June 28, 1934 (17th Parliament, 5th Session)


Joseph-Arthur Denis


Mr. ARTHUR DENIS (St. Denis) (Translation) :

Mr. Speaker, before this debate
ends, I wish to reiterate my request of the other day with reference to the stone cutters of the city of Montreal. I requested the government to kindly specify in the contracts which it would award in erecting buildings in Montreal or elsewhere, that the contractors would have to employ stone cutters to carry out the work, instead of machines. It is obvious that such a provision would be of a nature to considerably decrease the number of unemployed in Montreal and elsewhere. Experts in the matter contend that a machine does the work of 25 men and, therefore, throws 25 workmen on the street. On the other hand, I am told that the stone cut by machines is of an inferior quality to that cut by expert workers.
Often there exists in the rock certain cracks, certain weakness which cannot be discovered by machine work; however, when a workman cuts it, he notices whether it is split, cracked or of inferior quality. The stone cut by machine detracts a good deal from the value of the building. Therefore, I request the government to furnish work to the stone cutters, who are, to-day, among the unemployed in Montreal.
I do not wish to congratulate the government for having submitted to us this bill at the end of the session. "The mountain in labour has brought forth a mouse 1" This government which thought itself important and capable of settling the unemployment crisis in 1930, submits to us, after four years in office, a bill which will permit it to expend $40,000,000 to relieve those who are unemployed since then. It seems to be an important event, but let me assure you, sir, that it does not amount to much. It is not a permanent remedy to cure unemployment, it is an artificial, a temporary measure which will amount to nothing, unless it be for a few months this year. The government thinks, thanks to such a measure, that the Canadian people will forget the 1930 promises and its inertia heretofore! Being acquainted with its rule for the last four years, especially during this session, the Canadian people realize perfectly that they were wrong in replacing the Liberal regime by this one and
will again repose their trust in us They will replace this government by a Liberal one. If one examines specially this session's legislation, one might conclude that the goverment did its utmost to create positions, carry on patronage and thus endeavour to capture the confidence of the Canadian people. I wish to protest, sir, because so little work has been set aside for Quebec.

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