April 1, 1952

LIB

John Horace Dickey

Liberal

Mr. Dickey:

Mr. Speaker, I submit that, on the point of order, I am clearly discussing the principle of the bill and not introducing any extraneous matter at all.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF CHAPTER 54, STATUTES OF VOLUNTARY REVOCABLE CHECK-OFF OF UNION DUES
Permalink
LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

If I stop the hon. member now, I will be very strict and I would have to apply the same strictness on second reading of all bills. I would be very glad to do so, but I do not think the house would be pleased with that. I think the hon. member for Halifax was merely making a reference.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF CHAPTER 54, STATUTES OF VOLUNTARY REVOCABLE CHECK-OFF OF UNION DUES
Permalink
LIB

John Horace Dickey

Liberal

Mr. Dickey:

Mr. Speaker, that I think is the essential principle of this bill, and I think it is something that hon. members should have before them when they consider how they will vote upon it.

I know that the hon. member who sponsors this bill and the members who sit around him in that particular group are firm believers in the extension of legislation of this kind.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF CHAPTER 54, STATUTES OF VOLUNTARY REVOCABLE CHECK-OFF OF UNION DUES
Permalink
CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

So are some of the members who sit around you.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF CHAPTER 54, STATUTES OF VOLUNTARY REVOCABLE CHECK-OFF OF UNION DUES
Permalink
LIB

John Horace Dickey

Liberal

Mr. Dickey:

Surely those members can speak for themselves and do not require you to speak for them. Effective government has not been carried out by the imposition of certain rules and regulations for the conduct of employer-employee relations, as well as many other relationships in our national life. I think we have to be guided by certain principles in deciding where we think governments should step in and impose a certain particular thing on any group or groups in this country.

The hon. member for Spadina (Mr. Croll) has pointed out that the labour code does impose certain things which some people in this country still do not feel are necessary or required for the proper organization of employee unions, or for the proper dealing with employer-employee relations. However, I think that a very large majority of the people in Canada would feel that the procedures which are set down in the labour code, and which are imposed on both labour and management, are necessary and proper for the effective operation of our whole economic system. I do not think, however, Mr. Speaker, that we have come to the point where that argument could be made for the particular procedure that is contained in this bill. There is to my mind a difference, and a great difference, between the setting up of machinery for the free use of Canadians to achieve their ends, and the imposing by legislation of a particular feature of this kind. The great and grave danger of that kind of legislation, which was always pointed out by the late Hon. Humphrey Mitchell when he was dealing with these matters, was that what a government gives a government can take away. I think it would not be to the advantage of labour and labour unions in Canada, in the long run, to have amendments of this kind made to the labour code, without a complete and reasonable consideration of the full 55704-65J

Industrial Relations

principle involved. I think it would be well however for the management of the industries which come under the federal labour code to take note of the debate which has taken place in the last three or four years in the house with respect to this bill, and similar bills preceding it, and the debate which took place in the house and the committee on labour relations when the labour code was being considered in 1947.

The check-off is a well recognized procedure in many industries, and is enjoyed by many unions in this country. 1 would be surprised if anyone in the house were in this debate or any other debate even to attempt to oppose the principle of the check-off. It is a procedure which, as has been so well pointed out by the hon. member for Spadina (Mr. Croll), has the effect of helping to achieve the two great objectives in our labour-management relations, and that is responsibility on both sides and security on both sides.

I firmly believe that the management of companies and industries which would be affected by any change of this kind in our labour code should very carefully consider their position and, for that matter, the unions should consider carefully their position and see if it is not possible for them to achieve this check-off, which they wish to secure, through the proper use of the procedures of conciliation and collective bargaining which the federal labour code sets up for them, and which were intended to permit the unions to secure things such as the check-off and other conditions leading to union security.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF CHAPTER 54, STATUTES OF VOLUNTARY REVOCABLE CHECK-OFF OF UNION DUES
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. Pierre Gauthier (Porlneuf):

Mr. Speaker, though far from being an expert on this question, 1 have acquired some knowledge from reading the bill and listening to the speeches of hon. members. I listened with particular care to the hon. member for Spadina (Mr. Croll), because what he says is always of interest. Of course I do not agree with all the principles he enunciates in the house on different questions. However it must be recognized that he is a good member and a good worker.

I note however that the bill says that-

Upon request of a trade union entitled to bargain collectively under this act on behalf of a unit of employees and upon receipt of a request in writing signed by any employee in such unit, the employer of such employee shall, until the employee in writing withdraws such request, periodically deduct-

And so on. There are two points that come to my mind when 1 read that part of the section, and they are these: First, I believe the union is surrendering to the employer part of its sovereignty. I look at the section in that way; that is the way I would interpret

Supply-External Affairs it. Then, secondly, I note that the request is made to the employer to deduct at the source.

Those two points make me think of other discussions we have had in the house, in which it has been pointed out that the surrendering of a part of a nation's sovereignty is a bad thing. I believe it is bad for a union to surrender a part of its sovereignty. If I were a worker, and saw the adoption of a bill of this kind, I would look at my union as something becoming weaker and weaker every day, because it would seem to me that it did not want to do its job. It would be passing its job on to the employer, and would be surrendering sovereignty.

Then there is reference to making deductions at the source of the income. Will anyone rise in his place and say that he is pleased or satisfied with the tax on income deducted at the source? Are the people ready to say that deductions at the source are popular? Yet, that is what happens in this bill, because it asks employers to make deductions at the source of union fees. In other words the bill passes the buck to the employer. After receiving so much through the strength and the responsibility of unions, the worker asks the employer to do the unions' job. That is what I think this bill means. If I am mistaken, then I will expect someone to correct me.

I see my hon. friend from Montmagny-L'lslet (Mr. Lesage) smiling. I may have said something wrong; and, if I have, I should like to know about it. I am always happy to acquire more knowledge on a question, and I said at the outset of my remarks that I was far from being a specialist in this matter. I want to know more about it; and that is why I would not like to see the bill adopted now-because I, for one, want to know more, so that I may be able to discuss it.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF CHAPTER 54, STATUTES OF VOLUNTARY REVOCABLE CHECK-OFF OF UNION DUES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Nine o'clock.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF CHAPTER 54, STATUTES OF VOLUNTARY REVOCABLE CHECK-OFF OF UNION DUES
Permalink
LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

It being nine o'clock, the house will return to the business which was interrupted at six o'clock.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF CHAPTER 54, STATUTES OF VOLUNTARY REVOCABLE CHECK-OFF OF UNION DUES
Permalink

EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY


The house resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Abbott for committee of supply, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Wright.


PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. M. Macdonnell (Greenwood):

Mr. Speaker, I am not going to venture very far or very boldly into the realm of high diplomacy. Like the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Graydon), I am a small-town boy, and I feel sometimes, as I listen to diplomatists, that they are talking about mysteries which I shall

IMr. Gauthier (Portneuf).]

never fully understand. It is in an upper air where the walking seems a bit treacherous to me.

This afternoon, as the minister was speaking, we seemed to be going round and round. There is a French proverb which says: Plus ga change, plus c'est la meme chose.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY
Permalink
LIB
PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell (Greenwood):

I understand that, in English, it means that the more it changes, the more it is the same thing. At any rate, that is the idea I am trying to convey. The minister seemed to me a bit like a man who was weaving a web:

"Won't you come into my parlour?",

Said the spider to the fly.

I think on the whole the flies were avoiding the web very well indeed. The minister referred deftly to resolutions for which certain people had voted years ago, perhaps under very different circumstances. The minister was trying to entangle them all in his web and to make clear that anything that was said now which was in the least critical was entirely inconsistent with the things they had said years before.

I hope I do not sound as if I were being controversial because I had intended this evening to deal entirely with non-controversial things. I had intended to talk merely about some of the safeguards which it seems to me we have against this communist menace, and in particular the moral safeguards. But I was diverted from my course a little by one or two things which the minister said this afternoon and about which I should like to comment very briefly.

I think we should face the fact that in diplomacy there are secrets; there are things which we cannot expect the whole world to know. No doubt people who deal in that atmosphere almost inevitably come to have a rather cagey attitude toward the giving of any information. I remember once during the war when the military mind was accused of that. I remember when some military secrets were being withheld and one journalist said that while he could understand that there might be military secrets, he could also understand that there were people with military minds whose attitude was "What do the public want to know that for? Well damn them they won't".

Sometimes I feel that there may be dangers of this attitude in the realm of diplomacy. Therefore, we must not be surprised if it has taken quite a long time to get information. I think we did get some information this afternoon that we have been waiting for quite a while. We did learn of our Canadian

commitments in Europe up to 1954. We did learn about the puzzling problem of divisions, the twenty-five or the fifty divisions, or the hundred divisions. Those are numbers which got bandied about and which got into very responsible hands from time to time. I refer to such newspapers as the London Times.

I want to say just a word or two about these divisions because I think this afternoon the minister did come much nearer to making us understand the situation. There is that phrase, "in appropriate conditions of combat readiness". The minister explained that this afternoon. He said that it appeared in a press communique, that it was a statement prepared I understand by the "three wise men" and adopted by the NATO command. Then the minister used an interesting phrase; he said that that phrase "leaped out on Sunday afternoon" apparently when nobody was looking.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY
Permalink
PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

Cruising down the river.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY
Permalink
PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell (Greenwood):

Yes. The thing that surprised me, and I am still confused about the matter and I hope the minister at a later time will make this clear, is that apparently at the time attention was called to this ambiguity, but nevertheless clearance was given. That is what I understood the minister to say this afternoon, that notwithstanding the ambiguity of the statement having received the approval of some very august persons, it was approved. It seems to me that "ambiguity" is a most conservative word to use in connection with that phrase. I never think that one needs to use rough words about these things, but in its issue of March 8 the Economist says this:

The Atlantic council, while assembled in Lisbon, rashly allowed itself to say that some fifty divisions "in appropriate conditions of combat readiness" would be provided to defend western Europe in 1952. As was pointed out on all hands, if "combat readiness" means the same as "ready to fight immediately" then the statement must be quite untrue and therefore inexcusable.

I am not saying that the statement is untrue, I am just saying that I cannot understand how serious men could have used a statement of that kind. It was not only ambiguous, it was perfectly clear that it was designed entirely to create an impression of strength far beyond what reality warranted. I can remember reading a statement referring not only to the fifty divisions but to the one hundred divisions for which we can find no parentage whatever. Apparently that was just a foundling child that nobody will father. However, it did get into the London Times; 85 to 100 were the figures that got in there.

I am not talking about that, except to refer to it in passing.

Supply-External Affairs

I think this phrase "in appropriate conditions of combat readiness" could be used as a model for a phrase to confuse the issue. I think it ought to appear in future textbooks as a model. I remember when I read it first the words "combat readiness" struck me. Then I saw the word "appropriate" which interested me very much. "Appropriate to what?" I have never understood what it was "appropriate" to. Does it mean that you can have a division in an appropriate condition of combat readiness when it is 95 per cent ready? Can you have another division in appropriate condition of combat readiness when it is 5 per cent ready? I do not know.

It did seem to me that the phrase was unfortunate, that it never should have been used. I have just one further comment to make. The minister said that within a few hours of that phrase being used explanations began to be given. I should think that that is quite right. I think the minister also said that they have been giving them ever since. I think that that is quite right. I have just one suggestion to make. I think it would have saved a lot of trouble if instead of being constantly on the defensive somebody had come clean and said, "We made a great mistake, let us wipe it off and start again." That is apparently a thing that has never been done and so we have had explanation piled on explanation. But I do think that this afternoon we got nearer to reality.

May I give some advice to the minister who is a comparatively recent arrival in politics. He is even more recent than I am although much more distinguished. I give him this advice quite freely. As a matter of fact, we had a man in our province who used to practise this in a big way. He was the premier of the province and his name was Hepburn. Occasionally he made mistakes but he had a wonderful technique in dealing with them. When he made a mistake he used to admit it without any reservations and by the time he was through he had taken the ball away from the other fellow and there was nothing more to be said. I should not say that actually nothing was said, but as a technique I commend it to the minister.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY
Permalink
PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

It is better not to make so many mistakes.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY
Permalink
PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell (Greenwood):

The hon. member for Kamloops (Mr. Fulton) says that it is better not to make so many mistakes, and I agree with him. If he has any other suggestions he would like to make to me I would be glad to have them. That is the controversial part of my speech and I think you will agree it is not very controversial. I seem to be getting on much better than I did

Supply-External Affairs yesterday. I come now to what we may call the constructive part of my speech.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY
Permalink
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

The other part was not constructive.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY
Permalink
PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell (Greenwood):

For a few

minutes I want to speak about what to me seemed, to be the safeguards that we have in this strange world in which we live. I suppose it is fair to say that today "external affairs" means Russia, with China thrown in. Fifty years ago I suppose external affairs meant France and Germany. We were not on very good terms with either of those countries during the Boer war. Then the Germans began to build up their navy at the turn of the century and from 1905 to 1945 the enemy was Germany with Russia somewhere in the background. We used to hear a lot about the Russian bear and about the frontier of Afghanistan; but it was not until after this last war that Russia became the enemy.

Well, there are various defences which we have. The first is what I will call the economic defence, and I shall refer to a word or two from the speech of the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) some weeks ago. He referred to the raising of the standards of living, the feeding of the hungry among the depressed peoples everywhere; and he gave this as the best insurance we could have in the long run against communism or any other form of totalitarianism. I would agree with the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar that we should not neglect that defence, that safeguard, that we should follow it as best we can. But I would also utter a warning that we should not allow ourselves to believe for one moment that it can be a complete solution. After all, we could have poured the wealth of Croesus into Czechoslovakia in 1947 and it would not have affected the coup that took place there. Indeed, as someone has pointed out, it would have merely meant that we had strengthened Czechoslovakia so that when the coup took place we actually would have strengthened Russia just that much more. So I say that while we should not neglect the economic remedy or safeguard, we should not regard it as too important. We are giving assistance under the Colombo plan, of which we all approve; but when we face Russia let us remember that it is communism plus the old Russian imperialism. We should never be in any doubt about that at all.

It seems perfectly clear that except in the free world, when a country becomes strong it wishes to dominate other people, to stuff its theories down their throats. It is not prepared, as we are, to live and let live. Without congratulating ourselves unduly, and without overlooking our own faults, I think

we can say that on the whole our characteristic is that we are ready to live and let live. Let anyone look at what happened in the nineteenth century when the commonwealth- we did not call it that then-was pretty well cock of the walk. Let anyone consider what happened then. We went around the world offering to other people what we at any rate considered the greatest thing in the world, political liberty and parliamentary institutions. That is something I like to remember, because I think it does show that we had and I hope still have that great quality of tolerance. Of course we should have, because after all tolerance is our stock in trade and I suppose could be said to be characteristic of our way of life.

As I say, the economic safeguard is to be zealously pursued, but must not be regarded as capable of doing more than it can. As to the military safeguard I will say nothing more; that has been discussed to death.

It may be said that the two safeguards I have mentioned, economic and military, refer to things outside our country; that they are concerned with what we do outside our country, either by economic or military means.

Now I want to say a word or two about the safeguards within our country. First I mention the necessity of taking steps against those strange people in our midst who apparently are prepared to undermine the very civilization that nourishes them and to which they owe everything. Of course in order to take care of people like that we must have police. Happily we are well

equipped in that regard, and must continue to maintain a strong and satisfactory police force. I confess that I was one of those people who were very slow to believe that men who talk like ourselves, who are educated like ourselves, who live like ourselves, who seem almost indistinguishable from ourselves, should be prepared to conspire against their own country and against the very civilization to which they owe everything. My belief was shaken by a book many hon. members have read, called "The God that Failed". I have quoted this book in this house on other occasions, and I mention it tonight only to recall to the minds of hon. members that it is a book of recantation written by half a dozen men of distinction in various countries who went off toward the communist side but who, when they saw the realities, came back and were brave enough-and it took bravery-to confess their mistake and publicize it.

As I say, it is disturbing to find that we have such people in our midst; and I suggest it means that we should do some very careful

stocktaking of ourselves and of our way of life to see that when we talk so glibly and with such self-satisfaction about our way of life, there are no flaws in it, no ways in which we should set our own house in order.

What is our way of life? We talk about it an awful lot. I sometimes wonder whether a stranger coming here and taking a superficial look might not think our way of life consisted of radios, television, motorcars, washing machines and mixmasters. He would certainly think they occupied a very large part of our lives indeed. I would say without hesitation that if we should drift to the point where that really was our preoccupation, in the end we should fall; because, as I shall seek to show later, we are not facing a lot of people who are merely slaves. They are slaves from our point of view, but they are slaves of a strange kind, with an enthusiasm for their slave life.

Coming back to our way of life again, I would like to say what everyone in this house will agree with; that in the end it is morale that is going to count. We all know that in wartime it is morale that counts. I am fond of telling a story that happened during the first war. A good many will remember that we nearly lost that war in March, 1918. At that time there was a meeting in Doullens at which the great Foch was made commander in chief, at which Lord Milner represented the British war cabinet and at which Lord Byng, who was afterwards a beloved governor general of this country, was present as a general commanding an army. Milner relates that he asked Byng that day whether he thought the line could be held; it was in terrible jeopardy at the time. Byng's answer was interesting. He did not say, "Yes, it can be held if we get twenty more divisions, or if we get a thousand more guns." He said, "Yes, it can be held if we believe in our cause." I like to remember that, because I believe it is true. We all know that in war the morale is several times more important than the materiel; and though we are not in a war now we are in a time not very different from war. We talk about the cold war in Korea, in Malaya and in Indo-China, but it is not very cold. They are doing enough fighting there; not so much in Korea at the moment, perhaps, though even there fighting goes on. I sometimes think we do not have these young men half enough in mind. The men in Korea seem far off. One of the things that surprise me is that in any church I have been in I have scarcely heard a reference to the men in Korea. It seems to me an astonishing thing that they are not remembered every time people meet together in that way.

Supply-External Affairs

So I repeat that I wonder if we have a firm grasp of principles, because in the long run it is morale which will settle these things. It is in this starkly practical sense- because I do not set myself up to give moral lectures-that I venture to say a few words on this subject. As I said a moment ago, a casual observer might think our lives here were entirely dominated by irrelevant things. He might find precious little evidence that we are concentrating at all on the things by which we say we live. The other day the hon. member for Peel made a remark that impressed me. He said it was extraordinarily difficult to crusade for the things you have, and I think that is a remark we might all ponder, because if in some way we are not able to summon up something of the spirit of a crusade for the things we have, then they will wither way. We must really bring back something of that spirit.

What do we mean when we talk about our way of life? That is a terribly important question. Well, I suppose the natural answer most people will give is that it is the free way of life, the tolerant way of life. Then, I suppose they would likely say it is the Christian way of life. I wonder if they would find that a very satisfactory answer. I wonder if, when they say it is the Christian way of life, they have certain searchings of the heart? I think if they visited many of our churches they may have great searchings of the heart on that subject.

Then, they might say the rule of law: the conception that every man is equal before the law, and therefore it is the embodiment of the great Christian principle that men are equal before God. That is true, but I should like to ask again, is that a fully satisfying answer? Do we feel that the rule of law prevails as we should like it? Do we not find constant efforts to escape it? Do we not find constant efforts of the strong to profit at the expense of the weak, and to override the law?

Even in this chamber we are sometimes surprised by what seems to us to be things which entirely go against the rule of law. Last night in this chamber I was quite astounded to hear the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent)-indeed if I had not been here I would hardly believe he could have said it-make a statement concerning legislation by estimates. We had been protesting against various instances where items in the estimates were used as virtual legislation. We had pointed out in several cases that there should be a statute, and finally I made a request to the Prime Minister in connection with a bill concerning lieutenant governors. I asked the Prime Minister if it would not

Supply-External Affairs be proper to introduce legislation, and the Prime Minister said, as recorded at page 976 of Hansard for March 31:

If it were done in the direct way-

That is by legislation.

-there would be at least six occasions for debate upon it. There would be the resolution stage, the three readings of the bill and so on.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY
Permalink
LIB

Joseph-Alfred Dion (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order, I doubt if the hon. member can refer to a previous debate.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-FOREIGN POLICY
Permalink

April 1, 1952