March 31, 1932

LIB
CON

Otto Baird Price

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PRICE:

I have the proof that they

are absolutely incorrect. Is that good enough for you?

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LIB
CON
CON

Otto Baird Price

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PRICE:

The statements are absolute

bunk and I have the proof right here. I have the proof from the Premier of the province of New Brunswick that your statements are absolutely incorrect. How do you like that?

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LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

I like the voice better than I like the man. I think nothing of the man; the voice is rather sweeter than the hon. gentleman. Now, sir, these statements were laid before the Department of Labour. But let me go back of the statement and remind the house that last session I read seven affidavits which set forth the padding of pay sheets.

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CON
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Sit down.

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LIB
LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

The hon. member for Westmorland has not the courage to deliver a speech. He has not done so since I have been occupying a seat in this house, at least not this session.

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CON
LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

If he can make himself

known to his constituents only by means of interruptions, I think it is your duty, Mr. Chairman, to call him down and make him keep his place. As I was saying, last session I read in this house seven affidavits with reference to the cutting out of work on unemployment relief through federal aid under the authority given in the month of September.

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CON
LIB
CON

Otto Baird Price

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PRICE:

It has been well done. You have more than is coming to you in Gloucester county.

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LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

I wonder whether my hon. friend from South Essex (Mr. Gott) has any more onions. He might send some over to the hon. gentleman.

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CON

Eccles James Gott

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOTT:

Hon. members opposite must

all be hungry. The hon. member for Temis-couata has just cried out for steak, while the ex-Postmaster General seeks more onions- an excellent combination used extensively throughout the Dominion of Canada.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Sit down.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Onions and beefsteak go well together.

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LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

As I was saying, the affidavits in question were personally presented by me to the then acting Minister of Labour, now Minister of Labour, after I had read them in the house, and he refused to take them. He said he would have nothing whatever to do with them; he told me to keep them. He said, in effect, "You keep them and give me the devil to eat to-mowow on the floor of the house". I said I would keep the affidavits since he would not take them. What has resulted since that time? At that time I also stated that two of the men accused in these affidavits of padding pay sheets in connection with federal aid were then under investigation by the provincial government, accused of padding pay sheets for provincial work. The investigation has been completed and the royal commissioner has submitted his report to the local legislature. It appeared in the papers yesterday that the individuals against

Unemployment Continuance Act

whom the affidavits I read were made have been found guilty. One of them has been found guilty of stealing 84,000. That same individual had the expenditure of federal aid money and in the month of December, 1930, he returned a pay sheet to the provincial government for federal aid to the extent of $350, not one bit of work having been done for that amount of money. I read affidavits from men whose names were on that ipay sheet for December, wherein they swear that they never did work and never saw cheques for the amounts opposite their names. Yet the minister stands up here and says that no concrete cases have been laid before him. The gentleman he sent down to the county of Gloucester to investigate did investigate some cases and he came back here and intimated that he would make no report on the cases he had investigated because they did not come under the federal aid but involved provincial money. The other night I proved from documentary evidence submitted to the legislature of New Brunswick that on every one of those roads I had mentioned in my complaint federal money had -been expended; yet that gentleman reports to his minister that these works do not come under federal aid. I do not know where he got his information, but whoever gave it -to him led him astray.

I am going to read some of the concrete cases I laid before the department. Here are the details of one in particular. The Blue Cove road is on the federal list which I read the other night. The Blue Cove- road was reported by Mr. Carter not to have received any federal expenditures. The Minister of Public Works of New Brunswick, at the request of one of the members of the legislature, submitted the list I have here, giving the names of the -roads on which federal money was expended, and this road is among them. Now what are the facts? The supervisor was one O-mer Blanchard, a -man living five miles away from the road, in another district; yet under the act it is stipulated that the work shall be carried on wherever possible by residents of the -district. This man was taken from another district and brought in to do the work. This -man refused work to Liberals -now this is political, this end of it-the day after the election; he said, "Not a damned Liberal will get work". He also refused certain men the right to sign their work slips. Incensed by the treatment given them by this supervisor, a number of men- went to work in spite of him; but when told that they would not be paid they stopped working. In discussing the situation wit-h the supervisor, some of the men to whom he had refused work be-

|Mr. Veniot.]

cause of -their politics asked him why no such discrimination was made by him in the St. Leolin district, which is six miles further west. He replied that that district had given a majority to -the Conservative candidate while Blue Cove had given a majority against him. Now Mr. Carter, -the gentleman sent by the department to investigate upon my complaint, has in his possession the evidence of thirty men to prove that every word stated here i3 true. After seeing these men he called upon the supervisor. The supervisor, as he was alon-e with Mr. Carter, attempted to deny the statements of some thirty men. Now there is a -concrete -case for -the department. They have the evidence obtained by Mr. Carter. Oh, it may be said, you have this merely from hearsay. I had that from the lips of Mr. Carter when he returned from Blue Cove after I had given him the names of the witnesses. Mr. Carter had in his note books the names of the ge-n-tlemen who had given him this information, and yet he refrains from submitting his report to this house.

There are other cases just as bad as this. There is a case in a certain district where the supervisor went to a man working on the roads two or three days before October 26, the by-election day, and said to him, " If you will vote for the Conservative candidate in the provincial by-election I will guarantee you $20 worth of work after the election." The man refused and said, "I cannot; I am a Liberal and I cannot support a Conservative candidate." This man got off the day of the election in order to vote and when he came back to work the next day he was discharged. There is no hearsay about these statements; this man has made an affidavit and is prepared to swear to it in any court of justice.

There is another case down at Shippigan island. An individual wanted to get work but was turned down because he was a Liberal. He went to work in spite of this refusal but at midday of the second day the foreman came to him and showed him a letter signed by the defeated Conservative candidate in the provincial elections of 1930 stating that if he continued to work he would receive no pay.

I want to be fair with these things. I am not blaming the Department of Labour for what has taken place, but I do say that when these things were discovered, when they were reported by me as being true on my word of honour as a member of this house, they should have been investigated to the full. But this was not done and that is why I blame the department. Whose word was taken for the statement that this was not federal aid, I do not know. I repeat, and

Unemployment Continuance Act

I cannot repeat it too often, that the men in Gloucester county who were under the control of the provincial Department of Public Works used the federal aid money as a campaign fund and political machine. I will ask the Minister of Labour-

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March 31, 1932