February 19, 1935

CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

He makes application for the benefit in the manner prescribed by the act, and the authorities to whom he applies make the usual investigations. It is simply a matter of local machinery, to be dealt with promptly on the spot.

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

William Daum Euler

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

But the onus is not placed on the applicant?

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:

It is merely the same sort of application that you and I would make under a health or accident policy, filling out a form and asking for the benefit.

Paragraph (b) agreed to.

On paragraph (c)-Employment less favourable than observed by agreements between employers and employees.

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

Humphrey Mitchell

Labour

Mr. MITCHELL:

Are these the same as in the British act?

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:

Substantially they are until you come to lines 25 to 30 on page 12 of this bill. Paragraph (b) comes from the British act, modified by the three acts of 1920, 1924 and 1927, and paragraph (c) from the British acts of 1920 and 1927 modified to meet the situation. When we come to the other it is largely taken from the social security bill for unemployment insurance, being a draft prepared by a committee of the leading authorities in cooperation with the American Association for Social Security. It seemed to meet the situation more equitably, commencing at "provided."

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

Wilfred Hanbury

Liberal

Mr. HANBURY:

Referring to the last line of paragraph (c) dealing with a person becoming a member of any association, organization or union of workers, it occurs to me that that should be a recognized union. Otherwise there would 'be nothing to prevent a small group of men forming some sort of association just to take advantage of the act without, properly speaking, being a national or provincial or local association.

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:

The question asked by the hon. member for Vancouver-Burrard is not one of easy solution or answer, but it is believed that this is as near as one can approach a solution of the difficulty, and it has been recommended by those who have given it the closest consideration and study. I appreciate the point to which the hon. member refers, but I do not think he would find it easy to substitute anything which might not create greater difficulty than that which he seeks to overcome.

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

Wilfred Hanbury

Liberal

Mr. HANBURY:

Unless the Prime Minister cared to insert the words "provincial or national."

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:

That raises a very distinct difficulty in a national insurance bill.

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

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. SANDERSON:

I have a letter with regard to this bill which I should like to put on record. I understand that the Prime Minister has received the same letter, and a copy of it was published in the Stratford Beacon^ Herald of the fourteenth of this month. I received this letter with a covering letter from the secretary of Pioneer Lodge, No. 103, International Association of Machinists, of the city of Stratford.' It is dated Stratford, February 11, 1935, and reads as follows:

At the last regular meeting of the above lodge considerable discussion was given to the recent press reports of the unemployment and social insurance bill now awaiting the consideration of the house, and after careful deliberation of the proposed bill, the members present went on record as strongly disapproving the unemployment and social insurance bill in its present form based on the following conclusions.

If the bill is allowed to remain in its present form will it not create a desire for employers to lay off their part time workers, thereby reducing their contributions to the fund of the bill, at the same time throwing more men out of employment who no doubt will eventually be forced to seek relief to maintain an existence? In any event it was noticed that the part time worker will be forced to contribute to the fund for a considerable length of time before he will be eligible to receive any unemployment benefits

Unemployment Insurance

due to the fact that forty weekly contributions must be made before he is entitled to any insurance benefits.

Strong objections were taken to the class of workers that are excluded under the proposed bill, such as policemen, firemen, civil servants, etc., and' persons receiving an income of $2,000 per year or more, and as a result will be exempted from contributing to the fund, while at the same time certain classes of railway workers who have sacrificed a reduction in their earning power of over 35 per cent in order that more of their fellow-workers might be given employment, and incidentally who also have agreements with the railway companies, through their respective labour organizations whereby with the existing seniority clause the railway worker will derive no benefits from the proposed bill although contributing towards its fund, it becomes apparent that the poorer class of worker is again being called upon to bear the burden, while those who are higher paid and can afford to contribute towards this fund have been exempted.

It was noted that the unemployment and social insurance bill in its present form failed to cover workers employed at seasonable trades such as the mining, lumbering, fishing and agricultural industries employ, inasmuch as the workers in these industries are to a large extent only employed part time (seasonally employed) workers, it was apparent that the workers in these industries would be practically the only workers that would benefit to any extent from the proposed unemployment insurance bill. With this in view it was felt that the proposed bill would have accomplished its purpose to a far greater degree had the bill included workers from the above mentioned industries.

A clause of the bill exception was taken to was that whereby a contributing worker will be disqualified if the loss of employment has been caused through a trades dispute, unless he can otherwise prove that he was not associated with those through whom the trades dispute was brought about; the incorporation of this clause into an act of this nature was it was felt a challenge to organized labour and a discrimination against union membership throughout the dominion.

In general it was felt that unemployment insurance was a benefit only to workers employed seasonally or temporarily, and while it was admitted that such legislation may have covered the situation fifteen or twenty years ago to advantage, it would hopelessly meet the situation existing to-day. What was needed, the members expressed, was a plan enacted that would have as its ultimate object and aim a cure to end unemployment, a promise made to the working people of Canada prior to the last federal election.

With this in view the members of the above lodge present at the last regular meeting instructed me to forward to you their protests and opposition to the proposed unemployment and social insurance bill in its present form, and to assure that they are in favour of, and endorse a non-contributory form of unemployment insurance.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of Pioneer Lodge No. 103 I.A. of M.

Wm. Lyons,

Secretary.

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

Charles Edward Bothwell

Liberal

Mr. BOTHWELL:

Should not the words:

-to refrain from becoming a member of any association, organization or union of workers ...

-be given some more explicit definition? I refer to the words "association, organization or union of workers." It might be one big union or something of that kind. In a subsequent section of the bill, section 30, subsection 5, paragraph (b), and again in subsection 9 of the same section, a limited description is given of association, organization or union of workers. It seems to me that these words should be more clearly defined.

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:

Just before the hon.

member came in I answered that question in reply to an inquiry by the hon. member for Vancouver-Burrard. It is difficult to meet the situation by the use of any words that might be regarded as apt, and an effort to do so would create greater difficulties than those incidental to the words here. As a lawyer the hon. gentleman will realize that if we began to name organizations we should get into difficulties. One can trust the good sense of those charged with the responsibility of administration to overcome the difficulty to which reference has been made.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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Subsection agreed to. On subsection 8, paragraph (b)-While following any occupation for remuneration unless outside ordinary working hours.


LAB

Humphrey Mitchell

Labour

Mr. MTTOHEILL:

Does that mean that the workman who comes under the benefits of the bill is permitted to earn a dollar a day in addition to the dollar provided for in the bill?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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Subsection agreed to. Section agreed to. On section 21 (as printed; now section 20), paragraph (a)-Loss of work due to trade dispute.


LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

What is meant by the words "financing or directly interested in the trade dispute"? Why the word "finance"?

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:

The word I believe is

taken from the English act of 1924, No. 2, section 4. I think the reason of it is fairly clear and it was referred to slightly last evening. There might be circumstances under which the employee was actively engaged in promoting a disturbance in the property in which he was employed, for certain reasons, personal or national, as mentioned last night by the hon. member for Vancouver-Burrard. My own view is that the provision is to

Unemployment Insurance

overcome the possibility of the very circumstance to which reference was made last evening-that is, of anyone finding himself employment for the purpose of destroying rather than helping it, and financing a disturbance. In fact, there was in this country, in the province to which reference was made last evening, some evidence that at one point in lumbering operations financial assistance came from some quarter, I will not say where, for the purpose of creating a disturbance in that particular plant.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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Paragraph agreed to. On paragraph (b)-Disqualification on proof by an officer of the commission of neglect by insured contributor to avail himself of opportunity for work.


LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Why the words " by an

officer "?

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 suppose the only reason the word " officer " is used is that it is convenient; it is someone employed by the commission. I do not know that there is any magic in the word " officer " rather than " employee."

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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February 19, 1935