February 10, 1944

POST-WAR RECONSTRUCTION FIRST REFORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE-MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE STANDS


Mr. J. G. TURGEON (Caribou) presented the first report of the special committee on reconstruction and reestablishment, as follows: February 10, 1944. The special committee on reconstruction and reestablishment begs leave to present the following as a first report: Your committee recommends, 1. That it be granted leave to print from day to day 1,500 copies m English and 400 copies in French of its minutes of proceedings and evidence, and such other documents as it may authorize. 2. That on account of the demand evinced for copies of the fourth report of the 1943 special committee of the house, presented on January 26, 1944, an additional 500 copies in English of the said fourth report be printed. 3. That standing order 64 be suspended in relation to the above. 4. That ten members shall constitute a quorum. 5. That your committee be granted leave to sit while the house is sitting. All of which is respectfully submitted. Mr. TURGEON moved that the report be concurred in.


NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Leader of the Opposition):

Before the house gives leave, can the hon. member tell us whether this is just the ordinary formal report of the committee's proceedings or whether there is something special in it? We have not seen it.

Mr. TURGEON. This is a formal report asking, as we do every session, that the quorum be reduced and that we be authorized to have certain printing done. It is a report of the organization meeting of the committee.

Topic:   POST-WAR RECONSTRUCTION FIRST REFORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE-MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE STANDS
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

When the house is asked for leave in this way, I think that if the report is so very short we might have the terms of it.

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LIB

James Gray Turgeon

Liberal

Mr. TURGEON:

The report was read to the house by the acting Clerk Assistant.

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LIB

Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I would point out to the

mover of the report that paragraph 2 recom

mends that, on account of the demand evinced for copies of the fourth report of the 1943 special committee of the house, presented on January 26, 1944, an additional five hundred copies in English of that report be printed. There was nothing in the terms of reference to the committee to enable them to make such a report. So far as this report is concerned, therefore, it is irregular, but that does not prevent the house, if it so desires, from, complying with the wish embodied in that paragraph. The hon. member, however, must have regard to the circumstance I have pointed out.

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LIB

James Gray Turgeon

Liberal

Mr. TURGEON:

What would you suggest, Mr. Speaker, that we eliminate that portion?

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LIB

Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Yes, I think so. I take it, then, that paragraph 2 will be omitted from the report as presented.

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LIB

James Gray Turgeon

Liberal

Mr. TURGEON:

Thank you.

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

May I ask how long it would delay the adoption of the report if it followed the regular course? Is it so urgent that we cannot wait one day to get the real details of the report? There is no occasion for this rush.

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LIB

James Gray Turgeon

Liberal

Mr. TURGEON:

I do not wish to rush it, but it would permit the committee to get to work so many days earlier.

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

One day.

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LIB

James Gray Turgeon

Liberal

Mr. TURGEON:

It can stand.

Motion stands.

Labour Conditions-Wages Control

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LABOUR CONDITIONS

WAR-TIME WAGES CONTROL ORDER-LABOUR RELATIONS CODE


Right Hon. AV. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister): I should like to say a word with respect to the war-time wages control order.


NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

The Prime Minister just got in ahead of me.

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Subtopic:   WAR-TIME WAGES CONTROL ORDER-LABOUR RELATIONS CODE
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I hope my hon. friend will not hold that against me.

May I read to the house a paragraph which appears in the speech from the throne at the closing of the last session. The paragraph is as follows; Hansard, page 5575:

During the course of the year, the price ceiling has been splendidly maintained. My ministers have reaffirmed their determination to do all in their power to prevent inflation snd to safeguard a basic standard of living. To this end the war-time wages control order has been simplified and strengthened. It will continue to be administered by the national war labour board. Consultation is proceeding *with the several provinces regarding the enactment of a comprehensive code of labour relations which will be administered by a war-time labour relations board, and "which will include the principle of compulsory collective bargaining.

May I speak first on the second of these matters, the one related to a code of labour relations. I am happy to be able to say to the house that the consultations which were proceeding between the provinces and the dominion have been concluded, and there have also been concluded consultations between representatives of labour organizations and the government with respect to the code. I am advised that the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell), expects to 'be in a position to table early next week the enactment respecting the code of labour relations.

As to the war-time wages control order, many representations have been made to the government, some by hon. members of the house, some from labour organizations and others from other sources. These the government has already had under consideration. To-morrow the government will be meeting a delegation of representatives of the Canadian Congress of Labour. As hon. members know, there are four outstanding labour organizations representative of the different labour unions throughout the country: the one which I have just mentioned, the Canadian Congress of Labour; another organization, also large in numbers, older in years, the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada; there is the Canadian Catholic Confederation of Labour; and there are the organizations representing the railway brotherhoods. On January 27 of this year the government met 100-21

the joint legislative committee of the railway running trade organizations as a delegation from that body. At that time certain representations were made to the government with respect to the war-time wages control order. Tojmorrow, as I have said, the government will be meeting the delegates of the Canadian Congress of Labour, and we expect that representations will be made by that body to the government with respect to this order. At any rate I now extend an invitation to the delegates of the Canadian Congress of Labour to make such representations as they feel they may wish to make to the government with respect to the order.

A^ery shortly the government will be meeting a delegation of the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada and also a delegation from the Canadian Catholic Confederation of Labour. These are the customary annual meetings with the government. AAre will expect, and I now invite, the delegates of these other large organizations to make to the government such representations as they deem advisable with respect to the war-time wages control order.

AVhen the government has these various representations before it, the government will then be in a position further to consider what amendments should be made to the order. It is the intention of the government to make certain amendments, but we wish to have these representations from the leading labour organizations before us when we are considering these further amendments; and after that opportunity has been given to labour, and the government has had the opportunity of considering all representations which have been made, amendments will be made by the government to the war-time wages control order.

I would hope that these various labour organizations could meet with the government within the next two weeks. One meeting as I have said has been arranged for to-morrow. I do not know that there has been a definite date fixed for the other two; but I would say now that we would seek to meet their convenience at as early a date as may be possible.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   WAR-TIME WAGES CONTROL ORDER-LABOUR RELATIONS CODE
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister rose to make a statement with respect to the war-time wages control order of 1943, I rather expected that he would make a much more comprehensive and perhaps much more satisfactory statement than he did, and having that in mind, I suggested that he was "getting there first", before I had asked my question. But I want to say this to the Prime

Labour Conditions-Wages Control

Minister: as he rose, I was about to make an inquiry, and it was on this basis. What the Prime Minister has now said in connection with calling in the other representatives is, of course, a very good thing. I hope he will do that. I hope he will give some real consideration to what they say. But in the meantime February 15 is the deadline for the operation of the war-time wages control order of 1943, and that is where the emergency and urgency of the matter arise. May I ask the Prime Minister, as I intended to before this statement was made, that the government give consideration to the postponement of the application of war-time wages control order of 1943; otherwise it will go into effect and then all the representations that are afterwards made cannot be regarded in perhaps the same light as those which are made before the order goes into effect. At the same time, and following up what the Prime Minister has said, and doing what the Prime Minister now suggests be done in another way, I suggest that he refer this whole order to the industrial and international relations committee of the house, so that those interested in and affected by the provisions of the order may have an opportunity to appear before that committee.

These two suggestions, I think, are most important, and I impress them upon the Prime Minister: first of all, the postponement of the application of the wages control order-because it is going to be too late by the time he sees all these people-and second, that the parliamentary committee have a chance to hear the representations of these people in a proper way. I ask the Prime Minister to give consideration to these suggestions.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   WAR-TIME WAGES CONTROL ORDER-LABOUR RELATIONS CODE
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I am always pleased to give consideration to any suggestions which my hon. friend may wish to make.

He has referred to the 15th of this month being the date on which the order itself takes effect in some particulars. In that connection, there is one very important consideration, it is that there are certain benefits which accrue to labour, under the order, on the 15th. They relate to the basic wage in which the cost of living bonus is embedded; and I understand that already steps have been taken by employers to see that the benefits to be derived from that section in particular will be accorded. It would I think be inadvisable to postpone anything of the nature of a benefit. I cannot see that there would be any possibility of anything inimical happening from effect being given the order in other particulars as, in fact, is now the case, before the further representations of labour have been heard. I assure my hon. friend that the government is most anxious in this matter, (Mr. Graydon.]

above all others, to have the cooperation of labour. We believe that labour, as well as all other classes in the community, is interested in preventing inflation in this country, and that labour realizes that a measure of wage stabilization is essential if we are to preserve the price ceiling. We all recognize that it will require close and helpful cooperation on the part of government, labour, employers and the community, to maintain the price ceiling and prevent inflation. We have no desire to be in any way coercive in this matter, but rather we wish to make the measure as effective as it can be made through good will on the part of all parties concerned. At a later stage it might be advisable to have the committee which my hon. friend has mentioned, the committee on industrial and international relations, consider some of these matters. If so, I should be prepared to advise my hon. friend accordingly; but at the moment I think the step proposed by the government will expedite the revision of the order in a manner which will help to meet at least some of the objections, and I should hope all fundamental objections.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   WAR-TIME WAGES CONTROL ORDER-LABOUR RELATIONS CODE
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February 10, 1944