The employment officers scattered throughout the Dominion are helping to some extent in relieving the unemployment situation when there are opportunities for them to secure vacancies for unemployed men to go to. I have not sufficient knowledge of the administration of these offices in every province to give all the information which my hon. friend would probably like in order to show whether any improvement could be effected in their management, if that is what he desires.
What I had in mind is this. I know one officer in particular in my own city whom I have always held in very high esteem. I may say that he has never been a supporter of mine politically, so I am speaking quite impartially. On the other hand, I have heard criticisms that the offices are not functioning effectively, and I think it would be desirable while the Estimates are before us that some official opinion should be expressed. If
the department receives no definite and adequate reports, I would suggest that steps be taken to keep in touch with these employment bureaus inasmuch as we are paying a portion of the cost of maintenance.
I am sure my hon. friend will appreciate that it would be rather a delicate task for the federal Department of Labour to suggest how the various provinces should run their employment offices. We do, it is true, undertake to maintain reasonable supervision over the manner in which they are being conducted, but I am told that we have got to be very careful how we treat any plan that is regarded as satisfactory by the provincial authorities.
The whole question narrows itself down to this, if the minister will permit me. We are voting $45,000-not a very large sum for the whole of Canada, I will admit-but the object, if I remember correctly, was to lessen the expense and avoid any duplication that might otherwise occur between the operations of the provincial and Dominion Labour Departments. My point is that if the department is not satisfied that effective work is being done, certainly the grant should not be continued and the association should be terminated. I am under the impression that these employment offices are working satisfactorily, but there have been disturbing criticisms, and if the minister from the reports at hand cannot give us a satisfactory answer as to this, then I think the department ought to exercise a more intimate supervision.
I am told that we have had no complaints such as suggested by my hon. friend. I am sure he realizes that this $45,000 is not all of the money that is expended by the Dominion in connection with employment offices; this is only for their administration. The amount asked is $45,000, a reduction of $30,000 from the appropriation of 1921-22. The appropriation is intended to cover the expense incurred in the administration of the Employment Offices Co-ordination Act. Briefly, the statute empowers the minister to aid and encourage the organization and co-ordination of employment offices, to promote uniformity of methods among them, and to establish clearing houses for the interchange of information between employment offices concerning the transfer of labour and other matters. For the purposes of such
organization and co-ordination provision is made for distribution among the various provinces annually of a sum of $150,000. The present vote, however, relates only to expense incurred in administration, and represents disbursements on account of printing, stationery and other supplies, travelling and temporary help. There are at this time-March, 1922-seventy-six provincial offices and three clearing houses- Halifax, Ottawa and Winnipeg-all of which are outfitted from the department with respect to stationery and supplies. The disbursements include considerable charges for railroad travelling and printing. The appropriation for 1922-23, though considerably reduced from that of last year, is intended to meet the charges incurred in issuing periodical bulletins, and so forth.
I notice that in addition to item 268, for administration, Employment Offices Co-ordination Act, $45,000, item 269 provides $100,000 for these employment offices. In view of these two items, and the minister's statement that we pay half the cost of running these offices, I do not agree that any diffidence need necessarily be shown in approaching these employment offices with suggestions. I do not know whether diffidence is one of the qualities possessed by the minister. I would like to know how many men have been given employment through these offices during recent months, say since the first of January?
the fiscal year; I do not know that I have them for the period since the first of January. During the fiscal year 1921-22 the approximate number of vacancies notified to the officers of the employment service was 429,600, of which 327,900 were for men and 101,700 for women. Applicants for employment during the year numbered approximately 541,400, of which 439,900 were received from men and 101,500 from women. The total number of placements effected was approximately 357,700; of these about 270,600 were regular placements
236,600 of men, and 34,000 of women-and 87,100 placements were casual; that is, the employment was not expected to continue more than one week. The average daily
Supp ly-La hour
have been placed in temporary and more or less permanent employment; that would be, roughly, something over 350,000 a year.
pretty much with the figures for the past year; they are a little less, but practically the same. That would seem to me to be very gratifying. Now, besides item 268, $45,000, and item 269, $100,000, there is an amount authorized by statute of $150,000 *-all for employment offices. Why should this amount of approximately $300,000 be divided into three votes?
administration of the Employment Offices Co-ordination Act. The amount
11 p.m. given in item 269, $100,000, the same as last year, is intended for distribution among the provinces. Under the terms of the act, the amount provided for the year is $150,000. The industrial situation likely to prevail throughout the fiscal year 1922-23 is anything but clear at the present time, and it is thought desirable to supplement the statutory appropriation by the amount indicated, thus enabling the department to meet contingencies which may confront the employment services. I have the following memorandum:
The provinces have, during the past two or three years been led to expect that the federal grant would be practically equal to their expenditures and this would be possible only by increasing the statutory appropriation as proposed. Its omission would bring from the provinces the protest that they had been induced to undertake certain annual expenditures on a basis of partnership and the federal Government had then withdrawn. A detailed statement of expenditure for the twelve months ending March 31st, is given for the various provinces.
I would ask the minister one question about this item. I understand there is an International Labour Conference, having some connection with the Genoa Conference, being held in Rome. Has Canada any representatives at that Conference?