June 14, 1941

SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON (Bow River):

Sometimes in my constituency I have had trouble in securing employment for skilled workers. I have written to the minister on two occasions in regard to men who were qualified artisans, and who have come to me wanting to know how they could get in these shops or schools as instructors. I have one man in mind who is qualified as an electrical welder, and who also does acetylene welding. He has been trying for the past year to get this kind of employment. I have written the minister on his behalf, and in reply to me the minister

Supply-Pensions and National Health

suggested that I write to Mr. Ross of Calgary, and to a Mr. Henderson of Edmonton. I wrote these two gentlemen on this man's behalf, and also instructed him to write to them. I do not believe I received even an acknowledgment of my letters. He went to see the man at Calgary and also the one at Edmonton, but has been put off from time to time.

Surely there is something wrong. When men come to us as members of parliament and ask how they can get these positions, and we write the minister,-I suggest he is the proper person to whom to write-and he instructs us to approach someone at Edmonton, and there is no result, the persons affected become disgusted. I would not blame them. People go around wanting to know what is the matter with the government, and why there are not jobs for these skilled workmen. I suggest the minister should check up on the men who are supposed to be in charge of these training schools, because, so far as I am concerned, there is no satisfaction when one tries to get a man a position.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB

Norman Alexander McLarty (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. McLARTY:

I do not recall the name of the person to whom the hon. member has referred, but if he will send me a memorandum I shall be glad to check it up.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

In items 110 and 111 we make provision for youth training and for relief. The minister has said he will be glad to take into consideration the extension of training and the provision of more facilities. I notice however that in these items the amounts are substantially decreased. While the minister may be desirous of improving our present facilities, I suggest that he will not do so by cutting down the appropriation. In view of the fact that provision for youth training has been made in votes 109 and 110, and that the government has discontinued any connection with unemployment relief, why is it necessary to have an appropriation of $97,936, and how is it to be used? If we are not in the relief field, and if we have provided for youth training in earlier items, why is there need for this additional amount? If there is a need, how is it to be used?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB

Norman Alexander McLarty (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. McLARTY:

The reductions in these estimates may be misleading. There is an appropriation in the war appropriation measure for about $4,300,000, which makes up the difference. So far as the items for unemployment relief and youth training are concerned, the general supervision of war emergency training and youth training, all of which is devoted to war purposes, is still under that branch.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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CON

John George Diefenbaker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

One of the chief recommendations made by the war expenditures committee in the United Kingdom, and one from which a great deal of good resulted, was that there should be a national registration of all technically trained men in the United Kingdom, and that a national register should be set up listing the men whose services, as occasion arose, might be required.

I have personal knowledge of men in western Canada who are trained mining engineers. Men are graduates of recognized universities,, and yet for the time being they are out of employment, and their services are in no way being used. Then, there are numbers of mechanics throughout western Canada who during the last war devoted themselves to mechanical work in connection with the production of munitions and the like. Their services have not as yet been utilized. What is being done to mobilize the scientifically and technically trained men in Canada? I have in mind engineers, and the like, who would be willing at this time to give their services to the state in return for a reasonable compensation.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB

Norman Alexander McLarty (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. McLARTY:

Some time ago under the chairmanship of Mr. Little we set up a wartime bureau of technical personnel. A vote of $41,000 was included in the war appropriation for that purpose, and it will probably have to be increased. The bureau is making just such a survey as has been suggested by the hon. member for Lake Centre.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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CON
LIB

Norman Alexander McLarty (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. McLARTY:

I am afraid I cannot

answer that question at the moment, but I shall supply the information to the hon. member.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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Item agreed to.


DEPARTMENT OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH


202. Departmental administration, $114,460.


NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

When the civil service estimates were before the committee I referred to men in the Department of Pensions and National Health, permanent employees, returned men and married, who are employed at the rate of $60 a month, with a $5 bonus. I am informed that in one city a man drawing that small salary is in charge of investigations under the War Veterans' Allowance Act. Perhaps the same condition exists in other centres. In some instances these men are training temporary clerks who are to carry out such investigations and who, as temporary clerks, are drawing practically twice the salary. Why does that situation exist? Is there some way in which it can be remedied?

4012 COMMONS

Supply-Pensions and National Health

Hon. IAN A. MACKENZIE (Minister of Pensions and National Health): I understand that this matter has been taken up departmentally, but we have been delayed in regard to definite action by a treasury board regulation and by a definite instruction from the civil service commission applying to all departments of government.

. Mr. GREEN: How long has that condition existed?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

For one year, roughly speaking.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH
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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

In British Columbia the

minimum wage set by provincial law for a stenographer is $65, yet there we have married men employed by the dominion government and receiving salaries of $60 per month. That is quite unjustifiable. I should like to have some assurance that the situation will be remedied.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I can assure my hon. friend that it is not what might be called a departmental fault. It has been taken up repeatedly and will be taken up again.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH
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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

It would not be necessary to say many of the things that I should like to say at this time if the minister could assure me that the report of the special committee will come before the house for adoption or consideration.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Does my hon. friend refer to the report tabled yesterday?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH
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CCF
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Yes.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH
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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

The minister is in charge of air raid precaution work. There have been some developments along this line since the subject was last discussed in the committee. Perhaps he could tell us what the situation is at the present time.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH
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June 14, 1941