March 31, 1926

ABSENCE OF OFFICIALS OF PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT

LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Leeds) (for Mr. Doucet):

For a statement showing the annual leave, special leave, sick leave, or absence on government business, of Mr. R. C. Wright, chief architect, T. W. Fuller, assistant chief architect, and Messrs. Antonio Boucher, T. D. Rankin, A. J. Barclay, all of the Department of Public Works, Ottawa, for the fiscal years 19211922, 1922-1923, 1923-1924, 1924-1925, 1925-1926, giving date in each case.

TARIFF ADVISORY BOARD On the Order for Motions:

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Leader of the Opposition):

If I could have the unanimous consent of the House-I know I have no right otherwise-I desire to ask if the government is going to fulfil the promise of the Prime Minister in reference to laying on the table of the House a copy of the order in council giving the personnel and powers of the tariff advisory board.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

I mentioned the other day that I hoped to be able to lay the order in council on the table of the House on Monday, but I beg now to inform my right hon. friend that it will be laid on the table immediately after Easter.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

What is the trouble?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

There is no

trouble.

. PRISON REFORM

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PRODUCTIVE WORK AND COMPENSATION FOR INMATES OF PENITENTIARIES

PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss AGNES MACPHAIL (Southeast Grey) moved:

That, in the opinion of this House, the administration of penitentiaries be amended to provide: first, sufficient productive work to keep the inmates employed; and, second, that a share of the proceeds go to dependents, and in case of no dependents such 6hare to be held in trust until release.

She said: Mr. Speaker, the resolution just

read by yourself was presented by me to the House last year and was received very favourably. I think it would have been adopted

by the House if six o'clock had not arrived too soon. I believe that no party, as a party, opposed it, and if I remember correctly only one individual member objected to the resolution. I possibly should have inserted in the resolution a declaration that manufacturing operations in penitentiaries should be limited to state goods-that is goods needed by the state. In this case it would apply simply to goods required by the federal government, because there would be no control over provincial governments. That statement is not in the resolution, though it was my intention that it should be.

The object of penitentiaries is I suppose two-fold; first, to protect society by taking out of society those who are harmful to it and, second, to reform the criminal, making it, safe for him to return to society again. The old idea of putting people in a place of confinement was one of revenge; that is, the state took upon itself the duty or task of revenging the wrong done. This idea has been gradually changing until now we think of a penitentiary as a place where people are reformed so as to be made fit again to come out into society. I should not like to say that punishment does not enter into the reform of the criminal. I think it does; I think it is just that it should. Possibly the most terrible punishment that can come to anyone is to have no freedom, to be confined, not to be able to move among one's fellows as one would wish. This terrifying punishment is the prisoner's and always will be. It is true, however, that the state should be above revenge. [DOT]

The committee of three appointed under the Right Hon. C. J. Doherty to advise upon the revision of penitentiary regulations and the Penitentiary Act went into this question fully, and presented a report in which they state that the Penitentiary Act has not been changed for a very long time. They say:

The Penitentiary Act has from time to time been repealed and re-enacted and some of its provisions from time to time amended, but the present statute does not substantially differ from that passed in 1868.

There has been a great change in the public mind regarding the treatment of prisoners, regarding, indeed, what is meant by punishment and penitentiaries, but the act has not been changed so as to keep pace with changing public opinion. All that is said in the present act in regard to what I am advocating, namely, productive work for prisoners with pay, is said on page 17:

Section 62. Imprisonment in a penitentiary shall be with hard labour, whether so directed in the sentence by which such imprisonment is adjudged or not.

Prison Reform

Paragraph 3 of the same section reads:

The convicts may be employed in labour under the control of the crown; but no labour shall be let out to any company or person.

The provision was a wise one that no labour should be let out to any company or person. But while convicts may be employed under the existing administration of penitentiaries, they are not employed in productive labour to the extent at least that those who are in charge of them would like. In regard to the pay of prisoners, the present act states that when a man is freed and leaves the penitentiary he is-

-furnished with a suit of clothing other than prison clothing, and with transportation to the place at which he received his sentence, and such other sum in addition, not exceeding ten dollars, as the warden deems proper.

That is all the provision that is made in the present act for productive employment with pay for prisoners. Inasmuch as this report prepared under the direction of the Right Hon. C. J. Doherty was exhaustive and was made with a view to amending the administration of penitentiaries and the act itself, we should put a good deal of reliance upon it. This report emphatically recommends that prisoners be given work and be paid for their labour. On page 21 of the report, after leading up to this conclusion, they say:

The committee, therefore, most' emphatically recommends statutory provision to provide productive labour for all convicts. Such provision need not extend to any work except for what is known as "state use" and can, in Canada, not extend*any compulsion beyond the federal service, but the evidence taken by the committee has satisfied it that manufactures within this limitation will afford much more than ample scope for all the industry and activity which the penitentiaries can put forth.

Further down on page 21 with regard to pay they say:

The mere provision of work is not, in the opinion of the committee, sufficient. That the heaviest penalty for a crime is paid not iby the criminal, but by his dependents has been chiefly emphasized before the committee, not by philanthropists and charitable workers but by judicial, police and penitentiary officers of long standing. Their views are based upon the unfortunate and expensive social consequences of the pauperization of decent women and children, upon the destruction of the convict's sole anchor holding him to decency of conduct after discharge.

I need not read all the report. It concludes :

If anything but evil is to follow punishment by imprisonment for long terms, it is, in the opinion of the committee, essential that such provision should be made as will allow the convict to earn at least something towards the support of his dependents during his confinement or of himself after his release.

'*' ,

I will give briefly a list of associations that I know of that favour this or a similar resolution, or at least this principle:

The Canadian Prisoners' Welfare Association; General Secretary, John Kidman, Montreal.

The Child Welfare Bureau of Canada; Secretary, Charlotte Whitton.

Neighbourhood Workers' Associations-79 organizations in the city of Toronto; Secretary, F. N. Stapleford.

The Trades and Labour Council of Canada.

The United Farmers of Ontario.

Superintendent of Penitentiaries, Brigadier-General Hughes.

The wardens of all the penitentiaries.

Canadian Bar Association.

Committee of three appointed under the Right Hon. Mr. Doherty.

So we see that those who are most interested, not only in. the welfare of prisoners, not only in the protection of society, but in the welfare of the women and children that are left helplessly upon society, are recommending that this step be taken at this time by the government.

I am going to quote briefly from the report of 1921 by the Superintendent of Penitentiaries, Brigadier-General Hughes:

The inmates of the penitentiaries are the wards of the Dominion government and there is no valid reason why goods required for state use, and state use only, should not be made, as far as .possible, in the .penitentiaries. The government spends many thousands of dollars yearly for furniture, furnishing, and equipment of various kinds, a small portion of which could be made in the penitentiaries. The revenue derived from this source would enable the institutions to pay each inmate on his discharge, or to his family while he is in prison, a small wage, which would materially assist the stricken family in keeping the wolf from the door while the wage-earner is incarcerated ; or, in case the inmate had no family responsibilities, would furnish him with sufficient funds on discharge to assist ihim in making a fresh start in life.

The Superintendent of Penitentitaries goes on to point out that he has recommended the same thing in his reports of 1896, 1897, 1905, 1909, 1913, 1914, and 1915; I have read1 the reports of 1919, 1921, and 1923, and he has continued to ask for this thing which up to the present has not been granted.

One could quote in a way that might weary the House from the reports of the superintendent and from the reports of the wardens of the penitentiaries, the different wardens asking that work be provided for the prisoners under their charge. The situation is not as difficult in a pentitentiary where building is still going on, where the prisoners can be employed in building their own prison. The-men are kept at work; they are more contented, and the duty of keeping them in order is a simpler one although it is true they do not get any pay for the work that they do.

Prison Reform

I quoted last year, and I do not intend to repeat it this year, various authorities on prisons and prisoners in different countries throughout the world, and they are in absolute agreement that you cannot reform a prisoner unless you keep him busy and contented. They are in agreement that it is a very bad thing to break the most tender link, if there is any tenderness and human feeling left in him, that binds the prisoner to his home. As it is, this link is ruthlessly broken. It is felt that this is the worst thing that can happen to the prisoner, his dependents and society as a whole.

There is a general feeling among social workers that it is unwise to release prisoners, whether men or women, from the responsibility of their families. In the case of men there is a tendency not to want again to assume that responsibility, and the effect on the families themselves is injurious. The wives and children are often left absolutely destitute, the children being forced out into the streets where they become criminals. This would not happen if they had enough money to keep them at home where they could be brought up by mothers who, in some cases at any rate, are very far from criminal in type.

I should think that there would be a strong tendency toward embittering the whole family by the treatment which it now receives in consequence of the breadwinner being sent to prison. The family is innocent of any offence and yet it is called upon to bear the brunt of the burden. This, I am sure, cannot inspire them with any great respect for the law or for society at large. But you may look at the matter in another light: why should hard working people be asked to pay to keep prisoners in idleness, and to support their families who have no means of helping themselves? Those of us who for the time being at least are out of prison have to bear the expense of keeping the whole family unit in two different places in a manner that is exceedingly expensive to us and quite disastrous to the family.

I believe that work would make for discipline, which possibly is one of the grave problems in the conduct of prisons at present. Work would render prison discipline much easier than it can be where the prisoners are in idleness. As a matter of fact, good behaviour where there is no work is not possible. The objection that is usually made to this reform which I am asking for is that labour is opposed to it; labour is opposed to prisoners putting the product of their toil upon even a restricted market such as might be afforded by the state. But that objection will no

longer hold. In 1920 the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada at its annual convention held in Windsor between the 13th and 18th September asked for the appointment of a committee to inquire into the administration of prisons, and requested that labour be given a place on that committee. The committee was appointed and labour was included on it, Mr. Biggar being its representative on a body of three. Labour in 1924, at the annual meeting of the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada held in London between September 15 and 19, endorsed not only this principle contained in the report, but the entire report, and asked parliament to pass an act to give effect to such prison reform as was recommended in the report of the special advisory committee on Prison Reform of 1921. So that labour, as such, does not object to this reform.

The cost of penitentiaries in Canada for the year 1923 was $1,441,900.93: the cost of a conviction is $1,200. Now, by giving the prisoner work you would help him to make a more harmonious adjustment to life upon his release and to some extent, at any rate, prevent a recurrence of conviction. If we can do that we shall effect a saving. If, too, the productive work is increased until such time as the prisoners earn enough to keep themselves, we shall lift from the state the burden of this sum of money which must be voted by the tax-payers from year to year, amounting to approximately a million and a half.

Before this resolution came up last year I received a letter from Brigadier General Hughes. He said:

I note with pleasure, from partiamentary publications, that you have given notice of a motion regarding the providing of work in the penitentiaries. While the revenue from this source has been increased from $53,000 to $167,000, we aire still only doing about one-tenth of what we are capable of undertaking.

In conversation with Brigadier General Hughes I judged that, with the equipment they now have, if they could get work for the prisoners to do they could accomplish nine-tenths more than they are able to perform now.

The mayors of our cities and towns and the reeves of the various municipalities often find themselves in a quandary. They have the prisoner's family on their hands. The breadwinner is in prison where possibly he ought to be, and the head of the municipality, while he does not want to interfere with justice, while he does not want the man at large if prison is the proper place for him, dislikes on the other hand having to shoulder the burden of supporting the family. In fact, too often

Prison Reform

prisoners are released, not because they are ready once more to enter society as good citizens, or because their time has expired, but simply because pressure has been brought to bear upon the authorities to have them released so that they may take up again the task of caring for their families.

This proposal of providing productive work for prisoners, with pay, has been successfully tried in Jackson penitentiary, Michigan, as well as in Minnesota. These are the two outstanding successes. The plan has also been tried in New Jersey and New York. Let me quote from my speech of last year: Mr. Yasaly, speaking for the Minnesota Penitentiary Board says:

In the first place, our prison earns its support; it saves the state something like $360,000 a year in that respect.

Reading later reports I find that they provided a large sum, described as a revolving fund, of some $6,000,000 with which they buy the raw materials required for their work. This officer was very much pleased with the success of the plan and he writes:

In that connection let me say that I know of no greater aid to prison discipline than wages. . . The prisoner is contented, first of all, because he is working. He is contented because he is earning something for his family. These things put together have great effect on discipline and make the prisoners more content and make them feel much more hopeful than they could otherwise be. It seems to me any system of prison labour, no matter what it may be, that does not take into account that side of things, the creation of contentment and hopefulness in the prisoner, not only with regard to himself but his family, is a mistake. .

In the year ending June 30, 1917, Jackson penitentiary had made a net profit of $156,000 after paying all expenses of the institution and making proper allowances for depreciation on buildings and machinery, paying wages to the inmates and providing food, clothing and other necessities.

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

What rate of wages was paid?

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

The wages ranged from ten cents to $1.50, to which must be added cost of shelter, food, clothing, medical attendance, chemistry, and so on.

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CON

Charles James Hamilton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAMILTON:

What proportion of the prisoners who have received, either through parole or otherwise, treatment which can be considered kindly, have returned to the penitentiaries after release? Has the hon. member any record of that?

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

That information can be got from any superintendent's report. But the fact is that recurrent convictions are diminishing as time goes on. I do not recall it at the moment. However, the recurrence of

convictions is lessening as time goes on possibly on account of the more humane methods of treating prisoners.

I do not want to dwell on this subject any longer. I appeal to the House to pass this resolution; I do not want six o'clock to arrive with the motion still undisposed of. Personally I am not interested in the resolution because I am going to do my utmost to avoid ever being placed in such a position as to need its provisions. But I do think that I can appeal to all hon. gentlemen to support this resolution on the grounds of economy, humanity, and common sense. Everybody conversant with the subject desires to see this policy caried out, and I see no reason why those who may not be as familiar with it should object to the realization of the desired end. It seems to me that our duty in the matter is obvious, and that we have the privilege this afternoon of demonstrating that we are as wise as our constituents conceive us to be. I hope that we shall all live up to that high standard by supporting this resolution.

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. J. W. EDWARDS (Frontenac-Ad-dington):

The few remarks I have to make

will not I think offer any obstacle to the passage of the resolution this afternoon. Some years ago it was my privilege as a member of this House in consequence of certain reports that were brought to me to ask for an investigation into the conditions at the Portsmouth (penitentiary. Because of that I had an opportunity to visit that institution and to estimate for myself the conditions as they prevailed at. that time and I take a great deal of satisfaction in the fact that as a result of the investigation then made, very much-needed reforms resulted which took away from the people of Canada the reproach of continuing practices which were a disgrace absolutely to any civilized people.

There is, perhaps, no person so good as to have no bad in him. On the other hand, there is no person so bad as to be absolutely devoid of good. I encountered a striking instance of that, which I recorded on the pages of Hansard some year ago. I had made an application to the then Minister of Justice for the release of a prisoner who had been sentenced to imprisonment for life, on the condition that he would immediately go overseas. The family from which this convict came was highly' respected and this man was the only black sheep of that family. But after several years' confinement in the institution

during which time he had the opportunity, I believe, of saving the life of at least one of the guards who was attacked by

Prison Reform

a fellow-convict, and, perhaps the life of another-his brother having gone overseas and made a good record and come back in shattered and broken health, this convict conceived the idea of trying to wipe out his past by doing something which would be creditable to himself and to the family to which he belonged. That man was given the opportunity to go overseas, and whenever any dangerous task was to be performed he asked for the privilege of taking the risk. While overseas he gave up his life, and I received later a number of letters stating that the regiment to which he belonged gave this ex-convict all the honours they could accord him in his burial, firing a salute over his grave, and holding impressive funeral services. I cite that instance to show, Sir, that no matter how unenviable may be the light in which society regards a man, the worst individual has in him some element of good if those in charge of our penal institutions only had the tact and good judgment to bring that good to the surface.

I have had the opportunity on many occasions of going to the penitentiary at Portsmouth, which is very close to the constituency I have the honour to represent, and I have noticed this fact: Those convicts who were

engaged in such work as making boots, or brooms, or clothing-in fact, any work which required some activity of the mind-had an entirely different appearance from the men who were sitting on a block of wood from day to day breaking stone. One could not help being struck at once with the difference in the appearance of the two classes of men. There was some glimmer of intelligence in the eyes of those performing work demanding some mental activity; there was a deadness in the eyes and general appearance of the men who were doing nothing but breaking stone. In the crushing or breaking of those stones the convict had a task which held no attraction for him and in which he could see no result. He was not only breaking stone but he was breaking his own health, and what was of more importance, in my judgment, he was crushing his mental and moral fibre as effectively as he was crushing into dust the limestone that he hammered.

I believe this resolution is along the right lines. As the hon. ' member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail) has indicated, it is not a new matter; it has 'been under consideration both in this House and in the country on various occasions. I see no reason why these convicts should not be engaged in productive work and paid at a rate of wages on a sliding scale. I can conceive that even

though the man is behind prison walls there is still a tie which unites him with the outside world-perhaps the only one that is left-namely, love for his home and family. And under our boasted civilization that family is forced to bear the burden of the convict's crime. To me that is the greatest tragedy of all. We feel that the man who is incarcerated because of his own misdeeds deserves the punishment awarded to him; but there is no one who does not feel that when that punishment reacts on the innocent wife and children there is something wrong with the conditions which make such a thing possible. Such a result may be inevitable, bui it is not impossible for us to ameliorate those conditions so far as regards the wife and family. It is quite possible, within reasonable limits, to bring about that amelioration, and I submit that it is our bounden duty as civilized human beings who are desirous of doing the right thing to take the necessary steps toward that end.

It seems to me that a great many things required by the state might very well be standardized and produced by prison labour. Some good would flow from that, even if it resulted in nothing else than the taking out of the hands of officials the initiative in furnishing their own offices. For we observe that whereas some officials furnish their own offices reasonably and decently and at moderate expense to the public, others do so on a scale which would seen to indicate that they thought the public treasury was inexhaustible. I see no reason why one man sitting in an office should have a mahogany table while another man has a table made out of Canadian pine or maple. You can write just as well on the one as you can on the other. There are many things required by the state which could be produced by prison labour, and a rate of wages might be set on a sliding scale, which would be an inducement to the prisoner to conduct himself properly within the walls of the institution. A man might start, we will say, at 10 cents, 15 cents or 25 cents a day and be told that as his conduct warranted it that rate would be increased by 10 per cent, 15 per cent or 20 per cent, to the extent that he was endeavouring to make some provision for those dependent upon him. Under those conditions, I venture to say that his conduct would become very much better. Not only that, but I presume it is in the mind of every convict that while perhaps he is being justly punished for his misdeeds, there is an element of injustice in that his family are obliged to suffer; that the state in punishing him-which punishment is warranted-is doing

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Prison Reform

a wrong in carrying that punishment on so that it falls upon his wife and children.

I would like to see something done along this line. I believe it is in the right direction, and I merely wish, Mr. Speaker, without taking up any further time, to give my very strong support to the resolution proposed. I daresay it can be worked out by the government and the heads of the departments in such a way as not to harm the industries of the country, but rather to result in much good to the convicts and to their dependents.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Secretary of State of Canada; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Justice):

I supported a similar resolution last year, Mr. Speaker, and I am pleased to give my support again this year. I wish to congratulate the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail) for having brought this subject before the House; there can be no worthier subject for our consideration. There is no doubt that work must be given to the convicts in our penitentiaries; nothing could be worse than idleness, and if we give them work, I entirely agree with the hon. member for Frontenac-Addington (Mr. Edwards) that such work should be productive. The idea of former times, which was to force prisoners to break stones, I can only characterize as being stupid and very dangerous to the their well being. It was an idea which surely could not conduce to any reform, and after all reform should be the main idea with regard to convicts.

As my hon. friend said, the work could be done especially to meet government needs. At present, on account of the dilapidated condition of the buildings in most of the penitentiaries-with the exception of the Saskatchewan penitentiary, which is a new building-a fair portion of the-inmates will be employed for some years to come in reconstructing, remodelling and repairing the buildings. For many years prior to 1919 very little work in the way of repairs was done to these buildings. As a matter of fact, only last week the warden of the Manitoba penitentiary asked that convicts be transferred to that institution on account of the' large amount of work to be done in reconstruction. At the same time the warden of the Kingston penitentiary reported that he had not sufficient shop room to enable him to employ the number of inmates then confined there, and that from 75 to 100 of them might be removed to another institution. This we have done; 80 convicts have been transferred to the Manitoba penitentiary, where there is work for them.

We should have enough revenue-producing work to employ the inmates for whom employment cannot be found at reconstruction, but of course this must be done gradually.

I may say that this is the policy I intend to carry on so long as I am at the head of this department. The additional work must be taken on gradually, as shops can be remodelled and equipped with the necessary machinery. It is deemed advisable, of course, not to attempt too much until the institutions are prepared for the work. As the hon. member who moved this resolution indicated, improvements have already been made in that direction; there is a revenue of over $160,000 yearly from penitentiaries.

Until 1888 I think contract work was carried on, but this has now been abolished. Prior to 1921 organized labour as a rule was opposed to work being done in the penitentiaries which might compete with free labour, even for the use of the departments of the government, but that opinion has been changed. Only this morning the government received a delegation from the Trades and Labour Council of Canada, and one of the requests made by that delegation was that the conclusions contained in the report of 1921 should be adopted and carried out. They believe that so far as the needs of the government are concerned, the work might well be done by the prisoners. After this question was discussed here last year, the secretary of the Garment Manufacturers' Association wrote me-I think it was Mr. Sparks-objecting to the idea of having uniforms made in the penitentiaries, even for government use. I called to his attention a resolution passed by the garment manufacturers of the United States who, while opposing the prison manufacture of garments which would compete on the market with free labour, had no objection to the manufacture of uniforms for the use of officers of the various departments. I indicated last year what was being done in the penitentiaries, and what work could be done. I might perhaps state the classes of goods which might easily be made in our penitentiaries, and for which it would be very easy to have the necessary equipment:

All classes of canvas goods, such as tents, tarpaulins, flies, nose-bags, water pails, packs of all descriptions, and so on; furniture of all descriptions, in wood; all classes of galvanized iron and tin goods; clothing and the manufacture of uniforms-military, mounted police and other such; leather goods, including harness; bookbinding; boots and shoes; hickory handles of all descriptions; blacksmith shop work; machine shop work; stone cutting; broom making, and so forth.

As I said, if all the departments of the government were giving orders for such articles, it would be an easy matter to keep

Imports oj Eggs

the population in our penitentiaries busy. In the United States there is some co-operation between some of the states by which one state will give orders to the penitentiary of another state for special work, and in Canada I believe it might be possible to come to some agreement with the provinces whereby the provinces might give orders to our penitentiaries for articles which they require for their own departments.

As to remuneration, this is a very important question. I believe a way might be found to give some reward to hard-working convicts who have a record of good behaviour in the penitentiary. There is no doubt that the lure of gain or the hope of some improvement in their situation would be an incentive to good behaviour and to work. Of course, a certain amount would have to be kept by the state, representing, the expenditure to which the state was put for the upkeep of the convict, but a little might be set aside not only for the dependents of the convict but for the convict himself, because I am rather of the opinion that it is hard after having kept a man in penitentiary for six or seven or ten years to put him out on the street at the end of that time with only a suit of clothes and five dollars in his pocket, as we do at the present time. If he has reformed and wants to try to lead a good life henceforth, it is rather hard not to provide him with a little money to enable him to look around and live for a few days at least before he can find some work to do. This could be done by giving some remuneration to the well-behaved prisoners, and such a system would provide us with the best kind of punishment, I think, because when a man had done something for which he deserves punishment a fine might be imposed and deducted from the amount which he would have to his credit. This would be better than those punishments to which we have to resort at the present time. There is no need to talk of big sums at all. After the deductions are made for the cost of the convict's maintenance in the penitentiary and for any fines which may have been incurred-and also for tobacco; because the convict is allowed to smoke in 4 p.m. some of the penitentiaries, at least in the United States, at certain times-there would not be left a very great. sum, but the amount would be very useful to the convict when he comes out of the penitentiary.

There is another thing which is not made the subject of the resolution, but to which I am giving a good deal of thought, and that is the possibility of segregating the young

convicts who are sentenced for the first time. Under present conditions they are mixed up with the hardened criminals, and that does not give them a chance. If we could find a way to build a special institution, or even two institutions, for the purpose of receiving and keeping these young men, rather than put them with the hardened criminals, I think that would be a good reform to undertake.

As I said at the beginning, I am strongly in favour of the principle embodied in this resolution. I shall certainly vote for it, and I hope the House will.

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Motion agreed to.


IMPORTS OF EGGS

CON

William Kemble Esling

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. K. ESLING (West Kootenay) moved:

Whereas the low duty of three cents per dozen on eggs entering Canada from the United States and the entry of Australian eggs free of duty, encourages the importation of storage eggs, thereby creating unprofitable conditions and unjust competition for Canadian poultrymen, and

Whereas the entry of Canadian eggs to the United States is prevented by reason of a tariff of eight cents per dozen, this House is of the opinion that the welfare of Canadian poultrymen will be fostered by placing a duty on United States eggs entering Canada, equal to that on Canadian eggs entering the United States.

He said: Mr. Speaker, representing a constituency which is very much concerned in advancing the poultry industry, I wish to say a word on this resolution. The basic principle of the resolution is the encouragement of the poultry industry in Canada by protection against unfair and unjust competition occasioned by the dumping of the products of foreign countries, particularly the United States, into this country by reason of the low duty of three cents a dozen, and protection also against Chinese eggs shipped into Canada, not only in shell, but in bulk, and against Australian and New Zealand eggs which now come into Canada absolutely free of duty under the Australian treaty, which went into operation in October last.

Perhaps the greatest menace in connection with this question is the vast quantity of cold storage eggs imported into Canada from the United States at the very low duty of three cents per dozen. These eggs are purchased in the southern states at the height of the season at a cost of ten, twelve and fifteen cents per dozen; they are placed in cold storage, kept there for several months, and at the time when the Canadian poultryman hopes to realize something in return for his expenditure and his efforts, he finds he is confronted with

Imports of Eggs

a serious problem on account of the dumping into Canada of these vast quantities of eggs from the United States. We have in Canada grading and marking regulations, in British Columbia particularly, and these may be evaded or criticized. The fact remains that the only effective measure to encourage the poultry industry is a protective duty which will give the Canadian producer the benefit of his own market.

In British Columbia we have probably advanced beyond any of the other provinces by reason of the fact that we have an eggs marking act. Neither British Columbia nor any other province can protect its poultrymen by the imposition of a duty or a tariff, but in British Columbia we went this far-and of course it was a Conservative government which took the step-back in 1916 the Conservative government of the province placed on the statute book an egg marking act, which provided that all eggs imported from a foreign country must be marked; each egg must be stamped as the product of such and such a country. The result is that we in British Columbia are not hampered by our producers being forced to enter into competition with eggs imported from China. The distribution and the use of Chinese eggs, therefore, or rather the monopoly, is confined almost entirely to the prairie provinces, to Quebec and some of the eastern provinces.

These Chinese eggs are imported not only in the shell, but in tin containers, buckets and barrels. They are frozen hard, brought into .Canada, and put in storage until an opportune time arrives for placing them on the market in competition with other eggs. They are used, of course, in the different bakeries, in the extensive line of cheap restaurants, and for confectionery and colouring purposes generally. These eggs have been scrambled in China, so that my friends from Montreal, when they go into a restaurant and order an omelet, do not know whether they are getting Chinese eggs or eggs of very much older vintage than they imagine. But the marking acts do not prevent the dumping of United States eggs under a tariff of three cents per dozen, or the dumping of Australian or New Zealand eggs which are to come in duty free. I think we ought to realize fully the importance of this resolution, because it simply means that every case of eggs imported into Canada discourages to that extent the production and business of our own Canadian poultry men.

In order to show the enormity of these importations, I may point out that in the calendar year 1925 we imported 2J million dozen

eggs from the United States and 150,000 dozen from China, Japan and other countries. As my hon. colleague from Fraser Valley (Mr. Barber) pointed out in his address earlier in the session, the consumption of eggs in Canada is ten foreign eggs to one Canadian egg. From that statement we can realize the extent to which the poultry industry is being jeopardized. This accumulation of United States eggs purchased in the southern states at the height of the season at ten, twelve and fifteen cents a dozen, is at an opportune time dumped upon the Canadian market. Hon. members will observe from statistics that they do not come in during the whole year, but principally during the first three months of the year. In the last nine months of 1925 there were 125,000 dozen eggs brought in from the United States, while during the first three months the total import was 2,451,860 dozen; so hon. members can see that they take the opportunity to dump them into Canada at a time when they will be in greater competition with our own producers. Then we have the bulk and the frozen eggs from China and other countries, which in 1925 amounted to

1.507.000 pounds. Those bulk and frozen eggs come into Canada by the pound, not by the dozen. During the first three months of 1926 we have imported already from the United States, at the low duty of three cents a dozen,

2.620.000 dozen eggs, and from China, 241,000 pounds or 400,000 dozen. There again we have an emphatic illustration of the injury which this dumping of low grade storage eggs is doing to the production of the Canadian poultrymen.

The government is taking measures to encourage immigration, and we are clamouring for more people to go on the land. We are urging intensive farming, and certainly poultry raising is a very important branch of farming. We look upon farming as the backbone of the country, yet by actually discouraging one of the very important branches of farming we are really breaking that backbone. In January last a meeting of the provincial poultry association was held in Victoria, at which more than a hundred members were present, and a resolution was passed and transmitted to the Minister of Agriculture, urging that the federal government be requested, as an act of justice, to do something to provide a remedy. In all these resolutions passed in western Canada we usually find the request that, as an act of justice to the poultrymen, the duty on eggs be raised sufficiently to make it equivalent to the duty on Canadian eggs going into the United States.

Imports of Eggs

Then in August last, at Des Moines, Iowa, there was a meeting of the National Association of Poultrymen, which was attended by the Canadian representative, Mr. J. B. Martin. I notice that Mr. Martin, in his address to the association, made this statement:

The dumping of low grade United States eggs, on the Canadian market, brought about by the low tariff of three cents per dozen, was one difficulty the Canadian poultryman found. Producers in Canada were demanding that this be raised to eight cents and no doubt this would be done in the near future as a mere act of justice. [DOT]

I regret that the hon. member for Fraser Valley, being at present under the care of a physician, is not here to-day, because this is a matter of vital interest to his district, also, and I know he would contribute much interesting information on the subject. I hope, however, for some sympathy from the other side of the House, and especially do I hope for that of the hon. member for Comox-Alberni (Mr. Neill). We have his pronounced views on this matter; as reported on page 908 of Hansard he admits the principle of protection, and says:

I think it extremely unjust and one-sided that we should have to compete with an eight cents per dozen duty on eggs going into the United States from Canada, when eggs coming into Canada from the United States pay a duty of only three cents a dozen. If we have protection I want to see it provided all round and not to have it centred on a few industries in Ontario. I want to see it applied to British Columbia.

So do all of us from British Columbia want to see the principle of protection applied to all industries in that province; and that was the issue in the last election in Comox-Alberni as well as in all other parts of the province. The hon. member for Comox-Alberni admitted that, because on the same page of Hansard he made this statement-and we must remember that this is our independent member from British Columbia:

I promised my constituents. . . I would vote for an increase in the duty on eggs coming from the United States. I attached a proviso to it. . . that it should not be wrapped up with a vote of want of confidence. If the proposition is made as a clear, separate issue, I am quite prepared to vote in favour of it.

This is a clear and separate issue. It is for the purpose of encouraging the poultry industry in Canada. It is a vital factor in connection with the farm. We are spending a vast sum to bring settlers to Canada; the government are urging that the great need of this country is immigration; they want to fill up the land, and yet they are placing an obstacle in the path of the man whom they are inviting to go on that land. In view of the utterances of the hon. member for Comox-Alberni, and as we must have the sympathy

of some hon. members on the other side-I know we have the sympathy of all members on this side, including my Progressive friends -I hope the House will give careful consideration to, and vote in favour of, this resolution.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPORTS OF EGGS
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED TARIFF INCREASE ON UNITED STATES PRODUCT
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

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

Mr. Speaker, I should be surprised if a motion of this importance should pass with only one speaker from the other side of the House. My hon. friend who moves the resolution (Mr. Esling) referred to Australian eggs coming in. No Australian eggs have come in so far. As regards United States eggs coming in, the number has decreased, according to the latest official annual government returns, from six million to two million dozen per annum. The hon. member says that the only effective measure of dealing with the well known slump in the egg industry in British Columbia is by this measure of protection that he advocates. I would point out that the organization under whose auspices the meeting from which he quoted was conducted used this language in a letter which I quoted the other day:

The Board of Directors and management of this association are of the opinion, and very strongly of the opinion at that, that the Eggs Marks Act is a much better form of protection than 5 cents extra duty, at the same time we believe that if the act was a federal measure instead of a provincial one, it would have a better chance, etc.

And so on. I would suggest another measure that would also be a great benefit to the poultry industry, more possibly than even the one that the hon. member is now advocating, and that is the adjustment of freight rates on wheat. I alluded to this in the same speech from which my hon. friend quoted. I do not want to go into that issue to-day; but as I mentioned before, freight rates on wheat for export from the prairies to Vancouver have been twice reduced within the last eighteen months or two years, and on neither occasion was the domestic rate on wheat for use by poultrymen in British Columbia reduced at all. Therefore, even if the discrimination was just before then-and I do not admit it was-it cannot be now because the export rate has been reduced twice and the old domestic rate remains on wheat for chickens which is, of course, of lower quality; while the export wheat is of the highest quality. It is cheaper to buy wheat of the same grade in China than in Vancouver.

The hon. member, of course, had to give his resolution a political aspect by going back to the Eggs Marks Act of British Columbia which he said was passed during the

Imports of Eggs

regime of the Conservative party there, and giving his party credit therefor. I think he might have left that out, owing to this fact that While there was an act passed, presumably during that period, it was not as beneficial and as effective as the present act which was passed in 1923. The old act to which he alluded-I take his word for it that it was passed then-demanded or required principally that egg containers should have marked upon them the country of origin. While that is good so far as it goes, it was found to be of very little practical effect. For instance, a woman would go into a store and ask for a dozen eggs, and the man would go behind the counter or to the back of the store and take eggs out of a case marked Chinese or United States eggs. The customer would not see the container; the man would put the eggs in a bag and the customer would take them away. The provision was found, therefore, to be of very little use. I do not think the present act was due to Liberalism at all; I am not going to suggest any credit in that regard. If was the pressure and insistence of the poultrymen of British Columbia that led the government, which happened to be Liberal, introducing and having passed the present Eggs Marks Act, which requires each particular egg to have stamped on it the country of origin. That is a totally different thing, and poultrymen agree that it has been of tremendous advantage in British Columbia. It was that reason that led me to introduce the resolution which I brought in the other day to extend the benefits of this act to the whole of the Dominion.

My hon. friend wasted a gTeat deal of ammunition on my humble self by quoting extracts from my speech in order to demand my sympathy and support for this resolution. He need not have worried; my sympathies are entirely with the resolution. I do not need to tbe reminded of former remarks I made in this House or elsewhere to be compelled to manifest that interest. I will certainly vote for the hon. member's motion, but I think bis advice, his admonition and his demand for sympathy would1 have been better expressed to his own party friends the other night when I had before the House a resolution in regard to the Eggs Marking Act. which resolution only two hon. gentlemen opposite supported, while others opposed it. 1 lacked then even from himself that expression of sympathy which the hon. member now demands from me, and I was advocating on that occasion a resolution which this association in British Columbia say they regard as more important even than an increase of

[Mr. Neill.1

five cents a dozen in the duty. However, as regards its main aspects I am entirely m favour of the resolution and I earnestly hope that it will be adopted and carried into effect.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPORTS OF EGGS
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED TARIFF INCREASE ON UNITED STATES PRODUCT
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. J. A. ROBB (Minister of Finance):

The first part of the resolution reads:

Whereas the low duty of three cents per dozen on eggs entering Canada from the United Statesi and the entry of Australian eggs free of duty, encourages the importation of storage eggs, thereby creating unprofitable conditions and unjust competition for Canadian poultrymen, and- .

That is an allegation of fact which my hon. friend is scarcely able to prove. As a matter of fact, no eggs have come in from Australia or New Zealand since the treaty went into effect.

Mr. ESLIN'G: Are Australian eggs not permitted to enter Canada absolutely free, whereas they have a barrier of 18 cents a dozen against us? There is nothing to prevent them from sending eggs into Canada when they are ready.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPORTS OF EGGS
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED TARIFF INCREASE ON UNITED STATES PRODUCT
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

It would not make any difference if Australia had a duty of a dollar a dozen on eggs, for the fact is that eggs will not come into Canada from that country. Nor have any eggs entered Canada from Australia and New Zealand for some years.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPORTS OF EGGS
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED TARIFF INCREASE ON UNITED STATES PRODUCT
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March 31, 1926