Right Hon. J. L. ILSLEY (Acting Prime Minister). The hon. member for Fraser Valley (Mr. Cruickshank) indicated on Friday that he intended to-day to bring up the question of the supply of wooden containers for food in British Columbia the production of which is rendered impossible by the strike of those engaged in making lumber for boxes and material, for baskets and other wooden food containers.
I understand that if these containers are not produced the result will be a large wastage and spoilage of food of many kinds produced in British Columbia both for the Canadian market and the overseas market during the coming months. I understand also that there is a disposition on the part of both operators and members of the unions to recognize the gravity of this situation and that meetings are being held, at least between the farmers and the workers, with a view to putting an end to this lamentable situation.
As the house knows, the importance of food at the present time is of great concern to the government, and I would like to say on behalf of the government that it is the sincere hope
and wish of the government that arrangements be immediately made whereby the industry making material for wooden food containers will resume work at once, without prejudice to any negotiations regarding conditions in the industry which are now proceeding.
The Minister of Labour is unavoidably absent from the house to-day but I know that this is his wish as well as that of the other members of the government, and I am therefore, on behalf of the government, making this earnest appeal to all those concerned in this dispute to arrange for the resumption of work at once in the lumber mills which make lumber for containers for the shipping of fish and fruit and other food products.
I am not now dealing with the other phases of the strike in British Columbia, which are very grave. I will have to leave these for the Minister of Labour, who is putting forward every possible effort to bring about the settlement of the dispute as a whole.