June 26, 1925

LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

If an expression of that description, however objectionable it may be to the administration, is sufficient to stand between the government and the performance 317

of its duty, then I shall have to describe the government's attitude further and more accurately. I was not using the expression in any objectionable sense but if the government objects to it I shall be glad to withdraw it. The amendment I am about to move-

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
?

An hon. MEMBER:

Too late.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

Yes, I presume it is too late. The second remark of the Prime Minister makes me despair of the administration paying the slightest attention to any appeal of labour; but I shall make that appeal nevertheless. There is no reason why a provision which is violated should not be removed, and the offending clause works more hardship on labour than on anybody else. If the government does not particularly want to stand in the way of labour, then I plead with hon. gentlemen opposite to remove the discrimination that now exists by adopting the amendment I move, seconded by the hon. member for Centre Winnipeg (Mr. Woodsworth):

That this bill be not read .the third time, but that it be referred back to the committee of the whole with instructions to amend subsection (1) of section 10 of the Dominion Elections Act by inserting the words " or a labour union " after the word " alone " in the third line thereof.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. L. J. LADNER (Vancouver South):

During the previous discussion of this matter I was unavoidably absent and I wish to take up the time of the House for a moment now to support the amendment. There is no doubt that organized labour throughout the country is placed under a serious and unfair handicap by the existing law. It is said that the present law was formulated many years ago by the Liberal party with a view to certain advantages which political organizations in Ontario would obtain. May I suggest that from our everyday contact with the public life of the country it is palpably unfair and unreasonable to handicap such a body of men and women as organized labour in Canada by a law which can bring little actual tangible good while in its operation it is capable of doing considerable actual tangible harm to these people. I was somewhat surprised at the way in which the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) received a certain remark made by the hon. member who has moved the amendment, and -I say this without the slightest intention of offending-I doubted the sincerity of the right hon. gentleman in his irritation over that remark. I do not think the Prime Minister will allow for one moment the words of any hon. member on any great measure affecting the masses of the people to interfere either with

Elections Act

the performance of his duty or with the carrying out of his good judgment in the interests of the country at large. I hope the government will reconsider the matter and that the present legislation, which has existed too long, be replaced by a far more sensible law in the interests of organized labour and of the people generally.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
PRO

Thomas George McBride

Progressive

Mr. T. G. McBRIDE (Cariboo):

I have

taken this matter up with some labour men in Kamloops, and I may say that a certain percentage of them are opposed to it. They say that all labour men do not believe in sending labour members down here, some of the labour people belong to the Conservative and some to the Liberal party, and these men ask, why should they supply money to any candidate if they do not want to support him? Why should they be obliged to support financially anyone who is not of their persuasion? If the hon. member (Mr. Irvine) would move that the vote in the labour unions would have to be carried by a two-thirds majority I would support the motion; but I certainly cannot support it as it stands, in view of the instructions I have got from those I represent.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
IND

Angus McDonald

Independent

Mr. ANGUS McDONALD (Timiskaming):

Will the hon. member for Cariboo (Mr. McBride) give the name of one labour organization that he knows of in Canada that believes in what he says right now?

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
PRO

Thomas George McBride

Progressive

Mr. McBRIDE:

I did not state that I had discussed the question with the labour organizations, but I said that there was a number of gentlemen whom I knew belonged to the organization with whom I talked the matter over, and these men supported me and sent me down here, and it is their wishes I want to support.

Mr. JOS. T. SHAW (West Calgary): I have had an opportunity of observing the hardship which is imposed upon labour unions by virtue of the provisions of the act which is now in force. The hon. member for East Calgary (Mr. Irvine) on a former occasion sought to strike out the section, in order that it might operate to the equal advantage or disadvantage, as the case might be, of all classes of the community. In its judgment the House saw fit to reject that proposition. The hon. member for East Calgary now asks in his amendment that labour unions be exempted from the operation of this section. There is no doubt, Mr. Speaker, that the section as it now stands does operate to the especial disadvantage of labour. I think the House will be well advised to remove that discrimination against organized labour. There can be no question that the proposed amend-

ment is in acordance with the views of organized labour in Canada, as the Trades and Labour Congress have made their position clear in this matter. Therefore, I would make an earnest appeal to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State in connection with the proposed legislation, to. alter the act in order that this discrimination may be removed. I know, and all members of the House know, that the Prime Minister is as deeply interested in the affairs of labour as any hon. member in this House, and I am sure, if he were convinced that labour was being discriminated against in this regard, that he, in common with the rest of us, would not hesitate for a single moment to act. I make this appeal to the gentleman who is responsible for the legislation, and to the Prime Minister, because I feel that in so doing we will be working to the best advantage of labour and giving it an opiportunity for the fullest expression of opinion at the polls, an opportunity which perhaps may be otherwise denied. I am not prepared to agree with the remarks of the hon. member for East Galgary, in so far as he seeks to impute any motives to. the government in connection with this matter. I do not want to be put in the position of imputing motives to anybody, and consequently in that spirit of fair play I ask the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State to give labour the benefit of this proposed amendment, and I am sure the result will be to the great advantage of labour and likewise will enure to the great advantage of the community in general.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. J. S. WOODSWORTH (Centre Winnipeg) :

I think it is not necessary for me

to add very much to what has been said in support of this amendment. We ask only for fair play for labour. I take it that the time has gone by when any hon. member of this House will deny to labour the right, if labour so chooses, to take political action through the formation of its own organizations. We are all familiar with the fact that all over the world to-day there are distinct labour parties. We are all familiar with the record of the labour party in Great Britain. I quite concede that Canada is not industrialized as Great Britain is, but a great many labour men in Canada have come from Great Britain, and they feel they ought to look to Great Britain for a lead along this line. It seems to me that the parliament of Canada would be well advised if they encouraged a movement of this character. Let me point out, as I did in committee, that when this matter was up recently in the British house, and an effort was made to get rid of legisla-

Elections Act

tion which gave an opportunity to Labour people to subscribe funds for election purposes, Mr. Baldwin made one of the most notable speeches of his career in appealing for labour, even against the measure as advanced by his own followers and insisted that labour should have eveiy right to control its own funds.

With regard to a suggestion made by the hon. member for Cariboo (Mr. McBride), I urge that it would be very unwise indeed to attempt to say just in what manner labour unions should dispose of their funds. They have the right to dispose of their own funds, according to their own regulations. The great evil surrounding the contribution of funds lies in secrecy. In the case of labour unions, before any amount can be voted, the matter is brought before the whole membership in regular business session, and if they choose to support any particular candidate, whether it be the Labour candidate, or the Liberal or Conservative candidate, they are to be at liberty to make their decision.

I would point out also to the government that the Labour party throughout the country is beginning to revise its estimate as to how much it may obtain or hope to obtain through the present administration. We have come here pleading for provision for unemployment, for old age pensions, for the eight hour day, and for active interference in industrial disputes in such a way that the interests of the labour man may be safeguarded. We have had again and again for four years troubles in Nova Scotia, and this government absolutely refuses to take any effective action in regard to safeguarding the interests of .the workers. Again we have to plead that the laws now on the statute book, placed there in 1919, which discriminated against labour by certain clauses in the Immigration Act and in the Criminal Code, should be removed. None of these things has been done. Now we come urging for one little amendment closely connected with the good government of the country. That is something that'will facilitate labour in electing its own representatives.

As I said on a previous occasion, again and again when labour men strike or take some other form of industrial action, gentlemen in all parts of this country protest that labour ought to use parliamentary means, that labour ought to seek to present its case on the floor of the House of Commons or in the various provincial assemblies. Yet, when labour makes any effort whatever to assert its rights by the use of the parliamentary machine, it finds itself effectively blocked. We believe in that 3174

respect there is a distinct discrimination against labour, and we ask in all fairness that this particular clause should be removed.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
PRO

Alan Webster Neill

Progressive

Mr. A. W. NEILL (Comox-Alberni):

The hon. member for East Calgary (Mr. Irvine), in introducing this resolution, has stressed the point that he has the support of organized labour. Last week, and again yesterday afternoon, I introduced an amendment to another clause of this bill which would have resulted in prohibiting orientals from voting in British Columbia. That amendment has the sanction of every organized labour body in British Columbia. It has the sanction of all unorganized labour in British Columbia and of a very large proportion of people who are not classified as labour or unorganized labour in that province. But I failed to get any support for that amendment on either of those occasions from the hon gentleman who now threatens us with what organized labour will do or think if we do not, support his amendment. Moreover, when I brought in that amendment, I think it is within the knowledge of the House, I couched it in respectful language as respects the government and as anxious only to see it accepted. I did not challenge the government to reject it nor use offensive language in connection with it. Therefore, I think it would have been more appropriate if the hon. member for East. Calgary had supported that amendment than, for him to ask me to join him now in his wholesale condemnation of the government before he sees what the government are going to do. I would feel inclined to support 'this amendment if it is a thing that will benefit labour, for after all, why should I not do so? I have been a workingman all my life, and I am yet as far as that goes. I would be more willing to do it if I had some assurance that the money so collected from those labour unions would be used for the election of labour representatives in this House who would devote their time and energy to the initiation of really useful constructive legislation- for the benefit of the working men and women of Canada, and not of representatives who indulge in the theoretical shadow-chasing and vague glittering generalities that we have-listened to for the last four years.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. A. B. COPP (Secretary of State):

I want to assure the hon. member for East Calgary (Mr. Irvine) that he has come to wrong conclusions in regard to the attitude of the government in reference to not taking any interest in any matters -that he or his. colleagues bring before the House because of their small representation in this chamber. I

Elections Act

know I am voicing the sentiments of all my colleagues and, I believe, of practically every hon. member. Every hon. member has a number of labour organizations and labour men in his constituency, and I feel that these hon. gentlemen have just as much sympathy with labour as have the special representatives who are with us in this chamber to-day. I know, speaking for myself, if I were to err at all, I would rather err in giving consideration to matters suggested by them because of the very fact that they are not as largely represented as other occupations in this country. I think my hon. friend is entirely wrong 12 noon when he charges hon. members of this House with not being sympathetic to any matters that he may bring before this chamber because of the fact that the representation of labour is not large in this House. The main reason why I would beg for nonacceptance of the amendment moved by my hon. friend is this: This matter has been before the House previously on an amendment when the bill was in committee. It was thought by the majority of this House that the amendment at that time would not be acceptable. This bill was before a special committee on Privileges and Elections which gave consideration to it. The amendment was considered here in committee and a vote taken on it, and I believe the consensus of opinion in this chamber was that we should not relax in any way the securities we have in regard to contributions for political purposes. That is all we have in mind in regard to it. It may be that clause 10 would be much improved by this and other amendments, I am not going to discuss this at the present time; but the reason I take the stand of not accepting the amendment moved by my hon. friend is that the matter has been considered in two or three different ways during the present session, and I feel this is not the time to accept it.

Hon. HUGH 'GUTHRIE (South Wellington) : I regret very much I was not present in the House when the amendment introduced by the hon. member for East Calgary (Mr. Irvine) was up for consideration. My inclination would have been to support the amendment and to strike out clause 10 or those particular words in clause 10 which restrict political subscriptions to associations or corporations expressly formed for the purpose. To my mind, clause 10 is about the most useless and innocuous clause in the Dominion Elections Act. There is in that clause some language which is also in the act. Those particular words:-" other than a company incorporated for political purposes "-were in-

serted in the act to protect a single political organization, the Ontario Liberal Association, which some twenty-five years ago was incorporated for political purposes. If hon. members will refer to Hansard of about twenty-five years ago and again to Hansard of, I think, the year 1907, to the speech of Sir Allen Aylesworth, then Minister of Justice of Canada, they will see that he specifically preserved the right of the Ontario Liberal Association as an association incorporated for political purposes. When the act was up for revision five years ago, we maintained the section, I think almost in its integrity, but in my humble judgment it has been a useless and innocuous section. There are at the present time in Canada many associations incorporated for political purposes. I think the Progressive party have an association in almost every riding in Ontario specifically incorporated under letters patent of that province to enable them to contribute funds to elections. I see not the slightest objection to granting the same privilege to labour organizations in Canada, and I believe they are entitled to have it if they want it. For my part, I am heartily in sympathy with the amendment.

The House divided on the amendment (Mr Irvine) which was negatived on the following division.

YEAS Messieurs:

Anderson, Kennedy (Glengarry and

Arthurs, Stormont),

Bancroft, Knox,

Black (Yukon), Lovie,

Bowen, Lucas,

Brethen, Maclean (York),

Brown, McDonald (Timiskaming),

Campbell, McKillop,

Chaplin, Maybee,

Coote, Meighen,

Davies, Millar,

Duncan, Milne,

Elliott (Waterloo), Morrison,

Evans, Sales,

Fansher, Senn,

Forke, Shaw,

Gardiner, Simpson,

Garland (Bow River), Spencer,

Garland (Carleton), Steedsman,

Good,* Stewart (Hamilton),

Gould, Stewart (Humboldt),

Harris, Stirling,

Hodgins, Thurston,

Hoey, Tolmie.

Hopkins, Wallace,

Irvine, Ward,

Kennedy (Edmonton), Woodsworth-53.

NAYS Messieurs:

Bel and, Casgrain,

Benoit, Chew,

Binette, Copp,

Bouchard, Dechene,

Bourassa, Delisle, '

Cahill, Denis (Joliette),

Cardin, Denis (St. Denis),

Criminal Code

Desaulniers, MacLean (Prince, P.E.I.),

Descoteaux, McBride,

Deslauriers, McConica,

Desrochers, Mclsaac,

Ethier, Mercier,

Fafard, Morin,

Forrester, Murphy,

Fortier, Neill, [DOT]

Gendron, Papineau,

Gervais, Pelletier,

Graham, Pouliot,

Hammell, Raymond,

Hanna, Rheaume,

Healy, Roberge,

Hudson, Robitaille,

Hughes, Ross (Simcoe),

Hushion, St. Pere,

King, Mackenzie (York), Seguin, .

Lanctot, Sinclair (Queens, P.E.I.),

Lapointe, Stewart (Argenteuil),

Lavigueur, Tobin,

Low, Vien,

Macdonald (Pictou), Woods-60.

(The list of pairs is furnished by the chief whips.)

Messrs.

Michaud. Leader,

Robichaud, Bird.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
CON

Arthur Edward Ross

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROSS (Kingston):

I was paired with

the hon. member for Brome (Mr. McMaster). Had I voted, I would have voted for the amendment.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Frederic Kay

Liberal

Mr. KAY:

I was paired with the member for Wentworth (Mr. Wilson). Had I voted, I would have voted against the amendment.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

I was paired with the

hon. member for Chambly-Vercheres Mr. Archambault). Had I voted, I would have voted for the amendment.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

I was paired with the hon.

member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Stevens) Had I voted, I would have voted against the amendment.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LADNER:

I was paired with the hon. Minister of Public Works (Mr. King). Had I voted, I would have voted in favour of the amendment.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I was paired with the hon. member for Centre Toronto (Mr. Bristol), Had I voted, I would have voted against the amendment.

Motion agreed to on same division reversed and bill read the third time and passed.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink

HOME BANK DEPOSITORS

LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing this House that the Senate doth not insist upon their fifth amendment made to Bill No. 182, an act for the relief of the depositors of the

Home Bank of Canada, to which the House of Commons hath disagreed, but have amended it as follows:

On page 2, line 5 of paragraph 1 of clause (a), after the words, "special need" insert " or in straitened circumstances ",

On page 3, leave out the seventh amendment namely the preamble.

Topic:   HOME BANK DEPOSITORS
Permalink

CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT

CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS

June 26, 1925