April 11, 1945

CCF

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. NOSEWORTHY:

tVho is responsible for the wage contracts made on behalf of the crews on Park Steamship company boats now operating in the South Pacific and chartered by the war shipping administration at Washington? I should like to have any information I can get respecting the nature of the wage contracts for seamen on those ships.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Is my hon. friend referring to ships owned by the *Canadian government?

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CCF
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Those ships are placed in the hands of private operators, who operate the boats for government account under a management contract. Contracts between operator and seamen are negotiated contracts, but the position of the seamen is protected by the seamen's union. Terms of employment are thus agreed upon between the seamen's union and the operators, with the approval of the Park Steamship company.

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CCF

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. NOSEWORTHY:

The ship to which

I have reference, one of the Park Steamship company boats, was agented to the Seaboard shipping company of Vancouver, and I believe it was chartered by that company to the war shipping administration. The request I had arose from the fact that the war risk bonus paid Canadian seamen on that ship, which is operating in the southern Pacific and carrying supplies to the United States army personnel in that area, is $44.50 a month, whereas United States sailors doing the same type of work in the same waters have a war risk bonus of five dollars a day, and in addition to that their scale of pay is much higher. Has the government any responsibility or any control over the contract made by the agent with the wartime shipping board at Washington?

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

The pay of the crews of Park ships is standard pay. As I say, it is negotiated between the seamen's union and the Park Steamship company, acting for all its agents. My hon. friend says there is a difference in the pay and war risk bonus as between Canadian and United States ships. He could go on and add that there is a difference between Canadian and British ships in that respect. In the case of United States ships, the Canadian scale is lower, whereas in that of British ships it is higher. He could go on to mention other nationalities in that connection. Our pay and allowances are not as high as those of the United States, which, I suggest, is quite understandable; but ours are better than the pay of any other country with the exception of the United States.

War Appropriation-Munitions and Supply

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PC

Joseph Henry Harris

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HARRIS (Danforth):

If the minister will be good enough to have his organization review the evidence given before the war expenditures committee he will find that a constructive suggestion was made at the time, that it might be well to have a perpetual inventory available at all times of equipment at present in the hands of the administration which may be required here and ' there throughout Canada. I have in mind one particular case where a H.R.T. boiler of sizable capacity was wanted almost immediately and there was great difficulty in finding whether or not the organization under the minister's administration had such a boiler. It was only a $10,000 unit but would have avoided the necessity of manufacturing new equipment.

I have another case in mind where an organization is anxious to establish a plant somewhere between Cornwall and Oshawa along No. 2 highway, and is having difficulty in finding any inventory or Listing of properties which the department or the crown has available. It might be well if a perpetual inventory of what is to be disposed of by the crown or the department in the next few years were kept and made available to those who might be interested.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

The department does maintain a central inventory, listing every separate item that is owned by the crown. It is not available to the public. It is a comprehensive record, comprising hundreds of thousands of machine tool listings. If a machine tool were wanted, we would be able to produce the list immediately.

So far as the sale, of plants is concerned, the difficulty is that we are now almost at the peak of war production, and very few are available. The department is compiling a list of all the plants that will be available, and sketches of the plants and certain facts about them will be ready for distribution within the next few weeks.

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IND
NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Mr. Borden is a great Canadian, if I may say so.

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IND

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

He may be, but my hon. friend is just repeating my speech.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

You should not object to that.

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IND

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I am not objecting, but you should treat them both alike, as twins, Borden and Godsoe.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

I will let the minister take care of that.

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IND

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Both have occupied the highest post in Canada.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I do not think we should adjourn with a statement of that kind going unanswered. Mr. Borden was one of the first employees of the Department of Munitions and Supply. He was with the original defence purchasing board. His services with the department antedate my own. I can say to my hon. friend that Mr. Borden had no relationship with Barclays bank until after he terminated all association with the department.

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IND
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Sit down. I am speaking.

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IND

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I will take no orders from the minister, only from the Chairman.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Mr. Borden was appointed a director of Barclays bank after he had terminated all association with the Department of Munitions and Supply. From the time of his joining the department, which was at the outbreak of the war, until he left the department, he took no salary from the department. He worked for actual expenses. His expenses were audited by the auditor general, and I assume they were his actual expenses, and that he did not live with great extravagance.

I may say that his firm did certain work for the Department of Munitions and Supply. It is a large firm, and it is quite understandable that they would do so. I can tell the hon. member that each year the firm of Borden, Sankey and Kelly delivered to the Department of Munitions and Supply of their own volition a cheque to cover every fee which they collected from the government on account of work performed for the Department of Munitions and Supply.

As for Mr. Godsoe, he came into the department later on. It so happened that he succeeded Mr. Borden in the work he was doing when Mr. Borden retired from the department. There is no connection whatever and never has been any connection between Mr. Godsoe and his work and Mr. MacDonell, as suggested by my hon. friend. They worked for different firms, and so far as I know one was not on the board of the other firm, nor was there any connection.

As to Mr. Godsoe's politics, I have a suspicion, but I have never discussed them with him because I never thought it was any of my business to discuss them. He is a most efficient officer of the department and one whom I would be very sorry indeed to lose.

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April 11, 1945