Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Leader of the Opposition):
Mr. Speaker, I must thank my right hon. friend for his courtesy in moving the House into supply in order to give me an opportunity to make a statement which I have desired for some time past to make, but which, owing to the rules of the House, I have found it impossible to make at an earlier date. The subject I desire to discuss is one which I would have raised as a question of privilege had it not been that the rules of the House limit a speaker in such case to a simple denial of statements complained of, and the matters to which I wish to refer are of such a nature
that the House 1 think will permit from me something more than a formal denial.
I desire to bring to the attention of hon. members a report of a meeting which was held in the city of Montreal on the 5th day of this month, which appears in the Montreal Gazette of the day following. It is the account of a meeting of the regular weekly luncheon of the so-called "Progressive Club" in that city. The report contains addresses by Mr. John MacNaughton, an advocate of Montreal, and by a Dr. Gilday, a medical practitioner, also of that city. The report will be found on page 5 of the Montreal Gazette, under the following heading: " Scored Liberal Party on Policy." "Progressive Club speaker claims Opposition not in harmony on question." " Criticised Party Leader." "Said indications pointed to continuing relationship between Hon. Mackenzie King and Rockefeller." The particular statements to which I wish to draw the attention of the House, and which I regard as being defamatory, appear in the addresses of both Mr. MacNaughton and Dr. Gilday. First, under the sub-heading, " Menace to Canada " is the following as a part of the address delivered by Mr. MacNaughton. Referring to myself Mr. MacNaughton is thus reported:
So far as the returned man was concerned, he declared, how could he expect to receive any concessions from a Liberal leader who had deserted Canada in her hour of crisis in search of Standard Oil millions. Indications pointed to a still continuing relationship between Mr. King and the Rockefeller interests, which at no distant date might prove a menace to Canada.
Then appears the following reference to utterances by Dr. Gilday:
In moving a vote of thanks tc the speakers of the day. Dr. F. W. Gilday referred to the first Liberal leader as one whose connections with American capitalists might soon prove inimical to Canada's best interests.
He saw in Mr. King the representative of certain American commercial men charged with the mission of making Canada a free trade country, and commercially subservient to the United States. Mr. King had left Canada at the time of war crisis, although a bachelor and capable of bearing arms, and only a young man. He preferred, however, to work for Rockefeller, and indications pointed to the fact that he had returned to Canada not for the purpose of the country's best welfare and advancement, but still apparently entangled in the octopus of Standard Oil interests and Rockefeller millions. The future, he said, would bear out the truth of his remarks.
Mr. Speaker, it will be perfectly apparent to hon. members of this House that statements of this kind are intended to arouse prejudice not in one direction only, but in many directions, and prejudice of the most bitter and cruel kind-prejudice in the
minds of labour, prejudice in the minds of the returned soldiers, prejudice in the minds of the business community, prejudice in the minds of all patriotic citizens. The statements are absolutely false in fact and misleading in inference. They constitute as utter a slander, and as undoubted a criminal libel as any statement could possibly be. If I have not taken steps to proceed against the guilty parties, it is because I am willing to believe that they were made in complete ignorance of the facts, and that they would not have been uttered had the truth been known to those who made them, or to the journal which has given them publicity.
I do not at this moment rise to make any defence in regard to any statement which is contained in these utterances. My purpose is solely to place on record a few relevant facts, so that ignorance of the truth, or any pleading of current rumour, will not hereafter be any defence should I find it necessary and desirable to take criminal proceedings against individuals, or publications that persist in this kind of political warfare.
Were the gentlemen who have made these statements not members of learned and honourable professions, and were the paper that has given publicity to them not one which prides itself on its high place in journalism in this country, I could well afford to treat them with that contempt and indifference with which I have treated like slanderous statements in the past. I feel, however, that if I continue to allow statements of this kind to go unchallenged, in view of the publicity that has been given them, I shall be laying myself open to being misunderstood throughout the country in a manner which will not only prejudice me personally as a member of this House but also prejudice hon. gentlemen who have honoured me with the position I hold and those who accord to us political support. I have a. further reason for desiring to give to the House a few relevant facts, and that is my belief that there are many persons in this country who have no desire to further either a personal injury or a public wrong, but who, owing to the currency which has been given to certain false statements and rumours, find it difficult to understand how so much publicity could be given to anything that is so absolutely without foundation.
And I have yet another reason for desiring to make this statement at this time.
I see no other way in which many of my, fellow-countrymen who have served this
country overseas can find it possible to become acquainted with the truth, in view of statements that have been made to them concerning matters which were supposed to have taken place during the time they were absent from this country.
Sir, as I have said, these statements are utterly false and completely misleading.
First of all, there is the statement that J have resided in the United States. Permit me to say that I have lived for the last twenty years in this city of Ottawa, and have never during that time had my place of residence anywhere else. During the last ten years. I have resided in the Roxborough Apartments in this city, and any member of this House who inquires of the Imperial Realty Company, the proprietors of the Roxborough, -will find that at no time during the war or since have I cancelled my lease or even temporarily sublet the apartment which I occupy. The relationship which I had with the Rockefeller Foundation, and to which I shall allude in a moment, did not require or necessitate in any way my absence from Canada; nor did it as a matter of fact occasion any absence except in the most transient way. More than that, at present I have not, and for some considerable time past have not had any business connection with any commercial, financial or business interest either in the United States or in Canada. I have had none such since I was honoured with the position of the leadership of my party in August last. I have refused consistently since that time even to entertain the acceptance of a retainer or fee for any work and I have done so in order that I might devote to the public duties which devolve upon me, my entire time and attention.
Now, Sir, let me explain the nature of my relationship to the Rockefeller Foundation. First of all, the Foundation is not in any sense of the word a business or commercial enterprise. It is a philanthropic organization chartered under the laws ot the State of New York in the year 1913. As described in the Act of Incorporation, it is a body corporate "for the purpose of receiving and maintaining a fund or funds and applying the interest and principal thereof to promote the well-being of mankind throughout the world." During the war its activities were for the most part in the nature of war work co-operation. It was the first organization in the United States to come to the relief of the Belgians in the matter of food and clothing. It not only assisted the Belgians but its funds
were utilized to bring relief to the starving populations in portions of France as well as Belgium and to the peoples of Poland, Serbia and Armenia at the hour of their. greatest need. It gave millions of dollars in assistance to Red Cross and Y.M.C.A. work in army and navy camps and communities. It equipped and maintained war demonstration hospitals, provided the services of Dr. Alexis Carrel and his staff, hospital and surgical laboratory at Compiegne, France. It carried out many other forms of war work throughout the whole of that terrible period. Apart from the war, its activities relate mainly to medical education and public health demonstration in different parts of the world. It is carrying on its beneficent operations in China, in France, in India, in Egypt and indeed in all parts of the world, and all its work is, as I have indicated, exclusively that of promoting the well-being of mankind.
My duties in connection with the Rockefeller Foundation were to make a study of the problem of -industrial relations with a view to ascertaining if it were possible to contribute in any way toward the solution of that intricate and world wide problem.
I was no more in the employ of the Rockefeller interests, or of any Standard Oil interest, in my association with the Rockefeller Foundation than any librarian of [DOT] a Carnegie library can be said to have been in the employ of the late Andrew Carnegie, or than teachers and professors who are the recipients of pensions from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching can be said to be related to any steel trust or corporation.
Within the last few months, as an expression of international good-will,, the Rockefeller Foundation made to the universities of this Dominion a gift of $5,000,000 to be used for research work in connection with their medical departments. The young men or professors who study under the benefits of this particular gift will occupy a position precisely similar in its relation to any Rockefeller interest to that which I did when I was appointed by the Foundation to make a study of this question of industrial relations.
May I point out that my connection with the Rockefeller Foundation was formed before the war commenced. My acceptance was given in the spring of the year before the war was thought of. At the time it was made, I had been nominated and was in the position of candidate of the
Liberal party in the constituency of North York. When I was asked if I would undertake that study for the Foundation, 1' pointed out that if it meant any change of Residence from Canada, it would be impossible for me to consider it. I was told that I could pursue my researches anywhere I wished, that there was no obligation to live at one place rather than another, that I could go to any part of the world, and have a staff of men to assist me if I so desired, in carrying out the researches which I had been asked to undertake, the sole object being to conduct a study that might be helpful as a contribution towards the solution of industrial problems.
That was the situation when the war came on. I had then to decide, just as every other man in this country had, what, Under existing circumstances, it was best to do.
I had to decide in relation to the Rockefeller Foundation, and the work which I had undertaken, whether I should abandon those studies altogether, or whether I should undertake them in relation to the problems which were growing out of the war. I shall mention in a moment or two certain private considerations of which I was obliged to take account in reaching a decision; but for the present I wish to confine what I have to say to the public reasons which I felt were strong enough to cause me to make the decision I did, a decision which I believed at the time and have ever since believed, was entirely in the right direction.
As hon. gentlemen know, the war had not proceeded very far before it became perfectly apparent that the winning of the war depended upon the successful co-operation of capital and labour in the industries that were engaged in the production of munitions, and the furnishing of war supplies and materials, as well as upon the heroic efforts of the men who were fighting at the front. The governments of the different countries recognized that to be the situation. The Government of Great Britain established, shortly after the beginning of the war, a reconstruction committee, which subsequently became the Ministry ol Reconstruction in England, with a subcommittee on relations between employers and employed, to deal with the problems of industry as they arose during the war, and were likely to arise during the period of reconstruction. The Government of the United States appointed a National War Labour Board, and the Government of Canada-the present Government-appointed the Reconstruction and Development Com-[Mr Mackenzie King.]
mittee of the Cabinet, with a labour subcommittee. The work of all these bodies was to study the problems arising out of the relations between capital and labour with a view, if possible, to avoiding industrial controversy in essential industries during the war and finding means for the rapid development of peaceful and helpful relations in the period after the war.
The work I was doing for the Rockefeller Foundation, both in its purpose, as research, and in its practical effort, was identical with the kind of work which wa^ being done by persons associated with these bodies. Every man associated with , any of these organizations was regarded by his fellow countrymen as rendering a much needed war service, a service for which he was specially qualified, and for which he had been chosen because of special qualifications.
My selection by the Rockefeller Foundation had been made, amongst other reasons, because of the circumstances that during a number of years I had held a position in the Department of Labour of this country as deputy minister of the department, and subsequently as minister, and during that time had had considerable to do, at first hand, and in a practical way with industrial problems. It was believed that with that experience, and with the opportunity the Foundation afforded, a useful service might be rendered.
The results of my work for the Rockefeller Foundation are published in book form. I think some hon. gentlemen may have heard of the book; and here let me say that I am sure the House will realize how extremely embarrassing it is to any one to be obliged to make a reference to his own work. But hon. gentlemen will also realize, I am sure, that if I simply make a general statement such may not prove sufficient under the circumstances. I am therefore obliged to make specific reference to some portion of the work accomplished in this connection. That is my apology and my reason of necessity for referring to one or two things which I wish to place before the House for consideration. Whether the results of my study bear at all helpfully upon the problem of reconstruction or not, hon. members will be able to see for themselves by referring to the hook. It is entitled "Industry and Humanity: A Study in the Problems Underlying Industrial Reconstruction." The book consists of some 550 pages, exclusive of charts and diagrams. Every line of it was written in the
city of Ottawa; every page of proof was read in this city; all of the research work was done in Canada. It was done during the war, and the book itself was published before the Armistice had been *concluded. The Canadian editions have been published by Thomas Allen, of Toronto, the American by Houghton Mifflin, of Boston and New York, and the English *by Constable and Co.
I presume the impression that in some way or another I was connected with the so-called Rockefeller interests grew first of all out of this association with the Foundation to which I have referred. It may also have grown out of the fact that in the early years of the war I spent quite a little time in the state of Colorado, and later, accompanied Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., through the mines of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company. May I say to hon. members that the reason I went to Colorado at the time I did was because there had been a situation there very much in the nature of an industrial civil war-it was the most serious industrial situation on this continent. I went of my own volition, under direction or suggestion from no one.
I had been given a perfectly free hand by the Rockefeller Foundation to .do what I thought best in the way of carrying out the work which the trustees of the Foundation had given me the opportunity to perform. I felt that if it were possible to demonstrate in the state of Colorado, under conditions such as existed there, that the application of certain principles to the relations of employers and employees could mot do other than operate in a manner that would be helpful alike to labour, capital .and the public, it would be rendering a service to industry in a place where, and at a time when it was very greatly needed. The Colorado Fuel and Iron Company was one of the companies which had been affected by the strike. It is the largest concern in that state. It employs somewhere in the neighbourhood of 12,000 workers in coal mines, iron mines, and steel works. Like other steel and coal companies, its help was required to provide essential war supplies, -and it had orders from the Allies to be carried out. Because of the Rockefeller interest in that company I believed that my association with the Foundation might gain for me an exceptional opportunity, which it did. I am not going to refer to my work done in that connection. It was work done in public, and hon. members can find out its scope *and significance for themselves if they are sufficiently interested in so doing. All I
wish to state at the moment is that for that service-or whatever measure of service it may have been possible to render in the State of Colorado-I received no payment from any interest or from any individual directly or indirectly concerned with any of the companies with which I had to deal. I undertook the work as a part of the opportunity afforded me by the Rockefeller Foundation, and I carried it out wholly in that spirit.
If the House will permit it, I should feel deeply obliged if, at the conclusion of my remarks, I might be allowed by general consent to place on Hansard one statement which I think will accurately reveal the nature of the work done in Colorado. It is from an authority which no one in this House will question, and is an article Which appeared in the Toronto Globe of October 13, 1915, entitled "Solving Colorado's Civil War by J.A.M." The article is by Dr. J. A. Macdonald, who at the time was editor-in-chief of the Globe, and who visited Colorado while I was there engaged upon the work to which I have just been referring. It was written fcy (Dr. Macdonald at the time, was published in the Globe, and is of record there. If the House denies me the privilege of placing the article on Hansard, hon. gentlemen who may be interested at all in discovering the significance of that work or the truth concerning it will be able to do so by a reference to the files of that paper.
Solving Colorado's Civil War. by J. A. M.
I Iliad spent the whole day interviewing all sorts and conditions of meh, and gathering all sorts of views about the one question of universal interests these days in all these mountain mining regions-Mr. Rockefeller's plan for the complete reorganization of the mining industry in the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company, in which he holds 40 per cent of the stock, and to whose conditions he has been giving a direct and personal interest during the past fortnight wholly without precedent in the history of capital and labour.
"Hast week in Toronto we had Associated Press despatches to the Globe describing this unusual trip by Mr. Rockefeller, his meeting with men of all grades in all the camps and in the pits, his conference with them face to face, and his proposals to them for a fresh pack and a new deal. The despatches mentioned Mr. W. L. Mackenzie King as being the magnate's guide, philosopher and friend.
Mackenzie King's Work.
"Almost the first man I met after reaching Denver, two days ago, in the rotunda of the Brown, was Mackenzie King. He has been in Colorado a great deal of his time since joining the Rockefeller Foundation. At the very beginning of his work as Chief Executive for the study at first hand of industrial relations, Mr. COMMONS
King: stipulated that the mining1 camps of Colorado where long- industrial strife issued in actual civil war, and where the Foundation itself is a large holder of corporate securities, provided an immense laboratory for a comprehensive study of the essential facts, the root causes of industrial disturbances and the lines of policy to be adopted if industrial war is to make way for co-operation, prosperity and peace.
"The root idea of the old policy on both sides, both capital and labour, was competition. In the new policy the root idea is co-operation. If the seed of co-operation is nourished and comes to full fruitage it may yield co-partnership. I did not find that Mr. Rockefeller baulked at the idea of capital and labour coming to be partners in the industrial world.
" It was both interesting and significant to observe the effect of the young man's personal touch on men whose hostility was deep-seated and fierce. The great body of the miners voting by secret ballot, after hearing him expound the plan and studying it in its fully-printed form for several days, voted almost unanimously for its approval. A newspaperman who went the rounds of the camps, and whose sympathies were socialistic and anti-capitalistic, confessed to me that what he saw at close range convinced him that Rockefeller is absolutely sincere, resolved to meet the men far more than half-way, and has accepted the principles of industrial co-operation with an honest mind and a serious purpose. This view I found to prevail among the Denver newspapermen. A Chicago journalist who came to Colorado to curse returned to Chicago to bless.
A Straightforward Man.
* "This indeed was the impression made on my own mind by frank conversation and close observations. I did not find this young capitalist other than very straightforward and humanely sympathetic. He accepted the obligations of great wealth and stupendous industrial responsibility as a man " who must give an account."
"It was not difficult to observe the reflex influence of Mackenzie King's personality and teaching on the life^and programme of John D. Rockefeller, jr. I confess that I had real misgivings about King's decision last year to undertake work with the Rockefeller Foundation. I feared its reaction on his own outlook and life work. After observing the situation in Colorado, the change of front not by King, but by Rockefeller, and studying the testimony of newspapermen and others, who assured me that all this that Rockefeller has done is in reality the result of King's careful study of industrial problems in the mines, and of his competent exposition of it to Mr. Rockefeller and his associates, I am entirely reassured. Nor was Mr. Rockefeller at all reluctant to give Mr. King full credit.
King Has Made Good.
" The terms of the new policy have already been sent to the Globe by the Associated Press, but Canadians who have watched Mr. King's steady progress as a student of industrial problems and a leader in industrial reform will be gratified to know that, in dealing with this most gigantic problem of capital and labour at the time and place when strikes, murders, civil war and two hundred indictments were the chief features, he has made abundantly good, justified his own decision of last year,
[Mr Mackenzie King.l
brought honour to Canada's Department of Labour, which he established on sound economic foundations, and gives promise of even larger services in industry and politics in which Canada will share just as beneficially as the United States.
"Mackenzie King will always be a Canadian, makes his headquarters in Ottawa, gives only a part of his time to the Foundation's work outside of Canada, and holds his added study and wider experience for the loyal service of his native country. Certain if this new experiment in Colorado achieves what its initial prospect promises, not Canada alone but the whole industrial world will have cause for gratitude that the misfortune of politics in 1911 left Mackenzie King's hand free for a while to tackle a big man's job."
I have here, also, a letter from Mr. J. F. Welborn, President of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, of Denver, Colorado, which gives a statement from the company's point of view; and presents the significance of the work as it has grown with time. I do not wish to read this letter to the House, though if it were not taking up time unduly I should feel it a privilege to do so. I should be pleased if it might be permitted to appear on Hansard along with the other communication. There is one point in this letter to which I should like to direct attention. Mr. Welborn shows that as a result of the Industrial Councils formed that when the United States came into the war, the coal production in the mines of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company exceeded per man per day that of any of the other coal mines in the United States; and he attributes that success to the joint relations of capital and labour under the plan of industrial representation as drawn up.
Subtopic: STATEMENT BY HON. W. L. MACKENZIE. KING RESPECTING PERSONAL SERVICES DURING THE WAR.