June 20, 1936

LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

And that sum will be paid

in wages to those men.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
Permalink
CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

Quite so. Furthermore, the government is to loan each of the railway companies two amounts, one not to exceed $554,700 and another amount of practically the same size. These amounts are to be used for organization work and materials. I noticed in the estimates the other day that there is an item of $55,000 to pay the sales tax on the materials the railway companies are going to use for this purpose.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

In the absence of the Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Howe) I hesitate to correct my hon. friend, but my impression is that that item for sales tax relates to the transaction of last year when certain equipment orders were placed with certain railway and locomotive companies in this country.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I think that is right.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

If the Minister of Labour is satisfied I shall make no further mention 12739-255J

of it. What will happen is that each railway company will receive $1,502,450, which they will pay out in wages to the men who are to do the maintenance work. If these men work eight hours a day-I shall come to the matter of hours a little later-it. will mean $2 per day. For every day a man works, and, I assume, as well for the days he does not work, he pays approximately $1 to the company for his keep. Each railway company is getting a free gift of $1,502,450 worth of labour from the people of Canada, while the men who perform the labour will receive very little.

I do not know, nor, do I suppose, does any one else, how long the men will be working. Any estimate as to the time they will put in before the end of the season would be merely a guess but I think five months would be a good average. At the rate of twenty-five cents per hour, working eight hours per day and six days per week, the total wages for the five months would amount to $260. A man's meals would cost about $125, at $6 per week. I am told that there is a blanket rental of fifty cents per week, which would amount to approximately $11 for the five months. That would total $136, which would leave the man $124 after working five months.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I hope my hon. friend will allow me to correct his statements as he goes along, as I know he does not want to make misstatements. I am sure that the blanket rate is included in the $6, which is a deduction for shelter and food.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

There is also a small deduction for medical services.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
Permalink
CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

The statement was made to me that this $6 was for meals, and that there was a blanket rental of fifty cents.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

In addition to the $6?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

My information is that it is in addition.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I think my hon. friend

is misinformed.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
Permalink
CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

I thought the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) was in his seat. He was present when I got that information. At the end of the five months, provided a man does not spend anything on tobacco, provided he does not spend anything on clothes, provided he does not spend anything on magazines and books, provided he does not spend anything on amusement, provided he does not spend anything on any

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Unemployment-Relief Expenditures

of those things the average individual requires, he will have a total of $124 provided he has worked every working day during that time.

The minister said that the agreements called for a basic eight hour day. That is correct, but the wording is such that a ten hour day can be worked most of the time. Let me read that part of the agreement referring to the working day. It says:

The basic working day for men so furnished shall be eight hours, but inasmuch as this is seasonal work, subject to intervals of discontinuance, and exceptional owing to pressure of work for the time being, the hours of work may exceed eight hours in any one day, or forty-eight hours in any one week, in which ease the men so furnished shall be paid overtime pro rata for the additional time worked beyond eight hours; provided that the number of hours during which any man is actually engaged in work on his regular assignment during any six consecutive months shall not exceed 208 hours per month as an average.

The possibilities are that the men will not be working six months, and when you take into account that month which they have not worked at all, and calculate the average of the time they have been working, they could not possibly work more than ten hours a day and be within this agreement, so that I do not think that part of the agreement is worth very much.

A question was raised of some of the men having refused this kind of work. I do not think the minister wished to give the impression that this happened generally; he said that a few hundred out of a good many thousands refused this kind of work, and I think in that respect he was right. But let us look at the situation as it is. A great many, if not the majority, of the men in the camps are young Canadians. Many of them have had a fairly good education. In the past this kind of work on the railroads has been done by Chinese, at least on the Canadian Pacific Railway to some extent, and in many parts of Canada by Europeans recently arrived in the country. Very few Canadians heretofore have done this sort of work, and it is not surprising that a few men out of eight or nine thousand should have refused to do it.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Will my hon. friend permit me to state that I have received representations from Canadians in, I believe, every one of the provinces, desiring to participate in this particular work at the present time?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

Yes, I can quite understand that.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

My hon. friend is speaking of times when there was an ample supply of general employment for Canadian workmen.

fMr. MacInnis.J

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
Permalink
CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

The Minister of Labour

must realize how hard it is for men who expected something very much better than that to bring themselves to the position where they have to do that kind of work, which offers no hope whatever for any future advancement or progress. I do not know whether the minister is able to make any announcement in the matter or not, but I should like to know what the government has in mind to do for these men after the work on the railways is over. It does not seem to me that we can hope that through any general improvement in conditions these men will find work in the ordinary channels of trade and industry. Clearly they cannot do that. They will have very, very little money when they leave railway work, and it will not carry them very far. And men who have been away for several months from all contacts with the rest of the community will be very likely to have a "blowout" when they get away from the monotony of four or five months of such work, and who can blame them?

Now, let me refer to the general improvement about which we hear so much. Building construction is one of the best barometers of industrial activity that I know of. I have before me the figures compiled by MacLean Building Reports Limited for the first four months of the present year. Taking the seven largest cities in Canada, I find that in all but one of those cities building permits in that .period are considerably lower than they were last year. Vancouver is the only city where they are higher than they were last year. There is a reason for that, namely the new city hall and a few buildings of that kind. The figures are: Vancouver, this year, $2,219,000; in 1935, $621,000. Let us look at the other cities: Toronto, 1935, $3,008,000; 1936, $1,477,000; Montreal, 1935, $2446,000; 1936, $1,118,000; Ottawa, 1935. $1,740,000; 1936, $312,000; Hamilton, 1935, $1,056,000; 1936, $305,000; Winnipeg, 1935, $1,911,000; 1936,

$160,000; Quebec, 1935, $125,000; 1936, $90,000. I have given round figures. So there is no possible hope of improvement, and I think, before the house adjourns, the government ought to give some indication of what the general policy is in regard to unemployment for the coming fall and winter months before parliament meets again.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Mr. Chairman, I had

decided before lunch that probably it would not be necessary for me to deal with a matter that had been brought up on two previous occasions while discussions of this bill were under way, but since lunch time the matter

Unemployment-Reliej Expenditures

has been again referred to. Therefore I should like to clear >up one or two references that have been made to the administration of relief in one of the provinces of Canada. On page 3653 of Hansard I read these words, spoken by the leader of the opposition:

Since we were dealing with this legislation before I have had occasion to follow up the question which I then raised as to the supervision which the government was exercising. I pointed out that the government had removed from office one who had been sent by the Department of Finance to cheek over the expenditures in Saskatchewan.

In the first place I should like to call to the attention of the committee that the man spoken of in this connection was not sent to Saskatchewan to check up on the work which was under discussion on a previous occasion we referred to, that is on farm placements. He was sent there under an arrangement made between myelf, as premier of that province, and the council of the government of Canada, meeting in the council chamber under the chairmanship of the present leader of the opposition, and the arrangement made is set out in a letter under date of November 2, 1934. That letter is signed by Hon. Edgar

N. Rhodes, who at that time was Minister of Finance.

Dear Mr. Gardiner,-

Confirming our telephone conversation of last evening, we are to-day forwarding to Regina by wire the sum of $750,000 as an accountable advance, to be used only for relief purposes.

The government has from the outset recognized that there was a grave problem in Saskatchewan in the drought areas which could be properly regarded as national in character, and which called for special assistance from the dominipn government. This view was kept fully in mind when the Prime Minister telegraphed to you on the 31st day of August offering to assume full responsibility for food, clothing and shelter, and to deal with the question of feed and fodder as outlined in that telegram.

While we are still of opinion that inasmuch as the dominion was providing the funds it was our duty to assume responsibility for their expenditure, notwithstanding the fact that you declined the proposal made by the Prime Minister as outlined above, we would adhere to that position if to do so would not impose hardship upon a large number of people resident in the province of Saskatchewan.

Notwithstanding the fact that our position was made clear to you as far back as August last, you now return seeking assistance at a period when it is too late in the season to attempt to set up our own machinery, and therefore to provide further assistance, there is no alternative to our utilizing the machinery you have set up for distribution.

We are prepared to advance such sums of money as may be necessary to take care of our full obligation in the drought area and such further assistance from time to time as it may be our duty to render, also to provide such portion as may be required for general relief purposes, if any, over and above the

sum of $200,000 per month which we are now paying, provided always we are satisfied that the moneys so advanced are required and expended for the purposes intended.

The measure of this advance will have to be determined as we proceed, and to avoid delay and to_ ensure that the expenditures are being made in conformity with this understanding, we propose to take such steps as may be necessary to provide for a proper check and audit of all relief expenditures which will only be paid by us from time to time as it may be established that the expenditures are warranted and made for the purposes intended.

I take it that in conformity with your advice to me over the telephone this course will be perfectly satisfactory to you and that you will confirm this arrangement by wire as speedily as possible after receipt of this letter.

This letter is signed by Hon. Edgar N. Rhodes. It was addressed to me at Regina, under date of November 2, and there are one or two references in the letter to which I should like to direct attention. I should like to read this statement from the letter once more:

Notwithstanding the fact that our position was made clear to you as far back as August last you now return seeking assistance at a period when it is too late in the season to attempt to set up our own machinery, and therefore to provide further assistance there is no alternative to our utilizing the machinery you have set up for distribution.

We are prepared to advance such sums of money as may be necessary to take care of our full obligation in the drought area-

I wish to point out that in those and other statements contained in the letter it is emphasized that the obligation was an obligation of the federal government which the Prime Minister of that time undertook to assume, as early as August of 1934. The objection I took to the proposal when I met the government was due to the fact that the greater part of the expenditure to be made in the drought area would be for feed and fodder. The cost of feed and fodder in the drought area is much greater in a year when there is a crop failure than is the cost of actually feeding, clothing and sheltering the people who live in that area. I emphasized the fact that it would be inadvisable to have set up in the province of Saskatchewan one relief organization to look after feed and fodder and another relief organization to look after direct relief. I indicated that either one or the other, either the provincial or the federal government, should assume full responsibility for setting up the organization for distribution of both direct relief and feed and fodder. During the period intervening, between August and the 2nd November, an organization was set up in Saskatchewan to purchase feed and fodder, to make provision for straw as it came away from the threshing machines, and to look

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after the problem generally. When the then Prime Minister returned from Great Britain, where he had been during October, I met him in Ottawa and made the arrangements that are agreed to in this letter I have just read.

The point I wish to emphasize is this: The provincial government was asked at that stage to use an organization that it had set up in order to look after an obligation which was entirely an obligation of the federal government, and recognized by the federal government as such. In order to check the expenditure of the money required they sent a man to Regina. -Some of the reports that were made by Mr. Barnett, who was appointed to do this checking, were quoted to-night by the right hon. leader of the opposition without being referred to definitely as having come from that source. I recognized them because of the discussion that took place at the time in connection with reports dealing with the treatment of one municipality in Saskatchewan as compared with another, in the matter of giving assistance under this plan. All I wish to say with regard to that criticism is that after Mr. Barnett had been on this job during tire entire winter; after he had investigated an expenditure that ran to something like $9,000,000 prior to the time he left the service of the Department of Finance, he had1 refused payment of only $40,000 of the amount that had been distributed. The federal government, out of the $9,000,000 that was involved, paid all but some $40,000, after they had placed a man in a position to check the accounts both before and after payments were made. Well, I venture to say that no other organization set up by one government- in Canada to administer the affairs of another government in Canada, in connection with the expenditure of money, has shown as great efficiency as was shown in Saskatchewan both under the government in power in Ottawa at that time and under the government that has had to meet some of those expenditures since.

I wanted to make that statement in order to clear up the reference that is here made. This man was not appointed for the purpose of checking up on farm placements; he was appointed for the purpose of checking up on the expenditure of federal money spent by an organization created by the federal government in order to do a federal job.

Well, Mr. Chairman, having made that perfectly clear there are one or two observations I think should be made with regard to the other matter that has been referred to continuously, namely the payment of those who were entitled to $5 a month from the fund provided for farm placements. I have before me letters and telegrams from the files of the Department of Labour which I had copied a

[Mr. Gardiner.!

few days ago, after the reference made to this matter by the right hon. leader of the opposition. I find at an earlier date a telegram sent by myself to the Minister of Finance on January 8, 1935:

Hon. E. N. Rhodes,

Minister of Finance,

Ottawa.

Reference placement; single homeless persons on farms under terms agreement September 15,

1933, and privy council order of October 11,

1934. Chief accountant unemployed relief branch federal Department of Labour rules that agreement instituted to assist in the relief in urban centres of homeless persons and who are definitely found not to be a legitimate charge on any municipality. Therefore persons who have resided in rural municipalities are not qualified for bonus even though they are homeless, destitute and unemployed. Primary object of whole scheme as concurred in by your premier at interprovincial conference 1933 was to provide measure of relief to thousands of farm labourers in drought areas of province thus retaining men on farms in preference to their congregating in cities. Ruling department labour officials above referred to practically nullifies whole scheme in so far as our drought areas are concerned and would urge you request labour department to issue ruling based on terms of agreement which simply states that five dollars bonus available to persons placed on farms.

That matter was referred to by the Minister of Municipal Affairs in Saskatchewan, in charge of labour, on February 5, 1935, and I shall read one paragraph from that letter for the purpose of indicating to the committee and to the leader of the opposition what the point at issue was between the government of Saskatchewan and the government at Ottawa:

I understand that during the winter 193334-

That is the winter before the change of government in Saskatchewan, the winter before the last provincial election.

-a large number of farm labourers were placed on farms, presumably under the terms of the agreement, and that the records and accounts for these placements were submitted to representatives of your department, approved, and payments were made.

Let me emphasize that point. These accounts were submitted to the representative of the Department of Labour; they were checked by him and they were paid in the winter of 1933-34.

We now find that a sum amounting to nearly $90,000 of the money which had been passed upon one year ago, and actually paid out, is being questioned by your department because of an interpretation placed upon the agreement by officials of your department, and that this interpretation is also being applied to the placements being made this year, which also will undoubtedly result in a large percentage of the moneys paid to these single homeless men being charged back to this government.

Unemployment-Relief Expenditures

That was the point at issue throughout November and December, 1934, and January, 1935, and with that point at issue during January, 1935, I took the position as premier of the province that we could not become responsible for the payment of $5 a month to men placed upon farms in Saskatchewan, from funds of the dominion government, for the purpose of carrying out a policy of the dominion government, if payments of $90,000 made in the year previous were going to be charged back against the province. We indicated to persons who were receiving payment from that fund that no payments would be made after January 31, 1935, by the province. We took the position that we would not make the payments until the matter of policy had been definitely settled. We did this because to have followed the policy set out by the Department of Labour with regard to payments for the previous winter would have resulted in money paid out from this fund being charged back to the province on all but a very small percentage of the cases. We notified all the men that payments would not be made after January 31, 1935.

What action was then taken 'by the dominion government? The action is set out in a letter dated February 23, 1935, written by the Deputy Minister of Labour to the Deputy Minister of Finance. I am going to read that letter in part, because it sets out the action taken by the government at that time and the reasons for it:

Under the provisions of P.C. 2465, October 11, 1934, the agreement between the dominion government and the province of Saskatchewan, dated September 5, 1933. was revived as from October 1. 1934. effective to March 31, 1935, thus providing for payment by the dominion government to the province of $5 per month for persons placed on farms. I enclose copies of the order in council and agreement referred to for your information.

Now these are the important parts:

The provincial authorities have interpreted this measure of assistance as applying to all persons, whereas this department has taken the stand that the 1933 agreement and the revival thereof by order in council merely renews the provisions of the 1932 agreement, confining this provision to transients.

I may say by way of explanation that by that time the transients were supposed to be in the relief camps, and transients as they came along and qualified for the relief camps by health tests were placed in the relief camps.

This situation is set forth in my letter of February 18 to the Minister of Municipal Affairs for Saskatchewan, copy of which I enclose. I also enclose copy of a letter of February 18, addressed by the Hon. Minister

of Labour to the premier of Saskatchewan. If you will refer to the final paragraph of this letter, you will see that the minister has informed premier Gardiner that the dominion will provide for the continuation of the bonus of $5 per month to the 5,300 persons reported by the province as being on farms under the plan as at January 1, last.

I may say that there is apparently a stenographical error here as the 5,300 persons referred to were reported by the province as at January 31, last.

I do not think it necessary to read every paragraph of the letter, because this paragraph really sets out the point that I wish to bring before the committee. It is this, that down to February 1, 1935, the dominion government refused to make payments to men other than those who were transients. There were 5,300 persons receiving $5 per month from the provincial government, who qualified under the provincial interpretation of the plan to be paid by the federal government at January 31, 1935. The dominion government refused that payment through the provincial authorities, and therefore the provincial authorities refused to pay it to the men. But immediately the provincial government stepped out of the field, the dominion government took on the whole 5,300 men and agreed to pay them $5 a month, not through the provincial government at all but through a man they themselves appointed to do this. That man is indicated in this letter:

This department has at Regina an auditor, Mr. Symons, who is engaged in auditing the accounts of the Saskatchewan relief commission and who is familiar with the situation as regards the $5 a month farm placement plan. He will be instructed to place himself in touch with Major Barnett and it is suggested that he shall jointly, with Major Barnett, certify the accounts sent to this department for credit to the advance made.

The point is that Major Barnett was sent to Saskatchewan for the purpose of checking the accounts as they passed through a provincial set-up, with regard to moneys that were being paid to farm labourers through an undertaking that the federal government assumed as their responsibility. He had nothing to do with farm placement until the provincial government entirely passed out of the picture. Then the payments of the $5 amounts were made through Mr. Barnett by the federal government advancing to him $60,000, $30,000 per month, with which to make payments during February and March, and those payments were made and audited without any necessity for any check on the provincial government whatsoever. The moneys were paid by the dominion official, and paid directly by the dominion officials to the farm labourers who were placed on farms.

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Mr. Barnett and, later, Mr. Burgess, checked the payments in the drought area. In dealing with their criticism I want to read to the committee one document I found on the file of the Department of Labour. This is a letter addressed to Harry Hereford, Esquire, Dominion Unemployment Relief Commissioner, Department of Labour, Ottawa, reading as follows:

Dear Mr. Hereford:

I enclose herewith quotations from letters and telegrams received by the minister with reference to relief in Saskatchewan.

Yours very truly,

D. L. Burgess.

D. L. Burgess was secretary to the Minister of Agriculture. On the file sent down to the Department of Labour from the office of the Minister of Agriculture are samples of some of the checks that were being made and the results of those checks upon relief expenditures in Saskatchewan, under the set-up referred to. I have before me a letter which I shall read. I do not know who wrote it, because the file does not show, but the letter I have just read indicates it was clipped from a communication received by the Minister of Agriculture:

Since Mr. Gardiner took office the relief allowances have been cut down from $2.50 per family to $8 per family.

"Per family" obviously should come after the "18."

Remembering what was said in this house in connection with the necessity for checks and the insinuations that have been made-I call them insinuations because of the references I shall make in a moment-that all was not well in connection with the administration of relief in Saskatchewan, and the inference to be drawn that some very close check should be kept by the Minister of Labour upon expenditures in Saskatchewan because of what is happening there, let me read it again:

Since Mr. Gardiner took office the relief allowances have been cut down from $2.50 per family to $8 per family. I know this, and here are the actual reductions, for a family of fourteen in April, 1934, received $15 and two sacks of flour. In April, 1935, $10

straight. From this you will see the difference and they say now it is all going to be cut off and a single man cannot get work here so I should like you to try and picture what will happen here if they do cut it off and they are not giving us any road work yet.

That is the kind of reports which were coming in, the kind of report being sent by one department of government in Ottawa to another department of government in Ottawa, in order to see to it that a proper check was kept by the department on the Saskatchewan expenditures of relief moneys which, the

leader of the opposition is quite correct in saying, were supplied by the government of Canada.

But that report shows that the government of Saskatchewan was actually cutting down the relief allowances. Actually it was paying less than was being paid before, actually saving money to the government of Canada. I say if there were many reports of that kind being sent on from one department to the other they could not have resulted otherwise than to make the ministers believe that relief was being properly administered.

I now come to the other statement to, which reference was made to-night, and which has been referred to on previous occasions. I read from Hansard of June 12, 1936, page 3653 where the leader of the opposition is reported as follows:

I pointed out that the government had removed from office one who had been sent by the Department of Finance to check over the expenditures in Saskatchewan. I find that certain relief expenditures in that province are under the control of a disbarred lawyer who was guilty of embezzling trust funds. That would hardly be a highly desirable person to have in charge of the expenditure of moneys which we have to pay.

Before going on to deal with the statement itself and the reference it makes to an individual in Saskatchewan, I want to say that ever since the government in that province was taken over by the Liberal party in 1934, or at least ever since the reorganization put into effect after that, direct relief expenditures in that province have been under the control of T. M. Molloy who was at first Deputy Minister of Labour, and who is now in charge of the Bureau of Labour in that province. I know that any official in the Department of Labour in Ottawa will agree with me when I say that Mr. Molloy is one of the most capable labour officials to be found in any provincial government. He has had twenty-five years' service in the province of Saskatchewan. He is the man who has administered the expenditure of all direct relief funds in Saskatchewan, ever since the present government of the province of Saskatchewan came into office and set up a new organization for the expenditure of those funds. He is not a lawyer.

Naturally we were concerned the other evening when my right hon. friend made that statement. The Minister of Labour asked this question:

Mr. Rogers: Would my right hon. friend care to name "the official in question?

Mr. Bennett: I prefer not to mention a

man's name.

Unemployment-Relief Expenditures

Mr. Rogers: Is my right hon. friend suggesting that he is an employee of the dominion government or of the Department of Labour?

Mr. Bennett: I said he was in charge of expenditures in the province of Saskatchewan.

Those two statements are very plain ones, namely, "I find that certain relief expenditures in that province are under the control of a disbarred lawyer who was guilty of embezzling trust funds," and "I said he was in charge of expenditures in the province of Saskatchewan."

Later on I came into the house and asked one or two question in regard to the matter. I asked:

Mr. Gardiner: What was the nature of the position held by the gentleman?

Mr. Bennett: In connection with the administration of relief.

Mr. Gardiner: Out in the country or at the head office?

Mr. Bennett: My memory is that he was in a position of some considerable authority, that lie was not an ordinary administrator out in the countrly, that he had come into Regina and was administering from there. I will have the letter with me and will give those particulars when the bill is in committee.

Mr. Gardiner: I understand that three persons were referred to.

Mr. Bennett: There were two others who were also members of the legal profession and who, according to my information, were also in the same unfortunate position.

I think there can be no misunderstanding about the inference which was left in the minds of all those who listened to that statement, and there can now be no doubt in the minds of those who listened to it as to what it really means.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
Permalink
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

It means that someone

in the province of Saskatchewan who had been disbarred as a lawyer-and I might say some persons have held responsible positions in Canada after they have been disbarred as lawyers-*

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
Permalink
LIB

George Washington McPhee

Liberal

Mr. McPHEE:

Cabinet rank.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE ACT, 1936, TO ASSIST PROVINCES IN RESPECT OF RELIEF EXPENDITURES
Permalink

June 20, 1936