March 26, 1918

L LIB

Francis N. McCrea

Laurier Liberal

Mr. F. N. McORKA (Sherbrooke):

Having been bom and brought up on a farm, and still having some knowledge of farming, because whilst not a farmer, I am connected with a concern that does a great deal of farming, stock raising and so on, being the representative of a city constituency and also being quite a large employer of help, I think I speak on this subject with some knowledge. After listening to the speeches this afternoon and evening, I am puzzled to know what special advantage is to be derived from this measure or what great good it is going to do to anybody. It is said that if the clock is moved forward an hour, a great benefit will accrue to the labouring classes, the people of the cities in particular. Listening to the addresses which have been delivered on this subject to-day, I have noticed that practically every man who represents a city district is in favour of the Bill, whilst those representing the rural districts and farming communities are opposed to it. Evidently, the city people are in favour of the Bill. It would be well for the residents of the cities to utilise the time they have now as the clock stands, and instead of getting to their business at nine or ten o'clock in the morning, to get up a little earlier and make use of the time between seven and nine o'clock. In many of the large cities you cannot find a man to do business with practically before ten o'clock in the morning. If the saving of daylight is going to be of so much benefit to the residents of the cities, let them show their

9 p.m. good faith by using the daylight as it now exists and the clock as it now_ stands. Whether the clock is moved forward an hour or backward an hour, I do not think it will make any material difference to the farmer, his wife, sons or daughters, because the farmer gen-

18i

erally gets up as soon as the sun rises and his family get up with him, and they are busy from that time until the sun sets. It. will, however, make a very material difference to the help employed by the farmer. This matter has been very thoroughly explained, and I think every man who has any .knowledge of farming understands that in the early morning you cannot do to advantage the greater part of the work on the farm- The dew is then on the ground, so that the ground is wet, and weeding or anything of that kind cannot be done to such great advantage as in the heat of the day when, if you cut weeds, they will be immediately killed off by the heat of the sun's rays instead of sprouting again. The farmer's help, if the clock is moved forward one hour and six o'clock is called seven, will in the majority of cases not be found on the job at what is supposed to be seven o'clock. When five o'clock comes, or six o'clock according to the new time, that will be quitting time with him, and the farmer will find it very difficult to have him continue his Work, especially if he sees his comrades and friends, who are labouring in the cities or on other jobs outside of farming, leaving their work, putting on their ball clothes and going to the ball field or bowling alley or some other place of amusement. Thus, the men on the farms and the farmers' sons will begin to be restless. At this particular time when the farmer and every other man who produces is being admonished, advised, coaxed, persuaded to produce more, if we want the farmer to produce, we must give him the best part of the day for the work of production, and in harvesting or haying or practically any other work on the farm, the hour from five to six o'clock in the evening is worth more than the two hours from six to eight o'clock in the morning. Under any circumstances, the legislation passed by this Parliament should, at all times, have a tendency to attract men to the farms. We have heard the admonition given to the young men to go back to the land. If we are to get them back to the land, the best way to get them there is to make the land attractive, and if by legislation you make the hours of labour from six o'clock in the. morning to five o'clock in the evening, you will find it will be very difficult to keep help on the farm. It is said that by his method of putting the clock forward one hour, there is going to be a great deal of cultivation in the backyard; that the citizens are going to flood this country with- their production. I did a little of that myself last year, and I did not have great success.

Topic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
CON
L LIB
UNION

Henry Herbert Stevens

Unionist

Mr. H. H. STEVENS:

I had not intended to say anything on this Bill, but the observations of my ,hon. friend who has just sat down (Mr. McCrea) lead me to say a few words. He states that one of the main reasons why he is opposing this Bill is that if it is passed the labouring men of this country may be guilty of the crime of going home and enjoying themselves working in their garden, and perhaps coming back the next day less .able to carry out the arduous day's- work which their employer is demanding. If a good reason were wanted in support of the Bill, that one of my hon. friend is an excellent one, namely, that it would give the labouring men of the industrial centres a little -more daylight

which they could spend with their families or enjoying themselves in. their gardens.

There are just three phases of this 'question which appeal to me. First, in considering the arguments put forward against the Bill I find that they are restricted almost entirely to the farming community, and I find that the opinion of the farmers' representatives in this House is divided about equally, about as many supporting the Bill as are opposed to it. On the other hand, you will find supporting the Bill representatives of the following classes: first, the artisan class, and while I fully appreciate that the farming community deserve every consideration, I do not think they deserve any more consideration than the artisans, who also have a perfect right to be represented here, and thqir representatives say that this Bill will benefit the artisan class. Then there is the clerical class, which class, I think, has less representation than any other in the public bodies of this country; I mean the claims of the great army of persons working in offices, in large departmental and smaller stores in the cities, who are confined very often in air that is not too good. This class is certainly entitled to as much of God's sunlight as any other class, and this Bill will benefit that class to a very large extent. Then there is the business man, who will go out and play his game of golf or bowls-a comparatively small class, but deserving of representation/. Then there is the domestic class-the women wiho have to stay at home and do the cooking for the artisans and the clerks and the business men. Surely they are entitled to consideration. We have, therefore, the representatives of these various classes supporting the Bill, and opposed to it a divided class, namely, the farmers. Another argument, advanced by my hon. friend from South Oxford, I think, was that this was freakish legislation; it was quite time for Parliament to consider such legislation, he said, when it had proved a success elsewhere. Accepting that challenge, 1 would direct his attention to France, Great Britain, and the United States, our leading Allies, in all of which countries daylight saving has been adopted, not to mention other countries.-That is a reason in itself why we should adopt this measure. It will undoubtedly benefit a very large section of the community; it may, granting that the arguments are correct, work some disadvantage to another class, but it seems to me that the advantages of the Bill outweigh the disadvantages, and I therefore intend to support it. -

Topic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
L LIB

Alphonse Verville

Laurier Liberal

Mr. ALPHONSE VERVILLE (St. Denis):

I have heard the arguments pro and con given in this House this afternoon, and I have seen that the two big factors in the country are really divided in their opinion. We have heard a good deal about farmers and production, but we must also bear in mind that the large industries of the country must also produce. The farmers are doing their utmost to increase production. Whenever there 'has been a change in the hours of labour for the artisans in the city or the workers on the farm, the same old question .always came up. It .arose when farm labourers were working from sunrise to sundown, and it came up again when the hours on the farm and in industries were changed from twelve to eleven and then, again when the hours were changed to ten. But in Spite of this reduction of working hours, production did not diminish. This is largely due to the labour-saving devices that have been introduced; it now takes less labour to produce a given .amount on the farm, or in the factory, and also less time to produce that amount. Daylight saving means much more to a large section of the community than simply saving daylight. Economy has been preached in this House by the right hon. the Minister of Trade and Commerce as well as the hon. Minister of Labour (Mr. Crothers). This Daylight Saving Bill will be the means, perhaps, of effecting a great saving. In the matter of lighting alone this would mean a saving, taking the number of families we have in Canada, of over $5,000,000. Figure it up in any other way you like and you will find that it is going to save a large amount of money not only to the artisans in the cities but also to the farming community. I do not want to look at this question from the artisan's standpoint alone. My hon. friend from Frontenac (Mr. Edwards) this afternoon defended the farmer and showed to the House that farmers were placed at a disadvantage because of the manner in which they have to sell their goods. He forgot, perhaps, that it is not the farmer, and that it is not the consumer in the city, who is responsible. The farmer, I know, is not getting enough for the goods he is producing, and I know also that the consumer in the city is paying very much more than he should for the goods he consumes. Stop, if you can, the middlemen, the men who are living on the work of the producers, the parasites who are using other people's labour and thriving on other people's industry. Stop them if you can. Let us deal

as directly as possible with the farmer, and if we do he will get higher prices. Then he can afford to accept this daylight saving proposal. You can only extract a certain amount of work from any man whether he works on the farm or anywhere else. There is a certain amount of productive power in each man, and you can extract so much of that productive power and no more. Be it from six in the morning until five at night, or from seven in the morning until six at night, you are going to extract from him the same productive power exactly.

It has been stated this afternoon that there are times of the day when you cannot take the crop in. That may only last four or five weeks in the Fall, and if that is so it is not an objection to this change. You may call this proposal radical if you like. We will perhaps, before the end of the present session, have introduced some measures that will be considered radical by hon. members on the other side of the House; and some of these hon. gentlemen shrink from anything that appears radical. I hope we shall. As far as I am concerned, these measures will never be too radical for me. I am here to support any measure that may come before this House to alleviate, to as large an extent as possible, many of the sorrows which oppress people in the cities and in the country, and which many hon. members in this House may know of, but which, unfortunately, some of them ignore. Perhaps hon. members from the larger cities do not ignore them, although no doubt some of them do. I am satisfied that this Daylight *Saving Bill -will be of advantage to the labouring classes. I want to make it possible for a workman, when he goes home, to at least know what colour his children are as a result of being able to see them by daylight, and I want him to have an opportunity of taking a little stroll around the streets with his family. There are some industries to-day operated in such a way, even in the summertime, that the fathers of families, being obliged to travel long *distances in order to reach their work and to return to their homes, are only able to see their children on holidays and Sundays. I believe this Bill is a good measure and that it should be approved by this House. 'Let us try it.

Topic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNION

Thomas Mitchell March Tweedie

Unionist

Mr. T. M. M. TWEEDIE (West Calgary):

Mr. Speaker, in the city of Calgary they experimented with daylight saving for a certain time and, judging from the results, it was not a success. The failure of the

plan in the city of Calgary was due to various causes rather than to any inherent disadvantage in connection with the principle of daylight saving. There is a large surrounding country doing business with the city, and there was no similar Act in these outlying districts. Therefore, daylight saving cannot lbe said to have had a fair trial in that city.

Topic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
?

An hon, MEMBER:

Louder.

Topic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

Hon. members are constantly calling " louder " in the House, but I would point out that half of the noise in the House is due to the cumulative effect of conversations of various groups throughout the House and adjoining portions of the chamber. If hon. members will show a little more consideration we would have far better order in the House and we could hear much better.

Topic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNION

Thomas Mitchell March Tweedie

Unionist

Mr. TWEEDIE:

I believe that on the

whole this would be a popular measure in the city of Calgary and throughout the towns and rural parts of the province of Alberta. It seems to me that this discussion has taken a turn as if we were dealing with legislation which was placing a restriction on a certain class of the people. I cannot observe in the Bill anything which will place any restriction upon agricultural industry. But I can observe something which has been referred to in many of the speeches that have been, delivered tonight, that it will work out very greatly to the benefit of the industrial parts of Canada. I believe, as .many hon. members have said, that we should encourage the industrial classes in the cities and do everything in our power to promote their , happiness, their health and their welfare. I believe that by the enactment of this Bill we will be contributing to those (measures. It has been argued by some who have been speaking on behalf of the agricultural interests of this country that if men who are employed in city stores, offices and factories are allowed to leave their work one hour earlier than they do at the present it will set a very bad example to the men who are employed upon the farms and production will be reduced to that extent. I wish to call the attention of the hon. gentlemen who advance this view to the fact that there have been enacted in many provinces in Canada regulations relating to the employment of labour, regulations which have for their object the reduction of the hours of labour, regulations which have for their object the giving of a half holiday-

Topic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
?

An hon. MEMBER:

Where?

Topic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNION

John Best

Unionist

Mr. JOHN BEST (Dufferin):

Mr. Speaker, representing an agricultural county as I do, I cannot see where this Bill is going to do any good. If the hon. minister who introduced the Bill had lengthened the time out one hour, then I could see where we might get a little benefit out of it. If the hon. members who spoke this afternoon are sincere in the statement that they want to have greater production, I cannot see why they cannot work an hour longer in the morning as well as at night.

Now, the hon. member for West Calgary (Mr. Tweedie) said that in Alberta they have legislation whereby they take a halfholiday once a week. I presume he means that that applies to the cities and towns. I want to say, Mr. Speaker, that with all the talk that there is about greater production and the scarcity of food at the present time, I believe the Government is misled in the cause. It is not in the last two or three years that it has occurred, but it is just such legislation as the hon. member for Calgary said has been in force for from five to fifteen years that is taking the young men away from the farms. They want to go to the cities where the hours of labour are short, and where they can have pleasure in the evening. This has been going on until, at the present time, the farms are almost depleted. The county I have the honour to represent at one time had a population of 24,000, and I think the population now is about 17,500.

I 'believe that this Bill will affect production and affect it seriously, because there is not the slightest doubt in the world that if men in the towns and cities quit work at five o'clock and the hired men on the farms are compelled to work until six o'clock the latter will 'become dissatisfied. I want to say that during the last two years a farmer dare hardly 'tell his hired man how he wished anything done; if he dad that .man would tell him to go where there was no winter and do it himself. I have seen the statement in the papers, I think

it was by an employee of the Government, that it was expected there would be about a million acres more under cultivation in the province of Ontario. Now, if you ask the farmers of Dufferin and Simcoe counties and the adjoining constituencies as to that, they will tell you that that man ought to be in the asylum. I agree veTy largely with the remarks of my hon. friend from South Ontario (Mr. Smith) as to the Bill, except that I do not concur in what he said of the Government. I believe the Government is trying to do what is best for the interests of Canada as a whole, hut I do say that in this matter their information 'as to the sentiment behind this Bill mu6t have been obtained from towns and cities, and not from the farmers. I do not know of one farmers' organization in Canada today that is asking for this measure. I remember quite well the feeling that was expressed about it last year when county and township councils, as well as many farmers' organizations, passed resolutions in opposition to it. I assure you, Mr. Speaker, that the farmers of this country are just as loyal to the Empire as any other class, and they are just as willing to do what they can to advance production. I think production is the greatest issue there is today in Canada, but the fanners do not want legislation put on the statute book that will affect their labour, and there is no doubt at all that this legislation will do so. Having farmed all my life, I know that if some of my neighbours allowed their men to quit work at five o'clock the rest of the hired men would clamour to be allowed off at that hour also. There is not a farmer within my hearing who will not agree with me that from the time when haying starts until the harvest is all in the bams no man can take a binder in the field before seven or eight o'clock. If he does so, his grain is wet with the dew, and must be kept out until it is dry. He cannot put his hay in the barn or it will spoil. Therefore, he must wait until about eight o'clock to commence operations. Now if on the average he cannot get to work before eight o'clock and his men quit work at five o'clock, how is he going to get his work done? Some hon. gentlemen from cities have been urging shorter hours for the working men. All I want to say is that if the farmers in the province of Ontario with whom I am acquainted had not worked longer hours than the men in cities their farms would not be half cleared to-day and they would not be producing such crops as they are producing. As a matter

of fact they generally work from twelve to sixteen hours, and if this legislation is enacted it will surely restrict the labour for which they are willing to pay, and pay good wages at that. I think it is time the farmers of the country were consulted before legislation such as this, in which they are so greatly interested, is introduced.

Topic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
L LIB

Aylmer Byron Hunt

Laurier Liberal

Mr. A. B. HUNT (Compton):

After listening to the remarks of ihon. gentlemen from both sides of the House, I deem it my duty to enter my protest against this legislation. This is beyond question a time when greater production is needed on the farm. But the Bill will have a tendency to lessen production rather than increase it. I do not wish to take up time unnecessarily. The measure has been pretty well discussed by hon. gentlemen on both sides, and therefore I merely enter my protest against the Bill and state that I shall register my vote against it.

Topic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Shelburne and Queens):

A fellow-member has called my attention to- what he regards as an important fact; that in this flood of interesting debate no representative from the best province of the Dominion has yet uttered a word. If the debate were to conclude without a single word being uttered from Nova Scotia there might be some doubt as to the legality of the Bill after it had gone into operation.

However that may be I find that there is a conflict here between representatives from the cities and towns and those members coming from the country districts. It is very useful in such a case to be able to get the dispassionate opinion of some absolutely unbiased person. I do not happen to have any large city within my own constituency. I am sorry for that, I should be very glad if there were. We have a couple of pretty 'little towns, but no very large farming population. I do not believe my people are going to be affected by this Bill one way or the other to any considerable extent. I know that our people go to bed earlier down there. Just at this hour when we are discussing this Bill, in my constituency all respectable people are going to bed. Whatever you may do with this measure-and I may say that I am in favour of it-I do not think it is going to be a matter . of serious consequence to my constituency. In any event the fishermen, the lumbermen and the shipbuilders there are going to start in and work just the same no matter whether this Bill passes or not; but I do feel that, strong as the argument is from the point of view of the farmers on this

question, and there is much force in it, there is . a very strong argument in the appeal made on behalf of the workmen in the cities. I do not for a moment say that their claims are equal to those of the farmers, but the conditions of the workmen in our cities and towns surely entitle them to much consideration. It is admitted, I think, on all hands, that so far as the workmen in the cities and towns are concerned this will be a useful measure, and to that extent it is certainly deserving of our most serious consideration. If I believed that the Bill was going to prove an injury to the farmers of the country I would not for a moment support it. Although there is no very great farming vote in my constituency I realize that, looking at this question broadly, the farming interest is the great and paramount interest at all times, and never more so than at this moment. But the farmers, most of us know, are conservative-with a small "c" remember. They are not ready as a rule to make changes, they look with suspicion upon everything of the kind. I am not surprised that in this case they have been in doubt, and that that doubt has crystallized in some cases into strong opposition to this Bill. The history of this legislation everywhere shows that in its early stages it was received with doubt. Over in England that very strong workingmen's advocate, Mr. Willett, drew the attention of Parliament to this matter some years ago. He was laughed at and jeered at, but, nevertheless, although poor Willett did not live to see it, his proposition now forms a very important part of the legislation of the Mother Country. After it has been adopted there, and also adopted in the United States, surely our farming friends will admit that this legislation must have some considerable merit. I think the farming interest is needlessly alarmed. The condition of the farmer is such that he is not going to be governed by the clock but by his own convenience.

There is something in the argument that the farm labourer, the hired man, will be unwilling to work after the hour when he thinks that his fellow workman in the city has ceased to work; but I think, taking it all in all, the farmer is in a better position to act independently. In the cities and towns the various classes of labour are more or less inter-dependent, one branch of business, cannot go on unless the business across the street is going on at the same time. It is not so with the farmer; he can arrange his own business, and he need not care what his neighbour is doing.

I appreciate the force of the argument about the farm labourers, but I think that the arguments in favour of the Bill are so strong, and the experience of other countries so greatly in favour of it, that it is reasonable to ask our farming friends to allow the Bill to be passed and give it a trial. If the measure does not prove to he as good as we hope it to be, as good as it seems to be in other countries where it has been tried, we shall have time to repeal it before much harm is done.

Topic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Question, question.

Topic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

I must direct the attention of the House to the fact that if the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce exercises his right to reply, he will close the debate.

Mr. D. D. McKENZdE (Cape Breton and Victoria): Before the minister speaks, I

wish to state I have no decided views on this Bill, and for that reason I would like to have more information in regard to it than we have so far received. It would appear to the outsider that this Bill did not receive the consideration in the Cabinet, or in the Government, that it should have received before being introduced in this House. There are certain gentlemen with certain portfolios in the Cabinet who should enlighten us to some extent, or give us their views upon this subject, which is one of very great importance. We have in this Cabinet a Minister of Labour who is supposed to be in close touch with the views of labour all over this country. Labour in all its phases has the right to look for guidance and help to the Minister of Labour, and I am sure that hon. gentleman is disposed to be as useful to the great body of people he represents as he can be, and if the Minister of Trade and Commerce applied to him for the views of labour on this subject, I presume he would be in position to put himself in touch with the proper avenues of information in connection with the various associations which represent labour and give the Minister of Trade and Commerce the consensus of opinion among that very important class. We have not heard from the Minister of Labour, (Mr. Crothers) and I am afraid that, if he were asked for the views of the bodies he is supposed to represent in this House, he would have no very live or fresh information from them. In this I may be mistaken, but the hour is not too late, and if the Minister of Labour has any well defined views upon this subject, and if he has

gathered proper information from the different bodies that he is supposed to represent, we would like ta hear from him on this very important question. We have another gentleman representing another department in this House, the Minister of Agriculture. He is a farmer, I understand, and in the widest possible way and in the most concrete manner represents the farming interest and communities, and is in touch with the farmers of this country. As an outsider who has been brought up on a farm, and in close sympathy with the farmer, although a lawyer hy profession, I would- expect the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Crerar) to tell those of us who are not so well versed in the requirements of the farm as we ought to be, what his views are. We would not be going too far if we expected the Minister of Agriculture to be in his seat, closely watching what was being said by hon. members who are here. He is here to represent the vieiws of the farmers and to impress them upon this House, and the Cabinet, and he should give this House the conclusions which he has reached and the advice which he gave hie brother minisr-ters in the Cabinet before this Bill was introduced. We have no such information and no such light from men whose business it is to be well informed upon questions of this kind. For that reason it is somewhat puzzling to a person like myself to know whether I am serving well my constituency by voting for or against this Bill. I represent a large body of labouring men, perhaps about as large as in any other rural constituency, as I may call my constituency. I represent also a large 'body of farmers, a mixed community. I am honest in stating that I cannot say now, with all the study this Bill has received, which way I could really vote on it in the best interests of'my constituents, and if I had any advice to give the Government it would be to withhold this Bill for a while, and get in touch with the different interests of the country and ascertain positively hy the best means what is the real sentiment of the country upon this question. I can assure the hon. minister that there is mo. well-matured or well-defined public opinion upon the question., and that, so far as the province from, which I come is concerned, the question hae never been carefully considered.. I venture to say that Nova Scotia is in. much the same position as the other provinces of Canada as far as diue deliberation, onthis.question is concerned. I desire to say to the Government, and to the hon, gentlemen in chaTge of this Bill, that there is at least danger, hy fore-

ing this Bill upon, farming communities, that he is going to create dissatisfaction and dissension in the country, and this is a time when no friction of any kind should be created which can possibly (be avoided. We want to have the farmers, labourers and everybody in this country with their minds on the one thing, and one thing only, namely, that every ounce of strength and everything we have, without any disruption or disturbance, should be guided and directed to the one object of winning the war. In the community from which I come, where there is a great deal of steel and co^l producing, they are in fixed grooves about the divisions of the day. I never in my life spoke to the .hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce with more sincerity than I do at present. Everybody knows me in this House to be a hard-shell partisan, and there is no mistaking what I am, hut I talk earnestly and deliberately to the minister, because this is not a party question. Nobody is taking a party view of it, and I am not. In the coal mines and steel works the day is fixed in certain divisions. Certain classes of men have to get up at four o'clock in the morning, and some at three o'clock in the morning, .go down in the mines and operate, and prepare the way for workmen to come on later in the day. I am afraid that, with the tension that is upon our people now in the production of steel and coal, with every man at his post at certain divisions of the day, and at certain hours, if this Bill is passed it will be throwing them largely out of joint, and creating a condition of things that might cause friction and dissatisfaction. Things are going along in a first-class way, and I would, in all sincerity say to the minister and to the Government that it is only a year ago since we had this Bill before us, and there was nobody in the House who would stand as godfather for the Bill. It had to go unbaptized without receiving any ceremony or sacrificial blessing at all. I am surprised that a man of the hon. minister's experience and caution, unless there was a great cry or demand for it, should force it upon this Parliament again within such a short time, without having satisfied himself that he was on a much safer ground than he was on before. I was in this House when the Bill was introduced last year and said something about it. I remember the complexion of the House, and I see very little difference. There are more people in favour of it now than there were then, but I see that the men who were against it then are against it now,

and there are no converts to the cause of this Bill of those who were in the House when it was introduced before. The minister is going to force this Bill to a division; he is going to make a serious division in this House, and he is forcing upon the farmers and other classes of the community legislation for which they are not asking and which many of them are opposing. If this is an experiment, as the minister himself and the best friends of the Bill say, I venture to tell the Prime Minister and the Government and our friends in this House that this is no time for experiments; it is a time for the best use of such machinery as we have and for the putting forth of every power we have along the old lines looking to the best possible results.

Topic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
L LIB

John Patrick Molloy

Laurier Liberal

Mr. J. P. MOLLOY (Provenoher):

As a farmer and as an employer of labour, I desire to say a word in opposition to this Bill. In Western Canada to-day employers of labour are paying a higher rate of wages for farm labour than they ever did before. They are paying from fifty, sixty, seventy to eighty dollars a month and more, depending upon the locality. The board, figure it as cheaply as you can, runs from seventy-five cents to a dollar a day. In Manitoba, in the rush of seeding and more particularly in harvesting time, if you apply to a labour bureau for men, they may say: We can get you a certain number of men. If you are not there with an automobile, if you have one or, if not, if you do not hire one to take the men out to the farm, they will not go with you but will go with the man who is willing to furnish that convenience. The labour people in the West have the farmer pretty nearly by the * throat at the present time. If yon are going to legislate and put it on the statute book of this country and publish it broadcast that a farm labourer will start work at a certain hour in the morning and will finish his day's work at a certain time in the evening, according to law, you are putting impediments in the way of the greater production which is needed in this country more than anything else at this time.

So far as gardening in the cities is concerned, many intimate friends of mine had gardens and they did not raise enough in their back yards to pay for the hoeing. Gardening is not a profitable business except when it is carried on by very experienced men.

As a farmer and as an employer of labour I am opposed to this Bill. It is not in the interest of the farmer. I have no complaint so far as labour is concerned itself.

The -men on the farm that I operate, from the day seeding commences until the day fall ploughing closes, have never been in bed after half past four in the morning, and have never left work until half past six at night- If you set the clock forward an hour, those same men, following the law, and the custom, as custom it will become, will get up at half past three o'clock. That will not benefit the farmer because, in the early days of spring and in the late days of fall, it is black darkness at that hour in the morning. Men cannot work at half past three in the morning, in the latter part of August, September and October, nor can they do it in the month of April. They can do it in the months of June, July and the first part of August.

Another point of view of the western farmer is this: In eastern and southern Manitoba we have to summerfallow largely to produce the crops we are producing, and the work of destroying the weeds must be done in the months of July and August in the very hot weather. If you quit work at five o'clock in the evening, your summer-fallow will not receive the same benefit because you do not spend the same time on it as if you worked until six o'clock in the evening. No farmer from Manitoba will contradict my statement that the sow thistle must be destroyed in the heat of the day an July and August. If you are going to start a sort of Sunday school farming operation, letting the hired man 10 p.m. quit when he chooses, that is not going to be in the interest of the people at all. Who have asked for this legislation? The people in the cities. Then let the people in the cities have all the daylight saving they wish. We say: Do not interfere with us. This is not the day of baseball, as an hon. member said. We are not looking for ball players according to the Act which was passed here at the last session, and which I opposed. I refer to the Conscription Act. We are not looking for baseball players by any means.

Another hon. gentleman stated to-day that the passing of this Bill would aid transportation. Daylight saving will not aid transportation, so far as the output of the western farmers is concerned, one-hundred thousandth part as much as the lowering of the freight rate. On that ground I am opposed to the passing of this Bill. Personally, I do not think it will make any difference to me, but, as the hon. member for Cape Breton North and Victoria (Mr. McKenzie) has said, it has come before the public; but it is doubtful if it has the sanction of the Government; the Minister lb

of Agriculture, who is a western member and citizen, and the Minister of Labour, have neither said a word in regard to it. Why then, should we accept this Bill simply because the Minister of Trade and Commerce or any other member of this House has brought it forward on the weak grounds on which he has introduced it?

Topic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

countries, we have to the south of us the great United States, which spreads over zones and takes in conditions as nearly parallel with our own as it is possible to find between two countries. It is a country which has democratic institutions probably as well based as any country in the world; it is a country where there is a complete facility of representation of every interest in the legislative bodies before a Bill becpmes law. That country has given two years of examination to the question of daylight saving, and has come to the conclusions which I have, stated here this afternoon. They were not seeking to enthrone fad or freakish legislation. What impelled the United States and Great Britain and France to put this legislation upon their statute books was not to appeal to fads or freaks or anything of that kind; it was to aid in production and to strengthen the hands of the country for the war which it was carrying on. Taking the United States as an example, let me speak again of what I mentioned a little earlier in the day. Who were the two men who stood for this legislation in the House of Representatives, who urged its speedy enactment, and who appealed for two months more of it rather than the five months provided by the legislation which had passed the Senate? They are two men who are not airing fads, men at the head of the two great agencies for the conservation of fuel and 'the production of food in the United States of America, agencies not merely for the purpose of conserving fuel and producing food for commercial purposes, but conserving fuel and producing food in order to strengthen the hands of those who are carrying on the war. There was no question of thoughtless legislation. This is too serious a time in every country engaged in the war to ftave their legislatures spend a single, moment passing faddish or freakish legislation.

The great purpose underlying this legislation is to strengthen the hands of those who are carrying on the fight for freedom and for liberty. Now I think that ought to appeal to us, and I think it does appeal to us. Take the farming population of the United States, take all the active interests of the United States with their complete representation in both their legislative Houses, and with two years in which to make their opinions known-a country which, like our own, is very largely made up of farmers, and extends over zones quite as liberal as our own, over latitudes and longitudes which are quite as extensive as ours-it hardly needs more than the

presentation of the fact to lead one to conclude that there must be something important, something strong and powerful in the thing itself to appeal in that way to such a people, and to bring About the Tesult shown in the two legislative bodies at Washington. I think that should remove from us the fear that this legislation is an unknown thing which may have involved in it the perils or difficulties and inconveniences which some men fear. Similar fears were expressed in England. If you will read the report of the Commission that enquired into this matter, and which I mentioned this afternoon, you will find that the same fears were voiced, and honestly voiced, as have been expressed around these benches to-day. Those fears were expressed Iby agriculturists in Great Britain, and it was almost solely from them that opposition came at the inception of the scheme. What does the report of that Commission say which was appointed to make that investigation? It says that these fears have been proved to he largely unfounded; that many of those who voiced those fears against this legislation in 1916 were in favour of it being renewed in 1917. Then came a period of actual and practical working out of the legislation, and in a country which is more interested in the extended production of food than any other country engaged in the war, the working out of that legislation in its second year proved so satisfactory that this year not only was it again put into operation without a dissenting voice, but the period during which it remains in force has been extended. Surely, that must tend to allay our fears. Surely, it is not an unknown step we are taking, not an unknown sea into which we are steering our bark. This legislation is proposed in the light of one of the most signal examples of the stepping up of an idea into practical legislation that the world has ever seen, and in a period of the world's history which has been the most strenuous and the most serious that the world has ever known. I think that ought to weigh with us; it weighed with this Government.

Something has been said with reference to all the members of the Government not having spoken on this Bill. I was surprised at the modesty of my hon. friend who sits opposite me (Mr. McKenzie). He, who has been a farmer, who has lived in the very centre of an industrial district, who has been a lawyer and is yet, who has heen a judge and who has had the greatest of all opportunities for knowing everything-a member of Parliament- comes here and says that he does not quite

know how he should vote because he has not heard from the Minister of Labour or the Minister of Agriculture. What modesty my hon. friend has cultivated in this last year since we met him before! Before that I could not have credited him with such intense modesty as that. I did not believe that my hon. friend was bending forward in intense anxiety, to know what my hon. friend the Minister of Labour should tell him to do or what my hon. friend the Minister of Agriculture should advise him to do, before he could vote intelligently on this question.

Let us look at another phase of the question. As my hon, friend from Queens-Shel-burne (Mr. Fielding) and others have said, there is just one point in the argument against this Bill that appeals to me, and it is the position of the farmer who is contiguous to the city or town and who has to hire help upon his farm. He says that there is a possibility in that case of his farm labourer knocking off work at the hour, getting away and having a good time. He fears it. He is suspicious that that will be what will happen.

Topic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNION
CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

How can we tell whether it is true or not unless it is tried? Yet, it has been tried and that is the way we tell whether it is true or not. It has been tried exactly in the same way in Great Britain. Where we have one town in close proximity to the acres that the farmers are tilling, they'have half a dozen. They are in the midst of towns and cities. The very same fear that my good old friend has voiced here to-night was in the hearts of the farmers, and was expressed. It has been put to the test of three years of actual, practical working and it has not proved to be the trouble that it was supposed it would be. My hon. friend, I think, will find that it will work out in the same way here. But let us give it a little analysis. Here, are all the farmers in

Canada. Amongst all the farmers of Canada there are a large number who do not hire any help at all. How many are there of those in this country? Are they one-half? Are they two-thirds? Whether they are one-half or two-thirds, you must eliminate those entirely; this Bill cannot affect them on the labour question one bit. The father, the sons, the daughters, the mother-all can keep pegging away at the farming business from the time they get up in the morning until they leave it at night, and no labour difficulty comes to them, because this Bill does not make it obligatory upon

them to rise at any hour, to eat at any hcur or to go to bed at any hour. They go to work as they please and there is no prohibition or penalty in that respect. Therefore, you have the larger part of the producing people of the country outside of any deleterious influence from a bill of this kind.

Coming down to the others, there are those who do employ labour. But they are not all next-door neighbours to the city or the town; consequently, it will not have " that direct influence upon them which is feared if it were shown that the labourers upon the farms would be drawn away from their work and would work like hours to those in the cities. , Making a division of those then who do employ hired labour, you find that a large proportion is outside of the direct influence of the city, town or village. Then you come to those who are closer to those places and may be somewhat affected by that fact. But you have to take the average in this sort of thing. It would not do for a man who happens to live on a farm close by a city to make opposition to a thing That does not affect three-quarters of the farming and producing community because it might possibly affect him. I just wanted to make that simple analysis to help us to think as broadly as possible in coming to a conclusion in reference to this question.

Without this legislation, we should be, within a few days, in regard to the United States of America, through our commercial transactions with that country in the way of transport, in a position in which we never have been before. On the first day of April their time changes, their clocks go ahead. All their operations in the way of exchanges, commission houses, banks-all the different associations of business and enterprise works along an hour in advance of ours. That might make an important difference in reference to ourselves, and it has to be taken into account. All our prejudices, or all our arguments, will not affect that in the least. It is going to come into operation on the first day of April and it will remain in operation until the 31st day of October. We must have some regard, when we give our votes upon this measure, to the relations which must take place between them and us during this very long period of the year.

Topic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNION

March 26, 1918