Douglas C. (Douglas Crawford) McMurtrie.

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tLondon Technical School, London, Ont. Machine-shop practice, barbering,
cabinetmaking, carpentry, drafting, commercial, motor mechanics, farm
tractor, civil service, pattern making.

Unit G.

t Manitoba Military Convalescent Hospital, Tuxedo Park, Winnipeg, Man.
Carpentry, French polishing, sanitary inspection, artificial-limb making,
shoemaking, arts and crafts, photography, barbering, printing, sign writing,
stationary and civil engineering, drafting, machine-shop practice, theoretical
farm mechanics, blacksmithing, horticulture, farming, stenography, book-
keeping, practical mathematics, general education, typewriting, civil service,
electrical construction, poultry keeping, oxy-acetylene welding, motor me-
chanics, automobile theory, practical farm mechanics.

Unit H.

1 Ross Park Hospital, Moose Jaw, Sask. Shoe repairing, commercial, general,

telegraphy, care of autos.
Provincial Sanitarium, Fort Qu'Appelle, Sask. Woodwork.
Earl Grey Sanitarium, Regina, Sask. Woodwork,
t St. Chads Military Convalescent Hospital, Regina, Sask. General, woodwork.
t Saskatoon Military Convalescent Hospital, Saskatoon, Sask. Civil service and

general, telegraphy, shoe repairing, commercial,
t University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Sask. Farm motors, woodworking,

blacksmithing, motor mechanics, auto operation, law, gas engine, science,

steam engine, association agriculture, animal husbandry,
t Leather & Sports Co., Saskatoon, Sask. Harness repairing.
t Underwood Typewriter Co., Regina, Sask. Typewriter repairs.


f Stable's Barber Shop, Regina, Sask. Barbering.

f Lemery Denison Electric Co., Saskatoon, Sask. Telegraphy.

t Government Telephones, Saskatoon, Sask. Telegraphy.

t Roseland Moving-Picture Theater, Regina, Sask. Moving-picture operation.

t Johnson Bros., Regina, Sask. Photography.

t Federal Business College, Regina, Sask. Commercial.

t Picture Show, Carlyle, Sask. Moving-picture operation.

t Plumbing Shop, Humboldt, Sask. Plumbing.

t Saskatchewan Harness Exchange, Saskatoon, Sask. Harness manufacturing.

t A. E. Young, Saskatoon, Sask. Embalming.

t John East Iron Works, Saskatoon, Sask. Oxyacetylene welding.

t Strebb Electric Co., Saskatoon, Sask. Electricity.

t Normal School, Regina, Sask. Teachers' course.

t Chevrolet Motor Co., Regina, Sask. Storekeeper.

Unit I.

t Ogden Military Convalescent Hospital, Calgary, Alta. Preparatory, type-
writing, handicrafts, preliminary civil service, qualifying civil service,
English for non-English speaking men, commercial, motor mechanics, build-
ing inspection.

t Institute of Technology and Art, Calgary, Alta. Woodwork, manual training,
heatlngrplant practice, motor mechanics, railway drafting, sanitary inspec-
tion, building inspection, commercial, telegraphy, surveying, gas and steam
engine practice, machinist work, electricity, stationary steam engine

t Military Convalescent Home, Edmonton, Alta. Preparatory, handicrafts, com-
mercial, gardening, stenography.

f Provincial Normal School, Calgary, Alta. Teachers' course.

Unit J.

t Fairmont Convalescent Home, Fairmont, B. C. Practical mathematics and
strength of materials, arts and crafts.
Qualicum Beach Convalescent Home, Qualicum Beach, B. C. Motor engineer-
ing, arts and crafts, general and commercial, agriculture.
King Edward Sanitarium, Tranquille Beach, B. C. Drafting, business, vul-
Vancouver General Hospital, Military Annex, Vancouver, B. C. Handicrafts.
Balfour Sanitarium, Balfour, B. C. Woodwork, bookkeeping, stenography,
mechanical drafting, English, algebra.
1 Shaughnessy Military Convalescent Hospital, Vancouver, B. C. Civil service,
barbering, telegraphy, shoe repairing, commercial, general, woodworking,
arts and crafts, motor mechanics.
Resthaven Convalescent Home, Sydney, B. C. Motor mechanics, commercial,
woodwork, mechanical drafting, blacksmithing.
t Esquimau Military Hospital, Victoria, B. C. Arts and crafts, drafting.
t Fredericton Business College, Fredericton, N. B. Commercial.
t Armouries Military Convalescent Home, St. John, N. B. General, woodwork,

t McAvity and Son, St. John, N. B. Machine-tool operation,
t G. Bates, St. John, N. B. Carpentry,
t St. John's Business College, St. John, N. B. Business.




The work of reinstating returned soldiers in civil life is known in
Australia as "repatriation." When the necessity of providing aid
for returned soldiers first began to claim public attention in Aus-
tralia, a number of patriotic men, acting in a private capacity, formed
an organization to take up the work. Through private contributions,
supplemented by Government grants, this organization raised a large
fund, known as the Australian Soldiers' Repatriation Fund, which
was used to supply systematic aid to discharged and disabled Aus-
tralian soldiers.

As the number of returned soldiers increased and repatriation be-
came a constantly bigger and more complex problem, the country
began to recognize that the work of repatriation should be accepted
as a national responsibility. It was seen that the work would be more
costly than had been anticipated, and that its nature and extent were
such that it could not be properly discharged by undirected and un-
coordinated private endeavor. The nation had put forth an organized
effort to enroll these men in the army, and it was felt that it should
make an equally organized effort to return them to civil life.

Acting on this principle, the Government introduced a bill creating
the machinery necessary to enable it to undertake the work of repatri-
ation. The bill was passed by the Commonwealth parliament in Sep-
tember, 1917, and is known as the Australian soldiers' repatriation
act. It places the control of the general policy of repatriation in the
hands of a repatriation commission of seven members. The minister
of state for repatriation is chairman of the commission, and the other
members are persons appointed by the governor general. Two of the
members of the commission must be returned soldiers. The duties of
the commission are to plan the work of repatriation and to see that its
plans are carried into effect. The actual work of carrying out the
plans of the central commission is placed in the hands of state re-
patriation boards, created in the capital city of each state by the


248 evolution or SYSTEMS of vocational REEDUCATION.

repatriation act. Each state board, like the central commission, con-
sists of seven members appointed by the governor general. Two mem-
bers of these boards also must be returned soldiers or sailors. Further
decentralization of the work is provided for by the creation of local
or district boards in each state to act as agents or deputies of the
state boards.

By the terms of the repatriation act the repatriation commission
was authorized to take over the properties and securities of the Aus-
tralian soldiers' repatriation fund. All additional sums necessary
for carrying on the work are to be appropriated by Parliament for
the purpose. The commission will make no appeals for private con-
tributions to the central fund, as that fund is to be entirely supported
by the national treasury, but the local committees may raise funds
in their districts and disburse them. Their activities in this connec-
tion are controlled by the state board, and their books are subject to
auditing by the state board.

Since the repatriation act was only a machinery bill, designed to
create the organization which could carry on the work of repatria-
tion under Government control, it gives no idea of what kind of work
the Government intended to instigate by means of that organization.
Nor have there come to hand any reports upon what has been accom-
plished in Australia subsequent to the passage of the act. A speech
delivered in the Australian Senate by Senator Millen, of the Aus-
tralian Executive Council, gives, however, a brief outline of the
scheme which the sponsors of the bill hoped to launch. One may as- •
sume that on the passage of the measure this scheme has to a greater
or less extent been carried out.

The first task of the repatriation commission, according to Senator
Millen, would be to register the condition and requirements of all
returning soldiers. An effort would be made to secure this registra-
tion before the arrival of the soldiers in the country, possibly on the
transports or even before their departure from England, in order
that the commission might know as early as possible with what num-
bers they would have to deal and the needs, wishes, and aptitudes of
the individuals. Under the old system a soldier was registered at
the repatriation office only when he applied there for help. As he
did this usually only when his need for relief or for a job was urgent,
he had to be granted pecuniary help while the repatriation authori-
ties looked up a suitable opening for him. If he had been registered
before his discharge, the delay and the extra cost would have been
avoided. All registrations, which in fact amount to applications for
employment, would be dealt with, according to Senator Millen's
statement, by the state boards, assisted by the local committees.
Local committees would be expected to investigate employment op-


portunities and to form really a chain of labor agencies for returned
soldiers. ,

It has been learned from other sources that the placement work
carried on by the repatriation commission is actually rather crude in
character and susceptible of considerable improvement through the
application of more scientific methods. Employers are requested
to register their needs for workers, and men who apply for positions
are sent out to the positions so registered. There appears to be no
field work by the employment officials and no follow-up system to
see that the men are satisfactorily placed.

In order to provide the proper help for men whose disabilities
prevent them from securing remunerative work without retraining,
the repatriation commission, according to Senator Millen, will pro-
vide preliminary training in curative workshops attached to the hos-
pitals and more advanced training in some way yet to be determined
upon. The repatriation commission, in conjunction with the min-
ister of defense, has already taken steps to establish curative work-
shops in connection with the hospitals in Sydney and Melbourne.
One system of advanced technical training which has been proposed
is to place the men as apprentices with private employers, under an
arrangement by which the employers would pay the apprentices the
minimum wage in the trade, but would be reimbursed by the Govern-
ment for the amount by which this wage exceeded the actual value
of the man's work. 1

For the totally incapacitated, Senator Millen suggested that homes
might be established for those who chose to become inmates of them,
and that a special allowance of 10 shillings a week might be granted
to others who preferred to be cared for by their friends or families.

Artificial limbs are provided by the defense department, which
manufactures them in two factories established as an emergency
measure in Melbourne and Sydney. When the first amputation cases
returned to Australia, artificial limbs had to be imported from Eng-
land, and as individual fitting and special devices could not be
obtained at such long range, they were often unsatisfactory. The
surgeon general of the defense department decided then to initiate
the home manufacture of artificial limbs and other needed appli-
ances. He engaged an expert from America to start a first factory
in Melbourne and detailed men trained in this shop to start a second
factory in Sydney. Branches have been established in some of the
other States to do the fitting and repair work. The military medical
authorities expect to hand this work over later to civilians.

Land settlement is an important part of Australian repatriation
plans. That men should be encouraged to settle upon the land has
for some time been an accepted policy of the State governments.

1 American Journal of Care for Cripples, New York, 1918, v. 2.


Any measure, therefore, that places returned soldiers upon the land
serves not only- to discharge the nation's obligation to the soldier, but
also to promote the country's development.

At a conference held in February, 1917, betw«en representatives
of the Commonwealth and the State governments, the usefulness of
land settlement as a repatriation measure was recognized, and ar-
rangements were made to divide the cost between the Common-
wealth and the several States. It was agreed that as the States
possessed Crown lands, had land departments, and controlled land
legislation, they should undertake to provide the land and to place
the soldier settlers on it. The Commonwealth government under-
took to loan to the settler a sum of money which would enable him to
make improvements, and to buy seeds, plants, stock, etc. The limit
of these loans was fixed at first at £500, but the States have asked the
Commonwealth to increase this to £750 in some cases. It is felt
that in wheat farming especially the average man has small chance
of success if he starts out with a smaller capital. 2 In general, land
is given free for the first five years; after that small payments are
required. The money for equipment is loaned at 7 per cent, of which
5 per cent covers the interest charge and 2 per cent goes toward
amortization of the capital amount.

Some time ago Australian soldiers in camp both at home and
abroad received cards on which they were asked to state their wishes
as to future occupation. From their replies it appeared that some
40,000 wished to go upon the land. The average cost to the State
of providing a holding is estimated at £1,000. With £500 for im-
provements added to this, the total cost of land settlement will
amount to £60,000,000.

It has also been agreed between the Commonwealth government
and the States that training farms should be established in order to
equip the soldier settlers in some measure for their new tasks. The
cost of such training farms is to be divided equally between the
Commonwealth and the State. 8


There has been established in New Zealand a special department
of the Government to obtain suitable employment for the returned
soldier and also, by any other means, to assist in his readaptation to
civilian life. As most of the men discharged from the forces up to
the present time are those who have been invalided home from the
front, it follows that the major activity of the Discharged Soldiers'
Information Department has been looking out for the welfare of
crippled and disabled men.

• MUlen, E. D. Speech on the Australian Soldiers' Repatriation Bill. Melbourne, 1917.
"Monthly Review of the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, v. No. 4, p. 55.


The New Zealanders have laid special stress on the importance of
getting in touch with every single returning man, inquiring regard-
ing his situation, and offering such assistance as is available. To this
end arrangements were made for representatives of the department
to board each incoming transport, and to obtain in preliminary form
from the men themselves the items of information desired for record.
Later on this system was further improved through arranging to
have the principal data listed by the military authorities on board
the transports while still at sea. The information is then completed
by the department's officers upon arrival in port, and the cards for
the central register are written up without delay.


An important factor in the department's work is the chain of local
committees.* The personnel of these committees is drawn, almost
without exception, from influential citizens who are officers or mem-
bers of the local patriotic societies. In fact the committees are often
subcommittees of these societies, and if not in this relation, are in most
intimate touch with them. Knowing the resources and opportunities
in their home community, the members of a local committee are able
intelligently to advise regarding the course of action in an individual
case under discussion.

The man, when first listed, is as yet undischarged, and therefore
still under the jurisdiction of the defense department. So after ad-
vice regarding the home-coming man is forwarded informally to the
local patriotic organization, his card is filed in the central register of
the Discharged Soldiers' Information Department under the classi-
fication "not ready for action."

The military authorities notify the department a few days in ad-
vance of a man's discharge from the strength, and arrangements are
thereupon made to have him personally interviewed. The local police
officials are often delegated with the duty of this visit. The inter-
viewer is provided with a blank report to fill out, and with a circular
of information to give to the soldier. He is cautioned that the in-
quiries should be made in a sympathetic spirit, in order that there
may be formed a true estimate of the man's needs and merits.

' To date local committees have been established In the following communities through-
out the Dominion : Whangerei, Dargaville, Auckland, Hamilton, Cambridge, Thames,
Paeroa, Waihi, Te Aroha, Rotorua, Tauranga, Opotiki, Te Awamutu, Te Kuitl, Tauma-
runui, Taihape, Marton, Feilding, Palmerston, North, Taranaki, Wanganui, Gisborne,
Napier, Hastings, Dannevirkc, Pahiatua, Wairarapa, Wellington, Blenheim, Nelson, West-
port, Greymouth, Hokitika, Chrlstchurch, Ashburton, Timaru, Oamaru, Dunedin, and


The form calls for answers to the following inquiries:

To be answered in all oases:

1. Name and address of soldier.
Is the man of good character ?
Are his surroundings respectable?

Is he living with relatives or with whom?

2. Is he in good health or is he still suffering from disease or wounds?

3. Is he fit for employment, and, if so, has he obtained employment, and

what are his wages? If he has not, does he desire employment, and, if
so, what kind of employment does he wish for ?

4. What are his means outside his wages?

5. Has he received assistance from any patriotic society, etc., and, if so,

give amounts and dates?

6. Is he receiving full military pay?

7. Have you handed the man the information leaflet inclosed herewith ?

To be answered in cases of men at present incapacitated but likely to make a
good recovery :

8. When is he likely to be sound and well and ready for work?

9. Is he desirous of present employment, and, if so, what work could he


10. What employment is he desirous of undertaking when restored to health?
To be answered in cases of men permanently disabled by sickness or wounds :

11. What is the nature of his disablement?

12. What employment do you think the man is capable of?

13. What are his own ideas on the subject?

14. If unemployable, in what way do you think he could be best assisted?

15. Has he applied for a war pension? If a war pension has been granted,

what is the amount?
If the man does not require the department's assistance, please obtain his
signature here:
I do not require the department's assistance in obtaining employment.

Any other information which interviewing officer can supply.


Very naturally a considerable number of the men do not require
specific assistance. They may have a business or a farm to return to,
or be in possession of private means. Others are found to be already
employed or to have had employment promised them. In such cases
the man's record card is transferred to the " disposed of " section of
the register.

The records of men who are under curative treatment and are not
yet ready for employment are filed temporarily in the " under action "
section of the register. Except in instances of systematic neglect
to reply to communications, a case is not abandoned until employment
shall have been obtained or the office definitely informed that its as-
sistance is not required.

Any inquiries on the part of the men regarding land settlement or
pensions are referred to the departments of the Government having
these matters under jurisdiction.


Cases where the men have applied for or inquired regarding em-
ployment are regarded as active. In seeking positions to meet these
demands every possible agency is employed.


The department has conducted a propaganda to secure preference
in employment opportunity for returned men. It has communicated
with local authorities, patriotic organizations, farmers' unions, and
private employers and has found the response, on the whole, ex-
tremely favorable. The Government has instructed all the depart-
ments that ex-members of the expeditionary force are to be given
preference for all vacancies which they are qualified to fill. The
local labor offices act on the same principle. As a result a great
many men have been appointed by the public service commissioner
or secured employment by the branches of the labor department.
The railway department has helped to the best of its ability, but
has itself been under necessity of providing for its own former em-
ployees who have returned disabled from the front.

The man desirous of obtaining employment is instructed to get in
touch with the local committee in his home district. The case is then
charged against the committee on the record of the department. If
necessary, there are sent periodical reminders inquiring regarding
progress, and advising of any apparently suitable vacancies which
have come to the knowledge of the central office. The department
communicates to the committees all offers of employment which
come to its notice. In the case of new offers it makes an inspection
of the cases charged against the committee in the locality where the
work is available, and telegraphs this committee directing attention
to any men who seem suitable candidates for the vacancies.

The department keeps a double card index of the men awaiting
employment. One set of cards is classified according to occupation;
a second according to district of residence. Offers of employment
are likewise suitably indexed.

A statement indicating the number of candidates for employment
in each district is sent out weekly to the local committees. This
serves as a check on their number of open cases, and incites friendly
rivalry between the committees to keep down the number charged
against them.

Up to January, 1918, the total number of men who had been regis-
tered by the department was 14.240. This number included the
general type of invalid as well as the men physically disabled. The
cases were subject to the following classification :
Disposed of (i. e., employment found, returned to old employment, re-
joined forces, failed to reply to repeated communications, left New
Zealand, etc.) 10,195


Under action (i. e., men in course of being personally interviewed, men
who have stated that they are not yet ready for work, etc.) 1,420

On " Employment wanted register " (chiefly men who have just been dis-
charged from the army) 219

Not ready for action (i. e., men who have not yet been discharged, in-
cluding upwards of 2,200 men arriving during the two weeks preceding
date of this report) 2,406

Total 14, 240

The results of an effort to provide special training or reeducation
for disabled men have not, on the whole, been encouraging. Al-
though the opportunities are brought systematically to the attention
of the men, the response has been indifferent. But the work is as
yet new, and there are several factors that seem in some degree to
account for the situation.


The advantage of training for disabled men in contradistinction to
acceptance of immediate makeshift employment is argued by the
department in a recent booklet :

Although the department endeavors to dissuade men capable of more skilled
work from taking up billets such as messengers, lift men, and other temporary
jobs, with the risk of constantly recurring unemployment, very many disabled
soldiers decline to avail themselves of the facilities offered for training them

Online LibraryDouglas C. (Douglas Crawford) McMurtrieThe evolution of national systems of vocational reeducation for disabled soldiers and sailors → online text (page 28 of 38)