June 25, 1925 (14th Parliament, 4th Session)


James Murdock (Minister of Labour)



My hon. friend may'
not have read the opinion of the Justice department and the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada on this matter. I have not at the moment a copy of the decision of the Supreme court, but I have before me the opinion of the Department of Justice. This opinion may not be acceptable to my hon. friend-indeed, I might disagree with it, but no one would give serious thought to my view, in so doing. Certain questions, among others the following, were submitted to the Justice department :
1. What is the nature of the obligation of the Dominion of Canada as a member of the International Labour conference, under the provisions of the Labour Part (part 13) of the treaty of Versailles, and of the corresponding provisions of the other treaties of peace with relation to such draft conventions and recommendations as may be from time to time adopted by the said conference under the authority of and pursuant to the aforesaid provisions?
2. Are the legislatures of the provinces the authorities within whose competence the subject matter of the said draft convention, (copy of which is herewith submitted) in whole or in part lies and before whom such draft convention should be brought, under the provisions of Article 405 of the treaty of Peace with Germany, for the enactment of legislation or other action ?
The Justice department dealt with these questions several years ago, and the Supreme court has also given its decision with relation to them. Therefore neither the view of my hon. friend nor of myself would have the slightest bearing on the constitutional position of the Dominion.

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