June 13, 1947

PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

But the minister tried to blame the committee the other day.

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

No. The minister tried to say to the hon. member for Vancouver South that he had some responsibility in the matter.

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

Because he was on the veterans affairs committee.

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

Yes.

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BROOKS:

We are whiling to assume our responsibility.

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

And the hon. gentleman replied that I knew nothing about the matter. I hope he has changed his mind since.

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BROOKS:

Who has the floor, Mr. Chairman? I would refer to page 396 of the report of the veterans affairs committee in 1946. At that time we were discussing the question of compensation and other benefits to the different civilian groups:

Mr. Green: Take the ease of the merchant

seamen. Is it our idea that the officers of the Department of Transport would appear before the sub-committee? Because that is the one case I have in mind, and I think we should have these men right here in the main committee.... and not in the sub-committee.

The chairman at that time, who was the hon. member for Rosthern, said:

On the point you mention, Mr. Green, I agree with you that we should have representations from the merchant seamen and also that the committee would want to hear from the Department of Transport. But the sub-committee in a lot of these things would be able to find out which witnesses would be most useful to the committee and it would assist in that way.

That is, it was the chairman's opinion that this sub-committee would be useful in picking out different witnesses, and so on. Then I quote also from the minutes of proceedings of May 14, 1946, after the committee w'as set up:

The chairman reported that the steering committee recommended that the representations of ex-members of the R.A.F. ferry command, together with those of the V.A.D.'s and other members of the Canadian Red Cross Society and St. John Ambulance Brigade, and of all other civilian groups-

The merchant seamen were considered one of the civilian groups.

urging claims to benefits under veteran legislation, be referred to the sub-committee appointed to study the draft bill respecting civilian war pensions and allowances.

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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LIB

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

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

May I remind the hon. member for Royal that it has been agreed in the committee that we cannot refer to any benefits other than compensation to merchant seamen. The hon. member has read from a committee report which refers to V.A.D.'s, members of the Red Cross, and so on. I do not see how the question of workmen's compensation could affect them.

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BROOKS:

That was just to connect it up. My point is that a sub-committee was set up to Study these matters affecting civilian groups, and I wanted to show that in the veterans affairs committee we did intend to study matters concerning the merchant seamen, of which compensation was one. Some question has been raised in this committee as

Merchant Seamen

to whether this matter was brought up in the veterans affairs committee last year, and what action was taken. My point is that if we had not been told in that committee at that time that the Department of Transport intended to deal with this matter and provide compensation for these men, the veterans affairs committee would have done so.

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

In the hon. gentleman's discussion of the matter yesterday did he not say it was his understanding that the Department of Transport was to bring in a bill which would have to do with a veterans charter ?

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BROOKS:

No, not with a veterans

charter.

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

Then let me put it in this way. Did he not say it was his understanding that the department would bring in a bill to deal with compensation?

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BROOKS:

I have here exactly what

I said. It is at page 4033 of Hansard:

Mr. Brooks: Was it not understood in the

veterans affairs committee that the Department of Transport would bring in a bill which would give merchant seamen treatment commensurate with that given other branches of the service?

In other words, we were of the opinion that a bill would be brought in which would give merchant seamen the same treatment that was given other branches of the service. After all, the merchant marine has been called the fourth branch of the service.

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

I am sure my hon. friend would not want to attribute any blame to the Department of Transport if that department were not aware of that fact. Since the previous discussion I have looked at the evidence. I find that a witness was called and was asked about a certain bill, and replied that he knew absolutely nothing about it. The only bill I had in mind was the bill that is now being amended. That is the only bill that ever came to my attention, and certainly it is the only bill that I had in mind last session. It had to do with compensation, not in the general sense, but compensation for injuries or death resulting from accidents.

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BROOKS:

Then all I can say in that connection is that when the veterans affairs committee considered this matter it was not thinking of civilian compensation. The bill the minister has brought down deals with civilian compensation from 1945 on.

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

Not civilian.

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BROOKS:

I mean the merchant seamen, from that time on. But if we are going

to say that the men who from 1939 to 1945, were recognized by various ministers of the crown as constituting the fourth branch of the service, the men who sacrificed more in proportion than those in any other branch of the service, are going to receive compensation only after 1945, I am satisfied that not a member of the veterans affairs committee would have agreed to it.

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

No one is saying that is all they are entitled to. I am not saying that, nor have I ever said it. I simply say the bill which was referred to in that committee was the very bill we are now dealing with.

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BROOKS:

Then, if the minister feels, as I am sure he does, that these men are entitled to more consideration, may I ask if it is his intention either now or in the very near future to bring in a bill which will do justice to these men?

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

Certainly it is not my intention to bring in a bill as an amendment to this act. I do not think this is the place to bring in a bill covering the items my hon. friend has in mind. My own view is that it may very well be a matter that should be studied. A number of things have been done for the merchant seamen since this act was amended last year. I hope it will be possible to do more.

Topic:   MERCHANT SEAMEN
Subtopic:   PRESERVATION OF COMPENSATION RIGHTS ACQUIRED UNDER REGULATIONS
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June 13, 1947