June 26, 1917 (12th Parliament, 7th Session)


William Ashbury Buchanan


Mr. W. A. BUCHANAN (Medicine Hat):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister of Labour (Mr. Crothers) a few questions on. a matter of urgent importance. Yesterday there was laid on the table of the House an Order in Council appointing Mr. Armstrong of Vancouver to look after the qperation of mines in western Canada. As I understand it, he is first to make inquiries and investigations which will delay the operation of the mines. I had understood that the Government had fully decided to take over and operate the mines and that Mr. Armstrong had been placed in charge of this work. I want to know whether these investigations and inquiries are to be made and whether the operation of the mines is to be delayed. I would think that the Government had sufficient information, now to decide what is the best policy to pursue.
I am also advised that the gentleman who has been appointed is not a friend of organized labour, but that, on the contrary he has been opposed to organized labour. If that is the case, I would suggest that it is a bad appointment to make in dealing
with a labour problem in western Canada. I would also ask the minister, in fairness to the House and the country, to make a complete statement in regard to the negotiations and efforts to bring about a settlement of the strike. I think Parliament and the country are entitled to a full statement especially when the Government has in view, such drastic action in connection with the, operation of the mines.

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