I shall not undertake to cover the ground with respect to these unemployment relief camps, because it has been covered at length by the minister in charge of the department. This history of the necessity for the establishment of these camps is well known. It has been said that this is a twenty cents per day wage. Let those who still adhere to that euphonious way of describing these camps have whatever comfort, political or otherwise, they can get out of it; it does not make any difference to me. The reason for the establishment of these camps was the utter incapacity and alleged inability of the provinces to take care of men who were unable to take care of themselves. No one is forced into these camps, and only the transgressors are forced out of them. The men get food and are furnished splendid clothing; they are not overworked and they receive this gratuity. So far as I am aware these camps are better than similar camps which have been established south of the forty-ninth parallel. It was never intended that this twenty cents per day should be a wage. Wherever it has been necessary to erect biddings and employ artisans, the artisans employed are paid the current wages.
Let me point out that these camps do give sanctuary to these men. Men who have been totally and absolutely unable to take care of themselves have been given food and shelter. Every possible step has been taken by those in charge to keep in touch with industry in order that men may be returned to industry without a shaken morale and in good shape physically. The camps have provided a clearing house for almost 24,000 men who have been returned to industry after a more or less temporary sojourn rendered necessary by the stress of the times through which we are passing. Instead of taking sides
Supply-Labour-Old Age Pensions
with those who are perhaps sullenly resentful -as the camps are cleared out we get down to the turbulent class-I think hon. members should recognize the burden which the taxpayer of Canada has assumed quite willingly. We should not forget the efforts which have been put forth by those charged with the administration of these camps and the success which has followed.
Topic: DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR