Whilst the Bill may appear to be drastic I do iiot think it is quite drastic enough. At this particular time when the Government is passing Orders in Council very easily, and perhaps with good reason, I think it would be well advised if it passed an Order in Council, as' a war measure and operative during the period of the war, making it an impossibility either for men to go on strike, or for employers to force a lock-out. Now just to emphasize what I mean: At the present time when there is a scarcity of labour and an urgent demand that every man should make himself useful, the idea of tying up a business because somebody is- dissatisfied with his pay or with the conditions of his employment, is altogether wrong. I do not mean to say that the labourer should he compelled to continue working at his present wages if he is dissatisfied, but it is open to him to make application for redress to the board appointed to deal with these matters if he thinks fit, and in the meantime
he should be compelled to continue at work. As a further illustration of what I mean let me say that I was in Fort William on the first of last October when six or eight hundred elevator men went on strike. I asked some of those interested what was the cause of the strike. They told me: There are thousands of oars of grain standing to-day on the siding here, waiting to be loaded or unloaded, which cannot be released owing to this strike. Tnere are also some twenty vessels tied up at the docks waiting to be loaded and yet nobody can be got 'to do anything. Now at a time when carriers are hampered in the effort to give satisfactory transportation to the public, whether by water or by rail, it is a very serious matter to tie up thousands of cars which should be in operation and performing that service which is urgently needed. It is a very serious matter to tie up the sendees of fifteen, twenty or more vessels simply because a few hundred men are not satisfied with their working conditions. I think the Government will be well advised if they would pass one of these Orders in Council, which 'seem to be very handy, making it a criminal offence for men to go out on strike or for the operators to lock out. These differences can be settled: If the employers or the labourers are not satisfied, 'let them apply to the board; let them get a ruling from the board, and meanwhile keep on doing business. It is in the interest of the business of this country that strikes be one of the things we must not have during the war.
I do not approve of the contention of my hon. friend (Mr. McCrea) on this subject. I think that labouring men should be free to make their reques/tq iand that perhaps it would be better that the employer should measure up to the present situation and be forced to pay to labour what is due for its work. I think that would be the proper remedy in this time of stress. Labour should he protected, and the point of my hon. friend, in my opinion, is not well taken. I believe that the Minister of Labour should provide all the law necessary to protect the labouring man. They deserve it. I think, therefore, the suggestion of the horn gentleman from Sherbrooke (Mr. McCrea) should not be accepted.
Mr. LEM1EUX: Let me say to both hon. gentlemen who have just spoken that, "if they will look at the Act itself, they will find exactly what my hon. friend from Sherbrooke (Mr. McCrea) wants. There is a pro-
vision in clause 56 of the Act prohibiting all strikes and lockouts prior to or pending reference to the board. There is a penalty provided for violation of this prohibition by either side to the dispute. I understand my hon. friend from Sherbrooke referred to a matter of grain transport. Well, that is a matter of public utility which comes under the operation of the Act, and there is a penalty provided in the Act against any one striking without first submitting the difficulty to a board.
According to the present Act, I see that the minister is the final judge as to whether or not an application is in due form, and also as to whether such application does not relate to a dispute which is the subject of a reference under the provisions concerning railway disputes in the Conciliation and Labour Act. Those words do not appear in the section as amended by the present Bill. May I ask the minister if there is any particular reason why these words were left out?
I tried to explain that a few moments ago by pointing out that the provisions of this Bill are more direct and more convenient for the investigation of such disputes than those of the Conciliation and Labour Act. If my hon. friend had the Act before him he would see that the procedure is very circuitous and unsatisfactory.
The men, when making an application for a board, set forth the grounds upon which it is based, the grievances and so on. During the inquiry carried on by the Board of Conciliation, it may appear that there is some other question which ought to be determined at the same time, and the suggestion here is that the minister should have the power, if such circumstances should arise, to direct the board tg go on and hear other matters more or less directly connected with the grievances set forth by the men themselves.
The Act as it now stands requires that the whole report of a board shall be published both in the Labour Gazette and in the annual report. If it were published only in the annual report, they would have to wait a year for it.
'Sometimes these reports are very voluminous. Not long ago a man who was very fond of talking and of writing was chosen by the two parties to act as chairman, and he wrote out a great many pages containing a discussion of -the whole question of capital and labour and all kinds of suggestions for the determining of disputes between, employers and employees. If I had strictly followed the 'statutes, I should have published all this matter, but I say frankly that I did not. Many reports concerning questions that arise between operators and miners involve considerable' detail, with page after page of particulars as to the pay of individual men, and so oil. The present proposal is to confine the publication to the Labour Gazette, and to avoid any repetition in the annual report. The Labour Gazette is sent out every month to all labour organizations, the members of which have an opportunity of reading the reports of these boards. On the other hand,- if the reports were published in the annual report only, members of these organizations would not obtain (them until the end of the year. We are endeavouring to economize in printing, ,and
it seems to me that to publish all these awards month after month both in the annual report and in the Labour Gazette *would be a waste of time and of paper. The suggestion is that the minister have power to publish the substance of the report, so that such matters as I have referred to, which have nothing to do with the report, may be omitted.
If there was an appeal from .the decision of the board, I would suggest that the report be published in *full, if it is not too bulky. Many labour organizations are interested in those reports. Moreover, I receive many -letters *from people in the United States and elsewhere, who think that I am still Minister of Labour, inquiring about the operation of this law, which is followed with a great deal of interest by universities in the United States and other countries. I agree that when the report is too bulky, a fair summary could be handed to the editor of the Gazette and published as the report of the board. My hon. friend might, perhaps, amend the section to provide that the summary shall be submitted to both sides and agreed upon. I know that no better man than Mr. Acland, the deputy minister, can be found to prepare the summaries of these reports. He has had large experience in journalism and in literature generally, and he is so familiar with the operation of the Act and so conscientious and painstaking in its administration that I should have no hesitation in entrusting to *him the preparation of such a summary.
The minister puts me in the position of insisting on more printing being done and more expenditure being incurred. That was not the idea I had in mind. He has put in this amendment a provision whereby he may determine what matter shall be printed-whether the report shall be published verbatim, or in the form of a summary. I do not object to the word " summary," but the information I want is this : The idea is to. create a bureau of statistics to facilitate access to any information desired by the public. If the decisions of the board are published only in the Labour Gazette you have to go through twelve publications in order to find them, and they are more difficult of access than if they were published in the annual report. If the minister desires to curtail expenditure by summarizing the reports, why should he not compile them in one volume, so that access may be readily had to them? In this way he will get the same amount of economy, because whether the decisions are published
in the Labour Gazette or in the annual report, everything may be omitted that is not required to give an intelligent statement of the decision of the board. I call the minister's attention to this so that he may not be at variance with the Minister of Trade and Commerce, whose idea is to facilitate access to all information which may be desired by the public.