that time. I may point out now that the bill as introduced is somewhat different from the resolution and no doubt clause 2 of the bill was introduced for the purpose of defeating the amendment that I moved when the resolution was before the house. As hon. members are aware, the bill provides for the payment of a bonus to the steel company of fifty cents a ton on every ton of coal used in the manufacture of steel. The object of my amendment was that the money so paid to the company should find its way into the wage envelopes of the workmen. Clause 2 of the bill was evidently framed for the purpose of defeating that amendment. It is nothing more nor less than, camouflage. It is in exactly the same position as the coke oven legislation which was introduced by the government some two or three years ago and which was held out by the government as tending to implement the recommendations of the Dnucan report regarding the establishment of coking plants in different parts of Canada. Clause 2 means shortly that the company will receive the money and may do with it what it pleases. If there is a law in the province of Nova Scotia and the company does not comply with it, then this government may withhold the payment of the bounty. Now there is no eight hour law in the province of Nova Scotia. Hon. members of this house attach great importance to this eight hour law. I may say that for the men employed in the steel works at Sydney it is not a question of eight hours or twelve hours a day, but it is a question of getting some hours of work. When I was speaking on the resolution I pointed out that hundreds of men had been thrown out of employment, and that others had been given only two or three days' work a week. I gave as an illustration one man who in the past four months had earned only $144. Let this money go into the wage envelopes of the men. Put on a restriction, if you want to, about eight hours, and give them extra pay for extra time; but do not let us try and shield ourselves behind the province passing an eight hour law or any other kind of law.
Has anybody ever considered what the effect of a province passing an eight hour law would be? If Nova Scotia passed an eight hour law covering the industries of the province, say the boot and shoe industry, what would happen? The result would be that that industry would immediately pull out of Nova Sootia and go to some other province where there was no foolish law of that kind. You cannot pass legislation that is going to go up against the economic laws.
I may saj' for the information of hon. gentlemen in the corner to my left that there is a great body of the men employed in the steel works at Sydney who are in favour of protection. It is true that there is a number of them who are discouraged and disheartened, men who have spent twenty-five years of their lives in the employment of that company and who now find themselves no better off than they were when they began. It is only natural to expect in such cases that these ment would be quite content to take desperate chances on ditching the company by denying them any protection at all.
Hon. gentlemen in that corner pretend to be free traders. Let me ask what pressure a free trade government coudd bring to bear on an industry such as the steel industry at Sydney to give their workmen any increase in wages or shorter hours. The only pressure that you can bring to bear on them is the pressure that arises from the protection that you give them. I quite appreciate the fact referred to by the Prime Minister that difficulty would arise in trying to put any such provision in the tariff as was advocated by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth). But there is no such difficulty with regard to this bonus. This is money that is going out of the federal treasury into the hands of the company, and there would be no difficulty in attaching to it a provision that that money should go to the benefit of the wage earners.
I may say that we had hoped to get a great deal of assistance from this bounty on coal. It is calculated that between four and five tons of coal would go to make a ton of steel, which would mean a bounty of $2 to $2.50 on every ton of steel.