June 26, 1947

LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

I will try to answer it.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
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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:

Shall the section carry?

Old Age Pensions

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
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CCF

Eric Bowness McKay

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

Mr. McKAY:

Before the section carries, I should like to ask the minister if he has given a reason why the pension for the blind-

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

That is the next section.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. WRIGHT:

Earlier in the day the minister was asked certain questions with regard to reciprocal arrangements with the other parts of the British commonwealth in respect of social security benefits. Did I understand him to say that a conference had been held between all members of the commonwealth, or just with Great Britain?

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

There is a conference on in Great Britain which is to continue until the fall.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. WRIGHT:

Were the other parts of the commonwealth invited to participate?

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

Yes.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. WRIGHT:

Have they participated in that discussion?

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

Yes.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. WRIGHT:

I think it is important that we should have some such reciprocal arrangement at this time. A number of our people have married Australians or New Zealanders, or have brought home English brides, and there is no doubt that, as they become older, a considerable number of our people will wish to go to other parts of the commonwealth, perhaps to stay with relatives. This matter should be given consideration, and I suppose that will be done, in view of the minister's statement. I should have liked to see the minister able to make some definite statement as to how far these negotiations have progressed; but, in view of the fact that the matter is still under discussion, I suppose it would be impossible for him to go any farther than he has done tonight in this respect.

There has been a good deal of discussion as to the adequacy of the $30 a month mentioned in this section. I notice order No. 10 on the order paper, which reads:

Resolved, that it is expedient to present a measure to provide pensions or other superannuation benefits for senior appointees of the Department of External Affairs serving outside Canada and the wives, widows and dependants thereof.

I wonder if the government will consider $30 a month sufficient for those people, because apparently they consider $30 a month sufficient for our old people. In view of what we have voted for ourselves; in view of our generous treatment of returned men; in view of our very generous treatment of judges; in view of our very generous treatment of various [The Chairman.]

other civil servants in this country, it seems to me that we certainly should be prepared at this time to be a little more generous with our old people. I believe I have shown that out of the total national income of this country, which has increased to approximately three times what it was in the thirties, a fair share to our old people would be $50 a month. It seems to me that should be the minimum we can afford out of our production at this time. It is not asking too much that our senior citizens share with the rest of us on a fair basis. We have all increased our incomes in the last five or six years. There is not a member in this house whose income today is not two or three times what it was in the thirties.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Speak for yourself.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. WRIGHT:

If hon. members will be honest they will admit that.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

We are not all farmers.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. WRIGHT:

Very few members of this house, if they were in business and if they have been using a little bit of brain during this war to develop that business under the conditions which have existed in this country, have not doubled their incomes. That is shown by the national income; and if hon-members say they have not-

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
Permalink
LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

Will my hon. friend answer a question? He is a farmer. Would that be true of the farmers in general; I mean the part about using their brains?

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. WRIGHT:

If the hon. member had been here a few minutes ago when I was speaking he would have heard me quote the average income of the farmers of this country in the thirties, which was somewhere between $650 and $700 per family per annum. That average income has been increased until today it is something over $1,800 per family per annum, which is a substantial increase. The Minister of Labour must know that the average income of the working population of this country has more than doubled since the thirties. Take the average wage paid to workers in this country from 1932 to 1938 and the average wage being paid today. He will find that the increase is in approximately the same proportion as the increase in farm income. Look at the profits being made in this country. If you add up the total profits-[DOT]

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

I asked the hon. member a question.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. WRIGHT:

Just a minute; then you can make your speech.

The Late Lord Bennett

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
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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:

Order. May I take this opportunity to remind both hon. gentlemen that we are discussing section 4, and that a general discussion of conditions and wages in Canada is hardly relevant.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
Subtopic:   INCREASES IN AMOUNTS AND INCOME ALLOWANCE REQUIREMENTS-MODIFICATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
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June 26, 1947