April 22, 1918

L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

rear. That description of the wonderful way in which every part of that machinery worked, just like one well oiled machine, could not help but grip one, so to apeak, with the efficiency of the organization. The thought that struck me was that we have so far failed to carry our supporting lines back far enough; and I say to you, Sir, and to this House, that those supporting lines will not be carried back far enough until they are extended to the most remote farm, mine and factory in the farthest comer of Canada. We must organize our man-power if we are going to be successful in carrying on the war. I believe that we are all fairly well agreed in regard to that. It is, however, when they come to the question of methods, and the manner in which we are to attain the object aimed at that there seems to be a fairly wide divergence of opinion. There are those-such for example as the hon. gentleman who moved this resolution, if I understood him aright -who would introduce a complete measure -c -entire ma.n-nower of this country. There are others, as per example the hon. member who seconded the resolution, if I correctly gathered the purport of his arguments, who would confine that system to the aliens of this country. There are others again, and I have met a good many of them, who will say to you: Heave the situation just as it is. Let the labour problem work itself out. Give each individual the right to work where he likes, and to do what he likes, and to work or not, as he pleases. I am not in accord with either of these three. I will include the question of the conscription of all working men, and the conscription of aliens under one head for the purpose of making a few remarks on that phase of the subject. I do not believe that it is practicable to conscript any class of working men, and dn the last analysis it is practicability that we want, what we require to secure from the men of this country is one hundred per cent of efficiency in man power, whether they are aliens or whether they are Canadians, let me repeat again: I do not believe that it is practicable to conscript men in the manner in which you would conscript an army, put them to work in groups and get efficiency out of them. I may be asked, if you can conscript men for one service, why can you not conscript them for another service? For instance if you can say to one man, your duty is to don khaki, shoulder a rifle and go to the front, why cannot you say to another man, your duty is to don overalls, take a monkey

wrench and hammer and go to work in a machine shop. The answer I give to that is simply the conditions of service. In one case you have an army of men, every single one of whom is engaged in the same business, working under the same environment and under the same discipline, and with the age-long traditions of the army to back them up. On the other hand you have a group of civilians-an army of civilians if you will permit me to- use the term-engaged in a multitude of different classes and kinds of employment, from the janitor in the apartment house to the high salaried official in some of our large industrial .and financial institutions, each one working in his own way; and if we are going to be successful in connection with these organizations and industries the element of personal initiative and adaptability is the one thing that is going to mean success. So that on the ground of practicability, I say to you that the conscription of men for industrial pursuits is, to my mind, simply /-*P +Vtr* nimetiAn T am snpalcincr one who had something to do with the labour problem, in one form or another, during the whole of my life. I appreciate very much what one of the hon. gentlemen who spoke this afternoon said with regard to the aims .and desires of the Great WaT Veterans Association, but in the last anaiy-sis I believe that the representations that have been made by that association, and the position they have taken with regard to this question, is very much the same as that taken by any of the rest of us, who may have a heart interest in this war through the fact that some near relative is at present engaged in it. But after all, the view we take from that standpoint is purely sentimental, and you cannot deal with a subject such as this on sentimental grounds. It would be very nice indeed if we could .accept and gratify all the sentimental desires of those who have relatives at the front, or of the men who have returned from the front, What we want to do is to find some means by which we can in the best way possible, support these men at the front. It is not as I said, after all, a matter of sentiment; it is a matter of finding some means by which we can, if possible, get 100 per cent efficiency out of the working men of this country and put every man to work in some useful form of employment.

'That leads me to a brief consideration of the Order in Council that was laid on the table of this . House by the right hon. the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Borden)

t

on the 5th of this month. I am not going to criticise what has been done; nor do I wish to anticipate anything that may yet be contemplated in that regard. With the main principle embodied in that Order in Council I am in full and complete accord.

I believe that the time has come when every able-bodied man in this country must go to work without regard to where it is or who he is. He must become engaged in some useful form of employment. It may be said that this does not harmonize with the view that I have already expressed. You cannot conscript men. The idea of conscripting a man in the form in which you ordinarily conscript men and the idea of saying to a man: You must get into some useful form of employment, leaving it in the latter case to the individual to voluntarily find any employment he sees fit to choose, are absolutely and entirely different matters.

As I have said. I am in full accord with the main principle of the Order in Council laid on the table of the House by the Prime Minister. But, Sir, it seems to me that the Order in Council, in at least one or two particulars, does not go far enough. The first to which I would refer is that relating to strikes. If I can read the Order in Council aright, there is a clause in it that leaves the door -wide open to any group of men to strike if they wish and also leaves the door wide open to any wooden-headed employer who wishes to enforce conditions which would cause his men to strike and to force a tie up of his business. In war time I believe such a Situation as that 5 p.m. to be utterly illogical. Are we, or are we not, in earnest in connection with this whole subject? The question is: Are we determined to throw the whole weight of this country's power behind our men at the front? We have sent overseas almost'400,000 men, possibly more; I have not the figures, but (that is neither here nor there. Every one of these men who volunteered went with the whole force of this country behind him as expressed by this Parliament. Every man -who has gone there, or who may go as a conscript, has behind him the definite pledge of the great majority of the people of this country that they are going to support him to the last. What then would be the result if with all of these men over in France, the locomotive engineers on the Canadian railways, on the first of September next, should decide to tie up our transportation system? What would happen to our men at the front? If I am properly informed there is at this moment-or if there is not at this

moment, there was a short time ago a strike on in Nova Scotia in one or two of the most vital industries of this country in so far as our war effort is concerned.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

Let ny; tell the hon. gentleman that he is entirely misinformed; there is no such condition in Nova Scotia.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
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UNION

George Brecken Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. G. B. NICHOLSON:

I am very glad indeed to hear that. The newspapers .of Toronto gave us the impression that the employees of the Nova Scotia Steel Company and one of the coal companies, were going out on strike. If that has been averted it has been a splendid thing for this country.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
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An hon. MEMBER:

They did go out,

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
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UNION

George Brecken Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. G. B. NICHOLSON:

An hon. gentleman says they did go out. They may have gone back to work again, but I submit that so long as the Order in Council remains as it is, the opportunity is right there to do just what I have said. It is open to some employer of labour, on the one hand, to put his men in such a position as to compel them to strike, or it is open to some group of agitators, such as has been referred to by the seconder of this resolution, to organize an effort that will make it impossible for the employer to carry on the industry on which he is engaged. Neither of these conditions should be permitted during the war. I believe that it is entirely unnecesary that they should exist.

There is one other clause in the Order in Council that, if the House will bear with me, I will,read. It is:

Useful occupation and reasonable distance shall be a question of fact to be decided by the magistrates.

If useful occupation or the distance that a man has to go to secure that occupation is going to remain a question of fact that can be decided by some magistrate, the door is thrown wide open for a repetition of the farcical drama we have seen enacted in many parts of .the country in connection with the Military Service Act. All manner *and kinds of excuses will be used and acted upon in order to keep men out of work and to keep them from doing the things that men should be doing in this country. Instead of that being left for some magistrate, or any other local individual for that matter, to say what is a useful employment or how far a man should go to accept employment, there should be some central authority to pronounce on that. If necessary, I say that he should be compelled to

go from the Atlantic to the Pacific or vice versa. The hon. member for Maisonneuve (Mr. Lemieux) would say that dt should be vice versa, and that he should be compelled to go from the Pacific to the Atlantic. There should be no limitation as to the place in Canada in which a man should be required to work if that is the place where workmen are necesary. In order that we may get away from the possibility of these difficulties, there must be some central authority set up to direct the course in which the whole labour effort of this country will flow if we are going to do the things We must do.

In that connection, I would suggest to this House and to the Government that the labour organizations should be utilized as one of the means by which this can be brought about. I, as one of those who have been following closely the course of events in this connection, was very much gratified when I learned that the Prime Minister, in following up the position that he had previously taken in inviting into his Cabinet a representative of labour in the person of the Hon. Senator Robertson, had called into council here in Ottawa, the representatives of some sixty-five labour unions in Canada. I, with many others, felt then that this was going to result in some real constructive effort to co-ordinate the forces of labour in Canada. But we were somewhat disappointed when according to the reports that were published in the Press and some of the statements made by labour leaders who were present, that the whole result of that conference in so far as the labour organizations were concerned was largely a negative one. I am not going to criticise the representatives of labour who participated in the conference. They were acting, I am prepared to admit, on their best judgment and doing the thing which they, at that time, believed to be the right thing. But negative propositions will never land us anywhere. Negative propositions will not win this war. We must get something constructive. And if the leaders of the labour organizations in Canada are going to take the part that their position in the community demands of them, they must get away from a negative attitude towards these great world problems.

Now, 'Sir, I am prepared to admit that there are reasons why the leaders of organized labour should be somewhat skeptical of any suggestion which has underlying it the idea that they are going to be drawn into the industrial life of this country, so

[Mrr G. B. Nicholson.]

to speak, or to be made responsible for carrying on the industrial work. There are two or three reasons for that. In the first place, it is only within the past dozen years, or possibly twenty years at the most, that it became in any way nearly fully recognized that labour had the right to organize. Prior to that such a thing as a labour organization was looked upon as an alien institution, and right up until the present time there are many employers of labour-men who are themselves leaders in what we may call "big business," who desire that they themselves shall have the right to organize large combinations of finance in order to carry on their business-who still say that labour has no right to organize. I have heard men say quite recently: " Just wait until this war is over and we get these fellows where they belong, and we will then show them what we are going to do with labour organizations." Now, Sir, II say to you that if there is an employer of labour anywhere in this country who believes that he has simply got to wait until the war is over until he can return to his former position of capitalizing the flesh and blood of his fellow beings in order that he may use them for his owrn selfish ends, he is living in a fool's paradise. My opinion is that that time will never return in this country again.

Another reason why organized labour is somewhat skeptical is that governments and parliaments in times past have not been any too ready to listen to the legitimate demands of labour, while they have, as a rule, I believe, been fairly ready to listen to the importunities of those who would make use of organized labour. We are passing out of that stage, and the leaders of organized labour must recognize that we are passing out of it. May I repeat, that, in order to attain the position I believe they are aiming at, they must be called upon to accept the responsibilities that go with the privileges they enjoy. Every advance politically that democracy has ever made has carried with it a corresponding responsibility, and the leaders of organized labour must accept that responsibility. One form of autocracy is not very much .better than another, and the autocracy of lab ur would be just as great a curse to this country as the autocracy of the Bolsheviki. If the Russian peasants had the privilege of answering the question to-morrow, I believe they would say that they preferred the Czardom of the Czar to that of such men ae Trotzky.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
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L LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
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UNION

George Brecken Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. G. B. NICHOLSON:

And if we are

going to fight just such a condition, we must call upon the leaders of the working forces of this country to take their positions and accept their responsibility in connection with working out the great problems before us. The suggestion I have to make to this House and to the Government is, that a commission, or a committee, or anything else you like, representing organized labour in Canada, and representing the employers of labour in Canada, should be given the responsibility of seeing that there is no such thing as a strike so long as this war lasts).

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
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UNION

George Brecken Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. G. B. NICHOLSON:

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

Will the hon. member permit a question. He is dealing with a vital point. He states that he knows what the will of the body of labour on a certain question is. He did not state what he understands the mind of labour to be on that certain point.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
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UNION

George Brecken Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. G. B. NICHOLSON:

My conviction from personal contact with workingmen throughout this country is that they desire to do everything they can to reinforce the efforts our men are making at the front to win this war, and the only way they can reinforce that effort is by going to work and staying at work. Do not misunderstand me: I do not speak in any official capacity for organized labour, nor do I wish to be understood as saying even that I represent

a majority of organized labour. But I believe that I speak for the real feeling of organized labour in its best sense when I make that statement. I had the privilege recently of discussing this subject with a group of one hundred representative men of this country, drawn from the Atlantic to t'he Pacific, andf I put the question to them straight: Do you think that the representatives of organized labour in Canada are willing to. bring about a system such as was brought about between the Director of Railroads in the United 'States and the representatives of the railway organizations there? The answer was: Emphatically, yes.

To pass to the alternative. As I have said, I believe that we can find in Canada sufficient men to do all the things that we are endeavouring to do, inoluding the sending of reinforcements to our hoys at the front, which is the most vital necessity of all. If we cannot do that, if our men or some portion of them fail to respond to the imperative call of going to work, then I say that the Government will be justified in importing labour from any part of the world where labour can be found. I have no hesitation in saying that 50,000 coolies from Northern China could be imported into Canada, if necessity arose, without jeopardizing to the slightest degree the interests of Canadian workingmen, because when their services were no longer required they could he sent back to the country from which they came. People who say that coolie labour should not be introduced into this country under any circumstances do so purely for sentimental reasons. Our boys in France never talked of going on strike because the ghourkas or the men from Algeria went into the trenches beside them. Nor do they raise any objection to the employment of 100,000 Chinese labourers in France, who are doing transport work and many other things necessary to the support of the boys in the front lines. The people, therefore, will not object if our hoys are supported by coolies imported from other countries in order to produce foodstuffs, make munitions and war equipment, and do anything else necessary to assist in carrying on this war.

I am convinced that this House will support the Government; I am convinced that the people will support this House, in any measure, no matter how drastic it is, that may be found necessary to organize the industrial and productive work of this country up to the limit of its capacity.

I therefore urge upon the Government the desirability of their thking any steps-I

think I can speak for organized labour when I say that in the last analysis they will support the Government also in this respect-to accomplish that end.

(Mr. JAMES ARTHURS (Parry Sound): Mr. Speaker, I have no desire to detain the House at any length, hut the question now under discussion is a very burning one in many parts of our great Dominion. Men fail to .see the reason why their boys should voluntarily go overseas and work for $1.10 a day, while foreigners come in and take their places in the ordinary walks of life and earn $7 and $8 a day. This question is talked of -and spoken about all over Canada. But we are to-day face to face with a somewhat different condition. On Friday last we passed tn Act under which all the young men of Canada between certain ages are required to go to the front, whether they have business at home or not. The man who is to-day earning $20, $30 or $40 a week, the man who has a large income, will be required to accept the $1.10 a day of the soldier. Perhaps this man has a widowed mother; perhaps he has young sisters depending on him, who, when he is sent overseas, will have their ordinary source of income cut off, while Austrians or Germans will take up his work. The mothers and sisters of these Austrians and Germans will thereby receive the benefit of earnings which had formerly accrued to the men who went overseas. Some say that these foreigners are doing very little good in the industrial world; that many of them are agitators; that many of them are leaders in strikes and other activities not favourable to the prosecution of Canada's part in the war. Other men argue that we cannot do anything because these men are members of trade unions. I think, however, that the proper solution is somewhat along the line suggested by the memlber for East Algoma (Mr. Nicholson) that we should1 come to some agreement; that this matter should be talked over by men who know their business; that some plan should be arrived at whereby we may obtain the services of these men and at the same time do equal justice to all. j

The member for Maisonneuve (Mr. Lem-ieux) said that we could not do anything along this line because of international law; that any action would be a violation of the arrangements made at the Hague tribunal. But 1 would call his attention to the fact that the bombing of open and unfortified towns is not in accordance with the conditions of the Hague tribunal. Moreover,

it is against the ordinary canons of war to use gas; but the Germans have adopted this, and in self-defence the Allies have had to take the same course. If we take the same course with the German citizens of Canada that the Germans take with subjects of the Allies now in their country, no reasonable objection can be made by them.

The hon. member also dragged in a discussion of the Military Service Act. He had a great deal of sympathy with the Galicians who had come to this country, as he said, not because they were, favourable to, but in order to get away from, the Central Powers. It is quite true that many Galicians came here in order to better their condition, and the same may be said of many Germans. But may I ask the hon. gentleman this-he refused me the right to ask him the question when he was dealing with the matter-where are the brothers, the cousins, and the uncles of these men for whom he professes so much sympathy? They are fighting to-day against the Allies, and they are the men who are making these measures now necessary in Canada.

The hon. gentleman (Mr. Lemieux) also said something-I believe that was the one thing which brought him to his feet-regarding conscription or the Military Service Act in his own province. Well, that is not akin to this subject, and I have no desire to raise the question here. Let me say this: the great majority of the people of Ontario are willing to make any sacrifice and to put up with any adverse conditions in order to assist in the common cause, but they do demand that in the matter of supplying men necessary for the reinforcing of our boys at the front, equal justice be done to all classes in the community and that each province and each military district should supply its quota of men.

The member for Maisonneuve finished with the remark that he did not know whether there were any strangers in the House, but he was quite satisfied that there were Prussians. I am not quite satisfied even that there are Prussians, but if there are men playing the Prussian game in this House, and who have been doing so for some time past, they are friends of hon. gentlemen on the other side.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
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UNION

William Findlay Maclean

Unionist

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (South York):

Mr. Speaker, the discussion this afternoon has, as it very properly should, taken a wide range, and because of the width of the discussion and because we have on the Order Paper three different motions dealing with this question, it is only fair that all sides should be heard. The speeches that have

been delivered, especially those that have been delivered by the new members of the House, are instructive in regard to the situation. The most important question that came up in December in my election campaign, and, I suppose, in the election campaigns of most of the other members of this House, was the winning of the war, and the next most important question was what was to be our attitude towards the enemy alien living in our country. As far as I could gather from the meetings, there was, in the elections throughout Ontario, practically a unanimity of opinion that something must be done by the Government of this country in relation to the aliens, and, in particular, the enemy aliens, in Canada. The returned veterans had their view, and that has been expressed here to-day. Women voted in that election, and now that we are enfranchising all the women of Canada, they will be an important factor in coming elections. The women of this country, especially those who have soldier relatives, are convinced that something is radically wrong about our treatment of enemy aliens in this time of war, and the same view is held by our soldiers. Things are so bad in this country, and they have been so bad in the United States since that country entered the war, that it is absolutely essential that there should be a re-writing of the definition of what constitutes citizenship, of the definition of an alien, and of the rights of an enemy alien. You hear it said in all parts of the country, and it is a fact, as has been stated by hon. gentlemen who have spoken this afternoon, that women do not like to see their boys going to the front as volunteers, or under conscription, and being paid $1.10 a day, when enemy aliens are being given their jobs, many of them being paid as much as twelve dollars a day. I know that to be the fact in shop after shop throughout my constituency. There are enemy aliens in this country and in the United States. There are many enemy aliens in Great Britain. The outstanding feature of the question is that in Englishspeaking countries, and especially where British law prevails, we have made a great mistake in the privileges we have given in regard to the settlement here of aliens, and, in particular of enemy aliens.

One of the hon. members who spoke said that the time had come when we should have further regulation of labour, and he mentioned "bootblacking" as a non-essential employment. In every city of this country there are Greeks blacking boots and carrying on pool rooms, who ought to

be compelled to return to the land of their birth and to serve in their own army in the cause of the Allies.

An, hon. MEMBER: What about the

Italians?

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
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UNION

William Findlay Maclean

Unionist

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN:

In view of the seriousness of the situation, when the necessity is so great for men and food and munitions and war supplies of all kinds we should be on the job right now and Parliament should not dissolve until it has found a way of enumerating the manpower and women-power of this country and made provision for utilizing that power in the most effective way. The thing I appreciated most last Saturday, as an ordinary farmer, was to have two young boys come to our place and say: "We have read in the papers that they are making a list of the boys who will work on farms; we want to work on a farm." And we took them on.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
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UNION

Samuel Hughes

Unionist

Sir SAM HUGHES:

They knew a good thing.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
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UNION

William Findlay Maclean

Unionist

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN:

Yes, those hoys were patriots: in their way. We must, start right now to register t-he man-power of this country; it is no good1 postponing the matter any longer. I heard more in the last election of the alien enemy question than of any other. Our people are absolutely dissatisfied with tlhe large alien element in this country, who tell us they are not under our law and are not subject to our discipline because of certain treaty rights. They are in our country and under any laws we choose to make to win the war and to maintain our rights which are now in jeopardy. It is all very well to make the issue a matter of ethics, and in that connection I have just one criticism to make of two men so great as Mr. Asquith and President Wilson. For a long time in the conduct of the war Mr. Asquith, as Premier, made the issue largely an ethical one; he talked about morals and the German attitude, and put his case in very fine English. For two years the President of the United States was engaged in that same ethical discussion with the powers in Germany. Now what is the good of having a moral discussion with an unethical people like the Germans? They hung President Wilson up for two years, and are hanging us up now by discussion of international law and what we should do and what not do. The thing in practical politics is that Asquith should have made an issue with Germany much earlier than he did, and President Wilson should have taken action when the Lusitania was torpedoed, and yet we have had to wait for a long time in both instances. I am voicing no criticism, I am merely suggesting to the House that the time has passed to indulge in an ethical discussion with an unmoral people like the Germans, and it is wrong to discuss

international law and the rights of aliens who happen to be in this country, and who say that they do not have to fight, and that they do not have to work in Canada only when they see fit.

These aliens have got to be made to work, and those of them in this country belonging to allied nations who will1 not serve in our army, and' say they will not do so, have all got to get out of this country and serve in the armies of their own country, and if we are to be fair and square with our own boys who have gone to the front. One-half the*alien labour in this country are engaged in some occupation or another which is not of a useful character. As I said, you will find one-half the Greeks in Toronto keeping poolrooms, or blacking boots, or running fruit stands, and the same with many other aliens. They should be made to get into some useful occupation, and my advice to the Minister of Agriculture, who sees the necessity of getting labour on the farms, is to insist on this enumeration and regulation of man-power. Let it be done right away; make every one of these aliens turn in and do something. I know it is a hard thing to do. You cannot, perhaps, intern them, but there is a way to deal with the problem. The Germans have found a way. They have found a way to make our boys, and our fellow subjects who have fallen into their hands, do something. More than that they have made them take small pay and they have ill-treated them. I do not (propose ill-treatment or anything of the kind, but the people whom I represent here, think, that, in the tenor of the motion that I have on the Order Paper, to-day, there are lots of these people who should be made to work, and that the difference between the wages they receive and the soldier's pay of $1.10 per day should be devoted to some war purpose.

We have been told that you cannot control this labour, but I tell you how you can control it. What is the fundamental thing in connection with many of the problems of the war? It ie the enforcement of the idea of licensing. If you want to carry on a business you must pay a license. If you are manufacturing, and especially if you are making munitions, you have to take out a license under the law as it is now, and' things may get so bad in this country, because the war is not over yet, that we may have to require every manufacturer no matter what his business is, to take out a license. Under that license we can make rules and regulations concerning the men that the manufacturer employs

in his work. As I say, that may reduce production somewhat, but it will put these people under discipline, both the employer and the man who works for him, and hitherto that has not been the case. As I said before, one of the most insolent things we find in the workshops of Ontario is the case of men who are getting from $6 to $10 and $12 a day. They work when they like, and they have been getting the preference, at least so I have been told, and hon. gentlemen who represent city constituencies will doubtless corroborate it. These foreigners are getting work in preference to the relatives of soldiers at the front. A great many hon. gentlemen in this House have had experience of that, certainly I have had, and the employers of this labour must be put under some kind of regulation, and under some kind of license. I have no cut and dried proposal to submit fcr the solution of these troubles, but the difficulties are with us for solution.

This is a Parliament fresh from the people of Canada empowered to deal largely with these war questions, and there never was so good an opportunity as now exists to define the word citizenship and define what an enemy alien is, and what we ought to do with all these aliens now in our country so as tio make them contribute their .share towards the winning of the war. Of course, there are any number of difficulties connected with the matter, but they can be dealt with and they have got to be dealt with one way or another. I agree with what the hon. member for E. Algoma (Mr. Nicholson) said, that we can get organized labour to join with the Government in working out some solution. Of course, the problem is a hard one to solve, but we have got to deal with it, and the United States have also got to deal with it. The war is not over, the question is with us, and people are talking about it at every opportunity. The women are talking about it most. The women are voters in this country, and even although it may be a question of sentiment, as the hon. member for 'East Algoma said, I am reminded Of Napoleon's statement that, sentiment rules the world, and so it does. That being the case, I invite the House to have the fullest possible discussion on the matter. Let every hon. member state his experience and make suggestions as to what action he thinks should be taken, and let the Government maintain an open mind in connection with the subject, and then we will work Out some solution of the very great problem now before the people of the country.

Mr. FRED. LANGDON DAVIS (Neepawa): Mr. Speaker, in rising to discuss this question, I would like to make a few preliminary remarks on what has already been said. It is always exciting to meet gentlemen with an appetite for trouble, sometimes alarming, and alarm is my feeling at the suggestion, in connection with this question, of conscription. With the Union Government facing the question of conscription of soldiers, to add to its troubles the conscription of labour is quite too much. I do not want to see Union IGovernment die of what I might term-coining a word for the purpose-conscriptitis. It may, however, be threatened with that complaint if an unwise course is followed, but there are other ways of dealing with the question. First of all, what is the idea which each member has in his mind with regard to the enemy alien? How many men has he acquaintance with who would come within that class? In Manitoba we have had many Austrians who are called alien enemies, offering for enlistment. A few we have accepted and some we have rejected. I know men of Polish, Hungarian and Galician birth who have given their lives for Great Britain on the battlefields of Western France. To-day, and I do not know whether I transgress any rule of the House in mentioning it, with three-quarters of the opposition to the present Government French Canadians, we are perhaps facing this situation: That we 'English-speaking people, with our usual insularity and self-sufficiency, are putting a tag upon a class of people whom we do not very well know, and whom we are not in complete sympathy with. One of the troubles I see to-day is that an hon. member from British Columbia, two thousand miles from Quebec, is proposing conscription for French Canadians. Well, it seems to me there is not only a great distance geographically between him and them, hut also a great gap in the matter of sympathy and understanding. It does really seem as though we are separated to such an extent in the matter both of sympathy and of distance that we never can get together. Are we going to perpetuate such a situation with regard to the aliens who have come to our shores? Is it not well that we should look at the fact that perhaps a solid French Qanada may some day extend her hand with special offers to people of foreign descent? Indeed, in Manitoba to-day we have a situation where the Galician population is already becoming assertive and reaching out for membership in our local

House. How long will it be before they will demand Galician members in this House? As a matter of fact it seems to me it would be a good thing if we had two or three of them here to-day to inform the House as to what would be the attitude of their people towards the conscription of alien labour. I do not think the solution of the question lies in that direction at all.

I do not think that it lies in the direction of the conscription of any labour whatsoever. It does lie, perhaps, in the direction of the policy which already European countries and the United States have adopted. We know that in Great Britain and in France they have undertaken to restrict the less essential industries. In the United States they are doing the same. Have we not the courage to advance along the same line?

Before dealing with the question in that sense, let us look at the situation which faces us to-day, because, again, I think there may not be sufficient clearness in our minds as to the actual facts. Owing to the long seeding time we have had this spring, we are not very greatly in need of agricultural labour just now. More than that, from the best information I can gather, we need, perhaps 5,000 or 10,000 men for railway right of way maintenance purposes. Whether we need more men for actual mining or not I cannot tell; I do not know where to get that information. I have asked men from the coal mining regions and they have told me that upwards of 1,000 men have left the coal mining regions of Nova 'Scotia and gone to Halifax, where labour is in demand and high wages are offered. With regard to our western mines, the matter depends entirely, I believe, on the situation in regard to railway transportation and on how far the West will answer to the request that is now being made that we should lay in 70 per cent of our supply of fuel during the coming summer. If that is done we are going to need labour in the coal mines. The ordinary requirements of the West in regard to agriculture from the first of August to the loth November are from 25,000 to 40,000 extra men. We have been getting them from the United States and the eastern provinces. But, as a result of conscription and of the enlistment of so many thousands of men, we find that in the last year or . so we are not getting nearly so many; so that, in all probability we will find that we are limited there. Added to this will be the effect of the Order in. Council brought down last week which will take, according to the esti-

IMf. Davis.]

mate of the Prime Minister, 10,000 in each year called.

At six o'clock the House took recess.

After Recess.

The House resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
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UNION

Fred Langdon Davis

Unionist

Mr. F. L. DAVIS (resuming):

alien " is a concept which has not a truth in it. These men have expatriated themselves for the purpose of bedoming Canadian citizens; many of them have changed their names to Anglicized forms in order that they might he able to enlist. If we treat such men as men and brothers, it will make Canadians of them; if we treat them in any other fashion, we will make o! them an alien element in Canada-and that, above all things, God forbid.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
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UNION

Horatio Clarence Hocken

Unionist

Mr. H. C. HOCKEN (Toronto West):

Mr. Speaker, I find myself in sympathy with the member for South York (Mr. W. F. Maclean) when he tells us that he has not been able to find any complete solution for the difficulty which is indicated in the motion now under consideration. I myself have given a good deal of thought-* with the application, perhaps, of less brains than the member for -South York would apply to it-to the finding of a solution of the problem that would be satisfactory to me and that I would feel like urging on the Government.

The electors in every riding in the city of Toronto are hedged round by a foreign population which is contributing nothing . to the conduct of the war, and which is living in ease, comfort and luxury. Some of them, indeed, are laughing at their English-speaking neighbours who have been forced to do their duty. I quite appreciate the' difficult nature of the problem that confronts the Government, but it is a problem which, I think, we might be able to solve at least in part. A certain exasperation exists throughout Canada when men of English birth and blood see foreigners, neighbours of theirs, go to the tribunals-as they have been going in the city of Toronto-with a smile upon their faces, declaring: " I am not naturalized "; and upon the strength of that statement walking out free to do as they like and not bearing any of the burdens incident to the war. Take, for instance, the case of a man conducting a grocery store in the east end of our city. He was taken away from his occupation, and his store had to be closed. Across the way from him, a block or two down the street, was a Greek, conducting th-e same kind of business. This Greek remains, not only to carry on the business with the customers that he previously had, but to take over the customers of the English-speaking merchant who had to go and fight, at the soldier's pay of $1.10 a day. I am sure that this is a state of affairs that would exasperate anybody, and it is no wonder that in, the district the member for South York represents, as well as in

every other part of Toronto, this feeling has become so strong. I sympathize particularly with the member for South York, because he has in his riding what was formerly a Suburb of Toronto, and which is now incorporated in the city-the district called Earlscourt. This district, which was at that time a distant part of the city, wa-s settled by Englishmen who bought their little twenty or twenty-five foot lots by paying a dollar a month for them, built their little homes-some of them not much larger than a couple of packing boxes put together-and, as time -went on, put up more respectable and m-ore commodious residences, showing the splendid spirit of the Englishman to be independent. When- the war broke out, that whole district was depleted of its men; thousands of them left that small section of our city. The women who have been left behind to carry on the work would have been- just as glad to go to the front as the-ir husbands, if it had been possible for them to do so. There is not in Canada any finer class of people than these men and -women in Earlscourt. The men, on the day of the declaration of -war, stepped out and announced their willingness to take their share of the burden; and the women were left at home, and voted in the last election. These are the people the member for Sou-th York has had to meet; they are the ones who made representations to me to try to have something done towards the conscription of alien enemies. Tt is not surprising, iMr. Speaker, that they should press upon me with great earnestness, even as they have pressed it upon the member for -South York and the member for East York (Mr. Foster) and, indeed, every hon. gen-tlem-an who represents a Toronto constituency.

I respect international law, and believe that we should not ignore it. At the same time, however, one's respect for these conventions must be somewhat limited when he sees chaos approaching his country. If the Germans should win this war, it would be chaos for Canada; and if any good purpose, any great end, is to be served by modifying our observance of international law under conditions such as those which confront us, I join the member for South York in saying that ste-ps in that direction ought to be taken. Just how far we should go, I am no more prepared to say than he is; but in view of the desperate state of affairs in which we find ourselves, we should take all necessary measures for the protection of our country and for the organization of our man power, whether of

enemy aliens or of native and naturalized citizens, in order to get the very best results.

We have been informed that attempts are being made to arrange conventions with neutral countries in order that those who have come from those countries to Canada may be enlisted in our forces or be required by law to contribute their services to the State in some other way. I think that is a most commendable thing for the Government to do, and I most sincerely hope that they will press their efforts to arrange such conventions. We should at least be able to make such a convention with the kingdom of Italy; that of itself would mean a tremendous increase in man power, either by having men who came here from Italy enlist in their own armies, or by causing them to join our armies here.

How this conscription of enemy aliens can best be carried out, I have not determined, but I am still thinking about it, and perhaps I may 'be able to find some solution, if only in part, and submit it later if I have opportunity. But one thing we can do and ought to do is to follow the suggestion of the member for Neepawa (Mr. Davis) and cut down non-essential industries.

If I go into a hotel, I find twenty to thirty men serving victuals to the guests. Those twenty or thirty men could be better employed and could give better and more important service to this country than they are giving at present, and there is not one of them who could not be replaced by a young woman who would do the work quite at satisfactorily. I shall go further than that and say that fruit stores and confectionary stores should be conducted by women; that the Government should require them to be conducted by women. Work of that nature is surely not beyond either the physical or the mental powers of an ordinary intelligent woman. Out of those fruit stores, confectionery stores and other stores of that character, a large number of men could be obtained to be put at moTe important and essential work. If I were the Prime Minister of this country, I would go so far as to close up every pool room, billard room and bowling alley in the land until this war was over, for not only are young men required to conduct these places, but in a great many instances they are a resort for idlers, and they should at least be restricted, if not entirely done away with. Surely there are other forms of amusement in which men could

engage without requiring the assistance of those who are at present employed conducting such establishments. I fail to see how any person can argue that those places of amusement are essential to the carrying on of the war or to the comfort, convenience and happiness of the people of Canada at this time.

My hon. friend from Comox-Alberni (Mr. Clements) suggests that it might be a good thing to get a large number of French Canadians to go out to British Columbia to work there. I can give him a plan that will enable him to achieve that purpose if he goes at it seriously. We attracted a great many to the city of Toronto by paying them $6 a day. During the period of voluntary enlistment very large numbers came in, and as the young men of our city went into the ranks at $1.10 a day, the men from Quebec came in to take their places at $6 a day. They have been living very comfortably and happily, and they are very welcome in the city of Toronto. I have no doubt, as the hon. member for Comox-Alberni says, they will go back to Quebec with broadei minds and be better citizens because of this association with the English-speaking people of the city of Toronto. A good many of them went to Halifax. My information-and it was obtained upon the spot-is that from Point Levis alone several hundreds went down to Halifax to engage in the work of restoring that city. Afterwards, according to the press, the military police went down to Halifax to find some men for whom they were searching, and they found a good many of those men who had left Point Levis to go down to Halifax engaged on the restoration work, and at the same time carrying in their pockets exemption certificates on the ground that they were farmers. Perhaps the offer of $6 a day might secure the relief in British Columbia that my hon. friend from Comox-Alberni desires.

I was glad to hear the hon. member for Maisonneuve (Mr. Lemieux) state that the bends of the province of Quebec are so attractive to the investors of this country. I have been reading of some parts of the province in which the bonds are not so satisfactory, ilf the Montreal press tells the truth, that great city, the greatest in the Dominion of Canada, has been upon the verge of bankruptcy. That statement was made in a number of Montreal papers, and it was also stated that the bonds are somewhat difficult to dispose of.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. I hesitate to call the hon. member to order, but I think he is wandering somewhat afield.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
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UNION

Horatio Clarence Hocken

Unionist

Mr. HOCKEN:

I was merely referring to the statement made by the hon. member for 'Maisonneuve that the bonds had been so attractive, but they did riot seem to be so because the city was put under a commission.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
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L LIB

Louis Joseph Gauthier

Laurier Liberal

Mr. GAUTHIER:

Is the hon. member aware that the bonds of that city, which he claims is bankrupt, were all underwritten by the Bank of Montreal?

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   MOTIONS ON ORDER PAPER BY MR.
Sub-subtopic:   ODEMENTS, MR. W. F. MACLEAN, AND MR. G. B. NICHOLSON DISCUSSED JOINTLY.
Permalink

April 22, 1918