July 22, 1960

CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Winch:

Provision was made on the electrical supply system, that I do know. Am I to understand, then, that in connection with one of the largest hospitals in Canada no provision is made for a laundry service on the premises, and all the laundry is done by outside contract?

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PC
CCF
PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

Because there is no laundry there.

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CCF
PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

Because there has not been, a laundry constructed. As I say, we are building laundries at hospitals across Canada but in connection with Shaughnessy there was some objection years ago and the laundry was not built. We hope that situation may be corrected.

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CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Winch:

Can the minister tell the committee why there was an objection to putting in a laundry?

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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

It was a matter which was considered long before I came to this department, and I really do not have the information.

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CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Winch:

Is it the minister's intention to instal this laundry equipment at Shaughnessy or will the present arrangement be continued?

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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

We are investigating the possibility. This question is under consideration.

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Item agreed to. 465. War veterans allowance board-administration, $155,960.


CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

Item 465, and I think this time I am right on the dot. During the sittings of the committee representations were made by the national council of veterans and some other veterans organizations for amendments to the War Veterans Allowance Act. At a recent convention of the Canadian Legion some 22 resolutions were passed urging amendments to the War Veterans Allowance Act. I will not take the time of the committee to read the 22 resolutions but I will read the first three which are first because of their importance in the thinking of the delegates at this convention. They read as follows:

Whereas the Canadian government has not yet implemented any of the following recommendations contained in these briefs:

That the rate payable under the War Veterans Allowance Act be increased to at least $140 per month married.

That the ceilings on total permissible Incomes under the War Veterans Allowance Act be increased to $1,200 per year for the single recipient and $2,000 for the married recipient.

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That where all other requirements are met the war veterans allowance board be empowered to declare as eligible widows who would be qualified had the veteran made application during his lifetime.

These are of particular concern and importance although the others are important too. The subjects of the first two resolutions have often been raised in the committee and the subject of the third, requiring an amendment to the act, is of concern to me because of examples that have come to my attention throughout the years of injustices obtaining in relation to these widows.

The hon. member for Lincoln stated in explicit terms the case for veterans of the Indian and Afghanistan frontier wars. It has been placed on the record and I need not repeat it. The hon. member for Burin-Burgeo also supported him. I endorse what they said.

I have had correspondence with the director of the federation of British veterans. I am sure the minister has heard from this comrade on a number of occasions. I was glad to hear the minister say he will take up the matter with the appropriate British authorities to see if their classification cannot be changed. If this cannot be done consideration should be given to granting these few remaining men the war veterans allowance on the basis of the discharge certificate.

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Item agreed to. Miscellaneous payments- 471. Grant to Canadian Legion, $9,000.


PC

Oscar William Weichel

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Weichel:

Mr. Chairman, I am sure we all agree about the wonderful contribution that the 250,000 members of the Canadian Legion have made ever since the organization was formed. I would hope to have the minister give every consideration to increasing this grant.

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CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Winch:

On that same subject, Mr. Chairman, there are two veterans organizations in Canada which are doing a wonderful job on behalf of veterans. We grant assistance to the Canadian Legion. In view of the wonderful benevolent work done by the army, navy and air force veterans organization why is some assistance not granted to them? I have the honour of being a member of both organizations. Why is a grant made to one and not the other? I will not discriminate between the work of the two. My experience is in the city of Vancouver, of course. The army, navy and air force veterans clubs of British Columbia, and particularly those in Vancouver, are doing a wonderful job for veterans. I agree with the previous speaker that we should give more to the Canadian Legion but should we not also give something to the other organization?

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Alfred Johnson Brooks (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

Mr. Chairman, I agree with the hon. member in what he said about the splendid work done by the army, navy and air force veterans organization. We are well aware of the excellent work they do. The reason they have not received a grant is because they have never asked for one and I suppose the reason they have not made such a request is because they have no office here in Ottawa. The Legion has an office in Ottawa and grants are given to them. Frankly I do not think the army, navy and air force veterans organization would accept grants if they were offered because they finance their own work and are very happy and proud to do so.

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CCF

William Arnold Peters (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Peiers:

Mr. Chairman, does that answer also apply to the national council of war veterans association? If so, it raises a problem. When Colonel Lambert came to parliament this year he suggested they were going into politics to form a new political organization to represent the interests of veterans all over the world and make Canada into a neutral zone, with which I agree. What is the view of the government toward supporting this organization which represents eight associations and 130,000 veterans?

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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

The basis of these payments, of course, is the service given in assisting in pension work. The Legion has a service bureau which takes up a veteran's case, investigates it, prepares it and helps present it before our commission and also before the appeal board. These other organizations do not do that. Besides, they have not asked for assistance, and I do not think the treasury board would like me to rim after them and ask them to accept money.

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CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Winch:

We grant $9,000 to the Canadian Legion and nothing to the army, navy and air force veterans organization. In view of the magnificent work they do the government should take the responsibility of assisting them with a grant. I assure the minister, from my personal knowledge, they are doing a terrific job on behalf of the veterans. Is the minister satisfied that $9,000 is a proper recognition of the terrific job they are doing on behalf of veterans and their dependants? If he cannot do it now, will the minister not give consideration to making representations to the Minister of Finance for a greater recognition of the marvellous work that these two organizations are doing?

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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

I will take that into consideration.

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July 22, 1960