May 27, 1935

CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

The division of this money was left entirely in the hands of the railway companies. Like my hon. friend and other hon. members who come from constituencies in which railroad shops are located, I am anxious to help the men who work in these shops. I come from a fairly large railroad town, but I may say that the railways take the attitude that all that can be economically given to the shops is the allotment which I have mentioned. This allotment is not quite $4,000,000.

There is a certain amount of truth in the statement that this is a relief measure, but that is not entirely so. When this question first came up I stated that this was not only for relief; one of the paramount reasons for this legislation and one in which I believed very strongly was to help the heavy or capital industries to get going again. As my hon. friend knows, consumption goods are utilized even during a depression but the

need for capital goods disappears and the plants which manufacture such goods as equipment for railroads go out of business more frequently during a period of depression than do the manufacturers of consumption goods. I do not mind saying that I have been a very strong supporter of this measure because I thought that we should do everything to assist these heavy industries to get going. While it is true this is a relief measure, it is also a measure to help the heavy industries up the grade. I might mention to my hon. friend that the population of Montreal is over 1,000,000, that of Hamilton is approximately 150,000. Kingston has quite a good population and there is also a considerable population in the town in Nova Scotia from which my hon. friend (Mr. Cantley) comes, along with the surrounding towns. Over a million and a half people located in thickly populated centres will be indirectly affected by these equipment orders, and in addition there are the railroad shops from coast to coast. It is true that there is not an equal division as between equipment and repairs, $4,000,000 against $1:1,000,000, but I think the railroads themselves must be the judges of what is best. I have not urged them in any way as to the division and they have taken the attitude that this division would be about right. I do not think I need elaborate further on the remarks of my hon. friend.

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Subtopic:   WORKS, 'UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OP RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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LAB

Humphrey Mitchell

Labour

Mr. MITCHELL:

I should like to give the point of view of the people in my own locality but not in my own constituency. I do not think there is any doubt that the railroads need new equipment, and I hope we are not going to take as long to deal with this matter as we did to deal with the Toronto tunnel. That tunnel could have been dug in the time it took us to decide whether or not it should be dug. Much of this work should have been started six weeks ago so that the people employed in the equipment shops could have been put back to work. This matter must be dealt with in a practical way; we must realize that the equipment shops are part and parcel of our transportation system. In the neighbourhood in which I live are many workmen usually employed in the car shops who have not been working for four years. In my judgment these men have some rights. Something has been said as to the division of $4,000,000 and $15,000,000, but it must be remembered that as far as repair work is concerned, the whole expenditure goes to labour. I am not a railroad expert, being a mechanic by trade, but I do not believe more than [DOT] seventy-five per cent of the money expended

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for equipment will go to labour; therefore the division would seem to be fair. It must be remembered that an additional percentage of the amount expended for equipment will be paid to the people engaged in the fabrication of the parts necessary to build locomotives and cars. We are dealing with a practical problem and some recognition must foe given to the men and women employed in these shops which have been shut down for the last four years. I think justice should be given to the men employed in the running trades with whom I have been associated all my life. The fair wages policy as enunciated by the government in connection with the building program should be a part and parcel of this car building program. I thought it only right that I should point out the actual division of labour to the hon. member for South Perth (Mr. Sanderson) and also try to obtain justice for the men who have been out of work for the past four years.

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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

I congratulate the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail) on the contribution she has made to the live stock industry. The railways are responsible for the state the industry is in to-day. The trucks came into use as a result of railway rates on live stock. The rates are to-day twenty per -cent higher all over western 'Canada from local points and for through shipments. Only yesterday, coming down on the train from Toronto, I drew to the attention of the representative of the Globe, Mr. Anderson, and of my hon. friend from Parkdale (Mr. Spence) the number of live stock cars standing idle on the sidings, owing largely to the fact that trucks were operating. The trucks have ruined the cattle industry because they have put the old cattle dealer out of business; he is not in evidence. The live stock industry has been ruined on that account. As regards the stop-over charges, the hon. member for Southeast Grey is absolutely right. I took this question up with one of the railway officials in Montreal, pointing out the injury that the stop-over charge had done. I said that a man might have a half car at one station and desire to fill it up at another, for which they charged $3. Their charge is excessive on live stock. And then they have the-

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Audacity.

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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

Well, I was going to use a strong word but I will hold it back; I will not use the western term I might use to describe what they have done to the live stock industry. They are to blame for the present situation and no one else. They have

killed the industry, and that is why the cars are empty. One freight traffic manager told me that they lost money on live stock. I asked him in what way and he said it was because they had to haul empty cars back. I can remember that in the old days every other siding between here and Winnipeg had a stock train on it. I can remember when hundreds of thousands of dollars went back into that western country. But you go west to-day and look at the sidings and you will see nothing but empty stock cars. It is about time the railways recognized the benefits of the live stock industry to traffic and assisted that industry by doing something in regard to the stop-over charge and also by providing proper accommodation. Let the railways put the rates back where they were. I had the honour of Shipping cattle on the first train that left Winnipeg, but to-day the rates are twenty per cent higher than they were at that time. They say that labour is to blame; I say it is not. You have a crew of five on the train and they are drawing seventy cars. Locomotives are pulling as high as seventy cars of live stock out of Winnipeg with a crew of only five, and though it is true that slightly more is paid in wages we must consider the tonnage that is hauled. We cannot therefore place the responsibility on labour; that excuse will not hold. The fault is with the shortsighted policy of those who sit in the offices in Montreal. They are the ones that dictate the policy which has put the cattle men out of business-I mean the legitimate cattle men and not those gentlemen who become cattle men over night. These men who buy a truck and go into the cattle business are pretty well known in the neighbourhood, and they get hold of the farmer's cattle and undertake to sell them though they do not know the first thing about the business. They are marks for the men in the stock yards who buy for the packers. It makes me wonder when I stand and1 look at the trucks going to the western cattle markets. I was told that 3,600 cars of cattle were moved to the Toronto stock yards by truck. This I admit is the line of least resistance, because it is easier for the farmer to load his cattle on the truck than to drive them to the station, there being so many motor cars on the highway. It is difficult to drive a herd of cattle, but I notice now that they have done away with that menace. Those legislators in Winnipeg, the solons who make the laws there, are permitting the cattle to run on the highways, endangering the lives of people, so that there is not so much danger now in driving a

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herd of cattle when cattle are allowed to run free on the highways in Manitoba. Motorists are more careful.

As to partitions, I quite agree with the hon. member for Southeast Grey. I think they should provide partitions so that they might take mixed shipments. I speak from experience of many years and I think I should know something of what I am talking about. I am out of the business now so that I have no axe to grind, and I make this statement only in the interests of the legitimate live stock dealers, the few who are left in the country. I say that the only method which will make for success in the cattle industry is the old method; let us have the old time cattle dealer and the old time fairs at country points. In the town of Birtle, Manitoba, they held a fair on one occasion, and they had 338 head of cattle which were sold right in the town at good prices without having to be moved at all. That is the method that should be followed; let the cattle be sold on the farm or to the cattle dealer and brought into market, doing away with the so-called cattle men who have trucks running over the highways and ruining them without contributing to the success of the industry.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, 'UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OP RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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LIB

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

The minister will bear in mind some conversation and correspondence I had with him with regard to something along the line of what has been suggested about the difficulty in getting adequate accommodation from the railways. He will remember what I pointed out with regard to a valuable horse which was brought into this country from the south. It reached Carnia about two o'clock in the morning and was going to a station in the county of Middlesex. It had been expected to get into Sarnia not later than eight o'clock, and four trains passed, so that the horse left Sarnia quite late; and of course, coming from a much warmer climate, in our very cold weather he was chilled. Fortunately he did not succumb to his injuries but it was a very serious matter. The reason given was that the other freight trains that passed through were through trains and could not be stopped at the station to which this horse was being shipped. Will the minister tell me whether it is possible to meet the convenience of shippers an a matter of that kind by having the train stopped? What would be the cost of having a freight train stopped to let off the car that had this valuable shipment on it? Surely in a case of that kind there should be some more consideration than was given to this shipment. A veterinary was engaged practically all night trying to get the horse

out of the chill that he suffered from being left all day in away below zero weather in that cold car.

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LIB

Eugène Fiset

Liberal

Sir EUGENE FISET:

Is he alive yet?

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LIB

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

I am glad to say he is

still alive.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

The hon. member took

the matter up with me, either in the house or by letter.

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LIB

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

Both ways.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I took the matter up with the management who are in control of such affairs. I cannot remember the details, but I sent on to my hon. friend their explanation of the matter. As regards stopping a fast freight, I really know nothing about such a thing. It sounds quite easy of course, but I may point out to my hon. friend that I have had the same complaint from both sides of the house in regard to fast trains of one kind or ^ another, usually passenger trains, which will not stop at certain stations. I have had many cases up with the management, I merely acting to a certain extent at any rate as a sort of clearing house, presenting to them the arguments put up by those who write me. In most cases the management take the attitude that if those trains stop at this or that station, they cannot make up the time they are expected to make; they are schedule trains and the management claim they cannot make this time if they stop. Recently I had one hon. gentleman on this side see me not once but half a dozen times in regard to a matter of this kind, and I finally tried to get him to go down to Montreal and argue the matter out there because I did not feel I was in any position to interfere with the management of the railways. However, a discussion of this sort is the type of discussion that both railway managements might well read with perhaps profit to themselves. Certainly they should be out to get all the traffic they can in these days, because they are not getting enough to write home about, even though conditions are improving to a certain extent. I shall gladly draw to their attention the whole discussion that has taken place here to-day.

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IND

Angus MacInnis

Independent Labour

Mr. MacINNIS:

When the Minister of

Public Works was dealing with that part of the bill which comes under his department, I think he assured the committee that in regard to all expenditures under the bill fair wages would prevail. Gould the Minister of Railways give, in regard to this 815,000,000, the same undertaking as has been given by the Minister of Public Works?

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Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, 'UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OP RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

As regards the work that

will be done in the railway shops themselves, as my hon. friend well knows there are regular schedules of pay and no doubt they will be adhered to. As regards the contracts with the equipment companies, those contracts will be between the railway companies themselves and the equipment companies, and I shall gladly endeavour to have my hon. friend's suggestion carried out. I have no control over the matter, but I will try to see that it is carried out.

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IND

Angus MacInnis

Independent Labour

Mr. MacINNIS:

That is just the point 1 wanted to get at. I quite agree with the hon, member for East Hamilton (Mr. Mitchell) that the men in the private shops have just as much right to a certain share of this appropriation as have the men in the railway shops. As the minister has now said, the work done in the railway shops will be under the conditions and wages prevailing in them, but when we come to the private contract shops tihe situation is altogether different; the men are not organized, and if there is sweated labour anywhere it is in those shops. I had a talk with a man working in one of those shops-I am not going to mention just where -and he said that so far as he was concerned he was not particularly anxious whether the work would come to that shop or not because the wages paid were so small the men could not live on them anyway; they might just as well be on relief. He said that the rate varied from sixteen to fifty cents an hour, but in the department in which he was working, only four employees in the whole department were receiving more than forty cents an hour; the great majority of them were receiving from sixteen to eighteen cents. He pointed out that others of them were on piece work and that the time for the piece work was set by some official taking a stop watchand timing the man while he was doing the work, then deducting so much for grinding tools and some other interference with the work. I am not particularly anxious that any of this money should go to keep companies working that have such wages and working conditions and I hope the house will see to it that if this appropriation passes, along with it will be passed terms that will ensure that conditions and wages in those shops will be such as now prevail in the railway shops.

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?

John Lorne MacDougall

Mr. MAODOUGALL:

Will the hon. member give to the committee the name of the shop to which he refers? The remark he has made is astounding.

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IND

Angus MacInnis

Independent Labour

Mr. MacINNIS:

I will give it to the minister if he so wishes.

Mr. MACDOUG ALI.: Give it to the committee so that we may deal with it.

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IND

Angus MacInnis

Independent Labour

Mr. MacINNIS:

The minister can deal with it just as well if he wants to do so.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I shall be glad to have it, because I have never heard of any such wages as those mentioned by the hon. member.

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LIB

Eugène Fiset

Liberal

Sir EUGENE FISET:

In so far as the S4.000.000 for repair work is concerned, the minister will admit that this measure is a relief measure.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Largely that is true.

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May 27, 1935