May 1, 1964

RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Caouelte:

That is precisely what both those hon. members did in their own ridings during the last election. The hon. member for Drummond-Arthabaska, who was a professor at the University of Ottawa, realized, since he was elected and became a parliamentary secretary that he is losing his time in the ranks of the Liberal party. Surely, he will come back to better feelings toward Social Credit when he gets back his freedom.

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NDP
RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Caoueiie:

He told me. He was educated and was going to educate his students to Social Credit philosophy. I am not the one who told him; he told me.

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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

Is that where the Minister of Finance (Mr. Gordon) got the idea of debt free money?

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RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Caoueiie:

Probably.

Mr. Speaker, we, in this corner of the house, sincerely believe that improvements should be made, and that not only from one, but from all sides of the house, the recognition of the rights of federal employees should be made a fact. Even if some Liberal members, or others, want to interrupt, we believe that the federal employees, throughout Canada, should be fairly, logically and humanly treated.

The bill before us is a very complex one. I understand, as the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) said a while ago, that there are involved some purely political matters, questions raised for the whole of Canada, whereas one province, because it had the opportunity to do so for the last 20 years, could have given an adequate treatment within its own boundaries.

We of the Social Credit, believe that the system of economic treatment should not be conceived as a general regimentation. On the contrary, the system should be conceived and

Statutory Holidays with Pay administered in consideration of the individual, of the human person, and as long as we do not take the human person and the respect we owe to the individual into account, it will be useless to introduce such bills. We shall get nowhere, whatever party be in power. We hardly could expect other results. But, when we consider the importance of the human person, then we shall be able to legislate accordingly, with the greatest respect for men, women and children in Canada.

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LIB

Auguste Choquette

Liberal

Mr. Auguste Choquette (Lotbiniere):

Mr. Speaker, may I make a few short remarks with regard to the bill now before us.

This legislation contains a principle which we should favour, because it is a general trend in the world today and if I may do so later, I shall quote a few relevant statistics. There is, in the whole world, a general tendency to have shorter working hours.

If I may be allowed to make a digression, as I represent an essentially rural farming county, I would like to pay a particular tribute to our farmers, who, I think are the only ones in today's society who are not always asking for paid holidays, which means that the praiseworthy labour and the doughty persistence of our farmers are always worth mentioning and that those people derive their strength and their greatness of character from the fact that they are never afraid to face work.

However, Mr. Speaker, a dividing line must be drawn between farming and industrial labour.

To come back to the bill now before the house, I repeat that the principle of the bill is particularly acceptable and in spite of the fact that the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) has tried to refute the arguments against the bill, I agree that the bill could not be passed separately, because it would be much better if it was integrated in a set of laws.

It would be wiser not to mention immediately the term "labour code" since the hon. member has mentioned it a moment ago. Such a measure should have been introduced in this house years ago, but every time, some way was found to put off the discussion of such a bill.

Mr. Speaker, it is perhaps deplorable that this parliament is at a standstill at the present time; it is unfortunate and we strongly deplore it. Without blaming anyone-but the constituents will be in a position to judge and they are bound to do so. I think that

it is advisable to denounce with the member for Winnipeg North Centre the fact that no positive and substantial legislation could be passed by this parliament, on account of a disconcerting slowness, a true paralysis. We are faced with a systematic obstruction that we must denounce with all our might. [Text]

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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

Who is obstructing this?

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RA
LIB

Auguste Choquette

Liberal

Mr. Choquette:

Mr. Speaker, it is not a

question of preventing this bill from being passed, because I maintain that its principle is acceptable, but that its text, in its present form, can certainly not be approved today and not until it has been subjected to further study. Indeed, the bill itself contains 18 clauses, each having its own importance, and it should be referred to a committee of the house for further study.

Mr. Speaker, the principle that I accept is in accordance with recommendations made in June 1962 by the international labour organization. During that session, the organization adopted the following general principles:

Every member should formulate and follow a policy which would promote, through methods taking into account conditions, national traditions and the situation of each industry, the principle of the progressive reduction of the normal working period.

Every member, by means adapted to methods now in use and likely to be introduced to regulate the work period, should promote and, to an extent compatible with national conditions and traditions, ensure the application of the principle of gradually reducing the normal work period, in accordance with the following paragraph.

The principle of the gradual reduction of the normal work period could be applied through legislation-

That is, by means of a bill such as the one now before the house. I continue:

The normal work period should be gradually reduced, when suitable so as to achieve the social standard indicated in the preamble of the present recommendation, without resulting in any way in less pay for the workers-

Such an aim is consistent with the principle of the bill now under consideration. I proceed with the quotation:

-following the reduction of the work period.

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RA
LIB

Auguste Choquette

Liberal

Mr. Choquette:

Mr. Speaker, I shall come back to this matter in a little while, and for the information of my hon. friend, I must tell him that those statistics were taken from an indisputable authority, namely the Labour Statistics Yearbook.

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RA
LIB

Auguste Choquette

Liberal

Mr. Choqueiie:

Mr. Speaker, the present trend is to establish a 40 hour work week. I feel that if the miracle theory of Social Crediters were ever applied, nobody would have to work any more, because dividends would be distributed to everybody, large quantities of money would be printed and no one would have to work.

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RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Caouelle:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. Should that be the case, the hon. member for Lotbiniere could benefit therefrom, because he has done very little since he came to the House of Commons.

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LIB

Auguste Choquette

Liberal

Mr. Choqueiie:

Mr. Speaker, this is such a childish comment that I feel it would be better to ignore it. Besides, I shall point out to the hon. member that one must not assess the quality of the work performed by a member by the number of sterile speeches he makes in this house.

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RA
LIB

Auguste Choquette

Liberal

Mr. Choqueiie:

Except Mr. Speaker, for all the members of the Social Credit party, the Caouette branch, who since the beginning of this session and during the last one, have made the most trivial speeches, so completely useless that they have never served the public interest.

I am now going to continue my statement and I shall refer to the recommendation made by the International Labour Organization. Another principle reads as follows:

The principle of progressive reduction of the normal duration of work, as expressed in paragraph 4, could be applied by stages, without it being necessary to determine them at the international level.

Such stages could be spread over a period of time and include progressively various sectors of the national economy; the two previous methods could be combined; any other method that might seem better suited to conditions prevailing in the country and to each field of economic activity, could be followed.

Consequently, the method providing for stages spread over a period of time could very well correspond to the one suggested by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre which provides for statutory leave with pay.

Mr. Speaker, allow me also to refer to the suggestions made by the Canadian Labour Congress. The congress invited the unions affiliated to the C.L.C. to ask for higher wages or a shorter work week, or both, since mechanization and automation increase production.

Statutory Holidays with Pay

It is precisely on account of the automation problem that it is necessary to establish that principle of a progressive reduction of the work week.

At a meeting held in Chicago in 1962, the executive council of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. moved a resolution asking for a shorter work week without any reduction in take-home pay.

Mr. Speaker, all that is in accordance with a state of mind which prevails practically throughout the world, namely that in our affluent society, in the context of the technological revolution that took place over the last decades, it is possible to give more comfort and prosperity to all the workers of the world.

Mr. Speaker, a look at some statistics compiled in 1960 will give an idea of the average work week throughout the world.

Taking Algeria for instance, we notice that in 1960, the average work week was 45.7 hours; it was 46 hours in 1961. In Egypt, the average work week was 48 hours in 1961 and 46 hours in 1962.

In the United States, during the last ten years, the average work week was as follows: 1955, 40.9 hours; 1956, 40.9 hours; 1957, 40.5 hours; 1958, 40.1 hours; 1959, 40 hours; 1960, 40 hours; 1961 and 1962, 40.1 hours.

Consequently, Mr. Speaker, we notice that in America, especially in the United States, the objective is a 40 hour week and it is somewhat toward that objective that Canadian citizens are also looking.

That is why, considering the recommendations of the international labour organization of the C.L.C. and of other labour organizations, we feel that the proposal under consideration should be considered exhaustively.

However, Mr. Speaker, may I point out to the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre that it is not in the one hour's time that-

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RA
LIB

Auguste Choquette

Liberal

Mr. Choqueite:

Mr. Speaker, these two members are diametrically opposed. One is reactionary and the other is progressive.

Mr. Speaker, the present bill deserves the most careful consideration.

One is reactionary and the other one is progressive.

Mr. Speaker, I wish to commend the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre-

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RA

May 1, 1964