May 28, 1940

SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON (Bow River):

On several occasions in the last two or three days I have been informed that within this city of Ottawa wages are being paid as low as eight cents, ten cents and twelve cents an hour, and that when these men work three or four months they are laid off and new apprentices put in their places. In that way production costs are reduced; but if that procedure is adopted, we shall never have any development of experienced mechanics. I was hesitant about bringing up the matter; but since it has been raised, I should like the minister to assure the committee that no such wage as that is being paid in any industry where government contracts are let.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply; Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I am not familiar with all the circumstances. The important trades allow a certain number of apprentices. I do not know the wages paid, but I shall be glad to look into them.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON (Bow River):

I can give the name of this concern. I have been trying to get a little more information upon it; that is why I delayed bringing up the question.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

Norman Alexander McLarty (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. McLARTY:

Perhaps I might answer

the question. There are two classes of contracts with different sets of labour conditions. There are what are known as the class (b) conditions in which local wage rates and local labour conditions apply. In other contracts- and this applies to the aeroplane construction industry-minimum wages are set which have been agreed upon in consultation between the contractors and the Department of Labour. These are minimum wages, of course, and if there has been any variation below that minimum wage, I shall be glad to see that the circumstances are looked into.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON (Bow River):

Can the

minister tell us the minimum wage?

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

Norman Alexander McLarty (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. McLARTY:

The minimum wage

varies so widely in the different mechanical departments of the aeroplane construction industry and the various types of labour employed that I could not from memory give my hon. friend the figures, but I shall be very glad to furnish him with the information.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON (Bow River):

Surely no

industry would pay a married man wages so low as eight or ten or twelve cents an hour; and if that is being done, something should be done about the matter. A man cannot make a decent living at that wage.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

Norman Alexander McLarty (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. McLARTY:

I have no hesitation in

assuring my hon. friend that the minimum wage fixed in any contract is far above the figure he mentions. If he will give me information as to the particular company he has in mind, I shall be glad to have an investigation made immediately.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON (Bow River):

I shall be glad to do that.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

I should like to ask the Minister of National Defence a question with reference to this sentence which appears in the Windsor Star, entitled "Editor's note." It reads:

A special writer for the Windsor Star, who speaks German fluently, has been mingling with the German population in Detroit and finds there are no less than 7,500 German army reservists in that city, said to be training regularly.

I have no doubt the same kind of thing goes on also in Buffalo, where there is a very large German population. I know the minister is familiar with the situation, and I would ask him if any special precautions have been taken in Windsor, across from Detroit, and on the Niagara falls side across from Buffalo, to prevent serious subversive action by such people as those to whom this dispatch refers.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I can assure my hon. friend that we are taking such precautions as are suggested by the most reliable information we can obtain. We keep constant watch of that situation across Canada.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

James Lester Douglas

Liberal

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weybum):

The Minister of Transport will remember that when the defence purchasing board legislation was before the house last year, considerable pressure was brought to bear from various parts of this chamber to have provision made that no member of the board should be a shareholder or stockholder in any armament firm, and the government brought in an amendment providing accordingly, but it was finally deleted by another body. The defence purchasing board was later merged with the war supply board, and the war supply board is now merged with the Department of Munitions and Supply. But the principle is still a good one; and in view of the fact that the government gave assent to the principle, I am wondering if it is being carried out so that those responsible for placing orders and for letting contracts under the minister shall be in no wise connected with the firms receiving the contracts; not because we are suspicious of everyone, but because the people of Canada would have a greater measure of confidence if they were perfectly certain that the men responsible for letting contracts on such a large scale were in

War Appropriation Bill

no wise connected with the business firms receiving the orders. Is that principle being carried out?

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply; Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

It is necessary, in organizing a supply programme on the scale that faces us to-day and did face us at the outbreak of war, to have the help of the most experienced men that Canadian industry can provide. We have attempted to get that type of assistance and, I think, have been fairly successful. But obviously when we draw a number of men from industry, we can hardly say that none of these men have or have had any connection with the firms that are making something for the government's war programme. I cannot give my hon. friend the assurance he wants, but I can give him this assurance: I know the calibre of the men we have chosen; I know their integrity, and I am prepared to take personal responsibility for anything they have done in the service of the government.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
NAT

Alan Cockeram

National Government

Mr. COCKERAM:

I understood the Minister of National Defence when he was speaking to say that Colonel Carter had made and submitted a report to the government. Is that correct?

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I made no such statement. I believe the statement which appeared in the Toronto Telegram yesterday did refer to a report which was made by Colonel Carter to Major-General McNaughton, and perhaps that is the report my hon. friend has in mind. But I made no reference to that report in my remarks.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
NAT

Alan Cockeram

National Government

Mr. COCKERAM:

Is that report available in the department?

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Mr. Chairman, I prefer not to answer that question at the present time. The report I assume was made to General McNaughton either in his capacity as former president of the National Research Council or in his capacity as inspector general of the units of the first Canadian division in training in Canada. I shall, however, make the necessary inquiries.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HARRIS (Danforth):

The question of the Lindsay arsenal has been brought up. Perhaps the minister or the hon. member for Victoria, Ontario, might tell us how many men will be employed when the arsenal gets into full production on June 15, or will be in full production by June 15.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I shall be glad to take note of the question and supply the information if it can be made available.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

I have been much informed by the material which has been given out to-night. I would ask the minister iMr. T. C. Douglas.]

if any provision has been made for the manufacture of armoured cars in Canada. They should be much easier to manufacture than tanks, and they would be exceedingly valuable to the country under certain conditions.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink

May 28, 1940