December 9, 1909 (11th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Samuel Hughes


Mr. SAM. HUGHES (Victoria).

By the courtesy of my hon. friend from Cape Breton (Mr. Maddin) and inasmuch as I shall not be able to be present for some time after eight o'clock, I would ask to be given the opportunity of making a reply to the question of the hon. member for North Waterloo (Mr. King) as to why the member for the district (Victoria and Haliburton) did not report this matter. I might point out to him that the member for the district is not one of his fair wage officers and is not in the pay of the Labour Department, thank Heaven. I might also point out to him that the member for the locality did draw the attention of the House and of the Minister of Labour to the matter last year- not that I objected to it in any sense whatever, because I do not believe in this doctrine of putting that clause in these contracts. On the contrary, I think that a contractor should be at liberty to get his labour at whatever price he can and engage that labour for periods depending on the duties to be performed. But what had these fair wage officers of the hon. gentleman done for the labouring men? A young gentleman has been put at the head of the Labour Department, promoted over the stalwarts of the party who have been doing its work for years-and I am sure the Finance Minister will agree with me in that statement -and I want to point out an insignificant circumstance in connection with this department of his. There was a labour organization in the town I represent, (Lindsay), which became defunct. There were considerable funds in the treasury when it broke up, and under its constitution the officers of that association were empowered to dispose of these funds on following out a certain well disposed procedure. Were they permitted to do so? Oh, no. A gentleman by the name of O'Donoghue-possibly known to the Minister of Labour-appeared on the scene and undertook to take charge. And into whose hands did he seek to put the disposal of these funds? Into the hands of that horny handed son of toil Senator McHugh.

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