The Minister of Labour referred to the fact that there is a notice on the Order Paper which I intended to move asking for all papers and documents in connection with this matter. I do not think that I should have been called upon to make such a motion; I think the papers should have been brought down as soon as possible. My hon. friend has already brought down part of the record of his department in the report of the commission which he has appointed. This report, without the correspondence, is only part of the information we should have, and I would suggest to him that he bring down the papers before the next sitting of the committee.
I want to look up the list. Perhaps the hon. member for Humboldt was not here when I stated that we knew nothing about this strike at Cumberland until after it had actually occurred; we had no intimation whatever. By the first of May the mines at Cumberland were in operation and the output had grown to be almost normal. At every other mine on Vancouver Island there was an existing agreement between the men and their employers. Some of these agreements would not have lapsed for a year and a half more, and some would not have elapsed for six months more, so there was nothing to indicate that these men were not going to observe the terms of these agreements between the strike at Cumberland and the strike of the first of May, nothing whatever. If my hon. friend knew anything about labour movements he would know that men by the thousand may be called out in a few minutes by telegram. That is what happened in this case. A telegram sent, as I understand, from Seattle, calling out all these men who had no grievance against their employers and whose agreements with their employers had not expired. I had some 27 of these men before me and they admitted that they had entered into a written agreement. These were employees of the Western Fuel Company, of Nanaimo, and that agreement would not expire until the following October. They admitted that since that agreement had been entered into they had not made a single complaint to their employers. Yet, notwithstanding that, on a telegram from an officer of their association they quit work five or six months before the expiration of the agreement.
Probably on account of the trouble at Cumberland, which was passing away. So we had no intimation of the strike until after it had occurred. Yet my hon. friend thinks we should have had a deputation out there watching all the time.
No, it is not usual, it is very unusual to have these sympathetic strikes, and it is unusual for the men to break their agreement. The usual thing is that they carry out their agreement. As I said to them: You admit that you signed an agreement fixing the rates of wages and hours of labour; you admit that you never complained since that agreement was signed, and yet you went out on strike six months before the expiration of that agreement. That applies to all mines except those controlled by the Canadian Collieries. When the corespondence is brought down the hon. member for Humboldt will find that his statement that nothing was done except sending telegrams is absolutely without any foundation. I saw the man who controls the Cumberland mines, and my deputy went to Toronto to see another man, who is manager or next to the head man of the company that really controls those mines. We saw those men.