February 19, 1935

CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

The government received

through me an offer from the Premier of Quebec wherein he proposed that the province and the dominion should assume in his province the total burden of direct relief. A few days ago a question was put on the order paper and was answered, and the question was then pursued, if my recollection serves me correctly, by the hon. member for Laprairie-Napierville asking that the correspondence be tabled. That correspondence has been tabled; I do not have it under my hand at the moment, but I shall be glad later when these estimates are under discussion to read the correspondence that passed, so that members of the committee may be fully seized of the attitude of the Quebec government and also of that of the dominion government with respect to the matter.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB

Paul Mercier

Liberal

Mr. MERCIER (St. Henri):

To make a

long story short, wihat was the proposition of Premier Taschereau of Quebec? Is it true that he offered to pay fifty per cent of all relief to be paid in Quebec, the same proportion to be paid by the federal government?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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CON

Ernest D'Israeli Smith

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Smith, Cumberland) :

I would draw the attention of the

committee to the fact that we are discussing an item of civil government-

Supply-Labour

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB
CON

Ernest D'Israeli Smith

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Smith, Cumberland):

Just a minute; let me finish what I am going to say. We are on an item of salaries, civil government, and in my opinion the matter that is now being discussed is not relevant to the item before the committee. That is the ruling of the chair.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB

Paul Mercier

Liberal

Mr. MEROIER (St. Henri):

The minister is quite willing to answer. He is not asking the chair for protection.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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CON

Ernest D'Israeli Smith

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Smith, Cumberland) :

The question is not one of protecting the minister. In my judgment as chairman the discussion is not relevant to the item before the committee.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

On a question of salaries

one can discuss almost anything one wishes. We are discussing the salaries of the Department of Labour and if it is so desired by the committee we can discuss the actions of any of the officials of the department during their whole tenure of office. This item includes salaries of the deputy minister and of other officials, and if the members think fit, the activities of those officials can be reviewed by the committee.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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CON

Ernest D'Israeli Smith

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Smith, Cumberland) :

The chairman is in the hands of the

committee.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB
LIB

Paul Mercier

Liberal

Mr. MERCIER (St. Henri):

What I find very strange is that the Minister of Labour, although quite willing to answer, is stopped-

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

Of course I am willing to answer any question that I can answer, but no minister in charge of estimates of this kind could be expected to be prepared to answer a particular question on relief, such as has been brought up.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB
CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I will do the best I can. If my answers are not entirely accurate they will be subject to correction later. While it seems strange that an item such as the civil government vote should bring on a discussion of relief matters generally, I am not a bit put out about it. Go ahead and I will give the best answers I can.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB

Paul Mercier

Liberal

Mr. MERCIER (St. Henri):

I am perfectly satisfied. The last question I put was whether the proposition of Premier Taschereau was

[The Chairman.]

that fifty per cent of relief in the province of Quebec be paid by the provincial government and fifty per cent by the federal government.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

The Premier of Quebec wrote to me proposing that he would cause his government to pay fifty per cent of the relief, in the municipalities I believe. Whether that means the organized municipalities or not my recollection does not serve me. He offered that on condition that the dominion government would contribute the other fifty per cent, thereby relieving the municipalities from any obligation as far as the relief was concerned. I gave a great deal of thought to the premier's offer. I felt and still feel that when the Premier of Quebec made that offer he was fairly certain that he would not have to carry out his part of the bargain, because-

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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LIB
CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

Because I could not consent to it or approve or recommend it. The reasons for that conclusion I think are clearly disclosed in the correspondence tabled a few days ago, to which I will make reference later on when the relief measures are under discussion.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB

Ross Wilfred Gray

Liberal

Mr. GRAY:

Would the minister be good enough, before he goes into supply on labour again, to bring down and table the correspondence passing between this government and the government of Ontario?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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February 19, 1935