Mr. GUERIN; Mr. Speaker, this is a very innocuous piece of legislation, but at the same time it is most important so far as our working men are concerned. It is a bill to safeguard their interests. I may say that I have had the experience, the painful experience, lately of noticing that while foreigners were very much in evidence on public works, our own citizens seemed to be idle. I gave several letters to men asking that they be engaged, and to my astonishment very frequently these men-I might call them young men, about 40 to 45 years of age-returned and told me that they had been refused employment because they were past the age limit. There is evidently some form of workmen's insurance taken advantage of by contractors, which, as it places the age limit very low, I suppose they get at a cheap rate. This bill provides that in connection with all government contracts there shall be no age limit so far as working men are concerned, so that our citizens in general may get an opportunity of participating in the benefits of those contracts. The bill also contains a section giving legislative dignity to the fair wage clause that should be incorporated in all contracts.
Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.