March 14, 1935

CON

Richard Burpee Hanson (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Section

10 is one to which a good deal of study has been given and we desire to make some amendments. In order to clarify them we have had a new section 10 drafted. I therefore beg to move that the section as at present printed in the bill be deleted and the following substituted therefor:

10. (1) The governor in council may by

regulation except any or all employment in any industry from the limits of hours of work fixed by this act, whenever he is satisfied that,

(a) the work of the employees must necessarily be carried on outside the limits laid down for the general working of an establishment because it is preparatory or complementary, or that,

(b) the work is essentially intermittent in that,

(1) the worker is not continuously occupied during the hours of employment, or

(ii) the work is seasonal in its nature, or

(iii) the work is of such a character that it must necessarily be performed in variable periods of employment, or

(iv) the work in its nature is subject to intervals of discontinuance or variations in supply of raw materials, or that

(c) there is an exceptional pressure of work;

Provided that fair and humane conditions of

labour in the matter of hours of work prevail in respect of such employment; and provided further that in the case of exceptional pressure of work the regulation shall be temporary.

(2) If any organizations of employers and workers concerned in the employment affected by any regulation made under this section exist, such organizations shall be consulted.

(3) Whenever it is practicable the maximum of additional hours shall be fixed by the regulations and in any such case the rate of pay for additional hours shall not be less than one and one-quarter times the regular rate.

Topic:   EIGHT HOUR DAY
Subtopic:   BILL TO LIMIT HOURS OF WORK IN INDUSTRIAL UNDERTAKINGS
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

I wonder if the minister would let this new section stand over. It is so long and complicated that it is utterly impossible for one to grasp its scope by hearing it read even a couple of times. As I have heard portions of it read, it may go a long way to meet some of the objections I have raised, but I should like the minister to let it stand. It says something about "where it is possible"; that is rather difficult to understand in regard to fixing the maximum of additional hours. What does "additional" mean? Suppose in the fishing industry they work four hours today and want to work twelve hours the next day so that you have the equivalent of the eight hour day. Does the word "additional", carrying time and a quarter, apply on the second day to all the hours in excess of eight, or would it only apply to all the hours over forty-eight in a week? It makes a substantial difference. Apparently the purport of the amendment is to equalize the hours. If they

have to work only a few hours to-day, owing to the fact that the fish are not coming in, they will work longer to-morrow. Now if the suggestion is that when they work four hours to-day and twelve the next day, under these circumstances, all the hours beyond eight on the second day must be paid for as time and a quarter, then there will be a hardship not only on those who are running the plant but also on the employees, because there will be a tendency for the plant on the second day to say, "We will not work over eight hours to-day because it will be too costly", and they might simply refuse to take the fish, with the result that men who have gone out on their own to get the fish will not be able to sell them.

Topic:   EIGHT HOUR DAY
Subtopic:   BILL TO LIMIT HOURS OF WORK IN INDUSTRIAL UNDERTAKINGS
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I think the regulations can take care of the situation suggested by the hon. gentleman. What he suggests is the intent of the law and I believe that is the proper interpretation to place upon it. If they worked four hours to-day and twelve hours to-morrow the time and a quarter would not apply.

Topic:   EIGHT HOUR DAY
Subtopic:   BILL TO LIMIT HOURS OF WORK IN INDUSTRIAL UNDERTAKINGS
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Would not?

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Subtopic:   BILL TO LIMIT HOURS OF WORK IN INDUSTRIAL UNDERTAKINGS
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I do not think so.

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Subtopic:   BILL TO LIMIT HOURS OF WORK IN INDUSTRIAL UNDERTAKINGS
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

What about letting the section stand over?

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Subtopic:   BILL TO LIMIT HOURS OF WORK IN INDUSTRIAL UNDERTAKINGS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

This morning I received a long telegram from the dairy companies in Edmonton, protesting against coming under the act. They do not desire to come under the provisions of the act at all As I understood the minister the other day, the act is wide enough to make provision for labour such as is performed for the dairy companies. Was I wrong in that?

Topic:   EIGHT HOUR DAY
Subtopic:   BILL TO LIMIT HOURS OF WORK IN INDUSTRIAL UNDERTAKINGS
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

The amendment to section 10 will take care of that. It vests in the governor in council authority to make regulations so that the law can be adjusted to the dairy industry, and this I think is very important.

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Subtopic:   BILL TO LIMIT HOURS OF WORK IN INDUSTRIAL UNDERTAKINGS
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IND

Angus MacInnis

Independent Labour

Mr. MacINNIS:

The hon. member for

Comox-Alberni has asked that this section be allowed to stand seeing that it is so complicated. It is quite impossible for anyone who has not read the amendment to follow all its implications. I cannot, and consequently I am unable to discuss it intelligently. It appears to me to be so farreaching as possibly to nullify the eight hour day law, and I cannot agree to it without having studied it. I would ask the minister to hold it over.

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Subtopic:   BILL TO LIMIT HOURS OF WORK IN INDUSTRIAL UNDERTAKINGS
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I do not think the hon.

gentleman need be worried about the des-

Eight Hour Day

truction of the bill because of this amendment. The proposed amendments are designed to enable the governor in council by regulation to exempt in any industry such activities as cannot be strictly adjusted to the eight hour principle. That is the substance of the clause as redrafted. I hardly think it is sound to say that the clause as redrafted will work any such havoc to the bill as the hon. member suggests.

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Subtopic:   BILL TO LIMIT HOURS OF WORK IN INDUSTRIAL UNDERTAKINGS
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IND

Angus MacInnis

Independent Labour

Mr. MacINNIS:

I did not say that it

would; I said that it might. The wording is very strong; it is to the effect that the governor in council may by regulation exempt any and all occupations from the effects of the eight hour day bill. The point I wish to raise is that the workers in the industry, for whom this legislation is ostensibly put on the statute books, have no say in its organization or management, or in the way in which it works. Consequently the employers may say that such and such is not feasible or possible; yet if an effort is made in conjunction with the employees by bringing them into consultation, such an outcome might be made possible. So I do not tliink it will work any hardship on the government or parliament to leave this clause over until, say to-morrow, so that we may see the amendment in Hansard and have time to study it.

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Subtopic:   BILL TO LIMIT HOURS OF WORK IN INDUSTRIAL UNDERTAKINGS
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LAB

Humphrey Mitchell

Labour

Mr. MITCHELL:

Anyone who has made

i study of the conventions of the international labour office does not need to read the amendment; it is all theTe. I am not saying that the clause should not stand, but to anyone who has read article 6, this is strictly in accord with that article of the international labour office convention. I suppose the government feels it is necessary to make the clause read in that way. Article 6 reads:

Regulations made by public authority shall determine for industrial undertakings:

(b) The temporary exceptions that may be allowed, so that establishments may deal with exceptional cases of pressure of work.

These regulations shall be made only after consultation with the organizations of employers and workers concerned, if any such organizations exist. These regulations shall fix the maximum of additional hours in each instance, and the rate of pay for overtime shall not be less than one and one-quarter times the regular rate.

As I understand the amendments as they were read, they were more or less in conformity with article 6 of the convention. If many men who work overtime in industrial organizations are granted -time and a quarter by the laws of this country, this will -put a great deal of money into the pockets of our workers.

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Subtopic:   BILL TO LIMIT HOURS OF WORK IN INDUSTRIAL UNDERTAKINGS
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LIB

Wilfred Hanbury

Liberal

Mr. HANBURY:

There will be less overtime.

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Subtopic:   BILL TO LIMIT HOURS OF WORK IN INDUSTRIAL UNDERTAKINGS
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LAB

Humphrey Mitchell

Labour

Mr. MITCHELL:

That may be quite

true. The clause covers compensation to workers. Notwithstanding opinions to the contrary, I have always held that the workers must organize in order to secure the full fruits of legislation on their behalf, and I have said this many times: If you think by giving three cheers and dropping a ballot in the box, your troubles are all over, you are just fooling yourself.

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LIB

Wilfred Hanbury

Liberal

Mr. HANBURY:

Wait until after the election is over.

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LAB

Humphrey Mitchell

Labour

Mr. MITCHELL:

I am not talking about bed time stories; I am talking about practical things. In Great Britain and other European countries where labour organizations are powerful, naturally they had a great deal to do with drawing up these conventions which are all predicated upon the views of the workers themselves. If this legislation in its practical application gives an impetus to the organization of workers so that they can meet their employers-and I am not one- of those who think employers and employees cannot sit down together and iron out their difficulties, because I have had some experience and I believe they can-the amendment will be a really constructive effort and will aid in bringing employees and employers together.

Topic:   EIGHT HOUR DAY
Subtopic:   BILL TO LIMIT HOURS OF WORK IN INDUSTRIAL UNDERTAKINGS
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

The amendment may be all that the hon. member for East Hamilton says, but we do not know. I defy anyone to hear it read twice and be able to decide accurately whether it covers any particular industry or branch of such; not- even a clever lawyer, let alone the average layman could do that. So far as I can judge the redrafted clause without having an opportunity to study it carefully, meets a good deal of the objections I raised the other day. As regards its application to the operation of canneries and fish plants, I should like to study it further.

Another point is this: there is an attempt to make it almost too comprehensive. It is sometimes a mistake to try to cover almost everything that can possibly arise, for when you finish you will find that you have left out the one thing you should have provided for. It is like a will. A man plans everything for his children and grandchildren, leaving out a provision for the very thing that does happen and that he could not foresee. I sent over to the minister a copy of the provision in the British Columbia laiw which has been in existence for eleven years, and which so' far as I know, has not produced any friction.

Eight Hour Day

It has the merit of being simple and I believe comprehensive also, but I suppose it would be too simple for the man who drafted this bill.

I want to make this one other point: I know the minister has had telegrams, because I have had copies of them, from the British Columbia Canners and pilchard men who protest very strongly at the idea of their being under this legislation. They point out, as the minister knows, that obviously their industry is highly seasonal and the commodity very perishable, subject to weather variations which no one can foresee and various other conditions of that kind. That is quite true. What they ask is, not that they shall have an opportunity of making representations and coming under the somewhat involved and uncertain procedure of the proposed clause 10, but to be exempted altogether under clause 2. In some industries near the border line, it might well be a matter of debate whether they should or should not be exempted, and in these cases I freely admit that it is for the minister or the governor in council to exercise judgment. But in this case there is no doubt; no one can say that there is any doubt that the fishing industry cannot be run on an eight hour day basis. It would be equally absurd to put the agricultural industry on an eight hour day and say that you can get out under clause 10. That clause states among other things that you have to consult organizations of employers and employees. In many of these industries there are not organizations or what would be considered by the government as organizations. Would it be half a dozen men in the particular factory or plant or some organization calling itself some kind of a union in British Columbia, with probably no interest at all in the merits of that particular industry? The clause also states that the maximum additional hours shall be fixed. Supposing there is a big run of fish coming in, have they to apply to Ottawa and say that suoh and such conditions prevail at this plant in this district; that under the weather conditions they could not get in with their fish yesterday and there is a heavy run today? Have they to apply to Ottawa, because the clause speaks of the power of the governor in council, to fix additional hours-and of course you can do anything if you take long enough to do it? But they cannot be fixed in that way and a business cannot be run by applying to Ottawa three thousand miles away. Here is a condition that prevails on Thursday and when they ask for relief, the reply comes back the following Tuesday. For instance, there is a steel plant with an excess of orders; that would be an unusual condition, but everyone present knows and, still more, everybody connected with the fishing business knows you cannot run it on an eight hour day basis. Then why play with the subject? Why suggest that it can ;be so run? Why not give them now the exemption which must be granted eventually? Otherwise delay is caused, and delay in the fish business means money and a great deal of it, because once the fish gets past its best, there is a heavy loss. Away out in some remote place where there is not even a radio service, they have to apply to Ottawa for an additional number of hours which may vary to-day from those of last week. It is on those grounds that the cannery men and the fish reduction plants ask that their exemption shall be definitely provided for in the bill, so that they may not have to trust to the, so to speak, day to day application. Of course it says "permanent exemption" but further on it say "wherever it is practicable the maximum of additional hours shall be fixed...." Can you fix them weeks or months ahead? It would have to be done day by day as occasion arose. You could not say that on a certain Tuesday of next month or three months hence so many additional hours should be permitted. It is for these reasons that these men ask that they be exempted finally in the bill itself.

Mr. MaoNIiCOL: The amendment may cover t'he subject matter of one or two questions I had intended to ask, in order to get a clear conception of some phrases in sections 9 and 10, but as ll could not hear all that was read, perhaps if I ask the minister now he will answer what I have in mind.

I am concerned about the promptness with which the governor in council will reply or attend to requests from industries for the privilege of changing the schedule of hours. I can quite see circumstances that would result in serious loss as far as employment is concerned if a speedy reply were not given to such a request. I have in mind some half dozen schedules used in various groups of industries. In group No. 1 they work from 8 to 12 in the morning and from 1 to 5 in the afternoon and on Saturdays from 8 to 12 in the morning, making a forty-four hour week. Group No. 2 works from 750 to 12 in the morning and 1 to 5 in the afternoon and on Saturdays from 7.20 to 12 making a forty-eight hour week. Group No. 3 work from 8 to 12 in the morning and 1230 to 4.30 and do not work at all on Saturday, a five day week of forty hours. Group No. 4 work from 8 to 12 and 1 to 5 for five days, and on Saturday from 7 to 12 a week of forty-five hours. Group No. 5 work from 7 to 12 and

Eight Hour Day

1 to 5 and five hours on Saturdays making a fifty hour week. Group No. 6 work from 7 to 12 and 1 to 5.45 for four days, eight hours on Friday and do not work on Saturday, making a forty-seven hour five-day week.

I should like to ask a question, particularly in reflation to groups 1, 3, 4 and 5 which work from forty to forty-five hours a week. If the management of such companies or groups wish to increase their schedules to forty-eigCt hours a week will they, working less than the 48 hour schedule, have to get an order from the governor in council to do it and if so will it be possible to obtain that order promptly.

Then I have in mind one or two other conditions in connection with great industries. Section 7 does give certain relief in case of urgency, and section 9 applies to the same matter. I have in mind a company receiving a rush repair order to turn out, say a new line-shaft or to make a large gear, for the want of which, employment in the whole plant is subject to disarrangement. In shaft or gear manufacturing companies their schedules are set. At present they are running on a forty hour week. What will happen in such a case where a rush order has to be taken care of? They can put some of the men towork and send the others home to sleep orto rest while others work so that operations can be continuous until the repairs arefinished. I would like to know if this bill provides completely for such a case, where twenty or thirty hours or more may be consumed in making a rush repair. That will of course upset the eight hour day schedule, but. that schedule can be taken care of in the three weeks allowed under one of the other sections. But what I want to

ascertain is, would such a company have to have an order in council to expedite that work, and, if so. whether the order in council would be available forthwith. After all the objects of this bill as I see them are good and among other things are designed to give the workers more leisure time and to increase the number employed. It was said yesterday that this bill would not result in any increase in the numbers employed through a reduction of working time. But anyone who has served in industry a long time knows that the reduction in hours will increase employment; perhaps not in plants in which the machines are of such a nature that they can be speeded up, but certainly in plants in which precision is the main factor the numbers to be employed will be increased.

I have in mind another case, a very recent one, in which a company was asked to produce a large order of motor engine units com-

plete. The competitor of the Canadian company was a company in Dayton, Ohio, and the company had to make up its mind quickly, 'because the delivery schedules were fairly large. During December they were to turn out twenty-five engines a day, then in . January up to the 15th they were to produce one hundred and fifty a day, and after January 15 the number was to be one hundred and eighty-five a day. But every hon. member knows that .motor car sales have increased tremendously of late, and in this case the purchasing company jumped the schedule of deliveries to two hundred a day from January 1, and two hundred and fifty on the 15th and on the 18th to four hundred a day. Now men who are capable of turning out engine units are not on tap, they have to be trained. This company so as to retain the business immediately asked the Ontario labour department to permit them to extend the hours of labour and to work in preparation part time on Sundays, and the request was granted. They then proceeded to train men, and took on about one hundred that could be specially trained to mould non-ferrous engine units. The result was that for the first week they were compelled to raise their schedule up to seventy-two hours, but the second week through additional employees they were able to reduce it to sixty hours and for the third week to fifty-five hours and during the fourth week were able to get back on the schedule of forty-eight hours after having trained additional men. I would like the minister to make clear just what a company in that line of manufacture would have to do under this bill, having in mind that the principal object of such legislation is to increase the numbers employed in industry. I could give numerous examples along the same line, but perhaps one answer will cover it all.

Then I have one or two other questions.

I have forgotten which clause refers to the three weeks permit for extending hours of labour. Everyone associated with industry knows the pay schedules are not on a three weeks' basis. They are on a two weeks' basis, and it might be advantageous to either reduce the period to two weeks or extend it to four weeks. I have no doubt that in the administration of the act some relief will be given in this regard, because after all length of pay schedules has some bearing in this connection. I should like the minister, however, to indicate clearly just how an order in council can be passed quickly enough to permit rush work to be carried on as I have indicated.

Eight Hour Day

Topic:   EIGHT HOUR DAY
Subtopic:   BILL TO LIMIT HOURS OF WORK IN INDUSTRIAL UNDERTAKINGS
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

If the act goes through

with the amendments which will follow the one now under discussion it- will not come into force for a period of three months after the date of assent. In the interval the governor in council must make these regulations.

I do not think the hon. member who has just taken his seat need have any fear with respect to the schedules of pay to which he has made reference, so long as they do not do violence to the eight hour day principle. Regarding those rush orders and the exceptional pressure of work to which reference has been made, it will not be necessary in each case for those concerned to come to Ottawa in order to secure permission to go outside the main sections of the bill. Under the amended section power is given to make a regulation which will cover cases of exceptional pressure of work in all industry. If occasion should arise when there is a rush order such as the hon. member has suggested, there will be no necessity of coming to Ottawa because the regulation will be there, covering an exceptional pressure of work, and the regulation will exempt that industry from the operation of the bill. I do not think any difficulties will arise in connection with those matters to which the hon. member has made reference.

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Would the minister allow a

question? Does not the amendment say that the governor in council must be convinced of these facts? That involves placing the facts before the governor in council in each case, does it not?

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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I think not.

Mr. OHiUR'CH: I have read the proposed

amendment to section 10 and I fail to see how it improves the section. In this country there is altogether too much in the way of contracting industries outside the provisions of statutes. This amendment gives the employer and employee the right to contract themselves out of the operations of the statute. I contend that there is altogether too much law about this act. If we are going to do something practical about an eight hour day we should cease being lawyers and think of the work done in the last few months and the revelations brought out here in Ottawa by one of the select committees of the House of Commons. We should cease pussyfooting in connection with these large corporations, mergers and combines in restraint of trade in this country, that can go to whatever government is in office and have orders in council passed. I sat in opposition as a private member and I am speaking today as a private member; after all is said

and done, a private member who represents three hundred large and small industries in his riding is the connecting link between the government of the day and the electors of that riding. I represent many working people and a large number of industries, many of which are going to find the cost of operating their plants increased as a result of this legislation. The same thing applies to chain stores to whom this act will apply. In connection with drug stores, the chain drug stores will have to increase the number of their employees and, consequently, their cost of operation, while another store perhaps next door and all the small retail stores will not be affected by the act at all. The employees in that store can work twenty-four hours a day in competition with the chain store or those who have to close.

For some seven years I was a police commissioner of the city of Toronto; for some seventeen years I was a member of the city council. We had the eight hour day; when my hon. friend from Parkdale (Mr. Spence) was a member of the council, we applied the eight hour day to all city services, including the police and fire departments. For many years the police had only one day off a month; to-day they have one day off every week, and the white collar workers of the city have had a seven hour day for forty-five years and a half-holiday from noon on Saturday.

This principle of permitting individuals to contract themselves out from under the operation of particular statutes is a vicious principle. When I was in opposition I condemned government by order in council, and I have heard other members sitting on this side do the same thing. If we want to do something practical, in view of the revelations that have been made here in the special inquiry, let us either have an eight hour day or not have it. I regret that we have had to lean on the League of Nations in order to bring in this measure. In the city of Toronto we put it through in connection with the estimates. The League of Nations is all very well in its way, but it is only for those who cannot help themselves. Every time we introduce a statute in this parliament to improve the condition of the workers we are met with the same objection; hon. gentlemen opposite refer to the British North America Act and say the proposed act is ultra vires of this parliament. They are very fond of raising the constitutional question. For nine years they sat over here; they had the example of the city of Toronto before them, but they did nothing to give the workers of this country an eight hour day. The day

Eight Hour Day

before yesterday the Ontario members representing maritime cities on lake Erie and lake Ontario brought a deputation before the Minister of Marine. What were they asking for? This is a class of casual labour, which is referred to in the proposed amendment; this is casual seasonal labour for the summer and may be excepted by this amendment. The shipping interests on the great lakes are the most determined opponents of this act. They treat the men on some of these boats like cattle. The members representing Ontario maritime cities know the revelations which were contained in a memorandum prepared by these gentlemen.

I should like to refer also to the oil companies, the gasoline companies, the textile industry and the tobacco industry. Those are some of the people who are evading the law. They get over the law; they just snap their fingers at this parliament. Some of our oil companies are owned by United States companies, or interlocked with them, and the way they treat many of their employees in the larger cities is a disgrace. They give them a few dollars a week, mix them up in sports a little and then work them long hours. I know some of them worked twelve and fourteen hours a day, and some even longer. In the shipping business the situation is even worse. In the summer time off the exhibition grounds we often see these sand boats out in the lake, loading sand which is taken to the cities to be used by contractors and public bodies. Many of them work on Sundays, seven days, and the employees work many hours a day. If this amendment goes through I am afraid delegations will be in Ottawa continuously, going over the head of this parliament and appealing to the governor general in council.

I do not wish to criticize this legislation too much, but as I say I am sorry we have had to lean on the League of Nations. To-day the British North America Act is not an act for the living at all; it is an act for the dead. You cannot solve any economic problem in this country so long as that act remains in force. It is the old man of the sea on the backs 'of the people of this country, and it is a millstone around the neck of this parliament. You can cure no disease in the body politic or the body economic while that act exists. Whenever we attempt to do something we are met with opposition both in this house and on the part of the provinces, and as a result we sit here day after day and accomplish nothing in the way of relieving some of our economic problems. I know that the present government are pioneers in this work. I sympathize with the govern-

ment in having to draft the act in view of the attitude that is being taken by the opposition at 'the present time, and also because of the great burdens and artificial barriers that are being placed on business to-day and which make it almost impossible for business to carry on and therefore as I say I sympathize with the government in trying to hold an even balance in connection with this act.

I think it would be far better, instead of having a bill of thirteen clauses, to have written just one clause into the criminal code to effect the purpose we have in view in this act. It need only be a simple thing, like the Lord's Day Act, the Alien Labour Act and others, and once it is written into the code it should be strictly enforced. Of course, the industry of farming should be exempted. The farmer's capital has gone and to-day he cannot make his production costs. He is in such a position that he is to be pitied and sympathized with. We should also exempt a few of the industries dealing with the products of the sea, the soil, the forest and the mine. I admit that there are some industries that should be excepted, including our great agricultural industry. But so far as industry in general is concerned there should not be one law for the rich and another law for the poor. This particular section 10 contains some eighteen or twenty subsections and the penalties which we are providing for an infraction of these subsections are just as great for the small man as for the big corporation. Persistent evaders of the law should be treated differently from the small storekeeper. I know that most stores are exempt from this legislation, but some are not, including some of the chain stores. I believe that a civilization that is based on principles such as long hours of .labour, sweat shops, and child labour is in need of immediate and drastic overhauling and should no longer be tolerated in this country.

I am sorry that the bill does not go further than it does. No doubt it is a very good bill in many respects, and it is a start in the right direction, but like the Liquor Control Act of Ontario it will no doubt be evaded. This act should have more teeth put into it to take care of these persistent evaders, and we know there are such from the evidence that has come out before one of the committees of this house in the past fifteen months. This act should be enforced by the police court, upon summary conviction, and there should be no appeal from that court's decision. It's decision should be final. Otherwise the large corporations can engage lawyers to argue along

Eight Hour Day

the lines that have been used by hon. gentlemen opposite, that this legislation is unconstitutional. I believe that if we are going to do anything in a practical way we should not have a lot of exceptions and provisos put in the statute, but rather have one simple clause inserted in the criminal code. Why, Mr. Chairman, in 1847 England adopted an act, upon the initiative of Lord Shaftesbury, dealing with the sweat shop and providing for a shorter working day, of ten hours, and now, nearly a hundred years after, the Canadian parliament is arguing about excluding some industries from the eight hour day. That act of 1847 was the first parliamentary act of Christian socialism, and it was Christian socialism based on the evangelical Wes-leyan-Oxford movement and principles, and of Shaftesbury and men of that description. Christian socialism is not a thief; it is a policeman, and we want police to enforce this act, or the large corporations will be coming to the government of the day and asking for an order in council to get their industries exempted. This act with all its provisos and exceptions will be taken advantage of by just the very people that parliament intends to have it apply to. They will find a way of evading t>he law.

The quicker we can write an eight hour day into our law for industry, the better, and it should apply to all industry. Hours of labour and the length of shifts should be reduced. 1 hope the day is not far distant when this government will adopt the five day week and a shorter working day as a trial for one year, for the thousands and thousands of its own employees. That is the only way to make more jobs for soldieTs and civilians. 1 have been a consistent supporter of this kind of legislation long before I was in this house.

I am sorry to see so many amendments being made to the statute because I do not think they are in the public interest and in the interests of a fair enforcement of this act. I believe that these large corporations I have referred to will find a way of evading the act over the head of parliament by getting an order in council passed. Some industries in Toronto and elsewhere, for instance, can come down here when parliament is not sitting and can get an order in council virtually nullifying what this parliament has done this session. What are we here for? Are the private members just a lot of proxies? We might as well have representation by proxy if that sort of thing is going to be done. Edmund Burke said that government is a practical thing, not something to please the fancy and imagination of ordinary politicians. We are sitting here and we should deal with the merits of the questions that come before us. Should we or should we not have an eight hour day, and if we are going to have an eight hour day should it apply to all industry and to department stores as well. These department stores followed the city of Toronto over early closing at noon on Saturday during July and August. They have had to reduce their hours, and did it voluntarily I may say.

They are not included under this bill because their maximum number of hours is a fair one, but I believe the day is not far distant when we shall have to have less government by order in council and more government by the high court of parliament.

Topic:   EIGHT HOUR DAY
Subtopic:   BILL TO LIMIT HOURS OF WORK IN INDUSTRIAL UNDERTAKINGS
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March 14, 1935