April 23, 1918

UNION

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Unionist

Mr. CROTHERS:

It is not intended that this Government should establish a Labour Bureau in Ottawa, but it is intended to establish a clearing house in this city. There are various kinds cf labour bureaus. You have some national labour bureaus, provincial labour bureaus, municipal labour bureaus, private labour bureaus, and some philanthropic labour bureaus. No country so large territorally as Canada has established a national system of labour bureaus. Great Britain has done so, but ' in territorial extent Great Britain is small compared with Canada. New Zealand also has a labour bureau, but she is a very small country. No large country has undertaken to establish and maintain a national system of labour bureaus, and it was not considered advisable to do so here. In Canada, five of the nine provinces-Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia-have already legislated for the establishment of labour bureaus in the various provinces, Several of them have already established a great many labour bureaus. It was thought the provinces could more conveniently deal with these matters than the Dominion. My hon. friend will notice that this Act provides that agreements shall be entered into between the Federal Government and the provincial Government, setting forth the terms upon which they will be entitled to receive the sum due them under this section. We will provide for inspections, and so forth, in the agreement which will be something like the agreement that is made in agricultural matters between the Dominion Government and the provincial Governments-setting forth the conditions upon which they will be entitled to receive this money. In the province of Quebec already several labour bureaus have been esmb-lished at different points, namely, the cities of Quebec, Montreal, Sherbrooke, and two or three other places. In Ontario provision was made three or four years ago for the establishment of 'abour bureaus. They have already established them in all the large centres in Ontario like Toronto, OtfMr. Devlin.] . _ ' - l

tawa, Hamilton. London, Fort William, Port Arthur and St. Thomas. They are doing the very sort of work that my hon. friend suggests ought to be done. Special provisions are being carried out by several of the provinces. Alberta and Saskatchewan have established temporarily for war purposes, especially for the purpose of getting the men on the land, these labour exchanges at various points in their respective provinces. At its last session, the legislature of British Columbia passed an Act to provide for the establishment of these bureaus, and they aTe proceeding to establish them right away. We expect to get from the clearing houses in the several provinces a weekly statement of labour conditions throughout each province at the different points, so that we will have, every week, in the clearing house in Ottawa a bird's eye view of the whole labour situation of Canada. It would be a herculean task for this Government to undertake to establish a labour bureau in each town and city in 'Canada, as five provinces have already legislated in that direction, it was not thought wise for us to attempt to establish a new system to conflict with that.

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L LIB

Emmanuel Berchmans Devlin

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEVLIN:

Under clause 3 the Government has power to establish a clearing house. By clause 4 bonuses are given to the different employment bureaus in the province. By clause 5 the minister allots the bonuses in the proportion set out in that section, but there is no provision in this Bill whatever to pay for any of these clearing houses.

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UNION

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Unionist

Mr. CBOTHERS:

Does my hon. friend refer to the clearing house at Ottawa?

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L LIB

Emmanuel Berchmans Devlin

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEVLIN:

What do you mean by clearing house? There is no definition of it.

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UNION

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Unionist

Mr. CROTHERS:

I was trying to explain a moment ago that we are going to establish a clearing house at Ottawa for all Canada. .

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L LIB

Emmanuel Berchmans Devlin

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEVLIN:

What do you mean by

clearing house?

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UNION

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Unionist

Mr. CROTHERS:

A house that receives reports from all the provincial clearing houses tabulates and circulates them.

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L LIB

Emmanuel Berchmans Devlin

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEVLIN:

Can the Department of

Labour not do that, without establishing another clearing house?

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UNION

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Unionist

Mr. CROTHERS:

We may utilize the

department for that purpose.

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L LIB

Emmanuel Berchmans Devlin

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEVLIN:

But we are trying to save money now.

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UNION

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Unionist

Mr. CROTHERS:

As I said to the hon. member for Queens-Shelburne, the expense of this central clearing 'House and the preparation of the forms, and so on, will be provided for in the Supplementary Estimates.

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L LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

We understand what a clearing house in banking circles is, but I have not heard anything yet as to the way this clearing house is going to operate. What is the method of obtaining the information and how will it be distributed?

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UNION

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Unionist

Mr. CROTHERS:

That is a matter that will be more fully considered hereafter. We will establish a clearing house hete to receive weekly reports from the various provincial clearing houses. They will give us a statement of conditions in each of the provinces and that information will be distributed throughout the country by some means-we have not yet determined exactly just how. That will be a part of the working of the clearing houses. The provinces will have clearing houses where in-fortnation and reports will be received from various places. For instance, in Toronto, they will have a clearing house for the province of Ontario at which information will be received from St. Tiiomas. London, Windsor and other places. It may be useful for the whole Dominion to know that there are a certain number of idle men in a certain craft in Halifax and that a similar number of men may be required in Vancouver. The provincial bureaus would not deal with a matter of that kind. They would not report to their sister provinces but they would report to us. We are in a position to see the situation exactly and to give the information which it seems to demand.

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UNION

Robert Hamilton Butts

Unionist

Mr. BUTTS:

In nearly every province they have Workmen's Compensation Acts or Employers' Liability Acts. Would it not be well for the Dominion to consolidate all these Acts and make one for the whole of Canada?

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UNION

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Unionist

Mr. CROTHERS:

If my hon. friend had been present one evening last week he would have noticed an Act passing through this House providing compensation for all employees of the Dominion.

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UNION

Robert Hamilton Butts

Unionist

Mr. BUTTS:

I know; but these Acts are different in every province. If we consolidated them into one Canadian Act, would it not be better?

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UNION

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Unionist

Mr. CROTHERS:

Does my hon. friend suggest that this Parliament-*

i Mr. BUTTS: I think so.

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UNION

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Unionist

Mr. CROTHERS:

-has the right-

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UNION
UNION

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Unionist

Mr. CROTHERS:

-to consolidate the various compensation Acts?

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April 23, 1918