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