June 6, 1950 (21st Parliament, 2nd Session)


Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

The travelling expenses under the Veterans Land Act, soldier settlement board, seem to be pretty high. I see it is estimated at $600,000 this year. Last year it was $550,000. I was wondering whether it was necessary to have that amount for travelling expenses. I do not know how much of this $550,000 was spent last year. I would like the minister to tell us that. In my own experience with this I think that there is probably a great deal more running around the country than is entirely necessary.
During the last year, for example, there was a sort of garden competition held for small holdings. I know that the supervisors and others ran all over the country looking at those gardens to see which one had made the greatest improvement. A prize was given for the garden which showed the greatest improvement. As a matter of fact, these people went around in threes. I happen to know of three of the supervisors who went around to the men's places looking at their gardens. They spent considerable time there. Then they went on to somebody else's place. They spent a great deal of time doing that. It seems to me that the travelling expenses incurred as a result of these people doing that amounted to a large amount. I do not know how many of them did it. It must have been a large number across Canada as a whole. The cost of that was extensive. I doubt very much whether any good result came from it. This is one instance of the way in which considerable amounts of money are being, if not wasted, at any rate very close to it, in the way of travelling expenses under the Veterans Land Act.

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