April 4, 1946

LIB

William Ross Macdonald (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Brantford City):

I

was paired, with the hon. member for London (Mr. Manross). Had I voted I would have voted for the motion.

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PC

Arthur Leroy Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SMITH (Calgary West):

I was paired with the Minister of Trade and' Commerce (Mr. MacKinnon). Had I voted I would have voted against the motion.

Motion agreed to and bill read the third time.

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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

It has been moved by

Mr. Cote (Matapedia-Matane), seconded by Mr. Smith (North York), that the bill do now pass and that the title be as on the order paper.

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PC

Arthur Leroy Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SMITH (Calgary West):

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I have in my hand a large book. I am not familiar with every page of it, but I find on page 239 of Beau-chesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms, third edition, the following:

715. It is occasionally the custom to pass bills through their different stages at one and the same sitting. That course, however, is never taken except in cases of extreme urgency, and with the general assent of the house. (Speaker Brand, 1880). It is for the house to declare whether there is such urgency as to require the rapid passage of a measure; and whenever the sense of the house is to take more than one stage on the same day, the Speaker has permitted it to be done.

I am suggesting, sir, that you follow that and defer the third reading of the bill.

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IND
LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. If the hon. member will permit me, no hon. member may raise a point of order now that the bill has already been read the third time. The question was put to the house for the second reading of the bill and1 the motion carried, and for the third reading, which motion also was carried, and the house had many opportunities to act in accordance with the hon. gentleman's suggestion. The house has already determined, however, that the bill be read a third time. The hon. member for Matapedia-Matane now moves, seconded by Mr. Smith of North York, that the bill be now passed and that the title be as on the order paper. Is it the pleasure of the house to adopt the motion?

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

On division.

Motion agreed to on division.

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SOCIAL SECURITY

ALLOWANCES TO PERSONS SUFFERING INJURY, ACCIDENT OR CONGENITAL INFIRMITY.


The house resumed from Monday, April 1, consideration of the motion of Mr. Bertrand (Terrebonne): That, in the opinion of this house, the government should take into consideration the advisability of including in their social security programme a system of allowances to every person, without any income or means of support, who, by reason of any injury, accident or congenital / Social Securty-Mrs. Strum



infirmity, is at a disadvantage in seeking or obtaining employment, or incapable of providing for his subsistence, and whose age prevents him from benefiting by the social security legislation now in force.


CCF

Gladys Grace Mae Strum

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

Mrs. GLADYS STRUM (Qu'Appelle):

Mr. Speaker, in the face of the exhibition of ultrapatriotism which we have had to-day, I feel almost impelled to declare my ancestry. While that has nothing to do with the present motion, we have had such a marvellous display of ninety-nine and forty-four one-hundredths per cent pure Canadianism that I think I should let you know that my father was born on the first of July and my grandfather was a United Empire Loyalist.

The members of this house have now an opportunity to prove whether or not they are really good Canadians. Perhaps it is well to refer to the motion in order to establish the terms of reference, because I do not wish to explore the entire field of Canadian history or the entire territory included in the British empire. I wish to stick to the resolution, which declares:

That, in the opinion of this house, the government should take into consideration the advisability of including in their social security programme a system of allowances to every person, without any income or means of support, who, by reason of any injury, accident or congenital infirmity, is at a disadvantage in seeking or obtaining employment, or incapable of providing for his subsistence, and whose age prevents him from benefiting by the social security legislation now in force.

I submit that the test of a good citizen is not being hble to brag about the number of square miles which happen to comprise our boundaries, or in the figures we establish in the field of trade, or on the goals that we have set in the fields of production. In Canada we have great natural beauty, great resources of power, great resources for the production of food; but I must insist that the test of Canada is in the field of her humanity. If in Canada we have people who are crippled and have no means of livelihood, people who must spend lives of pain, desperation and frustration, people who must depend on chance and charity, it is the greater shame in the face of our great wealth, and we have every reason to blush that we have delayed so long the passage of a bill of this kind.

If, through accident, through injury, if as a result of illness, or because of birth we have people who are handicapped they will need at least four things. They will need an allowance to pay for rent, clothing and food. In addition to that, perhaps they will need drugs and appliances. They should have medical care and a chance to take advantage of the

kind of education which might be to their benefit. We should generously endow research

institutes-and that is where we fall down_____

that would try to discover the reasons for their infirmities and alleviate their sufferings. I hope that we shall deal with this bill; I hope that all hon. members will prove that they are really good Canadians by voting for it.

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Subtopic:   ALLOWANCES TO PERSONS SUFFERING INJURY, ACCIDENT OR CONGENITAL INFIRMITY.
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PC

John Ritchie MacNicol

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. R. MacNICOL (Davenport):

I rise to support this resolution and to compliment the hon. member who introduced it. He has touched on a matter that has been too long overlooked. I hope that the government will accept the resolution and bring in legislation to implement it.

In my riding in Toronto I have come across many cases that are outside the pale of receiving assistance from any organization or source of which I know to-day. 'I have in mind a man who worked in a foundry in Toronto. Above him were large glass windows. In the course of time he caught a cold which settled in his lungs. In a foundry there is much heat -not the kind we had here this afternoon- and a good deal of draught. As I say, it settled on his lungs and he became quite ill. He went to the hospital. He applied to the workmen's compensation board for compensation and received compensation for some time. In my experience I have had a good deal to do with many men of that type. Many of them may work in factories. I myself was engaged in the foundry business for some time.

The workmen's compensation board was organized to take care of men injured in plants.

I am happy to say that I was one of those, together with organizations and industries with which I was associated, who supported the Ontario government when they introduced the workmen's compensation act. But it does not cover everything. After the man to whom I referred was released from the hospital he received compensation for some time, but ultimately the board's doctors declared him perfectly fit to go back to his work. In the course of time he became incapable of working because his lungs were affected. I did my best to have the compensation board take up his case again, but was unsuccessful. This is the type of case that this resolution would cover. Here was a man who was unable to work at anything to give him a livelihood. His wife took in sewing and after the greatest of effort was apparently able to eke out an existence. This resolution would cover a case of that kind, because among other things it says:

. . . without any income or means of support, who, by reason of any injury, accident or congenital infirmity . . .

Social Securty-Mr. Blair

I have another case in mind where a man riding to work on a motorcycle had the misfortune to be struck by a street-car and was very seriously injured with the result that he became badly crippled. Of course, a workman cannot fight a street-car company for long. In this particular case the workman was not awarded any compensation by the street-car company or by any other body. He became a charge on his friends, and while still a young man was outside any possible support from any source that I could find out for him. If a bill were founded on this resolution such a man, being unable to work or to take care of himself, would be looked after.

The resolution also refers to congenital infirmity. I know of one or two cases which are only examples of a multitude that would come under a bill founded on this resolution. I know of a young woman who had a pronounced curvature of the spine. She went through a business college and graduated as a stenographer. She applied for a position and could not get one. The fact that she had a pronounced curvature of the spine prevented her from obtaining a position. After a considerable effort and writing many letters to friends of mine who were employers, and appealing to their humanity, I obtained a position for her. But there are multitudes like her who cannot obtain positions because of deformities that are no fault of theirs. This young lady was penalized by being apparently unemployable or being in such a condition that employers would not take her on, perhaps because other members of the staff did not want to have her among them. I know a good deal about offices and there are some offices like that. A class of people like that who could not get employment would be taken care of by a bill founded on this resolution.

I know of another young woman who is about eighteen years of age. She was born a pronounced cripple. She was so crippled that her legs were thrown under her and her arms w'ere also deformed to a certain extent. She got along by throwing herself forward on the floor in a sitting position, one leg after the other. I endeavoured to persuade everyone I knew who might 'be able to do so to give her something to do, because she had a very happy disposition and wanted to do anything she was capable of doing, but I could get no work for her. Finally a society in Toronto, I believe it was the crippled children's society, took up her case and got her something to do at home; I do not know what kind of work it was. But for that society, which is doing splendid work among

crippled children, that girl would have no means whatever of taking care of herself. I presume any bill founded upon this resolution would take care of a case of that kind.

Certainly crippled children, children bom that way, had nothing whatever to do with their condition, and in my judgment it is the duty of the state to base upon this resolution a bill which will give these people something on which they may live. The Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Claxton) may have something in mind along that line; perhaps he has been working on something. If so, no doubt when he speaks he will tell us what are his plans and what is the programme. Many others are not old enough to qualify for old age pensions; there must be quite a large number of people in that age group who have no income whatever, and perhaps the bill would help take care of them.

I rose merely for the purpose of placing myself solidly behind any programme of social security for those who are referred to in the resolution. If the government will bring in a bill under which these people will be given at least an opportunity to live, not on their friends but on the state, I will support it.

Topic:   SOCIAL SECURITY
Subtopic:   ALLOWANCES TO PERSONS SUFFERING INJURY, ACCIDENT OR CONGENITAL INFIRMITY.
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PC

William Gourlay Blair

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. G. BLAIR (Lanark):

I should like to support this resolution, Mr. Speaker, but as it is now worded I cannot do so. I would not want any hon. member to think I am complaining about the resolution on a mere technicality; I have no doubt as to what the hon. member for Terrebonne (Mr. Bertrand) had in mind, but as it is now worded the resolution does not carry out that meaning. You will notice that it says, "without any income". In other words, a man in receipt of only $5 a month, far too little to provide him with the necessities of life, would not be eligible under this measure. Then it goes on to speak of "congenital infirmity". That means a disease or disability existing from birth. If this resolution is adopted in its present form we shall exclude people with heart disease, people with arthritis, people with tuberculosis, people who have suffered strokes and are paralysed, and many other persons who are incapable of earning a livelihood.

As I say, I should like to support this resolution, and I would suggest to the hon. member that he redraft or amend it. Instead of the word "any" as to income, I would suggest the word "sufficient"; instead of the word "congenital" I would substitute the word "physical". That would do away with those two objections. It would not exclude the man in receipt of a very small income. It would not exclude all those other people in

Social Security-Mr. Zaplitny

the welfare group this resolution is intended to help. If the hon. member for Terrebonne will make those substitutions, by amendment or otherwise, I shall be glad to support the resolution because I think it fulfils a need that has existed for a long time.

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Subtopic:   ALLOWANCES TO PERSONS SUFFERING INJURY, ACCIDENT OR CONGENITAL INFIRMITY.
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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. F. S. ZAPLITNY (Dauphin):

I rise to support this resolution because I believe that the degree of civilization reached by society may be measured by the extent to which each citizen regards himself as his brother's keeper. I believe that this resolution takes a step in that direction; therefore I am in favour, of it. Whatever technical difficulties may arise in interpreting who shall come under its provisions, can I think, be easily straightened out when the bill is brought down. This resolution suggests a general policy; as and when the bill comes down it will contain the details.

I wish to support the resolution also because some provinces, including Manitoba, are not as fortunate as the province referred to the other evening by the hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Herridge), when he said that in British Columbia there was some limited form of assistance to crippled or disabled people. I should like to place on record a sentence or two from a letter I received from the director of public welfare of Manitoba, to indicate that unfortunately in our province we have no legislation whatever to pover disability cases from the time the family allowance ceases until the old age pension begins. In reply to an inquiry of mine dated February 6, 1946, I received this reply, from which I shall read just a sentence:

In Manitoba there is no provincial programme to provide financial aid for children just because of their crippled condition.

Further in the same letter I find this:

In the second place because of existing legislation the care of crippled adults is a municipal responsibility . . .

In other words, there is no legislation whatever in Manitoba to look after either crippled children or adults. As an example of some of the unfortunate people that we run across all too often, I should like to quote a few words from a letter which was written to me by a person in Ste. Rose du Lac, which commences with these words:

Being completely disabled through sickness, and sixty-six years old, would you kindly give me a hand toward getting my old age pension?

We all get letters of this kind, and it is not easy to sit down and explain to these people that because they are only sixty odd years of age they are not eligible for pension, regardless of the fact that they are crippled or disabled.

For the reasons I have mentioned I wish to congratulate the hon. member for Terrebonne

on having brought forward this resolution. I hope that not only will the house pass the resolution but that a bill will be brought down under which provision will be made for looking after this class of people.

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Subtopic:   ALLOWANCES TO PERSONS SUFFERING INJURY, ACCIDENT OR CONGENITAL INFIRMITY.
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PC

Gordon Knapman Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. K. FRASER (Peterborough West):

I rise to say that I am absolutely with the hon. member who brought in this resolution. I believe it has merit, but I agree with the hon. member for Lanark (Mr. Blair) that the wording should be changed. I know of a family in my own riding that has not had one cent from any municipality; yet the entire family is absolutely crippled. The father has been a cripple since birth. The mother is crippled; her mother is the same way, and their child is also crippled. The only way they can get any money, except by working in their back kitchen, is through relief and they are too proud to ask for that. The father has to be carried around, because he cannot walk. The mother is able to hobble around on crutches, and the grandmother is the same way. They have a small income, through their own efforts, by working on woodwork in their own home. If this bill were changed so that it would increase their small income, one which is not sufficient-they make only a few hundred dollars a year-it would help a great deal.

In many instances parents who have children crippled from birth are ashamed of them, and of their infirmity. By accident about five years ago I stumbled on a case of a girl twenty-three years of age who had never been away from her own home, and who was unable even to feed herself. The family would not let her be seen by outsiders, because they were ashamed of her. Even her next-door neighbour did not know she was in the home.

To-day, thanks to the Hon. Percy Vivian, who was minister of health of Ontario, that girl is in an institution. But the family kept her and looked after her for years.

Only a few weeks ago I received a letter from a woman sixty-two years of age who has been crippled all her life, and who has been kept by her sister ever since the father died some twenty-six or twenty-seven years ago. This woman is too young to receive an aid age pension, and the relief she might get from the municipality is so small that it could not possibly keep her.

I hope sincerely that hon. members on the government side of the house will see to it that this bill carries.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. ANGUS MacINNIS (Vancouver East):

Mr. Speaker, I wish in a few words to express my support of the resolution now before us. I would draw to the attention of hon. members the fact that this is not a bill, that it is

Social Security-Mr. Claxton

a resolution which had to be phrased in general terms so that it could be brought before the house.

Anyone reading the resolution will understand, I am sure, what the hon. member for Terrebonne (Mr. Bertrand) had in mind. He had in mind that Canada should have a social security programme. A social security programme is a programme for the social welfare or security of people who, for any reason, are not able to provide for themselves. I believe we have come to a stage in our civilization when the representatives of the people, and the people who elected those representatives, should be ashamed of seeing any member of the community who, because of any condition whatsoever, mental, physical, or otherwise, is not able to provide for himself, being allowed to suffer for lack of the good things of life which we can provide in such abundance.

I too hope, as the hon. member for Peterborough West (Mr. Fraser) has said, that ho'n. members on the government side of the house, and the ministers in particular, will accept this resolution. In doing so, there is something that those of us on this side of the house should keep in mind. A social security programme cannot be put into operation unless we are prepared to spend part of the revenue of the country on that programme. If we do that, then we must add to the taxes paid by our people. That will mean increasing expenditures. So that if we are going to ask, as we do, that the government accept this suggestion, we must not criticize it for making the necessary expenditures required.

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Subtopic:   ALLOWANCES TO PERSONS SUFFERING INJURY, ACCIDENT OR CONGENITAL INFIRMITY.
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PC

Gordon Knapman Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FRASER:

But they could cut out

some of their extravagances. They spend over S660 a day on the broadcast "Soldier's Wife".

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Subtopic:   ALLOWANCES TO PERSONS SUFFERING INJURY, ACCIDENT OR CONGENITAL INFIRMITY.
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

I am not saying that they cannot. However, I have noticed in my years of public life that everyone is in favour of instituting economies, provided that the operation does not begin with him or her, as the case may be.

The matter of looking after the unfortunate among us is not a matter, of money. It is a matter of organizing the man-power of the country, our material resources and our machinery of production in order that we may produce the things those people need: food, clothing, shelter, education, medical attention and those other things which we all need. That may be expressed in terms of money, it may be measured in that way, but it must be provided in real goods and services.

The question is not: Can we afford the

money? Rather it is: Can we produce the

goods and services required? I am convinced 63260-37

we can, and in any event we should not say we cannot until we have put every unemployed man and woman to work producing wealth.

I, too add my congratulations to the many which have been tendered the hon. member for Terrebonne for introducing the resolution. I hope the government will accept its broad general principle, and use every endeavour to put it into legislative form.

Topic:   SOCIAL SECURITY
Subtopic:   ALLOWANCES TO PERSONS SUFFERING INJURY, ACCIDENT OR CONGENITAL INFIRMITY.
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Hon. BROOKE CLAXTON (Minister of National Health and Welfare):

Mr. Speaker, this discussion has followed the. introduction of a motion by the hon. member for Terrebonne (Mr. Bertrand) which, like a good many other motions, may be the first step in a measure of social reform. I should like to add my word of congratulation to him for bringing this forward, and speaking to it in the eloquent and moderate way in which he spoke.

It is within the experience of all hon. members that if we look back over the years we shall find that practically every measure of social reform has been introduced, in the first instance, in consequence of a private member's resolution. This has led to its being ventilated, developed, explored, considered and ultimately introduced in the form of legislation. In that connection I think of the motion of the then hon. member for Compton, Mr. Letellier de St. Just who, back in 1929, offered a motion in favour of family allowances. That was considered very forward-looking at the time, and it was some years before family allowances were introduced.

It is one of the means whereby, as I say, these matters receive attention and ultimately incorporation into the legislative structure of the country. The subject of the motion, namely, assistance for people who are incapacitated by injury, accident, or congenital infirmity from earning their livings, is one which I think has the sympathy of every hon. member. All of us would like to see something more done for these people. All of us have at heart the interests which the hon. member for Terrebonne has so eloquently advanced.

There is a tendency nowadays, as we all know, for all of us to look to the state to meet conditions which people have previously met from their own savings or with the assistance of their families or through private agencies and municipalities. There are many reasons .for that development which I do not need to go into now, but it is a manifestation of modern civilization which is seen not only in our country but in all highly industrialized countries.

Social Security-Mr. Claxton

This debate has shown how strong that feeling is in tihis field. Every speaker has pleaded the causes of the class of people intended to be covered by this motion, but the debate has been singularly free from detailed suggestions as to what kind of measure should be brought down, exactly who should be covered, how the cost should be met and every kind of encumbering detail. It is a motion designed, and properly so, to bring the matter before the attention of the house and, through the house, of the country.

From my examination of this subject, there would appear to be two distinct classes of people whom this motion might seek to cover. First, there are those who, being gainfully employed, are in consequence of accident or disease prevented1 from carrying on with their usual occupation. That class is covered in some countries by what are called "sickness benefits." Those benefits are usually payable on a contributory basis, as in the United Kingdom, where since 1911 they have had sickness benefits as part of their system of health insurance. Those benefits are similar to the benefits payable under our system of unemployment insurance. They are payable in consideration of a contribution by the beneficiary, and they are payable in consequence of his being unemployed through sickness, just as unemployment insurance benefits are payable through his being unemployed through there not being work.

There is a second class of people who may be covered by this motion, namely, those who are unable to work at all, those who are totally and permanently incapacitated. They rather approximate to a class to whom we now pay benefits, namely, the blind.

These two sets of benefits might be combined under the same measure, but ordinarily in measures for social security in other countries they are not; they are dealt with in separate categories; the first category of sickness benefits being assimilated to unemployment insurance, and the second class of invalidity benefits being assimilated to benefits payable to the blind.

There are a good many other questions which this motion raises. Would the protection offered by the kind of measure proposed extend only to the gainfully employed or to those insured under a system of unemployment insurance? Would it cover the selfemployed? Would it cover the unemployables, the people who ordinarily cannot secure work at all? Would it extend to those partly as well as to those totally disabled and to those temporarily as well as to those permanently disabled? All these are questions which have to be considered when dealing

with a matter of this kind, and the provisions of the laws in force in the countries which have these measures, notably the United Kingdom since 1911, Australia since 1945, and New Zealand since 1938, as well as Sweden, differ materially from each other.

Then, too, looking at the motion itself, we see that the idea of a means test is introduced in the words "without any income or means of support", qualifying the class of people who might be beneficiaries. It is added that these people would be "at a disadvantage in seeking or attaining employment, or incapable of providing for his subsistence." So that the motion as it stands seems to contemplate a system of benefits which would be payable on a means test basis, probably without contribution, and primarily intended to benefit those who are unemployable.

In considering this kind of measure, as we have done in the department and as the government has done for a good many years, we have to consider the order of priority in which we introduce social security measures. It is not possible in any country to introduce a complete system of social security measures all at once. No country has ever done that; and from my own experience in the Department of National Health and Welfare I can say that it would be exceedingly difficult to create the administrative machinery to deal with a dozen different measures of social security all at once. Further, a good deal of development of public opinion is required to secure the necessary support for any such measure and also to secure the willingness to pay the cost of that measure.

The order of priority of social security measures is put by different experts in different terms. The report of Doctor L. C. Marsh on "Social Security for Canada" which was prepared for the advisory committee on reconstruction deals at page 115 with the order of priorities of social legislation, and there Doctor Marsh gives this as the desirable order:

1. Unemployment insurance

2. Health insurance

3. The disability-old-age-survivors group of insurances

4. Children's allowances

5. Sickness cash benefit

6. Funeral benefits

President Truman of the United States, in his great message to congress of November 19, 1945, put forward proposals for various measures: first, construction of hospitals and related facilities; second, expansion of public health, maternal and child health services; third, medical education and research; fourth, prepayment of medical costs; and fifth, pro-

Social Security-Mr. Claxton

tection against loss of wages from sickness and disability. In this last connection President Truman says:

Therefore, as a fifth element of a comprehensive health programme, the workers of the nation and their families should be protected against loss of earnings because of illness. A comprehensive health programme must include the payment of benefits to replace at least part of the earnings that are lost during the period of sickness and long-term disability. This protection can be readily and conveniently provided through expansion of our present social insurance system with appropriate adjustment of premiums.

Insurance against loss of wages from sickness and disability deals with cash benefits rather than with services. It has to be coordinated with the other cash benefits under existing social insurance systems. Such coordination should be effected when other social security measures are reexamined. I shall bring this subject again to the attention of the congress in a separate message on social security.

There the President puts provision for protection against loss of wages from sickness and disability in the fifth and last group of measures, one in respect of which he is going to put forward some proposal at some subsequent date. Consequently his allotment of priorities on social security legislation is not out of line with that of Doctor Marsh; that is, sickness benefits and invalidity benefits are to be well down the scale, in fact at the end of the scale in so far as health measures are concerned. _ There is a very good reason for that, and that is that in our attack on the problem of ill health-and there is an attack going on all over the front, with a fine combination of agencies, federal, provincial, municipal and private-we make our first aim the prevention of illness and the cause of disability through disease and accident. In accordance with that, the federal government in its proposals to the provinces has put before them suggestions for a very wide measure of grants t.o the provinces on various terms which will be found in the green book containing the proposals of the federal government.

Second comes the question of treatment. If we cannot prevent disease and incapacity due to disease or accident, let us try to cure it; let us try to treat it. So that we put forward in our proposals a comprehensive suggestion for a nation-wide system of health insurance which, if adopted, would provide for complete hospital, medical and nursing services for every man, woman and child in every part of Canada in which the plan was adopted.

The third step should be that of rehabilitation. There is a large group of people who have been incapacitated by accident or disease, but who could be rehabilitated by vocational training, by special efforts on the nart of 63260-37i

employers and national selective service to see that they secure jobs which give them opportunities to use the capacities they have. In that field great work has been done in Canada by the Department of Veterans Affairs with regard to our returned men of both wars and also by the Department of Labour through national selective service. That work has been and is being extended in local communities by provinces, by municipalities and by private agencies.

It is only in the fourth place on this single item of health measures that we come to the desirable measures which the hon. member for Terrebonne has suggested, namely, sickness benefits or invalidity benefits. /

So that this comes some way down the list, and that is for another reason that it has been generally found that these are administratively about the most difficult to introduce. There are various reasons for that. One is, of course, and I do not think it is making any unfair comment on human nature to suggest, that during a time of high employment there is a much greater tendency for everyone to use his capacities in a useful fashion than during a time of relatively low employment, when there is a great tendency for people to discover reasons which prevent them from working. It has been found in the United States, in Canada, in every country which has had to administer various measures like workmen's compensation acts administered by the provinces, that there is a clear relationship between the economic status of the country at any moment and the claims in respect of disability or incapacity. In a report "Issues in Social Security-a report to the committee of ways and means of the house of representatives by the committee's social security technical staff", which was transmitted on January 17, 1946, and which has just been published, it was said:

There is' no royal road to a scheme of disability benefits that is not beset with substantial obstacles.

That is, I think, the experience of every country which has tried to introduce it. One of the reasons why it has generally been considered desirable that health insurance should precede sickness benefits is that only when you have a nation-wide system of health services providing the whole population with an opportunity to secure medical treatment and, if necessary, hospitalization for any condition they may be suffering from, can you properly deal with the class of people who do not respond to treatment and who remain incapacitated through sickness or other cause.

Therefore.I suggest that in the introduction of social measures there is a definite order of priorities which has been recognized by other

Social Security-Mr. Claxton

countries and which we ourselves are recognizing in the measures that we have introduced in Canada.

In that connection I might remind the house that in recent years we have made a good deal of progress with regard to social security measures on t'he part of the federal government. In 1927 old age pensions were introduced on ji fifty-fifty basis at rates which have been subsequently increased and which now are contributed to the extent of 75 per cent by the federal government. Further, we pay pensions to the blind at tne same rates from the age of forty, and the dominions proposals to the dominion-provincial conference again include a measure for a substantial increase in the benefits to the blind. We would hope, if the provinces concur, to cooperate with them in extending the age down to twenty-one and also in further defining the means test; also making provisions for the treatment of blind people at government expense so as to enable them to restore themselves to gainful livelihood and also relieve the slate from the burden of making payments to them.

Topic:   SOCIAL SECURITY
Subtopic:   ALLOWANCES TO PERSONS SUFFERING INJURY, ACCIDENT OR CONGENITAL INFIRMITY.
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April 4, 1946