March 26, 1918

CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

What about 1911?

It is a characteristic of political warfare that wherever one can get the blade of the

sabre in the flesh of an opponent, there is a great temptation to give it a little turn. But what under heaven has a thing that took place in. 1911, or did not take place in 1911, to do with the matter of our making a decision upon a Daylight Saving Bill? Surely, -whilst we may take the fun of a joke and of a jab in good fashion, we must as sensible people and I appeal to my hon. friend directly opposite me cut that out from our consideration when we come to the analysis of the Bill which is in hand.

My hon. friend from Montreal, St. Denis (Mr. Verville), stated the position of labour.

I think he stated it fairly well, but I want to add one thing. I am not -at all of the opinion that -under these circumstances, and in -these days, if you give to the great labouring classes of this country, to the clerical classes and to the people who are engaged in sedentary employment-, an extra hour, they will all throw u.p their hats, shout at -the top of their voices and go on spending that hour in a scene of jollification or in a lazy pleasure-seeking way. I think there is a spirit abroad in this country which leads every thinking man and every thinking woman to feel that this is the day and this is the year during which they should employ every -hour that they have in the production of the food that is so necessary to this country and to the world. You talk about putting people back on the land. Here is one of the most excellent opportunities of giving .people a taste for going back on the land. High prices are prevalent and the pressure of living is- strong. Every labouring man who has a bit of a plot of land has the incentive in him to get to work on that land and do something to ease the- iburden which is upon him and to aid in acquiring what is necessary for his existence at least. To my mind; if you give an hour a day six days in the week to the labouring .men of this country from ocean to ocean, you will put an exceedingly large number of hours into -productive work which in the end will total an immense addition to the foo-d products raised in Canada.

You will instil into the hearts and implant in the tastes of these people a desire for repeating next year what they do this year. That is, you will instil a taste for the soil, and that will instil itself into their children, and there is no better school, to my mind, in which to bring back the people to some participation in the cultivation of the land than lies in the facilities which a Bill of this kind will give in Canada, which

it has given in Great Britain, and which it will give this year in the United States.

Now, I have kept the House too long, but I want to state this one thing further. An hon. member asked me when I came into the House to-night if this Bill could not be made just for one year, and not permanently. He had the impression that it was a permanency. In no country has daylight saving been made a permanency although in every country in which it has been tried temporarily for a year, it has gone on into the next year, and into the following year again; and the general impression to-day is that it has come to stay in those countries where it first came as a temporary expedient. This Bill is for this season only. My hon. friend from Queens and Shelburne (Mr. Fielding) will not need to come back next year, if the Bill does not work well, to have it repealed. Its effect ceases at the end of the season, and the duration that is given to it is in the choice of the Governor in Council; it will be proclaimed in and for the length of time that is necessary.

One word more, -and it is with reference to the railroad traffic. Some hon. gentleman enquired as to whether or not railroad traffic would .be helped by it. The universal testimony in Great Britain, and the sentiment in the United States, is that railroad accidents and casualties will he lessened, and that the transport of freight will be greatly extended.

I do not want to conclude my remarks without saying one word as to the saving, economical qualities in the Bill. In the United States the careful estimate is that the lighting bill alone of American families will be eased by the -sum of $40,000,000. ^ In war time that is a wonderfully economical saving to make. In Canada it will effect a somewhat equal saving in proportion to our population.

Topic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

How can it?

Topic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

Just in this way: that from April until the end of September or October there are certain- hours of darkness or semi-darkness in which people use light. Now, it has been said in this House that you -may make all the daylight saving legislation you like, and you may set the clock ahead, but the people wlill not go to bed by the clock. That was said in- Great Britain, in France and in every country in which this legislation has been introduced; but the working out of it was exactly the reverse. People do go to bed by .the clock. And if they save an hour of lighting in -all those months, that is where the -saving

comes in in their light bill. Mr, Garfield makes the calculation that in the United States at least 1,000,000 tons of coal in the manufacture of light will be saved, and one million tons of coal is a large item in these days when coal needs so greatly to be conserved. The calculation made out of the actual year's experiment in Great Britain was that a large saving was made in coal, in gas, in oil for lighting, and in the electrical and other lighting in the homes of the people. What has taken place there will take place with us. I am sorry to have imposed so long on the House in my second series of remarks, and facing you at this time, Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to move the second reading of the Bill.

Topic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
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Motion agreed to, and the Bill read the second time.


SUPPLY.


The House in Committee of Supply, Mr. Boivin in the Chair. Civil Government-Department of Labour-Salaries $58,287.50-Contingencies $15,000.


L LIB
UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT RORDEN:

There is a decrease.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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L LIB
UNION

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Unionist

Mr. CROTHERS:

There are fewer civil servants employed in the department than there were last year.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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L LIB

Charles Murphy

Laurier Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

I draw the minister's attention to the fact that the estimates give the same number this year as last, although the total shows a decrease in the amount. Has somebody's status been reduced?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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UNION

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Unionist

Mr. CROTHERS:

Nine of the items represent vacancies that have not been filled. My hon. friend knows the practice. For example, where a clerk dies, or is promoted, the position that was previously held by him still appears in the estimates year after year until the vacancy is filled.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Has Mr. Gerald Brown, who was assistant deputy minister but was relieved of his duties, been given employment in another department of the Government?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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L LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

I do not want to make a nuisance of myself about the matter of speaking louder, but really if it is desired that the private members, or back benchers, should take an intelligent interest in what is going on, we must ask the gentlemen who are leading on both sides of the House

to speak in an audible voice- They should follow the example of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, who enunciate clearly and distinctly.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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UNION

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Unionist

Mr. CROTHERS:

I understand the gentleman to whom the member for Rouville (Mr. Lemieux) referred is employed in another branch, but I have no personal knowledge of it.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Perhaps the Prime Minister can inform the House as to what Mr. Brown is now doing.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

Mr. Gerald

Brown is now acting as secretary of the Reconstruction and Development Committee.

Mr. LEMIEUX. What is his salary there?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I do not recollect at this moment; I will ascertain and let the hon. gentleman know.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Would the minister state if the report is true that a strike is in progress in one of the large coal mines in Nova Scotia, and if so, what means he is taking to prevent that strike?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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March 26, 1918