February 11, 1942

WAGE CEILING

ORDER IN COUNCIL AMENDING ORIGINAL ORDER AS TO PROMOTIONS, NEW APPOINTMENTS AND BONUSES


On the order for motions:


LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. J. L. ILSLEY (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, I desire to lay on the table order in council dated February 6, 1942, relating to a ceiling on salaries and to make a brief statement in explanation. I am tabling for comparison a copy of the original order.

This amending order is intended to clarify the application of the original order and to alter some details of its provisions in regard particularly to promotions, new appointments, and the payment of bonuses. I should like to draw attention to the fact that in clarifying the definition of salaried official, this amending order definitely places some employees under the wages and cost of living bonus order, thereby entitling them to the cost of living bonus from their employers.

All persons receiving salaries or wages of less than $175 a month are excluded from the

class of salaried official and made subject to the wages and cost of living bonus order. All those receiving $250 or more a month are considered to be salaried officials unless their duties or responsibilities show clearly that they are not above the rank of foreman or comparable rank, in which case they are subject to the wages order. The national war labour board, or its regional boards, are made responsible for determining the status of any employee or any class of employees in case of doubt or dispute. The national board has already issued a number of general interpretative rulings on this matter and will be issuing others in due course.

Another change is intended to remove the source of what is regarded as discrimination within many organizations where highly paid workmen or foremen are entitled to a cost of living bonus under the wages order while junior salaried officials earning no more, or even less, are prevented from receiving such a bonus by the provisions of the salaries order. The amending order permits an employer to pay a cost of living bonus to salaried officials earning no more than other employees of the same employer who are entitled to such bonus under the wages order. This special permission is not allowed to apply to officials receiving more than $4,200 per year, and the general limit of $3,000 on those permitted to receive the bonus remains applicable where the special circumstances are not present.

Other provisions of the amending order extend the control to salaries of those hired after the original order went into effect. An employer is not permitted to pay to a newly-appointed salaried official a rate of salary higher than the rate previously paid to another official performing substantially the same services, or if there is no such guide, the employer shall not pay a rate of salary higher than is reasonable and proper, having regard to the rates paid to salaried officials for similar services in like business. This provision is intended, among other things, to check the practice of employers trying to entice employees from one another by the promise of higher salaries.

To avert any danger of an employer paying a higher initial rate of salary than he otherwise would to a newly-hired or newly-promoted official because that rate must not be subsequently increased under the terms of the order, the amending order provides that an employer may, in accord with his established practice, and by arrangement, pay first a probationary or temporary rate of salary, to be followed by a higher rate, in cases of new appointments or promotions tailing place after the order went into effect.

Privilege-Mr. Ralston

There are a considerable number of minor changes in wording, and definitions. A specific limitation is put on directors' fees instead of relying upon the general restrictions on salaries being applied. The intent of the original order is made clear by explicitly stating that the amount of any cost of living bonus being paid when the order went into effect shall be considered as part of the rate of salary at that time. The definition of employers subject to the order is altered to exclude all public hospitals, and all religious, charitable and educational institutions not carried on for gain. Notification is required of promotions within three months, of the first payment of the increased salary, where it is not already required in advance. I will not attempt to go into further detail, as copies of the order are available to all those interested.

Perhaps I should add that in the administration of this order by the income tax division, it is possible to obtain a close check on what is happening to all salaries by an inspection both of employee's and employer's tax returns. There is one other minor change which it may be necessary to make for administrative reasons, in addition to these amendments, and this may involve another brief order shortly.

Topic:   WAGE CEILING
Subtopic:   ORDER IN COUNCIL AMENDING ORIGINAL ORDER AS TO PROMOTIONS, NEW APPOINTMENTS AND BONUSES
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PRIVILEGE-MR. RALSTON LIMITATION UNDER MOBILIZATION ACT WITH RESPECT TO SERVICE OVERSEAS

LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. J. L. RALSTON (Minister of National Defence):

Last night while I was not in the house the leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) raised a question of privilege with respect to a passage between himself and myself when I was speaking yesterday afternoon. My hon. friend mentioned the matter to me in the corridor, and I do not accuse him of any intention to cause embarrassment by raising it while I was not in the bouse. I really did not understand from him that he was going to raise it in the house; I thought he was going to mention it to me. In. the short time at my disposal I have endeavoured to have gone over by my "research department," as he calls it, the matter of the speeches which were made and the effect of what was said at the time. I should like to refer to the language a little more extensively than he has. When speaking yesterday I referred to the passing of the National Resources Mobilization Act and the limitation which was contained in section 3 which restricts compulsory service under the act to service in Canada. I said, as reported on page 453 of Hansard:

The present leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) was in the house at the time; he took no exception to that limitation. His only suggestion was that the act might be extended to service in Labrador. And he and his party supported that measure with that restriction in it.

The leader of the opposition then said:

Did I not say I was prepared to accept that as a half-way measure?

I took it that he was referring to the limitation to service, in Canada. I then said:

I am quite satisfied my hon. friend used no such language.

My hon. friend then referred to my research department having let me down. Apparently he then started his research department going over the debate. I must say that if my department let me down, his department has worked overtime because he has gone back to the speech which he made, not while the bill was under discussion or in committee, but before it was even introduced, a speech which was made after the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) had announced the general terms of the measure. Last night he quoted a passage saying that he had made a proposal to the government that the government should take authority to mobilize all the man-power and all the material resources of this nation for the aid of the mother country and for the defence of Canada. I say again, that speech was made considerably before the bill was introduced, before even the resolution was introduced, and I do not think he would find that phrase again repeated when the bill was under discusssion.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

When in committee.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

But he has referred to two passages in which he did, I freely admit, refer to half a loaf being better than no bread. That is on pages 913 and 914 of Hansard of June 19, 1940. And he quoted these two passages last night (see page 471 of Hansard of yesterday) to show what he had said when the bill was in committee. There he says:

I should like to emphasize the fact that the bill is purely and simply enabling legislation, and while it falls short of what many people in this dominion think is necessary and have been demanding, yet on balance and on the principle that half a loaf is better than no bread at all, we on this side of the house are prepared to accept the principle of the bill and to accept the measure for what it is worth.

Then in the second column of page 917 of Hansard of 1940 he says about the same thing. I quote his remarks on page 917 (see page 471 of Hansard of yesterday):

I tell the Prime Minister it has not been easy to support the principle of this bill, having regard to the volume of representations I had received beforehand in favour of something more far-reaching, and the protests I have been receiving this morning that we should still have

Privilege-Mr. Ralston

something greater. But as I said before, for the defence of Canada if for nothing else I am willing to support the principle of thi^ bill; because half a loaf is better than no bread.

My hon. friend, I freely admit, did use that expression; 1 had forgotten that; in fact, it had not been called to my attention for, I think, the fairly obvious reason that I was discussing what was said with regard to section 3 of the bill which has to do with the matter of restriction of compulsory service. These two passages which my hon. friend quoted last night were spoken on section 2 of the bill.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Oh, no, on the whole bill.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. RALSTON LIMITATION UNDER MOBILIZATION ACT WITH RESPECT TO SERVICE OVERSEAS
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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I beg my hon. friend's pardon. It was while section 2 of the bill was being discussed in committee. I referred my hon. friend to the pages of Hansard, and he will find that is the fact. I have had my research department go back through my hon. friend's speech to find out what he was referring to when he said that half a loaf was better than no bread. Was he referring to the matter of restriction of compulsory service in Canada, or what was he referring to? I am not going to trouble the house to read all the passages, but I say this to my hon. friend, and he can look it up for himself. The four objections he was taking to the bill were: first, that the emergency declaration-he did not make this objection very clearly-which he had asked for from the Prime Minister was, he thought, not sufficient if simply put in the preamble to the bill. Second, he protested or complained that it was only enabling legislation and that therefore the government could do nothing or something just as they saw fit. Third, he went extensively into the procedure as to the Military Service Act of 1917, and hon. gentlemen will find when they read his long speech, made before the bill was introduced at all, that he was suggesting that there should be inserted in the mobilization bill all the provisions which were in the Military Service Act of 1917, or similar provisions with regard to exemptions and so on. His fourth objection -and he brought this out particularly-was that there was not sufficient indication of how the government was to act with regard to the mobilization of wealth. That was very much on his mind, and he dealt with it extensively in his speech.

These were the four things I found which he might have referred to as half a loaf. But what I did not find is that he ever thought or suggested that it was half a loaf simply because compulsory service was confined to Canada. Let me read a passage from that same speech from which my hon. friend first quoted last night-

(Mr. Ralston.]

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. RALSTON LIMITATION UNDER MOBILIZATION ACT WITH RESPECT TO SERVICE OVERSEAS
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Mr. Speaker, is this a matter of privilege?

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. RALSTON LIMITATION UNDER MOBILIZATION ACT WITH RESPECT TO SERVICE OVERSEAS
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

You are greatly disturbed and perturbed since Monday night.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Here is what my hon. friend said-and, I remind the house that the Prime Minister had in his statement prior to the bill said that recruitment for overseas service would be maintained on a voluntary basis.

Mr.HANSON (York-Sunbury): Mr.Speaker, on a point of order, surely this is carrying a question of privilege beyond all reasonable limits. We may disagree about the interpretation of what I said, but the point to which I referred last night was the minister's denial that I had ever said that I accepted the principle of the bill on the theory that half a loaf was better than no bread. It looks now as though it was simply a question of interpretation of my remarks, and I am sure there is no question of privilege in that.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

The minister is entitled to speak on that.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

On the point of order, Mr. Speaker, I point out to my hon. friend that he interrupted me when I had referred to the restriction of the bill and said:

Did I not say I was prepared to accept that as a halfway measure?

Meaning, I took it, the restriction in the bill, and I am pointing out that if that was the interpretation, I was justified in what I said. He did not say that that restriction of the bill made it a halfway measure.

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LIB

Georges Parent (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

With regard to the point of order raised by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson), the hon. minister is entitled, of course, to reply, on a question of privilege, to what was said last night, but he is not entitled to bring in new matter. He must confine himself solely to rebuttal of what was said. I have not noticed that any new matter has been introduced by the minister in rebuttal, but I must urge upon him that he must confine himself strictly to rebuttal.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I am certainly not bringing in any new matter, Mr. Speaker. I am dealing with the question whether my hon. friend objected to the restriction in the bill and whether, when he said that he referred to it as a halfway measure, he was referring to the restriction in the bill. I am proposing on that point to quote what my hon. friend said

Singapore

in the house in the same speech to which he has referred as indicating that he was not objecting to that restriction.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

It is simply a matter of interpretation.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. RALSTON LIMITATION UNDER MOBILIZATION ACT WITH RESPECT TO SERVICE OVERSEAS
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

No; it was a question of privilege.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. RALSTON LIMITATION UNDER MOBILIZATION ACT WITH RESPECT TO SERVICE OVERSEAS
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February 11, 1942