June 2, 1947

LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

No, you take it; I do not want it. You may have it. My hon. friend knows there was a recent case of ill treatment of a Polish soldier in Saskatchewan.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

I do, yes.

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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

Fortunately it is the only instance that has come to my attention since the movement of these men to Canada.

Labour Conditions

but we have some responsibility to that young Polish soldier to see that he is placed on another farm where he will be assimilated into the life of this country.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

He was not under a contract to stay where he was.

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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

You cannot blow hot and cold on this thing; you have to assume some responsibility. How did these people come into Canada under the terms of the order jn council? It is perfectly clear that they came here under the minimum wage laws existing in Quebec. Let me say this about wages. I do not know what it costs to live in this town of St. Georges in Quebec. Do not forget this: I have been a high wage man all my life: I think that is well known in the house.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

Did the minister say "highway"?

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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

I want to say this to my hon. friend-

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

I thought better of the minister than that.

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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

I wish to say to my reverend friends and school teachers across the tray that at least I worked in industry for my living.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

The rest of us did.

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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

When I left Hamilton I belonged to an organization that was the highest paid of its class in the trade in the dominion. I have always been a high wages man; I believe in it. But do not forget that wages are relative, as I shall indicate before I get much farther. I do not know what it costs to live in St. Georges. I am not defending the minimum wage laws of the province of Quebec, not for one minute. But I would guarantee that the cost of living in that community is somewhat different from what it is in New York city or in the city of Montreal.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

Or in Ottawa.

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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

Or even in Ottawa, as my hon. friend know-3 quite well. What is the policy? My hon. friend talked about precedents. What, is the policy of the British government in this regard? It is not any different from our own.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Yes, it is; the trades unions are helping to bring these people in.

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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

Wait a minute.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

No one comes in without the consent of the trades unions.

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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

Let the record speak for itself. May I say this about the trade unions

and the criticism which has been directed to my department and the department of immigration in connection with this matter, and about some of the statements made over the air by a half-wit who sits in this gallery. What was said yesterday afternoon does not add anything to the problem.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Which gallery?

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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

Let. us take the question of a contract.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Why attack a man who cannot reply?

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June 2, 1947