April 22, 1918

UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. This is not germane to the discussion at all.

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:

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

Fleming Blanchard McCurdy (Parliamentary Secretary of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment)

Unionist

Mr. F. B. McCURDY (Parliamentary Secretary):

With much that has been said in support of this resolution all will agree. Since the war has entered its present phase, I am -sure that there can he only one desire in -this country, that is, in what way, and in what manner, can Canada's striking force in the conflict be strengthened.

The hon. member for East Algotna (Mr. Nicholson) suggested that it should be done by co-ordinaiting the labour of the country The hon. member for Kootenay (Mr. Green)

The form of questionnaire makes provision for obtaining the information that is required by the Registration Board under such headings as name, nationality, age, physical disabilities, if any, number of children in the family, present occupation, length of experience in that occupation, and name of employer, if there is such. There are also questions to ascertain in what other line of activity the registrant would be useful if he left his present employment.

With this machinery it is confidently hoped that the Government will be put in possession of a record1 of the man and woman power of the country which is necessary to the further utilization of this power in the more essential industries; and for war effort. During the discussion this afternoon, many references were made to organized or union labour as such. Is it not possible that we should fall into the error of treating men as a class? General statements are apt to be misleading. I remember some time ago in connection with an investigation of conditions surrounding returned soldiers, visiting a plant in Montreal, where some 500 or 600 returned soldiers were employed. I asked the foreman of the shop, a most intelligent man, what had been his experience with the returned soldier as an employee. He said: "Come with me," and took me to a machine where a man was working with a great deal of dexterity, and said: " There is the best man in the whole shop; he is a returned soldier." There were perhaps two or three thousand employees in all. We went a little further, and he showed me a man working at another machine, and said: " There is the worst man in the whole shop; he is a returned soldier." So he had among one particular class of men at once the best man and the worst in the shop. From the employers' point of view I was clearly in error in suggesting any division by class aione. And it seems to me that in referring to unions as such, there is a danger of falling into a similar error. Neither labour unions, organized labour, or organized financial groups as such, can have any monopoly of patriotism. You find just as true a heart beating under the workman's jacket as under the frock coat of the employer, and, conversely, the same is true.

What has been done by Canada since the war began? In the matter of recruiting, who expected at the outbreak of war that wt- should have had upwards of 400,000 men coming forward voluntarily and joining the colours? Who, at that time, would have

hazarded a prediction that after four years of war, Canada would have been able to float a loan of $400,000,000? The experience

ir. the American Civil War and of Canada in this war, if it illustrates one thing more than another, illustrates that under stress oi war conditions, with their stimulating effect upon the patriotism of the people, results can be achieved far beyond the standard of peace times.

So, may we not expect that, when the information is available, that this inventory of man power and woman power will yield, we can, even should we have to depend on the labour which is now in this country, further strengthen our war effort?

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

Thomas Foster

Unionist

Mr. THOMAS FOSTER (East York):

Mr. Speaker, there appears to be a very strong sentiment prevailing throughout the Dominion that something should be done with the aliens in this country. This is indicated by the fact that we have already on the Order Paper notice of resolutions by three members of this House, and possibly three ether members had it in mind to bring forward similar resolutions. This sentiment prevailing from the Atlantic to the Pacific is not only confined to members of this House, but the press of the country has strongly urged that some action shou'd be taken.

The Prime Minister told us a few days ago that he had about completed a treaty with the United States whereby Canadians in that country and Americans in Canada can be conscripted, or some action taken whereby they can do their part. And the same will apply to Canadians in the United States. But the Prime Minister stated that it would take months, or possibly a year or two, before a treaty could be effected to take in the nations of Italy, France, Spam or Russia. We must have some immediate action along this line, as has been mentioned this afternoon. What do we find in the city of Toronto? In one section of that city, there are about 20,000 Macedonians and Bulgarians; in another section, about

25,000 Italians. There are about 35,000 Jews, about 5,000 Greeks, and, about 4,000 Chinamen. Throughout the city there are 70,000 or 80,000 foreigners. I venture to say that perhaps fifty per cent of that population has not been naturalized. Is it fair that these people should remain here, and at the expense of our own boys who are left, earn the very large wages-from $5 to $10 a day-that they are making? I venture to say that there are many members of this House who do not know how these people live, or how they hoard their earnings. I

know that in some parts of the city, where I have had dealings with them, they earn very large wages and live on very little, perhaps fifteen or twenty-five cents a day. It takes two or three dollars a day to keep a Britisher, who spends his money furnishing his house and living on the best, keeping the factories going, and wearing good clothes. But what does the other class do? They wear the cheapest of clothes; they do not furnish or occupy houses as Britishers do, but herd together, perhaps ten or fifteen in a room, paying possibly, a dollar a week each to sleep in that room. They get their board very cheaply, and save the greater part of their earnings. As we know, the greater part of this population is not stable but floating. Why are there so many of them in Toronto? The hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Hocken) has explained that ivhen you want to attract people you offer large wages. That is why so many have come to Toronto from all parts of the Dominion and outside of it. Thousands of these foreigners have been attracted to the city on account of the very large wages that are paid. To illustrate this situation: A few days ago an accident occurred to a foreigner, and when he was taken to the hospital the sum of $3,500 was found in his belt. In another case, $2,000 was found in the same way. In many cases we find that these people are comparatively rich, carrying large sums of money around. What have we done to get a share of that money paid back to the treasury of this country? We have not done anything. I think there should either be conscription of these people and part of their wages assigned, or that we should levy a war tax on what they earn. You would only have to levy a very small percentage upon their earnings to amount to millions of dollars. I venture to say that throughout this Dominion there will be 200,000 foreigners subject to war tax? If we levy a dollar a day upon these, it would run into millions of dollars, which would 'be easy revenue to the Dominion, and would come from a source where nobody would be materially affected, because these people earn large amounts and spend very little, and if times get better on the other side or in some other country they will float away. We have got nothing out of them, but they have done all they could to get money out of this country. Representations have beeni made to the Cabinet and to the Prime Minister by various portions of the Dominion that some action should be taken in this regard. Why should not we avail ourselves of this opportunity of increasing the revenues of the country, particularly when no serious hardship would result to anybody? In my district a man had to give up a splendid business, which has since been taken up by foreigners, among whose families may be found five ot six husky young fellows whose services might well be devoted to securing some material benefit for the nation. But they are there, making a fortune, while our own men have been conscripted and taken away. Walking down one of the main streets of Toronto .a few. weeks ago I could not help thinking that it was difficult to tell whether I was in Italy, Jerusalem or Toronto-judging by the conversations of the people passing up and down the street. A few years ago a foreign voice was seldom heard in Toronto; to-day almost every second person you meet speaks' a foreign language. I also noticed within three or four blocks thirty or forty husky foreigners, while very few of our own hoys were to be seen. On the same day I met a lady who was much grieved that her boy, who on account of his delicate constitution had been brought up with a great deal of attention and care, had 'been conscripted, while hundreds of healthy, husky young foreigners were walking about, enjoying life and all that money could purchase. These young men earn large wages without any material hardship, because in the large factories, including many of the munition works, the strong, husky fellows are preferred to the more delicate or physically unfit. The Great War Veterans have taken this matter up and it seems to be becoming difficult to hold them under control and to prevent them from raiding some of the factories where so many foreigners are occupying important positions and earning much money, to the disadvantage of returned soldiers. It would appear that many of the manufacturers prefer the foreigners to the returned soldiers. Indeed, a few months ago a kind of raid was made on some factories; the men went in and took out foreigners who were working there. There have been many threats during the past week, and if some steps are not taken to deal with these alien enemies, I am afraid that trouble will develop. I should be very sorry to see it occur, but in this respect the responsibility rests upon the Government of endeavouring to solve the problem which confronts us. I do not say that I can solve it-indeed, I do not know that any of the members who have already spoken can solve it. I suggest that a special committee be named to go into the

matter and make a recommendation to the House. That is what the public are looking for. Before the session is over some action should be taken, or we may have trouble in some parts of the Dominion. The feeling is that while we should treat these people justly, it is not right that they should be earning a tremendous amount of money which may at any time go from this country into some other country, while our own boys are fighting overseas. I trust that, having regard to the discussion which has taken place, the Government will, before the session closes, take some action in the matter, and thus prevent anything unseemly that might occur against these alien enemies.

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

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Unionist

Mr. S. F. TOLMIE (Victoria City):

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

TREATMENT OF RESIDENT ENEMY SUBJECTS.


(lil.) According to the British view, the first consequence of the existence of a condition of war between two States is that every subject of the one State beoomes an enemy to every subject of the other. For it is imposible to severe the subjects from their State, and the outbreak of war between two States cannot but make their subjects enemies. It is, however, a universally recognized rule of International Law that hostilities are restricted to the armed forces of the belligerents, and that the ordinary citizens of the contending states, who do not take up arms and who abstain from hostile acts, must be treated leniently, must not be injured in their lives or liberty, except for cause or after due trial, and must not as a rule be deprived of their private property. It is thus no longer considered admissible to detain as prisoners subjects of one of the hostile parties travelling or resident in the



country of the other at the time of the outbreak of war. (12) The view that such action was illegal except in grave emergency has steadily gained support. Article 5 of the Regulations annexed to the Convention, 1899, concerning the Raws and Customs of War on Rand, 1899, permitted the internment of prisoners of war, and it was contended at the Conference of 19"07 that the terms of the article afforded a strong argument e con-trario, that the internment of enemy subjects not prisoners of war was prohibited. No vote was taken on the ,point, tout this interpretation of the article was generally accepted subject to the reservation of the right which every State undoubtedly possesses of taking such steps as it may seem necessary for the control of all persons whose presence or oonduct appear dangerous to its safety. 13. This immunity, however, cannot apply to persons known to be active or reserve officers, or reservists, of the hostile army-for the principle of self-preservation must justify belligerents in refusing to furnish each other with resources that will increase their means of defence. Men of the kind referred to by these resolutions are men of military age, reservists of the alien enemy. 14. The expulsion of subjects of the enemy from the territory of the opposing State is in strict law admissible, but is usually not resorted to unless grave reasons make it advisable. 15. 'Belligerents have in recent years always acted in obedience to this principle. Thus expulsion has been decreed from seaports, fortresses, and defended areas, where special precautions were necessary, and from the actual or expected theatres of hostilities. 16. Should' the expulsion of any person be ordered he should be given suoh reasonable notice as may be consistent with public safety, in order to make arrangements for the custody of his property and preparations for his departure. Now, that is the statement of the case by the British Government in their own Manual, and whilst they say there is a strong trend towards preventing the internment, and interfering with the liberty, of alien enemies, still at the same time it is stated distinctly there that at the Hague Convention no vote was taken on this subject. So the argument that international law interferes is quite contrary to the facts and to all international law. Let us see now what the Hague Convention says further-and I am going to read from the Regulation respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, with reference to prisoners of war, chapter 2: Article 4. Prisoners of war are in the power of the hostile Government, but not of the individual or corps who capture them. They must he humanely treated. AH their personal belongings, except arms, horses, and military papers, remain their property. This is the article referred to in the selection from the Manual read by me and applies, as you note, to reservists. Article 5. Prisoners of war may be interned in a town, fortress, camp, or other place, and are bound not to go beyond certain fixed limits ; but they cannot toe placed in confinement except as an indispensible measure of safety, and only while the circumstances which necessitate the measure continue to exist. Article 6. The State may employ the labour of prisoners of war, other than officers, according to their rank and capacity. The work shall not be excessive, and shall have no connection with the operations of the war. So that, enemy reservists in this country, that is men of military age, can be conscripted by this state, and can be compelled to labour for the state at anything but munition wprk. Prisoners may toe authorized to work for the public service, for private persons, or on their own account. Work done for the State is paid for at rates proportional to the work of a similar kind executed by soldiers of the national army, or, if' there are no suoh rates in foroe, at rates proportional to the work executed. When the work is for other branches of the public service, or for private persons, the conditions are settled in agreement with the military authorities. So that, the State has absolute control to fix the wages even of these men who are alien enemy reservists. The wages of the prisoners shall go towards improving their position, and the balance shall be ;paid them on their release, deductions on account of the cost of maintenance excepted!. Article 7. The government into whose hands the prisoners of war have fallen, is charged with their maintenance. In default of special agreement between the belligerents, prisoners of war shall toe treated, as regard rations, quarters and clothing, on the same footing as the troops of the Government which captured them. Article 8. Prisoners of war shall be subject to the laws, regulations, and orders in force in the army of the State in the power of which they are. Any act of insubordination justifies the adoption towards them of such measures of severity as may be considered necessary. Then it goes on to deal with other matters of this kind. So, you see, Mr. Speaker, as far as the question is concerned in its reference to alien enemies of military age, there is no doubt in the world of our perfect right to deal with them as prisoners of war. There is no convention or regulation to the contrary. And I might say further that the Emperor of Germany has added his signature to this convention. I might say that these conventions are plain, ordinary worded matters of treaty, and any man of ordinary intelligence can read and understand them. Any of my friends who speak the French language. and who are not well versed in English, will find the French version parallel with the English in this volume. I think I have proved conclusively that we have a perfect right, as far as international law is concerned, to register all alien enemies, to even intern them, or make them prisoners Of war, and that in so doing we are not contravening any of the Hague conventions. When this war broke out, we commenced to register these people, and a great many have been registered. A large number of them are good, honest men, Bohemians, Galicians, and men from the outlying provinces of Germany and Austria, who are doing good work in this country, going weekly to the registrar's, and giving notice to the police of their presence, and, on the whole, behaving themselves like respected citizens. Many are working in munition factories. If they should ever have to go back to their own country, God help them, because in doing that they are contravening the laws of their own country and rendering themselves liable to trial by court martial, with all that that involves. However, the question, as far as they are concerned, to my mind, is settled by the Hague convention, and there is no reason why the Government should not take action. Shortly before the election there was a feeling that in certain sections of this country these men were not registered. They were not registered in Waterloo county, and there has been a great deal of dissatisfaction in my province because the law has not been carried out as strictly as it should have been, in Waterloo, and I regret very much I should have to bring this matter up in the House at the present moment, because nothing has even been done in that regard since the election. There has been no attempt to organize this country as a military power, because after all Canada is the greatest of the secondary military powers, as all the Other small nationalities have dropped out. We must recognize that the British Empire and the Allies regard Canada and its army as a separate identity, the glorious action of our men on various fields having stamped us distinctly as a nationality of our own, quite capable of taking our place in the sun with any other nation, even the great Gorman Empire. Now, such being the case, the splendid discipline of our people at home is evident. They have sat for four years here without hardly raising a word of complaint on account of the lack of organization at home and the lack of any organized effort to carry on our industries after the war. Even within recent days, when it is proposed to take the son of the widow, nineteen years of age, from the handles of the plough and put him in uniform, there is no complaint, even while there are 35,000 exemptions in Quebec still going through the courts, which no doubt, will not, perhaps, be reviewed or disposed of until about the time that this war has ended. The people are quite conversant with these matters; they are not quite so dull as some may think they are. They know very well that this Order in Council is intended to get a number of new men very quickly, but that it does not at all heal the differences that exist with regard to the men in Quebec who are over the age of 23.


UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. I hope the hon. gentleman will not

Topic:   TREATMENT OF RESIDENT ENEMY SUBJECTS.
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UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

I am not going any further with that subject, Mr. Speaker. I have said enough. With regard to the matter of labour unions, hon. gentlemen have dealt with this question very ably and I do not think I can add to what they have said. I wish, however, to refer to one special class of labour which aliens in Toronto have entirely taken to themselves;

I refer to needle work. Enemy aliens have gone into the clothing factories in Toronto, organized labour unions of their own, taken possession of these factories so far as the clothing business is concerned, and driven English and Canadian women entirely out of employment. No Canadian women can get employment in these factories dominated by foreigners. Take the case of a woman whose son or husband has fallen on the battlefield and who desires to add to her little pension; or the case of a sister of a soldieT who has fallen. It is very hard for such women, who have -been earning their living by doing needle work, to see husky Austro-iGermans or Russians employed in these factories, sewing women's petticoats. Thousands of them are so employed in Toronto; the Government should conscript these aliens and make regulations as what employment they shall engage in. We ask these women to go to the land and produce. Hundreds of delicate girls of university education went out last year and worked in the fields in Grimsby, Hamilton, and elsewhere in Canada, helping to produce food, responding as beet they could to the call of the Crown. This year they are further organized. In my own riding local organizations have been established in every municipality known as Greater Produc-

tion Associations. All men and women in the respective municipalities belong to these associations, and they have taken a pledge that this year they will produce enough food to keep themselves and, if possible, t

There are labour unions and labour unions. The members of such unions as the locomotive engineers, firemen's and trainmen s, and the like, are splendid citizens, loyal and true at heart, who work day after day and night after night wTith no rest and very little sleep, trying to do their duty to their country and to get the munitions to the seaboard. Other tradesmen, the shipbuilders and printers, too, are doing their best, But some labour unions have sprung up which consist almost entirely of agitators and with the foreign element as a backing and chief among them are unions connected with the great industry of mining. Sir, we have in Cobalt mines that are capable of producing enough minerals annually to pay all the expenses of the war and to pay our trade balances with other nations in gold. But we find that before the war was taken up by our Allies to the south, foreign agitators came from that country, entered these mines, and demanded such high rates of pay for the alien miners that most of the mines were crippled, and many were compelled to close down, not so much because the owners -who, in the great majority of cases, are loyal men-were not desirous of making big money, as because the workers demanded such high wages that the mines could be operated only at a loss. The result is that the minerals are not produced. I submit that the Government should take some action in this matter, not only with reference to the coal, but with reference to the gold and silver. As the Minister of Agriculture knows, wheat has been refused in exchange for our trade balance, but there is one thing that no nation will refuse to take or can, under the Hague Convention, or having regard to international usage, refuse to take, payment of their trade balance in gold. The efforts of the Government should, therefore, be directed to seeing that

our gold and silver mines are operated to their full capacity, not standing still as many of them are to-day. If the owners do not operate them, then let the state operate them, as has been done in Australia and ' South. Africa.

These foreigners who constitute the members of the labour unions to which I have referred are represented by very clever English-speaking talkers who come here, and who belong to what are known as the International Socialists ^Society. They speak in the name of labour; they do not want the foreigner conscripted, because they are sent here financed by the alien enemy, to talk thus to the Government. These foreign socialists think that the only great people in the world are the now Russian government, who have so greatly injured the cause of the Allies. They speak openly of socialism and revolution, but they are not interned; many of them have not done an honest day's work in years and have had nothing at all to do with labour in the true sense. Many of these organizations in Toronto and in other centres are purely Socialistic organizations, have no connection with true labour, and should not be listened to as the voice of labour. The true labour of this country, represented as it is by thousands of men in the trenches, is loyal and willing to do its share in this war; you never hear a complaint from them. I submit that during the war no man who is an alien enemy or a neutral alien should be permitted to join any association or organization that has to do with the military actions or industrial life of the country. That would stop a lot of the kicking about aliens. I do not believe that Canadian labour unions composed of Canadians are raising any objection to the conscription of aliens.

The registration of man power has been referred to by the member for Colchester (Mr. McCurdy). I wish to refer to another registration which took place in this country. Two or three years ago the people were crying out for national service; they -wanted the Government to organize such a system of national service as prevails in France, where every man, woman and child in the State must do his or her duty to the State. But in this country we always take half measures-half measures are what you can expect from an irresolute people. We had a registration which cost the country half a million dollars-the money might much better have been given to the widows and orphans. It is true that there is a card

system to which we may refer for information. I suppose, but there was no real registration under that system. I listened very carefully to what the hon. gentleman (Mr. McCurdy) said about the further registration system which is proposed, but to my mind the people of the country are now saying that this registration business is nothing but camouflage- is that it is an attempt on the part of the Government to deceive the people into thinking that they are doing something, and they never intend getting anywhere with it. What is a real registration? There is a registration in Belgium, and, I think, in a number of European countries. The system of registration there is that, when a man becomes of a certain age, he has to go to the mayor of the city and register himself, and then he gets his papers. He cannot move out of his municipality unless he goes to the mayor and states what he is going to do, and gets a paper, or passport. By that method and form of registration, they have almost abolished such refined artists as we have in this country, such as burglar, because if a man is found outside of his own limits, unless that stranger goes and registers at the office of the gendarme, or the police, or the mayor, he is immediately arrested, it does not matter whether he is a Lord, a Duke, or what he is. The foundation of the registration of the man-power and woman-power, as well as the alien enemy, in this country should be in that form. What is the use of building pyramids on their ends? They will only topple over. If you are going to have a registration, instead of an Order in Council, for Heaven's sake, let us have a law. This Parliament is quite prepared to discuss a Registration Bill, consider it clause by clause, and pass it. Not only is this Parliament a very old institution, but it follows in its act the Mother of Parliaments, and Parliaments act in a certain way; they move just like the planets. Parliaments were organized and ordained hundreds of years ago that all laws should be brought in to the Table of the Clerk; that those laws should be read three times on three separate days and discussed. Since the days of Henry VtDI, it has been the regulation, that on three separate days the law has to be read, argued and discussed, so that there should be mature judgment, discussion and action.

Topic:   TREATMENT OF RESIDENT ENEMY SUBJECTS.
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UNION
UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

I knew I would be kept

close to the line. I am arguing for the

&4i

very subject named in the resolution, I am taking exception to the Orders in Council and regulations to which reference has been made in the resolution and by the hon. member. I say, as a member of Parliament, that it is quite contrary to precedent to establish regulations of this kind by Order in Council, when the matter should be referred to and could well be dealt with by this House, after which it would become statute law of the land.

il again repeat that I have no hesitation in saying that the great majority of the people of this country, '90 per cent of them, are opposed to this form of legislation. The manhood and womanhood of this country are prepared to do their duty. The Government has only been moving behind the time. There are throughout the country hundreds and thousands of organizations that are doing exactly what the Government proposes they should do-encouraging production. A number of young men are going to be taken away. Their places have to be filled by somebody. We should register the alien, ascertain what he is doing and put him under Government control. Then the Government can take him out of employment in which women or old men could be engaged, and put him where necessary. That is the object of this discussion, and that is what the members of the Great War Veterans Associations require.

I have nothing to say about the men from Quebec. They have a perfect right to go to British Columbia, ot Ontario, or any other part of the country ir>

which they can find employment with sufficient remuneration for their labour. The people of Ontario, the mothers-, sisters and daughters of the men at the front, resent, to some extent, the stranger coming in and taking the place of the men who have gone overseas, but somebody must do the work, and I take no objection even to the alien enemy accepting any position in the country which he is capable of filling, as long as he takes it with the knowledge and under the regulation of the Government, so that we may know where we are going and what we are abou-t. The English-speaking women in the large cities, such as the city of Toronto, and certain .sections of this city, are becoming alarmed, afraid. I have received a great number of letters, not only from meir but from women -saying t-hat. they are beginning to be terrorized by conditions as they exist at present, because we have not placed the foreigners under any control. For that reason I say it is the immediate duty of this

Government, before it commences the registration of the mian-power of this country, to proceed to the registration of the enemy-alien; to open books in every municipality in this conntry, to see that he has fourteen or twenty days in -which to register himself, to give him his papers, and then to have a duplicate of those papers sent down- here so that we shall know exactly what employment he is in and whether or not we can place others in his employment. In the old 'country, what is the condition of the exemption law? It is not that a man is exempted because he is a farmer, or for a certain period of time during the war 'because he is in a certain occupation.; the question is: Can this man's place toe taken toy somebody who is not of military age, or can his place toe taken by a woman? We are not really in this war until we realize that is the rule that should govern us.. Moreover, it is only right that in the promulga-gation of these regulations which are going to take our young men, exception should be made that the young men of nineteen, twenty and twenty-one years1 of age who are the only sons of widows, .and especially those who are .farmers, should not toe taken and dragged from their homes to go to the war, leaving the work of operating the farm to. the women. I do not hesitate to say that, because all the militia laws and conscription laws of the -world say that the only son of a widow must be exempted. That is the French law, and it is a grand law. The 'Spanish law, the Prussian law, the Russian law, all make that exception. I do not think we would make any error or mistake in adopting the same principle. I have given my views on the subject. I am only voicing the sentiments of a very large element in this country-the female element and the element of the men who have gone to the war and who have returned.

Reference to the employment of the returned soldier has been made by my hon. friend from Colchester (Mr. McCurdy) who is a Parliamentary Secretary in one of the departments, and virtually a member of the Government, and surely I can speak in regard to that matter. I want hon. gentlemen to bear in mind that, with very few exceptions, the soldiers who have returned are men who have been wounded, men who have been very ill, or men who are over age and who have done their share in the war. In many cases, their efficiency is not one hundred per cent, although the hon. member for East Algoma (Mr. Nicholson) has said it should be one

hundred per cent. Their efficiency may not be that, and it takes quite a little while for their nerves and actions to become normal. The people of Canada are great and big enough and have enough common sense to realize that and to know that too much cannot be expected of those men at once. .

Topic:   TREATMENT OF RESIDENT ENEMY SUBJECTS.
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UNION

George Brecken Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. G. B. NICHOLSON:

I do not wish to be interpreted as having said that I feel that the returned soldiers when they return to work should bring their labour efficiency up to one hundred per cent.

Topic:   TREATMENT OF RESIDENT ENEMY SUBJECTS.
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UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

I am very sorry I mistook what the hon. member said. I thought it was a slam at the returned soldier.

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UNION

George Brecken Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. G. B. NICHOLSON:

I have tried to make it very clear that I am not going to take off my hat to any man in this House in my admiration of the work the soldier who has returned or the soldier who has not returned is doing, and I do not think it is fair I should be referred to in that way.

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UNION
UNION

Matthew Robert Blake

Unionist

Mr. M. R. BLAKE (North Winnipeg):

Mr. Speaker, that we have had trouble with the alien enemy and foreigner within our gates goes without saying, but everybody has been beating about the bush instead of going directly to the point. If a man comes to me with a pain in his side or some other ailment, my first idea is to find out what is wrong, and then suggest a cure. The foreigner is not so much to blame for this trouble as our own people. It is a very sad fact that very few people, not only foreigners but men in every walk of life, can meet with but a small measure of success without having their heads turned. That, of course, applies to the foreigner also. When war broke out I had the honour of being medical officer to the 106th Regiment of Winnipeg, and I had hundreds of applications from these men whom we now call foreigners, to enlist. They were the first men to come into the recruiting office, but through the orders of the G. O. C. for the district we hesitated to take them lest they might be spies, or at all events not turn out satisfactorily when they got to the front. We were asked for 500 men from our regiment, and we took 685 to Valcar.tier, and I am satisfied we could have taken a full regiment if we had been able to enlist men of alien birth. But now matters have changed; these men have been receiving good wages, they have taken the place of our boys, and are enjoying prosperity such as they never knew before; they have achieved a gTeat pleasure of success and many of them have gained a competency. But that is not the only thing that has put them wrong. We have also to take into account the English-speaking so-called leaders of labour. Hon. gentlemen will all remember the time when, for whatever reason, the price of grain on the Winnipeg market went over three dollars a bushel.

Three men at least that I could name in Winnipeg-so-called leaders and directors of trade unions-went, down among these aliens and said: " Look at the tremendous price farmers are going to get for their wheat. Do not think of working for them unless you get five dollars a day during the harvest," and that disrupted the whole labour situation. We ought to have more stringent laws for dealing with seditious utterances such as these men have made. One of these men I had the honour of defeating in the last election; he has been converted since and is now in khaki; but the other two are still at it, though a little bit more quietly than they used' to be. I think it is high time the Government took these men in hand at once; it would certainly relieve the situation for Manitoba. These aliens are open to persuasion. The I. W. W. may have worked some influence among them-probably in the way of German propaganda-but they are docile at heart. I have the honour of representing probably the most cosmopolitan constituency in this Dominion, for in Winnipeg North thirty-seven languages are spoken.

I know these aliens well; they may fight among themselves, and1 many a head I have had to sew up, but they are not given to pursuing any aggressive policy against the English-speaking people who have been in this country for years; they are very amenable to argument and to direction, and have great respect for the law; they can easily have the fear put into them, and if these labour leaders who have set them wrong were put down for two or three years, or until the termination of the war, they would soon come right.

With regard to the curtailment of unnecessary industry, sixty per cent of the wheat in southern Manitoba is in the ground to-day; in probably three weeks more it will all be sown, and in ninety days more, which is the usual time from seeding to harvest, the fields will be ripe. There is therefore plenty of time for the Government to give careful consideration to what the hon. member for Neepawa (Mr. Davis) has said with regard to curtailing unessential industries. If these industries were closed down on July 31 that would give two weeks before harvest, which usually comes about the middle of August, for the men thrown out of work to rush to the farms and save the crops. We have heard1 all over this country talk of conscripting these men, and it comes mostly from people who have given very little thought to the subject and have little foreseen the

consequences of enforcing conscription among the foreigners. If these men were conscripted to the farms we have no means of making them do a reasonably good day's work. It is an old saying that a volunteer is worth two pressed men, and these men would undoubtedly take life very leisurely unless we had some way of keeping them on the go. If some one suggests that a returned soldier be sent to look after one or two men, there are very few farmers who want to be bothered with three men to do the work of two. It is an impossibility to conscript these foreigners to the farms, as far as the West is concerned, and it is for the West I am speaking; only on farms where they could be used in vast numbers would the scheme be practicable at all.

I have said that these labour leaders were of English-speaking origin, and I think that applies not only to the leaders of farm labour but to the labourers in mines as well. There are two main things to which our attention should be directed, and they are food and men. I believe that the men will not be got by the application of conscription to the foreigners, but I think our system in Winnipeg of registering alien enemies is a fairly complete one; I do not think there are many alien enemies living around Winnipeg who have not registered at the district registration office. That is not the whole number though. I have no doubt that those who are alien enemies are being looked after, and that there will be no trouble, by means of a registration system properly pursued, in getting every man and woman in this country registered.

The member for Winnipeg Centre (Mr. Andrews) has said he has had the pleasure of seeing France and England awaken, and I hope he is going to have the pleasure of seeing Canada awaken shortly. He has said that if the contemplated measures are put through we shall double our production by proper organization. I have no doubt, Mr. Speaker, that such are the facts, and that by closing non-essential industries it will be possible to send many men to work on the land. It has been said that of the men who will come under this draft, aged from nineteen to twenty-two, sixty per cent will be physically unfit. That does not give any very alarming figures, when we think of the possibilities in connection with the cultivation of the land, as well as development along other lines, by registration, by direction and by proper organization. To turn men into channels which will produce the

necessary food supplies is, to my mind, as essential almost, if not quite so important, as to secure the men.

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UNION

Thomas Hay

Unionist

Mr. T. HAY (Selkirk):

Mr. Speaker, I know the House is getting tired listening to this discussion, but it may be profitable in the end to pursue it a little further, and as I come from a constituency where there are a great number of foreigners I may, perhaps, be pardoned if I say a word.

I wish to state, first of all, that I have listened to the discussion that has so far taken place with pleasure, with interest and with profit, although I do not agree with all that has been said upon the subject. In the first place, I do not think it will be advisable to close up what we call non-essential industries, because the result would be, if that were done at the present time, to throw a great number of people Out of employment that could not be utilized in any other capacity. To close up such industries would not only result in injustice to a great number of people, but would fail in achieving the desired object. The closing up of non-essential industries will not accomplish anything in the way of production at this time, and yet I suppose the object of taking such a course would be to compel the men now employed in those industries to go on the farm. Now a great many of these men that would thus lose their occupations, in the first place, would not and could not make good on the farms in Manitoba. In the second place, their labour would be lost, and any help they might have yielded from an industrial point of view would be lost by their being thrown out of employment. In my belief such a policy would not work in the interest of the country at this tune. We must bear in mind that there is a period of reorganization coming, and if we dislocate the prevailing conditions by any such drastic method as has been suggested by some hon. gentlemen it will simply mean that we will have to reorganize later on in order to help the industries that would thereby be crippled to become properly and thoroughly established again. I feel that the Government is moving along right lines in obtaining a registration of the man-power and women-power of Canada. I am satisfied that through this means we will be better able to adjust labour and other conditions than by any other method, and we shall then know exactly where to lay our hands on the men needed for the different departments of agriculture and labour. Besides, in this way, we shall un-

doubtedly be in a far better position to deal with this question later on.

I want to say a word for the farmer before I close, or the alien enemy as he is called. There are a great many aliens in the constituency which I have the honour to represent, and in the constituencies surrounding Winnipeg, and we can hardly call these people alien enemies because they are naturalized British subjects at this time. A great many of them are making good, and are now doing a great work in the interest of the empire; we do not want to forget that. These men are producers of food on a large scale, which is one of the things we want to see carried out at the present time. Furthermore, I desire to point out that we invited many of these people to come to this country to help us in building our railroads, and to help in solving the labour problem in Canada. We have been glad to have these foreigners here, and we want to- show some consideration for them when they came here on our invitation. We should realize that they have done and are doing work that is in the interest of Canada. There is no shortage of labour perhaps at the present moment, but I desire to point out that from this out labour will be required in the upkeep and maintenance of our railroads, and we know that our railroads-and I believe in particular those that the Government are interested in-are in very bad shape at this time. We will need thousands of labouring men in this country to put our railroads into the shape in which we will be able to successfully handle the 1918 crop. We must utilize this class of labour for that purpose, and the Government should see that that labour is available when it is needed.

One word with reference to interned aliens. In my humble opinion, the men that are in detention camps at this time, the men that are disloyal to this country and are alien enemies in the true sense of the term, should, when peace is declared and we have won the victory for which we are now fighting, be deported by the Government to their own country.

The question dealt with by the resolution is a big one. It is one which will take considerable thought in order to solve the many problems connected with it arising out of labour conditions, and I hope that it will be thoroughly and efficiently dealt with in the best interests of the country.

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UNION

Frank Bainard Stacey

Unionist

Mr. F. B. STACEY (Westminster District) :

It has been said that the resolutions before the House present one of the most

difficult problems that the Government and Parliament will have to deal with. Perhaps I might isay that, in my humble opinion, it is the most difficult of all. I consider that it is easier to present and adopt the resolutions which passed the House last Friday than to digest and settle this big labour question, which is perhaps the greatest problem before the people and Government of Canada to-day. There are four resolutions, I think, before the House. I shall not attempt to speak with regard to all of them, but will merely offer a word or two concerning the first. Coming also from a province where the situation is most acute regarding Chinese labour, I do not think that the men in Eastern Canada can properly appreciate the great difficulties arising from that situation as it obtains today in British Columbia.

A man must go there and live for some years and then he will be convinced of the seriousness of the situation in regard to the question of Chinese labour. I sincerely hope that there will be no further importation of Chinese labour into that country for some time to come. Probably members of this House do not know that in certain cases the Chinese themselves are beginning to be landlords and that in some cases they engage native labour. The morals resulting therefrom cannot be discussed here tonight. I come to the resolution presented by my hon. friend from East Algoma (Mr. Nicholson):

That, in the opinion of this House, the marked shortage of labour for agricultural and industrial purposes in all parts of the country provides ample justification for the introduction of a complete and comprehensive system of compulsory registration and direction of the country's man-power.

4s I understand it, the registration clause of the resolution has been provided for, I take it amply provided for, and that perhaps. need not be further discussed. But, in regard to the Last five words, "direction of the country's man-power," it seems to me that the resolution introduced by the hon. member for Neepawa (Mr. Davis), given as No. 29 on the Order Paper, is the solution of the problem, or helps at any rate to accomplish the result aimed at. It reads:

That, in the opinion of this House, the maintenance and increase of production of foodstuffs and war material requires national control and direction of the capital and labour of the people, in order that non-essential business may be curtailed and our wealth and work directed to serving the state.

It is quite evident that such a proposition as that, in order to he considered at all.

must rest upon some very serious national condition, and I need not detain the House at this hour to explain that the serious condition exists. We all know that. We all admit that. We went into this war, and we went into, it from the sound conviction that it was based on justice and righteousness. In other words, we [believe in the legitimacy, righteousness and necessity of our part in the -war. Granting that position, 1 claim that everything else necessarily follows. I believe, Sir, that following the adoption of that premise, the dedication of the resources of the nation to the achievement of the object follows as a matter of course. I believe that everything that this nation possesses, every resource of manpower of material wealth at its command must in the last analysis be consecrated to adoption of the principle underlying the declaration of war. If that be so, and I do not suppose there is any disposition to dispute it, there should he no division in this House upon one side or the other. We are agreed, I take it, that .although we may have differed in the .past as to methods and as to the manner of approaching this subject, to-night, when we are .facing the situation .as it is on the continent of Europe, we are agreed upon, the fact that we must unite. In order to unite, in order to. make this a reality, I hang my hope upon a sentence uttered by .the right hon. the Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden.-"Industries essential to the winning of the war." I believe that phrase- has. been used also by other members- of the- Government. If that be done, then there must be, as I believe there will be, consideration given by the Government to the question involved in resolution number 29. Is there any man here who -believes that all the industries carried on in Canada to-day are essential to the winning, of the war?

The term; used ini the "loafer" law is " useful " but (I do not think that is strong enough. There may be a great many useful industries in time of peace which are not essential to the winning of the war, and these are the industries which should be in some measure curtailed. I think we should curtail certain industries and thereby release a large number of men who could devote their energies to the prosecution of industries that are essential. It may mean a good deal of inconvenience, some rearrangement

perhaps a great deal-but suppose it does, are we not all inconvenienced, and have we not suffered more than can be expressed from all the inconveniences and losses during the course of

this war? Nothing should stand in the way of setting aside certain industries with the view of releasing men, capital, and the resources of the country for the prosecution of such industries as are essential, more especially agricultural production, the making of munitions, and the manufacture of certain commodities for the clothing and feeding of civilians and soldiers. I claim that we should set aside the production of things that we can do without. Let me read a letter that just came to hand during the last few days and which is written by an ex-member of one of the provincial legislatures. It reads:

During the last six days I have had no less than eight men here trying to sell1 oil and book my fall supply of gasolene. These men are not only wasting their own time, from a productive standpoint, hut are wasting gas and oil and adding very materially to the cost of the very article which we must use, to produce more food with. I will venture to say that oil could he sold for at least ten cents a gallon less in the companies were all forced to take these men off the road. Gasolene and fuel oil could also he reduced from three to five cents per gallon. And surely in this hour when our nation is In such terrible straits for food as well as men, for all kinds of productive work, that these men could be better employed.

I might say that at least three of these men were under 35 years of age. We are also deluged to death with machine men. All this must add to the cost of these articles and thus place a greater burden on the producing class, which is already heavily burdened'.

I think that as an addition to the Order in Council compelling all men to he usefully employed, that you should place some of these things as non-essential and thus drive the thin edge of the wedge to wipe this curse forever off the map.

That is the opinion and judgment of a man who is not in the House, who has not heard this discussion, and knows nothing of what has been going on here to-day. Jn regard to the alien question, I would only say that I do not see that it is wise or possible to conscript the alien for individual service. It may be advisable and possible to do so for national service, but it seems to me that there are great difficulties, indeed, grave difficulties, in the way of compelling an alien to work for an individual. It would take man for man to keep him at it. I am hoping that when we do know the mind of the Government on this question there may be such financial provision made that will apply to all men, perhaps in the way of a tax, perhaps in som/e other way, but formulated in some manner that will compel every man in this country to contribute his full .quota towards the salvation of the country and the prosecution of the war. And I am prepared to give the

Government every chance to work out such a scheme and not embarrass them unnecessarily. We have not yet heard from the Government as to their policy on this question, but I am disposed to believe that from the members thereof there will come such a solution as will satisfy the House and the country. Further, I may add that in my judgment it will be a very difficult thing, Sir, for the Government to introduce any legislation that in the opinion either of this House or the country at large will be too drastic. I think it will be a difficult thing for them, when we are facing the situation that obtains to-day, to introduce any legislation that, from one ocean to the other, will be regarded as too drastic. We are one, and whatever difficulties or differences may have divided us in the past, I claim, Sir, they 3'hould not separate us in the future, and I trust that there will be, growing out of thi3 discussion, and out of the spirit which prevails among true Canadians, a better spirit of unity and harmony than has been manifest in the past in certain sessions of this House.

May I be permitted to say one thing more? I have in my constituency one district composed almost entirely of French Canadians. Let me say that during the campaign I received from no audience a better hearing than was given to me by that body-or as we call them in the West " bunch "-of French Canadians.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

How did they vote?

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April 22, 1918