April 9, 1937

LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

It is more than incorrect.

Topic:   LABOUR DISPUTE
Subtopic:   OSHAWA STRIKE OP AUTOMOBILE EMPLOYEES
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO DISCUSS MATTER OP PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
Permalink
LIB

Malcolm McLean

Liberal

Mr. McLEAN (Melfort):

Would the hon. member care to read the full statement regarding what he alleged?

Topic:   LABOUR DISPUTE
Subtopic:   OSHAWA STRIKE OP AUTOMOBILE EMPLOYEES
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO DISCUSS MATTER OP PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
Permalink
CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I was trying to read the full statement, but objection was taken.

Topic:   LABOUR DISPUTE
Subtopic:   OSHAWA STRIKE OP AUTOMOBILE EMPLOYEES
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO DISCUSS MATTER OP PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
Permalink
LIB

Malcolm McLean

Liberal

Mr. McLEAN (Melfort):

Then why repeat the definite statement?

Topic:   LABOUR DISPUTE
Subtopic:   OSHAWA STRIKE OP AUTOMOBILE EMPLOYEES
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO DISCUSS MATTER OP PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
Permalink
CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

If I may be free from all these interruptions I can conclude in a moment or so. I do say that it seems to me it is the responsibility of a government charged with the maintenance of law and order, a government that has definitely stated its policy to be a larger measure of control of industry by the workers, to use some other means than merely repressive measures. I would beg that before there is violence of any kind or before the workers are crushed by the combination that seems to be arrayed against them, this government should exercise its utmost authority and influence in mediating this situation and guaranteeing the workers of this country the right to organize.

Topic:   LABOUR DISPUTE
Subtopic:   OSHAWA STRIKE OP AUTOMOBILE EMPLOYEES
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO DISCUSS MATTER OP PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
Permalink
LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, yesterday morning I was twice called on the telephone by the Premier of Ontario, and following those telephone conversations Mr. Hepburn sent me the following telegram, which I think the house is entitled to hear:

Hon. Ernest Lapointe,

Minister of Justice,

House of Commons,

Ottawa, Ont.

Following our telephone conversation would urgently request that assistance of dominion police be made available to maintain law and order in strike areas. Would further urge that first detachment be sent to Toronto where services will be available in case of emergency. Have only seventy-five trained provincial officers available without impairing other necessary services throughout Ontario. Please let me know to what extent wre may anticipate assistance. Prepared to swear in additional force but am sure you appreciate the fact that special constables could operate more efficiently in conjunction with trained police. Report just submitted to me indicates situation becoming very acute and violence anticipated any minute also impairment of heating plants and fire protection services.

M. F. Hepburn.

I replied as follows:

Hon. Mitchell Hepburn,

Prime Minister,

Toronto.

Your telegram received. Seventy men unmounted will leave at three o'clock for Toronto. Thirty-three all ranks mounted will leave at six o'clock for Toronto. All to be placed at your disposal with understanding that all expenses as usual will be paid by province.

Ernest Lapointe.

In the telephone conversation I was told that officers of the company had been prevented from entering their own offices. A certain number of men, then, have been sent to Toronto at the urgent request of the Premier of Ontario to help the province preserve order and uphold the laws of the country, and my hon. friend has just stated that it is the duty of this government to preserve law and order in the country. The same step would be taken if a similar request were made by any other provincial authority in Canada. Unless the necessity arises for the purpose of upholding the laws these men will not intervene in any way.

There are precedents for the action which has been taken. Police assistance was requested at Port Arthur a few years ago by the attorney general of the province of Ontario, and it was sent. Police assistance was requested at Cochrane in 1931 by the attorney general of Ontario, and it was sent. Police assistance was requested by the province of Quebec at Rouyn, in the mining district, a few years ago, and it was also sent. I would remind the house of the provision contained in section 12, subsection 3, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act, chapter 160 of the Revised Statutes of Canada:

Every member of the force shall be a constable in every part of Canada for the purpose of carrying out the criminal and other laws of Canada . . .

Labour Dispute-Oshawa Strike

I am pleased indeed to hear my hon. friend say that there is no intention of violating the laws of the country in the special instance he has mentioned, and I hope and trust that our labour forces as well as our employers will show to the world that illegality and disorder will never become an industrial weapon in this dominion.

As to the attitude of the government, I have nothing to add to or withdraw from the statement I made in the house a few days ago. I may assure the house and the country that we will be pleased to cooperate in the fullest measure, consistent with our jurisdiction, to effect a peaceful and friendly settlement of this difficulty. I hope my hon. friend also will cooperate.

Topic:   LABOUR DISPUTE
Subtopic:   OSHAWA STRIKE OP AUTOMOBILE EMPLOYEES
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO DISCUSS MATTER OP PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
Permalink
CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. ANGUS MacINNIS (Vancouver East):

Mr. Speaker, there was only one purpose behind bringing this matter before the house to-day. That was to direct the attention of the government to the situation that is developing at Oshawa. The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) undertook to read some of the statements made by Premier Hepburn, but he was not allowed to do so. If I were allowed to read some very brief quotations from the statements by Premier Hepburn I should be glad to do so, because they put Premier Hepburn definitely behind General Motors in their opposition to the Committee for Industrial Organization.

Topic:   LABOUR DISPUTE
Subtopic:   OSHAWA STRIKE OP AUTOMOBILE EMPLOYEES
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO DISCUSS MATTER OP PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No, that is not so.

Topic:   LABOUR DISPUTE
Subtopic:   OSHAWA STRIKE OP AUTOMOBILE EMPLOYEES
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO DISCUSS MATTER OP PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
Permalink
LIB

Malcolm McLean

Liberal

Mr. McLEAN (Melfort):

Only in opposition to an illegal organization.

Topic:   LABOUR DISPUTE
Subtopic:   OSHAWA STRIKE OP AUTOMOBILE EMPLOYEES
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO DISCUSS MATTER OP PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
Permalink
CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

The C.I.O. is no more illegal in this country than the American Federation of Labour is, and I have been a member of the American Federation of Labour for the last thirty years. I am still a member of an organization that is affiliated with the American Federation of Labour; as a matter of fact it is an industrial organization, not based on craft, and we have had very harmonious relations with the company with which we work for a longer period of time than that.

I am going to make only one request today, and after listening to the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) I think it will be conceded. I believe that the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) and the government are just as much interested in bringing about a peaceful and equitable settlement in this case as they were in connection with the threatened railway strike. We must remember that the railway workers are sheltered employees. They have been organized for many years;

they have carried on negotiations with their employers, and nearly always the chairman of the negotiating committee has been an American citizen, an officer of the international brotherhood organization. Such men as those concerned in Oshawa have never been able to organize. At the present time there is a general tendency toward organization, and in order to have harmonious relations in industry of necessity the employees must be organized. I believe every member of this house will agree to that. Now I am asking the Minister of Labour if he will use every available facility within his department to bring the situation in Oshawa to a peaceful and satisfactory conclusion to everyone concerned, which I am satisfied can be done.

Hon. NORMAN McL. ROGERS (Minister of Labour): Mr. Speaker, I imagine all hon. members will share the opinion I now express, that it ought to be the purpose of any discussion here to facilitate rather than to prevent the satisfactory settlement of the dispute at Oshawa. I believe I need not assure the hon. member who has just spoken that the services of the conciliation branch of the Department of Labour in Ottawa will be made available immediately in order that, in the event of the parties to the dispute being agreeable, we may be able to render some assistance in bringing about a satisfactory settlement. May I point out however that the department of labour of the province of Ontario has its own conciliation service, and that up to the present time that service has been dealing with the dispute. I well remember that when the estimates of'the Department of Labour were before the house some time ago the question arose as to possible duplication of or conflict between the conciliation services of the dominion and provincial departments of labour. I sought to explain at that time that so far as the dominion Department of Labour was concerned, sometimes we had to time our intervention in order that it might have the best possible effect. In other words, it would not be desirable that we should interfere in a dispute within a province when the department of labour of that province was actually engaged in negotiations.

As hon. members are possibly aware, that situation has existed for the past week. The department of labour of the province of Ontario has been carrying on negotiations between the company and the employees with a view to settlement of the dispute. Having said that, I can only repeat that the Department of Labour will use its entire resources

Doukhobor Disturbances

when, in its best judgment, it can intervene successfully, in order to bring about an amicable settlement of the present difficulties.

Motion withdrawn.

Topic:   LABOUR DISPUTE
Subtopic:   OSHAWA STRIKE OP AUTOMOBILE EMPLOYEES
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO DISCUSS MATTER OP PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
Permalink

TRADE AND INDUSTRY COMMISSION

INQUIRY WITH RESPECT TO APPOINTMENT OF PUBLIC PROSECUTOR


On the orders of the day:


IND

James Samuel Taylor

Independent

Mr. J. S. TAYLOR (Nanaimo):

Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day are called, and in view of the inquiry directed to the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) on March 29, as reported at page 2235 of Hansard, may I inquire of him if the matter of the appointment of a public prosecutor, as provided by the Dominion Trade and Industry Commission Act, has been considered? If so, what is the decision of the government? If there has been a positive decision, when will the appointment of the prosecutor be made?

Topic:   TRADE AND INDUSTRY COMMISSION
Subtopic:   INQUIRY WITH RESPECT TO APPOINTMENT OF PUBLIC PROSECUTOR
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, in reply to the hon. member may I say that the matter is still under consideration, and a final decision has not yet been reached.

Topic:   TRADE AND INDUSTRY COMMISSION
Subtopic:   INQUIRY WITH RESPECT TO APPOINTMENT OF PUBLIC PROSECUTOR
Permalink

DOUKHOBOR DISTURBANCES

DESTRUCTION OF PUBLIC PROPERTY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA


On the order for committee of supply:


CON

William Kemble Esling

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. K. ESLING (Kootenay West):

Mr. Speaker, because the rules of the house do not offer another opportunity, with the unanimous consent of hon. members I should like to preface a question to the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) by a very brief statement. I do so because this is a matter involving terrorism, dynamiting and incendiarism. A whole community in my constituency is terrorized by the action of a fanatical group of Doukhobors who, in two or three hours last Sunday morning, dynamited and bombed eleven schools, seven of which were totally destroyed. Community halls, churches and other meeting places are under guard. The situation is so intolerable that the farmers institute at Robson, the centre of the disturbances, has wired a request that I bring the matter to the attention of the Minister of Justice.

Last June one of these fanatical Doukhobors was convicted of burning a bridge. Immediately following the conviction there were no 31111-178

less than fifteen fires, and it must be understood that the perpetrators are not particular as to whether or not life is endangered by their actions. Very often the teachers make their homes in these small public schools.

We realize, as the minister will no doubt tell us, that it is up to the provincial government to maintain order and to enforce the law. The difficulty however is that it is impossible for them to do so. There are records of about fifty fires; the provincial police have done their very best, but they are up against a stone wall because the Doukhobors are dumb in so far as giving information is concerned. They simply tell the provincial police that there is plenty of money to run down offenders of our nationality, and that they can use it to run down offenders of their nationality. I would ask the Minister of Justice if, without intruding upon the duties of the provincial police, he would enter into a conversation with the attorney general of British Columbia with a view to participating in bringing this period of terrorism to an end.

Topic:   DOUKHOBOR DISTURBANCES
Subtopic:   DESTRUCTION OF PUBLIC PROPERTY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I know the house must have some realization of the seriousness of this situation. It is one which really beggars description. At another time I had occasion to direct attention to it, and I do not believe that the province can quite deal with it. Where you have eleven or twelve buildings destroyed by fire, blasting, dynamiting and other means you have a situation which we Canadians find it difficult to understand or appreciate. I suggest the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) should at least meet the views of the people in the locality-I am sure they have communicated with him, through the provincial authorities-

Topic:   DOUKHOBOR DISTURBANCES
Subtopic:   DESTRUCTION OF PUBLIC PROPERTY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
Permalink

April 9, 1937