June 4, 1921

UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The deputy minister informs me that the hon. member is quite mistaken; instead of having many complaints as to combines enhancing the cost of the necessaries of life, the Department has received none at all, consequently there has been no cause for special investigation. * This has been a problem incident to the cost of living on an ascending market; on the descending market that now prevails it shrinks into comparatively insignificant proportions.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Am I to understand from my right hon. friend that the Government has received no complaints? I am not speaking now of one department in particular; I assume that the Department of Labour, acting in the interests of labour throughout the whole country, would have referred to it complaints with respect to conditions affecting the great mass of the working classes. Do I understand that the Government has not looked into this question of the cost of living in the interest of the consumer?

Topic:   SUPPLY-DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The cost of living is looking into itself pretty well; it is coming down rapidly. I do not know of any complaints; certainly I know of no formal complaints being presented to the Government, nor have any been presented to me verbally. I did hear it complained of that the price of cement was being held unjustifiably high-that was in private conversation. Beyond that I must tell my hon. friend frankly that we have had no complaint formally as to that and we have had no complaint as to anything else in that connection, even informally.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I do not wish to appear to be prying into secret party matters, but would the right hon. gentleman say whether the report is correct which appeared in the press at the beginning of this session that he advised his followers at one of their meetings that the Government would bring down this session some legislation to deal with combines and monopolies because he thought it necessary that something of that kind should be done?

Topic:   SUPPLY-DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I think that is one of many rumours which find their origin elsewhere than in the "followers" themselves.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Will my right hon. friend say that he made no such representation to his following, or that he approved of no such suggestion?

Topic:   SUPPLY-DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I made no statement to that effect-and I undertake not to ask my hon, friend what he says to his following in caucus.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I am not

asking the right hon. gentleman to do any' thing like that. Just one further question: is labour in Canada satisfied with the operation of the Industrial Disputes In-vesetigation Act? Is organized labour prepared to endorse the principle of the Act and the method of its administration?

Topic:   SUPPLY-DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The Act is being

operated, I think, satisfactorily, and is in some respects more active than ever. The only alteration is in respect of railway labour, which is referred largely to another body and is being taken care of in that way with satisfaction to labour. The Trades and Labour Congress of Canada have asked that the Act be extended to such labour classes as police forces, municipal labour and commission labour-such as the Hydro-Electric-'but it has (been pointed out to them that we have not power to do that. I think the Act is as wide as it can be made, though I do not feel quite safe in stating that definitely.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
L LIB
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I think the Act provides now that it can be with their consent, but we cannot amend it to go any further [DOT]-we have not the power.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Am I right in assuming, then, that organized labour not only endorses the principle of the Act but so cordially approves of it that it would like to have it still further extended to other trades?

Topic:   SUPPLY-DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I think I should

frankly say to the hon. gentleman that that is my understanding.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
L LIB

Edmond Proulx

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PROULX:

My right hon. friend

said that the price of cement had not come down. Does he believe that there is a combine in cement?

Topic:   SUPPLY-DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I have not expressed

an opinion on it. I have no reason, myself, to think so.

Miscellaneous-loan to Provincial Governments to encourage the erection of dwelling houses, on the terms and conditions set forth in the Order in Council of the 3rd of December, 1918, and amendments thereto from time to time made-provided that the amount of loan to any province shall not, when added to the loans for the same purpose already made such province, exceed the proportion of a total of

$31,250,000 which the population of such province bears to the population of the Dominion as determined by the last federal census- substituted for Vote No. 316 of Main Estimates 1921-1922 (Kevote $10,456,800), $12,000,000.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
L LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

Is this loan made

with a view of carrying out the recommendation made by the Pension Committee to relieve the unemployment of returned men?

Topic:   SUPPLY-DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
UNION
L LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

Is there any provision

to compel the provinces to use a share of this vote exclusively for returned men?

Topic:   SUPPLY-DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

There is not. This

appropriation is voted on the condition set out in the Order in Council, which was ratified by, Statute two years ago and which has been again ratified.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
L LIB

June 4, 1921