February 3, 1937

SC

Otto Buchanan Elliott

Social Credit

Mr. ELLIOTT (Middlesex):

It is under the Department of Trade and Commerce.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink
CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

As the vote to which I have referred must have been discussed and endorsed by the government, in what position will the government be when it deals with the resolution now before us? That is why I said at the outset that if the government is opposed to the resolution, all hon. members opposite who have spoken in favour of it will have to step up to the front and vote against that which they applauded and which, by their speeches, they have favoured.

518 COMMONS

Pacific Coast Shipping-Mr. MacNicol

In the absence of the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Euler) I suggest we should have a statement from the acting minister indicating the government's position. No doubt a resolution of such importance has been discussed by the government. The chairman of the committee which sat last session, the hon. member for North Battleford (Mr. McIntosh), proved to be an excellent one. He went to no end of trouble to see that the committee obtained all the information which could assist it in arriving at a decision. The suggestion he made a few moments ago appeals to me; as a matter of fact before he made it I had the same idea in mind. He has recommended that the government appoint someone to go to Vancouver to ascertain whether the statement made by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company-and I have questioned them in the matter-to the effect that there are not men available to replace the present crews, or the contention of the hon. member for New Westminster that men are available, is the true one. In what position are hon. members when they must judge as to the accuracy of either contention. The government ought to be in a position to tell us whether or not they have made an investigation. Had I been minister of trade and commerce I would have had someone go to Vancouver to make a thorough inquiry into the submissions of the hon. member for New Westminster and of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.

I am in earnest when I say it was obvious that the hon. member was sincere in his observations. I believe he was conscientious, that he made an exhaustive inquiry, and that his presentation was in the interests of the working men of Vancouver. On the other hand I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of the position taken by the representatives of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company who appeared before the committee. Contradictory statements were made, and I repeat the suggestion of the chairman of the committee that someone should be sent to Vancouver to ascertain which of the two statements is one hundred per cent true, and whether or not anything can be done.

We are now faced with the necessity of voting either for or against the resolution. If we vote for it we are agreeing that no further moneys from the treasury of Canada by way of subsidy be given to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company towards the operation of the Empress ships operating between Vancouver and the orient. Certainly there is no give or take in the wording I have quoted; we must vote either for or against

it. If we vote for it, what will happen? There would be no use in the Postmaster General granting $600,000 to carry the mail to the orient. If we vote for the resolution now before the house we immediately shut out the necessity for the money asked by the Postmaster General. The minister shakes his head,-well, I tell him that if the house accepts the resolution and if every hon. member who votes for it intends to stick to the value of his vote, then those hon. members would have to vote against the minister's estimate.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink
SC

Otto Buchanan Elliott

Social Credit

Mr. ELLIOTT (Middlesex):

I hope not.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink
CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

They cannot vote for

it. Hon. members cannot vote for a resolution which states we must not give a subsidy to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and then later vote the very subsidy we say we must not give. I am fully in accord with the recommendations the committee made at the last session. They were read, but I think they are worth reading again, leaving out the preamble in each case.

1. . . . and that they be requested-

That is the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.

-to afford Canadian seamen a reasonable degree of employment at the earliest possible convenience.

I am strongly in accord with that. I believe the Canadian Pacific Railway Company should employ workmen who are citizens in the fullest sense of the term. How otherwise are we to have a completely Canadian marine service? Someone-I believe it was the hon. member for Halifax (Mr. Isnor)-speaking a short time ago, strongly advocated the employment of Canadians, and so do I. I would go as far as the suggestion referred to by the hon. member for North Battleford (Mr. McIntosh), and if the further employment of Canadians should necessitate an increase in the subsidy I would be in favour of it. I recall that a year ago when the Canadian Pacific Railway Company's representatives appeared before the committee, they intimated that they would be in accord with such a proposal, and that if a larger subsidy were given they would go further than they have done in employing Canadians. The second recommendation was:

That ... the Canadian Pacific Railway Company be requested to replace the orientals now so employed by Canadian seamen, and that this change be made at the company's earliest opportunity.

Pacific Coast Shipping-Mr. Howden

I am not sure whether the company has yet had sufficient opportunity to select and try out the number of seamen sufficient to carry out all the recommendations made by the committee.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink
?

An hon. MEMBER:

They have had seven months.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink
CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

I am in favour of the recommendations we made, but I should like the responsible minister of the crown to tell us just exactly what will be involved if this resolution is carried. It states in emphatic language that no subsidy should be given,* and that means immediately. My mind is not definitely made up as to what I should do. Will the minister representing the Minister of Trade and Commerce tell us what is the import of this resolution? If it will cripple the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, this house should think carefully before passing any resolution of this kind. I am not here to speak for the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. During my whole life I have been associated with thousands of workmen, and their interests are paramount with me; but having had that experience I realize that one cannot help labour by crippling a great organization like the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. I know what industry is. I am talking from twenty-five years of experience of the practical end of it, not book knowledge or the knowledge of a man who looks at industry from the outside. If you cripple industry you reduce employment. I think the government should be in a position to tell us, before we vote on this resolution, what will be the actual effect if it is passed. When all is said, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company have done a very great deal for Canada. If my memory serves me aright, last year it was stated before the committee by one of the company's representatives that they had 53,000 men employed in their business in Canada.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

Railways and all.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink
CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

Of course, railways and all. You cannot hurt one part of an organization without hurting the whole of it. In addition they purchased in Canada $53,000,000 worth of goods, a large proportion of which would represent labour. I remember that I asked a Canadian Pacific railway witness where they carried on their repairs. Some repairs, if not most, it was stated, were made in Hong Kong. Then I asked him where they got the material that was used in making repairs to their ships, and he said, in Canada and in Great Britain.

It is not up to me to say just what should be done to this resolution, but it is the duty of the government to tell this house, before we go any further, what their position is in reference to a refusal, in accordance with this resolution, to give a subsidy to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company unless they immediately employ Canadians and displace the orientals now engaged. I am in favour of the Canadian, but I do not approve the crippling of any great industry without knowing the effects upon trade and employment in Canada.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink
CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Before the hon. member takes his seat, might I ask him if, as representing an industrial constituency, he considers it in the interests of Canadian workmen to have work done in Hong Kong.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink
CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

I asked the witness that question, from the point of view that personally I favoured having the work done in Canada. But the reply was that in Hong Kong the docks, including machine shops and the necessary equipment to make major repairs on their ships and engines, were more suitable, and I understood- that if the work was not done in Hong Kong they would have to send the ships to Great Britain or the United States as we did not have that equipment in Canada. I am sorry we have not; I would much rather that we had, but as we have not I would rather that the work be done in Hong Kong, a British territory, than in the United States.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink
LIB

John Power Howden

Liberal

Mr. J. P. HOWDEN (St. Boniface):

I have but a very few words to say on this matter. I notice that most of the hon. members who have spoken to the motion were members of the committee which investigated this matter and brought in a report. It is nearly a year since the report was presented, and the substance of it may be a little hazy in the minds of many members. It is not my desire or intention to read the whole report, but it seems to me that the intent and wording of the report were very clear and that there should not be much difficulty about making up one's mind as to what should be done with this resolution. If, therefore, I might claim the indulgence of the house for a few moments, I should like to read the explanatory paragraph dealing with the Canadian Pacific railway oriental ships on the Pacific coast. May I explain that there are, apparently, three types of Pacific coast shipping dealt with: coastwise shipping, shipping to Australia and New Zealand, that is the antipodes, and

520 COMMONS

Pacific Coast Shipping-Mr. Kinley

shipping to the orient, which is carried on by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company's Empress boats. In the report the explanatory paragraph states:

Oriental shipping: the third type is chiefly carried on by the Empress boats of the Canadian Pacific railway transpacific service. These ships receive a substantial subsidy from the government. The total number of men employed to man them is 2,033, of whom 265 are white British, engaged as officers and engineers. The remaining 1.768 are Chinese, comprising 277 deck-hands, 558 in the engine room, and 933 victuallers. It is claimed by the company that, as much of their passenger trade, namely 67 per cent, through and local, is oriental, this type of labour is not only cheaper, but infinitely more satisfactory than white labour, since the latter could not be gotten to cater to oriental passengers on the one hand or mix with oriental labour on the other. It is moreover claimed by the company that the service is norv supplied at a serious yearly loss and that the extra cost involved in the substitution of Canadians for orientals would make the service practically impossible of operation.

That paragraph practically covers the testimony which was submitted to the committee on this matter, and it is explanatory; it leaves nothing very much to be guessed at. The committee has taken it for granted that the testimony contained in that paragraph was bona fide and was the real substance of the investigation so far as orientals on Canadian Pacific ships are concerned. And we have taken it for granted that the statements made are true; we give them full credit for their truth. Our recommendation on the occasion was:

That, as up to the year 1913, the decks of the Empress boats were manned by white seamen, and inasmuch as the deck service is an important and responsible branch of the work of these boats, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company be requested to replace with Canadian seamen, the orientals now so employed, and that this change be made at the company's earliest opportunity.

I do not believe there is anything very arbitrary in that report. The report seems to me to be a very reasonable and fair-minded view of the whole matter, and the request embodied in it, submitted to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, to replace Chinamen on deck with white seamen, as had been the practice prior to 1913, is a very reasonable one. It does not involve such a very great change, because 277 deck-hands out of a total of 2,033 is not a very large number.

I am going to vote for this resolution, naturally. I believe it is reasonable and fair. In my opinion the request made of the Cana-.dian Pacific is altogether fair and, besides that, it is in the interests of the travelling public that the decks of these boats should

fMr. Howden.]

be manned by white seamen. This is not an inconsiderate request to make. Altogether the resolution is eminently reasonable and I cannot see how any member of the committee can do anything but vote for the report which was submitted. I am voting for it.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink
LIB

John James Kinley

Liberal

Mr. J. J. KINLEY (Queens-Lunenburg):

1 desire to say a word in support, of the resolution inasmuch as it is of interest to the seafaring people of Nova Scotia, where unemployment is a problem. Nova Scotia being a maritime province, it is, of course, natural that Jffie people should wish to make a living on the sea. With the passing of sailing ships in our province we had many splendid sailors and many officers who, being advanced in years, and not having started with the big companies as apprentices and worked their way up, found that there was no place for them in the seafaring commerce of the world. This has been a problem in Nova Scotia for some years. There was a time when our men could go to the United States and get berths on American vessels, and by that means a good many Nova Scotians maintained their families in the province. But the United States has tightened up its laws in the interests of its own nationals. Its immigration and shipping laws are more restrictive to-day, so that Nova Scotians are not able to find the employment which was available to them in that country a few years ago.

This problem that faces us now is not new; it is the outcome of selfishness-the common selfishness of large corporations which act in their own interests. Shipping has become highly centralized and perhaps necessarily so, and enterprises that become so centralized use their influence with the government of the country to obtain subventions and subsidies. They get what protection they need, and after they have obtained that protection for themselves they want to hire sailors in the world market. That is unfair, and it is not even in sympathy with the policy they represent to the government. If there is one class of people who need protection to-day it is those of our nationals who try to make their living on the sea.

We have no colour problem on the eastern coast; the yellow peril does not exist to the same extent there. I should regret, therefore, to see the colour line drawn, because we have many coloured sailors and citizens in our province.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink
?

An hon. MEMBER:

It was not drawn; the resolution was amended last year.

Pacific Coast Shipping-Mr. Rogers

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink
LIB

John James Kinley

Liberal

Mr. KINLEY:

I am glad to hear that. The Dominion Coal Company asked for a subvention; it also asked for protection on coal in order that it might sell to the people of central Canada coal mined in Nova Scotia. I subscribed to that request. At the same time, however, they will hire foreigners to man their ships in the coastal trade of Canada to carry our coal to the markets in which it is sold, and I as a representative of Nova Scotia am expected to support that policy, while they are operating against the interests of the people I represent. That is not good enough. Those who think they can advance their own interests in Canada by means of such a selfish policy will find in time that they are working only against themselves.

In my opinion, we surrendered the privileges and the rights we enjoyed when we entered into the merchant shipping agreement with the British Empire. There may be some reason why in inter-ocean trade there should be some latitude in the hiring of sailors, but why we should give up our rights in the coastal trade and hire anyone but Canadian citizens is something which I cannot understand. This country cannot hope to compete with the sailors of Europe, and if we are ever to have a merchant marine we must see to it that we go through the educational and missionary period, so to speak, and produce and sustain sailors who will be a credit to Canada. Most of the ships on the Atlantic coast are manned by aliens, while there are many Canadians who would like the job. This year the merchant shipping agreement is due to be revised. There is to be an imperial conference after the coronation, and I submit to the Minister of Transport (Mr. Howe) and the government that in making any future arrangements they should take into consideration the interests of Canadian seamen.

We .hear a great deal about the balance of trade between Canada and Great Britain. We sell them natural products. Do not forget that they have the carrying of all these goods, and that there is sometimes more profit in carrying the goods than in selling them. You must set off against the trade balance of this country the money that goes out for insurance and carrying charges. We sold our Canadian merchant marine ships that were running to Australia. I think that was a short-sighted policy for this country. We performed the missionary work; for years these ships did not pay, and immediately they began to show a balance on the right side we sold them for practically nothing and allowed other people to do our carrying trade. It is most important with regard to foreign trade

that we control the transportation, because the moment others get control they can raise the freight rates. Also if it is in the hands of outside interests, if they see that we are doing too much competition business with another country, they can control it through freight rates.

No country becomes great that does not pioneer upon the sea. All the great countries of history were great upon the sea. In Canada, if we hope to build up the merchant marine and build up a good export trade, we must see to it that our trade routes are properly sustained, that we have men able to man our ships, and that we have the proper trade treaties with foreign countries. So this resolution is of more importance than we may at first think; it is important not only for the present but for the future; our merchant marine is an important factor in building for the future. Also we should do like other countries, look after our own nationals and give them preference in our own country.

Hon. NORMAN McL. ROGERS (Acting Minister of Trade and Commerce): I hope

the mover of the resolution (Mr. Reid) will feel that its purpose has been largely served by the discussion which has taken place this afternoon. Most, if not all, of those who have spoken were members last year of the industrial and international relations committee. Without .exception I think they have expressed disappointment that the Canadian Pacific Railway Company have not seen fit to comply with the request of that committee, which was concurred in by this house. I say without any hesitation that I share that disappointment.

At the same time this resolution goes far beyond an expression of disappointment. I should like to consider first its form, and then its substance, both very briefly. I think it is correct to say, as indeed the hon. member for New Westminster acknowledged, that it is not proper to speak of a request concurred in by this house as an order of parliament imposed upon the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Obviously the concurrence of this house in that report was in the terms of that report. In other words, it is a request that was communicated to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. For that reason I do not think it. will be possible for this house to accept the resolution in respect of its final paragraph, because the suggestion there is that a penalty should be imposed upon the company for non-compliance with an ordeT of this parliament. As I said a moment ago, I share fully the disappointment of other members of the committee in *he failure of

522 COMMONS

Pacific Coast Shipping-Mr. Rogers

the company to comply with the request, but I do not 'believe that we can go to the length of assuming that an order was communicated to the company and that we are entitled to impose a penalty upon the company for refusing to obey an order.

I should like to say a word regarding the communications between the Department of Trade and Commerce and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. There was no negligence and no delay on the part of the department in communicating the request of the committee as concurred in by this house to the company. The report was concurred in on June 17. On June 29 a letter from the department was sent to the company clearly setting forth the resolution, and the attention of the company was directed to it. On July 8 the Canadian Pacific Railway Company replied to that letter and in their reply they indicated that they doubted their ability to comply with the request upon three grounds: first, that the company could not afford to carry out the request for the employment of Canadian seamen as deck-hands on the transpacific service without additional subsidy-

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink
CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Has that been communicated to the house?

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink
LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I believe these papers were placed upon the table of the house as a parliamentary return.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink
CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Recently? I tried to find them but I could not.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink
LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Within a few days.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink
CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

They should not be gone into unless they are at the disposal of the house in considering an important matter like this. '

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink
LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

My impression is that they were placed upon the table of the house on Friday last.

The second objection by the company was to the effect that they anticipated difficulty from labour troubles if Chinese deck-hands were replaced by Canadians. And the third objection, which to my mind is the one material objection, is based upon a doubt as to whether there were enough white seamen available to make the required replacements.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
Permalink

February 3, 1937