June 25, 1925

LAB
PRO
LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

The treaty was

signed absolutely by Canada. I do not wish to prolong the discussion, but it seems to me that it is distinctly the obligation of the federal authorities to join with the more progressive nations in ratifying these conventions, and thus carry out the solemn obligations undertaken at Versailles.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

My hon. friend may'

not have read the opinion of the Justice department and the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada on this matter. I have not at the moment a copy of the decision of the Supreme court, but I have before me the opinion of the Department of Justice. This opinion may not be acceptable to my hon. friend-indeed, I might disagree with it, but no one would give serious thought to my view, in so doing. Certain questions, among others the following, were submitted to the Justice department :

1. What is the nature of the obligation of the Dominion of Canada as a member of the International Labour conference, under the provisions of the Labour Part (part 13) of the treaty of Versailles, and of the corresponding provisions of the other treaties of peace with relation to such draft conventions and recommendations as may be from time to time adopted by the said conference under the authority of and pursuant to the aforesaid provisions?

2. Are the legislatures of the provinces the authorities within whose competence the subject matter of the said draft convention, (copy of which is herewith submitted) in whole or in part lies and before whom such draft convention should be brought, under the provisions of Article 405 of the treaty of Peace with Germany, for the enactment of legislation or other action ?

The Justice department dealt with these questions several years ago, and the Supreme court has also given its decision with relation to them. Therefore neither the view of my hon. friend nor of myself would have the slightest bearing on the constitutional position of the Dominion.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
PRO
LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

Under the government's fair wage policy the government will insist that on government works and undertakings the wages and hours shall be equal to the current fair and reasonable wages or hours within the district where, the work is being done. In carrying out that policy we sometimes have an eight hour day for certain classes of workmen. On the Welland ship canal, for example, we have an eight hour day for carpenters, because in St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland, Port Colborne, and I think one or two other places in that vicinity, the carpenters have an eight hour day in agreement with the employers. Therefore, the current hours are positively fixed by agreement between the workmen concerned and the employers. In many other cases, though, the eight hour day is not fixed* there is no agreement as to hours, and we find in some cases a nine or a ten hour day. But the principle that is generally applied is the hours and wages current in the district in which the work is being done.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

What is the minister's idea regarding1 the steps which would have to be taken in order to put into force in Canada any of the provisions of the Versailles treaty?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

Last session this parliament ratified three of the conventions emanating from the International Labour

conference.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LAB
LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

I would assume that the conventions emanating from the International Labour conference with reference to the employment of youths at sea and the payment of shipwrecked seamen were important matters. They occupied the time and attention of representatives of forty to fifty governments as well as of employers and workers from all the nations concerned. Evidently they did not regard them as insignificant.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

The conventions

are important enough in themselves, but they affect a relatively small group of Canadian workers.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

The minister did not quite get my question. I was referring to those factors in the treaty which we have not yet ratified. What are the steps to be taken to bring them into effect?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

As to those matters in respect, to which the provinces have exclusive jurisdiction, it would be necessary for the provinces to take action to give effect to the

principles contained in the particular convention. The provinces could then either advise the federal Labour department and let them convey the information to the international labour office, or they could send the information direct. If all the provinces took the necessary action in connection with the eight hour day, for instance, I assume-and this is only my own view, since my hon. friend has asked for it-they could then request the federal government, after the proper action had been taken to ratify the eight hour day convention with such other nations as had ratified it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

In the minister's opinion, all the provinces would have to act before this parliament would be justified in ratifying it?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

No, but before it could be effectively and uniformly ratified on behalf of Canada as a whole. In the meantime it would be in effect in such provinces as had accepted it and taken the necessary action in relation thereto.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Does the minister say there is any other way of effectively and uniformly ratifying a convention than simply ratifying it? There is no such thing as uniformity of ratification of a convention, surely.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

My hon. friend is not fully informed, then. One of the difficulties that Geneva reports in the matter of securing ratification of these conventions is that in some particular respect the convention may be objectionable to certain nations. For instance, some nations have indicated readiness to ratify a convention if some slight changes are made in it, but that has not under the regulations so far been permitted, although a proposal i? being considered under which that may be possible later. It is the desire of the international labour office that there shall be uniformity in ratification.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

What has been the value to labour in Canada of the money expended on these conferences?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

I would rather my hon. friend would communicate with the Trades and Labour Congress, or others representing labour in Canada, to get that information. My opinion is that labour regards it generally as advisable and valuable for Canada to maintain its connection with the international labour office, to keep in touch with its work and to keep abreast of what is being done by the other nations.

Supply-Labour

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

Is this $10,000 expended

under the jurisdiction of the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink

June 25, 1925