February 13, 1911


1. That they cull the best of the grain for their own mills: (a) By buying through their own elevators, especially in the districts which produce the best milling grade, as shown them by their experiments. (b) By somehow selecting the best car lots in Winnipeg, or by having cars stopped at their mills or terminals, which they can buy or not as they choose. (c) By selecting from all the grain they buy the best lots, and selling the remainder. 2. That the defeots of the grading system, and the absence of a central market, enabled them to buy -grain which though slightly bleached, smutted or frosted, is of superior quality, and to buy it at a price far below its value. 3. That because of their culling, the grades of grain exported are lowered, with the result that export and home prices are lowered, and that it is at these lowered prices they secure the very best of the grain, except where they pay a small premium. _ 4. That besides lowering the prices by lowering the grades, they artificially depress prices: (a) By spreading false reports about the crops. (b) By juggling in options, and especially by selling market value early in the season in the Liverpool market, quantities of grain for future delivery. One illustration of this bearing of the market is seen in the fact that wheat sells for less on the Canadian than on the American side of the line, though the Canadian wheat is the superior article. I draw attention to that last paragraph. Here is a report published and printed by the Liberal government of the province of Saskatchewan, stating distinctly that the same class of wheat brings a better price on the American side than it does on the Canadian side. Now, I cannot see possibly how that can result from anything but a system of fraud on the Canadian side. We know that the Liverpool market fixes the price, both for Canadian and American grain ; because tooth countries export grain and we know that grain grown on the American side of the boundary line goes through Baltimore and New York to Europe, while that raised on the Canadian side goes from Port Arthur and Fort William to Montreal, and arriving in Liverpool they are sold in competition with each other. Therefore, this eight or ten cents per bushel must be lost on the way. The farmers are robbed on the road. They lose ten million dollars every year, that is taken from them on the way to the market; this happens between the grading and the elevators. The farmers know that this is taking place; they know they are losing all this money. They paid their way down here, and in a very careful manner they laid their cause before this government, and the government promised to listen to them. One of those farmers told the government on the floor of this House that they were losing ten cents a bushel on their wheat. Now, are you going to ask the farmers of the west



to lose 'another ten million dollars? I say that is the position, if we reject this resolution of the hon. member for Souris; but I hope there are enough men on the other side of the House to back us up and to pass it. I would not consider it a vote of want of confidence at all, but an endorsement of the Bill which they are shortly to bring down, and which will, if they speak truly, be exactly in accord with this resolution. Now, why is there an amendment moved to this resolution? I would ask the hon. gentleman who moved that amendment to withdraw it. I think, in the face of what has been said here to-day, he would be doing a kindness to Canada, and particularly to the .western farmers, and more particularly to his own constituents in Humboldt, if he withdrew that amendment. Let us lay aside party spirit as much as possible; there is too much of it here, and let us try to do the best we can for the people. That is what they sent us here for. I was pleased with the speech of the hon. member for Regina (Mr. Martin). I thought he made a very careful and temperate speech, and he gave us a great deal of useful information. I wonder he is not nere to stand up and support the hon. member for Souris, who has been juggled out of the benefit of the resolution he brought forward. > Let me remind you that the member for Souris put his resolution on the Order Paper long ago, long before this Bill was ever mentioned by the government. And now, when he is allowed to bring it forward an endeavour is made to sidetrack it by this amendment of the hon. member for Humboldt. This is not the way for the government to carry out the desires of the grain growers of the west. It is simply a block game.


CON

William James Roche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. J. ROCHE (Marquette).

I do not wish to he the only western member who has failed to raise his voice in support of the resolution of the hon. member for Souris (Mr. Schaffner). Having spoken some time ago on the resolution of the hon. member for Regina (Mr. Martin), I will curtail my remarks on this occasion. The House will remember that when that large delegation from the west came down to interview the government in the session of 1907-8, composed of farmers, a representation of the elevator men, and all the various interests connected with the transportation, the marketing and storage of grain it was then stated by the farmers present that they were convinced there was mixing going on in those terminal elevators. They were asked to produce the evidence. The owners of those elevators took exception to that statement, and while the farmers had no specific proof to offer at that date, they knew they were not getting sufficient prices for their grain in the old coantry; they wdre suspicious that the Mr. CHISHOLM (Huron).

grain was being mixed, and the experience of the past year goes to prove thht to a certainty.

A Bill was prepared by the right hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce that session. It was prepared largely under the influence of a report presented by a royal commission that had been appointed by this government to inquire into the grain trade. It is true that the royal commission did not report in favour of government ownership and operation of the terminal elevators. They did claim, however* that this government should control by supervision the weighing of the grain into the elevators and the weighing out of the elevators. It is now admitted by everybody that after giving this system a considerable trial the mixing of grain has gone on notwithstanding all those officials, who have been appointed by this government and that it has gone on under their very eyes. That was admitted by the hon. member for Ded Deer (Mr. Clark), and the hon. member for Humboldt (Mr. Neely), this afternoon, and they took great credit to the government, by Teason of the fact that those who were convicted of mixing were convicted by these government officials and that, therefore, a great deal of credit was attached to the action taken by these officials. But, Mr. Speaker, if it is a fact that more of No. 1 or No. 2 Hard was shipped out of the elevator than came in, by reason of lower grades being mixed with No. 1 quality, it did not require any expert to discover that fact; almost anybody could have detected that, and could have laid a charge against these men of having mixed the grain. But, it did not prevent the mixing. The mixing went on right under the eyes of these supervisors, and it went on by reason of the fact that those elevators are owned and operated by gentlemen who are intimately connected with the grain trade, who are the owners of the line elevators, and by reason of the fact that they are vitally, financially interested in the manipulation of grain at the terminal elevators. Even under this new Bill, I believe that the ownership and operation of those elevators will not differ practically from what it is at the present time. The Act, as I have said, that was presented to this parliament in 1907-8, was prepared in accordance with the recommendation of the Royal Commission, and when it came to this House, those of us on this side of the House who engaged in a criticism of the measure, asserted that it would not give the satisfaction that the government claimed it would. Last year when my hon. friend from Souris introduced a resolution, much on the same lines a9 the resolution moved here to-night, it was claimed by some hon. gentlemen op-

posite, as a reason for opposing it, and in support of the amendment which the hon. member for Regina (Mr. Martin), moved that the Act now in force, was carrying out the wishes of the Royal Grain Commission and, secondly, that sufficient time had not been given for the operation of the Act to prove that it w'as not going to be satisfactory. The hon. member for Regina went rather farther than that, and I will just read a short paragraph from the remarks which he made on that occasion. On the 5th of April, 1909, that hon. gentleman said:

I claim that government control if properly carried out should be as efficient as government ownership, if not more so. Under the present system you have two sets of officials, the government official and the employees of the terminal elevators, who act as a check upon each other. But if the elevators were owned and operated by the government there would be only one set of officials to weigh in the grain and to weigh it out, so that the present system if properly carried out ought to give us more efficient control than the system of government ownership.

Further on he said:

I have referred to the legislation passed last year. I claim that if this legislation is properly enforced under the system of government control, it must remove the difficulties of mixing grades which are alleged to exist at these terminal elevators.

Mark you, he says, that if the Act is properly enforced, it will do away with all mixing. Well, we had the hon. gentleman admitting last week, or the week before, that mixing has been going on under this Act. Is it true that the Act has not been properly enforced ? If it has not been properly enforced, whose fault is it ? Is it not the fault of this government who appointed over seventy officials for the purpose of enforcing the Act right under whose eyes the mixing has gone on ? The hon. member for Regina was either Tight when he stated that government control would be sufficient, if properly enforced, or he had a mistaken idea of the benefits that would accrue from government ownership and operation. Now, the Act of 1907-8 was not approved by the grain growers. They claimed that nothing but complete government ownership would put an end to mixing, that so long as those who had the manipulation of the grain in the terminal elevators were intimately connected with the grain trade and the owners of the line elevators it was impossible to check the mixing that was going on right under the eyes of the officials. The hon. member for Red Deer, who, I am sorry to say is not present, accused the members on this side of the House of socialism, by reason of their advocacy of the government ownership of terminal elevators. We had a resolution passed unanimously by the Saskatchewan legislature last year, which every Grit and Tory voted in favour of, demanding government ownership of terminal elevators. Is it that the Liberals and Conservative members in the Saskatchewan legislature are so tinged with socialism as to advocate that which has led to such strong objection here to-night ? The hon, member for Regina and the hon. member for Saltcoats (Mr. MacNutt), have stated that a change has taken place and that they have come to the conclusion at last, by gradual process, that government ownership is the only remedy for the existing state of affairs.

Reference has been made here to-night to the construction of the Hudson Bay railway, and it has been stated by the Prime Minister that the terminal of this road was going to be owned by the gov* ernment. If it is right and proper for the government to own the terminal of the Hudson Bay railway, what objection cap there be to owning the terminal at Fort William and Port Arthur. A minister of the Crown has stated that it is the intention of the government to have a terminal elevator, owned by the government, on the Pacific coast. To-day we find the government owning elevators at Port Colborne, St. John, Halifax and, I think, at Montreal. I do not think that they can be rightly charged with socialism by reason of owning and operating these elevators, If they can be operated successfully why cannot the elevators at Fort William and Port Arthur be operated just as successfully ? When the right hon. Prime Minister was in the west he was met by delegation after delegation, urging the government to take over and operate the terminal elevators at Port Arthur and Fort William. The Prime Minister went to the extent that while he was personally not in favour of government ownership, still, if no other means could be devised, he could see no objection to the government taking over these elevators and operating them.

Well, I believe a Bill has been prepared and we have seen a short synopsis of it in the press. We had a short explanation of it by the hon. the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) here to-day and he stated as an objection to the adoption of this resolution proposed by my hon. friend from .Souris that the government desired to study the question, that they did not wish to rush into this thing. They want time to study a question that has been before the country and the government for several years past. It has been studied by the farmers. Parliament has been petitioned session after session and I do not think that by adopting it this session there would be any undue haste exhibited by

this government. It has been said that the new Act is going to provide greater penalties for the mixing of grain. I believe that last year the total amount of the fines collected in the three cases was $5,500, While under the proposed new Act the minimum fine is $5,000 and the maximum $20,000. It will, therefore, have a certain deterrent effect, but it does not do away with the real ownership of the elevators and take them out of the hands of those who are intimately connected with the grain trade in other portions of the country. The hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Cash) said that the delegation that came down here to interview the Prime Minister seemed to be perfectly satisfied with the interview they had had with the government and with the assurances that they had received as to the new Bill to be introduced on this subject. Well, I have a little proof here rather to the contrary. Last week the farmers of Saskatchewan met in convention, several hundreds of them being in attendance representing several thousands of the farmers of that province, and they evidently are aware of the nature of this government Bill introduced in the Senate, because this is how they commented upon it:

Whereas the Dominion government has so far conceded to our demands re the government ownership and operation of the terminal elevators as to bring down a Bill appointing a commission with drastic powers, therefore, be it resolved, that while acknowledging this forward step, the Dominion Council of Agriculture reiterate the request that provision be made for the necessary funds to purchase or lease the necessary terminals and reaffirm the former position that nothing short of government operation will remedy the existing evils.

That does not look as if the government Bill is going to meet with any greater favour from the western grain growers than does the legislation now on the statute-books. The question was asked to-day of the hon. member for Souris, if many of the farmers of Manitoba had availed themselves of the provincial elevators taken over by the government of the province this year, and, the hon. gentleman gave his reply. If you read the report of the chairman of the provincial commission you will see the hard proposition they were up against in the year 1910, which was a year of short crops and consequently a bad year to inaugurate a system of that kind. But notwithstanding that tlhe grain buyers 'at points where the government had purchased an elevator did their best to squeeze out and discourage the farmers from patronizing that elevator, they gave higher prices for the grain at these points than they would have paid under other circumstances. They have also built new elevators and equipped them in a modern manner, they have done away Mr. ROCHE.

with the heavy dockage that formerly existed, they now merely make deduction for shrinkage, they have special bins provided and there is every reason to hope that these modern elevators will give satisfaction. So much is this the case that the chairman of the commission having explained the operations of the Act-and remember it is less than a year since the provincial government took over the elevators-the Grain Growers' Association of Brandon passed a resolution unanimously endorsing the principle of provincial government ownershin of the elevators in that province. This, of course, is the very best reason that can be given to show that provincial ownership is in their opinion likely to prove a success. It is, of course, claimed that the provincial system of ownership will not ibe a success either in Manitoba or Saskatchewan unless the Dominion government acts in concert with these provinces and takes over and operates the terminal elevators. The amendment of the hon. member (Mr. Neely) is much the same excuse for shelving this motion as that resorted to last year when the member for Regina (Mr. Martin) moved his amendment. At that time the delay was asked to allow more time to see if the legislation introduced by the government would prove satisfactory, and to-day it is to allow further legislation being introduced.^ At present we have upwards of 70 Dominion inspectors overseeing the weighing in and out of the grain at these elevators, and about all that the Bill does is to appoint three supervisors to supervise the present inspectors, in addition to which it provides for additional penalties. The government Bill is not based on the principle that the farmers have been advocating and that we on this side of the House have been urging on the government, and for that reason I submit that the resolution introduced by the hon. member for Souris (Mr. Schaffner) should be adopted and not sidetracked by the amendment proposed by the hon. member for Humboldt.

House divided on the amendment (Mr. Neely). .

YEAS:

Messieurs

Allard,

Allen,

Ayleeworth,

Beaupa riant,

Boland,

Black,

Borer,

Brown,

Carvell,

Cash,

Chew,

Chisholm (Inverness), Clark (Red Deer), Clarke (Essex), Congdon,

McMillan,

Major,

Marcile (Bagot), Martin ((Montreal, Ste. Mary's), Martin (Reginal, Mayrand,

Meigs,

Michaud.

Miller,

Molloy,

Murphy.

Nesbitt,

Neely,

Oliver,

Currie

(Prince Edward), Delisle,

Demers,

Douglas,

Dubeau,

Ethier,

Fielding,

Fortier,

Fowke,

Gauvreau,

Geoffrion,

Girard,

Gladu,

Graham,

Harty,

Hodgins, 1 Hunt,

King,

Kyte,

Lafortune,

Lanctot (Laprairie-

Napierville),

Lanctot (Richelieu), Lapointe,

Laurier (Sir Wilfrid),

i^aw,

j_.eimeux,

Lovell,

Low,

Macdonald,

McColl,

McCraney,

McKenzie,

McLean (Huron), McLean (Sunbury),

Papineau,

Pardee,

Parent,

Paterson,

Pickup,

Proulx,

Rankin,

Reid (Restigouche), Richards,

Rivet,

Robb,

Ross (Middlesex), Ross (Rimouski), Roy (Dorchester), Roy (Montmagny), Rutan,

Savoie,

Schell,

Sealey,

Seguin,

Sinclair,

Smith (Middlesex), Smith (Stormont), Sperry,

Talbot,

Templeman,

Todd,

Tolmie,

Turcotte (Nieolet), Turcotte (Quebec County),

Verville,

White (Victoria, Alta.), and Wilson (Laval.)-9G.

Stratton,

McAllister,

McGiverin,

Warburton.

Loggie,

Fisher,

Pugsley,

Bureau,

Bickerdike,

Carrier,

Conmee,

Chisholm (Antigonish) Emmereon. *>

German,

Gorden (Kent), Guthrie,

Knowles,

LeBlanc,

McCoig,

McIntyre,

Martin (Wellington), Prowse,

Smith (Nanaimo). Turriff,

MacNutt,

Champagne,

Devlin,

Gervais,

Lachance.

Gordon (Nipiseing), Rhodes,

Boyce,

Jameson,

Daniel,

Osier,

Price,

Porter,

Ames,

Blondin,

Bristol,

Crosby,

Forget,

Lancaster,

Lalor,

Barker,

Magrath.

Paquet,

Donnelly,

Russell,

Marshall,

Crockett,

Cowan,

Worthington,

Northrup,

Elson,

Clare.

Macdonell,

Wilcox.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   AGAINST THE LARGE WESTERN MILLING COMPANY.
Permalink

Amendment agreed to. Motion as amended agreed to.


HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.


NAYS: Messieurs Armstrong, Maddin, Arthurs, Meighen, Barnard, Middlebro, Bast, Monk, Blain, Nantel, Borden (Halifax), Owen, Bradbury, Perley, Broder, Reid (Grenville), Burrell, Roche, Campbell, Schaffner, Chisholm (Huron), Sexsmith, Crothers, Sharpe (Lisgar), Currie (Simcoe), Sharpe (Ontario), Doherty, Smyth, Edwards, Sproule, F raser, Stanfield, Goodeve, Staples, Haggart (Winnipeg), Stewart, Henderson, Taylor (Leeds), Herron, Taylor Hughes, (New Westminster), Kidd, Thoburn, Lake, Thornton, Lennox, Wallace, Lewis, White ^Renfrew), Lortie, Wilson (Lennox and McCall, Addington) and McCarthy, Wright.-51. PAIRS: Messieurs Ministerial. Opposition. Brodeur, Haggart (Lanark), | Borden (Sir F.), Foster, Harris, Beattie, The House resumed adjourned debate on the motion of Mr. Verville for third reading of Bill (No. 3) respecting the hours of labour on public works.


CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. S. SPROULE (East Grey).

I opposed the second reading of this Bill, and I have since heard nothing to induce me to change my mind. True, if the Bill, as first introduced, was intended to help the labouring classes it is less valuable to them in its amended form now before us, but be that as it may, my opinion is because I disapprove on principle of a measure of this character. I opposed it in the first place because it interferes with personal liberty. I hold that we should not by legislation here prevent a man from labouring any number of hours that his physical strength allows him to, and his actual requirements necessitate. In so far as this Bill interferes with personal liberty in that respect I oppose it. Again, I am opposed to it, because, if we are to judge by the petitions that have come to this House from working people in many lines of occupation, the aim of this legislation is in time to prevent every line of labour from working more than eight hours a day. One of the reasons given as a defence of this Bill is that it applies only to public works under control of the federal government, and if that were so it would be less objectionable to me than it is at present, but, without doubt it is designed t.o extend beyond public works. One reason that I

gave for my opposition on the second reading of the Bill was, and I repeat it, that if we legislate here to compel an employer of labour to pay 10 hours' wages for 8 hours' work the product of that labour must be sold at an increased price, and_in that way we are perpetrating a great injustice on those who must toil longer hours to pay for the product of the labour of those who work shorter hours. In ' the great city of Toronto- public works are going on all the time, and if you legislate that those employed on -them are only to work 8 hours a day, it is an incitement -to other men to agitate for equally short hours. If, for instance, the men in the Massey Harris establishment would only work 8 hours a day producing agricultural machinery, the price of that product must be enhanced beyond the very high price charged at the present time, and so the farmers who buy that product will Ibe obliged to work longer hours to pay for it. Although the agriculturists of this country are now working much longer hours than the men who produce these articles, if they are obliged to work one or two hours a day longer to pay for the enhanced price because of the shorter hours of labour, then you are doing a great injustice to the farmers of this country. If you compel a fanner, who now works 10, 12 or 14 hours a day, to work 15 or 16 hours a day to pay the enhanced price for an implement turned out by a man working 8 hours a day surely you are doing the agricultural classes a great ip-justice I represent an agricultural community, and I feel I would he doing less than my duty if I did not oppose the proposal made in this Bill. For this reason, as well as for others which I shall not delay the House to explain at present, I am opposed to this legislation.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink
CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. W. EDWARDS (Frontenac).

It is not my intention to occupy more than a few moments of the time of the House discussing this Bill, nor would I rise were it not that since the Bill was read a second time the agricultural society of the township in which I live and the horticultural society of the city of Kingston have both passed resolutions against the principle of this Bill, and have requested me to express their disapproval. I reiterate the protest I made when the legislation was first introduced. My constituents are largely farmers, and I believe the adoption of this principle works great injustice to them. One of the great difficulties of the Ontario farmers to-day is the securing of labour on the farm, and if you once adopt this principle on government works you insert the thin end of the wedge, and it becomes an encouragement to labouring men of all classes to demand an eight hour day.

That must undoubtedly militate against the farmer by increasing the difficulty he now experiences in obtaining labour. Any Mr. SPROTJLE.

one who knows anything about agriculture knows that a farmer cannot possibly limit his working day to eight hours. When this matter was under discussion some time ago, an hon. gentleman on this side who was supporting the Bill said that the farmers had very little to do in the winter. After they had collected ia good pile of wood and laid in a good stock of tobacco, all they had to do was to sit by the fire and enjoy themselves. But while it may be true that the farmer in the winter season, has not to spend the same long hours at work as he does in the summer, it is still uttsrly impossible for him to have an eight hour day because, if he is going to get the best out of his cattle, they must he fed at regular intervals, and his cows must be milked at regular intervals. To allow sixteen hours between the feeding at night and the feeding in the morning would prevent his getting the best results out of them, so that an eight hour day is an impossibility for him, even in the winter. Another objection to this Bill, is the vast increase in the cost of all kinds of government work to which this would apply. For instance, you are going to construct a building, and the men who formerly would work on that building 10 hours a day will, when this Bill becomes law, work only eight hours per day. That will certainly make a great increase in the cost, an increase of from 20 to 25 per cent. Another objection I see is this. Why should a man employed by the government in erecting a building work only eight hours a day when other government employees have to work 10 or 15 hours a day. For instance on our canals, such as the Rideau canal, the lockmen are actually employed the whole 24 hours. That is, in the whole 24 hours they have no time which they can call their own, because they must be ready to go out and do their work at any hour of the day or night. It seems very unfair, therefore, that a man engaged m building a post office should work only eight hours a day while a man employed in another department should be obliged to work 10 or 15 hours per day.

But the strongest objection to this Bill is that it must undoubtedly increase the difficulty which the farmer now experiences in obtaining the necessary labour. An instance was cited to me by a farmer in my own county the other day of this difficulty. He had an Englishman in his employ who bad come out from the old country. This farmer sold his milk in Kingston, and his hired man had to get up early to milk the cows, and then take the milk into the city. He would get into the city just-about the time, or perhaps a little before, other labouring men were going to work, and the result was that in a short time he threw up his job. He said : I am not going to work on the farm for an hour or two in

the morning, (before men working in the city start their day's labour. I feel that in justice to the people I represent, I must protest against the passing of such a measure.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink
LIB

George Frederick Hodgins

Liberal

Mr. HODGINS (Pontiac).

Before this motion is adopted I wish to say a few words on the question. It is not often I agree with the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) but on this occasion my sentiments are heartily in accord with his as I represent a farming community, and I feel that this Bill if it became law would be against their best interests. The successful men of the day, either in the workshop, the office, the factory, or the farm, are men who have given up more than eight hours per day to labour, and as my hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) and my hon. friend from Frontenac (Mr. Edwards), have said that if this measure be adopted it will increase the cost of living 20 per cent as well as the cost of all public works. The object no doubt is to insert the thin edge of the wedge and in the end, have an eight hour day established throughout the country. No doubt it is urged toy the labour organizations, but I do not think that this government should enact any such legislation, as these organizations are very capable of looking after themselves.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink

Motion agreed to, and Bill read the thiro time and passed. On motion of Mr. Fielding, House adjourned at 10.53 p.m.



Tuesday, February 14, 1911.


February 13, 1911