Robert James Manion
I will admit that if it will please the minister. This resolution was dated December 27, and reads as follows:
The council of the town of Kenora view with alarm the problem of unemployment prevailing at present due to conditions over which this body has no control, and for the relief of which it would be utterly impossible for local authorities to assume the whole responsibility on account of the financial aspect.
Therefore this body hereby instructs the mayor and clerk to petition the Dominion and provincial governments to send representatives to a conference to discuss the situation with a view to such governments assuming a portion of the cost of relief -work started by the town, and to undertake such provincial and Dominion government work or works already commenced and in prospect by the different departments as will seem justly possible to do.
Mid that copies of this motion be sent to Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King, Prime Minister, Hon. Peter Heenan, Minister of Labour, Hon. G. Howard Ferguson, Premier of Ontario, Hon. Dr. Forbes Godfrey, Minister of Labour for the province of Ontario, Hon. AVilliam Finlay-son. Minister of Lands and Forests.
And that January 7 be suggested as the date of the said conference.
Unemployment was not a new thing to the Minister of Labour, or it should not have been if he had been paying any attention to his own home town; for I find another article published many weeks earlier, which I will read for the minister's edification. The minister himself quoted from the Kenora Miner and News, and I would like to read an article which appeared on November 4. It is as follows:
The Hon. Peter Heenan, Minister of Labour in the Dominion government, was in this riding during almost the whole of the provincial election campaign and had been here a great portion of the time since July travelling up and down in a splendidly equipped private car. We doubt if he was observant enough to notice that each night the station waiting room floors on the Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway lines were almost covered with sleeping men, who were beating their way east during the day time on freight and passenger trains. Strong, fine looking men, unable to obtain work in the west, were risking their lives to reach the east. He had no message of hopefulness or cheer for these men, broke and buffeted about as they were.
The same Hon. Peter Heenan, Minister of Labour, voted against a proposal at the last
session of the Dominion house to make a grant of $10,000,000 to the provinces for the purpose of assisting in building the trans-Canada highway. This amount would have materially assisted in providing work for the army of men who have daily for many weeks been beating their way east on the railways at the risk of their lives.
The town of Kenora has been drawing this matter to the attention of the minister. The hon. minister has been boasting in the house of the fact that he helped the present provincial member for Kenora in a successful contest for that seat.