June 30, 1948

CCF

Thomas John Bentley

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

Mr. BENTLEY:

No, Mr. Chairman.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Louder.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
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CCF

Thomas John Bentley

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

Mr. BENTLEY:

It is necessary for me to make the Chairman hear; he keeps on going at a fast rate.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ADAMSON:

Does the minister wish to reply?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
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CCF

Thomas John Bentley

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

Mr. BENTLEY:

Does the minister wish to reply to the hon. member for Lethbridge before I ask my questions?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
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LIB

Milton Fowler Gregg (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. GREGG:

No.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
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CCF

Thomas John Bentley

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

Mr. BENTLEY:

I just want to mention here that I have gone carefully over the report of the committee on veterans affairs, and I

Supply-Veterans Affairs

also sat on it most of the time this session; in fact, I have sat on that committee during all the sessions I have been here. In the recommendations I see that nothing whatsoever has been done for those individuals who are still left under the operation of t)he Civilian War Pensions and Allowances Act. The rise in the cost of living has affected those people as well as all others. I should like some assurance from the minister that these people are to be considered when the other recommendations are being considered.

One other matter that I wish to mention at this time is in connection with merchant seamen. If the government accepts the recommendation with regard to merchant seamen, which I believe the indications are that they may, will the minister make arrangements for their attendance at technical schools, as is recommended here, as quickly as possible? And will he see that full information goes out to the public just as quickly as possible, so that those who may wish to take advantage of the opportunity may arrange for their entry into schools of this kind as quickly as they require or desire to do so.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
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LIB

Milton Fowler Gregg (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. GREGG:

To reply to t'he question asked by the hon. member for Vancouver South earlier in the evening, the recommendations inherent in the report of the committee on veterans affairs are all receiving the careful study of the department and of myself at the present time, and I will take under consideration the -remarks made by my hon. friend.

While I am on my feet, I will say that I greatly deplore the method used by the hon. member for -Lethbridge in bringing before the committee in the way he has individual cases of extreme difficulty, with names and numbers. Although I know about the cases concerned, I will not tonight go into the extremely difficult circumstances surrounding them, because I do not think it is right to do so. All I will say is this. While the parliamentary committee dealt with suggestions and proposals for amending the legislation on principle, and did not go into individual cases, they did bring individual cases to my attention. I think nearly every member of this house has, since last January, brought to my attention cases of veterans' difficulties; and I have tried to give them a most complete opportunity to see all sides of the cases. The same opportunity would have been provided to the hon. member for Lethbridge had he desired to take advantage of it. That is my only comment on the matter, except to say that, while these estimates are up, I did intend to pay just one word of tribute to the excellent work performed by all members of the parliamentary committee on veterans affairs during this session of parliament.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
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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:

The hon. member for Vancouver Centre.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

What number did you call, Mr. Chairman?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
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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:

The hon. member for Vancouver Centre.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
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PC

John Ritchie MacNicol

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacNICOL:

Has he a number too?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
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CCF

Rodney Young

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

Mr. YOUNG:

I should like to draw to the attention of the minister the case of veterans on allowance at universities. This matter comes particularly to my attention because until recently I was one of them. A number of veterans who are single men and who are at the universities are now drawing D.V.A. allowances; but because their particular courses are such that there is no room for them at Canadian universities, they will have to go abroad. I particularly refer to 483 pre-medical students who are in the country now and for whom there is no room to carry on their studies at Canadian universities. Just about the time I left Vancouver for Ottawa, one of them was busy getting ready to fly to Australia to take his course. The amount of money the department has been allowed for the purpose of helping those veterans, $60 a month-while it may be of vital assistance to them while they are pursuing their studies in Canada-is extremely small in relation to the price structure in the United States and some other countries. Has the minister any suggestions as to how the government may assist financially those who are compelled to go abroad to complete their education?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
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LIB

Milton Fowler Gregg (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. GREGG:

That matter was discussed before the committee and has been discussed on many other occasions. At present the additional assistance granted for dependents of veteran students during the winter has not been extended to any increase for those without dependents. The situation will be watched carefully during the coming academic year, but in the meantime it is not my intention to make any further proposals to my colleagues in this connection. I would point out to my hon. friend that the amount was never intended as a complete living allowance but rather as a generous scholarship. In the case of the medical students he mentioned it is possible now, when tuition fees have gone up, as in some cases to as much as $500 a year, to have the entire tuition paid in addition to the $60 a month. The matter is kept under constant review.

Supply-Veterans Affairs

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
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CCF

Rodney Young

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

Mr. YOUNG:

Is it true that in the case of a student attending university in the United States the 860 granted by the government is withdrawn in part, that he is permitted only to draw 810 a week in United States currency? I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the statement, but I should like the minister to tell us whether or not it is the case.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
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LIB

Milton Fowler Gregg (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. GREGG:

It is not true that it is withheld. The student is able to get $60, if he is single, during his training there, just as he would if he were training in Canada.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
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CCF

Ronald Stewart Moore

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

Mr. MOORE:

The deliberations of the veterans affairs committee this year have shown that the problems of veterans will be with the government for some time to come. I believe the special committee on veterans affairs did a pretty good job this year; and in view of the problems veterans may have in future I should like the minister to consider having the veterans affairs committee as a permanent committee of the house.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
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LIB

Milton Fowler Gregg (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. GREGG:

That question was brought up in the early part of the session, and I indicated that I felt we should take some time to consider it. It should be pointed out that in some forty meetings of the committee this year the existing legislation was carefully reviewed. I believe representations were received from practically every body and' every group that wished to make them. In addition to changes in legislation, further recommendations have been submitted to me to pass on to the government. My own deputy and his officials were in attendance at many of the forty meetings of that committee, during which a great deal of hard work was done by the members; some of the officials attended every meeting. They were glad' to do so, and I believe a resolution expressing appreciation of their work was adopted by the committee. But I would point out that in attending these meetings and in helping improve our legislation and our plans, at the same time they were leaving important work within the department itself to be done by someone else. So in these closing hours of the session, in reply to the question asked earlier by the hon. member for Royal and repeated just now by the hon. member for Churchill, I must say that during the coming session of parliament I would rather give the department an opportunity to digest the recommendations already made and carry out the plans consequent upon amendments to the legislation. So at this time, at any rate, I would not recommend that a permanent committee be set up.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
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Item agreed to. 925. War veterans' allowances - further amount required, $1,325,000.


SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

Under this item I believe it is fitting that I should discuss the next matter I wish to draw to the attention of the committee. Before doing so, once more I wish to assure the minister that I have no antipathy toward anyone, neither toward him nor toward his department; but when these stories come, as they come incessantly, it becomes the duty of any ordinary member of parliament to look into them and not just accept the words of those who happen to be in authority. I was a schoolteacher for twenty-one years, so that I am not without some experience with people, or without experience with officers, either.

The matter I desire to discuss at this time is the McCann 'commission. I wish to examine this matter with some care before the committee this evening. Once more I am going to read rather rapidly, when I have to read, in the hope that we shall be able to finish in time.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
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June 30, 1948