We have only three or four of these Joint Industrial Councils at the present time, I am told. They are in Montreal, Hamilton and Toronto. The results secured are not what the Labour Department looked and hoped for in the formation of these councils. I might add for the information of my hon. friend that the expenditure in connection with this item for the last fiscal year was $13,722.- ' 36. The appropriation is intended to meet
charges arising out of work done for the promotion of a system of joint industrial councils as between employers and workmen. The system is largely identical with that known in Great Britain as the Whitley Councils and is thought likely to be helpful in meeting the difficult situation arising out of the industrial unrest. The appropriation is intended to meet charges for printing and stationery, travelling expenses, and temporary assistance.
May I ask the minister if any effort has been made to institute a system of joint councils among the employees of the Civil Service? If the Government itself is the employer and the principle is a good one, is the effort being made here as in England to have Whitley Councils established among the Civil Service employees?
An industrial council can be briefly described as a council which would presume to bring the employers and employees connected with a certain industry, or a certain going concern, around the table for mutual discussion with the hope that they would be able to talk their differences over and arrive at an understanding that would prevent any interruption to operations. The Whitley Council is established and maintained to a large extent in England and the industrial councils here are expected to follow very much along the same lines. For further information I would refer my hon. friend to page 71 of the report of the Department of Labour for the fiscal year ending March 31st, 1921 where that point is extensively dealt with.
Six of the largest railroad organizations have what could be very properly described, I think, as an Industrial Council in the Canadian Railway Board of Adjustment No. 1 which deals with all disputes arising in connection with those six organizations, or all controversies with the railways, and the entire Canadian National Railways are a party to that council. I think there is work to be done in bringing the other classes of railroad labour, possibly on the Canadian National Railways, under some similar plan for the mutual benefit of employer and employee.
This is a very important item and I know that there are a number of hon. members in this particular corner who are anxious to discuss it at some considerable length. I hope, however, that the minister at the next meeting of the committee will not seek to place upon me, as he did in the case of the leader of the Opposition, full responsibility for all unemployment because I made this reference. It is pretty late now and I know the committee would not care at this hour to enter into a lengthy discussion of this vitally important item.