Do I understand the minister to say that returned men get this relief providing they are already receiving a small pension, in order to bring it up to a certain amount, or do they have to be on relief in the municipality in which they reside in order to have their income supplemented in this way?
The returned soldier who is a pensioner has no connection with the municipality at all as far as relief is concerned; he is not obliged to apply to the muni ipality. He applies to this department, and if his income is not as high as this basic rate or as the rate of the municipality in which he lives, then we supplement that amount. So far the government of Canada has not considered it to be its duty to look after exsoldiers who are not pensioners.
I have in mind a pensioner who is receiving a small pension; no doubt the minister will recall the case, because I have spoken to him about it. I think this man has a pension of about $30 per month, and he has a family of four children. He strenuously objects to applying for relief,, either from the municipality or under this scheme, and I was just trying to get it clear as to whether he should be on municipal relief.
It will not take me a moment to explain. The war veterans' allowance was introduced in 1930. At that time a very good estimate was made as to the annual amount that would be expended, and the estimate has been pretty closely followed since then. As the soldiers grow older and reach the age of sixty more of them come under this act. Some of them grow less capable of looking after themselves and also come under the act. That is the reason for the increase.