February 18, 1935

LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Has any serious attempt ever been made in Canada to assist in the migration of labour from one place where employment is scarce to some other place where there might be better chances of obtaining employment?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

The administration of the employment offices is, as the hon. member knows, under the control of the provinces. I do not say that they have succeeded as well as they might have had the scope of their activities been enlarged, but on a comparatively small scale they have assisted in the effort that the hon. member suggests.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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CON

Ernest D'Israeli Smith

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Smith, Cumberland) :

The question is on the amendment.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I am sorry I cannot

accept the amendment. In the first place it would serve no useful purpose. No government department operating under a commission would maintain a blacklist. It would be an insult to the commission to prohibit it from doing so. But that is not the real reason; the blacklist in any event would be maintained by the employers, not by the commission. That is not the duty or obligation of such a commission. The prospective employer would be the one with the blacklist; he would be the person who declined to take X, Y or Z whose services might be offered. Lastly, if there were any difficulty about the matter it could be dealt with by regulations, for which the bill provides in section 38, and which can be as far-reaching as may be necessary. I do not think, however, that one should contemplate the possibility of an organization of this kind maintaining a blacklist. Its job, its obligation, will be just the opposite. I think on reflection the hon. member will conclude that it is undesirable to press his amendment. On the other hand if he desires that the committee should look further into it, there is no reason why the section should not stand in order that the amendment which he proposes as subsection 5 should be considered.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

I appreciate the Prime

Minister's action. Of course I did not suggest that the government office would run a blacklist; it would be the employer who would enforce it, as he said. It would be desirable to do away with all private employment agencies, as we have done partially in British Columbia; then when the government office proposes to send a man to a certain employer and he says "I will not take him because he is on my blacklist," it would be for the government to say; "You will have to." Lest

Unemployment Insurance

there should be any suggestion that this is going to operate unfairly against the employer, may I say I am satisfied that a large number of employers would welcome it. Many of them, especially the more humane and far-seeing, even from the dollar and cents point of view, would welcome it because they know it would do away with one of the greatest causes of friction between employer and employees. We all know that you do not get satisfactory work when there is a continuous source of irritation. I am glad to accept the suggestion that the section stand over.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Obviously no employer

would allege a desire not to employ a given individual because his name is on a blacklist.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
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CON

Ambrose Upton Gledstanes Bury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAN BURY:

Before this item stands,

I think in view of the amendment suggested by the hon. member (Mr. Neill) this committee should be informed of what is probably one of the reasons for his suggesting it. I am inclined to agree with my colleague from Vancouver South (Mr. Maclnnis) when he suggests that more encouragement should be given to employees in industry to organize themselves so that they can negotiate better with their employers. But it is accepted as a fact by many people in Canada to-day that during the past twelve or thirteen months men were sent into our lumber industry from one end of Canada to the other for the one and sole purpose of disorganizing the industry. There are many, and I am one, who think that these .people were sent into this country by agents of Russia who were disturbed at the quantity of lumber that this country was sending out in competition with them. We had men sent into the industry in British Columbia and other parts of Canada who were agitating and who could not 'be satisfied no matter what was given them. They were not there endeavouring to improve conditions; they were there to disturb the industry. I think that is one of the reasons for the suggested amendment. True, I do not think there is any question that there are men on the blacklist in British Columbia to-day as far as the lumber industry is concerned, and I think many of these men will be kept there until they show that they are not going to be affected by these professional, paid agitators who come there to destroy our industry. And while I am quite prepared to support any organization of employees for the purpose of enabling them to negotiate with the employers, I am not going to put a weapon in the hands of agitators so that an employer can be forced to employ them in order that they may disorganize our business.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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IND

Angus MacInnis

Independent Labour

Mr. MacINNIS:

I do not wish to prolong this discussion, but I wish to make it clear that this blacklist is not something which has been in existence only during the past year; it has existed on the Pacific coast since 1919. During the war when labour was scarce and the lumber industry very active the lumber workers built up a strong organization, but when labour became more plentiful and the employers wanted to take advantage of the state of the labour market, everything possible was done to smash the labour organizations. And ever since that time the blacklist has been in existence. While I am quite satisfied that there are a few individuals who are not interested in organizing for legitimate purposes but are possibly more interested in disorganizing, I am quite convinced from my own experience of twenty-five years in the labour movement that satisfied employees cannot be led to follow agitators of that kind.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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LIB

Wilfred Hanbury

Liberal

Mr. HANBURY:

I agree.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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IND

Angus MacInnis

Independent Labour

Mr. MacINNIS:

If there were not a basis for agitation in the conditions prevailing in the industry, making employees ready to heed the voice of the agitator, there would be no difficulty whatsoever in the camp. In fact the workers would be the first to run these agitators out of the camp if the conditions were right.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I shall only say that from my observations what the hon. member for Vancouver-Burrard (Mr. Hanbury) has said is fully warranted. I have not the same sources of information that he has-only the reports that come from various sources-but I certainly formed an opinion some months ago that is wholly in accordance with the statement he has just made. I believe sincerely from the evidence furnished me that in one or two cases in British Columbia there was a disturbance of industry which was directly traceable to those who would profit greatly by such disturbance. But the point I desire to make is that while agreeing wholly that harmonious relations between employer and employed are the basis of success in any industry, I cannot think that the insertion of a subsection such as this in a statute dealing with a commission that has such wide responsibility is justifiable. Obviously you cannot force an employer to take a given employee. That is the real point to which I direct attention. And as you cannot compel him to do it without violating all the rules that have heretofore governed the relations between employer and employee, I suggest that to place such a provision in the statute would do violence to our general appreciation of the understanding that should

Unemployment Insurance

exist between the commission and the employers to whom from time to time they send those who may be seeking employment.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

The Prime Minister has just stated that an employer could not be compelled to accept a given employee. Under the provisions of this measure can an employee be compelled to accept an employer?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

If any person insured under the act declines without good reason to accept employment that is offered, then the results indicated in the statute itself follow. I should hardly like to put it that he is compelled to accept, but what may happen if he does not accept the opportunity is that he will lose the benefit.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

There are certain exceptions under which the employee is not compelled to accept employment.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Quite so; that is provided in the statute itself.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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CON

Ernest D'Israeli Smith

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Smith, Cumberland) :

The clause stands?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I promised to let it stand if the hon. gentleman (Mr. Neill) so desires.

Section stands.

On section 12-Collection of information.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
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LIB

Wilfred Hanbury

Liberal

Mr. HANBURY:

In the fourth line of subsection 2 "failure to comply with any such request" is made an offence against the act, but there is no time stated within which such failure to comply may occur. I would direct that to the attention of the Prime Minister. I think some time limit should be stated.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

One of the difficulties in stating a time in any statute of this kind is that you must have regard to distances and geography. The law implies a reasonable time; that is why no such words are included. If, for instance, I asked the hon. gentleman to supply information and said if he did not supply it within twenty-four hours proceedings would be taken against him; if he was in Vancouver and I was in Winnipeg or Ottawa, that would not be treated as of any importance at all. The real implication of the law is a reasonable time, and I think the hon. member will agree that to state any length of time would be destructive of the very purpose he has in mind.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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LIB

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

Subsection 2 of section 12 reads:

The commission may request any person to make written returns of such information as the commission may deem necessary for the purposes of this act, and failure to comply with any such request shall be an offence-

Of course this is a commission the personnel of which we do not know at the present time, nor do we know the tribunal that will try this suggested offence, but I do think that this subsection is too broad as it stands. The commission may request information which the party is unable to furnish.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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February 18, 1935