June 1, 1925

COPYRIGHT ACT AMENDMENT

LIB

William Gawtress Raymond

Liberal

Mr. W. G. RAYMOND (Brantford):

I

move, Mr. Speaker, that the recommendation in respect of printing, which is contained in the third report of the special committee appointed to consider and report upon Bill No. 2, respecting the Copyright Act, which was presented to the House on the 29th ultimo, be concurred in. The committee recommended the printing of 1,000 copies, 800 in English and 200 in French. It was hoped that 200 would be sufficient in French, although a great deal of interest was manifested in the work of the committee by the French authors. And as members of this House are of course all aware, the literature of Canada is perhaps rather more complete in French than it is in English.

The committee in their work were animated by the idea that perhaps the most important thing to preserve in the nation was its thought, the product of its mind; for after all, the intellectual attainments of any country are its most valuable attainments. The committee recognized the fact that the thinkers have done more for the advancement of the world than even the great commanders or warriors, and that while the work of Alexander, or Caesar, or Napoleon has been swept away by time, just as the sand castles of the boy on the sea shore are swept away by the rising tide, yet the great thinkers like Confucius and Buddha, Jesus Christ, Shakespeare and Darwin, are immortal; their thoughts live forever. It is therefore highly important to preserve the literature of a nation, and it is preserved by the copyright laws which give the necessary encouragement to its authors.

I do not wish to take up the time of the House unnecessarily, but this I think is a question in which we are all deeply interested; we must feel the greatest interest in the intellectual progress of our country. Those who study the development of copyright law will

find it a most fascinating subject; they will find from the first decree on the subject from the Star Chamber in 1556, or some eight years before the birth of Shakespeare, down to the last British copyright act of 1911, there is covered almost exactly the period of development of that great English literature of which we have so much reason to be proud and for which mankind should be thankful. And, as we come down through the various periods, we find in each of them that when there was an improvement in the copyright law there was a corresponding improvement in the literature of the period immediately following.

This bill is an endeavour to bring the copyright legislation of Canada nearer to that of Great Britain and more in keeping with the Berne convention. I hope the government will be able to find a time for the consideration of this bill by the House. The hon. member for Ottawa (Mr. Chevrier), who has had the matter in charge, has devoted a great deal of time, trouble and care to its preparation, as have all the members of the committee, and I sincerely trust that the government will set aside a time in which the bill may be introduced before the House is prorogued. I should be glad if the House would concur in the recommendation that the proceedings of the committee be printed.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Is the only purpose of

the motion to print the proceedings of the committee?

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LIB

William Gawtress Raymond

Liberal

Mr. RAYMOND:

Yes. If there is no

objection I would move that the motion be amended to provide for the printing of 750 copies in English and 250 in French.

Motion as amended agreed to.

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CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS- EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION


Hon. A. B. COPP (Secretary of State) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 167, to amend an act to provide compensation where employees of His Majesty are killed or suffer injuries while performing their duties. He said: By the statutes of Canada, 1918, chapter 15, as amended by chapter 14 of the statutes of 1919, employees of His Majesty who are injured and dependents of such employees who are killed are entitled to the same " compensation " as the employees, or the dependents of deceased employees, of perse s other than His Majesty would under similar circumstances be entitled to receive under the law of the province in which the accidents occur. Provision was also made for the utilization of the provincial machinery in determining such 3738 ^ COMMONS CJV.R.-Employees Compensation compensation. The amendments proposed in this bill are intended to overcome difficulties which have been encountered from time to time in the administration of the act and which have been occasioned by the variety of interpretations placed upon it by the provinces in considering the act in conjunction with the respective provincial acts. Formerly, before an Intercolonial employee could take advantage of the compensation provided in 1918 he had to elect whether he would come under the Provident Fund Act, at that time in force among Intercolonial railway employees, or under the federal act.


CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

Have the employees elected to come under the federal compensation act?

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LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

Previously they had to elect to come under one or the other. That is not necessary now; they have the right to this compensation without making that decision.

Mr.. BAXTER: Will this in any way affect the funds of the Provident association?

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LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

Not in the slightest.

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PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Mr. CRERAR:

Does this mean that the employees of the Intercolonial railway will be able to draw relief from two sources?

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LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

The Provident fund is an insurance scheme and under its provisions an employee who was injured temporarily received nothing. It applied only to the man himself after he had been with the railway a number of years; upon his retirement he got $30 a month, but his dependents get nothing. And the superannuation ceased with his death. This act provides that the railway employees shall receive the compensation the same as all other railway employees, irrespective of the Provident Fund Act.

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PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Mr. CRERAR:

Is there any system of

pensions under the Canadian National Railways in which such employees will participate?

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LIB
CON

John Babington Macaulay Baxter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAXTER:

I understood that we had corresponding legislation in New Brunswick- and I thought the same was true of Nova Scotia-for the purpose of enabling relief of this character to be given and employees of the railway to be dealt with by the Compensation board of the province. I thought that was absolutely in force.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

It is a case of interpretation.

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CON

John Babington Macaulay Baxter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAXTER:

I do not want to discuss

the matter at length now, but about a

couple of months ago some gentlemen saw me in connection with this matter. These gentlemen are under the impression, whether rightly or wrongly, that there is some scheme on foot by which the management of their provident fund is to be taken away from them. I understand that if an employee of the railway is injured the government, under existing legislation, will pay in accordance with the scale of compensation in force in the particular province in which the injury occurs. The provident fund, I believe, is made up of subscriptions by the employees and is resorted to in case of infirmity or old age. I think I have the assurance of the minister, but I would ask him to make it perfectly clear, that there is nothing in the proposed legislation which will in any way affect that provident fund.

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LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

Not at all.

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CON

John Babington Macaulay Baxter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAXTER:

Will the minister go

further and say that what has been lacking in the previous legislation will now be made good and the employees will get compensation under this amendment?

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LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

Under the present legislation

an employee has to elect whether he will come under the compensation act or the provident fund. The provident fund, as my hon. friend knows, does not give anything to the dependents of a man injured or killed while working on the railway. Under this amendment the provident fund is left intact and compensation is worked out by the compensation board in each province.

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CON

John Babington Macaulay Baxter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAXTER:

This does not infringe on

the provident fund at all?

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June 1, 1925