June 6, 1951

CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

By leave.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   AUTHORITY FOR CLASSIFYING WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe moved

the third reading of the bill.

Motion agreed to and bill read the third time and passed.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   AUTHORITY FOR CLASSIFYING WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.
Permalink

RETURNED SOLDIERS INSURANCE ACT

PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO BENEFICIARY RESTRICTIONS, APPORTIONMENT OF INSURANCE, ETC.

LIB

Hugues Lapointe (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. Hugues Lapointe (Minister of Veterans Affairs) moved

that the house go into committee to consider the following resolution:

That It is expedient to introduce a measure to amend the Returned Soldiers' Insurance Act for the following purposes:

To strike out from the act certain parts that no longer apply due to the fact that the time of taking out new contracts of insurance has expired;

To increase the amount of insurance moneys payable under the policy at the time of death of the insured;

To reduce to some extent administration difficulties now found in the act and to "bring the act more Sn line with the Veterans Insurance Act in the matter of beneficiary restrictions and particularly in the manner of changing of beneficiaries and altering mode of apportionment of insurance;

To remove certain restrictions respecting the payment of insurance benefits to the estate of the insured; and

To waive premiums on life contracts when the insured reaches his eighty-fifth birthday.

[The Deputy Chairman.]

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO BENEFICIARY RESTRICTIONS, APPORTIONMENT OF INSURANCE, ETC.
Permalink
PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (Si. John's Wesl):

Mr. Speaker, I understand the veterans committee is sitting now. The minister would not like to proceed with that matter now.

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO BENEFICIARY RESTRICTIONS, APPORTIONMENT OF INSURANCE, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Hugues Lapointe (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Lapointe:

I do not believe there will be any objection. It is proposed that this bill be referred to the veterans affairs committee. If I can get it through the resolution stage and1 the next two stages, then the committee would be seized with the matter immediately.

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO BENEFICIARY RESTRICTIONS, APPORTIONMENT OF INSURANCE, ETC.
Permalink
PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (Si. John's Wesl):

It seems to me to be the sort of thing which the members of the veterans affairs committee should be here to discuss. Every member of the veterans affairs committee is out of the house.

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO BENEFICIARY RESTRICTIONS, APPORTIONMENT OF INSURANCE, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Hugues Lapointe (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Lapointe:

As I pointed out, the bill which will follow this resolution will foe referred to the veterans affairs committee, where it will be dealt with. The bill is rather a technical one, and I think it could be discussed more effectively in the select committee.

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO BENEFICIARY RESTRICTIONS, APPORTIONMENT OF INSURANCE, ETC.
Permalink
PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell (Greenwood):

However

convenient and natural it might be to refer it to that committee, surely that does not mean that we practically cease to exist. Might it not be suitable for the minister to make at least a short statement before that action is taken?

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO BENEFICIARY RESTRICTIONS, APPORTIONMENT OF INSURANCE, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Hugues Lapointe (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Lapointe:

I am sorry if I gave my hon. friend the impression that I was trying to do away with the house. Hon. members will recall that this Returned Soldiers Insurance Act was passed in 1920, and authorized the minister to enter into insurance contracts with veterans of world war I, certain widows of such soldiers, under terms and conditions provided in the act. The act was amended in 1930, at which time the date of August 31, 1933, was fixed as the final cut-off date for receiving applications for insurance under that act.

Now, the main purpose of the bill will be to remove certain difficulties in the administration of the act, and furthermore to bring the act more in line with the Veterans Insurance Act which followed world war II, and *concerning which a bill was introduced in this house about a week ago. That bill has now been referred to the veterans affairs committee.

For instance, it is proposed to remove certain restrictions now placed on the insured respecting the change of beneficiary and the change of mode of payment of the policy proceeds. Under the present act such a change can only be made by a declaration of the insured endorsed upon or attached to the policy. Hereafter, those changes may be made by the insured in his will or by any other document satisfactory to the minister.

Under the act as it stands at the present time only the reserve in the policy is authorized to be paid where the insurance proceeds pass to the estate of the insured. Hon. members will recall that when I introduced the amendments to the Veterans Insurance Act a few days ago, they contained one section which removes that situation from that other act. We intend to do the same thing here. It is proposed that the face value of the policy will be paid where, under the provisions of the act, the insurance money is payable to the estate of the insured. There is also a disability benefit under the present act consisting in a waiver of premium and the payment to the insured of the insurance in instalments, in certain cases where the insured becomes totally and permanently disabled from a disability that does not entitle him to a pension under the Pension Act or to hospital allowances while receiving treatment from the department on account of a war disability.

In this case, as in the case of -the Veterans Insurance Act, it has been found difficult to determine what was a total permanent disability; and it is intended at this time to remedy this situation by mentioning in the act that when a total disability has existed continuously for a period of one year, it shall meet the purpose of this section.

We also intend to place this act more in conformity with the Veterans Insurance Act by authorizing the payment of a sum up to $2,000 at the time of the death of the insured. Under the present act the limit is $1,000; and, as I explained the other day, the balance is paid in the form of annuities over a period of five, ten, fifteen or twenty years.

The same reasons which apply with regard to the other act apply in respect of this change in the Returned Soldiers Insurance Act.

In the amendments there will also be something to clarify the point with regard to qualification of members of the House of Commons and of the Senate to receive benefits under these contracts. The remaining amendments are of a minor and administrative nature and, as I mentioned before, are mostly meant to put it in line with the Veterans Insurance Act. Provision is also made to strike out those parts of the act that no longer apply owing to the fact that no new contracts are being entered into and also for certain amendments in order to make the act conform with the changes proposed in the bill.

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO BENEFICIARY RESTRICTIONS, APPORTIONMENT OF INSURANCE, ETC.
Permalink
PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. J. Browne (SI. John's West):

I am

sure that everyone here is pleased to know that these amendments are to be introduced and that they will mean an improvement to

6, 1951

Returned Soldiers Insurance Act the Veterans Insurance Act. I had no idea, until I heard the minister speak the other day, that this law was in existence at all. I am sure that it will be gratifying, to all those in Newfoundland who are enlisting in the forces going to Korea and in the regular army, to know that it exists, and also that improvements are being made in it.

In reply to a question I asked the other day, the minister said that insurance was on an actuarial basis. I gather that there are some provisions here which are not usually accorded under ordinary insurance contracts. Some of them are of special interest to soldiers, and would not be given by the ordinary insurance company. I am sure we are all pleased to know that the amount which will be payable immediately has been increased from $1,000 to $2,000. Did I understand the minister to make a statement to the effect that the maximum amount allowable under this legislation will be $10,000?

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO BENEFICIARY RESTRICTIONS, APPORTIONMENT OF INSURANCE, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Hugues Lapointe (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Lapointe:

The maximum amount for

which the contract could have been entered into was $5,000. My hon. friend realizes, of course, that there are no new contracts entered into under this act. This legislation was enacted immediately after the first war; and as I mentioned previously, September, 1933, was the date line for new contracts. Now veterans of world war II have the benefit of -the new act,*namely the Veterans Insurance Act. [DOT]

Motion agreed to and the house went into committee, Mr. Beaudoin in the chair.

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO BENEFICIARY RESTRICTIONS, APPORTIONMENT OF INSURANCE, ETC.
Permalink
PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell (Greenwood):

I should like to ask the minister if he will give us some figures showing just what has been the extent of the operations under the Returned Soldiers Insurance Act which, I understand, affected the situation after the first war, and also what has been the extent of the operations of a similar kind since the second war.

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO BENEFICIARY RESTRICTIONS, APPORTIONMENT OF INSURANCE, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Hugues Lapointe (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Lapointe:

I am sorry to say, Mr. Chairman, that I have not this information here today. I do not want my hon. friend to misinterpret my remarks, but again I expected that type of information would be asked for and be more easily given and explained in the special committee on veterans affairs, before which it has been the habit to call in officers of the department and those who are directly concerned with the administration of the act. I regret that I have not here today this information asked for by my hon. friend.

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO BENEFICIARY RESTRICTIONS, APPORTIONMENT OF INSURANCE, ETC.
Permalink
PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell (Greenwood):

I do not wish to try to make any difficulty, Mr. Chairman; but quite frankly, it seems to me a pity that all those who are familiar with this matter

3792 HOUSE OF

Returned Soldiers Insurance Act happen to be in various committees at the moment. If the chairman would allow me to call it six o'clock, I should be glad. My feeling is that before the resolution leaves this committee of the whole there should at least be the opportunity for the people who are familiar with it to be here and to agree, as I feel sure they will, in exactly the course proposed by the minister. It is now almost six o'clock. I think I can carry on until six o'clock.

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO BENEFICIARY RESTRICTIONS, APPORTIONMENT OF INSURANCE, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

May I make this suggestion, Mr. Chairman. The hon. member for Royal generally handles these matters. I understand hon. members want these bills to go to the committee.

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO BENEFICIARY RESTRICTIONS, APPORTIONMENT OF INSURANCE, ETC.
Permalink
CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

The committee have about six bills now.

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO BENEFICIARY RESTRICTIONS, APPORTIONMENT OF INSURANCE, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

I am not insisting. But I would point out that the last time we had a resolution like this before us the hon. member for Royal said, "All right, it is to go to the committee", and it was not postponed. I think it is before the committee. But if the hon. member insists on his rights, he can do so. The minister says he has not these details, and that they can be given by officials before the committee.

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO BENEFICIARY RESTRICTIONS, APPORTIONMENT OF INSURANCE, ETC.
Permalink
PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell (Greenwood):

I think the word "insists" is a strong word to be used.

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO BENEFICIARY RESTRICTIONS, APPORTIONMENT OF INSURANCE, ETC.
Permalink

June 6, 1951