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



There would be no use in any one introducing such a measure in this House because it would be beyond our jurisdiction, and it was for that reason I have not brought in a Bill of that nature. The arguments which have been urged this afternoon against this Bill are exactly the Mr. R. L. BORDEN.
same as were advanced in other countries on similar occasions. In 1847, in England, when the ten hour law was before the House, exactly the same arguments were used against it. In 1856 and 1857, when that question was brought up in Australia, we had the same arguments over again. The plea was always that if you shorten the hours of labour, you will reduce the sum of the work done. However, I am gratified to know that we have made a considerable step in advance, and if the government will promise that this measure will not be shelved, I am quite willing to refer it to a special committee. I am willing, if the Bill receives its second reading, to make a motion to have it referred to a special committee. We will then have affirmed the principle of the Bill, and it will be for the government to see that no obstacle is allowed to prevent the committee from getting through with its deliberations. I would like to have before that committee those men who are strongly opposed to any reduction in thg number of hours in the labouring day while at the same time they are quite willing to reduce their own hours of labour to three or four. I would like to meet these men before the committee. I would like also to have some of the labour men come before that committee and express their views, and then let the committee compare notes, and I am sure we shall win because we are on the right side. If the Bill be given a second reading, its principle -will then be adopted, and if the government will give a chance to the committee to get to work right away, we shall have their report before the session is over and be in a position to enact legislation which will materially improve the condition of the working class.

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