June 4, 1917

CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS:

I told my hon. friend a moment ago that it was to prevent the accumulation and withholding of foodstuffs from sale, and the enhancing of prices. -Those are the three objects we had in view.

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LIB
CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS:

I am not able to put my finger on any particular case. I wonder if my hon. friend would suggest that a police officer in the city, John Brown say, could put his finger on the number of burglaries that he has prevented by being on watch every night.

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LIB

George William Kyte

Liberal

Mr. KYTE:

If there were many burglaries committed, he would likely catch somebody.

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CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS:

If John Brown could

not point to any one, would my hon. friend suggest that the police should be abolished?

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LIB

George William Kyte

Liberal

Mr. KYTE:

If burglaries still continued on John Brown's beat, he would proba-blv

be dismissed and some one else be appointed who was more watchful,

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CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS:

If my hon. friend

knows of a case that comes within clause 3, it is up to him to prosecute and secure a fine of 85,000 or imprisonment for the man who has violated these provisions. My hon. friend smiles. I do not suppose when a crime is committed down in his county he writes to the Minister of Justice to prosecute anybody. As a lawyer he knows that under our constitution it is the duty of the provincial government to enforce the criminal or quasi-criminal laws made by this Parliament. It is no part of the duty of this Government to prosecute in the case of every crime committed in Canada.

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LIB

George William Kyte

Liberal

Mr. KYTE:

Does the minister contend

that it is no part of the duty of this Government to see that grievances complained of are not remedied?

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CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS :

I am speaking of clause 3 now. Wait until I get through. It is no part of the duty of this Government to enforce any of the criminal or quasi-criminal laws passed by this Parliament. Hon. gentlemen opposite, when they were in power, enacted what was known as the Alien Labour Act, and they attempted to enforce it for a very short time, but they soon found that impracticable, and amended the Act, and never thereafter attempted to enforce it.

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LIB
CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS:

It was never provided in the Order in Council, and never intended that this Government should enforce its provisions; but it was provided in the Alien Labour Act that the Government should enforce it. They attempted to enforce it, and made a failure of it; I am not blaming anybody for that. The Act was amended and neither that government nor their successors have attempted to enforce it.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

As Trade and Commerce come within the jurisdiction of the Dominion Parliament, any act in restraint of trade and commerce could be prosecuted by the Attorney General of Canada on behalf of the Government.

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CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS:

I do not remember any particular cases.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

I understand that it can be done, because under our constitution this

Parliament has control of trade and commerce.

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CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS:

I have not contended that it could not be done. I supposed this Government could ask an officer to lay an information against John Brown for stealing Tom Smith's horse, but the usual course would be for Tom Smith to get the Crown .Attorney to prosecute, it being his duty to enforce those laws.

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LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES:

Do I understand the

minister to say that his department is quite inactive in cases of infraction of this Order in Council? If so, it follows that it was only child's play for many of my constituents to report certain eases to his department with a view to their being investigated and a penalty inflicted in the event of a violation of the Order in Council. Am I to understand that the department leaves it entirely to the provinces?

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CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS:

I was coming to that; I am dealing with Clause 3 at the moment, t will give all the clauses that I consider material, and any others that may be desired. Clause 4, for instance, says:

The Minister of Labour may, by notice in writing under his hand or that of his deputy, require any person who operates, controls or manages any cold storage plant, packing house, cannery, factory, mine, warehouse, or other premises in which or in any part of which any necessary of life is prepared, manufactured, produced or held by such person for himself or for another, or who in any manner deals in any necessary of life, to make and render unto such minister, within a time set in such notice, and such person shall make and render unto sudh minister precisely as required1 by him, a written return under oath or affirmation showing in detail-

(a) the species and amount of any necessary of life held by such person at any indicated time or times, including any time preceding the making of these regulations, where and for whom said necessary is held, and if held for another, upon what terms held;

(b) the time when any or all of such necessary of life was prepared, manufactured, produced, acquired, or taken into possession;

(c) the cost of such necessary of life, including all charges and expenses of an overhead or other nature, affecting such cost;

(d) the price at which such necessary of life, if already sold, has been sold, or, if unsold, is held for sale;

(e) such other information concerning any necessary of life as the minister may require, including a full disclosure of all existing contracts or agreements which such person, or his principal or agent, may have at any time entered into, with any other person, touohing or concerning the sale or resale prices of any necessary of life, or the period of time during which any necessary of life should be held, as bailee or otherwise, before sale or resale, or limiting the quan-

tity of any necessary of life which should

be sold to any one buyer or combination of

buyers or within any limited district.

In addition, it is provided:

6. (1) If, after the receipt by the Minister of Labour of any return made to him or to any municipality in purported compliance with these regulations, such minister shall consider that any circumstances so justify, or if, after a return under these regulations has been required, none is made or none is made within the time set in the notice requiring such return or within such further time as the Minister of Labour may upon special application to him allow, the said minister shall have power to investigate the business and to examine the premises, books, papers and records of the person making or failing to make such return, as the case may be, and, for those purposes such minister may appoint an examiner or examiners and may authorize in writing any examiner so ap-* pointed to enter and examine the ' premises, books, records and papers of such person, and to take evidence under oath or affirmation of any person who such examiner may believe has knowledge relating to such matters as ought to have been included within a proper return according to circumstances.

(2) Every person who is in possession or control of any such premises, books, records or papers shall give and afford to such examiner admission and access thereto whenever and as often as demanded.

(3) No person shall in any manner impede or prevent or attempt to impede or prevent any such investigation or examination.

(4) Every person in any manner required by such examiner to give evidence under oath or affirmation touching or concerning the matters committed to such examiner for investigation shall attend before said examiner and give evidence whenever so required.

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LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

Have any offences under this clause been drawn to the attention of the minister?

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CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS:

I think not. No municipality that has followed out the provisions of clause 5 has made application to us to proceed under clause 6. Now, I wish to call the attention of the House to what we have done in regard to inquiries as to sugar. Under the provisions of section 4, we have sent out questions to about three hundred wholesale men and refiners. 1 wish to give the House a sample of one of these questionnaires, as we call them, that we send out for return under dath:

Sugar.

You are hereby required, on or before the day of February, 1917, to make return in writing under oath to the undersigned, giving answers to the following questions propounded under authority of Order-in-Council No. 2777, dated November 10, 1916, of which a copy is herewith enclosed, and to obey under the same authority all directions of this questionnaire.

Minister of Labour of the

Dominion of Canada.

' 1. When were you incorporated?

2. By what authority were you incorporated?

3. State name and addresses of your officers and directors ?

4. State the various grades of sugar produced by you. Show as accurately as you can the cost of each thereof, including all overhead and other charges affecting cost, and the price at which you sell the same. If your prices vary in different places show such variation. Make your statement upon the basis of 100 pounds. Annex your answer as Schedule "A" to this questionnaire giving details as far as possible as demanded, supplementing, qualifying and explaining in such manner as you see fit by additional matter.

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

Does not the minister think that he could have dealt much more directly and more effectively with the prices of sugar and other staple articles by simply passing an Order in Council fixing the price and prohibiting the export of the article? That would be better than these Orders in Council and questionnaires.

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June 4, 1917