April 4, 1938

LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Before I finish I shall give certain details in connection with what has been done. As the leader of the opposition is aware, specific projects are dealt with normally, have been for some years at any rate, through supplementary estimates for that purpose.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

Has the minister in mind cooperation with the Ontario government in its proposed flood control plan?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I do not think I should be or can be inveigled into a commitment of that kind at the present time. I am sure if I answered my hon. friend in the affirmative, there would be no lack of other members who would suggest suitable measures of cooperation in their own constituencies. In the nature of things we have had in recent years to deal

with a vast variety of projects put forward because of their remote relation to unemployment or relief; but my own feeling has been, from the experience I have had during the last two and a half years, that we should concentrate, not on works projects as such merely for the purpose of providing employment, but rather on such projects as will develop this country, conserve its resources and make possible an increasing income, and, I trust, a permanent absorption of a larger number of our people into independent occupations. That has been our policy so far as we could bring it about through the programs which have been undertaken in the past two years. That is the policy we propose to maintain and to extend, and as I said a moment ago I believe it is a policy which will also play its part in counteracting some disintegrating forces which exist in this dominion at the present time. Within federal jurisdiction, under federal control, there are means of developing this country which will not merely contribute to the temporary alleviation of unemployment, though I do not disregard the importance of that, but above all else make it possible for Canada to increase its national income.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

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

Mr. HEAPS:

Has the minister anything particular in mind in that regard?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I think I shall be able to satisfy my hon. friend. As I have said, there are certain features of this program which are already in operation, and I shall refer to them before I conclude my remarks. There are other features of it which, as I have indicated, may have a special relation to the tourist industry, and which will be announced in due course.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAWSON:

May I take it that the features to which the minister proposes to refer before he finishes, are those in respect to which the policy of the government for the past two years has been the development of natural resources?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Yes; that and also the means we have followed in stimulating certain of the basic industries of this country in order that they may absorb a larger number of our unemployed. That is substantially what I have in mind.

I come next to the recommendations of the national employment commission with regard to what is termed rehabilitation, or plans for improving employability. In this connection I should like to refer back to another recommendation of the commission which was adopted by the government, and as a result

Relief and Agricultural Distress

of which there has been in operation during the past year a program of youth training through which, I am justified in saying, a new hope has been given to and a stronger morale built up in thousands of unemployed young people from one end of the dominion to the other.

The national employment commission received a report from the youth employment committee, and it passed on to this government a recommendation, based on the report of the youth employment committee, that the government should initiate training projects for unemployed young people. It will be remembered that last year we placed in the estimates an item of $1,000,000 for that purpose. There were some in this house who suggested that that amount was too small; there were others who suggested that it was too large. I think it may be said that the amount, although it might have been doubled with advantage, was perhaps what it ought to have been haying regard to the experimental nature of this work. We lost no time as a government in following the recommendation of the national employment commission in that regard, although I acknowledge freely, as stated in the report of the commission, that so far as the expenditure was concerned, we did not go as far as the commission thought we might have done. Letters were sent to all the provinces in May last, following the prorogation of parliament, asking the provinces to submit to the dominion government projects for training unemployed young people, projects which would have a value in the restoration of physical health and morale, projects which would have what might be termed a recreational value for those who had been unemployed in our larger cities. In other words, we set out in our proposals to the provinces the framework within which these various projects should be made to us, and when those projects were received we dealt with them and adopted them if they fell within the categories laid down by the national employment commission. I am happy to say that every province accepted eventually the proposals with regard to training projects for unemployed young people, and from Prince Edward Island right through to British Columbia these projects have been in operation during recent months.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

May I ask the minister a question in that regard?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Certainly.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

I have in mind that perhaps twenty-five to thirty thousand skilled

men-toolmakers, machinists and so forth- have returned to the old country to work in the munitions plants there. What method has the government been following or what has been recommended to train youths between eighteen and twenty-five along these lines? I do not know of any-and I am thoroughly acquainted with many machine shops-who are being trained in these vocations. If we should need them to fill these positions we shall not have them.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

The observation of the hon. member-which perhaps is rather an observation than a question-is quite properly made. There is no doubt that there has been an exodus of trained mechanics to Great Britain; but is my hon. friend also aware that in past years we have in the main drawn our trained mechanics from Great Britain?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

Alexander McKay Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS:

The technical schools of Ontario are supplying them.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

They are training them to some extent; but I believe the hon. member for Waterloo South will find, if he consults with officials of trades unions and heads of industries, that many of our finest mechanics were drawn from Great Britain. In the last two or three years, in particular, with the great expansion of certain trades, especially the iron and steel industries, in the metal trades, in Great Britain, they have been drawn back to that country.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

The minister does not intimate that any skilled mechanics of that kind are being drawn from Great Britain to Canada?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Oh, no, not at the present time. The movement is rather the other way. But apprenticeship, as the commission report indicates, falls in the first instance upon industry. That is to say that industry in this country, if it feels it has a lack, either now or in prospect, of trained mechanics, is in its own interest surely under an obligation to take some measures .to train boys who will take the place of those mechanics who, as my hon. friend has said, have gone back to England and of those who are advancing in age and will soon retire. Some of our industries have recognized that problem.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

How many young men or young women, as the case may be, have been or are being trained under these agreements with the provinces which the minister has cited?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I have all this information here and I shall be glad to place it before the committee.

Relief and Agricultural Distress

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

What steps are being taken to follow that work up? This training is good. What follow-up is there? If it is not followed up, it is lost.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

First, as to the question put by the hon. member for Kootenay East, these questions are questions which naturally call for an answer, and an answer will be given. I have the information as to the total number who are receiving training, and I propose to give it to the committee. Certainly I have no desire to withhold it.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Why the secrecy now?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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April 4, 1938