June 2, 1919


Report on Export of Electricity from Canada, and Report of the Power Controller; Statistics of the .Food and Drug Laboratories of the Department of Trade and Commerce for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1919; Final Report of the Fuel Controller, March 31, 1919.-Hon. A. K. Maclean. Copy of Order in Council of 29th May, 1919, approving of the general scheme of housing of the province of Quebec.-Hon. Newton W. Rowell.


On the motion of Mr. Michael Steele, the second report of the Special Committee appointed to consider the possibility of reducing or re-arranging the staffs of the Inside Civil Service with a view of securing greater efficiency with the minimum number of employees, was concurred in.


Rt. Hon. Sir ROBERT BORDEN (Prime Minister) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 130, to amend the Act to incorporate the Canadian Red Cross Society. He said: The purpose of the Bill is merely to give the society the power in time of peace to carry on and assist in work for the improvement of health, the prevention of disease, and the mitigation of suffering, throughout the world. There was a convention of the various Red Cross societies in Geneva during the past winter, when this purpose was declared to be a desirable one, and also, as I recall, a clause has been introduced into the Peace Treaty which commends the purpose that is to be given effect to by this Bill. Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.



Bill No. 127, respecting the Grand River Railway Company.-Mr. Euler. Bill No. 128, respecting the Ottawa, Northern and Western Railway Company.-Mr. Devlin. Bill No. 129, for the relief of Stanley Gordon Eversfield.-Mr. Douglas (Strath-cona).



Mr. M. R. BLAKE (North Winnipeg) moved the adjournment of the House, under rule 39, for the purpose of discussing a matter of urgent public importance, viz.: the strikes in Winnipeg, and other Canadian cities, together with all the circumstances, conditions, and causes, near and remote, having any bearing or connection therewith. Motion agreed to.


Matthew Robert Blake



I have moved this motion, Mr. Speaker, because of the great industrial unrest which exists in this country to-day. I am somewhat surprised at the great anxiety of the Opposition to precipitate this debate to-day, instead of waiting until Wednesday, as I had planned. Of course, we must appreciate their kindly interest in the strikes in Winnipeg and elsewhere, but I wish to recall the fact that last year, when a much more serious condition, riot and bloodshed existed in Quebec City, not one of the members now so insistent, rose to support the motion of the hon. member from Simcoe to discuss those serious disturbances which existed at that time. I hope, Mr. Speaker, this discussion will be of a moderate nature and in character entirely constructive, which will have a tendency to allay the prevailing unrest and be of some assistance to the Government in its efforts to formulate a policy which will effectively deal with

the situation. II hope the tariff is not unduly blamed for all the high cost of living and unrest, as I am informed that barring probably New Zealand, the cost of living is lower in Canada than it is in any other country in the world. Mackenzie King in his booklet " The Four Parties to Industry," starts out by saying the truth must be arrived at, and the truth shall set us free from fear of the future and shall aid in the enforcement of that social justice which the truth demands.

Canada stands to win more out of this war than any other nation of the world, provided we are fully united in taking the full measure of the opportunities afforded. The eyes of the world are upon Canada. Her sons have done as good fighting, and I think I might safely say the best fighting in this Great War, that has been done on any of the 37 different battle fronts. Industries must needs flock here to a country whose natural resources are so great and opportunities almost unlimited. Canada is confronted with the opportunity of developing more in the next ten years than probably she has in the last fifty years. But, that development cannot be expected to take place unless we have industrial peace.

When we see a patient we must first make a diagnosis and then proceed with the treatment. At the very .bottom of this unrest lies misunderstanding and distrust and jealousy. If we define industry as King does in his little book-and I would commend its perusal to hon. members-we get this definition:

Industry is the means by which the material resources of the world are transformed, through human intelligence and human energy, with the aid of natural powers, tools, and machines, into commodities and services available for human use. It is a vast process of transformation, itself a series of transforming- processes so inter-rclated and numerous as to unite mankind, in this age of world-wide industrial expansion, in an enterprise that encompasses the globe.

The four parties to industry he defines as labour, capital, management and the community. We have heretofore been inclined to regard labour and capital as the two factors of industry, leaving out both management and the community. This is King's definition of the community:

It is the community which provides the natural resources and powers that underlie all production. Individuals may acquire title by one means or another, hut it is from the community, and with the consent of the community, that titles are held. It is the community, organized in various ways, which maintains government and foreign relations, secures law and

order, fosters the arts and inventions, aids education, breeds opinion, and promotes, through concession or otherwise, the agencies of transportation, communication, credit, banking, and the like, without which any production, save the most primitive, would be impossible. It is the community which creates the demand for commodities and services, through which labour is provided with remunerative employment, and capital with a return upon its investment. Apart from the community, inventive genius, organizing capacity, managerial or other ability would be of little value. Turn where one may, it is the community that makes possible all the activities of industry, and helps to determine their value and scope.

Labour must fully appreciate its responsibility to capital and the State, -and capital must as fully appreciate its responsibility to labour and the State. The tired feeling is abroad in this land. Nobody seems to want to work. In many industries, I am told, only 40. per cent to 60 per cent of efficiency is produced. This is not fully appreciating the responsibility to capital and the State.

The aim and object of many of the workingmen to-day seems to be to get the most possible money for the least possible expenditure of energy. The tramp says the world owes him a living, and he is going to get it. I hope we are not coming as a nation to the same status as the tramp.

One may well wonder that capital takes no more interest in labour than it is now doing. For nearly 100 years workmen and employers have been organizing, and as yet we do not find a full understanding between the four parties interested in industry. We seem to be much in need of reconstruction in our industrial life. 'Some people have defined reconstruction as restoration; others demolition and reconstruction from the ground up. Between these extremes stands a majority which interprets readjustment as restoration, with more oi less modification, the degree of modification varying considerably, hut' the structure of pre-war days being in its essentials retained.

I have seen both capital and labour abuse their privileges. I had an opportunity of spending two winters in the lumber camp" of Northern Ontario. During the first winter 1906-7-lumber was at a premium, prices were good, and labour was in great demand, but the labourers were not producing anything like their maximum. If the foreman said a single word to them of complaint or reprimand they would walk ovei to another camp of the same firm and get work. The next year there was not much demand for lumber, and one firm which had intended operating a large number of



camps cut them down to three. That winter I saw them bring down labourers from Winnipeg and charge them 3 cents a mile for the trip, and also charge them high prices for their supplies, and when the company were about even with the boys they gave the latter their time and told them to hit the trail. Men who had walked twenty-five miles to lumber camps were told there was no employment .for them and they might go. Both parties during those winters abused their privileges and did not show any friendly spirit towards one another. One of the chief ways that a solution of this difficulty and ill feeling that exists between capital and labour, or rather, misunderstanding, can be blotted out, is by each appreciating more fully the interests of the other. Labour cannot go on without capital, nor capital without labour. A process of education must be entered into, and probably, as charity begins at home, we could well spend a few minutes criticising the Postal Department. As I said on the floor of this House there would have been no strike at Winnipeg had the protests of the men been paid more attention to last year by the Deputy Postmaster General. I am provided by some unknown person with a clipping from the Financial Post of Toronto. It starts off on the loose management of the post office and is a tirade-a great deal of which is justified-against the Deputy Postmaster General, who is probably doing better now, but last year he was not fully appreciating his responsibilities towards the employees. Both employers and employees must be educated as to their responsibilities to the State. Garretson, who is head of the railway conductors, says: An army of unemployed is being created that must in the last analysis be reckoned with and unless a remedy is found whereby incentive may be restored and recompense made apparent, society itself must pay the forfeit. Lord Brassey in his book on Work and Wages refers to certain railway labourers whose wages were raised from 2 shillings to 2 shillings and 6 pence and then to 3 shillings a day, and he states that they produced work more cheaply at the higher wages than at the lower. The same thing occurred on the Metropolitan drainage system, London, while in India when the wages were increased, the employees lay down bn the job and would only work enough to give them a living. Some courts must be established to deal with their difficulties. The Whitley plan in England has been productive of allaying much of the unrest in that country. One of its aims was to make and consider suggestions for securing a permanent improvement in the relations between employers and workmen, to recommend means for securing that industrial conditions affecting relations between employers and workmen shall be systematically adjusted by those concerned with a view of improving conditions in the future. The circumstances ait the present time are admitted on all sides to offer a great opportunity for securing a permanent improvement in the relations between employers and employees, while failure to utilize the opportunity may involve ithe nation in grave and great industrial difficulties. This should be a move in the right direction to improve the conditions of 'the working people Heretofore, as after the South African War, and during the industrial depression say of 1907-1908, people were left to hustle for themselves and make the best of the conditions which existed at that time. The community seems to be now more alive to its responsibilities, and more care is being taken to alleviate the suffering that is bound to follow after this great crisis. The Whitley report suggests a triple organization starting in the workshops and extending into the districts and the nation. The object is to secure co-operation bv granting to working people a greater share in the consideration of matters affecting the industry in which they work. This can be achieved only by keeping employers and working people in constant touch. The report aims to deal with the better utilization of the practical knowledge and experience of the work people, and to establish methods of negotiating issues arising between employers and working people, with a view both to the provisions to discuss them and to the better adjustment of them when they appear. It also aims to deal with industrial research; utilization of inventions; improvements of processes; proposed legislation affecting the industries, but above all-the fullest measure of cooperation between employers and employees. The report is very pronounced on this last, it being mentioned three or four times. It is very insistent in bringing forward the fullest measure of co-operation and in stimulating such between employer and employee. The councils in their work ol promoting the interests of their own industries will have regard for the national interest. This is a point that should not be overlooked in even the smallest industry in the country. There should be adequate organization on the part of both employer's and work people. We hope that representative men in each industry, with pride in their calling and care for its place as a contributor to the national well-being, will come together in the manner here suggested and apply themselves to promoting industrial harmony and in removing the obstacles that have hitherto stood in the way. It is contemplated that agreements reached should carry with them the same application of observances as exists in the case of other agreements between employers' associations and trade unions. That point should be carefully studied. We have fought in this war for what was termed by the Germans as a scrap of paper. We have in Winnipeg an instance where civic employees had gone out on strike, as the Minister of Labour said, almost before the ink on the agreement was dry. Agreements should be binding and that proposition cannot be too emphatically laid down. There will never be a court whose decisions will please every one; yet there must be some tribunal to settle disputes, whose decisions when rendered are final. In this age and generation it should not be found necessary to strike in order to settle disputes. It has always amused me to see people strike, and then arrive at a settlement and go back to work. Probably neither side is completely satisfied. Some tribunal such as a district council or the men's own union should have settled the matter if both parties had played fair. In every particular, from welfare to wages, immediate results will depend upon the temper and degree of enlightenment of employers and employees. The old saying of employers during a depression, when many men lined up at their offices day after day seeking employment-it is our turn now-should be a thing of the past. The majority of employers, in my opinion, have a new outlook and a greater willingness to concede the existence of a viewpoint other than their own and not to regard theiT business an autocracy and themselves the rulers. In New Zealand a Board of Trade has been appointed by the Government to investigate and report on conditions, trade prices, cost of living, etc., in that Dominion, and to enforce the Commercial Trusts Act of 1910. If I am correctly informed, this board had a dispute with some merchants; it took over two of the stores and ran them for one year losing one-fifth oi a cent per pound on the meat, It was however, able to stabilize prices and arrive at a new basis on which the men could carry along. In dealing with the problem of the cost of living, the Board reported that the fixing of prioes was a remedy that could be applied only with the greatest of care, as the supply might greatly diminish, it not cease entirely, so that prices should not be fixed except in the case of commodities of which the whole supply could be controlled from the field of production to the final consumer, the intermediary changes being limited to fair remuneration for services rendered. By such means little could be done to keep down the prices of products imported from abroad. It also recommended that steps should be taken to control the manufacture and sale oi goods that might be considered as luxuries as valuable labour was expended on these which should be diverted to the production of essential commodities. In New York State a personnel of Managers' Club has been established whose objects are the methods of promoting good relations and industrial peace. They seem to be standing with reluctant feet at a point of departure from familiar paths-their faces turned in the right direction, but themselves not ready to go 'Confidently forward. It is a seriously debatable question how long any amount of amelioration in industrial relations with structural changes in the social edifice will suffice to keep the working people or population in a state of reasonable contentment. In Canada we have a Boyal Commission investigating industrial conditions and the other day a committee was appointed to inquire into prices. When their reports are brought down, I have no doubt they will form a basis on which 'the Government may take action. War has been a ferment, a tremendous power the action of which cannot yet be fully determined. Victorious people have always been a complacent people, but this war seems to have furnished a variation. People are thinking differently. It is estimated in the States there are 800,000 revolutionary union workers. The world is living in fear of a thing called Bolshevism. Force will not destroy it, no ring of armed men can stay the fusion of its subtle poison, where injustice makes misery and misery makes desperation. Employers must prove their case and their intentions to the working people and to the community. WTe must have justice. The text of justice must rest in its inclusiveness, it must be just to all men. Brain and brawn should each receive the full value of work done. Decent

subsistence means 'food, shelter, clothing and opportunities for recreation-nothing extravagant, nothing luxurious, nothing lacking. It is the belief that the employer benefits disproportionately by increased production that causes conflict. I have heard it said that men in the shop say: What do we care whether we produce more? It does not do any benefit to us because we get our pay just the same. All work is not equal in value, and the rewards should not be equal. Justice must take this course by orderly procedure with the utmost rapidity possible. During the war we considered that cooperation between employers and employees was a national duty and privilege. The war was but a transient affair, and this feeling of national duty and privilege shouiu be me more applied in times of peace. The National Association of Employers in the United States lays down fair dealing as a fundamental and basic principle on which relations between employers and employees should rest. Misunderstandings must be eradicated. The Golden Rule may be hard to apply in business, but it should not be impossible of application. It is quite different from the old saying " Business is business," and that justifies everything that strays from the Golden Rule. The trouble to-day with labour is that it is being misled in the West. The revolutionary and socialistic elements seem to be in the control. In Winnipeg, I am told, that only 8,000 voted for the general strike, which has recently taken place. Many men join the unions to make life more pleasant for themselves in their shop and then pay little attention to the elections and the choice of leaders. I have here a copy of the Western Labour News, Special Strike Edition No. 5, printed on May 22, which gives a list of 58 unions that are on strike. It says that the partial vote as reported Wednesday morning showed only 8,000 in favour of the general strike and 600 against it. I will lay this paper on the table of the House so that hon. members may see that these contentions are taken from Labour's own paper. Men who are earning $70 per month in wages are out oh strike in Winnipeg for men earning $160 and $170. The fact that only 8,000 voted for the general strike, while 35,000 are out on strike, backs up my contention that the labourers are not taking a proper interest in their unions and in the election of their leaders. The heart of Labour is all right, but many of the leaders are all wrong. The Minister of Labour says he has no doubt that while the strike in Winnipeg arose over a definition of collective bargaining, it was at heart really an attempt at revolution and the establishment of a Soviet government. To use the words of the Winnipeg Citizen "it was not a strike, but plain, ugly revolution". To back up that point I lay on the table of the House the Winnipeg Citizen, which quotes as follows from the Western Labour News of April 25: The Russian Soviet System. Was worked out from the blue print from which this reproduction (the diagram) was made. The western Labour News has, it is believed, the only copy on the American continent. It will pay you to vote for the "One Big Union." This quotation from the official organ of the Labour party at Winnipeg shows that the Minister of Labour w-as quite right when he said that this was not a strike but a plain, ugly revolution. Many of the leaders in Winnipeg have openly during the past year declared that they would soon take over the industries and run them themselves. On the second day of the strike, one of (the leaders was reported to have proclaimed that Winnipeg was controlled by the Soviet. One alderman is reported to have said to the Mayor in the Council Chamber, " What are you giving us? We can run the city, we're running it now." The labour leaders in Winnipeg are telling the men that if this strike is lost the trade unions' cause will receive a terrible setback, which it will not recover from foi many years. They have fears that the capitalistic cause will seize the opportunity of exploiting labour in its weakened condition. Government assurances that legitimate trade unions will not suffer would do much to allay the fears. If we found ourselves individually in the same position that this country is in, what would each and every one of us proceed to do? Work the very hardest we were able to do, cut out extravagances and save. Now, the people as a nation must do the same as individuals would do in the same crisis. What made France a great nation and enabled her to pay all her indemnity to Germany so rapidly after 1870? The whole nation worked and saved. In France during the earlier stages of the war it was found that the men from the Sunny South were not equal in energy and staying powers to the men of the North. To have to buck nature produces a hardy and virile Tace. Canadians occupying the northern half of this continent have a rigid climate to en- dure which has undoubtedly produced a virile race which should be second to none in industrial activity. We come now to another class of the community which has not received very much attention, and which is suffering perhaps more than any other class; I refer to the salaried men, the "silent sufferers'* as they have been called. Although the figures show that the cost of living has doubled, the salaries of this class have probably ndt been raised in proportion to the increases granted to the working men. To solve the difficulty, we must first control the spread between .the manufacturer and the consumer. The manufacturer has been blamed almost altogether by the public for the high cost of living, but I think I am safe in saying that the middle man is more to blame than any other. I recall one instance where an article sold wholesale at S3 a box, at a profit of 30 cents, when retailed was sold for nearly three times that price. Sedition must be stamped out. It is all very well to talk of free speech, but to talk of Bolshevism and riots and overthrowing the Government is a different thing, and I think the Sedition Act might well have been amended four years ago instead of now; but better late than never. Radical Socialist leaders must be interned or deported. As I have already said, the heart of labour is all right, but many of labour's leaders are all wrong. Free speech must be allowed where it deals with plain justice. Leaders who speak of Bolshevism or revolt must be taken in hand. In a full house at the Walker theatre at Winnipeg a few months ago, the meeting which was strongly in favour of Bolshevist rule in Russia, passed a resolution approving of the Soviet system in Russia. Sympathetic strikes must be abandoned. The community have a great deal to say about that, and the community have shown where they stand in regard to the strike at Winnipeg. The outlook in the morning papers is good. Many of the unions are beginning to realize that they have troubles enough of their own without taking on others. The Toronto Street Railway workers have refused to go out on strike, and the same is true of many other unions. The Government must deal with the situation with a firm hand The Criminal Code should be amended to prevent civic, provincial and federal employees joining in any sympathetic strike. These employees are employed for their service to the community and not for gain. The community is alive to their interests in industry. They are out for justice. They appreciated their position last year when the civic strike was on at Winnipeg, and they have appreciated it more keenly this year. They are going to be a bigger factor than heretofore to reckon with, both from the standpoint of labour and capital. I hope that they will pursue not only in Winnipeg but in every other large centre an aggressive campaign of education for both capital and labour. They must be reckoned with in any sympathetic strike. I speak as a neutral. I have not a dollar invested in any industrial enterprise in the country. I work among the poor of Winnipeg. I know their troubles and II have spoken as the truth came to me. Our men have fought nobly and well, but some of them find it hard to settle down again. They have proved themselves heroes in fighting the battles of the Empire; they are proving themselves greater heroes in fighting the much harder battle of life. The war is a thing of the past, and henceforth they will be judged by the success with which they fight the battle of life. We must not forget, first, our service to our country, our service to our fellow man, and our service to the perpetuation of Canada. IMr. E. LAPOINTE (Kamouraska): Mr. Speaker, I think no one on this side of the Mouse feels it necessary to offer apology for any anxiety to discuss this subject to-day. Neither will I answer the rather unkindly remark of my hon. friend at the beginning of his speech with reference to the troubles in Quebec last year-troubles which the Right Hon. the Prime Minister described in England last summer as having been greatly exaggerated by the press both of Canada and of Britain. The good old much-abused, ill-understood, wholly Canadian province of Quebec seems to be remarkably at peace at the present time, and I think 1 might very well confine my remarks to a discussion of the trouble where the trouble exists. This debate is certainly of the most extreme urgency. We have been criticised for not having already discussed in the House this alarming situation. I was personally of the opinion that the hands of the Government should not be hampered and that full liberty of action ought to be accorded them in order that they might try to effect a speedy settlement, and I also thought that it was better to afford some time to the Right Hon, the Prime Minister to do something with a view to remedying a condition that is largely the result of negligence, mal-

administration and blunders. But, Sir, the period of blunders does not seem to have ended with the return of the Prime Minister. Indeed, every day brings forth new and terrible mistakes. The troubles are spreading to places and centres which formerly were industrially at peace, and the Government appears to be lamentably impotent and inactive. Wt.- has the Government done so far? After waiting until it was too late, it sent two ministers to "Winnipeg as mediators and for the purpose of reorganizing the mail service. Later on I shall express my opinion of this mission of our two ministers. The Government has also appointed a Parliamentary Commission to investigate the high cost of living. In this connection is it not appropriate to repeat those famous words of a British statesman, uttered two years ago: " Too late ! Again it is too late." Undoubtedly, the cost of living and the war profiteers have a great deal to do with the grave situation with which we are confronted. Consumers cannot readily recognize the fairness of a system or a policy which allows meat trusts, flour trusts, and otheT dealers in the necessaries of life to pile up their dividends and multiply their millions while the prices of bread, bacon, meat and other commodities are soaring into altitudes heretofore unknown. If my hon. friend from Victoria (Sir Sam Hughes) thinks, as he expressed himself in the House the other day, that the Government is owned by 'Sir Joseph Flavelle, is it any wonder that so many people in Canada regard the administration as being directed and controlled by the profiteers? The workingman is told that his wages have greatly increased. But, Sir, wages are purely nominal when their increase is only made to correspond with a larger advance in the prices of articles. It is immaterial whether a man earns fifty cents an hour or two dollars an hour; the significance of his wages depends altogether on what the fifty cents or the two dollars can purchase and thereby make for proper living in his home. But, Mr. Speaker, whatever may be the finding of the Parliamentary Commission on the high cost of living, whatever light it may throw upon the subject, the important question is: What will be done in the meantime to end the strikes which paralyse the country? What remedy will he resorted to? We cannot afford to wait. As was said on a memorable occasion: We are not confronted with a theory; we are facing a most terrible condition, and it is useless to try to mystify the public by acting a Bolshe- [Mr .E. Lapointe.] vist melodrama to cover administrative and governmental negligence. We cannot allow a chaotic policy of laissez-faire while industrial unrest is growing steadily more acute; and the apparent willingness of Parliament to let matters drift from bad to worse will but breed a dangerous intolerance among the wage-earners. We must have industrial peace in this country. Too long have suspicion and distrust prevailed between capital and labour, those two .twin brothers of productive enterprise. Unless capital and labour solve their difficulties by working frankly and whole-heartedly in co-operation. *Canada cannot be equipped for the coming war of commerce, and she cannot be able to devote all her energies and all her work to the expansion and betterment of her trade and national life. A union between employer and employed is necessary to the welfare of the individual, the family, and the country, and for Canada to-day this is a question of life and death. Formerly the labour man knew only his wants, his desires., and, at times, his sufferings. But he has come to know his power, and realizes that he is an indispensable factor in the production of wealth, and he accordingly claims the right to be treated frankly as a partner, with equal rights and *equal responsibilities. Unfortunately certain employers look upon their employees as cogwheels in the industrial machine, having a market value hut no recognized rights as human beings. It is fortunate that the big nations of the world agreed upon some fundamental principles as to the rights of labour and that such principles are to be embodied in the Peace Treaty. Let me read the first two principles. They are:- First. The guiding principle above enunciated that labour should not be regarded merely as a commodity or article of commerce. Second. The right of association for all lawful purposes by the employed as well as by the employers. When the hon. the President of the Privy Council (Mr. Rowell) indicated to the *House those two clauses as being among-the principles to be included in the Peace Treaty, he said that they had been adopted on the motion of the Right Hon. the Prime Minister. I do not know whether he was right in that assertion, because I happened to read in a French newspaper that some other gentleman was the mover of the resolution, and I thought that perhaps it might have been a piece of little propaganda or impropaganda, and that my hon. friend might have received his information from his own information bureau. How- ever, whether as mover or supporter of the labour resolutions, the hon. the Prime Minister gave his assent to them. This being so, I am at a loss to understand how the principle of collective bargaining can be resisted or objected to if the Government intends to live up to the agreement entered into at the Peace Conference. The right of association to the employees is worthless and Valueless unless it is accompanied by, and means, "the right to make association or organization effective. It is apparent that the individual labourer is at a great disadvantage when bargaining with the employer. The employer is often a big corporation, a combination of capital. The labourer is poor and to make his living must rely on working in the property of other people. Having no resources to fall back upon, he cannot wait until he can obtain the best bargain from the employer. It is a case of the necessities of the labourer pitted against the resources of the employer. It is only when the labourer bargains collectively that he has bargaining power approximating equality with that of capital. I do not think there is a better definition of collective bargaining than that which is found in the report of the Commission on Industrial Relations in the United States: This term embodies and implies the right of employees to organize and to exercise those functions which are necessary to make organization effective, to make bargains collectively rather than individually and, most important of all, to have a definite, recognized voice, coequal with that of the employer, in determining the wages, hours and working conditions upon which their safety, health and life are dependent. If collective bargaining is at all desirable, organized labour must be conceded the right to use the methods through which it can be secured or obtained by agreement. On Tuesday last the right hon. the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Borden) answered a question asked by the hon. member for Centre Winnipeg (Mr. Andrews) as follows, Hansard page 2956: Now one can easily see that what is called the right of collective bargaining, if interpreted in a certain way and carried to an extreme, length, might have an unfortunate effect so far as the public interest is concerned. More than that, as is suggested in this public statement, it might have the effect of placing labour men and labour unions themselves in such a situation that they could not make their oivn bargains except with the approval of some body that might be situated thousands of miles away. Before the phrase "collective bargaining" is insisted upon, we ought to have, and we must have, an exact definition as to precisely what is intended by it and as to precisely what the results might 191J be if that principle, so defined, should be adopted. On that point the Government will probably have suggestions or recommendations in the report of the Industrial Commission, which we hope to receive not later than the fifteenth day of next month. My hon. friend who has asked this question will realize that it would be out of place and, indeed, invidious for the Government to attempt, by way of anticipation, to pronounce upon questions which are properly within the scope of the duty imposed upon that commission. On the following day I inquired whether some part of (Collective bargaining was favoured by the Government. Still the Prime Minister answered that we would have to await the report of the Industrial Commission. May I say, in the first place, with all due respect to the Prime Minister, that I was astonished at this answer of his. Surely, if he favoured at the Paris Conference, the right of association, which includes the right of collective bargaining, he 4 p.m. knew what that right meant irrespective of any meaning that the Mathers Commission could give to it. There is another consideration. The right hon. gentleman based his comment on a certain statement of Senator Robertson published in the press and reading as follows : The central strike committee interprets the right of collective bargaining to mean that the central body shall have the power to approve or reject any agreement that may 'be satisfactory to the employer or classes of employers and their employees, which, if granted1, would have the result of enabling any central committee entirely outside the industry or craft affected to dictate the acceptance or rejection of any agreement. Instead of giving to the workmen in any individual plant or industry the right of collective bargaining with their employers, the present plan deprives them of the right and places them entirely in the hands of a central body, which principle, the Citizens' Committee of Winnipeg, Provincial and Federal Government, agree cannot be accepted. Sir, this statement of Senator Robertson has been challenged by the labour leaders of Winnipeg and it is only fair that I should read their version of the case. I take it from the Montreal Star: We challenge absolutely this statement ot the Minister of Labour. It is entirely beside the facts of the case. The Postal Federation for instance have never submitted either schedules or agreements to the Trades and Labour Council, nor have the railroads, nor have the (building trades, nor has any organization at any time. The principle at stake at this time is that all workers should have the same rights of organization as have, say, the railroad workers. Senator Robertson must know this has been denied to the Metal Trades workers and because of this the strike was called. This is the principle at issue in this strike and the interpretation given by Senator Robert-

son, if he was correctly quoted, is absolutely unjustified. The workers are on strike for the principle of collective bargaining as understood by the Trades Union Movement. Nothing more and nothing less. For Senator Robertson to misconstrue the issue seems to us absolutely uncalled for. If he is in doubt he can get the fullest information by meeting the strike committee. They have approached him and shown that they are willing to inform him of the correct nature of the struggle. There is a vast difference between the two interpretations, but this is the interpretation given by the labour men and must be considered as being their own interpretation. They know what they mean better than does Senator Robertson. Is it unfair for the working man to claim the right oi bargaining by industry instead of by craft or trade? The various trades of an industry are all links in the one chain. If one fails the others are worthless. For instance, in the metal industry, there are machinists, pattern makers, moulders and various other trades. Each one of them has its own special union. If an agreement is entered into by the employers with the machinists' union and with the patterns' union, but there is no agreement with the moulders, and there is trouble in the industry on account of that fact, the machinists and pattern makers will have to stop work as well as the moulders. It is easy to see that all the trades of the same industry have a similar and common interest in the proper carrying on of that industry. If you concede that, you must accept as fair and equitable the right of collective bargaining by all the trades in one industry. The organization of capital has been unlimited. Powerful organizations have been formed combining many industrial establishments. It is only natural that there should be a similar evolution on the other side, on the part of labour, and that workmen in the various trades are uniting to protect their common interests. The trade agreement, or collective bargaining, is one of the most generally accepted principles to-day in the world, and more especially in the United States and in Great Britain. I perhaps will surprise some hon. gentlemen-in view of the wild and stupid accusations of Bolshevism which are preferred against the labour movement at the present time-when I say that the advanced Socialist, such as the Independent Workers of the World, reject the collective bargaining and the trade agreement because they do not want to agree in any manner with what they call the capitalistic interest. Strange situation indeed to see the extreme Socialists, and some employers, f -Mr, E. Lapointe.! reject the same means of settlement which evidently must be considered the fair and middle course. I said that this principle is now accepted in United States and in Great Britain. Every hon. member can consult the Monthly Labour Review which is published by the Bureau of Labour Statistics in the United States Department of Labour. In its issue of March last you may see a list of the most important industries in the United States, which have accepted the principle of collective bargaining. I might quote only two, if you will allow me, Mr. Speaker, which are perhaps better known in this country-I mean the Standard Oil. Company and the Bethlehem Steel Corporation. I have here in the issue of the Labour Review of February, 1919, the agreement which was entered into by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation and the metal trades affiliated with the (American Federation of Labour. This agreement, and you will see that it is exactly what is asked for by the labour men of Winnipeg to-day, reads as follows: Agreement made this 7th d'ay of January 1919, between the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation (Ltd), a Delaware Shipbuilding Corporation, (hereinafter called, the Company), and the Metal Trades Department of the American Federation of Labour, (hereinafter called the Department). Witnesseth: That, whereas the department is an organization composed of national and international unions, (hereinafter called the unions), affiliated with the American Federation of Labour, many of the members of the said unions being in the employ of the company in its various plants ; and Whereas the company recognizes the said unions collectively as a suitable agency to represent its employees in questions arising as to wages, hours of labour, and general working conditions and ; Whereas the department is authorized, by the express consent of each union which is a member of the department to enter into an agreement with the company providing for the relations of the unions with the company- And then the agreement follows. To show how many trades are interested in the same industry let me tell you that the organization of the steel industry by the American Federation of Labour included twenty-four different trades. In Great Britain the principle is admitted and recognized by the employers and by the State. We have first the recommendation of the Whitley Commission which has been accepted by the British Government, and I will read clause 23 of the first report of that Commission which has been published by our own Department of Labour: It may be desirable to state here our considered opinion that an essential condition of securing a permanent improvement in the relations between employers and employed is that there should be adequate organization on the part of both employers and work people. The proposals outlined, for joint co-operation throughout the several industries depend for their ultimate success upon their toeing such organization on both sides, and such organization is necessary also to provide means whereby the arrangements and agreements made for the industry may be effectively carried out. And in the appendix on page 30, it is said that the councils which are to be formed should be composed only of representatives of trade unions and employers' associations. At the beginning of the present year, Great Britain was facing a critical industrial situation. The crisis came to a head when the Triple Alliance-the miners' federation, the railwaymen's union, and the transport workers - joined together and threatened a general strike if steps were not taken to meet the demands of organized labour. The Government of Great Britain answered this ultimatum by calling a national conference, composed of eight hundred members representing the employers and the workers interested equally to go into the whole industrial situation and to report upon it immediately. The conference held its first meeting on February 27, and appointed a joint committee which made a report which was unanimously approved by the eight hundred representatives of both the employers and the employees. They agreed on the following things: (1) A National Industrial Council of 400, half capital and half labour, is to toe elected by the employers and the trade unions and to be recognized by the government as the " official consultative authority on industrial relations." (2) Not only are the unions to be free from molestation, jbuit it Is ruled that workmen should accept their jurisdiction. (3) Parliament is to enact a national minimum wage law, a 48-hour week and measures raising the legal age of child labour and extending the principles of short-time work .to meet the problems of unemployment. All of this programme is now before Mr. Lloyd George's Cabinet. There was also the Sankey Report-the report of a commission which was instituted to prevent miners' strikes. The Sankey Report has been accepted by the British Government, and it not only grants the right to the miners to unite and bargain collectively but also recognizes their right to co-partnership and to share in the management of the mine. Ail this shows that there is nothing very new or very revolutionary in the demands set forth by the Canadian labour men. It also shows conclusively that had our own Government acted as other governments have in the face of a situation infinitely more serious than our industrial situation, difficulties and troubles might have been avoided. While the other governments were taking speedy and effective action the Canadian Government seemed unable to read the writing on the wall, and merely buried its head, ostrich-like, in the sand of its numberless and powerless Orders in Council. Various religious bodies in America and Great Britain have endorsed and recommended the adoption of the demand of the labourer, including the right of collective bargaining. Among the number are the National Catholic War Council, and the Federal Council of Churches in the United States, and in England the archbishops' committee on Christianity and industrial problems. May I read to the House the following extract from the New York Nation, which appeared in its issue of March 8th? Archbishop Patrick J. Hayes, lately appointed to succeed Cardinal Farley as head of the Archdiocese of New York, is one of the four men who formulated the striking programme of social reconstruction that has recently been made public by the National Catholic War Council and,, as spiritual leader of 1,32(5,00*0 Catholics, he will play an important part in its further development. Without piety of mysticism, and1 with remarkable tough-mindedness, the War Council has recognized the industrial struggle as the most serious menace to the future peace of every nation. As immediate remedies, it advocates a national system of labor exchanges ; the retention of the National War Labor Board ; no lowering of the wages attained during the war., "even when the cost of living recedes," for, says the pamphlet, "after all, a living wage is not necessarily a full measure of justice" ; the legal (minimum wage ; recognition of the right of labor to organize for collective bargaining; adequate housing; the establishment of co-operative stores; vocational training; abolition of child labor; heavy taxation of incomes, excess profits, and inheritances ; and prevention of monopolistic control of commodities. In its more fundamental suggestions, the programme approaches syndicalism, rather than socialism-the abolition of the wage system, though not the abolition of private ownership. "Full possibilities of increased production will not be realized so long as the majority of the workers remain mere wage-earners. The majority must somehow become owners, or at least in part, of the instruments of production." The capitalist, in the meantime, "needs to learn the long forgotten truth that wealth is stewardship that the laborer is a human being, not merely an instrument of production ; and that the laborer's right to a decent livelihood is the first moral charge upon industry." "This," concludes this remarkable programme, ('is the human and Christian, in contrast to the purely commercial and pagan, ethics of industry." I hope I have convinced yon, Mr. Speaker, that, after all, there is nothing revolutionary or Bolshevistic in the demands of the workmen for collective bargaining. .3014

I will now refer briefly to those charges of Bolshevism against those who are parties to the present labour difficulties. I do not think that any advance will he made towards a settlement of our labour troubles by the slanderous attacks which are made by the Government press against the leaders of the working men. It is not true that the labour leaders at Winnipeg or at Toronto are foreigners on Bolshevists. In both places the committees are composed almost exclusively of British-born citizens. They belong to that sturdy class of immigrants which I have often heard described in this House as being the one class needed in this country. Why, Mr. Speaker, do you think if the Winnipeg strikers were foreigners' or Bolshevists that they would have succeeded in enlisting the sympathy of the returned soldiers? The employers- I beg pardon, the newspapers say-and the employers, too-that the returned soldiers are neutral. I read only yesterday that thousands of them after parading the streets of Winnipeg on Saturday, marched to the Parliament Buildings and intimated to Premier Norris that he should exercise his influence for the recognition of the principle of collective bargaining. If they were neutral, I would like to know what they would do.


Peter Robert McGibbon

Laurier Liberal


Is it not a fact that the Great War veterans of Winnipeg repudiated such action?

Topic:   J006 COMMONS

June 2, 1919