There is nothing whatever in the vote for the soldiers' civil re-establishment, on its face, to show that there is anything in it having regard to pensions, while on the other hand item 94 provides for salaries and contingent expenses of the Board of Pension Commissioners for Canada. Under the heading of pensions we are paying $109,380 in salaries. It is obvious therefore that anyone taking up the government's figures must work out the same result and come to the same kind of mistake, if it is a mistake, as did the hon. member for Yale.
Item 94 has no reference at all to administration; the amount of $89,000 as'-ed for covers the salaries of the immediate personal staff and ten medical advisers. I grant you that, placed as these figures are in the estimates, my hon. friend from Yale might have been misled; but he should not have been misled to the extent of saying that 71 per cent was going into administration. That was absolutely beyond the mark. But if the item for pensions were placed with the estimates of the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment, it would be seen immediately that the amount paid out in administration in this department can compare favourably with the cost of any other department in the government or of any business corporation in Canada. At any rate, not being a business man myself, that is the information I have received from an accountant of experience whom I asked to give me the real situation.
Now, the minister graciously told us that he did not want to hold the committee. It is now ten minutes to twelve; can he not let us go? I make this suggestion with certain feelings of commiseration for the minister; I dislike to see all the government's pre-election statements going by the board one after another. I dislike to see the promise in regard to eleven o'clock adjournments being broken.
If we are unable to rely on the pre-election statements of the government, at least we might be pardoned for assuming that we have some right to rely on their statements made since we have been in this House. I suggest that we might pass this item and adjourn.
Surely, after all my exertion in giving the long explanation I did to the committee, an explanation rendered unavoidable by reason of the statements made by the member behind my hon. friend, he will reward me by allowing a larger item to pass. I was expecting that the whole estimates of the department would be adopted to-night; I have given a long explanation and supplied a good deal of information.
have been so far discussing matters relating to something else. While I have little to say about this particular vote I shall have a good deal to say on some other items. There are certain items on pages 22 and 23, and on page 56 again we have votes for soldiers' civil re-establishment. Some of these subjects I should like to deal with.
had enough experience of members on this side of the House to know that we wish to do everything to facilitate these matters, but it is most unreasonable for him to expect us at this late hour to go into these items in an intelligent manner, and in fact it is unfair to the soldiers to attempt it.