I am not talking about what the claim of the company is; I want
to get at what the hon, member understood by his agreement, the agreement *which he negotiated between these parties in 1910?
, Mr. MACKENZIE KING: I did not negotiate the agreement; I was a witness to it.
, Mr. MEIGHEN: Just a witness? My hon. friend's relation to the whole situation is diminishing every bour. Now, he was only a witness; he did not even negotiate the agreement; he was no party to it; it does not matter what he thought of it; it is what the men intended by the agreement that counts. But he says that so far as he is concerned he believed the agreement meant that the men should be restored to their pension right as well as to every other right. That is his position to-night. Will this House believe me when I say that the hon. gentleman told the House an .exactly opposite thing when the matter was discussed in 1911? He told this House in 1911 that he did not understand the agreement to include a restoration to pension right. ,On that occasion-I quote from Hansard of February 10, 1911-he was answering an inquiry of the hon. member for South .Sinrcoe of that day, Mr. Lennox. I shall have to read this at some length, because it shows what was in the mind of the hon. member when he spoke on that occasion:
What I want to call the attention of the minister to is that it is a. very important point whether the men were reinstated in the broadest sense of the term or were being put back as new men.
, Just exactly the point we have in mind to-day.
X can hardly conceive that it was contemplated that they were to be put back as new men. Are we to understand from the minister that that distinction was not adverted to at all and that he did not take that into consideration? I certainly would think that it would he the object of the minister to see that the agreement was in such a form as that the men, when they were taken back, would get the same positions that they would have occupied if no strike had taken place. Otherwise, it would be an idle sham, and it would deceive the men. If it meant that a man who had been in the service of the company for twenty years or more, and who would be entitled to a pension, was to be taken back as a new man. and not to be entitled to this pension, it would certainly be a most unfortunate result.
Mr. Lennox wants to know whether he, the then Minister of Labour (Mr. Mackenzie King) understands that the restitution provided by the agreement was a restitution to pension rights and all other rights. Does the then Minister of Labour, tire present leader of the Opposition, say: Yes, that is
the agreement that was negotiated; I was a witness to it; I was there between the men? Does he say : Certainly, pensions were intended to be included; that was part of the settlement? That is what he says to-night; that was his understanding of it. Did he say that then? I quote from his reply to Mr Lennox:
As regards, pensions, when the matter was under consideration, the leaders of the men who were negotiating on behalf of the employees took the position that they did not care about pensions one way or the other,-
Would he have given that answer if he had thought that pensions were a right to which the men had been restored by the agreement?
Subtopic: BILL TO CONFIRM AGREEMENT WITH THE COMPANY.