March 19, 1941

CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

What I am endeavouring to find out is this. Apparently this is only the start. I gather that British industries are moving in here now. They are moving in this way, that grants are being made to certain industrial plants in Canada; and when they come into production, technical experts come in and take charge. That plant is entirely manned, as far as employees are concerned, by Canadian labour. What jurisdiction or authority has the Canadian government over a plant which is managed and owned by the United Kingdom technical mission that is directing their work in this country?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

Norman Alexander McLarty (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. McLARTY:

I would say that would be definitely a war industry, and would come under the provisions of order in council 7440.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

And you have jurisdiction over it?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

Norman Alexander McLarty (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. McLARTY:

Yes; to the extent that it is a war industry, we have jurisdiction, of course.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

I just wanted to bring that to the minister's attention and should like an explanation as to what can be done to have this group of forty or forty-five men retain their work in that city.

Before I sit down I should like to refer to representations that have been made in the house with regard to the question of shipbuilding. I was very much interested in the remarks of the hon. member for Regina City (Mr. McNiven) with respect to the smoothness of our war effort from the industrial point of view as he saw it in a brief visit to one city. The Minister of National Defence for Naval Services (Mr. Macdonald), when questioned last evening as to the possibilities of shipbuilding in Nova Scotia, stated that the reason why more of the appropriation of approximately $50,000,000 was not being expended in that part of the country-only about two per cent of it is allocated to Nova Scotia-was that tenders by those who operate shipbuilding plants in that province were so high that nothing could be done. I know that most of the plants in Nova Scotia are not equipped to handle the type of ships that are

needed at present. He also made the observation that there is no provision whatsoever for the government to subsidize that industry.

The operations in Hamilton should be pretty smooth. The government has done pretty well by the industrial set-up in that city. I do not want to go through the list, but I observe that the government has made grants, to one particular company alone, to the extent of $8,000,000. In all, the government has -made grants to subsidize industry in that city to the extent of $26,211,776. If that can be done, and if shipbuilding is as much needed as it is at the present time-and there is no doubt it will be more important as time goes on- admittedly something is necessary, at any rate, in the eastern end of Nova Scotia where the only industry they have has declined and employment has been very little helped by reason of the war, and some assistance might be given that industry there. I see no reason why the government should not subsidize or set up a plant of its own, to be operated as a national project, no one making any profit out of it. The industry is necessary there; it will serve the war needs. If they put into it some of the millions that have been put into private industry, and supervise the operation themselves, it would serve both purposes at this time; it would give that part of the country a new lease of life; it would provide ships during the war; and when the war is over, it could be maintained as an industry, for shipbuilding is going to be important for a long time to come.

I am particularly interested in having an answer from the Minister of Labour as to his jurisdiction over that matter in Hamilton, and from the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe). I think the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Gibson) represents that constituency, and I know he has been doing what he can with respect to bringing the matter to a satisfactory conclusion. This is merely the start of this business; it is going to grow. I am particularly interested in it, as all who are interested in organized labour in this country at this time should be.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

May I say just a word with regard to what my hon. friend said last respecting the intergovernmental inspection board. Until he spoke, I had not heard of the cases to which he refers; I had not heard of ex-service men losing their positions and being replaced by women. The reason I speak of the matter is that the intergovernmental inspection board was constituted by virtue of an order in council which was recommended by myself after negotiations with the British government. The situation in Canada was that we were doing inspection of all sorts of

War Appropriation Bill

munitions; the British were doing inspection of all sorts of munitions. That inspection is a highly technical job.

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury)i: Does the minister mean they were overlapping?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

They were overlapping; that is just the point. We have, if I remember correctly, something like one thousand people employed in connection with inspection, and I think the British had something like three thousand. The result was that there was duplication; we were inspecting our stuff and they were inspecting theirs-and in the same factory, my colleague the Minister of National Defence for Air, reminds me. It was not a good or businesslike arrangement from the point of view of economy or efficiency. It was much better that men should be trained and have experience in inspecting all the munitions of any particular class which might come off the line; they would be just that much more skilful for having that opportunity.

The result was the proposal that came, I think, from the United Kingdom first. I am not sure about that; my colleague thinks I am wrong and that it came from the dominion government. As I come to recall it now, I think it came from Mr. Chester, who was then master-general of the ordnance. He considered that this duplication was unjustified and inefficient. After considerable negotiation, an arrangement was arrived at whereby the intergovernmental inspection board was established on which Canada was given equal representation with the United Kingdom, and that, notwithstanding the fact that, at the most, 25 per cent I would think of the material that was being inspected was for Canada and at least 75 per cent for the United Kingdom. Hon. members will realize that that board operates not only in Canada but also in the United States in respect of both United Kingdom and Canadian purchases there, as my hon. friend has indicated by the fact that some of these men were given opportunity to go to the United States. The board was operating under the chairmanship of General Locke who was chairman of the British inspection mission. At present Canada has two representatives and the United Kingdom the same number. The board is being increased by the addition of one member from each side representing each party. They have authority to hire the employees, and some provision is made with regard to rates of wages. Let me point out that in a large measure the British are paying the shot, because the arrangement provides that the costs of the board are divided proportionately to the value of the goods which are inspected.

Therefore, the British are perhaps much more interested in the amount being paid for operating expenses including salaries than is Canada.

Having said that, may I say to my hon. friend that my department has two representatives on that board, and the Department of National Defence for Air will have one, I expect shortly. I cannot give the committee any undertaking that anything will be done in respect of the cases my hon. friend has mentioned, because I do not know the circumstances, and the board conducts its own operations. However, I do give the committee the undertaking that I shall be very glad to bring my hon. friend's representations to the attention of the chairman of the board in order that he may ascertain just what the circumstances are. _ I yield to no one in my desire to see that ex-service men are employed as far as possible. The question asked by my hon. friend gives some indication of the difficulties of government. He protested against the hiring of women to replace men, while the hon. member who preceded him put up strong advocacy of the replacing of men by women in connection with our war effort.

The hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) spoke with regard to the utilization of the women of Canada in our war effort. May I say that the Department of National Defence and the government generally have the greatest appreciation of the offers which have been made by the women of Canada in connection with our war effort. But I do not think they realize, and I do not think the committee realizes how limited is the possibility of employing women to replace men in the army services. This does not mean that a study has not been made of this matter. When I went overseas last fall I made a most thorough examination of the situation over there in order to ascertain what organizations had been set up in connection with which the government had anything to do. I brought back full particulars, and a complete memorandum with regard to the whole matter has been prepared. I just wish to assure my hon. friend that the matter has not escaped our attention.

This memorandum shows that the replacement of men by women in the army service in Canada could be carried out only to the extent of about 1,500 in the year. That figure is quite small compared with the number of ladies who would like to do war work. My hon. friend will realize that there are a limited number of suitable occupations. Some could be taken on as motor drivers or as cooks in permanent camps and in clerical duties, but the number would be limited. The

War Appropriation Bill

situation with regard to stenographers in uniform and stenographers out of uniform has certain difficulties. There is some clerical work that women might do, but any clerical work having to do with field formations could not be done by ladies. We must have trained men who are able to go into the field to do this administration work.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

Would that be in connection with the active or reserve army?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I am referring to all

possibilities in the army service where women might be placed, both active and reserve. I have had ladies call on me from Winnipeg, Montreal, Victoria and other points, and I imagine that many of my colleagues have had the same experience. I realize how patriotic these ladies are in their desire to do war work. My colleague, the Minister of National War Services (Mr. Gardiner) has had the matter under full consideration, and I expect that before very long we shall be able to announce the best method of taking care of this situation. As far as taking full advantage of the offers of these ladies is concerned, my- hon. friend must remember that much as we may wish to avail ourselves of all offers, there are many people who cannot be engaged directly in war work. Someone must be doing the other work. I do not think it can be taken as a reflection upon the government or upon the war effort of the people of Canada when it is realized that everyone who desires to be directly engaged in war work, cannot be so engaged.

In order to let hon. members fully into the situation, I might add that there is some question as to whether a woman's corps should be a civilian organization or whether it should be organized within the Department of National Defence. If my hon. friend has studied the situation in England, he will know that in that country only a limited number is attached to the services. However, the great body of the women who are working in connection with the war belong to women's volunteer organizations which are completely outside the departments of government. The question is not a simple one, and notwithstanding my hon. friend's vigorous advocacy, I say to him that many questions will have to be considered before wTe can formulate a policy. When I tell him that the maximum number of women who could be employed is only 1,500, he will realize that there have been some things which have taken our attention in the last few weeks, which have made it necessary at least to postpone the complete consideration of this question to this time.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

Has consideration been

given to the formation of a women's land army?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I may say that in the

memorandum consideration was not given to that. Consideration was given to the utilization of women in connection with the army services.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

Has the other matter not

been considered?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I am quite satisfied that

my colleague, the Minister of National War Services, has had that under consideration.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON:

I should like to make a

few remarks in reply to the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis) concerning the inspection staff at Hamilton. Munitions were being made prior to the war at the National Steel Car company. Upon war breaking out, the British authorities increased their orders at that plant and set up a staff to provide inspectors for the shells that were being sent overseas. The officials were careful to take on as inspectors only men who had had overseas service, and we in Hamilton were careful to see that returned soldiers were so employed. Later on, when the British government began to expand the production of shells in other plants, they had to increase the number of inspectors. These men were not taken into the National Steel Car company for the purpose of acting as inspectors in that plant forever; they were brought in to be trained, and they signed an undertaking that when they had been trained they would go to whatever plant they were sent.

When the time came for these men to be sent to other industrial plants which were making munitions and which required their services, a certain number of them refused to leave Hamilton. They did not wish to leave their families and break up their homes, and rather than move from Hamilton they decided to resign and look for other employment. This matter was taken up with the officials by myself and other people, and we were told that they were willing to provide transportation for the men and to move their families, but that they must employ the men in outside factories; they could not be retained in Hamilton. They pointed out that they did not wish to go to the expense of training inspectors and have them resign when they had completed their training. That was the last thing in the world they wanted; they wanted these men to go and do the work for which they had been trained. I have had assurance from General Locke, the chairman of the inspection board, that any man who finished his training

War Appropriation Bill

would be given inspection work if he was willing to go where he was sent, but General Locke could not give assurance that the men would be employed in Hamilton, because, that is not the job for which they were .taken on and trained.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

I think the minister is more familiar with this question than I am. I had only a short visit there when I talked with these men. Is it true that the original understanding by these inspectors was that in the event of their being sent out to other parts of Canada, a subsistence allowance would be paid to them, in addition to their regular wages? If they were asked to go to some other part of Canada or to the United States, the subsistence allowance would disappear, and the only change in the rate would be six cents an hour.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Is my hon. friend asking whether I know that was the arrangement?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

I am asking the Minister of National Revenue.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON:

I cannot say that I know what the arrangement was, but I do know that if they were sent to the United States, they were given an allowance to take care of United States exchange. That arrangement has been in operation right along.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

The original understanding was that subsistence allowance would be paid. Then, after training, when some of them were approached to go to other parts of Canada or to the United States, they were informed that this had been changed. The difference of six cents an hour, if a man had to move into the United States, would not be a fair proposition.

The Minister of National Defence has stated that I was protesting against the employment of women. I do not wish to get in wrong with the women. I have no objection to the employment of women in any enterprise in Canada, where such employment is necessary, and where it will release men for more important duties, or where they will take the place of men going overseas. I am informed, however, that what happened in Hamilton was that men were laid off and placed in the ranks of the unemployed, and that girls with no responsibility were put in their places.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

Is my hon. friend speaking about inspectors being laid off?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   WAR APPROPRIATION RILL
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink

March 19, 1941