June 25, 1943 (19th Parliament, 4th Session)

CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

It looks as though the information was used for political purposes. The records will show that following the Prime Minister's statment in March, 1942, which laid down a policy, whether or not one agreed with it, Saskatchewan was treated in a manner different from the other provinces with regard to call-ups and postponements. I say that the Prime Minister laid down a policy based on an order in council. I do not care whether one agrees with that policy; once it has been laid down it should be carried out fairly in every province. That is the point I wish to make. A writer who I presume is friendly to the government-the Regina
Leader-Post is certainly a friendly newspaper -wrote this article in that paper on Monday, February 15, 1943. One of the members of the board, Mr. Stewart, had commented on an analysis of farm deferments, and Mr. Burton Richardson replied to Mr. Stewart and showed that he had spoken too soon. I quote:
Farm worker deferments from April to November, 1942, in the three prairie provinces have been:
Deferment Not
asked granted Per cent
Winnipeg 4,312 422 9'8Regina
3,974 916 23-05Edmonton 2,101 96 4-5
There was a slight improvement after the Prime Minister made his speech in the house. From October 9, 1940, to March 12, 1942, the Saskatchewan board received 2,218 applications for farm worker deferments, granted 1,370 and denied 848, or 39 per cent. From April to November, 1942, both inclusive, this board received 3,974 applications for farm worker deferment, granted 3,058 and denied1 916, or 23 per cent. Over the whole period its rate for refusing farm worker deferments has been 28 per cent.
In Manitoba the board was granting farm workers deferments before the change in policy in March at the rate of 61 per cent, but since then it has been granting them at the rate of 90 per cent. In the Quebec district the rate for granting such deferments was 67 per cent, and it rose to 95 per cent after the government changed its policy, or issued a clarification of its policy, whichever way you want to put it. The Ontario figures are the most interesting of all. The rate of farm

TFar Appropriation-Labour
worker deferment granted was 93 per cent, and after the clarification it rose to 96 per cent. Practically everyone who applied in Ontario was granted a postponement, but in Saskatchewan we find an entirely different picture.
I do not want to pursue this further now. Those of us who come from Saskatchewan ask only for the same treatment as is given to the ' other provinces and the other military districts. We want no favours. While there may be a slack period for a month or six weeks, when this period is over the harvest will be upon us. Unless something is done we may see a repetition of what happened last autumn, when, because of a shortage of labour, hundreds of thousands of acres were either not harvested-

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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