June 6, 1904

UNION LABELS BILL-ORDER DISCHARGED.


Mr. RALPH SMITH moved that the order for second reading of Bill (No. 35) respecting union labels be discharged.


CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. E. F. CLARKE.

Might I ask for some explanation from my hon. friend ?

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LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

It is simply to place myself in order for the re-introduction of the Bill.

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Motion agreed to, and order discharged.


RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT.

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Hon. CHAS@

FITZPATRICK (Minister of Justice) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 132) to amend the Railway Act, 19U3.

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CON
LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

This Bill is for the purpose of meeting a difficulty that was suggested during the course of the discussion on the Grand Trunk Pacific Bill with respect to the apportionment of freight rates as between two companies operating under a joint traffic arrangement. It was suggested that the Railway Commission had not full control over such an arrangement. I was of opinion at the time that they had that control ; but after looking at the Act, I think that the control would be only with respect to companies operating in Canada, and would not be . applicable to companies operating partly in Canada and partly in the United States. Nor do I think the provisions of the Act go far enough to be applicable to a transportation company operating on the great lakes and under the

control of a foreign corporation. That Is tlie tlrst amendment. The second is as to the nationality of the directors of subsidized railways in Canada.

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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


DOMINION STEEL COMPANY'S STRIKE

LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

Before the Orders of the Day are called, I desire to ask the Minister of Labour if the parties to the strike in Sydney, Nova Scotia, have request ed the intervention of the department, or if the minister himself has volunteered any assistance in that matter ?

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Sir WILLIAM MU LOCK@

Mr. Speaker, in answer to the hon. gentleman, I have to say that neither of the parties to the dispute at the Dominion Iron and Steel Company's works at Sydney has invited the intervention of the government or the Department of Labour. The Sydney Board of Trade did so, and overtures were made by the department to both parties ; but up to the present moment neither of the parties has been willing to avail itself of the services of the department. I have the correspondence here, and, if the House will allow me, I will read it. The following is a telegram from the Sydney Board of Trade :

Sydney, C.B., June 1, 1904, The Hon. Minister of Labour,

Ottawa.

The Sydney Board of Trade, at a meeting held to-day unanimously resolved to ask your intervention in the existing trouble between the Dominion Iron and Steel Company and its employees, which has resolved itself into a general strike that threatens to very seriously affect this community. Briefly stated, the employees' contention is that they are not receiving a living wage, or their just proportion of the bounties paid by your government to the company. The company, on the other hand, contends that it is paying average wages, and offers to arbitrate upon this point. The Board of Trade has therefore passed the following resolution :-That, in view of the large bounties paid by the government to the iron and steel industries in Canada, the government be requested to intervene along the following lines, namely, to require the company to show the condition of its affairs to such persons as the government may see fit to appoint, with a view either, (a) to convince the employees that the company is not yet in a position to accede to their demands for higher wages, or, - (b) to bring such pressure to bear upon the company as will lead to an immediate settlement of the existing difficulties.

(Sgd.) S. P. CHALLONER, Secy., Board of Trade.

In response to this the following communication was sent to the vice-president of the company, the president, I understand, being at present outside of the country :

Toronto, 2nd June, 1904,

Dear Sir,-The government much regrets the existing differences between the Dominion Iron Mr. FITZPATRICK.

and Steel Company and their employees and which have resulted in a strike and a shutting down of the works and earnestly hope that at the earliest moment harmony may be restored and the men be again at work.

The Sydney Board of Trade has telegraphed asking intervention of the Department of Labour, and I beg to offer the department's services' towards a settlement of the differences. Yours faithfully,

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W. MULOCK


Minister of Labour F. Nicholls, Esq., Vice-president, Dom. I. & S. C., Toronto. To this the following answer was received: 14-16 King St., East, - Toronto, Canada June 3rd 1904. Sir William Muloclc, K.C.M.G.. Minister of Labour, Ottawa. Dear sir,-I beg to acknowledge, receipt of your letter of the 2nd inst., and may say I share your regret at the existence of differences between the Dominion Iron and Steel Company and their employees. At the time of reorganization of the company's affairs last December, the position of the company was fully explained to the representatives of the men and also to members of the town council and Board of Trade of Sydney, and there has been no change for the better in the iron and steel market since that date. The trend of prices has been steadily downward, and ironmasters have in some cases shut down their works and in others reduced their staff of employees and also their wages. We have made a determined effort under discouraging circumstances to keep the various mills in operation and afford continued employment to our workmen. A short time since they made a demand for increased pay, which, under the circumstances, it is impossible to concede, but as with this demand was coupled the statement that they were receiving less than the standard rate of wages in similar industries, our directors in their reply offered to submit this claim to arbitration, and I inclose a copy of the resolution adopted unanimously by the directors at a special meeting called to consider the situation. As the men have voluntarily quit work, the company has decided to suspend operations until the iron and steel trade is in a more satisfactory condition, but with a sincere desire to alleviate any possible suffering, arrangements have been made to, so far as possible, give work to any of our late employees w'ho may desire It. Yours faithfully (Sgd.) FREDERIC NICHOLLS, Vice-president Dominion Iron and Steel Co. He inclosed in that letter the following-copy of the resolution referred to : Copy of a resolution unanimously passed by the directors of the Dominion Iron and Steel Company : At a meeting of the board held on Monday, May 30th, 1904, it was resolved that the director of w-orks be authorized to ask the officers of the P. W. Association and a committee of the employees of the company to meet the president and himself on Thursday, the 16th day of June next, and to say to them that the directors of this company are of opinion that they are now paying the current rate of wages beyond what it at present is and that in event of the P, W. Association and the committee of the employees disputing the correctness of this statement as to the rate of wages, that the company will consent to a decision thereon by a board of arbitrators to be chosen, one by the company, one by the employees, and an umpire to be chosen by these two, and failing the choice, that he be a judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia named by the lieutenant governor. I also sent tlie following telegram to Mi Moffatt : (Telegram.) Toronto, 3rd June, 1904. John Moffatt, Grand Secretary, P.W.A., Sydney, N.S. Sydney Board of Trade has telegraphed government suggesting its intervention with view to removal of present troubles between Dominion Iron and Steel Company and its employees. Government greatly regrets existence of these differences, and hope that without jlelay satisfactory solution may be found, and if desired will be pleased to lend its friendly services towards removing grounds of friction and reestablishing friendly relations between both sides. Kindly telegraph me whether intervention by government agreeable to employees, directing answer after to-day to me at Ottawa.


WILLIAM MULOCK,


Minister of Labour. To this telegram the following reply was received : Dominion, N.S., June 4. Hon. Wm. Muloclc, Ottawa. We prefer to be left to settle this dispute ourselves in our own way. Thanks for kind offer.


JOHN MOFFATT.


On the 4tli of .Tune I sent the following telegram to Mr. Challoner : (Copy) June 4, 1904. S. P. Challoner, Secretary Board of Trade, Sydney, N.S. On request of Sydney Board of Trade I offered to both parties friendly intervention of Department of Labour in present dispute between Iron and Steel Company and their employees, but greatly regret that replies received indicate unwillingness to accept government intervention. Am mailing you to-day copies of correspondence. (Signed.) WILLIAM MULOCK. On the same day I forwarded the copies of the correspondence, accompanied by the following letter : (Copy)


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Diet. G.@

June 4, 1904.

re Request of Sydney Board of Trade for intervention of Department of Labour, in dispute between Dominion Iron and Steel Company and its employees.

Dear Sir :

As promised in my telegram to you this morning, I am inclosing you herewith copies

of correspondence between the government and the Dominion Iron and Steel Company, and the representative of its employees, in regard to the communication received from the Sydney Board of Trade, asking the intervention of the Department of Labour, with a view of bringing about a settlement of existing difficulties.

Upon receipt of your telegram I immediately offered the services of the department to both parties, but greatly regret that the replies received indicate an unwillingness to accept government intervention.

It is possible that the parties to the dispute may not desire the immediate intervention of any third party, hut that later on they may change their attitude in this particular. In which event I shall be only too pleased to lend the friendly offices of the department, should such intervention be acceptable.

Yours faithfully,

WILLIAM MULOCK, Minister of Labour.

S. P. Challoner, Esq.

Secretary Board of Trade,

Sydney, N.S.

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June 6, 1904