April 3, 1922 (14th Parliament, 1st Session)


Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Leader of the Opposition) :

Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day are called I wish to put a question to the Government with regard to the positon of the present or apprehended strike in Nova Scotia. In this morning's press there is an announcement which purports to come from the Minister of Labour (Mr. Murdock). The substance of it is in five or six lines, which I will read:
I have not reconstituted the Gillen Board, and I shall not do so unless the "strike on the job" policy is abandoned and repudiated. It that policy is repudiated I shall be very glad to do anything in my power to bring about a settlement of the trouble.
Contrast that with the statement of the Government as embodied in the speech of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding), which may be compressed also into a very few words. After suggesting that th< Gillen Board should be reconstituted, and being asked by myself whether that intention on the part of the Government was to be carried out wholly irrespective of the order issued by Mr. McLachlan or conditional on that order being revoked, he said:
I made no condition about Mr. McLachlan at all, in fact I had not given that phase of the question much thought, but I think if we have legal power-and the Minister of Labour holds that we have-to revive the commission-I do not like the term "revive" ; I think the commission is still alive-they should be asked to resume the inquiry, go to Cape Breton and acquaint themselves sympathetically with conditions on the ground. I have every hope that if that is done you will have. a satisfactory conclusion of the difficulty.
That attitude I think was pretty generally accepted by the House as meaning that action on the part of the Department of Labour was not to abide the day of repentance on the part of McLachlan. May I ask, does the statement purporting to come from the Minister of Labour (Mr. Murdock) or the statement of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) of Thursday last represent the position of the Government to-day, or does neither?

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