June 9, 1938

CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The hon. member for

Regin-a City' is reported in the press to have said that the reason why the electors of Saskatchewan should return Liberal candidates in that province in yesterday's election was that they' had obtained more money than they would have obtained if there had not been a Liberal government there and a Liberal government here; that they had been supplied with feed and fodder, clothing and things of that kind.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The right hon. leader of the opposition is now talking about something that is reported in the press. A moment ago he said he was talking of something of which he knew of his own knowledge. I ask again: Does he know of his own knowledge of any case where a man has been told that unless he voted in a certain way he would be allowed to go hungry?

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I said I was not going to read these cases, but I shall read one letlter in that respect from a man who lives in the neighbouring city of Kingston. He writes:

I heard of an opportunity to get a place at Barriefield, working at camp 42. I went to the employment bureau and was told to see Mr. A. E. Stansbury. He gave me a letter to the foreman but when I gave him the letter he only laughed, for I am known to be a Conservative, and so I was not wanted.

Mr. Stansbury's letter is now in the possession of a friend of his, whom he names.

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LIB
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I was not going to give the signature, but I will:

I am a war veteran without pension. It is almost impossible to get work because I am not a Liberal, and am about to be put on the street for arrears in rent. I would like to ask if there is any possible way of you be able to help us by your influence to obtain work of some kind to enable my family to be able to have a home without being put out,, because relief won't pay rent when we are out of work.

Yours very truly,

R. E. Rollands,

23 Elgin Street, Kingston.

And there are other letters here from Kingston to the: same effect. Some of them have asked me to say this, but that I should not use their names, because Ithe effect of it would be that they would lose any possible chance of any kind to get anything to do. These are not isolated cases; I could give others. I also have a file -as large as this in regard to Saskatchewan. [DOT]

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Well, Mr. Chairman, on

that point, since the right hon. gentleman has raised it now, would he suggest for one moment that there were not similar cases, which presumably he would regret equally, under his own administration, and with respect to the administration of relief camps at Barriefield?

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

With respect to Barriefield I cannot say, but I do say this, that because I heard of just such evils as these to which I refer I did endeavour to prevent them. In my own community I know that effect was given to that endeavour by putting the names in a hat and having them drawn. I can assure my hon. friend to my right that he is in error when he suggests that all the names were not put there; the names of all the people who were unemployed, with the numbers, were put there. At the appropriate time I shall read what happened the next spring, when they were finishing those bar-

Supply-Labour-Employment Offices

racks on top of the hill, and give the names; I am permitted to do that. They had to have letters from the defeated candidates before they could get jobs, as compared with what they had done before. I do not say for a moment that evils did not exist, but I do say we endeavoured to stop them.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

In what way did my

right hon. friend endeavour to stop them?

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Just the way I have

mentioned without regard to the political faith of the individuals the names were drawn to determine where they should work.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Will my right hon. friend

suggest at the same time that in connection with the administration of relief camps and the very large purchases made by the relief camps, of many kinds of material, the names of those who were allowed to tender were drawn out of a hat?

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

No, not for a minute.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Was it not based upon a

preferred list consisting entirely of friends of my right hon. friend?

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Not entirely, to my

knowledge.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

Is that any reason why

it should be done now?

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

But remember, this is

the thing that was not going to happen. This is where my hon. friend was going to change it all. This is where the professor was going to see that decency prevailed. That is the way I put it.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I shall speak with a little

less heat than my right hon. friend, but possibly with a little more light. The right hon. gentleman has dealt with this question on three different occasions.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

And he is going to deal

with it again.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Quite so, and his whole

purpose has been, by a number of vague charges in the beginning, which I have no doubt were designed to bring more definite charges, to seek to create the impression that I as Minister of Labour had definitely connived at the violation of the terms with respect to employment under relief agreements.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

And he will prove it in

this house.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

When my right hon. friend brought the matter up in the first place I said definitely and categorically that as far as relief work in my own constituency or elsewhere was concerned, politics had not

entered into it with my knowledge or consent. I stand absolutely by that statement. But I went further and said that there were two different kinds of employment provided in Kingston, and probably in other constituencies as well. There were works covered by relief agreements with the provinces, in which there was a definite undertaking that there should not be discrimination of the kind I have described. That was one type of work. With respect to that I said that I was absolutely in accord with that provision against discrimination, and would seek to see to it that it was observed. But with respect to other employment, casual vacancies occurring in the administration of various departments, I said I had accepted recommendations from my local executive and had sent those recommendations on with my approval, and I would not be hypocritical enough to say I had done otherwise. It would be dishonest to myself and to this house to say that I had done otherwise.

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June 9, 1938