July 9, 1931

CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. ALFRED DURANLEAU (Minister of Marine) moved:

That the house go into

committee to-morrow to consider the following proposed resolution:

That it is expedient to authorize a loan to the Three Rivers harbour commissioners not exceeding $700,000 for the construction of terminal facilities, upon approval by the governor in council of detailed plans, specification and estimates for such works, and the deposit of the debentures of the corporation to cover said loan.

He said: His Excellency the Governor

General, having been made acquainted with the subject matter of this resolution, recommends it to the favourable consideration of the house.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   THREE RIVERS HARBOUR
Permalink

Motion agreed to.


UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF


On the orders of the day:


LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

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

Will the Prime Minister inform the house when we may expect whatever legislation is necessary in order to meet the needs of the unemployed? The session is now far advanced. It seems as if we might have something of that kind in the near future.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Prime Minister) :

I explained the other day it is proposed to introduce legislation of the character I then mentioned when we have practically disposed of the business of the house.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Permalink

PRIVILEGE-MR. FERLAND DISMISSAL OF CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY EMPLOYEES AT JOLIETTE

LIB

Charles-Édouard Ferland

Liberal

Mr. C. E. FERLAND (Jolieitte) (Translation) :

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question

of privilege. When the House met yesterday, the hon. Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Manion), who seems to be more affected than any one else by the stifling heat which we are experiencing these days, forgot himself to the extent of using language, in referring to me, which I can only describe as improper. The hon. Minister of Railways asserted that at a public meeting held in Joliette, on July 1, last, I had made misstatements. He based his assertions on a report published in "L'Etoile du Nord" of Joliette, a well-meaning newspaper, whose report, however, is not complete and accurate on certain points. May I, Sir, correct the statement made by the hon. Minister of Railways (Mr. Manion). At that meeting held on July 1, I first expressed my disappointment to the people of Joliette as regards the decision taken by the management of the Canadian National Railways in dismissing 46 employees working in the railway shops at Joliette, 40 of whom were employed in the car-repair department, the other 6 belonged to the locomotive shop. I stated that this decision was arbitrary, unjust and illegal. It is unjust because, in this same section of the central division, when the Canadian National Railway's management found it necessary to reduce their staff in other localities they did so in a ratio of 10 to 20 per cent, while in Joliette, a reduction of two thirds was effected in the car-repair shops. I also stated that this decision was illegal, because it was carried out in violation of an existing contract between the Canadian National Railway and the city of Jolieitte, definitely binding the former, a contract which Sir Henry Thornton, President of the Canadian National Railway deemed it his duty to acknowledge and fulfil when previously a delegation made up of the members of the Chamber of Commerce and the city council of Joliette discussed the matter with him. Finally, I stated that on a question of vital importance and national interest to the town of Joliette, I thought that it behooved the hon. Minister of Railways to intervene when a request was made ito him in order to

Privilege-Mr. Ferland

prevent an injustice being perpetrated or a contract violated. I then publicly stated, that when I heard of the decision taken by the Canadian National Railways, I immediately communicated with the hon. Minister of Railways and Canals who to my great amazement, answered by letter that this matter came entirely under the Canadian National Railways management and that I should acknowledge with him that it would be useless for a delegation from Joliette to come to Ottawa.

In order to well establish the facts concerning the blame which I attach to the hon. Minister of Railways (Mr. Manion)-not with reference to his receiving a delegation, nor to having closed the door on a delegation which had arrived in Ottawa, but as regards his attitude on that occasion-I shall read the letter which I sent to the hon. Minister and his answer. I contend that this answer is evidence of his refusal to arbitrate in the matter and to listen to our grievances, and, even more, it is a declaration to the effect that it would serve no purpose for a delegation to come to Ottawa.

My letter is dated June 26, last and reads as follows:

(Text)

Dear Mr. Manion:

You will please find enclosed a telegram which I received this morning from Mr. Hector Mainville of Joliette, regarding the Canadian National Railway's decision to lay off forty men out of sixty men now employed in car department at Joliette, Quebec.

May I venture to say that the above decision is in violation of the terms of an existing contract which obliges the Canadian National Railways to maintain in permanence at Joliette (one of its divisional points) not less than fifty men in that car department, according to the interpretation of Canadian National Railways officials?

I wish you would kindly investigate and see that no unlawful act or injustice is done.

With my best regards, I remain, sir,

Yours truly,

Charles E. Ferland.

The telegram which I enclosed, and which was addressed to myself in Ottawa, reads as follows:

Officially decided by Canadian National officials that effective July first forty men out of sixty will be laid off in car department whereas at other points in this district reduction only amounts from ten to twenty per cent. Conditions most disastrous and delegation wants to meet you at your office soon as possible.

Again, on the 29th of June, I received a letter from the Minister of Railways and Canals reading as follows:

Dear Mr. Ferland,

I have received your communication of the 26th instant, and will pass it on to the railway 22110-227

management for their consideration, as the matter is one entirely in the hands of the officials. You will, therefore, appreciate that the deputation should see the management and that there would really be no use in their coming to Ottawa.

(Translation): This letter, sir, is a vindication of my statement to the people of Joliette so greatly affected by the centralization of affairs in large centres such as Montreal and Quebec, and I think I was perfectly justified in stating-

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. FERLAND DISMISSAL OF CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY EMPLOYEES AT JOLIETTE
Permalink
CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER (Text):

The hon. member has explained his side of the incident fully. The Minister of Railways and Canals explained his side yesterday. The question is now before the house for debate, and I trust that the hon. member will bring his remarks to an end shortly.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. FERLAND DISMISSAL OF CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY EMPLOYEES AT JOLIETTE
Permalink
LIB

Charles-Édouard Ferland

Liberal

Mr. FERLAND (Text):

I was just finishing, Mr. Speaker. I was stating that the report contained in the newspaper l'Etoile du Nord was not entirely accurate, and so I have to make an explanation in order that all the facts may be known to the house and to the public.

(Translation): Now sir-

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. FERLAND DISMISSAL OF CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY EMPLOYEES AT JOLIETTE
Permalink
CON

Felix Patrick Quinn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. QUINN (Translation) :

That is all.

Mr. FERLAND (Translation) -the bitter speech of the hon. Minister of Railways delivered, yesterday, is the more to be regretted in my humble opinion, that my statement is consistent with his own letter. The wording of my statement has, perhaps, been reported with some variation because our local newspapers are not equipped to the point of having stenographers at their disposal, however, it is in keeping with the truth and raises a question of facts and rights which, in my humble opinion, is amenable to this house and the government, because the management of the National Railways is a service which comes under the administration of the affairs of this country.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. FERLAND DISMISSAL OF CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY EMPLOYEES AT JOLIETTE
Permalink
CON

Raymond Ducharme Morand

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORAND:

I rise to a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Surely the hon. gentleman is not going to be permitted to make a whole political speech on this matter.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. FERLAND DISMISSAL OF CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY EMPLOYEES AT JOLIETTE
Permalink
LIB

Charles-Édouard Ferland

Liberal

Mr. FERLAND (Translation):

Now, sir, I shall also point out that-

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. FERLAND DISMISSAL OF CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY EMPLOYEES AT JOLIETTE
Permalink
CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. Will the hon.

member take his seat? As I have already said, the newspaper report was read yesterday by the Minister of Railways and Canals quoting remarks alleged to have been made by the hon. member for Joliette. The minister explained his side, and now the hon.

Privilege-Mr. Ferland

member for Joliette is explaining his side. The minister pointed out yesterday that the dismissal or retention of employees of the Canadian National Railways was beyond his power to regulate. I trust that -the hon. member for Joliette has now given his full explanation and that the house will be able to -go on with business. There is no resolution before the house. The hon. member I think has had an ample opportunity -to explain his connection with the incident referred to.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. FERLAND DISMISSAL OF CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY EMPLOYEES AT JOLIETTE
Permalink
LIB

Charles-Édouard Ferland

Liberal

Mr. FERLAND (Text):

I rise to another question of privilege, Mr. Speaker. I shall say only a few words.

(Translation): In the last part of his speech, the hon. Minister of Railways and Canals-

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. FERLAND DISMISSAL OF CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY EMPLOYEES AT JOLIETTE
Permalink
CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

The question of privilege has been fully discussed.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. FERLAND DISMISSAL OF CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY EMPLOYEES AT JOLIETTE
Permalink
LIB

Charles-Édouard Ferland

Liberal

Mr. FERLAND:

Mr. Speaker,-

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. FERLAND DISMISSAL OF CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY EMPLOYEES AT JOLIETTE
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Mr. Speaker is on his feet; sit down.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. FERLAND DISMISSAL OF CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY EMPLOYEES AT JOLIETTE
Permalink
CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER (Text):

The hon. member has said that the statement by the Minister of Railways and Canals was not correct, and he has given his version of the matter. That is all thait is necessary to say to the house, and the hon. member is not entitled at this time to argue whether or not the management of the Canadian National Railways is justified in what it did.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. FERLAND DISMISSAL OF CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY EMPLOYEES AT JOLIETTE
Permalink
LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN (Text):

The hon. member has said that he has another point he wishes to discuss in reference to the same matter.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. FERLAND DISMISSAL OF CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY EMPLOYEES AT JOLIETTE
Permalink

July 9, 1931