the Government, to Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment hospitals, continued to receive pay according to rank. If we change that it will be to the disadvantage of those who did not stay in the military hospitals as others did. But I will say that for all cases of recurrence a uniform rate of pay should be given to these men whether they are colonels or privates. Most of us will admit that we made a mistake when we discriminated as to rank in the payment of pension and we do not want to continue that mistake for the next fifty years in treating our disabled men.

The pay that is given to-day, for instance, to a private in our military hospitals is $1.10 per diem, plus the amount that he would receive if he were in military uniform and had dependents. I would suggest to the Government that when they are acting upon this recommendation that the pay and allowances to those men in the hospitals be made uniform as it has been in our other institutions. The hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power) last night took his usual fling at the deputy minister of that department because he does not happen to be a returned man. The evidence will show that it is the misfortune o'f Mr. Robinson, rather than his fault, that he is not in that category. He was rejected after

having several times applied for enlistment; but members of the committee who saw something of the work that he had done were in pretty fair agreement that he lacked nothing in efficiency and that the work of the department has been pretty efficiently carried out.

That brings me to the question of vocational training and the expenditures of the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment. I have heard a great deal of criticism, in the House and out of it, about the large expenditures in this department. Members of the committee themselves were prejudiced against the department simply because they did not have any idea, as they confessed in their report, of the ramifications of the work. Over 7,000 men have already been graduated after taking vocational -courses of training, and when the committee was taking evidence, I think on September 27th, it was stated that the number at present taking that training was a little over 17,000 men. Now these men are all receiving pay and allowances on a scale that is not approached by any other country in the world except the United States, and our payments are on a larger scale even than those in the adjoining Republic. Sixty dollars per month is the minimum and it runs up, according to the number of dependents, to $150 a month. The evidence to which I have referred was taken over a month ago. Now let me give you the increase that has taken place in the number of students that have entered these vocational schools since that time. In the following week the net increase was 1,149; in the week of October 11th, 512; in the week of October 19th, 360, and in the week of October 25th, 772. Last week the increase was 1,364, so that to-day we have 19,290 men on- the strength of our department taking vocational training and drawing pay and allowances. Do you marvel at the cost of that department? The departmental estimate of the cost of training one man for the average length of the course is $800. Multiply 19,290, the number of men we have under training at the present time, by $800, and it makes the total cost of that training, $15,432,000, and the end is not yet. In the next few months the men will be coming in at a faster rate than 'they ever did before. Last -session I stated that the peak [DOT]of the load would probably not be reached until next February. I think it probably will be reached then, and after that there will be a sharp decline. -Some hon. gentlemen who have criticised the department

on the ground of extravagance have never stopped to think that although the war is over and demobilization practically completed, we have still in Canada an army of 19,290 men being trained not in the arts of war but in the arts of peace at a cost for the classes that are now undergoing training of $15,432,000, not to speak of those who have been graduated and those who are yet to come in. So that hon. gentlemen who are willing to exhaust the resources of our country in one grand effort to make a cash grant to our returned soldiers should pause to consider that we are not by any means at the end of our expenditures in connection with the treat-men^ and training of disabled men-that we will not be through with our vocational courses for some little time yet, and not through with our medical courses for some fifty years to come. I do not know whether or not our critics would say that we have too large a staff. We have a very large staff and they consist mainly of doctors and nurses that have to be fairly well paid. The doctors themselves do not think they are very well paid; I am just as positive as I can be that in private practice a good many of them would earn considerably more than they are being paid to-day. As to our vocational instructors, Mr. Tom Moore, president of the Trades and Labour Council, came before the committee and made the statement that we are not paying them anything like the remuneration they ought to receive. The expenditures of the department are very large. I want to tell hon. gentlemen that they are going to be larger still-they are going to be a great deal higher before they will be very much lower.'

I wish it had been possible for all the members of this House to have attended the sittings of the committee and heard the evidence given there by some of these vocational instructors and medical officers.

A brighter lot of men-such clear-cut, active, earnest types-you' could never find anywhere. Colonel Davis, Director of Medical Service; Mr. Parkinson, Director of Vocational Training, and the vocational instructors, from Montreal and Toronto, all returned men, came before the committee, and I think that every hon. gentleman who was present was impressed, as the *hon. member for North Perth (Mr. Morphy) said last night he was impressed, by the evidence which they gave. They did not boast about the work done; but they described in a plain and simple way what they were endeavouring to do and the re-IMr. Htieh Clark. 1

suits they were seeking to accomplish. Of boastfulness there was not a particle in their statements. It was pathetic to hear some of them admit that they did not know what to do when they were confronted with certain of these problem cases. One of them declared that he did not know what to do about such problem cases-they baffled him. Apparently there was nothing physically wrong with the men. It was impossible to find where the trouble lay, and he could not arrive at a diagnosis of it. Not being able to reach a diagnosis he could not prescribe the remedy. This particular officer said1 that the only way he could describe such a problem^ case was that the man was "burnt out." Well, there are a large number of burnt out " men in this country. They are the men who are covered by this recommendation with respect to neurological and problem eases, which cases will have to be dealt with by this Government for a good many years to come. The men in charge, as I have said, are all returned men themselves, sympathizing with returned men, doing the very best they can, working night and day on the problem, and absolutely sympathetic with the patients that come before them,-not boasting, but desiring to do the very best they can for those patients, and sometimes desparing because they cannot do enough.

Now, in connection with this particular matter of vocational training, my own impression is that Canada is doing a very big work. I do not wish to make comparisons, although I could, with what is being done in other countries, but Canada's work along that line is worth while. I think the hon. member for York (Mr. Maclean) tried to make it appear that we had promised certain things to our soldiers and had broken faith with them. I do not think that such a statement is quite fair to the Dominion. The leader of the House (Sir George Foster) has already dealt with one phase of the question, but I want to deal with concrete cases. What man enlisted in this country under the expectation that when he came back he would get a gratuity up to $420 or $600, depending on whether he was unmarried or married and length of service. It was never promised him, and he never expected it. What man was ever promised that if he was disabled so he could not go back to his former occupation, he would not only get a pension, but would be trained for a period averaging seven months and draw pay and allowances during that time? What man was promised or ever expected that

for a year after the war, whether he was disabled in active service, or whether his sickness was caused or aggravated by service conditions, he would get one year's free medical treatment?

And in that connection I would bring to the attention of the House another matter of expenditure. We are to-day giving free medical treatment to 11,000 men who were not disabled or whose sickness was not caused or aggravated by war service, and we are continuing that treatment for one year after discharge.

But I am breaking away from the point. What man among them was led to expect, for instance,-although it is only a small item,-that he would get a clothing allowance of $35, when he came back? Some returned men made complaints before the committee that that sum was not sufficient. Well, it does not go very far in the way of providing clothing these days; but it is $35 more than they were led to expect they would get. So it is not fair to say; that Canada made certain promises to her soldiers and did not 'live up to them. Canada at least did more than Canada promised to do. There are a great many more things that Canada will have to do to properly look after our disabled men, and perhaps look after our "undisabled" men, but it is not fair to say to-day that Canada has been unmindful of the soldiers [DOT]after they came back.

I was going to say tha't the work is being done in the way of vocationally training our disabled men who cannot get back to their former employment, and also in training those who enlisted before they were eighteen years of age, is a work of great value to Canada. Those men are taught some line of business that they have expressed a preference for after consultation with the medical and other representatives of the Disabled Soldiers' Training Board as to whether or not it would be a suitable occupation for them to follow. A great many of these men-I could give you the figures

are vocationally trained in such large works as, for instance, the Angus shops of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Grand Trunk Railway shops, and in other establishments throughout the country. A large number of the men are absorbed in the institutions where they get their training, and many of those who have been trained in other institutions have already received employment elsewhere and are making good. It is possible that if we had not provided such training for those men a great many of them would

not have gone back to work at all, and we would have the same situation in Canada as prevailed in the United States for a long time after the Civil War,-disabled soldiers living in old soldiers' homes; and probably we would have had the same complaint made here as was made in England a few years ago when it was discovered that men who had been in the charge of the Light Brigade had been compelled to seek refuge in the work-house, which deplorable state of affairs was pointedly referred to by Kipling in a poem ending:

" And they left to the streets and the work-house The charge of the Light Brigade."

These men will not be content to live on their pensions, for they have been trained in employments in which they are making fairly good money; in fact, the committee were informed 'by the managers of several institutions that the men were given the union scale of wages after they were graduated. I venture to say that by reason of the vocational training that we are giving to these men Canada is going to emerge with the minimum of impairment from the wreck and welter of this war.

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L LIB

Joseph Archambault

Laurier Liberal

Mr. ARCHAMBAULT:

I would like to ask a question of the hon. gentleman (Mr. Calder) if I may be allowed. My mind is not quite clear about this motion, and I would like to get an explanation. The motion reads:

That the report he received, and that the expenditure recommended therein, or which would be required for carrying out the recommendations therein, he commended to the consideration of the Government.

Que le rapport du comitfe special soit regu, et que les depenses qui y sont recommandges, ou qui seront requises pour l'accomplissement des recommandations qui y sont contenues, soient sournises & la consideration du gouvernement.

I would like to know if a vote taken on this motion will mean the approval or disapproval of the findings of the committee. It does not seem to me to be that way, but I would like to have an explanation.

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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. OALDER:

As pointed out by the hon, gentleman, the motion is to the effect that the report be received, and that the expenditures indicated in the findings be recommended to the Government for their consideration. As I understand the rules of the House, the committee itself could not ask the House to approve of expenditures; that would be contrary to the procedure. All that can be done is to recommend that these expenditures be taken into consideration by the Government, and that

if the Government approve them, then the necessary resolutions must be brought down to the House approved by the Crown. That has been done in the Estimates which have been brought down this session. I am not absolutely clear myself as to what is the effect of the term "received." The motion is to the effect, that the report be received. Whether the mere reception of the report by the House carries with it the approval of all the recommendations contained therein, I must confess that T am not absolutely certain, but I do not think so.

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L LIB

Joseph Archambault

Laurier Liberal

Mr. AECBAMBAULT:

I would not think so either.

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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. OALDER:

If I may proceed just a little, Mr. Speaker, my own view is that it does not. The report contains certain recommendations. Those recommendations all carry with them expenditures. The Government must commit itself to those expenditures and bring down the necessary votes for them. That has been done, and as was stated by the Acting Prime Minister this morning, the Government as a government approves of the findings of the committee and stands prepared to ask the House to provide the necessary Estimates in order to carry out those recommendations.

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L LIB

Pius Michaud

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PIUS MICHAUD (Restigouche and Madawaska):

Mr. Speaker, there is no

. doubt about the fact that the Government needs money to carry on the ordinary affairs of the country. Our mines need development; our harbours have to be looked after; we need much money to meet our railway deficits. Where are we going to get that money? We have been raising millions of dollars by means of domestic loans. We had such a loan last fall and another is being floated at this moment. The man who went across the seas and lost his life in the war gave up everything for his country, and it is the duty of the State to care for those who have been made widows and orphans on account of the war. The men who remained at home and who made a fortune out of the manufacture oi munitions owe a debt to this country, and it is up to the Government to have that consideration in mind when they are considering the means of raising money to take care of our soldiers.

We need to look after our disabled soldiers better than we have looked after them in the past. The returned man who is unable to make a living at his old job should receive recognition from the Government. Our soldiers, therefore, need to be

looked after; but where are we going to get the money? I have a suggestion as to where we can get the money. Let us confiscate part of the fortunes made by those who remained at home during the war and made millions. The money of a man who made two millions during the war does not belong to him; it belongs to the soldiers, to the widows and the orphans. Let the Government do as is actually being done in England; let them confiscate twenty-five per cent-or, if that is not enough, fifty per cent or more-of these immense fortunes. A few days ago the Government found itself in need of money. They seemed not to be embarrassed as to where to get it. They have put through the House a railway scheme which will require more money. Now there is another question before the House in connection with which money is needed; where are we going to get that money? The loan which is now being floated will be needed to pay back debts and to take care of the ordinary affairs of the country. Let us go at this thing in the right way. As I have said, let us confiscate a part of the money of these people who made huge earnings and profits at home during the war at the expense of our soldiers. That money belongs to our soldiers; let it be returned to them.

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UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. J. F. REID (Mackenzie):

Mr. Speaker, there seems to.be an impression that the soldiers themselves do not- want further help. I wish to read a portion of a letter which I have received from a man who was a lieutenant in the army, and with whose views I agree. He says:

I am of the opinion that if the Government will provide equal assistance for men desirous of Indulging- in other occupations or professions other than the occupation of farming as they have granted to these returned men of the farming occupation under the Soldier Settlement Board scheme, such majority of the veterans will be satisfied. The Government may be able to substantiate the statement that the country could not bear the burden of a further cash bonus, but I do not think it will be able to substantiate to the satisfaction of the soldiers the discrimination regarding loan assistance to farmers only. It would appear that the same measure should be promulgated whereby the Government will grant loans on proper security to those wishing to engage in other occupations and professions and that a board similar to the Soldier Settlement Board would have control of the making of the advances and the inquiring into from time to time of the method of the disposition thereof and the securing of the protection of the Government on the advances.

I am of the opinion that the Government should arrange for such loans, and the soldiers who obtain the benefit of them-ought to be made, in a measure, responsible

for the carrying out of the conditions of those loans.

I do not go quite as far as the amendment which has been proposed. There seems to be some misunderstanding with regard to that amendment. I quote from the report, page 33, paragraph 3, appendix No. 1, where the plan of the Great War Veterans' Association is set out:

The plan does not provide for an indiscriminate " hand-out " but it does provide for true re-establishment always under the administrative control of the Government as regards every individual case. In addition, every applicant for financial aid under this plan will be required to demonstrate that State assistance in re-establishment is a real necessity for the welfare and future security of himself and his dependents.

I am convinced that a loan arrangement would be satisfactory, and that if such an arrangement were made a gratuity would not be asked for. I would like to see this report referred back to the Committee. I agree with the member for West Toronto (Mr. Hocken) that if the Committee would spend twenty-four hours in a further effort to solve this problem and to bring in a supplemental report, making such provision for loans as I have suggested, our soldiers would be satisfied. I agree "with the member for Qu'Appelle (Mr. L. Thomson) that the money is in Canada, and it is up to the Government to find a way of getting hold of it. I think I make a fair estimate of myself when I say that I am an average taxpayer of this country, and as such I would he perfectly willing to pay my share of a tax which will have the purpose of further establishing our returned soldiers.

It is the duty of the State to provide for students whose educational careers were broken into by the war. We know how readily they enlisted from our collegiates, high schools and universities; now they come back and their finances are gone. Canada will need these professional men of the future and it is up to us to give them such financial assistance as will enable them to complete their education.

I have on a previous occasion stated my opinion that it is the duty of the Government to provide a life insurance scheme fo.r those men who did not carry insurance before they went to the front and who to-day,, because of their disabilities, cannot be insured by any okMine company except at a very exorbitant rate. I believe that in these advanced times, when public ownership is gaining in popularity, the Government should establish a life insurance bureau especially for the benefit of the returned soldier.

I wish to say just a word about the work of the medical boards. A case was brought to my notice a short time ago of a young man who appeared before the medical board and was granted a pension, if I remember correctly, of $8 a month. He was told by the board to take it easy for a few months. Now, how in the name of common sense can a man sit down and take it easy on $8 a month?

As to the different methods of raising the money, the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. Currie) suggested that we start a wheel of fortune, or some lottery scheme. In the first place, I think that would be against the law. Then I do not think our soldiers would care about trying the wheel of fortune any more; they had too much of that at the front. Some better scheme should be suggested. Before sitting down I wish to say that if the minister in charge of the Bill will state to the House that the Bill will be amended and this loan made available for returned soldiers I shall support the recommendations of the committee. Otherwise, I must vote for the amendment.

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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Shelburne and Queen's):

I am reluctant to give a silent vote on this important question, and yet I do not feel it necessary to occupy the attention of the House for any length of time. If there ever was a question engaging the attention of the House on which it was desirable we should endeavour to reach something approaching unanimity it is this question which we are now discussing. I suppose the main question,, after all, is the payment of the cash gratuity. A dozen other questions arise but the main question seems to be the cash gratuity. At the very first stage of the discussion, not on the present motion, but at an earlier stage of the session, at the very first opportunity of speaking on this question I frankly stated that I was against the proposals made by the Great War Veterans' Association for a large and indiscriminate distribution of cash gratuities. I desired, however, they should have the opportunity of presenting their case. A step had been taken by the Government; I am not complaining of it, but in the exercise of their wisdom they had practically told the War Veterans that the matter was settled. Even after an intimation was given that the matter might be further considered on a Bill which was to he submitted to a committee, I remember the Minister of Justice said that the question of gratuities could not then be considered because the Bill would not relate to

gratuities. I ventured to express the hope that notwithstanding that possibly technically accurate point the whole question would be reviewed by the committee which was to be appointed. I am glad to know that that view prevailed, that the committee did open up the whole question. Everybody who had suggestions to present had the opportunity, and the whole question is now before the House. I say without the slightest hesitation I am satisfied the committee gave to this question the utmost care and consideration. They approached it, I am sure, every member of them, with a sincere desire to do the very best they possibly could for the soldiers of the country. I am no more and no less sympathetic with the soldiers than any other member. I believe, however we may differ on some things, that there is an undoubted unanimity among the members of this House in an appreciation of the splendid services rendered by the Canadian soldiers and of a desire to do everything that is fair and reasonable for them.

My own constituency is not a large one. It is not a constituency in which there was much of the military spirit before the war. In the two little counties of Shelburne and Queen's there were hardly any of the militia organizations which sometimes keep alive what might be called the military spirit. My people were too busily engaged in the stern realities of life to spend much time on that which in other portions of the Dominion kept, perhaps, the military spirit alive. Yet when the call to duty came I do not believe any portion of the Dominion responded more loyally and more readily and more promptly. I have not sought statistics; they are not necessary, but I believe it can be shown on examination that in proportion to our not large population these two little counties have contributed their full share. They have sent overseas a great many men. A large number of them did not come back; they are sleeping in Flanders fields. The memory of the men who have departed is as fondly cherished down on that south shore of my province as in any other part of the country. There is no other part of the Dominion where there is greater reverence for the memory of the dead and a greater desire to do honour to those who have returned. The men who have come back to these little villages have everywhere been received with open arms, with high honour. They were acclaimed, as they should be, as heroes who have done great honour to our country. Yet with all that,

.

I am sure they are fair and reasonable. They like one to be reasonable and just as respects themselves; they like to be reasonable and just as respects their fellow men; and I am inclined to think that the greater part of these men will feel that to press in the largest degree the demands that were made on the Government by the Great War Veterans' Association would not have been just to the mass of the people of this country. The sums called for were very, very large indeed, and I think we have practically reached unanimity of opinion that these sums could not be provided. But we are told that much could be done with less expenditure of money. The original application called, I think, for about $700,000,000 or $800,000,000. We are told to-day that perhaps a less sum, $400,000,000, $300,000,000 or $200,000,000

might accomplish a great deal. We are so accustomed to talking of millions now that perhaps even $200,000,000 may seem very little; but when we remember that $200,000,000, which is about the most modest sum mentioned in the way of meeting the wishes of the soldiers, is more than half the total net debt of Canada before the war, we will realize that to add this one item of $200,000,000 to our already very large expenditure is a very grave and serious problem.

There are some features of the report which I have seen with a little regret. I find myself very much in sympathy with the remarks made to-day by the hon. member for Calgary (Mr. Redman). There are some things in respect to which I would have been pleased if the report had gone a little further. I was particularly interested in his statement-the matter had also been engaging my own attention- respecting the claims of the university men, and my hon. friend from Mackenzie (Mr. Reid) has just spoken of the same thing. We have no aristocracy of birth in Canada, for which the Lord be praised; we have no aristocracy of wealth to which any of us need bow down, but there is an aristocracy of education that we should all be willing to honour. These young men, the students of our universities, have a particular claim upon the consideration of this House. Four or five years taken out of a young man's life at almost any period of his youth is a grave and serious matter, but it is a particularly grave and serious matter with the young men of the university. It is to these young men we must look in the future for the light and leading which our nation requires. It is to them we

must look for the teachers and the preachers and the statesmen and the men with scientific knowledge who in the fields of industrial life are needed more than ever to-day. We must look to these young men in the universities in a larger degree, as having a great influence on the future of the country. I realize the force of the argument advanced fcy the committee that if we do this for the university student we must do it for the fisherman, the farmer, and for every one else. I cannot argue strongly against that contention, but speaking for myself, and expressing, my personal feeling, I would say that even at the risk of 'being accused of advocating class legislation, I should like to do something for the men of the universities, for undoubtedly they are the hope of the nation. It would therefore have been perfectly agreeable to me if the committee had been able to make some recommendation in that direction. Then we are told that the pension system is not all that it should be. Every one of us, I am sure, can mention cases which have come under his own observation in which the pension system has appeared inadequate. Such cases have been brought to my attention and I have always replied that I was quite sure that whatever was done was the result of sound consideration on the part of the department, and that I thought the department was doing the best it could. But if it is possible for us to do something better in regard to the pension system I should be exceedingly delighted to see it done. I have one particular case in mind, of a widowed mother who receives an inadequate pension because of the fact that her son was not her sole support. I do not wish to enter into details, but I suggest that anything that can be done to improve the pension system, and also to afford more generous treatment to all disabled men, will have my heartiest and warmest sympathy; if the Government could do something better in these directions, even if it does cost us more money, I for one would be quite willing to support them.

Now, Sir, there were differences of sacrifice in the war, but we must always bear in mind this supreme moral fact, that our men did not go to fight for pay. That was not the primary motive that impelled them, and the great mass of our returned soldiers surely would be shocked at the suggestion that these sacrifices should be looked upon merely from a commercial standpoint. Any such consideration is sordid. Our men were not mercenaries, and if we think of these questions only in terms of money

that the men might have earned and of their possible gain or loss, then for heaven's sake let us cease to talk of the glory of Vimy, Passehendaele, and Courcelette, and of every other battle in which our men heroically did their duty. These men would not take any gratuity you could offer them as a substitute for the record they made for themselves, and for the honour they won for their families and for the nation. Therefore, do not let us talk too much about the money aspect of this subject. Wherever it is possible to do anything that is better than what we are doing at present in regard to pensions, the proper care of disabled men and so forth, I am anxious that the Government should be even more generous than it has been. But we must not measure the sacrifice of our men purely in terms of money.

With regard to the suggestion that this matter be referred back to the committee, I ventured to suggest last night to one of the ministers in conversation that this might be done, and it seemed that there were reasons .why it did not appear to be wise to do it. But I did hope that, after the discussion that has taken place,-a discussion which, I rejoice to say, has been absolutely non-partisan in character-some new light might be shed on the subject which would influence the committee to come to a different conclusion. If the committee frankly say that they have made up their minds in the matter and do not think they can go further, I am going to stand by the report, because I do not feel able to support the amendment of my hon. friend from Winnipeg (Mr. Andrews). But while I am prepared to stand by the report of the committee if nothing better can be done, I would second the suggestion, made more than once in the course of the debate, that the committee themselves might seriously consider whether they could not properly, without any loss of self-[DOT]respect or any suggestion of resignation on the part of the Government-an element which I am loth to introduce-take the matter back for further study, doing so of their own motion. They might not be able to reach a different conclusion, but at all events they would show to the country that they had a sincere desire to meet the claims of the returned soldiers as far as possible.

In short, Mr. Speaker, to sum up my position, I am unable to support the amendment of my hon. friend from Winnipeg. If the committee adhere to their determination that this report shall be irrevocable, I will support it in preference to the amendment.

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IND

George William Andrews

Independent

Mr. ANDREWS:

If I may be permitted, Mr. Speaker, I may say that I will withdraw my amendment right now if the committee will adopt the suggestion of my hon. friend (Mr. Fielding).

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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

Mr. Speaker, I have exhausted my right to speak on the amendment, having spoken yesterday. But if the House approves, there is a statement which I should like to make before the vote is taken on the amendment, and which I think would help to clear up the situation.

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

Is it the unanimous consent of the House that the minister shall have the right to make a statement before the vote is taken on the amendment?

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Yes.

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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

Mr. Speaker, there is no vote on the amendment. I understood the mover of the amendment to crave leave to withdraw it.

* Some hon. MEMBERS: No, no.

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

Do I understand that the minister desires to reserve his statement until immediately before the vote is taken, that he prefers to make it at present?

Mr. -CALDER: A suggestion has been

made, and I think it would be advisable for me to make a brief statement at the present time as to where we stand. I think it would help to clear the situation. The hon. member for Centre Winnipeg has just intimated that under certain conditions he is prepared to withdraw his amendment, and that intimation naturally calls for a reply from myself as chairman of the committee. In addition to that, there is a general misunderstanding as to where we actually stand in reference to this question, and I think it is desirable that some one should make a statement to the House before the vote is taken.

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

It is understood

that, by unanimous consent of the. House, the minister is given the right to make a statement which will in no way close the debate, and hon, members who have not spoken will have the right to do so after the minister has concluded.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

I desire to intimate as

clearly as I can to the House just where we stand after all the discussion that we have had. The motion is that the report with all its recommendations be received

fMr. Fielding.]

by the House, and that whatever expenditures are suggested in that report be referred to the -Government for their consideration, w-ith a view' to providing ways and means to meet those expenditures. As I understand the situation, our committee does not ask the House to approve of all the suggestions contained in the report. Those recommendations are made to the Government, and it is for the Government to decide as to which of them, shall not be accepted.

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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

If the report is adopted, that is practically approving of all its suggestions and it virtually means that the Government will accept them.

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November 7, 1919