June 14, 1940

LIB

Ralph Melville Warren

Liberal

Mr. WARREN:

While the hon. member for Cape Breton South was speaking I was wondering if he had ever met the type of workman who talks himself out of any job he has ever got. Most of us know that type of man. I do not know anything about the particular person the hon. member has been

Munitions and Supply Act

talking about, but I do know individuals who, although good enough workers, can never get a job with a private company or corporation without invariably talking themselves out of it just because they begin to make trouble among the other workers. There is no private employer of labour who will willingly tolerate that sort of thing if his men generally speaking are satisfactory, are doing their work willingly, are getting along well, and are happy and satisfied. When such a condition exists, then one man comes along and immediately starts to agitate and to make trouble, and it is no wonder that such a man eventually finds himself unable to get work with private employers of labour in his own neighbourhood. He is the type of fellow the government sometimes find clamouring for work on government jobs of one sort or another. He is the type of fellow that eventually finds himself wandering from place to place under a cloud, seeking employment and not finding it. In many instances the blame lies not at all with the employer of labour but with the individual himself. Who can blame employers of labour when they find their whole operation disorganized because some individual will persist in agitating and causing trouble, no matter where he may land a job?

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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LIB

William Pate Mulock

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

Since the question of the Bren gun has come up this afternoon, I wish to refer to one matter the public is interested in more than anything else. I do so because when I was in Toronto last week-end responsible people mentioned to me that rumours were current throughout the city that there was some difficulty which was retarding production of the weapon. Instead of devoting our time to disputes of that sort, which surely could be ironed out by the Minister of Labour (Mr. McLarty), at a time like this we ought to be getting down to business in order to expedite the delivery of supplies not only for the use of the dominion's troops but for our allies who have appealed to us, in the words of President Reynaud which we heard this afternoon. If the statements made to the effect that the Bren gun is not being turned out properly, that it is not operating efficiently, are not correct, those responsible for them should be interned and prosecuted, because they are undermining the morale not only of the Canadian people but of the Canadian soldiers who are going to use that weapon to fight for us. Will the minister make a statement as to the correctness or otherwise of the rumours which have been abroad during the last few weeks?

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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NAT

Karl Kenneth Homuth

National Government

Mr. HOMUTH:

Surely in this debate we will not discuss again the question of the Bren

gun or anything in connection with it. Whatever debate there was on that subject, it is over. We are trying to get on with the business of the country.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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LIB

William Pate Mulock

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

It is a question of rumours that are going around along that line, and I think the hon. member will agree that if those rumours are not correct, the sooner the people know the fact the better.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

We have not heard those rumours this afternoon.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

I have no desire to intervene in this debate or to discuss the question from the angle brought forward by the hon. member for York North (Mr. Mulock). He is twenty-four hours late. We were discussing yesterday the resolution of the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) with regard to the defence of Canada regulations. The hon. member stayed at home too long over the week-end.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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LIB

William Pate Mulock

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

I was in the house.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

I did not see the hon. gentleman. The hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis) has raised an important principle. We are living now in the nineteen-forties. I think the hon. gentleman to my right who spoke a moment ago is still living in the nineteenth century. This country has recognized, as I think all sensible employers of labour have come to recognize, the principle of corporate or collective bargaining among the labouring men of the country. I have a confession to make. Years ago I opposed the organization of the employees of corporations with which I have been associated, first in a legal capacity and subsequently as a director, and I am bound to say that after a careful review of the whole situation, and without having any thought or idea of its importance to or bearing on my political fortunes, I have reversed my position. I am in favour of the theory of collective bargaining and have urged my clients and the corporations with which I have been associated to agree to the principle. I realize, in reading history, that the labouring men have never got anywhere in the endeavour to improve their position in Canada, and particularly in the old country, until they had some kind of organization to speak for them. Labour organizations are like other organizations; there are good ones and bad ones. In the United States they have gone too far. Labour over there has endeavoured to take governments by the throat, to dictate the election of presidents, and also to dictate national policies. That is beyond their pin-view.

Munitions and Supply Act

But to come to the concrete question which the hon. member for Cape Breton South has raised, here is a company which was set up to build a war machine for this government and the British government and for nobody else, and it is public money that is going into it- nobody else's money so far as I know. A proper relationship should be established since it is public money that is being spent. The government of Canada has recognized this principle for a long time. We passed legislation establishing the eight-hour day in dominion public works. I tried to help get through other legislation with respect to social services which would be of assistance in ameliorating social conditions among the workers of Canada, but that legislation was ruled ultra vires by the courts of the country. So far as unemployment insurance is concerned, Canada is at least five years too late in making a start. I do not say that such a scheme will cure unemployment, but it will certainly alleviate the conditions of unemployment. The opposition was challenged by hon. gentle-nen across the way.

That is an old story now; but to come back :o this very point which the hon. member :or Cape Breton South has raised, if I apprehend what the complaint was, it was in effect ;hat Major Hahn of the John Inglis company vas carrying on a system of sabotage against organized labour in that industry, which has its being to-day by virtue of the expenditure of public money. I do not agree with that, and I ask the Minister of Labour (Mr. McLarty) to look into the matter in the interests of the country and-for the most part among the best citizens we have in Canada-the genuine trade unionists. There are others, but the genuine trade unionists in my town are among the best citizens we have there. I am for the principle of collective bargaining; I do not care who knows it. If I am unable to carry this party with me in it, well and good; but that is my view and I think the government ought to see to it that Major Hahn and the John Inglis company do not carry on a system of sabotage against their employees on the theory that they will drive unionism out of that institution. The complaint may not be well founded. The minister should not be asked to go very far- certainly not as far as some hon. gentlemen to my left are asking-in incorporating provisions in contracts already executed and under way, but he should look into the matter and see to it that this company at least is carrying out the laws of the land both federal and provincial.

TMr. R. B. Hanson.]

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

An hon. member asked me whether I had ever met the sort of man who talked himself out of a job and who would not work. I can answer in two ways. You will generally find the men who will not work, at the head of corporations. The second classification, covers the man who talks himself out of a job. Yes, I have met such men too, the men who pioneered the way for trade unionism, many of them classified as agitators and driven from one end of the country to the other, the sort of men referred to this afternoon as those who talked themselves out of jobs. To men of that kind go the credit for every bit of progress in this and every other country in the world. I have talked myself out of several jobs, too, organizing the trade union movement, but torday I see it established one hundred per cenit in the province in which I lost those jobs. So I lost nothing in the end. I am proud of that activity, as every man who has taken that position is proud. These men understand the road they are travelling and are prepared for whatever repercussions there may be.

The man whose case I took up this afternoon-and I took it up on the authority of a person in whom I have all the confidence in the world-is not that kind of man at all. I understand he is a master mechanic, one of the best qualified men in Canada to carry on the work of the plant from which he was dismissed. All he did was ask that the laws of this country be recognized by those carrying on the operation of that plant. It has been stated in this house that men with these qualifications, specialists in industry and so on, are very badly needed, that there is a great shortage of them in Canada to-day. That has been admitted by the ministers of different departments. Here is a fully qualified man who is now on the road simply because he wants to exercise his rights as a citizen in this year of grace 1940.

I think the day is past when actions of this land should be permitted in this country. I have every hope that the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe) will do something about this matter now that it has been brought to his attention. In my opinion the Department of Labour has gone as far as it can go by way of legislation. I understand that it has had this matter under consideration for a couple of months, but apparently it is not able to do very much about it. So I wanted to bring the matter sharply to the attention of the Minister of Munitions and Supply, because he deals with these people

Munitions and Supply Act

directly in connection with their contracts, and, I believe, will be in a better position to force them to take some action.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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LIB

Robert Wellington Mayhew

Liberal

Mr. MAYHEW:

The hon. gentleman

(Mr. Gillis) who has just spoken has certainly not talked himself out of a job; apparently he has talked himself into a very nice job as a member of this house.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

That is my reward for past

activities.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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LIB

Robert Wellington Mayhew

Liberal

Mr. MAYHEW:

I do not doubt that the

hon. member deserves it. Although I am a manufacturer and an employer of labour, I am also in favour of unions. My plant is organized, and I have always encouraged my employees to organize. I ask only one thing: that those who are sincere in trying to promote the best interests of the men take an active interest in that organization. So I have no quarrel with my hon. friend. I am quite in agreement with him when he says he would like to see all our plants unionized.

I cannot agree, however, with the man who will deliberately state in this house that the manufacturers of Canada are looking for any 200 per cent profit at this time. Last week I attended the meetings of the Canadian Manufacturers' association in Winnipeg, and I venture to say there is not a plant in Canada of which this government could not take control to-morrow without giving any remuneration whatever. This morning I had the pleasure of offering, on behalf of some of the men of my province, their services, their money and their factories without asking one dollar in return. They are willing to take their money out of their pockets or out of their banks-what is left of it-and all they ask is the capital return. When my hon. friend says that the manufacturers are looking for a profit of 200 per cent, I say that is an indictment of our Minister of Finance (Mr. Ralston) if he brings in a budget that does not make provision for the odd man who wants to graft on the country at this time. It is not a question of whether the Minister of Finance should take twenty per cent, thirty per cent, forty per cent or fifty per cent of the excess profits; he should take every dollar of them. No honest Canadian citizen should come out of this war one dollar better off than he was when it started.

I would say to my hon. friend, however, or to anyone else who rises and asks for his rights in Canada to-day, whether he be an employer or an employee: Will he get his rights if Hitler comes over here and takes charge? If that should happen, he will do

exactly what he is told. If I were in the saddle to-day in this country, both labour and industry would do exactly what they were told, until the war was over.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

Are the government taking any responsibility for the training of skilled workmen for our war industries? One hears from time to time that there is, or is apt to be, a shortage of skilled labour. It would be interesting to know whether the government have anything in mind along the line of helping to train men for this special work.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

There has been a long debate in this house on the resolution brought in by the Minister of Labour which I thought pretty well dealt with that question. I may tell my hon. friend, however, that there are various training plans. I hardly think it comes under this resolution to deal with those plans in detail, but there are a good many of them, all having the same end in view.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

Does the minister mean under the government, or private training plans?

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

There is assistance given to private plans, and there are provincial plans assisted by federal grants.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Grants in aid from this government?

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Yes.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON (Bow River):

I have something to say in connection with the training of mechanics, but I do not want to go into the matter in detail at this time because the minister has given the assurance that the question will be taken up in greater detail on the second reading of the bill. For that reason I have not said very much about that matter, but I think there should be a definite plan for the training of men. The minister has referred to several plans which are now in operation, but in my estimation they are not up to the standard at all. I can see clearly that in the near future we are going to have a very much greater demand for trained mechanics. I had the privilege of studying some of these plans, and I want to tell the minister that such plans as I have studied are not at all adequate to meet thy great necessities we are about to face. I should like to go into that in greater detail a little later on, but I think the minister would be well advised to consider the suggestion advanced by the hon. member for Victoria, B.C. (Mr. Mayhew), who spoke a moment ago.

From what I have seen I am quite convinced that the sort of training which is being given

Munitions and Supply Act

is not conducive to the best results. It is entirely too elementary. I have been in contact with quite a few principals of technical schools, in this and in other provinces, and I have found that almost without exception those schools are prepared to go to any lengths to assist the government to train mechanics who will be able to step right into these munition plants, aeroplane factories and so on, and carry on efficiently. So far as I know, that is not being done at the present time. I think the government would be well advised to see what can be done in conjunction with these technical schools, in order that the graduates of these schools may give greater assistance to industry than is at present the case. I know from the communications I have had with the principals of these schools that they are only too anxious to cooperate with that end in view. When the bill is up for second reading, I shall want to go into this in more detail because I think there are certain matters that should be straightened out. I believe the minister would be well advised to see what could be done in connection with the further training of mechanics.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

I was quite pleased to hear the statement of the hon. member who spoke for the manufacturers' association. Apparently we have made a great step forward, and I am quite sure we are going to get some action soon. The minister stated in September 1939 that not one contract offered by the war supply board was accepted with the five per cent limitation. Perhaps the hon. member should explain the reason for that, or would the minister make a statement?

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO CLARIFY AND EXTEND POWERS OF MINISTER, ETC.
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June 14, 1940