HC Deb 06 December 1920 vol 135 cc1716-8
31. Lieut.-Colonel Sir J. NORTON-GRIFFITHS

asked the Prime Minister under what conditions the Canadian Government are placing ex-service men on the land in Canada; and will he communicate with the Canadian Government with a view to ascertaining whether ex-service men of this country may be accorded the same privileges under arrangements made by His Majesty's Government?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Lieut.-Colonel Amery)

The Canadian Soldier Settlement Acts make provision for settling qualified Canadian ex-service men upon the land in Canada. The settlement is carried out under the supervision and guidance of the Soldier Settlement Board, and loans sufficient for the purpose of settlement are made by the Board. Qualified soldiers are required to pay 10 per cent. of the purchase price of their farm, and the total maximum loans allowed may not exceed $7,500. The privileges conferred by the Act are extended to approved ex-service men from the United Kingdom, but all such men are required to deposit £200 as a guarantee, i.e., approximately the equivalent of 20 per cent, of the purchase price of their land, stock and equipment. Applications by ex-service men from the United Kingdom can in future only be made in Canada at one of the offices of the Soldier Settlement Board. The possibility of making arrangements with the Canadian Government and the Governments of other Dominions for a wider extension to British ex-service men of the privileges given to their own ex-service men, is certainly worthy of consideration, but involves questions of cost which would have to be carefully gone into.


Will my hon. Friend give an undertaking, if he can, that his Department or some Department of the Government will take this matter up with the various Dominion Governments with a view to seeing how many, if any, and on what terms unemployed ex-service men in this country can be placed on the land in the Empire, and thus provide work for these men instead of paying them unemployment doles here?

Lieut.-Colonel AMERY

The Overseas Settlement Office has already been in continuous communication with the Dominion Governments in order to secure that the fullest advantage of their ex-service settlement schemes should be given to British ex-service men. As the House knows, free passages are given to men who have been accepted, and their ' families. A further extension would involve some of the overseas Governments in considerable expenditure which they may not be able to bear alone, and the question of sharing the expenditure with them is certainly worthy of the most sympathetic consideration by this House, which has already done so much for ex-service men.


Will the hon. Gentleman make representations to the Canadian Government with a view to overcoming the £200 limit, which they have put on, not against ex-service men, but to protect themselves against people going to that country and becoming chargeable to their unemployment funds?


Will the hon. Gentleman make representations to his own Government to provide money in order to settle a great number of ex-service men on the land, especially in Scotland, where they have been waiting so long, without their going overseas?

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