The stand taken by Great Britain was that it was not necessary for Great Britain to enter into such an agreement because there had been a very careful investigation into the working of the match factories in that country and a report had been handed in, and I venture to read a few words from that report:
In 1900 regulations were made and enforced. These regulations have had the effect of almost wholly suppressing the disease in England. In the five years that have elapsed since the alterations which they required having been made, there have been only five cases of necrosis and three of these were mild, the persons affected recovering and finding employment. Of the other two cases, both of which were fatal, one was that of a woman who was employed in a factory where no white phosphorus had been used for four years,
It is hardly fair to charge her case up to white phosphorus :
-and the other was that of a woman who had been guilty of direct infraction of one of the most important of the regulations.
The report concludes :
There have been no cases in 1906.
And so, the state of affairs in England was not such as to require Great Britain to agree to this convention, and so she declined to sign at that time. But, she went more than half way and she offered to sign if all the other nations concerned would sign. Sweden declined, Spain declined, Portugal declined, Japan declined, Norway declined even to send representatives to the convention, and Austro-Hun-gary and Belgium took the same stand as Great Britain. We find, therefore, that but a small portion of the continent of Europe had agreed to this convention, and when eventually, Great Britain offered to subscribe if the others would subscribe, thj others still held out and are holding out to this day. The countries subscribing were : France, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Switzerland, Wurtemburg, and Italy, and of these seven the first five already had this law on their statute-books, and so their signature bound them in no way to dp more than they were doing. That left Luxemburg which had not a match factory within its boundary, and Italy. So, Great Britain's offer to the nations' of Europe was not accepted by the nations of Europe and Great Britain did not sign. A year or two later on, and as the Minister of Labour says, a deputation came to the government of England, a deputation of match manufacturers asking them to pass this legislation, and I will not go beyond the words of the minister himself who said there were nine manufacturers representing all the match manufacturers of England ; that one of them Bryant & May had a formula which they had arranged with
their colleagues to use. And so. these gentlemen having the formula among the nine, being threatened by the importations from Sweden as referred to by the minister, calmly and coolly sacrificed themselves on the altar of patriotism by having an - Act passed which gave them a monopoly for all time to coma, shut out all competition on the part of others, and left these nine patriots in exclusive control of the English market. The minister has been so anxious that we should follow the English example that I think he had better study the circumstances under which England did consent, and see how the people of England were buncoed 'by the government when they passed such a Bill, and sea that Canada delays, as England did, until all the match manufacturers come to the government and agree in asking this.; then, perhaps, the government ought to consider their application. The minister pointed out that although on the face of this legislation it so invitas criticism that the press throughout the land have 'been charging him with having been the recipient of a gold brick at the hands of the Diamond Match Company, the minister triumphantly pointed out this cannot be the case, because in the United States where the Diamond Match Trust stands side by side with the Standard Oil Company-a company that is morally certain to receive at least justice when it seeks legislation- the Diamond Match Company having applied for legislation in the United States was as the minister knows unable to obtain it from the federal power because as they admitted they had no jurisdiction, but indirectly they endeavoured to give the benefits the Diamond Match Company wished by imposing taxes. And, even then despite all the influence of the Diamond Match Company it was apparently unable to pass its Bill until it assigned to trustees the secret formula which places it in the position of making every other match manufacturer on the continent pay toll to it until a better formula is discovered. The minister places great stress on the fact that the formula has been assigned to three gentlemen whose names are above the possibility of reproach, giving them the power to do what is proper between the parties. Would the minister, or would I, would any man if the owner of a valuable formula of that kind assign it with authority to others to do what was proper and would he think it proper to hand that over without any consideration to any company who wished to use it. Surely the first element of propsr conduct would be to do what is right by those who owned the formula. The first thing these trustees do is to exact a royalty ; and in the case of matches which sell by the million, it is a matter of no importance what the royalty is on each
box, but the business is so immense that if the Diamond Match Company can secure that royalty, they will have secured something well worth having, and if they can obtain a monopoly in Canada that is surely something worthy of consideration, and one of those things which will add to the increased cost of living. Surely the Minister of Labour will not deny that by compelling every manufacturer in Canada to use a formula owned by an American trust company and pay that trust a royalty and by compelling -him also to show the extent of the market lie can supply, he will be putting the manufacturer here completely at the mercy of this powerful trust of the United States ; and in so doing the hon. minister will surely not say that he is thereby reducing the cost of living.
I have spoken of the report by the government commission in Great Britain which was appointed to inquire into the effects and ravages of necrosis in that country, and that report shows that practically by British legislation necrosis has become a thing of the past in the mother land. I think I have shown why the manufacturers of England might well ask for legislation which would give the nine manufacturers in that country a monopoly for all time to come.
I find by referring to the dictionary of chemistry by Thorpe-an authority which will not be questioned-that this whole matter was threshed out in England from 1840 to 1865, and that although necrosis was a very common and hideous disease there prior to that time, by recent regulations, the English authorities have practically stamped it out: Away back as far as 1879 in Germany, out of 5,724 workmen coming in contact with phosphorus, only nine cases of necrosis were observed and only three of deaths from this illness. But still, insignificant even as that number was, Germany made regulations in 1884 which practically stamped out the disease in that country.
The hon. minister has said that when his attention was called to this appalling state of affairs, when he learned of the ravages of necrosis, he took steps to ascertain by communication with the provincial authorities whether any legislation had been passed by any province bearing on this subject. Does not this strike you, Sir, as a singular commentary on the way our ministers carry on the public business? Instead of employing clerks to write letters to provincial secretaries, would it not have , been much simpler to have turned up the revised statutes of each province and find out if they contained any7 legislation on this subject? All the minister would have to do would bp to look at the statutes and thus save himself the trouble of dictating bombastic . letters to the various provincial secretaries.
In the statutes of Ontario, there is a Factory Act, and he would probably find such an Act in the statutes of every province in the Dominion. In the Ontario Factory Act, chapter 256, he will find sanitary conditions imposed on all factories. He will find that ventilation, which in England was considered the principal remedy, is insisted on in the Ontario Act besides other regulations for the prevention of disease which have been found very effective. In the schedule at the end of that Act, page 3119 of the statutes, are included all those factories to which it applies, and I find match factories specifically named.
Subtopic: EDW. R. STETTINIUS,