May 4, 1936

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Marine; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

There will be the men required to supervise the work; there will be the materials required for the work as there is a considerable amount of ballasting to be done, and there will be the cost of equipment. The figures I have given appear to present the true picture.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. OOLDWELL:

Is any provision being made with regard to unemployed railway men in the various towns? If the railways are being subsidized to this extent-and I was not aware that the government was to bear the whole cost of the wages-I should think something ought to be done to try to get the railways to take on unemployed railway men. There are hundreds of them in the cities and in some of the smaller centres. Even in the little town of Biggar in my constituency there is a number of railway men who have been almost altogther out of work for several years. Cannot something be done in their behalf when the railways are being subsidized? If we are to embark upon the subsidizing of institutions for the purpose of employing men, the railways are not the only ones that should be considered. We have a bill for the rehabilitation of agriculture and I believe a great deal of unemployed labour could be used advantageously in assisting to clear land which has already been settled in order that the settlers may become self-supporting. That would be a valuable form of the utilization of such subsidized labour. However the specific question I am asking at the moment is: What is to become of unemployed railway men in these towns? Is anything going to be done to give these men employment in view of the subsidy given the railways?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Marine; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

There is a distinct understanding with both the railways that the ordinary maintenance crews will be employed before

Supply-Railways-Relief Works

this type of labour is utilized by the railways. I think my hon. friend will agree that the railway man who has seniority should be given the first opportunity of seeking employment on extra crews. I doubt very much whether the hundreds of men he speaks of will not be offered work on extra gangs during the summer months. That includes any man with seniority.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. HEAPS:

Will a copy of the agreement be/tween the two railways and the government be tabled?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Marine; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

The agreement has not yet been executed. It has been signed by the railway companies but the government has not signed it because it has not the authorization.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
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CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

Is each railway to get the same number of men?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Marine; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Yes, that is the provision.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
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LIB

Donald MacLennan

Liberal

Mr. MacLENNAN:

In many of the towns there is a great number of young single men, now out of employment who were employed by the railways some years ago. They were laid off and they have been waiting year after year for brighter times in the hope of being reemployed on the railways. I understand that in Nova Scotia at a certain point, the terminal at Point Tupper, there are many unemployed men who worked on the railways in years gone by, and under this scheme it is the intention to send men from God knows where, from the relief camps, to work at this point, while these men who have been" waiting for years with their mouths open will get no employment at all. I do not desire to criticize any scheme which the government is strenuously putting forward to alleviate the unemployment situation, but I really do not think it is fair that men who are now out of employment should be handicapped because they refused to become a public charge, to go into the camps or to take relief. It seems to me to -be rather unfair that because of this refusal, because of their independence and possibly because of a little pride-and I wish there were a little more pride left in many people-these men are now to be penalized. They did not choose to go into detention camps, though if they had gone there they would now be eligible for employment, whereas under this scheme it would appear that they are to be penalized for not having become a public charge.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
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LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. McIVOR:

On the Canadian National at Fort William there are men working who have not worked so early in the season in

years. I know these men personally and I can say that usually they do not get work until well on in the summer. Now they are engaged in regular work with wages.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

I do not know whether it is wise to ask more questions on this item; the more questions I ask the more confused I am. Whether it is because I am dense or because the answers are not clear I do not know. Do I understand the minister to say that the whole of the item of $3,100,000 is to be paid in wages to the men who are to do the work?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Marine; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

That is correct.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

What is meant by paragraph (d) which has been read by the acting leader of the opposition? Where is the appropriation for that item?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Marine; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Under certain conditions, to pay for materials?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

Yes. I am referring to paragraph (d), which mentions materials and certain other expenditures. If the whole of this money is to go in wages there will be nothing left for materials and there is nothing further on in the list.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Marine; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

What I attempted to say

was that that wras a saving clause for the government. In the event of our falling lamentably short of the supply of 10,000 men whom we have asked the railways to be prepared to use, we have provided for recouping the railways for such loss as they may incur in consequence of our failure to supply the number of men.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

Why should there be any loss even if the government could not find a sufficient number of men in the unemployment relief camps? Could not either the government or the railways advertise for men to do the work? Is there any reason in the present state of the labour market why they should not find the men? I assume that this work is necessary; that the railway companies must perform it if they are to keep their tracks in proper repair; if they are going to this expense it must be because the work must be done. Either that is the situation, or the government is making them a free gift of a certain amount of work, not necessary, in order to keep men employed. That seems to be the only construction to which this item is open as it stands. There is no reason in the world why the government should have to pay for materials. As

Supply-Railways-Relief Works

this item stands, the government furnishes the money to pay the men; the men do the work, and the railways are going to receive all the relief given.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
Permalink
CON

Grote Stirling

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STIRLING:

I think the reason I

am under the misapprehension that the railways as well as the government were contributing to the wages to be paid is my misunderstanding of the statement of the Minister of Labour on February 26, in which he said in part:

This work will be in addition to the usual maintenance work of the railways. It will be undertaken on a cooperative basis, provision for which will be proposed in the emergency supplementary estimates. Men taken from the relief camps by the railroads will be in private employment and on a basis of work and wages.

I certainly took that to mean that under the cooperative effort the railway companies and the government were going to contribute to the wages. That apparently is not what the minister meant.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Marine; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I think it is a cooperative

basis. My hon. friend, as an engineer, will know that to do work of any kind requires both men and material. In this case the railways furnish the material, the supervision and the equipment of all kinds and stand the costs in connection therewith. The government pays the costs of direct labour of the men it furnishes to the railways. Therefore I think the statement of the Minister of Labour was accurate.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
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CON

Ernest Edward Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

I should like

the Minister of Railways to enlighten us on this point. I know that the agreement cannot legally be put through until authority is given by parliament. But the draft is ready and has been signed by the railways. Does it provide that only men from the relief camps can be used for this purpose, or, as my hon. friend from Winnipeg North suggested, if there are not enough men from the relief camps, who are to work there? Is there any provision by which other unemployed men can be used for this purpose?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Marine; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

The railways agree to

utilize men furnished them by the government. We propose to take those men from the relief camps.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS
Permalink

May 4, 1936