March 13, 1944

PRIVILEGE-MR. LEADER REFERENCE TO ARTICLE IN WINNIPEG "FREE PRESS" OF MARCH 10, 1944

LIB

Harry Leader

Liberal

Mr. HARRY LEADER (Portage la Prairie):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege. A speech which I made in the house a few weeks ago was discussed in the Manitoba legislature and a report was published in the Winnipeg Free Press in its Friday's issue, which casts reflections on myself. I should like to read the paragraph in question:

"The record should be kept straight in fairness to all members of the medical profession," Mr. McLenaghen declared, after reading some correspondence on the matter.

The Hon. J. 0. McLenaghen, Attorney General of the province of Manitoba, was making the statement as Minister of Health. The report goes on:

"When a layman-

Meaning myself.

-presumes to make statements concerning a matter of scientific research, of which he has no knowledge, he is assuming a great onus," Mr. McLenaghen told the house.

"A great onus rests on a public man, who makes statements and blazons them to the world. Irreparable harm can be done unless all the facts are known. Such statements could be damaging unless based on facts, creating in the minds of cancer sufferers falsehoods based on scientific experiments which have not stood the test of time," declared Mr. McLenaghen.

I just wish to say, Mr. Speaker, that the remarks which I made in the house on February 7 last were based on facts substantiated by medical authority, and the reflection which I made upon medical gentlemen in Winnipeg was based on facts I had from men who should know. I had no other object in view as a cancer patient but to give something to the world that might help others as Doctor Davidson has helped me.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. LEADER REFERENCE TO ARTICLE IN WINNIPEG "FREE PRESS" OF MARCH 10, 1944
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LABOUR CONDITIONS

WARTIME WAGES CONTROL-AMENDMENTS TO ORDER IN COUNCIL P.C. 9384

LIB

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

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to make a statement to the house with respect to amendments to the wartime wages control order, P.C. 9384, of December 9, 1943.

On February 10, I informed hon. members that it was the intention of the government, after receiving representations from the leading labour organizations, and considering all other representations, to make amendments to the wartime wages control order, (P.C. 9384 of December 9, 1943). I now table a copy of order in council P.C. 1727 which embodies the amendments. It was enacted today.

The amendments seek to meet the criticisms of the original order, as far as is consistent with the maintenance of the government's policy of preventing inflation.

Under the order as amended, the provision for enlarging the national war labour board has been removed and provision is once more made for a three-man board, with one member representative of the point of view of labour and one of the point of view of employers.

The national war labour board will retain the right to review and revise decisions of the nine regional war labour boards in order to secure uniformity and consistent administration across Canada. However, the national board shall not vary decisions of a regional board without giving notice to interested parties who, before changes are made, will have the right to make representations to the board.

An amendment revokes the provision placing the onus of proof of compliance with the regulations, upon the employer or employee charged with an offence under the order.

The national and regional war labour boards retain authority to authorize wage increases in cases where special circumstances exist. The limitation in the original order, which permitted wage increases only within the ability of the employer to pay without price increases, has been modified. Under the amended order, a greater latitude will be permitted for adjustment of certain wage rates.

I would not be frank with hon. members or with labour if I did not say that in making, these amendments to the order, the government recognizes the risks ^involved in relation to the whole stabilization policy.

No part of the community has more to gain from continuing success in the battle against inflation than labour, or more to lose by failure to prevent inflation. The government realizes that the fight against inflation can be won only if all groups in the community are prepared to give their active support and cooperation to the price ceiling policy.

If the government's policy of price stabilization is to be effectively maintained, it is clear that employers and labour organizations must

Wartime Labour Regulations

cooperate in supporting this policy by limiting applications for wage increases to what should be a relatively small number of cases where special circumstances apply.

The government is not prepared to adopt a policy of paying subsidies to employers to meet the higher costs resulting from increased wage rates. An attempt to follow this course would soon break down because of the administrative difficulties involved. Similarly, the granting of price increases to offset increased Wage rates, if the cases involved were to reach any considerable number, would confront the wartime prices and trade board with an impossible task, and would destroy the price ceiling.

In December last, when I announced the principles underlying the wartime wages control order, I said:

The policy of the government is that all practical measures will be taken to keep the cost of living at present levels.

I went on to say:

If the cost of living rises more than three per cent and remains at that level for two consecutive months, the government will review the whole programme of price control and wage control and take appropriate action.

The government will endeavour to keep the cost of living from rising more than the three per cent mentioned. We shall stand by the pledge that if the cost of living exceeds the level of October, 1943, by more than three per cent and remains at such higher figure for two consecutive months, the government will review the whole programme. I must emphasize, however, that if, under the amended order, the cases of wage adjustments which result in increases in the cost of goods and services should prove to be too numerous, the margin of three per cent would soon be exhausted. The government would then be faced with the unfortunate task of having to review, and to consider the practicability of continuing, the whole stabilization policy.

Let me repeat: the government is determined to do all it can to hold down the cost of living, and to safeguard the public against an inflationary rise in prices. In this it cannot, however, succeed without the support of every group in the community.

[Laterl ;

On the orders of the day:

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   WARTIME WAGES CONTROL-AMENDMENTS TO ORDER IN COUNCIL P.C. 9384
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. A. W. NEILL (Comox-Albemi):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask a question of the Prime Minister in connection with the orders in council he has tabled, either substituting for

or amending the wage control orders. I would ask that they be printed and made available to members in quantity. I have over three thousand letters concerning the matter, and while I do not propose to answer them all, they are entitled to some consideration. I suggest further thalt it would help if he would have his remarks to-day on the subject of these orders in council printed separately, because that would explain the situation fully.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   WARTIME WAGES CONTROL-AMENDMENTS TO ORDER IN COUNCIL P.C. 9384
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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 imagine the Minister of Labour has already anticipated my hon. friend's request, and is having copies of the order in council printed. He will be prepared to supply hon. members with such copies as they may wish to have.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   WARTIME WAGES CONTROL-AMENDMENTS TO ORDER IN COUNCIL P.C. 9384
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

And the Prime Minister's

remarks?

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   WARTIME WAGES CONTROL-AMENDMENTS TO ORDER IN COUNCIL P.C. 9384
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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:

Perhaps the

minister would do me the honour of including my remarks too.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   WARTIME WAGES CONTROL-AMENDMENTS TO ORDER IN COUNCIL P.C. 9384
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Your remarks too?

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   WARTIME WAGES CONTROL-AMENDMENTS TO ORDER IN COUNCIL P.C. 9384
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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 have just asked if he would include the statement I have made, and I understand he will.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   WARTIME WAGES CONTROL-AMENDMENTS TO ORDER IN COUNCIL P.C. 9384
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WARTIME LABOUR REGULATION, P.C. 1003


On the orders of the day:


PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. G. DIEFENBAKER (Lake Centre):

I should like ito ask a question of the Minister of Labour in regard to war-time labour regulation P.C. 1003. Does this proposal apply to professional engineers, mining engineers, architects or professional chemists? If it does, I would ask if it is the intention of the government 'to withdraw them from its application.

Topic:   WARTIME LABOUR REGULATION, P.C. 1003
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. HUMPHREY MITCHELL (Minister of Labour):

Mr. Speaker, while I should not like to anticipate the functions of the wartime labour relations board, set up under the authority of the order in council, and while I should not like to interpret those functions, I would say to my hon. friend that this is still a free country-

Topic:   WARTIME LABOUR REGULATION, P.C. 1003
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NAT
LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

And if hon. members of this House of Commons-

Topic:   WARTIME LABOUR REGULATION, P.C. 1003
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NAT
LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

If hon. members in

their judgment wish to form a trade union, I guess they could apply to the wartime labour relations board, as a trade union, to settle their differences.

Topic:   WARTIME LABOUR REGULATION, P.C. 1003
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

Is that the best answer I can get?

Alcoholic Beverages

Topic:   WARTIME LABOUR REGULATION, P.C. 1003
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March 13, 1944