May 29, 1935

CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

It is only a clerical error. We continually amend clerical defects without handing in written motions. If it is the wish of the committee the amendment could be agreed to without a written motion.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES
Subtopic:   POWER OP MINISTER TO BRING ACT INTO OPERATION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPLAINT
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Amendment agreed to.


LIB

Samuel Factor

Liberal

Mr. FACTOR:

The intention of the price

spreads commission is clearly set forth at the bottom of page 136 of the report. The first paragraph reads:

The appointment of boards of investigation should be encourabed not only when an industrial dispute threatens but also when complaint is made that improper intimidation or discriminatory action has been taken either by employers or workers.

I believe this section covers the first part of the recommendation. But section (ii) of the report recommends that-

... a wider range of industries and occupations should be brought within scope of the Industrial Disputes Investigation Act, or some related inquiries act. The dominion should have authority to investigate any industrial situation which may either endanger general economic welfare or create avoidable social unrest.

Under the old act the industries subject to the act are specifically mentioned. In the present instance, however, we find the words "subject to the legislative jurisdiction of the parliament of Canada." That expression is used, instead of specifying the industries.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES
Subtopic:   POWER OP MINISTER TO BRING ACT INTO OPERATION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPLAINT
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

The industries are still

specified. We have not changed the act in that particular.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES
Subtopic:   POWER OP MINISTER TO BRING ACT INTO OPERATION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPLAINT
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LIB

Samuel Factor

Liberal

Mr. FACTOR:

May I ask the Minister of Justice how the words "subject to the legislative jurisdiction of the parliament of Canada" in any way widen the range of industries and occupations?

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES
Subtopic:   POWER OP MINISTER TO BRING ACT INTO OPERATION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPLAINT
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

It does not widen it in any way; it rather has a limiting effect.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES
Subtopic:   POWER OP MINISTER TO BRING ACT INTO OPERATION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPLAINT
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LIB

Samuel Factor

Liberal

Mr. FACTOR:

Well then, that is the

point I wish to make.

Industrial Disputes Act

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES
Subtopic:   POWER OP MINISTER TO BRING ACT INTO OPERATION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPLAINT
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

If my hon. friend would turn to the report he has just read he would find that the last sentence of paragraph (ii) at the 'bottom of page 136 reads as follows:

The dominion should have authority to investigate any industrial situation ...

But, if we have not authority, what are we going to do about it?

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES
Subtopic:   POWER OP MINISTER TO BRING ACT INTO OPERATION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPLAINT
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LIB

Samuel Factor

Liberal

Mr. FACTOR:

The only thing done by the present amendment is that it narrows the scope of the former legislation.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES
Subtopic:   POWER OP MINISTER TO BRING ACT INTO OPERATION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPLAINT
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

We are providing a remedy for the first recommendation read by thie hon. member a moment ago. He was satisfied with that.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES
Subtopic:   POWER OP MINISTER TO BRING ACT INTO OPERATION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPLAINT
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LIB

Samuel Factor

Liberal

Mr. FACTOR:

Yes it does that. But so far as the second recommendation goes, admitting that the dominion has no jurisdiction, by putting in the words "subject to the legislative jurisdiction of the parliament of Canada" we are narrowing the scope.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES
Subtopic:   POWER OP MINISTER TO BRING ACT INTO OPERATION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPLAINT
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

No, we are leaving it as it is, but we are making it definite that this section applies only so far as our legislative jurisdiction goes.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES
Subtopic:   POWER OP MINISTER TO BRING ACT INTO OPERATION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPLAINT
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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY (Winnipeg):

With respect to the point raised by the hon. member for East Hamilton (Mr. Mitchell), namely as to whether or not this measure broadens the basis of investigation, may I say that although I do not presume to speak for the minister I did have an opportunity to study the act and to discuss it with him. I understand there is a broadening effect. I would draw to the attention of the house that the title of the statute is "An Act to Aid in the Prevention and Settlement of Strikes and Lockouts in Mines and Industries connected with Public Utilities." I am informed, upon inquiry, that in giving their views as to the scope of the act the law officers of the crown have held that section 65 of the Industrial Disputes Investigation Act, as it stands, applies only to disputes affecting mines and industries connected with public utilities, as defined in section 2 (f) of the act. Under this section authority is given to the Minister of Labour, without application from either the employers or employees affected to establish boards of conciliation and investigation, either "on application of any municipality interested, or of the mayor, reeve or head officer or acting head officer thereeof, or of his own motion."

The main object of the present amendment, as I understand it, is to permit the establishment by the Minister of Labour of boards of conciliation and investigation to

deal with disputes arising in other classes of industry. In support of that view I refer the ' house to the second line of the amendment to section 65. Hon. members will note that it reads:

Where in any industry subject to the legislative jurisdiction of the parliament of Canada-

And then in parenthesis-

- (whether or not it be an industry to which other provisions of this act apply).

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES
Subtopic:   POWER OP MINISTER TO BRING ACT INTO OPERATION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPLAINT
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LIB

Samuel Factor

Liberal

Mr. FACTOR:

Can the hon. member name me any other industry which would be covered under the new amendment-I mean an industry other than those mentioned in the old section?

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES
Subtopic:   POWER OP MINISTER TO BRING ACT INTO OPERATION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPLAINT
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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY (Winnipeg):

I am not in a position to give a list of them, but I have indicated the intention as I understand it.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES
Subtopic:   POWER OP MINISTER TO BRING ACT INTO OPERATION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPLAINT
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

I do not know much about the constitutional side of the matter, and I am afraid that so far the discussion has not enlightened me. I am coming to the conclusion that the act is widened to a very slight extent by allowing those who have complaints to make them to the Minister of Labour who, if he so desires, may then appoint a committee to investigate. As an ordinary layman, Mr. Chairman, reading part of the new section dealing with the legislative jurisdiction of the parliament of Canada, I cannot for the life of me make that fine distinction which the lawyers of this house make in regard to that question. We have the power to deal with practically every industry in the Dominion of Canada by way of the tariff. We find the owners of industry coming to the government and parliament of Canada and applying for tariff protection or for a reduction of tariffs. They also get subventions, and in many other ways industries are helped through the legislative action of this parliament; but when it comes to a question of a trade dispute in that same industry we are told that we have no jurisdiction at all. That is a very fine point which the average citizen cannot understand.

I say, Mr. Chairman, that if we have vested in this parliament the power to enact tariffs of fifty and one hundred per cent protection for an industry, then when that industry is not paying a reasonable or fair wage to its employees we have got in our hands a very potent weapon with which to compel the industry to pay its employees a fair wage and provide reasonable working conditions. Take, for instance, the textile industry, using that term in its broader scope. I think it is generally understood that we give to the textile industry anjnvhere from fifty to one hundred per cent

Industrial Disputes Act

tariff protection, and yet we have in some branches of that industry some of the worst conditions we know of so far as labour is concerned. A perusal of the evidence that was given before the price spreads commission will in itself be a substantiation of the statements I am now making to this house, and what I am attempting to find out is this: If we have legislative jurisdiction over this industry by way of the tariff, and then one branch of that industry has a dispute with its employees with regard to wages or working conditions, have we not the power at least to appoint a committee to investigate the conditions in, the industry and to arrive at certain conclusions, and then if the industry will not live up to the conclusions of that committee surely we have the power to take away from the industry the protection which parliament has given it? I think we have that power, and I think that the mere threat by the government to take away the protection that is granted to an industry would immediately bring that industry to time and compel it to provide fair and reasonable conditions for its employees.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES
Subtopic:   POWER OP MINISTER TO BRING ACT INTO OPERATION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPLAINT
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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY (Winnipeg):

Will the hon. gentleman permit me to interject at that point? If the federal government has the power to investigate these matters affected by tariffs, this amendment does not deny or take away from that power in any respect.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES
Subtopic:   POWER OP MINISTER TO BRING ACT INTO OPERATION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPLAINT
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

I am saying that we have the power to give these valuable considerations to the industries of this country, and in the bill now before the committee the term is used, " subject to the legislative jurisdiction of the parliament of Canada," and I cannot see how we can legislate for an industry in one sense and not in another. There is that fine distinction which it is difficult for the ordinary layman to understand. I claim that if we have the power to legislate for the purpose of providing an industry with the high protection it is receiving we ought to have the power, if not of fixing wages, at least of setting up a board of arbitration of some kind to investigate the conditions in exactly the same way as the commission on price spreads investigated industry.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES
Subtopic:   POWER OP MINISTER TO BRING ACT INTO OPERATION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPLAINT
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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY (Winnipeg):

If the hon. member will permit me, the reason that the federal government has legislative power to enact tariffs is because it is specifically set out m the British North America Act which gives the federal parliament jurisdiction over trade and commerce. Tariffs affect international trade, and so the jurisdiction there is very clear.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES
Subtopic:   POWER OP MINISTER TO BRING ACT INTO OPERATION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPLAINT
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CON

Ambrose Upton Gledstanes Bury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURY:

My hon. friend from North Winnipeg (Mr. Heaps) has overlooked this fact. These labour disputes he speaks of are disputes in specific establishments. Tariffs deal with laws relating to all establishment* of the same kind, and what my hon. friend is asking is that the tariff and the authority of parliament over tariffs should be used for the purpose of enforcing fair working conditions in particular individual establishments. That is impossible. Tariffs deal with the whole trade of Canada. They deal with the trade and industry and the industrial interests not of any one particular establishment in an industry but of every establishment in that industry. Some establishments may be perfectly fair and honourable and humane in their conditions of work and wages and so on, while others may not be, and you cannot pick out one industry and treat it one way by means of the tariff and treat another industry under the same tariff law in another way.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES
Subtopic:   POWER OP MINISTER TO BRING ACT INTO OPERATION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPLAINT
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May 29, 1935