February 26, 1937

CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I think that is wrong.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION BY COMMISSIONER UNDER MINISTER OF LABOUR
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

There is one other section of the combines act as proposed which will conceivably affect certain functions which were to have been discharged by the trade and industry commission, but I doubt, Mr. Chairman, whether it would be to the advantage of the house for me to give any details of these matters at this time. I simply rose at the moment to indicate the two material changes in the Dominion Trade and Industry Commission Act which will follow if the present legislation is approved by parliament.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION BY COMMISSIONER UNDER MINISTER OF LABOUR
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?

Leslie Gordon Bell

Mr. COLD WELL:

I do not know how

wide this legislation is going to be. It is to provide for the administration of the act by an officer to be known as the commissioner of the combines act, for the investigation of alleged combines by the commissioner, and for the appointment of such a commissioner, special commissioners and assistants, and to provide salaries, remuneration and expenses therefor. I do not know whether the minister by regulation or statute or otherwise is going to consider the granting of increased powers under this legislation, and I suggest that some consideration be given that question and that when he brings down the legislation he inform the house in that regard.

A few weeks ago a group of merchants in western Canada had occasion to take up a matter which they believed was due to the operation of a combine, and the reply they had from the Minister of the Interior, as he was then, or rather from his secretary, was that there was no legislation bearing upon the matter, nor was it possible to effect a remedy by legislation. The situation is roughly this. Just before the war certain merchants in western Canada organized what was known as the Merchants' Consolidated, a company at that time owned entirely by the merchants themselves on a cooperative basis. Since then, by death, removal and other causes, the company has become more or less a limited concern with about fifty per cent of the stock

Combines Investigation Act

owned by these merchants. They deal in all kinds of goods, and the particular commodity they are interested in just now is something which is widely used in the west, gasoline equipment. There is only one company in Canada manufacturing a wide range of such equipment, and there are two wholesale houses that handle hardware largely in western Canada, and the organization that is owned by the merchants-Merchants' Consolidated of Winnipeg-is unable to get delivery on the regular wholesale basis through this particular company, which is an American concern with a Canadian subsidiary enjoying quite a high measure of tariff protection. These merchants believe that this operates as a restriction of trade or a combine. I do not know whether the statement made by the minister's secretary is correct, that there is no legislation that can deal with this matter at the present time. If so, I would suggest that if any amendments are to be made to the act or if any change is to be made in the regulations or in the general set-up of this particular department of government, the matter I have just brought to the minister's notice should be taken into consideration. Quite recently the radio business has been brought to our attention and there is a widespread belief in Canada that there is a combine operating in that field, because when we compare prices of similar articles on both sides of the international line we see that there is a considerable difference in prices.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION BY COMMISSIONER UNDER MINISTER OF LABOUR
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Radio tubes?

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION BY COMMISSIONER UNDER MINISTER OF LABOUR
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?

Leslie Gordon Bell

Mr. COLD WELL:

Yes, radio tubes, for one thing. I have taken this opportunity to bring the matter to the minister's attention because I think it should be looked into. Then, too, there are a number of agencies that operate in the sale of goods directly to the consumer and they appear to operate as a sort of combine, at any rate as far as the treatment of their salesmen is concerned. These are matters we do not often have an opportunity of bringing up in the house and I am taking advantage of the present discussion to ask the minister to consider, in connection with the legislation which he will bring down, matters of the sort I have just been discussing.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION BY COMMISSIONER UNDER MINISTER OF LABOUR
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I am. obliged to my hon. friend for the information he has given with respect to combines which, in his belief, exist in certain fields of industry. I am sure he will understand that the Minister of Labour cannot assume the functions of a commissioner under the combines act. If he will give

me the information by letter I will see whether the facts are such as will justify an inquiry under the terms either of existing legislation or of the legislation which will follow the acceptance of this resolution.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION BY COMMISSIONER UNDER MINISTER OF LABOUR
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Apparently I sent the information to the wrong departmentt. I communicated with the Department of Trade and Commerce, which I thought was the appropriate department.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION BY COMMISSIONER UNDER MINISTER OF LABOUR
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

The Dominion Trade and Industry Commission, which hitherto has had the administration of the combines act, was placed under the president of the privy council. As a matter of fact the combines act had been formerly under the administration of the Department of Labour, and what is now proposed is really a return to that former position.

If I may revert to the point raised by the leader of the opposition, I find in the explanatory note that section 14 of the Dominion Trade and Industry Commission Act was declared ultra vires by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION BY COMMISSIONER UNDER MINISTER OF LABOUR
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

But there was no appeal.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION BY COMMISSIONER UNDER MINISTER OF LABOUR
Permalink
LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

No, there was no appeal.

Resolution reported, read the second time and concurred in. Mr. Rogers thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 41, to amend and consolidate the Combines Investigation Act and amending act.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

The house in committee of supply, Mr. Sanderson in the chair.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ADMINISTRATION BY COMMISSIONER UNDER MINISTER OF LABOUR
Permalink

DEPARTMENT OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH


European war pensions, naval, militia, and air forces after the war, $41,500,000.


CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

Does the reduction signify a general contraction in the number of pensions to be paid in Canada?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Hon. C. G. POWER (Minister of Pensions and National Health):

No, I do not think so. It signifies that that is about all we spent last year and all that it is likely we shall spend this year.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH
Permalink

Item agreed to. Employers' liability compensation, $40,000.


CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

What does this item cover?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

This is one which has been in these estimates since 1921, as a result of the recommendation of a committee of the

Supply-Pensions-European War

House of Commons which sat during that session. For a period of three years from September 1, 1921, the government of Canada assumed the workmen's compensation liability imposed upon employers of former members of the forces who received a war disability pension of twenty per cent or more. That has been continued from year to year ever since.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH
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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

That means former

soldiers working in industries that have to provide for workmen's compensation?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

It was alleged at that time that ex-members of the forces had difficulty in obtaining employment, since the workmen's compensation premiums in their case were higher because they were more likely to be injured in an industrial accident. At the present time, as my hon. friend knows, in I think every province there are workmen's compensation boards, and really all payments are made to those boards. It is a question whether or not this amount really serves the purpose for which it was originally provided, because I think in most provinces-I know in Ontario and Quebec-the premiums paid are based on the nature of the industry. For instance in the pulp and paper industry the amount paid to the board would be, let us say, 10 or 15 per cent; in some other industry, less or more hazardous, the rates would vary accordingly. However, the amount has been fully expended in former years and it is considered advisable to keep it in for fear some men might lose their jobs if the government withdrew the grant.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH
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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

It has been fully expended?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH
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February 26, 1937