The statute does not so provide. The statute makes it discretionary, and I think that discretionary power should be removed, irrespective of the practice. I want the minister to understand that if we are critical of these matters, we are still non-partisan.
I should like to refer to the administration of the Veterans' Land Act. It is a good act, and if carried out properly would do a great deal of good. While the act itself is sympathetic, the administration of the act is unsympathetic. While the law is there, the spirit of the law is not being carried out. I find' from the cases that have been brought to my attention that in the administration of the act there seems to be what I was going to term a callous disregard, but which is at least a cavalier disregard, of the necessity of administering that act in fairness to the veterans.
Let me give an example. Young service personnel who were on the farms when they went overseas are now coming back. I brought one or two of these cases to the attention of the house on a previous occasion. I have a letter here from a soldier who was three years overseas. He enlisted when he was seventeen years and eleven months old. He had lived on a farm all his life. He came back from overseas and now wants to take up land under the Veterans' Land Act. His application is refused because he was not on a farm for two years after he was eighteen years of age. In other words, he is not qualified.
I had another instance brought to my attention the other day, that of a boy in my own constituency who had won most of the prizes given in farm judging. He was turned down because he had not put in two years on a farm after his eighteenth birthday. That type of interpretation by the director, or whatever his title is, of the Veterans' Land Act is doing more to bring that act into disrepute than anything else. This man is told he is not qualified, that he must wait another two years. He is now twenty years of age.