June 9, 1938

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

That may be

correct, yes.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I looked among my

papers this morning and could not find a copy, and thought it might have been overlooked, but the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Cahan) says he has not one, so possibly it has been overlooked.

Motion stands.

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

DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR International labour conference, $15,000.

Mr. NORMAN McL. ROGERS (Minister of Labour): When this vote was before the committee previously, the hon. member for Leeds (Mr. Stewart) asked a question regarding the amount of the expenditure on the Washington textile conference. The item was before the committee for only a few moments, and I promised I would secure that information. The amount voted for the special conference at Washington was 85,00b. The amount actually expended was $3,355.71. As I explained to the committee before, this conference was in the nature of a preparatory conference for the international labour conference *which was held in June of last year.

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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

What duplication is there in this item? The provinces do similar work. What does the dominion do?

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

There is no duplication in this item. It is pertinent .for my hon. friend

Supply-Labour

to suggest that there may be duplication in certain other items of the estimates before the committee. This item is intended to meet the expenses of the delegation from Canada which attends each year the international labour conference which meets in Geneva.

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CCF

Charles Grant MacNeil

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

Mr. MacNEIL:

Who are the delegates at present?

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

The government is represented by a delegate and advisers; the workers and the manufacturers respectively are represented in the same way. Each year we make the selection on the basis of nominations which come to us from the trades and labour congress of Canada, for the workers in Canada, it being the most representative labour organization, and also we accept nominations from the Canadian Manufacturers' Association with respect to the delegates of the employers. The government delegates, of course, are ^ appointed upon recommendation of the Minister of Labour. The government delegates this year are Mr. Hume Wrong, who is 'Canadian representative in Geneva, and Mr. Gerald Brown, the assistant deputy minister of labour.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Anybody else?

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

The manufacturers' association is represented by Mr. Goldie, of Hamilton, who has attended the conferences for a number of successive years. The trades and labour congress -of Canada is represented by Mr. Be-ngough of Vancouver. Those are the delegates attending this year.

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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

I have been following this labour movement for a great many years, and am a strong supporter of union labour, but I fail to see what good these conferences are doing. They seem to provide patronage for the government with the official set in the trades and labour movement. This last week, for example, we read in the press that a gentleman from Vancouver is selected as "foreign ambassador"; he selects a man down here in Montreal as "technical adviser." Advice about what? Would it not be far better for the minister and the department to get jobs for Canadians in Canada instead of having all these Cook's tours which are made to these various conferences? They do not benefit the workers of this country a five cent piece, and I can tell you this, the quicker the government strike out some of these side shows and side trips from the estimates, the better provision they can make for jobs for Canadians in Canada. I am in favour of the trades union movement, but I have noticed that for years some of the same people have been going from Canada to this conference; it has been

a fine side trip for -them. Tens of thousands of dollars oil the taxpayers' money have been spent, with- no value whatever -for the expenditure. The present Labour department in Canada is full of fads and frills, but it has no power. You ask the department to do something practical when a strike begins, and what happens? Last year they appointed a commissioner to go out -and investigate with regard to coal. Whatever he did, he forgot all about the consumer. I fail to see why we should have these delegations to Geneva. All the countries of Europe send delegates to these meetings, but I cannot find five cents' worth of value in the report. If you cut the vote down to a dollar it would be about all the value it i-s worth. I know a lot of practical labour men who are not politicians and can never get on these trips, and they think they are of little or no value whatever.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

The hon. member is incorrect when he states that this is a conference which has no value to this country. As a matter of fact, provision for the international labour conference was made in the treaty of Versailles, and this government has from time to time ratified conventions which have been adopted by the international labour conference for the amelioration of labour conditions throughout the world.

So far as appointments are concerned, as I explained a few minutes ago, we accept under the provisions of the act nominations of recognized organizations of employers and employees. The government has a selection only with respect to the choice of technical advisers, and for some time past these advisers have been taken from other labour organizations of the country.

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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

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

Mr. HEAPS:

Who were the delegates last

year?

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

The delegates last year

were: government delegates, Doctor W. A. Riddell, Mr. W. M. Dickson; advisers to government delegates, Mr. C. R. McIntosh, Mr. N. S. Dowd, Mr. Alfred Charpentier, Mr. Zenon David; employers' delegate, Mr. A. R. Goldie; adviser to employers' delegate, Mr. H. W. Macdonnell; employees' delegate, Mr. R. J. Tallon; adviser to employees' delegate, Mr. D. W. Morrison.

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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

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

Mr. HEAPS:

Has this years' delegation

been appointed?

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I gave the names a moment ago.

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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

How many conventions are there not ratified by Canada, and what is being done in respect to these?

Supply-Labour

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I have not that information immediately available. A great many conventions have been accepted by the international labour conference and a number of them have been ratified by Canada. A considerable number of these conventions have been outstanding so far as Canada is concerned. Obviously the dominion government has a rather limited power in the implementing of these conventions because of the fact that the jurisdiction over industrial matters rests very largely with the provinces.

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LIB

James Houston Spence

Liberal

Mr. SPENCE:

Will the minister give

the expenses of each delegate that he has named?

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

If it would satisfy the hon. member, I have the individual expenses for the delegation of 1936. There is no material difference in the expenses from year to year.

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LIB

James Houston Spence

Liberal

Mr. SPENCE:

I cannot see why the minister should not have the expenses for 1937; we are well into 1938 now.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

It is a matter of securing the information from the auditor general's report. I have the report for the year I have mentioned.

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June 9, 1938