July 10, 1931

PRINTING OF PARLIAMENT


Mr. W. C. S. McLURE (Queens) moved concurrence in the second report of the joint select standing committee of both houses on the printing of parliament presented to the house on Thursday, July 9, 1931. Motion agreed to.


STATUTE OF WESTMINSTER

JOINT ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY THE KING

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) moved:

That it be resolved that a message be sent to the Senate informing Their Honours that this house doth agree in the address to His Excellency the Governor General praying that His Excellency may be pleased to transmit our joint address to His Most Excellent Majesty the King, relative to a measure to be submitted to the parliament of the United Kingdom, and more particularly set forth in the said joint address; and have filled in the blank space therein with the words "and Commons."

Topic:   STATUTE OF WESTMINSTER
Subtopic:   JOINT ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY THE KING
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Motion agreed to.


PRIVATE BILL

FIRST AND SECOND READINGS-SENATE BILE


Bill No. 118, to incorporate Service Loan and Finance Corporation.-Mr. Lawson. Mr. STIRLING (for Mr. Lawson) moved that the bill be referred to the committee on banking and commerce. Motion agreed to.


AUSTRALIAN TRADE AGREEMENT

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):

Before the orders of the day are proceeded with, I think I should inform the house that the cable arrangements with Australia contemplate a statement being made on Monday with respect to the trade agreement made between Canada and that dominion. Owing to the difference in time it will suit the convenience of the ministers there if the statement is made here about nine o'clock in the evening, and I trust that the house will afford us an opportunity for such a statement to be made on Monday evening at nine o'clock or thereabouts. I 'have not yet received the agreement. The mail apparently has been delayed, and if anything should intervene to prevent its being received

between now and Monday the statement might be deferred, but I promised the house that I would advise it as soon as I received word as to the time at which the statement would be made.

Topic:   AUSTRALIAN TRADE AGREEMENT
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BRITISH AMERICAN OIL COMPANY

MEMORANDUM WITH RESPECT TO COMPANY'S LABOUR POLICY

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 think I should direct attention to the fact that a few days ago the hon. member for Kenora-Rainy River (Mr. Heenan) made a statement regarding labour conditions, and the attention of the president of the British American Oil Company, Limited, having been directed to his statement, quoting a statement which appeared in a newspaper not published in Canada, a memorandum was sent to me which reads as follows:

On page 3465 of Hansard, July 7th, are remarks dealing with the labour policy of The British American Oil Company Limited. These remarks are misleading and untrue.

The construction of the refinery at Montreal is, in the main, under contract to various firms, and such work as is being performed by the company is being paid for at rates prevailing for similar work in the city of Montreal.

No labour organization, or individual, for that matter, has made complaint to the company as to rates of wages being paid according to testimony of the Montreal office of the company.

The policy of the company has, since its incorporation in 1906, been very favourable to labour.

Employees, after two years' service have their lives insured in favour of their estate, or such beneficiary as they may name, the total expense being borne by the company; this insurance continued in force so long as the worker remains in the employ of the company.

The company contributes 50 per cent (the employees the balance), to a sick benefit fund which gives employees income during illness and carries with it payments in connection with funeral expenses to worker or any member of his family.

The present rates of wages are not below those effective during the war period, or subsequent thereto.

Employees have a works committee which meets with management, and never once has there been a demand for increased wages, and consequently there has never been a strike in any of the company's plants.

It is significant that the subject matter to which reference is made appeared in a United States labour publication, namely "Labor." Washington, D.C., June 30, 1931. If there were foundation for the charges then, why did not one, at least, if not all, of the Canadian labour papers deal with the matter? Canadian labour is not unmindful of the fact that through the construction of refinery at Montreal The

Business of the House

British American Oil Company is contributing in this item alone over $1,000,000 directly to the workers.

Mr. Heenan mentions The Toronto Iron Works Limited as a close ally of The British American Oil Company. There is no connection between The Toronto Iron Works and The British American Oil Company. A. L. Ellsworth, the president of both companies, established The British American Oil Company in 1906, and The Toronto Iron Works in 1907. While A. L. Ellsworth and P. W. Binns are officers of both companies, yet they are inactive in The Toronto Iron Works Limited, and the companies have no community of interest through stock ownership.

The Toronto Iron Works Limited has done much work over the past years in the eastern provinces, including Quebec, and is paying today rates of wages at Montreal no lower than paid in the past. The maximum rate is 83 cents per hour, and the minimum rate for unskilled labour is 35 cents per hour.

The company, in common with most contractors, employs its men nine hours per day.

No Sunday work.

There is not one iota of excuse for the use of the words, "bludgeoning, bullying and discriminating," as used by Mr. Heenan based upon the matter contained in the Washington publication.

I make no comment on this memorandum in any way, shape or form, but I think in all fairness I must, as minister, communicate it to the 'house in the same sense in which it was forwarded to me by the president of the company concerned.

Topic:   BRITISH AMERICAN OIL COMPANY
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM WITH RESPECT TO COMPANY'S LABOUR POLICY
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

May I say that apparently the right hon. gentleman does not agree with the ruling of the Deputy Speaker that we are not allowed to read in the house communications from outside reflecting on statements that have been made in the house.

Topic:   BRITISH AMERICAN OIL COMPANY
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM WITH RESPECT TO COMPANY'S LABOUR POLICY
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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:

I was not present, I think, Mr. Speaker, when that ruling was given. All I can say is this, that a sense o*f fair play must always govern deliberative bodies.

Topic:   BRITISH AMERICAN OIL COMPANY
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM WITH RESPECT TO COMPANY'S LABOUR POLICY
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Both sides.

Topic:   BRITISH AMERICAN OIL COMPANY
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM WITH RESPECT TO COMPANY'S LABOUR POLICY
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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:

When a statement is made to this house by a member who has been a former minister, surely the people affected have a right to direct the attention of the government to it in order that equal publicity may be given to their side of an issue as was given by the minister.

Topic:   BRITISH AMERICAN OIL COMPANY
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM WITH RESPECT TO COMPANY'S LABOUR POLICY
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I am quite willing to agree, provided that my right hon. friend sides with us in future when the Deputy Speaker prevents us from doing the same thing. .

Topic:   BRITISH AMERICAN OIL COMPANY
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM WITH RESPECT TO COMPANY'S LABOUR POLICY
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LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Hon. PETER HEENAN (Kenora-Rainy River):

I sincerely welcome the remarks of

the Prime Minister with respect to this matter because it is only fair that both sides of any question should be put before the house. I would remind the Prime Minister, however, that there was no statement made by me with respect to this matter. I was simply quoting from a labour paper.

Topic:   BRITISH AMERICAN OIL COMPANY
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM WITH RESPECT TO COMPANY'S LABOUR POLICY
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July 10, 1931