December 15, 1945

LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

Let me say at once to my hon. friend that there is a good deal of merit in what he says, but that applies also to all employees in the Department of Veterans Affairs throughout the country- doctors and staff. They are not members of the forces, and that is a matter that the committee might consider next year.

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PC

Lawrence Wilton Skey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SKEY:

-I am pleased to have that answer, but in world war I the case of

nurses was dealt with very differently, in that they were all put into uniform and all treated as members of the services.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

But they were members of the service at that time. That is the only distinction between the last war and this one. They were not members of the forces as such in this war. We did not have a civilian department in the last war, and for a long time all these affairs were handled by the defence services and the military hospitals commission before the Department of Soldiers' Civil Reestablishment was formed. That is the distinction to which my hon. friend refers.

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PC

Lawrence Wilton Skey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SKEY:

I still feel that these nurses do have a prior claim to be treated in the way nurses were treated during the last war. If the minister assures me that the department will consider the matter, I will press the point no further at the present time.

There is one last question, and that is to ask the minister if the matter brought up by the member for Royal, regarding dependents of deceased personnel and their widows, has been considered and whether the minister will answer the question. He evidently overlooked it in his reply to the member for Royal.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

That will be considered by the parliamentary committee next February or March.

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CCF

John Oliver Probe

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. PROBE:

Last week the minister informed me that certain hospital equipment needed by the veterans' wing of the Regina general hospital for physiotherapeutic treatment of veterans was being secured from Dundurn. This morning the member for Saskatoon City (Mr. Knight)-I see he is in his place now; I did not think he would be here-mentioned to me that he has had the same problem in connection with Saskatoon veterans. Is the equipment that was in the Dundurn military hospital or other equipment now in the physiotherapy veterans' wings of the Saskatoon and Regina general hospitals?

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

It is in transit.

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CCF

John Oliver Probe

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. PROBE:

In the war expenditures committee we discussed the place of the Department of Veterans Affairs in pushing the claims of veterans to surplus war assets. Would the minister care to give a statement as to the extent of the liaison being undertaken at the present time between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the surplus War Assets Corporation?

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

For some weeks past there has been an inter-departmental commit-

Supply-Veterans Affairs

tee of veterans affairs and the War Assets Corporation dealing with that very point. We have not reached a final solution as yet, but my hon. friend can rest assured we are going to press for the claims of the veterans.

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CCF

John Oliver Probe

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. PROBE:

I inferred from the minister's statement last week that he was opposed to the idea of the Veterans' Land Act being used as a solution to the housing problems of returned veterans. I thought that was what the minister implied in his statement, and I think I was right, since he nods in agreement. I take exception to that, and if the minister feels that his department should not be saddled with the housing problems of veterans, what further positive liaison is carried on with other federal departments? What is being done there?

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

I entirely agree with my hon. friend in regard to that, and I also agree with the hon. member for Melfort, who belongs to his own political philosophy group over there, that the basic idea of the Soldier Settlement Act and the Veterans' Land Act is settlement on land. The housing feature of it is really an ancillary feature which has developed as being the most popular view. Twenty-seven hundred houses are being constructed at the present time, and six thousand are projected for next year. While I agree with my hon. friend that these should be constructed, and must be constructed, the other question is, who should be in active direction of that policy? Speaking personally I feel strongly that all the housing activities of the administration should be coordinated under one central authority. I believe that is the most effective thing that could be done. So long as I am in charge of the small holdings policy the houses will go on, but I do say to my hon. friend that housing is not the essential feature of the Veterans' Land Act; it is settlement on farms.

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CCF

John Oliver Probe

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. PROBE:

I agree with the minister, but the point I am trying to bring out, is 'that someone in the cabinet must press for that coordination to be undertaken, and 'as I see it, it is his duty to do so.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

I think my bon, friend can trust me to that extent.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

With regard to small holdings, I know of a man who returned and wanted to get on some land. Because of his age he was not recommended; his application under the Veterans' Land Act was turned down. He then decided to make a second proposal, stating that he would like to settle himself at a filling station on one of the

highways and take in a piece of land consisting of six or seven acres. Under the terms of the act would that be called a small holding?

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

Yes; under the small holdings provision of the act at it now stands, that could be done.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

What qualifications is he required to have in order to obtain such a holding?

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

He would have to submit reasonable proof that he would be able to maintain a business successfully; that is about all.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

He made his application, and they turned him down on that account. They said, "Oh, well, you have not a permanent income."

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

If he had reasonable prospects of a reasonable income, that would be enough.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

The letter I received from the soldier settlement board was to this effect-

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December 15, 1945