April 19, 1922

LIB

Pierre-François Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. P. F. CASGRAIN (.Charlevoix-Mont-morency) :

Mr. Speaker, I also have received numerous letters similar to those read to the House this afternoon by the hon. member for Missisquoi (Mr. Kay). I have received protests from various parts of the province of Quebec, especially from the district which I represent, the counties of Charlevoix and Montmorency, with regard to daylight saving. Daylight saving as adopted in 1918 was largely a war measure; in the United States, Europe and other countries it was thought necessary to have a measure of this kind in order that the needs of the war could more readily be met. But now that we are in the post war period it would, in my opinion, be a serious mistake to bring in any measure providing for daylight saving. It is true that last year and the previous year some districts, some municipalities, towns and cities, adopted a system of daylight saving. But many unfortunate results have come from its adoption in some of these places. In the city of Quebec the clock was advanced one hour, but in my county, a comparatively short distance away, the time was the standard time. Great troubles and misfortunes have been experienced by different persons on account of these differences in time. I think that, on the whole, the people of this part of the country, particularly in the province of Quebec-and I speak especially of the rural districts, as did the hon. member for Bona-venture (Mr. Marcil) and the hon. member

Daylight Saving

for Missisquoi-are against daylight saving. There are many hon. members from rural districts in the province of Quebec who will hear out my contention that any measure which would put daylight saving in force would be against the will and the wish of the people of those districts.

The resolution now before the House is a good one, but, in my opinion, it might have been drafted in better form. As has been suggested by some hon. gentlemen, it would restrict the power of municipalities, towns or cities which would like to enact a measure of daylight saving. It would have been better had the resolution simply stated that in the opinion of the House it would be better not to introduce any further measures of daylight saving. But the resolution is before us, and, although it is not framed in the best possible terms, I submit, for the reasons which I have given as well as those which have been put forward by hon. members who have preceded me, that we should support the resolution in its present form.

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LIB

William F. Carroll

Liberal

Mr. W. F. CARROLL (Cape Breton South and Richmond) :

Mr. Speaker, if

the mover of this resolution (Mr. Kay) is desirous of getting an expression of opinion as to whether daylight saving is a proper thing for this country, I fear that he has couched his resolution in the wrong language. If the resolution simply stated that in the opinion of this House daylight saving was or was not a good thing for this country, one might vote upon it with the idea of expressing either his support of or his opposition to daylight saving. But in the resolution as drawn you are asked to prohibit local areas from giving expression to their desire to have daylight saving. While I am myself against the principle of daylight saving, I shall have to vote against this resolution, because we in this House have no right to prohibit either the provinces or such local areas as incorporated villages or towns from expressing their view, by resolution in council or otherwise, for or against daylight saving.

The hon. member for Lotbiniere (Mr. Vien) said he was in favour of the resolution because he did not like prohibition in any form. Well, if he votes for this resolution he is voting for a prohibition; he is voting to prohibit a city or town or organized district from adopting daylight saving. I think that the hon. member who brought this resolution to the attention of the House would be well advised if he

changed its language in some respects and simply asked for an expression of opinion on the question whether we should legislate either for or against daylight saving. I am not, of course, advising my hon. friend to take that course, but I believe if he did he would get more support than he could otherwise obtain.

Much has been said about putting the clock ahead or putting it back. Some hon. gentlemen have said that they did not desire to be placed in a position where they would have to put the clock ahead to meet the views of their friends. Well, I am one of those who think that the very greatest freedom should be given to all in the matter of what time they get up in the morning. If daylight saving were made effective in this country to-day, it would not change the natural inclination of the person who wants to get up at four o'clock instead of at five, or of the person who wants to get up at six o'clock instead of at seven, or at seven o'clock instead of at six.

I rose merely to say, however, that I entirely agree with the leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen) and other hon. members who favoured the idea that he presented to the House, that no expression of opinion either for or against daylight saving can be had by voting for or against the resolution as proposed by the hon. member for Missisquoi.

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Hon. S@

Mr. Speaker, I would have thought we should have wanted to turn this discussion to something of importance, to some practical purpose. Surely it is perfectly plain that Parliament is not going to interfere with the provinces which already have their statutes and their regulations fixing the time in their respective districts, some being in advance of and some behind the meridian. I would have thought it perfectly clear that municipalities, creatures as they are of the provinces, are entirely in the hands of the provinces. It is idle to refer to what was done under the War Measures Act. That may have been right or may have been wrong, but it is obvious that any jurisdiction taken under the War Measures Act is something that is past and gone. We cannot now pass legislation upon this subject unless we seek, without the shadow of a right, to infringe upon the provihcial prerogative. There is one practical way in which the Government, if it desires, can register its views upon daylight saving. The city of Ottawa

Daylight Saving

has adopted daylight saving to go into effect on the 30th of April, and the only practical thing that can he done with this resolution by gentlemen who have taken their stand upon the subject is to say that the ordinary rules shall not apply, that the House will pay no attention whatever to the daylight saving regulation passed by the city government. That is one practical thing we could do, hut I apprehend the view that the Government will he, as I think they have already expressed it, that as this is a provincial and a local matter, the provincial and local time shall prevail.

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LIB

Lewis Herbert Martell

Liberal

Mr. MARTELL:

Will the hon. gentleman tell me where he finds his constitutional authority for the statement that this is a matter wholly of provincial jurisdiction?

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

I would point out to the hon. member that we have been a Confederation now for some time, that we have provincial laws dealing with the subject of standardizing time, but no Dominion law, and if any such law was introduced in conflict with what has been the custom and practice of the provinces, it would undoubtedly be an interference.

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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. WILLIAM DUFF (Lunenburg) :

It seems to me that we have had a very interesting discussion on this subject this afternoon. We in this House who are laymen can come to only one conclusion, and that is that we are not quite clear whether we should vote for or against this resolution. One thing, however, I think we are satisfied of, and that is that this resolution revolves around the clock. In view of the fact that I am not quite clear about this matter, in view of the fact that many constitutional lawyers and legal men of high standing in this country have said that this resolution has not been properly drawn, and for certain other reasons, before I sit down I intend to move an amendment.

As far as I personally am concerned, and as far as my constituents are concerned, we do not care whether we have daylight saving in Canada or not. Most of my constituents do not go by the clock. They work from daylight until dark, or from before daylight until after dark. We have no six-hour men in my constituency. We have farmers, and labourers and fishermen, who start work before daylight, before they can see the clock, and work until after the sun has set, and they have to light the lamp to see whether it is time to quit.

I do not know very much about farming, but I am told, and I think it is a fact,

that farmers in this country cannot work by daylight saving time. They must get up- very early, at daylight or before, to look after their work on the farm. They cannot make hay by the clock in the summertime; they have to arrange their work to take advantage of the sun. It would be a nice state of affairs in this country if, when four or five o'clock, all the hired men on the farms were to down tools and say, "In the cities the Civil Service officials have all gone to the golf links or for an automobile ride, so we are going to stop forking any more hay into the barn for to-day."

Somebody has said that it would not be fair to interfere with by-laws or regulations passed by city or town councils. That is all well and good, hut my idea of legislation is that it should be based on the principle of the greatest good to the greatest number, and in my humble opinion, when a city or town passes a by-law advancing the clock one hour from the 1st of May to the 1st of September, it is not in the best interests of the great majority of the people in those towns and cities. It may have been done in the past, to allow certain gentlemen to leave off work at three or four in the afternoon and to go to the golf links or for a long motor ride or take some other form of recreation, while we poor people have to slave from daylight to dark, but I say that it is not good legislation.

While we cannot perhaps pass an act to prohibit daylight saving being brought into force in different parts of Canada, as it might interfere with provincial and municipal rights, it seems to be that this House should express the opinion that daylight saving is not in the best interests of the great majority, and I think we should by our votes show to, the people of this country that we are standing for the rights of the common people.

What shall we find when daylight saving is adopted in the city of Ottawa? As we leave our work in this chamber in the afternoon-it would be five by the clock-the city officials would have all left their work, but it is a well-known fact that the flags on the public buildings cannot be hauled down until sunset. Why should the poor man who is getting two dollars a day to raise and lower the flag have to stay till sunset wihen you and I can leave our work at five o'clock and go and enjoy ourselves for the rest of the evening? Even on the farm they tell me that the cows know when it is time to come home to get milked; if

Daylight Saving

you leave them alone they will come in themselves at sunset to be milked.

If we cannot pass a law on this subject, we can at least give a clear expression of opinion. I said at the outset of my remarks that as far as my constituents are concerned we do not care whether daylight saving is in force or not. We do not care very much about the sun, for most of my constituents work by the moon and the stars. Some of them work by bells, getting up at eight bells in the night and working till four bells, and then resting till the bell rings eight times again. We do not require any clock. It is not fair that there should be any distinction in this free country, so that some people can go to work and leave off at a certain time by the clock, while other people have to work from daybreak till dark. I therefore beg to move, seconded by Mr. Turgeon:

That all the words after "that" be struck out and replaced by the following: In the opinion of this House it is not desirable that daylight saving time should be adopted in any part of Canada.

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LIB

David Arthur Lafortune

Liberal

Mr. D. A. LAFORTUNE (Jacques-Car-tier) (Translation) :

Mr. Speaker, this is the first opportunity that I have had to address this House since you were chosen as Speaker. With the consent of the hon. members, I wish to say, Sir, that I was pleased and happy to witness your election to the speakership of this House. I have been your comrade for twenty-five years and more. I have always taken an interest and pride in your career and you have done credit to us wherever you went. You have been in political life for twenty-five years, and unfortunately, I have spent already forty years in the same way. This will convey to you, Mr. Speaker, that I am not without knowledge as to what has transpired in your career as well as in the country at large. I shall restrict myself to these few remarks, as I fear I might be out of order; however, what I have said will prove to you, Sir, that your humble servant was one of those who rejoiced the most at your elevation to the Speaker's chair.

My learned friend who moved this resolution, the hon. member for Missisquoi (Mr. Kay) accused the hon. leader of the Opposition of having altered his views. Well, let us give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he has not changed his opinion on this question. Nevertheless, I must admit he was dangerously near doing so. Another hon. member was less generous towards him, he expressed himself very

well, only he used rather a harsh word, when referring to the leader of the Opposition, he said it was but hypocrisy on his part. It was perhaps going too far. Let us give these gentlemen the benefit of the doubt; let us call it "camouflage". The Toronto members are not hypocrites, bu' they have very odd ideas which makes i'_ rather difficult for us to agree with them.

As an hon. member so well expressed it, we have in the country where I also live two different designations of the hour: the right hon. Sir Robert Borden's time and God's time. There was a great fuss as to which we should adopt. Finally God's time won. People placed more confidence in the latter than in the former, God's time was older and more respectable, we therefore adopted it.

I do not think that amongst all the members of this House but specially the farmer members, there can be found any in favour of this new system. Those who know and understand the economical side of farming cannot possibly uphold this new system, and, I ask myself who is the gentleman that first conceived the idea of altering the time. Let me tell you that he was by no means a genius, and the sooner we abolish it the better. In my own village we were blessed with a good common sense parish priest who rejected this daylight saving system; the mass is held at the usual hour, God's time. It is my humble opinion that the resolution moved by the hon. member for Missisquoi should necessarily be adopted. Most of the hon. members sitting on your left, Mr. Speaker, say this regulation will die a natural death. So much the better; however, there are extremists all over the country, men who are always at variance with others; they hold so-called new ideas-they term this progress-and if we do not check them in their thirst for progress, each session the same question will pop up. Now and then, Mr. Speaker, you will have this question of daylight saving brought up. Why not curb these gentlemen who are always on the look out for proposals which we cannot entertain, that every reasonable being opposes.

It was stated a short while ago that there were men of good common sense in the province of Quebec. That is so, but there are also men of good common sense in the other provinces, indeed a great number of them and we entreat these gentlemen to join and help us. Those who understand the economical side of farming should come forward and support the resolution of the hon. member for Missisquoi. Try, Mr-

9G0

Daylight Saving

Speaker, to have your domestics rise earlier than usual. You will find that it is not an easy task. No, Sir, it is impossible to get them to rise earlier than what is a reasonable hour. Who is the loser in all this? The master. We are forced to submit to the whims of these gentlemen, our employees. If you are not satisfied, Sir, they leave. If they find fault with the old system, they go, and leave you in the lurch. The employers now, are no more masters of the situation, we are governed by the employees. We must submit. If you seek to enforce this new time system on the farm hands, you will not succeed, the thing is impossible. In the morning we cannot start them to work before the usual hour, but in the evening the case is different when six o'clock comes-that is five o'clock-they grab their hat, the pick and shovel drop, everybody stops working, goodbye, it is six o'clock, let us go. In this last instance they do not require to be coaxed. What happens then? Those who understand farming know that the farmer's day does not end with the field work. He goes to supper, takes a little rest while smoking his pipe, but he has to visit the outer buildings, take a look in the stables, in the cattle house, in the pig-sty and in the henhouse; he has to see to everything, look to the doors being closed, the beds made, the cattle properly watered, find out if an animal has not strayed away, finally he has to oversee everything that has to be done. Then if you allow your men to go out too early after supper they dress up, stroll away to the village, and as you are aware in most of the villages there are now moving pictures. The men depart saying: Do not worry, boss, we shall not be long away. That is what they say, but they act differently; they come in late. Do you suppose the work is carried out? No. If the farmer does not go to the trouble to see for himself what is being done, the work 'is neglected and the men have played you the nice trick of leaving undone what formerly they were in the habit of doing. It is therefore impossible to uphold tsuch a system. Otherwise, close your doors, sell your farms and give up farming, if you do not wish to bring ruin upon yourself. It was clearly established that in the early morning you cannot work in the fields, you must allow the dew to evaporate. No one will contest this fact, the ground is not in a fit condition. You must wait until about nine or nine-thirty and sometimes ten o'clock before starting work in the fields. Well, [Mr. Lafortune.l

what are your men doing all this time? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Amongst all the western members, who are practical and business men, there is not one, I am sure, who wants this change in time, for if it were otherwise they would only show proof that they do not understand farming. I have now been farming for the last forty years and have always had farm-hands on my land which comprises an area of about 200 acres. I therefore know what is going on. I have a very good knowledge of the economical wtay of rearing all kinds of cattle which are to be found on a farm, and I say that to make some success, it is neces* sary to rise early and retire late.

Mr. Speaker, I do not wish to say unpleasant things to any one, it is not my practice. I am getting too old to pick up new habits, specially when they are not good ones. I asked myself who is the gentleman that invented this new daylight saving system. I do not contend that the idea originated amongst lazy people, but it must have originated amongst those who shun work and wish to be free to seek pleasure after five o'clock-old time. These pleasures conflict with the interests of the farmer as well as those of the employee himself. Why do we meet with so much evil? Why do we witness so many crimes? Why do we see immorality invade specially the large centres? It is because youth is allowed too much time to joy ride. Youth takes advantage of these conditions and craves for pleasure. It does so against its best interests, to the detriment of its health, transgressing the laws of sobriety and heaping upon itself all kinds of misfortunes. Formerly, we watched over the employees. We were able to follow a little their movements and gave them goc.d advice. To-day artisans in cities drop work at six o'clock in the evening. Then after having taken supper they leave, between seven and -seven-thirty, to enjoy themselves at the movies, at the theatres, or in doubtful company. At present you are unable to guide or control any one, yet we know what is taking place. Crime in large centres is on the increase from year to year, and where lies the blame? It is mostly due to too much liberty we allow the workmen, and', it seems to me that instead of seeking all kinds of methods to protect these gentlemen, we should as much as possible hold them in check. We are -asked why trouble abou-t this legislation-? We should not enforce it, it will be a dead letter. True, but it would not be so if everybody wesre reasonable, if every one would help; unfor-

Daylight Saving

tunately there _are extremists not only in this House hut everywhere, even in municipal councils. In the latter men are to be found who specialize' and seek by all means possible to create obstacles. It is therefore to prevent these evils that it is necessary that the resolution of the hon. member for Missisquoi (Mr. Kay) should be adopted.

Mr. Speaker, in the country we cannot have any fixed hour which would be convenient to the farmers. When the weather is threatening, do we cease work at six or seven o'clock? We work up to eight or nine o'clock if it is necessary. Rain is threatening, the haycocks are ready to be drawn. If the farm hand refused to carry out his work before the danger had disappeared or the hay had been drawn to the barns, he would simply be dismissed. Let him rest during the morning or through the day, if necessary; but when the danger is near, the rain 'is coming, at any cost, the crop which is ready must be brought to the barn.

The same thing applies to the cold weather. When we are threatened with frost and the tobacco is in the field in right condition for curing, do we stop work at six, seven or eight o'clock? No, we would work up to midnight if need be; we draw as long as it is necessary to protect tbs crop that lies in the field. You therefore, see, Mr. Speaker, under what conditions the farmer labours. The idea of fixing a set hour for farm work should not be entertained.

Those who work in large cities, in trades for instance, are perhaps exceptions. There is no rule without exceptions. Those who are employed and are at liberty to leave work early may be considered lucky; but they are in the minority, and all laws in a community should aim to protect the majority. The latter consists of the farming class in this country. It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that it is not necessary to add anything further so as to persuade the hon. western members, and those of all the, different provinces who are connected in some way with the farming class, but I specially appeal to the members of the province of Quebec, to put an end to this discussion, an unfortunate one, and to adopt this resolution. I agree with the hon. member of Missisquoi and shall support with pleasure this resolution.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. R. J. MANION (Fort William and Rainy River) :

Before the debate closes, I should like to correct my hon. friend from

Lotbiniere (Mr. Vien) in regard to the quotation which he made from my remarks in Hansard. I stated when he was speaking that I thought he was mistaken. Since then I have looked up the Hansard report of the debate on daylight saving on the previous occasion, and I find he has misquoted me entirely. I did not take the attitude that he stated I took. While I am on my feet, I should like to say that I do not agree that we in this House have any right to prohibit any municipality from doing anything in a matter of this kind. Taking the case of my municipality, Fort William, or, at least, the central municipality of my riding-because my riding is about two-fifths rural-I may say that it has had daylight saving for some ten or twelve years, as has Port Arthur, and they have found it very satisfactory. Therefore, I personally do not think this Parliament would be within its rights to tell the city of Fort William or Port Arthur that they must not have daylight saving which they find desirable. I admit, some of the agriculturists surrounding the cities are not in favour of daylight saving; as an hon. mem-ler from the West said, they suffer from the inconvenience of sometimes finding the stores closed when they come into the cities expecting the stores to be open. At the same time, while the farmers have a perfect right to take that attitude, the people in the cities should not be ruled by the people in the country on this question. If a city such as my own or any other city in Canada chooses to have daylight saving, to advance the clock an hour, it is the privilege of that city to do so, and it should not be prohibited from doing so either by this Parliament or by the members of the agricultural community. That is my attitude cn the matter, and I think it is a much more liberal attitude than that taken by the hon. member for Lotbiniere (Mr. Vien). I believe this is a question in which each local municipality should be permitted to do as it chooses.

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LIB

Hyacinthe-Adélard Fortier

Liberal

Mr. H. A. FORTIER (Labelle) (Translation) :

Mr. Speaker, I had no intention to take part in this debate but after listening to the different speakers, I deemed it my duty to express my views on the present subject. In my opinion, it is more a question of expediency than a constitutional one. Briefly, it may be summed up in this: Shall we have a uniform time in this country? I shall not take up the legal aspect of this question-I did not bring my civil code with me this afternoon-because, it seems to me, there is a more important question

Daylight Saving

which interests all the electors of this country. It is this: by the experience we have had, these last years, in regard to the daylight saving bill imposed by this Parliament, and, by the experience of the years following this legislation, during which lack of uniformity and confusion took place, Parliament did not think proper to continue this custom. It allowed the different municipalities, cities and towns, to act according to their wishes. Is it expedient that we should continue putting up with this lack of uniformity and confusion? I repeat it, I believe that the question of uniformity of time is paramount, and I am in favour of it for the whole country. The motion of the hon. member for Missisquoi (Mr. Kay) has this aim in view. After having heard the opinion given by the Minister of Finance, he admits that Parliament will never pass any further law as to daylight saving and he expresses the hope that there will not be any cities or towns, in any part of the country, altering their time. I certainly respect the authority and freedom of all municipalities. They are perfectly at liberty to alter the time but they should, however, act in concert with other municipalities.

I incline to favour the larger municipality, the whole country, rather than any particular municipality or city. If such municipality or city wishes to take advantage of this right would it be advisable for it to decree a change of time? If we lived under the old order of things of a hundred years ago; if we had no railways, telephones or automobiles, I can understand that the fact of altering the time would be of little consequence. In those days, local intercourse was rather restricted, we then lived somewhat at a distance from one another; it was not a matter of so great inconveniences as at present to alter the time. But to-day, in 1922, we must bear in mind all the modern inventions which bring the neighbourhood in closer touch. If for instance, we arrive by railway in a town where the hour has been changed, must we undergo all the inconveniences which result from the lack of uniformity of time? In my opinion, I believe that the time should be the same all over the country if only on account of this extension of local intercourse. At present the village has not the same restricted horizon as in the past; its outlook, to-day, extends over the whole country. Through this easy access to all parts we are constantly in touch with everybody. On the principle that we should have the same time

(Mr. Fortier.]

at home in order that the house be well regulated, I contend that the same should apply all over the country, for the welfare of every one. I, therefore, shall support the resolution of the hon. member for Missisquoi (Mr. Kay) because it seems to me to have for its object to establish uniformity of time throughout this country.

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LIB

Alfred Stork

Liberal

Mr. ALFRED STORK (Skeena) :

Mr. Speaker, I am going to support the amendment because my observation has shown me that all attempts to interfere with the workings of Father Time have been failures. The only man who made a success of altering time was Joshua, when he made the sun stand still. We have had daylight saving in operation in the past in the province of British Columbia, and I think I can speak for the people who live in that western province when I say that they have not found it to be a success. In a province where we have daylight enough to read a newspaper by at eleven o'clock at night, I think ample time is given for labour, for rest and for recreation, and daylight saving simply makes more confusion. Where we have different times, where the railroad operates on one time and the factory and foundry on another, that does not make for municipal progress. I have particularly in view the cause and the welfare of our children. Children going to school are, under daylight saving, compelled to rise an hour earlier in the morning; they do not go to bed at night at the accustomed time, and as has been pointed out before, the mothers taking care of the children are penalised to that extent.

I remember in British Columbia some years ago a liquor prosecution was on, and the whole trial hinged on the question of time. A charge was laid that a violation of the act took place at a certain specified hour. After a lengthy and expensive trial, the case was dismissed on the ground that standard time was set at Victoria and in the eastern part of the province of British Columbia, and that this infringement had not taken place within the specified time. We have fire insurance policies issued in this country, and if any one who has a fire insurance policy will read it, he will find that it reads that "this policy is for one year from a certain date to a certain date and expires at twelve o'clock noon."

At six o'clock the House adjourned without question being put, pursuant to rule.

Questions

Thursday, April 20, 1922

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April 19, 1922