March 9, 1927

LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

A few weeks ago,

in a little labour paper published in Toronto, Canada Forward, I find this statement:

In the Senate fifty members of that body control and direct the economic life of Canada. That is to say that fifty senators are directors of 334 commercial and financial institutions.

I wrote to the editor of that paper asking him on what data he based his statement, and he was good enough to send me a list of the companies ,in which some of the senators were interested. The editor is Mr. James McA. Conner, of Toronto. It is possible that there may be some inaccuracies in this list. It is quite true that it is not complete, as one can readily recognize that there are other companies in which these senators are interested that are not listed here, but I would like to run over a few of

B.N.A. Act-Amendment

these companies briefly, in order that the class nature of the Senate may be clearly seen. I take them almost at random. I find the name of Senator C. B. Beaubien.

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CON

Charles-Philippe Beaubien

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BEAUBIEN:

Not I.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

No.

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UFA

George Gibson Coote

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. COOTE:

Not yet, but soon.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I notice that he

is interested in the following companies:

The Atlantic Sugar Refineries Limited.

The Frontenac Breweries.

The Mount Royal Hotel Company.

The North Railway Company.

Beaubien Limited.

The Ames Holden Limited.

The British Empire Steel Corporation.

The Dominion Steel Corporation, Limited. Dominion Iron and Steel Company Limited. Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Co. Limited. Eastern Car Company Limited.

Acadia Company Limited.

Dominion Coal Company.

Nova Scotia Land Company.

Sydney Lumber Company Limited.

James Pender and Company Limited.

Halifax Shipyards Limited.

Cumberland Railway and Coal Company. Sydney and Louisburg Railway.

Canadian Car and Foundries Limited. Canadian Steel Foundries Limited.

Montreal Steel Works Limited.

Pratt and Letehworth Company Limited.

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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

Does he

happen to be a farmer as well as director of these companies?

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Is that all one man?

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Yes, it is all one man.

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LIB

Eugène Fiset

Liberal

Sir EUGENE FISET:

What about the

Levis Laundry?

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

The Levis Laundry has been suggested. I am not sure of that. I said the list was quite incomplete.

I pass on now to Senator Casgrain, and I find he is a director of the following companies:

Canada Steamship Lines Ltd.

Northern Navigation Co. Ltd.

Tidewater Shipbuilders Ltd.

Davie Shipbuilding and Repairing Co. Ltd. Great Lakes Transportation Co.

Midland Shipbuilding Co.

George Hall Coal Co.

Richelieu Ontario Navigation Co.

Inland Lines Ltd.

Niagara Navigation Co.

St. Lawrence River Steamboat Co. Ltd. Thousand Island Steamboat Co. Ltd. Merchants Montreal Lines Ltd.

Canada Cement Co. Ltd.

Montreal Cottons.

Montreal Life Insurance Co.

Reliance Life Assurance Co.

British Empire Steel Corporation Ltd.

Dominion Steel Co. Ltd.

Dominion Iron and Steel Co. Ltd.

Dominion Coal Co. Ltd.

Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Co. Ltd.

Eastern Car Co. Ltd.

Dominion Shipping Co. Ltd.

Acadia Coal Co. Ltd.

Cumberland Railway and Coal Co.

Halifax Shipyards Co.

Nova Scotia Land Co.

Sydney Lumber Co. Ltd.

Sydney and Louisburg Railway Co.

James Pender and Co. Ltd.

Montreal Tramways Co.

United Securities Ltd.

Montreal Life Insurance Co.

Montreal Herald.

Le Canada.

It is perhaps rather wearisome to hon. members to listen to my reading of all these names.

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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

Read some more. They are fine.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I shall be glad to read a few more. I think that perhaps only in this way can we form any idea as to the interlocking directorates which we have in this country, and as to how far even one individual can control a vast range of industrial, commercial and financial enterprise. I come now to Senator N. Curry, and I find he is a director of the following companies:

Cuban Canadian Sugar Company.

Montreal Life Insurance Company.

Hattie Gold Mines Limited.

Rhodes Curry Company Limited.

Canadian Car and Foundries Company Limited.

Canadian Steel Foundries Company Limited.

Montreal Steel Works Limited.

Pratt and Letehworth Company.

Canada Land Company.

Bank of Nova Scotia.

Canada Light and Power Company.

Beatty Gold Mines Limited.

And to use the words of the official description, if I may call it such, that is given us in the Canadian Parliamentary Guide of 1926, he "is president of twelve companies and

director of thirty." Let me complete the Guide's account of the well-rounded life of a Senator. At page 78, I find the following.

Altogether is president of twelve companies and director of thirty. A large contributor to educational, religious and charitable institutions, including $100,000 to Acadia University; $25,000 to McGill University; $5,000 to Dal-housie University; and so forth. Recreations: yachting, motoring, shooting, fishing, curling. A Baptist. A Conservative. Summoned to the Senate November 20, 1912. Clubs: Marshlands, Amherst, N.S., Rideau and Country Clubs, Ottawa; Mount Royal, St. James', Forest and

B.N.A. Act-Amendment

Stream, Montreal. Business address, Transportation Building, Montreal; city residence, 581 Sherbrooke street west, Montreal, country residence, Tidnish, N.S. Winter house, Paget, Bermuda.

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

Is my hon. friend suggesting that a captain of industry such as this man whom he has last quoted effected educational policies by giving large contributions to universities?

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Read them all.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Here is Senator L. C. Webster. He is interested, a director, and no doubt working hard in all these various lines of industry;

Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada.

Dominion Manufacturers' Ltd.

Travelers' Life Assurance Co.

St. Lawrence Sugar Refineries.

Hudson Bay Knitting Co.

Goodwins Ltd.

Montreal Tramway Co.

Webster Steamship Co.

Canadian Import Co.

Quebec Power Co.

Quebec Railway Light Heat & Power Co. Dorchester Electric Co.

Quebec, Montmorency & Charlevoix Railway. Imperial Trust Co.

St. Lawrence Stevedoring Co. Ltd.

Holt Renfrew Co. Ltd.

Canadian Salvage Association.

Canadian Fur Auction Sales Co. Ltd.

Quebec Apartment House Co.

Montreal Cottons. |

Canadian Car & Foundry Co. Ltd.

Montreal Steel Works Ltd.

Canadian Steel Foundries Ltd.

Pratt & Letchworth Co. Ltd.

Dryden Paper Co. Ltd.

United Securities Ltd.

British Empire Steel Corporation.

Dominion Steel Co.

Dominion Iron & Steel Co.

Dominion Coal Co.

Nova Scotia Steel & Coal Co.

Eastern Car Co. Ltd.

Dominion Shipping Co.

Acadia Coal Co. Ltd.

Cumberland Railway & Coal Co. Ltd.

Halifax Shipyards Co.

Sydney & Louisburg Railway Co.

Nova Scotia Land Co. [DOT]

Wassis Steamboat Co.

Sydney Lumber Co.

James Pender & Co. Ltd.

I will give one other. Here is Senator R. S. White. He is a director in the following companies:

Gazette Printing Co.

United Financial Corporation.

Montreal Trust Co.

The Steel Co. of Canada.

The Hamilton Steel & Iron Co.

The Montreal Rolling Mills Ltd.

Canadian Screw Co. Ltd.

Dominion Wire Mfg. Co. Ltd.

Canadian Bolt & Nut Co. Ltd.

Western Wire & Nail Co. Ltd.

Guarantee Co. of North America.

Canada Steamship Lines Ltd.

Northern Navigation Co. Ltd.

Tidewater Shipbuilders Ltd.

Davie Shipbuilding & Repairing Co Ltd.

Great Lakes Transportation Co.

Midland Shipbuilding Co.

George Hall Coal Co.

Richelieu & Ontario Navigation Co.

Inland Lines Ltd.

Niagara Navigation Co.

Mount Royal Hotel Co.

B.N.A. Act-Amendment

My correspondent makes the following comments and summarizes this information as follows:

There are 27 lawyers in the Senate, of whom 12 are Conservatives and 15 Liberal. Some 6 Conservative lawyer senators^ are directors in 52 financial and commercial institutions, while ij Liberal lawyer senators are directors on 36 commercial and financial institutions, making a total of 12 lawyers in the Senate who are directors in 88 different concerns. There are 11 journalists, editors and publishers, 6 of whom are directors in 34 commercial and financial institutions. There are 11 manufacturers and capitalists who are directors in 131 commercial and financial institutions. There are 8 doctors who are directors in 22 commercial and financial institutions.

The House rather encouraged me to go on, Mr. Speaker, and read these long lists, and I did so even though it might somewhat interfere with the argument I was trying to present in as concise a form as possible. But in view of the character of the interests of the members of the Senate I think I am quite warranted in the statement which I made a few minutes ago, that it is intolerable that an irresponsible body such as this, so largely representing big interests, should be able to nullify the actions of the elected representatives of the people.

Now my resolution is as follows:

That, in the opinion of this House, in view of: (a) the constitutional developments of the last sixty years

I think I have shown some of these main lines of development, how extensive they have been, and how much they demand some corresponding changes in our constitutional procedure, and generally in our legislation:

- (b) the dissatisfaction of certain provinces

Here again I think it will be manifest to all that it is the wiser course to recognize the underlying difficulties that may prevent confederation from attaining all that it ought to attain, rather than simply and blindly to worship what was done sixty years ago, and refuse to be guided by the spirit of those who made confederation possible. And in view of:

- (c) the changed conditions in industry, commerce and finance not contemplated at the time of confederation, and (d) the action of the Senate in preventing the enactment of popular legislation-

I ask that there shall be appointed a special committee to consider what amendments might be made in the British North America Act which, while conserving the principles of confederation, would enable us more adequately to cope with the complicated problems which now confront Canada.

I think that request is a very moderate one indeed. All I am asking for is a parliamentary committee to consider this question. There will be, I understand, this summer, a conference of the Dominion and provincial representatives. This conference has a number of things to discuss, among which is this very question of a minimum wage with regard to which I was reading a report to-day. This conference has been definitely promised, and I would suggest that the time is opportune for this whole question to go before such a conference. But before this conference meets, it would seem to be a reasonable thing that we should have some indication as to what changes this House thought might be advisable. What do we want anyway? It would be very easy for me personally to make suggestions as to certain changes that I think ought to be made. I think some of these changes might be inferred from my treatment of the subject, but I would much prefer to leave these definte changes to be considered in a committee, where a great many other members would be able to contribute other suggestions of possibly even greater value.

I would call the attention of the House to the fact that in this resolution I have provided an ample safeguarding clause; that is, "while conserving the principles of confederation," I recognize very clearly that there are certain minority rights which much be maintained. There is no desire on my part to take away any of those rights. In any modification of the British North America Act I think there would need to be incorporated a series of clauses equivelant to a sort of bill of rights safeguarding the rights of minorities, whether of language, religion, or civil status. The proposed resolution does not seek to trench on those rights at all. But on the other hand, I urge that we ought to have such modifications in the British North America Act as will enable us to meet the pressing and complicated problems which now confront us.

I am not here to make any impassioned appeal to hon. members from the various sections of Canada. I know that in the past some of the French Canadian members have been rather apprehensive of any change in the British North America Act. I know that certain sections of the French Canadian press take the ground that any alteration in the British North America Act, however slight, might imperil French Canadian rights, and that it is much safer to trust to the sense of justice of Englishmen in Great Britain than to the sense of justice of English-speaking

B.A A. Act-Amendment

Canadians. I think that sentiment is unworthy of any true Canadian. We cannot have it both going and coming. All of us are coming to recognize more and more the need of a greater flexibility in our constitution, and the opportunity to control our own destinies. If we wish to attain that we must be willing to take certain risks in carrying out the details of any modifications we may make in our constitution. But I think the risks will not be very grave. We would incorporate into the very document by which the modifications were made-modifications, for example, allowing either for the abolition or the reform or, if you like, the drawing of the teeth of the Senate-I do not say of the senators-

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

There are none to

draw.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I do not know

about that. I say that in any modifications along that line the very document by which the modifications were made would contain these clauses which would adequately guarantee the rights of all minorities and in other ways conserve the fundamental principles of confederation.

I ask, Mr. Speaker, that to-day, the government accede to my request. I am glad the Prime Minister is in his place. I do not think it is asking too much that in a preliminary way we discuss these things in the free and easy atmosphere of a committee. No harm could be done by doing so. Certain suggestions could be made and plans evolved, and when the conference of provincial premiers meets in the near future there would be something to discuss in the way of a definite recommendation.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, the subject of this resolution is indeed very important, and my ion. friend from Winnipeg (Mr. Woodsworth) has dealt with it in his usual able and clear way. I am pleased indeed that he took the tiouble to say that in any changes which he would like to see made in the British North America Act certain rights should be safeguarded, and I know that he is perfectly sincere in this.

The resolution is to the effect that a special select committee of this House should be appointed for the purpose of considering amendments which ought to be made to the British Lorth America Act. This conclusion is based on certain premises, namely, the developments of the last sixty years, the dissatisfaction of certain provinces, the changed conditions in industry, commerce and finance not contemplated at the time of confederation, and the action of the Senate in preventing

32649-66}

the enactment of certain popular legislation. For the purpose of my argument I do not think it is necessary for me to dwell upon those premises. But as far as the question of dissatisfaction is concerned, I think that after sixty years as a Dominion we may safely say that the ivork which the fathers of confederation accomplished, while it may not have been perfect, was certainly a great work, that the constitution then framed lias worked successfully, and that Canada has been developing along lines for which we ought to be profoundly grateful.

I do not say that some changes might not be desirable, that some improvements might not be made, but I must confess I do not agree with my hon. friend that the way to reach the desirable end he has in view would be for this House, or a committee of this House, to deal with the matter in the absence of those who were parties to the pact of confederation. It is true, Mr. Speaker, as my hon. friend has said, that we have not the right to amend our own constitution as has South Africa and Australia-subject in the latter case to certain restrictions; that is, any amendment must be approved by the states or by popular referendum-and some of the other dominions, and he asked, " Why should we not have the same powers?" But the condition existing in Canada is our own making, and this we must always remember in dealing with the question. It is not at all something that places Canada in a position of inferiority, because after all it was the will of the people of Canada that it'should have been so in the past, and it will continue thus so long as the Canadian people will it. When the people desire a change the change will come about.

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UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. IRVINE:

How?

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March 9, 1927