April 23, 1918

UNION

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

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

The Acting Minister of Finance spoke to me yesterday about it. He said it would be available today, but he has not sent it to me. There are other opportunities on which full information may be obtained, and we shall not interpose any technical difficulty to obtaining that information. We shall regard it as entirely an open matter.

Topic:   WAR GRANT-5500,000,000.
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Section agreed to. Bill reported. SALARIES ACT AMENDMENT. independence; op parliament. On motion of Right Hon. Sir Robert Borden, Bill No. 13, to amend the Salaries Act and the provisions for preserving the Independence of Parliament, was read the third time and passed.


GOLD AND SILVER MARKING ACT (1913) AMENDMENT.


On motion of Sir George Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce), Bill No. 50, to amend the Gold and Silver Marking Act, 1913, was read the third time and passed.


ORGANIZATION AND CO-ORDINATION OF EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.


On motion of Hon. T. W. Crothers (Minister of Labour) Bill No. 57, to aid and encourage the organization and co-ordination of employment offices, was read the second time and the House went into committee thereon, Mr. Boivin in the Chair. On section 3-powers of minister:


UNION

Samuel Hughes

Unionist

Sir SAM HUGHES:

Who is the minister in charge of this Bill?

Mr. CROTHEiRS: Section 2 says that " minister " means the Minister of Labour.

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L LIB

Frank S. Cahill

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CAHILL:

What means will be taken to aid and encourage the organization and co-ordination of employment offices? Is it intended that the encouragement shall come from the minister or from the provinces?

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UNION

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Unionist

Mr. CROTHERS:

Section 4 provides that $50,000 shall be appropriated the first year for the purpose of encouraging the provinces to establish labour exchanges, and section 5 provides that the Federal Government shall not pay to any province a larger sum than is expended by the province itself in establishing and maintaining labour exchanges.

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L LIB

Frank S. Cahill

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CAHILL:

Upon what basis is the aid to be given as between the different provinces?

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UNION

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Unionist

Mr. CROTHERS:

The moneys to be paid to the governments of the respective provinces will be in the proportion which their expenditure bears to the total expenditure by all the provinces for such purposes.

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L LIB

Frank S. Cahill

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CAHILL:

Am I to understand that if one province spent the full amount of this appropriation it would get $50,000?

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UNION

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Unionist

Mr. CROTHERS:

Suppose that all the provinces together expended $50,000, and one province expended one-fifth of that, that province would get $5,000, or one-tenth of the appropriation.

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L LIB

Frank S. Cahill

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CAHILL:

Suppose one province spent $100,000 on labour exchanges. On what basis would you distribute this appropriation as between the provinces?

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UNION

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Unionist

Mr. CROTHERS:

That depends on circumstances. If one province spent $50,000

and the other provinces nothing, it would receive one-halt the $50,000 we are appropriating for the first year.

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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

When the resolution was before the committee, I called attention to a point which possibly was not well taken, but if it w'as well taken, it would apply just as much to the Bill as to the resolution. If the Bill contemplates the organization of offices at Ottawa, and I presume the Minister of Labour has that in mind, I would point out that this Bill provides for the entire appropriation Being paid to the governments of the different provinces. Section 5 says that the " -moneys appropriated for each year shall be allotted and paid to the governments of the respective provinces," so it would appear to me that 1 under this Bill not -a dollar of this money could be appropriated for any organization work in Ottawa. If that is the intention, the Bill is all right; but if it is contemplated to maintain any organization at Ottawa and pay its expenses out of this Bill, I would ask the minister to consider whether this Bill gives him the power that -he wants.

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UNION

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Unionist

Mr. CROTHERS:

It is the intention that the whole amount shall be paid to the provinces under certain circumstances. Whatever moneys may be required for the work done at Ottawa will be provided for in the Supplementary Estimates.

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UNION

George Brecken Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. G. B. NICHOLSON:

Section 3 authorizes the minister to aid and encourage the organization and co-ordination of employment offices, -and to promote unity of methods -among them. If the underlying principle is to establish a system of public employment agencies, the Bill is all right, but as a -means of -meeting the immediate needs of the situation, in my judgment, it is not all right. I have had so-me little to do with employment agencies of one kind and another in a business way, and some little to do in endeavouring to keep in touch -with Government-owned or Government-controlled employment -agencies, and with all due respect to those who are responsible for their organization, I must say that they have not got us anywhere. If there is one vital question in connection with the distribution of labour throughout this country, it is to find some channel through which the employer and the man looking for work can get in touch with each other; and, so far as I know, in no system of Government-controlled employment offices in this country has there been any near approach to that desideratum. If we wait until we develop a complete organization

for that -purpose we will wait until the vital period, in my judgment, is passed. I hold no brief for any private employment agency or private institution of any description, but if it is desired to provide adequate machinery, and provide it quickly and effectively, by which the employer in the first -instance may get in touch with the man looking for work, and the man looking for work may get in touch with the employer, the minister has that machinery right at hand if he will but take efficient control of the private employment agencies. Establish a central clearing house, if you like, for these private employment agencies, and pass regulations under which it will be necessary for them to report

daily to that clearing house the number of men they are looking for

to fill the needs of employers of labour, and, on the other hand, the list of men on their books who are searching for employment, to provide information as to where that employment may be found, how it may be reached, the rate of wages, and everything else in connection therewith, I say that you have ready made machinery right at hand that you can adopt for this purpose, without the establishment of anything new, without going into any comprehensive scheme of interprovincial employment, and agencies working in co-opera-ticn, or in co-ordination, with the Dominion. All that may be well enough in its way, but it will take too much time, and I suggest to the hon. minister that they will take control of the direction of the private employment agencies, and make use of the machinery that they now have at hand.

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?

James Halliday

Mr. HALLIDAY:

I would suggest to the minister that he make use of the Post Offices already established throughout the Dominion. A large board can be posted up in an office which will give the information. If a man wants to employ so many men, he goes into the office and buys a five-eent stamp for each man he requires, and his name is posted up, showing that he requires these men. If I require a position, I buy a five-cent postage stamp, and my name is posted up, to show that I require a position. We could have employment offices all over the Dominion, if we adopted such a system. [DOT]

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L LIB

Emmanuel Berchmans Devlin

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEVLIN:

I find by the interpretation clause that an employment office means an employment office operated by any provincial government, and by section 5 the manner in which the moneys are to be paid out is stipulated. I presume that

this money will be paid out solely to the provincial government to maintain any employment offices they may organize. The minister, in answering the hon. gentleman from Queens-Shelburne, said that he contemplated the organization of a central employment bureau in Ottawa. I take it that this Bill does not cover that point at all.

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April 23, 1918