March 23, 1944

PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT

STAFF-STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF JOINT COMMITTEE AS TO CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Robert Wellington Mayhew

Liberal

Mr. R. W. MAYHEW (Victoria, B.C.):

Mr. Speaker, I desire to make a statement on behalf of the joint committee on the parliamentary restaurant with respect to certain assertions made in local newspapers of recent date. The public must not be led to believe that the whole staff is kept on and paid when the house is not in session and the restaurant is closed. There are in that place employees doing a kind of work which requires experience and special qualifications. A competent manager and chef cannot be found and are not efficient unless they are given continuous employment. They will not accept positions for five months of the year.

Labour Shortage in Sanatoria

There is something to do in the restaurant after the session, such as inventories, repairs and the settlement of accounts, et cetera, which necessitates the employment of a couple of clerks. The manager has kept two and sometimes three persons for that purpose. It is a small proportion when we consider that there is a staff of fifty employees for the service of the kitchen, main diningroom and cafeteria.

The joint committee on the restaurant held meetings on March 4, 8 and 21 and is exercising close supervision on the management. A subcommittee has been appointed to inquire into conditions and report as soon as possible. The committee realizes that the restaurant is a necessity in our parliamentary life and must be managed economically. A serious effort is being made to reduce the expenses wdthout impairing the service.

A strong protest ought to be raised against insinuations that there is something wrong with bookkeeping in the restaurant, that members are not paying their bills regularly. The last report, received this week, shows that the outstanding accounts receivable amounted to only $7.40.

The allegation that the restaurant operates with a profit of 811,000 during the session, wasted by paying salaries during recess, is inaccurate, because it is based on a partial financial statement covering only a part of the year and does not show the actual receipts and expenses for the year 1943-44 which will only be completed at the end of this month.

Topic:   PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT
Subtopic:   STAFF-STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF JOINT COMMITTEE AS TO CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
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TUBERCULOSIS

LABOUR SHORTAGE IN SANATORIA IN ONTARIO

LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. HUMPHREY MITCHELL (Minister of Labour):

Mr. Speaker, I would like, with your permission to answer questions of the hon. member for Parkdale (Mr. Bruce) with reference to staff help for sanatoria, as reported in Hansard on March 16, at page 1514:

The hon. member merely mentioned two sanatoria. I later learned he was referring to the sanatoria at Weston and Gravenhurst.

Some weeks ago, national selective service was notified that an expansion in services was to take place at both Weston and Gravenhurst and that an additional number of nurses and sub-staff would be needed. Our officers called at these sanatoria and secured detailed information concerning the number needed in the professional and non-professional classifications for the immediate and longer range staff requirements.

Later, a meeting was held and attended by representatives of the registered nurses' asso-

Mr. Mayhew.]

ciation, provincial department of health, the management of the sanatoria and selective service to plan for the special efforts which would be required to meet the need. The nurses' association was to assist in securing nurses; the sanatoria were to make certain adjustments in conditions of employment in order to make the employment more acceptable; selective service was to secure sub-staff and to canvass the registration of nurses on file in the local office; special publicity was to be undertaken.

I have received the following report on the Weston and Gravenhurst sanatoria, for the period January 15 to March 18:

Weston

Orders placed for men 20

Referrals to work 16

Orders placed for women 39

Referrals to work 26

Orders placed for nurses 30

Referrals to work 16

Additional nurses were secured from the nurses' registry. Remaining requirements to allow for full expansion are for 30 nurses and 12 men and 32 women for substaff.

Gravenhurst

Orders placed for men 12

Placements in work li

Orders placed for women 21

Placements in work 16

Remaining requirements to allow for full expansion are for 18 nurses, ten of whom might be practical nurses, and 24 men and women for substaff.

I should like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation of the willingness of these institutions to make use of voluntary and employed nurses and substaff on a parttime basis. Unfortunately the sanatoria cannot, for reasons beyond their control, accept many part-time workers.

One of the most important and most difficult tasks of national selective service has been to meet the staff requirements of hospitals and institutions of a like character. This situation is not peculiar to Canada. It is also one of the most severe problems in Great Britain and the United States. At the present moment, notwithstanding the calls for the army, the navy and the air force, more help is engaged in the care of the sick in institutions-hospitals, sanatoria and the like -than ever before in the history of this country. That, I think, is an indication of the interest taken by the government in supplying this very necessary help. I should like to quote these figures for the record:

Cancer Research

Student Nurses Enrolled in Hospitals

1939 8,500

1944 11,300

Graduate Nurses Employed in General Hospitals

1939 10,837

1944 14,100..

This number of graduate nurses does not include supervisory nursing personnel.

Topic:   TUBERCULOSIS
Subtopic:   LABOUR SHORTAGE IN SANATORIA IN ONTARIO
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Has the minister also the figures as to the number of patients at the same periods?

Topic:   TUBERCULOSIS
Subtopic:   LABOUR SHORTAGE IN SANATORIA IN ONTARIO
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

I can get them for my hon. friend if he requires them. But I do not bother about the patients; I bother about the help.

Topic:   TUBERCULOSIS
Subtopic:   LABOUR SHORTAGE IN SANATORIA IN ONTARIO
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

After all, the help has to bother about the patients.

Topic:   TUBERCULOSIS
Subtopic:   LABOUR SHORTAGE IN SANATORIA IN ONTARIO
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

My hon. friend will understand that my chief job is to find the help. No doubt the Minister of Pensions and National Health could give my hon. friend the number of patients.

Topic:   TUBERCULOSIS
Subtopic:   LABOUR SHORTAGE IN SANATORIA IN ONTARIO
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

I think the minister missed my point. My inquiry was whether the number of patients had risen or not; because the rise in the number of employees could not be regarded in the same light if the number of patients has risen correspondingly.

Topic:   TUBERCULOSIS
Subtopic:   LABOUR SHORTAGE IN SANATORIA IN ONTARIO
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

Speaking offhand and from my own experience as governor of a hospital in Hamilton for a good many years, I would say there has been a considerable increase in the number of patients being treated.

Topic:   TUBERCULOSIS
Subtopic:   LABOUR SHORTAGE IN SANATORIA IN ONTARIO
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

The minister will get the figures?

Topic:   TUBERCULOSIS
Subtopic:   LABOUR SHORTAGE IN SANATORIA IN ONTARIO
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

I will try to get the figures.

Hospitals have been given highest labour priority rating and instructions sent to local selective service and employment offices to give immediate consideration to all orders from these institutions and to appoint one or more members of the staff to deal with hospital requirements. Hospitals also have the right to advertise for help and to interview applicants directly.

In several centres special recruiting campaigns have been conducted in order to secure full and part-time workers at times when shortages became acute.

It will be recognized that certain conditions of employment regarding hours, salaries and the type of work, make it difficult for selective service to recruit workers for hospitals at a

too-1114

time when other lines of employment offer much greater inducement. We have appreciated the efforts many hospitals have made to improve conditions of employment and thus assist in the recruitment of employees.

It has been pointed out to me that it is more difficult to secure help for tubercular sanatoria than for general hospitals. The situation in Toronto bears out this statement. The general hospitals in that area are quite well supplied with staff. Statements from Mr. A. J. Swanson, president, Toronto hospital council, and Mr. R. W. Longmore, assistant superintendent, Toronto general hospital, as published in the Toronto press on March 16 corroborate these reports from selective service officers.

Topic:   TUBERCULOSIS
Subtopic:   LABOUR SHORTAGE IN SANATORIA IN ONTARIO
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CANCER RESEARCH

APPLICATION OF DOCTOR DAVIDSON FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Harry Leader

Liberal

Mr. HARRY LEADER (Portage la Prairie):

Before the orders of the day are proceeded with I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Pensions and National Health. I hold in my hand a telegram, signed by Doctor J. R. Davidson of Winnipeg, which conveys the information that his application for financial aid to further his efforts in cancer research has been refused. Does the government concur in the decision rendered by the associate committee on medical research? If not, will the government sponsor a more comprehensive investigation?

Hon. IAN A. MACKENZIE (Minister of Pensions and National Health): I have been unofficially informed that the report of the associate committee on medical research of the national research council did make an unfavourable report in regard to the case mentioned by my hon. friend. The committee does not submit its report to me, inasmuch as it is a committee of the national research council, and therefore I have not seen the report. Until I have seen it I am not in a position to answer the second part of the question.

Topic:   CANCER RESEARCH
Subtopic:   APPLICATION OF DOCTOR DAVIDSON FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
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CANADIAN ARMY

March 23, 1944