March 27, 1919

L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Hon. RODOLPHE LEMIEUX (Maison-neuve and Gaspe):

I should like to state very briefly the reasons why I support the motion moved by the hon. member for South Vancouver (Mr. Cooper). I have the honour to represent, for the time being, two constituencies, one a farming constituency, the other a manufacturing constituency. I remember when the Daylight Saving Bill was introduced into the House last year by the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster), there was very strong

opposition to it, and if I was pleased at anything, it was that the Government, through Sir George Foster, had the courage to stand by its guns and see the Bill through. I trust the Government will, at the earliest opportunity, take the bull by the horn's and bring in a similar Bill to the one introduced by Sir George Foster last year. That is, however, only an aside.

I represent a farming constituency in which this daylight saving was in force last year as it was in all other parts of Canada, and from the county of Gaspe I received no protests whatever against the measure. On the contrary, I do not think it affects the farmers or the fishermen of that county. They are, and have to be, early birds in any case in order to earn their living. At three o'clock in the morning the Gaspe fisherman is in his barge sailing for the banks in the Baie des Chaleurs, and he does not even look at the hands of the clock. But I also represent the manufacturers and the labour element of Maisonneuve, in which constituency the Daylight Saving measure was in force all last year, and from that important section I received very many letters requesting me to support a renewal of the measure. That is the reason why I stand to-day as a seconder of the motion moved by the hon. member for Vancouver. I believe, moreover, that, in the interest of the health of the people of Canada the measure should be put in force again. It worked very well last year, and I was impressed by the figures from Washington quoted by the Minister of Trade and Commerce, whereby it ^ was proved beyond peradventure that millions upon millions of tons of coal had been and would be saved as a result of the enactment of the Daylight Saving measure. I would be interested to know what Mr. Magrath, the able Fuel Controller, thinks of this question. It is true the war is over, but our people must learn to save coal, because we may have labour troubles amongst the miners of Pennsylvania and also of eastern and western Canada, and our people may see the advantage of saving coal and thereby saving light.

Another point which impresses me is this. Whatever any one may say, we are living side by side with the great American Republic to the south, and although we must not be merged with that great republic in all the doings of its legislators, still, there are measures passed by the United States Congress which affect the whole of our national life in Canada. Congress has recently passed a Bill which will bring Daylight Saving into force in the United

States on the 31st of this month or on the 1st of April. This will affect, amongst other things, chiefly the transportation business of both countries, and I am in a quandary to understand how the railway systems of Canada are going to conform with the time-tables of the railway systems of the United States. If the time in Canada is an hour behind the time in the United States, how are connections to be made at the boundary line? Will all the trains stop one hour at the boundary line, or what will they do? This is one reason why I think a Daylight Saving Bill should be reintroduced this year, and if it is I will give it my hearty support.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNION

John Best

Unionist

Mr. JOHN BEST (Dufferin):

Last year, when the Daylight Saving Bill was before the House, I opposed it because I believed that we were here to legislate for the greatest good of the greatest number, and my opinion is still that the great majority of the people of Canada are to-day opposed to daylight saving. The hon. member for Brome (Mr. McMaster) said the other day that the farmers get up early in the morning. I am a farmer and I get up early in the morning, but there have been times when I have had to get up in the late hours of the night, and I can say, as a farmer, knowing this to be a fact, that last summer thousands of farmers throughout the Dominion got up in the late hours of the night in order to take their milk and other perishable goods to the station in time for the train. The hon. member for Vancouver (Mr. Cooper) said that the intention of this legislation was to increase the amount of daylight by one hour. If any man in Canada can tell me how this Government, or any other government, can increase the time of daylight by one hour, then I shall sit down and say no more. The few men in the towns and cities who are asking for daylight saving are not the men who get up at daylight; they are the men who remain asleep in bed until eight, nine, or ten o'clock in the day, and they want other people, who have to get up in the morning, to do their work at that time, while they drive around in automobiles. Last year, when the Daylight Saving Bill was before the House, I asked if any farmers' organizations had requested that it be passed, and the minister said, no. I believe the hon. member for Vancouver (Mr. Cooper) is absolutely mistaken when he says the farmers of this country are divided over this question, because I believe they are against the re-enactment of a daylight saving almost to a man. Nor can I understand why he says

that the people in the cities and towns and villages are in favour of daylight saving; I believe that at least half of these people are against it. Many of this latter class have told me they are opposed to it because they have to get up an hour earlier in the morning. A working man who goes to work at seven has to get up at six for his breakfast. If the time is changed, he will have to get up at five. Would any sane man in this House say that the labouring class in this country want to get up at five o'clock in the morning? The hon. member also says that daylight saving would save fuel and light. I am a farmer myself and I know what I am talking about, and I say that during the last six weeks which daylight saving was in force last year, more fuel and light was consumed in the morning than under the old system. Imagine a man having to get up at four or five o'clock in the morning during the latter part of September and October, and having to put on a fire and burn light. Under the old system he would have gone to bed about the same time, I admit, but he would have saved fuel and light in the morning.

The hon. member also says that the farmers near the cities and towns and villages are not opposed to daylight saving. I want to tell my hon. friend that there is not a class of farmer so much opposed to daylight saving as those living near the towns and cities and villages, and for this reason: The labouring man who comes out from the town or village to work for the farmer during haying and harvest sees his fellow-workers in the nearby town quitting work at five in the evening, and naturally gets dissatisfied. There are cabinet ministers sitting here to-day who will tell you that their experience has been that it is this class of farmers which is the most opposed to daylight saving, for the reason I have given; and I cannot understand how my hon. friend should make such a contention. Any man who knows anything at all about farming knows that from haying until winter comes, an hour in the evening is worth two in the morning, because a farmer cannot start haying or harvesting before eight; and if the time is changed again this year it will mean he will lose an hour at night.

Why does the farmer living farther away from the towns and villages not want daylight saving? Let me give a concrete case, which is illustrative of conditions all over the Dominion. In the county I have the honour 'to represent a mail courier starts his trip twelve miles from one of the towns.

Now he has to be in that town at 8.15, and every man, woman and child in the villages along the route are opposed to the time being changed, because it means 'they will have to get up at three instead of four o'clock in the morning to catch that stage. This carrier has to get up now at four in the morning to feed his horses, and if the time is Changed he will have to get up at three. I think almost as many men from the cities and towns have spoken to me against daylight saving as the farmers themselves. It is true that telegrams in favour of daylight saving have been sent to me by a few men; but who are they? Manufacturers who have nothing to do but ride around the country in their automobiles. Last year, just because a few men asked the Government to put a daylight saving measure through, this Government said they were obliged to do it-had pledged themselves to do it at the election. The men who made those representations to the Government did not represent 'three per cent of the population of this country.

Why is it conditions are so unsettled all the world over to-day, and unrest and anarchy prevail in many parts of the civilized world? It is because one class of people is being set against another, and I would ask whether it makes for harmony for the hon. member for Vancouver to stand up in this House and almost ask the Government to defy the farmers and say: We will enact this law.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNION

Richard Clive Cooper

Unionist

Mr. COOPER:

Will the hon. member quote any word of mine that was at all along the line the hon. member suggests?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNION

John Best

Unionist

Mr. BEST:

I will. I think a sufficient justification for my remark was the hon. member's statement that we should not look to the farmers of this country, but should inquire what the people in the cities and towns want, and then enact a daylight saving measure. I say not only in connection with this Bill, but with every Bill that comes before the House we should try and compose our little differences and live in harmony together as one nation. We have simply got to do it; there never was a time in the history of Canada when there was so much disunion among the people as at present. One of the Ottawa papers said the other day that the only excuse the farmers gave for wanting the time to remain as at present, was because it was God's time. I say that is an insult to the farmers of this country, who have very good reasons for wanting the time to remain as it is. In the rural districts many

children have to go one or two or three miles to school. At present they can help their parents by doing some of the chores before they go, but if the clock is set ahead they will not be able to help their parents in any shape or form.

The cheese and dairy men of this country do not want daylight saving. Imagine asking these men who now get up at four o'clock in the morning, to get up at three and milk fifty or seventy-five cows and take the milk to the station, while ninety per cent of the people in the towns and cities are asleep in bed. I made a trip in my automobile a short time ago-

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNION

William Findlay Maclean

Unionist

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN:

Does the hon. member get up at seven in the morning and ride in an automobile?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNION

John Best

Unionist

Mr. BEST:

I get up at five. Does my hon. friend mean to say that the farmers of this country have not the right to own an automobile? The farmers are the people who feed these men lying asleep in their beds, and if they are not entitled to an automobile I should like to know who is. Well, what did I find as I drove through those towns? I passed many men driving along with their milk and cream.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Was it in Dufferin

county that these people were asleep?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNION

John Best

Unionist

Mr. BEST:

I say that ninety per cent of the people in these towns were asleep while the farmers were already at work and had milked their cows. How can a farmer get hired help from a village or city during haying and harvest, if daylight saving is re-enacted? The farmers of this country have to crowd practically their whole year's work into five or six months during the summer, and when they hire men from the villages and towns during haying and harvest the men are not willing to work until six or seven in the evening when they see their fellow-workers in the towns quitting work at five. If the Bill is introduced and is made law, I am of the opinion, Sir, that there will ensue a greater agitation than is likely to be caused by any other Bill on the Order Paper. I do not suggest that it will cause any considerable harm, but the people of this country are looking askance at Parliament and there seems to be a general feeling that if their wishes are to be ignored to meet the whims of the few it is time that they were organized in an endeavour to obtain justice and fair play. I would, therefore, earnestly'request the Government

to consider this matter with extreme care and not to be influenced by a few telegrams that have been received here. Telegrams, Sir! Why, I can get from one township in my county more telegrams deprecating the daylight saving scheme than all the cables that are to-day in this House. I read about two dozen telegrams the other day obviously signed by one who was trying to convince people that every man, woman and child in his neighbourhood favoured daylight saving. We have too many petitions and resolutions, and altogether too many telegrams sent to hon. members, purporting to be representative of popular opinion on this subject, when, in nearly every case, the man rvho has sent the telegram probably does not represent even all the members of his own family.

The farmers have a strong argument against this scheme. During the past four years they have risen early in the morning and retired late at night in order that they might, as far as possible, comply with the urgent request of the Government to increase production in view of the crisis that faced the nations in the matter of food supplies. They worked admirably to save the situation, and in return are their wishes now to be ignored? Why should not the farmers be allowed to observe the standard of time to which they have been accustomed? The hon. member is apprehensive of trouble at the boundary. I admit there may be trouble at the boundary; I am not disposed to dispute that probability; but would that trouble be at all comparable to the difficulties that would arise through every school section in the Dominion having a different time? In our county, people were unable to get their children off to school in the morning. Many of the trustees interviewed the inspector and desired him to revert to the old time. He saw the situation and agreed. In the confusion that resulted from the change of time there arose serious difficulties that cost the farmers considerable money. A farmer breaks his machine and has to stop work at three o'clock in the afternoon. He starts for the town or village believing he will get there before six o'clock to have the necessary repairs attended to. When he reaches the shop he finds that it was closed at five o'clock, and in consequence he loses a day, which means a good deal to him in the busy season. Now, this Dominion has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in an attempt to keep men on the farms, but how can they expect to retain the rural population if they are to be ignored in such important matters as this. I would ask my

hon. friend from Vancouver (Mr. Cooper) to produce, if he can, a letter or a telegram from any organized farmers' institution in Canada expressing approval of the daylight saving scheme. I do not believe he can, and I hope the Government will see that the wishes of the people are respected in this matter, and that whatever laws may be enacted we shall not have any antagonism between the cities and the towns, and the country.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
L LIB

Henri-Edgar Lavigueur

Laurier Liberal

Mr. H. E. LAVIGUEUR (Quebec County):

Mr. Speaker, I represent one of the largest constituencies in the province of Quebec, and I think that the daylight saving law passed last year had the approbation of all the people in my section. Speaking for the city of Quebec, whose views I think I voice, I desire to state that if the Government introduces this measure I shall support it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNION

Robert Lorne Richardson

Unionist

Mr. R. L. RICHARDSON (Springfield):

I must congratulate the Government and its leader on the course they are taking in this matter. In no possible sense is it a political question, nor can it be regarded as such; and while the tone of the remarks of my hon. friend from Dufferin (Mr Best) will probably be excused because he is a farmer and talks about something from which he has suffered, still I think the best judgment of the House will be that no attempt is being made to set race against race or class against class in this matter, and it is one that each hon. gentleman will deal with according to his best judgment. I might say, as a resident of the great city of Winnipeg, that we adopted Daylight Saving two years ago, regardless of any action of the Federal Parliament, and the people of that city were, very much gratified with the result. The residents of Winnipeg were pleased with Daylight Saving, and I believe will continue it, although there were' some difficulties which resulted from its operation. For example, there was a difference between our railway time and the city time, but there was not very much complaint with regard to that, and if I represented Winnipeg city in Parliament I would vote to have Daylight Saving continuously. However, I represent a rural, not an urban constituency.

I received a few minutes ago a telegram which I shall read to the House:

Winnipeg, Man., March 27, 1919.

R. L. Richardson,

House of Commons.

This organization, after fullest consideration of subject with business men, farmers, labourers, is practically unanimous in favour of con-

tinuation of Daylight Saving plan in Canada this year, and urges Government to take immediate action to this end.

Winnipeg Board of Trade,

W. H. Carter, President.

I am surprised at the statement in the telegram as to the attitude of the farmers, because my constituents are generally opposed to daylight saving. In the West the sun rises very early and sets very late, and it makes a very long day. As against that telegram I have received a letter from the Minister of Education of Manitoba, the Hon. Dr. Thornton, which I shall read to the House, because it is a very important declaration, and should have a considerable influence on the members from Manitoba with regard to the vote which they may give on this resolution/

Winnipeg, Manitoba, March 6, 1919.

R. L. Richardson, M.P.,

Ottawa. .

Re Daylight Saving Daw.

Dear Sir:-I wish to call your attention to a resolution passed unanimously by the annual convention of the Manitoba School Trustees' Association protesting against the re-enactment of the above law; also to a similar resolution passed unanimously by the Degislature of the Province of Manitoba. I wish further to add my own protest because of the difficulties which arose in connection with practically all the rural schools of the province. The nature of the difficulty will be more clearly appreciated by reading the enclosed copy of a letter received from one School Board. This is only one of a great many dealing with the same situation. I hope the Parliament of Canada will not re-enact this measure.

Yours very truly,

(Signed) R. S. Thornton, Minister of Education.

Dr. Thornton has not sent me the first resolution to which he refers, at least it was not enclosed in the letter, but I take his statement as authoritative that such a resolution was passed by the Manitoba School Trustees' Association. In the resolution passed by the legislature you have the consensus of the opinion of that province as represented by the provincial members

Now here is a copy of a resolution passed by a School District:

At a meeting of the School Board of the Elgin Consolidated School District, held on February 27th, a resolution was passed that this School Board appeal to you to use your influence against the re-enactment of the so-called Daylight Saving law. East year we found it to he entirely unworkable in our Consolidated School, and had to set our school hours at 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This led us out of one difficulty, viz.: the starting time for the vans, but immediately we found our noon hour conflicting with the meal hour of the parents living in town. This was a cause of constant friction.

I may explain for the benefit of hon. gentlemen who may not understand the reference to "vans" in the resolution, that in the province of Manitoba many of the school districts have large wagons, or vans, which they send about the road allowances to collect the children. That is particularly desirable in cold weather when blizzards might overtake the children, as sometimes happens, with fatal or disastrous results. Under the circumstances I take it that the opinion of rural Manitoba is strongly against daylight saving. My hon. friend from Dufferin (Mr. Best) has already advanced arguments showing the difficulty of farm help carrying on operations early in the morning because of the dew on the grass, and I may say that difficulty has been a very serious one in the West. Furthermore, farm labourers raise objection to daylight saving as under it they have to work longer hours than those men who work in manufacturing towns. Therefore they want the hours set at the same time, but not under daylight saving, because it operates rather seriously and entails hardship upon the farmers. Accordingly, as the representative of a rural constituency I shall feel obliged to cast my vote against the resolution.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
L LIB

Archibald Blake McCoig

Laurier Liberal

Mr. A. B. McCOIG (Kent):

Having the privilege of representing possibly one of the largest rural constituencies, which also contains a large eity and a large town, I am in much the same position as the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat. From the cities of this country there comes some request for the enactment of a Daylight Saving Law, and I have received a request of that kind from one of the largest towns of my constituency. In every other section of my constituency, however, resolutions have been passed by the county and township councils asking me to oppose Daylight Saving and to vote against the reenactment of such legislation.

I agree with the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Richardson) as to the inconvenience which will ^psult in getting children to school if the daylight saving 'law is re-enacted. In the rural parts of my constituency there are children who have to go a distance of a mile and a half to three miles in order to attend school, and under daylight saving the mothers of those children are obliged to rise an hour earlier in order to get them off each morning. This legislation has been opposed not only by women in the rural districts, but also by women in the towns and cities. This is a fact which hon. members must not overlook, because

we expect that at the next general election the women of this country will have a voice in the election of representatives to Parliament.

As far as the labouring men are concerned, we expect that sooner or later in this country-legislation has already been introduced in some of the legislatures-an eight-hour or jiine-hour day law will be called for. If such a law were in operation the men in our industries would quit work at four o'clock in the afternoon, instead of five o'clock, which would leave an extremely long afternoon between the time of stopping work and retiring to rest.

As regards the saving of coal likely to result from daylight saving, I do not see much argument in it. Daylight saving only operates from the 30th of March until the 30th of October, which period comprises the warmest months of the year, so that not *very much coal would be saved in that, time.

The question of the towns passing bylaws has been referred to. In some cases by-laws have already been passed compelling business houses to close at nine o'clock, even on Saturday nights with the result of greatly inconveniencing many workingmen, and business men who sell goods after the stipulated hour for closing are subject to a fine, which is another great hardship. The question of the effect on farming operations of daylight saving has been referred to. In the southwestern parts of Ontario crops are raised which are known as hoe crops, and it is utterly impossible to hoe some of these crops while the dew is on them. That is the case with the bean crop and the sugar beet crop. There are a number of other crops of which the same might be said.

I believe that the House is now thoroughly conversant with both sides of the question, and to save a prolonged debate I will move, seconded by the hon. member for Middlesex West (Mr. Ross) to replace the words "it is expedient to re-enact at once," by the words "it is not expedient to re-enact until this day six months," which would postpone the matter for the present

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

The motion as amended will read as follows: ,

That in the opinion of this House it is not expedient to re-enact, until this day six months, Chapter 2, ,Statutes of 191S, " The Daylight Saving Act, 1918."

Mr. WILLIAM SMITH {Ontario, South): When this question was introduced last year I took strong ground against it, and I am more than ever convinced that I was

right in my action at that time, by the support which I have since received in the country. It is true that I am not, like my hon. friend from Dufferin (Mr. Best), perhaps a farmer according to his strict interpretation because I live upon the farm where I was born, whereas that hon. gentleman, a number of years ago, left the farm upon which he had lived.

I am not going to discuss the question as to whether this legislation is right, I shall leave that in the hands of the House. I will say, however, that I was more than delighted that this amendment has been moved by the hon. member for Kent. Any one who has ever lived upon a farm or been in close personal connection with farmers absolutely agrees with the amendment which has been moved lo-day. Had the hon. member for Kent (Mr. McCoig) not moved his amendment, I would have gone one step further -and tested the opinion of this House upon the resolution. As a farmer and as one in close touch with farm life, I may be allowed to say that if the Government of this country would think for a moment of the result in Manitoulin, in South Huron, and in the northern part of the county which I have the honour to represent, I do not imagine they would have allowed this to go so far. The farmers -and I am one of them-have a right to their own opinions, and they have the right to give expression to their opinions in this House, and while I do not say they are always right-neither do I say my hon. friends from the Great West are always right-I am bound to say that on this question of daylight saving the farmers of * the province of Ontario are absolutely in touch with the amendment which has been moved by the hon. member for Kent, and which I propose to support. .

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. S. W. JACOBS (George Etienne Cartier) :

Mr. Speaker, when this question came up last year it had the support of the Government, and I am sorry to note to-day that the Government has not the courage of its convictions of last year in this matter. The measure was introduced last year by the hon. the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster), but unfortunately for those who are in favour of the measure the hon. minister is not here to-day to back it with the authority which he gave to it on the last occasion. I would like to ask the hon. members of this House who are opposed to this measure why it is that practically the whole civilized world has passed legislation in favour of daylight

saving. I would like the hon. members of this House to tell me what country in Europe has not adopted a measure of this kind. The United States has adopted this measure. After all there are some farmers in the United States who are doing quite as well as the farmers in this country, and yet there was no protest from them. How is it that in the whole of Europe-in France, in England, in Germany, in Austria, a measure of this kind is in operation? I do not think that the farmers of this country are one whit less able to carry on their business than those of other countries, and it seems to me that it is a reflection on them to say that they cannot.

When this question was before the House last year we had a learned disquisition upon it by the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce, and he cited some facts which I think it might be useful for us to bear in mind. Some gentlemen of this House seem to have very short memories, or they may be like the famous Bourbon family, they never learn and they never forget. The hon. the Minister of Trade and Commerce, who must be considered to be one of the high priests of the Unionist party, gave some information to this House which I think it is well we should hear to-day. He stated that a parliamentary committee was appointed by the British House of -Commons some few years ago to study this whole question of daylight saving. This committee did not restrict its energies to Great Britain alone, but it went on a roving commission throughout- the whole of Europe, and it learned that the measure was in every respect beneficial, not only economically, but in regard to the morals and health of the people. That committee, in one of the paragraphs of its report, said:-

We have devoted particular attention to the question of the effect of "summer time'' on the health of children, and we -have been glad to find that, in spite of certain statements which had been made to the contrary, the bulk of the evidence favours the conclusion that in the case of children also "summer time'' has proved a success.

Then the report deals with the position of -the employers:-

The general view of employers as expressed in the replies to the questionnaires, was that their employees had taken full advantage of the extra hour's daylight; and that while the majority were not in a position, with so short a period of observation, to state positively whether or not an improvement in health had resulted, a number had noticed increased vitality in their workers, and in some oases an improvement in the standard of the work. Only one or two employers recorded the appearance of any ill effects in the shaipe of tiredness and irregular

[Mr Jacobs ]

time keeping. We have had evidence from all sources of the value of the extra daylight to the very large number of workers who cultivate gardens and allotments.

There is a further paragraph with regard to agriculture, which may be of interest to our friends from the farming districts:-

In spite of such difficulties as have been recorded, a very large majority of farmers and war agriculture committees are in favour of the renewal of the Act, and the majority even of those who are of opinion that it was not advantageous to -agriculture consider that -it should be renewed, as they recognize its great benefits to the community at large.

Taking the whole of the evidence, we are satisfied that the great bulk of the working classes are favourable to summertime, and we are convinced- that they stand to profit by it as much as, and in many oases more than, any other section of the community, Such real inconveniences as have been experienced will, we believe, be remedied with a little more experience of summertime conditions.

That is the report of the British parliamentary committee who, as I have already stated, made an exhaustive study of the subject throughout Europe. Now we find ourselves in this position, that every white civilized country in Europe and North America will be in favour of this measure, and the only country that will not be in favour of it, if this resolution is not put through, will be Canada. I ask hon. gentlemen of this House whether they wish this country to be put in that position or not.

. Mr. J. E. SEXSMITH (East Peterborough) : Mr. Speaker, I was a little surprised at the hon. gentleman (Mr. Jacobs) who has just taken his seat, telling us that Austria-Hungary and Germany had this daylight saving record, and I wondered if he considered that that was a good recommendation for us. I would like to remind him that they have Bolshevism there and many other things that we do not want in Canada.

When this so-called daylight saving measure was up last year I opposed it, and I feel to-day that I was perfectly justified in my action, and I am convinced now that seventy-five per cent of the people of Canada are opposed to this legislation. It may have some advantages, but its disadvantages far outweigh them. The men that work from nine to ten hours a day, I do not care whether in the city or in the country, Mr. Speaker, oppose this measure. I know, for I have talked to city men who were working last year when this measure was brought down, and when it went into force on the first of April, they said: "We had just commenced to go to our work in the morning daylight, but when the clock was put back one hour we had to go by

lamplight." There is no getting away from the fact that the people in Canada that are asking for this legislation to-day to be put on the statute-book are the class who go to work at ten o'clock in the morning, and some of them perhaps do not do any work at all; but the people who are opposing the measure are the people who work long hours. I know that sportsmen, lacrosse and baseball players, and golfers, are the people who are agitating, and I am sorry to say some of the newspaper editors have taken up the cudgels in their favour. We have all been discussing serious matters here during the last month. Canada is burdened with debt, and where are we going to get the products to pay that debt? Shall we get it by putting the hands of the clock ahead an hour? No, we must get it out of the earth, the mine, the< field, the forest, the sea. The farmers to-day, and justly so, are opposing this measure as an unit from the Atlantic to the Pacific, simply because it was detrimental to them during its operation last year.

Many farmers in my district supply milk on contract to firms in Toronto, where the hon. member who edits the World (Mr. W. F. Maclean) comes from. I got off the early train at four o'clock one morning last year on my way home, and when I saw the farmers around the station at that hour I dodged off to the other side in order to meet as few of them as possible. In order to carry out their contracts these farmers were obliged to begin milking operations last year between three and four o'clock in the morning. Ordinarily the local train carrying the milk to the city leaves at six-forty in the morning, but when the hands of the clock were turned ahead, that practically meant that the train for Toronto left at five-forty. One man told me that at the end of the season he was absolutely played out because of the hours he had to keep. Is it reasonable,-is it sensible, is it in the interests of this great country, that farmers shall be obliged to milk by lantern light not only in the winter, but in June and July as well? A farmer who has three or four children said to me: My older boy is twelve or thirteen years of age. His mother is not very strong, and before this daylight saving came in he used to do a little work in the morning before he went to school. But now we cannot get the children to go to bed an hour before sundown, and the result is that when the men get up and work an hour or two they must have *their breakfast; then when the children get up their mother has to prepare a second

breakfast. Not only does she lose the little services which the children formerly rendered before they went to school; she has imposed upon her the additional burden of getting a second breakfast.

I think that some of the schools asked the inspector to allow them to run under the old time, but he refused, and the schools were run on the new time, to the great disadvantage of all concerned..

I saw something in the Ottawa Journal a couple of mornings ago to the effect that the cities and towns and railroads should adopt the daylight saving and then let the isolated farmer " go hang," so to speak. Now, in harvest time the farmer always loses an hour or two in the morning, because he cannot draw in or run the binder before nine o'clock or half-past nine. Before the hands of the clock were changed he made no complaint about losing that time, but last year he lost not only an hour in the morning, but also an hour in the afternoon, beeause the men would not work after five o'clock. Only one municipality in my constituency continued to use the old time.

It is true that in the cities production in garden plots may have been increased under daylight saving. Out of patriotism, men and women, boys and girls, were working day and night, early and late, to produce as much as possible. But if the daylight saving measure is put into operation this year, many farmers who have to depend on hired help will be very careful about their operations. The newspapers are preaching to the people the doctrine of. " get back on the land." Will this measure help to get the people back on the land? I contend that it will help to get them off the land. Many farmers throughout Ontario who have had to hire help are selling out and getting off the farm simply because of labour difficulties.

The arguments of the hon. gentlemen who have advocated the re-enactment of the daylight saving measure are very feeble. It is said that United States has adopted a measure of this kind for this year. I think I am right in saying that the measure adopted by the United States this year is simply a continuation of the measure passed the year before. A very strong feeling prevailed throughout the United States this year in favour of the repeal of the daylight saving measure, but the resolution was placed at the bottom of the list and the interested parties filibustered it. It was talked out and a decision never reached, as has sometimes been the case in this House; so that the daylight saving measure

remained law in the United States this year. I am glad that our daylight saving legislation lasted only a year and that we have now the privilege of expressing our views with regard to it, and if necessary, of casting our vote for or against it. I sincerely trust that the Government will take into consideration the inadvisability of re-enacting this legislation, and that we shall have heard the last of it for this year.

Mr. GEORGE WILLIAM ANDREWS {Winnipeg Centre): Mr. Speaker, when the daylight saving legislation was brought down by the Government last year, I was strongly in support of it. Personally, I see nothing very much wrong with it to-day, but when I returned to my constituents last year-who, by the way, are not farmers, but real working men nevertheless-I found that the measure was not at all popular amongst those who started work at six or seven in the morning. It did not meet with the approval either of the men or of their wives, and I have no hesitation in saying that if a referendum could be taken in my constituency of Winnipeg 'Centre, where there are some eighty thousand people, the measure would be heavily defeated.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNION

Donald Sutherland

Unionist

Mr. DONALD SUTHERLAND (Oxford South):

It was generally understood

throughout the country that the daylight saving legislation would not likely come before the House this session, and until I came into the chamber this afternoon I had not expected that this, the last resolution on the Order Paper, would come before us for consideration. It is generally recognized that after the House has been in session about four weeks, resolutions of private members placed on the Order Paper after that date, would have little or no chance of getting before the House.

I have no intention of going into this matter in detail, but I earnestly request every hon. member to consider carefully the signs of the times. A feeling of great unrest prevails in practically every country in the world to-day.

Many labour organizations throughout the country are not content with even an eight-hour day, but are now advocating for a six-hour day and that the old rate of wages should be maintained. Since the beginning of the war the cost of living has undoubtedly increased considerably throughout the world, and while many industrial workers in the towns and cities are receiving large wages, I believe many of them are unable to save more than they did when wages were much lower than at present. The result is that they naturally

look at this question with an earnest desire that the cost of living should be considerably reduced. What will the trend be if all these agitations are complied with? Does any one think it possible that the cost of living in this country can be reduced under such conditions as reducing the hours of labour and moving the clock onward, by which many people can get their day's work done during the forenoon so that they will have the whole afternoon for play? Does any one think that by putting a full day's work in during the morning at the old rate of pay, the result which is so much desired at the present time can be achieved? The people who are producing the food for the world to-day are tired; while the war was on they laboured hard under difficulties and made great sacrifices. Perhaps some people will say that they did it largely through a desire to reap the advantages of high prices accruing as the result of their labour. That may be true in a number of instances, but, on the whole, I believe they did it through an honest desire to help win the war. What are the conditions throughout Canada today? The value of the field crops of Canada during the past year amounted to about $1,000,000,000. We have facing us at the present time an appalling debt, and when one takes a general survey of the physical features of our country from the Atlantic to the Pacific, where is the hope for the future based most strongly? Is it not from our soil, our fields, our forests, and our mines, that we hope to create the wealth necessary to overcome the serious condition with which we are confronted at this time? But it is rather significant that even under conditions as they were formerly without the short labouring day, without moving the clock on, the trend has been from the broad lands of Canada to the towns and cities, so that about one-half of our small population of around seven million people are to-day living in our towns and cities. That is not, from an economic standpoint, at all desirable, and that is why I protest when I hear people argue in favour of this so-called daylight saving. This is a most foolish name to apply to the measure, because it does not save daylight in any sense whatever and the name is a misnomer. In the county and province from which I come, the people who are engaged in the food production are almost, if not a unit in favour of leaving the time as it has always been previous to 1918, and I think their views are representative of the views of the majority of the people of Canada. I have received from

almost every imaginable representative body in my constituency resolutions protesting against the re-enactment of this legislation. While I have received such resolutions from school trustees, insurance companies, farmers' organizations, municipal bodies, indeed, practically every organization in the county, I have received only one petition or resolution in favour of this measure from the members of a horticultural society in one of ithe towns. I have had from the people of the towns numerous individual requests urging that this measure be not re-enacted; that they are not at all in favour of it; and I think if there was any strong feeling in favour of it, petitions that it be re-enacted would have been received. But in view of the feeling throughout the country that this measure was not going to be reintroduced, one can understand why those who are agitating for it, who desire to have nearly the whole afternoon for themselves to play, got busy during the past few days and made the wires hot bombarding the Government in order to make it appear that 'there was an overwhelming sentiment throughout the country in favour of it, and I presume that is why we are discussing this question this afternoon. I would suggest that the Government consider impartially what is really in the best interests of the country. The Minister of Finance (Sir Thomas White) will have to do a great deal of hard thinking and figuring before he is in a position to secure the requisite revenue to meet the expenditures with which we are confronted, and I, therefore, suggest that nothing be done which will, in any way, discouiage those who are creating the wealth that is needed to help us out of our present difficulty.

I have the honour to represent a county that is well-known as one of the greatest dairying districts in Canada. Last year a survey was made of 437 dairy farms in that county as regards the revenues and profits that the farmers on those farms were making. The term "scientific agriculture" is very often used nowadays and, if I do say it, scientific agriculture is applied in that [DOT] county as well, if not better than in any other section of Canada. What was the result of this census-and let us remember that this was taken during a year when the returns for dairy products were higher than ever before in the history of the world? It was found that after allowing the farmer $500 for wages, he received, on his capital invested, 7 tper cent.

We hear people saying that the farmers were profiteers during the war; that they

have reaped enormous advantages as a result of the high prices; that many of them have become wealthy; that they have their automobiles; well, if there is in Canada any class of people who require automobiles to carry on their business, it is the farmers. The automobile is a business proposition with them; it is not a question of pleasure altogether; and if it were not for the fact that a farmer has something of that nature, he would not be able to carry on his business to-day. Notwithstanding what may be said about the farmer, it is a fact that the movement from the country to the city that has been going on to such a tremendous and alarming extent for so many years, has continued during the war to even a greater extent than before. From 1915 to 1917, in Ontario, there has been an actual decrease in the farming population of 37,867. Some one may say that is the result of so many men having enlisted.

That is largely true, for at the same time the cities have decreased to the extent of 10,736, and towns and villages increased to the extent of 744. The war is ended, so far as we can judge at present, but the last few months have witnessed in the older sections of Ontario the greatest number of exchanges of farms in the history of Canada; and the significant thing is that it is not the impulsive shortsighted farmers who jump from one conclusion to another who are selling their farms, but the hard-headed business men among them. And the people who are taking their place are very largely people of inexperience who imagine that conditions on the farms of Ontario are much more advantageous than they really are. I would suggest to the hon. members of this House, and particularly to those who are so anxious to have the afternoons to themselves for play, that they consider the effect on the cost of living which this so called daylight saving measure would have in this country, and I would urge them not to aggravate the present situation. There is no denying that a bad and bitter feeling is growing up between the urban and rural citizens of Canada: we cannot close our eyes to that fact, and the sooner we recognize that something will have to be done to remove this feeling, rather than aggravate it by mischievous legislation of this kind, the better it will be for all concerned. In the rural sections many of the children have to go a long distance to school, sometimes two or three miles, and if this measure is again adopted they will have to be dragged out of their beds in the morning to get them to school in time. Is that a condition we

should have in this country, simply because it suits ihe convenience of those in the towns and cities who wish to have the whole afternoon or nearly so to themselves? This resolution if adopted will result in many more people selling their farms and moving into the towns and cities where their children can receive an education, which would be more difficult for them to receive in the country districts. Furthermore, there is nothing to prevent those who desire daylight saving from having it. There is no town or city in Canada that cannot pass a by-law bringing socalled daylight saving into effect, without interfering with people in other parts of the country.

It may be said that the United States have in effect a similar measure. The United States law of a year ago was to remain in force until repealed, differing in that respect from ours, which would have to be re-enaoted. This year Congress rose with much business still not dealt with, and daylight saving as a result was automatically continued. I think it is generally conceded, however, that if the matter had come before Congress the law would have been repealed; so I do not think there is much force in the example of the United States. And as for making our law conform with theirs, why, that is hardly in keeping with the principle of autonomy of which we are so proud; and it is not exercising that initiative in our own affairs which we should exercise. Sometimes we lead even the United States.

I have spoken at greater length than I intended, but I have still not touched many important features, which, however, other speakers discussed fully, but I am satisfied that the arguments I have advanced ought to convince every-

5 p.m. one in this House that it is not in the interests of Canada under present conditions to have legislation of this kind put upon the statute book. Do not forget that self-denial will have to be practised by all the people of Canada, and do not imagine that it is the other fellow who will have to practise all of it, and that you can go scot-free. That idea Is altogether too prevalent in this country. We must all make sacrifices in view of the conditions with which we are confronted, and I believe that if we face our difficulties with courage in a sound businesslike way they will soon be overcome. I do not think anything will be gained by having this discussion this afternoon, and I regret exceedingly that the Government have seen fit to allow it to come up to-

day. I think it would have been much better if the matter had been left in abeyance and nothing done to aggravate the feeling which undoubtedly exists to-day between urban and rural citizens.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNION

Walter Davy Cowan

Unionist

Mr. WALTER DAVY COWAN (Regina):

The hon. member for Maisonneuve (Mr. Lemieux) sought to chide the Government for not having the courage of their convictions and bringing down their policy on this question, and the hon. member who has just taken his seat (Mr. Sutherland) practically took the same attitude. I think that criticism is quite undeserved, for I remember quite well when the Minister of Trade and Commerce brought in this Bill last session he brought it in as a war measure, in order to save coal which was absolutely necessary to meet war necessities, and he said at that time, in answer to a question, that the law would remain in force for only one year, and then Parliament could decide whether it should be reenacted or not. And that is exactly what is being done to-day; I commend the Government for keeping the promise which was made last year.

For my part, I am quite satisfied that the Act which was passed last year has done exactly what it was intended to do; that is, it has .saved to Canada many hundreds of thousands of dollars. In our city, in the power house and in every private house, a great deal of coal hag been saved; but because I supported the measure last year, as I did, as a war necessity, it does not follow that I am going to support a similar measure when the necessities of war no longer exist. Conditions to-day are entirely different, and with me the question is simply this: Do the people of Canada want this Bill or do they not? I for one -do not believe in forcing legislation down the throats of the people in advance of 'the time when they want it, and it is quite evident to me, from the numerous letters and resolutions which I have received from private individuals and public bodies and trade associations in my constituency, that a very large element in our part of the country does not want this legislation. Mark you this; In the city in which I live, on the 6th day of April, we are going to have fast time, because we have had it there by by-law for many years. It makes.it very difficult to transact business, because we have slow time in the country all around, and the farmers often come in an hour late to transact business, but we have it, and it cannot be repealed except by by-law, and you cannot get

enough people to repeal that by-law. I tried it myself, because I -did not like the trouble caused by having the two different times; but the people want it, and so let them have it. In time, I fancy the farming community will be educated to the advantages of daylight saving, but until that time comes, and they express a desire for it, I do not think we should force it down their throats. Therefore, I am going to suggest to the Government that they do not introduce a Bill for re-enacting daylight saving this year. I do so because it seems to me it would act simply and solely as an irritant to our agricultural community, and when you get a farmer irritated he gets hot, as the hon. member for Dufferin (Mr. Best) very clearly evidenced this afternoon. It is not desirable that such a condition should exist. What is happening to-day is this:

The workingmen to-day are making considerable demands, and the farmers are about the last people in the community who have any inclination to accede to them; they want to get a dollar's worth of work for every dollar paid from any man whom they employ. I think that we should remove 'the irritation that undoubtedly exists by not enacting this legislation. The agriculturists are unquestionably annoyed, and these things are merely pin pricks that accomplish very little. I would, therefore, suggest to the Government that they do not bring in this Bill. I believe that a great many of those who express opinions on the subject are not by any means vitally interested one way or the other. By way of illustration I may mention one fact. One of the numerous letters I have received recently came from a Methodist minister who lives in the province of Saskatchewan-not in my constituency. He said that farm labourers were not available, and that as soon as they heard the factory whistles they wanted to go to the house and rest. This is, to say the least, rather strange, in view of the fact that there is not a factory whistle within one hundred miles of this gentleman, parson though he is! It is obvious, therefore, that a great deal of what we hear on the subject is purely imaginary, and we must remove these misconceptions. In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I do not think it would be advisable at the present time to put this measure through.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNION

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Unionist

Mr. E. W. NESBITT (Oxford North):

Somebody has suggested in the discussion this afternoon that the miners should be considered. As a matter of fact the miners

57i

nearly all over Canada work in three shifts a day, so that it cannot make much difference to them which system of time is adopted. I am not acquainted with the mining sections of the West, but I know the Cobalt section intimately, and know that that is the practice there.

Now, I do not think that there is any doubt that the people in the cities and large towns are largely in favour of daylight saving. The merchants and manufacturers and some of the workingmen regard it favourably-not all of the workingmen by any means, because I have been informed by some that they are indifferent in the matter. It can safely be said, however, that the bulk of the city people would be in favour of the Bill. As has been remarked many times this afternoon, we are a country of different classes, or rather, we follow different occupations; but it is best that we all should agree if we can, on some common platform. I believe that the farmers are opposed to this project, and the remarks of my hon. friend from South Oxford (Mr. Sutherland) concerning their opposition I endorse, because I have had resolutions from cheese factories, farmers' clubs, municipal councils, county councils, and, practically speaking, any organization that could pass a resolution of any kind, in opposition to the renewal of daylight saving. My hon. friend from Montreal (Mr. Jacobs) said that there was no opposition to this daylight saving in the United States. On the contrary, as far as I have been able to gather from the United States press, there seemed to be considerable opposition from the farming communities in that country to it. Congress convened and rose suddenly, and as the law was not repealed it remained in force.

I hope I may be pardoned if I state a personal experience in illustration of my contention that the farmers are earnest in their opposition to the renewal of this law, and that they have reasons for such opposition. My hon. friend from Regina (Mr. Cowan) said, if I did not misunderstand; him, that it was largely a matter of sentiment, and that the farmers, appreciating the advantages of daylight saving, would come to favour it. This contention, however, will not hold, as I shall show. In Ontario, as a great many hon. members no doubt know, there are threshing machines that go around from place to place and do the threshing by the bushel. This is necessary because we house ell our own grain in the barn. It is also necessary, where we grow fall wheat and barley, to have a first threshing in order to clean out

the barn sufficiently to allow other grain to go in. This first threshing, as we call it, is commonly practised. Now last year it so happened that our crops in Ontario were very heavy, and I had to thresh early my fall wheat and other grain so as to get room in the barn for the oats. I had about 40 or 50 acres of oats standing out all cut and in shook. I had not sufficient men on the farm, and could not obtain a sufficient number in the immediate neighbourhood, to take in the crop as rapidly as I could desire, so one of the factories allowed me to enlist volunteers from among its men to help me. I took those men out, leaving the factory shortly after seven o'clock and arriving at half past seven. It was half past nine before any work could be done in the field, owing to the dew on the grain. 'The following morning the men went out again, but the dew was heavier than ever, and they could not commence work before ten o'clock. Our section of the country is largely a dairy section, and it is necessary for our men to stop work at five o'clock in order to get the milking done. The men that came from town would not work longer than ten hours and you could not ask them to do so. At any rate they stopped at five o'clock, and as a consequence they worked, practically speaking, only two hours or two and [DOT]one-half hours in the forenoon and Jrom one o'clock until five in the afternoon. Under these circumstances, therefore, the day is very short. One might suggest that the men could go and do something else in the morning while waiting; well your own men might be able to find other things to occupy their time, but where you have certain work ahead of you and men are waiting to do that work, they will not do anything else in the meantime. They will wait for the main work, and anything they may do in the way of chores will not under such conditions amount to anything. This is a matter, Mr. Speaker, in which the farmer is intensely interested. There is a feeling of irritation at the present time on the part of the farmers. They are of opinion that we are legislating in the interests of the city people and not of the farming community. This feeling is unnecessary and not correct. However,I would ask my city friends, whountil last year, have done without this legislation all their lives, without any

serious effect on their health or business, to give way 'to the farmers, in this matter at least, because the farmers' interests are at stake. Let them meet the farmers to that extent. It will do no harm [Mr. Nesbitt.l

and it will, in my judgment, prove of great benefit to the country. It will also prove to the farmers that we are not trying to legislate in opposition to their interests.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNION

Samuel Francis Glass

Unionist

Mr. SAMUEL FRANCIS GLASS (Middlesex East):

I do not rise with the idea that I can add anything to the arguments advanced in opposition to this legislation, or submit more strongly anything that was urged a year ago when the law was enacted.

I do not, like the hon. member for Oxford South (Mr. Sutherland) take exception to the attitude which the Government has assumed on this question, which question has possibly agitated the country considerably more than from its very nature it should. Personally, I think the Government has taken a very wise step in permitting the question to be discussed dispassionately in the House, and having it decided on its merits. As has already been pointed out, the Government has kept faith with Parliament and lived up to its declaration of last session that this law should be enacted for the period of one year, and if not found satisfactory it could then be determined whether it should be continued or die a natural death. As I said last year, I cannot urge any personal objection to the Bill, but if I am to reflect the opinion of my constituents in this House, and respect their wishes, I can do nothing less than oppose the re-enactment of this measure. Every important organization in my constituency-the county council, township councils, farmers' clubs, fair boards, dairymen's associations, and all the different organizations engaged in the activities of * agriculture-have passed strong resolutions opposing the re-enactment of daylight saving. In deference to their wishes, and respecting the opinion of farmers as expressed in agricultural journals and in the press throughout the country, I am bound to believe that the re-enactment of the law will cause a disturbance in the agricultural community that would not be justified by any benefit which the Bill could confer upon city communities.

The hon. gentleman who introduced this resolution has drawn attention to the fact that fifty per cent of the people of Canada are living within cities, and he reaches the conclusion, that because certain city organizations have placed themselves on record as strongly supporting this legislation, that therefore it represents the unanimous opinion of the cities. I am in a position to say, so far as the district from which I come is concerned, that feeling in the city of London is by no means unani-

mous in reference to this measure. I have heard labour organizations and labour men repeatedly urge that this law should not he re-enacted, and they expressed the opinion that it was a nuisance and an annoyance to them. If the city population represent one-half of our total population then they are not unanimous as to the desirability of re-enacting daylight saving.

It is sometimes asserted by those who claim to reflect city sentiment, that the farmers could very easily adjust their clocks to meet the situation which would be created by the enactment of this law. I pointed out, however, last year, and the statement has been repeated this afternoon, that possibly never before in Canada's history had the farmers been compelled to draw from the industrial workers in the city for labour for farm requirements to a greater extent than in recent years. And when recourse was had to such labour by the farmers residing in the districts surrounding cities, villages and towns where industries are established, they have found that their labour regulated its hours of employment so as to conform with the regulations of the labour unions of the district. Therefore this law necessarily imposes a difficulty upon the farmer in retaining the interest of the man drawn from that class of labour after the time for quitting work has expired in the surrounding towns. That is a very great difficulty which the farmers in those districts have experienced. Why cannot the farmer just as well say to our friends in the city, "If you find daylight saving a convenience, pass a by-law and go in accordance with whatever time suits you." I remember in the city of London a couple of years ago a by-law was passed in that way, and it was found that what was called local time was out of harmony with railroad time. Accordingly after the by-law had been in operation for a few weeks, the very organizations that had started the agitation for its passage objected to it on the ground of the inconvenience caused, and the by-law was repealed before the summer had half passed. If the railways are going to make their time conform to the time that is in operation in the United States I cannot see any difficulty in the cities adopting the necessary by-laws and fixing their hours of labour so as to harmonize with it.

There is another strong reason to be urged against this legislation and it is this: At

the present time, when necessary onerous restrictions are being imposed on the people of Canada, or rather not so much of an onerous as of a vexatious character, farmers do not relish the idea of being compelled to submit to further unnecessary impositions. The proposed law will be unpopular in the country, and I believe it will not be acceptable to this House. Had a vote been taken on the question a year ago, I do not believe it would have carried. The sentiment of the House was just as strongly opposed to daylight saving last year as it is now, but the House deferred to the express wish of the Government at that time, and the arguments advanced by the Minister of Trade and Commerce that as other countries were making the experiment we might as well try it for a year, and if the law did not measure up to expectations, it could die a natural death. Now, Sir, that death has taken place, and we are now going to decide whether it is wise to have a resurrection. In my opinion the law will be buried. If we want peace and harmony in the rural districts we must not further impose a law of this nature on the people: we should refrain from arousing such irritation and dissatisfaction as will undoubtedly be created if this law is again placed on the statute books.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
L LIB

Joseph Read

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JOSEPH READ (Prince, P.E.I.):

1 am not going to detain the House very long, and I would not speak at all were it not that I have changed my mind since last session. I pointed out the other night that in my opinion consistency was the hobgoblin of little minds. I believe in expressing my views to-day, even though it may contradict everything I said yesterday, providing I have good grounds for changing my opinion. I want to say that the only vote I gave in this House last session to which fault was found in my constituency was the vote which I gave on this daylight saving measure. One of the reasons that I have for changing my mind is that my constituents found fault with me last year for supporting the Daylight Saving Bill.

I want to answer some of the arguments put forward, Mr. Speaker, in favour of daylight saving. One was in regard to train time. Some years ago the United States railway time was an hour different from ours, but we found no very great difficulty about it, and as a matter of fact there are three or four different sections between the Atlantic and Pacific where-there is an hour's difference in the train: time; for instance, we change our time one hour at Vanceboro on our way to Ottawa. That argument is not well taken.

Another thing that has come up in this debate would cause me to change my mind, that is, that I find that the large cities

*902

which wish to adopt the daylight saving scheme within their own boundaries can do so by way of by-law. Therefore, why should we extend daylight saving to the country people who do not want it? If the cities want daylight saving, let them adopt it within their civic boundaries; then there is no harm done.

An argument advanced in favour of the Bill by the hon. member from Montreal (Mr. Jacobs) was that all the rest of the world had adopted daylight saving. That is no good reason at all in its favour. If it was, why every law enacted by other nations would need to be adopted by us.

Another very strong argument in favour of the amendment is that the country young men get very much dissatisfied with the fact that the city boys can knock off work an hour earlier, because it is impossible for the farming people to complete their work by five o'clock.

There is just one more thing I want to say in regard to this question, and that is to thank the 'Government for the change in its attitude towards this House, and: inviting this expression of opinion1, instead of its former course of introducing a measure and then telling the House: You must swallow this or defeat the Government.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink
UNION

Richard Coe Henders

Unionist

Mr. E. C. HENDERS (Macdonald):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to oppose the introduction of this daylight saving measure, and at the same time to express my appreciation of the fact that the Government has acted in good faith with this House in giving the opportunity that has been afforded this afternoon for an expression of its opinion. I distinctly remember that it was with the understanding that this measure was to be on trial that it was allowed to go into effect last year. It has been on trial for the year, we have been studying the facts in connection with it, and I believe that this House has come to the conclusion that the measure has not proven satisfactory.

I rise to protest against it, Mr. Speaker, and in doing so I believe I voice the opinion of organized agriculture in Canada. I have in my possession at the present, time more than 300 resolutions passed by organized farmers in Western Canada and a number from Ontario, all of them distinctly opposed to this Bill, and in which they set forth in strong terms, good, sound argument why they are opposed to it. I have failed to discover one organization among them that is in favour of this Bill. Surely if it was an advantage to the farmers

there would be some of them expressing themselves in favour of it. I think organized agriculture represents about forty-eight per cent of the population of the Dominion of Canada at the present time, and I take it that that forty-eight per cent have expressed themselves on this measure. Furthermore I find myself supported by men from the towns and cities in the contention I am now making-I have had expressions of opinion from organizations dn some of the cities and towns putting themselves on record as opposed to this measure, and for this reason: They say that the children of this country should be taken care of and should have every opportunity of developing to the utmost advantage, in order to bring them up to the best manhood and womanhood that this country can develop, and they say that this measure is robbing our children of at least one hour's rest which is essential to child growth -and child development. I find further that the public schools are opposing this measure. We have the Minister of Education from one province and the superintendents of education all over the provinces offering their opposition, for the simple reason that they say one hour of the education day is practically lost to the rural population by daylight saving. By this I mean that we had it on trial in our public schools and we found that the children coming there at the earlier hour in the morning were not up to normal for the first school hour because they were deprived of the rest they should have bad. And after giving it a trial, a number of our schools simply went back to the old order of things and opened at nine o'clock.

I do not think any valid argument has been advanced in favour of this measure. Several assertions have been made with regard to the saving of light and coal, but I fail to find that a single hon. -member presented a valid argument in support of such assertions. I 'therefore ask the Government that this measure be not passed.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   DAYLIGHT SAVING.
Permalink

March 27, 1919