June 19, 1935

GLACE BAY, N.S., SUB-COLLECTOR OP CUSTOMS

LIB

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

For a copy of all applications, reports, ratings and correspondence in the possession of the government or the civil service commission, in connection with filling the recent vacancy in the position of subcollector of customs for the port of Glace Bay, Novta Scotia.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   GLACE BAY, N.S., SUB-COLLECTOR OP CUSTOMS
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FARMERS' CREDITORS ARRANGEMENT ACT

LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN :

For a copy of the letter addressed by Mr. M. A. MacPherson, on March 27, 1935, to agents appointed under the terms of the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act, and a copy of all correspondence exchanged between the said M. A. MacPherson and the government in that regard.

Topic:   FARMERS' CREDITORS ARRANGEMENT ACT
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CHARLEVOIX-SAGUENAY RURAL MAIL SERVICE

LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

For a list showing:-

1. The names of all contractors in charge of the carrying of rural mail in the county of Charlevoix-Saguenay, with the dates on which the contracts were let, the terms and the distance to be covered in each case.

2. The contracts let by tender, the name of those to whom they were awarded without tenders, and those whose contracts were renewed.

Topic:   CHARLEVOIX-SAGUENAY RURAL MAIL SERVICE
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VANCOUVER DOCK STRIKE


On the orders of the day: Hon. IAN A. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre): In the absence of the Minister of Labour (Mr. Gordon) I should like to ask a question of the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett), although, it does not strictly involve any question of government policy. It is in reference to the regrettable disturbances that took place in Vancouver yesterday after-non. Has the Prime Minister any statement to make, in particular as to the advisability in the public interest of appointing a royal commis:son under the Inquiries Act to inquire into the matter?


CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Prime Minister) :

Anticipating the possibility of such

a question being asked I got a memorandum from the Department of Labour with respect to the matter, and when I came to the building I found1 the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Mackenzie) had sent a note to me that he proposed to ask the question which he has just asked.

The information as far as I have been able to obtain it indicates that early in February of this year the Vancouver and New Westminster Waterfront Workers Association (longshoremen) notified the British Columbia Shipping Federation that

they desired to reopen the agreement then existing, the main points to be considered being (1) making effective a six-hour working day, (2) union control of dispatching of longshore gangs, (3) elimination of the differential of four cents an hour between shore and ship gangs-the rates at present being respectively 81 cents and 8a cents- and (4) the establishment of a new minimum rate of 95 cents per hour in line with the rate effective in the United States Pacific coast ports. Numerous other items were involved, such as the refusal of members of this association to work with non-union labour.

An exchange of correspondence followed between the shipping federation and the longshoremen, covering a considerable period, but no apparent headway was made towards settlement of any part of these demands. Press reports intimated that the longshoremen were likely to go on strike at any time, and Mr. F. E. Harrison, the western representative of the federal Department of Labour advised both parties in writing that the conciliation services of the Department of Labour were available upon request by either or both parties, at the same time calling to their attention the requirements of the Industrial Disputes Investigation Act that if a dispute could not be adjusted through negotiation these matters would first have to be dealt with by a board of conciliation and investigation.

On April 25 a mass meeting of the longshoremen in Vancouver was held and the following among other resolutions were adopted:

1. An assessment of one per cent of all longshoremen's wages would be made for one pay period to assist relief camp workers now on strike.

2. A cessation of work was agreed to on the 29th of April between the hours of three and four p.m. as a protest against relief camps.

3. No work would be performed on May 1, May day; and

4. That the resignation of Mayor G. G. McGeer be demanded. [DOT]

The cessation of work took place in violation of their agreement. Following this a strike took place of what are termed booming gangs, men employed in sorting logs on the waterfront for export. This dispute did not directly affect the shipping federation of British Columbia, but the longshoremen, in violation of their agreement with the federation, refused to load these logs on the ground that it was unfair cargo. The shipping federation, however, were able to load this shipment with non-union men. Some time following this the longshoremen organized a

Trade Commission-Mr. Stevens

union at Powell River. Very few of their numbers had ever been employed] by the Powell River Company, and in these few instances only as temporary help, and the company refused to accede to the demands. That port was then declared unfair, and again the Vancouver longshoremen refused to load or unload ships moving to or from Powell River.

The shipping federation maintain that the agreement under which they have been operating has been violated in at least seven instances. Following this latter difficulty, the shipping federation made application under date of May 25 for the establishment of a board of conciliation and investigation. This application reached the department on May 30, a board was established the following day and both parties to the dispute were accordingly notified by telegraph. No nominations were received from either party and under date of June 5 the shipping federation telegraphed withdrawing their application and advising that the present agreement had been cancelled. Upon receipt of this telegram a wire was dispatched to the federation and also the longshoremen's association urging that all matters in dispute should be dealt with through board procedure and that in the meantime both parties should agree to adhere strictly to the terms of the present agreement. The shipping federation replied that they could not go on with this proposal, inasmuch as they had already entered into an agreement with another union. No reply whatever was received from the longshoremen's representatives. No action has yet been taken to cancel the establishment of the board.

Sympathetic strikes have been called by the Coastwise Longshoremen and Freight Handlers' Association of Vancouver, Seafarers' Industrial Union of Vancouver, and Marine Transport Union of Nanaimo. All of these groups, including Vancouver and District Waterfront Workers' Association, are affiliated with the Longshoremen and Water Transport Workers of Canada, and are said to be controlled by the Workers Unity League and that group of known extremists.

The Deputy Minister of Labour has been in communication by long distance telephone this morning with Mr. F. E. Harrison, who has been from the outset closely in touch with both parties to the dispute. Last evening there was a three hour conference with representatives of the men and the shipping federation, but in the meantime violence was resorted to, not with arms but with sticks and clubs as indicated in the press this morning. Neither the Department of Labour nor the Department of Justice is further informed with respect to the matter, except that the mayor of Vancouver has publicly stated that the matter is under control. There was a number of mounted police on the Ballantyne pier; they had been asked to remain there by the chief of police of Vancouver and by the Vancouver harbour board, as well as by the attorney general of the province of British Columbia. There is no further information that we have available at the moment. It is not contemplated in view of the facts I have recited that an inquiry should be held and in view of the statement made by the mayor of Vancouver this morning as to the forces that were organized behind this outbreak yesterday it is not thought desirable that any further action should be taken at the moment unless requested.

Topic:   VANCOUVER DOCK STRIKE
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MONTREAL HARBOUR


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret

Liberal

Hon. FERNAND RINFRET (St. James):

In the absence of the Minister of Marine (Mr. Duranleau) I should like to ask the Prime Minister if a delegation from the harbour commissioners of Montreal has been in Ottawa to-day concerning the depth of the water in the harbour and, if so, if we can expect a declaration from the government on the matter.

Topic:   MONTREAL HARBOUR
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Prime Minister):

I fancy the hon. member is aware of the fact that a delegation did meet the Minister of Marine and other members of the government, but the conference was protracted to such an extent that the minister is not yet in his place.

Topic:   MONTREAL HARBOUR
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TRADE AND INDUSTRY COMMISSION

ADMINISTRATIVE, ADVISORY AND INVESTIGATORY FUNCTIONS-PROVISION FOR A DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS


Hon. R. B. HANSON (Minister of Trade and Commerce) moved the third reading of Bill No. 86, to establish a dominion trade and industry commission.


CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. H. H. STEVENS (East Kootenay):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to say a few words in connection with the third reading of this bill I desire to take advantage of this opportunity to express some views in connection with the manner in which the report of the price spreads committee and commission has been implemented, and also to direct the attention of the house to a few matters relating thereto which I believe should receive very careful and thoughtful consideration by the house.

Trade Commission-Mr. Stevens

May I open my references to the report by referring to one feature of it or, shall I say, a philosophy which runs through the whole of the report, to which I think all too little attention has been paid. On the second reading of the bill now before the house for third reading I made rather extended and detailed remarks with reference to this feature. At the moment I shall content myself with merely mentioning the point. It will be recalled, sir, that in the preparation of the report certain chapters were introduced leading up to the more practical features of it. I wish to quote again to-day a paragraph which I quoted previously and then, using that as a foundation, to give expression to certain views in regard to the matter. At the opening of chapter III, headed "Concentration and the Corporate System of Business" we have these words:

The evidence before us ... has shown that a few great corporations are predominant in the industries that have been investigated'; also that this power, all the more dangerous because it is impersonal, can be wielded in such a way that competition within the industry is blocked, the welfare of the producer disregarded, and the interests of the investor ignored.

As the hearings into various forms of economic activity were carried on, it has been difficult not to be impressed by the fact that the corporate form of business, not only often gives freedom from legal liability, but also facilitates the evasion of moral responsibility for inequitable and uneconomic practices.

And one other paragraph:

The net result of this combination of flexibility and rigidity is that unregulated competition no longer guarantees efficiency and . maximum production at fair prices. Competition degenerates sometimes into economic warfare where victory may go to the strong, rather than to the efficient.

Topic:   TRADE AND INDUSTRY COMMISSION
Subtopic:   ADMINISTRATIVE, ADVISORY AND INVESTIGATORY FUNCTIONS-PROVISION FOR A DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS
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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

What page is that?

Topic:   TRADE AND INDUSTRY COMMISSION
Subtopic:   ADMINISTRATIVE, ADVISORY AND INVESTIGATORY FUNCTIONS-PROVISION FOR A DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Pages 12 and 13. I read these words for the purpose of indicating that there is a new orientation of business. I enlarged on that the other day, but I am going to speak for the moment as a member of the Conservative party in this house. I was elected as a Conservative, and I take it that the very essence of the economic policy of the Conservative party is to be found in what is known as the national policy. Through all the years the Conservative party, as the representative of a large body of opinion in this country, has taken the principles of the national policy as its guide and lead in matters economic. I wish to say, sir, that in holding the views I do now, in the light of the studies revealed in this report, I am not departing one iota from the economic principles of the Conservative party. I took the trouble to

look up some quotations and I am going to read them, briefly, in order to indicate and to impress upon the minds of hon. members on this side of the house-and hon. members opposite to the extent that they will do me the courtesy of listening-that when the national policy was launched in Canada in 1878 it was never contemplated that that policy would lead to the development of industry to a point where a monopoly would dominate within any particular branch of industry. It is not pertinent at this point to debate what they should have foreseen, or anything of that kind. I shall deal only with the historic facts. Sir John Macdonald, speaking in 1878, is reported at page 859 of Hansard of that year as follows:

It should consist-

Speaking of his new policy-

-of a judicious readjustment of the tariff which would benefit and foster the argicul-tural, the mining, the manufacturing, and other interests of the dominion; a judicious readjustment of the tariff will, mean, to a certain extent, an increased duty upon certain articles.

Note, Mir. Speaker, that this was a policy directed towards the development of the interests of agriculture, mining and manufacturing, as well as other interests. Then I read from a speech by Sir John Macdonald delivered at St. Catharines, in which he used these words:

We have, however, readjusted the tariff, reducing the duties on articles of necessity and raw materials, and increasing those on what is required for home manufacturing, this being a direct encouragement to artisans and mechanics.

Here we have the second feature of this policy which was in the mind of its great framer, namely, that throughout it should protect or redound to the advantage and interest of the workers in industry.

I now turn to another quotation. In the year 1878, at a meeting in Toronto the Liberal Conservative Association of Ontario declared on this subject. This was the pronouncement by a meeting of the Conservative association:

We are satisfied that the welfare of Canada requires the adoption of a national financial policy which, by a judicious readjustment of the tariff, will benefit and foster the agricultural. mining and manufacturing interests of the dominion.

It was not, sir, for the creation of monopolies or for the creation of powerful corporations to operate without law and with a selfish disregard for the rights of others-no, not that, but for the fostering of agriculture, mining and manufacturing.

Trade Commission-Mr. Stevens

I now turn to a quotation from a speech delivered in 1895, after the policy had been in operation. An extract from the budget speech delivered by Sir George Foster, the then Minister of Finance, is as follows:

If there is to be a protective system at all, everybody knows it must be higher in its inception than as the years gradually pass, when industries have become established and when the industrial development of the country grows apace.

Again I point out that the framers of the national policy never contemplated the growth of great monopolies under that policy, nor in later years did the framers of the Combines Investigation Act contemplate that in. spite of that aot great monopolies would dominate, as the report has stated, branches of industry in which they are engaged to a degree of almost complete monopoly.

Sir, there is one other interesting quotation I should like to read, because it shows the attitude of the Liberal party of that day towards this problem. I rather welcome these words because they give an indication of the tolerant spirit shown by .that great party at that time towards the policy,-making a certain reservation. This is a quotation from a speech of Alexander Mackenzie delivered in 1877:

I have no objection to the principle of protection per se; that is, if you can make everybody wealthy without making any person poor. If that is the principle of protection, I am quite in favour of it, if the plan by which it is to be achieved can be shown.

I admit the words sound a little facetious, but I submit further that what they did disclose was the attitude of the leader of the Liberal party of that day, namely, that he had no objection to the principle of protection, if it would result in benefits to the people generally,-and of course to industry, providing it did not result in the creation of iniquities within the industrial system.

Again I say it is futile to look back, with our present knowledge and to say that those of that day should have looked to the future and should have realized that mass production would develop, that the machine age would grow, and that men would be thrown out of work by the tens of thousands through the mechanization of industry and agriculture. These conditions were not foreseen. They were not foreseen twenty years ago, even; they were not foreseen in their present magnitude until they were, in a sense, upon us. But this point stands out clearly, that the framers of the national policy, so-called, never contemplated the creation in this country of industrial groups so powerful that

they could defy government as well as competition. And, sir, throughout our examinations of the past eighteen months, condensed now in the form of this report, it is clear that these great industrial organizations have developed. It does not necessarily follow that they have grown great because of efficiency. That is clearly stated in the report which is presented as a result of our examinations. On the other hand, it is therein stated-this is certainly my firm conviction and I have seen no contradiction of it by other members of the commission-that it was the power of massed capital rather than efficiency which caused or gave power to these great industries. I agree that some members of the commission would qualify that statement, in part, but my conviction is that it is far more due to the control of wealth or capital by these institutions than by their efficiency that they have gained their position of great power.

Topic:   TRADE AND INDUSTRY COMMISSION
Subtopic:   ADMINISTRATIVE, ADVISORY AND INVESTIGATORY FUNCTIONS-PROVISION FOR A DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

Mr. Speaker, may I ask a question.

Topic:   TRADE AND INDUSTRY COMMISSION
Subtopic:   ADMINISTRATIVE, ADVISORY AND INVESTIGATORY FUNCTIONS-PROVISION FOR A DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS
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June 19, 1935