I think that is right.
Now, so far as the findings oLthe report are concerned, the Acting Prime Minister this morning stated very clearly and definitely. that the Government accepted those findings and wras prepared to carry them out. On the question of policy involved there has been only one specific and definite statement made, namely, that the Government was not prepared to accept the prin-cple of a further general distribution of cash grants or gratuities. That is all and nothing more. Some hon. gentlemen have suggested time and again that some provision should be made for loans. As the Acting Prime Minister said this morning, the door is not shut; it is not at all jammed. No conclusions have been -reached in that respect by the Government. The committee have reported to the House that so far as they could see it would not be advisable [DOT]to make provision for a general scheme of loans along the lines indicated. But that door is not closed by any means. As many members of the House have said, this problem of re-establishment is going to continue with us for some time. It is bound to. I am sure that this general discussion which we have had, and which has embraced the whole problem of the reestablishment of the soldier, has been exceedingly helpful -not only to the members of the Government but to all the members of t-he House, to the returned soldiers themselves and to the public generally. I am -sure that we all view it in a somewhat different light from what we did a week ago. It is only by the discussion of a problem of this nature that the air can be cleared in order that we can more readily understand the problem in all its aspects. It seems to me that the propeT thing to do is for the Government itself to take into consideration all that has been said during the course of this discussion during which
suggestions have been thrown out as to the desirability of undertaking re-establishment work along certain lines.
Take the last suggestion referred to by the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding). I am sure there is not a member of this House who is not thoroughly sympathetic with the university student, the young man who jumped out of college, went across there and spent three or four years of his life-the years when he should have been preparing himself for his life's work. That young man is back and he has nothing to start in with. We know where many of these young men come from in this country of ours; they do not come from the aristocracy of the land. I suppose we can say that sixty per cent of these young men were working to put themselves through college as has many a member of this House. They have come back from the war and if they have anything at all it will only be the money that they would have earned during the war itself. We can all realize that in many cases these young men, not having anything assured ahead of them, would not have much of a desire to save. When they came back many, if not most, of them had absolutely nothing. What were they to do? In order to save up enough money to resume their course they must first go and earn it, spend another six or eight months at work and lose another college year. There is not a member of this House who does not sympathize with the idea that some provision should be made by. the State to enable these young men to complete their courses. But, as has been pointed out time and again, our difficulty in the committee was this: We found it a most difficult thing to draw the line between one grade of soldiers and another. Even while we had the matter under discussion, as I said the other day, we received a telegram conveying a protest. A report appeared in the press of the country that we were going to make provision for university students and no sooner had that appeared in the press than we received a telegram from one of the branches of the Great War Veterans' Association protesting vigorously that we could not make any provision of that kind without providing for other classes of soldiers as well. The House will realize the nature and the difficulty of the problem we had before us.
Just before the House met this afternoon, some of the members came to me and said: " Now, Mr. Calder, can you not make provision whereby loans may be provided for men who wish to establish themselves in business provided these men can get backing, or some person will guarantee them?" I said: "It might be done." But if
you are going to provide for a man who wants to establish himself in business, what are you going to do with the young man who came back from the war with a wife that he did not have when he left and two children, and who has no home for himself and his family? There are thousands of that class. Can you provide for the man who wants to establish himself in business and not provide for the man who wants to make a home for himself? He has no home, he wants to get a home and he wants to furnish it. That shows the problem that the committee had to deal with. Again, you have another case in which a man, when he went away, left debts and a mortgage on his house. In the meantime the interest has accumulated. If you provide for the man who wants to start in business and for the man who wants to establish his home, what are you going to do in the case of a man who wishes to lift that debt? Then, I mentioned the case the other day of the fisherman down by the sea, the man who left his boat and tackle on the seashore. If you are going to provide for the other classes, you must provide for him also.
That is the very crux of the whole problem. 'Can we in a country such as ours distinguish between all these different classes? Some hon. gentlemen may think so. Our committee, after considering that problem for hours and days, came to the conclusions that it could not be done. The amount of money required to carry on reestablishment along these lines would approximate anywhere from $250,000,000 to $500,000,000. Then, where are we? We are right back at the point at which we started. You ask that we send this report back to the committee. For what purpose? How are we going to settle that problem? This House can settle that problem as well as the committee can. You have the matter before you now. You know exactly what the problem is. Instead of giving a cash grant is the State going to provide means whereby we can loan money for the purpose 6f reestablishing all these various classes, a sum of money aggregating anywhere from $300,000,000 to $500,000,000?
This need is urgent. All the representations made to us were to the effect that this must be done at once-immediately-[DOT] that it would not admit of delay. The money ought to be got at once, and the machinery put in motion now. This is not
a question to be taken hold of six months or a year from now; it is urgent, it is pressing, it is upon us now. If things are to be done they must be done at once. These were the views expressed before the committee by the soldiers themselves. The problem of reconstruction is up to us right at the present moment. I have endeavoured to put the problem we had to deal with before this House. The members of this House are just as capable of dealing with it as are the committee.